Friday, January 30, 2009

CSI with Laurence Fishburne

Can Dr. Raymond Langston adequately fill the shoes of Dr. Gil Grissom? 

I sure hope so. In the weeks opening Season 9 of the popular criminal procedure show, Grissom's dry humor was MIA and in its place appeared a morose and depressed character. The show, which in Season 7 & 8 seemed standing on shaky legs, looked even shakier. 

Then CBS announced that the oh-so-serious actor, Laurance don't-call-me-Larry Fishburne was replacing the happy-to-go William Peterson. Fishburne, who sometimes comes off as taking himself far to seriously, seemed an odd choice. After all he'd been aiming for an Oscar for years and now he was taking a TV show? Oh, please. 

However, in his first appearance in the ninth episode, Fishburne seemed the same uptight performer as always. That continued into Episode 10. Then his first real starring role in Episode 11 occurred. Fishburne plays the role of a professor who appears to live his fantasy. Fishburne brings a real sense of humanity to his character and makes the role his own.

I've been a spotty watcher of CSI for some time now. Fishburne, with only one episode under his belt, may bring with him a breath of fresh air that brings new life to a almost-dead series.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly

While perusing my local B&N, I randomly pulled a book off the shelf and found myself holding The Ghost and Mrs. McClure

A mystery that's part Sam Spade and part Ghost and Mrs. Muir (loved that movie), it takes place in a bookstore haunted by a ghost who's bound to the store thanks to his murder over 60 years previously.

Penelope Thornton-McClure escaped her deceased husband's family and moved in with her aunt in a small town on the east coast. When she's not deflecting her former in-laws, she's enduring the town's hyperactive councilwoman, and trying to make a dying bookstore live again. On her first big author appearance, the obnoxious Timothy Brennan falls over dead during his presentation bringing instant fame to the bookstore and Pen's first murder mystery. 

Years earlier, Jack Shepherd entered the store while on a case and was murdered. The murder remains unsolved and Jack's spirit remains within the store. 

Well, guess what? Brennan was Jack Shepherd's nemesis in real life and used Shepherd's notoriety to build his writing career. So, I'm guessing, this is the reason why Jack is able to communicate with Pen and assist her in solving the mystery behind Brennan's death.

The romantic tension between Jack and Pen works well and it's interesting that while Jack communicates in Pen's mind, Pen can visit Jack in his time through her dreams. The interaction of the two characters bring to mind the interaction of the Captain and Mrs. Muir (which obviously served as the inspiration of the novel).

The book is light and an American version of the cozy. It won't change anyone's life, but it will make a lovely diversion on a rainy afternoon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A perfect day for murder

Tea, weather, and a mystery book: all lead to a great day for murder.

I never intended to read mysteries and all started doing so at the bequest of my store manager while I worked at Barnes & Noble. At the time, I read Sci Fi, YA, young readers, and history (lots of history). However, my New Years Resolution that year centered on trying new things. So, Pam (the store manager) convinced me to start a mystery book reading group for our store.

Five years later, I teach instead of sell, but I still love a good mystery. Since I work with kids all day long, I see this blog as an outlet for adult creativity. I intend to review mystery books that come my way as well as any other mysterious happenings I should learn of.