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I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reading Around The World -- Let's Visit the Rose City -- Portland, Oregon!!

I'm a little behind on this stop. I actually finished the book last month. But we took a real road trip to Boston to see my brother tie the knot!

This whistle stop is the city of Portland, Oregon, the most populous city in the Beaver State. Portland is also known as the Rose City or the City of Roses. It's had this nickname since 1888 and even has had a Rose Festival since 1907.


The Grand Floral (or Rose) Parade is the second largest all-floral parade after the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.


The book I read that featured the fair city of Portland, Oregon, was Murdermobile by B.B. Cantwell


This was a fun cozy mystery with engaging characters and a touch of romance. I've already purchased book 2 in the series, Corpse of Discovery.


The main character in the book is librarian Hester McGarrigle who works in the magenta-colored Mobile Library Unit (bookmobile) for the Portland City Library. This is what it looks like now, but the book is set in 1990's Portland.

Hester's route takes her down Skyline Boulevard "offering a 360-degree view of forested hills."


When she got done with her route, Hester liked to relax with a glass of Oregon pinot noir.


Another stop Hester has is at Mt Tabor Park, "home to the only extinct volcano inside city boundaries in the United States."

Unfortunately, Hester's day was interrupted by finding the former head librarian stuffed in a cupboard in the bookmobile (hence the title of the book Murdermobile). The murder is where Hester meets her love interest, Detective Nate Darrow who was "several inches taller than Hester, who stood 5-feet-11 in her Birkenstocked feet. His slim build accentuated broad shoulders and a thatch of prematurely graying hair contrasted with luxuriant, chestnut-colored eyebrows.")


Hester has a roommate a huge Maine Coon cat named Bingle T.


Hester's friend, Pim, likes to go to Dogs Aplenty for a kielbasa-on-a-stick for her lunch.


Unfortunately, Pim gets arrested for murder and Hester has to get involved to save her friend. One place she meets handsome Nate Darrow is for coffee at Pioneer Courthouse Square.


If Nate, Pim, or Hester were so inclined, one place they could visit in Portland is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.


Nate likes pizza. He orders "sumptuous, huge slices of herb-laced cheese and tender crust" from "Escape from New York" pizza and paired it with a Thomas Kemper root beer.


Hester and her friend Karen attend a meeting of "Women Who Care About Children" at the Mumfrey Mansion, "a historic eyesore in the west hills of Portland." (I couldn't find MM when I looked on-line, but I did find the Pittock Mansion.)


The history of the fictional Mumfrey Mansion is that the home was "erected with grand pretense but a minimum of expense 60 years earlier by Captain Mathusalum Mumfrey, a founding member of the Columbia River Pilots Association." These pilots help guide ships "into the mouth of the mighty Columbia" otherwise known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific."


Karen and Hester prefer to go to Jitters Coffee Co., "Portland's local rival to Seattle's snooty purveyors of caffeine." Apparently, Karen orders a "Black Ocelot espresso that made your ears waggle." That sure sound interesting. 


Karen's husband is an architect who isn't doing well, even though "all over Portland, architects are doing wonderful things like the Portland Building; KOIN Tower; RiverPlace."




Pim lives out on the edge of the Sandy River where she can hear great horned owls hooting. This is where she is when she is arrested. 


She is taken to the Portland Justice Center or "chokey" as she calls it.


Hester has breakfast downtown at the Heathman Pub and Bakery on Friday morning. It seems very ritzy. Hester has a "nine-grain bagel smeared with ricotta cheese and tart gooseberry preserves" and "strong Italian coffee ... served in mugs almost as generous as their pint ale glasses."


Hester walks past a statue of Teddy Roosevelt on horseback while contemplating the murder. She also walks past St James Lutheran Church and sits on a park bench watching Salmon Street.



Karen convinces Hester she needs a "Girls Night Out" to take her to Six Tepees Over Oregon, "a glitzy combination of Indian casino, thrill-ride park and rock-concert amphitheater." This is a fictitious place. However, there are plenty of places like this in the Pacific Northwest. The closest one to Portland is Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, 60 miles SW of Portland. 


The casino Karen and Hester go to is "20 miles up into the scenic Columbia River Gorge." The Gorge is a wonderful and beautiful place to go to. 


On their way to this fictitious casino, they pass a "one-truck fire station" for Multnomah County in the fictitious town of Corbin.


The casino was ostentatious, as they walked on a Pendleton rug.


When Hester goes to work she can see "Mount Hood's shark-tooth peak" and "the low hump of Mount St. Helens."




Hester's favorite breakfast spot is in the Pearl District.


Nate likes to go running in Forest Park.


For lunch, Hester's co-worker suggests Char-Burger in Cascade Locks


In the climax, Hester and her co-worker pass some famous sights in the Portland Area.  Such as Bridal Veil Scenic Highway, Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Vista House, Shepperd's Dell






After the climax, Hester and Nate go to Tad's Chic Dump on the Sandy River, "a venerable rural roadhouse dedicated to good old-fashioned comfort food."


I hope you liked this trip to Oregon and the Rose City. For my next book, I will be travelling down to California. My first stop will by Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California in Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon Series, Firestorm!!

Bon Voyage!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Reading Around the World: Getting Hot and Bothered in Seattle, Washington!

On this stop, I read Come Away With Me by Kristen Proby - a contemporary (and erotic) romance set in Seattle. I originally planned to read Truth Like The Sun by Jim Lynch.


Seattle is known as the Emerald City and is named after Chief Sealth of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.

Seattle is ranked the most literate city in the country. It has the highest percentage of residents with a college degree or higher. Seattle had the first general strike in the country in 1919 -- the Seattle General Strike.


Seattle is known as the Rainy City. However, its annual rainfall is 37.1 inches. This means it receives less rain than New York City, Houston, Atlanta, and most cities on the Eastern Seaboard! It was also NOT listed on the list of the 10 rainiest cities in the United States.

Seattle is currently home to four professional sports teams, the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, the Seattle Sounders FC of the MLS, the Seattle Mariners of the MLB, and the Seattle Storm of the WNBA.


Wikipedia shows that 81 films have been set in Seattle. Arguably, the most famous of these is Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. 

Many television shows were set there as well, most noticeably Frasier.



I really enjoyed this romance. It was very sexy and very fun and had engaging characters. The female and male leads are independently wealthy. (She inherited after the loss of her parents and he is a former actor and a current movie producer.) So, the book had the handicap to being unrealistic to me on that bent. However, the love, vulnerabilities, and the sex were great. You can find my full review and other reviews on my GoodReads site: Kirsten on GoodReads

Places featured in the book are:







Thanks for joining me on my trip to Seattle. This finishes up my trip to my home state of Washington. I love Washington State and highly recommend people to visit. We have some great parks to visit, including:


I hope everyone out there will consider a trip to our great state some time soon!

I will be moving on next to the Beaver State - Oregon - and more specifically the Rose City - Portland. I will be reading the cozy mystery Murdermobile, a Portland Bookmobile Mystery, by B.B. Cantwell


Thanks for joining me!

Support your local public library!