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Movie Critique – Ladies They Talk About

For review of all movies starring Barbara Stanwyck, go here.

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: A delightful tale of an evangelic reformer falling in love with a gun moll from his own home town; an early pre-Code drama showcasing Stanwyck so good at being bad.

Ladies They Talk About is a 1933 pre-Code American crime drama directed by Howard Bretherton and William Keighley; uncredited production by Raymond Griffith; and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film stars Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, Lyle Talbot and Dorothy Burgess among others. 

Nan Taylor (portrayed by Barbara Stanwyck), a known member of a bank robber group, gets arrested while her gang is stealing a bank. Radio actor David Slade (portrayed by Preston Foster) falls in love with her, and tries to get her released. In the prison when an escape is attempted after her gang is also arrested, it is foiled and the leader of the gang Don (portrayed by Lyle Talbot) is shot dead. Now Nan vows to take revenge on Slade since she believes that Slade had foiled their plans.

The film is based on the 1932 play Women in Prison or Gangstress by Dorothy Mackaye and Carlton Miles. The play is based on Mackaye's real-life jail-time experience. Screenplay for the film was given by Brown Holmes, William McGrath and Sidney Sutherland.

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Movie Critique – Killer's Kiss

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: A film filled with Manhattan showed in it's full glory in the night; a tough boxing match of a fading boxer; a ballet dance interlude; and an interesting climax with the mannequins. This is most certainly 67 minutes of genius we see of a young Stanley Kubrick.

Killer's Kiss is a 1955 American crime film noir directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick, distributed by United Artists. The film stars Jamie Smith, Irene Kane, Frank Silvera and Jerry Jarrett among others. Screenplay was also written by Stanley Kubrick with uncredited support by Howard Sackler. Morris Bousel co-produced the film.

Davey Gordon (portrayed by Jamie Smith) is a middleweight New York boxer who is at the end of the line in his career. He is attracted to Gloria (portrayed by Irene Kane) who is tired of working as a taxi dancer. One day Gloria Price is attacked by her employer Vincent Rapallo (portrayed by Frank Silvera). He comes to her rescue. They both decide to leave New York. But are pursued relentlessly by Vincent making their escape harder and harder. 

The film is notable for on location shooting, giving viewers a front-row seat of glimpses into New York from the 1950s - old Penn Station (which was demolished in 1963), Time Square and some of the Brooklyn streets and SoHo areas.

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Kitchen Fun - Pepino Melon Pancakes

In my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Pepino Melon Pancakes. Originally from South America this sweet edible fruit with flavor profile being a mixture of honeydew melon and cucumber. 

This fruit always intrigued me and I thought why not blend it into my Pancaked series. So here we are!

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Movie Critique – Edge of the Garden

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: Time travel romance plot delighting you at every scene; amazing the viewer with the imagination of how one can share space years apart; and at the same making you think some times love is timeless.

Edge of the Garden is a 2011 American romantic time traveling film released by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel; Directed by Michael M. Scott; Produced by Harvey Kahn; and Screenplay written by Duane Poole. The film stars Rob Estes, Sarah Manninen, Kelly Monaco and David Lewis among others.

A workaholic Brian Connor (portrayed by Rob Estes) moves to Maine where his new job is, when his fiancée Julie (portrayed by Kelly Monaco) breaks up with him when he misses his own engagement party while busy working. He buys an old abandoned home in the new place. Soon after he starts to feel presence of people, and eventually meets Nora Hargrave (portrayed by Sarah Manninen). Only problem is that both are fifty years apart, and somehow culminates in that house where both times exist together; share the same space. 

I always like a book or film that has time traveling element tied to it. I posted a film of similar genre a while ago - the 1998 The Love Letter, also released as part of Hallmark Hall of Fame series. In that the primary characters exchange letters that travel across time to go back 100 years. Naturally I was drawn to Edge of the Garden for the basic concept of the plot. But it charmed me more once I saw the film.

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Book Critique - Born To Die (To Die # 3)

For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Bone-chilling thriller with the touches of romance, lust and twisted minds - a perfect medley to enjoy the plot despite the shivers it leaves in the reader's spine.

