Monday, December 31, 2007

Reviewing: "Deadly Beloved" by Max Allan Collins

Hard Case Crime is one of those publishers that consistently releases quality books. Or, at least, books that are very good in my opinion and ones that my local library will often carry. Occasionally, they don’t carry a title such as the one below. In a rare moment of having a little money not already spoken for this one was purchased through their book club.

Deadly Beloved
By Max Allan Collins
Hard Case Crime
December 2007
ISBN# 0-8439-5778-6
203 Pages (including author afterword)

Billed on the cover as “The First Ever Ms. Tree Novel!” the book opens with Ms Tree describing a dream she has had while reclining on the couch of her psychiatrist, Dr. Cassel. In her dream she is attacked by a figure who is revealed eventually to be her late husband. As her dream goes she is forced to kill him to save her own life. What her dream represents is unclear and something the Dr. would like to pursue. Moreover, since she missed the last two sessions and she is the last patient of the day, the Dr. is willing to stay late and listen as Ms. Tree explains the events of the past week or so.

His willingness to stay is a good thing because in direct contrast to her current state on his couch, Ms. Tree has been on the move and very active on a number of fronts. She is directly involved in a recent murder case that has made tabloid type headlines in the news media. Marcy Addwater, who has a history of mental instability, without question gunned down her husband and a hooker he was with in a motel room. The cops see the incident as twin murders committed by an angry and crazed wife fed up with her husband’s chronic infidelity. Bernie Levine, who also happens to be Ms. Tree’s attorney, sees a defense strategy and wants Ms. Tree’s help. After meeting her, Ms. Tree sees a vulnerable woman at the brink that needs help in every sense of the word and quickly agrees to help.

Over the next 203 pages (including author afterword which goes into extensive detail about the graphic novel history of Ms. Tree) Ms. Tree works the case as well as other issues while trying to keep her husband’s legacy, the detective agency, afloat. Her skills, while considerable and clearly evident, are constantly in question by others in the agency and elsewhere who are supposed to be helping her and not causing problems. Much of her energy is spent dealing with subtle and not so subtle sexism in her world. While set in current times there is a constant undercut of sexism throughout the work as if the novel was written forty or fifty years ago. This could be due to the graphic novel history of the character dating back to 1980, the inspirations for the character which go back considerably further, and the attempt to go back to the beginnings of the character as a sort of setup for the graphic novels. Or, it could be just another stylistic choice by the author seeking to build character development.

Told throughout the novel in the format of her telling the psychiatrist all that has happened the book quickly pulls the reader into her world. When the real world has fallen away in favor living through the character and experiencing the character the author has succeeded at what he or she is trying to do. That certainly is the case here and is done very well through the technique of a patient and her doctor. The choice of story technique is in direct contrast to the action nature of the work. A pace that, at times, is clearly and with reason broken by frequent interruptions for the patient and Dr. to converse on a minor issue. By doing so, the reader is reminded of the setup and point of view while at the same time reinforcing the point that Ms. Tree is working her way verbally to a point in her tale. The questions are where the tale will lead and what the point will be?

The case is complex, the characters real and very interesting, and the action plentiful while like the reader, Ms. Tree is reclining. This is a very good book and another excellent offering from Hard Case Crime.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Reviewing Children's Books

Despite my asking because I work with a lot of kids with varying abilities, I am just not sent children's books for review. Some publishers blame the fact that I am not affiliated with a children's review site and others state they don't send them out to anyone but certified permanent teachers or school librarians. It is a shame but that is the way it seems to be despite my efforts. Below are two very good ones that just might work for the children in your life.

Cha-Cha & Zee Explore San Antonio
By Indigo Tyler
TK Publishing
ISBN# 978-0-9765100-3-1
32 Pages

Second in a series from TK Publishing, this book released last April finds the traveling penguins in San Antonio, Texas. They team up with their cousin Frobby and explore various sites across the city including the Alamo. At 32 pages with full color photographs this is a charming children's guidebook for the Alamo city. The penguins look life like in the photos as they travel the city which is captured in beautiful color photos as well as text. The way it is done makes it look like they are really there and really exploring the various landmarks. Advertised as being appropriate for 3-8 year olds; it does appear that the text is beyond the capabilities of most in the younger age range. Despite that, with parental assistance, this can be a wonderful book that serves to educate and encourages natural curiosity.

Don't Eat the Bluebonnets
By Ellen Leventhal and Ellen Rothberg
Bluebonnets, Boots & Books
ISBN# 978-0-9645493-3-3
36 Pages

Aimed at 3 to 8 year olds, this children's book tells the tale of a strong willed cow, Sue Ellen. She just won't listen when others tell her not to eat the delicious bluebonnets. Each spring, Max, a longhorn steer puts up a sign saying not to eat the Bluebonnets. Despite the sign and being told by Lisa Jean not to eat the bluebonnets, Sue Ellen does anyway. When the following spring arrives, Sue Ellen learns it isn't so easy to bring the bluebonnets back. Filled with charming color illustrations by Bill Megenhardt and a gentle message about following the rules for a reason, this book is due to delight kids of all ages especially in Texas where the book is set.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Barry's Reviews--"Fast One" by Paul Cain

FAST ONE (1933) by Paul Cain
reviewed by Barry Ergang

I can enthusiastically recommend Fast One to any reader who loves the hardboiled school—especially from the pulp era—but don’t ask me for a detailed plot summary. That’s next to impossible. Suffice it to say that a tough character named Gerry Kells, who is visiting L.A. from New York and who seems to know every major racket boss in southern California, is in the first chapter framed for a murder he didn’t commit, and who spends the remainder of the book either dodging or deliberately confronting cops and hoods with words, fists, and firearms. Along the way he considers trying to take over L.A.‘s rackets himself.

It’s an aptly titled book because the story roars along at a hectic pace. The pace is aided in no small measure by Cain's staccato prose style, which almost redefines “lean and mean.” But the pace and the story’s complexity are the book’s undoing because there is no characterization for readers to relate to. Most of the players—including the principal female—are referred to only by their last names. The absence of character definition reduces them to mere names on the page. It’s frequently an effort trying to recall from one chapter to another who's who and who's done what to whom.

