Saturday, May 31, 2008

Reviewing: "Winter Study" by Nevada Barr

Anna Pigeon is back at Isle Royale in Lake Superior. The last time she was here it was summer and those events occurred in the book titled "A Superior Death." This time it is January and the island park is far different and not just because it is in the deep winter and closed to visitors. This time around she has been sent to observe the wolf study group in action. With the fact that her current home park of Rocky Mountain National Park is slated to have wolves reintroduced to the park, District Ranger Anna Pigeon needs to learn all she can.

The study has been going on for fifty years effectively making sure that the park remains closed every winter so as not to disturb the wolves. That might be changing as Homeland Security is interested in opening the park year around to help seal the border. The theory being that increased traffic means increased security and the park and its creatures will just have to adjust. But, if there is a compelling reason to keep the study group going, beyond the usual justifications, then the bureaucrats at Homeland Security won't get their way. That political undercurrent is at work in the team along with other forces Anna can't identify.

Anna also can't explain or identify why the three wolf packs are behaving so strangely right after her arrival in January. Beyond the strange wolf prints, the abnormal wolf scat, the shape Anna may or may not have seen from the study team plane, there are other things happening. Events that begin to lead to deaths of the survey team members. As the body count climbs and the count of survivors shrinks, Anna is pushed to her limits in an epic battle to survive.

This latest in the long running series is Nevada Barr's best in years. Featuring a cast of dysfunctional people, including Anna herself, under extreme weather conditions, Nevada Barr details one step at a time how otherwise competent people begin to crack under the constant strain. Some see this work as a locked room mystery set in the great outdoors. For this reader, the novel is more about how thin the veneer of civilization is and how easily it becomes to justify any action necessary to survive or excel.

Routinely comparing her physical limits now to the past when she was far younger, this is a more introspective Anna Pigeon, newly married and missing her husband. Nevada Barr has her frequently referring to the aging process and how the physical toll of the job, whether in the park on routine business or the events here, are taking a harder and harder toll as she ages. Instead of whining about it as it has seemed in the past, this is an Anna who not only has accepted the aging process, but frequently thinks that the younger generation has missed out on so much from a cultural and life experience standpoint. While there is always the suspicion in Anna's mind that there is a rational explanation for everything, it doesn't take long for her or readers to begin thinking otherwise. This is an Anna that is more at peace with herself and aware of both her faults and accomplishments. More than ever before, she has a life worth fighting for thanks to her recent marriage to Paul Davidson. Pushed as maybe never before the result is a monumental struggle to survive.

Not only is "Winter Study" a wonderful read in its own right, the work is powerful testament to the stark beauty in the nation's parks and a testament why some things have to be saved.

Winter Study
Nevada Barr
G. P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN# 978-0-399-15458-4
370 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reviewing: Beyond Eden

Three years ago Chaplain Major Jamie Richards disappeared into the Iraq desert. On Thursday, February 23, 2006, she made her first appearance back in the real world when she flagged down a small U. S. Military convoy in Iraq. She soon is passed up the chain of command, her way eased at points along the way by various parties for reasons specified and otherwise as she returns to military life in far better shape than when she vanished.

Being in Eden the last three years at her own choice has helped her in many ways with just one of them being her improved health. Now, she has returned to our world among regular people on a mission for Eden. Simplifying greatly, members of Eden choose to live among us taking many roles within our various societies around the world. Children of those from Eden living among us are being kidnapped and Jamie Richards is back to find out why and recover the missing. No one knows why they are being taken but she has clues and her presence is known to both friend and foe alike. The trail will take her all over the globe while she reconnects with old friends, makes new friends, and desperately attempts to save the victims before it is too late.

While "Chasing Eden" combined the themes of history and religion to serve as a backdrop for the novel, the back drop of "Beyond Eden" is primarily religious in tone. Jamie, who was always portrayed as religious, has become more so and quotes and discusses the bible at length with various characters. Both friends and foes freely quote scripture verses and bible passages to support their positions. Immortality is a theme of the work and religion plays a heavy part in that as the authors attempt to address what it would mean to live forever.

