More Mystery Men and Women of Santa Lucia

Hi there, guys and dolls! Here’s a continuation of my who’s who of Santa Lucia, finishing up with some of the fine folks listed in my third novel, A NATE TO REMEMBER.

Nathan Reed – Otherwise known as “Nate,” the one that you will remember. Swarthy and handsome, this poor devil shows up dead, with an arm length of people who have reason to want to see him as such. He’s shot clean through the heart, so is it just a good aim or a crime of passion?


Margot Williams – Shock and horror, one of our beloved, main heroines turns out to be a major suspect and possible murderess. Turns out “Margot” may not be who she claims to be. We get to find out how and why she came to Santa Lucia to stay, but will she be able to remain?

Tom Malone – Margot’s devoted and faithful boyfriend, who also happens to be Santa Lucia Police Department’s lead detective. Not only do the revelations about the object of his affection leave him stunned, he’s also been pulled not only from the case, but also his job, as he is intimately involved and a suspect, as well.

Jeannette Fox – A new resident to Santa Lucia and sewer at Poppy Cove, she mysteriously disappears around the time of Nate’s murder. Now why exactly would that be?

Mildred Coleman – Widow owner and operator of Mrs. Coleman’s Boarding House, a beautiful old craftsman house where some of our characters in this story have been staying. As a tidbit of information, Loretta Simpson, Santa Lucia Times Society Editor had stayed there when she first moved to town but it didn’t work out all that well. Mrs. Coleman is convinced she runs a tidy and clean ship with strict rules, but is it really as wholesome as she thinks it is?

Sophie – the new “French Art Tart” (well, actually the Art Teacher up at Stearns Academy). She has that certain way about her. The wiggle in the walk, the touchy-feely and the accented turn of phrase that keeps all the men running, or so she thinks.

Adonis – Another recent resident, also on the kooky art scene. He likes to think of himself as a Greek God, although the challenges of middle age are taking their toll on this lothario, what with balding and gray hair in a pony tail. He’s a little bohemian and beat, wearing those leather sandals and smoking those funny cigarettes. He thinks Daphne is in fine form, however.

Daphne Huntington-Smythe – one of our beloved Poppy Cove shop owners. The fair haired, carefree Daphne truly feels challenged in her life. Everything has always been so easy and breezy for Santa Lucia’s golden girl, and maybe that’s just the problem. She’s never questioned her choices and when she learns that most of the people around her have lived a more daring and compromising life than her, she feels the itch to do something she might regret, or at least be able to have a secret to privately smile about.

Daniel Henshaw – Daphne’s beau and the Riding Instructor at Stearns Academy. Good old steady Daniel, happy and content in his busy life is at a loss at how to handle Daphne’s urge to rebel. Blissfully unaware of the powers that be in the shape of Sophie, he’s keenly aware of the attentions of Adonis to his girl, knowing that the guy’s intentions are not just for art studies. Daniel does his best to help Daphne feel more like everyone else around her, he plans for their own “day to remember,” which could be more than they both bargained for.

Marjorie Cummings – Head Seamstress at Poppy Cove and the rock the girls rely on. She’s got her own past to tell, and doesn’t hesitate to share it with Margot, just when she needed to hear it the most.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

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Get In with the In Crowd

Hi there, guys and dolls! You know, it’s been so much fun getting to know so many new friends and readers. All this mixing and mingling with my long time chums is such a blast. Carrying on this week, I’m sharing my cast of characters from my Poppy Cove Mysteries. Today I’m featuring my pals from the second novel in the series DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN.

Book Two – Death of a Beauty Queen

Mr. Anthony and Todd — the proprietor of Mr. Anthony’s, a rather tony (pardon the pun) salon just around the corner from Poppy Cove.  The diminutive blonde Mr. is a sculptor of the most delightful bouffants and pageboys, albeit a little finicky and fussy.  He’s very involved with the grooming and deportment of the Miss Santa Lucia contestants, and has a habit of flouncing and flailing, with his sole mission in live to make the town lovelier, one woman at a time.  Todd, his lanky young assistant whose main purpose is to keep him in line while also being a fabulous make-up artist, is quite often seen trailing behind, smoothing down ruffled feathers.

