Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

This is probably the most common question asked of me by folks hearing for the first time that I write mystery novels. And my go-to answer is generally, “Why, everywhere!” But the other day, when a neighbor—who’s just now reading through my Sally Solari series—asked me this question, after providing the same stock answer as usual (with the addition of, “Hey, you might end up … Continue reading Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Like Mother Like Daughter

My mother, Smiley Cook Karst—who passed away on January 3rd at the grand old age of 91—was perhaps my greatest inspiration as a writer. Sure, my law professor father, author of three books and many dozens of articles about Constitutional law, was far more famous. But notwithstanding that I, too, worked as an attorney, I was never drawn to writing about the law. No, my … Continue reading Like Mother Like Daughter

When is a Fruit a Vegetable?

I think about food a lot. In part because I seem to be incessantly hungry—the result, no doubt, of having to greatly curb my caloric intake now that I’ve reached what the French so delicately call un certain âge. But also because I’m pretty much obsessed with food, even when not hungry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve begun discussing and planning a … Continue reading When is a Fruit a Vegetable?

Dinner in a Time of Pandemic

It’s long been my belief that coming together at mealtimes to sip some wine, swap stories, and learn what’s been going on in each others’ lives, is an essential part of what it is that makes us human. From the time of the stone age, early Homo Sapiens would gather about the communal fire each night for safety, stories, and food. And although this now … Continue reading Dinner in a Time of Pandemic

LCC 2020—It Went By So Fast!

Like everyone who’d registered for Left Coast Crime this year, I was faced with the decision two weeks ago whether or not to attend, given the health risks posed by the COVID-19 virus. Since I’m in good health with no respiratory or immunity issues, I determined to go. After all, it’s one of the best mystery conventions in the world, and would be my only … Continue reading LCC 2020—It Went By So Fast!

What’s the Deal with Hiccups?

We’ve all had them. Once can be funny, twice or three times hilarious, but anything much more than that can become pretty maddening, right? So why does our body do such a strange—and annoying—thing? What’s the point of hiccups, anyway? There are some adorable kids’ books about hiccups, including this one Hiccups can happen for a variety of causes—some physical, some emotional—and result from an … Continue reading What’s the Deal with Hiccups?