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Looking Forward to a New Year!

This has been a trying twelve months for many people around the world, I do not doubt. As 2020 limps to a finish, I am very grateful that I still have my health, but fear that my outlook on life is more pessimistic and clouded than usual, and that is rare for me. Golden Age mysteries have been one of the great and calming constants for me this year, and there is something wonderful about forgetting the turmoil of virus, lockdowns, and politics and spending a few moments with an intrepid detective collecting clues and interviewing suspects while traipsing around (mask free!) in a sleepy English village.

This year I also finished reading the fourth of the crime-adjacent novels written by Winifred Blazey, Gladys Mitchell's peer and companion in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Grace Before Meat (1942) is a lively and well-observed tale of a young schoolmistress who takes over the school of rural Candleford Hainault and immediately has her hands full with students, villagers, the rector, and the squire. When murder occurs, Barbara Grace is called as a witness at the inquest.

I am hoping that 2021 proves a productive and happy time for everyone, and I am looking forward to some changes big and small in my own routine as goals get revised and new opportunities await. May everyone continue to press on and persevere, and feel free to join the Mitchell Mystery Reading Group as we read another Mrs Bradley title (as yet to be determined) sometime this spring! Cheers -- Jason H.


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Jason Half,
circa 2001
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