Sunday, March 18, 2018

Five Years Ago: Sunday at the DMA

It came up in my Facebook feed yesterday that it was five years since Scott and I had been down at the Dallas Museum of Art. We went, as did Sandi, because Scott had an Art Class at UTD and had to write a paper. So, if you follow the link, you can see a bit of text and a lot of pictures down at the museum.

Crime Review Update

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (, together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author Quintin Jardine in the Countdown hot seat.

We’re on Twitter at:
Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:
RIGHTEOUS by Joe Ide, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Neighbourhood sleuth Isaiah Quintabe is getting closer to explaining his
brother’s death, and is asked to help when a couple of gamblers get into
trouble with Chinese triads.

THE GIRL IN THE GREEN DRESS by Cath Staincliffe, reviewed by John Cleal
Transgender teenager Allie Kennaway is brutally murdered at her school’s
prom night. As Manchester police face the most vicious of hate crimes, two
parents must decide how far they will go to protect their own child.

WATCHING YOU by Arne Dahl, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Detective Sam Berger is convinced that a third missing 15-year-old girl is
in fact another victim of a serial killer. He’s forced to deal with his
long-buried personal demons to understand and catch the murderer.

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by AJ Finn, reviewed by Nicola Hodges
Dr Anna Fox is severely agoraphobic and watches her New York neighbours all
day. She witnesses a serious crime in the house opposite and fights to
prove it.

NIGHT SCHOOL by Lee Child, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Major Jack Reacher and two others are given a special project concerning a
mystery American in Germany.  First they have to find out who he is and why
he is mysterious.

A WANTED MAN by Robert Parker, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Ex-soldier Ben Bracken is out of prison, but not through the normal
channels. He’s a man on a mission, and the mission is revenge. But the
murder of an old friend’s father derails his plans.

ONE DAMN THINGS AFTER ANOTHER by Dan Latus, reviewed Arnold Taylor
Being a Good Samaritan is not without its dangers, as private investigator
Frank Doy discovers to his cost.

IN THE DARK by Andreas Pflüger, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Five years ago, tracking down a ruthless serial killer would have been all
in a day’s work. But five years ago, Jenny Aaron wasn’t blind.

THE PRINCE AND THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS by Saul David, reviewed by John Cleal
Jack the Ripper is murdering and mutilating prostitutes. Zulu Hart is
called back to England by the Duke of Cambridge, his natural father, to
investigate evidence which seems to point to Prince Edward as the killer.

BLACKSTONE by Richard Falkirk, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Bow Street Runner Edmund Blackstone is assigned to look after the young
Princess Alexandrina Victoria, but things don’t quite go according to plan.

DISTRICT VIII by Adam Lebor, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Romany cop Balthazar Kovacs receives a text showing a dead man, one of the
hundreds of refugees crowded into Budapest hoping for a new life in the

SCARED TO DEATH by Kate Medina, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
A baby is found abandoned in an A&E unit. The police believe there is a
possible link to a young man’s suicide a year before.

GRINGA by Joe Thomas, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Detective Leme has gringa Ellie under observation – she enters a building
but doesn’t come out. When he follows, he finds a man dead and Ellie gone.

THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE by Jessie Daniels, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Recently widowed Effie James does a favour for a friend and joins a local
ghost-hunting group. To her surprise, it’s all a lot more interesting than
she expected.

SOOT by Andrew Martin, reviewed by John Cleal
Fletcher Rigge, languishing in a debtor’s prison, receives a bizarre
proposition. Find the killer of a prominent silhouette artist in one month
and have his debts paid off, or return to jail possibly for the rest of his

HOLLYWOOD HANG TEN by Eve Goldberg, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Surfer dude and private investigator Ryan Zorn takes his first independent
job, locating a missing boy, but finds a connection to the blackmail of
Hollywood stars.

A MAP OF THE DARK by Karen Ellis, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Special Agent Elsa Myer is emotionally torn, hunting for a missing
17-year-old girl, whilst her father lies in a hospital bed, dying of cancer.

