Stephanie McCarthy

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Pym’s Prandials

In Pym on January 31, 2013 at 2:35 am

Pym’s Prandials

Fairy cakes, sponge cakes and clotted cream,

Boiled chicken in white sauce, a clergyman’s dream.

Fish cakes, sausage rolls, bangers and mash,

Stewed apples,  baked beans, watch the cigarette ash!

Potatoes with greens served up with mince,

Oxtail in a basin, jars of jelly quince.

Cauliflower cheese, bouef ala mode,

No love apples for Aylwin; Mark can’t take toad.

Mrs. Bone has Mildred in for a meal,

Always eat your enemies, says the latter with zeal.

The way to a man’s heart- never much fun,

But those Excellent Women get the job done.

-Stephanie McCarthy, Love is Murder


Murder Actually

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm

The new cover for Murder Actually (available 2/14/13 from Attica Books ) has arrived!!!!

Murder Actually Final JPG

Agatha Christie Disappearance

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm

The official description of Agatha Christie from the missing persons bulletin.

Missing from her home, Styles, Sunningdale, Berkshire, Mrs. Agatha

Mary Clarrisa Christie, age 35; height 5 feet 7 inches; hair, red, shingled

part grey; complexion, fair, build slight; dressed in grey stockinette skirt,

green jumper, grey and dark grey cardigan and small velour hat; wearing

a platinum ring with one pearl; no wedding ring; black handbag with purse

containing perhaps £5 or £10.  Left home by car at 9:45 p.m. Friday leaving

note saying that she was going for a drive.


Happy 200th Pride & Prejudice!

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Ah, Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.  Some of my favoritist people.

Top Five Literary Detective Novels… Ever.

In Fun Stuff, Uncategorized on January 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm

My new guest blog, Top Five Literary Detective Novels, is up and running on Criminal Element!!!

Check it out and let me know what you think. Did your favorite make the list?

Miss Jane Marple

In Christie on January 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm



Born:  1928

Resides:  Mary St. Mead

Family:  Nephew, Raymond West

Hobbies:  Gossip, Knitting, Observing Human Nature, Mentioning her Nephew.

Physical description:  Slim, soft white hair, pink face, china-blue eyes.

Awards:  Markmanship, fencing and equestrianism.

Holidays:  Bertram’s Hotel, Carribean.

Motto:  Believe the Worst.


Books Featuring Miss Marple


In a word:  Remarkable.


Manhattan Murder Mystery

In Shows on January 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Manhattan Murder Mystery is a Woody Allen film starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton as two neurotic New Yorkers who believe their mild-mannered next door neighbor has murdered his wife.  The film was originally written for Mia Farrow, but when the relationship went south Allen turned to Diane Keaton.


Good choice.


I absolutely love Diane Keaton in this role, she’s fabulous.  And Woody Allen, of course, plays Woody Allen.  The dialogue is witty and fun, with much of it making fun of New Yorkers.  Most of the film uses handheld cameras which tightens the action and heightens the suspense (also gives great views of Greenwich village and the Upper West Side).  It’s a classic detective story, so if you’re looking for something that steps out of genre, keep looking.  It strikes all the right notes with the bumbling detectives literally stumbling over bodies as they show us “real people” turned into master(less) sleuths.


Larry Lipton: You’re suggesting we try to provoke him into murdering us?
Marcia Fox: You have a problem with that?
Larry Lipton: Well, either that, or I suddenly developed Parkinson’s.

Barbara Pym Dinner Party

In Fun Stuff on January 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm


As you know, I love Barbara Pym almost as much as I love mysteries, and this weather has me plotting an English menu fit for spinsters, clergy and librarians.  So, dust off that powder blue wool dress and your pearls.  It’s time to party like it’s 1953!



Potted Ham with Dinner Rolls

Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits St Georges les Charmois 



Consomme Mousse

Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse


Main Course

Bouef a la Mode

Cauliflower Cheese

Pommes Anna

1950 Cheval Blanc



Spotted Dick with Custard



After dinner adjourn to the sitting room for sherry, or for the more bold, whiskey (kept for medicinal purposes) while enjoying an excellent sideshow from Bishop Grote that might possibly  inspire a marriage proposal… to the wrong sister.

Clues Most Christie

In Christie, Fun Stuff on January 16, 2013 at 2:31 am

Missing keys, fuse box, locked terrace door;

foreign hikers, cookbook, stethoscope, and more;

German matchbox, dental charts and rose-bush make three,

Pairs of gloves, that is, and The Life of Disraeli.

The broken mirror, the missing lamp, my house is such a mess!

Monkey’s paws and burnt script, who will confess?

Voodoo books, the Ace of Spades and a broken lift

A box of poisoned chocolates, oh my, what a gift!

A pocketful of rye you say?  And clothes pin on the nose,

Look underneath the bed, a trunk full of clothes!

A pair of size-five shoes, sitting on the shelf,

Ma foi!  Mon Dieu, mon ami.  Murder arranges itself.

-Stephanie McCarthy, Love is Murder


In Fun Stuff on January 16, 2013 at 2:09 am

“He was hardly more than five feet four inches but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. Even if everything on his face was covered, the tips of moustache and the pink-tipped nose would be visible.  The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound. Yet this quaint dandified little man who, I was sorry to see, now limped badly, had been in his time one of the most celebrated members of the Belgian police.”


I’m sorry, but can you really see Poirot being part of something as structured/banal as a police department?  He’d last a few hours, at most, before his tiresome superiority drove everyone insane. Men of that ego have to work w/ a trusty sidekick or not at all (see, Nero Wolfe, Alleyn, Dagliesh, Morse, Wimsey, etc. etc. )