Born to Die is the third book in the To Die Series by Lisa Jackson, published in January of 2011. The plot is set a few months after the events from the second book, Chosen to Die ends.

Dr. Acacia "Kacey" Collins Lambert moves back to the small town of Grizzly Falls, Montana, to start fresh, forget her past. However, women who have resemblance to her are falling to death, accidental deaths as police all it, around her. She begins her own investigation with help of Trace O'Halleran, her romantic interest. But the women dying also have a sort of connection with Trace. As Kacey is getting closer and closer to unraveling the mystery, she is being ever closer to be in the sights of the killer. 

The first two books gives the readers a view into the very dysfunctional family that Detective Regan Pescoli has and how her life is all so mixed up and complicated. In this book, Lisa gives us more insight into Pescoli's partner, Detective Selena Alvarez.

At the end of the second book, Chosen to Die, Nate Santana and Pescoli decide to move in together with her kids. However, in this plot, Lisa doesn’t do that, instead keeps them living separate. Interesting! I wonder how long will Nate wait for Pescoli to come around.

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Kitchen Fun - Paneer Pancakes

In my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Paneer Pancakes. Sometimes called as Cottage Cheese, Paneer is non-aged, non-melting soft cheese made from curdling milk. Although Paneer doesn’t have a taste in itself, it absorbs all the flavors that from the dish it goes into, thus making it part of the dish; and yet somehow stands out too.

For a while I was thinking of making savory pancakes using Paneer. And here they are now, come to fruition in my kitchen. They are light and fluffy with distinct flavor of cream; and tingling your senses with the savory-sweet taste.

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Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: A woman suffering with stupid pride; a child spoiled rotten; an aunt half-jealous and half-ashamed; and a family caught in all this with only an outsider who can see the path they were taking to depravity and decay. There was nothing "Magnificent" about these Ambersons.

The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1942 American period drama film produced, directed and screenplay written by Orson Welles; with uncredited directorial debut of Robert Wise. The film stars Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Tim Holt, Ray Collins and Agnes Moorehead among others. It was released by RKO Radio Pictures and Mercury Productions.

Isabel Amberson, one of the Ambersons - the wealthiest family in their city in the end of the 19th century - marries a passionless Wilbur Minafer (portrayed by Don Dillaway) even though she had loved Eugene Morgan (portrayed by Joseph Cotten). Twenty years later, Eugene now a widower with a daughter Lucy (portrayed by Anne Baxter), attends a party thrown for George (portrayed by Tim Holt), Isabel and Wilbur's son. Despite the social and personal differences George starts courting Lucy. But times change, and bad luck befalls the Ambersons; turning the tides in favor of the Morgans. And the feud between the magnificent Ambersons and the rising Morgans begin.

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For review of all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Shape-shifting Leopards, Mobsters and Love - A weird combination right? Well, it's worth reading on those lazy days or to bring you out of any kind of dull mood. Although there is a slight drag in this plot.

Leopard's Rage is the thirteenth installment the Leopard People Series by Christine Feehan published in November of 2020. The central plot revolves around Sevastyan Amurov - an Amur leopard, cousin and Head of Security for Mitya Amurov - and Flambe Carver - landscaper artist & a strawberry leopard shifter.

Leopard People Series focuses on a shape-shifter species who can shape-shift to leopards. Each plot covers one couple that are destined to be mated in this lifetime just like so many lifetimes in the past. And surrounding this couple the plot expands, their advantages, their perils and how their lives move along. They are either set in Borneo Rain Forest - coast of South East Asia - or in Louisiana and Texas in USA or eventually lead there. Coming from hard and cruel lairs, these leopards come out on their own, find their mates, infiltrate the mobs and acquire the territories taking over them.

In Leopard's Wrath, we see the character of Sevastyan grow larger than previous books. So I had a feeling that her next book would center around him. True to my notion, Christine stuck to the Amurov Leopards, and gives us Sevastyan's story.

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Movie Critique – Julie

Stars: 2 / 5

Recommendation: With a plot bouncing like a ping pong ball, it is amazing how the lead cast acted so well. It does provide realism, along with fiction and mystery. Sadly there were so many disconnects that the film throws the viewer off their seat many times.

