Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bitter Tea and Mystery Review: The Blackhouse: Peter May

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Blackhouse: Peter May: Description from the dust jacket of my edition: When a grisly murder occurs on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides that bea...

KRL This Week Update For 4/22/17

Just up in KRL a review & giveaway of "Tightening the Threads" by Lea Wait

And reviews & giveaways of some fun food mysteries from Penguin authors-Town in a Maple Madness": A Candy Holliday Mystery by B.B. Haywood, "A Frying Shame": A Deep Fried Mystery by Linda Reilly, and "Silence of the Jams": A Down South Café Mystery by Gayle Leeson

And a review of the Kenni Lowry Mystery series by Tonya Kappes & a giveaway of the latest book in the series "Southern Fried"

Also a review & giveaway of "Kangaroo Dreaming" by Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens, & an interesting interview with Sally & Jean

And we have an article about the Kate Shackleton mysteries by Frances Brody

And a review of the Oxford Tearoom Mysteries by H.Y. Hanna - Author & a giveaway of one of the books-winner's choice

And a mystery short story by Kate Fellowes, Author

And for those who enjoy fantasy with their mystery, a review & giveaway of "The Holver Alley Crew" by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Happy reading,

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

On Conversations: #award-winning #author Caroline Clemmons ...

Conversations with Author and Screenwriter Lisa Mondello: On Conversations: #award-winning #author Caroline ...: Please join me in welcoming award-winning bestselling author Caroline Clemm o ns to Conversations today! Caroline is here to talk abou...

Writers Who Kill: World Book Day

Writers Who Kill: World Book Day: Image from coffeecupsandcrayons (dot) com Reading changes lives World Book Day - Sunday April 23, is all about celebrating re...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Come Dark by Steven Havill

Please welcome Aubrey Hamilton to the blog today as she reviews the latest installment of one of my all time favorite series.....

Come Dark by Steven F. Havill (Poisoned Pen Press, 2016) is the 21st title in the Posadas County contemporary mystery series. Set in fictional Posadas County, New Mexico, a few miles from the Mexico border, this series began with Undersheriff Bill Gastner as the protagonist and shifted in the 10th title to Estelle Reyes-Guzman, originally a detective in the sheriff’s office who later moved up in rank. Books 16 and 18, according to the publication dates, feature Gastner again, as Havill decided to go back in time to expand on some of the characters’ history in those stories. Otherwise each book builds logically on the previous books.

Havill’s entry on Stop! You’re Killing Me sorts the books in chronological sequence according to the story line, not the publication date. Readers new to the series might find this list helpful. And yes, it is possible to read each book as a stand-alone. Havill is adept at sketching enough backstory for the reader to grasp context and characterization. However, these books are so good that it is not likely anyone will want to read just one.

In this latest entry, the huge astronomy park rancher Miles Waddell is building inches closer to completion, with the train that will convey visitors finished enough to allow journalists and local politicians to ride to the top of the mountain where the park is sited. However, the park’s massive satellite dish falls victim to the anonymous graffiti artist who has been decorating the schools and other buildings in town. In addition, one of the patrolling officers runs a routine check on a car with an out-of-state license plate to learn the plate is not on the vehicle it’s registered to and the people in the car don’t have a good explanation. On the same day the young wife of a banker walks into a big box store, leaving her baby and puppy in a hot car with the windows closed, and does not return. To spread the staff of the Sheriff’s Office even thinner, the high school custodian goes to the school Saturday to clean up after the big game the night before and finds the body of the coach in the showers. With multiple visible gunshot wounds, the cause of death is not in question. On the homefront Estelle’s mother is celebrating a milestone birthday and Francisco, Estelle’s musical genius of a son, arrives unexpectedly from the conservatory where he is studying to participate. Bill Gastner is still recovering from the hip fracture incurred in the previous book.

All of the usual characters are present, if a couple of them are only mentioned by the others. For instance, Estelle doesn’t want to bring Linda Real, the department photographer, to the crime scene because she is in the last stages of pregnancy and Estelle thinks there’s no need for her take chances. New officers and some temporary personnel bring a sense of realism to the department, which is perennially short-staffed and underfunded as any rural sheriff’s office is likely to be.

The plot lines unfold in a coherent manner; pacing is smooth and unrushed. My only quibble here is with the subplot involving Francisco, the musical prodigy, and it isn’t intrinsic to the story. Highly recommended, as is the entire series.

