Friday, June 28, 2019

A chat with Granny from Fuchsia Minnesota!

Granny is a character created by Julie Seedorf

Today we have a super special guest here at Grandma Bertha Interviews. This young lady goes by the name of Granny, and is one of the most awesome detectives you'll ever meet. Granny agreed to give me an interview, as long as I gave her one too! So be sure to check her blog for that.

Tell us, Granny, what was the first investigation you ever did? What was the last? Do you expect to do more investigations in the future?

It wasn’t an investigation per se. It was a secret. The Police Chief hired me as an undercover investigator to stop shoplifting in Fuchsia. After all, who would suspect a Granny with an umbrella to be dangerous? I even kept it a secret from my kids. They wanted to put me in the wrinkle farm, as I had a habit of being forgetful to get my man, or my woman, depending on who it was. That accidentally turned into a big kerfuffle when clerks were disappearing and I almost disappeared too. The last investigation, let’s see. It happened at the Ecstatic Emporium and you’ll have to visit Fuchsia to find out the problem. It might still be ongoing.                                                                                                  

That sounds so exciting! I've worked with the police before, but being a undercover agent is in a whole other level. What was the most difficult period in your investigation, and how did you deal with it?

My adult children don’t think old women should be lingering with dangerous criminals. I just have to be crafty and let them think I agree with them. I pull the wool over their eyes, if you know what I mean.

Yes, I do. My daughter-in-law, Lydia, thinks the same way, but I ignore her. Did you choose to become a detective? Or didn’t you have a choice?

I don’t call myself a detective, just an old amateur sleuth. I have a nosy nose. I guess you could say I had no choice. I have to follow my nose, although it does mislead me, and I end up at Delight’s Pink Percolator with yummy treats and coffee. Treats always come first with my nose.

That's why they call them treats! Do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? Tell us more about them.

My friends and neighbors have had my back. There was Sally Katilda, sadly she met her demise, but I have my neighbor, Mavis, who always thinks she is in a pretend reality television show. Then there is George. I used to keep an eye on him because he didn’t seem to know which end was up, but now he found love so I don’t have to do that anymore. Delight, who owns the Pink Percolator, Lulu who owns Lulu’s Quilt Shop and Ditty Belle who owns Persnickity’s Bookstore always seem delighted to get in the fray. Oh, and we can’t forget Pastor Henrietta. She is one of the Pastors at We Save You Christian Church. I think we might save her more than she saves us.

Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn't want others to know.

I shop at Red Hot Momma’s Boutique. My friends know but my kids don’t.

Hope they don't read this interview then. Let's wrap it up with a special question: do you have a favorite quote?

“You’re on a need to know basis and I know what it is you need to know that you don’t know that you know.” Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt 

That's a good one! Thank you for your time, Granny. And to my dear readers, don't miss the interview I gave to Granny on her blog!



Julie Seedorf

A Bit About Me As An Impassioned Writer

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.

I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities person, office manager and finally a computer repair person eventually owning my own computer sales and repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Adding four more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a new Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity.

I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.

Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

Official website:
Twitter:  @JulieSeedorf

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A chat with Amy Stone, a detective who rocks!

Amy Stone is a character created by Cheryl F Taylor

What a busy week! I've been working on a new case, and you'll be able to read about it soon. Today, we have here Amethyst 'Amy' Stone, and for that name alone, you know this girl rocks. Tell us, Amy, how did you start in this detective life? Do you love it as much as I do, and do you plan to continue your investigations?

My first investigation, if you can call it that, was when my father's employee, Carl Schrader, was murdered at my dad's rock shop and I was a suspect – or rather the suspect. When Jackson Wolf showed up looking for a job and we started finding indications that Carl had been stealing from the shop, things got really complicated.

The last mystery I was involved in happened on a rock club field trip. Jackson and I were looking forward to a nice day out in the country, getting a tour of an old mine, and looking for some gemy wulfenite. Instead council member Hazelton, a man I despise, was assaulted, and Pete Martin, one of my dad's oldest friends, was blamed. At the same time, we found a skeleton which we thought might have been a previous owner of the mine who disappeared nearly thirty years ago.

I don't know if I'll be involved in other investigations. Tommy Kissoon, my high school boyfriend, and a current sheriff's deputy claims that I'm starting a collection of bodies which is a bunch of baloney! Still, if someone I care about is in danger, I'm going to do something.

That's very brave of you. So, you'd say that the detective life chose you?

I absolutely did not chose to be a detective! My dad, Nick Stone, broke his leg and I was just helping him run our family's rock shop, Stone's Gems and Minerals, until he was out of the rehabilitation facility. (Yes, unfortunately my father, Nick Stone, likes to play with our last name... Like when he named me Amethyst, my sister Opal, and my brother Jasper!) Dad's employee, Carl Schrader, was found murdered in the shop, and I was suspect numero uno! Of course I had to investigate!

Tell us more about your profession.

