Book Review: Partner in Crime, by J. A. Jance

Partner in Crime by J.A. Jance



My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoyed the side stories that accompany author Jance’s very interesting murder mystery and the personality descriptions and characters of Sheriff Joanna Brady and J. P. Beaumont, from two different worlds of law enforcement, who need to cooperate to solve a very complex murder of a Bisbee, Arizona artist. The personality clashes along with the character descriptions make the story. Right up to the final hundred pages, you won’t know who ratted out the Washington State Witness Protection Program, who killed the three Arizona citizens and how Beaumont’s former wife played a part in this whole story. The book deserves a good 4 stars, but I wasn’t drawn into it so heavily as to have a two day binge on the 400 pages of the novel. J. A. Jance is an excellent author and story teller. I will go on to read some of her other murder/suspense novels. Enjoy!



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What do the Simple Folk Do? # 6 They Color Eggs, an ancient worldwide tradition

Yesterday we colored eggs! A long time family tradition for my family around the Spring Easter season, and has been a traditon for millions of persons around the world from many different religions and cultures.

Where did the tradition come from? There are many theories but historians take coloring eggs way back to the earliest peoples and their ideas of the beginnings of the world and life. Decorated Ostrich eggs that at 60,000 years old, way before Christianity, other major religions developed, have been found and dated in Africa. So what many Christians around the world take as their own, is actually much much older than many people know. See Wikki for an indepth series on this whole subject. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg The egg can represent fertility, beginning of life, a tomb, resurrection, the stone in front of a tomb, and the colors can represent blood, green life and fertility, yellow -sun….. Lots of things1 Wow!

Symbolism in Eggs!

According to Peggy Trowbridge Filippone in an easy to read essay: https://www.learnreligions.com/easter-egg-history-1807594 “The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a symbol of new life has been around for eons. The particulars may vary, but most cultures around the world use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth.”

As with many of the world’s major religions, Christianity adopted local beliefs and customs in order to help persons who were interested in those beliefs incorporate their already preconceived notions about life and the beginning of the world.

And for Christians in particular, according to Peggy, “Since Easter is in the spring, the holiday is also a celebration of this annual time of renewal when the earth re-establishes itself after a long, cold winter. The word Easter comes to us from the Norsemen’s Eostur, Eastar, Ostara and Ostar, and the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of the growing sun and new birth. The egg has become synonymous with Spring’s arrival.”

So the very early preachers in the Norse lands already knew how to adopt local ideas and put them to use in their early churches.

So taking that pile of eggs! Let’s get started! First I lay out all the materials: dishes, paper towels, food colors, drying racks and dipping utensils. Then I boil up those eggs until they are hard inside and cool them down completely in ice water or the fridge and make sure they are well dried. Her’s what it looks like!

Space things out if you have a good-sized group doing this!

We use not only the commercial dye kits, but also straight old Cake food coloring dyes. You want to make sure the dyes are edible if you are planning to eating the eggs later on. These dyes are water soluble and we put 1 tablespoon full of vinegar in each container, the dye and 1/2 – 3/4 cup of warm water. With food coloring you can always add more dye if you think the colors aren’t strong enough.

Then go to work!

Great Colors! Use a dipper!
Use Tongs!
Just set carefully.
Put eggs in rack to dry!

I I I

I love DEEP colors! The Green and Red Egg reminds me of the lab experiments we used to do with Green Chlorophyll Extract in Science Classes and when you shine a light through the Green solution, it makes it fluoresce and give off a fabulous deep Red color! Wow! (But that’s another story) Interested? See Wikki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll_fluorescence

All done? Put your eggs in a great display basket and show your friends!

P.S. If you plan to eat some of the eggs, don’t leave them out more than a day or two in a cool room before putting them in the fridge. We wouldn’t want you to come down with food poisoning after all the fun and enjoyment.

Love those colored eggs and the ducks!

Enjoy!

What do the Simple Folks Do? #5 They play with the dog!

When you wake up in the morning feeling blue staying home,
Remember your Rex your dog is also longing for a roam, So to liven your day, You can get the dog to play,
and have your wife snap a picture on her phone!

Rick and Rex Duke it out for the washcloth!

The dog won when my wife reminded me that this is not the time to see a dentist to replace front tooth caps.

If I wake up tomorrow with a crick in my neck, Oh! what the heck! It was fun!

Enjoy your day – someway!>)) and don’t forget to check out my free African adventure novel – “The Ghosts of Ukuthula” available this week on Kindle.

No Fooling! Stay at home and stay safe! GRRRR!

April! No FoOL’in! My Three Kindle Books Free! Reading is something else Simple folks do!

A time to share while we wait for the world to come back to a semblance of normal – Enjoy them!