Baroness Eva von Eissen — a new resident of Santa Lucia.  She is of vague European descent, with a strong aura of mystery surrounding her (as well as mothballs, to be honest).  She arrives heavily clad in dark, heavily corseted and Victorian garb, apparel and jewels handed down through her family relations, very out of date and inappropriate for our carefree California Coast life.  Her visits to Poppy Cove made life interesting for the girls.

Eddie — a new date for Irene and town weasel/thug.   A short, runty fellow with greaser hair and attire who provides Poppy Cove’s Manager some colorful nighttime entertainment.  He does, however, choose to rub everyone the wrong way, including Irene and gets a little too interested in Nora Burbank’s new necklace.

Nora Burbank — Miss Santa Lucia herself.  Sigh, such a lovely girl, doesn’t know what hits her.  A young wholesome lady with a few secrets of her own, our poor cover girl gets bumped off before we all barely knew her.  What can I say?  It’s a cozy mystery — someone had to get wronged…;-)!

Efrem and Rebecca Goldberg — She’s a high school chum of Poppy Cove shop girl, Betty Young.  As a newly wed wife of Efrem, she has recently moved back to Santa Lucia, where her husband is apprenticing  to take over her father Isaac’s jewelry business.  Efrem is a handsome young man with a bit to prove to his new boss and father-in-law.  He has plenty of new found ways to challenge the old traditions.

Isaac Mendelson — The proprietor of Mendelson’s Quality Jewelers, the well established fine gem business in Santa Lucia.  He’s a recent widower and feeling a little life weary,  anxious to hand over his business to his young turk, but wants it in his way, on his terms.

Mary Ann Rutherford — Miss Santa Lucia Princess Runner-Up.  A wickedly pretty girl with a mile long jealous streak.  She was after Nora’s title and boyfriend, possibly her new gems, too.  How low would she go?

Dirk Roberts — Local radio emcee and gad about town.  Recently divorced from a past reigning beauty queen who’s winged it off to Bel Air with a new plaything, he’s contemplating winning her back, but how?

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

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The Whole Danged Family

Hi there, guys and dolls! Everyone hanging in there? Well, I’ve been a busy bee, mixing, mingling and making new friends and readers, too! That makes yours truly giddily happy. So for this week we’re going to do things just a little differently. I’m going to take my new pals and followers on a little introductory tour to the main characters of my three Poppy Cove Mysteries, starting today with STRANGLED BY SILK. For those of you already familiar with the books, think of it as an opportunity to revisit some old friends.

And long term friends and readers, do not fear, I will be continuing on with my flaky, shaky advice on Friday and back to my dear diary adventures next week. Sometimes it’s just good to do things a little different every now and then!

Cover Hi Res
Book One – Strangled by Silk

Daphne Huntington-Smythe — fun loving and spontaneous California golden girl in her mid-20’s, with sun-kissed blonde curls and blue eyes, always on the go with dinner dates, social events and Sunday afternoons at the Yacht Club.  Somehow still finds time to do her job as accessories buyer and part owner of Poppy Cove with aplomb.

Margot Williams — recent resident, Margot made fast friends with Daphne and became the designer and dressmaker partner of Poppy Cove.  Also in her mid-20’s, she’s the more contemplative of the two with sleek brown hair and a slim yet curvy figure with a passion for fine silks, linens and tropical wools.  Her tastes run to jazz and classical music and enjoys her leisure time with Tom, her boyfriend of two years, who just happens to be Santa Lucia’s top Police Detective.

Loretta Simpson — Santa Lucia Times Society Editor.  Quick as a bird, Loretta’s all over town, catching the scoop on all the Do’s our little berg has to offer.  Originally from Vermont, Loretta moved from a stint in Los Angeles and quickly became Santa Lucia’s answer to Hedda Hopper.

Nancy Lewis — born and bred local banker’s wife and influential social climber know for her famous public rivalry with Constance Stearns-Montgomery, who was found strangled with her silk scarf.  Nancy spends much of her time scheming to get what she feels she is due in life and making sure her three daughters keep in line.

Irene Swanson — young woman with a past as a Hollywood wildcat, Irene was moved out of the city by her parents to live with her grandmother, where she still finds a nightlife worth sneaking out for.  A voluptuous and vivacious twenty-two year old raven haired beauty with a quick wit that charms as much as it barbs and head for figures, makes a savvy store manager and live model for Poppy Cove.

