Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

Archive for May, 2017

Mystery Movies

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 26, 2017

MYSTERY MOVIES and TV SHOWS

In addition to the classics like Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie, here are some of my favorite films in the mystery genre or movies involving writers. A happy ending is a must for my taste. This list does not include the Hallmark Channel mystery movies of which I’m also a fan.

movies

FILMS

AMERICAN DREAMER with JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti.

This classic tale of intrigue is one of my favorites. A romance novelist wins a contest and a trip to Paris. En route to the awards luncheon, she’s in an accident and suffers a head injury. She wakes up believing herself to be the heroine in her favorite books. A spy caper follows that’s all too real, as she teams up with the author’s handsome son who thinks she’s a nutcase. That is, until someone tries to kill them. http://amzn.to/2qZVEhl

DROWNING MONA with Danny DeVito and Bette Midler.

This funny whodunit in a small town has a cast of wacky characters. Classic example of a cozy. http://amzn.to/2rkArzR

GOSFORD PARK with Helen Mirren and Jeremy Northam.

This is an English drawing room mystery that takes place at a country estate. Aristocrats and servants alike have secrets that slowly unravel during a hunting party weekend. Albeit a bit slow-paced, this film requires repeat viewings to catch the nuances. http://amzn.to/2rklnC8

HER ALIBI with Tom Selleck and Paulina Portzkova.

This hilarious escapade finds mystery novelist Phillip Blackwood falling for a suspected murderess while he searches for inspiration to unlock his writer’s block. Did the mysterious and beautiful foreigner have a hand in the victim’s death? If so, was he foolish to vouch for her alibi and bring her home? And are the accidents that occur after her arrival truly accidents, or is Philip next in line for his guest’s lethal hijinks? http://amzn.to/2qjtafC

MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.

A Manhattan housewife thinks her next door neighbor is a murderer. She enlists her friends to search for clues. Probably my favorite Woody Allen film out of all of them. http://amzn.to/2qZEEIb

MURDER 101 with Pierce Brosnan.

English professor Charles Lattimore assigns his class to plan the perfect murder as a literary exercise. When he’s framed for a woman’s death, he has to find the killer before the detective on the case finds him. Will his students help him solve a real murder, or is one of them guilty? http://amzn.to/2qje0qK

MURDER BY THE BOOK with Robert Hays.

A mystery novelist thinks he’s hallucinating when his hero appears in front of him and talks back. He’s been thinking of changing to a new series and scrapping the sleuth, but now he needs the fellow’s help to solve a real murder. http://amzn.to/2qZrQzF

MY COUSIN VINNY with Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, and Fred Gwynne

In this funny courtroom drama, a New York lawyer on his first case defends two fellows in Alabama who are mistakenly accused of murder. Watch for the clues in this hilarious mystery. http://amzn.to/2qnMisB

THE BOY NEXT DOOR with Dina Meyer and Cory Monteith.

A romance writer goes on a retreat to a small town to seek inspiration for her next story. When her next door neighbor is found dead, the chief of police suspects her. Even when her place is ransacked and someone tries to run her off the road, he discounts her theories and refuses to look into the incidents. It’s up to our heroine to prove her innocence and uncover the killer before his next attack turns fatal. http://amzn.to/2qZQXEi

TV SHOWS

THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES with Neill Rea and Fern Sutherland.

I’ve bought the DVDs. Otherwise, you can find this show on the Acorn TV Channel. http://thebrokenwoodmysteries.com/
Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd and Detective Constable Kristin Sims solve mysteries involving a limited number of suspects, most of whom know each other, in a distinct setting and with a definite sense of humor. Emphasis is on the relationships between characters and personal motives rather than forensics. Each episode is a perfect example of a cozy mystery despite the lack of an amateur sleuth. http://amzn.to/2qjcPYl

Brokenwood

MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES with Essie Davis and Nathan Page.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/miss-fishers-murder-mysteries/
The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher solves crimes in 1929 Melbourne, Australia. Essie Davis plays the lead while Nathan Page plays her romantic interest, Detective Inspector Jack Robinson. Warning: Miss Fisher’s spectacular outfits threaten to steal the show. http://amzn.to/2qjwVle

Miss Fisher

MIDSOMER MURDERS with John Nettles and Jane Wymark.

A police detective and his deputy solve murders in small town England. Some people love this show. I couldn’t get into it but it might appeal to you. http://amzn.to/2qSu0Cu

ROSEMARY AND THYME with Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris.

