Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mr. Cizak's Writing Tips #4 -- The War on Adverbs! (No Moral Center Blog)

I came across Mr. Cizak's blog while working on a review of his recent book, BETWEEN JUAREZ AND EL PASO (The Drifter Detective Series Book 6). The review will run Tuesday, but I thought I would draw your attention to this today.

Mr. Cizak's Writing Tips #4 -- The War on Adverbs! (No Moral Center Blog)

Review: GENRE SHOTGUN: A COLLECTION OF SHORT FICTION by Terry W. Ervin II (My review at Flash Bang Mysteries)

Review: GENRE SHOTGUN: A COLLECTION OF SHORT FICTION by Terry W. Ervin II (My review at Flash Bang Mysteries)

Review: THE GIRL WITH THE LONG GREEN HEART (1965) by Lawrence Block (Barry Ergang at Flash Bang Mysteries)

Review: THE GIRL WITH THE LONG GREEN HEART (1965) by Lawrence Block (Barry Ergang at Flash Bang Mysteries)

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Sandi had her shot and, as it usually does, it made her sick. This time seems a bit worse than normal so hopefully nothing serious is going on.

A Tissue of Webs by Paul D. Brazill (Short Story Fiction at Pulp Metal Magazine)

A Tissue of Webs by Paul D. Brazill (Short Story Fiction at Pulp Metal Magazine)

Crime Review Update--- 50th issue of Crime Review

Please join us in celebrating the 50th issue of Crime Review. In the new
edition, ( this week we have 16 reviews, together
with Deon Meyer in the Countdown interview hot seat.
Crime Review can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler can be followed on Twitter: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:
THE DYING SEASON by Martin Walker, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Chief of Police Bruno Courrèges is caught in the middle of a row between
hunters and conservationists in the Dordogne town of St Denis, as well as
having a suspicious death to investigate.

A SONG FOR THE DROWNED SOULS by Bernard Minier, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A young man is found at the house of a teacher, brutally murdered. His
mother asks Commandant Servaz for help. Servaz fears that an escaped serial
killer may have been involved.

TENACITY by JS Law, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, a Royal Navy special branch investigator, finds
herself in the insular world of a nuclear submarine as she investigates the
suicide of one of its crew.

THE INVENTION OF FIRE by Bruce Holsinger, reviewed by John Cleal
Sixteen corpses have been dumped in a London midden bearing wounds not seen
before. John Gower, poet and trader in secrets, investigates despite
official reluctance and struggles against failing vision, deception and
treachery to prevent an even more devastating massacre.

TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN by Arne Dahl, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
It’s summer in Stockholm. The A-Unit has been disbanded, and its former
members are disillusioned. Detective Paul Hjelm and his team race against
time while investigating three separate cases.

AFTER THE FIRE by Jane Casey, reviewed by Linda Wilson
After a devastating fire in a London tower block, DC Maeve Kerrigan and DI
Josh Derwent have to uncover the secret world of the 11th floor.

BOXES by Pascal Garnier, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Brice Casadamont moves to the countryside in a move planned by his wife,
now absent. As his life falls apart, he spends more and more time with
Blanche, a local who also has some problems.

THE WHITE SHEPHERD by Annie Dalton, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Anna Hopkins has led a solitary life. But when her dog Bonnie finds a body
in Oxford’s Port Meadows, Anna finds a support network as they attempt to
trap a murderer.

UGLY BUS by Mike Thomas, reviewed by John Cleal
Newly-promoted young sergeant Martin Finch struggles to control a group of
veteran policemen under the pressures of a football riot and violent

THE COLD DISH by Craig Johnson, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Cody Prichard’s murder looks like revenge for the rape of a local Cheyenne
girl. Sheriff Walt Longmire needs to find the shooter to prevent further

THE SAINT-FIACRE AFFAIR by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
An anonymous message Maigret receives predicting a death during the mass on
All Souls Day prompts him to return to the village in which he was born.

