Author: Alexia Gordon

Author of the Gethsemane Brown Mysteries, published by Henery Press

Hot Weather, Cool Books

It’s hot out there Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21 but the thermometer on my car’s dashboard is already registering temperatures of one hundred. My phone informs me that it’s a mere 87 degrees F today. I won’t lie, when the mercury (or whatever they use in thermometers these days) reaches past 85 degrees, I don’t feel like moving much. I used to tease my mother, who grew up someplace a lot hotter than the place where I grew up, for moving so slowly.  Then I spent a summer in her home state, and I got it. Hot + humid = walk real slow. Hot, or not, reads Hot weather puts me in a quandary about what to read. Part of me gravitates to sultry Southern stories, books like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Cutting Season. Perhaps through some sympathetic literary magic, immersing myself in a hot fictional world will help me feel cooler. The other part gravitates to stories set in the coldest winter, like Murder on the Orient Express and Mystery in White. Reading about crimes set in cold climes might help me imagine that it’s not so […]

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Becoming a Woman of Mystery

My question to my fellow Missdemeanors–if you had the opportunity for a do-over, if you could walk away from your current life and reinvent yourself, where would you go and who would you be?

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Life Offline—An Analog Mystery

It’s not really a mystery I got a new job on the East Coast which meant I had to relocate from Colorado. Almost the only mystery was whether I could cover the 1600+ miles in three days. I did it, arriving at my hotel at 1 am. (You cannot pick up an apartment key at one o’clock in the morning.) I solved the mystery of whether I could report to my new job by 8 am, a mere seven hours later, when I arrived at 7:45. And I stayed awake all day! True confession One thing I did not do, was much of anything on the internet. Between so-so connections in hotels to long stretches on the road, I didn’t have much time for social media or web surfing. Now, I have a confession. (What’s better at the end of a mystery than a confession from the culprit?) I didn’t miss being online. My almost entirely (I did download audiobooks from Audible to listen to while I drove, I used DoorDash to order a meal a couple of times, and I posted a collaged photo of Fruit Loops and a Big Mac—not from DoorDash—on Instagram) analog road trip was a […]

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Riding in Cars with Books

On the road again… I never travel without a book. Ever since I was a kid a book (or books) went into the suitcase with the clothes. Sometimes, I packed more books than clothes. Car, plane, train, it didn’t matter. Whatever the mode of transportation, I read on the go. Don’t read and drive Of course, as a kid, I didn’t drive. Someone else—parents, pilot, engineer—did that, leaving my hands and eyes free to handle a book. As an adult, I still read in the air or on the rails. On the road, however, I’m now the driver. Reading while driving is, of course, unsafe. Think of all the accidents caused by texting while driving. I want to enjoy a good story, not become a road hazard. You’ve come a long way Luckily, audio entertainment has come a long way since my childhood when the only options were AM or FM. (That’s radio, for you youngsters.) Now, we have satellite radio, which offers an endless variety of music and talk. Also, audiobooks and podcasts exist! My question I’ve got a cross-country road trip in the near future. That’s a long time in the car. But I have an Audible and […]

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Holding Out for the Ordinary

Holding Out for a Hero They say you should never meet your heroes. Late last night (early this morning, TBH), I finished writing a paper about the heroification of George Washington. I examined biographies written about him over the past two centuries. Historiographical (the history of writing history) trends come and go but depictions of George Washington have remained remarkably stable since the eighteenth century. He’s always portrayed as a Great Man, Hero of the Nation, Father of His Country. Even biographers who claimed to want to humanize him ended up deifying him. Washington was turned into an imposing figure with about as much depth as the thickness of the paper on which the glowing words about him were printed. The Trouble with Paragons In the process of becoming heroified, George Washington became, well, dull. Flawless is boring. Let’s be real, no one likes a goody-goody. Admires from afar (but secretly resents), perhaps. But “likes,” in the sense of “is intrigued by”? Nah, not so much. We talk a lot these days about finding characters relatable. What we mean is, we find them interesting. Think about it? Do you really “relate” to the serial killer in the book you just […]

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A Little Night Shakespeare

“O sleep, O gentle sleep” I suffer from periods of insomnia. I don’t toss and turn and fret over the future or ruminate on the past. I simply can’t sleep, at least not during normal (i.e., when everyone else is sleeping) bedtime hours. My circadian clock becomes disordered, usually triggered by some change—like working from home—that screws up my usual environmental cues. The trouble is the rest of the world won’t change its schedule to accommodate me. So, I need to sleep at night to function in the daytime world. “Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frightened thee” One thing that helps me sleep nights when I have trouble falling asleep spontaneously is listening to bedtime stories. There’s something special about being told a story, as opposed to reading or watching one. Oral storytelling is a 30,000-year-old tradition that serves many purposes—passing on family history and cultural lore, teaching survival skills and cautionary tales, entertainment, community building. Bedtime stories are a special subset within the overall oral tradition. The teller may be reading aloud instead of reciting from memory or improvising but the listener is experiencing the story aurally. “That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down” Do you […]

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The Routine of Change

What day is it? This is my [I have no idea] day of mandatory telework, a.k.a. working from home (WFH). Thanks to sky high COVID-19 rates in this mile high (6,035 feet, actually) city, the big boss sent everyone to their home office for two weeks. Everyone raves about how much they enjoy not having to go in to the office but, to me, living and working in the same space day, after day, after day starts to feel claustrophobic by day—whatever day this is. Variety is the spice Staying in the same place all day long, surrounded by the same walls, staring through the same windows at the same view, for several days in a row makes Monday feel pretty much like Friday. And Wednesday. And Tuesday. And… Although I’m not a fan of commuter traffic, going in to the office breaks up the monotony. Though the view from my office window (yes, I’m lucky enough to have one) doesn’t change, the people walking by that window and the people I meet in the hall and the people I pass in the lobby do. I also visit other offices and cubicles where I see a variety of drawings tacked […]

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Ask Me Almost Anything

Needed: questions for our Friday feature, Question of the Week. What have you always wanted to ask us but never thought you’d get the chance? Post your questions on the blog or on social media.

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