Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taking a Shine to Summer Crime

Taking a Shine to Summer Crime

Pierce’s Picks

Pierce’s Picks

Review: "The Julius Katz Collection" by Dave Zeltserman

After a forward by author Ed Gorman comparing and contrasting the differences between Julius Katz and Nero Wolf as well as considering how these short stories relate to Dave Zeltserman’s body of crime novels, it is on to the stories in The Julius Katz Collection. If you have never read some of these tales courtesy of his many appearances in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine you are in for a real treat. Even if you have read them before it is always very enjoyable to read them again as well as the new tale just for this collection.

In the award winning novelette “Julius Katz” the latest client for Boston’s most famous and eccentric detective Julius Katz is the 53 year old Norma Brewer. Accompanied by her slightly younger sister, Helen Arden, she wishes to discuss a family matter. A family matter she refused to tell Archie, Julius’ artificial intelligence sidekick, about over the phone thus preventing any real planning by Julius prior to their meeting.

The issue involves their 83 year old mother, Emma, who is suffering from the beginnings of Alzheimer’s. While provisions were made for various things by their father six years ago before he died from cancer, their brother Lawrence has taken over all of the legal aspects of their mother’s situation. Julius does not like family disputes and wants no part of this situation.  However, like many a detective before him, he does need the money and Norma Brewer is willing to pay. He takes the case with some stipulations including meeting their mother so that he and Archie can assess her condition. While very reluctant at first, soon Julius is hard at work in a case that quickly takes a dark and sinister turn.

Next up is another award winning story with “Archie’s Been Framed.” As this one opens Julius has plenty of cash in the bank. That means he is not going to be inclined to take a new case for several months. What Archie sees as being lazy, Julius sees as enjoying the finer things of life. Work is not the priority for Julius, but for Archie work helps him refine his neural network. Improving his ability to analyze is a constant theme for Archie, a two inch long piece of advanced technology that appears to be an ordinary tie clip.

With his current love interest Lily Rosten out of town visiting her parents in upstate New York.  Julius is in a bit of a funk. A funk that a case would help lift. There is no sign of that until Archie discovers that Denise Penny, a 27 year old woman Archie has been in contact with, has been murdered. Unfortunately, Archie quickly becomes a suspect in her murder. Though he can easily be cleared if the true nature of his existence were revealed, it can’t be disclosed. Julius does not have a choice – he has to investigate and clear Archie.

Even Boston’s most brilliant and eccentric detective Julius Katz has to serve jury duty.  In “One Angry Julius and Eleven Befuddled Jurors” he has had enough with the trial and the state’s case. Any one paying attention should have come to the same conclusion and realized the state is going after the wrong person. Fortunately, Katz and his artificial intelligence side kick, Archie, can fix things if---allowed.

“Archie Solves The Case” is the title of the next story. It also happens to be an award winner. Boston’s brilliant investigator Julius Katz does not work unless he absolutely has to make some money. For his artificial intelligence sidekick, Archie, this is a frustration. As much as he can feel or recognize frustration, because Archie uses their cases to build on his neural network. Archie does not expect Julius Katz to meet with this latest potential client, Henri Chervil, but Julius surprises him and easily agrees to a meeting.

Julius soon figures out why the legendary detective agreed to meet Chervil as well as why Chervil wants him. Since Chervil was arrested by Cambridge Police for assaulting a fellow chief by the name of Jasper Quayle it seems pretty obvious what he wants. What Julius wants seems obvious as well to Archie. However, as Archie soon learns, not everything is in the files and databases and real people are often far more complex than their fictional counterparts.

Charles Rosten swears he did not do it in “Julius Katz And A Tangled Webb.” Sitting in the Monro County Jail in Rochester, New York he faces murder charges in the death of his business partner, George Webb. The evidence is so stacked against him that Archie has calculated the odds of a not guilty verdict as being zero. The fact that he is the father of Lily Rosten who Julius has been dating for six months now means there is a more personal stake in the case than is often the case.

