Friday, May 30, 2008

Killer Recipes, Okay Plot

Catering a wake is not Goldy’s idea of fun. Yet the Colorado caterer throws herself into preparing a savory feast including Poached Salmon and Strawberry Shortcake Buffet designed to soothe forty mourners. And her culinary efforts seem to be exactly what the doctor ordered...until her ex-father-in-law gynecologist Fritz Korman is struck down and Goldy is accused of adding poison to the menu. Now, with the Department of Health impounding her leftovers, her ex-husband proclaiming her guilt, and her business about to be shut down, Goldy knows she can’t wait for the police to serve up the answers. She’ll soon uncover more than one family skeleton and a veritable stew of unpalatable secrets–the kind that could make Goldy the main course in an unsavory killer’s next murder!

Title: Catering to Nobody
Author: Diane Mott Davidson
Series: Goldy Catering, Book 1
Start & Finished: 3/6/08-3/7/08
Published: 1992
Publisher: Fawcett Crest
Pages: 320
Genre: Mystery

Everything is just right from Goldy Bear’s catering service. That is, everything except the poisoning of her abusive ex-husband’s father during a wake that she caters. Catering to Nobody introduces Diane Mott Davidson’s long-running mystery series with murder, scandal, and recipes.

Goldy seems like a good character and I really feel for her since she was abused by her now ex-husband and still made something of herself in a small town. I understood her withdrawal from men and life but I still would really like her to come out of her shell. So far personality wise, she isn’t someone who I would like to meet in real life though.

I’m not sure whether it was because I expected a culinary cozy mystery and got a plain mystery with recipes added or what but this story didn’t really impress me. It wasn’t bad, especially for a debut novel but Davidson is no Joanne Fluke that’s for sure. The recipes were actually some of the best parts of the book! I haven’t decided if I will continue this series to see if it improves even though I know it’s very popular because it was “just okay” and I was hoping for so much more.

The Goldy Bear Series: Catering to Nobody, Dying for Chocolate, The Cereal Murders, The Last Suppers, Killer Pancake, The Main Corpse, The Grilling Season, Prime Cut, Tough Cookie, Sticks and Scones, Chopping Spree, Double Shot, Dark Tort, Sweet Revenge

More about the author is on her Barnes and Noble and Wikipedia page, including an audio interview and trivia about her main character. Below is one of six videos that feature an interview with Davidson but in this one she discusses Catering to Nobody:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aurora Teagarden Series Books 5-8

Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Aurora Teagarden, Books 5- 8
Publisher: Scriber/ St. Martin’s Minotaur
Genre: Mystery
Part-time librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden never liked Detective Sergeant Jack Burns, but she also never wanted to see him dead— especially not dropped from a plane right into her own backyard. But when other strange things happen around her, ranging from peculiar (her irascible cat turns up wearing a pink ribbon) to violent (her assistant at the library is attacked) to potentially deadly (her former lover is stabbed), she must decipher the personal message in the madness before it's too late.

Title: Dead Over Heels
Start & Finished: 3/5/08
Published: 1996
Pages: 272

Solving the murders of the people of Lawrenceton is somehow what amateur sleuth/ librarian Aurora Teagarden does best but even this is a new one on her! The fifth book in Charlaine Harris’ series, Dead Over Heels serves Roe with a nasty surprise in the form of a body falling from a plane, then landing practically at her feet and then it gets even more personal.

Taking place two years after the last book in the series (The Julius House), Martin and Roe have finally started to settle into their married life and Roe is getting used to having Angel and Shelby (her friends and bodyguards) living in the apartment above her garage. She also stopped being “a woman of leisure” and has gone back to working for the library part time. Of course that doesn’t mean she can’t find time to solve this new mystery!

I’ve noticed that over the course of the series Harris has slowly left behind the idea of incorporating real life murders into the books; which was part of the main plot of the first book in the series, and now there is no mention of them at all. Just like any person and town things change I guess!

Not a very action-packed mystery, even with the ending but it was believable. The “why” was easy to figure out but the “whodunit” took me until a few pages before Roe did. I still wouldn’t recommend reading this series out of order because then you spoil the whole series for yourself. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum here too.

Sleepless nights, a cross-country chase and a temporary stint at motherhood turn Aurora Teagarden's life upside down. When her husband's niece Regina shows up unannounced on their doorstep with a baby and a secret, Aurora's perpetual curiosity leaps into overdrive - especially when the body of the girl's husband is found ax murdered in her own backyard.

