Thursday, October 31, 2019


Ther new adventure of former stripper Marjorie (Kandy) Kane and her companion, retired Army intelligence officer, Alan Lockem, involves the strange and convoluted attemps by Mr. Lockem to retrieve a piece of old intel for hnis old comrades in Britain. Murder, attempted robbery, kidnapping and assault all play a  part. The novel will be released later this year.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Prime Theater Productions, working on the intimate thrust stage of the Andrew Boss theatre inside the Park Square, has mounted an intriguing play set in a near future. Tess and husband Joe explore the use of holographic technology to provide memory care for Tess's aging mother, Marjorie. Problems arise  when questions of which memories ought to be included in the holographic being. The play raises questions of how memories,ours and those of our family, may affect our own lives and the lives of our loved ones. Technology raises a whole new series  of questions around decisions about which memories to hold close and even enrich and those memories we should cast aside. How do memories affect each of us and our authenticity? The play runs through late May and is well worth an evening.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


The snow is gone for a time and I look for a quiet if brief pause in mid-winter to relax and contemplate life. Alas, such is not to be. Today's(Sunday) newspapers arrive with two excellent columns I commend to your attention. The first, in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press is by that eminent thoughtful observer of Real World Economics, Edward Lotterman, a fine, well-traveled economist. In this first of several, he takes on the history of Social Security and Medicare and carefully relates it to Free Market Capitalism, Progressive Democracy and Socialism. It is an excellent column completely devoid of the current distortions and yammerings and misguided mud-slinging of some far-right ideologues.
The second column I commend to thoughtful reader's attention is in another newspaper I read daily, the Minneapolis StarTribune. Written by careful, thoughtful and (alas) retired columnist, Lori Sturdevant, it comes on the occasion of the run-up to an important announcement from the senior Senator from Minnesota, Amy Kloubuchar. She will announce, later today whether she will be a candidate for President. But the column in question is about a growing and important phenomenon in our political tent, the idea of Ranked Choice Voting. Sturdevant explains very well why this is an important topic on the eve of the presidential campaign start. I commend both columns to everyone the least bit interested in the role of politics and politicians in the future of our nation.

Friday, November 30, 2018


Park Square Theatre in Saint Paul has staged a wonderful play of early gospel and the beginnings of rock and roll in America. George Brant wrote the play that was subsequently work-shopped at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. Wendy Knox directed with full awareness of the way gospel music should be displayed to an audience. The two-person play stars Rajane Katurah Brown and Jamecia Bennett as Rosetta. Michael May, guitar and Natalia Peterson on piano supply the excellent off-stage musical accompaniment. Rosetta was a star in her time and was revered and celebrated around the world. The play is a wonderful evening and a great recognition of the talent and history of Marie and Rosetta.The musical runs through December on the theater's main stage.

Friday, September 14, 2018

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS--Brilliant concept

Behind Closed Doors 
ISBN: 9781250121994
A 2016 release from
St. Martin’s Press

Some have labeled this novel noir domestic fiction. I found it darker and more dangerous than that. The novel is also brilliant, in its structure, its characteristics, descriptions and stunning in its conclusion.
Grace falls in love with a slick, handsome well-educated lawyer. Jack is highly trained careful in his preparations and courtroom tactics and had never lost a case. He is also arrogant, cunning, manipulative and a human personification of consummate evil.
The structure of the novel carries readers from present to past and back again several time. The story explores the marriage of Grace and Jack and details their relationship and its change over time, in a London suburb and in their travels to Thailand.
Grace has a younger sister, Millie, who is developmentally damaged and Jack cleverly manipulates the girl to maintain his control over his new wife. The relationship between the married couple forms the core of the story, but as the tale unwinds, it is an acquaintance named Esther who ultimately becomes the rock on whom Grace is able to secure a real future.
Well-written, intense, and elaborate, author Paris is destined for wide readership and many discussions.

Friday, September 07, 2018


I will not engage here in long rants back and forth about the politics of the day. This will be a one-time commentary, although I am interested in your responses.

 In Minnesota we are beginning to see, sadly, ads with no or obscure attributions designed to make  it difficult or impossible to determine who paid for the ad. Reasons are obvious. Out-of-staters want certain individuals to be elected because they believe those individuals will support their goals, regardless of the needs or goals of local voters.

I do  not care what reader's of this blog entry political positions may happen to be. In my view, nobody who runs for political office ought to be subject to the kind of scurrilous, misleading and  downright lying that is the norm in campaigns today. Indeed, No one who is  elected to public office should ever be subjected to the kind of nastiness which seems to be part of government today. Nor should elected officials families be subject to the kind of abuse that is fast becoming normal.

If  you and I want a government that is operated by people like the late John McCain or Hubert Humphrey, you will join me in protesting the kind of nastiness which is becoming more and more prevalent. Fewer talented people interested in serving will be atttracted to being elected. More and more venal, self-serving types will replace them. Is that what we want?

Candidates and campaign workers need to protest and work to make campaigns clean  and positive in nature. I care what your attitudes and views are, not who you will work against. Casual insulting campaign literature and ads ought to become grounds for dismissal from any current campaign. Seems harsh? The rules, at least in the state of Minnesota seem to me to be too lenient.
I want people to serve who want to serve, not primarily make a fortune for themselves. We the People, deserve no less.
see my post on political advertising

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

RANSOM NOTES book discussions

I facilitate a mystery reading group at my local Barnes and Noble Bookstore. It meets monthly from 7-8 pm. Last night we talked about Reavis Werthheim's DARK PLACES.A good novel, well written, with interesting characters.
Next month-September 18, we will discuss THE CROOKED STAIRCASE by Dean Koontz
On October 23, we will discuss THE DARK by Jane Archer
On November 27 we will discuss THE CRIMES OF PARIS by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler