Tuesday, July 17, 2018

MysteryPeople: INTERVIEW WITH MEGAN ABBOTT

MysteryPeople: INTERVIEW WITH MEGAN ABBOTT

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Murder is Academic: Christine Poulson

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Murder is Academic: Christine Poulson: After reading Christine Poulson's most recent mysteries (Deep Water and Cold, Cold Heart ) I wanted to go back and read her first series...

The Southwest Armchair Traveler: The Murder That Inspired a Romantic #Mystery Novel...

The Southwest Armchair Traveler: The Murder That Inspired a Romantic #Mystery Novel...: Many writers are inspired by real events or people in their lives. This makes difficult situations a form of research. “This stinks, but ...

LitReactor: 10 Reasons Book Reviews Still Matter

LitReactor: 10 Reasons Book Reviews Still Matter 

The Verge: BAD ROMANCE

The Verge: BAD ROMANCE 

Crime Watch: Review: DEATH ON D'URVILLE

Crime Watch: Review: DEATH ON D'URVILLE: DEATH ON D'URVILLE by Penelope Haines (Ithaca Publications, 2016) Reviewed by Karen Chisholm Death on D’Urville is the first novel...

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lesa's Book Critiques: Interview with Tonya Kappes

Lesa's Book Critiques: Interview with Tonya Kappes

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: MARGARITAS, MAYHEM, AND MURDER!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: MARGARITAS, MAYHEM, AND MURDER!: This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions . Mary will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a random...

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/16/18

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/16/18

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 50

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 50

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 7/16/18

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 7/16/18

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS BOOKISH EVENTS July 16-22, 2...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS BOOKISH EVENTS July 16-22, 2...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of July 16-22, 2018:  Special Events: 33rd Texas Shakespeare Festival , Kilgore, June 28-July 29...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Death’s Door by James Benn


Death’s Door by James Benn (Soho Crime, 2012) is the seventh title in a compulsively readable historical series set during World War II. Billy Boyle is a member of a tight-knit Boston Irish family who, having lost a brother during World War I, decided to pull some strings when Billy’s draft number comes up for the next war. One of his mother’s cousins is married to an Army general and the family finagles an appointment for Billy to his staff, congratulating themselves that he will sit the war out in safety in Washington, DC. When the cousin, General Dwight Eisenhower, is appointed Commander of the European Forces and moves to London, Billy finds himself on the front lines of the war in the kind of danger his family hoped to avoid.

His previous experience as a detective on the Boston Police Force stands him in good stead in the military and he becomes General Eisenhower’s unofficial investigator and troubleshooter, traveling all over Europe. In this story an American monsignor serving the Vatican has been stabbed and Billy is assigned the task of finding out why and by whom. The local police found a Jewish refugee near the body and turned him over to the Nazis, closing the case. The monsignor had influential friends in the United States who are not convinced the answer was that simple.

First Billy and his sidekick Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz have to be smuggled into the Holy City, crossing German-held territory, and then they have to negotiate their way among the dizzying number of political and national factions within the Vatican to identify the killer, then they have to find their way back out. Complicating the task is the knowledge that Billy’s war-time girlfriend has been captured by the Germans and he’s been ordered not to try to find her for fear of disrupting undercover operations.

This book is as much of a historical snapshot of the last months of the war before the Vatican was liberated by the Allies as it is a mystery. It describes the complex and tenuous status of the Pope and everyone in the Vatican in authoritative detail. While in theory the Vatican City was neutral, it was also completely surrounded by the German army who could easily overrun the Papal State, so it was essential for the continuation of the Vatican for them to placate the Nazis. In the meantime many members of the Catholic Church hid Jews and refugees at great personal risk to themselves and to the Church. The Pope and his most senior officials walked a dangerous tightrope every day, appearing to follow the rules set down by the Germans while helping the thousands of refugees who made their way into the Holy City. The book also highlights clearly the lack of solidarity among the German allies, who joined Hitler for many reasons, not necessarily because they admired him.

This is a fine historical series, easily balancing academic detail and mystery plot without sacrificing sound characterization and engaging writing.




