Friday, August 17, 2018

FFB Review: See Also Murder: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery by Larry D. Sweazy

I grant you the obvious concession that a novel published in May of 2015 does not really fit the concept of a “Forgotten Book.” At least, a publication that recent should mean the book is not forgotten. Yet, I don’t think author Larry D. Sweazy gets anywhere near the level of recognition he should. I find that especially true in the latest one, See Also Proof, where Marjorie is dealing with a lot. Much of the read has hit very close to home for me. While the book in itself is excellent, I am having a very hard time reading it as a major theme is smacking me very hard.

So, as my small part of FFB today hosted by Todd Mason over on his Sweet Freedom blog, I thought I would remind you all of my review from June 2015 of See Also Murder. The first book in what has become an incredible series. Like all good series this one needs to be read in order as the characters age and evolve. Jumping in at book three and working your way back simply won’t do.

 I have always felt a deep kinship with Marjorie. I don’t know why. Beyond the decades that would separate us, there is the fact that she is living a farm life in the Dakotas and I have always been a city boy, though I did have my time outdoors in the mountains as a youngster. We have little in common, no matter how you look at it, and yet my bond with a fictional character has reached an even deeper level in the new book. I can’t explain it. What is…is.

Just go get the book and get started.  And, as many others have said over the years in far better ways than I ever will, if you care about somebody, let them know. They can be out of your life in a blink of an eye and leave you broken and alone.

Living on a farm in Stark County, North Dakota in July of 1964 is hard, but it isn’t winter and that helps a little bit. Things are harder for Marjorie Trumaine than most because she is trying to manage it all pretty much by herself. It has been that way since her husband, Hank, had his hunting accident that left him blind and paralyzed. He spends his days, except for a rare trip away from home, lying in their bed unable to care for himself or the farm they both love.

The Knudsens on the next farm over were there for Hank and Marjorie long after everyone else in the small community got on with their lives and forgot about them. Erik, the father, supervised his sons, Peter and Jaeger, while they did chores on the place after they had finished work on their own farm. Lida, their mom and Erik’s wife, brought food for months while Marjorie and Hank slowly adjusted to the catastrophic change in their lives. Over time that help as well as Marjorie’s ongoing job as a freelance indexer has allowed them to survive in their new normal post-accident reality.

The news that Sheriff Hilo Jenkins brings Marjorie this July morning is hard to deal with on any level, but especially now after everything that has happened in recent months. Erik and Lida have been brutally murdered while they slept in their bed. Their sons, Erik and Jaeger, are physically fine as they slept through the murders in their home. Sheriff Jenkins does not believe the boys had anything to do with it though he does intend to question them about the murders. He does believe an amulet found in Erik’s dead hand plays some role in the case.

Marjorie has a reputation, one that she has tried hard to control and stifle, as being the smartest person around. She can’t help using words that many in the area don’t know or understand. Her love of books and knowledge has only increased the last several years as she has built a career of freelance work of writing indexes and meeting deadlines. What began as a source of extra income is now her sole escape from reality as well as the primary source of income  for the family. Sheriff Jenkins wants Marjorie to figure out what the amulet means so that he might figure out who killed Erik and Lida. It is his only real clue and he wants her role in the case kept secret. She reluctantly agrees to help it is the least she can do for the Knudsens – the living and the dead.

What follows is a very complex and highly atmospheric mystery by award winning author Larry D. Sweazy. The North Dakota landscape is a constant character presence in this novel that blends history and lore, a mystery full of twists and turns, and the role of family (by birth and other means) into a read that quickly pulls the reader into a different time and place far from home. Recently published by Seventh Street Books, See Also Murder: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery is a highly addictive read that will keep you reading far past your bedtime. It is very much well worth your time.  

