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Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Color My Days in Dobbs
12:51 pm edt
I took some time off from doing research for the sequel/prequel to my first novel, Forty-Thirty. I was lounging around the terrace, soaking in some rays, watching my cat tease the hound...when suddenly the phone rings.
A childhood friend called to wish me a happy belated birthday (It was Sunday.) and to chat a bit about old times in Dobbs
Ferry, our home town. In passing, she mentioned a murder mystery set in the village, written by James Roth who is also a former
Dobbs Ferry-ite and, as it turns out, a very talented author.
Today's a Yellow Day , published by Xlibris in 2012, is not only a thrilling page turner, but is chock full of thoughtful reminiscences about
living in Dobbs Ferry "back in the day" of the early 1960s. James – Jimmy, as I remember him from my childhood
– faithfully describes various places in Dobbs, bringing back vivid memories of growing up in the small, close-knit
village where everyone knew and cared about everybody else. A small town where one felt totally safe anywhere, any time of
day or night; where the unthinkable hardly ever happened. At least not anything that anyone would date to mention in real
In Roth's imagination, however, unthinkably horrible things do happen, including a rape and two murders.
Gruesome events in themselves, but Roth deftly writes about them with a easy-flowing writing style and a talented flair for
unexpected plot twists and turns that are the hallmark of a great mystery novel. The reader is carefully led through the events
preceding the crimes, the crimes themselves, and then through the ensuing investigations, posing the question of who is culpable.
Is it Tim Ferrari, our undaunting hero on the brink of adulthood, whom Detective O'Neill adamantly suspects and harasses?
Or popular Rosanne in revenge for being attacked by one of the victims? The answers lie in a totally unexpected surprise ending
– one of the best thriller endings that I've read in a long time. No wonder I inhaled Today's a Yellow Day in just one sitting. It is so gripping, I just couldn't put it down.
I thoroughly enjoyed Jimmy's portrayal of
his characters. Some, if not most, are based upon real-life natives of Dobbs Ferry; a few I actually recognized and smiled
at his spot-on descriptions. I also enjoyed how he interweaves the history of the river town into his narrative; how it affects
the lives of his characters as well as the lives of those of us in real life who had the great fortune to be born and raised
there. Most importantly, through his words and images Jimmy lovingly encapsulates what it really meant – means –
to have grown up in Dobbs Ferry.
Since one good page turner deserves another, might I suggest that when you do
purchase a copy of my first novel, Forty-Thirty – please also buy a copy of Today's a Yellow Day? Then find your favorite quiet niche, nestled yourself within the pages of our novels, and transport yourself back to the
middle of the last century, to a small town on the Hudson River that, regardless of where you grew up, will bring back everlasting
and cherished memories.
J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is
an author, poet, and librettist. Her currenty published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations,
volumes of poetry, stories
for children (of all ages) and
a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:
Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville
during World War II
Rainbow in the Sky
Meditations for New Members
of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A
Collection of More Spiritual Poems
We Three Kings
Beauty and the Beast
Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding
Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She
is currently working on her fourth novel.