The Pink Flamingo Murders

Whacked with a pink lawn flamingo. More heinous than vinyl siding. Pride in a neighborhood.

How’s that for eye-catching for someone with a blog relating to pink flamingos and who despises vinyl siding as much as replacement windows? This book is custom written for a bunch of people I know, mostly readers of this blog.

The Pink Flamingo Murders by Elaine Viets is an entertaining murder mystery set in St. Louis. To begin with, the story centers around the rehabilitation of North Dakota Place. The characters live in beautiful houses that they restore slowly. There is gossip galore and petty fights — perhaps like Desperate Housewives without the housewives and with less glamorous abodes?

Viets provides St. Louis pop culture and landmarks throughout the story, likely a treat for anyone who knows the city well. The characters are charming or interesting enough that you’ll care about the end of their stories. Francesca, the protagonist and a writer for the fictitious St. Louis Gazette, keeps a quippy, smart mouth on her, one that will make you laugh throughout the book as you try to unravel the neighborhood murders along with her.

While the book will not teach you about rehabilitation or historic homes, as there are only a handful of terms tossed throughout the book, it was a fun read. Of course, I might be partial because of the hilarity of pink flamingos and rehabilitation in the same book. Seriously, this book was published in 1999? Where has it been hiding? If you love pink flamingos, local color, and a mystery, I’d recommend this book.

FREE! TODAY! Historic Bridge Rehabilitation Webinar

From Mead & Hunt

“Approaches to Historic Bridge Rehabilitation,” the second webinar in a series by the Historic Bridge Alliance, will be held Thursday, April 7, 2011. This FREE webinar is hosted by the Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Institute.

The program includes presentations of three case studies of rehabilitation projects that preserved historically significant bridges. Projects in Pennsylvania, Oregon and Minnesota will be featured. Presenters will provide lessons learned and how Section 106 requirements were met. The program will also include a brief update on the efforts of the Historic Bridge Alliance (HBA).

Webinar details:

* April 7, 2011

* 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Below is the information you need to participate in the conference:

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You can still participate – just sign in at 11:30 — everyone is invited. The emails about this webinar are flying everywhere. And thanks to bloggers like the Missouri Route 66 Association for helping to spread the word (and subsequently reminding me to do the same). The more who know about historic bridges, the better!