Author, Blogger, Theatre Critic
With blackthorn staff
I draw the bound
All malice and bane
I thus confound.
AND THEN, A BODY
Blackthorn is the first gothic thriller by Judy Nedry. In this modern-day gothic novel set on the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Sage Blackthorn revisits demons from her past and confronts a multitude of new ones when she returns to her childhood home to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.
the man who wasn’t there
BLISTERING HEAT ISN’T GOOD FOR GRAPES … OR PEOPLE
James Ryder has it all. A founding pioneer of the Oregon wine industry, he has the stately good looks of a gentleman farmer, the perfect family, an ample bank account, and the prestige of owning one of Oregon’s oldest and most respected wineries. His youngest daughter has taken up the torch to become the second-generation winemaker at Ryder Estate.
The Difficult Sister
MURDER IN THE MIST
The Difficult Sister is the second mystery/suspense novel from Judy Nedry featuring Emma Golden. This latest adventure takes Emma and her friend, Melody, to a remote, southern Oregon coastal town to search for Melody’s missing, ne’er-do-well younger sister, Aurora. However, they quickly both realize that at the very least, Aurora is in some sort of major trouble and may even be dead.
an unholy alliance
WHAT WINE PAIRS BEST WITH MURDER?
An Unholy Alliance introduces Emma Golden, a self-styled has-been who is invited to write a book on her beloved Oregon wine country, and manage a bed and breakfast for a friend. All seems ideal until Emma encounters her verbally abusive ex-husband, Dwight McCourt, shortly after settling in at the B&B. She discovers that she still harbors unresolved feelings for him.
My favorite part was the main character, Emma Golden. She is a middle-aged divorcee who acts as a real person would act. She is put out by a friend volunteering her to help a sick acquaintance but she is busybody enough to try and figure out who killed the acquaintance's husband. This is the first book in the series that I have read but I will look for the others so I can spend more time with Emma.
The Difficult Sister is not the cozy you might expect given that it involves two fifty-something women on a trip to the Oregon Coast. This second mystery by Judy Nedry is darker and edgier than its description suggests.
Stuff, as they say, happens. Bullets fly. People die. Evil happens. There will be mud, "one slow sucking step after another". We are a long way from almond croissants and that gives The Difficult Sister an intriguing, palpable edge.
Expecting a pleasant time with old friends and acquaintances, Emma finds herself again dealing with death. From the moment I began this book to the final paragraph, I was unwilling to put it down.
This mystery was great fun to read. I enjoyed visualizing the Oregon wine country. Emma is a very real character and I feel I know her. The dialog is well done and the book moves along at a good clip.
An unlikely murder occurs at the most prestigious annual gathering of the Oregon wine industry. Emma Golden, a woman of a certain age with an uncanny ability to solve such crimes, goes to work in this third book of the eponymous series by Judy Nedry. Nedry, a longtime wine writer, and resident of the Willamette Valley, brings the Oregon wine world to life in vivid detail as the backdrop for Emma's sleuthing. She also tells a suspenseful story.
The author is clearly talented. The first-person narrative is intriguing all the way through because her character is interesting.
Overall – a really interesting book and something a bit different from my usual crime fiction reads. The sideshow with Emma’s involvement in her friend’s troubles helped fleshed the story out and give it more meat on the bones and added to my overall enjoyment. I’m looking forward to Nedry’s second book – The Difficult Sister (I could say that’s something I know all about, but that would be mean, so I won’t……oops, already have)
The first of what is now a trilogy that follows a recovering alcoholic writer, Emma Golden, who is working on a book about the wine industry in Oregon (where the author was also an early vintner). Nedry's main character is an accidental detective chasing down the murderer of a showy new winery owner, who isn't a nice person. Emma is funny, pushy and not afraid to step on toes. Light and entertaining.
This third of the EG series didn't disappoint. Again, we are treated to a core group of independent women who are the centerpiece of this latest mystery. It is refreshing to read such a book, especially in these days of vapid "chick lit". The Oregon wine country serves as a compelling setting for this mystery; with an insider's keen sense of history and detail, it comes alive as a fascinating subplot.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and the prior one, A Difficult Sister. Emma feels like someone I've known and I'll miss her until the next book. The pace of action suits me and kept me reading late into the night. Loved the Oregon setting - I lived there many years and the descriptions triggered lovely memories. Highly recommend.