See Also Murder: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery
Larry D. Sweazy
Seventh Street Books
May 2015
ISBN# 978-1-63388-006-1
Paperback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
256 Pages

Material supplied for my use by the good people of the Plano Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015, 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018

BuzzFeed: 17 Jokes You'll Only Get If You Know Greek Mythology

BuzzFeed: 17 Jokes You'll Only Get If You Know Greek Mythology

New issue of Crime Review

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (, together with a top industry interview. This timeit’s author Dave Shelton in the Countdown hot seat:

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

SNAP by Belinda Bauer, reviewed by Linda Wilson

DCI John Marvel wants to investigate murders not burglaries, so when a cold case gets on his radar, he’s prepared to break a few rules in pursuit of the truth.

GHOST by James Swallow, reviewed by John Cleal

Marc Dane and his partner, ex-Delta Force sniper Lucy Keyes, must call on all their skills to track down a worldwide series of devastating cyber-attacks.

EXCELLENT INTENTIONS by Richard Hull, reviewed by Chris Roberts

When the disagreeable Henry Cargate is poisoned, an accusation of murder is brought against one of four people in a position to have committed the crime.

THE ICE SWIMMER by Kjell Ola Dahl, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

When a man’s body is discovered in the freeing waters of Oslo harbour, city detectives Gunnarstanda and Stigersand face a very complicated case, leading them into the murky world of political secrets.

WHERE THE WORLD ENDS by Geraldine McCaughrean, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Every year a small group of men and boys visit a wind-swept sea stac to harvest the nesting sea birds, but this year the boat fails to return for them.

PERFECT MATCH by DB Thorne, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Soloman’s sister is in a coma, and he knows this was no accident. But the police don’t believe him. Or don’t want to.

AN ECHO OF MURDER by Anne Perry, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan

A Hungarian man living and working near the Thames, is found brutally murdered. Commander Monk is on the trail of the culprit.

THE RECKONING by James McGee, reviewed by John Cleal

Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood’s investigation of a prostitute’s death leads him into a world of espionage – and dangeR.

BABY BLUE by Pol Koutsakis, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Stratos Gazis’ friend Angelino has taken charge of Emma, a talented blind girl, who is bitter at the murder of the man who protected her. Stratos gets the job of finding the killer.

THE STORY KEEPER by Anna Mazzola, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Audrey Hart leaves London and her unhappy family home to work as a researcher of folk tales with the solitary Miss Buchanan in her fading stately home on Skye. She is drawn into the investigation of several missing girls, whose disappearance is treated with superstitious dread by the locals.

OUR KIND OF CRUELTY by Araminta Hall, reviewed by Nicola Hodges

Mike and Verity have a long-term sexually charged relationship that sometimes involves playing a game called Crave. This game seems to continue after they part, a murder takes place and their lives are catapulted onto a
trajectory of destruction.

ROBERT B PARKER’S LITTLE WHITE LIES by Ace Atkins, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Spenser is on the trail of a conman who doesn’t want to be found.

THE LAST HOUR by Harry Sidebottom, reviewed by John Cleal

Marcus Clodius Ballista, the Romanised Angle princeling, uncovers a plot to assassinate the Emperor Gallenius, but has just 24 hours to warn his friend.

MARKED FOR REVENGE by Emelie Schepp, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius needs to deal with the case of a Thai girl who died on a train while smuggling heroin capsules in her stomach, as well as trying to protect her own old identity. She fears that a notorious
criminal Danilo will uncover her past.

A BRUSH WITH DEATH, by Ali Carter, reviewed by John Cleal

Artist Susie Mahl is a guest at the country seat of the Earl of Greengrass when her host is murdered in the parish churchyard. With the local police baffled, she applies her eye for detail and her natural inquisitiveness to
uncover the killer.

TO DIE IN VIENNA by Kevin Wignall, reviewed by Arnold Tyalor

Ex-secret service operative Freddie Makin has been given the task of watching a computer science teacher and submitting daily reports. Then an attempt is made on Freddie’s life.

THE ANOMALY by Michael Rutger, reviewed by Linda Wilson

A TV film crew are on the hunt for a mysterious cavern in the Grand Canyon that has remained tantalisingly elusive for over a century.

A DATE WITH MYSTER by Julia Chapman, reviewed by John Cleal

Private eye Samson O’Brien and dating agency boss Delilah Metcalfe are reunited in what seems a simple case which uncovers secrets some would far rather stayed buried.

