June 19, 2016

Joyce Ann Brown’s Missouri Extremes

In a previous post, Julie Lynn Hayes wrote an informative article about St. Louis and Eastern Missouri. I’ve lived on both sides of the state, but the Kansas City metro on the west side of the state is my home and the setting for my Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series. Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri, although the St. Louis metro is larger. It would take months to visit all of the attractions in either city, but there’s something for everyone. And, by the way, the name of the state is Missour-ee, not Missour-uh, although there are folks who would disagree.

For lovers of the arts, the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum has a diverse collection, including one of the largest of Asian art in the country, rotating exhibitions, and stimulating events that provide endless attractions. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts provides a distinctive theater, music, and dance performance venue for several professional companies in the city.

For sports enthusiasts, the 2015 World Series champion Royals, the football Chiefs, and Sporting KC soccer are the big leagues among all our other hometown teams. Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium are loud, noisy, and aromatic from all the tailgaters on game days. 
Museums are too numerous to list here, but two of my favorites are the National World War One Museum at Liberty Memorial and the American Jazz Museum at Eighteenth and Vine. Yes, that’s the street corner made famous in the song. At the jazz museum, pretty little women and everyone else can listen to the music of the best jazz musicians in the genre’s history of development. Also, I love the Arabia Steamboat Museum in our River Quay/City Market area near the Missouri. The steamboat and everything in it was preserved under tons of mud after it sank in 1856. Then, the river changed course. Modern archeologists located, retrieved, and preserved it all. I must like historical museums. Yes?  

Towns not far from the urban area have their own historical pasts and museums to keep them alive in our memories. The Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph is worth visiting, and at the Graber Farm Tour near Jamesport one can visit a working Amish farm and learn about this part of Americana. 

I can’t leave out our visiting gardeners who would love the Overland Park Arboretum and Powell Gardens, on opposite sides of the Metro. Kids won’t want to miss Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun and Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Science City at the gorgeously renovated Union Station, Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center, the Sea Life Aquarium at Crown Center,  LEGOLAND Discovery Center and our fantastic Kansas City Zoo are on the kid-friendly list, too.

Hikers, bikers, and people who just love the great outdoors, take a look at this Kansas City Trails blog. Beth, the landlady in my series, speed-walks the Trolley Track Trail in midtown nearly every day, but it takes years for anyone to explore the many area trails. I should know. (Okay, okay, it’s my blog. Look through it if you’re coming to K.C. It suggests local places to eat, too.)

Kansas City’s neighborhoods are the primary attraction for its residents. From downtown lofts to small farms on the outskirts of its suburbs, everyone finds a friendly place to call home. Kansas City incorporated many of the smaller surrounding communities that grew up in the 1800’s. The town of Westport, which served and organized wagon trains headed to the trailheads, is now part of midtown. Many other K.C. neighborhoods have histories as pioneer towns established well before their identities as part of Kansas City.

The Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series is set in Brookside, which started as the first suburban shopping center developed for automobile traffic. Built at what was in 1920 the far southern fringe of Kansas City, the area is now a neighborhood of old, well-maintained homes with shops and schools within walking distance. The Country Club Plaza grew to outshine Brookside, especially in the winter when the Plaza lights are glowing, but that’s fine with the Brookside folks who love their quiet section of town.

Beth, the landlady, lives in a Brookside Tudor from which she manages duplexes and condo units close by. Those rental units seem to invite trouble, but with his keen feline sixth-sense, Sylvester, aka Psycho Cat, helps her get to the bottom of each disappearance, theft, skeleton in the attic, fall from a balcony, or murder. Introducing the neighborhood and the crime-solving characters, Catastrophic Connections is also available as an audiobook. Furtive Investigation goes back and forth in time as Beth investigates a cold case. Nine Lifelines, the third book in the series, published in May, 2016, takes place in a ten-story condominium building in Brookside made fun of by locals for its incongruent sixties style.

Joyce Ann Brown is a landlady, story teller, retired school Library Media Specialist, former classroom teacher, former Realtor and now a freelance writer and author. She loves to play tennis, walk with her walking group, and spoil her kitties when not writing.  

Joyce’s  pieces have appeared in local and national publications.  Besides her cozy mystery series, the Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteries, her contributions are included in a book of mystery writers’ recipes, Cozy Food, available on Amazon and in Murder U.S.A., a book of exerpts from twenty-four mysteries, also on Amazon. Joyce writes for her blog followers and contributes as a guest blogger on such sites as Fifty Authors for Fifty States and Creatures ‘n Crooks/Buried Under Books. Catch a glimpse of her writing about all cozy subjects on her blog at: http://retirementchoicescozymystery.wordpress.com/ and her hiking experiences at http://hikingkctrails.wordpress.com . Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter. Friend her on Goodreads.

Joyce offers one of her books to a person who comments on this post. She loves to hear your thoughts.
(All Info Provided by Author)


  1. I enjoyed this informative and interesting post. The history and locales interests me greatly.

  2. Such interesting information about Missouri!
    I have family living there so hopefully I'll get to visit some day
    Good luck and God's blessings

  3. I have never been to your state, but one of the first things I might do is seek out the hiking trails. Surely there are views to photograph. Then I'd head to the zoo. You probably have the same animals as other zoos. And while I detest holding animals in captivity, I like seriously studying their habits. Your information says there is a lot of enjoy in Missouri.

  4. This wonderful and informative post about K.C. made it come alive. The history and various areas sound so interesting. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. Thanks to those who've read and commented. I hope you visit. You'll like the city.

  6. What I really love about this blog is learning about states I've never visited,so I can add them to my must-see list. Husband hopes we can tour around when (if?) we ever get to retire. Thanks for sharing.

  7. My wife comes from southeast Missouri (generally, the Sikeston-Poplar Bluff area), so I've had the opportunity to tour around the state. Beautiful, especially along the Mississippi and the Mark Twain National Forest areas.


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