Regina flees the scene, and Aurora is left holding the baby, struggling with the intricacies of bottles, diapers - and a mystery. What was Regina running from? Why was her husband murdered? The answers are hidden back in Ohio, and that's just where Aurora goes, husband, baby and all. But Regina's secrets are very dangerous and Aurora walks right into them - much to her own peril.

Title: A Fool and His Honey
Start & Finished: 3/6/08
Published: 1999
Pages: 256

Another year has gone by in Aurora Teagarden’s life in Charlaine Harris’ A Fool in His Honey and just as Roe starts to get comfortable in her marriage, Martin’s niece shows up from Ohio bringing a whole mess of trouble with her. After taking off in the middle of the night leaving a baby who might not even belong to her and her murdered husband behind, Martin and Roe decide to leave Lawrenceton and solve this new mystery Regina has dumped in their laps.

Harris herself described this sixth book in her Aurora Teagarden series as “probably the most reviled book [she] had ever written” but I understood why it had to end the way it did, unfortunately that didn’t make me like it any more. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I think Harris had been building up to that moment for awhile too and maybe she shouldn’t have ended the story on such a depressing note.

The characters are obviously aging, something that not too many authors; especially mystery authors who have a long running series, do much anymore. I think A Fool and His Honey was when Ms. Harris decided it was time to start wrapping up the Aurora Teagarden series but with the depressing ending aside, this was a well-paced mystery but not as charming as the other books in the series.

Above quote is taken from an interview with the author at

In the first installment of the Aurora Teagarden series, Real Murders, the small town of Lawrenceton, Georgia, was beset by a series of horrific murders. Librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden teamed up with true crime writer Robin Crusoe to catch the killer, and the results of their investigation have gone down in Lawrenceton history.

Now Robin is back in town, set to begin filming the movie version of the terrible events of so many years ago. Of course he's not alone-he brings with him a cast and crew the size of which nearly overwhelms the tiny excitement-starved town. Roe is disturbed to discover that the film's crew includes her stepson, who despises her, as well as an actress set to play her in the film. Everyone in Lawrenceton suddenly goes movie crazy, mentally composing awards-acceptance speeches while prancing around the fringes of the set awaiting discovery.

Roe's not so crazy about the whole thing...and neither is a secret, vicious murderer. When bodies start dropping, it's up to Roe to reprise her role as amateur sleuth and stop the carnage before it gets out of hand. It's no problem for the beloved small-town librarian in this wonderfully cozy installment in the adored Aurora Teagarden mystery series.

Title: Last Scene Alive
Start & Finished: 3/6/08
Published: 2002
Pages: 256

Seven years after two serial killers terrorized the small town of Lawrenceton, Georgia by re-creating some of the most famous, heinous crimes and carrying them out, the mystery writer who helped the local librarian stop them meet again in Charlaine Harris’ Last Scene Alive.

Aurora Teagarden is still trying to recover from the loss of her husband when her ex-boyfriend comes to town with a group of movie people there to make a film essentially of the first book of this whole series, Real Murders in which Robin and Roe met. Also where he saved hers and her little brother’s life too.

In other words, the Aurora Teagarden series is starting to come full circle. I believe that if this had not have been a series, Robin and Roe would have ended up together after the first book (and I was a tad disappointed that they didn’t) but Harris allowed them both to live a little before she felt it was time for them to see each other again.

I felt like there wasn’t that much of a mystery to Last Scene Alive, and I could have cared less about the victim or the killer. This story served more as a re-introduction of old characters than anything but it was much better than the last two stories, Dead Over Heels and A Fool and His Honey.

On the way to a lunch meeting of her local book discussion group, the Uppity Women, small-town Southern librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden is shocked and dismayed to find her sister-in-law Poppy lying bloody and dead right outside her own back door. Poppy had her flaws, certainly-she and her husband were having trouble staying faithful to each other-but she didn't deserve to be so brutally murdered.

Investigating a case like this is never easy, of course, given the gossipy atmosphere of any small town, what with Poppy and her husband's extramarital affairs, the local police detective (who also happens to be a former boyfriend of Roe's) and his seemingly unresolved feelings for Poppy, and the need to protect Poppy's family. But Roe is also coping with a burgeoning romantic relationship as well as the sudden appearance of her teenaged half brother. All in all, it's a lot for one woman to have on her plate, even one as together as Roe.