Julie is a 1956 American film noir written and directed by Andrew L. Stone; a debut production by Martin Melcher. The film starred Doris Day, Louis Jourdan, Frank Lovejoy, Barry Sullivan, Jack Kelly, Ann Robinson and others. Film was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Julie Benton (portrayed by Doris Day) is terrified by the jealousy of her second husband Lyle (portrayed by Louis Jourdan); and confirmed further by suspicions on her first husband's death by her friend Cliff Henderson (portrayed by Barry Sullivan). The nightmare for Julie begins which turns into a life and death terror not only for her but for all the patrons on the airplane where she is working as a stewardess.

The title Julie reminded me of the 1975 Hindi Indian language romantic drama film Julie. And that's why I ended up watching. But both films are as far apart as the north and south pole, in the story line, genre and the plot in general. 

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Kitchen Fun - Orange Pancakes

In my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Orange Pancakes; a perfect combination of sweet and tart that will appease all of your taste buds.

I had a few Oranges left over and almost a bit dried out since I forgot they were there in my fridge. So I chose to use them in my Pancake batter next time I was ready to make some. And voila! I found another way of eating Oranges. And they do taste really good!

And now for my recipe.


Pancake Mix: Use either of the two recipes I posted for Pancake Mix - Aparna's Pancake Mix Recipe 1 or Angel Maternity Lounge Pants, Stretch Pants + Casual Pants for W for this. I used my Recipe 1 in this case.

Oranges - 2 small seedless

Sugar - if needed, 3 teaspoons

Butter - for cooking

Preparation Steps:

1) Peel the Oranges, and blend them into a smooth paste. Add a little Water if needed,

2) To the already prepared Pancake Batter using Recipe 1 link above, add the Orange juice. Mix well.

3) Heat a skillet, and smear a little butter.

4) Pour a ladle full of the Orange Pancake Batter on to the hot skillet.

5) Cook on both sides till they turn golden brown.

6) Top with sliced Oranges and Whipped Cream before serving.


1) If the Oranges are naturally sweet, you don’t need additional Sugar. However, if they are tart, then feel free to add Sugar as needed.

2) You can also top it with Maple Syrup or Powdered Sugar.

For review of all Perry Mason books and reviews: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: With times changing, it can be accepted this changed Perry Mason novel. A good mystery filled with twists and turns keeping us on toes, with added explanation, it is still a decent read and  leaving us with familiar sense. 

The Case of Too Many Murders was a Perry Mason book written by Thomas Chastain based on the characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner first published in 1989. The plot is set a few years after the last book of Perry Mason written by Erle Stanley Gardner in 1973.

Gilbert Adrian shoots his dinner mate at a restaurant and rushes home only to be found murdered a half hour later. His wife, Laurel Adrian, is arrested on suspicion of murder. Perry Mason is tasked to defend her. However everything points to his client looking guilty. Now Mason has build a stronger defense than he ever had in this complicated and twisted mystery plot. 

Chastain took off from where Gardner left off, with a new spin, setting in locations current to 1989, I did expect a few changes to be seen. He retired Mason's private eye Paul Drake Sr. and has him working with Paul Drake Jr., Paul's son in the book. He still has Della Street, his trusted confidential secretary.

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For all movies of Sherlock Holmes or related to Sherlock, go here.

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A fine example of showing Holmes and Watson on screen to all the fans. A big thumbs up to the amazing stars who bring to life what Mr. Doyle had put into words a four decades ago.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1959 British gothic-mystery film based on the 1902 novel of the same name by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Directed by Terence Fisher; Produced by Anthony Hinds; film was released by United Artists; a Hammer Film Productions. The Screenplay was provided by Peter Bryan.

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Movie Critique – The Night Holds Terror

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A desperate night of survival for a family; a cruel attempt by the villains to get some fast cash; excellent star cast and phenomenal direction, makes this a very chilling, thrilling and terror filling movie. 

The Night Holds Terror is a 1955 American film noir written, produced and directed by Andrew L. Stone. It stars Vince Edwards, Hildy Parks, John Cassavetes and Jack Kelly among others. The plot is based on a true incident. It is released by Columbia Pictures.

