Yesterday was another day where we kept doctors and nurses
employed. Scott and Sandi were at a local surgical center at 8 am. Scott had to
have a third colonoscopy as the first one a couple of months ago and the one
last week didn't go as well as they needed to so that things could be seen and
assessed. Yesterday didn’t go as well as it could have either with the day not
ending until they were back from an emergency run to the doctor’s office in
McKinney because of bleeding and a trip to Wal-Mart for meds.
Even though this is Halloween, what Scott went through Monday night and yesterday
was very rough and way too gruesome to share here. A very long story short it ultimately took
four more hours of prep work at the surgery center before Scott was ready to be
scoped. Finally, after so much work, they could see what they needed to see.
The news at this point is a mixed bag. The preliminary
diagnosis is they “think” Scott does not have Crohn’s Disease. He does have extensive diverticulitis, widespread
polyps (some of which were sampled again for cancer biopsies), at least one
ulcer for sure, and some other issues that await test results.He has a follow-up appointment late in the
morning next Wednesday to go over the results and talk about where we go from
That will require him to miss at least one class
next Wednesday. He also missed classes yesterday in a day that never seemed to
end.I know all of this, as well as what
we have been through in the past year, is nothing compared to what the folks in
the path of Hurricane Sandy have experienced.Still, for us, it all has been way too much.
Edited by Terri Taylor Edible Dallas & Fort Worth:
The Cookbook showcases the regional cuisine of the local area.Like everything else, the local cuisine reflects
the spirit of competition between the cities as well as the traditional image
in the local and national media. Whether it is the Western roots of Fort Worth
known as “Cowtown” and where the West begins, or the cutting edge new wave of
whatever is about to be hip in Dallas, there should be something for everyone
to enjoy in this173 page book based on
the magazine “Edible Dallas & Fort Worth.”
The book opens naturally enough with “Starters.”
Here in Chapter 1 you will find “Grilled Watermelon Salad (page 6) and “Peach
Pico De Gallo” (page 9) as well as “Fried Squash Blossoms With Herbed Goat
Cheese” (page 29) among others. Most of the starters are geared towards the
warm weather months. Each recipe features a little history behind the item as
well as a tip regarding preparation, storage, etc. Most recipes also feature a
picture of he finished dish. Unfortunately, there is not nutritional
information at all for those who might want to make healthier versions or
Chapter 2 starts on pages 28-29 and is all about “Soups,
Sandwiches, And Such” with the items involved featuring a Texas twist. Here you
will find the “One-Ball Squash Sandwich (page 31), “Swine Blue Tacos” (pages
40-41) and “Spicy Corn, Crab, and Black Bean Salad” (page 47) among others.
Greens, variations of potato salads, and lots more
can be found in “Chapter 3: Sides.” Dishes like “Aunt Mabel’s Rutabaga
Casserole” (page 62), “Warm Roasted Potato, Bacon, And Blue Cheese Salad” (page
70) and “Swiss Chard Lasagna” (page 89) among others are here. Like in the other
chapters, interspersed between the recipes, are informative pieces tied into
the very local eateries, food suppliers, and cultural history of each city.
As everyone knows, Texas is cattle country. But, there
is far more than beef for dinner in “Chapter 4: Mains.” Starting on pages 94-95
with “Chicken Roulades With Goat Cheese And Spinach” and ending with “Stuffed
Artichokes” on pages 126-127, and variety is present here as it is throughout
the book. It is not just about various steaks, chicken fried steak, and chili con
carne though those are here as well.
Based off of local peaches, figs, berries, and more
is “Chapter 5: Desserts and Drinks.” Whether you want a desert like “Texas Baklava
With Figs, Pecans, And Sherry-Poached Asian Pears (pages 130-131) or “Texas
Grapefruit Pie” (pages 134-135) or a drink such as “Lavender Mint Gimlet” (page
152) or the “Texas Two-Step Sipper” (page 157) there is something here for you.
This colorful 175 page book closes with a five page resource
section, an acknowledgement section and a five page index.
While the complete lack of nutritional information
is a definite drawback, overall Edible Dallas & Fort Worth: The Cookbook
edited by Terri Taylor, who is also the editor of the related magazine, is a
good cookbook.Filled with photographs,
Texas history as well as regional information, and plenty of recipes, this is a
solidly good cookbook that presents very well and is filled with plenty of good
Mind Slices: A Collection of New and Previously Published Stories--
These sixteen scans and dissections of the author's brain reveal that he's
afflicted with Genre Versatility, the work displaying his
aptitude for fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense, and
mainstream fiction, with some stories blending genres. The diagnosis? Your reading enjoyment.
