The Greene Murder Case

by S.S. Van Dine. ‘Philo Vance takes a hand when, in an evening, one daughter of the Greene family is shot to death and another one is wounded. The family comprises two sons and three daughters (the youngest, Ada, is adopted) under the rule of their mother, a bedridden invalid who spends her days feeling sorry for herself and cursing her ungrateful children. The family is required to live in the Greene mansion under the terms of their father’s will. The German cook seems strangely attached to the adopted daughter, and other hangers-on include the mother’s physician, who is courting Sibella Greene, and the enigmatic butler.

img_1817First published in 1928, my copy was published in 1929 and included pictures from the film version that was released that year. You can watch the whole movie HERE. It’s the third in the Philo Vance series. I enjoyed this read. The characters did nothing for me, but the mystery itself kept me reading to the end as it was a good puzzler. Many old murder cases and criminology books were mentioned throughout and I looked them up to see if they were fictional or real and they were real ones. That made it more interesting. The crime in this story was quite complex.

On pages 320-327 Philo Vance sets down a chronological list ofimg_1815
the cases facts trying to get a clearer picture of what exactly happened, much like our modern TV detectives use the large white board to connect the facts. There were many footnotes throughout the book made by the narrator, S.S. Van Dine, about the books referenced or people referenced from the previous Phil Vance stories. Once the murders are solved he notes the sequence Vance had finally arrangedfullsizerender-8 these facts on the list in, to help him solve the murders. Different and ingenius.

A most satisfying read and now I’m off to watch the 1929 movie on Youtube!

To Kill a Mockingbird, No Really

 

FullSizeRender-7

Front yard

And I’m not talking about Harper Lee! There’s a mockingbird that has decided my bird feeders are his and his alone. He’s staked my pecan tree as his territory. He won’t let any other birds near the feeders or the tree. He runs them all off even if their sitting on the ground beneath the tree. I’ve tried throwing rocks at him, jumping up and down and swinging my arms around at him to scare him off and he looks at me like I’m an idiot! I probably am 🙂

I’m missing all my birds!

So I thought, ‘I’ll outwit you’, and moved one feeder and one suet feeder out to a tree in the front yard. At least the other birds can eat there. He can have the back feeders. Oh no, he is a pig. He flies back and forth over the house and guards both trees, all four feeders! He doesn’t even eat the seed! Every now and then he’ll eat a little suet. I’m at my wits end with this bird! I adore their songs in the spring when there are so many around, but he isn’t even singing for me! I’ve threatened to go buy a BB gun (but I might shoot my eye out!).

FullSizeRender-8

back yard

I’ve finally taken in all the feeders. Maybe he’ll give up and go away. I’ll put them back out in a week and see what happens.  Have you ever encountered something like this and what was your solution?

Bloglovin’

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Several people have recently started following Peggy Ann’s Post on Bloglovin’.  So I’ve added this blog to my Bloglovin’ profile and needed to post their little advert to ‘claim’ my blog.  They have a nice little do dad that lets you move your followers over to the new blog. So that’s my bit of housecleaning done for today.

Make a nice rest of your day!  Think spring! 🌹🌷

Porch Talk

This last couple weeks have been fairly busy after a month and a half of very quiet life. We’ve started a weekly, Wednesday morning, women’s coffee connection and study at church and a Wednesday evening small group. I’m enjoying them both immensely. We’ve been here in Tennessee for a year and two months now and forming relationships has been slow. These groups have really helped with that! There’s a couple sweet gals I do things with now. I went to the ballet with Jamie and her family. It was a version of Sleeping Beauty. I’ve never been to the ballet before. It was a little confusing at first, but by the second half I had caught on and really enjoyed it. Several of the kids from church were in it. I never would have thought of Greeneville having its own Ballet Company. They put on a show once a year and have several professionals come and participate. Their sets were out of this world! Such talented people. I think this will be a yearly outing for me! Friday night we had a bowling and pizza night with the church. I even talked Bossman into coming (he doesn’t go to church with me) and he had a ball, no pun intended 🙂 We use to bowl a lot. Everyone was so glad to finally meet him, I think they thought he was a figment of my imagination! Maybe now that he knows some of them he might start going to church with me, one can live in hope.

