Granny is a character created by Julie Seedorf
Friday, June 28, 2019
Sunday, June 23, 2019
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: http://www.cherylftaylor.com/
Thursday, June 13, 2019
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.