“Julius Accused” opens with Archie informing Julius that 39 year old Linds Harnsworth is publicly trashing Julius again. This time he is doing it via reporter for Channel Four News. In one of several interviews he gives to local media he claims that Julius threatened him the night before. Archie can’t prove Julius didn’t since Julius went out for the evening and left Archie at home.

While Julius seems unconcerned about the public media bashing and refuses to discuss the matter, Archie thinks something has to be done and begins investigating on his own. Archie knows that Linus Harnsworth is, at best, a liar. Proving it as well as a few other things is going to take some time.

Wine and food are frequent items in these stories as Julius does love the finer things of life. In the novella “Julius Katz And The Case Of A Sliced Ham” both are very much present as is a murder.  The murder of Arthur Trewitt when someone stuck a twelve inch chef’s knife into his chest has rocked the local theater world. It has been three weeks since the murder and things have reached a crisis point for those involved in a play that the actor was to appear in any day now. The man in charge of putting on the play, Theodore Dreckle, is desperate for Julius Katz to take the case and identify the murderer.

Archie knows that Julius is not eccentric though he might very well be brilliant. He also knows that Julius hates working and with his bank account doing just fine right now he has zero motivation to take the case. Soon, Julius has his reason and before long he and Archie are hard at work trying to figure out who did it among a cast of folks that have considerable acting skills. They might be better off trying to herd stray cats.

As Ed Gorman noted in the forward, the tales in The Julius Katz Collection often hint at the darkness that is far more prevalent in the author’s crime novels such as Pariah, Small Crimes and Bad Thoughts among others. These tales also often feature humor which is in short supply in those books. Both are often depicted through the interplay between Julius Katz and Archie. Like many with are artistic temperament, Julius is often a bit prickly at times, but he gets the job done in always enjoyable ways.

That coupled with intriguing cases featuring complex mysteries, plenty of multi-dimensional characters and an artificial intelligence becoming more and more human like make these stories a lot of fun. The Julius Katz Collection features a lot of good reading and is well worth your time.

The Julius Katz Collection
Dave Zeltserman
Top Suspense Books
November 2014
E-Book (also available in paperback)
352 Pages

The author provided me a e-book review copy quite some time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Business Musings: Writing by Committee (Kristine Kathryn Rusch)

Business Musings: Writing by Committee (Kristine Kathryn Rusch)

10 rules for making it as a writer, by Dennis Lehane (The Telegraph)

10 rules for making it as a writer, by Dennis Lehane (The Telegraph)

2015 Harper Lee Prize Finalists for Legal Mysteries (Mystery Fanfare)

2015 Harper Lee Prize Finalists for Legal Mysteries (Mystery Fanfare)

The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need (Part 3 - Single Books)---A Bookseller Recommends Blog

The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need (Part 3 - Single Books)---A Bookseller Recommends Blog

Earlier books in the series:

The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need (Part 2 - Mandalas)-- A Bookseller Recommends Blog

 The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need (Part 1 - So Many Choices...)

5 Rules For Getting Your Query Read (BookEnds Literary Agency)

5 Rules For Getting Your Query Read (BookEnds Literary Agency)

Review of The Courthouses of Central Texas at Lone Star Literary Life

Review of The Courthouses of Central Texas at Lone Star Literary Life

Turnabout is Fair Play (SleuthSayers Blog)

Turnabout is Fair Play (SleuthSayers Blog)

Overlooked Audio: A NEW Adventure of THE SHADOW (Sweet Freedom Blog)

Overlooked Audio: A NEW Adventure of THE SHADOW (Sweet Freedom Blog)

The Tithing Herd (Lindy's Lair)

The Tithing Herd  (Lindy's Lair)

Review: "Blood Sweep: The Posadas County Mysteries" by Steven F. Havill

Sheriff Robert Torrez likes his privacy and is meticulous about what he does. That includes his off duty hours. Some are spent hunting. With permission of the landowner, Miles Waddell, (builder of Nightzone) the good sheriff has been using a portion of his off time to track a herd of antelope. In this case there is not the thrill of the hunt as it is more a scientific operation for him. A chance to cull the herd and manage wild game that also serves as a means to an end for stocking his freezer. 

Unfortunately he was also being stocked on this August morning and he had no idea. That was until his rifle scope shattered seconds after he had fired bringing down the chosen antelope. Torrez was wounded in the attack, but not downed like the spasmodically twitching buck. He managed to pursue the possible shooter only to see a pick up drive away with no idea if the driver is the one who took a shot at him.

At about the same time, Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman learns that somebody has been contacting her elderly adopted mother, Teresa Reyes, and requesting money while claiming to be family. Not an uncommon scam that is played upon the elderly and one the President of Posadas State Bank is well aware of. A cashier’s check in the amount of eight thousand dollars is an unusual request by almost any one in Posadas County, New Mexico, and certainly very unusual by Teresa Reyes. Estelle digs into the situation and soon discovers a very real threat coming from her home village of Tres Santos, Mexico. Her and her family is in danger, especially her son Francisco and his friend Mateo who are currently in Mazatl├ín, Mexico along with other members of the music conservatory.

With former Sherriff Gastner seriously injured and forced to be a very minor player as events and cases on both side of the border heat up, the repercussions for all involved as well as many others could be deadly. It isn’t the first time blood has been spilled into the desert sands of both sides of the border and it won’t be the last.

The latest in The Posada County Mystery Series written by Steven F. Havill, Blood Sweep is another excellent read. A read that finally answers many of the questions regarding Undersheriff Estelle Reyes- Guzman’s past while blending in multiple mysteries in the here and now. A fast and highly entertaining read from Poison Pen Press one could begin here in the 20th book in the series though it would be far better to read them in order starting with Heartshot.

Along with the author’s love of the New Mexico landscape, these books feature characters that have become family. Family that can annoy as well as entertain as the pages fly by. An ongoing storyline has been Estelle’s love of family and coping with the demands of her job as well as her very talented sons. That is at play here as well as the fears of many of us have who have aging parents who insist on going it alone as they seek to maintain their independence. These books feature characters that have evolved and grown over time as, just like in the real world, they experience joys and sorrows that forever change them. Those characters that are in police work are not dumb and willing to work with outside agencies as the need arises unlike the way things are depicted in many other series.

Blood Sweep as well as the series as a whole is highly recommended.

Blood Sweep: The Posadas County Mysteries
Steven F. Havill
Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN# 978-1-4642-0387-9
Hardback (also available in e-book and paperback)
307 Pages

Many, many thanks to reviewer and friend Lesa Holstine who provided me a review copy to read, review, and enjoy. Unlike many of the books I receive that wind up at Texas Oncology at Medical City Dallas Hospital (our second home these days) this one will now journey to my Mom’s home as she is also a fan of the series.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Where to Submit Short Stories: 25 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work

Where to Submit Short Stories: 25 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work

Also, quite possibly, the 25 most submitted to and therefore most competitive

Crime Review Update

In our new edition of Crime Review ( this week we
have 16 reviews, together with Danielle Ramsay 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 SLAUGHTER MAN by Tony Parsons, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Maverick cop Max Wolfe investigates the murder of a wealthy family who were
butchered with a cattle stun gun – and finds a link to another killing from
30 years previously.

DEATH IN THE RAINY SEASON by Anna Jacquiery, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Commandant Morel is sent to Phnom Penh to investigate the murder of the
nephew of the French Minister of the Interior.

PUTTING THE BOOT IN by Dan Kavanagh, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Someone is trying to put third division team Athletic out of business.
Private investigator Duffy is hired to find out why.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ADELE BEDEAU by Graeme Macrae Burnet, reviewed by
Arnold Taylor
Manfred Baumann is a loner and a misfit whose sole source of pleasure is
watching a seductive waitress in the bistro where he is a regular patron.
One day she simply disappears in circumstances that lead to his coming
under suspicion.

