The B-Mobile, The New Cheops Books, LLC Van:

On Friday, October 13, the spookiest day of the year, Cheops Books LLC acquired a new van, the B-Mobile, to use on all its ramblings, wanderings, and official business. It replaces the previous Bearmobile that lasted more than eleven years since July of 2006 until this very October.

The previous mobile took Cheops Books LLC and its authors on various expeditions to the shores of Oregon at Brookings, Oregon, the Redwood Coast of California, the Wine Country, and Yosemite. It drove our team to southeast Arizona to visit the town too tough to die, Tombstone, Arizona. It also took us on both our ramblings to Santa Fe, New Mexico where part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series is set. Remember the Manhattan Project at nearby Los Alamos? The site of the first atomic bomb explosion was not faraway, and the previous Bearmobile drove us right past it with lots of photo opportunities.

Perhaps most notably the previous Bearmobile took our party of editors, authors, and illustrators to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to board the Queen Mary 2. And the minivan did it not just once, but twice, last in 2015 just two years ago. That was our route to Europe to research the Edward Ware Thrillers at War especially in Germany and England.

It enabled us to stand in the stands where Hitler addressed his adoring crowds in Nuremberg and took us up into the Alps Mountains to see the site of Hitler’s Berghof, which was important for the novel Captive at the Berghof. In England it enabled us to visit Salisbury Cathedral in the south of England that gave its name to the Edward Ware Thrillers novel, Salisbury Plot by Dora Benley, soon to be published in a brand new edition. And it enabled us one hundred years after the event to sail past the spot of the sinking of the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland, the setting for Key to Lawrence: Special Edition.

Now the new B-Mobile will be the one to guide us through the wilderness and down the interstates to whatever destination is next to appear as the subject of a thriller novel published by us.

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Merkel Fiddles While Hamburg Burns:

Here is one of my photos of the concert hall in Hafen City in Hamburg in the Harbor Area on the Elbe River surrounded by photos of rioters. This is where Trump and Melania Trump attended Merkel’s concert for the G-20 meeting on July 7. We sailed up and down the river four times in 2012 and 2015 and really liked the place. Hamburg looked very modern with all sorts of very neatly kept buildings and lots of greenery lining the streets. The Elbe River was well populated with swimming beaches and beach hotels and houses. There was also a Lion King hall where they kept on playing Disney’s Lion King in perpetuum. We passed the old Cora Verlag Building that used to house the editor I dealt with when publishing 48 books in the Mystery and Mystery Thriller Lines. We even found a fascinating bookstore that specialized in ships and the North Sea and bought a Hamburg calendar and lots of postcards. I wish I could have purchased one of his North Sea calendars, but alas they were too big to fit in my suitcase! We rented a car here twice and returned here twice to board the Queen Mary 2 in Hafen City. The place seemed prosperous and upbeat.

Now we hear how the ambience of the city of Hamburg has been shattered by violent riots in the streets. Policemen are battling with non capitalists. Ever since we left Europe two years ago there have been nothing but terrorist attacks and now this. Melania Trump was apparently trapped in her hotel room by the extreme violence. So was the Australian Prime Minister. You would think that the Germans of all people would be better at keeping order in the streets. It is really shocking and makes me fear that Europe isn’t safe anymore. Tanks in the streets of Hamburg? The army called in? Military helicopters hovering above the conference site? It’s really too much.

I think part of the problem must be Merkel’s immigration policy and all these Middle Easterners wandering around Europe committing terrorist acts. But these rioters run deeper. They remind me of the groups that Hitler was fighting 100 years ago in the streets of Munich, the German communists. I looked up photos of Hamburg on July 7, 2017, and they remind me of World War 1 and World War 2. Absolutely shocking! It rattles me to the core just to look at people tearing about the city we were driving through only two years ago, driving across the bridge out of town and returning to a hotel on the outskirts, Zur Linda, the water wheel restaurant on the edge of town, the Hors Muhle, and then returning to the harbor area. And all Merkel can do is play classical music? Somehow her reaction seems disconnected and ominous like the legendary image of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Hamburg plays a role in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Hamburg is where Dora and Edward end up at the end of the novel Map Plot before returning to Britain together. It is the farthest expansion point of the Roman Empire into Germany. The Romans were trying to reach the Elbe River in the Cherusci Plot when the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest stopped them. Among them was one of Edward’s ancestors.

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This morning when I woke up I usually follow the QM2 to see where it is anchored that day. I knew it was on a world cruise and had just been in Korea. Where would it go next? I was surprised to find that the website said that QM2 was “not on a cruise”. In the past this has meant that the ship was doing something unexpected such as looking for somebody who jumped overboard such as in August of 2015, the month after we were on the ship or in July of 2015 when we were last on the ship on the 175th anniversary cruise coming back to New York and we ran into the mysterious skiff at sea episode. But when I mentioned it to Gary he had a different explanation this time. Quite different and surprising!
Gary found that the Queen Mary 2 which is currently on a world cruise is being used in Theresa May’s first foreign trade deal. it was announced by David Dingle, the Chairman of Maritime UK and the Chairman of Carnival UK, and John Hayes, the Shipping and Ports Minister and Member of Parliament, and the Trade Minister, Mark Garnier, that they are going to have a three day mission to Shanghai March 28-March 30. David Dingle is going to host a luncheon aboard the Queen Mary 2 which will be anchored there in Shanghai. He will host Chinese officials and government ministers. Where will they eat? We’ve been discussing it and have decided that it would probably be in the Queen’s Room on deck 3. I should send you pictures. It is usually a ballroom but it adjacent to the main dining room and eatery, the Britannia Dining Room.
This is supposed to help improve trade and investment relations between the two nations. “The maritime industry has a unique role to play in making Brexit a success,” Dingle says. “As Britain goes out into the world determined to increase exports and sign ambitious trade deals, Maritime UK has a unique responsibility to make Global Britain a reality,” Dingle says. He addes, “We are ready to do so.” It is all scheduled around the time that Theresa May is supposed to trigger the Brexit, Article 50, tomorrow, Wednesday, March 29.
Unique how Britain always uses cruise ships for political purposes such as Queen Mary 1 in World War 2 and now Queen Mary 2. Queen Mary 1, the original Queen Mary liner, is featured in Captive at the Berghof, one of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.

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