Series: Posadas County Mysteries (Book 21)
Hardcover: 308 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (April 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1464205256
ISBN-13: 978-1464205255

Aubrey Hamilton ©2017

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Lesa's Latest Contest: Cozy Mystery Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away copies of Christy Fifield's Murder Ties the Knot & Allison Kingsley's Extra Sensory Deception. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine  

Mystery Fanfare: Environmental Mysteries: Earth Day 2017

Mystery Fanfare: Environmental Mysteries: Earth Day 2017: Earth Day 2017 This is an updated Earth Day/Environmental Mysteries list that is by no means complete. There are many more authors, a...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel: Reviewed by Kristin Rosie Walsh didn’t expect to fall in love with Penn Adams.   Set up by a friend of a friend, Rosie was a first ...

FFB Review: The Outcast Dead: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths

After you read the review, go check out the list of reading suggestions over at Patti Abbott’s blog for the rest of the suggestions for today.  

42-year-old Dr. Ruth Galloway is acutely aware of the history, the blood, that has been spilled over the centuries. While resurrection is not possible, she believes in treating the dead with respect. As The Outcast Dead begins, it is early June and she is on the grounds of Norwich Castle. The vicar is leading the prayers for the outcast dead so that those who died forgotten, penniless, in unmarked graves, etc. are remembered. It is an annual event and one that Ruth feels is very important. 

It seems more important than ever to honor those who have passed as recently some bodies were discovered at the castle. The deceased were most likely prisoners considering how the bodies appeared when uncovered. Included among the bodies may be the legendary Jemima Green, aka Mother Hook. A child caregiver during Victorian times known for her hook instead of a hand and her lower arm, she was executed after being convicted for murdering one of the children in her care. At the time of her execution, it was thought she might have killed at least 20 more.

The find has drawn the interest of producers of a television show well known for sensualizing such cases. The head of department, Phil Trent, is thrilled with the interest, but Ruth wants no part of that. If she had her way, she would get off the dig as well, but Phil is never going to let her do that. Knowing Phil, it is likely she is going to have to play a role in the television show as well as the dig.

Thoughts about the Mother Hook case make Ruth more protective of Kate than ever before. After everything that has happened in recent years before and after Kate’s birth, she has good reason to wonder if it is time to move from the Saltmarsh she loves to be closer to civilization in some form. Isolation is wonderful, but with a small child in the home, it can also be a dangerous risk.

DCI Harry Nelson is also pondering risk though in a different form. He is the lead investigator on the case of 37-year-old Liv Donaldson. Her child has just passed. What might have been treated as a tragic natural death in the home gets a lot more scrutiny when it is the third child in the family to die. Nelson’s team thinks the whole deal is a horrible tragedy. Nelson isn’t so sure. He has a feeling she did something to cause the death, but other than his intuition, there isn’t any evidence to indicate foul play. Like Phil Trent, Nelson’s boss, Gerry Whitcliffe, loves the publicity and is thrilled to have the media coverage. Like Ruth, Nelson hates the media interest and wants no part of the coverage.

The two story times gradually come together while someone might be copying history thanks to the media attention. Child abduction and the death of children are certainly not easy topics to write about, but Elly Griffiths, makes them part of a far larger tale of mystery, greed, and obsession. The sixth book of the series that began with The Crossing Places is another top-notch mystery.

What really makes this series work, as noted before, are the relationships. Complicated and well-drawn characters that interact and evolve over time as they go about their daily lives drive the reads. Unlike many series where the characters never learn from the past or change in any way despite the experiences they have had, both and a lot more are present in the Ruth Galloway Mystery Series. These characters are about as real as it gets on the printed page.

History, archeology, mystery, and more make this book and series well worth reading. The Outcast Dead, like the others before it, is very good and highly recommended. 

The books, in order, and my reviews:

The Crossing Places (Reviewed 12/26/15)
The Janus Stone (Reviewed 11/18/2016)
The House at Sea’s End (Reviewed 12/2/2016)
A Room Full of Bones (Reviewed 12/30/2016)

The Outcast Dead: A Ruth Galloway Mystery
Elly Griffiths 
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
March 2014
ISBN# 978-0-547-79277-4
Hardback (also available in paperback, audio, and eBook formats)
384 Pages

Material obtained via the Plano Public Library System to read and review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Crime Time: THE AX – Donald E. Westlake

Crime Time : THE AX – Donald E. Westlake:   Almost afraid to admit it in a crime fiction community, but The Ax is the first of Donald E. Westlake's many highly acclaimed nove...