Gene Courtier (portrayed by Jack Kelly) picks up a hitchhiker named Victor Gosset (portrayed by Vince Edwards), a criminal belonging to a robbery group headed by Robert Batsford (portrayed by John Cassavetes). They end up staying overnight at Courtier's home with his family while they collect the money they need. Thus begins the night of terror for Gene and Doris Courtier (portrayed by Hildy Parks) and a time filled with fear for their kids.

The true incident occurred on February 13, 1953 when Eugene M. Courtier, an Edwards Air Force Base Technician is kidnapped by a trip of robbers and held for ransom. The film obviously fictionalizes some portion of the ordeal, but it still stayed true to the original incident. 

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Movie Critique – Arsenic and Old Lace

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: It is a completely hilarious dark comedy with a sociopathic murderous strain hidden beneath that Frank Capra exploited thoroughly. Brilliant acting by some great actors, marvelous direction; amazing sets, the movie makes for a memorable watch. 

Arsenic and Old Lace is a 1944 American black comedy starring Cary Grant, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Peter Lorre and Priscilla Lane in the lead cast. Directed by Frank Capra the film was based on Joseph Kesselring's 1941 play of the same name. Screen adaptation was written by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein; a duo of brothers. Capra co-produced the film with Jack L. Warner; and was released by Warner Bros. 

Mortimer Brewster (portrayed by Cary Grant) who has disillusions on marriage, falls in love with Elaine Harper (portrayed by Priscilla Lane) and marries her. However right before he leaves for his honeymoon, when he returns to Abby (portrayed by Josephine Hull) and Martha (portrayed by Jean Adair), his aunts living in his family home, he inadvertently unearths some Brewster family's dark secrets that spin his mind even for a writer that he was.

I don’t remember where I first heard this movie, but it has been on my list for a long time. Finally I could watch it, again courtesy of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel. And here is my review.

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Kitchen Fun - Nutella Banana Pancakes

And so in my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Nutella Banana Pancakes; a bit soft, a little fruity, a lot more chocolaty; and definitely addictive.

Nutella is very addictive and I try to avoid it as much as I can. Because I cannot just put my spoon down. :P And Bananas are one of my frequent go to fruit, mainly because they are rich in Potassium and I need a lot of it considering my running and jogging obsession. So I thought why not combine two of my addictions with my obsession series. And voila! We have another addictive combo to devour on. :P

And now for my recipe.


Pancake Mix: Use either of the two recipes I posted for Pancake Mix - Aparna's Pancake Mix Recipe 1 or 4- Hose Purple Crystal Shisha Purple Luxury Pipe Hookah no Tobac for this. I used my Recipe 2 in this case.

Banana - 1 Medium sized

Powdered Sugar - as needed for sprinkling

Nutella - to spread as needed

Butter - for cooking

Preparation Steps:

1) Slice Bananas into mall round circles and keep aside.

2) Prepare the Pancake Batter using Recipe 2 link above. But make the batter a little runny so you get thin pancakes.

3) Heat a skillet, and smear a little butter.

4) Pour a ladle full of the Pancake Batter on to the hot skillet.

5) Cook on both sides till they turn golden brown.

6) Place one pancake on a plate. Spread Nutella on it.

7) Place another pancake on top of the Nutella spread Pancake.

8) Top with sliced Banana and Powdered Sugar. Serve warm for more deep flavor.


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For review of all books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A doggedly persistent gumshoe even with her ineptness, disorganized and above all having no inclination to use a weapon, it is a miracle that Stephanie has strong instincts to chase the case and bring it to a closure.

To The Nines is the ninth book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, first published in July of 2003. Stephanie is again in the middle of apprehending one who jumped bail; and a triangle love story to further complicate her personal life.

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter living in Trenton, New Jersey, working as a fugitive apprehension agent for her cousin, Vinnie's, Bail Bonds company. That begins the series with every book an adventure into Stephanie's trail onto fugitives and recovering them. And in the process she solves mysteries enabling her to hone her skills. There is a triangle love story for readers senses to feast on as well. Readers have been entertained so far with 27 books in the series and more to come, beginning with One for the Money in 1994 leading up to the 27th book Fortune and Glory to be released in November of 2020. The stories are told in first person narration.

