Hi, I'm JUDY.
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Author, Blogger, Theatre Critic
With blackthorn staff
I draw the bound
All malice and bane
I thus confound.
AND THEN, A BODY
Blackthorn is the first gothic thriller by Judy Nedry. In this modern-day gothic novel set on the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Sage Blackthorn revisits demons from her past and confronts a multitude of new ones when she returns to her childhood home to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.
the man who wasn’t there
BLISTERING HEAT ISN’T GOOD FOR GRAPES … OR PEOPLE
James Ryder has it all. A founding pioneer of the Oregon wine industry, he has the stately good looks of a gentleman farmer, the perfect family, an ample bank account, and the prestige of owning one of Oregon’s oldest and most respected wineries. His youngest daughter has taken up the torch to become the second-generation winemaker at Ryder Estate.
The Difficult Sister
MURDER IN THE MIST
The Difficult Sister is the second mystery/suspense novel from Judy Nedry featuring Emma Golden. This latest adventure takes Emma and her friend, Melody, to a remote, southern Oregon coastal town to search for Melody’s missing, ne’er-do-well younger sister, Aurora. However, they quickly both realize that at the very least, Aurora is in some sort of major trouble and may even be dead.
an unholy alliance
WHAT WINE PAIRS BEST WITH MURDER?
An Unholy Alliance introduces Emma Golden, a self-styled has-been who is invited to write a book on her beloved Oregon wine country, and manage a bed and breakfast for a friend. All seems ideal until Emma encounters her verbally abusive ex-husband, Dwight McCourt, shortly after settling in at the B&B. She discovers that she still harbors unresolved feelings for him.
This mystery was great fun to read. I enjoyed visualizing the Oregon wine country. Emma is a very real character and I feel I know her. The dialog is well done and the book moves along at a good clip.
The author is clearly talented. The first-person narrative is intriguing all the way through because her character is interesting.
The Difficult Sister is not the cozy you might expect given that it involves two fifty-something women on a trip to the Oregon Coast. This second mystery by Judy Nedry is darker and edgier than its description suggests.
The first of what is now a trilogy that follows a recovering alcoholic writer, Emma Golden, who is working on a book about the wine industry in Oregon (where the author was also an early vintner). Nedry's main character is an accidental detective chasing down the murderer of a showy new winery owner, who isn't a nice person. Emma is funny, pushy and not afraid to step on toes. Light and entertaining.
Overall – a really interesting book and something a bit different from my usual crime fiction reads. The sideshow with Emma’s involvement in her friend’s troubles helped fleshed the story out and give it more meat on the bones and added to my overall enjoyment. I’m looking forward to Nedry’s second book – The Difficult Sister (I could say that’s something I know all about, but that would be mean, so I won’t……oops, already have)
My favorite part was the main character, Emma Golden. She is a middle-aged divorcee who acts as a real person would act. She is put out by a friend volunteering her to help a sick acquaintance but she is busybody enough to try and figure out who killed the acquaintance's husband. This is the first book in the series that I have read but I will look for the others so I can spend more time with Emma.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and the prior one, A Difficult Sister. Emma feels like someone I've known and I'll miss her until the next book. The pace of action suits me and kept me reading late into the night. Loved the Oregon setting - I lived there many years and the descriptions triggered lovely memories. Highly recommend.
Expecting a pleasant time with old friends and acquaintances, Emma finds herself again dealing with death. From the moment I began this book to the final paragraph, I was unwilling to put it down.
Stuff, as they say, happens. Bullets fly. People die. Evil happens. There will be mud, "one slow sucking step after another". We are a long way from almond croissants and that gives The Difficult Sister an intriguing, palpable edge.
This third of the EG series didn't disappoint. Again, we are treated to a core group of independent women who are the centerpiece of this latest mystery. It is refreshing to read such a book, especially in these days of vapid "chick lit". The Oregon wine country serves as a compelling setting for this mystery; with an insider's keen sense of history and detail, it comes alive as a fascinating subplot.
An unlikely murder occurs at the most prestigious annual gathering of the Oregon wine industry. Emma Golden, a woman of a certain age with an uncanny ability to solve such crimes, goes to work in this third book of the eponymous series by Judy Nedry. Nedry, a longtime wine writer, and resident of the Willamette Valley, brings the Oregon wine world to life in vivid detail as the backdrop for Emma's sleuthing. She also tells a suspenseful story.