The frequent religious discussions bring the novel nearly to a halt though they are interesting and are primarily used to show Jamie's evolving understanding of the world, Eden, and her place. Jamie has also, apparently because of her training though that is not always specified, gained considerable skills and there is now nothing she can't do. Those factors combine together to create a read that is uneven in pacing with a heavy religious tone and features a heroine that can do anything without the aid of bionics or six million dollars. The action hero antics along with the deep philosophical discussions make the book rather chaotic as one doesn't know whether to take it seriously or not. Then too, there is a cast of a thousand plus style to the book with numerous characters dropped in and out doing little to build story but helping with the page count.

All that being said, in the end the authors manage to keep one wanting to turn the pages. Buried in the noise and clutter of multiple storylines told through the point of view of far too many characters, there is an engaging story here worth reading. A tale that when finally found deep within the book does not rise to the level expected in the thriller genre with a heroine never in real danger, but does provide action, intrigue and deceit. Getting to it is the hard part.

Beyond Eden.
S. L. Linnea
St. Martin's Paperbacks
October 2007
387 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reviewing: Murder With Reservations

Room 323 is a problem room at Sybil's Full Moon Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Guests frequently trash it and Helen is usually part of the group that has to clean it. Helen is working at the Full Moon Hotel as a maid and has been for sometime while she hides out from her ex-husband Rob. Worked over by the court system, she isn't about to let him have a penny of her money. She lives a cash only existence and the folks in room 323 don't tip. Tips are few and far between which is why the staff, except for Helen, is always searching for the loot left behind after a botched bank robbery. The dead bank robber stayed in that room and with 100K at stake the money is worth searching for.

In the meantime, there are three floors of a hotel to clean. The staff works hard, the guests are often rude and yet, employee turnover is surprisingly low. When Rhonda, who also worked as a maid, suddenly disappears everyone else assumes that she ran off with her often talked about but never seen rich boyfriend. Helen isn't so sure because she has her suspicions. Helen has a history of finding dead bodies on other jobs and she wonders if something bad has happened to Rhonda. Her history is hammered home by a local police detective soon after Helen finds Rhonda's body in the dumpster. Unfortunately, not only does she have to deal with the fact that Rob is coming closer and closer to finding her, Rhonda won't be the last body at The Full Moon bringing Helen unwanted scrutiny by the local police.

While some reviews have criticized the ending as killing off the series, it is sufficiently vague to allow the series to continue as it has. Beyond the fact that the series has continued with the recent release of "Clubbed To Death" and without going into detail, it should be clear to any reader that while the main events of this novel are resolved, the book on Rob is by no means closed.

What is also clear is that several earlier books are referred to in sufficient detail in this novel to make reading them rather pointless. That is always a risk when one starts reading a series out of order and that is the case here with several detailed references to earlier books.

Since the series is new to me, this novel being the first I have read, I can't address the overall consideration of the story arc across novels or development regarding the main character. Despite those issues as well as the ease that Helen seemingly moves through life with no identity and living a cash only existence, the novel itself is a comfortable enjoyable read. It moves fairly quickly and provides a case that will keep most readers guessing until the end. As it entertains it also reminds readers of something very important – don't lie on the bedspread.

Murder with Reservations: A Dead-End Job Mystery
Elaine Viets
New American Library/Penguin Group
May 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22111-7
263 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reviewing: The Battle Of The Labyrinth

Percy Jackson is difficult to deal with from a parental perspective. Of course, one issue is that he is a teenager. Another is the fact that he is a half blood thanks to being the son of the sea god, Poseidon. Then, there is that whole blowing up the school issue which happens on a fairly regular basis.

