Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

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The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

Everyone deals with stress in different ways. Books help. Some need a deep diversion and turn to literary novels, complex and compelling. Others may need an escape into fiction, perhaps science fiction about other worlds and challenges from a different reality. Then again, there are those that go the light comedy route, tongue in cheek stories that take little concentration and in turn, releases stress with laughter and a rueful shaking of the head. I have a few of those!

Pretend a cozy mystery drops in your lap and you get to choose a partner. Would you choose a human or animal? And if an animal, what kind? Most mystery human/animal duos are cats and dogs. But parrots can be helpful in the mix of murder and mayhem. Very chatty. Geckos are interesting, too. They are good for quiet contemplation and very fast for escapes. But dogs and cats are probably the most reliable.

“The Good The Bad And The Pugly” by Celia Kinsey highlights a woman receiving the inheritance of a dilapidated, almost ghost town type property in Arizona with a barely surviving restaurant and trailer park. It is scattered with a handful of worn out souls going through the paces of life. She also inherits a pug named Earp, who starts the mystery off by digging up bones. Human bones. Earp then sits back with a handful of treats and lets his partner, his new human, figure out the details.

The “Purrfect Murder: The Mysteries of Max” (book one) by Nic Saint relates how a reporter is helped with scoops and juicy details from her roving cat Max. This series isn’t the same as the Cat Who books by Braun, where the felines weave in and out of the story looking like they know something important, but keep it to themselves. Through telepathy, the supernatural or some form of brainwave communications, Max and his human partner Odelia really talk to each other. In complete sentences. We know that because Max takes turns with Odelia in narrating the story. You have to pay attention to whose voice is speaking. And I must warn you, Max is all animal and has the viewpoint of a grade school boy when pertaining to body humor. Blunt and crass. But worth it. The new detective in town is a hunk, his cat is a bully and Max and Odelia must work around them both to solve the latest murder. Some think it’s purrfect.

Children can also make great partners, especially if you own a detective agency, you are sick and have to ask your son Carlos for help. What makes “Case Closed #1 Mystery in the Mansion” by Lauren Magaziner unique, is that the book is interactive. The reader has choices about which direction to turn while figuring out puzzles and clues along the way toward solving the mystery. Read alone or as a family. Involve everyone in the house, not forgetting your own dog and cat. Who knows? They could be experts!

Taking one more step, consider purchasing one of those role playing mysteries online where you take on a character, wear a costume or disguise, and solve a mystery of your own. Some mysteries can be downloaded like “Lights Camera Murder!” or “Mystery Island.” There is a long list available and instructions on how to set up. There are also boxed mystery party games that can be sent to your home.

Read a light mystery or play out a mystery. Be the main character yourself if you like. Perhaps choose to be a sidekick. Or just sit back and observe and take notes. There are so many ways to entertain both yourself and your family these days. A good mystery could do the trick, liven up a little home isolation, whether with an old favorite or a new author, and flex your own ingenuity and wit.

Spread your curiosity and creative wings. You might find yourself an expert detective.

Good books.

Good reading.

*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.