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Podcast

The Fina Mendoza Mysteries

It's "The West Wing" meets "Nancy Drew" - a podcast for little girls and political junkies. Legend says whoever sees the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill is cursed. Fina Mendoza, the 10-year old daughter of a congressman, just saw it. Can she save her family from “cat”astrophe? These are the Fina Mendoza Mysteries. www.finamendozamysteries.com

Episodes

  • Pigeon Peas and Sewing Lessons

    May 17 2022

    Fina decides to take the case of the mysterious Chickcharney... maybe it has a secret message for her! Amy Solano as Fina Mendoza, Tamika Katon-Donegal as Monica, Steven Cuevas as Papa, Monica Vigil as Gabby. And Steve DeVorkin is Senator Something. Andrea Felix-Cervantes is our stage manager. Our music is written and performed by Andrew Barkan, and our logo designer is Imelda Hinojosa. Download the free, 56-page Teacher's Guide at finamendozamysteries.com.

  • Senator Something Joins the Hunt

    May 10 2022

    Fina's grandmother finally arrives in Washington, but she seems more excited about seeing a statue of her hero: Ronald Reagan. Meanwhile, Fina enlists the talents of her detecting partner, a big orange dog named Senator Something. The Fina Mendoza Mysteries are written and produced by Kitty Felde. Cast: Fina - Amy Solano Papa - Steven Cuevas Gabby - Monica Vigil Abuelita - Christine Avila Driver - Paul Cummings Becka - India Scalione Michael - Ian Kinuthia Congresswoman Mitchell - Laura Stegman ...more

  • NEW SEASON Episode 1:The Bird with the Lizard Tail

    May 03 2022

    It's season 2 of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries and Fina has a new case: find the mysterious Chickcharney, a mythical bird from the Caribbean, for her friend Monica who works in the snack bar. The Fina Mendoza Mysteries are written and produced by Kitty Felde. Cast: Fina - Amy Solano Papa - Steven Cuevas Monica - Tamika Katon-Donegal Claudia - Linda Graves John the Staffer - Steve Gamber  Season 2 of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast is based on the book State of the Union by Kitty Felde, published...more

  • Snow 101 for Californians

    Apr 26 2022

    Season 2 begins Tuesday, May 3rd. But we have one more sneak preview for you. It's an introduction to snow to those who live in places where snow is a rare event. Our California heroines Fina and her older Sister Gabby try to figure out how you prepare for a blizzard.

  • Bird Poop

    Apr 19 2022

    Hey! Somebody stole our plot!  Last week, social media went crazy over a bit of corn chaff that fell on President Biden's lapel. It looked like bird poop. Which is exactly what happens in Season Two of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast. And in the book State of the Union: A Fina Mendoza Mystery by Kitty Felde. Give a listen to this sneak preview of "the morning after" scene. Season Two of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries launches May 3rd.

  • Foxes and Birds and Other Animals on Capitol Hill

    Apr 12 2022

    There are more animals on Capitol Hill than you might think. Last week, a fox bit more than half a dozen people outside the U.S. Capitol - including a U.S. Congressman.  On this week's sneak preview of Season 2 of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries, we learn about the Bald Eagle's relationship to Capitol Hill. There's a free 56-page Teacher's Guide to The Fina Mendoza Mysteries that you can download by signing up for our newsletter at www.finamendozamysteries.com. It's also available for purchase at Ama...more

  • P is for Political Pundits

    Apr 05 2022

    You can't do a political show in Washington DC without a political pundit. We have two of them on State of the Union: Season 2 of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast. One of them is real: the host of Ken Rudin's Political Junkie, public radio's Ken Rudin. He's joined by actor Garrett M. Brown (Sisters) as his partner in punditry.  Ken and Garrett were asked to riff on the events at the State of the Union address. Their conversation becomes the background of one of Season 2's episodes. But we thou...more

  • The Mendoza Sisters: Gabby and Fina

    Mar 29 2022

    Sometimes Fina and her older sister Gabby are not crabbing at each other. Sometimes. Here's a short scene from Season 2 with our favorite Mendoza sisters.