The last is what he is pretty much known for but he doesn't want to destroy schools. He doesn't wake up and plan to destroy a school. It just happens. With Percy's planned attendance at an orientation at Goode High School on East 81st in New York City as the novel opens, mother and son are both a bit worried. There is extra pressure this time because mom's boyfriend, Paul Blofis pulled strings from his position as English teacher to get Percy accepted to Goode High School where he will begin the ninth grade in the fall despite Percy's history of being kicked out of every school he has ever attended. The plan is to attend the orientation, get out before anything happens, and go spend the summer at the Half Blood Camp. Everything would have been fine too except for one small problem.

Demonic cheerleaders.

The two cheerleaders wanted Percy dead in the worst way and didn't care what happened to the mortals that got in their way or the building itself. When all is said and done, Percy is on the run again headed for the Half Blood Camp. Not only will he have to clear his name yet again, but this time is going to have to go into the Labyrinth to delay Kronos who is building his army to take over the world and the modern day Mount Olympus.

This latest installment in the series is another action filled, often funny, read for both teenagers and adults. Greek mythology is again brought to noisy life by author Rick Riordan who draws parallels and links between the ancient myths and the modern world. While telling a great story, he continues to frequently satire various matters involving politics and education. Parents in Texas especially will appreciate the hilarious section involving the sphinx, the revised policy on the riddle, and TAKS as well as the No Child Left Behind Act. It's simply "exemplary" writing to be enjoyed and should be posted in every classroom across the state.

As he has done so well before, author Rick Riordan (who also authored the very good Tress Navarre mystery series) has penned another installment that while good in its own right is a small cog in the series arc detailing the coming epic battle with Kronos. Character development is secondary as the characters have been well established by this point. Instead, the focus is action. Therefore, the ongoing issue of Percy's prophecy is briefly touched on to remind readers with the main focus being the here and now as the battle of Labyrinth is a minor skirmish in the build up to the Great War. The war is coming and is should really be something.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Book 4—The Battle Of The Labyrinth
Rick Riordan
Hyperion Books For Children
ISBN# 978-1-4231-0416-8
361 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reviewing: "Death Will Get You Sober" by Elizabeth Zelvin

Waking up in detox is not a new thing for Bruce Kohler. This time around it is Christmas Day and this time it is on the Bowery in New York City. Bruce knows what to do to stay sober. The real trick is making it last and up until now he hasn't been able to despite his friends Jimmy and Barbara. After so many attempts, they know have adopted a hands off approach and are waiting for Bruce to get serious about staying sober.

He quickly befriends another inmate Godfrey Brandon Kettleworth the Third who goes by the nicknamed of "God" to the annoyance of some and amusement of others. But, with Bruce he shares that he would prefer to be called Guff. He shares a few other interesting tidbits about his family and his past but not a lot as Guff is a cynical and private person. Bruce and Guff are kindred souls and recognize pieces of themselves in each other and as a result a friendship born of location and circumstances is growing into the real deal. Both are well into their thirty day stretch when, during the middle of the night, Godfrey has some sort of seizure before dying in front of Bruce.

His death along with other recent events makes Bruce suspicious that something sinister is going on and it could involve the Bowrey staff. With support and assistance from Jimmy and Barbara, Bruce begins to investigate the issue while battling to change his ways and remain sober. After all, they reason, if he has something to occupy his mind other than contemplating his own life, Bruce might actual make it this time sobriety wise. His sobriety, along with his own life, could easily be considerably shortened if certain people have their way.

This debut novel by psychotherapist Elizabeth Zelvin is based in large part on her experiences directing alcohol treatment programs. With an extensive background dealing with issues of alcoholism, addiction, and codependency among others, one could expect a novel full of jargon and information dumping on the subject. One could be very wrong.

Instead, what is here is a novel full of rich and complicated characters in a different setting than most novels dealing with the age old problem of murder in their midst. The backdrop is alcoholism and treatment but the main thrust of the novel is murder. Like any novel of any depth at all, the characters have to deal with real life issues at the same time and such is the case here. Instead of jargon filled informational dumping, author Elizabeth Zelvin releases the information piecemeal when warranted.