BLUFF by Michael Kardos, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Young magician Natalie Webb is down on her luck and persuaded to use her skills in a bent poker game. However, things don’t go according to plan.

MURDERS.COM by Margaret Duffy, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler

Crime-fighting duo Ingrid Langley and Patrick Gillard are hoping for a quieter life when he takes a desk job. But the discovery of a badly-beaten Met Police cop in a Somerset field puts paid to that.

Best wishes


In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 8/16/18

In Reference To Murder:  Mystery Melange for 8/16/18

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Wild Snail, Ladies' Night, Christianit...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Wild Snail, Ladies' Night, Christianit...: Reported by Ambrea This week, Nevermore started out with The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey.   When Bailey ...

Blood-Red Pencil: Writers Workshops September & October 2018

Blood-Red Pencil: Writers Workshops September & October 2018: Whether a one day session, one week conference, or a month-long workshop, writing related events are a good way of communing with other wr...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Review: PRESIDIO by Randy Kennedy

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Review: PRESIDIO by Randy Kennedy: I reviewed Presidio: A Novel (Touchstone) by Texas Panhandle native Randy Kennedy for Lone Star Literary Life . This one got the nod from ...

Crime Time : TATIANA – Martin Cruz Smith

Crime Time : TATIANA – Martin Cruz Smith: Say goodbye to Arkady Renko. I have this chilly foreboding we'll not see him again, that five years ago Tatiana was his valedictory ...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

KRL: Only days left to win books and more

Only days left to win copies of "A Passion for Haunted Fashion": A Haunted
Vintage Mystery by Rose Pressey, "Bear Witness to Murder": A Shamelessly
Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery by Meg Macy, "Cake and Punishment": A Southern
Cake Baker Mystery by Maymee Bell aka Tonya Kappes, "Murder Made to Order":
An All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery by Lena Gregory, and "Shelved Under
Murder": A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

And to win a copy of "Staged 4 Murder" by JC Eaton, and while there check
out an interesting guest post by JC, aka Ann I. Goldfarb & James E. Clapp,
about the theatre setting of this mystery

Also to win a copy of "Bonbons and Broomsticks" by H.Y. Hanna

And to win a copy of "Peril and Prayer" by Olivia Matthews aka Patricia
Sargeant, and while there check out an interesting interview with Olivia

And on KRL News & Reviews, only days left to win a signed copy of "Turning
for Trouble" by Susan Y Tanner

Happy reading,

Barry Ergang Reviews: A MAJOR PRODUCTION! (2018) by Thomas B. Sawyer

A MAJOR PRODUCTION! (2018) by Thomas B. Sawyer

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

New Yorker Barney Moon, private investigator, hates Los Angeles, a city for which he has a number of unflattering appellations including “Whackoville,” “Tinselburg,” and “Goofyland.” But after clearing up a case for a client of the Eller Insurance agency, one involving a corrupt judge and an incriminating file labeled Stuff, Barney gets a phone call from his old friend Saul Flockman. A hedge fund manager, he and Barney exist “in distant worlds, largely out of touch except for several instances of Saul’s personal stress during which he had hired Barney for domestic surveillance.” Saul constantly worries that his actress wife Wanda Gooden is playing around on him, and has on three prior occasions hired Barney to check up on her. Barney has yet to catch her “in anything even approaching compromise or lying.”

Now Saul wants to hire Barney again, and for the same purpose. One of Saul’s clients, Hollywood agent Irwin Kerner, has told Saul that if he—Saul—invested half a million dollars in an independent film production, Kerner could get Wanda a good role. The production company is Ganell Films, about which Kerner has been unable to find any information. Wanda has gone to L.A. to try to learn why her part hasn’t yet happened.

Saul explains that over time, Kerner has come to owe him over a million dollars—money he paid the agent to help along Wanda’s career. He suspects Kerner has gambled it away at “casinos and the like.” But as much as he needs to recoup his losses to Kerner, Saul needs to know if Wanda has been cheating on him with the agent. He also knows Barney hates L.A., and is willing to double the usual fee plus a bonus, also figuring the job will be a quickie: “red-eye out, red-eye back.”