GUN STREET GIRL by Adrian McKinty, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Inspector Sean Duffy, one of few Catholic officers in the Royal Ulster
Constabulary, is called to a double murder, tagged a family dispute but
with several indications of a professional hit.

A LINE OF BLOOD by Ben McPherson, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When Alex Mercer finds his neighbour dead in the bath, he’s caught up in a
train of events that threaten everything he holds dear.

BLOOD WHISPERS by John Gordon Sinclair, reviewed by John Cleal
Rising criminal lawyer Keira Lynch can break a vicious Eastern European
prostitution ring – if she can keep her client alive long enough to give
evidence. But those behind the whoremasters will kill to protect their

TELL TALE by Mark Sennen, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
DI Charlotte Savage has vowed revenge on the man who killed her daughter in
a hit-and-run accident. Meanwhile, she is also faced with a dead body on
the moors and trying to track down the murdered girl’s housemate.

THE TOWER by Alessandro Gallenzi, reviewed by John Cleal
A giant tower in the desert will hold digitalized versions of all the
world’s publications – including unpublished texts by the 16th century
philosopher and genius Giordano Bruno. When those texts go missing,
investigator Peter Sims and literary scholar, Giulia Ripetti are called in
to find them. But someone is determined to stop them at any cost.

MURDER ON HIGH HOLBORN by Susanna Gregory, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
An important ship explodes and sinks as it glides serenely up the Thames,
and a member of the Court of Charles II is found murdered. Thomas Chaloner,
intelligencer to the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Clarendon, is dismissed
by him in order to infiltrate a group thought to be planning an uprising.

GONE FOR GOOD by David Bell, reviewed by John Cleal
When Elizabeth’s mother is murdered and her Down’s Syndrome brother
accused, her bid to clear his name uncovers dark family secrets.

THE GLASS CELL by Patricia Highsmith, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Philip Carter is wrongly imprisoned and brutalised in jail. When he
emerges, how will he cope with the realisation that his wife has been

QUARRY’S CHOICE by Max Allen Collins, reviewed by John Cleal
Ex-marine sniper Quarry has to infiltrate a crime syndicate in 1970s

URBAN LEGENDS by Helen Grant, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Veerle De Keyser is being hunted and she knows it. But how can a man who’s
meant to have died first in prison and then in a fire at a ruined castle be
in a position to threaten her now?

THE EDGE OF THE WATER by Elizabeth George, reviewed by Sylvia Wilson
A marine biologist comes to the remote Whitbey Island to investigate a
black seal known as Nera, which returns to the island at the same time each
year. A mysterious mute girl is found wandering on the island and none of
the locals want anyone to go near the seal.

A DARK INHERITANCE (audiobook) by Chris D’Lacey, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Rescuing a dog from almost certain death on a clifftop sets in train a
series of events that turns teenager Michael Malone’s life upside down and
promises to bring him closer to the truth behind the mysterious
disappearance of his father three years ago.

Best wishes


New Reviews on Euro Crime

Here are nine reviews which have been added to the Euro Crime website today, six have appeared on the blog since last time, and four are completely new.

Plus, in case you missed them, here are a few recent links that might be of interest:

The winner of the 2015 Petrona Award (for Best Scandinavian Crime Fiction Novel of the Year) & the announcement in pictures &

Lee Child interviews Maj Sjowall

CrimeFest panel writeups: Euro Noir ( & Nordic Noir (

The International Dagger 2015 shortlist (

NB. You can keep up to date with Euro Crime by following the blog and/or liking the Euro Crime Facebook page (

New Reviews

A collection of mini reviews (by me) of 'recent Scandi-crime novels';

Mark Bailey reviews Simon Brett's 'Mrs Pargeter's Principle', the eponymous lady returns after a 17 year gap;

Susan White reviews Ruth Dugdall's 'Humber Boy B';

Terry Halligan reviews Anna Jaquiery's 'Death in the Rainy Season', set in Cambodia;

Michelle Peckham reviews Emma Kavanagh's 'Hidden', which revolves around a shooting in a hospital;

Lynn Harvey reviews Karim Miske's 'Arab Jazz' tr. Sam Gordon, which has been shortlisted for the International Dagger;

Amanda Gillies reviews 'Nothing Sacred' by David Thorne, which is the second in the Essex-based Daniel Connell series;

I also review Carl-Johan Vallgren's 'The Boy in the Shadows' tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles

and Terry also reviews the reissue of 'The Mystery of Tunnel 51' by Alexander Wilson. or via the blog:

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive (

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here ( along with releases by year.

best wishes,
Karen M

Sandi's GoFundMe Page

Sandi updated things a little bit yesterday at her GoFundMe page.