GIRL IN SNOW by Danya Kukafka, reviewed by John Cleal
Golden girl Lucinda Hayes is found murdered. Three small town misfits
record their reactions as the hunt for the killer continues.

SHATTERED MINDS by Laura Lam, reviewed by John Barnbrook
In a future world, virtual reality is used to modify experience but a
company plans a new program to control the emotions of the whole
population. The Trust, a group of like-minded individuals, are determined
to stop them.

ALL THE RAGE (audiobook) by Courtney Summers, reviewed by Linda Wilson
The sheriff’s son assaulted Romy Grey, but no one believed her. Then when
Romy goes missing after a school party, she gets little sympathy then,
either. And soon another girl is missing.

Best wishes


Mega-List of University Literary Journals Accepting Submissions in Fiction, Poetry, Art, CNF

Mega-List of University Literary Journals Accepting Submissions in Fiction, Poetry, Art, CNF: CC0 License You may wonder why you should submit to literary journals run by MFA programs. They seldom pay, and they often charge to sub...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Rap Sheet: 18 Revue of Reviewers for 3/16/18

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 3/16/18

KRL This Week for 3/17/18

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "A Whisper of Bones" by Ellen Hart

Also, Elaine Viets shares about the re release of her Dead-End Job mystery series, and there is a giveaway of the entire series in ebook

And we have a review & giveaway of "Head Wounds" by Dennis Palumbo

And a review & giveaway of a debut mystery-"The French Girl" by Lexie Elliott, along with an interesting interview with Lexie

We also have a cat mystery short story by Elaine Faber

And a review of mystery TV show "The Alienist"

On KRL News & Reviews we have a review & giveaway of "Scones and Scoundrels" by Molly MacRae

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

Meanderings and Musings: From Inside My Book Fort - - - Lesa Holstine

Meanderings and Musings: From Inside My Book Fort - - - Lesa Holstine

Lesa's Latest Contest: Weddings Can Be Murder Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away cozy mysteries involving weddings - Maggie
McConnon's Bel, Book and Scandal & Diane Kelly's Death, Taxes and a Shot
Gun Wedding. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only,

-- Lesa Holstine

Friday, March 16, 2018

Steve Fahnestalk Reviews: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar./Apr. 2018

Steve Fahnestalk Reviews: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar./Apr. 2018

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths: Reviewed by Jeanne Ruth Galloway, university professor and archaeologist, is called in once again to examine some bones fou...

Gravetapping: SOME DIE HARD by Stephen Mertz

Gravetapping: SOME DIE HARD by Stephen Mertz: Some Die Hard is Stephen Mertz’s first published novel. It appeared as a paperback original in 1979 from the low-rent New York publisher ...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: RELEASE DAY FOR TEXAS LIGHTNING!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: RELEASE DAY FOR TEXAS LIGHTNING!: Top o' the morning to you! Your reply should be, " And the rest of the day to yourself. " I'm only a little Irish mix...

Crime Watch: Review: GREEN SUN

Crime Watch: Review: GREEN SUN: GREEN SUN by Kent Anderson (Mulholland Books, 2018) Reviewed by Craig Sisterson Hanson thought he had witnessed the worst of humanity ...

FFB Review: Deadly Currents: A RM Outdoors Adventures Mystery by Beth Groundwater

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. My review of Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater originally appeared in November 2011. It seemed time to blow off the dust, tweak a couple of things, and run it again today. Make sure you check out the full list over at Patti’s blog as well as her new book, I Bring Sorrow And Other stories Of Transgression.

With rookie River Ranger Mandy Tanner and her boss Steve Hadley watching, things are about to get very dangerous on the Arkansas River in Colorado. One of the river rafts has flipped and tossed equipment and passengers into the swirling river churning towards some deadly rapids. With odds against them before they start, Tanner and Hadley start trying to rescue as many they can as fast as they can. That results in Mandy Tanner performing her first river rescue in increasingly dangerous conditions as she breaks protocol to save lives.