All are available through Kindle Reader’s Library directly on you Kindle for P.C. or Apple, and Kindle Owner’s Lending Library https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000739811, at my Amazon Author site https://www.amazon.com/Rick-McBee/e/B001K8HIXI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1, or at Amazon Books under the title.

I’m at home like a lot of you, waiting and watching and trying to do something other than self-massage fears by reading the news. So I spend a part of each day reading book. These three books will give you ample reading material to enjoy. First, free April 1 – 5, 2020 The Ghosts of Ukuthula

A. African adventure at it’s best!

A. You follow historical fiction in an account of the period in South Africa when some key persons prevented a Russian takeover of South Africa leading to the installation of the first Black African President of the country, Nelson Mandela. Then Free April 6 – 10, 2020 Rough Enough.

B. A true Enlisted man’s story of the Civil War and the frontier.

B. You can read the true story of Richard Clow during the Civil War and later life on the frontier. Through his letters to his sisters, you will discover the life of an enlisted man, the joys and hardships and terrors that accompany soldiers on the battlefront in all ages as well as the life that confronted married couples on the frontier in Deadwood, Dakota Territory and Little Sioux, Iowa. Finally, Free April 11 – 15, 2020 is Beachcomber Seashells of the Caribbean.

The best e-shell book for this area of the world!

C. You can explore the world of Caribbean seashells through beautiful photgraphs of over 200 of the author’s personal shell collection and read about the lives of those particular creatures and have references to 5 other sources of seashell information, should that be an area that you or your children are enthusiastic about.

Those of you with Kindle Readers can borrow all of these books from the Kindle Reader’s Library and read them for free any time. Relax, get a free book or two and enjoy. You might even be able to find out what all those pretty shells are that you picked up in the Caribbean, back when we could travel. A place to dream about going back to!

Enjoy Spring! Smell the flowers! Look for Bees! The End!

What do The Simple folk Do? They work puzzles! #4

One of the best things to take your mind off the rest of the world is to work a beautiful Puzzle. The concentration prevents you from caring about all those things the internet would like you to focus on like inane Tweets and crude comments and you can make something of beauty!

Here’s Your Pile to get started on! Looks Impossible at first.
Spend hours looking at and sorting weird pieces And a picture forms.
Three days later you’ve not thought about the world and Wow! What a great end result!

What do the Simple Folk Do? To help them escape when they’re Blue? Essay #3 – Keeping Positive! Flowers!

So What to Do ——– if I’m Blue ———- to Bring me back to the positive side of Life?

  1. Go outside in my yard, find a flower and take a selfie with it! Here’s my great flowering Japanese Magnolia in full bloom right outside the kitchen door! These have no odor, but this is one of the first trees to come out every spring. What a joy!

2. Walk on the hillside across the river from our place staying a long – long way from anyone else and shoot a wonderful Shooting-star flower (also called a Bird’s Bill by some people)

That’s what this guy does to cheer himself up. It’s amazing how the outdoors even a few feet from the house, absence from our electronic massage machines – phone–internet – TV – Radio ….. can change our mood! A touch of sunshine this time of the year after a long day cooped up in the house brings on an instant feeling of – Ah! How Great to Be a Part of this World!

Enjoy!

What do the Simple Folks Do? Essay #2: Make Pancakes!

Need something to make your day perk up a bit? Start off with Pancakes!

I always make my pancakes with either Blueberries, Huckleberries, or Black Currants to get all that Good Blue out of the berries and counteract the Bad Blue of a slow wake-up in the morning before the first hot cup of Coffee or Tea.

Easy to do steps to make enough pancakes for 2-3 people depending on your size and gluttony quotient: 1 Cup of Four ( I use the generic Gluten Free Flour because regular stuff makes me itch, reg. works fine. 2. Then to this I add: 1/2 tsp soda, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp salt, 1Tbs of sugar and set aside in a bowl. 3. In another bowl I break three eggs (you can get by with 1) and beat them really well, almost frothy. To this I add 1 and 1/3 cups of buttermilk (you can use milk but then you have to add 1Tbs of lemon juice to make the soda bubble when you mix things together. buttermilk is so much easier and you can get low fat type if you prefer. I mix the eggs and buttermilk together and then add 2Tbs of olive oil (other types of cooking oil work just as well). Whip everything well. Now pour your liquid from #2 above into your #3 mixture and beat just enough to mix everything but not to whip out the bubbles that are beginning to form.

4. Now fold in with a spatula 1 – 2 cups of berries. If they have been frozen, then make sure you warm them in a strainer in a bowl of warm water for a minute and drain well before adding to your batter or the batter will actually freeze to the berries in clumps.