While she did not change the picture to show how she looks now, she did explain what has been going on from her perspective. Please understand the cancer and the chemo have seriously impacted her writing ability and other things such as her mood and memory.

The bottom line is we need your help. Any donation helps tremendously as we are hanging on by a thread. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as the battle continues.

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees. Paying Gigs.

Bookish events in Texas for the week of May 25 - 31, 2015

Bookish events in Texas for the week of May 25 - 31, 2015

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: It's Memorial Day!

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: It's Memorial Day!: Memorial Day : Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United Stat...

Monday With Kaye: "Aunt Dimity and the Summer King" by Nancy Atherton (Reviewed by Kaye George)

In addition to today being Memorial Day it is also time for another Monday With Kaye. This week Kaye reviews Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton. I’d never heard of this book which came out a month ago and is the 20th in the series. For that matter, I had never heard of this series either which began with Aunt Dimity's Death back in November 1993.

Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton

Another hit in the long line of Aunt Dimity books. Plenty of mystery in this cozy book, but no murders.

Lori Shepherd and her husband Bill are Americans, but they’ve settled into the small English village of Finch so comfortably that they truly care about the town and its future. Bill’s father, William Willis Sr., has even moved up the lane from them, and lives at the rather grand Fairworth House. Now Amelia Thistle, accomplished watercolorist, has agreed to marry Willis, Sr. This would be a joyous occasion, except that Bill’s Boston aunts, better known as The Harpies, are coming to the wedding. If you have relatives you dislike, I dare you to put them up against Honoria and Charlotte—very nasty women. Lori lives in dread of their arrival.

With Amelia moving out of her cottage, Lori is worried about the future of Finch. It will now have four empty cottages. Many people are looking, but no one is moving in. Lori sets out to determine why. But first, Lori’s friend, Emma, has been mapping the village and its surrounds, so Lori decides to take her baby, Bess, on a walk along a path Emma has discovered. Distracted by the sight of kites flying above the neighbor’s wall, she steers the pram into a pothole. She’s startled to see an odd man perched on the wall. His clothes are casual and rumpled, but he wears a crown of dried grapevines and buttercups on his gray hair. He’s the Summer King, he tells her.

Aunt Dimity, if you haven’t met her, is an unusual ghost. She communicates with Lori by writing in a special book. She lives in the house with Lori, Bill, the twin boys, Will and Rob, and baby Bess. Mysteries abound, piled on top of each other and interwoven as Lori seeks help from her to figure out what’s happening to the village and who is responsible. And also seeks help getting through the nuptials with The Harpies.

Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Eine Kleine Murder for Suspense Magazine


Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Amazon Associate Thing

I have noticed folks have continued to shop at Amazon via the Amazon Associate links here on the blog. This helps funnel a few pennies on every sale back to me as I am an Amazon Associate. I mainly use the monies to buy medical supplies for Sandi at lower cost than what I can get for her locally. I also occasionally indulge in a book or two for myself.

We are right on the edge money wise in so many ways and every little bit helps us a lot. Thank you!

Great summer reads (Portland Press Herald)

Great summer reads (Portland Press Herald)

Annoying and stupid pop up alert--- plugging their pay service access deal

Mystery Fanfare: Barbecue Mysteries for Memorial Day!

Mystery Fanfare: Barbecue Mysteries for Memorial Day!: Hope you're having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. I posted my updated  Memorial Day Crime Fiction list the other day , so I thou...