Title: Poppy Done to Death
Start & Finished: 3/6/08
Published: 2003
Pages: 240

The mystery series starring Aurora Teagarden that started over a decade ago (although only eight years have passed in the actual books) and put Charlaine Harris on the map finally comes to an end in Poppy Done to Death.

Set a little over a year after Last Scene Alive, Roe has wrangled a very sought after an invitation for her step-sister-in-law Poppy to the exclusive Uppity Women’s Club that most of the women of Lawrenceton would kill to join so when the scatterbrained Poppy doesn’t show up, Roe drives over to confront her. Once she’s there it quickly becomes apparent that someone else confronted Poppy earlier that day too... and left her dead.

I've found over the course of the books that I like the little Georgian town and what happens to it's citizens but not so much all of the characters. This was another story in the series that showcased the changing personality of Arthur (who had a very good chance of being “The One” for Roe in the first book) and also how little I cared whether or not the killer was caught. Can’t say I was very surprised when I learned the killer’s identity since I guessed part of the motive early on

Finishing a series satisfactorily to it’s fans is not the easiest thing in the world but other than a few hitches here and there, Harris pulls it off. I was happy with all of the re-introductions of people from the previous books and the ending in general. I’ll miss Aurora but the author has several other series that I enjoy more than this one and it was time for it to end.

The Aurora Teagarden Series: Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, Three Bedrooms One Corpse, The Julius House, Dead Over Heels, A Fool and His Honey, Last Scene Alive, Poppy Done to Death

Monday, May 19, 2008

Leaping Leopards!

All the earnest paleontologist (Cary Grant) wants is an intercostal clavicle to complete his brontosaurus skeleton. What he gets is an out-of-control toboggan ride with a scatterbrained heiress (Katharine Hepburn) nuts about him (or maybe just nuts). Riding along are a dog named George, a leopard named Baby, a snooty society matron with a spare million, a caretaker on the sauce and more. In this giddy romp directed by Howard Hawks, Grant ends up in a negligee, Hepburn ends up in a bottomless evening gown, everyone ends up in jail and Bringing Up Baby ends up as the most glorious laughter-inducing movie ever!

Title: Bringing Up Baby
Release: February 18, 1938
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Writer: Hagar Wilde & Dudley Nichols
Director: Howard Hawks
Produced By: Cliff Reid & Howard Hawks
Distributed By: RKO Radio Pictures
Run Time: 102 minutes

Cary Grant and the fabulous Katharine Hepburn star in the madcap, romantic comedy Bringing Up Baby based on a story by Hagar Wilde. Deemed a failure when it first came out; it even got the director fired from the movie studio, this wonderful little gem has since been recognized as one of the greatest films of all time and an “exemplar of screwball comedy”.

Since it’s been so long since I had seen this, I didn’t think I would remember anything from it but quite a few of the scenes are just too good to ever forget. What did shock me was that I didn’t remember Grant being in the film. Ms. Hepburn admittedly does outshine him, but he’s recently become one of my favorites after I watched His Girl Friday for the first time last year. He’s a bit more frazzled in Bringing Up Baby (wouldn’t you be?) but I still loved him!

This film was the first time Katharine Hepburn had ever done a comedy although you’d never know it because she’s just hilarious! Cary Grant was really funny too and they have such great chemistry that it’s little wonder that Hepburn chose to work with him again in Philadelphia Story. They both are considered such timeless actors now but I guess they were ahead of the times with this film.

Wikipedia, TCM, and have articles on the film and I found an interesting review at that also features a walkthrough of the plot (or you can just go to YouTube and watch the whole movie there).

Bringing Up Baby

Meeting Baby:

Funny Scene:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Looking for Love

Joy Randall's Top 5 Tips for Vampire Hunters

1. Location, location, location. Remember, if you wouldn't be there, neither would a bloodsucker. They won't be found dead (ha!) in places like discos, ten-minute lube shops, or Switzerland. Check the Czech Republic.

2. Trust your eyes. You know the handsome, annoyingly arrogant, self-assured man in the shadows with long hair and a cleft in his chin? He's your vampire.

3. No matter how tempting it might be, DO NOT "ACCIDENTALLY" ACQUIRE A PAPER CUT AND SUGGEST YOUR VAMPIRE KISS YOUR FINGER TO MAKE IT BETTER. What you offer as a snack, he might take for a four-course meal.

