Friday, December 19, 2014

Via Not The Baseball Pitcher--- FFB: Calypso – Ed McBain

FFB: Calypso – Ed McBain

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

FFB Review: "Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT" Editor Thomas Pluck

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. In recent days I have seen posts on Facebook and elsewhere by Editor Thomas Pluck reminding all of the 2012 anthology Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT. During this holiday season it seemed a very good time to run again my review from that year of this very good book. Many of the 41 one tales here are tough ones in a book that is meant to raise funds for a very worthy cause. Make sure you check out Patti’s blog for still more books well worthy of your attention…..

Anthologies designed to raise monies for a cause are becoming more and more common. This is true here with Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT features stories about children in danger. Monies raised from book go to PROTECT, and its parent organization, the National Association to Protect Children, in order to help keep children safe, strengthen laws against child abuse in its many forms, and to assist the victims of such abuse. Along with a detailed explanation of the group in the introduction to anthology, there is information on how to become a member and how to track the donation record. Then, it is on to the stories arranged in alphabetical order by author.

The book opens with “The Search for Michael” by Patricia Abbott. Max knows that he just saw his son on the crowded pier below a San Francisco Restaurant. It may have been ten years, but Max knows what he saw was his missing son.

“The Drowning of Jeremiah Fishfinger” by Ian Ayris comes next. Jeremiah was the youngest of six children and arrived between the wars. As WWII begins, the family experiences war in England and death while the rage within Jeremiah grows day after day.

“The Kindness of Strangers” by Ray Banks opens with the image of a gymnasium full of noisy kids.  It is picture day at the school and the photographer as well as school staff has their hands full. It is time for the new picture for the access cards and the narrator takes his job very seriously. He wants to help all the students. But, then things do always go wrong.

Nigel Bird is up next with his story “Baby’s in Blue.” Rox and Sox want to have a baby and want Les to help.  His girlfriend Libby wants a child of her own too and is all in favor of him helping out Rox and Sox. Of course, nothing is that simple in this very unsettling story.

“The Black Rose” by Michael A. Black is a tale of Brax, Stevie, and the fact that Tanaka Mishima wants them dead.  Who knew the dead hooker would be a problem? While many of these tales feature either the child victim experiencing abuse or the perpetrator doing the abuse, this story one was one of my favorites as it had a more distant relationship with the abuse angle of the anthology and was a complicated mystery.

“Last Orders: A Gus Dury Story” by Tony Black follows next featuring a man with a certain reputation in the fine city of Edinburgh. The annoying man who has come over to him in the pub is Urquhart and he is a Church of Scotland minister. His daughter is missing and he wants to hire Gus Dury to find Caroline Urguhart as fast as possible.

Billy and Daryl are in an alley three streets over from their target as “Repossession” by R. Thomas Brown opens. Daryl has been doing repos for a while now and says the targets always park their cars away from their homes. Bill is new to the business and wanted to learn all he could from the old pro. That was at first, but now he isn’t so sure.

When you are paired with another young guard in Tempelmore it might be best if one was good and one was dirty.  Barrret was the good one in “Spectre” by Ken Bruen. Spec was the bad one and he was very good at it.

“A Tall Horse” by Bill Cameron tells the tale of 10 year old David who has had enough. He’d much rather hang out in the basement at home. He has thrown down the challenge and the battle is on.

The kids are not happy in “Seven Ways to Get of Harry” by Jen Conley. It is supposed to be a fun day at the “Great Adventure” park near Manchester. But, Judy’s boyfriend, Harry, is being difficult and not just about the safari deal Danny wants to do. At least his sister, Lisa, has ideas on how to get rid of Harry.

The taxi driver, Billy Joe, in “Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion” by Charles De Lint is not having a good Monday night. The woman who flags him down outside a girl-on-girl club is way too beautiful to be playing for the other team. She wants to go and steal her cat back and Billy Joe can’t say no.

Using the history of the Orphan Train program which ran from the 1850s to 1929, author Wayne D. Dundee crafted a story where good intentions went disastrously wrong.  “Adeline” is one of those children and she needs help. Miss Maybelle wants to do something about it because Hiram Foster has her and he is the lowest of the vermin around. She needs the help of Clete Rawson and she will get it.

Mercer thought he would feel something when he came back to his old hometown. Instead, he feels nothing in “Go Away” by Chad Eagleton. He wouldn’t be back if it wasn’t to help pull off a robbery.

You can live with somebody a long time. Years even and not really know them. A point Les Edgerton makes well in “You Don’t Know Me.” Two shots should do the trick.

A child hears a voice calling his name and does not want to come out in the very short piece “Security” by Andrew Fader.

Charlotte hates her after school program in “Planning for the Future” by Matthew Funk. She is sure she and Mama are going to hell.  One could argue they are already there.

“Things I Know about Fairy Tales” by Roxane Gay comes next featuring the story of a woman and her kidnapping in Haiti. Kidnapping is what happens when you come from one of the better off families. When the inevitable happens nothing will ever be the same.

An alligator is doing what comes naturally to it as “The Lawyer” by Edward A. Grainger opens.   The body on a bank of a Louisiana bayou is bleeding into the water while a man known as the “The Lawyer” stands above him. A chilling beginning to a very good western tale featuring Marshall Cash Laramie. This complicated and well done story was also one of my favorites in the book.

Baby Molly has what appears to be simple eye infection in her eyes in the story “A Blind Eye” by Glenn G. Gray. However, Molly’s mom is not the best caregiver by a long shot in this deeply disturbing story. If you can read this one without getting very upset, you simply can’t be human on any level.

While many are going a very long way to California, Lettie isn’t.  Instead, in “Lettie in the Ozarks” by Jane Hammons, Lettie is following the old people to their house in the Ozarks. She may have left it all behind in Oklahoma, but, she can’t leave the painful memories.

“1983” by Amber Keller features Reggie and Troy and their plan to go cool off in an old quarry.  The quarry is fun but it is no refuge from bullies--familial ones.

Joe R. Landsdale comes next with “The Boy Who Became Invisible.” Marble Creek, a small town along the Sabine River in East Texas is the setting. For Hap and his friend, Jesse, everything changed in the fifth grade and not in a good way.

Most of the stories in this book are about bullying and the effects on those bullied. Like the preceeding story, “Take It like a Man” by Frank Larnerd is one of those stories. 7th grader “Squeak” is one of those kids that everyone picks on. At least there is a gun at home in the trailer.

Jack likes to slap his partner around in “Stoop-It” by Gary Lovisi. The duo has done too many jobs back east and the heat is on so Jack had the bright idea to go to California. Jack is supposed to be the smart one of the pair. His plans get the narrator out of his cage and working.

In the twilight of the afterlife victims see things differently in “Monsters” by Mike Miner. While they had no idea he was out there, now as victims, they can see the predator as a burning flame moving through the streets of Los Angeles. To see the predator this way would have been helpful when they were alive. They can also see the detective and the toll the killings are taking on him. They may not be able to stop the killer, but they can help the detective a little bit.

The agencies supposed to help have a problem in “Community Reintegration” by Zak Mucha.  Patient Troy Gaylen is a problem patient who is doing everything he can to resist treatment.  Once he turns 21, he can do as he wants despite his long history and other factors described in this story of emails and clinical narratives.

It’s a bad situation in “Done for the Day” by Dan O’Shea. Mom is dead, Billy is getting worse, and dad is overwhelmed. The fact that the nosy neighbor next door keeps calling the police does not help.

George Pelecanos is next with “String Music” where Tonio Harris lives for pickup basketball games. Life is very rough in the fourth district of D.C. but hitting the asphalt with a basketball is escape. That is until one game goes a bit sideways with ripples that will affect a number of people.

Thomas Pluck contributes next with his story “Black Shuck.” Nine years old and out with his dog, Shuck, life in the holler don’t get any better. That was until Wade and his friend saw the guitar player known as Blind Joe Death. He has a reputation and not in a positive way. Now there is a thirst for vengeance in the air with death coming again before the night is out.

It is time for the threshing crew to get to work in “Jolly’s Boy” by Richard Prosch. It is a cold ride on a cold morning as Tom and his father ride in their Model T to where they need to harvest. Tom wants “Jolly’s Boy” to hurry up and show up as Tom has a point to make.

Keith Rawson follows with “She Comes With The Rain.” Ella went to God one Friday when the cancer became too much. For the widower left behind, everything changed. That included his relationship with their daughter, Sabrina.  It has all led to this in a haunting piece.

Ed came back from North Africa bitter and missing an arm in “The Greatest Generation” by James Reasoner.” Coming back to Lockspur, Texas this way is a far cry from going ashore in Morocco with General Patton.  As bad as he feels about himself there is somebody far worse off in a war at home.

It is a nightmare for Wade and his wife, Liana in “Baby Boy” by Todd Robinson. Ben is missing and nobody knows anything. The hours pass into days and the pressure mounts on the couple with no sign of their child.

When you live on “Gay Street” in this story by Johnny Shaw you learn very quickly how to fight. It’s a hard neighborhood anyway and the street name does the kids no favors. The boys live by a code of honor. Little Jimmy Little is one of them at age 10 and has been hurt. He will be avenged.

Gerald So offers a poem with “Hushed.”  A quick powerful poem about Cousin Lee and his bruises.

The plan is to finish smoking dope in the 67 Bonneville and then burgle the house they are watching. Tom and his older brother got stuff to steal for Junky Bob who wants 10 percent of the take.  Supposed to be an easy gig in “Wooden Bullets” by Josh Stallings.  It isn’t, of course.

16 year old Joseph lives next door “In Dreams” by Charlie Stella. Joseph also knows how to get an eight year old little boy up to his room in this very disturbing story. Money and toys don’t make what is happening right.

“Placebo” by Andrew Vachss comes next with a narrator who knows how to fix things. Sometimes the stuff that needs fixing goes far beyond his building or his normal jobs. One example is the little boy upstairs and his monsters.

“Steve Weddle” is next with “This Too Shall Pass.” Staci and Rusty are out in a field watching the stars. That is until they got interrupted by other party goers.  Teen angst, a legendary story, and more is at work in this fine tale.

Austin Parker is missing in “Runaway” by Dave White. Coach Herrick thinks the boy might have had good reason to take off considering the living conditions at home. Haunted by guilt over what happened with one boy in Afghanistan, he tries to save another here at home. Easier said than done in so many ways.

The final story of the book is “Season Pass” by Chet Williamson. It tells the story of Mr. & Mrs. Youngers, the passing of time, and solving a problem in this twisted tale.

The 41 tales arranged in alphabetical order by author are good ones in Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT.  While the stories are good ones, this book is not in any way light, easy reading. Most of these stories feature horrific and occasionally graphic child abuse in some form. These are stories that often slap the reader in the face with the kinds of horrific abuse and neglect that are all too common stories in the media today. The level of hurt in these stories makes for very tough reading at times in a powerful book designed to raise money to support the mission of PROTECT.

Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT
Editor Thomas Pluck
Goombah Gumbo Press
August 31, 2012
E-Book (also available as a paperback through CreateSpace)
Estimated print length 374 pages

Material was supplied by Editor Thomas Pluck for my objective review. Material was read on my laptop via the free “Kindle for PC” program.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Untreed Reads BIG SALE--- Our "Run Run Rudolph" Sale Is On!

As posted elsewhere.....

Hi, everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that our “Run Run Rudolph” sale has begun. From now through Christmas Day, over 1,000 ebook titles from 15+ publishers are 50% off and paperbacks are 30% off. That means we have short stories as low as $0.25. Not too shabby eh?

For a complete lineup of the publishers participating in the sale, visit our homepage at .

All discounts will show up in your shopping cart during the final step of checkout. If you’re someone who prefers to read your titles in PDF, this is definitely the sale for you as you get PDF, EPUB and Kindle for one price. Also, any of our titles can be gifted to someone else. For gifting instructions, visit .

If you want to order a paperback and ensure it reaches someone in time for the holidays, please contact me off-list and I can help make that happen.


Jay Hartman
Untreed Reads Publishing

Via Sons of Spade-- Favorite Sons of 2014

Favorite Sons of 2014

Via The Rap Sheet --Step Up and Speak Out

Step Up and Speak Out

Via TerribleMinds-- What The Hell’s Happening With Kindle Unlimited? (adult language)

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The Blog Will Be Closed Today

Please take a moment today to think of Bill and his family.....

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: The Blog Will Be Closed Today: The memorial service for Judy will be held today, so the blog will be dark.  It will return in a limited way tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone f...

Review: "Early Retirement: A Short Story" by Sue Ann Jaffarian

It is approaching Christmas in Los Angeles as Early Retirement begins and Edna Brewer is glad the weather has finally cooled off a bit. Warmer weather helps her arthritis, but there should be a little chill bite to the air this time of year. Having just turned 67 she has convinced her employer, her brother who is named George and a lawyer that it definitely is time for her to retire. For over thirty year she has kept his law office organized and running smoothly despite the office bimbos, shady clients, and other assorted problems. She likes things organized and neat from her sensible shoes to her job to her life.

Good thing to as again this day Sarah Landry is once again very late to work. She is supposed to be George’s secretary though Edna sees very little evidence of her being able to do the job. Sarah is almost always late so it is up to the office manager, Edna Brewer, to get the coffee pot on, the phones switched over from the service, and take care of the many other necessary tasks to start the day. It would help a lot if her lawyer brother would get himself to work today as one of his more difficult and despicable clients, Bobby Corazon, keeps calling for him. Then the police come looking for George and the detectives have lots of questions for Edna.

Featuring an interesting mystery and plenty more, this short story by Sue Ann Jaffarian is a good one. A fast fun read that is guaranteed to please, Early Retirement is very much well worth your time. 

Early Retirement: A Short Story
Sue Ann Jaffarian
 Arakel Press
(no website listing found)
December 9, 2014
22 pages (estimated)

Material picked up to read and review using funds in my Amazon Associate account.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Poor Devil

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Poor Devil: Poor Devil ~ This failed TV pilot/made for TV movie is one I have been trying to locate for a while. I saw it a couple times as a kid a...

Review: "Raining Willie & Cranked: Two Texas Tales" by Bill Crider

Karla Ercums claimed the pink amethyst ring on her finger was handed down to her by her grandmother. Drug Cop Ray Tabor is sure the ring is stolen though he can’t prove it. Law
enforcement can easily prove she stole other pieces of jewelry while working for Kleen Maid Service. Her actions as a thief as well as her desire for a shorter prison sentence means Tabor can use her as a snitch. In an area where everybody knows everybody else and most folks are related by blood, marriage, or both, Tabor is a definite outsider. He can’t make a drug deal on his own and needs the help of locals who are not interested. Karla has no choice, as both she and tabor know, and he will use her as he sees fit.

So the plan is for Karla to get into a meth house down in the Angelina River Bottoms. She is to wear a wire and make a buy. It should not be that hard or complicated, but things go sidewise. Good thing Karla can improvise and think on her feet.

The repercussions of the above and their aftermath is the subject of the following tale titled “Cranked.” One can’t say more without telling too much and ruining the good read.

Raining Willie & Cranked: Two Texas Tales features gritty characters deep into the drug trade and living on the edge where violence is common place. The short tales in this quick read are good ones where folks die, things get blown up, and things are more than a little twisted. Don't let the tranquil cover fool you.

Raining Willie & Cranked: Two Texas Tales
Bill Crider
February 2012
ASIN: B0075D53KW
23 Pages

According to Amazon I picked this up on February 24, 2012. I will have to take their word on this. Beyond the fact that everything does get read and reviewed here—eventually—I have no idea now if I got this during a free read promotion by the author or by way of gift card purchase using funds from my Amazon Associate account. Since Amazon counts free reads as sales they don’t designate anything beyond the date acquired so I have no idea. Regardless, the information above is designed to comply with the nonsensical mandatory FTC reporting requirement aimed at us dangerous book reviewers as well as to appease meth heads, soccer Moms, and our coming simian overlords.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Still Holiday Shopping?

In case you are, I ask that you think about a couple of things.....

If you are buying at Amazon please consider going through the blog here to do your shopping at Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate and that means I receive a few pennies on each sale. Those small amounts don't affect your price or bill at all. They do add up for me and when I cash out I can buy the occasional book for me along with medical supplies for Sandi.

And, speaking of my better half, in addition to what she has available online at Tapir and Friends Animal Store Sandi still has her iOffer store should you be looking for a homemade teddy bear, walker caddy, chemo hat or something else with a personal touch. This is most likely the last holiday season her iOffer store will be available. As always, sales go to pay something towards her mounting cancer bills as there is much her insurance refuses to cover despite our appeals.

Thank you!

Via The Education of a Pulp Writer: The Lawyer: Stay of Execution by Wayne D. Dundee

The Education of a Pulp Writer: The Lawyer: Stay of Execution by Wayne D. Dundee: Coming soon... In the Old West, J.D. Miller had been an attorney at law. A respected and successful one. Until the horrific, soul-scarri...

Via Do Some Damage: Police, torture, and crime fiction

Do Some Damage: Police, torture, and crime fiction: (I really didn't know what to call this post) A couple of days ago our very own Jay Stringer asked where now for procedural writers in...

Via Venture Galleries-- Embroiled in Our Own World of Mystery

Embroiled in Our Own World of Mystery

Our Latest.....

Sandi had her appointment with the endocrinologist yesterday. As expected, the dosage on her twice daily insulin shots was bumped up a little bit. Things seem to be progressing in the right direction so the plan is to leave her alone for now.

Scott took his last final for the fall semester. He is now on a break until mid January. All teh grades are not in just yet, but it looks like he will finish the semester with 4 B's and an A. Pretty damn good for our Criminology Major.

So, not only do I get the break from hauling Scott to UTD, if things go right, Sandi and I get a break from the doctors and hospital stuff till the middle of next month. Having spent the holidays in hospitals before we really appreciate the fact that this year we should not have to do that.

Knock on wood.....

Monday, December 15, 2014

Via Anne R. Allen's Blog: Confessions of NYT Bestselling Author Gone Indie

Anne R. Allen's Blog: Confessions of NYT Bestselling Author Gone Indie: by Eileen Goudge We have a visit from a literary superstar this week. New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge has written 32 n...

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Review: "Deadline: A Virgil Flowers Novel" by John Sandford

It begins with missing dogs. The latest victim was Windy Butterfield who had two black labs stolen right out of his kennel. Butterfield knew a guy who knew Virgil and was willing to call him at three in the morning. By the next day Virgil Flowers is on the road to Trippton, Minnesota to see what is what.

Lucas Davenport has more than enough on his plate with the Black Hole Case (see Field Of Prey) so Virgil’s allowed even more freedom to poke around. That means he is still in the area when things that would get a higher priority investigation wise begin to happen.  Like a murder. Like an arson. As other events take precedence the theft of dozens and dozens of dogs of all types becomes a secondary storyline while Virgil works a case where folks are being killed and more.

The eighth book in the Virgil Flowers series that began with Dark of the Moon is another good one. As usual, the language can be a bit much for some readers and there is plenty of sexual innuendo as Virgil works cases in multiple storylines. Readers are cautioned that if Field Of Prey  has not been read it -should be read before this book as there are numerous direct references to it and several of them are detailed enough to be considered spoilers.

Beyond that, if you have read this series before you know what you are getting into and Deadline: A Virgil Flowers Novel is another good one. While it does not break new ground in the character, it does deliver exactly what one would expect from this very enjoyable series. If not familiar, make sure you read the earlier ones starting with Dark of the Moon so that you get the often dark humor at work in this series.

Deadline: A Virgil Flowers Novel
John Sandford
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group USA)
ISBN# 978-0-399-16237-4
Hardback (also available in e-book and audio formats)
401 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Crime Review Update-- New issue of Crime Review

As posted elsewhere....

In our new edition of Crime Review ( this week we
have 16 reviews, together with Conor Fitzgerald 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:
Werner, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A sumptuously illustrated and authoritative tour into the world of Sherlock
Holmes to accompany the Museum of London’s exhibition.

GODS OF WAR by James Lovegrove, reviewed by John Cleal
Watson is re-united with Holmes on a rare visit to his retirement home and
the pair plunge into a whirlpool of ambition, obsession and murder when
Holmes is engaged by a powerful industrialist to prove his son’s death was
a suicide.

MORIARTY by Anthony Horowitz, reviewed by Maddy Marsh
After the tragic happenings at Reichenbach Falls, two detectives join
forces to ensure the void left by Sherlock Holmes in London is filled, and
the one left by Moriarty is not.

A MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN by Laurie R King, reviewed by John Cleal
Mary Russell comes of age. In London she meets an old university friend who
introduces her to a charitable women’s organisation run by the charismatic
Margery Childe. But when several of its wealthier members are murdered,
Mary’s involvement becomes her first solo investigation – with a little
help from her mentor Sherlock Holmes.

YOUNG SHERLOCK: STONE COLD by Andrew Lane, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Sherlock has been sent to Oxford to catch up on his studies but, along with
his friend Matty, they’re soon caught up in a mystery involving missing
body parts.

FRIENDS TO DIE FOR by Hilary Bonner, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
A group of friends meet every Sunday in a Covent Garden restaurant. But
their lives are turned upside down when some seemingly minor pranks turn
very nasty.

THE DANCER AT THE GAI-MOULIN by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
Two boys, attempting to burgle a Liege nightclub, find a body on the
premises and flee. When, a day or so later, the body turns up in the
botanical gardens the boys and the nightclub staff come under suspicion.

THE COMPETITION by Marcia Clark, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A high school shooting with multiple fatalities looks to have ended with
the suicide of the two perpetrators, but it soon becomes clear that those
responsible are still alive, and planning further outrages.

CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE by Owen Laukkanen, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Carter Tomlin is a man driven to bank robbery when he loses his job, but
finds it a thrill and his ambition soon becomes overwhelming.

TIGHT-LIPPED by David Barrie, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Jean-Jacques Marsay and his wife Carine Dufour live a life that many in
Paris envy, but their seemingly charmed existence is darkened when a woman
close to them is murdered.

PLAGUE LAND by SD Sykes, reviewed by John Cleal
Monastery-raised teenager Oswald de Lacy, lord of the manor after the
plague deaths of his father and brothers, must battle greed and
superstition to solve the brutal murder of a young girl.

THE KEEPER by John Lescroart, reviewed by Chris Roberts
When a wife goes missing, her husband looks like the prime suspect.
Investigator Abe Glitsky sets out to prove otherwise.

INDELIBLE by Peter Helton, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Artist and reluctant PI Chris Honeysett finds that organising an exhibition
at an eccentric art college isn’t as safe as it might appear.

WARLORD’S GOLD by Michael Arnold, reviewed by John Cleal
Captain Innocent Stryker is dispatched to the Scilly Isles in search of
treasure hidden by a Royalist supporter.

BRICKS AND MORTALITY by Ann Granger, reviewed by Jude Evans
A dead body is found in a burned-out Cotswold manor house. Is it accident
or murder?

WANTED by Emlyn Rees, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Danny Shanklin is still on the run, falsely accused of a massacre outside a
London hotel. He has to track down the people who framed him, as well
preventing a disaster of even greater proportions.

Season's greetings to everyone and thanks for your support during the year.


KRL This Week Update---Christmas mystery short story by Gary Hoffman in KRL & much more

As posted elsewhere earlier today.....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of the latest Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle, "Once Upon a Grind", along with a fun post by Cleo & a chance to also win a $$20 Starbucks gift card!

We also have a review & giveaway of a fun Christmas mystery-"Death With All the Trimmings" by Lucy Burdette

And of a review & giveaway of another Christmas mystery-"Murder, Served Simply" by Isabella Alan, author

Also up another Christmas mystery short story--this one by Gary R. Hoffman

We also have an article on how "Longmire" the TV show based on the Craig Johnson books got a new life on Netflix, and the dedicated fans who helped make it happen!

And we have a review & giveaway of "After Arie"l by Diana Hockley

And also, a review & giveaway of" Delilah West V1", a collection of 3 books by Maxine O'Callaghan & published by Brash Books

While not a mystery, we also have a review & giveaway of "Though Heaven Fall": A Medieval Parable by mystery author Jeri Westerson

And for those who also enjoy fantasy, a review & giveaway of "Another One Bites the Dust" by Chris Marie Green 

Lastly, over on KRL Lite a review of "The Last Alibi" by David Ellis.
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

Via Lady Sandra: Eleven Hats for Texas Oncology

Pictures and explanations from my wife on what she made and donated to her fellow cancer patients yesterday ...... 

Lady Sandra: Eleven Hats for Texas Oncology: Today, I delivered eleven more hats to my oncologist office. In addition, I dropped off three lap quilts. Two whimsical hats...

Press Release: Mystery Writers of America Announces 2015 Grand Masters Lois Duncan and James Ellroy Plus 2015 Raven and Ellery Queen Award Winners

MWA LogoHoriz

Mystery Writers of America Announces 2015 Grand Masters
Lois Duncan and James Ellroy
Plus 2015 Raven and Ellery Queen Award Winners

December 12, 2014 – New York, NY - Lois Duncan and James Ellroy have been chosen as the 2015 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Ms. Duncan and Mr. Ellroy will be presented with their awards at the Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

When told of being named a Grand Master, Duncan said, "I'm stunned and overwhelmed by this incredible honor! To have my own name included on this illustrious list of my idols--Agatha Christie, Ira Levin, Stephen King, Tony Hillerman--is something I could never have imagined.”

Lois Duncan published her first short story in a national magazine when she was thirteen, and her first novel, Debutante Hill, at age eighteen. Early in her career, Duncan primarily focused on romance novels for teens and pictures books for children. In 1966, Duncan published two novels that revolutionized the world of young adult fiction: Point of Violence and Ransom. Prior to these two novels, most fiction aimed at young adults was filled with ‘lessons to be learned’ and two-dimensional lead characters. Duncan changed that, using the realistic viewpoint she had brought to her earlier romance novels, presenting her main characters with choices and decisions that had consequences, paving the way for many other young adult authors that followed.

She never shied away from social issues in her work. Daughters of Eve tackled societal sexism; Killing Mr. Griffin the pressure placed on teens to perform and get into good colleges, and I Know What You Did Last Summer dealt with the Vietnam War and society’s reactions to it, plus the struggles of returning veterans. She was nominated several times for the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile, and her books have been made into films. Ms. Duncan was also a long time writing instructor at the University of New Mexico.

Few crime writers have received the acclaim and recognition that newly named Grand Master James Ellroy has received in his three-decade-long career. Ellroy’s work has long been recognized as the worthy successor to such classic crime writers as Chandler, Hammett, and Cain. Ellroy managed to combine noir and hard-boiled crime fiction with a literary style that has influenced other mystery writers as well as impressed critics.

His Los Angeles is a dark place brimming with sexism, crime, homophobia, and racism. Ellroy confronts these issues in all of their ugliness with brutal honesty. Ellroy doesn’t pretend that the past was a pretty place. His characters live on the page, warts and all, and he has experimented with style, point of view, and language in a way that doesn’t interfere with the rapid pace of his stunning plotting. Several times his work has been filmed. L. A. Confidential may be one of the best crime films ever made.

Upon learning he was named a Grand Master, Ellroy said, “This is a splendid honor; it lauds my career to date and spurs me on to stay young, healthy, and productive. The Mystery Writers of America: ever honorable, ever grand in their contribution to the craft of crime writing.”

Previous Grand Masters include Robert Crais, Carolyn Hart, Ken Follett, Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Two Raven Awards will be awarded in 2015: one to the Jon and Ruth Jordan and the other to Kathryn Kennison.

It’s impossible to overstate the passion that Jon and Ruth Jordan have for mysteries. The two founded Crimespree Magazine in 2004, a bimonthly print magazine with a devoted following. Unlike some publications which cater to a particular niche in crime fiction, Crimespree is meant for readers across the mystery spectrum, from cozy to noir, and the magazine is devoted to promoting writers who are not (yet) household names. Crimespree Magazine also sponsors the Crimespree Awards, honoring excellence in the genre.

The Jordans have been heavily involved with the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, too, having first met at Bouchercon in 1999. Ruth Jordan co-chaired Bouchercon Baltimore in 2008. Jon Jordan chaired Bouchercon St. Louis in 2011, and the two of them, with Erin Mitchell, will co-chair the St. Petersburg convention in 2018. Their volunteer contributions have even extended to planning the convention programming for other years. The Jordans are also the co-founders and organizers of Murder and Mayhem in Muskego, a crime-fiction conference set in a Milwaukee suburb that this year became Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee, bringing the conference into the heart of the city.

When advised they would receive the Raven Award, they said, “Given the list of people who have been given this award, it is humbling and an honor to be asked to join this group. We’d also like to note that we squealed and did a little dance when we found out, though we won’t be doing this dance in public.”

Kathryn Kennison is the founder and heart and soul of Magna cum Murder, a well-regarded Midwestern mystery conference celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Magna’s start can be traced back to 1993 when Kathryn pitched the idea of putting together a three-day mystery conference in Muncie, Indiana. What Kathryn envisioned a "sedate weekend affair" with about 65 people including 3 or 4 authors ended up as a party with 265 registered guests including 40 authors, and the festival has only grown since then. In 2013 the convention was moved to downtown Indianapolis where there is a larger population. Guests of honor have included Alexander McCall Smith, Mary Higgins Clark, Donald Westlake, Sara Paretsky, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block, Louise Penny, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Charles Todd, Jeffrey Deaver, William Kent Krueger and John Gilstrap. It has retained its roots as a fan festival.

Kathryn said, “As a natural-born hero-worshipper, my champions always have been storytellers, so being selected by Mystery Writers of America to receive the Raven award is more humbling and gratifying than I can begin to describe. I'm so very proud, honored and indebted to you. ‘Thank you’ seems so inadequate, but I offer my most profound thanks.”

Previous Raven winners include Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oline Cogdill, Molly Weston, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.

The Ellery Queen Award was established in1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry. This year the Board chose to honor Charles Ardai, editor of Hard Case Crime. Hard Case Crime debuted in 2004, as an homage to the great pulp fiction paperbacks of the 1950’s and 1960’s (the ‘golden age of paperbacks’); the very books that helped shape and influence many generations of crime writers as well as the genre itself. Launched by Ardai and Max Phillips, Hard Case almost immediately had an impact on the crime fiction world—Domenic Stansberry’s The Confession won the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original and several others were nominated in the years following. The publishing company has also brought back into print forgotten gems by Donald Westlake, Erle Stanley Gardner, Harlan Ellison, Pete Hamill, and Lawrence Block. In the decade since its launch, Hard Case has published over 100 books and has also produced some excellent new titles, making short lists for almost every award in the mystery genre. Their list looks like a who’s who in American crime fiction.

On learning he would receive the Ellery Queen Award, Ardai said, “Ellery Queen has always been my model of what an editor should be: informed, engaged, ambitious, clever, a passionate evangelist, possessed of excellent taste, and gifted at unearthing wonders. To receive, for my own editing, the award that bears his name is that rarest of things in our profession: an honor beyond words.”

The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses more than 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:
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