Two ladies in England solve mysteries together. One is a plant pathologist. The other woman is separated from her husband. I haven’t watched too many of these but they caught my interest. http://amzn.to/2qj87ty

Disclosure: I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate program. These are affiliate links.

So here you go. If you have some free time this weekend, look up these films and have a good time. Keep watch for Murder on the Orient Express, an upcoming theatrical release and remake of the classic Agatha Christie tale, with Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, and Penelope Cruz in an all-star cast.

Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, sales, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Research, The Writing Life, Writing Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Brookside Gardens

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 18, 2017

Brookside Gardens is a fifty-acre horticultural garden located inside Wheaton Regional Park in Maryland. It’s one of my favorite spots to visit in the area. Flowers, ponds, and wooded trails make for a pleasant escape from urban congestion. We met our niece there for some quality time together.

IMG_0099 IMG_0105IMG_0108IMG_0110

IMG_0111 IMG_0113IMG_0118IMG_0116IMG_0117

Bethesda has its fans. We headed on foot to the shopping district nearest the Hyatt Regency. Here are some landmark businesses.

IMG_3083IMG_3085IMG_3082

If you have a car and some free time while you’re in the area, Brookside Gardens is worth the visit. Also look for the Nature Center nearby. Wear your walking shoes and a hat.

SEE ALL PHOTOS HERE

Giveaway!

Gift card

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench

<><><>

Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, sales, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.

 

Save

Save

Posted in That's Life, Travel | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Washington D.C. Wanderings

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 16, 2017

After visiting the Library of Congress, we strolled past the Supreme Court. Here I am by the steps of this impressive building. The structure is inspiring, making you hope that justice truly is being served inside its doors.

IMG_0084IMG_0085IMG_3035IMG_0086

Across the street is the Capitol Building, always an awe-inspiring sight. The tall Washington Monument reaches toward the sky at the other end of the Mall. Having been in town before, we’d already seen many of these sites and museums.

IMG_0081IMG_0083

The buildings where our Senators and House representatives meet or have their offices are impressive as well.

IMG_0055IMG_3040

We passed patches of greenery, mini-parks with flowering bushes and graceful trees.

IMG_0088IMG_0089IMG_0090

Our path took us to Union Station, where we browsed the shops before taking seats in the bustling East St. Café for a leisurely Asian lunch.

IMG_0092IMG_0091IMG_0094

IMG_3041IMG_3042

Then we took the Metro back to Bethesda.

SEE ALL PHOTOS HERE

Giveaway!

Gift card

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench

<><><>

Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, sales, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.

 

Save

Save

Save

Posted in That's Life, Travel | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Library of Congress

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 12, 2017

Visiting the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. is an awe-inspiring adventure. As you climb the steps toward the entrance, you’ll be impressed by the massive size of the structure.

IMG_0056IMG_0059IMG_0061

Inside the Thomas Jefferson Building, we passed through a bag check and then had to figure out where to go. Everywhere we looked, the architecture beckoned. I could have stood all day gazing at the intricate ceilings, wall décor, and majestic columns.

IMG_0062IMG_0063IMG_0064IMG_0065

IMG_0078 IMG_0070IMG_0071

Look at these folks. They don’t look too happy. Maybe they’re spirits trapped in the walls.

IMG_0066IMG_0067

After we admired the Great Hall, we headed upstairs, planning to work our way down. Here are some photos from an exhibit titled “Exploring the Early Americas.”

IMG_0072IMG_0073IMG_0074IMG_0075

We saw “Echoes of the Great War” about WWI and a display called “Drawing Justice.” The latter contained paintings of true-life courtroom dramas. I never knew such a field of artwork existed. Famous trials were depicted here in vivid details.

IMG_3122

I liked seeing Jefferson’s library, or at least a facsimile of books he’d kept there. Some are originals and others are reprints.

IMG_3005IMG_0068

The main Reading Room drew me like a lawn mower to a blade of grass. Up a flight of stone steps, we paused on a landing where we could peer below at the hallowed halls. Researchers sat at desks while other archways led to more reading rooms beyond.

IMG_0069

Downstairs, we viewed the Gutenberg Bible behind its glass case.

IMG_0077 IMG_0076

By now, we’d become tired and hungry, and so we passed on the other exhibits. We couldn’t help stopping in the gift shop. We left with our imaginations enriched and our wallets a few dollars lighter.

SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE

Giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench

<><><>

Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, sales, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.

