Speaking for Sisters in Crime

Last Saturday I was one of 12 mystery authors on the program at the Sisters in Crime chapter program in the Columbia, MD, public library. Sisters in Crime is an association of mystery writers and fans. Each of us presented a 4 ½ minute report on our latest books. Afterwards, we sat at tables to sign our books.

My latest book, The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock, will be on sale by December 1, but I didn’t receive advance copies in time for the program. Still, I had a copy of the cover and could talk about it. The other two books in the series were on sale there.Clock cover final small

My mysteries involve Nancy Dickenson and the 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement Village, which like most upscale retirement places, resembles a cruise ship or luxury resort. Continue reading “Speaking for Sisters in Crime”


96 and Still Falling – On Purpose

96 and Still Falling—On Purpose

As our friend Bob grew into his 80s, he began falling. No particular reason for the falls—he didn’t trip or get knocked, he just started keeling over and then he’d be on the ground. He suffered a broken hip first, then a broken neck that kept him in rehab for almost a year. At last he was released, but at home, he fell every day, finally landing back in the hospital. He had to give up his apartment and is now in assisted living.

No one seems to be interested in why he falls or ways to prevent the falls, just repairing the damage after he falls. So I sat up with interest to read about a 96-year-old named Elliott Royce who says he falls on purpose at least five times every morning and estimates that he has fallen down at least 15,000 times over Continue reading “96 and Still Falling – On Purpose”

More About Old Dogs: Will Do is Better Than Can’t Do

My 90s Club cozy mystery series continues to raise eyebrows. Some readers tell me of the 90- and 100-year-olds they know who do remarkable things like drive long distances, win tennis matches, canoe across lakes, etc.; other readers shake their heads and say they find it hard to believe that anyone in their 90s or 100s is up for anything but a rocking chair or the Alzheimer’s unit.

The 90s Club series concept came from watching a slim attractive, fit woman swim laps at a pool party. Then I learned she was 91 years old. So for the nonbelievers, I add another person to my list of very senior but functioning citizens: Helen Crossley, a former school nurse, who turned 105 in August 2013. She held her nursing license until age 96 and, although legally blind since age 99, she still gets around with and without a walker. (Washington Post, 8-24-2013).

The older I get, the more I hear people fall into line and repeat that sad refrain, “I’m too old.” I’ve heard people in their twenties say, “I’m too old for…” In fact, it seems to me that most popular aphorisms that pass for “wisdom,” are intended to limit and control rather than encourage and support. So I say phooey to all that stuff about what a person can and can’t do at any age.

Just saw a wonderful movie called Quartet, about a group of elderly musicians at the Musicians Retirement Home in England. It’s directed by Dustin Hoffman, stars Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay and includes cameo appearances by many formerly well-known now retired musicians. A love story develops as these musicians put together a gala to save their home and try to persuade Smith as a troubled opera diva to join three other singers in the Rigoletto quartet. Highly recommended.

Available Dec. 1: The 90s Club & the Whispering Statue, second in this cozy mystery series. This time, Nancy Dickenson and the 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement Village head south to Fort Lauderdale to rescue one friend and find another. Four attempts to murder Nancy’s long-time confidant Peter Stamboul have failed, but in the placid lifestyle of his retirement condo, who would want to kill Peter and why? Adventurous young Jessica Cantwell took a job as crew on a boat, but when the captain is murdered, she disappears and becomes a “person of interest.” Once again, murder and mayhem stalk Nancy and fellow 90s Club members Louise and George as they race to save Peter and Jessica’s lives and, ultimately, their own.

The Sapper’s Plot, a tough, action-filled mystery-thriller, is the latest book by M.L. Doyle, author of books about “women in combat boots.” Army Master Sergeant Harper is assigned to accompany a TV news team to a remote construction camp in Honduras where U.S. troops are providing engineering support for the project. The TV team is supposedly following one of the construction units on the mission, but Army public affairs suspects the team has another agenda. When the group arrives at the camp, they discover the body of one of the workers buried alive in concrete. Harper takes command of the investigation and fights her way through the cover-up attempts, rigors of rough jungle living, army protocol, and male chauvinism. The descriptive details add much to the realism and mood of the story. This is a fast-paced, gripping read that builds to a thrilling climax and final unmasking of the killer.

Coming soon - New mystery by Eileen Haavik McIntire

Coming soon –

The 90s Club & the Hidden Staircase,

a mystery by Eileen Haavik McIntire

I’ve been posting items about people 90, 100 years old and older who are still active, still pursuing interests and activities like the rest of us, and some still working.  I’ve come across them in researching my new mystery, the first in a series featuring The 90s Club of Whisperwood Retirement Village.

Beneath Whisperwood’s luxurious lifestyle bubbles a simmering brew of thefts, murders, and exploitation. Whisperwood’s 90s Club piles up clues like tricks in a bridge game to uncover the culprits—and almost lose their lives.

Leader of the club is Nancy Dickenson, drawn from a 91-year-old woman I saw swimming laps at a pool party.  The mystery is well-researched and, except for the evil underfoot, accurately portrays life in an upscale retirement community while spoofing stereotypes about the elderly. The characters play off each other, and the dialogue is often humorous. The plot turns upon subtle possibilities for exploiting the elderly, often the targets of scam artists. The villains in this novel, however, walk, talk, and play with their victims.

The book will be available later this spring in both print and e-book editions.  My previous novel, The Shadow of the Rock, is historical fiction that Midwest Book Review called, “a riveting story of time and humanity, highly recommended.”

5K at 95

Obituary pages are a fund of information about possibilities and options. Here are two more interesting items.

 Jeffrey Mary Lowdermilk died Feb. 18, 2011, at age 102. At the age of 95, she participated in a 5K race!

Margaret Theresa Luskey, died at the relatively young age of 79, but—get this—she was a lifetime employee of the U.S. Government, serving in the Department of State as a Secret Service Agent. She worked alongside Presidents John Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter.  She apparently never married and she was a Roman Catholic. Perhaps she realized, like many women before her in history, that if she wanted to live a full and interesting life and be all that she could be, she had to remain single. Married, she would be forced into unceasing child-bearing and motherhood, thanks to the dictates of a patriarchal religion.

Rosa Rio at the keyboard at 107

The last of the original silent movie organists, Rosa Rio died on May 13, 2010, at age 107 just three weeks shy of her 108th birthday. The week before her death, she was still practicing at home on her nine-foot concert grand piano. And just nine months before her death, she was playing in Tampa for a screening of Buster Keaton’s silent film, “One Week.”   Her show business career spanned 97 years, beginning in 1912 when she gave her first professional performance, continuing through the silent movies, radio, and on into composing and performiang soundtracks for almost 400 silent films when they were were formatted for videocassette. In 1993 she moved to Florida where she provided live musical accompaniment to silent films at the historical Tampa Theater.

                                    –Washington Post, May 15, 2010

Bat Mitzvah for 94-year-old

From the Washington Post, Feb. 28, 2010, 94-year-old Esther Isralow completed 18 months of study that culminated in a b’nai mitzvah–a collective ceeremony for bat and bar mitzvahs.  Congratulations, Esther!

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