keep calm and continue sleuthing! / spooky little girl

“Do act mysterious. It always keeps them coming back for more.”

– Carolyn Keene

Hello again, Precious Readers!

<Looks at Precious Readers through a magnifying glass.>

Have I ever mentioned that I love mysteries? I know in the past, I’ve mentioned I love romances and spy novels, but my number one go-to genre will always be mysteries/suspense!

At a young age, I was quite curious about abnormal things. At eight years old, I read Frankenstein, and by age ten, I’d read Dracula. Not light, or positive reading there. One of my all time favorite films was Beetlejuice, and I adored the cartoon version that Nickelodeon had based on the film. I recall for a brief period of time there was a series of Clue mystery novels based on the board game, which were the only books I checked out of my elementary library. I was also a religious Scooby Doo watcher, Shaggy being my favorite. (I must have a type considering I married quite the goofball in Pilot.)

For proof, here’s a (somewhat embarrassing) photo of me last Halloween when I dressed as Velma Dinkley:


I think I nailed it. All the way down to the orange socks.

However, out of all of these, my all time favorites will always be: Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes. For those who know me, this should not come at a surprise. I inhale anything Nancy and Sherlock practically daily. Something about Nancy Drew was always empowering, and made me believe I wasn’t weird for my odd fascination with science, skeptical attitude, and somewhat of a sassy wit. (If there ever was a real Sassy Detective magazine, I would have definitely subscribed!) One of my favorite pastimes is to play the Her Interactive Nancy Drew Games, created locally in my home state in Bellevue, Washington. I’m going on 31 next month, and they just released Game #32, Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness, which of the 32 has become one of my Top 3 favorites. They feature other characters like the Hardy Boys in some of them. (I love Frank and Joe!)

The things I love about Nancy Drew, although the books are quite outdated now (some of them even being a bit racist, but I skip those), are her confidence, proof that she studies hard to learn her skills and trade, and doesn’t let anything prevent her from feeling as feminine as she’d like to on any given day. Along with this, she’s close to her father, has some kind and loyal friends, and plans on making sleuthing her career at a time when women weren’t given the choice to have a career if they wished. It’s not just puzzle solving skills, but she keeps a cool head under pressure and is skilled in many mechanical things. I aspire to be more like her every day – except with more wine and no mom jeans.

If you’d like to learn more about the games themselves, I’d recommend a particular YouTube channel. (I may have spent several hours watching them over the years.) Arglefumph’s walkthrough videos, created by a man named Michael Gray in Oregon, not only provides great tips for getting through the games if you’re stuck, he also gives running commentary that runs on hilarious. (You can check out Michael Gray’s YouTube videos here.)

As far as my Sherlock Holmes obsession, I’ve always gone a bit weak in the knees for the various English accents out there. Like one of my favorite authors, Katie MacAlister, I’m a bit of an “anglophile,” though not as strongly as my friend, Obi-One-Pin-Obi. She embraces English culture on a much more soulful level. She’s even traveled there several times in her life, of which I will always be greatly envious of. (Someday Pilot and I will take our Europe trip. I know it!) There’s something about the dark, dank, foggy environment mixed with bits of chemistry and carriages while solving a seemingly impossible riddle that fascinates me to no end. He is able to pick out the minutiae and combine it together to create a fully realized conclusion. Unlike Nancy Drew, I enjoy Sherlock Holmes because he is a greatly flawed character. He is an opium addict, smokes, might have a touch of Aspergers blended with narcissism. He’s also a talented in music, his violin skills often being referenced in the multitude of novels.

There’s no point to this post, only to share a love of all things sleuthy with the troves of people out there on the internet. I bid you all good day.

Who are your favorite mystery, suspense, thriller, all things spooky authors?
What series do you follow?
Which Nancy Drew is your favorite?

Stay sleuthy!

Check out Obi-One-Pin-Obi on her blog:

Acosta-ed! pass the sunblock, would you? – review

I’ll tell you one thing:
It sucks you in and leaves you craving for more!

I have to hand it to my friend who introduced me to Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula series back in college. After reading the first novel, I became enthralled with Milagro de los Santos, the narrator and no-one-takes-me-seriously-but-I’m-very-serious-right-now-party girl.

Thrall? Vampire? Get it? Too soon? Oh, well.

You can imagine the sheer joy I felt upon discovering that Acosta planned to develop this into a series, which calmed my nerves after the first novel Happy Hour at Casa Dracula left me with some unanswered questions.

Acosta’s series is as follows:
1. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
2. Midnight Brunch
3. The Bride of Casa Dracula
4. Haunted Honeymoon

Her sharp, sassy, side-splitting funny voice takes the reader into a world that invites you to sit a spell for a meal of beet salad and tomato juice.  (In this world, apparently one does not necessarily need blood, but a high abundance of red-colored foods.)

Using the idea of vampirism as a “condition,” Acosta’s main character, Milagro de los Santos leads you into a world that debates clashes of the classes, what is true love, and how much sunblock does one undead person need?

I may or may not have laughed so hard that I fell out of my chair… literally. But would never admit to such a thing.

I give the Casa Dracula Series and Marta Acosta an A. The only reason this series did not receive an A+ is because you should definitely this series in order. If these had been written as standalone novels with the larger story arcs they cover, it would have been much easier on me as a reader.  Otherwise there are some serious gaps in knowledge until Haunted Honeymoon.  At least in her final book of the series, Acosta gives what I believe to be a decent sendoff for her characters whom I fell in love with. Milagro de los Santos is the big-hearted best friend you wish you had, and want to root for even when she’s making decisions that tear your hair out! Marta Acosta is a true winner and I’ll never be able to stop sharing Milagro with others as my friend had shared Milagro with me.

This review is solely the opinion of Katherine Bacher. I am in no way affiliated with Marta Acosta, nor her works, and wrote this review purely on my own terms. Check out Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula series. You’ll never put them down!