A New Year’s present

Those of you who get the newsletter already know this, but there’e2’80’99s now an excerpt from THE ART OF DETECTION THE ART OF DETECTIONon the web site, along with the cover art for the book and for the new short story, ‘e2’80’9cCat’e2’80’99s Paw’e2’80’9d. I’e2’80’99ll be posting more on THE ART OF DETECTION later in the spring, photos of sites from the story and of course reviews when they come in, but it’e2’80’99s so dreary and rainy here on the Central Coast, I wanted to offer something to cheer up the dregs of 2005.

I hope you all had a good Christmas, or are having a good Hanukkah. I’e2’80’99ve spent the past few days dashing in and out the door in my raincoat, acting in my new role as chief chauffeur–airport runs every couple of days, doctors’e2’80’99 appointments’e2’80’94five in three days, involving two different patients. And on the way back from the airport on Monday, my faithful Land Rover wheezed and apologetically died on the freeway, although it chose a place and time that were remarkably convenient for the purpose, it being the first gap in rain for days, and the spot having a shoulder, unlike the frightening stretch of curvy road with no shoulders that lay just a couple miles further on. For the last three years I’e2’80’99ve been trying to decide if it is better to hang onto a car whose foibles I know, ten years and 140,000 miles on, or to trade in for a new one that might or might not be more dependable. As I am now the main transport engineer in a house full of aging people, maybe a vehicle that works would be a good idea’e2’80’a6

But I like my Land Rover. The new models are ugly, looking more like minivans than something deserving of Africa, and although a lot of things have gone wrong with the thing, and every problem costs a lot to fix, this is the first time it’s actually refused to soldier on.

Yeah, yeah, I know–if it were an American car I’d be cursing it as a piece of junk with the first blown fuse, but because I have this soft place for the English…

In any case, the fuel pump is replaced, the rental car is but a memory, I have another two runs to physicians today, and I’m supposed to start a book next week. Life trundles on.

Happy New Year to you all, and I hope you enjoy meeting Kate Martinelli again after all these years.

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  1. myninki on December 29, 2005 at 2:58 pm

    I hope everything is ok

  2. Anonymous on December 29, 2005 at 4:44 pm

    I think this is still true: if you buy the car in the UK (with the necessary additions for California smog rules) and then drive it around a certain amount, you can bring it back at some reduced rate — is this all iffy enough for you? I have a British friend here in California who does this quite regularly, although with German cars, not British.

    Hope all goes well for you, and a happy new year. I look forward to the Martinelli.

  3. 2maple on December 29, 2005 at 6:25 pm

    You too?! My jeep is at the car Dr. for the same troubles. I am waiting to hear whether it’s the fuel pump or the the fuel sensor (hopefully the latter as it will be a much cheaper fix!) It had the grace to die in the driveway after running 4 trips to town shuttling kids to practices and before heading out to take kids to get their hair cut & to the movies (can you see how I’m spending my few days off between Christmas and New Years 🙂 It’s 8 miles of icy country roads to town each way and, oh yeah, this was the year our town low bid the snow removal contract! You hit our town line and you’d think you’ve entered a different climate zone!

    To keep or not to keep – what a nusance of a question. We tend to buy used, and with regular oil changes & good maintenance, keep them until we drive them into the ground (read something finally breaks that is not worth fixing – like the transmission), typically around 200,000 to 250,000 miles – even the Ameircan ones!

    I hate making that kind of decision – especially if it’s a car I liked that has been good to me.

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas. And, yea, the days are finally getting longer!!

  4. Anonymous on December 30, 2005 at 1:31 am

    Hi Laurie, funny I was talking to a store owner in San Juan Baptista last Fall, and she said Watsonville, (where I had my first born, 23 years ago) has an even newer hospital..anyhow, I hope you and family are well? The new books look very interesting, and oh I wish I had one to sink into tonight.

  5. Ipstenu on December 30, 2005 at 7:02 pm

    Completly delighted about the return of Kate! 10 years ago on a mailing list someone recommended you and I’ve been a devotee ever since. My partner is addicted to your Russell books (and you made me re-read Kim with The Game!), but the soft spot in my heart belongs to beleagured Martinelli.

  6. WDI on December 31, 2005 at 12:54 am

    Thanks for the chapter, although it is a major tease (What, Kate has rennovated more than 1 house? Russian Hill is her *former* neighbhorhood??). I am now sitting even more precariously on the edge of my metaphorical seat awaiting the hardcover. Will they be available signed if ordered from your local independent?

    Good luck with the car — it’s an ugly decision to have to make and one we’ve wrestled with several times in the last 10 years. We’re hoping we’ve got things solved for the next 10, though . . .

  7. Anonymous on December 31, 2005 at 11:17 pm

    Hi Laurie! This is my first time checking out your blogsite. I laughed aloud at your car quandary. You’ll understand why when my snailmail letter reaches you … it went out a few days ago. I think we have stumbled onto one of the themes of 2006 … the pull between old and new, known and unknown. Happy New Year from the tall bearded iris lady. 🙂

  8. Anonymous on January 1, 2006 at 2:41 am

    Oh Wow! and what a delightful present it is to read the first chapter ahead of time! Thank you so much Laurie for giving us this treat.

    We still have our 1990 Toyota Camery we purchased new in July of that year from Roseville, CA because we HAD to have the moon roof. Well that turned into a leaky mistake, but an old deck of playing cards in their box keeps us tidy and dry. Topping 280K miles, but for local driving only.

    The back up vehicle is a 1997 Subaru Legacy (striped down model) with all wheel drive. An absolute necessity here in Norther New Mexico.

    She is a ‘salvage’ title car we picked up for $3500. We got her three Christmases ago, 185K ml. and she’s a goer.

    Let’s hear it for ‘utilized’ vehicles.

    Nonetheless a new one will some day come our way.

    Happy New Year!


  9. terri c on January 1, 2006 at 4:17 am

    HOORAY! Kate Martinelli back! Just found this blog which is about to be bookmarked. Best luck with the car. My beloved old Aerostar may, just may, be leaking Something. I do not think I want to know anything more at present. My wolfhound needs our Aerostar.

  10. Erin on January 1, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    Book clips?! Woot!

    Did you decide to write this Martinelli in present year, then? “Old” neighborhood and DVD players are a bit of a tip off, I suppose. And now we all must wait another six months for the whole thing! But the teaser was very good=)

    Sorry to hear about your car; car troubles suck. Hopefully whatever solution you choose will not cost a bundle.

    Happy New Year!

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