Yesterday

Today’s Word of the Day prompt is YESTERDAY. I can hardly miss this one, as I have lots to say about yesterday.

We were off to the city shortly after 9am yesterday; I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning and we had a writers’ group get-together in the afternoon. Once a month some of us Christian writers in this area get together to catch up and keep in touch. It’s always an encouraging sharing session. One of our group, Darlene Polachic, has written several Christian romances. Here’s Amazon link for the first book in her Ever Green series, of which there are five so far.

Yesterday I finally finished a jigsaw puzzle I started Sunday. It was a toughie, a 1000- piece artwork picture, the artist’s depiction of some southern (Tuscan?) village with background vineyards and trees, which means the whole puzzle is mostly shades of green-grey-aqua. I was convinced quite a few pieces were missing until the very end, when it turned out only one was. Smack in the middle of the sky! Do you throw out jigsaw puzzles with one piece missing?

Yesterday while I was waiting for my husband I downloaded and started to read a cozy mystery, one of the Aunt Bessie series by Diana Xarissa. I finished it this afternoon, between excursions outdoors to clean up the flower beds and pots. We’ve had some serious frost that’s left my annuals looking pretty limp. Time to get the pots cleaned up and put away.

Overall the series feels mild and homey. Aunt Bessie lives in her little cottage by the sea, on the Isle of Man, and gets together often with her friends for meals and discussions about whodunit. She seems to have a knack for being on the scene when a crime’s discovered and it helps that her good friends are Inspector John Rockwell, Bessie’s friend Doona, who works at the Police Dept., and Hugh Waterson, a local bobby who loves his food. Lately they’re often joined by Hugh’s new girlfriend, Grace. (They marry later in the series.)

This story starts out well but the middle slows considerably as they go in a lengthy circle of who committed the crime and get nowhere. Plus it’s Christmas and they get lost in a rather long discussion and sampling of seasonal goodies. I feel a mystery should move fairly fast and this one definitely could speed up some. If readers are really interested in the various kinds of cookies made in the US and how they differ from the English biscuits, they may not mind this detour from the investigation, but 3/4 of the way through I was ready to skip ahead and find out who the guilty party was.

Still, for a cozy mystery series this one is quite good. I really don’t like the ones where an aggressive amateur sleuth gets in people’s faces, demanding answers. I read and enjoy the Markham Sisters Bed & Breakfast series, by the same author. It also moves sedately for the most part and the mysteries are minor ones, like what their guests might be up to, or who might be spreading counterfeit bills in the little village of Doveby Dale.

This series reminds me of the Miss Read books I used to read long ago, “Life in a small English village” type of stories. And one thing I can say about both these series is that the writing is improving and the characters are developing more, and more sensibly, as the series progresses. Nice to see the writer learning and improving her craft.

I wonder how many of you recalled that old Beatles tune, “Yesterday,” when you saw today’s word prompt? If you’re under forty you maybe never gave it a thought, but that was a big hit when I was a young teen. Dates me, right? 😉

And I think that’s enough said about yesterday.

6 thoughts on “Yesterday

  1. I think you just gave me an earworm 🙂

    One of the things I love about Jane Marple, Agatha Christie’s amateur sleuth, is that she doesn’t get up in people’s faces and demand answers. She’s most lady-like, prim and proper; but extremely perceptive. She watches, listens, and reports. And usually has the solution before the detectives do:)

    I like the sound of this series. Have to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to hear what you think of this series.

      Yes, I have enjoyed Miss Marple’s personality and propriety, too. As you say she’s quietly perceptive and doesn’t do much jumping to conclusions, as is done in so many mystery stories today, nor does she spend a lot of time hashing out suspects, either mentally or with others.

      I think this is meant to add drama and tension but it can easily come off looking like the sleuth has no clue how to actually investigate. As for going after suspects and aggressively demanding answers, it’s a quick way to shorten the story; the writer gets to feed in information via the suspect’s interviews rather than have the investigator dig for clues. However, bullying people and demanding confessions, as dramatic as it appears in books, is unrealistic and usually fruitless when dealing with real human beings — and I like stories to be believable.

      Another series I have really appreciated for being realistic and sensible is the Pollard & Toye police procedural mysteries by Elizabeth Lamarchand. She wrote in the 60’s and early 70s and they have that flavour. Set in Britain, folks were quite true to the era; language issues are minimal.

      Liked by 1 person

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