Bewitched meets Murder She Wrote in this delightful new cozy mystery series featuring Ophelia Jensen, small town librarian and reluctant psychic, and her grandmother Abby, a benevolent witch. Thirty something Ophelia Jensen wants to live a quiet life as a small town librarian. She's created a comfortable existence with her kooky, colorful grandmother Abby, and if it were up to her, they could live out their days—along with Ophelia's dog Lady and cat Queenie—in peace and quiet. But, to Ophelia's dismay, she and Abby aren't a typical grandmother/granddaughter duo. She possesses psychic powers, and Abby is a kindly witch. And while Ophelia would do anything to dismiss her gift—harboring terrible guilt after her best friend was killed and she was unable to stop it—threatening events keep popping up, forcing her to tap into her powers of intuition. To make matters worse, a strange—yet devastatingly attractive—man is hanging around Ophelia's library, and no matter how many times she tells him she's sworn off men forever, he persists. Soon this handsome newcomer reveals he's following a lead on a local drug ring, and then a dead body shows up right in Abby's backyard. And much as Ophelia would like to put away her spells forever, she and Abby must use their special powers to keep themselves, and others, out of harm's way.
Release on 2011-08-31 | by Randall E. Auxier,Phil Seng
Wicked Wisdom of the West
Author: Randall E. Auxier,Phil Seng
Pubpsher: Open Court
From the bedtime story by L. Frank Baum to the classic 1939 film, no story has captured the imaginations of generations of children — and adults — like The Wizard of Oz. The story of Dorothy’s journey through Oz, the colorful characters, places, songs, and dialogue have permeated popular culture around the world. The contributors to this volume take a very close look at The Wizard of Oz and ask the tough questions about this wonderful tale. They wonder if someone can possess a virtue without knowing it, and if the realm of Oz was really the dream or if Kansas was the dream. Why does water melt the Wicked Witch of the West and why does Toto seem to know what the other characters can’t seem to figure out? The articles included tackle these compelling questions and more, encouraging readers to have discussions of their own.
On the Way to a Coup d'Etat is a dramatic story, a searing scrutiny of our politics and government. Though set in the near future, it is an entirely credible development of the forces that are now in play. President Millwright, elevated to office by an unusual event, is short, balding, he limps and has a high squeaky voice (as did Abraham Lincoln). But he possesses something more essential: character. He is opposed in every conceivable way, some of which are horrific, by nefarious politicians, truth-distorting think-tanks and media, and by many members of Congress too greedy or too fearful to align with their consciences-and even by a bizarre cultural hero. This opposition proves to be successful. But how things turn is truly convincing as America, while on the surface continues to lie to itself, continues to decline. Yet On the Way to a Coup d'Etat is a surprisingly uplifting story, due in part to the believable characters of both President Millwright and his wife, Ann. These folks are more human and more alive than many of our current politicians. One of the underlying themes in this remarkably astute book is an in-depth examination of what it means to lead a country, especially a country in trouble. Bob Scher, author of Lightning, The Nature of Leadership
A young mother dies in agony. Was it a natural death, murder—or witchcraft? On the night of the festive holiday of Shrove Tuesday in 1672 Anna Fessler died after eating one of her neighbor's buttery cakes. Could it have been poisoned? Drawing on vivid court documents, eyewitness accounts, and an early autopsy report, historian Thomas Robisheaux brings the story to life. Exploring one of Europe's last witch panics, he unravels why neighbors and the court magistrates became convinced that Fessler's neighbor Anna Schmieg was a witch—one of several in the area—ensnared by the devil. Once arrested, Schmieg, the wife of the local miller, and her daughter were caught up in a high-stakes drama that led to charges of sorcery and witchcraft against the entire family. Robisheaux shows how ordinary events became diabolical ones, leading magistrates to torture and turn a daughter against her mother. In so doing he portrays an entire world caught between superstition and modernity.
House falling down? Check. Pet sitting job with annoying clients? Check. Ability to speak to ghosts, which has the unfortunate side effect of having to listen to what they say back? Double check! Hot high school crush still in town being all successful and stuff while you protest his building projects? All kinds of checks! Did anyone say Witch of Mintwood? Yup! Just add murder and this will be a week to remember!