I am a geologist. I graduated from Northern Arizona University and went to work for Gila Geologic Consultants. Then my boyfriend, who also worked there, threw me under the bus when a dam project when terribly wrong because of he and his dad (the owner of GGC) cut corners. It was about that time that my dad was injured, so I decided to come home and regroup while I helped my parents.

Being a geologist and being a detective are very different things, am I right?

I honestly don't consider myself to be a detective, other than these blasted bodies keep showing up on my doorstep. Jackson Wolf, my dad's new employee at the shop, would tell you I'm just stuborn. He's probably right. I guess I'd say that I have some trust issues, and that I want to make sure that I and my friends are safe and taken care of. If that makes me a detective, so be it. I really just want to work in the rock shop, and collect minerals.

And what do you know about crime scene investigation?

I know pretty much nothing about crime scene investigation, other than what I've seen on TV or read in books – or seen at Schrader's murder. That's something that gets thrown back in my face all the time. I am a scientist, though, which helps me think through problems. I think that the scientific method applies to more than science. I come up with a hypothesis, then try to test it out. Jackson, on the other hand, works on emotion. He's the artist in the shop, being a photographer. In many ways we balance each other out.

You mentioned you have a friend in the police force. How do you deal with the authorities while doing your investigation?

Tommy Kissoon is the Mojave County sheriff's deputy I've had to deal with the most. The northern counties of Arizona cover a lot of territory, and these deputies have to do a lot of driving. Tommy is a member of the Supai nation, and he and his sister were my best friends when I was in school. I didn't realize he was a deputy until he showed up at Carl Schrader's murder. I'd like to say that makes things easier, but it doesn't, and he gets pretty frustrated with me because I won't just sit back and trust him to do his job. I'm sorry about that, but it's not going to stop me.

Do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? Tell us more about them.

Jackson Wolf has been right beside me on all of my adventures. He moved to Copper Springs to help out his sister, Merri, whose husband recently died. He's probably one of the most unique people I've ever met. Jackson has the nack of talking to anyone about anything and there isn't a serious bone in his body. However, he's always taking care of the needy and the weak. He took custody of his sister when his parents died, so they're very close. Before moving to Copper Springs, Jackson lived in a motorhome, driving around the country taking photos. Now he's our computer guru, although he's learning a lot about gems and minerals and mining. I just wish I could figure out his real last name.

That's your next investigation right there! Thanks for stopping by, Amy! And to my dear readers, stay tuned, for I'm about to catch my next killer, and you'll be able to read all about it in a few months!

Cheryl F Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

Official website:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A chat with Rita Calabrese, the italophile detective!

Buongiorno, amici miei! This is Grandma Bertha, and this Thursday I'm interviewing a detective who loves a good pasta - and who doesn't?  Not only does Rita Calabrese has the coolest name in the world, she's also a keen detective and gave us a witty interview.

Hello, Rita! People love it when I start with this question: what was your first investigation? What was the last, and do you plan to continue doing this?

My first case was the mysterious poisoning—in the hospital, no less, where you are supposed to be safe!—of football coach Jay Stiglitz. About a year later, we were celebrating the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of Acorn Hollow, when a skeleton was discovered during the unveiling on the town’s time capsule. Talk about a cold case!

I never heard that one before! So, was it your choice to become a detective? Or didn’t you have a choice?

I fell into it when Acorn Hollow’s beloved football coach was poisoned. At first, I just wanted to know what really happened, but when the police started looking at my son Vinnie, I really sprang into action! Hell hath no fury like a mama bear prodded into action!

You should see what a grandmother can do! And what’s your daytime occupation? How does it relate to your investigations?

I’m a serious, hard-bitten journalist (don’t you just love the sound of that? I do!) tackling human interest stories about Acorn Hollow’s most fascinating citizens. And some of my subjects are persons of interest in murder investigations—or know something useful!

I found my first case through a newspaper, when I was young. It's a great way to keep in touch with crime without actually getting into danger. Do you watch crime TV show and movies? What are your favorites?

I watch the Italian mystery series starring Inspector Montalbano. Luca Zingaretti is so handsome, and I love all the Sicilian scenery!

Italian horror films are the best too! I love the giallo genre. Apart from Montalbano, who do you see yourself closest to: Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Sam Spade?

Definitely not Sherlock! I’m don’t smoke, DEFINITELY don’t do drugs, and all my friends and associates are smarter than Watson. I suppose I’m a little like a female, Italian version of Poirot, but much less vain—while he prides himself on his glorious mustache, I’m not above having a few silver roots in my jet-black hair. Some might say I resemble Miss Marple, but I’m younger (or, at least, young at heart!). Plus, I don’t just sit there with knitting needles! I pull out my notepad and pen and start firing off the questions. And if I get stuck, I fire up the oven and churn out the biscotti!

Knitting helps me think when I'm investigating. Do you have anyone helping you in your investigations? Tell us more about them.

Of course! As someone who’s dropped off more trays of homemade lasagna for my neighbors than I can count, I have lots of favors I can call in. People are always willing to tell me some pettegolezze—that’s gossip, in case you’re not Italian.