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Movie Critique - The Dragon Murder Case

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A loony grandmother; a mythical curse; a superstition surrounding a pool; and a murder - all spin in a whirlpool of young people and their hormones and romances. It makes a very murky pool of mystery with everyone coming under suspicion for Philo Vance.

The Dragon Murder Case is a 1934 American mystery film directed by H. Bruce Huberstone; based on the 1934 novel of the same name by S. S. Van Dine featuring his star private detective Philo Vance. Warren William portrays the role of Philo Vance in this film along-side Margaret Lindsay, Lyle Talbot, Eugene Pallette and Helen Lowell. This is the 6th of the 15 movies made with Philo Vance as the detective.

Monty Montague dives into a natural pool of water and disappears. Private Detective Philo Vance is called into investigate by the District Attorney Markham (portrayed by Robert McWade). They find Monty's body but with claw marks on his body. Thus begins the superstition of a dragon harboring the pool; and a murder to solve for Vance.

Philo Vance is a fictional private detective who appears in 12 mystery crime novels by S. S. Van Dine; with him being introduced first in the 1926 novel The Benson Murder Case. He first appeared on screen in the 1929 American Pre-Code crime-mystery film The Canary Murder Case in which William Powell starred as Vance.

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Kitchen Fun - Dragon Fruit Pancakes

In my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Dragon Fruit Pancakes; a bit soft, a little fruity, and a bit heavy.

I have seen Dragon Fruit Pancakes made of Dragon Fruit Sauce or pre-packed Dragon Fruit Smoothies.

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For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

My Recommendation: Another successful investigation by Kinsey Millhone rivaling the likes of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, but not yet there. Grafton gives us a female gumshoe with her share of flaws and strengths that further more enhances her character. 

"C" is for Corpse is the third mystery novel in the long running Kinsey Millhone "Alphabet Mystery" series by Sue Grafton, first published in 1986. The plot is set three weeks after the incidents from the second book "B" is for Burglar.

The Alphabet Mystery series revolves around the various cases handled by Kinsey Millhone, a former police officer turned private investigator. She is based in Santa Teresa, a fictional town in California, thirty two years old and twice divorced, at the beginning of the series. With this series, Sue Grafton sets a bar for female private investigators in a world when most of them were predominantly male. And if any female private eyes existed, were considered amateur detectives like with Nancy Drew or Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote or Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Grafton crosses those bars for Millhone with this series.

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Movie Critique - The Killers

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Definitely ahead of its time, but gives you a good thriller keeping the viewers on the edge. Gripping neo noir crime film with excellent star cast, powerful plot and thrilling and fearful ending.

The Killers is a 1965 American neo noir crime film directed and produced by Don Siegel, and released by Universal Pictures. It stars Lee Marvin, Clu Gulager, John Cassavetes, Angie Dickinson and Ronald Reagan in the lead among others. It was released in UK as Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers".

Two hit men - Charlie Strom (portrayed by Lee Marvin) and Lee (portrayed by Clu Gulager) - after finishing a job wonder why they were paid so high for such an easy mark. And they start to retrace their steps back in figuring out the person who hired them, Jack Browning (portrayed by Ronald Reagan), and the reason behind it. They get more than they bargained for in the end. 

The plot was based on the 1927 short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. Screenplay was written by Gene L. Coon. Originally was intended for Made-for-TV movie as part of Project 120 series, because of the violent content Universal released it in theaters instead. The entire film is shown in several flashbacks.

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Kitchen Fun - Coconut Pancakes

When my dear friend Minnie, shared her memory from a while ago about Coconut Pancakes with caramelized hazelnuts, gianduja spread, maple syrup & a cortado; I had to try to make a version of Coconut Pancakes at my home too, and add it to the series.

And so in my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Coconut Pancakes; a bit crunchy, a bit sweet and oh so light!! Now for the recipe.

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Movie Critique - Illicit

For review of all movies starring Barbara Stanwyck, go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: The film has a bold concept; some very good performances; and story that would still be good for the current times, almost 90 years later.

Illicit is a 1931 American pre-Code drama film directed by Archie Mayo, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck; and released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, James Rennie, Ricardo Cortez and Natalie Moorhead in the lead among others. 