Rules are in place for a reason and she is lucky to have survived. Her second week patrol proves that sometimes doing things in an orthodox way is at times very necessary. She successfully pulls in two passengers, one female and one male. The woman, Hannah Fowler, is shaken but, all things considered, okay. The man, a local land developer named Tom King, was dead by the time she got him out of the water to a river bank.

With a wrongful death lawsuit in the early stages and her Uncle’s river rafting business at stake, Mandy Tanner decides to investigate and ask questions of anyone involved with that river trip. Her questions annoy a long list of suspects especially when it becomes clear Tom King was a victim of foul play. Still reeling from her guilt over Tom King’s death and a second much closer to home tragedy, Mandy Tanner does not know when to shut up and enjoy the river while leaving the case to the law enforcement professionals. If she isn’t careful and very lucky, her career and her young life might be over before it really starts.

Reminiscent of early Nevada Barr novels and not just because of the outdoor setting, this cozy style read is the start of a new series featuring River Ranger Mandy Tanner. Known for her novels A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket this novel is far different in style and tone.  Along with a detailed and obvious appreciation of the outdoors, author Beth Groundwater has created an interesting core group of characters, a complex mystery, and plenty of action and adventure.

The start of a new series, Deadly Currents is not only good, but puts down an excellent foundation to build on. In will be very interesting to see how this develops further with Wicked Eddies slated for publication next year.

Deadly Currents: A RM Outdoors Adventures Mystery
Beth Groundwater
Midnight Ink (Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.)
March 2011
ISBN# 978-0-7387-2162-0
Paperback (also available in the Kindle)
300 Pages

Material supplied by the author quite some time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mystery Fanfare: Unforgotten: PBS Masterpiece Mystery!

Mystery Fanfare: Unforgotten: PBS Masterpiece Mystery!: PBS Masterpiece Mystery! has a new series coming up that starts Sundays April 8 and runs through May 13 (9 pm, but check local listings)....

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Black Seraphim: Michael Gilbert

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Black Seraphim: Michael Gilbert: A description from the back of my paperback ediition: James Scotland, a young pathologist, has come to Melchester on a much-needed vacatio...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Sailing Alone, Coldest Winter, Roger Co...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Sailing Alone, Coldest Winter, Roger Co...: Reported by Ambrea Nevermore started off with a pertinent poem by Billy Collins: “The name of the author is the first to go Fol...

Mystery Fanfare: St Patrick's Day Mysteries - St. Patrick's Day Cri...

Mystery Fanfare: St Patrick's Day Mysteries - St. Patrick's Day Cri...: Erin - Go - bragh! St. Patrick's Day figures in several mysteries , so here's my updated St. Patrick's Day Crime Fiction li...

Only days left to win books from KRL

Only days left to win a copy of "The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky
Clover" by Susan Wittig Albert, Author

Only days left to win a copy of "Murder in an Irish Churchyard" by Carlene
O'Connor, & while there check out a fun St. Patrick's Day guest post by

Only days left to win a copy of "Killing in C Sharp" by Alexia Gordon, &
while there check out a fun interview with Alexia

Only days left to win a copy of "Little Girl Gone" by Gerry Schmitt aka Laura

Only days left to win a copy of "The Pajama Frame" by Diane Vallere

Only days left to win a copy of "Deja Moo" by Kirsten Weiss,

Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: INN THE SPIRIT OF LEGENDS

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: INN THE SPIRIT OF LEGENDS: Inn the Spirit of Legends Spirits of Texas Book 1 by Becki Willis Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery From the author of...

Review: Blaze! Spanish Gold (Blaze! Western Series Book 18) by Ben Boulden

Unity, Utah is where Kate and J.D. Blaze were planning to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The badlands that surround the town are home to numerous silver and gold mines. Those mines are responsible for most of the males in the town of Unity. Some of those miners and few others are in the saloon known as Petey’s Bucket of Blood as is Kate Blaze. That is until a nearby gunshot draws her and numerous others out to the dark streets like moths to a flame. 