  • Meet the Dogs of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries

    Mar 22 2022

    We respond to Olivia Lily, who comments on The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast with a complaint about the way we treat cats. We also introduce you to yet ANOTHER dog in Season 2!

  • Snowmageddon!

    Mar 17 2022

    Season 2 begins in May, but we're having so much fun finishing up the show, we wanted to share some sneak previews of  State of the Union. Season 2 is based on book 2 in The Fina Mendoza Mysteries series of books, called State of the Union, by Kitty Felde, published by Chesapeake Press. Can't wait for the podcast to begin? Order a copy of the book at your local library or bookstore.

  • Losing is Democratic Part Two Bonus Episode

    Jan 04 2022

    How do you explain the events of January 6th to children? This special 2-part episode is designed for teachers and parents to talk to young people about what happened and why and what larger lessons can be drawn from the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Free curriculum for this episode can be downloaded here. The episode takes place on January 6th, 2021, in a classroom meeting on zoom because of the pandemic. Our 10-year-old detective Fina Mendoza, the daughter of a congressman, has a new mystery to...more

  • Losing is Democratic Part One Bonus Episode

    Jan 03 2022

    How do you explain the events of January 6th to children? This special 2-part episode is designed for teachers and parents to talk to young people about what happened and why and what larger lessons can be drawn from the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Free curriculum for this episode can be downloaded here. The episode takes place on January 6th, 2021, in a classroom meeting on zoom because of the pandemic. Our 10-year-old detective Fina Mendoza, the daughter of a congressman, has a new mystery to...more

  • A Bonus Holiday Episode

    Dec 17 2021

    Every family celebrates the holidays in their own special way. This year, we spend time with the Mendoza family during their first December in Washington, D.C. as they remember past celebrations and experience new traditions.  We are busy taping Season Two of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries State of the Union which premieres in early 2022.  The podcast series is based on a series of books by Kitty Felde in The Fina Mendoza Mysteries series. Welcome to Washington Fina Mendoza and State of the Union ar...more

  • Happy Thanksgiving from the Mendoza Family

    Nov 22 2021

    To thank you this Thanksgiving week, we're reprising our Thanksgiving episode of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast. Thank you for listening. Season two begins in late January.

  • Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead

    Oct 16 2021

    Halloween isn't the only holiday celebrated at this time of year. In the Mexican Catholic tradition, families celebrate Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead - on All Saints and All Souls day with sugar skulls and picnics at the cemetery. Join Fina and Gabby Mendoza and their grandmother as they remember their late mom. Curriculum available at the website www.finamendoza.com.

  • A Preview of Season Two: State of the Union

    Aug 13 2021

    We know you're impatient for more Fina Mendoza Mysteries. We're working hard on Season Two, but we wanted to share a sneak preview of the coming season called State of the Union. It's based on The Fina Mendoza Mysteries series of novels published by Chesapeake Press. Book 2 in the series State of the Union is available NOW at your local indie bookstore, Barnes & Noble or Amazon, or you can ask your local public library to order the book. FYI, Book 1 in the series Welcome to Washington Fina Mendo...more

  • Losing is Democratic Part Two

    Feb 25 2021

    Fina Mendoza has a mystery to solve: who sent her classmates pizza? Her teacher has a challenge of her own: how to teach her 4th grade students about the attack on the U.S. Capitol. She looks to John Adams for inspiration. Free curriculum available at the website finamendozamysteries.com

  • Losing is Democratic (Part One)

    Feb 18 2021

    Fina Mendoza, the ten-year-old daughter of a congressman from California, solves mysteries on Capitol Hill. Fina has a new mystery on her hands. Her entire fourth grade is competing with fifth graders in a reading competition to see who can read the most pages. The prize: free pizza. Unfortunately, her class loses the contest. But pizza mysteriously appears anyway at the front door of all the fourth graders. How did that happen? Meanwhile, Fina’s father and the parents of nearly everybody else i...more

  • Christmas Traditions with the Mendoza Family

    Nov 27 2020

    In this year of upended traditions, we check in with the Mendoza family as they remember their own favorite Christmas past. And we celebrate a Capitol Hill tradition: the lighting of the Capitol Christmas tree. Here's a link to the 2020 Capitol Christmas Tree celebration.