The result is an engrossing and complex tale at a mere 259 pages that provides a glimpse of the real world of detox and chronic addiction. Along with that glimpse, the author skillfully weaves in the primary tale of family, friendship, deceit, murder and the basic idea that craving for something can come in many forms with just a few of them being socially acceptable.

Death Will Get You Sober
Elizabeth Zelvin
Thomas Dunne Books
April 2008
ISBN# 0-312-37589-1
259 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008


is it that some folks seem to know exactly what to do with their lives and I never do? Self assurance must be a wonderful thing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reviewing: Third Strike

J. W. Jackson is used to having his wife Zee pushing him to stay out of the deaths and other mysteries that occur on Martha's Vineyard. But, this time, when Eduardo Alverez is killed by an explosion in the engine room of the car and passenger ferry Trident, Zee feels differently. Eduardo may have been a striker but he was also by all accounts a quiet, hard working devoted family man who had no enemies. While the ferry strike continues unabated, Eduardo leaves behind a wife and child full of pain and heartache. Daddy isn't coming home and the police seem to have decided that since he was a striker, he was planting a bomb that just went off earlier than intended. With a little nudge from Zee, J. W. Jackson gets to poking around in the case.

It also doesn't take much convincing to get J. W. to help his old friend Brady Coyne. Coyne is a Boston attorney who has been contacted by one of his clients. The client also lives on Martha's Vineyard and has witnessed strange happenings in the middle of the night at an isolated dock. Men with automatic guns, large crates, and small boats running without their lights seem to indicate trouble but the nature of the trouble is unknown.

Coyne and Jackson begin poking around separately and soon find that their cases are linked. It leads them on a wild chase and a thrilling, though totally unbelievable climax, at one of the island's airstrips.

This is the fundamental problem with this novel. Since this is the third joint book, as well as the latest in a long series by each author, one does not expect sudden character revelations or some abrupt shift in character development. These are well established characters with long histories that aren't about to change. One does expect the plot to make sense. Especially with regards to terrorism these days and it doesn't come close.

Instead, the novel relies on a Hollywood B movie style ending in the big climax that just doesn't work. As such, any reader mildly aware of anything the last few years is apt to lose all suspension of disbelief. Savvy readers may find themselves laughing uncontrollably or launching the book across the room in a fit of annoyance. Either is possible and somebody should have addressed the issue long before the book saw print.

One wonders if this is a case where the author's prestigious names and body of work overruled any editorial considerations regarding the logic of the ending. Or maybe somebody thought Hollywood, where bad guys miss despite emptying clip after clip at the hero, will come calling with their big bucks. Either way, what up until the end had been a fairly good read, was destroyed by ludicrous sheer implausibility.

The authors can and usually do better. It is sad that this time that didn't happen.

Third Strike
Philip R. Craig
William G. Tapply
December 2007
ISBN# 1-4165-3256-0
323 Pages (including recipes)

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Weekend Well Spent

This truly was a weekend well spent. Read a bit, worked on my novel, wrote a flash piece, and spent most of my time outside while doing all of it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Children's Book Review: Bitter Tastes by V. B. Rosendal

This middle school novel's theme is secrets. Just like in real life, everyone in this book has them. Kathy Harmon, the new kid in town because she just moved to Warner, North Carolina, an island town on the outer banks, has them. One of her secrets is what happened to her left hand that causes her to hide it in her left pants pocket as much as possible.

Her new friend, Martha Cunningham, has a secret as well. While she is willing to go everywhere with Kathy, she won't let Kathy come over to Martha's home. Martha always has an excuse and Kathy is ready to investigate that mystery.

That is when she isn't poking around in what happened to her friend Janine McCallum. Janine ran a restaurant and taught a class for kids known as "Kooking with Kids." Janine also had an injured hand and despite that obstacle was able to do anything she wanted. She was leading by example in overcoming her handicap and her fear of it and she and Kathy had bonded. Now, she is dead and Kathy, who witnessed a violent altercation between Janine and one of many suspects, wants answers.

