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April Flowers and the Kensington Book Festival


The Kensington (MD) Festival of the Book, an annual April Sunday event, is one we look forward to and enjoy. The event is held on the main street of Kensington, a small town of quaint shops outside the Washington Beltway. It’s held outdoors rain or shine, but only one year has the rain been so heavy we turned away. 

This year, the pleasantly cool weather drew hordes of people out for a Sunday stroll. We chatted with passersby, enjoyed the aromas and tastes from the cooking demos across from our booth, and sold a lot of books. 

Nancy Drew, girl detective, keeps cropping up as a major influencer  for girls who grew up in the sixties and before.  At the Kensington Festival, eyes lighted up when I asked women passersby if they ever read Nancy Drew.  Then I would show them my 90s Club mystery series, each book with a Nancy Drew title, and their eyes lighted up.

Malice Domestic


Last weekend was the 35th year of Malice Domestic, an annual three-day conference of mystery authors and fans held in Bethesda, Maryland.  This year’s Guest of Honor was Hank Phillippi Ryan and the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Ann Cleeves. International Guests of Honor were Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee.  Imagine being able to meet, greet, and hobnob with famous and not-so-famous mystery authors from across the country.

Back to Nancy Drew. I participated in a panel called “The Secret of the Old Clock: How Did Nancy Drew Influence You?” Other authors on the panel were Sarah Burr, Teresa Inge, Shari Randall/Meri Allen, and Heather Weidner.  We agreed that Nancy Drew’s curiosity, adventurous attitude, and resourcefulness expanded the possibilities for all of us seemingly doomed to domestic tedium. One person noted that Nancy’s boyfriend (actually, his status is uncertain) never swooped in to rescue Nancy and her friends; in fact, Nancy had to rescue him in one novel.

At the closing Tea Party, I sat at the table with one of my favorite series authors, Victoria Thompson. Also at the table was a woman who had written one of the Nancy Drew books. I met another woman who had edited Nancy Drew stories. And I also met Kim Keeline, whose husband  has conducted extensive research on Edward Stratemeyer and the Stratemeyer Syndicate which originated many of the series we knew as children including Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys,  Tom Swift, Dana Girls, and many more. They maintain a website called




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From Kirkus reviews -

“... fast-paced and multilayered thriller with well-developed characters and colorful settings.... An engaging tale for aficionados of psychological suspense.”

The House on

Hatemonger Hill


"“An engrossing tale of suspense, treachery, and bad choices made for good reasons…. Historical novel readers with special interest in a suspense story that embraces civil rights activism and gang activity will find The House on Hatemonger Hill hard to point down.”  – Midwest Book Review

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