My Ukuleles…I May Have a Problem…and a Giveaway!

Leslie Langtry is the USA Today Bestselling author of three cozy comedy series. She lives in the Midwest with her family and a few cats who do not appreciate her. And she hoards ukuleles (she might need an intervention).

Leslie Langtry’s first book in her Ukulele Mystery Series, Ukulele Murder, is on sale for 99c from April 10-16! You can check it out with the other books in the Aloha Lagoon Mysteries here:

After a long day of writing, I decompress by messing around with the ukulele. The results aren’t pretty, but I enjoy it. I can play a few songs (for some strange reason they’re all Beatles songs and Edelweiss), and I’m just now taking lessons like from a real professional musician and everything. So now, I can read tabs and notes and fingerpick (albeit very, very slowly) a few more songs, including the Theme from Batman (I’m nothing if not eclectic), Fur Elise and Haele – a Hawaiian song.

My Grandpa Smiley played ukulele. Fun little songs like Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey & Harvest Moon. That’s his instrument above on the far left. I can’t really play it because the tuning pegs are shot. It’s a sweet little uke.

The green instrument next to Grandpa’s is a Waterman by KALA. It’s waterproof, made of a tough plastic that still resonates well. I’m taking it with me to Florida for the Novelists Inc conference in October. My husband thinks I bought it just for that one event. He may not be wrong…

The middle uke is a Kahuna ukulele. I bought that one because I liked the hula girl and tiki on it. AND it has pink strings! It was a completely frivolous buy but I couldn’t resist. Who doesn’t want a uke with pictures and pink strings? It seems like a no-brainer to me.

Which may be why my first uke was the KALA Pineapple uke, second from the right. Several years ago, on a whim, my friend Michele and I decided to buy ukes and take a group class at West Music. This is us:

Michelle, rocking her sweet Hawaiian Punch hat

Anyway, my friend bought a normal, hourglass shaped blue uke. And I bought one that looked like a pineapple. Literally.  I guess I can’t do things like everyone else. Anyway – it’s a nice instrument with a little more of a mellow sound, probably because of its shape. It’s my go-to uke for my private lessons.

The last instrument is a KALA Travel Soprano. It’s a smidge smaller and half the width of the other ukes. When I was paying for it, my daughter asked why I needed it.

“Because it’s smaller,” I said, assuming this made sense to everyone.

She rolled her eyes, “Oh, right. Like an instrument like the ukulele needs a smaller version…”

I suspect she was being sarcastic.

Oh well. I love the ukulele and the calluses on my fingertips from playing. Maybe someday, I’ll be able to play more than a few songs. I doubt I’ll ever be a virtuoso, but that doesn’t matter. Playing around with this instrument relaxes me. And that’s all that matters.


Leslie Langtry’s first book in her Ukulele Mystery Series, Ukulele Murder, is on sale for 99c from April 10-16! You can check it out with the other books in the Aloha Lagoon Mysteries here:

Ukulele Murder (A Nani Johnson Mystery)
Aloha Lagoon Mysteries book #1

Nani Johnson thought she had it made when she moved from Kansas to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon, Kauai. In spite of her certifiably crazy mom, Nani is determined that nothing will stop her from becoming a ukulele virtuoso! Unfortunately her Julliard training doesn’t help her break into the local music scene due to some heavy competition from the Terrible Trio—three hostile, local musicians. The only work she finds is a few bar mitzvahs and gigs at the kitschy Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel.

But when one of Nani’s competitors drops dead right after a public feud, Nani becomes the police’s main suspect. A missing murder weapon, mysterious threats, and a heck of a frame-up job all have Nani worrying she’ll be trading in her flowery muumuus for prison orange. Enter hunky local botanist Nick Woodfield, who just might be able to help her clear her name…that is if he doesn’t have secrets of his own. With the bodies stacking up, the danger closing in, and the authorities circling, Nani must track down a killer…before she ends up the latest victim of the Ukulele Murderer!


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In addition to the 99c sale of
Ukulele Murder, Leslie is giving
away a signed, print copy of
the book to one lucky US
commenter on today’s post!
The winning name will be drawn
on Wednesday evening, April 19th.