Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Return of MOE PRAGER in "SOUL PATCH"

It is 1989 as this novel, fourth in the series, opens and Moe remains haunted by his own actions in the police force years ago as well as in his dealings with his father-in-law. Moe still isn’t happy with the wine business that his brother Aaron and Moe run which began as a way for Moe to do something after his knee injury which ended his police career. Always a man with a rather cynical philosophy regarding himself and the world, Moe is aware not only time is passing him by but that he is also bored to the very fiber of his being. Nothing is the way he expected things to turn out and he isn't happy.

His general malaise is unshaken by the intrusion of Larry McDonald, a friend and fellow officer from his police days who is now the NYPD Chief of Detectives. Larry comes to a party celebrating the grand opening of the third liquor store run by Aaron and Moe. Larry, always a political animal before anything else, has come looking for Moe and hoping to make use of a friendship that isn’t as strong these days. Past transgressions have always been a major theme in Coleman’s work and the theme is strongly prevalent here as well as Larry has an audio tape with sinister implications. All he said he wanted was for Moe to listen to the tape but that was just the start of a tragic chain of events rooted deep in a shared history.

Moe has always been deeply philosophical, more of a thinking man’s detective who stumbles along in search of a truth he can live with for the moment. That is certainly true here as this book becomes part current case and part remembrance of things past. Those detailed remembrances bring to mind earlier books in the series for readers versed with the series and may dissuade new readers who may see them as telling all there is to know about the earlier novels.

Such readers would be sadly mistaken. As is Moe who spends an inordinate amount of time considering the past. Moe finds himself at a cross roads in many areas and one wonders how, and if it will, the series will continue. With so much mental contemplation, the action while violent at times, is limited and yet, provides a read that is fairly consistent with earlier books in the series.

Once again 1972 rears an ugly head for Moe and takes readers back in time. The read is dark and moving and ultimately, while not as satisfying as earlier books in the series, still a pretty good ride.

Soul Patch: A Moe Prager Mystery
By Reed Farrel Coleman
Bleak House Books
ISBN# 978-1-932557-35-0

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

MFOB Update

BJ Bourg is sending out the following message and I thought I would pass it on here.....

As we're wrapping up the June 2007 Issue of Mouth Full of Bullets, I'm already looking ahead to the September Issue. While all the slots for original (never before published) shorts, flashes, and poems have been filled, I'm still open to reprint submissions. So, if you have a reprint sitting around and you'd like to get a few more web miles out of it, just send it over and I'd be happy to consider it.

Before submitting, please visit the guidelines page here:

Send all submissions to

Many thanks to all those who submit work to MFOB.


That is all he wrote, folks and as always direct all questions to BJ.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Map Of Murder" Update

Back in the middle of January I told you the anthology "Map of Murder" was a good one. Over the next few weeks I heard from a lot of readers of this blog and my reviews elsewhere that they agreed. They weren't the only ones. As one of the authors involved wrote elsewhere today:

"The Red Coyote Press anthology "Map of Murder" has won the short story fiction category in the National Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards."

My sincere congratulations to Frank Zafiro, Beth Groundwater and all the others involved in the project. Excellent work created an excellent read.

Kevin R. Tipple (c) 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

February 2007 Senior News Column

By Calvin Trillin
Random House
ISBN# 1-4000-6556-9

In the sequel to his 2004 bestseller “Obliviously On He Sails” Author Calvin Trillin once again turns his sights onto the Bush Administration. Following an introduction where the author makes it abundantly clear how much he liked and respected his father, there are eleven short chapters of poetry and prose primarily covering the war in Iraq and the various anti terror programs. Combining cutting poetry as well as equally cutting commentary, the author delightfully skewers various areas while putting it all into his perspective. At 116 pages, this small hardback is a very quick read that will please many readers and annoy just as many with few in the middle ground.