THE FIFTH SEASON by Mons Kallentoft, reviewed by John Cleal
A woman’s mutilated body found in a forest shows signs of the most
appalling torture. Inspector Malin Fors sees similarities to the case of a
young woman found raped and beaten years before and still in a psychiatric

THE GOOD SUICIDES by Antonio Hill, reviewed by Maddy Marsh
After a team-building event, one of the staff members kills his family
before taking his own life. Three years later, another member of that event
kills herself. It’s up to Inspector Salgado of the Barcelona police to find
out why.

THE WHITE VAN by Patrick Hoffman, reviewed by John Cleal
Drifter Emily Rosario is plunged into a world of confusion and fear when
she is used as a pawn in a bank raid. As she struggles to escape, she is
pursued by a desperate policeman who sees the stolen money as the solution
to his own problems.

LOCKWOOD AND CO: THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE by Jonathan Stroud, reviewed by
Linda Wilson
London’s most ramshackle psychical detective agency are on the verge of
going broke and have no option other than to take on the case that no one
else wants.

URBAN OUTLAWS by Peter Jay Black, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A group of kids go up against some formidable opposition in a bid to stop
an advanced super-computer being misused.

Best wishes


The Writing Bug: The Trouble With Being a Writer

The Writing Bug: The Trouble With Being a Writer: Bill Watterson By Sarah Reichert             We're alcoholics and psychotics. We're sufferers of depression and anti-hubr...

KRL This Week Update

Up this morning in KRL reviews & giveaways of 4 more new mysteries from Penguin & Kensington authors-"Murder on the Horizon" by M.L. Rowland, "Better Homes and Corpses" by Kathleen Bridge, "In the Drink" by Allyson K. Abbott, and "Loom and Doom" by Carol Ann Martin

Also up a review & giveaway of "Plantation Shudders" by Ellen Byron​, along with an interesting interview with Ellen, which includes mentions of her work on TV as well

And a review & giveaway of "Black Cat and the Accidental Angel" by Elaine Faber​

We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier​, along with giveaways of books by Jinx Schwartz​ & Kay Kendall​

You can also enjoy a never before published mystery short story by P.A. DeVoe

And a review & giveaway of "Fatal Choice" by Dorothy Howell

For our readers who also enjoy fantasy, we have a review & giveaway of "Veiled" by Benedict Jacka

And on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "Death of a Bride and Groom" by Allan J. Emerson​

Happy reading,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters: So many television series are returning from the dead, " Twin Peaks " and "The X-Files" are probably the most high pr...

Lesa's Latest Contest---Historical mystery giveaway

Giving away a terrific debut historical mystery, 2 copies of Nancy Herriman's No Comfort for the Lost, set in 1860s San Francisco. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Update on Flash and Bang: An SMFS Anthology

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Update on Flash and Bang: An SMFS Anthology: On March 26, 2014, interested Shortmystery members formed a subgroup to explore publishing SMFS-themed anthologies . The subgroup came to...

Little Big Crimes: Big Hard Squall, by Lane Kareska

Little Big Crimes: Big Hard Squall, by Lane Kareska

Friday, August 28, 2015

Submission Opportunity: The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers

From one of my lists......

The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers is open to submissions of manuscripts in the traditional mystery genre.  The grant award is $2,500 and includes a comprehensive registration to the 2016 Malice Domestic convention in May, 2016 in Bethesda, Maryland and a two-night stay at the host hotel.  Each year, one partial manuscript is chosen.  For complete details, visit and click on Grants. 
Harriette Sackler
Grants Chair
Malice Domestic, Ltd.

Sandi is Home

Late this afternoon Sandi was sent home having completed the fourth round of chemo. We have to be back at the hospital early tomorrow morning to have Sandi's shot. We next go back after that on Tuesday for the usual blood work and doctor visit.

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Fall's Bounty of Books!

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Fall's Bounty of Books!: Survey by Jeanne Elly Griffiths , author of the mystery series featuring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway, is starting a new se...

New Reviews at Flash Bang Mysteries

Two new reviews are up at BJ Bourg's Flash Bang Mysteries. They are:


 Review: FIREBREAK by Tricia Fields

FFB Review: "THE JULIUS CAESAR MURDER CASE (1935) by Wallace Irwin (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books. Before you go take a look at the complete list over at Patti Abbott’s blog, consider The Julius Caesar Murder Case by Wallace Irwin. Not only did Barry review it today, but Patrick Ohl offered his take on this book back in 2013 for FFB.


Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Forget about what you know from history lessons or Shakespeare’s drama. Julius Caesar’s demise did not occur as accounts have described it elsewhere. No, it is only through the unremitting pursuit of truth by one Publius Manlius (Mannie) Scribo, ace  reporter and sports columnist for the Evening Tiber, that we know what actually occurred on that fateful Ides of March. It begins with the murder of J. Romulus Comma, a producer at Pompey’s Theater, a crime Q. Bulbus Apex, “city editor and owner” of the tabloidium and Mannie’s boss, does not want Mannie to investigate. Nor do the famous General Mark Anthony, “Julius Cæsar’s dummy Consul, the Administration’s handshaker,” and Chief of Police Kellius. But pursue the case Mannie does, despite opposition from those and other quarters, and in the course of things uncovers a conspiracy to do in Caesar himself.  

In addition to the aforementioned Caesar and Anthony, Mannie’s investigation puts him into the presence or orbits of significant figures including Cleopatra, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Cicero, and Caesar’s former wives. Along with his faithful and canny British slave Smithicus, he also encounters the acting troupe from Pompey’s Theater and must contend with his conflicted feelings for the unpredictable Romula, daughter of J. Romulus Comma.

The book has been reissued in both print and electronic editions by Ramble House. I read the electronic edition, which is not without some typos here and there—e.g., J. Romulus Comma at least once called Q. Romulus Comma, and multiple varied misspellings of Caesar.

The book is a humorous whodunit. Or, at any rate, is meant to be. But humor is a very subjective matter. While the puzzle and solution were well-handled, and though I smiled and even chuckled aloud in a few spots, I thought the overall result was too self-consciously “cute”—the author’s “Look, folks, I’m being clever and comical!” affectation.

In his introduction to this edition of the novel, Richard A. Lupoff points out that “Through the eyes and in the voice of Mannie Scribo he goes out of his way to lampoon craven editors, ruthless publishers, and Roman politicians,” adding “He also manages to include offensive caricatures of blacks, Greeks, Jews, Britons, gays, Chinese, and little people. If Wallace Irwin was a bigot, at least he was an equal-opportunity bigot.”

If a character in a story or novel uses, whether in thought or dialogue, a racial or ethnic slur, the reader can assume the author wants him to understand this bigoted aspect of that character’s personality. It’s a different matter when the author resorts to such slurs, as Wallace Irwin does, in what are ostensibly objective portions of his narrative. I don’t mean to come across as holier-than-thou; I’m well aware that novels often reflect the attitudes of their times and authors. But I found Irwin’s slurring and stereotyping a long way from funny.

My suggestion is to read some or all of the first chapter at the Ramble House website to decide if The Julius Caesar Murder Case is your kind of mystery. You can read Richard A. Lupoff’s introduction there, as well.

© 2015 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. Some of it is available at Amazon and at Smashwords. His website is

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Update on Chemo: Round 4

After a series of serious setbacks involving her kidneys and blood work that delayed resumption of chemo until late yesterday, Sandi is back on track today and doing okay. They are pushing a continuous flow of saline solution and steroids into her trying desperately trying to keep her kidneys functioning despite everything. She has also had to have another blood transfusion which made things more complicated.

I spent the day with her today and she was able to crochet some though her hands are hurting her quite a bit as is as well as her left shoulder. X-rays have been taken of the shoulder and they are negative. I suspect, since the x-rays were negative, they may chalk it up to her worsening arthritis and just watch that situation. I am not sure if they intend to do anything for now to chase the source of her pain or why her arm is losing mobility.

For now, she is doing okay and hopefully the worst of this round of chemo is behind her. On the current pace she most likely would not come home until sometime late Saturday.

Review: "Uncle Dust: A Novel" by Rob Pierce

Dustin, aka Dusty, tends to be a loner. At the same time he sort of wants a family. Not a 24 hour 7 day a week family, but a family he could use as sort of cover in between jobs. Teresa and her son Jeremy fit that bill.The problem with inserting yourself into a family is that, if you are not very careful, their
issues and problems become your problems and issues. Teresa’s problem, even if she does not know it is her old boyfriend, Davis. Jeremy’s problem is that he is a fourth grader getting seriously bullied at school, and looking for a father figure.

