Monday, July 24, 2017

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: The Ranger by Ace Atkins

I have a couple of the books from this series as part of the massive tbr pile that was moved to the house. Just have not had time to read them yet. Aubrey Hamilton has and has read some of them including the first book which is the subject of her review today.

Most people know Ace Atkins through his fictionalized true crime books and his continuation of the Spenser series through the Robert B. Parker estate. I read his books about Nick Travers, the jazz-loving ex-football player, years ago, so I recognized his name when I found one of his Quinn Colson books in my book bag at a conference. I was enthralled with the portrayal of a small town and its residents in the South, caught between its history and the incursion of the 21st century. Viewers of the FX series Justified will recognize the scenario.

I found the first book in the series recently and realized that I started with book 3 or 4 and never got around to seeing how the saga began. In this initial volume Quinn Colson returns to his hometown in northeastern Mississippi to attend the funeral of his uncle after 10 years as an Army Ranger in the Middle East. He finds a town overrun by meth dealers, a thriving strip joint at the local truck stop, and a corrupt local politician claiming his uncle’s estate. His mother is caring for a toddler, the son of Quinn’s unmarried sister, who has an ongoing drug problem and who has disappeared again. Quinn’s long-time girlfriend, who dumped him while he was overseas to marry the local doctor, doesn’t seem to be finished with Quinn despite the presence of her husband. Deputy sheriff Lillie Virgil prods Quinn to investigate his uncle’s death. Gun-toting goons are everywhere.

This book wasn’t as satisfying to read as the others in the series, despite the high quality of the writing. Perhaps because all it does is set the framework for future books and I picked that up as I read the succeeding titles. The good guy comes home to clean house premise is predictable and a bit tiresome. However, the following books are very good. I spoke to Ace Atkins briefly at Bouchercon last fall, and he said he was focusing hard on this series, which was clear to me as each book is better than the previous one. The setting is somewhat bleak and many of the people are unlikable, but this is an exceptional series. The Ranger is a good place to start for anyone unfamilar with Quinn Colson. 

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (June 2011)
·         ISBN-13: 9780425247495
ISBN-10: 042524749X

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

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 David Baldacci in the Countdown hot seat:

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Audra and her two children have escaped an abusive husband, but her
road-trip across the US turns out to be a case of out of the frying pan
into the fire when Sean and Louise are abducted.

EXTREME PREY by John Sandford, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Lucas Davenport is called in when a presidential candidate is threatened
with assassination.

FRAMED by Ronnie O’Sullivan, reviewed by John Cleal

Snooker hall owner Frankie James sets out to prove his wild younger
brother’s innocence of a gangland murder and must face the police, gang
bosses and warped killers.

THE TEMPLARS’ LAST SECRET by Martin Walker, reviewed by Linda Wilson

When the body of an unknown woman is found at the base of the walls of a
ruined castle, Bruno, Chief of Police, is called to investigate.

THE CROW GIRL by Erik Axl Sund, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

A gruesome discovery leads Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg into
a horrendous world of abuse of trafficked children, and also into a
personal and professional relationship with a psychotherapist working with
young victims of abuse.

Strevens, reviewed by Kim Fleet

The true story of 19th century thief, con artist and poisoner Mary Bateman,
known as the Yorkshire Witch.

THREE ENVELOPES by Nir Hezroni, reviewed by Chris Roberts

A notebook held by a law firm for ten years before its delivery reveals a
terrifying pattern of mass murders and a pitiless perpetrator who has not
finished yet.

WRONG PLACE by Michelle Davies, reviewed by Kate Balfour

DC Maggie Neville has to juggle two roles and two cases - an attempted
murder/suicide, and a serious assault on an elderly lady - until the
investigations begin to intertwine, and lead to echoes of a missing person
from 16 years before. 
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Helena was raised in isolation, schooled in woodcraft and knew no different
until the day she and her mother escaped. Now her father has escaped from
prison and she needs all her childhood skills to catch him.

BEFORE THE DAWN by Jake Woodhouse, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Detective Inspector Jaap Rykel heads an investigation into a series of
murders of young women, a task which draws in his girlfriend Tanya and
colleague Kees.

BASED ON A TRUE STORY by Delphine de Vigan, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Authoress Delphine is signing autographs following the publication of a hit
novel when she encounters L for the first time and is totally fascinated by

THE TROPHY CHILD by Paula Daly, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Karen Bloom’s family is cracking under her demands for perfection. Then her
daughter Bronte goes missing, and the cracks become gaping chasms.

THE CLEANER by Elizabeth Herrmann, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Judith Kepler cleans up crime scenes. Called upon to clean the house of a
murdered woman, she is dragged back to her unhappy past.

THE MAGICIAN’S LIE by Greer Macallister, reviewed by John Cleal

The Amazing Arden, the most notorious female illusionist of her day and
renowned for sawing a man in half, is questioned by a small-town policeman
over the apparent murder of her husband.