Betty Young — bright and perky twenty-two year old girl.  Her proudest achievement to date is marrying her college sweetheart, Dwight, one of Smart’s Oldsmobiles’ top salesmen.  Betty came into Poppy Cove as a bride to be, had her wedding dress designed by Margot and after her honeymoon, brought her sunny disposition into the fold as a part time salesgirl.  She is the consummate hostess, baking cookies and making lemonade to bring to the store, making the clientele fell at home, yet still has time to keep a neat house and put supper on the table for her new husband.

Peter Carson — swarthy newcomer in town who is setting his money on a new business development along Santa Lucia’s beautiful oceanside and his eye on Daphne.  A Los Angeles man of the world, his direct forthrightness and suave sophistication has fascinated one of our heroines.

Daniel Henshaw — riding instructor at the new Stearns Academy for Girls.  The strong, silent, athletic type, born and bred in California with an easy-going attitude, rangy gate and warm smile, appeals to Daphne’s nature and is a strong rival for her attention.

Tom Malone — the man in Margot’s lift, her one and only steady beau since she arrived in Santa Lucia, he is mutually devoted to her.  Tall, dark and handsome with a steady character, in addition to his background as a San Francisco beat cop, Tom is perfect in his role as the Santa Lucia Police Department’s lead detective, helping the citizens sleep soundly at night.

Constance Stearns-Montgomery — sadly, Constance was tragically murdered before any of you got to know her (and featured on the cover, before everything goes terribly, terribly wrong).  She was born into one of the founding families and married to a leading Santa Lucia businessman, Reginald Montgomery.  Very active in the community, Constance was involved in many charitable organizations and instrumental in setting up Stearns Academy for Girls, the private school named after her family and where her body was found.  Her death occurred under mysterious circumstances, after public rows with socialite Nancy Lewis and Katherine Larsen, headmistress of the Academy and amid rumors of an affair, which was very much against her solid, tweedy public image.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

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Free-falling Advice

Hi there, guys and dolls! Welcome to another edition of Free Advice Friday. Let’s get right to it and see who I can help or hinder this week.

Dear Barbara Jean,

Maybe Kitty really is that good….

We all suspect that the new girl in our office,”Kitty” (if that’s her real name), lied about her credentials to get a cushy executive secretary job in our office! We were shocked! Who lies at work, especially to get a good job like that? How else would a girl just jump in like that without doing her time in any of the office pools? I’ll bet she doesn’t even know how to take a phone call, let alone a letter. None of the men are complaining and say she does a fine job. Now, we don’t have any proof exactly, but Myrna from the typing pool swears that Myron from accounting saw her just last week, performing at a gentleman’s club, and she certainly was not sporting a steno pad and pencil, if you catch my drift. How to we catch her out and expose her for the fraud we are pretty sure she is?

Offended Olga in Oregon

Dear Olga,

You know, I read your letter twice, and then again. Are you sure there’s just not a lot of sour grapes floating around? How many of you are in this lynch mob anyway? I say, leave the girl alone, or better yet, find out exactly how she hurdled past the rest of you office steeple chasers and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two. Maybe Myron’s wrong (doubt it would be the first time…) and if she is lying, maybe she can teach you a thing or two on how to get ahead in business without even trying (I believe that has been done a time or two…).

Good luck making friends and promotions, Barbara Jean

Dear Barbara Jean,

Cathy looking catty…

My parents have grounded me for no good reason! I really haven’t done anything wrong, well, nothing that the average teenage girl hasn’t done. Now I have to stay at home, either inside or no further than the bottom step. All of my friends are having fun, going to parties, happenings and other swell shindigs. What’s a girl like me to do?

Careless Cathy in Carson City

Dear Cathy,

Hmm, I wonder what you did, exactly. I’ve heard what kind of hellions you new teenagers can be and what you get up to (just between you and me, I might be a teeny bit jealous, I love to raise a roof or two myself). I’ll bet whatever you did, you deserved a little time in parental custody (and it was probably worth it). Here’s a tip for the future, always remember to cover your tracks. It may take extra work, but if you want to get away with something, make sure you’ve left no trace.

