Aggie Worries about Nancy’s 2018 Resolutions

I haven’t made any New Year’s Resolutions since January 2013 when Nancy and I clashed brains on the subject. I try to make worthy plans, but my good intentions tend to evaporate. So I gave up. Nancy, however, has a bunch of resolutions, which worry me.

She says she will:

  1. Work on house plans with interior design software she got for Christmas. (Is this for fun or is she actually planning to build a house?)
  2. Have a furniture maker she knows help her design a table she sketched. (Okay. I can deal with a table.)
  3. Work on two short stories she found in a drawer. (There were several, and I read them all. The others were lousy.)
  4. Talk to interested groups about River City Dead during San Antonio’s 2018 Tricentennial celebration. (This is the story of my recent rendesvoux-turned-fiasco with Sam on the River Walk, so it’s okay with me.)
  5. Investigate participating in CASA, Child Advocates San Antonio, which recruits, trains, and supervises court-appointed volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children and youth and help place them in safe, permanent homes. (This sounds like a wonderful program and a MAJOR commitment.)

So where does that leave me for the future? Is she finished telling my stories? This brings us to her sixth resolution—the most important one. She’s working on a story about the most dangerous situation Sam and I ever faced. She resolves to:

6. Lengthen and polish the story. (It’s written, but she’s been thinking since November about how to intensify it.

There you have it. I have not been cast aside. Not yet. And Nancy is better at keeping resolutions than I am. I still worry, however, about the brain clash we had back in 2013 over New Year’s resolutions, especially numbers 7, 8, 10 and 11:

If you have an opinion, let me know.

And stay tuned.

Aggie Mundeen

Nancy’s TV Debut

Shelly Miles, host of San Antonio Living on WOAI TV, invited Nancy to join her in a segment about Aggie Mundeen Mysteries. Naturally, I paid close attention.

Having never been on television, Nancy worried about attire and make-up. The sofa on the set was cranberry red. Should she wear a navy or black business suit to appear professional? She’d swelter under the studio lights. Rivulets pouring down one’s face is not a good look. She opted for a casual blue pantsuit with a loose top: light-weight cool fabric, long sleeves and demur neck. A microphone would be clipped to her somewhere.    

She emailed TV host Shelly: “Does the studio have a make-up artist?” TV cameras made a person look pale, old and ten pounds heavier, none of which Nancy needed. They had a bathroom and mirror. No make-up artist.  She consulted Melody, the master stylist who does her hair. Melody could apply TV make-up, but unfortunately, she would be out of town. She gave Nancy hints: “Apply eye liner above your lashes and blend it upward at the outside corner.” (Nothing on one’s face should trend down. Gravity took care of that.)

Nancy practiced. She wore contacts, so she had to keep the liner out of her eyes. She managed to draw a smooth line above her lashes, but when she swept the outside edges upward, they resembled curly mustaches. After multiple line drawings, scrubbing off a series of smudged flying corners and replacing two sets of contacts, she was able to draw lines—when she managed not to blink—that curved in subtle upward sweeps. She stared at the mirror bug-eyed, while her sweeps dried.

Melody said her cheek bones needed definition, so she bought several shades of blush at the grocery store. Poised at her bathroom mirror, she sucked in her cheeks and swept the pinkest shade on the bone from under her pupils toward her ears. She looked ready for a pow-wow. She tried a lighter color that looked more natural—so natural that a microscopic camera lens probably wouldn’t show it. She applied more of same figuring that should do it.

Her eyebrows, blonde and squiggly, did not make a nice frame for her eyes and would probably disappear under lights. What to do? Make arched brown bars totally foreign to her face? She tried it. Not good. Her brows would remain natural.

Dressed and made-up, she cruised with her husband down Highway 410 toward WOAI TV, which was located ten miles ahead on the access road. Then the traffic stopped. Vehicles came to a standstill, their motors idling and drivers fuming. There must be a major wreck ahead, and there was no other route to the TV station. After waiting in stalled traffic for twenty minutes, her husband suggested she call the station.