Barney feels for his friend, but also “knew himself. That no matter how simple his cases were, there was almost invariably something else that would catch his eye—and his curiosity…a kind of a fatal flaw.” But because both Saul and Wanda are friends, he curses and takes a flight to Los Angeles.

Having grown up and lived most of his life in New York City, Barney has never learned to drive. Thus, he must avail himself of the services of the lovely Melodie Seaver, whom he’s known from a prior visit to L.A. With her chauffeuring, he stakes out Kerner’s home, then Kerner at a Rodeo Drive restaurant with Wanda, and later Kerner’s office. At the latter he observes an attractive woman who emerges and burns some papers, after which he goes inside to case the office himself and rifle it for some evidence for his friend and client, Saul Flockman.

When he cautiously returns to the car, police vehicles and sirens having pierced the vicinity, Melodie tells him she witnessed the shooting death of the woman whom Barney had earlier seen outside of Kerner’s office.

What ultimately ensues and keeps Barney an unhappy professional captive in Cloud- Cockamamie-Land, in part because of his aforementioned fatal flaw, is his inadvertent embroilment in situations that involve, among others, the mechanically-skilled brothers Cory and Pete Bilchek; drug dealer and money-launderer Renaldo Esteban and his crew; fledgling screenwriter Jonah Whiting, and Homeland Security Agents Vincent Rogers and George Lippet—all while trying to solve the murder of Phyllis Carridi, wife of powerful mob boss Angelo Carridi. Caught between Carridi and the cops and D.A., and up against a literal deadline, Barney will need all of his wits to figure out everything that’s going on in this entertaining rapid-fire amalgam of thriller, whodunit, and screwball comedy.

The version I read was a digital advanced reading copy which contains some typos and other errors, the biggest problem being a plethora of incorrect punctuations. I hope and assume an editor/proofreader corrected them in the paperback and electronic final editions.

© 2018 Barry Ergang

Some of Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s work is available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Relevant History Blog: The Fadoodlin’ Etymology of Sex

Relevant History Blog: The Fadoodlin’ Etymology of Sex

Do Some Damage: The Second Time Around

Do Some Damage: The Second Time Around: I had an episode of Game of Thrones on the other day and - spoiler if you haven't seen season 6 - there's this great moment that&#3...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: THE CHARLY STEVENS SERIES

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: THE CHARLY STEVENS SERIES: Awakening The Charly Stevens Series Book 1 by Two Sharpe Genre: Cozy Mystery What do you do when tragedy comes into ...

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 8/13/18

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 8/13/18

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Dinner by Herman Koch

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Dinner by Herman Koch: Reviewed by Kristin Serge Lohman is a name known throughout the Netherlands; he’s destined to be the next prime minister, after ...

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: FLIP SIDE (a Dan Spalding myster...

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: FLIP SIDE (a Dan Spalding myster...: This is the second novella-length outing to feature Dan Spalding, former Missouri Highway Patrol Investigator now turned used record stor...

Kill Devil Falls: A Novel Of Suspense by Brian Klingborg

For U. S. Marshal Helen Morrissey, it was supposed to be a fairly routine pickup and transfer of a prisoner from jail in the Sierra Nevadas. But, the frigid weather has not helped matters and the locals could not get the prisoner, Rita Crawford, where she was supposed to be for pickup.  Instead, per her boss at the Sacramento office and a man who is probably paying her back for refusing to go out with him and more, the locals can’t do it so Morrissey has to go to Kill Devil Falls where Rita Crawford was arrested and pick her up there.

Rita and her still missing fugitive partner, Lee Larimer, were notorious in recent weeks as they went about a robbery spree. A spree that netted them quite a lot of money before the inevitable happened as they were not the smartest criminals ever. Especially Lee. The cops got on their trail and were closing in when Rita did the smart thing and left her idiot partner behind. Then she made a dumb move and got caught in Kill Devil Falls and is sitting in the local lockup awaiting pickup and transport.