Bossman and I went out to dinner for my birthday and to a bluegrass show at The Capitol Theater. We saw TruGrass and Sideline. They were really good, especially Sideline. They were the more professional of the two. The last song they did highlighted each instrument and they are amazing musicians. I’ve tried to find that song on youtube for you, but couldn’t. You can listen to a couple good songs by them HERE and watch 17 year old Nathan on the fiddle HERE. These videos are with another mandolin player though. They have a new young man that is amazing!

I’m still working puzzles. Almost done with my fourth one since beginning of January.

FullSizeRender 7

Finished!

Dampy's Donuts

Dampy’s Donuts almost done! I LOVE this one.  Picked up Rally at Dandelion Mill at Walmart the other day.                                   This is my view as I work the puzzles..

Rally at Dandelion Millpuzzling view

I read my first Barbara Pym book last week, Quartet in Autumn. It wasn’t anything spectacular but it kept my interest and I enjoyed it. I have 2 more on the shelf by her, I’m looking forward to reading them. It was about four elderly single people who work in the same office. Their work is their chief point of contact with each other and with society in general. None of them really have much of a life outside of work. When the two women retire it disrupts the status quo and threatens the lives of all four. Ms. Pym does characterization very well.  I’m reading a sweet 1928 copy of S.S. Van Dine’s The Greene Murder Case now. It’s good! I love holding such an old book in my hands and wondering about all the people who have held it in theirs and enjoyed or hated it in last 89 years! Do you love holding and reading old books too?

I got new bedspreads. One for our room and one for the spare-room. I’ve always wanted chenille spreads. They’re so old fashion and lovely. But they are always so expensive. I happened on a wonderful sale for both of these. The one for the spare-room (we call it Isa’s room as its my granddaughters when she comes) is spruce green and from Plow and Hearth. It’s very light weight. Mine is chocolate brown, yum! and so heavy! It lays long and flowing on the floor. I LOVE it! I got it at The Country Door
Chenille Spread

I also picked up a ‘fake fire’ for the fireplace from Plow and Hearth for the living room fireplaNew Fake firece. It also puts out heat if you want, infrared it’s called. I’m not super thrilled with the looks of the logs, but it wasn’t a lot of money and it adds ‘ambiance’ to the room!

We had Roast Beef for supper recently and had lots of leftovers. I found a good recipe for Roast Beef Hash on Pinterest and made that. It was really good and I’ll make it often I’m sure. Really easy. What do you do with your roast beef leftovers? Have you cooked anything exceptional or new lately?

It’s been so warm here. Broke the record high from 1938 today. 72* for the middle of February! The daffodils are beautiful and lots of bird activity. A while back I shared a picture of a roufus-sided towhee that stopped by for his first visit. Well he came back and brought the misses with him! She hung around a couple of days. The brown topped is the misses and the black top is Mr.
Mr. & Mrs. Towhee
Mrs. Roufus Sided Towhee

Discovered this amazing folk singer, Sarah Jarosz a few days ago! Listen to her new song House of Mercy and then check out the trio of Sarah, Aoife O’Donovan and Sara Watkins singing Crossing Muddy Waters. I really like the three gals together. A real dynamo!  They are guest on Prairie Home Companion frequently, together and separate. Have you ever watched or listened to Prairie Home Companion? You can listen or watch live on their website each Saturday. The program is on your local NPR radio station each week too at 6pm EST. Since we moved to Tennessee our musical tastes have broadened for sure. We listen to a lot of bluegrass and folk music now. There’s always lives shows and festivals somewhere too.

Well, I better go in and get dinner on the table, stop back now!

Peggy Ann

A Stranger in My Grave by Margaret Millar

fullsizerender-2The Times of Terror Began,

not in the middle of the night when the quiet and the darkness made terror seem a natural thing, but on a bright and noisy morning during the first week in February.

“I was totally enthralled to the book’s last page.”  ~Julian Symons

This was my first Margaret Millar book! Loved it. A real page turner. Looking forward to more of her books.

Daisy Harker has a dream that terrifies her. In it she comes across a tombstone on a walk with her dog. It has her name, her birthdate and the death date of February 2, 1955, four years ago. Yet she’s still alive. Daisy becomes obsessed with this date and decides she must reconstruct that day in her life four years ago and find out what this dream means. Her husband and her mother try to talk her out of it. What aren’t they telling her?