By Ruby Redhat
Sterling Publishing Co.
ISBN# 1-4027-3204-X

Entertaining certainly does not have to be hard and this book offers many different ideas for those times when the same old thing just will not do anymore. After a quick and colorful introduction, there are eight chapters detailing all sorts of various invitations, placemats, gift tags, and other items sure to please any hostess as well as any recipients. These chapters are about setting the mood for the party before, during and after and each chapter features clear and concise instructions as well as large pictures of the finished products. A glossary of terms, an index as well as several pages of templates used in the numerous designs bring this colorful 143 page book to a close. While not a cookbook, it is a party guide filled with easy to use ideas to make your next gathering a very special one.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Back in the Key West with Keely Moreno

Cold Case Killer: A Keely Moreno Mystery
By Dorothy Francis
Five Star Publishing
April 2007
ISBN #1-5944-485-0

Professional foot reflexologist Keely Moreno returns in yet another enjoyable cozy style mystery. Her business in Key West continues as does her relationship with Punt Ashford. Punt continues looking for a more serious commitment from Keely. However, Keely's past history of bad relationships still haunts her dreams and makes her a bit skittish, justifiably so.

Despite her best intentions to stay out of the mystery solving business she begins to get threats regarding the Randy Jackson case. Randy Jackson was convicted of murder twenty years ago and was recently release from prison after DNA evidence finally proved his innocence. His mother, Maxine had asked for Keely's help a week ago and Keely didn't know where to begin. She also wanted no part of it. But the threats change things and before long once Punt knows, he throws the resources of his detective agency into the case.

What follows is another cozy style read where Keely and her boyfriend Punt search for clues and the future of their relationship. Old friends such as Consuela make another return engagement and foot reflexology is described in detail. Character development remains nearly stagnant as the past has a tight grip on Keely despite her occasional flashes of independence. While change is alluded to by the end of the novel, one can't say the character has actually grown or changed based on a couple of pages at the end of the book despite what you may read elsewhere.

This is another lightweight cozy style mystery heavy on the romance and slow in the mystery that provides another overall enjoyable read. Predictable in spots and with no real surprises, the read is primarily atmospheric in nature where the reader is once again carried away into the sights and sounds of the Keys.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

WLT--Dallas Chapter

The next meeting is Monday, April 16th at 7:00 PM Richardson Public Library basement meeting room. The speaker is Janet Harris, Ph.D who is currently editor for Brown Books. Her topic is: "Storytelling: The Path to Publication."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

March Senior News Book Review Column

For those outside of Texas or folks who just could not find a copy in state, here is my column for last month in Senior News. Enjoy!

“Work Hard, Study….and Keep Out of Politics!”
By James A. Baker, III with Steve Fiffer
G. P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN# 0-399-15377-2

Subtitled “Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life” Texan James Baker recounts how he eventually ignored his grandfather’s advice and by the mid seventies was actively involved in politics. Through eighteen extensive chapters and over 460 pages, the author with the help of Steve Fiffer describes a life spent in service to his country at home and abroad. That wasn’t the plan and yet as he explains in detail the family history; it becomes clear that things couldn’t have happened any other way. While there aren’t any real surprises here as most of it has been reported on in one way or another over the years, the photographs as well as the behind the scenes details bring alive the nuances of the political process and create an interesting read.

My Father My President
By Doro Bush Koch
Warner Books
ISBN# 0-446-57990-4

The same theme of service to his country describes this book with the subtitle “A Personal Account Of The Life of George H. W. Bush.” Doro Bush Koch writes of the man she knows as her father first and president second in great detail. For those events that she was not present for, she relies on an extensive network of friends to fill in the gaps. The result is a moving and overall powerfully positive portrait of the man commonly referred to in the media as “Bush 41” and how he continues to serve his country today in various ways. Like Baker’s book, much of what is recounted here is already known and yet because of whom she is, the author is able to shed light on behind the scenes details throughout this heavily detailed and sourced 586 page read.

Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2007