Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not Just Another Review - Nevada Barr's Short, Smoke and Mirrors, is Fun Spoof!

It wasn’t the first time Jacobs had murdered. I could tell that by the look on his face when he did it. Pure snarky glee. A first-timer would have some trepidation, some hesitation, maybe a second where the last bit of their soul flames out. Not him. Alley was almost to the sidewalk and he swerved –a big sharp swerve across the oncoming.

Alley was almost four when he killed her, and the sweetest, drollest little spirit who ever lived. She moved with such grace I sometimes think she was made partly of air, a breeze that flowed effortlessly through the grass. Each of her moods was another face of the way the gods might look when they laugh, when they aren’t massacring folks...


Smoke and Mirrors
By Nevada Barr

When I saw Nevada Barr's name, I immediately downloaded what turned out to be a short story. I've been a fan of Nevada from The Track of the Cat way back when, so it's a normal purchase to read her, although I wouldn't normally review a short story... This is in memory of Alley...

But there really wasn't an option! When I learned what happened to Alley, I was all for what she had planned... 

Wreaking Vengeance -- Thy name is Cat Lover....
You’re going to say I should have
 called the police.  Yeah, sure, 
maybe if I lived in California or
Boulder, Colorado or some other
 place where flunking the
 psychopath test isn’t a 
prerequisite to joining the police
 force.  In New Orleans people
 who kill people don’t go to jail.
  A person killing a cat would
 just get me laughed at. 

I loved this Spoof!

If readers take it, the
way Barr wrote it, they
will enjoy it as much as I did.

After all, cats are loved
just like family members
for many of us...

But if your cat is murdered, would you go to the police??? Even if you had been an eye witness? Well, Alley;s Mom knew she had not been the first that Hugh Jacobs had killed!

Thoughts of the death penalty began...

First, find out the name of that killer!

Check him out! He was on Facebook!


Katie, my neighbor and I found out where he lived, and his big Hummer was parked there in front...An idea started to form...

He tried to run over another cat.  This one, a grey-and-black tiger, probably less than a year old, was faster than Alley.  It scooted under a fence and Jacobs hit the curb and busted a tire.  I took it as a triumph for cats the world over.  And a sign he would never stop...

When it came, the plan came fully baked.  New Orleans is crime-ridden from the politicians, to the police, right down to the drug dealers in Central City.  I’d always looked at this as a bad thing.  It came to me that, given the right circumstances, crime is not a curse.  It is a resource.  Just like Google.


Taking walks with Katie soon helped us get in better shape--a plus! Our routine was to walk up to his house and back... While we did that, I was also learning how to hot-wire a Hummer...

The plan really was ingenuous but of course, I'm not going to say anymore...not even about the little one that came to visit after it was over...

A little bit of humor goes a long way toward  making us realize just how quickly some are prone to revenge, to violence...to do unto the other...

It's certainly not what this cat lover would do...

But I reallllllly enjoyed playing with the idea, thanks to Nevada Barr.
She rocks!


My mother, pilot and mechanic, had this peculiarity; she wouldn't let a man who couldn't fly work on her airplanes. She believed if he couldn't fly, he couldn't understand the stresses and strains the machinery would be called upon to bear. When she became pregnant with me, she demanded a female OBGYN --a male doctor couldn't understand the stresses and strains the machinery would be called upon to bear. In 1952 such beings were rare. One was at last found in the tiny town of Yerington, Nevada. Mom flew to Yerington in a super cub every month to visit Dr. Mary. When the time was near, she stayed with the doctor and her husband on his sheep ranch. The consensus among all was that the baby, boy or girl, be named Nevada.
This left me two choices: Vegas and the pole, or a life in the creative arts. I chose the latter.

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