The book opens with the first two
stories ever published before moving forward into more recently published and new
works.Included in the book is “Burning
Questions”which was a honorable mention
winner” inMysterical-E’s “Skeletons in
the Closet” contest in the fall of 2007 as well as several pieces that were
published at the mystery e-zine “Mouth Full Of Bullets.” In total, the book contains 16 stories in a
variety of genres.
A man covered in dirt from head to toe looking like
he just barely crawled out of a grave is never a good thing. It gets worse when
the guy dies on the oak floor in a bar. Not that Bill cares one way or another
right then what Sonny, the bar owner, is talking about as Bill’s wife, Julie,
is in labor and Bill has more important things to think about and do.Like getting to the hospital in time and in
He makes it to the hospital just in time to see his
latest addition to the family, Michele LeAnn Travis, arrive in the world.When he comes out of the delivery room he
finds Sonny waiting for him. Sonny isn’t worried about why the guy died in his
bar. What is bugging him is why the guy distinctly said “The Falling” right
before he died.Sonny isn’t going to let
it go so Bill reluctantly agrees to ask around about it.
His first act is to call a friend of his, Patrick
Kinsey, who works as a Sheriff’s deputy. Patrick and Bill go back a few years
so Patrick knows about Bill’s tendency to get himself into the middle of
things. After warning him to stay out of it over the phone and being ignored, Patrick
comes to the hospital to tell Bill directly. He has good reason to tell Bill to
stay out of things as The Nuclear Regulatory Commission people have taken over
every aspect of the situation. Of course, Bill is not about to stop poking
around in a case that will take him and others out to far West Texas and a
With a clear nod of appreciation to the legendary
pulps he grew with, Texas author George Weir blends technology, archeology, and
plenty of action into this fast paced mystery tale. A story that barely slows
down at all for the addition of more back story further developing the Bill
Travis character. A character that can’t stop poking around despite his
steadily growing family.
In a series that began with the very good The Last Call and continues here in Slow Falling, Bill Travis once again
lives up to his namesake. He also manages to have some fun along the way in
this latest mystery.
My short story
collection Mind Slices: A
Collection of New and Previously Published Stories
features 16 short
stories in a variety of genres. Some tales lean towards the
side, some lean towards mystery, and almost all of them lean
Most stories also contain more than one genre. The e-book is
cents and is available online at:
It was supposed to be a simple flying lesson when
Bill Travis and Denise Lipscomb lifted off the runway in Austin for the short
flight to the small town of Trantor’s Crossing fifty miles away.The plan is to practice touch and go landings
at the small airport there and then fly back home. Twenty minutes later the flashing
red and blue lights at a small airport hangar indicate something is wrong.
It isn’t long before it is clear why the police are
at the hangar in such force.Legendary
local Edgar Bristow is dead after being struck repeatedly in the face by a
crowbar. For Denise, who had a personal and long history with Mr. Bristow, the
murder is a shock. For Bill Travis, despite his obligations at home, the murder
and the hunt for the killer are about to be his latest problem.
Unfortunately for Bill Travis, Sheriff Leroy wants
his help. Media stories of Bill’s saving the governor’s life and also clearing
the name of Texas Ranger Walt Connor means the good Sheriff knows just some of what
Bill has done. More than anything, he knows Bill Travis gets the job done. While
he wants to help, Sheriff Leroy wants to control everything.Easier said than done with Bill Travis who
tends to be a bit unorthodox at times.
Book five of the series finds Bill once again away
from his wife Julie and the family because he manages to get involved in one
deal after another. While readers of these novels don’t see that much of the
family man side of Bill Travis beyond his amazingly supportive wife Julie and
occasional glimpse of Travis with his daughters, more backstory of the Travis character
is revealed in this fast moving novel. Along the way there are plenty of
observations on Texas life and history as well as plenty of mystery.
on the Pedernales continues the solid series that began
Last Call. Blending lots of action, plenty of mystery, and interesting
characters, Texas author George Weir has created another good one in the
Helen Clarvoe is terrified. A girl named Evelyn
Merrick has been harassing her and making veiled threats, all while carefully
treading a legal line that ensures her victim can’t call the police and have
something done about it. But soon, Evelyn decides to expand on her work instead
of limiting her victim to Helen Clarvoe. She begins to terrorize everyone
connected with Helen, starting with telephone calls and escalating into more
and more vicious behaviour…
And so Helen turns to her lawyer, Paul Blackshear,
who makes it his mission to track down Evelyn. But things aren’t quite as
simple as that might sound. Half of the people who know Evelyn describe her as
an insane girl who will destroy herself one of these days. The other half is
shocked at the first half, and describe Evelyn as a saint who would do anything
for a friend and whose kindness knows no limits. What is the secret behind the
enigmatic Evelyn Merrick?