Fast One has long been hailed as the ne plus ultra of hardboiled gangster tales by the likes of Bill Pronzini, E.R. Hagemann, and Raymond Chandler. David A. Bowman, in his introductory essay to the 1987 Black Lizard edition I have, writes: “Cain took the hardboiled style as far as anyone would want to. Fast One is the Antarctica of hardboiled writing. There is nowhere else to go.”

Forget about any insights into the human condition or any other sorts of profound meanings. Just buckle up and go along on the wild ride.

For more on this novel or the Golden Age of Detection follow the link to the GA Detection wiki.

Barry Ergang © 2007
Currently the Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2007Derringer Award in the Flash Fiction category, Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. His hardboiled Hanukkah story has just been published in the latest Apollo's Lyre at For links to material available online, see Barry’s webpages.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas and A Mouth Full Of Bullets

The below is the latest from BJ Bourg on MFOB.......

Howdy folks! I'm pleased to announce that the Winter 2007 Issue of Mouth Full of Bullets is now available at Between the printissue and the online issue, there are twenty-fourstories and eleven poems for your viewing pleasure.

In addition to the new material in the print magazine andonline, y'all can now access all the original material from the first print issue in the Archive section -- for FREE!That's sixteen stories and five poems from some of thebest new and veteran writers in the business. So, throwyour feet up, pour yourself a hot cup of cocoa, and settlein for some great entertainment.

Here's the lineup for the Winter 2007 Issue:

(Note: all stories and poems preceded by asterisksare currently available in the print magazine only. At the end of the three-month life of the issue, they will be archived in the online 'zine and will then be available to view for free.)


A Thousand the Hard Way by Robert L. Iles
*Blowing Smoke by Stephen D. Rogers
Christmas Comes To Criminal Court by Robert L. Iles
*Hard Light by Michael Morris
*High Anxiety by John M. Floyd
*Highs and Mellows by Clair Dickson
Judge And Jury by Robert Weibezahl
*Killer Personality by Wanda C. Keesey
*The Christmas Heist by Kim Smith
The Cinderella Caper by Herschel Cozine
The Perfect Gift by Suzanne Berube Rorhus
*The Santa Caper by Philip J. Lees
*Whoever Fights Monsters by D. H. Reddall


*A Protocol to Die For by Margaret B. Davidson
*Devil's Night by Kaye George
*Dreaming of a Spite Christmas by BV Lawson
*Gravidational Force by Barry Ergang
*The Last Laugh by Jonette Stabbert
Lord Of His Domain: A Bo Fexler Short Story by Clair Dickson
*Mistaken Identity by Jillian Berg
*Mortimer's Slip by Sophie Bachard
Rotten In The State Of New Jersey by Albert Tucher
*Your New Fan by Keri Clark


Mr. Sparks by SF Johnston - (Installment THREE of FOUR)


*A Killer Caught Red Handed by Guy Belleranti
A Wife In The Country by John M. Floyd
*Carl's Bad Kid by Branch Isole
*Do you See Me Then by Danny B. Bourg
IMMORTALITY by John M. Floyd
*Mask by Gerald So
*My Brother of Arms by Danny B. Bourg
*Research, Your Honor by Stephen D. Rogers
*Tables Turned by Guy Belleranti
*The Assignation by James S. Dorr

REVIEWS (From Kevin R. Tipple)

Fit to Die: A Supper Club Mystery by J. B. Stanley
Heroes Often Fail: A River City Novel by Frank Zafiro
Seasmoke: Crime Stories by New England Writers
A Dirty Business: A Kevin Bailey Novel by Joe Humphrey
Murder New York Style: 21 Stories by Authors Of Greater New York
Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters Edited by Tony Burton
Relative Danger by June Shaw

Small Caliber Reviews


Target Shooting by Kevin R. Tipple


Featured Author: JT Ellison

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

BJ Bourg (c) 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Reviewing: "Fire Prayer" by Deborah Turrell Atkinson

Other than Mark Troy’s excellent work, I just don’t often read novels set in Hawaii. Not that I plan or decide to do things that way. It just is the way it happens as opposed to my seeking out books set in the Southwest because that is where I am from and what I know. In this case, I have missed the first two books of the series and can only review this novel and not the series as a whole.

Fire Prayer
By Deborah Turrell Atkinson
Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN# 978-1-59058-402-6

Storm Kayama and Ian Hamlin, who is both her partner and her lover; have made the short island hop to Molokai on behalf of a rich client whose son is missing. He went out on a tour run by a local outfit two weeks ago never to be seen again. The son is twenty six, sits on the board of directors as well as being an officer of the company. The client may have a very well paying negligence suit if something bad has definitely happened. Such suits are more in Ian’s realm and Storm doesn’t want to fool with them or the client connections necessary to work those kinds of cases.

Besides, she has her own agenda that also involves a son. In her case, an old high school classmate, Tanner Williams wants her help. His marriage crashed in flames for a variety of reasons which included his wife’s drinking and his own mental illness. The last thing he wants is for their son, Luke, to have issues especially since he has just been diagnosed as a diabetic. While on Molokai, she can also take care of checking on things for Tanner. Within hours of Storm’s first visit to check on Luke, his ex wife is dead, Tanner is missing, Luke is in the hospital and there are links to a nearly ten year old murder case. Secrets are tough to keep especially on the Islands with the coconut wireless. With Storm and Ian doing their own things, as well as a veritable plethora of other characters, everything is bound to come out eventually.

The result is an interesting read featuring two difficult main cases as well as numerous interesting secondary deals such as the old murder case, the culture of the islands, Storm’s love of horses, etc. As such, each and every plot point is seen through the eyes of nearly every single character. The resulting multiple shifts of pov often taking place in the same chapter slow the novel down too a glacial place. Time seems to nearly stand still in the work as an event is depicted through the eyes of one character, then through another, then through another and often through a couple more before the reader is moved on to a new event where the same pattern is repeated.