BSP Sample Sunday: "BURNING QUESTIONS" in "Mind Slices" collection

 A lot of my stuff crosses genres. I never set out to do that and certainly didn't in this case. I just had this idea that was part science fiction --- at least it still is right now --- and part mystery. This piece was to appear in a couple of different anthologies that never got going as a reprint after it won an "Honorable Mention" in Mysterical-E’s “Skeletons in the Closet” contest in the fall of 2007. That led to it being published online at the site in the summer of 2008.

I am still very proud of that win. I thought today I would give you a small sample of the story and hope that it will entice you to buy the book.


“So, what do you think, Marcus?”

Detective Marcus Freeman shot his cuffs for the fourth time in five minutes and fellow Detective Steve Washburn knew it was just a matter of time before he could make another mark on his pad. In the last hour Freeman had shot his cuffs nineteen times. Some might see such activities as a reflection that the clothes did not fit the man. Steve knew that it was just another sign of Freeman’s nauseating vanity. Unlike the Vampire legend, Freeman was able to check his image in every reflective surface.

“It’s a slam dunk,” Freeman said confidently.

Steve didn’t think much of the comment or his complex analysis of the case.  Actually, Steve didn’t think much of Marcus Freeman at all and just barely tolerated the sycophant. But, with the new Division Commander sitting there grading everything as his beady little eyes watched them both above his hawkish nose, Steve had to ask. Playing politics wasn’t his thing and Steve hated every second of it. Freeman should have been in sales because all he cared about was his personal image and what he could do by hook or crook to get ahead.

Detectives were supposed to speak for the dead and Detective Marcus Freeman couldn’t be bothered. The dead and their families weren’t people to him but just numbers and stats he used to justify his naked ambition. He wasn’t a real detective in the true sense of the concept but more like a celluloid Hollywood image of a snappy cop leading some task force. He didn’t look the real life part with his expensive clothes, his silver Porsche, and gold Rolex watch. Steve found himself doodling dollar signs in a cross-hair target and stopped himself as he shifted in his uncomfortable institutional chair trying to pay attention. He wanted to-- he needed to--be out working cases. Instead he was wasting his time in meetings.

“It’s a slam dunk. Open and shut case without a doubt and we can take it off the books today in favor of the good guys.” Freeman touched his lapel pin and went on, his confident voice grating on Steve’s already raw nerves. “We know he did it and he is going to the injection chamber. Six, seven months if they don’t fill the backorder fast enough and he is done.”


Steve hadn’t realized he had spoken aloud until he looked up in the silence to see both men staring at him.

“Maybe, Detective?”

“Maybe, Commander. I’ve seen enough cases go wrong that I don’t believe in the media myth of slam dunks.”

Freeman rolled his eyes and Steve looked away in irritation. Steve knew he should have not said a word but lately his irritation with all the nonsense and stupidity seemed to be getting worse.
He glanced down and realized he had drawn a small ferret with the Division Commander’s face on top of it. The face was very visible and remarkably life like despite being much bigger than the animal’s body. This sudden urge to doodle had to stop. He quickly turned the pad away and doodled over the top of the drawing trying to hide it. It only seemed to get worse and draw more attention to it as both men flicked their eyes down at the pad and then at each other. Freeman glanced back at Steve, snorted, and then his normal condescending tone got worse as he performed for the Division Commander.

“Sir, we have his DNA from the scene, we have the weapon, we have the ballistics match, we have the body and of course, we have the MindTell™ recording.”

Steve shook his head and Freeman raised his eyebrows.

“Assuming the court lets us use the MindTell™. If they don’t, all we have is the body, a weapon, and a suspect. The residue test came back inconclusive and of course, after working there for years, his friggin DNA was at the scene.” 

Steve looked back and forth between the two men and clearly neither one grasped the scope of the problem. Steve’s voice rose slightly as he tried to make the apparently elusive point one more time.

“If you swabbed and scanned the whole building, you would find it everywhere. Besides that, we don’t know why he did it!”