Now, with Rita in Kill Devil Falls, a place that does not exist on Google, instead of Donnersville where she was supposed to be, Marshal Morrissey has a bit more diving to do on what has already been a nasty day. A day that gets worse on the way as she suffers a tire blowout that was nearly catastrophic.  Lucky to have survived the trip to Kill Devil Falls, all Morrissey wants to do is do the paperwork and get her and her prisoner out on the road to Sacramento as fast as possible.

It soon becomes very clear that they are going nowhere. Instead of a routine mission, Marshal Morrissey finds herself in a decaying, and in more than one way, and deadly town. A town that is the scene of a succession of events and deaths that become the basis for what really is an open air locked room mystery.

Kill Devil Falls by Brian Klingborg was the subject of a recent review by Author Kaye George on my blog. Her review caused me to look for the book. Unfortunately, the book was not carried in the Dallas Library system. It was available in Houston so I paid the $3.00 fee and requested the read through the Interlibrary Loan System. As it happened, it was available in large print which was even better for me.

Kill Devil Falls was well worth the time, money, and effort. An intense read full of misdirection and action, the story unravels at a rapid clip from start to finish. Kill Devil Falls is mighty good and well worth your time.

Kill Devil Falls: A Novel Of Suspense
Brian Klingborg
Thorndike Press
April 2017
ISBN# 978-1-4104-9914-1
407 Pages

My thanks to the good folks of the Harris County Public Library down in Houston, Texas as well as the good people of the Dallas Library System for working their magic and making this read available to me. It was and is very much appreciated.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Crime Time : BEARSKIN – James A. McLaughlin

Crime Time : BEARSKIN – James A. McLaughlin: Thriller. Hands down, thumbs up, no quibbling. We know this from the git-go. Bearskin , the debut novel by James A. McLaughlin, her...

Lesa's Book Critiques: Wicked Deeds by Heather Graham

Lesa's Book Critiques: Wicked Deeds by Heather Graham

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 8/13/18

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 8/13/18

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 54

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 54

Toe Six Press: Online Issue 12: Zombie Cat

Toe Six Press: Online Issue 12: Zombie Cat


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS BOOKISH CALENDAR August 13-1...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of August 13-19, 2018:  Special Events: 3rd Annual  Literary Libations Week: a Lit Crawl Austin ...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Flashback by Ted Woods

Last year’s Bouchercon was in Toronto. As always after an encounter with the Canadian mystery writing community, I come away determined to identify and incorporate more Canadian authors into my reading. That is easier to say than to do, apparently. I am avoiding book purchases while downsizing the current holdings so I searched the library catalogs in the area--I have access to collections in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia--without success. Fewer Canadian and Australian mysteries are to be found in the area libraries while English, Irish, and Scottish are well-represented. Why would be an interesting investigation. So I threw in the towel and bought a few books by Canadian authors, including a Reid Bennett title by Ted Wood. Bennett features in 10 procedurals released between 1983 and 1995 as the only law enforcement agent in fictional Murphy’s Harbor, a small resort town in Ontario. His sidekick Sam the German shepherd fills in for the missing support staff, sniffing out drugs and taking down bad guys as needed.

In Flashback (Scribner, 1992) Bennett’s attention is divided between his job and the impending arrival of his first child. In a surprisingly complicated plot, teen gangs target local shops for whirlwind destruction, a submerged car is found in the nearby lake with a body inside, and a felon who vowed vengeance on Bennett years earlier escapes prison. The identity of the drowned woman seems clear at first but locating her husband to confirm it proves to be difficult. The name of a well-known Toronto film producer who has a week-end cottage in town crops up often enough to indicate involvement in this unprecedented crime wave but the nature of that involvement is ambiguous. Bennett runs back and forth between the hospital where his wife is undergoing a lengthy labor and his town where crime scenes and suspects continue to shift. An understated theme that runs throughout is the town’s relationship to the Native Americans on the nearby reservation.

