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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Changelings, and House Report

The Changelings, a short story by Kat Yares, deals with the internal dialog of a mother of teenagers. As her children become more and more demanding, she struggles to both meet their needs and deal with her own fears of them. The emotional changes within her son and daughter soon affect both their lives and her own. She begins questioning her own sanity. She dreams of demons each night.

Yares tells this simple, short story in few words, but manages to convey an empathy rather than a criticism of this failed passive parenting style. Her story offers a quiet rationale of why teenagers cannot be controlled by love alone. It is a sad tale, and one that leaves both the reader and the main character lost in thought. It is a different sort of horror story, and just right for Halloween week.

Yares has several more books in print, and I'll be reading and reviewing Beneath the Tor next.

 House Report, a Kate Carpenter Mystery by Deborah Nicholson is a mystery quite different from any other I've read. The murder takes place in a rest room within a large multi-plex building housing several theatres and restaurants. Kate Carpenter is a manager of one of the theatres, and supervises both the employed house ushers and the volunteers, balancing the accounts for each night's receipts, and keeping things running smoothly.

Kate has a relationship with one of the building engineers who works in "The 'Plex" as an all around building maintenance man, fixing furnaces and clearing clogged toilets. Not a glamorous job, but a necessary one, and one that pays the bills. Cam is qualified for much more. Kate is concerned with solving the murder as her significant other, Cam, is one of the leading suspects.

Nicholson tells the story from Kate's point of view, while following her travels throughout The Plex's complicated non-public corridors, staircases and rooms. Kate is in danger as she begins sleuthing to determine who the murderer is. But her confidence in her relationship is tested repeatedly as she learns things about Cam that seem to tarnish his innocence. She enlists the aide of one of the ushers, Graham, in checking alibis of the other employees of The Plex. And in time, both she and Graham suffer physical attacks as a result.

I learned a great deal about the backstage life of theatre employees and their workplace, and I enjoyed the twists and turns that led the reader to many dead-end assumptions. The murderer is not identified until the very end of the story. Is it Cam? Is it not Cam? Is it Cam?

There are more Kate Carpenter Mysteries, and I look forward to discovering and reviewing them.
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  1. Trying once more to connect with your blog, Terry. It's always good to hear from you.

    1. Thanks, Radine. Looks like you've succeeded in your quest to connect - I am so glad to have you here to comment.


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