Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How many shopping days until what?

Hey, it’s Camilla MacPhee here. I am just musing about what to write about. Oh. What? Christmas? Coming when? Eleven days, you say. You’re kidding. Really? Well, maybe that’s what my sisters have been carrying on about. I tend to tune them out. Usually my plan for Christmas includes a dash into the stores on Christmas Eve, late afternoon, elbows out, eyes fixed on goal. What’s the big deal?

Seriously, I have plenty to keep me busy without getting sidetracked on all that stuff. There are justice issues, clients who need saving, cops to put in their place. It can’t be all shopping all the time.

Even so, this year, I’ve been reading about the book industry. It’s taken a few slams apparently. So on December 24th, I’ll do my best to help with some books as presents. I don’t have that many gifts to buy anyway. I do buy for some of my lawyer buddies, my office ‘assistant’, my friend Mrs. Violet Parnell, and the man in my life, Sgt. Ray Deveau, plus the odd dog and cat.

I’ve had a brain wave: my lawyer friends and colleagues are all getting copies of Law & Disorder, the sixth Camilla MacPhee book. Every chapter begins with a lawyer joke and lots of lawyers meet their maker. It’s time these people stopped taking themselves so seriously.

In the family gift draw, I have my sister Edwina’s name. She’s a gal who gives new meaning to the phrase ‘in-charge’. I’m thinking she’ll be riveted by a biography, say for instance: Genghis Khan: conqueror of the world. Should be lots of tips in that about getting your own way and having others do your bidding.

For Alvin, sidekick and office ‘assistant’, I searched unsuccessfully for The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Basic Office Procedure, which would have been perfect, if only it existed. I am reluctant to purchase art supplies as Alvin may find a portion of my walls that he has not yet decorated, frescoed or muraled. I believe I’ll settle for a hiking guide of the Himalayas. Maybe he’ll take the hint.

As for Mrs. P., I love that woman. When I get to my eighties, I’d be happy to have even a quarter of her verve, love of life and knack with technology. I’d buy her the latest electronic gadget, but of course, she has everything, including stuff I haven’t heard of and two e-readers. She’s already downloaded the military histories she loves to read. Plus she stocks up on her own Harvey’s Bristol Cream and Benson & Hedges, so no joy there. However, I have a solution: while Alvin distracts her with talk of World War II adventures, I’ll locate her Canadian Women’s Army Corps cap badge in the closet and pilfer her favorite photo of her time overseas. I have just enough time to have them mounted into a shadow box that should look great on her living room wall and give her pleasure every day. I hate to admit that Alvin came up with the idea, although he did.

I think I’ll spring for dog biscuits for Gussie, the Ferguson’s dog that’s been with me for the last few years and a catnip mouse for Mrs. Parnell’s little calico cat, also temporarily under my roof since 1999.

Last but not least, the light of my life, Ray Deveau. He doesn’t really need anything either. In addition to the usual Canadian police procedurals, In the interest of peace on earth, I’ve decided to offer him an entire month without an argument, no matter how right I am about everything we discuss. I’ll just bite my tongue. I guess I can make it to the end of January. Fingers crossed.

By the way, if you want to know more about me, check out my author's website at www.maryjanemaffini.com.

But what about you? What gifts have you scratching your head? And what books do you recommend?


  1. :::waving::: It's nice to see you Camilla. Gifts this year was easy for me.

  2. I bought a friend "Beautiful Lie the Dead" by Barbara Fradkin. My friend already has "Law & Disorder". But I've pre-ordered 2 copies of your author's "The Busy Woman's Guide To Murder". Have you met Charlotte?

  3. Books! I love giving and receiving books. See you in the bookstore on the 24th, Camilla. Unless there's a blizzard.

    The only problem (besides blizzards) is that I usually end up with more gifts for me than for everyone else put together. (But why would they want to be put together?) And books are heavy.

  4. Love the idea of each chapter of "Law & Disorder" starting with a lawyer joke! That alone is reason enough to buy the book for all sorts of people, for all sorts of reasons :)

  5. Of course, you must follow the basic rule, one gift for someone on your list, one gift for yourself! Think how much reading material you'll get, if you can put aside work for the holidays.

    I'm buying copies of "In Winter's Grip" by Brenda Chapman, and "Negative Image" by Vicki Delany as gifts and, "The Diva Cooks a Goose" by Krista Davis for me! And, I'm sure there'll be more!

  6. What a great ideas Camilla! My husband has discovered he loves zombies (sigh) - he is obsessed with the TV show "The Walking Dead" - I'll buy him the graphic novels ...

  7. Those sound like great books! I'm stumped on one of my kids, though he did get some books--he's into Sci-fi/bio-medical stuff. I'll stick to cozies. :)

  8. Well I really did not have a hard time figuring out gifts this year. But the only book I bought for anyone was a coloring book for my 2 yr grandson. The others either are not into reading or they read weird (to0 me) syfy type books so I don't even try to buy them books.

  9. Thanks for dropping by, everyone. I like the idea of the books you've chosen (Ray would probably like them a lot). Coloring books have much to recommend them too!

    I should come by here more often - lots of good advice.

    Camilla (via her author)

  10. What a nice gift to give Ray - a month without arguing even though you are right. I bet he'll get bored with all that agreeing.

  11. Ha! Even if Ray gets bored with all that agreeing, I am sure that the odd murder will keep him on his toes.

    MJ (who doesn't think Camilla can really pull it off)