If you liked the above sample, there are 15 more short stories in Mind Slices: A Collection of New and Previously Published Stories. With ten four and five star reviews the book is a mix of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery with many stories containing elements of more than one genre. $2.99 it is available online at:

If you have not yet read the book, I hope you take a chance on it. If you have read it and have yet to review it, please do. Positive, negative, or something in between is fine with me.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mystery Writers of America Presents Manhattan Mayhem (Lesa's Book Critiques)

Mystery Writers of America Presents Manhattan Mayhem (Lesa's Book Critiques)

Crimefest, Bath, and London: What I did, and what I'll do when I get back (Detectives Beyond Borders Blog)

Crimefest, Bath, and London: What I did, and what I'll do when I get back (Detectives Beyond Borders Blog)

Back in a New York Groove (My Life Called So Blog)

Back in a New York Groove (My Llife Called So Blog)

10 Beautiful Churches In Texas That Will Take Your Breath Away

Tour: Sons and Daughters (Bill and Angela Crider) --Up and Down these Mean Streets Blog

Tour: Sons and Daughters (Bill and Angela Crider) --Up and Down these Mean Streets Blog

KRL This Week Update

Up this morning in KRL a review & giveaway of "The Edge of Dreams" by Rhys Bowen

Also a review & giveaway of "Bite the Biscuit" by Linda O. Johnston​ along with a fun pets in mysteries guest post by Linda

And a review & giveaway of "The Final Reveille" by Amanda Flower, along with an interesting interview with Amanda

Also a review & giveaway of a mystery short story collection by Patricia Morin-"Confetti"

And we have a review & giveaway of "Murder in the Boonies" by Maggie Pill​

We also have a mystery short story by Guy Belleranti

And we have an article about another forgotten book--"Advise & Consent" by Allen Drury. His books were the precursors to political stories like "House of Cards"

And we have a review & giveaway of fantasy novel "Grave Matters" by Lauren M Roy
Happy reading, Lorie

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

Q & A #28 With Tim Johnston – “Descent” (Don't Need A Diagram Blog)

Q & A #28 With Tim Johnston – “Descent” (Don't Need A Diagram Blog)

Number Nine, Number Nine* (The Rap Sheet)

Number Nine, Number Nine* (The Rap Sheet)

Bitter Tea and Mystery: "True Thomas" by Reginald Hill

Bitter Tea and Mystery: "True Thomas" by Reginald Hill: This week I drew the Queen of Spades, which led me to another story from 2nd Culprit: A Crime Writers' Annual , an anthology edited by L...

Memorial Day Mysteries - Memorial Day Crime Fiction (Mystery Fanfare Blog)

Memorial Day Mysteries - Memorial Day Crime Fiction (Mystery Fanfare Blog)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cool Books for Hot Summer Days (NYTimes)

Cool Books for Hot Summer Days (NYTimes)

Some Recomendations (Do Some Damage Blog)

Some Recomendations (Do Some Damage Blog)

A, B, C, D, E, F, G... (At the Scene of the Crime blog)

A, B, C, D, E, F, G...  (At the Scene of the Crime blog)

Tips for Managing Your Files (The Blood-Red Pencil Blog)

Tips for Managing Your Files (The Blood-Red Pencil Blog)

Kris Bock on Bios Made Easy (Murder Must Advertise Blog)

Kris Bock on Bios Made Easy (Murder Must Advertise Blog)

Remembering Late Nights with David Letterman

Remembering Late Nights with David Letterman

Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

Double Take FFB Review: "Outrage At Blanco" by Bill Crider

Another Friday is upon us and that means it is time once again for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. Today, at Barry’s suggestion, we are doing something a bit different. It has been quite some time since he and I have done our double take review segment on a book. Barry knew I had read this western and really enjoyed it so he picked it up to see what he thought. After reading Outrage At Blanco he suggested we do one of our double take deals and make it part of an FFB posting.

Seemed like a good idea to me so Barry leads off with his review followed by mine…

OUTRAGE AT BLANCO (1998) by Bill Crider

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

“Jink Howard sat in the shade of a tree and ate tomatoes out of a can while Ben Atticks raped the woman in the wagon bed.”