Dusty can help with those problems but he demands total and complete loyalty. That means the person who took Dusty’s hard earned money out of the suitcase stashed in the hall closet better return it quickly. Dusty is between bank jobs and there wasn’t enough for someone to go lifting a few bills out in the first place. It is also a matter of respect as what Dusty has is his and he has total and last say over it.

The search for the missing money is the first step on an intriguing trail in the life of Dusty, career criminal. Robbing banks and collecting on debts is just part of what he does. Violence fueled by many factors is just part of his personae. While the bank robbery brings a sense of adrenaline and purpose, something he rarely finds in other pursuits, it also serves as a means of peace and taking the edge of off the day to day stressors. A complicated man who finds a few minutes peace when he can find it whether it is with a bottle, a woman, or by beating the heck out a loser who didn’t pay his gambling debts, Dusty is constantly in
search of something better. That search has ramifications for him as well as everyone he has any contact with in Uncle Dust: A Novel by Rob Pierre.

This is a very complicated read that features a rather unlikeable hero. Dusty craves the rush of what he does and has a grasp, at least to a certain point, on why he does it. Prone to violence and yet the violence is often on behalf of or because of someone he cares about. It is a bleak life and yet some of his most violent moments when he is using or abusing people are when he feels the most alive. He claims to not cares about others and yet is often is doing things to help others.

The result is a complicated trip in the hard boiled mind of a criminal who is fairly aware of his behavior and is unable to change. There is a certain redemptive quality at points in the read and which is often destroyed by the choices Dusty is later compelled to make. Published by All Due Respect Books, this is not a light or easy read and certainly is not for everybody. Uncle Dust is a very good read as well as an intriguing character study. When so many authors take the clichéd angle in such situations, Rob Pierce has done something truly different and well worth reading.

Uncle Dust
Rob Pierce
All Due Respect Books
January 2015
E-Book (also available in paperback)
314 Pages

Material supplied by the publisher at time of publication in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Now Claiming the Neddies (The Rap Sheet)

 Now Claiming the Neddies (The Rap Sheet)

The Latest Review at Flash Bang Mysteries: “Death’s Brother: A Top Suspense Story” by Bill Crider

 Reviews: “Death’s Brother: A Top Suspense Story” by Bill Crider

Blunt Talk and Tunes (Welcome To Hell Blog)

Blunt Talk and Tunes (Welcome To Hell Blog)


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: THE LAND OF RAIN SHADOW: HORNED TOAD, TEXAS: My review of The Land of Rain Shadow: Horned Toad, Texas ( Texas Tech University Press ) by Joyce Gibson Roach was published in  Lone Star...

Review: "The Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors" by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer

When I was a kid we went camping all the time during breaks from school. Not only did my parents love the outdoors, they thought being out in nature was as important as anything we learned in classrooms when school was in session. That important idea was passed along to my sons. That same important idea is behind the very cool book The Truth about Nature.

It is a book designed to get kids outside in the real world learning about nature and their role in it. As the subtitle makes clear this book is A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors.
Broken into four sections based on the seasons the book opens with Spring. The first myth is that “Birds sing because they are happy.” The myth is busted as birds don’t have emotions like humans and are singing because that is what they do. Bird song is their way of communication.

Over the next fifty pages in the Spring section are considered such as “Turkeys will drown in rain” (myth 14 on page 19), “Tornados turn clockwise” (myth 22 on page 31) and “Snapping turtles can’t let go after they bite” (myth 36 on page 51) among others. Each myth is rated on a 1 to 3 scale with 3 being absolutely totally false. Along the way there are pages titled “Stranger Than Fiction” with interesting information as well “Be A Scientist” pages geared towards fun experiments kids can do. For example, one can earn how to make a rainbow using a cd, a glass of water, a flash light, and a while piece of paper on page 36 or “Grow Your Own Mold” on page 49. The ideas on the “Be A Scientist” pages might be a good starting point for those science fair projects. 