That pull leads Katie Blaze and numerous members of the local populace to a nearby alley where they find Sheriff Gentry holding a man at gunpoint. That man facing the deadly blast from a shotgun should he do anything at all is her husband, J.D. Blaze. If that wasn’t bad enough, Deputy Haskins is dead nearby and J.D. did kill him. Why he did it is not clear and most folks don’t care and want Sheriff Gentry to mete out justice with his shotgun. Fortunately for J. D. and his wife, Sheriff Gentry is not ready to shoot J.D. unless he has no other choice.

Why J. D. Blaze killed Deputy Haskins and what that had to do with the missing Spanish gold, missing men, and an albino who seems to have nefarious purposes in mind, are just some of the factors at work in Blaze! Spanish Gold.  This is the eighteenth installment in the adult western series started by author Stephen Mertz. Like others in the series, including author Ben Boulden’s recent installment entry, Blaze! Red Rock Rampage, this is a standalone entry chronicling the exploits of the married gunfighter duo.

Those exploits happen on the trail, in town, and are often violent in nature against those who mean to do them harm. Those exploits are also detailed when they are in the form of a passionate nature as a married couple. These books are billed “adult westerns” and that means there is a high level of detail regarding intimate moments that one rarely sees in a western.

Blaze! Spanish Gold is another solidly good western tale with a few good guys, plenty of black hats, and a lot more innocents that can’t escape the evil that has Utah, Unity in its grasp. The mystery and romantic elements add color to a fine western tale.  A fast and fun read that is well worth your time.

Blaze! Spanish Gold (Blaze! Western Series Book 18)
Ben Boulden
Rough Edges Press
ISBN# 978-1977833228
Paperback (eBook available)
140 Pages

Print copy supplied by the author late last November for my use to read and review with no expectation of a review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Do Some Damage: I BRING SORROW AND OTHER STORIES OF TRANSGRESSION: Scott’s note: Patti Abbott is here today to talk about her new short story collection.  With more than 125 stories that have appeared onlin...

Review: Down The River Unto The Sea by Walter Mosley

Joe King Oliver has been out of prison for 10 years as Down The River Unto The Sea by Walter Mosley begins. A disgraced NYPD detective, these days he runs a small private investigative agency consisting of himself and his wise beyond her years teenage daughter. He does so from small office on the second floor of a building on Montague Street. Progress, as some would define it, is coming to the neighborhood which means rents are going up and the old places are being replaced increasingly by fancy condos, shops and, the like for above the pay grade of those who walk these streets and built the neighborhood. While Oliver got a sweet deal on the place and is fine for now the way he got it is just a small part of the hellish backstory his life was a decade ago. 

The fact that he never did what he was accused of didn’t matter because the frame was so good. He should have been killed. He wasn’t and yet the person he was died in prison. What happened to him is a case that will never be resolved. That is until he gets a letter that changes everything.

At the same time, he gets another case that also involves crooked NYPD officers. Two of them were gunned down several years ago. A man wounded in the shootout with officer is headed for the death penalty despite the efforts of well-known attorney Stuart Brown. It had looked like Brown was doing everything to prove his client known as “A Free Man” innocent of the murder. That is until the lawyer backed off, a witness disappeared, and more. A person involved in the case wants Joe’s help in proving A Free Man’s case.

Doing so might also be a way in for his own case.

What follows is an incredible read as Joe Oliver deals with repercussions from his past, the legacy of family, and the criminality of the moment. Author Walter Mosley, has a style in this read, as do the works of James Lee Burke, where the storytelling carries incredible impact with just a few words and at the same time paints a world rich in color and nuance. The two cases and a few other tangentially related matters slowly converge in one giant maelstrom that threatens to ensnare everything Joe Oliver has worked for these past years.

The read is intense, emotional, and powerfully good. A read that is so layered this review barely touches the surface. Down The River Unto The Sea: A Novel by Walter Mosley was my first experience with this author and it certainly won’t be my last. Highly recommended.  This is one of those books you just have to read. Period.

