Sunday, September 16, 2018

Welcome to my closet, so to speak, where I "unpack" my writing for you. I have been writing mysteries since I was a teenager and I have published 5 of them. Four of those 5 featured gospel singing amateur sleuth Alexandra Walters. Most of them, except the final one, "The Final Note," are now out of print. For the past 8 years I have been focusing my attention on my online magazine Kings River Life, and more recently also our sister site KRL News & Reviews. Since May of 2018 a lot of my attention is also going to our mystery podcast, Mysteryrat's Maze, which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors.

This website and my mystery writing have been a bit neglected, however I am working on trying to remedy that. I have the first draft of a brand new mystery, which debuts a brand new series, featuring an entertainment Vlogger named Roxi Carlucci (If you read my other books-she is the cousin of Stephen Carlucci). The books are based in Fresno, CA, and more specifically in my favorite part of that town called The Tower District. The photo in the background of my newly remodeled (with much more work to come) website is a photo I took of the Tower Theatre in the Tower District!

My hope is that the first book in this series, tentatively titled, "Death of a Harlequin" will come out some time next year so I decided it was time to spruce up my closet! My hope is that over the next few months I can provide here tidbits about the new series-but in the meantime you know where to find me-either on one of my two magazine websites, or on the podcast-I hope you check them both out!

Happy reading,

Your Mysteryrat Lorie!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Poirot and Me By David Suchet

Review by Lorie Ham

I have been a fan of Agatha Christie ever since I was a teenager. Her books were among the first mysteries I ever read. And while I love all of her main characters, I have always had a special place in my heart for Hercule Poirot--he is just so different from most of the other private detectives in mystery fiction.

Image Source: Headline
When I discovered David Suchet's portrayal of Poirot on PBS' Masterpiece Mystery, I grew to love the character even more and have followed Suchet's portrayal through the years until the end just a couple of years ago. When I found the book Poirot and Me, I HAD to read it. In this book David shares how he came to play the Belgium detective, the lengths that he went through to make sure that his portrayal was accurate, and the adventures along the way that lasted over 20 years. He shares about it all--from how he discovered the walk and talk to what he wore, down to that funny little mustache. You also learn about many of the intimate details from behind the scenes of the show, and from other parts of David's life, as well, and how they were affected by this role.

I now love Poirot and David Suchet even more! He is an absolutely brilliant actor, and I can't ever watch any of the past Poirots ever again. David Suchet IS Hercule Poirot. He managed to portray him in every one of Agatha Christie's Poirot stories, all the way to the final one, “Curtain.”

If you are an Agatha Christie fan, and especially a Poirot fan, you have to read this book!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mr. Holmes: Movie Review

Review by Kathleen Costa 
Details at the end of this review on how to enter to win a DVD copy of Mr. Holmes. 

It is post WWII. Long retired to his Sussex farmhouse and suffering from the onset of ‘senility,’ 93 year-old Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is greeted by his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her son, Roger (Milo Parker). He has returned from Hiroshima with a questionable treatment using a prickly ash mixture to stave off his mental and physical decline. Dr. Watson is long gone and with a failing memory, he is compelled to pen his last investigation, The Case of the Dove Grey Glove, before his memory will not allow it. A close relationship unfolds between Holmes and young Roger often soliciting an opinion about the case as a mentor would with an apprentice along with sharing the responsibilities for caring for his apiary. Dr. Watson may be absent, but Roger appears to fill that void as companion and caregiver.
Image Source Miramax

With troublesome symptoms of senility, Holmes flashes back to his final case and sets out to pen his version of the investigation. He recalls, thirty years long gone, a husband Thomas Kelmot (Patrick Kennedy), distraught over the changes he observes in his wife Anne (Hattie Morahan), who is struggling in the wake of two devastating miscarriages. The husband is very uneasy with her behavior after she takes an interest in the glass harmonica…did he hear her call out the names of her departed children? As Holmes follows her, he sees evidence of her dark intentions. Approaching her and divulging his conclusions, she asks that they share in the strain of their loneliness. His reaction suggesting she return to her husband has devastating results leading to his self-imposed exile.