The result creates a glacially slow moving read in terms of action while at the same time provides deep understanding of each character major and minor. Along the way the rich cultural history of the islands is discussed and further bolstered by a multi page glossary at the end of the novel. At 282 total pages the novel is not a quick read in terms of length or content and leans more towards the cozy side of the mystery genre as it entertains readers.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Reviewing: "The Marathon Murders" by Chester Campbell

Chester Campbell is one of those authors you never hear much about who constantly produces quality books. Instead of posting everywhere on everything, he just goes about his business and his latest novel is another good one.

The Marathon Murders: A Greg McKenzie Mystery
Night Shadows Press
February 2008
Hardback ISBN# 978-0-9790167-0-0
Trade Paper ISBN# 078-0-9799167-1-7

When Warren Jarvis comes with a case, there isn’t anything Greg and Jill McKenzie won’t do for him. He brings with him a friend who goes by various names due to the nature of her work with the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations. She has a family link to a ninety year old murder case involving the Marathon Motor Works located near downtown Nashville. Though the plant isn’t operating anymore, a bunch of old records have been found hidden in a wall and they seem to indicate that a former employee suspected of embezzlement was actually innocent. At least, that is what they believe and the family involved would like to see the records themselves but the man who had them is now missing. She wants to hire them to find the missing man and the records.

Greg and Jill agree and begin to work the case by starting at the most obvious point. They start with the construction company and easily find out where the man lives and what he drives. That angle, and working the familial connection, sends them off into a case that eludes nearly ever attempt they make.

While the fourth in a series, this novel could easily be read as an enjoyable stand alone cozy mystery. Greg and Jill do make the occasional reference to earlier events but for the most part are constantly working the current case. Character development is nil as these are characters that series readers have long since become accustomed to and don’t expect major changes. Instead the focus is on the mystery and it is not one easily solved with numerous twist and turns along the way. The result is another excellent cozy style mystery from Chester Campbell and another enjoyable read.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Talking Politics

The column in Senior News last month was on politic stuff. Something I expect to be doing a lot of in the coming year unless I can get more local (Texas) authors to send me their fiction books. I'm really sick of politics and we still have another year to go. Too bad there does not seem to be another Barbara Jordan in our midst.

Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder
Edited by Max Sherman
University of Texas Press
ISBN # 978-0-292-71637-7

A little over ten years after her death, Editor Max Sherman has collected a number of her pivotal speeches, testimonies before congress, and numerous pictures to showcase Barbara Jordan and her values. At 100 pages with an accompanying DVD that contains some of the same pictures as well as context for each one courtesy of the editor, this is a slim volume and yet reflects her values and beliefs very well. Much like the way she was in life, this book showcases wonderfully in a short capsule just how powerful and moving Barbara Jordan was and the legacy she left behind for others to follow. It is too bad that very few in politics today measure up to her standards and her legacy which was statesmanship and country first and foremost as clearly detailed in this book.

Texas Political Memorabilia: Buttons, Bumper Stickers and Broadsides
By Chuck Bailey with Bill Crawford
University of Texas Press
ISBN# 0-292-71625-7

This work is number 11 in the "Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series" and features the memorabilia behind national as well as Texas political campaigns. What began as a hobby for Chuck Bailey according to the foreword written by Paul Burka morphed into an intriguing 218 page book including index. While other kids collected baseball cards, Chuck Bailey collected campaign items. The result is page after colorful page where items are photographed and identified. From Presidential campaigns all the way down the ticket to local races, the book serves to pleasantly chronicle the way campaigns used to be before media sound bites and the internet took over. This book is sure to be a hit for those strongly interested in history and politics.

Kevin R. Tipple (c) 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Barry's Reviews--"Ellipsis" by Stephen Greenleaf

ELLIPSIS (2000) by Stephen Greenleaf
reviewed by Barry Ergang

Despite being nominated for an Edgar for Strawberry Sunday as the best novel of 1999, Stephen Greenleaf doesn't receive the recognition that's his due as one of the finest exemplars of the hardboiled detective story at work today—and one of the best ever. Robert B. Parker makes the bestseller lists, but he's not nearly the writer Greenleaf is. His Spenser is a pallid Marlowe-wannabe who lacks the depth, complexity, and literate articulation of Greenleaf's John Marshall Tanner.

In Ellipsis, the fourteenth book in the series, Tanner is approached by an attorney to bodyguard the spectacularly successful and popular romantic suspense novelist Chandelier Wells, who has been receiving ominous threats from person or persons unknown. It's not his kind of case and he's on the point of turning it down when he learns he was referred by Millicent Colbert, former client, friend, and unknowing mother of his daughter (see False Conception).

In between accompanying the bitchy Chandelier and her ever-present retinue to TV appearances and to book-signings that attract huge crowds of devoted fans in and around San Francisco to promote the release of her latest blockbuster, Tanner digs into the writer's private life and into the lives of people with present and former connections to her to try to identify the menacer who nearly kills her and who succeeds in killing a couple of others. Along the way, he must contend with the angst-ridden approach of his fiftieth birthday, the problems of an elderly neighbor he likes, the safety of Millicent Colbert and their daughter, his feelings for assistant DA Jill Coppelia, and the aftermath of a year-old case (see Past Tense), the tragic consequences of which still haunt him. The case involved a corrupt group within the SFPD known as the Triad, and Jill is trying to put together a case against them to present to a grand jury. Tanner's amorous relationship with her complicates matters and is a source of tension between the two of them.

Some of the primary mysteries are solved, but other questions linger to tease the reader. Not the least of these is whether Greenleaf plans to continue the series, especially considering the unexpected and potentially life-changing surprise Tanner gets at the book's end.

Ellipsis is a novel that grabbed me from the get-go and which was nearly impossible to put down. Readers who enjoy compelling stories rich in characterization, drama, humor, and pungent observations, and told in intelligent, often lyrical prose, should find it irresistible.

For more on this novel, take a look here

Barry Ergang © 2007
Currently the Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2007Derringer Award in the Flash Fiction category, Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. For links to material available online, see Barry’s webpages.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Helping The Kids

An update from Tony Burton.......

I have just placed a notice on the Crime and Suspense web site where I am auctioning off four copies of the anthology CAROLS AND CRIMES, GIFTS AND GRIFTERS that will have the signatures of all fifteen authors in the front.

