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The Best Swimming Hole in Texas, by Kathleen Kaska – plus book #giveaway!

Welcome to day four of Kathleen Kaska’s blog tour “Travels to Austin: A Trip Back in Time.” She’s celebrating the upcoming release of kathleen kaska, helena fairfax, bake love writeher fourth Sydney Lockhart mystery, Murder at the Driskill (Austin, Texas) by writing about famous, infamous, and legendary locales in Texas’ state capital whose promo campaign is “Keep Austin Weird.” At the end of the tour, she’ll give away a signed copy of the book. To be eligible, leave a comment on each blog.

Today’s blog features Austin’s Barton Springs Pool.

Austin wouldn’t be Austin without Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park, especially in the summer when temperatures hit triple digits and the humidity isn’t far behind. In the center of town, a natural spring pools up and forms a swimming hole. At a constant sixty-eight to seventy degrees, a dip in Barton Springs is as much a necessity as a treat.

The first time I visited the pool was on a St. Mary’s School field trip. The nuns prohibited swimming, but the peach ice-cream served at the scoop shop offered its own cooling sensation. Sitting on the lawn that day under a massive oak tree, watching the swimmers, I decided that when the time came for college, the University of Texas might not be a bad idea. I moved to Austin in 1977 and made it my home for twenty-five years.

In Murder at the Driskill, Sydney and Dixon call a temporary halt to a frustrating investigation and drive to Barton Spring for ice cream.

Here’s the excerpt:

“Here we are. Turn left and drive down by the water and there’s a parking lot behind the shop. Peach ice cream is my favorite. I’m buying.”

            “I’m a vanilla man.”


            We took our cones back to the car and, for several minutes, watched a mother duck lead her brood into the springs.

            “You think they’ll release Eleanor?” I asked.

            “Probably. Bremmer knows his case against her is weak and will probably not go to trial.”

            “I never really considered the artists as serious suspects, merely witnesses. Maybe we should interview them again.”

            “I have a better idea. It’s time for a powwow. It might take some effort, but we’re going to round up the key players: Serge, Nolan, Digmire, Tweety, Edwin, and your favorite person, Fiona.”

            “And afterward you and I will share a bottle of gin for our troubles. I might even let you have your way with me.”

            “Let’s not waste any more time then.” Dixon tossed the remainder of his ice cream to the ants and we left.

Check out Barton Springs Pool website and find out what famous actor learned to swim there when he was five.

Here are the links to days one, two and three:

11/24/ Condo Douglas kicked off my blog tour at:

11/25 Next you’ll find me at Lois Winston’s blog:

11/26 Look for me at Cyndi Pauwel’s blog CP at Large:

Tomorrow I’ll be at Lynn Cahoon’s place:

Now here’s a taste of Murder at the Driskill.

kathleen kaska, helena fairfaxYou’d think that newspaper reporter Sydney Lockhart, comfortable at home in Austin, Texas, could stay away from hotels and murders therein. But when she and her detective boyfriend, Ralph Dixon, hang out a shingle for their new detective agency, they immediately land a high-profile case, which sends them to the swanky Driskill Hotel. Businessman Stringer Maynard has invited them to a party to meet his partner/brother-in-law, Leland Tatum, who’s about to announce his candidacy for governor. Maynard needs their help because Tatum is hanging out with the wrong crowd and jeopardizing his chances for winning the election. Before Sydney can finish her first martini, a gunshot sounds and Leland Tatum is found murdered in a suite down the hall.


Kathleen Kaska writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mysteries. Her first two books Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queens Book Group, the largest book group in the country. Kaska also writes the Classic Triviography Mystery Series. Her Alfred Hitchcock and the Sherlock Holmes trivia books were finalists for the 2013 EPIC award in nonfiction. Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida) was published in 2012.

Murder at the Driskill is available here on Amazon US

* * * *

Thanks so much for coming, Kathleen! I’ve loved hearing about Barton Springs Pool. Hard to imagine temperatures in three digits here where I live in the north of England – especially now in November. A dip in that pool sounds amazing.

You can find out more about Kathleen and her books here on her website and also on her blog.

If you’ve enjoyed Kathleen’s post, or have any questions or comments at all, we’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget, Kathleen is giving away a signed copy of her book to anyone who leaves a comment on each of the blogs named in her tour. It sounds a great read, so go ahead and leave a comment – it could be you!


16 thoughts on “The Best Swimming Hole in Texas, by Kathleen Kaska – plus book #giveaway!

  1. Thanks for having me as a guest today, Helena. The best time to be in Texas is between November and May. Migratory birds have the right idea, and since I’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest, I often migrate to Texas in the fall, at least for a few weeks.


  2. I was in Austin, Texas, last year, attending a comics-convention and expecting it to be a bit hot, even in November. Instead, a cold front blew in and I had the home-town advantage (it feeling not unlike a wet Wednesday in Motherwell…) and even enjoyed myself Sci-Fi speed dating with green Orion slave girls.

    it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it…


  3. My mouth is watering for that peach ice cream and I thought I’d never want anymore treats after Thanksgiving dinner! I have never been to TX, but it will be added to my bucket list now. Your story sounds intriguing. Best wishes on your new release!


  4. Love Austin! I’ve eaten at The Frisco (Nighthawk) & visited Barton Springs!! Would love to win this to read. I’ve read the 1st 2 in series!


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