Anne Vincent (portrayed by Barbara Stanwyck) doesn’t believe in the concept of marriage and has very forward ideas about love. Though she has a boyfriend, "Dick" Ives II (portrayed by James Rennie), both of them keep in touch with their prior romantic relationships, despite neither Dick nor Anne likes the other to continue. And the tale leads to betrayal, angst and heartbreak which come with some huge costs to each of them. 

The film is based on a play by Edith Fitzgerald and Robert Riskin. Screenplay for the film was written by Harvey F. Thew.

Of the film noir that I have been watching this past year, Barbara Stanwyck is one actress who has caught my attention. She reminds me so much of Indian Hindi actress Nutan who was lead actress in the 50s thru 70s and later went on to supporting roles till her death in 1991. There are so many parallels between Stanwyck and Nutan, be it the type of roles they did or how their real life moved along. So naturally I gravitate towards Stanwyck's films off-late.

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For review of all books in this series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

My Recommendation: A cute cozy mystery focusing on female power following a plot centering on planning a wedding, but murders get in the way. Albert wrote a tightly packed mystery. 

Lavender Lies is the eighth book in the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert and first published in October of 1999. The stories in the series revolve around China Bayles and her fiancée Mike McQuaid in solving crimes around them as well as running a successful herb shop.

Herbalist China Bayles closes her shop as a hot-shot criminal attorney in Houston to pursue her passion in herbs by buying a herb shop named "Thyme and Seasons" in a small town called Pecan Springs between Austin and San Antonio. She craves for a quiet and simple life with people she love surrounding her. However her intelligent brain pushes her back into the investigation crimes around her quiet little nook. Each mystery has a signature herb that connects to the main plot while Bayles also shares herbal and gardening tips and yummy recipes with her friends and us readers. Frequently her fiancée Michael "Mike" McQuaid partners with her investigations. 

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For all movies of Sherlock Holmes or related to Sherlock, go here.

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: Has tons of entertainment, with shades of mystery and intrigue attached to it, sort of a celebration of Holmes and Watson with a twinge in your heart. Definitely a strange film, but enjoyable to watch at least once.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is a 1970 DeLuxe Color film in Panavision directed and produced by Billy Wilder and co-produced by I. A. L. Diamond; distributed by United Artists. It stars Robert Stephens as Sherlock Holmes and Colin Blakely as his trusted partner Dr. John Watson; supported by Genevieve Page, Sir Christopher Lee, Irene Handl, Tamara Toumanova and George Benson. It is set in 1887.

Uniquely filmed, it is divided into two separate stories. The shorter story delves into the rumors of sexual orientation of Sherlock Holmes and the part Dr. Watson plays in it. In the longer and main story, a Belgian woman, Gabrielle Valladon (portrayed by Genevieve Page) asks Holmes to find her missing husband. 

The film is a mix of parody and "real" characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, with the story-line a mix of comedy and mystery. Story was written by I. A. L. Diamond and Billy Wilder. The film's length ran over 3 hrs so several scenes were deleted from the final version that was released to the theater. 

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Movie Critique - Rope

For review of other books or movies by Alfred Hitchcock, go here

Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A fascinating film with an equally twisted mind of the characters, that delves into darker shades of human minds owned by innocently looking people. Vastly underrated Hitchcock film that deserves a second watch.

Rope is a 1948 American psychological crime thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock with uncredited production support from Sidney Bernstein. The film stars James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger and Joan Chandler among others. 

Two brilliant students - Brandon Shaw (portrayed by John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (portrayed by Farley Granger) - murder their former classmate in the spirit of intellectual exercise. Their former prep-school's housemaster Rupert Cadell (portrayed by James Stewart) had discussed several theories on the concept of committing a perfect murder to prove superiority. The rest of the movie follows these three characters along with a select few invited to the dinner party by Brandon and Phillip, where the psychological experiment continues. 

The film was based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton. Screenplay was provided by Arthur Laurents with adaptation by Hume Cronyn. The original play was inspired by the real life murder of Bobby Franks in 1924 by two University of Chicago students, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.