This same informative text is continued through the Summer, Fall, and Winter sections. We learn that the idea that “Mouthwash will keep mosquitoes away” (myth 62 on page 89) is massively false as is that “Beavers eat fish” (myth 85 on page 120) or that “The brain is the largest organ” (myth 130 on page 186.) According to the book the brain is the third largest organ, coming in behind the liver at number two and skin at number one. The idea that “Ostriches bury their heads in the sand” is myth 135 and can be found on page 193.

While the various myths may not really fit the season section they are in, the myths are all informative and interesting.  All of the preceding leads up to a five page index and a one page of author bios that bring this highly entertaining book to be a close.

Filled with tips, fun facts and more The Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors is a colorful and fun book designed to make learning about a lot of things fun. Published by “Falcon Guides” the book is a great way to teach kids as well as adults about nature and our place in it while doing so in a fun way. Fun and very cool, The Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors makes learning fun in many ways.

The Truth about Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors
Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer
Falcon Guides (imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
October 2014
ISBN# 978-0-7627-9628-1
Paperback (also available in e-book)
232 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chemo: Round 4 is Underway

Earlier this afternoon Sandi was admitted to Medical City Dallas Hospital for the fourth round of chemo. Her bloodwork showed slight improvement over what the numbers were last week so they went ahead and admitted her. If things go right she should be out late Friday afternoon.
Sandi at Texas Oncology today being prepped for chemo

While in the hospital they plan to do a series of x-rays of her left shoulder to try and determine why she is having increasing pain in it and loss of mobility. The shoulder pain is thought to be something totally unrelated to the diabetic nueropathy. Exactly what is unknown right now. Between that and the pain she has in her hands as well as her lower legs and feet, Sandi is hurting pretty bad. The shoulder and hand pain is seriously affecting her ability to crochet and that makes for a very unhappy camper.

The plan remains for her to have chemo this week and that will be the last one for awhile as they watch her and see what happens. We know for sure there will be more all day blood transfusions within a few days to a week after chemo ends. Hopefully, she can otherwise be left alone a bit to let her body recover and gain a little strength back.

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (Lesa's Book Critiques)

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (Lesa's Book Critiques)

The Non-Gamer's Gamer's Blog: Freemium, Flintstones, and Family Guy

The Non-Gamer's Gamer's Blog: Freemium, Flintstones, and Family Guy: Regular readers here know of my addiction to Simpsons Tapped Out , but that's not the only freemium game of that type out there, nor ...

Review: "Bad Men" by Graham Powell

Bad Men by Graham Powell delivers the goods. The cover mentions the fact this collection is filled with “crime stories.” They definitely are crime stories. There are plenty of crimes, some mayhem, and a number of mysteries at work in these seven short stories. Short stories where people do what they do to survive and deal with the world as they see it.

“Grace, Period” opens the book where Tommy Roccaforte is being forced to relocate to an apartment far from where he used to live in Staten Island. Forced to give up his heavy oak and Italian leather furniture along with his old life to move to Tucson, all he has left is his wife Marie. That, a new job in a book store, and his old habits and urges which were not left behind when the Feds relocated him to save his life.

The man known to many as “Duke” for reasons that become clear was tending bar when Steven came in to talk that Wednesday night. Steven is just a college kid and out of place in the biker bar. But, he wants a job done and his money is good in “Payday.”

A job is also a major point in the next story titled “Cold Storage.” Dave Dewberry has a job in mind and wants Al to be involved. It involves a bank, a guy named Eugene Bosco, and the city of New York in its winter time glory.

The setting moves to Kentucky in “The Leap.” Specifically, the Kentucky State Correctional Center at Paintsville where new inmate Kenneth Pennywell has just arrived as the story opens. Assigned to the third room in dorm four, Pennywell has a plan for a certain inmate. The reason why is based on recent events told through flashbacks.

The truck may not be real and the narrator may not be stable in “The Ins And Outs.”  Then again, they really could be after him. He takes his medication and waits knowing if they find him they won’t make him wait long.

Crime Boss Bobby Gianetti was nabbed with a suitcase of money destined for one Tony Lambrusco. How the cops found out and what his bodyguards are going to do about it are a couple of things at work in “Cutting Diamonds.”

