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Sunday, December 31, 2000

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New Years Eve

I spent the last day of 2000 sick. Sore throat and a fuzzy feeling. I've been waking up for a while with a sore throat and this morning I was really sick. Since I never go anywhere on New Years Eve it's not too bad, but I hate sleeping away a day off.

I did finish two more mysteries. I need to read other things. Actually I'm in the middle of three history books since I keep seeing ones that are interesting, but so very long. The first mystery was "A Comedy of Heirs" by Rett MacPherson. This is set in a little town in Missouri and has Torie O'Shea as the detective. She's happily married with two little girls and works as a guide at a historic home when she's not working on geneologies.

Just as she's getting ready for an invasion of her father's family for a reunion, she receives some old newspaper clippings that say that her great-grandfather, who she was told was killed in a hunting accident, was murdered and none of her family will talk about it. This is an interesting story of family secrets and how they can haunt generations that haven't even been born. I enjoyed it very much not just for a good story, which it is, but because we are so much the result of what was done years before any of us were born.

The other mystery was "A Grave Coffin" by Gwendoline Butler. This was a well done Commander John Coffin mystery. Coffin is overseeing a case of sexually assaulted and murdered boys when he is presented with a mystery about the death of a policeman who was with a special task force investigating fake prescription drugs. To further complicate his life, his wife, an actress, suddenly returns from an acting job in the United States and, while Coffin is glad to see her, he's not sure why she came back so soon.

Butler tells the story with her characteristic style and gives us a good mystery and a good solution. I enjoy a well written police procedural because we know they don't concentrate on one case but always have several going at once. None of them show the real chaos that, I'm sure, accompanies any real police investigation but the good ones give us a glimpse. They also show how much depends on plodding investigation and even pure luck, but also the value of experience and a mind that can put together bits and pieces into a coherent whole.

They're celebrating 2001 in Paris. I guess that's close enough. It's 2001 somewhere in the world but I doubt I'll stay up until it's 2001 in Tucson.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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