The Weekly Sheriff’s Report

Two policeman serve the rural island where I live.They submit a weekly Sheriff’s Report to the local newspaper. As an author lately writing mysteries, their terse reports make me wonder about the interviews they conducted with the hapless victims:

Incident #1: An island woman reported that her wallet was stolen from her vehicle in Seattle and was variously used .

My Life as a Ghost

For more than a decade, I was a ghost.  If that makes you think of Ghostbusters, let me assure you I was not a slippery bit of greenish ectoplasm.

Romance and Murder in the Local Library

I made a frightening discovery the other day at my local library.

On the Matter of Sheep in the TV Room…

My house smells like a barn. A sheep barn.  I don’t even know if sheep spend time in barns. Do they? Aren’t they supposed to be out in the hills in all sorts of weather, blissfully ignorant of the conditions because they have no brain to begin with? And the next thing is that they are rounded up by border collies way smarter than you or I will ever be and herded into…I don’t know where, but probably not my TV room. At least that’s what I always thought.

On the Joys of Walking

A few years back, I went out for a walk. The walk lasted three and a half months and covered something like 1,400 miles. This was in England, perhaps the finest place to walk in the world.

The Meaning and Purpose of Humor

The Pacific Northwest, where I live, is known—principally and quite inaccurately—as a place where it rains constantly. Dark. Damp. Here’s how wrong that is: on my island in Puget Sound, not far from Seattle, we have had something like three months of nonstop sun this summer, and it just keeps going. But people out here actually prefer that you think this region dreadfully dreary, and encourage you to stay away.

Island Living: Driving in Britain, vs. My Island

I recently returned from a two-week research trip to Britain for my latest Davies & West Mystery, Too Clever By Half.  I like to think of it, however, as a driving holiday.  Not a holiday from driving, mind you, but a holiday of driving. Very fast.

How To Kill People…in Fiction.

The Importance of Research in Building Your Story


Killing people, even in fiction, is hard work. You have no idea.

You’d think it had mostly to do with mechanics: the motive, the opportunity, the weapon. Slap them together, you get a murder mystery. Right?

The Paranormal is Normal in Cornwall

I have lately begun killing people. Not here in the United States, of course, but in Cornwall, England.

And in fiction. 

Which is a round-about way of saying that I am pleased to announce that the first book in my new British “Davies & West Mystery Series,” Harm None, is now available in both print and e-book versions online or by order from your favorite independent bookseller. 

Island Living: the Great Horticultural Heist

I have lately been writing mystery novels and so, naturally, I wanted to get to the bottom of the mystery of the great hydrangea heist at our island’s main nursery a week or so back.

I can think of several adjectives to describe the theft of these and other valuable ornamental plants from neighbor Kathy’s venerable nursery. “Despicable” is one.