Daisy has always been an easy going people pleaser. The good daughter, and uncomplicated wife. But this dream stirs something up in her and it shakes up her world. She comes into her own through this search for the truth behind the dream…

‘Yes. She knew they both loved her, each in a different way, neither of them completely. Jim loved her insofar as she fitted his conception of the ideal wife. Her mother loved her as a projection of herself, but the projected part must be without the flaws of the original. Oh yes, certainly, she was loved. Being loved was not the problem. The problem, when you were the focus of two such powerful people as Jim and her mother, was the loss of spontaneity, of being able to love.’

And shakes up their world with the truth…

‘Why have you changed like this?’ Her mother’s eyes filling with tears of disappointment and anger and self-pity, all mixed up together and inseparable. ‘What’s happened to us?’

‘Please don’t cry,’ Daisy said wearily. ‘Nothing’s happened to us except that we’re both getting a little older, and you want a little more of my life than I’m willing to give.’

Boy I can identify with that!

Regardless of the lives that would be shattered by the truth, her implacable search for a single day in her past leads back through a maelstrom of hatred and remorse to the single catastrophic fact that underlies a lifetime of deception.

This book counts for Vintage Mystery Cover Scavenger Hunt – Silver Era- Graveyard

 

 

Murder at the Old Vicarage by Jill McGown

1454913‘A killing blow on the head took the life of Graham Elstow, and the vicar and his wife were more relieved than grieved by their son-in-law’s death. Elstow had beaten their beloved daughter, Joanna, so severely only a few months earlier that she had landed in the hospital, and he had struck her again on the day he died. But murder they deplored, especially in their own home on Christmas Eve.

Much, much worse, it was distressingly clear that the killer had to be someone very close to the household. Yet each of the three was prepared to swear that neither of the other two had had the opportunity to kill Elstow.

It looks like it’s up to that canny police duo of Inspector Lloyd and Detective Sergeant Judy Hill then, to wander through a maze of self-confessed killers, myriad motives, and their own frustrating partnership, to find a murderer with a message…’

This one is the second in the Lloyd and Hill series. I thought it was the first 😦 but it was fine to read on its own. I really enjoyed it. I liked the two detectives and the puzzle was excellent, it could have been any one of them. McGown did a great job of keeping you off balance until the very end. Its one you’ll keep saying just one more chapter until you’ve finished it! My library system has all her books! So I’ll be starting with #1 and reading them in order.

*This book was originally published in 1988 in the UK under the title Redemption. It counts toward Vintage Scavenger Hunt Silver Era for ‘other type of weapon’ and also for Read Scotland 2017 as Ms. McGown was born in Argyll Scotland.

Welcome to My Porch

I made the move, for better or worse! Peggy Ann’s Post is now Peggy’s Porch.  I hope you’ll stop by often and sit awhile with me. Mostly we’ll talk about reading, roaming, recipes and what’s going on in the neighborhood.

I think I have WordPress figured out, but bear with me if I make a few mistakes as I’m getting use to it. I did manage to get my posts from Peggy Ann’s Post imported over okay.

Haven’t gotten much reading done lately, I’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles and catching up on some British TV. I’m slowly reading Jill McGown’s Murder at the Old Vicarage. I’m really enjoying it and will read all her books. I looked and my library has them all!

Most of you know I am a Charles Wysocki puzzle fan. I LOVE doing his, so many dogs, horses, houses and people to put together. I collect them. We have several boxes of them stored away that we’ve already done. When we get old we’ll do them again and won’t remember doing them before so they’ll be like new to us, right?  I look on eBay for old ones you can’t get anymore. There’s a couple rarer ones I’ve really wanted to get my hands on and both times I’ve seen them I was cheap and didn’t want to pay $18 dollars for a used puzzle. Finally after several years of looking I came across Dampy’s Donuts on a Dreary Day and now it’s $25! I bit the bullet and bought it! The older it gets the more it will cost! Now I just really want Checking in on Old Martha’s Vineyard. May never see that one again 😦  Dampy’s is a bit ‘dreary’ looking, but I love it!

fullsizerender-7

Dampy’s Donuts

This is the one I just finished…

img_1781

Next! 

