Friday, December 7, 2018

Favorite Holiday Reads


I'm excited to be featured on the Poisoned Pen blog, where I reminisce about two of my father, Bill Crider's, Sherlock Holmes holiday short stories.   Angela Crider Neary’s Favorite Holiday Reading – Part 1



The Poisoned Pen also hosted my review of a favorite holiday novel, Rhys Bowen's The Twelve Clues of Christmas.  Angela Crider Neary’s Favorite Holiday Reading – Part 2




What are your favorite holiday reads?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What's in a Name?

I'm excited to have a post on the Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine blog, Something Is Going to Happen today where I give my take on the age-old question, what's in a name?



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Small Town or Big City Mystery?

Visit me today on the Fire Star Press Blog and let me know whether you like mysteries set in small towns or the big city - or, perhaps, both?



Dark city street.




Peaceful country setting, complete with picket fence.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Setting the Scene 6 - Golden Gate Park

Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau:  The Case of the New Year Dragon will be released on Kindle and in paperback on March 20.  You can pre-order the Kindle version of the second book here.

Another oasis in San Francisco is Golden Gate Park, with its Japanese Tea Garden,






its peaceful fields that just might contain a surprising art installation,


its tranquil lakes,



and even a Conservatory of Flowers,



whose stunning Dahlia's provide a welcome, yet bitter, snack to one of Li'l Tom's new friends in The Case of the New Year Dragon.



The park is also home to the magnificent De Young Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the California Academy of Sciences.  This progressive scientific institution hosts an aquarium, a planetarium, as well as a museum of natural history, all under a "living roof."  Claude, a 22-year-old albino alligator and one of the Academy's most famous residents, just might make an appearance in The Case of the New Year Dragon



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Setting the Scene 5 - San Francisco Hills and Lanes

Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau:  The Case of the New Year Dragon will be released on Kindle and in paperback on March 20.  You can pre-order the Kindle version of the second book here.

Li'l Tom often finds himself setting out across San Francisco to interview clients and witnesses.  His investigations in The Case of the New Year Dragon take him to Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world, where he interviews a witness who is both fearsome, yet familiar.  Lombard Street is in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco where much of the 1968 Steve McQueen movie, Bullitt, was filmed.   Although none of the chase scenes in that movie occur on the crooked part of Lombard, Li'l Tom enjoys walking through the areas where many of the action scenes were shot. 



Macondray Lane is also located in Russian Hill, and is a lovely oasis in the middle of the bustling city.  However, even this sheltered sanctuary is not immune from jewel thieves and villains in The Case of the New Year Dragon




If you are familiar with Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City Series, you might recognize this lane as the fictional Barbary Lane.  I learned more about San Francisco's secret gems (including the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill) from reading Maupin's books than from anywhere else. 





Thursday, March 15, 2018

Setting the Scene 4 - North Beach

Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau:  The Case of the New Year Dragon will be released on Kindle and in paperback on March 20.  You can pre-order the Kindle version of the second book here.

Next up on our tour of central Li'l Tom locations is San Francisco's North Beach.  North Beach is a dynamic Italian neighborhood, filled with restaurants, bars, and shops, adjacent to Chinatown and right down Telegraph Hill from Li'l Tom's offices.  It was the historic center of the beatnik culture in the 1950s.  Li'l Tom frequents Mario's Bohemian Cigar Bar and Restaurant for lattes - hold the espresso,


the Saloon, where he often sits in with the band on bass guitar,


the Vallejo Central Police Station to glean information from his contact there to assist with his investigations,


and Got Milk behind the famous Savoy Tivoli to relax in the evenings with a few milk shots.



Jack Kerouac Alley, previously Adler Alley, runs between the City Lights Bookstore and Vesuvio Cafe.  City Lights Bookstore was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin in 1953 as a bookstore-publisher, and published works by Beat Generation authors.  It is currently an historic landmark and publishes works related to San Francisco culture.  It became widely known after the obscenity trial of Ferlinghetti for publishing Allen Ginsberg's collection Howl and Other Poems in 1956. 




It is said that the golden dragon named Gum Lung, the famous 268-foot dragon who is the star of the San Francisco New Year Parade, used to live in a cellar under the City Lights Bookstore and emerged every year for the parade.


Vesuvio Cafe, established in 1948, was a hot spot for the Beat Generation where they gathered to enjoy jazz, poetry, art, and life in general. 



If you're lucky, you might just catch Basil Ratbones there holding forth at a poetry slam. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Setting the Scene 3 - More Chinatown

Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau:  The Case of the New Year Dragon will be released on Kindle and in paperback on March 20.  You can pre-order the Kindle version of the second book here.


In addition to its host of souvenir shops, jewelry stores, fish and produce markets, and world renowned restaurants, Chinatown boasts other special treats like its tea shops where you just might find Basil Ratbones and Maynard C. Cats, sampling the healing brews.  




There are also delightful gems like the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.  If you find yourself in a bind without having had an energizing meal in a while, indulge in a sweet treat to tie you over, with the additional benefit of finding out your fortune.  M'Cavity just might join you.




Monday, March 12, 2018

Setting the Scene 2 - Chinatown


Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau:  The Case of the New Year Dragon will be released on Kindle and in paperback on March 20.  You can pre-order the Kindle version of the second book here

Next up on our tour of locations in the Li'l Tom mystery series is San Francisco’s world famous Chinatown.  


You might recognize the kite shop where Li’l Tom did some investigating into the disappearance of the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill. 



Chinatown hosts a myriad of festivals and celebrations, including one of the world’s biggest new year parades.  




If you're wandering through Chinatown, you just might run into some lion dancers, but be careful not to get your tail singed by stray firecrackers like Li’l Tom did. 



Chinatown is bustling with tourists and residents alike by day, but its dark and mysterious undertones can emerge at night.  



You never know what sinister characters may be lurking at a murky street corner or alleyway. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Setting the Scene 1 - Telegraph Hill, San Francisco


For the next few days, I’ll be hosting a tour of some of the central locations in the Li’l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau series.  You can pre-order the Kindle version of the second book here.  The paperback will be available March 20.

First, there’s the Malloch Building - a funky art deco building (and filming location for the Bogart and Bacall movie, Dark Passage) on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, under which Li’l Tom’s offices are located.  


This is the hub of Li’l Tom’s operations where he and his trusty sidekick, Lola, interview clients and strategize their investigations.  

Just up the hill is the famous Coit Tower with it’s panoramic views of the city and Golden Gate Bridge.  






The hill’s sunny and bright afternoons invite cat-napping for Li’l Tom and Lola in the lush landscaping.  It’s eerie and foggy nights, however, just might lead to trouble for Li’l Tom.