The CAROLS AND CRIMES anthology is the second anthology Wolfmont has published to raise money for the Toys for Tots foundation. Last year we were able to present $1,365 to the Toys for Tots. This year, I'd love to make it up to $2,000, but right now we are at about $1,700. So, I'm auctioning off these special limited-edition copies to try to fill the gap a little.

If you want to read more about the anthology, what it's about and who is in it, you can go to

If you want to bid on one of the four copies to be auctioned off at the Crime and Suspense website, drop by there ( and you'll see a link where you can get the details on how to bid.

Either way, may you have the happiest and most joyous of holidays.

Tony Burton
Editor, Crime and Suspense ezine

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Barry's Reviews--"Swan Dive" by Jeremiah Healy

SWAN DIVE (1988) by Jeremiah Healy
reviewed by Barry Ergang

Roy Marsh is well-off, big, mean, and abusive. His wife Hanna, mother of their five-year-old daughter Vickie, is divorcing him. Her attorney is the not-very-well-to-do Chris Christides, P.I. John Cuddy’s college chum. Because Chris has been paid a menacing visit by Roy Marsh the day before he and Hanna have a meeting with Marsh and his attorney, he asks Cuddy to participate in a body-guarding role.

Cuddy soon discerns that Chris, though a tough offensive guard on their college football team, isn’t a very tough negotiator. He’s much too willing to accept Marsh’s settlement offer, tendered by Felicia Arnold, an expensive lawyer who, Cuddy later learns, offers more than legal services to some of her clients. Hanna Marsh refuses the solely monetary offer—and a relatively meager one, at that—wanting as well the house her daughter has grown up in. The meeting ends with no resolution but lots of flaring tempers.

Chris has another appointment, so Cuddy drives Hanna and Vickie to their shabby temporary residence. The little girl can’t wait to show Cuddy the pet cat on which she dotes—the cat that sets off her screams when she discovers it skinned, mewing pathetically and bleeding profusely. Cuddy is certain Roy Marsh is responsible.

As events unfold further, Cuddy is mugged and his gun stolen. It later turns up in a seedy twelfth floor hotel room from which Marsh has plummeted to his death. A prostitute has been shot to death in the same room.

The Boston police don’t believe Cuddy is innocent of the murders, but they don’t jail him, either. He’s soon confronted by J.J. Braxley, a Caribbean drug distributor, and his noxiously odoriferous bonebreaker Terdell. It seems that a quarter million dollars worth of J.J.’s cocaine is missing, cocaine Roy Marsh had in his possession before he died. J.J. demands that Cuddy recover and return it, or he’ll take out his revenge on the innocent Hanna and Vickie. Thus, Cuddy has to play footsie with the police, who have an agenda of their own, while trying to clear himself by solving two murders and preventing two more. How he finally does guarantees some surprises, perhaps even shocks, for the reader.

Swan Dive is the first of his novels I’ve read, and Jeremiah Healy is a writer impressive in his economy. He tells a rapid-paced, strongly plotted story in prose free of pyrotechnical flourishes, providing descriptions of people and places spare enough to allow the reader to exercise his imagination but still get the picture. The story is long on dialogue (sometimes laden with raw language—a warning to the prudish) that individualizes characters, eliminating the need for narrational analyses of their psyches. Cuddy himself, while able to dish out and take batterings when he has to, is also fairly cerebral. He reaches the solution by examining the information he’s shared with the reader along the way.

Some of the review blurbs on the Pocket Books paperback edition I have compare Healy with Robert B. Parker. This was probably inevitable because both John Cuddy and Parker’s Spenser work out of Boston. As far as I’m concerned there is no comparison; Healy has it all over Parker. Then again, I have to concede a long-standing bias against Parker, whom I gave up on after reading the first dozen or so Spenser novels, the insulting-to-Raymond Chandler Poodle Springs, and the godawful Perchance to Dream. I’ve never understood why reviewers and critics, let alone readers, find him so appealing. Spenser is frequently childish. Parker is pretentious: he once told an interviewer that although he knew he couldn‘t write The Sound and the Fury, he could write The Big Sleep.

I can’t be the only one to notice he hasn’t come close.

Enough harangue. Whether or not Parker suits your tastes, if you like modern private eye fiction, you’re apt to enjoy Jeremiah Healy.

Barry Ergang © 2007
Currently the Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2007Derringer Award in the Flash Fiction category, Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. For links to material available online, see Barry’s webpages.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Barry's Reviews--"The Burglar In The Library"

THE BURGLAR IN THE LIBRARY (1997) by Lawrence Block
reviewed by Barry Ergang

The lovely Ms. Lettice Runcible, although American, seems to be attracted to all things English. She's also attracted, much to his delight, to bookseller/burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, and the two have spent a fair amount of time in Bernie's small New York apartment making love. After one such session, Bernie, assuming she'll be thrilled at the prospect, tells her he's made reservations for them to spend an "English country" weekend at Cuttleford House in the Berkshires.

Lettice tells him she'd love to go but can't. The weekend in question is not good for her. When he suggests changing the reservation to the weekend after, Lettice confesses that that one won't work either.

Because she's getting married.

Bernie is disappointed but not shattered by the information, which he recounts to his best friend Carolyn Kaiser, lesbian dog groomer*, over lunch. Carolyn is one of the very few who know that Bernie, besides operating Barnegat Books, occasionally reverts to his old profession, making burglarious forays into select locations for select items. Thus, his desire to go to Cuttleford House isn't motivated entirely by the desire to charm the...uh...heart of Lettice.

Casual reading of the memoir of a pulp fiction writer, combined with additional research, has told him that there exists a unique first edition of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, and that it's located at Cuttleford House. First editions of the book are rare to begin with, but what makes this one unique is that it's a copy Chandler inscribed and personally presented to Dashiell Hammett. When Carolyn asks what it would be worth, Bernie admits he doesn't know—he'd probably have to auction it at Sotheby's or Christie's. The only thing he's certain of is that it would fetch a pretty healthy sum.

Bernie hasn't canceled his reservation. He persuades Carolyn to close The Poodle Factory and join him for a weekend in the mountains, soaking up atmosphere worthy of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.