It’s the plot of Margaret Millar’s Beast in View, a 1955 novel that won the
MWA’s Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1956. And you can tell why. This book is
quite simply groundbreaking, but it has one of the most difficult endings to
describe. The ending has since been extremely overused, especially by
Hollywood. It has become one of the most cliché endings imaginable, and just
one adjective can quite easily give it away (as it did for me). From page 1, I
was convinced I knew the ending. So did that make the book less enjoyable?
Oddly enough… no! I was absolutely amazed at how
Margaret Millar manages to pull off such an unconventional ending while playing
perfectly fair with her readers. She never directly lies to us, you see. The
only deceptions that are played out are those legitimately played out on the
investigator, Paul Blackshear. And when the ending comes, you can really see
why people back in 1956 were so astounded by it. It is one of Margaret Millar’s
trickiest bits of misdirection, and even if you know the ending you can admire
her for inventing the ending in the first place, and then for the clever
misdirection with which people were fooled back when this twist was new.
And even though this twist now seems as old as the
Great Wall of China, there is plenty of emotional resonance to the ending
nonetheless, with an absolutely perfect last sentence that encapsulates the
book’s beauty and tragedy. It really is a shame that, thanks to its overuse,
this twist will likely not fool modern readers. I envy anybody who can read
this book and be surprised by the ending.
Paperback coming September 2016
But that’s not all. I was also genuinely shocked to
see the topic of homosexuality discussed quite openly in the book. To be fair,
the words “homosexual”, “gay”, and “lesbian” are never used (although the
derogative term “fairy” is used once), but it’s quite clear that these things
are going on. At one point, a lesbian makes a pass at another woman. Before she
does so, another woman leaves the room sneering that she prefers the “normal
ones”. The lesbian, Bella, runs an indecent abode, is overweight, ugly, and
generally repulsive. She only appears for a handful of pages. Yet Margaret
Millar manages to somehow turn her into a compelling character. Bella admits
that the world has been cruel to her, and so to cope she began to eat, and eat,
and eat, until she became the woman that we see in the present day. Although we
see all the ugly things about Bella, this painful monologue shows that there is
far more to her than meets the eye. There’s another homosexual character who is
very important to the story, but describing this person and his backstory would
give major spoilers for something that happens well into the book. (While Bella
appears near the end of the book, her inclusion is only minor and I have used
it to demonstrate just how talented Millar was at writing characters.)
All this proves yet again that gosh darn it all,
Margaret Millar could write, and her
work really has been unfairly forgotten. The characters in this story are among
the most memorable you will come across in any
novel ever written. The atmosphere of
menace and dread in this story are absolutely top-notch, and it really tackles
some risqué subject matter for the 1950s. The ending, although original at the
time, has unfortunately become cliché since then through overuse, but that
doesn’t take away from its emotional power. But even if you know the ending,
like I did, you will undoubtedly find much to admire in Beast in View. This is another masterpiece from Margaret Millar and
has reminded me once again why I love her stuff so much.
Note: Beast in View has been
reissued by the Orion Publishing Group under their Phoenix imprint. More
information can be found at the publisher’s page here. U. S. residents can
easily order the book from The Book Depository here.
At 19 years of age,
Patrick Ohl has already read the complete works of Agatha Christie and has
almost done the same with John Dickson Carr. His taste in mysteries is very
comprehensive, including the intellectual challenges of John Rhode, the
psychological suspense of Margaret Millar, and the violent world of master
thief Parker. He currently plans to write his autobiography, tentatively
entitled I can’t stand postmodernism, and to sell millions of copies worldwide,
gain international fame and influence, and use this to get some attention for
criminally neglected authors such as this one. His reviews can be found on his
blog, At the Scene of the Crime.