4. From here on out, play it cool. Don't offer to accompany your prince of the night on the talk show circuit and WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T OFFER HIM YOUR HEART.

5. And most of all, remember - being a vampire is nothing to laugh about.

Title: A Girl's Guide to Vampires
Author: Katie MacAlister
Series: Dark Ones, Book 1
Start & Finished: 3/3/08-3/4/08
Published: 2003
Publisher: Love Spell
Pages: 374
Genre: Paranormal-Romance

A Girl's Guide to Vampires is the first in Katie MacAlister’s long running vampire series about Moravian Dark Ones and their Beloveds. Joy Randall and her friend are fans of a series of books about vampires so when they go to the Czech Republic to try to meet the reclusive author, they aren’t too surprised to discover that the books are based on fact.

After reading the short story Cat Got Your Tongue? in the anthology My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon about characters from the Dark Ones series I was intrigued (plus I really like this author’s books anyway) so naturally I decided to read the first book in this series.

MacAlister describes her vampires as “tongue-in-cheek, with a warped senses of humor” and I couldn’t have summed up her Moravian Dark Ones better myself. Actually, all of her characters are like that so it works well in this story where you haven’t got a clue who the actual vampire really is up until the end.

This was a good story and I liked the mystery elements added to it. I haven’t decided whether or not I will continue the series but I will continue to read other books by this author. She has quite a few other series about dragons, Guardians, even young adult fiction but I have to say my favorites by her so far are the contemporaries.

On her “Katie-Cast” for this book, MacAlister gives a lot of behind the scenes information and trivia that I thought was really interesting. There are spoilers though so don’t listen if you haven’t read the book yet.

The Dark Ones Series: A Girl's Guide to Vampires, Sex and the Single Vampire, Sex, Lies, and Vampires, Even Vampires Get the Blues, Just One Sip, The Last of the Red Hot Vampires, Zen and the Art of Vampires (Dec. '08)

Other Posts on Katie MacAlister Books: Blow Me Down, Ain’t Myth-Behaving, Hard Day’s Knight, Cat Got Your Tongue (from My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Aurora Teagarden Series Books 1-4

Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Aurora Teagarden, Books 1- 4
Publisher: Scribner/ Berkley
Genre: Mystery

Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side-and crime buffs. One of whom is librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It's a harmless pastime-until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. And as other brutal "copycat" killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims.

Title: Real Murders
Start & Finished: 2/17/08
Published: 1990
Pages: 290

Author Charlaine Harris; best known for her paranormal Sookie Stackhouse (aka Southern Vampires) series, created her Aurora Teagarden mystery series in 1990. Her third book ever published was Real Murders. It was her very first go at a series and considering the fact that she’s had quite a few others since then, she was very successful with it.

This first book introduces us to the main character Aurora, a small-town librarian who is very interested in crimes. She soon discovers that she has quite a knack for solving them. My first impression of her wasn’t very flattering I’m afraid. She just was a hard person to really get to know but I liked that she didn’t actively pursue the investigation even though she was of course interested in it. It wasn’t her fault she kept practically tripping over dead bodies and murder weapons!

The idea behind the club Roe was a part of is that the members meet to discuss old murder investigations (that are actually real like Lizzie Borden, etc.) and several members are experienced in one area or another. I can’t say I would want to be near Lawrenceton while this particular serial killer was at work but the references to real crimes was an interesting additive to the plot. The person who is committing the crimes bases them off real murder investigations and is of course part of the club.

A mystery that involves a serial killer always runs the risk of revealing too much information because of the many crime scenes but Harris does a pretty good job of keeping the killer’s identity a secret. I had a sneaking suspicion of “whodunit” about halfway through the book but I wasn’t entirely sure especially since there were just so many good suspects! There were also a lot of good characters too like Roe’s two love interests Robin (the mystery writer) and fellow club member and local police detective Arthur Smith.

As I said before, there are several real life cases mentioned throughout the book and even some of the murders are based on. They are: Jack the Ripper, the Zebra murders, Julia Wallace’s murder, the poisoner Madeleine Smith, Piagentini and Waverly Jones murders, the Green River killer, Hillside Strangler, the chocolate poisoner Cordelia Botkin, the murder of June Anne Devaney, Ed Gein, the Croydon family poisoning, Jean-Paul Marat, Lizzie Borden, and the Moors Murders.