The snow starts to fall on their way to the place, and is coming down with growing intensity by the time their taxi drops them off at the bridge that crosses the gulley over Cuttlebone Creek. Leading to the inn, the bridge, supported by ropes at either end, is not the kind that will support vehicular traffic; it's for pedestrians only.

Cuttleford House is huge, a somewhat confusing maze of rooms upstairs and down, and populated by a colorful crew of guests and staff. The last guests to arrive during the snowstorm that is now raging are newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Dakin Littlefield. Mrs. Littlefield is the far-from-iceberg Lettice.

Many of the various downstairs rooms are loaded with books, but Bernie eventually spots The Big Sleep in the Great Library. He plans to take it late that night, but when he approaches the unlighted library he overhears two people talking in low voices. He can't discern either who the speakers are or what they're saying, and decides now is not the time to grab the book.

Early next morning he and the rest of the house are awakened by a scream. One of the maids has discovered the body of a guest, Jonathan Rathburn, in the library. It appears that Rathburn fell from a set of rolling library steps, hit his head, and died either from a concussion or the ensuing blood-loss. Bernie, however, soon realizes he was murdered and explains how to the congregation of guests and staff. The inn's proprietress thinks—and fervently hopes—that the murderer was a passing tramp, but that notion is soon dispelled and everyone knows one among them is the killer.

To further complicate matters, the phones are out. It's suspected at first that the storm temporarily disabled them, but the establishment's owner later discovers that the lines have been cut. There is no way to contact the police. Even if they could be reached, the snow would hamper their arrival.

Then the body of the inn's handyman is found lying at the bottom of the gulley, the bridge over which has collapsed because its ropes were partly sawn through. It's a very deep gulley, and the snow makes it impossible for anyone to get down to him. The angle of his neck makes it plain he can't still be alive.

Then the cook is found dead in the kitchen. Later on still another guest is found strangled. Then The Big Sleep vanishes.

Carolyn says it feels as though they're all caught up in a cross between And Then There Were None and The Mousetrap.

Bernie realizes he's going to have to solve the murders to prevent any additional ones and so they can all get out of there. The method he undertakes to do so puts him into the position of prime suspect and makes for very entertaining reading.

Lawrence Block, as anyone who has read his work knows, is a good, versatile writer. He can create comic cozies (some of the Chip Harrison books which pay homage to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, and of course the Bernie Rhodenbarr "Burglar" series) and hardboiled noir (the Matthew Scudder series) with equal skill. His Evan Tanner espionage novels are also fast-paced and humorous. To those who don't mind slightly erotic non-mysteries, I recommend his very funny epistolary novel Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man—if you can find a copy, because it’s out of print.

The Burglar in the Library is recommended for its homage to and pastiche of the English country house whodunit, motley cast of characters, wonderful dialogue (some of Bernie's exchanges with Carolyn and with a precocious ten-year-old girl are hilarious), and various references to classic detective stories which should delight Golden Age fans.

*That is, Carolyn's a dog groomer who happens to be a lesbian. She doesn't groom lesbian dogs.
For more on this book, surf to

Barry Ergang © 2003, 2007
Currently the Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2007 Derringer Award in the Flash Fiction category, Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. For links to material available online, see Barry’s webpages

Monday, December 10, 2007

Earl Staggs Reviews: "Deadly Sins-Deadly Secrets"

Occasionally, I can talk Earl Staggs into providing a review. This is one of those occasions and I am glad he was willing to contribute the following review.

Deadly Sins – Deadly Secrets
By Sylvia Dickey Smith
L&L Dreamspell
ISBN 978-1-60318-018-4

In her first novel, DANCE ON HIS GRAVE, Sylvia Dickey Smith introduced Sidra Smart, a woman brave enough to step out of an inhibitive marriage and begin a new life. When she divorced her possessive, controlling Baptist minister husband, Sid had no idea what she was stepping into. First, she inherited a private investigation agency from her late brother along with a leftover case involving an old murder. Next, she discovered within herself a person she did not know existed, a person unable to ignore injustice or turn away people desperately needing help, even if it meant placing her own life in danger.

In DEADLY SINS – DEADLY SECRETS, Sid continues her journey toward personal self-discovery, supported once again by her somewhat eccentric and lovable Aunt Annie and a crusty veteran PI willing to teach her the tricks of the trade, but who also enjoys her stumbling attempts to learn the hard way. In this, her second case as a PI, Sid is drawn into a situation wherein shrouded secrets of the past must be revealed to solve grisly murders of the present. Her digging for the truth extends as far back as Civil War days in the small East Texas town where the story is set when she discovers the diary of a fascinating and feisty woman who seems to be nudging Sid in the right direction.

Sid’s resolve to prove a man innocent of murder in spite of staggering evidence against him leads her through attempts on her life, butting heads with powerful people equally determined to keep old secrets hidden, and a romantic involvement she tried hard to avoid.

Sylvia Dickey Smith is a talented author who, in this second novel as successfully as in her first, seamlessly weaves the story of a woman determined to become the person she left behind years ago with an engrossing tale of murder, deceit and suspense.

Reviewed by Earl Staggs © 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Reviewing: "Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters" Edited by Tony Burton

Having had the pleasure of reading last year’s offering By The Chimney With Care published by Wolfmont Publishing to benefit the Marine Corp “Toys For Tots” campaign I have been eagerly awaiting my copy of this year’s effort. It finally arrived and was well worth the wait. The anthology titled, Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters is a real treat for mystery readers and serves a great cause with proceeds going to the campaign.

Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters
Edited By Tony Burton
Wolfmont Publishing
October 2007
ISBN # 978-1-60364-002-2
260 Pages
Large Trade Paperback

This anthology of fifteen stories kicks off with “Ho Ho Homicide: An Odelia Grey Short Story” by Sue Ann Jaffarian. Odelia Patience Grey did what any daughter does when her father asks. She took her step mother Gigi shopping. If that wasn’t enough, like some spy novel, Odelia is soon confronted at the mall by a woman with a gun and man in a trench coat and fedora with a heavy European accent. Not to mention being hassled by a Santa whose beard is certainly not white as snow as well as the cops. And she thought escorting the non stop talking Gigi would be the worst part of her day.