Seeking a treatment for his mental decline, Holmes flashes back to his travels to Japan where he is greeted by Mr. Umezaki (Hiroyuki Sanada) who confesses he and his mother are fans of his legendary personae and is eager to find the prickly ash he is sure will successfully manage his symptoms. Mr. Umezaki and his mother are surprised that many of the characteristics they were interested in from Watson’s stories had been “created by his imaginative license.” He indicates, “Deerstalker? I never wore one,” and “I prefer a cigar.” Showing Holmes a letter, Mr. Umezaki explains that his father went to England many years ago and sadly never returned having indicated in a ‘Dear John’ style letter he sought Holmes’s counsel and advice. Holmes says he has no recollection of his father saying that he may have “wanted a new life.” They part, the young man crushed by Holmes’s words.

Although honesty is the ’best policy,’ Holmes curmudgeon-style can be a brutal pill to swallow, sometimes with unforeseen consequences, and when young Roger mirrors this style Holmes looks deeper into his own behavior and that of those around him. He concludes his story, has a revelation about Watson’s motives for some of his literary embellishments, and tries to settle feelings with a truth about Mr. Umezaki’s father. Life is uncertain for Holmes, but he seems secure in the idea that he is not alone.

This film was the perfect end to a lustrous life. Ian McKellen was the epitome of the iconic figure, and Milo Parker, as Roger, emulated well Watson’s caring companionship and delight in learning from Holmes. The added focus on Holmes’s ‘bees,’ prickly ash, and royal jelly led me to seek out more information wondering if there is a natural therapy for my own occasional lapses in memory. I teared up when Holmes created his own ‘circle of stones’ similar to that which he observed in Japan, and Roger goes off to teach his mother about the bees.

As a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ fan, this movie earned a 5/5 pots of honey and royal jelly!

Be a Fan!

To enter to win a copy of Mr. Holmes, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “holmes,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 30, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rats in my closet!

Time to venture into the rat side of my closet lol. Yes I did say rats which may send some of you scurrying for the table. But actually domesticated rats are wonderful pets-trust me I used to be part of the table scurrying crowd so I understand. And actually for me the mystery side of my closet and the rat side are now connected as my main character in the new series will end up befriending an adorable blue dumbo rat against her better judgement-but that's a whole other story.
I'd like to take a moment and share with you my introduction to rats as a pet. Like many I was scared to death of all rodents and would have screamed had any come near me. However when my daughter was in 4th grade her class had rats and she begged to have some of her own. After much arguing I gave in with the stipulation that she and her father would take care of them and I would not have to have anything to do with them at all.
Well this lasted all of maybe 24 hours. We brought home a pair of baby female rats and one of them quickly became ill. Somehow any creature in your home that is ill immediately becomes the duty of the mother in the house-I'm not sure why. I took a deep breath and forced myself to care for the ailing creature-within a couple of days I was hooked. This tiny tan baby was so sweet and loving and her fur so very soft she drew me in and made me fall in love with her. Perhaps rats are magical in some way lol. My love for rats was sealed though when I had to return her to the pet store to be put down :( That broke my heart so much that I brought home a replacement and fell immediately in love with a white rat named Hermione.
Hermione was the best example of a rat anyone could ever find and the best first rat anyone could ever have. Not only was she as friendly and loving as a puppy she was smart! She quickly learned her name and if you let her out to play she would come running when you called her and never got into any trouble.
Now keep in mind if you should venture into the rat owning world that just like people each rat is different and most will get into things and chew them and only a few will come running whenever you call. Many tend to have more cat characteristics in them and are very stubborn looking at you when you call them like they're saying to you "what me? Um I don't think so." I'd say rats are an interesting combination of cat and dog traits-they also clean themselves just like cats.
I'm sure I probably haven't sold most of you non rat people on rats yet, but beware if you ever let them in the door you may be won over by their magical powers :)
If you would like to learn more about rats as pets there are many wonderful websites you can check out one of my favorite being RMCA
One of my favorite rat related movies is Ratatouille! I would never let my rats cook but come on isn't he cute?