 

Save

Save

Posted in That's Life, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Murder by Manicure Audiobook

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 10, 2017

Murder by Manicure Audiobook, book #3 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available at Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. Narrated by the talented Mary Ann Jacobs.

MURDER BY MANICURE (2400)

Hairstylist Marla Shore joins a fitness club to get in shape but discovers a dead body instead of an exercise routine. Jolene Myers, a client at Marla’s salon, has drowned beneath the frothing waters of the whirlpool. When Detective Dalton Vail determines Jolene’s death was no accident, Marla decides to give her deductive skills a workout and help solve the case.

Excerpt:

Arnie wrung his hands. “She’s a former classmate. We went to high school together, and she had a crush on me. The ugliest dog in school, that was her. A real fresser, too. Ate everything in sight. And now she’s here! Oy vey, what am I going to do?”

“What do you mean?” Marla glanced furtively at the reception area, hoping her next client would be delayed. Arnie needed her, making her nurturing instincts surface.

“Hortense is in town. She wants to see me. She’s on her way over here.”

“So? You can exchange a few reminiscences and then she’ll leave.”

He leaned forward, breathing heavily. “You don’t understand. She likes me. Hortense said she’d been sorry to learn my wife had passed away, and how difficult it must be for me to raise two kids on my own. I could tell from her tone of voice that she’s still interested in me.”

“Hortense never married?”

“She’s divorced.” His brows drew together. “I said the only thing I could think of to get rid of her. I told her I was engaged.”

Marla smiled gently. “Arnie, how could you? The poor woman probably just wants an hour of your time.”

“No, no. She’s moving back to Palm Haven. I had to discourage her. Tell me you’ll play along. I knew you wouldn’t mind, since you’re such a good friend.” Taking her by the elbow, he steered her into the rear storeroom. “She’ll come to the salon. Tell her off for me, would you please?”

“Me?” She wrinkled her nose. “Why would she come here?”

His eyes grew as round as bagel holes when the front door chimed. “That may be Hortense,” he croaked. “Marla, you have to save me.”

How bad could this woman be to make Arnie so afraid of her? Intensely curious, Marla strode toward the reception desk.

The woman standing by the counter wasn’t the ugly horse Arnie had depicted. Nor was she Marla’s next client. A tall, sexy blonde, she wore a short skirt and bolero jacket with black high heels. Wavy hair cascaded like a river down her back. A delicate lilac fragrance wafted around her.

“This is Marla Shore,” said the receptionist. “She owns Cut ’N Dye.”

“Hi, I’m Hortense Crone.” The woman grinned, displaying a row of perfectly aligned teeth. “I was told Arnie Hartman came in here. Y’all can call me Jill; I use my middle name now,” she added, extending her hand.

Marla exchanged a firm handshake. This was Hortense? A bubble of laughter welled within her. Would Arnie be surprised to see what a looker his classmate had turned into!

“He’s in the storeroom. I’ll get him for you. Hey, Arnie,” she called, eagerly anticipating his reaction. “Someone here to see you.”

All eyes in the salon turned in their direction as Arnie shuffled toward the front, gaze downcast like a condemned man.

“Congratulations, Arnie,” crooned Hortense. “You have a lovely fiancée.”

Marla, entertained by Arnie’s sudden, shocked glare as he raised his eyes, didn’t catch on right away until she heard snickers from her staff.

“Don’t tell me,” she said to Hortense. “Arnie told you we’re engaged?”

Listen to a sample from Murder by Manicure Audiobook

ORDER NOW

clip_image001 clip_image002 Amazon

If you haven’t tried audiobooks, here are some good reasons to check them out:
• A story can come to life in a new way when read by a professional narrator.
• You can listen while working out, driving, or doing chores around the house.
• If you have trouble reading due to vision problems, you can listen to a story instead.
• If you buy the ebook along with the audiobook, you can switch devices using Whispersync and never lose your place.

How to listen to audiobooks on your phone, Kindle, tablet, or computer: https://www.audible.com/mt/Apps

CLICK TO TWEET

Giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench

<><><>

Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, sales, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Excerpt, Excerpt, New Release | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Malice Domestic Mystery Conference

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 8, 2017

Malice Domestic is a conference for cozy mystery writers and fans. This one began with a bang on Friday morning with the always fun but exhausting Malice-Go-Round. I was number four on the wait list in this author lottery, but I got in as no one else waited in the wings. Armed with my series postcards and a two-minute spiel promoting Facials Can Be Fatal, I sat at the first table with my partner, author Jeri Westerson. The two of us would hop from table-to-table twenty times in total. By the time we ended, my voice came out as a croak and my throat was dry despite the water provided. But I’d met my goal of encountering new readers and greeting author friends along the way. This remains a favorite event to introduce my books to potential fans.