Earl Staggs offers the charming story, “Robbery On Christmas Eve.” It tells the tale of a theft of church money. For Sheriff Mollie Goodall, it is particularly annoying as it is Christmas Eve with her own husband out of town and a church and adjacent community hall full of suspects. One gets the feeling readers might just see Sheriff Mollie Goodall again.

Also using Christmas Eve as a backdrop to events is Thomas H Cook’s story titled, “The Lesson Of The Season.” Veronica Cross works part-time at the Mysterious Bookshop and is just fifteen minutes away from closing when a frequent customer walks in. In this personal favorite from the anthology and powerfully moving story, Veronica deals with her own echo of the pain. You simply have to read this work to understand because it isn’t going to be explained here.

Redemption is a frequent them of most of the stories in this anthology and is certainly at work in “Santa And The Poor Box” by Gail Farrelly. The story is about how a local Santa was accused of stealing from the poor box at the church. Pushed by her daughter Lily, Roberta Mchlugh has connections and begins to work the case with Lily’s eager help with a plan to clear him by Christmas.

“The Proper Trimmings” by Nick Andreychuck plays off a concept frequently reported in the media regarding men in prison and the women who begin romances with them. Russ just got out of prison after ten long hard years and meets his female pen pal, Anna. He comes to her home for dinner and something more if she meets expectation and she does and then some.

“The Grinch and I” by Herschel Cozine revolves around George. An average man, George took the job of Mall Santa for one simple reason. A plan honed by years of practice always works best when you are Santa.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading the “River City” novels from Frank Zafiro or many of his stories in various anthologies and elsewhere, you have another chance. Police officers have a hard time getting time off, especially during the holidays. Something that Detective Katie Macleod’s mother doesn’t get in “Home For Christmas.” Crime doesn’t take a holiday and before very much of Christmas Day passes; Detective MacLeod is hard at work on the trail of a thief.

Traditions are important and they certainly take precedence for George Grimble in “The Christmas Tree Thief” by Chris Grabenstein. Before his three young sons can open their gifts on Christmas morning, George always lights up the baby Jesus as a reminder to all of the real purpose of the day. Something someone apparently didn’t understand when they cut down part of his pine tree in his yard and ruined Christmas morning.

“A Piece Of Christmas” by Deborah Elliot-Uptown is the story of Arlen. Arlen isn’t very happy working as private security for rich folks. But, you do what you have to especially with Christmas next week and at least the rich folks in this case pay in cash. When you destroy your won police career, your marriage and just about everything in your life your options are few and everyone deserves their own piece of Christmas booty.

Jan Christensen often creates tales that are just a little off in a way that isn’t easy to put a finger on and always delight readers. In “Santa Solves A Murder” the gorgeous Mrs. Cary MacIntyre hires private investigator to find her husband Jimmy MacIntrye who disappeared three days ago. She had no idea that he also worked a second job down at the local mall playing Santa. He does and while dressed in full Santa regalia spots the missing husband and the chase is on. Something Mall Manager Ingrid Scruggs isn’t thrilled about but you don’t tell Santa what to do while he is checking his list and adding up the clues.

“Mystery On Capital Street: A Hannibal Jones Short Story” by Austin S. Camacho also appears in this anthology. All four of the novels featuring Hannibal as well as the two thrillers were good ones and this is no exception as Mr. Camacho has penned an excellent story. Just two nights before Christmas, Private Detective Hannibal Jones has plenty of things to do before being detoured by events on his way home. Events, like dominoes, that once set into motion lead Hannibal in a new direction down a dark and twisting trail.

Editor Tony Burton offers his own story, “The Christmas Cut Out Caper.” The for local teenagers called themselves “The Fantastic Four” but as far as most adults in the area were concerned they are known by worse names for very good reason. Since a year has passed since the last prank, some of the adults are starting to relax. When the Christmas crèche figures suddenly are missing from the outdoor display at the church, the suspects are obvious.

Virtually any woman is afraid of being confronted by a man with bad intentions on his mind in an empty building. That is precisely what happens in “Ballet Exercises” by Gay Toltl Kinman when she is confronted by a perverted Santa who wants to deliver a present she does not want.

Margaret Fenton offers “Christmas Every Day” where lifting the wallet was the easy part. For the thief, it set into motion events she never foresaw in her wildest dreams.

The anthology closes with “Have A Harpy Christmas” by Peggy Jaegly. A kidnapped Rebecca is found backstage at the Theater by her agent Manny. Despite her ordeal, the show must go on and Manny intends to find out who was behind everything.

The anthology this year while not darker in tone does not have the humor that the one last year had. Which isn’t to say this one is a bad one. If anything, the effort is superior in terms of the quality of the stories as well as the diversity in styles and tones. The really nice thing is the proceeds still go to a wonderful cause. Copies may be ordered directly from Wolfmont Publishing at and you can help make Christmas a joy for a little girl or boy and get a very good anthology in the process.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Reviewing: "Murder New York Style: 21 Stories By Authors Of Greater New York" Edited By Randy Kandel

Regional anthologies, as opposed to ones on a certain literary them or device, seem to be very popular these days. Usually it is a state or a region of the country but in this case it is a city. One would think it would be published by a publisher there. Instead, and what pulled my attention to it in the first place, was the fact that it was done by the same Texas publisher that did Sylvia Dickey’s “Dance On His Grave” novel. L&L Dreamspell seems to be doing a lot of interesting things in a wide variety of areas.

Murder New York Style: 21 Stories By Authors Of Greater New York
Edited By Randy Kandel
L & L Dreamspell
November 2007
ISBN# 978-1-60318-032-0
Large Trade Paperback
339 Pages

Showcasing New York past and present, these twenty one tales by authors of the Sisters in Crime New York/Tri State Chapter contain murder and mayhem in a variety of forms.

“Name Tagging” by Randy Kandel, who pulls double duty as editor and also serves as President of the chapter, revolves around murder and deception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Friendship leads to murder in “Mister Right” by Ronnie Klaskin in a way you will never see coming.

New York very well could be the shopping capital of the world especially in terms of fake goods. A certain knock off purse in “the Knock Off” by Chelle Martin just might be more trouble than it or the real counterpart is worth.

