Friday, January 17, 2020

Dear Abby - Eleanor Powell and Buttons the Dog Dance Together

Dear Friends,

I have something fun to share with you today!  My friend Dave shared this video with me and I enjoyed it so much that I have to share with you as well.

It is a short 3 minute dance number from a classic MGM musical called Lady Be Good.  This was a movie about a man and woman, a composer and lyricist, working on their relationship as they also work on a Broadway show.  One of the stars of that show is Eleanor Powell.  She does a great dance number to the Gershwin song "Lady Be Good."  

As she tap dances along, she gets her little dog Buttons in on the act.  Buttons is a terrier mix -- I would guess Jack Russell Terrier mix based on his ears and tail.  (A reminder that I am a Dachshund - Jack Russell mix, so I am partial to Jack Russells.)   

Buttons was owned by a 14 year old child and a prop boy named Jackie Ackerman discovered his talent.  He is the person who trained Buttons for this charming routine. 

A review in The Pittsburgh Press described Buttons in this routine: “better than Fred Astaire, nimbler than George Murphy, and can look more woebegone than Buddy Ebsen."  The dance number is pretty amazing, and you'll find it here:

I hope you enjoy this little dance interlude as much as I did.

Have a great day!

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - Bound for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

Book Synopsis
Blue Ridge library director Amy Webber learns it wasn’t all peace and love among the “flower children” when a corpse is unearthed on the grounds of a 1960s commune.
Taylorsford Public Library director Amy Webber’s friend “Sunny” Fields is running for mayor. But nothing puts a damper on a campaign like an actual skeleton in a candidate’s closet. Sunny’s grandparents ran a commune back in the 1960s on their organic farm. But these former hippies face criminal charges when human remains are found in their fields–and a forensic examination reveals that the death was neither natural nor accidental.

With Sunny’s mayoral hopes fading, Amy sets her wedding plans aside, says “not yet” to the dress, and uses her research skills to clear her best friend’s family. Any of the now-elderly commune members could have been the culprit. As former hippies perish one by one, Amy and her friends Richard, Aunt Lydia, and Hugh Chen pursue every lead. But if Amy can’t find whoever killed these “flower children,” someone may soon be placing flowers on her grave. 

My Review
In Bound for Murder, Blue Ridge library director Amy Webber becomes involved in some amateur detective work when a skeleton is found at the farm that belongs to her best friend's grandparents. In the 1960's the farm was a commune, and a promising young musician went missing.  As Amy investigates what happened, more murders occur, and she herself is in jeopardy.

This is the fourth book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. There are continuing characters from earlier books, including Amy, of course, her fiance Richard, her Aunt Lydia, and her best friend Sunny.  I enjoy this series.  I love the Blue Ridge background and the library setting.

The author has a gift for setting the scene with descriptions like:

"Saturday was one of those lovely September days where everything appeared to be rimmed in crystal. The sky was blue as a fine piece of Wedgwood, and the leaves, still green, were outlined with gold by the bright sunlight. I paused for a moment at Kurt Kendrick’s forest-green front door and inhaled a deep breath, enjoying the scent of the late-season roses that filled his cottage garden" (Kindle location 2502).

Because this mystery takes place in present day with many references to the 1960's, there is an unusually large cast of characters that is at times a bit hard to keep up with.  I found this also made the first few chapters move a  bit slowly, but once I got into the story I was thoroughly engrossed.

I figured the murderer early on but enjoyed reading Amy's detection process.  I liked the sweep of the mystery from the library to points around town, including the farm (old commune) and the county fair.

This is an enjoyable series and I recommend Bound for Murder and the entire series to other readers who also like cozy mysteries with small town venues and library settings.

Author Bio
Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina. This is her fourth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:
Facebook author page:

Purchase Links:
Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound   

BOUND FOR MURDER (preorder):
BOOKED FOR DEATH (preorder):

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Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy by Eilidh McGinness

Book Synopsis
Josephine Baker is born into poverty in racially segregated America. Desperate to escape she flees to France where she embraces the hedonistic lifestyle on offer for those who dare, in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties.

Hitler’s rise to power in Germany forces her to face her true self. Determined to protect the Liberty Equality and Fraternity she has found in France, she becomes an ‘honorable correspondent’ for the French Secret Service. So, beginning a journey which will take her from the Red Cross Shelters in Paris to the cruel deserts of North Africa. She will find love and enduring friendship but she must also face dangers which will threaten not only her life but all she holds dear…..Can she find the courage to fight for what she believes in….no matter what the cost?

Available on Amazon

Author Bio
Eilidh was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She studied law at Aberdeen University. She practiced as a lawyer for twelve years, latterly specializing in criminal defense. Eilidh then moved to South West France with her then husband and four children. She established an independent estate agency business which she ran for twelve years before concentrating on writing- a long held dream. Eilidh has always been fascinated by history and ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.

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