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.
The author is clearly talented. The first-person narrative is intriguing all the way through because her character is interesting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Mlima is one of the treasured “big tuskers” elephants in a Kenyan wild animal preserve. Protected by the government, he roams freely for the 50-plus years of his life until he is felled by poachers. His huge, blemish-free tusks are then smuggled out of the country while public relations wonks attempt to do damage control […]
In a lonely mansion on the English moors ca. 1840s a Moor Hen bangs into the parlor window with a resounding thump. Agatha (Dana Millican), her younger sister Huldey (Jen Rowe), and A Mastiff (Paul Glazier) turn their heads toward the window. (Something must be done about those infernal birds.) They are awaiting the arrival […]
A lonely orphan, a mysterious benefactor, a nine-point plan. Broadway Rose Theatre Company is now streaming its onstage production of the two-person musical Daddy Long Legs. The program is available for streaming through October 25 and stars real-life couple and NEWLYWEDS (!!!) Malia Tippets and Joe Theissen. Based on Jean Webster’s 1912 novel, which inspired […]
As the Season of the Un-Season launches, Portland-area theatres are coming online with exciting new offerings–enough that I expect to be kept busy with all the goings-on! Mark your calendars now. You won’t want to miss the following: Portland Center Stage Portland Center Stage’s PCS Remix: Play Readings series kicks off with a reading of […]
We’re into month seven of this thing. Ugh. Who woulda thought, right? That hasn’t slowed down Portland area creatives. The theatre scene is bursting at the seams with great ideas to keep us entertained until we can all meet again and smell the greasepaint. Here’s what’s happening in September. Broadway Rose Theatre Company I’m late […]
Picture the greater Portland theatre scene as a duck on a pond. Placidly, said duck glides across the pond barely causing a ripple. Underwater, those little duck feet are paddling like crazy. In our new world, virtual events pop up here and there, but there’s a whole lot more going on. Here’s a sampling: Third […]
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 […]
A Writer’s Life
Suspense, terror, girl power, and romance await those of you who have not yet read my second book in the Emma Golden Mystery Series, The Difficult Sister! Now through September 30, The Difficult Sister is on promotion and deeply discounted to $1.99 (reg. $6.99) for the ebook and $9.99 plus shipping (reg. $16.99) for the paperback. When […]
Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in –Leonard Cohen Get ready to READ! September came roaring in with a flurry of […]
The summer of our discontent OK, all y’all, it’s been a while. We’ve all had plenty of the pandemic. As if that weren’t enough, my dear Portland, where people take this Black Lives Matter thing pretty seriously, was invaded by a plague of a different sort. Masked men in camo who grabbed quietly demonstrating people […]
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 […]