Bodies in the backyard should not appear before ten in the morning—especially on a Saturday. If one does, it would be nice not to have Mrs. Zablonksky living next door. Once she starts screaming about the body in the backyard there is no way Lydia is going to get back to sleep in “Out In The Cold” by Meredith Cole.

Being the adult child of a cop as well as a cop herself isn’t easy for Ellie in “NYPDaughter” by Triss Stein. Such a situation makes one see the world very differently.

Lies take on a life of their own in “The Lie” by Anita Page. It may be forty years later but the lie never went away.

Teaching business at Hudson College isn’t the background one really needs to catch a test thief in “None of the Above” by Deirdre Verne. Professor Zoe Johnstone is not about to let that stop her as she hunts for a thief.

Also included in this anthology are stories from Cynthia Baxter, Fran Bannigan Cox, Peggy Ehrhart, Erica Harth, Marianna Heusler, Nan Higginson, M. E. Kemp, Margarret Mendel, Terrie Farley Moran, Dorothy Mortman, R. M. Peluso, Pearl Wolf, Lina Zeldovich, and Elizabth Zelvin. The sketches that frame the eight sections of the book were done by Kat (no last name listed) and the cover art was done by Rebecca A. Kandel.

Featuring diverse backgrounds and varied settings such as belly dancing in a nightclub, a vice president’s office, a mill factory, each story is clearly and distinctively New York. Each story features rich characterizations and an avoidance for the most part of graphic violence. Humor occasionally plays a part in these tales which often unroll at a sedately pace whether set now or far in the past. The result is an anthology that will bring hours of pleasure for those so inclined to partake and serve not only to entertain with mystery but to provide a sort of cultural roadmap to the city.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Small Caliber Reviews---"Hundred Dollar Baby"

Spenser returns in Robert B. Parker’s novel “Hundred Dollar Baby” and April Kyle returns as well (“Ceremony” and “Taming A Sea Horse”) and the resulting reunion is bittersweet at best. She has become the highly successful madam of an escort service located in Back Bay. She needs help as forces are bearing down on her to try to take her business away from her. Once more, Spenser along with Hawk and a couple of others try to save her from her fate. This is typical Spenser fare and as such a fast read that skims the surface of complex topics such as emotional dysfunctionality, fate, and the alleged power men hold over women.

This review previously appeared online in the "Small Caliber Reviews" section of the Spring Edition of the "Mouth Full of Bullets" found easily at Submissions and readers always welcome!

Kevin R. Tipple (c) 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

Small Caliber Reviews: "SPIDER MOUNTAIN"

If you haven't read "The Cat Dancers" by P. T. Dueterman than you need to rectify that immediately. Not only is it one of the best books I have read in along time, "Spider Mountain" is the powerful and disturbing sequel. Former Cop Cam Richter returns to the scene of the crime and once again does so, in an attempt to help Park Ranger Mary Ellen Goode. Neither one has gotten over the events of the last book and seeing him is almost more than she can bear. But, she needs him because of her Rangers was brutalized, almost destroyed as a human being and the powers that be on every level are refusing to really do anything about it. There are reasons, complicated reasons and Can doesn't really care since he isn't counting on anyone else these days. By sticking his nose into things on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains Park, Cam unwittingly unleashes a wave of retribution against him and everyone around him. P. T. Dueterman once again spins an intensely searing tale that takes readers deep into the abyss.

This review previously appeared online in the "Small Caliber Reviews" Section of the spring 2007 edition of Mouth Full Of Bullets found at Look for our new winter issue later this month.

Kevin R. Tipple (c) 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Barry's Reviews---"The Five Silver Buddhas"

THE FIVE SILVER BUDDHAS (1935) by Harry Stephen Keeler
reviewed by Barry Ergang

I knew Harry Stephen Keeler by name only until I read about his eccentricities in Bill Pronzini's hilarious Gun in Cheek a number of years ago. When I came upon a copy of The Five Silver Buddhas, also several years back, in a used-book store, I bought it but didn't get around to reading it until very recently.

The 281-page novel chiefly concerns one between-jobs newspaper reporter named Penn Harding who, on his way to propose marriage to Neva Edgecomb, daughter of wealthy Chicago steel magnate Bradley Edgecomb, stops in at an auction and purchases a pocket-sized silver image of the Buddha—one of five—that is supposed to be a how-sei-gei, a good luck charm. What makes the item unique is that the Buddha has his hands over his eyes. After leaving the auction, Harding stops at the laundry owned and operated by Fook Wong, who tells him the image—because it's of a "blinded" Buddha—is actually a mo-sei-gei, a bad luck charm.

Before the reader learns what kind of bad luck befalls Harding, Keeler treats him to the fates of the possessors of the other four images. These narratives consume quite a few chapters, especially the one concerning burglar Tim Waldo, but except as demonstrations of bad luck, they are completely irrelevant to the main plot, which in itself is little more than a short story expatiated upon via Keeler's astoundingly turgid, digressive prose style.

But back to Penn Harding. He visits the Edgecomb mansion, apprehensive about whether Neva will accept his proposal, and is surprised to see uniformed policemen posted at the front and rear of the house. Admitted by Jelkins, an English butler of cold demeanor, Harding joins Neva in her father's study. The Japanese houseman, Tano, brings them glasses of grape juice and chocolate walnuts, exchanges some friendly words with Harding, and departs. Harding proposes to Neva, worried she'll reject him because he doesn't want to accept her father's offer to work in the steel business, and is happily surprised when she agrees to marry him.

Bradley Edgecomb is out of the house on a business appointment when Harding arrives, but returns not long afterward. In the interim, Neva explains that her father's appointment is with fatally ill metallurgist Peter Cron, who has developed a formula for making steel virtually impregnable. "Steelcron," as the formula is known, will enable Edgecomb to manufacture steel plates for American battleships, thus making his company superior to his bigger competitors and making him that much wealthier.

