Chaos and Mystery

    Tink  has supplied the words “chaos” and “mystery” for us to ponder for this Weekly Word Challenge.

    Chatty knows all about chaos – she only has to watch the puppies fossicking madly about under The Wiz’s feet – and coming close to tripping him – every time he opens a can of tuna (or anything else, for that matter). In fact, just the movement of the refrigerator door opening can awaken soundly sleeping puppies and thereby create chaos:


    Fluffy, on the other hand, waits until the annoying dogs have followed The Wiz into the eating area, then polices the area for crumbs:


    Finding nothing to her liking, she heads off in disgust:


    However, according to Wikipedia, “the butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory”. Do you see where Chatty is going here? If, as explained by Lorenz, a butterfly’s wings can result in a tornado occurring or NOT occurring, it’s no wonder that when a refrigerator door opening awakens sleeping puppies it can lead to chaos, at least in theory…

    Chatty is not scientific at all, but she loves this graph of the Butterfly Effect:


    Chatty likes the idea of butterflies causing chaos…or, alternatively, of being the method by which chaos is at least partially explained – because Chatty loves her butterflies!


    Chatty also loves mysteries.

    She recently sold several boxes of mysteries to a friend who is starting a book-nook in a shop, and only saved those few (Chatty uses the word loosely) she knew she would read again and again – favorites written by Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout, Del Shannon, Robert van Gulik, S. S. van Dine, JosephineTey, and of course, A. Conan Doyle.

    Here’s a bit of Chatty’s personal lending library:


    Please note, these shelves are double-stacked!

    Chatty also loves real-life mysteries. Three of her favorite unsolved ones are the murder of William Desmond Taylor (in the 1920’s): the Thelma Todd situation (in the 1930’s); and the murder of Elizabeth Short (in the 1940’s).

    Chatty’s favorite silent film star of all time, Mabel Normand, figured prominently in the Taylor case, and her career was almost ruined as a result –  because although she had nothing to do with the crime, she was unfortunately probably the last person to see Taylor alive – except for his killer.


    The case of Thelma Todd is also unsolved to this day – was it murder by mobsters? Was it suicide? Was it an accident?


    Here’s a picture taken outside her notorious nightclub on Pacific Coast Highway between Santa Monica and Malibu, CA. Her body was discovered in a garage high on the cliff above:


    And, of course, the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, better known as The Black Dahlia, remains one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries:



    All three cases make absorbing reading – especially if you are into old-time Hollywood scandals, as Chatty is.

    Check out the links provided – but be warned, this is fascinating stuff – and once you start, you may read into the wee hours!

    At which point you might find yourself feeling a bit peckish, and go to open the fridge. If you have animals anything like Chatty’s, chaos may result – and we will have come full circle for this Weekly Word Challenge.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Pat for reminding Chatty in a comment about her friend Scott Michaels and his WONDERFUL tour of Hollywood called “Dearly Departed – A Tragical History Tour”. This tour should NOT be missed if ever you are in Hollywood. It concentrates on the lives and deaths of the famous, and Scott is a witty and incredibly knowledgeable host. Until you can make it out to Hollywood (and if you like mysteries and movie stars), have some fun at his amazing website, where mysterious deaths abound. One of these days, Chatty will do an entire blog about Scott, but for the moment, go to and prepare to be fascinated for hours!


About merseamersea

setter of cryptic crosswords, designer of jewelry, paper and card maker, editor, quilter, embroiderer, cook, avid mystery reader and occasional writer. Find me on Facebook as Maggie-beth Rees Rasor.
This entry was posted in Barn Animals, hollywood, photos, The Wiz, Weekly Word Challenge. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Chaos and Mystery

  1. gary says:

    big surprise: my cats and dogs inspired pictures of chaos and mystery too

  2. Karen says:

    That is quite some personal library there Chatty! I will have to come back to all the old mystery links when I can read into the wee hours. I love those real life stories too.

  3. kcinnova says:

    Those are some beautiful butterflies!It’s a good thing I had caffeine before I read this, Chatty – you took us full circle and I got a little dizzy! ;)I’m thinking it wasn’t tuna that The Wiz opened up, since Fluffy didn’t find anything to her liking. Funny that the dogs expect there to be treats whenever The Wiz is in the kitchen. 😉

  4. There’s nothing like an Agatha Christie mystery.

  5. Great job on the WWC this week, Chatty! My wifey-pooh is an old Hollywood mystery buff too! She always has some documentary on some murder or mysterious death on our netflix.

  6. Pat says:

    Hi CCI am booked for Scott’s wonderful tour of old time Hollywood called Dearly Departed Tours on Sunday, June 29th–all about mystery, intrigue and gossip in Hollywood–your pictures have me really in the mood for the tour. I can’t wait.

  7. CCC says:

    Scott Michaels does a FABULOUS tour – you will have a great time! Anybody who goes to Hollywood should make a point to take Scott’s tour. Anyone interested should take a look at, his main website, and then look for information about “Dearly Departed – a Tragical History Tour” on the home page. Mysterious deaths abound!

  8. Reb says:

    Wow! Chatty, you always do such a great job! I love that you have taken us full circle this week. I love unsolved real-life mysteries too and if I had the self space, my mystery section would never get thinned out. Love the butterfly photos.

  9. Heather says:

    The mysteries I read are a little on the naughty side. Think a modern day Lucille Ball mixed with Sex in the City. Sort of. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are the ones I’m addicted to! Be forewarned, they’re an addiction to be sure!

  10. g-man says:

    Nicely done. I do like a good mystery, am currently listening to something from Patricia Cornwell.

  11. Tink says:

    Are those butterflies made out of feathers? They’re lovely! Look at all the books. Stacks like that are comforting to me. Also, where’s the squash turned ladies bum? I was really looking forward to seeing that. 😀

  12. Alice says:

    pets = good theme for chaos this week, it seems 🙂 hee, your “few” remaining mystery books made me chuckle..

  13. Aunt Jackie says:

    Fantastic take this week’s WWC! I love mystery stuff, and I thought about books, but you did a great job. Black Dahlia story rocks… Great photos and post!!!

  14. Aunt Jackie says:

    Also, I have to make a note… Butterflies are my absolute favorite, and I love what you put in about the butterfly effect. My Mother is a butterfly 😉

  15. Newt says:

    Wow, you have outdone yourself this WWC. Very nice!

  16. location says:

    How do I subscribe to your blog? I do not see RSS

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