Don’t ask me for bail money because I’ve already spent it, Barbara Jean

Keep your letters coming! I love to help or hinder any way I can.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Slang, advice, advice column, Americana, blogaday, city life, Conversation, daily blog, day job, Domestic life, Etiquette, Family, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flirting, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, home life, Humor, jealousy, letters, Office life, Office work, opinion, Perspective, postaday, Retro, slang, Social Mores, Socializing, suburbia, Teens, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

For your Reading Pleasure

Hi there, guys and dolls! How’s your week going? Looking for something to read? Yours truly has a great suggestion for you. One of my favorite 20th century novelists is Elizabeth Jane Howard. Now I’ve mentioned her Cazalet series as an audio version, but here’s a list of some of her other great novels. Just click on the title or image to be taken to an Amazon book/Kindle listing.

The Beautiful Visit

THE BEAUTIFUL VISIT (1950) – Life had been distinctly lacking in possibilities – until The Visit. But, ever afterwards, just remembering the smell of the Lancings’ house would enrapture her, taking her back to that very first day when Lucy and Gerald had picked her up from the station. Alll the longing, excitement and poignant comedy of adolescence are captured in Elizabeth Jane Howard’s first novel The Beautiful Visit, about a young girl growing up in the years around the First World War.
Beginning and ending with a visit to the same family, it is a novel full of love, loss, and the ever-lasting effect of war.

The Long View
The Long View

THE LONG VIEW (1956) – Moving backwards in time from 1950 to 1926, The Long View paints an unusually revealing portrait of a marriage. It traces the lives of Antonia and Conrad Fleming through the eyes of Antonia, as she looks back on her married life and unravels her choices – good and bad – and the motivations behind them. An uncannily authentic take on matrimony from the long view – from both the outside in and present to past – Antonia and Conrad Fleming’s story is as extraordinary as it is prosaic, as gut-wrenching as it is exhilarating.

The Sea Change

THE SEA CHANGE (1959) – Emmanuel is a famous playwright. Lillian is his sickly and embittered wife. They have never fully buried the memory of their dead daughter, Sarah. Rich but discontented, they flit from capital to capital in the company of their hero-worshiping young manager. Then Alberta, straight from an English vicarage and the pages of Jane Austen, is appointed as Emmanuel’s secretary. This prim and utterly delightful figure helps the family in ways they didn’t know they needed. One by one the leopards change their spots.

After Julius by [Elizabeth Jane Howard]
After Julius

AFTER JULIUS (1965) – It is twenty years since Julius died, but his last heroic action still affects the lives of the people he left behind. Emma, his youngest daughter, twenty-seven years old and afraid of men. Cressida, her sister, a war widow, blindly searching for love in her affairs with married men. Esme, Julius’s widow, still attractive at fifty-eight, but aimlessly lost in the routine of her perfect home. Felix, Esme’s old lover, who left her when Julius died and who is still plagued by guilt for his action. And Dan, an outsider. Throughout a disastrous – and revelatory – weekend in Sussex, the influence of the dead Julius slowly emerges.

Something in Disguise

SOMETHING IN DISGUISE (1969) – May’s second marriage to Colonel Herbert Brown-Lacy is turning out to be a terrible mistake. Her son, Oliver, leaves home only to drift from one affair to another; his sister Elizabeth follows him, yearning for some kind of secure relationship. While even Alice, Herbert’s meek daughter, is driven into marriage to escape her father’s sinister behaviour. At once a candid depiction of a post-war family on the cusp of change and a touching love story, Something in Disguise embodies the startling truth, wit and daring that Elizabeth Jane Howard is renowned for.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1940's, 1950's, 1950s glamour, 50's housewife, Authors, blogaday, book excerpts, books, cocktail culture, Commitment, Domestic life, ebooks, England, Etiquette, Family, family life, fashion, Fictional Characters, Great Britain, Historical, historical fiction, home life, kindle, Love, Marriage, Nostalgia, Perspective, Raves and Faves, Readers, Reading, reading, Relaxation, Romance, Scandal, Social Mores, Uncategorized, Vintage, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What that Really Means

Hi there, guys and dolls! How’s your Workday Wednesday? I know, exactly. If you are a secretary like me, then you probably spend most of your day lying for your boss and covering up all of the old dear’s delightful little follies.

A good secretary is always prepared to cover stuff up…

Take for instance this example. What it means when you have to say, “I’m sorry, he’s not available right now.” Here are five likely reasons that this is being conveyed to the person on the other end of the receiver.