Sandi just got out of the doctor's office with no changes. Four more weeks of physical therapy and continued use of the heavy boot when she is not working. These things take time and being a diabetic means everything takes longer for her.
For some time now I have been
writing a monthly book review column for the Senior News
newspaper. The Senior News is aimed to the 50 and over crowd with
news relevant to seniors regarding various issues, humor pieces, and my review
column among other things. The newspaper is a giveaway at doctor offices,
stores, etc. and can be received by via a paid subscription. There are multiple
editions across the state of Texas and therefore there is some fluctuation in
content in each edition.
My column every month focuses on
books of interest to the Texas audience. Therefore books selected for the
column, fiction or non-fiction, are written by Texas residents, feature Texans
in some way, or would have some other connection to the Texas based readership.
At least two books are covered each month in the short space I am given.
Below is/was my October 2012 column with the addition here of the
relevant book covers……
Shark’s Showdown at Chigger Flats
(estimated print length 256 pages)
It is May 1960 in Fort Worth, Texas as this fifth book
in the series begins. It is a calm quiet morning as Baby Shark, Kristin Van
Dijk, brings around the old car she and her private investigator partner, Otis
Millett, are going to use for a stakeout later in the day. Everything is
peaceful until the shooting starts.
When the shooting stops Baby Shark is wounded, cars
are smashed and destroyed in the street with the wreckage everywhere, and bad
dead guys litter the area. In a hard hitting action tale that crosses Texas
from Fort Worth to the area around Midland, the threat has to be stopped. To do
that Baby Shark spares no prisoners and gives better than she gets in this
violence filled adrenalin ride for justice. Over now five very good books Baby
Shark has proven again and again you can’t rationalize with evil--you have to
treat it for what it is and kill it.
(also available on Kindle)
Building on his experience working at a feedstore as
a teen, Texas author Terry Ervin fictionalized those years and all involved to
come up with this often funny coming of age tale. The book will strike a strong
resonance with you if you are of a certain age and grew up in Texas.
It is the spring of 1989 and the young narrator,
Travis, is all of sixteen. Travis has a crush on a classmate and believes
having some cash from working will get him closer to her. While he works he
learns lessons about life through his boss Doyle Suggs. As the months turn into
years and Travis works closer and closer to High School graduation he learns
the good, the bad, and the downright ugly and smelly from Doyle.
There is no great summing up of this book that is
possible. No great mysteries are solved, no meaning of life is pronounced, and no
great revelations are explained in this occasionally very graphic book.A fact that was made clear from word one of
the introduction. The Feedstore Chronicles is simply a fun read and an ode to a
time when, as pimply faced Texas teens, we knew it all.
This week, I'm giving away two packages of cozy mysteries. The first
package features librarians - Jenn McKinlay's Due or Die and Elizabeth Lynn
Casey's Deadly Notions. The other package has Lila Dare's Die Job and Grace
Carroll's Died with a Bow. Details are available on my
Entries from the U.S. only, please.
Today is another morning where we are keeping doctors and nurses employed. Scott and Sandi are at a local surgical center this morning as I write this. Scott is having to go under a second colonoscopy as the first one a couple of months ago didn't go as well as it needed to.
The purpose this morning is to hopefully better see things in there and figure out what is going on with him. Not only do they need to see just how bad his ulcer is and if there is only one, they are also trying to determine if Scott has Crohn's Disease. Some indications say yes while others say no. They had hoped to be able to figure this out the last time the did the colonoscopy, but could not see everything they wanted.
At least when that one was done, the biopsies they took came back cancer free. After what we had gone through with Sandi, cancer was a very real fear. The plan this morning is to take a couple more samples while they are inside to make sure.
Scott has classes later today and is planning to go to school. Hopefully, things will go smoothly and quickly so this is over as fast as possible today.
Released in 2009 The Perfect Formula Diet
is based on the life experiences and research of author Janice Stanger, Ph.D.
Having dealt with her own food cravings and obesity she had to learn a new way
of dealing with weight and eating. To win her battle she had to come to the
understanding that the body naturally will arrive at the perfect weight with
the right food intake. Her belief is that the real problem is poor decision
making regarding food choices and the heavy influence of modern day food
processing. As she points out in “Chapter 1: Perfect Body” and repeatedly throughout
the book, those who want to lose weight have to get back in balance to allow
your naturally perfect body to stabilize and heal itself.