Aurora Teagarden's life was pretty much in order, though she wouldn't have objected to a nice relationship. All things considered, however, there wasn't anything to complain about. Then Jane Engle died. Aurora and Jane had been friends - not particularly close friends, but they'd both been members of the Real Murder Society and on occasion had shared tea, as well as an interest in crime. So Aurora was surprised to discover that she was named in Jane's will as the heir to her home and some money . . . about a half million dollars, in fact. A nice house, a lot of money . . . things were looking up nicely. But the house held a secret - a fact that was frighteningly obvious the first time Aurora went there and realized that someone had broken in, had been searching for something. It didn't take long to discover the secret: Jane had hidden a skull, and Aurora had just found it. Aurora Teagarden was no stranger to a good mystery, but she wasn't quite certain what to do with this one. Before she has a chance to consider her next move, someone decides that she already knows too much. Now she has a few more questions to answer: Whodunit? Who was it done to? And who seemed to keep on wanting to do it?

Title: A Bone to Pick
Start & Finished: 2/18/08
Published: 1992
Pages: 262

A Bone to Pick; the second story in Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden series, takes place a couple of months after the first book Real Murders. A few things have happened to Roe since then: one of her boyfriend’s Robin, has left on a book tour, the other guy she was seeing (Arthur) is getting married, and her friend Jane Engle from The Real Murders Club (which has been disbanded) has died leaving Roe her cat Madeleine, her fortune, and her house. Complete with a skull and a mystery to solve. Poor Roe!

I can’t say I approved of the way Roe’s relationships turned out at first. I actually liked both Robin and Arthur a lot in Real Murders but Robin is absent from the A Bone to Pick and Arthur seems to have had a complete personality change. At least Roe is the same... just a whole lot richer and with a cat to boot. She also gets a new love interest during the course of the book named Aubrey Scott. He’s the local Episcopal minister but he acts just like a regular guy and he never gets “preachy” so I liked him.

The murder mystery itself wasn’t as harrowing as in the first book (no serial killer here!) but I still wasn’t able to figure out the “whodunit” until the very last second. I actually felt bad for the murderer too. It might just be me, but I felt like Charlaine Harris was more interested in developing her characters than developing a convincing murder mystery. Thankfully the book doesn’t suffer from it although I have to say this was my least favorite in the series.

Basking in an inheritance that makes her financially independent, Roe's looking for a new occupation. Her days as a librarian are over. Real estate might be fun, she thinks. And who better to teach her the tricks of the trade than her Lauren Bacall look-alike mother, Aida Brattle Teagarden Queensland, who happens to own one of the major real estate firms in town? Signing on as an apprentice, Roe agrees to show an expensive house to some out-of-town clients. The house has its charms, but the clients are not too thrilled with what's been left behind in the master bedroom: the corpse of real estate woman Tonia Lee Greenhouse. And Tonia's only the first victim. It quickly becomes clear that the killer is someone familiar with the real estate community in Lawrenceton, someone who has access to the houses that are on the market. Roe's not too sure she likes real estate, after all. She hadn't counted on murder. But she definitely likes her well-to-do client, Martin Bartell. In fact, it may be love at first sight.

Title: Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
Start & Finished: 2/19/08
Published: 1994
Pages: 231

Aurora Teagarden’s interest in real estate is short lived after she finds a dead body while showing a home in Charlaine Harris’ third story of the Teagarden series Three Bedrooms, One Corpse. One good thing does come out of the encounter though, she meets wealthy businessman Martin Bartell and it’s attraction at first sight.

Mrs. Harris’ series seems to be moving along at a fairly fast pace and Roe does a bit of growing up during the course of the novel. I’m glad that she decided not to follow in her mother’s footsteps because you can tell she really wasn’t real estate agent material but she doesn’t strike me as a woman of leisure either. I think she should just stick with being a librarian or maybe buy a bookstore. As you can tell, Roe’s relationships only seem to last for about the length of the current story or in the case of Aubrey the minister (a relationship that ends during this book on friendly terms) about a book and a half.

Even though Martin is a bit older than her I found myself hoping that they would stick so of course I never believed for one second he had anything to do with the murder. I did however guess who the real killer was early into the story but I wasn’t positive until right before Roe was. She does do a few things throughout the story that seem out of character for her and they nearly get her killed! So with her new romance maybe she’ll become a bit more careful in the future because wherever Roe seems to go there is always trouble!