1. He’s nowhere near the vicinity of the office, most likely out perfecting his golf swing. This excuse is very common on beautiful spring days. Be prepared to be saying it often, on multiple occasions. Try a little variety in the inflections, but be careful not to sound snarky or sarcastic. That is, not until you know who you are talking to, or if you don’t mind losing your job.

Hooky Player…

2. If he is actually in the building, there is a possibility that a model has arrived for the swimsuit campaign. Obviously, this holds most true for advertising companies, but let’s face it, if any girl shows up in any office in a bathing suit, all of the men are out of commission for the rest of the day….

No actual work being done here…

3. The exec has taken said model out for an all expenses paid lunch. Heck, you may never see him again! And if you do later that day, be prepared to bob and weave as you pass the boozy boss upon his return. That also means that “mighty Casey has struck out” and shall be in a foul mood. Stay clear of that one!

4. He’s actually napping under his desk. Now, some executives will just nap on their office couch or in his desk chair, turned away from the door. However, the serious long term snoozers know the best place is curled up under the desk, making a quiet cubbyhole usually with the accompaniment of a cuddly blankey and/or possibly a teddy bear (bless those lil execs…).

5. The boss has been hauled into the big boss’s office for one or all of the above offenses, and is now being fired. It’s not so much that he did such infractions, but he got caught. In this such scenario, be wary of the evil eye that he may cast your way as he is escorted out the building. This would be why you need to perfect your part of the cover-up routine. No one likes a snitch, but it can be kind of fun to be one, if you can do it effectively. Just sayin’…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950's Ads, 1950s business, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's Fashions, 50's Slang, Alter Ego, Americana, Beauty, big business, blogaday, Careers, city life, Communication, creative writing, daily blog, day job, diary, entertainment, Etiquette, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, long read, model, Nostalgia, Office life, Office work, opinion, Perspective, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, slang, Social Mores, Socializing, telephones, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Easter Excitement

Hi there, guys and dolls! I hope you had a pleasant Easter, one and all. My guess is that it was relatively quiet, given what’s going on in your present day. Now for yours truly, I’m your mid-century modern gal, so mine was…well, why don’t I just tell you about it.

The basis of Franny’s idea…

It all started on Saturday, when we all found out that Fran was going to be in charge of the neighborhood’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. Let me tell you, there was a bit of a buzz about it. See Franny, delightful scatterbrain that she is, tends to be a little disorganized and forgetful at the best of times. Now, that could be a bad thing, except that the stuff she is most absentminded about is leaving her fancy trinkets all over the place – sofa cushions, park benches, other people’s bedrooms (oh, that’s a whole other story…). And it’s the good stuff – her husband’s a jeweler and he just laughs it off, and replaces it (I’ve gotten some of my nicest bracelets by having her over for tea…).

Anyhoo, Franny surprised us all by being so organized for a change. She had even devised this clever hat to help her distribute the eggs around town. Ugly though it was, it turned out to be ingenious. Party lines were humming with the disappointment that she may be just too ready for Easter this year and not leave anything special for the rest of us.

Janet and Patsy hot on Fran’s trail

But as it turns out, the fears were not warranted, as Janet and Patsy could attest to. They plotted fast and furiously, getting up Sunday morning, leaving their husbands to deal with the children (some sacrifices must be made, so they said…) on Easter morning. And boy howdy, did it pay off. Hot on the trail, the pair made out like bandits, scoring three rings, two bracelets and one rather tacky brooch with a diamond studded rabbit jumping out of a precious gemmed egg. As I said, ugly as sin, but worth a mint.

Bobby, my Easter Bunny…

So while the rest of the neighborhood was hunting down the Franny finds, I went on my own prowl. I found my own good and golden egg. His name is Bobby, and might be a real treasure. Or just someone I wouldn’t mind goosing or being goosed by, if you know what I mean…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, 50's housewife, 50's Husband, Accessories, Americana, blogaday, Characters, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, diary, Domestic life, Easter, entertainment, Etiquette, Family, family life, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, Games, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Holidays, Humor, neighbors, Nostalgia, nosy neighbors, Pop Culture, postaday, Retro, Romance, Socializing, stories, suburbia, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

But Have you Seen These

Hi there, guys and dolls! Hanging in there? Hope you are all well and for those of you who are under the weather, may you feel better soon. I’ll bet a lot of you are sitting in front of the old rabbit ears (or a modernly reasonable facsimile), and have no idea what to watch next. Well, for this week’s Raves n Faves, yours truly has some historical mystery series from around the world that you may have not seen. And even if you have and it’s been a while, why not watch them again? Clicking on the title or image will take you to either Acorn or MHZ to watch or learn more.