  • Thanksgiving with the Mendoza Family

    Nov 20 2020

    I’ll bet you didn’t get to ride in a parade or spend Thanksgiving with your congressman dad answering questions at a Veteran’s hall. That’s how Fina's spending her Thanksgiving on a return visit to California.   www.finamendozamysteries.com

  • Bonus Episode: Dia de los Muertos

    Oct 27 2020

    This Sunday and Monday, the first and second of November, are the Mexican holiday known as Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead. It’s a celebration we include in The Fina Mendoza Mysteries as Fina and her older sister Gabby try to come to terms with moving across the country from California to Washington after the death of their mom. To honor all of our moms and other loved ones who are no longer with us on this earth, we’re sharing this short scene from the podcast. By the way, we have a cu...more

  • Let Kids Vote (part two)

    Oct 13 2020

    It’s a new school year for Fina Mendoza, another year of distance learning. Her teacher assigns a Genius Project, letting students pick the topic they’d like to research and present to the class. Since it's an election year and Fina’s congressman father is back in California campaigning for re-election, Fina decides to research voting. Specifically, letting kids younger than 18 cast a ballot. Real-life Congressman Mark Takano of Riverside, California zooms  with the class to answer questions abo...more

  • Let Kids Vote! (part one)

    Oct 06 2020

    It’s a new school year for Fina Mendoza, another year of distance learning. Her teacher assigns a Genius Project, letting students pick the topic they’d like to research and present to the class. Since it's an election year and Fina’s congressman father is back in California campaigning for re-election, Fina decides to research voting. Specifically, letting kids younger than 18 cast a ballot. Real-life Congressman Mark Takano of Riverside, California zooms  with the class to answer questions abo...more

  • Let Kids Vote!

    Sep 29 2020

    A mysterious break-in, a congressional lobbying effort about voting, and a sneaky way to get kids excited about the upcoming election...without the nastiness of politics. In this special bonus episode of THE FINA MENDOZA MYSTERIES, our young detective is attending classes via Zoom. She and her classmates take on a genius project, researching a recent amendment that would allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote. She and her classmates ask, "Why stop at 16? Why not let them vote?" They put the questio...more

  • Fina's Coronavirus Diary

    Apr 24 2020

    Fina Mendoza, the 10-year-old detective who lives on Capitol Hill, is stuck at home with her older sister Gabby and her father, a U.S. Congessman. Fina's class assignment is to keep an audio diary as a primary source for future historians, recording what it was like to live through the coronavirus pandemic. Fina checks in by phone with her favorite dog Senator Something and solves the mystery of the missing TV remote control. We also learn about what Congress is doing.  Free curriculum and a do...more

  • Behind the Scenes of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries Podcast

    Mar 20 2020

    Journalist Susan Valot interviews writer/producer Kitty Felde about the creative choices behind THE FINA MENDOZA MYSTERIES.  The podcast is based on the award winning book "Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza" by Kitty Felde. More information at the website finamendozamysteries.com.

  • Meet the Cast of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries

    Feb 04 2020

    We asked the cast of The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast to tell us a little more about their characters. The podcast is based on the award-winning book "Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza" by Kitty Felde. More information at the website finamendozamysteries.com.

  • Episode 8 - Case Closed!

    Dec 13 2019

    Fina ties up loose ends in the case of the mystery of the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill and experiences her first Christmas in Washington, DC. The podcast is based on the award winning book "Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza" by Kitty Felde. More details at the website finamendozamysteries.com.

  • Episode 7 - Thanksgiving in California

    Dec 06 2019

    The Mendoza family heads to Los Angeles to celebrate Thanksgiving. Fina worries that the curse of the Demon Cat will follow them to California.  Writer/Producer - Kitty Felde Our cast includes:   Amy Solano - Fina Mendoza  Monica Vigil - Gabby  Raul Garza - Papa  Christine Avila - Abuelita Imelda Hinojosa - Tia Catalina Rachel Desztich - Tia Margarita  Brian Bland - Veteran Steve DeVorkin - Senator Something    Associate Producer - Hannah Matzecki  Associate Sound Designer - Hunter Felde  Music ...more

  • Episode 6 - "Cat"astrophe!