·         Hardcover: 358 pages
·         Publisher: Soho Crime; 1st Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1616951850
·         ISBN-13: 978-1616951856




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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dru's Book Musings: Get To Know ~ Kate Burkholder by Linda Castillo

Dru's Book Musings: Get To Know ~ Kate Burkholder by Linda Castillo

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott: Reviewed by Jeanne We’ve all seen the little inspirational biographies of young athletes in the media: how the child develope...

For Dallas Area Folks: Stone Soup Peer Critique Groups

I just found out that one of the groups meets over here at Lucky Dog Books on Garland Road. I am nowhere near emotionally steady enough these days to face a critique group nor do I have anything remotely ready. But, in case you are in the Dallas area and also did not know about this, I share the link for Stone Soup Peer Critique Groups http://www.writersgarret.org/project/stone-soup/

Criminal Minds: To Tweet, or Not to Tweet by Paul D. Marks

Criminal Minds: To Tweet, or Not to Tweet: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Newsletters…what social media do you use and how do you use it? What don’t you use, and why not? Any ad...

KRL This Week Update for 7/14/18

Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Ruff Justice" by Laurien
Berenson http://kingsriverlife.com/07/14/ruff-justice-by-laurien-berenson/



And a review and giveaway of "Widow's Wreath" by Cynthia Riggs along with
an interesting guest post by Cynthia about her senior main character
http://kingsriverlife.com/07/14/widows-wreath-by-cynthia-riggs/



Also a review and giveaway of "Ghost Ranch" by Carole Beers along with an
interesting interview with Carole
http://kingsriverlife.com/07/14/ghost-ranch-by-carole-t-beers/



And a review and giveaway of "Death by Expresso" by Alex Erickson
http://kingsriverlife.com/07/14/death-by-espresso-by-alex-erickson/



We also have a review & giveaway of "Confessions of a Red Herring" by Dana
Dratch
http://kingsriverlife.com/07/14/confessions-of-a-red-herring-by-dana-dratch/



And a review of the mystery TV show The Brokenwood Mysteries
http://kingsriverlife.com/07/14/the-brokenwood-mysteries-streaming-on-acorn-tv/



On KRL News & Reviews we have a review & giveaway of "Murder on the Left
Bank" by Cara Black
http://www.krlnews.com/2018/07/murder-on-left-bank-cara-black.html



And a review and giveaway of "Once Upon a Fact" edited by Katherine
Tomlinson. This one is more fantasy and scifi-but a lot of familiar mystery
names in it like Kaye George and local authors like Bonnie Hearn Hill
http://www.krlnews.com/2018/07/once-upon-fact-futuristic-fairy-tales.html

Happy reading,
Lorie

Beat To A Pulp: GENNY BOW by Chris La Tray

Beat To A Pulp: GENNY BOW by Chris La Tray

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 7/13/18

The Rap Sheet:  Revue of Reviewers for 7/13/18

Saturdays With Kaye: Kill Devil Falls by Brian Klingborg

Kill Devil Falls by Brian Klingborg



After an ominous beginning, the action escalates with plenty of brutality to go around. Each denizen of Kill Devil Falls is more bizarre than the last.

U.S. Marshal Helen Morrissey gets an unwanted, but not particularly difficult-sounding assignment—to drive to Kill Devil Falls and pick up a felon who is being held there. The sheriff who was supposed to take her, Rita Crawford, back to Sacramento, has been called away on another emergency. Helen doesn’t realize that she has made herself a target just by driving north to that desolate mountain spot, now almost a ghost town.

And no wonder! The town has been declared an environmental disaster area, sink holes and a tainted water supply, prompting the government to attempt to move everyone out. The people who remain have their own dark reasons for being there, some of them deeply hidden. Nothing is quite what it seems when she gets there and she is given the run-around by nearly everyone. Not knowing who to trust, she wonders if she’ll make it out alive.

A rocky ride! I loved it!



Reviewed by Kaye George, author of, Death on the Trek, for Suspense Magazine. Death on the Trek is currently on sale for $2.50 at Smashwords.