Live performance is happening! It’s as close as your electronic device. Tonight and Friday evening, and Sunday afternoon, CoHo Productions presents Aberdeen, a musical storytelling performance by Matt Sheehy. His unique one-man show was originally performed at CoHo during the summer of 2018. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, CoHo is experimenting with ways to […]
Like so many theatres in the greater Portland area, Portland Center Stage has created new ways to keep creatives busy and somewhat employed during the pandemic. It has joined the national theatre project Play at Home, and commissioned four Portland playwrights to create short plays that are designed to be read—and performed—by anyone in the […]
Claudia is a baby pangolin–a small, aardvark-like creature–who shows up in Momo’s pocket at her grandfather’s stinky fish market in Wuhan, China. And she is the star of Profile Theatre‘s five-episode audio drama Claudia, A Love Story, now available for audio streaming at https://profiletheatre.org/claudia/. It’s a wild, clever, and fun story line, with plenty of […]
Just to clear the air, let me begin by stating the obvious: it has been a stinking time for the Arts. No openings, no shows, no dear little cocktails and social mixing with the great and the good. The smell of the grease paint, oil paint, or what have you has not been present in […]
Lakewood Theatre Company‘s production of The Odd Couple makes one thing perfectly clear. Neil Simon‘s Tony-winning domestic comedy is still hilarious after all these years! It premiered on Broadway in 1965. The story revolves around a Friday night poker group at sports writer Oscar Madison’s (Don Alder) spacious New York apartment. Recently divorced, Oscar is an […]
Christopher (Jamie Sanders) lives in the mysterious world of autism. His movements are robotic, he hates being touched, he loves math, he struggles to communicate verbally, and he loves animals. When he discovers Mrs. Shears’s (Nicole Marie Green) dog Wellington impaled with a pitchfork, he is more than upset. In Simon Stephens‘s play, The Curious Incident of […]
The Duchess of Windsor–yes, that Duchess of Windsor–once said, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” This quote must have stuck in Sheila Callaghan‘s craw while she wrote Everything You Touch. Theatre Vertigo‘s production, now onstage at the intimate Shoebox Theatre, is a play about a narcissistic, body-shaming 1970s New York fashion designer named […]
Given the rampant loneliness in our culture, it only made sense that Norma (Beth Thompson) would become a professional cuddler. When he gets lonely, Norm (Tom Mounsey) likes to dance in his underwear, with ribbon, to 1980s Whitney Houston songs. (Something to behold!) When Norma finds a lost Dog (Clifton Holznagel), she naturally brings it […]
Sometimes, on the way to reclaim oneself, it is necessary to unload. So, on the brink of his 2002 testimony in the Irish courts, where he charges Ireland with willful blindness, deafness and indifference toward the institutional violence committed against children, that is precisely what James X (Darius Pierce) does. In Gerard Mannix Flynn‘s play […]
Middle schools and high schools are notorious for their sub-cultures of nasty, mean girls. This phenomenon is not unique to the United States, as we learn in Jocelyn Bioh‘s breakout hit School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play. Presented by Artists Repertory Theatre and Portland Center Stage, this joint production is offered on the […]
A Writer’s Life
And yet, amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast, I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better morrow. –F. Scott Fitzgerald during the flu pandemic of 1919 From my bunker to your bunker I am writing another newsletter. There is not a lot of news, per […]
Love in a time of plague It has been difficult to summon the energy to write a newsletter. No, nothing is wrong here. It’s just been so very hard to find words. Things change every day, there are more restrictions and scary warnings. It feels like a chapter from a dystopian novel. And, in fact, […]
Greetings from Tucson, Arizona! After a week in Tucson, I’m starting to relax. Abandoning Portland this time of year has become a necessity. Today, we walked in rainy 57 degrees–a good 20 degrees more than I’ve been accustomed to. It’s been mostly sunny, and I feel more like myself. After months of financial finagling, I […]
The reviews are in, and my latest novel Blackthorn has fared well under the scrutiny of readers. If you have been putting off ordering your Kindle copy of Blackthorn, wait no longer. For the next 7 days, the book is deeply discounted from its $6.99 regular price. Starting today, February 7, Blackthorn will be featured on a “countdown deal” […]
The Portland-grown Fertile Ground City-Wide Festival of New Works directed by Nicole Lane kicks off its 11th annual festival next week beginning on Thursday, January 30 and continuing through Sunday, February 9. Portland is a city bursting with prolific playwrights, abundant actors, innovative dancers, talented designers and adventuresome producers. Over the past ten festivals, Fertile […]
Thank HEAVENS for audiobooks! Not only have they spared me endless hours of listening to news too dreadful to contemplate while driving, but also they make it possible for me to read several more books per year! In 2018 I read 48 books. In 2019 I read 73. My pleasure in reading has gotten a […]
Ghosts of Christmas Past December was its usual pain in the rear, but aside from that annoyance my sacred inner curmudgeon managed to fully enjoy one very fine concert, a day baking cookies, two Solstice celebrations, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day with family, old friends, and some new ones. Christmas used to be my favorite […]
The State of the State It was a busy month for being Out There instead of In Here. I gave three presentations to various groups on “Setting as a Character”, wrote eight play reviews, discovered a new-to-me author I very much enjoy, and attended two dear friends from far-flung places. Renie Steves is a food […]
The State of the State September came and went in a flash as Portland-area theatres opened their new seasons and kept me busy attending plays and writing reviews. It brings a rush of pleasure when theatres open their doors each season, with great excitement for new works and seeing some familiar plays as well. September […]
Friday the 13th is your lucky day! This Friday, September 13, I am featuring a Friday Freebie of my recently re-released book, An Unholy Alliance, the first book in the Emma Golden Mystery Series. Here’s how it works: Any time after midnight Thursday night until midnight Friday night you may order your Ebook copy of An Unholy Alliance absolutely […]
The State of the State It’s the day after Labor Day. The pool closed today. Students returned to school. The mornings are cooler. We think about bringing in the sheaves, and warm fires. It’s the end of something. Right? Not for me. Ever since I was a schoolgirl, September has signaled New Year. Each […]
The State of the State July was a month of wonderful summer weather punctuated by a couple thunder and lightning storms and a grand adventure to southeastern Oregon. Steen’s Mountain is about as far into the middle of nowhere as one can get, so I don’t undertake these little jaunts on my own. My sister […]