Who can you trust when you don't know who you are? Twyla and her sisters are having a spell of a time settling down now that their fae father is back in their lives. Despite living under the same roof, he's as much a mystery to them as ever before. When several members of the supernatural community are murdered, a disturbing pattern emerges. They appear to have been killed by one of their own people, but who? Can Twyla, Ree, and Sissy figure out who's killing the fae before someone they love becomes the next victim? And how can they know where to place their own loyalties when the women know so little about their faery heritage? As tensions between supernaturals and humans grow, so does Twyla's confidence as a witch. Can she and her sisters control their growing magical abilities and use them to save their town? And will Twyla's friendship with Hank finally grow into something more? Welcome back to Frog Hollow, Mississippi, where being a little unusual is not uncommon...
Another purr-fect Pet Sitting mystery. The last thing pet-sitter Kendra Ballantyne wants is to start a catfight with her boyfriend's ex-wife, Amanda. So she agrees to help when Amanda's stalker turns up dead in her home-but only if Amanda will take her claws out of her ex for good.
Clean Sweep On the morning of December 30, 1978, in Littleton, Colorado, Robert Spangler lured his wife Nancy into the basement with the promise of a "surprise." He then shot her in the head with a .38 handgun. Going upstairs, he shot his teenage children, Susan and David. David was slow in dying, so his father finished him off by smothering him with a pillow. Cover Up Spangler had cunningly framed the crime scene, making it appear that his wife had shot their children and then herself. Now he was free to marry his new love, Sharon Cooper. A former high school athlete, he hiked the Grand Canyon with Sharon, who chronicled the trip in a book dedicated to her "soul mate," Spangler. But their happiness was short-lived. The marriage ended in a costly, messy divorce. Confession In April, 1993, when Spangler's third marriage to 59-year-old aerobics instructor Donna Sundling went sour, he took her hiking in the Grand Canyon and pushed her off a 140-foot drop to her death. In 1994, when ex-wife Sharon committed suicide, Spangler became the focus of intense police scrutiny. Wracked with brain cancer, he told all to investigators in the fall of 2000, detailing his shocking serial saga--the story of a two-time widower. . .and a four-time killer.
Toby Peters investigates threats to Judy Garland and a body on the MGM lot A year after The Wizard of Oz’s smash success, the yellow brick road is crumbling. The famous sets are stashed on a soundstage in the depths of the MGM back lot while the studio plans a sequel, and a strange addition has just been made to the scene: a munchkin in full costume lying facedown with a knife buried in his back. The studio boss calls Toby Peters, a Hollywood detective with a reputation for discretion, and asks for help keeping the murder quiet. MGM is a family company, and Judy Garland, who found the body, is a wholesome actress whose rising star cannot risk a whiff of scandal. But as Peters quickly learns, the threat to Miss Garland isn’t the tabloids: It’s the psychopathic killer whose turf is the back lot, and whose crime of choice is the murder of the silver screen’s finest.
Molecules of Murder is about infamous murderers and famous victims; about people like Harold Shipman, Alexander Litvinenko, Adelaide Bartlett, and Georgi Markov. Few books on poisons analyse these crimes from the viewpoint of the poison itself, doing so throws a new light on how the murders or attempted murders were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. Part I includes molecules which occur naturally and were originally used by doctors before becoming notorious as murder weapons. Part II deals with unnatural molecules, mainly man-made, and they too have been dangerously misused in famous crimes. The book ends with the most famous poisoning case in recent years, that of Alexander Litvinenko and his death from polonium chloride. The first half of each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its history, its chemistry, its use in medicine, its toxicology, and its effects on the human body. The second half then investigates a famous murder case and reveals the modus operandi of the poisoner and how some were caught, some are still at large, and some literally got away with murder. Molecules of Murder will explain how forensic chemists have developed cunning ways to detect minute traces of dangerous substances, and explain why some of these poisons, which appear so life-threatening, are now being researched as possible life-savers. Award winning science writer John Emsley has assembled another group of true crime and chemistry stories to rival those of his highly acclaimed Elements of Murder.