Wednesday Witterings…

You plus guest are hereby cordially invited to


Thanksgiving Dinner


So, the invites have gone out for Thanksgiving Dinner at my place and I’m hopeful all my guests will turn up and that some of them might even be sober! That was the easy bit though – the hard bit has been deciding on the seating arrangements. But I think I’ve finally got it worked out…


On my right, I shall have Rebus, because despite his grumpiness and his liking for a wee dram or two, he’s still got a weirdly cute vibe going on…


Next to him, Jane Tennison. I reckon that way she’ll drink most of the wine at this end of the table, meaning Rebus might still be sober enough for the post-prandial dancing…


On Jane’s right will be Lord Peter Wimsey – I’m intrigued to see whether his monocle will fall out when Jane propositions him, as she’s almost certain to before we get to dessert…


On Lord Peter’s other side will be Jessica Fletcher – don’t you think they’d make a wonderful match? He can quote poetry to her and she can explain the plot of Bedknobs and Broomsticks


Next along will be Nero Wolfe – I weighed up the disadvantage that he will eat most of the food against the advantage that he can bring along his cook Fritz to prepare the meal for us all…


And I thought I’d put Ruth Galloway beside Nero – next to him, even Ruth will be able to have an evening off from worrying about her dress size…

Elly Griffiths standing in for Ruth Galloway. Photo: Jerry Bauer
Elly Griffiths standing in for Ruth Galloway. Photo: Jerry Bauer

The bottom of the table is reserved for you, with your guest on your right – though the table can be extended if you’d like to bring more than one…

question mark

Next to your guest will be Archie Goodwin – well, you didn’t think I’d invite Nero without him, did you? Who’d do the driving? Plus he’s gorgeous and he dances divinely…

archie goodwin

And it will be nice for sweet young Maeve Kerrigan to have at least one attractive man next to her…

Jane Casey standing in for Maeve Kerrigan.
Jane Casey standing in for Maeve Kerrigan.

…since on her other side will be Andy Dalziel! Can’t wait to see how those two get along – they’ve got so much in common… er…

andy dalziel

But just in case Andy gets out of hand, I’ve placed Miss Marple on his other side. She’ll soon sort him out, and I doubt she’ll even need to use her knitting needles.

Miss Marple

The other advantage of having Miss Marple there is that she won’t be much competition in the romance stakes – since between her and me will be seated…

Oh come on! You knew it would be him! You girls can fight over Archie – Darcy is there just for me!!

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RSVP – I do hope you’ll be able to come!


Happy Thanksgiving!



“Next to excellence is the appreciation of it”

William Makepeace Thackeray

In honour of the day (even though we don’t celebrate it), I thought I’d thank some of the people around the blogosphere who have provided me with a bounteous harvest of entertainment throughout the last year. But since a lot of the fellow book reviewers I follow turn up fairly regularly throughout the year on TBR Thursday posts, I’ve decided to highlight some of the other people – the ones who create stories and poems, introduce me to art, make me laugh, and generally remind me that there are other things in life than book reviews. If you don’t already know these bloggers, I hope you’ll enjoy visiting some of them…


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Jilanne Hoffman‘s blog is difficult to categorise. She writes about writing, reviews books that are somewhat off the beaten track, gives us occasional posts about art and sometimes lets us share a bit of her life. Her posts are always beautifully written and illustrated, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and usually great fun too. I loved this recent post of hers, when she reflects on the passing of time and how it changes us – or doesn’t…

On “O” Rings, Dumping, and Speeding

Thanks, Jilanne!

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“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.” Benjamin Disraeli

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Margot Kinberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist is a crime novelist and has the most encyclopaedic knowledge of crime fiction of anyone I’ve ever met. She writes incredibly informative posts on crime fiction, is fatal to the TBR, and occasionally sets us fiendishly difficult quizzes that tax my guessing powers to the limit. But from time to time she also gives us one of her original short stories, where she manages in a very short space to pack in strong characterisation, a great plot and often a clever twist. Here’s one of her most recent ones…

One Man, One Hour

Thanks, Margot!