A bit of Irish Christmas
‘Tis the day before Christmas in a coastal suburb of Dublin. Sharky (Jeff Giberson) passes the bleeding heart of Jesus on his way downstairs to tend to his aging brother Richard (Tory Mitchell), who is blind and hungover. Nearly blinded with the drink himself is Ivan (Sean D. Lujan), who slept on the living room […]
Uncertainty in a time of absolutes
John Patrick Shanley‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt: A Parable opens with a sermon on the importance of uncertainty in which Father Flynn states, “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.” Flynn, played by Todd Hermanson in the Lakewood Theatre Company production of Doubt, is a progressive and popular parish priest who also works with […]
The power of language and place
When playwright Madeline Sayet told her mother she was moving to London to pursue her PhD. in Shakespeare, her mother wasn’t pleased. Sayet, a nice Connecticut girl, is a member of the Mohegan tribe. Why the heck would she want to go somewhere else when she had plenty to study in her own culture–a culture […]
Treasures in the attic
Old, abandoned attics are where the good stuff lives–a dartboard, the Christmas decorations, that trunk that hasn’t been opened for decades. Those old photographs. Sue (Ali Bell) and Dan’s (Andrew Maldarelli) attic is where Sue goes to stash her getaway bag in Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by David Stern), […]
“Life’s distressing mysteries”
What happens when Sherlock Holmes’s muse goes mute because of the pandemic? What is Dr. Joan Watson, who arrives forlorn and depressed at 221 Baker Street in search of temporary lodgings, going to do about being thrown into a dubious roommate situation in a Bohemian London apartment with the famous sleuth? And when the game […]
A ghostly farce
In a haunted theatre in 1935, three characters gather with a renowned Russian medium to have a little chat with the long dead theatre imprasario David Belasco. His angry spirit has wandered the place for years. If they could just reason with him, say, and find out what the problem is, he might go away […]
The Battle of Bedford Falls
Long before television, when we all walked three miles to school and back uphill in a snowstorm, there was radio drama. Families gathered around their radios as early as the 1920s to listin to stories, sit-coms, fantasies, and soap operas, all recorded live before an audience. Actors performed not only their roles, but all the […]
Our fleeting togetherness
Somewhere in the not too distant dystopian future, an unnamed disaster has separated humans into a socially isolated indoor world where the only means of interaction is via digital channels. In Hannah Khalil‘s play Metaverse, now onstage at Corrib Theatre, The Mother (Wynee Hu), a tech developer, works around the clock to find a way […]
Christmas PDX style
A Very Merry PDX-mas has returned to the Broadway Rose Theatre stage after a six year hiatus. It’s a favorite show with Broadway Rose audiences because this lively and fun musical revue not only features many favorite songs of the season but also tailors them to local features and events. With original direction and specialty […]
A love letter to a father
Larry Yee (Rob Narita) is missing amidst a scandal in Chinatown, and his daughter Lauren (Sandra Lee) is looking for him. In Lauren Yee‘s semi-autobiographical, semi-fantastical play King of the Yees, the audience catches Lauren standing before a pair of red doors. They comprise the entrance to the Yee Fung Toy Family Association. Founded in […]
A Writer’s Life
Once upon a time in Eugene
In June, on a whim, a dear friend and I took a day trip to Eugene Oregon. We both are University of Oregon grads and have been known to bleed green during football season. But more than the U of O, what intrigued me as our day evolved was a trip down memory lane to […]
December 2021 Newsletter
It’s been quite a year… …and it ain’t over yet. I hope the holiday season is bringing all of you much joy. While I celebrate Christmas and Solstice, there are many wonderful holidays to celebrate this time of year. So Happy Holidays and best wishes, whatever your choice. Enjoy the food, the friends, the gatherings. […]
August 2021 Newsletter
Dear ones, Ian’s name came up at brunch yesterday. It is nearly 25 years since he left us so abruptly. We talked about ADHD. When Ian was in high school, ADHD was just beginning to be understood. But people with that condition, when they are not causing difficulties for themselves, are capable […]
July 2021 Newsletter
Dear Old and Recent Friends, It was never on my bucket list to survive a day when the temperature tops out at 116 F. Here’s to another notch in the gunbelt. It is difficult to describe to anyone who hasn’t experienced this how horrible it was because I was brain dead throughout the worst of […]
March 2021 Newsletter
Welcome new subscribers! It’s so great that you have joined our fabulous group of readers. On these pages, you will learn about the Emma Golden Mystery Series and other adventures in the writing life. I write a monthly newsletter where you will be the first to learn of upcoming releases, events, and special deals. But […]
Book Report 2020
I can’t tell a lie. 2020 a very good year for reading. I read 90 books–thanks almost entirely to the public library which steadfastly and efficiently delivered ebooks to my Kindle and audiobooks via Overdrive. Listed below are my favorites of last year. Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison. If you’re in the mood […]
January 2021 Newsletter
Dear Ones, How I have missed you all! I was AWOL for a bit waiting for the Christmas Miracle in our family and participating as witness, grandmother, and scribe in the Labor and Delivery wing at OHSU. And then it happened. After nearly 24 long hours, Julian Peter Fair was born at 7:16 a.m. on […]
November 2020 Newsletter
The world has changed again in the brief time since my last newsletter. On Labor Day, September 7, the hot winds began blowing in western Oregon–you know, like those ones California has endured since forever. And then, wildfires erupted the length of the state. If y’all live around here, you know what I mean. Several […]
Are you ready for scary times on the Southern Oregon Coast?
Suspense, terror, girl power, and romance await those of you who have not yet read my second book in the Emma Golden Mystery Series, The Difficult Sister! Now through September 30, The Difficult Sister is on promotion and deeply discounted to $1.99 (reg. $6.99) for the ebook and $9.99 plus shipping (reg. $16.99) for the paperback. When […]
September 2020 Newsletter
Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in –Leonard Cohen Get ready to READ! September came roaring in with a flurry of […]
August 2020 Newsletter
The summer of our discontent OK, all y’all, it’s been a while. We’ve all had plenty of the pandemic. As if that weren’t enough, my dear Portland, where people take this Black Lives Matter thing pretty seriously, was invaded by a plague of a different sort. Masked men in camo who grabbed quietly demonstrating people […]
April 2020 Author Newsletter
And yet, amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast, I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better morrow. –F. Scott Fitzgerald during the flu pandemic of 1919 From my bunker to your bunker I am writing another newsletter. There is not a lot of news, per […]