“Ken Bruen Is Dead, Alas” is the closing story of the book. A story that has its own story according to the preface. It is all best explained by reading it in the book. This is an incredibly funny read and a real highlight of the book.

Bad Men by Graham Powell is filled with plenty of crime, mystery, and certainly the possibility of  bad men. Ignoring the whole nature/nurture argument, these are seven short tales where the guys involved are doing what comes naturally. Whether or not they are truly bad men really depends on your moral compass …. assuming you have one. 

Bad Men
Graham Powell
January 2012
94 Pages

Material was purchased to read and review using funds in my Amazon Associate Account.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Star Trek Morning Coffee

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Star Trek Morning Coffee: This past Friday I had the opportunity to speak with friend, fellow writer , and TV host Kristin Battestella at the RadioVision Network ...

Updated Review News at Flash Bang Mysteries

The second review is now up on BJ Bourg's new venture. The review is of the short story collection  Scorched Noir: A Collection Of Southwestern Crime Tales by Garnett Elliott. You can read the review at:

The Southwest Armchair Traveler: Western History Mysteries

The Southwest Armchair Traveler: Western History Mysteries: Author Earl Staggs has started a series of articles called “History’s Rich With Mysteries” at Kevin’s Corner (“Book Reviews and More”)...

A Writer’s Guide to Fighting: Footwork 2 (Righting Crime Fiction)

A Writer’s Guide to Fighting: Footwork 2 (Righting Crime Fiction)

Pierce’s Picks A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction (The Rap Sheet)

 Pierce’s Picks A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction (The Rap Sheet)

Rough Edges: The Lawyer: The Retributioners - Wayne D. Dundee

Rough Edges: The Lawyer: The Retributioners - Wayne D. Dundee: THE RETRIBUTIONERS is the second entry in the Lawyer series, created by Edward A. Grainger and written by Wayne D. Dundee. Like the fir...

Bookish events in Texas for the week of August 24 - 30, 2015 (Texas Book Lover Blog)

 Includes Jenny Milchman's book signing events in Austin (Monday) and Houston (Tuesday) as well as Bill Crider with his daughter Angela Crider Neary joint book signing event in Houston on Saturday.
Bookish events in Texas for the week of August 24 - 30, 2015 (Texas Book Lover Blog)

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees. Paying Gigs (The Practicing Writer)

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees. Paying Gigs (The Practicing Writer)

Monday With Kaye: "Funerals Can Be Murder" by Susan Santangelo (Reviewed by Kaye George)

Please welcome back Kaye George with her latest installment of her “Mondays With Kaye” reviews. This week she considers Funerals Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo. This series began with Retirement Can Be Murder published back in January of 2011. The author is also part of the anthology Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing published last year.

Funerals Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

This is the fifth in the Carol and Jim Andrews Baby Boomer Mystery series. Santangelo doesn’t let up the pace or the humor on this one.

Carol and Jim start out with a domestic, but that’s understandable since Jim is newly retired. Carol does consider, though, that she’s fortunate that she’s not like her friends: Mary Alice is a widow, Nancy’s husband cheats, and Claire is married to a crashing bore.

Since Jim recently had a mild heart problem, and now has a cold, Carol would like him to forego taking care of the lawn. He insults her to the point that she insists she can do it. She manages to start the riding mower, but takes out part of the fence when it gets away from her. Will Finnegan turns up everywhere as the owner of Finnegan’s Rakes. He excellent yard work. He has an excellent physique, too. He turns up just as Carol needs him, luckily, to fix the fence and the yard.

Some of the other neighbors use Will also. However, just as he becomes indispensable, he suddenly dies. Something very odd happens at his wake. Carol and her daughter, Jenny, enter Slumber Room A to pay their respects. They are, however, alone with the body. Which has a pair of scissors sticking out of his chest. Someone hated him enough to mutilate his body after he was very much dead.

Carol romps through the aftermath of Finnegan’s Wake with the help of Lucy and Ethel, psychic dogs who give coded advice on solving puzzles.

Eventually, everyone who was a customer (which seems to be most of the Long Island neighborhood) is a suspect. Will, as well as a lot of other people, have secrets that will be uncovered, if Carol and her crew have anything to say about is.

Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Death in the Time of Ice for Suspense Magazine