Crime Review Update: New Issue of Crime Review

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

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

A HANDFUL OF ASHES by Rob McCarthy, reviewed by Linda Wilson

When a notorious whistleblower is found dead, she appears to have taken her
own life, but force medical examiner Dr Harry Kent isn’t convinced things
are as straightforward as that.

THE WICKED GO TO HELL by Frédéric Dard, reviewed by Chris Roberts

A secret service agent is imprisoned with a spy, and instructed to engineer
an escape for the pair in the expectation that the spy’s boss will then
make contact and be revealed.

THE PERILS OF COMMAND by David Donachie, reviewed by John Cleal

Pressed man John Pearce, now a Lieutenant, faces scheming and possible
death as he continues his feuds with senior officers and pursues his
pregnant lover across Italy.

THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS by Emily Barr, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Flora Banks has been unable to make new memories since she had an operation
at the age of ten. Her life is lived through the pages of a notebook that
remind her who she is and where she lives. But all that changes when Flora
kisses a boy.

THE VERDICT OF TWELVE by Raymond Postgate, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Twelve members of the jury exercise their highly subjective judgement on a
woman accused of poisoning her nephew.

THE ICE LANDS by Steinar Bragi, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

Four friends embark on a road trip to escape reality and to heal their
professional and personal lives. But their adventure takes a macabre turn
when they crash in the fog into a strange farmhouse, fortified and
barricaded, and surrounded by butchered animals.

THE FOURTEENTH LETTER by Claire Evans, reviewed by John Cleal

A girl is murdered at her engagement party. William Lamb must keep a deadly
secret and deliver a cryptic message, but finds a morass of madness, crime
and murder.

THE FIFTH GOSPEL by Ian Caldwell, reviewed by John Barnbrook

When Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Orthodox priest, finds the body of
Ugolina Nogara in the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, the retreat of the Pope,
he becomes party to machinations within the Vatican that will rock the
whole establishment of the Catholic Church.
THE DRY by Jane Harper, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to his rural hometown for the funeral of a
childhood friend and family. But Falk’s investigation into the recent
killings is complicated by another death long ago.

THE DEAD SHALL BE RAISED and MURDER OF A QUACK by George Bellairs, reviewed
by John Cleal

Two stories featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Littlejohn, the first a very
cold case which springs to life with the discovery of a body on a lonely
moor, and the other the killing of a homeopathic practitioner in a Norfolk

MODERN CRIME by Chris Nickson, reviewed by John Cleal

WPC Lottie Armstrong, one of Leeds’ first women officers, battles prejudice
and ignorance as she struggles to find a missing girl and solve a murder.

MAIGRET TAKES A ROOM by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Janvier, one of Maigret’s inspectors, is shot and wounded whilst keeping
watch on a boarding house as part of an investigation into a night club
robbery. Madame Maigret is away visiting her sister in hospital and so
Maigret takes a room there.

KILL THE FATHER by Sandrone Dazieri, reviewed by Jim Beaman

A kidnapper appears to be back in action in Rome after being dormant for
decades. Two of Italy’s top analytical minds investigate.

JERICHO’S WAR by Gerald Seymour, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Corrie Franklin has escaped Jihadist capture following a failed mission in
Syria, and is recruited for another dangerous operation in Yemen.

THE WRONG CASE by James Crumley, reviewed by Chris Roberts

PI Milton Milodragovitch reluctantly accepts a request from Helen Duffy to
find her brother Raymond. The investigation is revealing, if only about

LIVING DEATH by Graham Masterton, reviewed by John Cleal

Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire and her team are stretched to their
limit. Illegal drugs in Cork are at an all-time high. A gang of dog-nappers
is terrorising kennel owners. A girl leaves a nightclub – and disappears.
Katie realises the three crimes may be connected.

FELLSIDE by MR Carey, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Jess doesn’t know who she is or why she is in hospital until she hears the
word murder.

DON’T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS by Bernard Minier, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

When Christine Steinmeyer finds a suicide note in her mailbox, her busy
life begins to unravel.

BEHIND HER EYES by Sarah Pinbrough, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan

David and Adele seem like the perfect couple. Louise befriends both of them
and soon finds that things are not what they seem.

SPEAKING IN BONES by Kathy Reichs, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Some bones found near a remote mountain beauty spot lead forensic
anthropologist Tempe Brennan into an investigation into a young woman’s

Best wishes


Smart Girls Read Romance: Wandering Body Parts and Other Pet Peeves

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In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange 4/19/2017

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Yesterday At The Cancer Doc With Pictures

While there yesterday we took a couple of pictures. When we got home yesterday afternoon, we both were pretty wiped out for far different reasons. I totally forgot we had taken any pictures.

