Monthly Archives: July 2016

KN, p. 176 “Is that a body in the fridge?”



A pal of ours recently acquired a new refrigerator. Not just any refrigerator. A back-to-basics 1950s era fridge that is smaller than today’s ‘big-bigger-monstrous’ sized appliances that need special spaces in the kitchen created for them. Today’s models even come with apps that will tell you what’s on the shelves inside while you are standing in the store. (Now I ask you, doesn’t anybody know what lists are for?) But, I digress. Cynthia St-Pierre, a multi-talented mystery writer from Canada, tells me that the fridge needs to be defrosted once a month. Yup. I told you it was a back-to-basics variety. She sent us a photo of it – nice creamy hue that blends effectively with her color scheme and the retro look that she has been working toward in her home.


On the silly side, I started seeing the fridge everywhere. We watch a lot of British mysteries on TV and suddenly, it was in every kitchen in every show that is set in the late 1940s thru the 1950s. The refrigerators have most likely been in the scenes all along, but now there was a background detail that had jumped into the foreground for us.




It got me thinking. Quite a few TV shows featuring characters that need to store a body until they can get rid of it, have freezers in the cellar. More than one show has featured refrigerators or freezers in the storyline – sometimes in room sized freezers – remember Castle & Beckett turning into popsicles before our eyes? They made it out alive, but not all unfortunate souls do. If the show is directed by a horror buff, then the discovery is all the more startling or even gruesome. We may even have show overspill – imagine opening your refrigerator (especially your freezer) after watching one of these masterpieces? I might be tempted to eat only fresh food for a while.


The concept of hiding bodies in cold household places goes all the way back to the “Green Lantern,” in episode #54, and to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” in the episode titled, “Lamb to the Slaughter.” I watched that one during a Hitchcock retrospective. Ewwwww!


It is only fair to note that not all retro freezers or refrigerators come with bodies included. Some current shows set in the 50s feature the retro fridge, but so far, no bodies have been found in them. The “Doctor Blake Mysteries” (from Australia) and the “Father Brown Mysteries” (from England) have plenty of bodies to be tripped over, but none have been found refrigerated. So far.


Just in case you don’t think this happens in real life, think again. In December, 2015, the fully clothed body of a woman was found in a refrigerator in a California garage being cleaned out after tenants had moved. The body was left inside the fridge and wheeled off by handcart to the coroner’s office.



Just last month (June, 2016) a woman found a body in a freezer that she had purchased in a yard sale in North Carolina. She was asked not to open it for a while because of a Sunday School project contained in it. The preliminary thinking about the seller is that the deceased was a relative and that she didn’t know what to do when the person died.





Keeping lots of chops and roasts in your cellar freezer? Hmmmm…
Ever notice that it is the size of a coffin?  

Make sure that only a trusted few have access to it. If you happen to observe on a dark and stormy night that all the shelves have been removed and are leaning against the outside, you might need a witness standing next to you when you open the door.


Just to reassure you: no bodies were discovered during the writing of this post. Honestly.


Photo credits

 Kelvinator photo: Cynthia St-Pierre

Freezer and the aqua refrigerator: internet photos






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KN, p. 175 “Kerrian’s Favorite Summer Salad Platter”



We do a lot of grilling when the temperature rises, but every once in a while, it’s too hot to even turn on the grill. Who wants to stand over hot coals when the heat index is over 100 degrees? Not me, thanks.


So we came up with a sure-fire, never fail summer salad platter. It takes about 10 minutes for the prep, requires no cooking and it’s pretty tasty. And, it’s a definite plus when there are no bodies found on the deck because of the heat.


"Kerrian's Favorite Summer Salad Platter"
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
  • 2 cups mix of red and green butter lettuces
  • Whole large tomato - it should fill your hand
  • One 5 oz. can tuna, Albacore or Tongol packed in water
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup Hellman’s mayo
  • One small yellow squash - washed, but not peeled
  • One small zucchini - washed, but not peeled
  • English seedless cucumber, washed and peeled
  • Slices of yellow and red bell peppers
  • Russian, Thousand Island, or Ranch salad dressing
  1. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a dinner plate, covering the entire plate.
  2. Core the tomato, then slice it from top to bottom into eight sections - not quite cutting through, so that the sections are still attached at the bottom. Place in center of plate.
  3. Thoroughly mix tuna, celery and mayo together and place in center of the tomato.
  4. Slice yellow squash and place on dinner plate.
  5. Slice zucchini and place on dinner plate.
  6. Cut cucumber into bite-sized chunks and place on dinner plate.
  7. Cut red and yellow bell peppers into bite-sized pieces and place on dinner plate.

Serve with your favorite salad dressing and stay cool.

The recipe is for one hearty appetite, but can serve two if you add bread to the menu.  🙂


*Photos by Patti Phillips









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KN, p.174 “Death by Swimming Pool”


Pool-JWWaterVolleyball copy

Sheila and I watched a British TV show the other night that included a ‘death-by-drowning’ scene. The wrong person wound up dead in the pool in this mystery because of an identity mix-up. By coincidence, the very next night, an old movie featured the same cause of death. We began to wonder how often death by drowning actually occurs.


While no stats were available specifically concerning murders caused by drowning, the general answer is that an average of about 10 drowning deaths happen every single day in the USA. It’s actually a huge problem worldwide, not just here, and is among the top five reasons for deaths. A 2014 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that about 372,000 people died in 2012 from drowning. This number excluded deaths by vessels capsizing, natural disasters, or intentional drowning deaths (suicide or homicide).




Surprising as that number might be, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA lists an additional alarming fact – that nearly 20% of the people who die from drowning in the USA are under 14 years old. Similar information exists for the global stats cited by WHO. Plus, for every child that dies, there are several others who have to get treated for their injuries in the water.


But before you jump to the conclusion that the injuries are all happening at home pools in the USA, think again. About 47% of those who had to get treated were swimming at a home pool, but a full 27% of the swimming injuries happened at a public watering hole.


Then there are the drowning deaths, still accidental, but pushing the limits of that definition. A recent story in the news involving a controversial SEAL training death points to a seemingly universal opinion that we are indestructible, that swimming is at best a risky enterprise, but that people in good shape can survive with less oxygen getting into their lungs on a regular basis. Hmmm… not true. Even great swimmers get tired and can drown.




Lots of private pool owners swim alone. Why not? The pool beckons on a hot day and it’s a relaxing way to cool off. But, what if you are tired at the end of a work day, and slip on the edge of the pool, knock your head on the way in and… if you are alone, nobody is there to pull you out of the water or to call 911.


That may be what happened to a guy who was found floating in his pool back in April.




So, what can you do to stay safe in the water?


  1. Don’t swim alone.
  2. Make sure that your children know how to swim.
  3. Don’t allow your children to swim unless there is an adult with a phone present.
  4. If you have a pool, fence in your yard.
  5. Be aware of ocean water dangers – undertows, etc
  6. Wear a lifejacket when boating on a lake or in the ocean.



For other water safety measures see:




For more information on this subject go to:







 Above all, stay safe in and near the water.


*Photo by Jennifer Worley



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