5. Heat your pan or griddle to mark 5 of a 10 scale gauge and add just a small bit of oil to the pan to get it ready for cooking. Put three to four dollops of batter (about 1/4 cup each) into the heated pan.

Now cook the pancakes on that side until you begin to see little air-hole bubbles coming to the surface and when they break, they leave a hole. (You can see a few holes beginning to to show on my pancakes (the little black dots). Use your spatula to check that it is turning a deep brown, but not burning and then flip the pancakes once.

RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO PAT THE PANCAKE WITH YOUR SPATULA – NEVER PAT A PANCAKE!

While the cakes are on this side, warm you r syrup, get out the butter, put the plates nearby and get your family (including the dog) ready to eat! Note I have a bunch showing at the top of the picture. Those are the pancakes that after cooling go in the freezer in a plastic bag so we can eat them for several days just by warming in the microwave.

Take out those yummy pancakes straight out of the pan and Chow Down! YUMMY!

Enjoy! All the best for another day, Rick McBee

What do the Simple Folks Do? Essay #1

Reminiscent of one of my favorite songs in the 1960 Broardway Musical, Camelot: This article and the next few will focus be on things that we, the simple folk of America can and still do in order to keep our sanity and drive fear away from the door as we pass the time while Nero and the Senate go on Fiddling and deal with long stretches of semi-solitude during our home stays being mandated by the competent State Governments who hope to keep us from spreading or acquiring the COVID -19 virus.

So what can we, the simple folk do?

1. .Start off by reading a bit about the Musical at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/camelot-the-musical-synopsis-characters-songs.htm On Wiipedia you will find a number of related searches.

Camelot (musical) Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (music). It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White novel The Once and Future King. Wikipedia Related searches include the legend of Camelot and King Arthur, the Musical Overture and much much more.

2. If you want to watch the later movie of Camelot from 1967 with Richard Harris and Vanessa redgrave, check this out https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061439/ then you can rent the movie on netflix see: https://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Camelot/345890

3. Now you’re ready to start making your own list of things that we simple folk can do to help us from becoming so blue.

See my Next Blog Post #2

Enjoy! Rick McBee

The Fox, by Frederick Forsyth a Book Review

The Fox by Frederick Forsyth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Writing master, Frederick Forsyth, is back at it again with a great book linking IT to current and past events in the world of international intrigue and power games. The occurrences that happen worldwide are real. The methodology by which Britain’s IT genius, Luke Jennings, pull off the intrusions are fictional, but not that far-reaching in a world where the race to build the ultimate quantum computer to spy on others is going full blast. Adrian Weston, the resuscitated former MI-6 chief, running Jennings and the global intrusions is also a picture of a truism that the old ways of running spies and deceiving the enemy may still be needed in a world where every movement can be traced using our cell phones, our credit cards, camera facial recognition, etc. Kudos for this work to a writer who understands that the spy world is not an adrenaline rush of dodging bullets but rather a cat and mouse game of piecing together seemingly unrelated bits of information and making the chessboard moves with the knights and pawns before the opponent recognizes the deception and the true plot. Woe unto the Russians, the Iranians and the North Koreans. Loved it!



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The Silence of the North by O.A. Fredrickson and B. East: A book review

The Silence of the North: The Incredible Story of a Woman’s Fight For Survival in the Wilderness by Olive A. Fredrickson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Olive Fredrickson’s story of her early life growing up in the Canadian wilderness is an exciting adventure suitable for both young and old, male and female as she deals with the death of her mother at an early age, grows up knowledgeable of the world of trapping and hunting in a part of the world almost completely unknown to the majority of North Americans. The knowledge she gained from her hardscrabble family upbringing in the wilderness carries her through to adulthood and marriage to her first husband, a trapper named Walter Reamer. Olive and Walter follow the trails of the Canadian North on trapping expeditions that place them and their young child in danger of drowning in the icy waters of Lake Athabasca and the Slave River as they treck into the wilderness for a winter’s trapping and hunting. Fate steps in during the winter as the young couple makes one slight mistake after another in their choice of cabins, food supply, and preparation for living off the wilderness. On the doorstep of starvation and death by exposure to the elements, the couple set off in a desperate attempt in the subzero weather to reach another trapper’s cabin. Lady luck peeps out for a moment as they stumble through a twenty mile ordeal. Returning to civilization, Olive remains in the safety of town with her children as her husband continues to trap each winter. When she is widowed, Olive moves briefly to the States and then returns to Canada, working hand to mouth for a number of years until she meets her second husband and they are able to make a living in a less hostile section of the wilderness up the Stuart river where they pan for gold, encounter grizzlies, and fabulous fishing. It’s a memorable story with lessons for all of us about the realities of making choices in life and the consequences of making the wrong choice in the unforgiving climate and environment of the Canadian wilderness. An excellent read-aloud book!

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