Make Your Own Fun

This morning we had a 15 minute discussion about how to tell when an avocado is ripe. While the conversation was certainly not earth shattering, nor was what we decided in the end; what was significant was the fun we had in talking about it.

You may say that has more to do with the fact that we’ve been isolating just a bit too long. After all, we’ve basically stayed at home for the past six months or so, as the pandemic rages around us. We have gotten out to a couple of cabin vacations, where we knew we could avoid crowds. We’ve also been to some restaurants that have practiced good safety precautions, as well as a few doctor’s appointments. Still, it’s been largely us, at home, by ourselves. We see our daughter and son-in-law from a distance as they are both first responders. Beyond that, we have the occasional zoom visits with friends, and that’s it. No, we aren’t living in fear; but we are cautious and following the advice of our personal doctors.

How, then, do we entertain ourselves? Well, my significant other has been completing small project, building, repairing, installing around the house. You know the drill. All those things you’ve been meaning to do for the past year (or decade), and never seem to get around to completing.

As for me, I’ve been exploring various forms of creativity. I’ve been doing a little reading and writing, some acting via zoom and some exploring in the kitchen. My latest kitchen creation is my version of skillet green chili chicken enchiladas. Of course it’s nothing like authentic Mexican, but it’s a tasty way to eat some leftover chicken and can be made without those high in sodium creamed soups so many recipes use. And, to bring this full circle, guacamole, made with a perfectly ripe avocado, goes great with the dish; so there is that.

Speaking of bringing this full circle, I started this blog to share one of my most recent reviews with you. I just read What They Knew by Marion Todd and really enjoyed it. It’s the fourth in her police procedural that takes place in Scotland, so it feeds a little of my desire to travel as it allows me to travel through the pages as well. Here’s the review I posted on the book, if you’re interested.


This is the fourth in what has become one of my favorite police procedurals. It’s like taking a trip to Scotland and hanging out with a savvy detective and her team as they investigate the latest murder. The secondary characters are interesting, with just enough substance to add to the overall world inhabited by DCI Clare MacKay. DCI MacKay is a smart, single woman who is in charge of her small unit. Recurring characters include Chris, her DS, Sarah, his now fiance, Jim the desk sergeant, and several others who work with the Scottish police force either in Clare’s precinct or in other units.

In this book Clare is alerted to a body which initially looks like a suicie, although a very awkward one. As the postmortem is completed, the coroner suspects murder, and Clare begins her investigation of the woman’s life. Before she can get too far into the investigation, there’s another murder using the same method and Clare begins looking for connections between the two cases. As things progress, there is a third murder and Clare becomes certain they are looking at a serial killer who is targeting a group of old primary school friends who have been out of school for over 20 years.

The plotting is tight and the writing is well paced, offering the reader the opportunity to accompany the detectives as they investigate. Local businesses and people are introduced as the investigation progresses, adding substance to the story and also pulling the reader through the book and a reasonable pace. There is just enough information rolled out in an on-going fashion to allow the reader to explore the town, it’s inhabitants, and the surrounding area in a way that allows for becoming comfortably acquainted in a way that feels totally natural.

There is a lovely twist at the end, and while I anticipated it, I still enjoyed the reveal. The solution unfolds at such a measured pace, it is enjoyable whether you’ve solved it or not. There are also just enough personal relationships that advance to leave you looking forward to the next book for both solving a new mystery and to learn what is happening in the lives of some of the primary characters.


For my full review, click HERE. The book is scheduled to be published February 11, 2021; so you’ve just got enough time to order it from your local bookstore or library. In any event, Happy Reading.