Billed like many books featuring young girls poking around in cases as "The New Nancy Drew" this novel tells an interesting tale written in an adult voice. As such it does not read as a middle school or young adult novel. It also features the occasional missing comma in dialogue and a rather abrupt ending.

Despite those issues, taken as a whole, this is an enjoyable novel that tells a good tale while not talking down to its intended audience. As the pages pass, the novel works back and forth through time with well done flashbacks to fill in character development and back story. For those readers that prefer a linear story this could be an issue but the way the story is told works well.

While back story on various issues is developed along with the characters, the central question of who killed Janine McCallum and why is never far from the mind of readers. The result is a good novel that offers a strong start to a possible series. Time and a number of novels within the series will settle the question of whether this author or one of many others will actually be able to lay claim to the title of "The New Nancy Drew."

Bitter Tastes
V. B. Rosendahl
Stargazer Press
ISBN #0-9734940-9-3
108 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

May meeting of the Writer's Guild of Texas

Mark the third Monday of every month for the Writers' Guild of Texas meeting.

Monday, 19 May 2008
7-8:30 p.m.
Topic: Three Essentials of the Screenwriting Trade
Speaker: Jeffrey Turner

Richardson Public Library
900 Civic Center Dr.
Richardson TX 75080
Basement Room

This workshop focuses on three essentials of the screenwriting trade: the structure of American screenplays, important tools for screenwriters, and the business of marketing screenplays. The content focuses on practical advice and utilizes examples from the American film industry and the instructor's personal experience.

Although originally a science fiction and fantasy novelist, Jeffrey Turner now devotes most of his time to screenwriting. In 2002, he was a finalist in the Hollywood Symposium screenwriting competition, and since has optioned seven screenplays to independent film companies. His short screenplay, "Penance," was produced by Eminent Works and has shown at film festivals around the country; and his work on the biopic "Pushing Life" resulted in an inspirational biography collaboration with the film's subject, Terry Hitchcock. Jeff lives in Fort Worth with his wife and two daughters.

Early Bird announcement:

16 June 2008

Regularly scheduled Writers' Guild of Texas meeting; WGT members present their own work. (All WGT events are free and open to the public.) For more information on the sponsoring organization, go to The Writers' Guild of Texas.

Writers' Guild of Texas events are free and open to the public.

Permission to forward this email is not only granted, but encouraged. Let's get the word out to as many in the writing community as possible.

Carol Woods, Publicity
Writers' Guild of Texas

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Anthology News

This evening I had the pleasure of making what will hopefully be the final changes to my story "By the Light Of The Moon…" scheduled to appear in the anthology "The Carpathian Shadows-Volume II." This volume is edited by Lea Schizas who also did the first volume in the series. I am thrilled to have this opportunity.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Reviewing: "Dead Boyfriends"

Rushmore McKenzie returns in this fourth novel in the series as does crime, murder, violence and politics. In most books they would be just themes but in the hands of David Housewright they take on a life of their own and become characters in their own way.

While heading out to buy a dining room set from a friend, a very lost Rushmore McKenzie is flagged down by a woman begging for help. The woman claims that her boyfriend is dead. Considering her appearance which certainly indicates something very bad has happened, former police officer McKenzie decides to get out of his car into the Minnesota summer heat and investigate.

Something very bad has happened, indeed.

After seeing the grisly scene, McKenzie backs out of the home and calls it in. The woman has gone catatonic from the shock and the fact that the first officer on the scene from the Anoka Police Department is abusive towards her doesn't help. When he becomes violent with the woman, McKenzie interferes and the officer turns on him with the ultimate result that McKenzie soon finds himself in jail. That causes the dream, one that he hadn't had for quite awhile, to return in all its disturbing glory.