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“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

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Fran Pickering of Sequins and Cherry Blossom is also a crime novelist, whose books are based in Japan. But her blog is an exploration of all things Japanese in London – with the aid of her own fabulous photos, she lets us share her trips to the many art exhibitions, shops and galleries, restaurants and parks in the capital that have a Japanese theme, and her knowledge of Japanese art and culture shines through every post. I wish I’d known her blog when I lived in London! Here’s one of her recent posts that I particularly enjoyed…

A Japanese/English autumn garden in Regent’s Park

Thanks, Fran!

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“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Buddha (Buddha? A likely story…)

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PorterGirl at the Secret Diary of PorterGirl has created a fictional world based loosely (or perhaps closely!) on one of our fine old English Universities, and peopled it with a bunch of true English eccentrics. She tells her quirky stories in serial form so it can be a bit tricky if you jump in halfway through. But fortunately she has just started a new story so this is the ideal time to get to know her world. Well-written, great storylines, original characters, and loads of humour – this has become one of the blogs where I eagerly wait for each new post…

Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes

Thanks, PorterGirl!

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“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks…” William Shakespeare

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Marina Sofia at finding time to write is a writer and reviewer, amongst other things. Multi-lingual, she regularly introduces us to books from far-flung places, sharing her wide knowledge of literature spiced by her own experiences of different cultures. She entertains us too by searching out and sharing some wonderful pictures of perfect places for reading or writing. But she’s also a fine poet, whose poems have moved me to both laughter and tears over the months. Here’s one of my particular favourites, which addresses a recurring theme in Marina Sofia’s work – the sense of displacement that comes from exchanging cultures…

Homecoming? You’re Not From Around Here…

Thanks, Marina Sofia!

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“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” AA Milne

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No list of my favourites could possibly be complete without a mention of my dear blogging buddy, Professor VJ Duke of The Punchy Lands. I am at a loss to define his blog – it truly defies categorisation. In fact, it defies description! Sometimes stories, sometimes audio skits, sometimes brilliant video Ripping Movie Reviews – part of the joy is that you never know what you’re likely to get! But whatever it is, it’s guaranteed to be fun. The Punchy Lands is home to the weirdest bunch of characters on the planet, including my beloved Schwarzy, the most adorable man in the blogosphere. He impersonates loons, you know, you know. Difficult to pick a favourite post but I’m going to go with the brilliant but wicked Daddy Olmes solving the fiendish mystery of The Blue Carbuncle, since the Prof most kindly dedicated it to me on my birthday… remember to listen out for my Schwarzy!

Daddy Olmes: The Blue Carbuncle (Punchy AurToon)

Thanks, C-W-W!

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Thanks, too, to all the other people whose blogs I visit regularly – you brighten my day, and I’m sorry I didn’t have room to include everyone.

“For all that has been – thanks. For all that shall be – yes.” Dag Hammarskjöld

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Happy Thanksgiving!

In recognition of the day,

a few things for which this Scot thanks America…


Gotta dance...
Gotta dance…


Good morning!
Good morning!




The kitty litter...not the kitty
The kitty litter…not the kitty


Legal, moral and not fattening...
Legal, moral and non-fattening…


The Road goes ever on and on...
The Road goes ever on and on…


Also kitty-related...
Also kitty-related…


American Dream!
American Dream!


The Teddy Bear - meet my Edward!
The Teddy Bear – meet my Edward!


Thanks, America, SO MUCH!
Thanks, America, SO MUCH!




PS Since half of my kind readers will be spending the day stuffing themselves with turkey and weird pumpkin-based concoctions, the announcement of the FF Awards for Crime/Thriller and Book of the Year has been postponed till next week…

Enjoy your meal!
Enjoy your day!