CRIMSON LAKE by Candice Fox, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

He was in prison for 241 days, she for ten years. But which side of the law
are they on?

RETRIBUTION ROAD by Antonin Varenne, reviewed by John Cleal

East India Company Sergeant Arthur Bowman is sent on a secret mission.
Years later as a drink and drug addicted policeman, he stumbles on a vile
murder and knows only someone who shared his Burmese prison could have
committed the crime.

FIERCE KINGDOM by Gin Phillips, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

A family trip to the zoo turns into a fight for survival – but it is not
the animals Joan must fear.

ELEMENTARY MURDER by AJ Wright, reviewed by John Cleal

A would-be teacher is found dead inside a locked classroom. DS Michael
Brennan suspects her death is not the suicide it seems.

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Sixteen-year-old Starr is the only witness to the shooting, by a police
officer, of her friend Khalil, a killing that comes close to tearing her
neighbourhood apart.

THE TRAP by Alan Gibbons, reviewed by Linda Wilson

With the help of an undercover agent, the security services are engaged in
a desperate race to stop a terror attack.

Best wishes


MAKE MINE MYSTERY: Publicity and Privacy - How Much is Too Much?

MAKE MINE MYSTERY: Publicity and Privacy - How Much is Too Much?: by Janis Patterson The hardest thing about blogging regularly is coming up with an idea for a post. After the basic premise is secure,...

Lesa's Lates Contest: Book-related mysteries

This week, I'm giving away first editions of book-related mysteries - Kate Carlisle's Once Upon a Spine and Lorna Barrett's A Just Clause. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 7/21/17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 7/21/17

KRL This Week Update for 7/22/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Murder at the Puppy Fest" by Laurien Berenson, along with an interesting interview with Laurien

Also up a review & giveaway of "The Black Cat Sees His Shadow" by Kay Finch

Anda review & giveaway of "From Hay to Eternity" by Sandra Murphy

And a review & giveaway of "Taming the Tabby" by Kathi Daley

Also reviews & giveaways of 3 fun mysteries by Kensington authors for your July reading-"A Toast to Murder": A Mack’s Bar Mystery by Allyson K. Abbott, "If the Haunting Fits, Wear It": A Haunted Vintage Mystery by Rose Pressey, & "Mulch Ado About Murder": A Local Foods Mystery by Edith Maxwell

And an article about three clerical mystery series-G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown, S.J. Parris’s Giordano Bruno, and Charles Merrill Smith’s C.P. Randollph

And a mystery short story by Larry W. Chavis

And over on KRL News & Reviews, for those who also enjoy fantasy, a review & giveaway of "Ash and Quill" by Rachel Caine
  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

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck: Reviewed by Brenda G.           A fast-moving and powerful novel about the abuse of power and child sex-trafficking, though ...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sandi Update 7/22/17

After taking yet another load to the house, Scott and I went to the hospital to see Sandi. She was up and sitting in her chair with the television on and yarn close at hand. She was tired, but awake. She sounds very congested and so they are running tests to make sure she does not have a cold too. I think it is the work of the sinus tumor.

She said to pass on her thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes directed her way. She is not online much to say it directly, so she wanted me to pass on her gratitude and appreciation for everyone thinking about her. Thank you.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sandi Update 7/20/17

After spending all morning and much of the early afternoon at the house doing stuff, we went to the hospital to see Sandi. She was awake, alert, and sitting up out of bed as the the IV pump pulsed antibiotic into her. She still has no fever and things seem to be relatively stable so far.

She will have, at the minimum, two weeks of in hospital antibiotics around the clock per the doctor today. Once she finishes that, they will assess her and then made a decision whether to send her home for a brief break or to go straight into chemo. We cross that bridge when we get there.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Brief Update

Temp remains the same and she says she feels fine. Antibiotics continue. They are considering temporarily locking down her port to protect that access point while she is hospitalized and only using the tri fusion deal that was installed last month after the chemo fiasco. More as I know it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sandi Hospitalized

After seemingly a very good day with Sandi where she was much more like normal, we got a call from the doctor’s office just before five. It was news they did not want to get or share. All of the blood tests from Sunday came back positive. That means she definitely does have a bacterial blood infection and it is serious. We were told to get to the hospital asap so that they could get her admitted and start IV antibiotics.

By 7:30 this evening they had her admitted, already had done a chest x-ray to make sure that her heart and lungs are still okay, and had discovered that she is now running a very low grade fever. They had pulled blood for another round of testing and were setting her up to start IV antibiotics. She was very tired and very cold so they had four blankets on her to try to warm her up.

I don’t know if she will be in for two weeks as discussed yesterday at the oncologist’s office or something else is now planned. All I do know is that the folks on her case are clearly very worried.

Author Bill Crider Interviewed at Lone Star Listens

Author Bill Crider Interviewed at Lone Star Listens