Love at first sight turns into newlywed bliss for former librarian Aurora Teagarden— until violence cuts the honeymoon short.

Wealthy businessman Martin Bartell gives Roe exactly what she wants for their wedding: Julius House. But both the house and Martin come with murky pasts. And when Roe is attacked by an ax-wielding maniac, she realizes that the secrets inside her four walls—and her brand-new marriage—could destroy her.

Title: The Julius House
Start & Finished: 2/20/08
Published: 1995
Pages: 240

After a “whirl-wind” courtship, Aurora Teagarden becomes Mrs. Martin Bartell in Charlaine Harris’ fourth book in this series, The Julius House. Martin and Roe start looking for their first house together and of course being Roe, she wants the only house in Lawrenceton that has a mysterious past. The Julius family vanished without a trace six years earlier leaving everything behind and now Roe intends to find them.

Roe and Martin’s relationship moved incredibly fast (they just met each other in the last book), maybe a little too fast but they seem to really love each other even if there are still a few secrets. Most of the book seems to be about the couple getting married and moving into their new house. Roe doesn’t decide to look into the missing family’s disappearance until chapter nine, although since we are talking about Roe, the idea was probably there the moment she laid eyes on the house.

I was able to figure out where the family was before Roe did because Harris just gives such wonderful clues. They’re small but they are there if you pay attention. Something still didn’t seem quite right to me once the family was found which made perfect sense later on. This was a very good story and mystery and I can’t wait to read the next book Dead Over Heels to find out how Roe will handle the secrets her new hubby keeps trying to hide.

Charlaine Harris’ Wikipedia page includes more information about her and her other series as well as this biography/interview with the author. She also has a Q& A on her official site.

The Aurora Teagarden Series: Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, Three Bedrooms One Corpse, The Julius House, Dead Over Heels, A Fool and His Honey, Last Scene Alive, Poppy Done to Death

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Swell-egant, Elegant Film

The rich are generally different. But in matters of the heart, they're just as scatterbrained as the rest of us.

Heiress Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly) is engaged to one man (John Lundt), attracted to another (Frank Sinatra) and, just maybe, in love again with her ex-husband (Bing Crosby) in this effervescent musical reinvention of Philip Barry's play The Philadelphia Story featuring an endlessly delightful Cole Porter score. Among High Society's high points: Sinatra and Celeste Holm ask Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Crosby and Kelly share True Love, Der Bingle and Ol' Blue Eyes swing-swing-swingle Well, Did You Evah? and Crosby and Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong jive with Now You Has Jazz. Yes, indeedy, we has!

Title: High Society
Release: July 17, 1956
Genre: Musical
MPAA Rating: PG
Writer: Philip Barry (play) & John Patrick
Director: Charles Walters
Music By: Cole Porter
Produced By: Sol C. Siegel
Distributed By: MGM
Run Time: 111 minutes

Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and Grace Kelly star in the 1956 MGM musical High Society that is slightly based on the Philip Barry play The Philadelphia Story (which was also made into a film in 1941). Cole Porter wrote the romantic, cheeky, fun, jazzy musical score that was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for the score itself and the other for the hit love song True Love sung by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.

This film is truly one of my favorite musicals now. I could listen to Crosby and Sinatra croon all day and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the film itself is enjoyable. It was the very last film that Grace Kelly ever did before she retired from acting to be Princess of Monaco and she went out with her guns blazing. The two male leads compliment each other well and usually that pushes the female lead out of the spotlight but Kelly certainly holds her own without even breaking a sweat (although I have a feeling that Katharine Hepburn was better in the original 1941 movie role).

Every time I watch a musical I seem to have at least one or two favorite songs that stick in my head for weeks afterwards but in the case of High Society, I’ve had practically the entire soundtrack on repeat forever! I do have two that I really like above all the others though and they are the duet between Sinatra and Crosby Did You Evah? and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire which is another duet but it’s between Sinatra and Celeste Holm. Of course there are tons more that are almost just as good but those are the two I seem to keep going back to.

Since this is such a popular movie all of the movie sites I go to have information on it:,, and Wikipedia has two articles (one for the movie the other for the soundtrack).


High Society Calypso:

Did You Evah?

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