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My dear friend, Preethi, had given me some peppermint candy canes during the Christmas time, because I had mentioned that I never ate them. Well, I took a bite and found them too minty or sweet for my palate. So what did I do then. Made pancakes! What else! :P

And so in my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Candy Cane Pancakes; the sweet minty flavored flat cake. Now for the recipe.


Pancake Mix: Use either of the two recipes I posted for Pancake Mix - Aparna's Pancake Mix Recipe 1 or The North Face Women's Boots, 8 US for this. I used my Recipe 2 this time, without Buckwheat Flour.

Peppermint Candy Canes - 4 medium sized

Vanilla Extract (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon

Preparation Steps:

1) Crush the Peppermint Candy Canes in a mortar and pestle into tiny pieces, but not entirely into powder. They should be granular enough to be seen.

2) In the bowl that contains the already made Pancake Batter using Recipe 2 link above, add the crushed Peppermint Candy Canes into it.

3) Mix everything together to form a smooth batter

4) Heat a skillet, and smear a little butter.

5) Pour a ladle full of the Peppermint Candy Cane Pancake Batter on to the hot skillet.

6) Cook on both sides till they turn golden brown.

7) Serve warm with a layer of Whipped Cream.


1) The Peppermint Candy Canes felt really sweet for my palate so I didn’t add any Sugar to the batter. However, if you have a sweet tooth, add Sugar accordingly.

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In my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Left-Over Bread Pancakes or as I like to call them Double Ka Meetha Pancakes.

Double Ka Meetha (= Double the sweetness) is an Indian dessert that is easily made, specially when you have a lot of left-over bread. I make it rarely though, but had made it a few years ago. Little did I think that these Bread Pancakes that I made now would remind me of that dessert The taste was exactly the same.

Try it out and see for yourself. Now for the recipe.


Bread Slices - 4

Eggs - 2 medium sized

Sugar - if needed add 2 to 3 tablespoons

Milk - 1 Cup

Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon

Butter - for cookin

Preparation Steps:

1) Break the bread slices into pieces. 

2) Put them in a blender to form a fine powder.

3) In a mixing bowl, mix Eggs, Milk, Sugar and Cardamom Powder thoroughly.

4) Now add the Bread powder to the mix.

5) Heat a skillet, and smear a little butter.

6) Pour a ladle full of the Bread Pancake Batter on to the hot skillet.

7) Cook on both sides till they turn golden brown.

8) Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or maple syrup or powdered sugar if you want. 


1) I had whole wheat bread at home so I used that. But a milk bread or cinnamon swirl bread would perhaps give it a sweeter taste without the use of sugar.

2) If the bread is naturally sweet, you don’t need the additional sweetness of maple syrup or powdered sugar or whipped cream. 

Kitchen Fun - Savory Avocado Pancakes

In my Obsession with Pancakes series, the next one I present are Avocado Pancakes. Although they are pancakes, and believe me if you will, I did use pancake batter (one of two links I provided below), but the taste was very similar to an Indian Uttapam or Dosa. How interesting that something I made totally western, tasted totally Indian (eastern)!

Now for the recipe.


Pancake Mix: Use either of the two recipes I posted for Pancake Mix - Aparna's Pancake Mix Recipe 1 or The Flash Grant Gustin as The Flash and Stephen Amell as Green A for this. I used my Recipe 2 this time.

Avocado - 1 medium sized

Salt - per taste

Green Chilis / Jalapenos - 3 small ones

Oil or Butter - for cooking

Cilantro - as needed chopped finely

Onion - 1 medium sized chopped finely

Preparation Steps:

1) Mash Avocado into a smooth paste.

2) In the bowl that contains the already made Pancake Batter using Recipe 2 link above, add the mashed Avocado, finely chopped Onion, Cilantro and Green Chilis.

3) Mix everything together. Add Salt and mix again.

4) Heat a skillet, and smear a little butter.

5) Pour a ladle full of the Avocado Pancake Batter on to the hot skillet.

6) Cook on both sides till they turn golden brown.

7) Serve warm with a side of Mint Chutney or Coconut Chutney or any kind of spicy side.


1) If the avocados are not soft, just blend them in a blender with little water to form a smooth paste.

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