He later learns when he is finally released many hours later that the woman who flagged him down, Merodie Davies, is in custody. While she hasn't been charged yet in the murder of Eli Thomas Jefferson, she does have an attorney, G. K. Bonalay. Bonalay enlists McKenzie's help in the case. With him doing the legwork and Bonalay using her connections, they begin to unravel a sordid mess going back deep into the past.

Powerfully connected people corrupt to their core in Minnesota have long been a theme in this series and it is very present in this novel. So too are others such as violence, murder, McKenzie's troubled past, his romance with Nina, and many other items long familiar to readers of this strong series.

Unlike most series books, this one can be treated as a stand alone for readers new to this series. Other than the dream which is a nightmare and referred to again in detail in several places in this novel, earlier events in the series are not covered at all or get the barest of mentions. The nightmare/dream sequence is used to remind readers of his past as well as to create another obstacle in this novel for him to surmount as he works an increasingly complex and challenging case.

Edgar award winning author David Housewright has penned another strong novel that entertains while delivering something to think about after the book is done. This is another good one.

Dead Boyfriends
David Housewright
St. Martin's Minotaur
ISBN# 0-312-34830-4
May 2007
278 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Earl Staggs

Just a reminder that EARL STAGGS will actually be doing his appearance SUNDAY and not on Monday as previously announced. The material that was sent to me was in error and has been corrected in the posting below.

May 11--Earl Staggs, HoTxSinC program
Barnes & Noble Westlake
701S. Capital of Texas Hwy.#P860
For more information contact .

If you are in the area, I hope you will come out and see him. Earl is one of the good guys in this business and is always willing and able to talk about the writing process. And his book, MEMORY OF A MURDER is a very good book.

Kevin R. Tipple (c) 2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Reviewing: The Deal by Adam Gittlin

Jonah Gray is the youngest member of a four member team at Platinum Commercial Building and Land (PCBL). Located at the Chrysler Center in New York City, the company handles commercial real estate in the city. They make a lot of money and do whatever it takes to get business done. Jonah Gray continues the family tradition in real estate and is very good at it. Much like the real life Donald Trump, the fictional Jonah Gray wants everyone to know it including the reader. His ego knows no bounds and absolutely anything can be done.

Because he has the reputation of being the man to go to and his contacts are everywhere, it isn’t surprising that Andreu Zhamovsky contacts him one morning though it has been a couple of years since they last spoke. Business keeps both men busy with Andreu owning the controlling interest in Prevkos, one of the world’s most important natural gas corporations and a key player on the Russian stock exchange. He and his family are old friends dating back to the seventies and the relationship between their fathers. Andreu is family as far as Jonah is concerned but this day he wants to talk business.

Jonah agrees to meet that evening and does where Andreu announces that he has a proposal for Jonah. A massive deal that if done within the three week time table required by Andreu will create a million dollar plus payoff for each member of Jonah’s team and will be a huge real estate coup as the market rebounds after the events of September 11, 2001. Naturally, he accepts.

Huge mistake.

While he and the other members of his team work on this new project, Jonah becomes slowly involved in two secondary storylines where his partying lifestyle is a huge factor. In both cases, beauty hides sinister secrets that could easily get him killed. The question quickly becomes whether or not he can solve those issues and stay alive so that he can make the deal, which has its own issues, happen.

This second novel written by Adam Gittlin, a commercial real estate executive in New York City is clearly a case of the classic mantra "write what you know" in large part. It starts amazingly slow for a novel branded as a thriller. The first one hundred pages or so not only sets up the main storyline, they also serve to allow Jonah Gray to information dump about his lifestyle driven by excess in every area as well as the detailed ins and outs of the commercial real estate market. Full of the ominous "if only had I known" cliché worked in various ways, the book makes full use of the author’s background and grinds along at a snail’s pace as the situation regarding the main storyline is developed in great detail.

