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Thirty-something Mara Gilgannon finds herself back in her dinky hometown of Aldoburg, Iowa, helping her Aunt Zee keep her struggling radio station alive while unraveling clues surrounding the murder of Glad, Zee's longtime partner. Mara begins to suspect that Glad's vocal opposition to a Wal-Mart opening in the town, an issue that has sharply divided Aldoburg, may have more to do with the murder than was originally supposed. But nothing is ever simple-especially when a beautiful police officer catches Mara's eye. Mary Vermillion is an associate professor of English at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, and her writing has appeared in Birthday Blessings and Testimonies.
This book contains a collection of incidents involving shopping with Ding-A-Ling, my mother-in-law. It is not meant to ridicule her, but simply is a recounting of her ways of twisting words and thoughts. She was born with an obvious learning disability. It is difficult for her to find appropriate words and to pronounce them correctly. As a person who was blessed at birth with the ability to manipulate words, I think the good Lord put me with Ding-A-Ling on purpose. My job has been to straighten out the grammatical mistakes she has made; she, however, has viewed this in a different light. I am sure she has always felt that I have been making fun of her. Nothing could be further from the truth; I have only wanted to keep others from ridiculing her. Many people think Ding-A-Ling's mistakes are due to senility. At her age, this could be partially true. I have concluded, however, that deep inside her brain is more intelligence than people give her credit for. Her ability to analyze numbers is phenomenal. It is simply a case of an area of her brain not operating correctly when the manipulation of words is required.
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