“This is Nancy West,” she said. “I’m supposed to be on San Antonio Living at ten  o’clock, but the traffic on 410 has stalled. I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

“Yes,” the receptionist said, “a four-car pile-up. Thank you.” Click.

As soon as Nancy hung up, cars miraculously began to move. Police must have cleared the wreckage. Hopefully, no one was seriously injured. They arrived at the station where people zoomed back and forth at warp speed between swinging doors on each side of a reception desk across from a small waiting area. She signed in, and they sat. A young lady brought a waver for her to sign: She agreed the station would own her television image in perpetuity, which undoubtedly included defined cheekbones, along with whatever words she managed to utter. The young lady asked if she could attach a microphone to Nancy and clipped a battery pack the size of a thick cell phone inside the back of her pants. Nancy shivered: she said it was cold and would remind her to sit straight for the interview. The girl had Nancy snake the wire under her clothes and clip a small microphone to her collar. Cool.

After “Finding Gently-Used Clothing for Back-to-School Fashion” and a segment about a school for boys practicing to be Ninja Warriors, Nancy was told to sit at the end of the rose sofa. Shelly Miles would sit on the adjoining sofa. Her books were placed on the coffee table in front of them, and images of the covers formed a portrait on the back wall.

“Just face me as though we’re having a natural conversation, ” Shelly said. After a countdown, the segment began. The lights were even brighter than we imagined. Shelly was charming, asked great questions, and Nancy had practiced some answers. The interview seemed to go well, although I doubt Nancy’s ratings rose to the level of Ninja Warriors.

Later, we watched a video of the show at home. Since Nancy had turned sideways to talk to Shelly, we mostly saw a woman with blonde hair talking to a younger woman who smiled radiantly for frequent camera close-ups. The woman resembling Nancy looked old and pale with invisible eye make-up, nondescript cheeks and squiggly eyebrows.

But she had fun.

__Aggie Mundeen



Aggie Mundeen Reflects During Spring Break

Here it is past the Ides of March and already St. Patrick’s Day. I love the idea of Leprechauns, but I ’m not worried that Shakespeare’s soothsayer foretold the death of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March. In fact, I’m not worried about much of anything. RIVER CITY DEAD was released a couple months ago. Reviews are great, and the book should be well-received because of the setting: Who doesn’t love the San Antonio River Walk? The city is a top tourist destination.

Nancy and I have our differences, but I loved her telling how Detective Sam and I planned our first rendezvous at Casa Prima Hotel on the River Walk. He and I have come a long way in our relationship over the course of four books, even though it could have been smoother. I blame Nancy for that.

Anyway, even though our rendezvous didn’t go exactly as planned (it was not my fault), Sam and I managed to work together most of the time, even when tragedy occurred. In the midst of catastrophe, our relationship blossomed. He did get terribly angry about a certain incident over which I had very little control.

I made new friends at the hotel, the Fabulous Femmes who held their convention there, and Sam and I immersed ourselves in the beauty and history of the River Walk.

Our reader friends seem charmed by the experience. RIVER CITY DEAD makes them want to visit River City, return, or if they live here, spend more time on the River Walk. And they like my story.

So now we’re at a lake on the Guadalupe River reflecting. Birds are singing, male geese strut on our roof trying to impress the females (it doesn’t seem to work all that well), the grass is greening and huge lakeside trees are sprouting new leaves. Lovely.

Until later,


p.s. Nancy is getting ready to send our newsletter about my stories and what’s coming up, including giveaways and bargains from her and other writers. If you’d like to be on the mail list, send us your name and email address. Look over in the right-hand column and click the link. Cheers!



It’s hot, and I’m bored. Nancy plans to learn Canva, clean her closet and our office, learn more guitar chords and tackle Scrivener, a program to help authors plan stories. We are also acquiring a new roof, which means we’ll both have headaches.

I’ll keep you posted.



July: It’s the end of July. The rain stopped and we’re baking under an unrelenting sun. Nancy’s glad she had a project to work on indoors, which is the story of my next adventure.

She answered editors’ questions and incorporated them into the story. She’s tired after working six-to-eight hours a day since early June, but she’s satisfied with the results. Now it’s time to clean out our office and closet clutter and perfect the art of being lazy. When I know her brain is receptive, I’ll suggest some ideas which she will try to ignore.