Those first one hundred pages or so also creates a main character that becomes despised. A flawed human being who could easily say the famous movie line, “Greed is good” before telling you in great name dropping detail just how good regarding clothing, dinner, and the woman he took to bed last night. Life is amazingly good for Jonah and it is only as his life begins to unravel we learn that there is another side to him. Like everything in the book, appearances are deceiving and at his core, thanks to his baptism by fire, he is a far different person than the materialistic person at the beginning of the 456 page novel.

What starts at a snails pace is more than made up for in the last one hundred pages as the reader is rocketed through a maze of pathways to a very satisfying conclusion. While this novel does suffer from information dumping and overwriting at spots throughout the novel, the last fourth of the book as things come together works with one obvious plot twist and a host of others that weren’t obvious. The result is a pretty good novel that becomes intense and well worth the time in the second half of the book.

Just try to arrange things so that you can read the last one hundred pages in one sitting as you aren’t going to want to quit once you get there.

The Deal
Adam Gittlin
Oceanview Publishing
ISBN# 978-1-933515-13-7

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

Tenth Annual 2008 Texas Mystery Month

The below was sent to me via my local writing group. Make sure to verify events using the contact info provided on each one as things are always subject to change.


Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter is pleased to announce the Tenth Annual 2008 Texas Mystery Month in May. The purpose of Texas Mystery Month is to spotlight Texas Mystery Authors. Texas Mystery Month events include panel discussions, book signings, author presentations and more. Houston and San Antonio are joining Austin in celebrating Texas Mystery Month in May. Below is the current calendar of events.

Saturday, May 3--2:00 p.m. Laura Griffin, signing, author of One Wrong
Step Barnes & Noble Round Rock. The store is located in the La Frontera
Village at the intersection of IH 35 and SH-45.

May 11--Earl Staggs, HoTxSinC program Barnes & Noble Westlake- Austin, 701
S. Capital of Texas Hwy.#P860, Austin, 512-328-3155. For more information
contact .

Wednesday, May 14--'How to Write a Mystery: Session One'
David Ciambrone, Sc.D. 7:00-9:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble Westlake-Austin The
Village Shopping Center, 701 Capital of Texas Highway South, southeast
corner of 360 & 183, 512-338-3155

Thursday, May 15--'How to Write a Mystery: Session Two'
David Ciambrone, Sc.D. 7:00-9:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble Westlake-Austin, The
Village Shopping Center, 701 Capital of Texas Highway South, southeast
corner of 360 & 183, 512-338-3155

Friday, May 16 --'How to Write a Mystery: Session Three'
David Ciambrone, Sc.D. 7:00-9:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble Westlake-Austin, The
Village Shopping Center, 701 Capital of Texas Highway South, southeast
corner of 360 & 183, 1-512-338-3155

Thursday, May 15--Ben Rehder -- 6:30 p.m. Signing at Murder by the Book,
2342 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77005 (713) 524-8597 / (888) 4-AGATHA /

Saturday, May 17--2 to 6pm – Marcia Spillers "Writing a Mystery Novel
using Screenwriting Techniques.” Recommended reading:
"Writing for Emotional Impact" by Karl Iglesias. Barnes and Noble
Westlake, Austin. The Village Shopping Center, 701 Capital of Texas
Highway South. 512-338-3155.

Saturday, May 17-- 2:00 p.m. Dave Ciambrone & Sylvia Dickey Smith, Signing
Barnes & Noble Northwoods San Antonio 18030 Hwy 281 N, Ste. 140 San
Antonio TX 78232 1-210-490-0937

Saturday, May 17--Rick Riordan, time TBA Signing at Murder by the Book
2342 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77005 (713) 524-8597 / (888) 4-AGATHA /

Sunday, May 18--Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event,
2-5 p.m. Barnes & Noble Westlake-Austin, 701 S. Capital of Texas
Hwy.#P860, Austin, 512-328-3155. For more information contact .

Saturday May 24 -- 4:30p.m. "What comes first?" panel with
Sisters in Crime Final Twist Chapter; Murder by the Book 2342 Bissonnet
St. Houston, Texas 77005 (713) 524-8597 (888) 4-AGATHA