Crimes of Passion
Crimes of Passion

CRIMES OF PASSION (Sweden) – Based on the classic mystery novels by Maria Lang and featuring Ola Rapace from Skyfall and Wallander Season 1, Crimes of Passion is a collection of stylish whodunnits set in postwar Sweden. The stories follow the exploits of the brainy and beautiful literature student Puck; wherever she goes, mystery and murder are never far behind.

Foyle’s War

FOYLE’S WAR (Great Britain) – Combining historical accuracy with compelling mysteries, this award winning British series is “a triumph from start to finish” (The Wall Street Journal). Michael Kitchen stars as Christopher Foyle, the upright, laconic detective tasked with investigating cases on the home front as WWII ravages the social fabric of his coastal community.


MAIGRET (France) – Sporting his pipe that seems a nod to Sherlock Holmes, the pragmatic, reserved and refined Maigret investigates murders in his singular unhurried manner and inevitably discovers the truth. To crack his cases he peels back the veneer of seemingly idyllic villages and neighborhoods, exposing the criminals who lurk in all levels of society. These feature-length films pay homage to one of the most brilliant detective minds of the the 20th century.

MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES (Australia) – This stylish and sexy period mystery stars Essie Davis (The Babadook) as Phryne Fisher, a thoroughly modern woman operating in a mostly male world. Set in 1920s Melbourne, the series follows the glamorous lady detective as she goes about her work with a pistol close at hand and, more often than not, a male admirer even closer.

Murdoch Mysteries

MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Canada) – In this beloved, award-winning Canadian series, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) solves turn-of-the-century Toronto’s most intriguing mysteries with the help of Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Still Standing); Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy); and Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig). Season availability varies by region.

Hope you found some new faves or past raves here. Happy viewing, dear friends!

And just to let you know, my gals Andrea and Heather will be taking Good Friday off. Lord knows, the girls deserve it and so do you. My advice anyway? Have a wonderful and blessed Easter, and for gosh sakes, wash your hands and stay home!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1800s, 1920s, 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, Acorn, Australia, Binge Watching, Canada, daily blog, detectives, entertainment, Fiction, Fictional Characters, France, Great Britain, Historical, historical fiction, International, intrigue, murder mystery, Mysteries, Pop Culture, Raves and Faves, Sweden, television series, Uncategorized, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Must be in the Air

Hi there, guys and dolls! You know when you hear some great gossip and it’s meant to be on the QT so of course, that means you tell only one person and you pinkie swear them to secrecy but they weren’t really listening anyhow and they then tell someone that they tell them not to say a thing, but of course they do, but no one is really paying attention and it gets all twisted like Aunt Maud’s girdle? Yep, of course you do. And here is a fine example of that in today’s Workday Wednesday blog.

Getting the ball rolling

So there I was, minding my own business (a rarity, but it was early in the day…) when my phone rang. It was Sally from accounting. She told me the most salacious thing about Dave in acquisitions having acquired the affections of a certain Molly in purchasing. In the purchased supply closet. I was then, of course, sworn to the utmost confidence, so I waited a good minute before turning to Rosie as she was walking by to the water cooler. By that time, I couldn’t remember the which certain Molly it was (we have three, for goodness sake and I was more interested in how long it could be before I could take off for an early lunch). Right, so I just said Molly and Rosie’s eyes went wide and she skittered off, almost taking out Robert when she rounded a desk corner in her new kitten heels.

Anyhoo, Robert then asked her what’s the news, so she naturally told him she couldn’t tell him, but if he guessed, that would be okay. He gave a goofy guffaw and said he knew all about the supply closet hanky panky with a wink. Off toddled Rosie, none the wiser.

Mindy and Cindy sorting it all out

Robert then hung around Mindy’s desk, saying he knew all about her adventures with a certain someone in a certain closet. Mindy was shocked! Why, that wasn’t her, she’s a married lady. Of course, was probably Cindy, and she would confirm that with her over their corner lunch table.

