I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.Granny Skewers a Scoundrel on March 11, 2014
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Granny has a new addition to her arsenal of crime fighting weapons as Fuchsia, Minnesota’s most colorful detective. Now, along with her famous crook-hooking umbrella, she’s acquired a scoundrel-skewering knitting needle. And just in time! Residents of Fuchsia seem to be dropping dead like flies! First, it’s Granny’s neighbor Sally (who gives up the ghost in her weed-filled front yard), followed by Esmerelda Periwinkle (the squirrel lover on Main Street), and then, Mr. Nail, owner of the local hardware store (who is squashed when dozens of bags of fertilizer fall on top of him). Granny is baffled. Who is behind this murder spree? Granny enlists the help of her sort of boyfriend Franklin Gatsby, the town’s police chief Cornelius Stricknine (or “The Big Guy”), her reality-show loving neighbor Mavis, and her own son Thor. And, of course, the special assistance of her menagerie of pets––including Mr. Bleaty, the goat. Soon Granny is hot on the trail of this dastardly murderer. Unfortunately, when Granny herself is poisoned, everyone insists that she cool her crime solving ways and stay indoors and out of harm’s way. Of course, that’s never going to happen! Not when Granny knows all the secret passageways and tunnels that run underneath Fuchsia. Out she goes––and watch out, you evil doers! Granny will solve this mystery––you can bet your pink undies, she will!
Granny Skewers a Scoundrel by Julie Seedorf is the second in the Fuchsia Minnesota mystery series and it is a ton of fun. Granny is a spry, sassy little rascal and she makes me laugh out loud. She is old and she knows it, but she doesn’t let that stop her from trying to solve crimes in her town. The characters and scenes are quite colorful and enjoyable. I look forward to reading lots more adventures with Granny. She is too fun!
I have always had an active imagination. Deep in the recesses of my brain there is something that triggers an intrigue in the thought of hidden doors, hidden rooms and hidden tunnels in houses. Along with that is a fascination with unique houses. I love the shows on HGTV called Extreme Homes and You Live In What? I actually, if given the chance would love to live in one of these unique and unconventional houses.
As a child I would dream in my sleep and it would be of a hidden room at the end of hallway in my grandmother’s house. No one else knew of the room but me. The wall would open up and there was a magical toy room behind the magical secret door. That was a recurring dream throughout my childhood. Occasionally I still have that dream as an adult. Perhaps that was my precursor to my writing career and I didn’t know it.
We lived in my Grandmother’s house for many years. People did that in those days and helped take care of the grandparents. What I didn’t know was that fifty years later the house really did have some secrets.
Recently Kate Eileen Shannon, author of the Brigid Kildare mysteries, told of a room in a house that her real estate agent husband had for sale. There was a door no one had opened in all the years of various owners. Perhaps they were afraid at what they would find. Kate Eileen Shannon was not afraid to open that door and found a treasure. The house actually had a hidden room and tunnel that had been used by a famous bootlegger from the prohibition days. People might think it was strange that no one ever opened that door, but I understand because I did the same thing.
There was a door in the basement of my grandmother’s house. I never opened it even after my mom went to live in a nursing home. I didn’t open it until I was forced to find out what was in there so we could sell her house. In all the years I lived there as a child I never saw that door opened. I imagine my mom opened it but she never told me. I was scared to open that door as an adult. I don’t know what I thought I would find. The mystery writer mind said skulls and bones. Finally I made my husband open it. There was old wood in there from many, many, many, years back and the surprising thing was that there were no creepy creatures. The wood was dry and good. That was a very secure room.
Imagine my surprise also when we were cleaning out the house for sale and my teenage daughter asked when we were going to open the secret door under the porch. I didn’t believe her. She insisted and so I said to her “Fine, show us where this hidden door is.” I didn’t believe her because she insisted that when she was five she saw Grandma stow some paper underneath the porch from a hidden outside door. She led us to a spot and pointed out where the door was supposed to be. We couldn’t see it. She insisted. Finally we got down and did some investigating and sure enough there was a hidden door. We found it, opened it, and it was a treasure trove of old newspapers and magazines back as far as one with the headlines from WWII. And….. again, they were all in top notch condition. That space was air tight and perfect for preserving things.
I am a mystery writer. I find that my penchant for hidden rooms carry on in the books that I write. I find that my dream of having a home with a hidden room carry on to my Pinterest finds with many pins on how to build doors that hide rooms and other mysterious things. I dream of ways to drive my husband crazy asking when we are doing a project if we can’t do it a little bit different. It is the basis for many different opinion conversations. He doesn’t always see my vision and I don’t always see his conventional vision and wisdom.
I got a little of the unique fix the other day right in a nearby community. I was headed to a rummage sale with my daughter when I saw an Open House Sign. I looked at the outside of the house and I knew I had to see it. It reminded me a little of a manor house in the country and the beauty of the unique outside had me intrigued. It wasn’t one of the conventional houses that are now built left and right. This house had been built in 1950 by architect Leroy Gaardner. This man shared my vision for unique houses. The difference is that he could actually make his vision into reality.
I took a chance and walked into the unique foyer. I met the real estate agent and threw myself on his mercy to let me view the home. I am not looking for a home but there is always the dream. I wandered through the unique hallways that wound around at times in a mysterious teasing fashion, surprising you as to what was around the corner. I fell in love with the architecture, the windows, the bedrooms and every part of the home. It was a writers dream. I visited the garden and the fountain. I was entranced at the lake view. I never wanted to leave. It was warm, cozy and this writer’s dream. Thank you for Mr. Real Estate Agent and whoever the owners are, for gifting me a few moments of dreaming.
I would love a home that was not the conventional neighborhood covenant home. I would love a home with a few secret rooms hidden by secret doors. I am lucky that I still dream of the toy room at the end of my Grandmother’s house. I am lucky my husband puts up with me going on with my ideas. That is the thing about dreams, if they don’t come true and many don’t, you can move on to the next dream enjoying the feelings of dreaming. It takes you out of reality and into a fantasy that fuels your inspiration for a few moments. Those dreams can live with you forever for a lifetime, reminding you of the possibilities that became real and those that are yet to come, if only in your dreams.