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Sunday, December 30, 2001

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Farmer's Market and more reading

I've spent most of the last few days reading one mystery after another. I can speed read most mysteries and sometimes I get in a state of mind where I just keep reading. Between reading I've been cooking quite a lot as I'm trying to not eat any animal products right now which means I have to think more about what I eat. I am eating more vegetables and no cholesterol but I have a hard time no eating too much garlic bread made with olive oil. Yummy, yummy!

I rode my bike over to the farmers market at St Philips Plaza this morning. So much yummy stuff but I got there at nearly 10:00 and there wasn't that much produce left. It's also not the best time of the year for produce though in Arizona we do get stuff all year round. I picked up some organic tomatoes but they weren't as ripe as I would have liked them to be but I can put them aside to ripen for a while.

I'm watching Biography's countdown of the top 100 people of the last millenium. It's rather heavily loaded toward western people, and for some odd reason includes Princess Diana, but is very interesting. I know most of the people so I feel like I'm reasonably educated. I can't believe Princess Diana is in it. She had a rough life and did good things but there are so many other people who are more deserving to be in the top 100.

I only have two more days off. Oh, the time has gone so fast!

The first book I read was "Book of Kills" by Ralph McInery. This mysery is set at the University of Notre Dame and features the detectives Philip and Roger Knight as they figure out who killed a recently dismissed graduate student who was implicated in activism in favor of giving the indians back the land that he said Notre Dame had stolen. A combination of mystery and history.

"Death & Strudel" by Dorothy and Sidney Rosen. This book is set in the 1930s and follows Belle Appleman as she tries to find out who performed a fatal abortion on a fellow worker's girlfriend. She dispenses advice and cosmetics at the drugstore she works at as she wonders which of the doctors that regularly come in could be the killer. A good mystery and a good look at the working class, that was actually working, during the depression.

"The Devil in Music" by Kate Ross. This is another mystery with Julian Kestrel that is set in Italy in the 1820s. Julian involves himself in a murder that took four years to be declared a murder. It's a nice look at the police state that Austria set up in northern Italy, as in many of it's subject states, to keep the quest for freedom and justice repressed. It makes you realize how nearly 100 years later Austria was so hated that the assassination of the Archduke, that started World War I, was almost inevitable.

"Murder on St Mark's Place" by Victoria Thompson. This was a good book. I plan to look for the first book in this series. It's set at the turn of the century, I guess I should say the turn of the 19th century to the 20th century, in New York City and it's main character is a midwife, Sarah Brandt, who comes from a high society family but who left that to marry her husband and, on his death, continue living on her own and supporting herself as a midwife. She tries to find out who is beating shop girls to death with the help of a reluctant policeman, Sergeant Frank Malloy. It is so interesting to look at how people were affected by the wide gap between the rich and poor and the extremely strict ideas of how a woman should behave. Excellent!"

Finally another Tory Bauer mystery, "Foreign Body" by Kathleen Taylor. Set in the little South Dakota town of Delphi, Tony and her boyfriend Neil, try to find out why a member of an international Lutheran youth choir would commit suicide in her cafe and accuse in her suicide note that the minister of the Delphi Lutheran church had molested her, which Tory would not believe. As are all the Tory Bauer books, this is a good read and great characters.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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