Friday, July 13, 2018

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 7/11/18

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 7/11/18

Writer Beware: VANITY PUBLISHER ALERT: NOVUM PUBLISHING, UNITED P.C. PUBLISHER

Writer Beware: VANITY PUBLISHER ALERT: NOVUM PUBLISHING, UNITED P.C. PUBLISHER

FFB Review: POLITICALLY CORRECT BEDTIME STORIES by James Finn Garner (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

The review below by Barry first ran on September 21, 2012. Considering the state of things these days, it seemed a good time to run it again as part of FFB. For the full list of reading suggestions, head over to Patti’s fabulous blog.


POLITICALLY CORRECT BEDTIME STORIES (1994)
by James Finn Garner

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Paperback

“Political correctness” is one of those cultural concepts that some abhor, some wholeheartedly embrace, and some treat selectively. It’s had a profound effect on our language, but not always for its betterment. It’s caused us to rethink certain attitudes and approaches to people and situations and alter our behaviors accordingly. With both positive and negative attributes, it’s ripe for satirizing, and that’s exactly what James Finn Garner has done to it in Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. As he points out in an introduction, “When they were first written, the stories on which the following tales are based certainly served their purpose—to entrench the patriarchy, to estrange people from their own natural impulses, to demonize ‘evil’ and to ‘reward’ an ‘objective’ ‘good.’...Today, we have the opportunity—and the obligation—to rethink these ‘classic’ stories so they reflect more enlightened times.” We used to call these stories “fairy tales,” but that term, Garner says, reflects a “heterosexualist bias” and must thus be done away with.

This slim, undersized volume (it runs seventy-nine pages and measures seven-and-a-quarter by five-and-an-eighth inches) contains thirteen very short renderings of familiar stories. Without giving away too much lest I spoil the surprises, I’ll try to convey a sense of what the author has done. For instance, in “Little Red Riding Hood,” we’re told of the titular character that “One day her mother asked her to take a basket of fresh fruit and mineral water to her grandmother’s house—not because this was womyn’s work, mind you, but because the deed was generous and helped engender a feeling of community.”

The tailor in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” tells the vain monarch, “...I have brought with me a special fabric that is so rare and fine that it can be seen only by certain people—the type of people you’d want to have in your realm—people who are politically correct, morally righteous, intellectually astute, culturally tolerant, and who don’t smoke, drink, laugh at sexist jokes, watch too much television, listen to country music, or barbecue.”
 
Audio
The “economically disadvantaged” miller in “Rumpelstiltskin” “was very ashamed of his poverty, rather than angry at the economic system that had marginalized him, and was always searching for a way to get rich quick.”

In the longest story in the book “Snow White,” fleeing from the wicked queen, runs into the woods and comes upon a cottage inhabited by “seven bearded vertically challenged men” who refer to themselves as “the Seven Towering Giants.” When the queen learns where the girl is, she disguises herself as “a chronologically gifted woman,” goes to the cottage, and begs Snow White to buy an apple. “Snow White thought for a moment. In protest against agribusiness conglomerates, she had a personal rule against buying food from middlepersons. But her heart went out to the economically marginalized woman, so she said yes.”

The other stories, which in “updating” Garner turns on their heads so their endings are not usually what readers have come to expect, are “The Three Little Pigs,” “The Three Codependent Goats Gruff,” “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella,” “Goldilocks,” “Chicken Little,” “The Frog Prince,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.”

Readers whose taste runs to satire will most likely enjoy Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. They may not want to read it at bedtime, however, lest their laughter give them a second wind and consequent insomnia. The book is available in both physical and e-book (Kindle, Nook, Smashwords) editions. There is a sequel, Once Upon a More Enlightened Time, as well as Politically Correct Holiday Stories: For an Enlightened Yuletide Season. I also just discovered that the author has put out what appears to be (so far, at least) a Kindle edition only, Tea Party Fairy Tales.

I may eventually have to look at all of them. In any case, this one is recommended. 



