Let's Talk with Debra H. Goldstein

Let’s Talk with Debra H Goldstein

February 25, 2021

Chili and Chips or Clam Chowder?
by Debra H. Goldstein

I need you to explain something to me. Today is both National Chili Day and National Clam Chowder Day. Yesterday was National Tortilla Chip Day. Like the protagonist in my Sarah Blair mysteries, I am kitchen challenged, but even I know chili and tortilla chips go together better than chili and clam chowder. So, why did they separate the chili and the tortilla chips?

It isn’t logical.

Then again, in the English language, there are a lot of things that are not logical. Why do we do i before e, except after c? Why do we have so many words like there and their or here and hear? Why does spellcheck let us accidentally use the wrong word so  we end up with “I look their when I should be looking hear?

It isn’t logical.

When I read a book, especially a mystery, I expect a twist at the end, but it needs to be logical. Even if I miss the clues, they should be sitting out in the open enough that I hit my head and question how I ignored them. The movie, “The Sixth Sense,” is an excellent illustration of this. From the “I hear dead people” line to many of the scenes with the main character’s wife, the clues were obvious, but they didn’t register with most viewers. A well-crafted book is the same.

For a chance to win a copy of Three Treats Too Many, name a book or movie that you think logically gave you the clues even though the ending may have had a major twist … and if you can, explain to me why they didn’t put the chili with the tortilla chips…

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Posted in Let's Talk, with Debra H. Goldstein • Tags: , , , , |  26 Comments


26 thoughts on “Let’s Talk with Debra H Goldstein

  1. “Cave of Secrets” by Shannon Redmond. I knew who it was! I had all the clues and evidence and then PLOT TWIST!

    Not a clue on the seperation of the chili and tortilla chips. I eat my chili with Fritos, but I am also kitchen challenged.

  2. Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”, both book and movie versions. I have reread it several times and each time I find something that I missed that adds to the ending. I think chili had it’s own day before tortilla chips but not everyone puts them together. I prefer nachos made with Chili Cheese Fritos and have never liked clam chowder. (I gave up book buying for Lent but winning I consider a blessing for my Easter basket). .

    1. I like your attitude between winning and buying … though I’m sure authors hope you go on a spree after lent. Murder on the Orient express wass very good for the reasons you’ve noted, but I figured that one out. Still think it is one of her more enjoyable ones.

  3. Debra, that seems like a definite mistake. Chili and crab chowder are two very different dishes. they might both fit in with a hearty soup venue, but I’m not likely to do that here in Florida.

  4. I loved The Sixth Sense. I deliberately didn’t let any spoilers near me before watching it, and I thought that the boy was the dead one, LOL. M. Knight Shyamalan did a fab job with the clues and color motifs, so that on second viewing it all seems so obvious. (I’m far less impressed with his other movies.) A book that does this brilliantly is Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying. You have to read the whole book start to finish to understand, and paging thru and reading the ending won’t spill it for you. Oh, and you don’t eat tortilla chips with chili. They’re reserved for nachos and salsa and queso. (Technically you’re not supposed to put beans in your chili, either, but I’m not a purist on that point, ha ha.)

      1. I was with you on the color and clues… still one of my favorite movies for actually fooling me when for a moment I thought i had it…. I agree, of his movies, that still is my favorite. Thanks for the education. I’m not much of a chips or chili eater so…..

  5. I was at a screenwriting workshop years ago. The presenter asked how many of us had figured out The Sixth Sense before the end of the movie. I was the only one who raised a hand. Between the bombardment of TV commercials featuring Haley Joel Osment telling Bruce Willis that he sees dead people to the opening scene with Willis’s getting shot, it seemed completely obvious to me. I chalk it up to having my grandfather’s law enforcement genes. That’s why I love mysteries that I can’t figure out by the third chapter and that keep me guessing to end–or at least near the end.

    1. Like you, I thought that opening scene was it… but then I let it go and went with the flow of the movie, missing figuring it out. I really enjoyed being lost in it. Same goes for Agatha Christie’s Pale Horse (only one I never figured out). When a mystery keeps me guessing, which is rare, I enjoy it.

  6. Books that gave you clues are Murder In Bainbridge Island, Murder in Whistler, Murder In Seattle all by Dianne Harman gave clues and yes even had it figured out before book’s end even with the plot twists. Also other TV shows like Father Dowling and Murder She show and wrote gave clues and more than half the time I could guess and figure out who done it even with plot twists. The Murder She Wrote books gave you the clues and the strange thing was even though I knew who done it most of the time, there were times logically it should be one person but the story ended with a plot twist but the clues you had sometimes you had to think illogically because logic sometimes didn’t prevail. The writer thought illogically in a way to show you how the clues led you to the person who done it.
    As for the Why they didn’t put the chili with the tortilla chips? Thinking of all you could eat with Chili maybe the chef or chefs thought they had enough food on the side to eat with chili or maybe they thought that soup crackers would be enough or maybe they thought that would be the first and obvious place for police to look look or check first because tortilla chips can made to scoop food into so the chefs didn’t want to use tortilla chips because the scoop in the tortilla chip would be a good place to put drugs all crushed up and with the Chef’s skill it would be made to look like spices and/or preservatives.
    Hope I Win

  7. The Sixth Sense totally sucked me in. We watched that movie because Bruce Willis was in it. I so wanted Bruce to do what he always does in every movie – have a big heart but also provide lots of action and adventure and daring deeds. I was so busy getting into what Bruce did and said that the cute and courageous little boy’s telling line of “I see dead people” glossed right over my head. I hadn’t seen any of the spoilers, just a big fan of Bruce Willis. But I like that when a movie sucks me in and spits me out the other side. Not all the time mind you, because I like to be a good guesser, but it is a good way to keep me humble! As for your other query, I go into anaphylaxis when I eat chili and I can’t eat any corn products so I can’t help you there. However, I am a big fan of Dr. Gundry’s muffins in Veggie Soup. Let’s just make this Debra Day instead!

    1. I like Debra Day…. and then tomorrow can be Maggie Day, and then….. I’m with you on the Sixth Sense. I was so busy watching the movie that even though I thought THE one thing for a moment, I lost it and went with the flow missing all the clues. One of the few movies that sucked me in so much that I truly enjoyed it…and had to watch it again to see everything I’d missed.

  8. Shortly before Christmas, we discovered Friendly TV and that we could get the Hallmark channels. We’ve been binge watching since. Right now, we’re working our way through all of the Hallmark mysteries. Some. are easy to figure out and some not at all. Personally, when I read I DON’T worry about whether I know the killer before the end as long as I’m being entertained by the story. Of course, when I write, I DO worry about people figuring out the crime before the end. Go figure. As for chili and chips, I think they’re good any day of the year! No special day required!

  9. The Vanishing Season bu Joanna Schaffhausen kept me guessing until the last few pages. I was telling at the protagonist, “No! Don’t trust him!” about the wrong person entirely!

  10. I caught on to the Sixth Sense not that far into the film. Plus, I once went to a play with a friend. The show had two couples who were on their way to dinner when they got caught in a snowstorm and had an accident. Then you see them brushing off their clothes and entering the restaurant, hosted by a gent in a white suit. A stairway curved up in the back. They proceed to talk about their lives. In the intermission, I said to my friend that I thought they were dead, and this was their life review. I was right. In the end, they ascended the stairway to heaven. Wish I could remember the name of that play because it stuck in my mind.

  11. Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke. I think that they separated the two so you can have two fun days to celebrate both

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