“Chapter 2: Perfect Weight” starts sharing the
research that not only do traditional diets not work, plant based diets (vegan)
with no animal foods are the way to go. Regardless of genetics, race, or other
factors that might tend to influence things, those patients on plant based
diets lost weight according to the various studies mentioned here. A meat free
diet based on plant foods not only brings more fiber into your diet, it also
causes your metabolic rate to go to a higher level so that you burn fat.
Details and citations of the studies supporting the
author’s statements in this chapter, or in any of the chapters, are not directly
listed or cited in the book. In many cases the studies are not referenced by
title, author, institution, or any identifying information. Instead, to save
trees and printing costs¸ readers are encouraged to refer to the author’s
website for that information.
“Chapter 3: Perfect Foods” is all about what you
should and should not eat. Simplifying greatly, this chapter that begins on
page 23 advises readers to avoid manufactured foods such as white flour, white
rice, vegetable oils, white sugar, artificial sweeteners, etc.Avoid all animal foods or any food that come
from animals. This means avoid meats, eggs, fish, cheeses, etc. One should be
eating all types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and more.
Of course you do need protein in your food and that
is the point of “Chapter 4: Perfect Protein.”How plant proteins really work for you and how animal proteins work
against you is covered here. A major point of this chapter is that too much
protein can cause uncontrolled growth. That in turns leads to obesity and cancer
among other things.
Nutrients are also important as noted in “Chapter
Five: Perfect Nutrients.” After citing the history of numerous athletes in
various fields who followed a plant based (vegan) diet, the author again makes
her case for a plant based diet that avoids all animal foods.
After reminding readers again on pages 60-61 to consult
with their doctor, especially critical for patients with chronic illness and/or
on medications, it is on with “Chapter 6: Perfect Formula Diet.”As the author notes, her idea is not one of
those eat high/low plans, but a plan based on balance. Therefore, based on
volume, your diet should by 25% of each category of vegetables, fruits, legumes/potatoes
and whole grains. You want to make sure to eat two tablespoons a day of ground
flax seeds as well as plenty of herbs and seasonings. You don’t worry about the
size of the portions. You eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel
satisfied.Also included here are some
suggestions for appropriate snacking.
After a while you will notice you like some things you
eat a lot more than others. But, to be most successful, you will need to rotate
the foods you consume. That is the theme of “Chapter 7: Perfect Rotation”
starting on page 71. Rotation of foods you consume and how the various groups work
together to help you lose weight and get healthy is stressed in this
chapter.Advantages of certain treats,
such as dark chocolate, are also covered here. An interesting part of this
chapter is addressing what to do if you are not seeing results after a few
weeks on the diet.
“Chapter 8: Perfect Start” starts on page 97 with an
opening pep talk on why you should change your diet before getting into
specifics. She advocates making a major shift in your eating habits one time
rather than making gradual adjustments. And how to do so mentally as your mind
and attitude have a role to play. Give it a month and see what happens is the
Doing this change in eating habits requires some
planning and that is the point of “Chapter 9: Perfect Logistics.” This chapter
tells you how to change your shopping habits, how to make it work for your job
out of the home, eating out, and travel issues, among other situation. The
major point of this chapter is that planning will become easier the longer you
are doing the diet.
Money can be an issue and that is the point of the
very short “Chapter 10:Perfect Price.”
The foods themselves should be relatively inexpensive as you are buying
original foods that have not been processed. The author includes a few tips starting
page 128 such as to buy things that are in season and buy canned and dried
foods in large quantities when they are on sale to stretch things out further.
“Chapter 11: Perfect Evidence” is all about the
evidence gathered from around the world to support a plant based lifestyle. While
interesting information the placement of this chapter seems a bit odd as it
would have made sense to fold much of this information into chapter two making
the case for this lifestyle.
“Chapter Twelve: Perfect Health” also goes back over
material covered in earlier chapters and restates the information previously
provided. As explained before and again here, dietary issues cause healthcare
issues and costs and other problems.
This leads into a chapter about how your body defends
itself in “Chapter 13: Perfect Defenses.”Inflammation is that defense shield for the body and can shift out of
control as seen in chronic disease. This can place a huge burden on your body
and lead to other issues.
This information leads readers to “Chapter 14:
Perfect Balance” where it is explained how some foods-- such as animal proteins
-- are foreign to the body and trigger immune system response.By changing your lifestyle to the author’s
advocated plant based diet, the immune reactions end, and the body returns to a
“Chapter 15: Perfect Puzzle Completed” is all about
hormones. Animal proteins can cause certain hormones to go out of control and
that can ultimately lead to cancer and other issues.That point and other information regarding
oxygen, estrogen, free radicals and more are here.