Watched The Crown on Netflix. I had the whole first season to watch. Beautifully filmed. I wouldn’t want to be queen! Played catch-up with Unforgotten on ITV and some Midsomer Murder. We just don’t have as good a TV here in the States as they do in the UK.

I’ve had a toothache and had to go to the dentist. I need a root canal. Ugh! I’ve never had one before and I’m dreading it. It’s an old cavity with a filling from maybe 30-35 years ago. There’s infection in under the filling I guess after all these years! My tooth has a curve in the roots so I have to go to an endodontist to have it done. Luckily the antibiotics have helped and I’m not having the pain right now so I don’t have to rush.

We went to the movies on Tuesday and saw Hidden Figures. Wonderful movie! I told my son to take his daughter on a date to see it. But she had already seen it. She went with her school! She is in high honor classes and they took a group of girls to see it. I thought that was fantastic! I saw Fences the first of the year and that was probably one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Liz and I are wanting to go see Silence and The United Kingdom when they come out. Both true stories. $5 Tuesday’s is a great invention!

Saturday is my birthday and we’re going out for dinner and then to the Capitol Theater, downtown to a bluegrass concert. There are two bands playing. I’m looking forward to that!

Bossman’s been painting our basement walls and floor. It’s looking so pretty and clean down there!

Well, I’ve chewed your ear long enough for one day, so I’ll let you go for now.

Y’all come back!

Peggy

 

Spring or Winter?

We’ve had such mild weather here for the month of January. Beautiful days up to 67*! The flowers and the birds are so confused! My bulbs are all coming up!

 

The robins have come back by the droves! I got up one morning and the back yard was covered in them. I started counting and gave up at 30! Tried to get pics but they are a bit blurry and I was scaring them away

 

A town near Knoxville was having trouble with Starlings. They came back by the thousands and were hanging around really making a nuisance so they had to get out the big guns! Some kind of propane things that make really loud booms and after a couple days of that the birds moved on. That would have been something to see!

We did have a three day cold snap early on with a bit of snow and the birds were flocking like crazy to the feeders during the bitter cold! One day we had 6 male cardinals and 6 females at the feeders! Junco’s and one Rufous-sided Towhee even showed up! That was a first for my feeders.

 The Towhee

 

Mr. & Mrs. Downy Woodpecker together!
Titmice. I love these little birds!

 

Red Finch

 

Nuthatch, another of my favorites!

 

Mrs. Cardinal and a dove.
But this morning we woke up to heavy frost. Winter is back! Seasonal temps expected now, which isn’t bad for winter here. In the forties during the day and thirties at night. If the bitter cold brings the birds like it did those few days the first of the month though, I won’t complain about it. I never get tired of watching them!

Gallow’s View by Peter Robinson

A Peeping Tom is frightening the women of Eastvale; two glue-sniffing young thugs are breaking into homes and robbing people; an old woman may or may not have been murdered. Investigating these cases is Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, a perceptive, curious and compassionate policeman recently moved to the Yorkshire Dales from London to escape the stress of city life. In addition to all this, Banks has to deal with the local feminists and his attraction to a young psychologist, Jenny Fuller. As the tension mounts, both Jenny and Banks’s wife, Sandra, are drawn deeper into the events. The cases weave together as the story reaches a tense and surprising climax.

My first Peter Robinson. I’ve been picking this series up as I see them, but never got around to reading any of them yet! Very good police procedural. I love the ITV series, DCI Banks, made from this series of books. 

Get a short lesson on building a strong stone wall in this one too. I found that quite interesting.
Peggy Ann

A Tale of Two Murders by Elizabeth Ferrars

A witty man, quietly charming, could be good company: that was Stephen Gazeley.

and yet… And yet…

His sister Hilda, housekeeping for him since the  tragic death of his wife, had to admit that people did turn against him. Even his own wife in the year before she died. Daughter Katherine’s fiancé and his parents. His oldest friend. Even the gardener…

But it was only after the first murder that Hilda began to see things as they were, rather than as she wished they could be.

And found the process very, very uncomfortable…

Another solid page turner by Elizabeth Ferrars. I haven’t read one yet that I didn’t enjoy!

Peggy Ann