So, here you are.

This is Sandi in infusion awaiting the start of the IVIG. She is hooked up to a bag of saline and has had her premeds. Those are starting to hit her so she is a little sleepy.  

Sandi donated a number of hats she had made in recent weeks. They took some and put them on each side of the room. This is the batch that was closest to us.

The Rap Sheet-- Bullet Points: On the Mend Edition

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Chuck Wendig on "What I’ve Learned After 5 Years And 20 Books: 25 Lessons"

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A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: L. A. REMINICKY WRITES LOVE STORIES WITH A TWIST O...

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finally Home

Finally home after a long day there. Her blood work was pretty good. But, she has an ear infection and other infections going on in her sinuses and elsewhere.

So, she is now on two new antibiotics.

They are going to schedule a CT scan of her head and most likely will be setting up an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor that has experience in dealing with cancer patients like her. They went ahead and did the IVIG infusion as that may help her weakened immune system deal with the problem.

In a month we go back and do the lab, doc, IVIG deal again. That is probably going to be on the docket each month for the next several months. Everything else is on hold as they think she is relatively stable cancer wise.

Cancer Doc Day

Assuming we safely made it through the morning traffic today, at this hour we will be at Texas Oncology at Medical City Dallas Hospital. Sandi has blood work to do followed by a visit with her cancer doctor.

After that, we don't know.

Her sinus problem has come back over the last couple of days. The doctor is aware so I don't know if something new that requires us to be down there longer will be done. They were trying to get IVIG approval for a multi hour infusion today. At least, that had been the plan a month ago, but it never happened. Most likely it didn't happen because of the sinus issues. What is supposed to help the immune system can damage it in her case if she is under immune system assault in another area.

And, of course, we still don't know what the plan is to scan her and reimage the cancers  in order to restart chemo. Her body, post radiation, has needed more time to recover than expected as the nerves in her lower back were damaged more than expected. Her cancers have to be reimaged before they can restart chemo and her body has not been up to that yet before now.

So, we could be back on our way home by noon or we may be there for the day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Business Musings: Mushroom Publishers And The Tsunami of Crap

Business Musings: Mushroom Publishers And The Tsunami of Crap

Estate Stuff

Last Saturday marked 90 days since Mom passed due to complications from her stroke. I think about her daily and nothing is  getting any easier. On this beautiful morning here in  North Texas, I am inside working on letters trying to handle crap that has come up in the last week.

If you have Bank Of America, know that anything you set up before death won't work thanks to their estate unit down in Tampa, Florida. They will request information they already have, move your case between folks that refuse to give their name and will even give you a fake name, and other issues. So, if things are supposed to happen and your account is supposed to go to a loved one, it won't.

Social Security will send out a letter after their recovery unit starts taking back SS money and will ask that you call and inform them why their money is being returned. Do not call! They will not talk to you. Write a letter.

Medicare will send you a premium notice demanding you call and discuss the situation immediately. Same deal. Write a letter.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Nearly everyone involved since her passing has worked to make all of this harder than it has to be.

Monday, April 17, 2017

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 4/17/17

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Writers Who Kill: Juggling Novel-Writing and Book Promotion—Part 1 Resources

Writers Who Kill: Juggling Novel-Writing and Book Promotion—Part 1 R...: by Linda Rodriguez I’m going to post some lessons and tricks I’ve learned in the process of going through this whole writing-novels-w...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffith

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffith: Reviewed by Jeanne It’s December 1951 in Brighton, and the city is gearing up for the holidays.   This year the pantomime will...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 4/17/17

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Mystery Fanfare: Death and Taxes: Tax Day Mysteries

Mystery Fanfare: Death and Taxes: Tax Day Mysteries: The Tax Man Cometh! I've done several posts over the years about Tax Day Mysteries . Surprisingly there are many that deal with Fin...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ROMANTIC SUSPENSE -- WILD CARD UNDERCOVER!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ROMANTIC SUSPENSE -- WILD CARD UNDERCOVER!: Wild Card Undercover by Kari Lemor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GENRE : Romantic Suspense Kari will be awarding a digital copy of t...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 4/17-23: Bookish events in Texas for the week of April 17-23, 2017:  Special Events: Texas Library Association Annual Conference , San Antonio,...