Crime World Trivia, #2

Al Capone speaks out in his own defense:

All I ever did was sell beer and whisky to our best people….They talk about me not being on the legit. Why, lady,  nobody’s on the legit. You know that, and so do they. Your brother or your father gets in a jam. What do you do? Do you sit back and let him go over the road without trying to help him? You’d be a yellow dog if you did. Nobody’s really on the legit when it comes down to cases; you know that.

The quote is from an interview Capone gave to Chicago Tribune reporter, Genevieve Forbes Herrick, March, 1930 as quoted on page 17 in the Illinois Historical Journal, Vol. 82, Spring 1989. It it part of an article titled  written by Daniel McDonough which examines Chicago Press treatment of gangsters during the

Another label used for cops: Donut Patrol or Donut Muncher

(This is one I’d never heard before.)  Refers to police officers in the United States. It apparently originated from night shift officers stopping at doughnut shops for coffee, as they often used to be the only catering establishments open all night. And so the tie of cop to donuts allegedly began. Donuts and cops are part of our police images even down to this very day

Origins of the decidedy criminal-oriented word: Heist

Some sources allege heist is a US word that came into being in the late 18th century. Another source suggested it came along in the 1920s, during the US’s fascination with American mobsters like Al Capone. It was said to  have probably been based on the earlier British word hoist, meaning to lift and was somehow tied to shoplifting. If anyone can track down a more definite origen, please share.

My Work and a Published Free Book to Enjoy.

I am currently at work on my third book in the Melanie Hart Cozy Mystery series. This book explores in greater detail the relationship between Melanie Hart and Ginger Black. It also looks at just how women should take men these days — or not.

Read the book to learn more. I   expect it will be available before  the February page is ripped from the calendar. But don’t hold me to that.

My recommended read for this month is a British police procedural called Ice Blue. It is  written by  Emma Jameson.  I will not tease you. I simply adored this book. When I  bought it, he book was  free. I wish you similar luck. It is a great mystery as well as a romantic tale which should delight.

Smile, It’s Only Winter

spring flower

It’s been bitterly cold in West Central Illinois the past week or two. Most daytime highs have barely reached  the mid-teens, while overnight lows have slipped well below zero.. Given a glance at the national weather map, I assume, if you live in the U.S., you, too, have a good shot at being in the big chill zone. Fortunately, we’re expected to begin a warm up here today, but I still say it’s time to turn my thoughts to spring!

This is not exactly a new idea. Most gardening catalogs turn up in mailboxes about now, which has always worked for me. I’m an equal opportunity gardener.. Vegetables or flowers, I’m up for both. Flowers are lovely and I grow them. But, to my mind, nothing matches walking out into a vegetable patch and harvesting a crop for supper.

Gardening in pots?

I cheat. I don’t have the physical stamina to keep up a large garden. What I can do, however, is grow my goodies in pots. I’ve planted peppers and green beans and eggplants along with lots and lots of leaf lettuce. It’s easy. There is no dirt to plow or hoe. And I’ve seldom had to fight a weed infestation. A tug here and there of a baby weed has usually done the trick.

My flowering plants usually go in the ground, but since I mostly grow perennials,  my flower garden doesn’t require much work from me. If I want to add flowering annuals to  the bed, I tuck them into…(you guessed it) pots. The only downside to perennials is that they must be divided every few years to keep them healthy. But I rotate that job so that I never have to dig up  many in the same year.

Now, I’m really dreaming of spring. May it arrive early this year! And if you’ve received a gardening catalog, isn’t this just the kind of weather to dive into it?

Also, if you have a trick for surviving this dreadful weather, please share! There’s strength in numbers. Who knows when another arctic blast like this one will land again?

Bonus content:

The Top  FREE COZY MYSTERY at Amazon Today

Rosemary’s Gravy by Melissa F. Miller

Happy dreaming and happy reading, everyone.



Latest 99-cent Mystery Sale

Mysteries and Thrillers

Crowe 3 (7)If you like mysteries check out these priced for today and tomorrow at only 99 cents. A wide selection of books and authors for this weekend only.My As the Crowe Dies is among the offerings. In this book the death of a high school math teacher creates chaos within the school. And with one of Melanie Hart’s good friends suspected of being killer, Melanie has to step in to make sure only the guilty are punished.

Check out the full selection here.

Big-time Cozy Mystery Sale


If you love cozies – or only think you might – this is your chance to load up at bargain prices. Like cat cozies? Got ’em. Prefer witches? Got those, too. Whatever your favorites are, you’re bound to find something that you’ll enjoy.

Grab yours today!!!!


Nearer and Nearer Comes ‘As the Crowe Dies’

The editing on As the Crowe Dies has been a slow grind. I became bogged down in revisions, not that they weren’t needed, but they certainly soaked up my time. In fact, the entire project became so absorbing that I’ve decided to change my writing pattern from hereon out. When working on future books, I will write in the morning and edit what I just wrote that afternoon. The change probably won’t end the much dreaded last edit, but I’m hoping it will cut the amount of time it requires — and the pain.


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Old Bones Is Now Available

Old Bones (1)The latest Hetty Fox book is now live at Amazon! In this, the second book in the series, Hetty comes up against a new-to-her kind of corpse.

Mix in the usual challenges posed by her resident ghost and her cat, and Hetty is hard pressed to keep up. But our amateur sleuth likes her life in downstate Illinois, and she is determined to thrive here. To that end, Hetty grabs a deep breath, turns her thoughts to the killer, and throws herself into her work.

Read a sample:

I’d hate to know when trouble is headed my way. Being blissfully clueless protects me from experiencing life’s meaner moments until they actually arrive. And so it was on this day.

It was a Thursday. I was seated in my favorite chair with knitting in hand. Blackie, my cat, lay in his basket next to my feet. Andrew, my resident ghost, hovered near the window. He was watching the day’s heavy rainfall and rattling off ways to improve Blackie’s life.

Yeah like he cared diddly squat about my poor cat.

Andrew turned to me and started in again on his list of improvements. “You really must put Blackie out at night. It isn’t good for a cat to be locked up indoors all the time. Besides, he’d get more exercise that way. That would help with his weight.”

Blackie lifted his head and glared at Andrew.

I pulled more yarn free from the skein. “That’s sheer nonsense. Blackie isn’t the least bit fat.”

“Well… if you’d look at him objectively, you’d see he’s not exactly skinny, either.”

I shook my head. “The vet says cats should always be kept indoors. He claims it solves most of the problems people have with cats.”

Andrew scoffed. “I suspect your cat could stand up for himself quite well out in the wilds or anyplace else for that matter. He’s not nearly as helpless as you’d like to believe.”

Andrew was a recent addition to our household. He had appeared in my living room shortly after my move here. He was the ghostly remains of a young man I’d loved during my college days. I’d hoped to marry him some day, but he’d died in a tragic auto accident before that could happen.

Continue reading “Old Bones Is Now Available”