Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Lesa's Book Critiques: Summer Mysteries (Thanks to Clea Simon)

Lesa's Book Critiques: Summer Mysteries (Thanks to Clea Simon)

Travels with Kaye: A Writer's Life

Travels with Kaye: A Writer's Life

Guest Post: Treadmill Books: Feral Attraction: A Cat Groomer Mystery by Eileen Watkins

Treadmill Books:  Feral Attraction: A Cat Groomer Mystery by Eileen Watkins


Cat groomer Cassie McGlone is invited to be a guest speaker at a homeowners meeting at The Reserve, an upscale development.  There is a conflict over some feral cats in the area, with some residents wanting them eradicated while others advocate TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) to control the population. One outspoken cat supporter is Sabrina Ward, who feeds the strays and provides shelters. 

It isn’t long before a resident’s dog is poisoned, apparently by food left for the cats. Obviously someone is serious about getting rid of the felines.  Then Sabrina is found dead, possibly from natural causes—but could it have actually been murder?

This is the third in the Cat Groomer Mystery series, and I have enjoyed them all.  Watkins knows her cats, and her subplots impart interesting cat information.  She also isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics, such as the breeding of exotics, which adds an extra layer of interest as far as I’m concerned. 

Cassie herself is a solid leading character.  She doesn’t rush headlong into situations but neither does she back down.  She’s in a tentative romance with a local veterinarian, both of whom are a bit gun shy after failed relationships; in Cassie’s case, it was also an abusive situation. Interestingly enough, while Cassie has three cats she adores, it’s the cats she boards and cares for who are in the spotlight. It’s another good teaching strategy, as readers learn about unusual breeds such as Bengals or the special needs of Sphinx cats (who are hairless).

I read a lot of mysteries with cats (a comment which would certainly be in the running for Understatement of the Year) and this one stands out because of the cat information.  I’m not a feline expert, but I’ve read a bit about my furry overlords—enough to know that Watkins has done her research.  That’s a feature I love in books: being able to learn something while being entertained. 

I think that these could be read as standalone books without any problem.

I’ll be looking forward to the next in the series, Gone, Kitty, Gone which is scheduled for December 2019. The current titles are The Persian Always Meows Twice, The Bengal Identity, and Feral Attraction.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 55 Fabulous Writing Conferences in June 2019

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 55 Fabulous Writing Conferences in June 2019: Baltimore Book Festival (Wikimedia Commons) June is bustin' out all over. This month there are more than four dozen excellent opport...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The One-Man Police Squad: "The Bizarre Case Expert...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The One-Man Police Squad: "The Bizarre Case Expert...: Dennis Lynds was an American crime writer of many pennames, such as "Michael Collins" and "John Crowe," under which ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz: Reviewed by Christy             Lindsay is a 33 year old magazine fact checker in New York City. She has a couple of close frien...

Monday, May 20, 2019

Gravetapping: GIRL MOST LIKELY by Max Allan Collins

Gravetapping: GIRL MOST LIKELY by Max Allan Collins: Girl Most Likely is the first in a two-book series from Max Allan Collins, featuring chief of police Krista Larson. Krista’s patch is G...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar May 20-26,...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar May 20-26,...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of May 20-26, 2019 compiled exclusively for  Lone Star Literary Life  by Texas Book Lover. SP...

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 77

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 77

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 5/20/19

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 5/20/19

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: First Fix Your Alibi by Bill James


First Fix Your Alibi by Bill James (Crème de la Crime, 2016) is the 33rd book in the British police procedural series featuring Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles and his sidekick Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur.

Mansel Shales and Ralph Ember have each established highly profitable illicit drug empires and, to maintain the status quo, they observe each other’s trading space with the appearance of great collegiality. ACC Iles has let them know that he will look the other way while they carry out their illegal trade as long as no violence accompanies their businesses. However, someone is not playing according to the rules: the vehicle carrying the family of Shales is fired on as they are going to school, killing his wife and son. The gunman is killed later before the name of the person who gave him his instructions can be determined. Shales thinks he knows who did and he suggests to Ember that Ember kill the putative traitor in Shales’ organization, a la Strangers on a Train. Shales promises to return the favor whenever Ember has someone who needs to be removed.

Ember is taken aback, as he feels he has moved on from such thuggish practices and is trying hard to establish himself as a legitimate businessman. He is waffling about the murder when a rave takes place in an abandoned hotel, the organizations of Ember and Shales supplying the drugs. A young man is killed in a brawl there. Some think the culprit is obvious, others think a member of the drug-selling troupe contributed to the death, which brings Iles and Harpur hard into the drug barons’ business, as much for self-preservation as anything else. Not everyone in the police hierarchy agrees with Iles’ hands-off stance.

One would think that James would run out of ideas after 30+ books but this title is an astonishingly inventive spin on the traditional police investigation. The end was just as surprising as the rest of the book. Highly recommended. Booklist starred review.



·         Hardcover: 192 Pages
·         Publisher: Crème de la Crime; First World Publication edition (April 1, 2016)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1780290829
·         ISBN-13: 978-1780290829


Aubrey Hamilton ©2019

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

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sweet Freedom: Friday's "Forgotten" Books and More: the links to ...

Sweet Freedom: Friday's "Forgotten" Books and More: the links to ...: This week's books and more, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of som...