On the way back to the rooming house where he lives, Harding is accosted by thugs. Still later, someone invades his room in the middle of the night. Subsequently, Harding is hauled in by the police, accused of stealing the Steelcron formula from the safe in Edgecomb's study, since he was the only person, other than Edgecomb himself, the police know for a certainty came and went that night. A piece of damning evidence pointing to him has been found in the safe.
The remainder of the story concerns Harding's efforts to prove himself innocent—as additional obstacles confront him—and uncover the identity of the culprit who's framed him. As new events unfold and more information comes to light, the story gets delightfully sillier.

As I mentioned earlier, the novel is 281 pages long. Yet on page 147 the reader sees
a "challenge to the reader" that wouldn't exactly have Ellery Queen eating his heart out since neither Harding nor anyone else solves the mystery until quite late in the second half of the book. I couldn't tell you if it's fairly-clued. This is one of those stories you don't try to figure out; you just coast along with it.

As William Poundstone points out at his website, to read Keeler is to experience the literary equivalent of watching a film by Edward D. Wood, Jr—who, by the way, wrote a few pulp novels himself. Which is to say, Keeler is so bad he's good.

The Five Silver Buddhas could serve as a primer on how not to write fiction, particularly of the mystery/suspense variety. For instance, Keeler has the habit of letting one character relate in dialogue information to another which the other already has—this for the benefit of the reader. Since Keeler uses the omniscient viewpoint much of the time, this amateurish method is unnecessary.

He throws in at least three "had-he-but-knowns."

Keeler's idiosyncratic prose is a commingling of what he probably thought of as "literary" with the slang of the day. He's overly fond of incomplete and complete sentences that wander herky-jerkily all over the map before getting to their predicates. He loves the exclamation mark, no doubt imagining it heightens impact on the reader.

Here's a passage from Chapter Three, which details the mo-sei-gei of Ivan Kossakoff, a serial strangler in possession of one of the Buddhas, who's stalking his next victim:

"She certainly ought to be along soon. For her life, so he'd found, was as regular a thing as a train time-table. It was right here, in fact, that he had first seen her, a number of evenings before, as she strode briskly home after her dinner. Which dinner, he'd found, was invariably eaten in the little basement French tea-room a half block or so up the street. An expensive 'dump,' too. A 'buck' for a 'table de hoat'—with wine! She was a tall dark girl—28 years, perhaps, in age—maybe more. Either she was disregardful of Chicago hold-up men—or else, as was most probably the case, she knew she was perfectly safe on a well-lighted street at 8 o'clock in the evening. For the diamond that glistened in each of her ear-lobes was the real thing—and Ivan prided himself that he knew scintillations—when he saw scintillation! For hadn't Aunt Sonya Vointskaya, when he'd been a boy there on Goose Island, had at least half a dozen real diamonds—and given them all to the Russian Church, too, when she died, the damned old bitch? No, these earrings were, as Ivan put it, the 'McCoy'—showing that he knew the argot of his native-born criminal brothers as well as he knew jewelry. The ear-drops were, in fact, as 'good stuff' as the dinner ring—the 'hoop,' as Ivan called it—that always reposed on the middle finger of this girl's ungloved right hand. To be sure, she had Ivan more or less puzzled. But because the big first-floor rear room to which she always repaired after eating her dinner—and immediately went to bed in, and alone, moreover!—was in a theatrical rooming house just a few blocks further south on Washington Square, Ivan guessed that she might be a 'kicker'—a 'burleycue gal,' that is—or maybe a 'chorine'—now at leisure—but one whose 'daddy,' during some previous 'affair'—had 'iced her' generously. And even 'padded her purse' as well. Though she might be a principal, at that. An actress. A 'warbler' maybe...."

The quirky Keeler style sorely dilutes his efforts to generate either convincing characterizations or suspense.

The book teems with racial and ethnic stereotypes, and occasional slurs. Keeler evidently never learned that extended passages of dialect pull readers out of the story as they try to decipher what foreign-born characters are saying. Thus we have the German rooming-house owner Mrs. Schempelwitz (whose scene goes on for pages!): "'Oh—vun derrible ding vass happen' on Soud Stade Sdreed tonide. About vun block down. Unt agross der sdreed from diss site. A man vot vas [sic] run a Shinese oction vass killed deat—by masked holduppers.'" (Why there's an apostrophe after "happen" is beyond me, unless it's a typo, of which the book contains plenty.)


"'Me no know a single tling,' declared Fook Wong, his lips shut so firmly that they made virtually a line as straight as the one between Euclid's famous two points. 'Know not'ing. Nev' see 'im befo'.' He shrugged his shoulders with magnificent insouciance. 'Oh—mabbe goo' luck, Mista Haldling. Mabbe—how-sei-gei. Mebbe [sic] blad. Gloddamn blad. Mo-sei-gei. Who know? Not me.'"

Here's Tano, the Japanese houseman: "'The eegn'rant Chinese,' he went on, 'to soch a fine race like we Japs—for we consider the Chinese mongrel dogs, fit to do but as you say your friend do—iron shirts—yes they believe impleecitly that images of Buddha breeng luck. Now me, I am American-born Jap—an' am myself beyon' soch superstitious state....'"

Hilda, the Swedish maid: "'I guess he dittent go by Elyin....He say you sen' him from County Yail Beelding to get a paper from your room.'"

The French Mr. Boissevain: "'Zis ees eet, Shief! Wan of zee five, annyway. Our nombaire for eet—one hondard and zirty-five—eez on zee bottom. Only so leetle you 'ave to 'ave beeg glass like zees wan of mine for to see. Zee ozzer four, zey was nombaired in same way, but from wan hondard and zirty-seex to wan hondard an' zirty-nine eenclusive.'"

Keeler's publisher could have used a good copy editor. Mispunctuations and spelling errors abound.

It's unlikely that modern readers could devour one Keeler title after another unless they're masochists. If The Five Silver Buddhas exemplifies his work—and from what I've heard, it's tame in comparison with later books—his books have to be regarded as the same kind of once-in-a-great-while "guilty pleasures" as Ed Wood's movies.

For additional information and examples of Keeler's work, check out the Harry Stephen Keeler Society.

As always, for more on this novel or The Golden Age of Detection surf to

Barry Ergang © 2007

Currently the Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2007 Derringer Award in the Flash Fiction category, Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. For links to material available online, see Barry’s webpages.