Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Who Knows What Books Lurk on an Author’s Nightstand?

(A character from the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries dishes on her author’s bedside reading)

Thea Green, here, librarian at the J.F. Culp Memorial Library in Blue Plum, Tennessee.  My author, Molly MacRae, was tagged by Connie Archer for the Sisters in Crime September SinC Up – a blog hop. Connie is the author of the delectable Soup Lover’s Mysteries. Have you read her books? A Roux of Revenge is out now, and Ladle to the Grave comes out in March. I cannot wait – I love soup and I love mysteries. For me, they’re a palatable combination.

Okay, so if Connie tagged Molly, why am I writing this post? Because Molly is busy getting ready for our fourth book, Plagued by Quilt, to come out in November and even busier writing our fifth book, Knit the Usual Suspects. Besides, the question Molly wanted to answer is “What books are on your nightstand right now?” and who better to answer that question for her than her friendly neighborhood librarian? Be advised, however, that this is a special circumstance. Librarians DO NOT go around telling people what their patrons are reading. But Molly gave me permission to rummage on her nightstand, so here you go – an annotated inventory of Molly MacRae’s bedside reading.

Nice! She’s got a couple of recent issues of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, featuring stories by fellow sisters in crime Elaine Viets, Catherine Dilts, and Robert Mangeot. Molly’s had stories in Hitchcock, too. I wasn’t in any of them, though. I wonder if I should be insulted? Nah. Life’s too short.

Huh, I don't know about this one - The Naughty Little Book of Gaelic (All the Scottish Gaelic You Need to Curse, Swear, Drink, Smoke and Fool Around by Michael Newton. I’m sure Molly will say it’s for research purposes. In fact, she’s putting a bagpiper in Knit the Usual Suspects. Ah, but you know what else? This book has been mentioned by Diana Gabaldon, she of Outlander fame. Cool.

 Fang Shui by Catfucius (Feng Shui for Felines) This is a cute little book of wisdom from a cat born in China during the Meow Dynasty. An example: “Harmony in relationships with humans is essential. Tell them how much you appreciate them – loudly – at 3 a.m."

Murder Miscalculated by Andrew MacRae. Oh, hey – this one’s by her brother. It’s a sequel to Murder Misdirected. I love these books. They make me want to try picking pockets.

Oh my, oh my - this is Molly's peach pie
Do I sense an obsession with pie? She’s got two pie cookbooks here. The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie: Recipes, Techniques, and Wisdom from the Hoosier Mama Pie Company by Paula Haney and Allison Scott and The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen. Maybe she’s doing research for the menu at Mel’s on Main. MMmm, maybe she’ll make me a cherry pie.

Did you know Molly’s day job is in the children’s department of a public library? That explains the next few books – Catch the Wind: My Journey with Caroline, an American Girl book by Kathleen Ernst, Bagpipes, Beasties, and Bogles by Tim Archbold, Wee Granny’s Magic Bag by Elizabeth McKay, and The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, a picture book biography by Jennifer Bryant. All four of those look like a lot of fun.

And we finish up with the absolutely delightful Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project about Dogs and Physics by Theron Humphrey. (I happen to know Molly borrowed this one from the library
because she misread the subtitle. She thought it was about dogs and psychics. But don’t tell her I told you that. She’d be embarrassed.)This book is a riot – it’s a photographic celebration of a 65,000 mile journey around the U.S., during which Humphrey discovered his dog Maddie’s incredible sense of balance.

There you have it, the books on Molly’s nightstand. She has a few other interesting things sitting there, too, but she didn’t ask me to “tell all.” Librarians know how to keep secrets and that is all we’re saying about that.

So now I get to tag the next sister in crime in this hop and it’s Erin Murphy, from the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, and her rabble-rousing pal Leslie Budewitz. You’ll love their latest collaboration, Crime Rib. They’ll be here on Killer Characters this Saturday, the 27th.

If you want to read other hop stops in the Sisters in Crime September SinC-Up, or if you’re a sister who’d like to join the hop, this link will reveal all.

Watch for librarian Thea Green and the rest of the folks from Blue Plum in Plagued by Quilt, coming in November 2014, and available now for pre-order. The award-winning, national-bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries are available in mass market, e-book, large print, and audio wherever books are sold.

Visit Molly MacRae on Facebook and Pinterest, or find her the first Monday of each month at Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts.


  1. Replies
    1. Maddie on Things is a complete hoot! The pictures capture what is surely a doggy sense of humor.

  2. What a fascinating stack of books Molly has by her bed! I wonder if she'd teach me a few naughty phrases in Gaelic?

    1. Don't tell Molly, Connie, but I "borrowed" that book from her. Here's an appropriate curse for mystery writers: Is oil leam nach robh do luath fo charn. (I think it's too bad that your ashes are not lying under a cairn.)

  3. Fang Shui by Catfucius is cute, using cat wisdom lol. I will have to check that one out. The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery magazine is very intriguing too. Good to know about. Thanks Thea for the scoop.......Lorraine

    1. Librarian at your service, Anonymous. Stories - where would the world be without them?

  4. I don't know... If I had books about pie on the nightstand, I couldn't sleep. I'd be down in the kitchen rooting around in the refrigerator.

    1. I hear you Renee, and did you see the picture of that peach pie? This week she made something called Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie - kind of like a pecan pie with a layer of dark chocolate on the bottom and toasted oats instead of pecans. No picture of that, you'll notice. I think it disappeared too fast. Figures. Chocolate.

  5. mmmm! looking up Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie recipe!