Barry Ergang © 2012, 2018

Some of Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s work is available at Amazon and Smashwords. The latter site is running its annual sale through the month of July. Barry and Kevin Tipple are among the participating authors, so take advantage of their reduced prices.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

AT&T plans to expand HBO, but could destroy it in the process

AT&T plans to expand HBO, but could destroy it in the process

Ladies of Mystery: The Research Monster – or – Down the Rabbit Hole

Ladies of Mystery: The Research Monster – or – Down the Rabbit Hole

Ten Harsh Truths I Learned Writing a Moderately Successful Series For A Small Press by Rob Hart

Ten Harsh Truths I Learned Writing a Moderately Successful Series For A Small Press by Rob Hart

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 10 Feminist Publishers - No agent required

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 10 Feminist Publishers - No agent required: New Woman by Frances Benjamin Johnston - Wikimedia Commons Although there are many women authors, writing is a man's world. In 2017,...

Do Some Damage: The Great e-Book War

Do Some Damage: The Great e-Book War: By David Nemeth When I started my blog, I was a devotee to e-books; they’re cheaper, quicker to obtain, and advance reader copies cost ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Girl in the Tower, DNA, Adventure Cats,...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Girl in the Tower, DNA, Adventure Cats,...: Reported by Kristin Nevermore began with a lovely story of fairy tale fiction:   The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, secon...

Review: Twisted Prey: A Lucas Davenport Novel by John Sandford


Twisted Prey: A Lucas Davenport Novel opens, as many of the recent books in the series do, with bad guys doing bad things to somebody. Readers know from almost the start the identities of some of the bad actors though the motivation for the criminal events has yet to become apparent.  In this case the victims are a United States senator and his mistress who are run off the road as they attempt to return to Washington. In the aftermath, Senator Smalls is lucky to be alive. He also has pretty good idea regarding the identity of the person who tried to take him out.

Not that Senator Taryn Grant would have done it herself. She would not have gotten her hands dirty directly. But, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she may have been making use of her contacts in the intelligence community and elsewhere as Small has been an ongoing problem for her. Especially recently after he brought her a fresh round of unwanted media attention which seems to have impacted her carefully crafted media image just a little bit.

U. S. Marshal Lucas Davenport has been bored. Very bored with routine boring cases. The kinds of case he did not sign up for when he joined the United Sates Marshal’s Service. Senator Smalls knows the automobile accident was no accident and is sure that Senator Taryn Grant is behind it all just like she was two years ago. Smalls is convinced she is not going to stop until he is dead. He also knows Lucas Davenport might be the only one to not only understand his situation but to appreciate the threat from Grant and be able to do something about it. He wants Lucas to investigate and hopefully by doing so, keep him alive, and stop the next attempt to kill him.

What follows is a straight action adventure read with Lucas Davenport on the hunt for professional Killers, probably ex-military members who are now most likely private contractors, and proof that Grant is behind it all. Of course, that means Lucas and others he cares about become targets for retaliation.

Straight action and adventure with little character depth or development for any of the new characters in this series—several of which will most likely pop up again in coming books--- the read is about action and moving forward by way of following numerous characters as they go about their criminal and otherwise activities. The story structure is very reminiscent of an EKG with regular spikes of action and the predictable lulls between events. Overall, the book moves forward at a rapid pace despite the occasional segue into politics (that clearly inflames some conservatives who are reading something, based on their “reviews,” far beyond what is actually in the book), sight-seeing destinations in Washington, and other reading suggestions regarding various books and magazines made during those lulls in the action.

While a good read for what it is – a straight action/adventure book – it is not nearly as good as many previous Prey books in this long running series. Sheer escapism, Twisted Prey: A Lucas Davenport Novel, settles some scores and keeps the reader fairly well entertained and turning pages. For those readers who prefer more escapist type read for their trips to the beach or mountains, this latest read in the series should do very nicely.


Twisted Prey: A Lucas Davenport Novel
John Sandford
Random House Large Print
April 2018
ISBN# 978-0-5255-9378-2
Large Trade Paperback (also available in hardback, audio book, and eBook formats)
512 Pages (497 pages of actual story)
$31.00


Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Library System.


Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Christmas in July Star Trek Style


Only days left to win books by Nora Page, Betty Webb, Daryl Wood Gerber, Krista Davis, and more from KRL

Only days left to win a copy of "Better Off Read" by Nora Page, and while
there check out an interesting interview with Nora
http://kingsriverlife.com/07/07/better-off-read-by-nora-page/

And to win copies of some more yummy food mysteries-"A Soufflé of
Suspicion": A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames,
"Death and a Pot of Chowder": A Maine Murder Mystery by Cornelia Kidd,
"Kappy King and the Pickle Kaper": An Amish Mystery by Amy Lillard, "Murder
with Cinnamon Scones": A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery by Karen Rose Smith,
and "The Diva Cooks up a Storm": A Domestic Diva Mystery by Krista Davis
http://kingsriverlife.com/07/07/more-yummy-food-mysteries/

Also to win a copy of "The Otter of Death" by Betty Webb and while there
check out a sweet guest post by her about a trip to the zoo with her dad as
a child http://kingsriverlife.com/07/07/the-otter-of-death-by-betty-webb/

And to win a copy of "Dying for a Deal" by Cindy Sample
http://www.krlnews.com/2018/07/dying-for-deal-by-cindy-sample.html

And to win a copy of "Confound It" a mystery with a fantasy twist by Maggie
Toussaint
http://www.krlnews.com/2018/07/confound-it-dreamwalker-series-by.html
Happy reading,
Lorie

Indies Unlimited: New Amazon Rules on eBook Bonus Content

Indies Unlimited: New Amazon Rules on eBook Bonus Content

Mystery Fanfare: I'LL COP TO IT: Guest post by Jim Doherty

Mystery Fanfare: I'LL COP TO IT: Guest post by Jim Doherty: JIM DOHERTY: I'LL COP TO IT When a policeman writes a police procedural novel, people are bound to wonder if the main character is ...

Euro Crime Review: The Devil's Dice by Roz Watkins

Euro Crime Review: The Devil's Dice by Roz Watkins

SleuthSayers: Writers: Their Rooms and Pets

SleuthSayers: Writers: Their Rooms and Pets: by Paul D. Marks One of the things I really enjoy is seeing other writers’ offices/work spaces. I’m curious about how other people go abou...

Guest Post: Jeanne and Treadmill Books: Mobile Library series by Ian Sansom


Treadmill Books:  Mobile Library series by Ian Sansom



Israel Armstrong is a librarian—or he would be if he could find a job as a librarian.  Instead, he works part time at a London bookshop and enjoys his lattes, vegetarian cuisine, and spending time with his ambitious (and more affluent) girlfriend, Gloria.  However, it appears Israel’s luck is about to change: he has actually gotten a full time position at a library, even though it’s going to require him to move to Northern Ireland, to a small town called Tumdrum. He’s got a three year contract, and at the end of that time he can return in triumph to London and get a proper library job—say, at the British Library.

His first clue that things may not be going smoothly is the large sign announcing the Tumdrum library is closed—permanently.

Instead, he’ll be a mobile librarian, or he will be as soon as they find the bookmobile and get it running, leaving only one minor problem: the books are missing.

So begins Ian Sansom’s Mobile Library series with the appropriately named first novel, The Case of the Missing Books.  It’s an extremely funny book, a take on the “fish out of water” theme as Israel tries to navigate the strange ways of the Irish (quite a surprise, since Israel’s father was Irish).  For Israel, it’s like falling down a rabbit hole.  If there’s a way to make a bad situation worse, Israel will instinctively find it.

It’s been a long time since I laughed so hard at a book. I especially enjoyed some of the literary discussions carried on by the natives, discussing the authors they like (or don’t) and sometimes leaving Israel at a loss. The Irish setting was vivid and the characters were memorable.

I read the second book right after I finished the first and liked it as well, though it wasn’t quite as amusing—probably because I knew some of the author’s habits from The Case of the Missing Books. I will be reading the rest of the series, but I’m going to let a little time pass so it will seem fresher.

I find it hard to walk and laugh at the same time, so while these do not make good treadmill books they are recommended as one funny read. 

The books in the series are The Case of the Missing Books, Mr. Dixon Disappears, The Book Stops Here, and The Bad Book Affair.