Making the point that what is happening to each
person is also happening to the planet is the idea of “Chapter 16: Perfect
Planet.”Eliminating animal protein from
everyone’s diet would remove the environmental factors with raising animals to
consume and would be a small positive step forward to detoxify the planet.No matter how hard we try to avoid it, chemicals
involved with animal production are in our food supply, as it stands, and therefore
in your body.
While you may have made adjustments in your eating
habits, you should not stop there.“Chapter 17: Perfect Home” is all about removing the hidden threats in
your home. Critically important if you are still having health issues after
embracing The Perfect Formula Diet. The chapter contains a number of tips
as to what to look for and what to avoid in your everyday products.
Exercise, sleep, and alternative medicine are just
some of the topics briefly discussed in “Chapter 18: Perfect Next Steps.” The
main point is that once you follow the diet and detoxify, your perfect body
will naturally want to become more active and free of other issues.
Changing your personal environment and your role in
it has been a theme throughout the book. It becomes the forefront again in this
chapter titled “Chapter 19: Perfect Climate.” Repeating some of the same argument
made in earlier chapters, the author encourages readers to see modern manufactured
food for what it really is in terms if planet and society destruction.
Each chapter has a brief summing up of the highlights
of the chapter. Those are condensed and used here in “Chapter 20: Perfect
Story” summing up some of the highlights of the book.
Where to find information on recipes and other
things is the point of “Chapter 21: Perfect Resources.” This leads readers on
to a short reference page directing readers to the author’s website for study
information and a five page index that finishes the book.
Unlike many diet books, those readers looking for
specific meal plan suggestions will not find that information in The
Perfect Formula Diet. Readers will find lots of interesting information--often
repetitive--in this 260 page self-published book on why a plant based (vegan) diet
that avoids any form of animal protein would be good for you, your family, and
the planet as a whole.
Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now with Six Kinds of
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The fourth book in the “Bill Travis Mysteries”
series opens with Bill Travis at work in his office when his friend Walt Cannon
comes by to see him. Walt is a Texas Ranger with a thirty plus year career in the
elite law enforcement agency. Walt is also under suspicion by some within the organization.
Some believe that Walt committed a murder. Walt expects to be arrested soon.
Walt swears he didn’t kill Phil Burnet, though he certainly had a good reason
to kill him.
Bill Travis knows Walt and is pretty sure his friend
is telling him the truth when he says he didn’t do it. But, something is wrong
with Walt and he won’t come clean about it. All Walt wants is Bill’s help in
clearing his name. Bill seems to have a knack for investigating things and
finding the truth even though his day job deals with money and all the tricks investment
counselors, like Bill, use to make money grow for their clients.
One thing that will help Bill when he starts poking
around is that the guy who found the body of Phil Burnet in the water at what
used to be called Town Lake is Perry Reilly. The same Perry Reilly, notorious
womanizer, who runs an insurance agency right next door to where Bill has his
office. Bill has known Perry since way back in the day before Bill was married
with kids. Before long, Bill is over at Perry’s office asking a few questions
and reluctantly agreeing to let Perry tag along in the investigation. A
decision that Bill will have more than one chance to regret in a dangerous case
that will take them back and forth across Central Texas chasing a killer.
Devil To Pay is another fast moving read in the
series showcasing the obvious talents of the author George Wier. Bill Travis is
a unique character firmly grounded in his everyman roots who gets involved in
things again and again because of the people he knows. Often in this series,
what starts as something relatively minor soon explodes in a major way with links
to the Governor’s Mansion, political double dealing, and notorious crimes
decades old. Bill can’t help getting
involved and becoming a target. It is in his nature and he can’t help it. Even these
days with a wife, a new baby in the house, and lots more going on.
While you could read The Devil To Pay as a
stand alone it would be better if you read this series in order starting with The
Last Call. That novel was reviewed again yesterday here as my selection
for Friday’s Forgotten Books.
I wouldn’t select such a relatively new book for Friday’s Forgotten Bookshosted by Patti Abbott. But, I just finished The Devil To Pay.The fourth
book of a series written by George Wier leaves me wondering yet again for his
books. Reminiscent of the Sheriff Rhodes series by Bill Crider, Weir has
created a sort of everyman character in Bill Travis (an investment counselor)
and throws him into various difficult situations. Like he did with the first
book, The Last Call …..
