Better Lock the Door

Month: September 2020

Jennifer Dornbush’s Hole In the Woods

Hole In the WoodsSometimes, when you are reading a book, you realize that you are experiencing more than a story. I experienced it when I reviewed Hole In the Woods by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush for Killer Nashville (Read review here.).

Based on a true story, this book is about a police officer who investigates the cold case of the murder of a seventeen-year-old girl thirty years ago. Even after so much time, the small town was reluctant to let her probe into their long-buried secrets. But with a lot of determination and courage, she is finally able to dig to the truth.

What makes this book even more is the author’s empathy with the subject. She understands the importance to the family for solving a criminal case even after decades of silence. It’s easy to forget that, until a criminal investigation is completed, the family and friends are left hanging in limbo, buried in suspicions and often guilt. It often takes an enormous toil on them. Dornbush’s books are a testament to their struggle.

At the end of the book, She has a chapter about meeting with the father of the original girl. She includes a letter from him telling how he felt over the years. of not hearing anything new.

She also has information about the Cold Case Foundation, It is “an all-volunteer board and staff of law enforcement experts from the FBI, police branches, and investigators and forensic experts from around the nation.” They assist law enforcement agencies to help with the hardest cases at no cost.

Ms Dornbush is the daughter of a medical examiner. She is able to bring an authenticity to a crime scene as well as to the families and friends of the victim.

You can now find the book at your favorite book dealer.

Lillian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who Series

Part of the Cat Who Seriess

The Cat Who books

By Tim Suddeth

In the 1980s and 90s, I remember being one of the many readers caught up on the speeding train known as The Cat Who . . . series. Lillian Jackson Braun ‘s The Cat Who series introduced us to a former big-city journalist. Jim Qwilleran,  who had moved to a small town called Pickax, which was “400 miles north of everywhere.” Which was located in Moose County, no less. In total, she wrote 29 novels for the series. For many years, she had a new book coming out annually, usually just before Christmas. And I couldn’t wait for the next one to arrive. I’m cheap, but this was the one series I collected in hardback.

It was fun to curl up and read of the happenings in and around the small town, sometimes by the lake in the summer, but often with the threat of a town-closing snowfall in the forecast.

I have to admit, it wasn’t so much for the mystery that I was looking forward to.  No, her strong points were  the settings and the characters in the stories. Continue reading

Welcome to Opening a Mystery.

Shelf of mysteries

So many books to get to.

I am your host, Tim Suddeth, and I look forward to having you join me as Opening a Mystery delves into the world of mystery and suspense, past and present. I plan to visit with authors from the past like Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Conan Doyle, Dame Agatha Christie, and Ngaio Marsh (I have no idea how to pronounce that.) We may have to spend a lot of time in the fog of London.

We will meet present day best sellers and debut authors. And we will learn of those in between from all different periods of mystery and suspense writing.

Opening a Mystery will, also, meet the guests of honor: the heroes, heroines, and ne’er-do-wells who are the focus of these stories. The police officers, gumshoes, innocent bystanders, and nosy snoops. Aren’t they the real reasons we love mysteries so much ?

I also, want to look at the stories. There will be book reviews, overview of series, and we will investigate the many different categories, sub-genres, and some sub-sub-genres. Opening a Mystery will look at many series that use their settings so well, we use the books as mini-vacations. Maybe you will discover a new interest or friend.

Honestly, I don’t know what all we’ll find. That’s what happens when you  dare to enter the back alleys late at night.


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