Ted Wood’s first-hand knowledge of life as a Toronto police officer comes through clearly in these early police procedurals. The first book in the series Dead in the Water was shortlisted for the 1984 New Blood Dagger Award and the 1984 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel. Wood was president of Crime Writers of Canada in 1987 and in 1999 he was given the association’s Derrick Murdoch award, which recognizes extraordinary achievement in Canadian crime writing. He also wrote, under the name Jack Barnao, three books featuring John Locke, an ex-SAS operative who is now a bodyguard to the rich and famous.

Wood’s books in both series occasionally crop up in the Kindle deals of the day lists that circulate widely. In any form they are well worth the committed mystery reader’s attention.

·         Hardcover: 224 pages
·         Publisher: Scribner; 1st American ed edition (August 1, 1992)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 0684194147
·         ISBN-13: 978-0684194141

Aubrey Hamilton ©2018

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Crime Watch: Review: SCRUBLANDS

Crime Watch: Review: SCRUBLANDS: SCRUBLANDS by Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, 2018) Reviewed by Craig Sisterson In an isolated country town brought to its knees by e...

Lesa's Latest Contest: Historical mystery giveaway

This week, I'm giving away mysteries that feature historic figures as the amateur sleuths. It's Charles Dickens in Heather Redmond's A Tale of Two Murders, and Abraham Lincoln in These Honored Dead by Jonathan F. Putnam. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: The Book Club

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: The Book Club



KRL This Week Update for 8/11/18

Up in KRL this morning reviews and giveaways of another fun group of mysteries for your summer reading-"A Passion for Haunted Fashion": A Haunted Vintage Mystery by Rose Pressey, "Bear Witness to Murder": A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery by Meg Macy, "Cake and Punishment": A Southern Cake Baker Mystery by Maymee Bell aka Tonya Kappes, "Murder Made to Order": An All-Day Breakfast Café Mystery by Lena Gregory, and "Shelved Under Murder": A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

And  a review and giveaway of "Staged 4 Murder" by JC Eaton, along with an interesting guest post by JC, aka Ann I. Goldfarb & James E. Clapp, about the theatre setting of this mystery

We also have a review and giveaway of "Bonbons and Broomsticks" by H.Y. Hanna

And a review and giveaway of "Peril and Prayer" by Olivia Matthews aka Patricia Sargeant, along with an interesting interview with Olivia

We also have a mystery short story with a back to school twist by Diana Deverell

And mini reviews of the new Morning Show Mysteries, and Aurora Teagarden mystery movies on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel

And up on KRL News and Reviews we have a review and giveaway of a signed copy of "Turning for Trouble" by Susan Y Tanner

Happy reading,

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn by Kris Radish

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn by Kris Radish: Reviewed by Brenda G’Fellers I found the first chapter audacious and unbelievable. At one point I laughed aloud, which prompte...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: OBAKE NEKO -- Historical mystery fiction

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Saturdays With Kaye: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
This novel is filled with characters who should be unlikeable, but I found myself cheering for…some of them. It’s not a murder mystery, as much of the book is spent planning to commit murder. But the suspense and tension are first notch.

Ted and Lily meet on a flight from London to Boston. As sometimes happens when strangers start talking on airplanes, life stories spill out. Ted confides that he’s just found out his wife is cheating on him and he’s angry enough to want to kill her. Lily, seeming completely serious when she says it, offers to help him. That wife, she says, is the kind worth killing. Lily lays out a plan and they agree to meet in the Boston area later if Ted decides to go through with the scheme.

Lily hasn’t shared her history, though. And it’s twisted. Her Bohemian artsy parents didn’t think to take very good care of their beautiful daughter around the itinerant writers and painters who wandered in and out of their home, many of them obsessed with sex, it seems. The first one Lily tells us about is “Uncle Chet.” After he molests her, she takes matters into her own hands in a truly chilling fashion.

Ted shows up and he and Lily keep meeting and keep making plans. Lily keeps from sharing her history by saying she will do it when Ted’s wife is dead. They are playing a dangerous game which deepens when Ted starts falling in love with Lily. The more we learn about her, the worse this idea seems.

The narrators are switched regularly and, throughout, alternate future paths are hinted at, even laid out. Following the characters along those paths will keep you on the edge of your seat, and guessing. This could end up very badly.

Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Requiem in Red, for Suspense Magazine