Too much idealism for Angela Merkel?


These Strangers, in a foreign World,
Protection asked of me—
Befriend them, lest Yourself in Heaven
Be found a Refugee—. Emily Dickinson

Two or three years ago the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the most popular European leaders of the 21st century. She appeared unbeatable as her party swept to an angela-merkeloverwhelming victory in 2013. Her success seemed an anomaly in the male-dominated German politics of recent years. Journalists wondered how a plain-spoken middle aged woman whose nickname was “Mutti” (Mommy) could wield such power amid the turbulent struggles of the European Union in difficult economic times.

Merkel grew up in East Germany when it was a Communist country. Although a bright student, she was not a natural leader. In university she studied science and became a physicist and did not engage in public life. It wasn’t until the fall of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany that she was drawn to political life, and few people would have predicted that she would become a leader. But, improbable or not, this quiet woman made her way past the bombastic male leaders of the party and eventually emerged as the leader.

But then came the refugee crisis. When thousands of Syrian refugees tried to make their way to safety in Europe, Merkel announced that Germany would accept them. She called on other European countries to do the same. Some were welcomed, and many Germans angela_germanymigrantappeared at first to be willing to make sacrifices to find housing and food for refugees. Then the inevitable bitter violence broke out. Demonstrators were soon calling for an end to refugees and a retreat to a “Germany for the Germans” mentality. Merkel’s CDU party suffered severe electoral losses. Undoubtedly the influx of refugees caused some voters to turn to severe anti-immigrant policies.

But the verdict is still out on what Angela Merkel will do—whether she will stand for Chancellor again or not. She seems to be sticking to her guns and insisting that the decision to accept refugees is the only morally defensible policy. Many idealists and religious people would agree with her. The refugees are still fleeing unbearable conditions in many countries. Despite a backlash; despite the fears; it was a proud day for Angela Merkel when she decided that Germany would be a moral leader in that path.  Let’s hope that by working with other countries, and international organizations, she will be able to make it work. The quiet woman from Germany has been a strong leader—a strong “Mutti” insisting that the world should honor its deepest ideals. Good luck to her!  refugees-are-human-beings-oki

Solving a mystery about my mystery story

The other day someone told me that the ebook version of my Charlotte Edgerton mystery Death Visits a Bawdy House looked very strange on her Kindle. The letters on the page came out in different sizes and were in a variety of fonts. When I clicked over to the Kindle shop, I saw what the reader meant—something was dreadfully wrong with the text.

Death Visits a Bawdy House takes place during a hard-fought election in New York City in 1844 and we all know that election seasons can bring out the worst in people, but this was no election skirmish. I clicked right over to the Kindle publishing page and started Death Visits a Bawdy House (Small) (1)investigating. Lucky for me a Kindle helper was quick to respond and explain what I could do to correct the problem that occurred with the uploading of the original file. She walked me through the process and a new, corrected version of the Kindle edition of the book is now online at the site

To celebrate having the book available now, I have made the Kindle version FREE to download from September 15 through September 19. If you had trouble downloading the book in the past, or even if you didn’t, you are welcome to get a copy free of charge during this free period. Tell your friends and family about the opportunity.

The story of Death Visits a Bawdy House takes place in New York City during the boisterous days of the 1840s when Charlotte Edgerton moves to the city from staid Boston.  She is overwhelmed by the crowds and the glamour of the women who stroll along Broadway.  But when first one and then another of the glamorous “sporting girls” who work in the city’s famous brothels is murdered, Charlotte becomes aware of the darkness that lurks behind the bright glow of Broadway.

In a city where abolitionists are not popular and suspicion of free blacks runs high, the arrest of a black man for the crimes enflames much of the city. Charlotte discovers that police can be bigots, politicians are not always honest, and kindness can lead to danger. When a ruthless murderer tricks her into becoming a prisoner in a deserted school, Charlotte must rely on her wits to save herself and a helpless child.

Be sure to download your FREE copy of the Kindle edition of Death Visits a Bawdy House between September 15- 19, 2016.