    Nov 29 2019

    Fina continues to investigate the history of cats in the U.S. Capitol. Papa returns to Washington for a family meal. But then catastrophe strikes. Can the Demon Cat be to blame? The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast is written and produced by Kitty Felde Our cast includes: Amy Solano - Fina Mendoza Monica Vigil - Gabby Raul Garza - Papa Mat Kaplan - House Historian Steve Gamber - John the Staffer Brian Bland - Capitol Tour Guide Rosalie Fox - Veterinarian Steve DeVorkin - Senator Something Our tou...more

  • Episode 5: You Guys Need to Get Out of the House

    Nov 22 2019

    Fina and Gabby join Claudia at the National Zoo where Fina gathers clues. The Mendoza sisters also celebrate Dia de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead. And Fina comes up with a plan. The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast is written and produced by Kitty Felde Our cast includes: Amy Solano as Fina Mendoza Monica Vigil as Gabby Linda Graves as Claudia Christine Avila as Abuelita And Steve DeVorkin as Senator Something Associate Producer - Hannah Matzecki  Associate Sound Designer - Hunter Felde  Musi...more

  • Episode 4: We Need Brownies

    Nov 15 2019

    Fina and Gabby get ready for Halloween without Papa and Abuelita. Fina discovers some of the backstory of the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill.  The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast is written and produced by Kitty Felde.  Our cast includes:  Amy Solano - Fina Mendoza  Monica Vigil - Gabby Christine Avila - Abuelita   Raul Garza – Papa  Elizabeth Logun - Librarian Imelda Hinojosa - Tia Catalina   Associate Producer - Hannah Matzecki  Associate Sound Designer - Hunter Felde  Music Composed and Performed -...more

  • Episode 3: The Curse of the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill

    Nov 08 2019

    Bad luck seems to haunt the Mendoza family. Fina is convinced that the mythical Demon Cat of Capitol Hill is to blame. Fina starts detecting and discovers an important clue. Writer/Producer - Kitty Felde Our cast includes:   Amy Solano - Fina Mendoza  Monica Vigil - Gabby  Raul Garza - Papa  Susan Valot - Ms. Greenwood Linda Graves - Claudia  India Scaglione - Becka    William Beemer - Michael  Susan Valot - Ms. Greenwood  Steve Gamber - John the Staffer  Steve DeVorkin - Senator Something    As...more

  • Episode 2: If You Want a Friend in Washington

    Nov 01 2019

    Fina meets a new friend and gets a new job and a new identity: lady detective.  Writer/Producer - Kitty Felde Our cast includes:  Amy Solano - Fina Mendoza  Monica Vigil - Gabby  Raul Garza - Papa  Linda Graves - Claudia  India Scaglione - Becka    William Beemer - Michael  Susan Valot - Ms. Greenwood  Steve Gamber - John the Staffer  Steve DeVorkin - Senator Something    Associate Producer - Hannah Matzecki  Associate Sound Designer - Hunter Felde  Music Composed and Performed - Andrew Barkan  ...more

  • Episode 1: Welcome to Washington Fina Mendoza

    Oct 25 2019

    Meet Fina Mendoza. She spends her after school hours in the U.S. Capitol where her father is a congressman. While hunting down a lost sweatshirt in the Capitol Crypt, Fina stumbles over a mysterious creature. Is it the ghost of George Washington? Or perhaps the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill?  The Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast is written and produced by Kitty Felde.  Our cast includes:  Amy Solano - Fina Mendoza  Raul Garza – Papa  Christine Avila - Abuelita  Linda Graves - Claudia  Melanie MacQueen...more

  • A Preview of "The Fina Mendoza Mysteries"

    Oct 01 2019

    There’s a legend in Washington, D.C. Anyone who sees the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill will be cursed. Fina Mendoza, the daughter of a congressman, just saw it. Can she save her family from “cat”astrophe? These are the Fina Mendoza Mysteries. Season One is based on the award-winning book "Welcome to Washington Fina Mendoza" by Kitty Felde, published by Chesapeake Press. There is a 32 page Teacher's Guide to the book and podcast at Amazon. www.finamendozamysteries.com