KRL This Week Update for 5/18/19

Up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and giveaway of "A Witch to Remember" by Heather Blake 

And a review and giveaway of "Knit One, Die Two" by Peggy Ehrhart, along with an interesting interview with Peggy

We also have a review and giveaway of "Message in the Mantel" by Kathi Daley

And a review and ebook giveaway of "A Sip Before Dying" by Gemma Halliday along with an interesting interview with Gemma

And a review and giveaway of a signed copy of "Strong as Steel" by Jon Land

And a review and giveaway of "Double Agent" by Gretchen Archer

We also have a review of "Ms. Fisher's Modern Murder Mystery" on Acorn TV

And a mystery short story by Earl Staggs

Happy reading,
Lorie 

Scott's Take: DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide To The Characters Of The DC Universe All New Edition


Published in 2016 by Penguin Random House, the DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide To The Characters Of The DC Universe All New Edition is edited by Cefn Ridout. Featuring numerous contributors, the 368 page coffee table style book attempts to explain the history of each character a few pages at a time. For the most part, the book fails to accurately reflect character record. I can only recommend this for hardcore DC Universe fans since many pages contradict each other because the book mixes up the Post Crisis, New 52, and Rebirth versions of characters. This results in numerous contradictions regarding various relationships between characters which have been established based on the different versions of each character’s history.  

Three years after publication date, the book is massively out of date. This is especially true with regards to Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. All three characters have subsequently gone through the “Rebirth” banner and this make a lot of what is in this book no longer the canon for the characters.  Most of the Superman and Wonder Woman New 52 history is now non canon and thus is no longer accurate to their past. These pages are especially confusing for new readers as there are two different Superman characters discussed on the Superman page that are far different and have a very different history or backstory. In the case of Wonder Woman, almost everything that happened in New 52 has now become non-canon because the DC writers thought it was a good idea for her entire story history of the New 52 to be classified as a massive memory lie caused by the Greek Gods to hide her home and the Amazons from her.


Because of the way the book is designed and their effort to cover every character—which is a laudable goal--- most characters get only a page or less to cover their history. Notable exceptions are Batman, Superman, are Wonder Woman who get four pages. For most of the characters in this 368 page book, they have a small piece subtitled “On The Record” that briefly highlights one of the earlier versions of the character.

While the text is frequently out of date and the word choice and sentence structure is often clunky, the artwork in the book is amazing. Colorful with many illustrations, the book is visually interesting. That is especially true of the cover which highlights the major heroes and villains of the massive DC. Universe.


I enjoyed this book, but would imagine any one wishing to dip their toes in to the dc universe would be very confused. This book is also now mostly outdated and massively inaccurate, so it is not a good resource for those wishing to learn about the characters. As it came out in 2016, it does not cover at all well the important new characters such as Jonathan Kent, the young son of Superman and Lois Lane. He plays a huge role in all the new Superman stories over. While the book briefly mentions him as a baby, most stories over the last few years depict him as a ten year old boy who suddenly is seventeen years old thanks to time travel shenanigans. Then there have also been the various DC event crossovers which would further confuse readers looking to understand the backstories that are not accurately covered in this book.

The bottom line is that new readers should just completely ignore DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide To The Characters Of The DC Universe All New Edition. All it will do is confuse them. The only folks this book is good for are those hardcore DC Universe fans who will to see a snapshot of the various previous versions of the major characters.



Scott Tipple ©2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 5/17/19

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 5/17/19

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening: A Step-...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening: A Step-...: Guest reviewer Kevin Tipple is back with his review of a book on succulent gardening.  Check out his blog Kevin's Corner for...

Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners & Humorous Mystery Giveaways

Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners & Humorous Mystery Giveaways

TP&WD: TPWD says ‘Thank You’ to Law Enforcement with New Free Fishing Weekend

TP&WD: TPWD says ‘Thank You’ to Law Enforcement with New Free Fishing Weekend

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Case of the Haven Hotel (1948) by Christopher ...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Case of the Haven Hotel (1948) by Christopher ...: Christopher Bush 's The Case of the Haven Hotel (1948) is the thirty-third entry in the voluminous Ludovic Travers series, co-starri...

No FFB Today

As you may or may not have noticed, there is no FFB Review today. It would have been another repeat and I just don't see the point. Todd Mason will still have the list today over at his Sweet Freedom blog and you should check it out.

Going forward, I think it may be time to end the participation of this blog in the FFB effort. Just repeating FFB reviews is just not that helpful. Barry and I are the only ones around these days for FFB and neither one of us is reading and writing reviews at the level we used to do.

Like keeping this blog going anymore, I am not sure what to do and will think about it some more. For now, just go check out the list over at Todd Mason's Sweet Freedom blog.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Unlawful Acts Review: Guillotine by Paul Heatley

Unlawful Acts Review: Guillotine by Paul Heatley

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: LOUISIANA LATTE - CHICK-LIT COMEDY!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: LOUISIANA LATTE - CHICK-LIT COMEDY!: Don't miss the Rafflecopter at the end of this post! Louisiana Latte by Rebecca Henry Genre: Chick-Lit Comedy ...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Iron Gates: Margaret Millar

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Iron Gates: Margaret Millar: I especially like Margaret Millar's crime fiction novels because they are different. The focus is on the psychological aspects of crime,...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good, Ice ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good, Ice ...: Reported by Ambrea This week, Nevermore started their gathering with An Elderly Lady is up to No Good by Helene Tursten, translat...