Saturday, August 24, 2013

Senior News---- August 2013 Column

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 mail 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 the 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 August 2013 column with the addition here of the relevant book covers…

Scratchgravel Road: A Mystery
Tricia Fields
Minotaur Books (A Thomas Dunne Book
ISBN# 978-1-250-02136-6
Hardback (also available as e-book and audio)
310 Pages

Artemis Police Chief Josie Gray leaves home at noon in the June heat to begin her shift and heads to the nearby watch tower to stare at the nearby border with Mexico. Cartel violence has spilled across the border before in this corner of Southwest Texas and the 33 year old police chief expects the violence to flare again at any time. Her planed stop at the tower never happens because she instead finds the abandoned car of the car of former jail employee Cassidy Harper parked nearby on Scratchgravel Road. Chief Gray soon finds her unconscious and lying next to a man who clearly has been dead for days.

That discovery, a runaway teenage daughter of a fellow officer, and the start of a monsoon season that breaks 100 year flood records are just some of the many factors at work in this complicated second novel of the series. Despite a couple of flaws in the primary storyline, this sequel to The Territory works fairly well and will keep readers entertained.

Organized To Death: A Lighter-Side Mystery Story
Jan Christensen
CreateSpace (Self Published)
ISBN# 978-1481139779
Paperback (also available as e-book)
234 Pages

Organized To Death: A Lighter-Side Mystery Story by prolific short story and novelist Jan Christensen is a suspenseful page turning read. First in a new series by this Texas author, it features Tina Shaw who comes back home to Newport, Rhode island in the fall of 2007 seeking a simpler and less stressful life where her clients should not die. Her first job as a professional organizer will be working with a client, Rachel, whom she has known since they both were kids. Rachel obviously needs her help as clutter has filled every nook and cranny except for the baby nursery that is in pristine condition.

That is except for the dead body sprawled across the floor in a pool of blood with several bullet holes in the back.

Not only is Rachel’s sister dead, but the police soon consider Tina a suspect. If that wasn’t enough, Tina can’t get a decent home cooked meal to save her life, she has three potential romantic partners who annoy and intrigue her, and the killer is not through yet. Rich in detail and populated with complicated multi-dimensional characters in every role, this suspenseful cozy style mystery read from author Jan Christensen is another good one.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013

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