IMG_0095IMG_0096

On Friday afternoon, I skipped out to meet family at Brookside Gardens. We had a lovely stroll and a snack together. I returned in time for the opening ceremonies at Malice. Dinner on your own followed. I’m afraid I bypassed the live auction and later reception in favor of retiring early.

Saturday morning, I attended the Sisters in Crime breakfast.

IMG_0119

At 10 am, I was on a panel titled Just Die Laughing: Humor in Mysteries with authors Donna Andrews, Jessie Chandler, and Nancy G. West. Our moderator was Karen Cantwell who did an excellent job. We laughed along with the audience hearing our stories about research and other experiences. Some humor can be slapstick. Some can be situational. Or some can come from secondary characters or the sleuth’s world view. I enjoyed listening to my fellow panelists.

IMG_3062

A booksigning followed upstairs in the atrium. Here I am sitting next to Marla Cooper, author of Terror in Taffeta, a Destination Wedding Mystery.

IMG_3067

After lunch, I sat in on a panel about U.S. Historicals. It was interesting to hear about each author’s sleuth and series setting.

IMG_3070

Saturday evening was the Agatha Awards Banquet. Congratulations to all the winners! The meal was delicious and my table companions were delightful. I sat with the elegant Carole Nelson Douglas along with Julie McKuras and Patti Ruocco.

IMG_3071 IMG_3079 IMG_3077

IMG_3078IMG_3080

Sunday morning, I attended the new author’s breakfast. It’s fun to hear the newbies speak and tell about their first published mystery novels. Then I sat in on another panel titled “Death for Dessert: Sweet Murder.” These authors write culinary mysteries. Listening to them speak about their works made me hungry again.

IMG_0126

I satisfied this urge at the final Agatha Tea and closing ceremonies. Then we were off to see family again before leaving the next day. Into my suitcase went this stack of books I’d acquired at the conference.

IMG_3123

The best part of any conference is the friends you make. Here are some of the wonderful people I met at Malice.

IMG_0122IMG_0123 IMG_0121 IMG_3048 IMG_3056

IMG_3054IMG_0120IMG_3045IMG_3060IMG_0124IMG_3073


SEE ALL PHOTOS HERE


Giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench

<><><>

Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, sales, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.

 

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Appearances, Business of Writing, Conferences, Marketing, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Disney Ramblings

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 5, 2017

We visited Epcot at Disney World again for the annual Flower and Garden Festival. The colorful flower displays were as beautiful as always.

NMVV4722 QXEU2806

GEDH3486

Bypassing the crowds at Future World, we strolled around World Showcase to sample the foods in the various marketplaces. We headed right toward Canada, stopping by to get the beef tenderloin tips in a flavorful mushroom sauce along with mashed potatoes and cooked carrots. The meat was a bit chewy for my taste. Cost $6.50 for a generous portion.

IMG_2977 IMG_2976

We moved on to the United Kingdom for the corned beef and cabbage which my husband ate. It’s a dish he likes at any time. Cost $5.50 per portion.

IGAT1181 EOQF6765AAOR1678

At France, we noticed the fast-food café had moved toward the back while its former space is now occupied by an ice cream shop.

Next on the menu were the potato pancakes with applesauce from Germany. These are always good. Cost was $3.75. Dessert was the winner: blueberry buckle with pepper berry sorbet at The Berry Basket. $4.25 each. Well worth the visit!

IMG_2980

As if this wasn’t enough eating for the weekend, we took a walk the next day at Disney Springs. Planet Hollywood has reopened since our last visit. The dome looks a lot better without its prior garish colors. The Edison is still under construction but looks to be a big themed restaurant when it’s finished. Not much else had changed that we could notice.

IMG_2989 IMG_2988 IMG_2990

We ate lunch at the Boathouse, where I dined on this delicious crab and avocado dish. Fully sated, we returned to our condo to rest for the afternoon.

IMG_2991 IMG_2992

CONTEST

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench

<><><> 

Sign up for my Newsletter for my latest book news, giveaways, sales, and events. Free book sampler for new subscribers.

 

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Disney, Florida Musings, Food, That's Life, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: