Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Senior News---September 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 September 2013 column with the addition here of the relevant book covers…

Dying Voices: The Carl Burns Mystery Series
Bill Crider
Crossroad Press
E-Book (estimated print length 196 pages)

Professor Carl Burns starts the fall semester at Hartley Norman College preparing again to teach the sophomore level course on American Lit.  He has also dreading the upcoming Edward Street Seminar as their most famous alumni, Edward Street, triumphantly returns to the small Texas campus. As it turns out, he has good reason as soon Street is dead and the suspect pool includes Burns.

What follows is highly entertaining story of academic politics, crime, murder and a hint of romance as Burns works to solve this case and other issues. Following One Dead Dean this long out of print second book of the Carl Burns series is a comfortable cozy mystery story from Texas author Bill Crider. If you like his excellent Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, you will like these as Burns shares many of the same traits as Sheriff Rhodes. Like in the Rhodes series, Carl Burns quickly becomes a character readers relate to and feel is an old friend in this very good book.

Private Spies: A Jesse Morgan Mystery
PJ Nunn
Tidal Wave (division of Breakthrough Promotions)
ISBN# 978-0615832562
E-Book (also available as a paperback)
212 Pages

For the last five years Jesse Morgan Jackson and Joey Catronio were partners in a private investigation business in the Dallas, Texas area. Joey did the leg work while Jesse handled computer stuff and Bernice did secretarial work for them. Now, Joey is dead, Jesse is devastated and struggling to keep the business afloat.  When Beverly Gafford calls looking for somebody to find her ex-husband, Lawrence James Gafford, Jesse works hard to land what clearly is going to be a difficult client. A client who wants her child found, but isn’t acting right from the beginning.

Reminiscent of Janet Evanovich’s long running Stephanie Plum series, Private Spies: A Jesse Morgan Mystery is highly entertaining and occasionally laugh out loud funny. The slowness of the pace at the beginning provides the author time to develop the Jesse Morgan character for readers before the action significantly intensifies on many fronts. Published under the author's own name and though her publicity company, “Breakthrough Promotions,” this debut novel of the series is a complicated and well done effort from start to finish.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013

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