Saturday Potpourri: Tropical Storm Florence Edition

I was awakened at about 8:30 when the power went out, but (obviously) we’re back up — the outage lasted about an hour, which speaks well of the local utilities people. Mrs. M went out for a bit and said that the stores look busy. We seem to be getting occasional wind gusts in the mid 20s, but we’re told things may get livelier this afternoon. At this point, so far, so good. I do appreciate the good wishes and prayers from my friends and neighbors near and far, and I hope y’all can spare a few for the folks along the coast and even a couple of hours from here in Charlotte, which seems to be getting a pretty hard dose.

***

One of the nice things about going to Bouchercon is that attendees get a slew of free books in our swag bags. The books run the gamut from cozy to hard-boiled, so I’m pretty sure there’s stuff for every taste. I’m starting to make my way through the stack, and I led off with A Cold Day in Hell by Lissa Marie Redmond, the debut of her “Cold Case Investigation” series.  Ms. Redmond herself is a retired cold case detective from Buffalo, NY, where the series is set, so the atmosphere and details feel convincing.

Her heroine is Lauren Riley, a detective on Buffalo’s cold case squad who also moonlights as a P.I. for cases out of her jurisdiction. In this book, the P.I. work (trying to clear a teenaged murder suspect) provides the main plot, while subplots include clearing a bar fight murder from 20 years before and dealings with an abusive ex-fiance turned stalker. Riley is an empty-nesting single mom, trying to fill the blank spaces in her life with work and for a time, with her remarried ex-husband.

There are moments when the machinery of establishing a series seems more noticeable than perhaps it should be, but Riley is a strong enough character to maintain the reader’s sympathy and interest, and some of the peripheral characters show promise as well. Redmond shifts through multiple viewpoints adeptly, and the pacing of the book is a genuine strength. The second book of the series is due out in February — I’ll look forward to it.

***

What with the weather goings-on, I’ve been spending a lot of time this week paying attention to forecasts and the storm’s potential ramifications. I was chatting with the Mad Dog yesterday, and he mentioned that both his elderly mother and mother-in-law are absolutely fascinated by this stuff, despite living well away from where the action is. He said it was like pornography for the geriatric set.

This in turn reminded me of my grandfather. After my immediate family moved to Northern KY in 1978, he would drive at night to the parking lot of the local Kroger in Hermitage, TN and tune into Cincinnati’s WLW. . . to listen to our weather. It always amused him, though, when the announcer would say “At 9 p.m., snow is falling from the sky at Greater Cincinnati International Airport.”

“Of course it was falling from the sky! Where else would it fall from?”

***

Well, before the rain gets rolling, I think I’ll close with my traditional but of music. Given the weather, this one seems appropriate. From Texas, here are The Fun and Games, with “It Must Have Been the Wind.”

See you soon!

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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