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Archive for June, 2010

Now there’s three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain.

– Casey Stengel

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When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.

– Peter Marshall

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♦ Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh

This is a Roderick Alleyn mystery by Ngaio Marsh about faith, greed — and murder. Times are good in the Cornish village of Portcarrow, as hundreds of unfortunates flock to taste the miraculous waters of Pixie Falls. The falls seem to have mystical or magical powers when a young village boy claims that his warts vanish when a mysterious Green Lady directs him to dip has hands in the falls. Then Miss Emily Pride inherits the celebrated land on which Portcarrow stands and wants to put an end to the villagers’ thriving trade in miracle cures, especially Miss Elspeth Costs’ gift shop. However, local opposition runs high, death threats pile up, and Miss Emily’s old friend Superintendent Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard arrives just in time to discover the drowned body of Miss Cost as well as a set of murder motives that seem to spring up everywhere…an excellent English mystery.

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♦ Blue-Eyed Devil by Robert Parker

This Robert Parker novel continues the western saga of gun-slinging, saddle pals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch as they trade wisecracks and hot lead with back-shooting outlaws and murderous Apaches in the town of Appaloosa. Cole and Hitch were at one time, the law in town, but now Appaloosa has a corrupt, ambitious, and deadly police chief named Amos Callico.   Chief Callico is  backed up by 12 rifle-toting policemen of dubious backgrounds.  The police chief, sees Cole and Hitch as impediments to his plans for extortion and high political office, however as can be expected, his threats don’t worry the boys much. Cole and Everett secure jobs as gun-hands for the local saloon owners keeping the peace without paying Callico or his men for protection. The real action is set in motion with a series of events involving Cole and Everett: Cole kills the son of a prominent rancher in a fair fight; renegade Apaches plan an attack on the town; and a mysterious dandy arrives in town with a sinister agenda. Fortunately, Cole and Hitch are smart and resourceful, and overcome the trickery, gunplay, and throat-cutting until only a few folks are left standing. The plot can be described as lean, fast, and full of snappy dialogue, it’s everything a series fan would expect…unfortunately with the death of Robert Parker it is the last in the saga.

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People always get tired of one another. I grow tired of myself whenever I am left alone for ten minutes, and I am certain that I am fonder of myself than anyone can be of another person.

– George Bernard Shaw

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