And it went from there. Cindy figured it was actually about Mary, who everyone knew was working her way through the corner offices. Heck, that was old news.

Huey getting on the job training…

And me? I just sat back and watched the circus, with Huey the file clerk perched on my desk, the young lad blushing something fierce as the relationship roundabout continued. He had so many questions, the little pup. The young ones, huh?

And Molly and Dave stumbling out unnoticed from the closet. We’d all forgot about them…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 50's Slang, Alter Ego, Americana, big business, blogaday, city life, Conversation, daily blog, day job, diary, entertainment, Etiquette, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flirting, Gossip, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, long read, Love, Nostalgia, Office life, Office Romance, Office work, Perspective, Pop Culture, Romance, Scandal, Social Mores, Socializing, Uncategorized, Vintage, workday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tiff with Biff

Hi there, guys and dolls! Hope you are all well and looking after yourselves. Washing your hands? Standing 6 feet apart and not talking close with strangers? Good! Now that we have that out of the way, let me entertain you with my sad, sorry, sordid tale, or the tiff with Biff.

It all started, well, when did it start? Golly, probably forever ago. You see, as much as I love that handsome hunk of man, there has always been a sort of competition or rivalry, you might say for the affections of the handsome type. Now, I’m a very open-minded and free-loving kind of gal. I say, love and let love. Except for the same victim, er, candidate. Dang that Biff.

Remember Biff?

See, Biff is not of the marrying kind. At least, not of the boy meets girl type of hitching, more of the boy meets boy category. If you haven’t caught my drift by now, what rock have you been living under? And if you have, I’m sure there are a few of you who have had this same problem. Hmmph.

Now as I say, Biff and I have always had this sort of ‘friendly fire’ going on whenever we would go out on hunting patrols (some would call it bar hopping, or just simply going out for coffee, but let’s face it, we’re prowling…). And honestly, it’s usually quite clear what team the new prospect is playing on. But, there are some fine and swarthy gentlemen that you just can’t tell about at first glance. We get those suspects in our sites and the games begin. Oh, a bat of the eye, a flick of the wrist, the lilting tilt of the head, followed by a giggle…. and that’s Biff’s routine. If the fellow isn’t drinking champers out of the palm of Biff’s hand by then, I’ll step in and give my hair toss, languorous stare and slow, smoldering smile. By then, if said candidate isn’t drinking the bubbly out of my shoe, we move on. Obviously, that would be a fellow who lives in no man’s land (or woman’s, for that matter….). Then we move onto the next finely dubious male, taking turns who flirts first. Such a finely tuned routine, even the Swiss and Soviet judges can’t fault the execution of such a daring feat.

Our typical screening process

Anyhoo, a while back Biff jumped out of order and he went first, when clearly it was my turn. What’s a girl to do, except intercept with a budge of the elbow and flash of decollete? Then Biff didn’t get the hint and followed up with the lean in and hand through his hair, which I of course retaliated with fingertip up the forearm.

Then it got heated and so confusing. Ears were being whispered in, someone flashed a bicep, then thigh. Who knew anymore who was showing what to whom? Well, except for our deer in headlights victim. So confused was our prospective conquest, that he leaned on Biff, asking him to make it stop, and indicated that he wanted him to take him home.

Well then. Biff strutted off with his new found buddy, who was by now well sozzled from our generous drink buying one-upmanship, thinking he had one the round. I, on the other hand, was pretty sure the fellow was into me, but just scared of the fierce multiple come ons. I hoped they’d be very happy together. That is a lie, by the way, and the foundation of a very good pouting session.

Fine, maybe it’s time to give Biff a call….

How’d it all go? Well, not that great for Biff, either. Turns out once the guy sobered up, he was the marrying kind after all, just kinda confused. As in, I’ll date you for six months and then realize I was just experimenting kind of confused.

Yeah, I didn’t take his call when he asked me out after the gin in his head cleared. But I might see what Biff is up to. Spring is in the air after all.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

Posted in 1950's, 1950s fun, 1950s glamour, Alter Ego, Americana, blogaday, cocktail culture, cocktails, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Dating, diary, Drinks, entertainment, Etiquette, Fiction, Fictional Characters, flash fiction, flirting, Games, Historical, historical fiction, Humor, jealousy, long read, Love, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, Retro, Romance, Social Mores, Socializing, Vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment