Monday, October 20, 2014

Crime Review Update--- New issue of Crime Review

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

In our new edition of Crime Review (*
*) this week we have sixteen reviews (http://
together with Edward Wilson 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:

PERSONAL by Lee Child, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
A cryptic message in a newspaper takes Jack Reacher to Paris and then to
London to track down an assassin with world leaders in his sights

MASTERS OF WAR by Chris Ryan, reviewed by Linda Wilson
SAS trooper Danny Black leads a small team of fellow soldiers riding
shotgun for an MI6 agent who is attempting to make contact with one of the
rebel factions in war-torn Syria.

TATIANA by Martin Cruz Smith, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
A fearless reporter, Tatiana Petrovna, is found dead, apparently having
committed suicide by throwing herself from the sixth floor of an apartment
block. At about the same time a billionaire Mafia chief is shot dead. As
Senior Investigator, Arkady Renko, looks into the first case, he comes to
believe that it is in some way connected with the second.

WHITE CROCODILE by KT Medina, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Tess Hardy is clearing mines in Cambodia, trying to find why her husband
died, and whether the feared White Crocodile holds the explanation.

BLINK by Niamh O’Connor, reviewed by John Cleal
DI Gavin Sexton is looking into a spate of teenage suicides when he meets a
young girl paralysed by 'locked-in' syndrome. Communicating by blinks, she
tells him: 'I hired a hitman.'

CLOSE CALL by Stella Rimington, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
MI5 agent Liz Carlyle has to deal with a blast from her past, as well as a
possible homegrown terror plot that kicks off in the Yemen

PATHS OF THE DEAD by Lin Anderson, reviewed by Linda Wilson
The body of a young man is found at a Neolithic stone circle in Glasgow. DI
Michael McNab thinks the killing is drug-related but forensic scientist
Rhona Macleod isn’t convinced.

THE NIGHT THE RICH MEN BURNED by Malcolm Mackay, reviewed by John Cleal
Two young friends try to escape a pointless life on Glasgow fringes and
become involved in the loan-sharking and collection rackets. One rises
quickly up the ranks. The other becomes a victim of growing debt and

KILLER by Jonathan Kellerman, reviewed by Sylvia Wilson
When Dr Alex Delaware is called in to write a court report in a
straightforward custody battle between two sisters, he thinks that it is an
easy job. Then one of the sisters threatens to kill him but is herself
murdered and the other disappears with her child.

YOUNG PHILBY by Robert Littell, reviewed by John Cleal
Kim Philby fled Beirut aboard a Russian ship that sailed so hurriedly it
left much of its cargo on the dockside. Cleared by a British inquiry
through lack of evidence, the former senior intelligence liaison officer in
Washington had spied for the Communists for more than 30 years.

MARKED by David Jackson, reviewed by Maddy Marsh
In New York’s East Village, the remains of a young girl are found.
Detective Callum Doyle has seen a similar killing in the past and he knows
who committed both crimes. The problem is, no one believes him.

ACT OF FEAR by Michael Collins, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A girl is murdered, a policeman on the beat is robbed of everything he
carries, and a man goes missing. Dan Fortune is hired to find the man and
tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

WALKING WITH GHOSTS by Jean G Goodhind, reviewed by John Cleal
Hotel owner ‘Honey’ Driver, police liaison officer for her association,
becomes involved in a murder and a hunt for a priceless artefact when a
woman is killed on a ghost walk.

ART OF DECEPTION by AJ Cross, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A mummified body is found in the remains of a deserted summerhouse in a
country park. Kate Hanson and Birmingham’s Unsolved Crimes Unit have to
delve into the past to make sense of the present.

LOST WORLDS: SHADOW CREATURES by Andrew Lane, reviewed by Fiona Spence
In the search for new DNA and a cure for his paralysis, Calum Challenger
and his friends plan to hunt down a shadowy creature in Hong Kong. But when
Calum's taken hostage and taken to New Mexico, no one knows he's gone. And
he's not the only one in trouble.

GAME by Barry Lyga, reviewed by Linda Wilson
As Jasper Dent proclaims in one of his tattoos, he hunts killers. It’s an
unusual job for a teenager, but he’s well-qualified, as he’s the son of
America’s most notorious serial killer.

Best wishes


Via Latina Book Club-- REVIEW: EVERY HIDDEN FEAR by Linda Rodriguez (& Giveaway)

REVIEW: EVERY HIDDEN FEAR by Linda Rodriguez (& Giveaway)

Via Writers Who Kill: Writer Outs Herself (with a Big Pat on the Back) f...

Writers Who Kill: Writer Outs Herself (with a Big Pat on the Back) f...: Readers here may remember a blog I posted on WWK a while back about the whole crazy StopTheGoodReadsBullies mess. http://writerswhokill...

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Saturday, October 18, 2014

KRL This Week Update--- Halloween mystery short story by Claire Murray & much more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

 Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of another Halloween mystery, "The Legend of Sleepy Harlow" by Kylie Logan

We also have a review & giveaway of another book perfect for the Halloween season, a paranormal mystery-"The Night Visitor" by Dianne Emley

Also reviews & giveaways of 5 more Penguin mysteries "Literally Murder": A Black Cat Bookshop Mystery by Ali Brandon. We also have "Off Kilter": A Scottish Highlands Mystery by Hannah Reed, "Weave of Absence" by Carol Ann Martin, "Bless Her Dead Little Heart" by Miranda James, and "Gilt Trip" by Laura Childs with Diana Orgain

Also up, another Halloween mystery short story from our contest, this one by Claire Murray

And we have another countdown to Bouchercon mystery Coming Attractions by Sunny Frazier-this one with a giveaway from June Gilliam

For fantasy readers, we have a review & giveaway of "Broken Soul" by Faith Hunter

And a perfect TV review for the Halloween season, a review of "The Walking Dead"

Also a review of another Halloween book-"The Halloween Tree" by Ray Bradbury

Lastly, on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "Finding Sky", a mystery by Susan O'Brien
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


Posted by: Lorie Ham

Via Lesa's Book Critiques-- A Cozy Debut Series Giveaway

A Cozy Debut Series Giveaway

Via Amazing Stories--- "Your Reviewer, Some Modern Urban Fantasy and Some Thoughts on Publishing and Stuff" by Steve Fahnestalk

Friday, October 17, 2014

Via The Rap Sheet-- Bullet Points: Wheeling Around the Web

Bullet Points: Wheeling Around the Web

Via New Republic-- Amazon's Elite Reviewing Club Sabotaged My Book

For the record, I am am a Amazon Vine Reviewer. I became one, at their request, because of my long track record of reviewing books on a variety of platforms. I never reviewed this book. I had zero interest in reviewing this book. I certainly would not now after the author showed such a complete lack of understanding how the program works and managed to insult everyone involved. 

Finally Back Home

This was supposed to be another infusion Friday but thinds did not go as planned. IVIG infusion was cancelled as they have some blood work questions and are doing additional blood work.

CT Scan came back with nearly identical results to the last time. Of course, that is fairly meaningless because those scans have never showed her cancer. AETNA has flatly refused to allow her to have a PET SCAN so we will remain in limbo with no idea if Sandi is in remission or not until some time next Spring or so when she goes on  Medicare.

FFB Review: "A Painted House" by John Grisham

Friday means Friday's Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. I had intended to run another review from Patrick Ohl this week. That review as well as a number of e-books and a lot of other important stuff from the last four years was in my Thunderbird mail program and lost when the computer went bad last week. So, instead, this week you get my review from 2003 on A PAINTED HOUSE by John Grisham.

I am always a bit leery and concerned when an author I like attempts something radically different than the previous works. Usually the book is a disaster, the author learns a lesson and gets it out of his or her system, and goes back to what made the author worth reading in the first place. I expected the usual situation in this novel and expected to have to work my way through, reading glasses firmly in place and nose to the grindstone, to finish it. I simply dreaded this book and I could not have been more wrong.

It simply wasn't the case. The man best known for setting off the continuing wave of lawyer style mysteries and thrillers with his second novel, The Firm, creates a powerfully moving human story. This novel is written in a completely different style and is a remarkable change of pace from his other works. The characters are rich and developed from the beginning and as the story evolves, nuances and shading are added, changing each character in subtle, yet powerful ways.

The story revolves around the small world of Luke Chandler, age seven, who lives on a cotton farm in Southern Arkansas with his parents and grandparents. The family rents 80 acres and on a good year, barely breaks better than even. The depression came and never left. The year is 1952, late fall, the cotton is ready to be picked, and his uncle is off fighting the war in Korea. Luke does not want to farm and instead, wants to play ball for his beloved St. Louis Cardinals.

His mother hates the farming life and is determined that Luke will go to college. His father would prefer him to farm, but is willing to go with what Luke's mother wants. His grandparents are equally divided as well, with his grandfather aware that a way of life is passing by. They have rented the acreage for generations and never made enough to buy it outright. Without enough hands to pick the cotton, the Chandlers must rely on the good graces of migrant farm workers.

The Chandlers, like other farm families in the area, go through a yearly ritual of hiring workers as they begin to trickle into town. The farm is deep in debt, cotton prices are down, and the cost of labor is going up. But, the cotton has to be picked and everything else becomes secondary to the harvest. The harvest becomes the dominant theme of the work. A full harvest of a good crop allows them a few extra luxuries while a poor harvest or no harvest means they slide further in debt and face losing the little they rent and own.

The first ones hired are a family down from the Ozarks who have complex problems of their own. The Spruills are a family of seven. There are four boys and a young lady, ten years older than Luke, and he is instantly attracted to her. She is also attracted to him in a big sister sort of way, but Luke reads too much into it. The Chandlers also hire a group of Mexicans from a large pool that is trucked into town every year. Unfortunately for Luke, his friend Juan isn't with the group this year, and he is forced to deal with that fact and make new friends.

Against the backdrop of the unrelenting heat and the backbreaking effort to pick cotton, cultures and personalities quickly clash in deceit, treachery and murder. For Luke Chandler, this harvest will be like no other and will change his life forever. His priorities will change massively as he realizes what is truly important.

This is a pleasant change from the usual Grisham fare of deceitful lawyers, back stabbing judges, and corporate greed. The characters are more diverse, driven by other factors than the worship of a dollar. Grisham shows a breath of characters and writing style not shown in his previous works and I hope this was not a one-time thing. While I thoroughly enjoyed The Firm, and to a lesser extent some of his more recent works, this one was a refreshing breath of air and very enjoyable.

Kevin R. Tipple (c)2003, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Via Sons of Spade-- Q & A with Bret R. Wright

This is an interview with the author of  NASTY which I reviewed here. So, read the interview and then go get the book. It is a good one well worth your time.

Q & A with Bret R. Wright


Mystery Fanfare: HALLOWEEN CRIME FICTION/ HALLOWEEN MYSTERIES: Happy Halloween! Here's my updated 2014 list of Halloween Mysteries . Let me know if I've missed any titles. I'd like to make...

Review: " Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats" edited by Chad Eagleton

The title of Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats says it all even before you get to the cover tag line of Drive Fast. Kill Young. Love A Pretty Girl. This anthology edited by Chad Eagleton certainly delivers on that premise. The image of the 50's depicted in Happy Days, American Graffiti, and others is quickly shattered by the introduction by Mick Farren. It sets a tone that is held up quite well by the eight authors involved in the book.

Coming up first is Christoper Grant with “1958: Somewhere In Texas” where three young lesbians are on a robbery and killing spree. Shifting in time back and forth across several months it becomes clear how things began and escalated quickly.

“Red Hot” by Thomas Puck follows next with a tale of Bobby, Karen, and the love of fast cars and beautiful woman. Both are equally dangerous and like a lot of other things can end up being expensive in so many ways.

Don Bayliss likes to steal things. It is a passion for him. 17 year old Sharon has ignited another passion in “Forlorn Hope” by Matthew Funk. Having seen combat he is looking for something. He isn't the only one looking.

Brothers Charlie and Butch rob places in “Only The Vultures Will See Me Hang” by Nik Korpon. Both served and saw combat and get along well enough most of the time. Then, there are the other times when plans don't go so well just like what often happened in combat.

A guitar is the supreme goal for John. Growing up in a Christian household he should have known not to steal it. But, he did and then things got rough in “Lola” by Eric Beetner.

Editor Chad Eagleton comes next with his tale “Blue Jeans And A Boy's shirt. “ A fast car, a sawed off shotgun, and a girl walking on a bridge change the future for Lonnie Bonner. Like other stories in the anthology, combat flashbacks play a major role in this tale. Combat that though it happened in the past still fuels the actions of Lonnie now as well as many others in these tales.

“Scarred Angel” by Heath Lowrance comes next with a tale where a beautiful hellcat is the one driving the action. Unlike most of the preceding stories where the guys are running things (or at least appear to be) in this case a woman dubbed “Frankie Scar” is definitely running the show. Scotty knew she was something when he saw her at “Jimmy Bo's.” Thanks to his buddies he finally went and said hello. Thanks to her he soon was on a wild ride he would be lucky to survive.

“Headless Hoggy Style” by David James Keaton is the final and possibly the most disturbing story of the anthology. Jake is never sure what Cherry is thinking. He plans on getting her to talk and Uncle Jake might be able to help. He also has some things to do as does his Uncle in this dark tale.

The book closes with an acknowledgments section detailing the contributions of those who kept the project alive followed by detailed bios of the contributor's.

Reviewing a collection or an anthology is tough as one does not want to give away too much and ruin the stories. This was certainly the case here with these very complicated tales. They are violence filled short stories peopled by characters that usually do what they want when they want to do it. Adult language, adult situations, and more fill the pages of this anthology that proves the point made in the introduction. There was a very dark and very violent side to the 50's and Hoods, Hot Rods and Hellcats gives you a small glimpse of that along with some solidly good stories.

Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats
Editor Chad Eagleton
Self Published
August 2013
ISBN# 978-1491002537
Paperback (e-book available)
162 Pages

E-book was provided by the editor in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple (c)2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Via Gabrielle Faust--- Permuted Press Revokes Print Version of Books

Via Criminal Element: "Hardboiled Hemingway (With Noir Chasers)"by Edward A. Grainger

Review: "The Adventures of Quinn Higgins Boy Detective: The Case of the Gray Ghost's Belt Buckle" by Douglas Quinn

As the 5th book in this excellent series begins, it is spring break for young Quinn Higgins. It has been several years since he last saw his cousins Austin and Mathew. Because Aunt Judy is on her way home after a business trip, she can swing by with her van and get him so that he can come for a visit.

Aunt Judy and her sons Austin and Mathew live in Manassas, Virginia. The boys are eager to see Quinn as well as show him a civil war musket ball they just found. A musket ball they might take over to the museum at the Manassas National Battlefield Park to have somebody verify their find as the real deal. It also gives Quinn the opportunity to checkout the place as he has been studying the Battles of Bull Run in school and is very interested.

That trip to the museum will also lead Quinn and his cousins into a dangerous situation as there is a reason why his friends call Quinn “The Boy Detective.” It is a good thing that at least one adult is paying attention to what Quinn says or the results could be disastrous.

Reminiscent of the great Encyclopedia Brown series I devoured in my youth, the ongoing adventures of Quinn Higgins are powered by the same idea that observation of little things is very important. Small details do not escape the young teen's attention even if he isn't sure why something seems a bit off. That attention to detail as well as an appreciation of history are nearly always present in these books.

Thanks to the skills of author Douglas Quinn, children are taken on a read that blends mystery along with some history making the books serve a dual purpose of escapism as well as teaching. Along the way a value or two is imparted that manages to reinforce both the history as well as the mystery and yet at the same time never lectures the young reader. The result is a very good read whether it is the Charles and Hero series, The Adventures of Summer McPhee series or any of the author's other projects including The Adventures of Quinn Higgins Boy Detective series, parents can be assured of clean language, some life wisdom, and a tale very much worthy of reading. The Adventures of Quinn Higgins Boy Detective: The Case of the Gray Ghost's Belt Buckle is another excellent read.

The Adventures of Quinn Higgins Boy Detective: The Case of the Gray Ghost's Belt Buckle  
Douglas Quinn
AAS White Heron Press (Via CreateSpace)
ISBN #978-1501009389
September 2014
130 Pages

Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple (c) 2014