And sometimes help comes from the most unexpected sources. In this last case, I got invaluable assistance from my husband’s shady cousin, Calvino, who operates a dodgy vitamin emporium in Atlantic City. He’s a font of knowledge about all kinds of shady things, and it seems like he’s related to every Italian in the Northeast!

Grazie for the interview, Rita! And thank you, my dear readers for your support. Don't forget to check the books in the side bar. Matt's novel Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game features the meeting of the famous detective with Pollyanna, from the classic children's books. It's making quite a bit of success, and if things continue this way, we might have an audiobook version soon. See you next week!


Maureen Klovers has held numerous positions in government, including a stint as a U.S. intelligence officer, and was a political commentator on DC 101's talk radio show "Neighborhood Stuff." Ms. Klovers has traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, China, India, and Latin America. She's hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, been escorted through a Bolivian prison by a German narco-trafficker, and fished for piranhas in Venezuela. She received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (with a focus on Latin American politics) from the College of William and Mary in 1999 and a Master's of Public Policy and Master's of Business Administration from Georgetown University in 2006. She lives with her husband, Kevin, in Arlington, Virginia.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A chat with Abby, the Island Detective

Abby is a character created by author Sharon McGregor
Happy Thursday, guys and gals! This is Grandma Bertha with a brand new interview for you. I have heard some good news, that my biographer Matt is going on an amazing trip to Central America to write a book about the jaguars. Let's hope he doesn't get eaten by them!

Today I'm interviewing Abby, a detective who knows how to take care of herself. Tell me, Abby, what was the first investigation you ever did? What was the last? Do you expect to do more investigations in the future?

The first time I got caught up in a murder was on an Island in Lake of the Woods. My old college friend Nikki thought someone was trying to kill her and she wanted me to find out who. Turns out she was right, but I didn't believe her at first. Nikki always was a bit of a drama queen. My last investigation was because of another old college friend. When I moved back to my home town on Vancouver Island I looked up my friend Summer. She was worried about her next door neighbour Patsy and dragged me into a little housebreaking. Patsy had asked her to look after Peaches, her cat, and then disappeared into thin air. It turned out Summer had reason to be worried but not the way she thought.
Things are not always what they seem, am I right? Sometimes we just have to follow our noses. What’s your major strength while investigating a murder?

People like to talk to me. They tell me things they'd never tell the police or a licensed investigator. I must come across as non-threatening. And also I've always been curious. In college, my friends called me Abby the Cat, because I could never rest until I found an explanation for unusual situations. Of course, none of them ended in murder.
I'm like that too. People feel more comfortable talking to a nice neighbor than to a man with a badge. And what’s your major weakness while investigating a murder?

I'm not a licensed private investigator. I'm an educational textbook and curriculum writer, a very boring job, at least to others. I like it because it gives me freedom to manage my own time. Oh sorry—back to my weakness. I guess it would be that I don't have experience or the force of the law behind me. I just blunder along at my own pace.

And what led you to become a detective?

I'm not really a detective and I never intended to be one. I just get lured into these situations by friends and family. Then they turn on me and accuse me of deliberately putting myself into danger. I ask you, Is that fair? As for the future, I fully expect it's become part of a trend. In fact, my son Matthew who has recently come back to the Island to settle in Victoria has come across a puzzle that might just prove interesting. He found some pictures hidden in his new apartment—well I'd better save that for another time.

You made me curious! I hope that story is in your next book. Who do you see yourself closest to: Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Sam Spade?

Definitely Miss Marple. My powers of deduction and attention to detail could never match Mr. Holmes and I don't have the little grey cells of M. Poirot. But, people talk to me the way they do to Miss Marple and that often gives me ideas the busy detectives might miss. Actually a detective once called me Miss Marple, but I don't think he meant it as a compliment.

She's my hero too! Let's wrap it up with a special question: tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn't want others to know.

Well, I hate to admit this, but I still have feelings for my ex-husband, Richard. After all, we were married for 25 years and most of them were good. Really, in every way but one he was the perfect husband. Richard likes women—he really likes them. But that's the part I couldn't handle so finally I divorced him. We're on good terms and I helped get him out of trouble when he was accused of murdering his fiancee. I have a boyfriend now (boyfriend is such a silly term for someone at our age, don't you think?) Anyhow, Neil is lots of fun but it's a sort of long-distance relationship and there are times I really, really miss Richard.

Thank you for being so open! It's been a pleasure to have you here, Abby, and we look forward for your next mystery.

Sharon McGregor has made her way from the prairies to the west coast to escape the winter. She now lives on beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Her Island series of cozy mysteries is set on the coast, but a piece of her heart must still remain on the prairies as her second series, the Boarding Kennel mysteries, as well as her historical romances, are set in small town Manitoba.

Web page and blog:
Twitter: @sharonmcgr
Instagram: mcgregor6547
Abby's mysteries Island Charms and Murder at The Island Spa are available at
Murder on Quadra Island coming soon from Whimsical Publications. Book four is in final writing stages.