My forthcoming story is set in a place where EVERYBODY wants to vacation. Hint: it’s not the Caribbean or Hawaii.

I’ll keep you posted.

Aggie Mundeen

(Leave a comment or send Nancy an email. I’ll read it.)


It’s June already. What happened to spring? Rain mostly. Which meant my author couldn’t go to her lake place retreat. Which means she’s grumpy.

She’s describing another of my adventures and sent the first draft to her publisher a month ago on May 9. This story is set in a really cool place where Sam and I chose to rendezvous. But things rarely go as planned.

The publisher has scads of questions about what Sam and I and our new friends do in this tale. It’s perfectly clear to Nancy and me. She works hard to explain me.

I think Detective Sam finally understands me. He’s just not sure he can deal with me full time.

Right now, Nancy is fine-tuning the story. I’ve got to look over her shoulder to make sure she doesn’t distort the facts.

I’ll keep you posted.

Aggie Mundeen

(Leave a comment or send Nancy an email. I’ll read it.)

Aggie Mundeen Mysteries and Nancy’s Suspense Novel Named Award Finalists!

Good news! Three of Nancy’s books about me, Sam and Meredith are honored as Finalists in Chanticleer’s International Awards.


As you know, I star in FIT TO BE DEAD, DANG NEAR DEAD, and SMART BUT DEAD. I’ll also be featured in the next book in the series.





Mystery & Mayhem  is the appropriate division for my chaotic adventures,  don’t you think?

   SMART, BUT DEAD, released 2015, has great reviews:

I’m filling Nancy’s head with tales about my antics for BOOK 4

         Stay tuned . . .


Smart, But Dead released!

Aggie and I are thrilled. Her third story, SMART, BUT DEAD,  is finally out.

Here’s a summary of the book and some reviews:

SMART, BUT DEAD #3. Aggie, fast approaching the big 40, returns to college to learn about the genetic effects of aging. She’s thrilled by what she discovers, but when she finds a dead academic, becomes prime suspect and is on target to become next campus corpse, she gets a crash course about love and about staying alive.

From Library Journal:

The third book in a cute cozy series (Fit To Be Dead; Dang Near Dead) features an appealing heroine with a self-deprecating wit and a determination to never grow old.

From Carolyn Hart:

Hurrah for Aggie Mundeen, an effervescent heroine who finds trouble wherever she goes even when the initial pursuit is purely intellectual. Aggie’s pluck, humor, intelligence and loving heart will keep her young and make readers smile. Carolyn Hart, Award Winning Author.

From James W. Ziskin:

Smart. Aggie Mundeen is smart.
But. But she’s also a little clumsy, irrepressible, and irresistible.
Dead. She might well end up dead if she continues nosing around the university where her questions are not wanted. Smart, But Dead is the perfect combination of brains and heart. A tight mystery, an irrepressible heroine, and superb writing. James W. Ziskin, Award-winning mystery author of the Ellie Stone Series.

From Mystery People:

Smart, But Dead features an impetuous, warm-hearted heroine, blessed with an insatiable curiosity, passion for learning and an unquenchable zest for life. Carol Westron, author, reviewer and columnist for Mystery People.

Mystery People is a subscription (print and ezine) publication from the UK which covers the mystery community worldwide and includes reviews, interviews, articles, bios of Golden Age mystery writers and summaries of mystery conventions—a wonderful, comprehensive magazine.

From NetGalley Reviews:

Funny with snappy inner dialogue, The content regarding the aging process and facts about the human genome are interesting and entertaining. Suspenseful. Elaine O’Connor, NetGalley Reviewer

From NetGalley Reviews:

The characters are all very engaging and the story was great. I can’t wait to read more from this author. Jennifer Schell, NetGalley Reviewer and blogger at Bookschelves.

From Urban Book Reviews.

One of the funniest yet most intriguing novels readers will read...I have read her entire series and highly recommend readers around the world to do so.

Thank you all for reading and reviewing this book and to the wonderful bloggers who hosted me on their sites. I am forever grateful.

Nancy G. West