Bill Travis first saw the beautiful woman while he
was driving in heavy traffic on the loop near downtown Austin. The beautiful
reddish blonde in the red roadster didn’t seem to mind that Bill Travis was
staring at her. For a few minutes they played a cat and mouse game passing each
other in the heavy morning traffic. After a smile his way and a couple of quick
moves on her part in the stop and go traffic, she was gone down the interstate
and out of his life. That left the nearly 40 year old Bill Travis with only one
option---head to work as if nothing had happened at all.
That is until a short time later, as his first
client of the day, she walks into his office.
Julie Simmons may have flirted and then cut him off
in traffic, but she has bigger issues then being a sexy and rude flirt. She has
crossed Archie Carpin, a North Texan Liquor Baron and legendary figure with a
violent family lineage dating back to the 20’s in Texas. This is one family
that you leave very well alone if you have any brains at all. Julie was
desperate and took two million dollars and ran. Of course, Archie Carpin very
much wants his money back.
Bill Travis, a man that helps well off people with
their money problems can’t help falling for her in every way possible. Even if there is far more to her story and he
knows it from the very start.The
beautiful woman wasn’t kidding when she said her name was trouble. He just
didn’t care. He should have as she was not lying about that much at least.
On the run and trying to stay alive on a trail that
takes them from Austin to North Texas and back again, Texas author George Wier
crafts an intriguing tale full of twists and turns. Populated with complex main
and secondary characters, plenty of clues, and plenty of action this recently
released novel first in a planned series is a good one. Even seasoned mystery
readers will be surprised by some of the twists the complex case takes while
imparting some legendary Texas history.
Earlier today Sandi had a major milestone. For the first time in over a year, Sandi had a haircut. A little over six months ago she was completely bald thanks to the chemotherapy. When her hair came back, it was very different in every way possible. While it did come back everywhere on her head, it also grows much slower than it used to before the cancer treatment.
Because her hair was/is so different now, Sandi wanted somebody who was used to working with cancer patients. So she went to "Survivor Gals" in Plano. They did a great job working with her hair and we both like the results.
Sandi's next round of bloodwork and PET SCAN to make sure she is still in remission is now scheduled for early December.
Approximately a year after the events of Northwest
Angle finds Cork O’Connor once again dealing with the weighty issues of
family, friendship, and survival in the wilderness of the North Country of
Minnesota. It took Jubal Little three hours to die. Plenty of time for a man to
confess his sins, make peace with the past, and more while siting against a
rock at Trickster’s Point.
Cork O’Connor may have thought about killing Jubal
Little. He may have gone to the site for a lot of reasons – including having it
out with the man who might have been the first Native American elected governor
of Minnesota. But, Cork O’Connor didn’t kill him. Even if others don’t
understand why he stayed there with Jubal and watched him die without going for
help. Even if the distinctive handmade arrow in Jabal’s chest indicates Cork
Cork is being set up and knows it even if most members
of law enforcement don’t see it that way. Jubal Little had a long list of
public adversaries because of who he was and what he planned to do as governor.
There are also private adversaries that not that many know about. Ones that go
back to childhood when Cork and Jubal, both fatherless, grew up together and
formed a bond that still connected them deep into adulthood.The list of potential real suspects is long
and Cork has to investigate on his own to clear his name while law enforcement
finds more and more evidence against Cork.
Shifting in time through the extensive use of
flashbacks, author William Kent Krueger tells a complicated tale of past
friendship, murder, and political advantage in his latest book.A book that also shows the Cork family
changing in so many ways.Things are
moving forward with his expanded family and yet Cork continues to get himself
into situations that his son would prefer he stay out. Cork can’t help it. It
is in his blood.
Another good book in the series, Trickster’s
Point is a complicated and often highly atmospheric read as it moves
slowly forward.Much is made of the
always present Indian heritage as well as past history of several characters. While
this twelfth novel in the series could be read as a standalone those who have
read the proceeding books starting with Iron Lake will get considerably more
out of this latest effort.
Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us. She is now free and not hurting anymore. I am still trying to pay off her past treatments at Medical City Dallas Hospital as well as at Texas Oncology. While the hospital can't handle direct donations, if you can help and would prefer to donate directly, please contact Debra, the financial counselor at TEXAS ONCOLOGY in SUITE 220 of Building D at Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Texas. We thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us.