Down The River Unto The Sea: A Novel
Walter Mosley
Mulholland Books (Little, Brown and Company)
ISBN# 978-0-316-43998-5
LARGE PRINT Hardback (also available in regular print hardback, audio, and eBook formats)
440 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Public Library and specifically the wonderful staff of the Lochwood Branch. While both Scott and I miss our old stomping ground at the Haggard Branch up in Plano, the people of the Lochwood Branch have been very good to both of us.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

One Bite at a Time: A Conversation With Jenny Milchman

One Bite at a Time: A Conversation With Jenny Milchman: Jenny Milchman gets around, and I mean that in the most flattering sense. She spent eleven months in her car taking her debut novel Cover ...

Mystery Fanfare: 2018 Bouchercon Anthology Contributors

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Crime Time : I BRING SORROW – Patricia Abbott

Crime Time : I BRING SORROW – Patricia Abbott: "Coal." Back in the day, when I worked for a small daily newspaper, "Coal," as the first sentence of a news stor...

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 32

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 32

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 3/12/18

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 3/12/18

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin: Reviewed by Christy H.             On January 12, 1888 a terrible blizzard swept across the Great Plains, taking many of its...

Lesa's Latest Contest: Give Me a B Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away copies of Allison Brennan's Breaking Point &
Steve Berry's The Lost Order. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only,


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 3/12-18: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 12-18, 2018:  Special Events: Humanities Texas presents Texas Storytime: A Family Reading...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 3/12/18

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers |

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: It Happened at Two in the Morning by Alan Hruska

It Happened at Two in the Morning by Alan Hruska (Prospect Park Books, 2017) is an engaging thriller that careens through its pages from beginning to end. Tom Weldon is walking home in the city that never sleeps at 2:00 in the morning after finishing a legal brief for his boss. In front of an office building he witnesses a group of masked felons shooting a well-dressed man and kidnapping a young woman. He jumps into the fray only to be knocked unconscious and kidnapped too. The young woman is Elena Riles, youngest daughter of Robertson Riles, the incredibly wealthy CEO of Riles Whitney & Co., the man who was killed.

The two find their way too easily out of their makeshift prison in rural Pennsylvania into a town where they learn from news outlets that Elena is believed to be her father’s murderer and Tom to be her accomplice. They are the subjects of a nationwide manhunt. Despite having never met, Tom’s cell phone records have been altered to show multiple phone calls to Elena. Tom knows that a frame-up that thorough has been established by someone with considerable power. Once found, they will both be jailed with no hope of parole, so they must dodge the police to keep their freedom in order to search for the real killers.

Tom calls in his friends for help and begins to piece the back story together. Elena’s father was immersed in an ugly corporate takeover battle, which appears to have been the motive for the murder. The killers grow impatient with the authorities and decide if Elena and Tom are dead, the investigation will be closed. The couple is pursued from place to place, just escaping the killers by a hair more than once.

This book has a couple of my favorite plot devices. First is the “just walking down the street minding my own business when havoc erupts” method to pull the protagonist into the lives of people he doesn’t know and wouldn’t know in the normal scheme of things. Lee Child used the same technique in his second Reacher adventure. Then there’s “fugitive fleeing from the police with no money and no resources.”  Just how this pair generates living expenses, since using their credit cards will draw attention to their location, is creative and diverting, even if it isn’t terribly realistic.

The emphasis here is on action, not character development or even logic. One or two of the characters disappear without explanation toward the end of the book, for instance. (Hruska writes for films and it shows.) How Tom is cleared to pursue the killers is not credible at all. A reader unfamiliar with the mechanics of corporate takeovers will miss some of the key plot points. Overall, though, a good entertaining read that kept my attention from start to finish.

·                     Paperback: 312 pages
·                     Publisher: Prospect Park Books (November 14, 2017)
·                     Language: English
·                     ISBN-10: 1945551178
·                     ISBN-13: 978-1945551178

Aubrey Hamilton © 2018
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.