Crazy Criminals

This month's edition of crazy criminals continues to confound me.  These are some Arizona criminals as reported in the New Times or other journals, as noted.

Let’s start with the momma’s boy.

The shame and embarrassment of being broke, 35-years-old, and living with his mother drove Jason Draper to allegedly steal over $45,000 worth of merchandise from Walmart stores over the course of several months. At least, that's what Draper told police.

If there's any benefits to getting robbed by friends, it would be that you likely know several different ways to get in contact with them. One woman used Facebook to help police track down and arrest her former friend Brandi Rogers, after Rogers allegedly helped orchestrate a gun-point robbery of her home.
Rogers and the woman were Facebook friends, and a status update posted a few days after the robbery allowed the woman to tell the police where Rogers would be eating one particular evening, and police arrested her there.

Television Cowboys - Hopalong Cassidy

Where would the lore of the old west be without our television cowboy heroes? Since that was my first exposure to the genre, I thought it might be fun to step back in time to when a cowboy was king.

One of the first television series was Hopalong Cassidy, starring William Boyd. This show ran from 1949 to 1954 in the age before we all had color televisions. Hopalong was actually the creation of author Clarence E. Mulford in 1904. Mulford created a series of short stories which were later developed for film.  The original character was not the clean cut persona I remember but instead a rough talking, dangerous fellow who had a wooden leg. I'll bet you can make the connection to how he became hop-along.

Before all the good guys wore white, Bill 'Hopalong' Cassidy was dressed in all black including his hat and rode a brilliant white horse. His sidekick was first played by Gabby Hayes, who became a star as a supporting character in dozens of films.

When the studios decided to s…

Bailey's place in Laguna Beach

Wherever I go, whatever I'm doing I am always taking pictures. Not only do I love looking back fondly on places I've been and people I've experienced them with but I'm always working.  An image may catch my eye for a particular purpose or it may just be something I like.

In the case of this photo I snapped it because I thought it looked like a fun place to stay. When I reviewed the photos this grabbed me as a place Bailey would stay. I always see her as a modern day hippy chick. She loves tie-dye clothes, long flowing skirts, mother nature and just might participate in a demonstration, if the cause is right for her.

I'm sharing it with you because it's possible this will show up in a future book.

Happy Trails,


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Jayne's Restaurant Review - Nick's Laguna Beach

If you live in middle to southern Arizona you try to escape the extreme summer heat. If you are lucky you drive to the beaches of Mexico or California.  This year, as part of Leslie's research for another book, I spent a few days in Laguna Beach. Tough job but someone had to do it!

If you tell almost anyone in Arizona you are going to the beach they will have recommendations. We were loaded with places to eat, where to have cocktails to watch the sunset and great shops. I'm going to discuss the dining options because, after all that is my main focus in life.

I made reservations two weeks in advance for Nick's Laguna Beach. We checked it out the day before and I was surprised to find it appeared casual and small. They have a nice patio area which overlooks the street but wasn't too loud. There is a parking garage behind the restaurant but we were fortunate to find a metered spot a block down.  Plan to have a credit card or lots of quarters if you street park.

I ordered …

Book Review - What Did You Do Before Dying? (A Marge Chirstensen Mystery Book 1) by Patricia Batta

This is a cozy mystery by an author I have never read. There are a few spoilers in this review so be forewarned.

We meet Marge when she wakes up from a dream not long after her husband has died. The police ruled his death a suicide but Marge was suspicious from the start. Her husband had been acting strangely in the last months before his death and it was only after that she discovered he had a terminal illness.

The mystery unravels slowly but at a good pace.  The first chapter introduces a number of characters, which I always find confusing, but it's not long before you are able to figure out their story function. It caught me off guard when the second chapter began with a different font or font spacing than the first and I found a few typos scattered through the book.

As an older woman myself now (ARGH), I thought Marge seemed older than forty-eight. Before her age was revealed I pictured her in her sixties but perhaps that was part of the growth that she needed to accomplish.

Green Demon Shooter for Halloween

I love Halloween. First, there's the opportunity to dress up in crazy outfits and knock on stranger's doors. Then, if you are lucky, you will meet other unusually attired humans performing the same ritual.  Lastly, it gives us adults a reason to gorge on candy and have a few specialty adult beverages.

Here's one I think is fun.

1/2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Run - light or dark
1/2 oz. Midori
1/2 oz. limeade

Combine ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice.
Shake well.
Strain into a shot glass.

As an alternative, you can switch the limeade for frozen lime sherbet and make it a chilly cocktail. Either way it's a yummy treat.

Remember to always drink responsibly.



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New Mysteries for September

Here's a few new mysteries which were published in September. I'm including the book descriptions for easy reference.  If you click on either of these links they will take to you Amazon and you can find the books from there.

A Western Star (A Longmire Mystery) by Craig Johnson
Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff's Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a paperback of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, the young Walt was ill-prepared for the machinations of twenty-four…