So opens this irresistibly readable western novel by Bill Crider.

The nature of a crime doesn’t matter to Jink and Ben; they’re equal-opportunity amorals. Once Ben is finished with the woman, Jink takes over.  Waiting to meet up with Daniel O’Grady, with whom they served time in prison and with whom they intend to rob the bank in the placid town of Blanco, they encounter Ellie Taine not far from its outskirts and decide to have their brutal way with her.  

The subsequent robbery doesn’t go anywhere close to as smoothly as intended, and Jink and Ben add multiple murders to their list of crimes. The plunder is only a fraction of what was promised, which results in some internecine warfare.

For their own individual reasons, Ellie Taine and Jonathan Crossland set out in pursuit of Jink and Ben. Crossland, an elderly tough-minded local rancher who has worked hard and honestly for many years to attain his wealth, is a man afflicted with a “wasting disease,” who knows his time is nearly up, but who doesn’t plan to concede to his ne’er-do-well son Gerald—or anyone else, for that matter—that he’s willing to die passively in bed.

To provide a broader perspective, heighten tension and suspense, and add character depth, Crider takes the reader into the minds and points of view of the principal characters. Ellie Taine’s is the foremost, and her internal conflicts depict her as a woman who wants both justice and revenge while at the same time seeking acceptance and a kind of absolution.

Written in Crider’s clear, uncluttered style, Outrage at Blanco is a fast-moving novel packed with action and drama that is genuinely hard to put down and that should appeal to most fans of westerns. Strongly recommended.

© 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

My review from March 2014…….

A trip to town and back for Ellie Taine has gone very wrong as this western from author Bill Crider begins. Just outside of the small Texas town of Blanco she had made the mistake of stopping for the two men who seemed friendly. As it became clear they had something else on their minds, she thought they only meant to rob her.  Unfortunately for Ellie, robbery wasn’t what they wanted. Ben Atticks and Jink Howard wanted something much more personal to Ellie than the few items she had purchased in town at Roger's Mercantile.

When they were done with her they left her alive. That was another mistake in a long line of mistakes in their criminal careers. What happened to Ellie is just part of this very good western from Texas author Bill Crider.

Originally published in 1998 by Dell Books, Outrage at Blanco is now available as an e-book. Reminiscent of The Baby Shark Series by Robert Fate in that a rape spurs a woman to seek justice on her own, this western set in the Hill Country of Texas features a number of interesting characters. A complicated tale of vengeance and redemption for several characters results in a book that moves forward at a rapid pace despite the many players and almost as many agendas.

Outrage at Blanco (Ellie Taine)
Bill Crider
June 2013
240 Pages

Material was picked up during the author’s recent free book promotion for my use in an objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014, 2015

A couple of other brief notes:

The sequel to Outrage at Blanco (Ellie Taine) is titled Texas Vigilante (Ellie Taine Book Two). I reviewed it last October here. I also highly recommend this read.

By the way Barry and I also did a Double Take FFB Review on Mr. Crider’s The Blacklin County Files: 5 Sheriff Dan Rhodes Stories back in July 2013. You can read that review here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

PET Scan Results

The PET Scan results are in and they are not what any of us wanted, but they are as we expected. The chemo is working somewhat, but nowhere near where it needs to be to have any chance at all of pushing her into remission. So, the current chemo is stopped.

They need to figure out a new chemo treatment plan and see what Medicare will authorize. As it stands now, several options are being discussed with hopistalizing her for five day stretches of a time every three weeks or so the leading contender. But, there is also a possibility of a multi day outpatient deal as well.  Whatever is tried next will run for two chemo cycles and then will be held while they do a PET Scan.

So,  the plan right now is for her to come back next Thursday for a doc visit and blood work and prepared to be admitted to the hospital for a five day chemo stretch. This may change, but that is the plan for now.

We are not surprised by any of this and Sandi isn't giving up.

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