Friday, January 31, 2014

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for a Limited Time: Wind River eBook: L.J. Washburn, James Reasoner: Kindle Store : First book in the Wind River series. After buffalo hunter and ...

FFB Review: "The Remake: As Time Goes By" by Stephen Humphrey Bogart (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

It is another Friday and once again time for Friday’s Forgotten books hosted by Patti Abbott. Later today the list will be here. In the meantime, please welcome back Barry Ergang…..

THE REMAKE: AS TIME GOES BY (1997) by Stephen Humphrey Bogart

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Reveling in the energy New York City generates and contemptuous of the L.A./Hollywood atmosphere he grew up in and happily departed, R.J. Brooks now plies his trade as a private detective specializing in the kind of keyhole-peeping matrimonial cases that give private detectives a bad name. His deceased parents were actors, the stuff of Hollywood legends who are still revered for their dramatic skills as much as for their "star qualities," and who will always be remembered for, above all else, their performances in the iconic film "As Time Goes By."

R.J., as he is continually referred to in the third-person narrative, is very enamored of one Casey Wingate, a New York-based TV producer. Normally a love'-em-and-leave-'em type, he's somewhat conflicted because he's never felt this way about any of the other women he's been involved with. While together on a dinner date, they're assailed by reporters wanting R.J.'s reaction to the news that a schlock Hollywood studio, Andromeda Pictures, has in production a sequel to "As Time Goes By." It's the first that R.J. has heard of it, and the information enrages him because the original "had been the picture his parents had been working on when they first met....The movie had turned his father from a star into the star. It had brought his mother, too, into the front rank of Hollywood starlets." When asked by a reporter for a comment, R.J. tells him and the others that he hopes the "animals responsible for this die a nasty death."  

The next day his photo is in all of the newspapers—along with his statement. When he learns that Andromeda's CEO, Janine Wright, is in New York for a stockholders meeting, and that she's staying at the Hotel Pierre. R.J. devises a ruse to get up to the Presidential Suite to confront her, and in the process meets Wright's lawyer, Murray Belcher, and her daughter Mary. The confrontation turns nasty but ultimately gets him nothing but exasperation and more anger.  

When Murray Belcher is murdered, R.J. is the prime suspect. But Belcher's is only the first murder. All of the victims are associated with Janine Wright and the sequel, and in nearly every instance, R.J. is in the vicinity.

Complicating matters is Casey, who takes a job with Andromeda Studios as an associate producer. The fact that she'll be going to California is bad enough. That she'll be working on the "As Time Goes By" sequel is like a knife in R.J.'s gut. In spite of this, he wants to be there to protect her from the unknown murderer. To further add to the chaos, he's hired by Janine Wright's daughter to find her father, who has recently been released from prison after serving time for dealing drugs. Mary is convinced her mother framed her father.

Stephen Bogart, of course, is the son of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and so has first-hand knowledge of Hollywood and its denizens. Even so, many of the characters are definitely stereotypes. The novel generally moves along at a nice pace, but there are passages in which R.J. agonizes a little longer than necessary about his feelings for Casey and their relationship, and which I felt slowed things unnecessarily.

My copy of The Remake: As Time Goes By was an advanced uncorrected proof, so it's possible some of the nits I'm about to pick didn't make it into the hardcover and paperback editions intended for public consumption.    

R.J. Brooks is the viewpoint character in the novel, through whose actions, eyes, thoughts and feelings the reader experiences events. There are a great many passages throughout in which he's the only character in action. But instead of referring to him via the pronouns he and him, Bogart too often (for my taste, anyway) refers to him as R.J.

Bogart's other quirk bothers me even more. Here's an example from this portion of a scene in which R.J. is arguing with Casey about her decision to accept the associate producer position with Andromeda Studios:

            "Casey, wait a minute—"
            "No, damn it, you wait. This isn't about you, it's about my career. This is
     what I've always wanted, R.J. If you had said anything to me about how much
     it bothered you it might have been different—"
            "Casey, you were there. You heard what I said."
            "To me, R.J. You never said anything to me."
            "I'm saying it now, Casey."
            "Now is a little late, R.J."

In my experience, two people who know each other, whether casually or intimately, don't call each other by name like that in conversation, so I found it rather grating.

My complaints notwithstanding, The Remake: As Time Goes By, though hardly the peak of hardboiled detective fiction, is an entertaining novel that will most likely satisfy fans of the genre even if it doesn't knock them out of their socks. It does contain its share of raw street language, so easily-offended readers are advised to stay away.

Barry Ergang © 2014

PUN-ishing Tales: The Stuff That Groans Are Made On, Stuffed Shirt, and Dances of the Disaffected are just some of Barry Ergang's e-books available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

CrimeFictionWriter: Published 3x + 1

CrimeFictionWriter: Published 3x + 1: "Stealing Roses to Save a Friend" appears in the February True Confessions, "I Dumped Him but He Won't Get Out of My Life...

The Education of a Pulp Writer: What I'm Working On: The Girls of Bunker Pines

 Such seriously excellent news on a new installment in an absolutely great series....

The Education of a Pulp Writer: What I'm Working On: The Girls of Bunker Pines: This will be the third title in The Drifter Detective series and the first one in print. To be released sometime in the next two weeks. ...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Agatha Nominations

 Yet more award nominees I have not read.....

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Agatha Nominations: AGATHA NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED


Back home and he says she is doing remarkably well. So far so good.

The next doctor thing, at this point, is next Friday when we will see the cancer doctor. Among other things she will get a 6 hour long IV to try and stabilize her suddenly worsening immune system.

Reminder: MWA Dallas Meeting Saturday, Feb 1, 2014

February 1, 2014 - Joy Tipping: "Getting Book Reviews from Inundated Editors."

Joy Tipping is a writer and editor with more than 20 years experience. She is currently a staff writer, columnist and copy editor for the Guide and Arts & Life sections of The Dallas Morning News. She is also the author of two literary travel guides. Her writing has appeared in every Top 10 paper in the U.S. as well as in dozens of other newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and abroad. As a freelancer, she has worked with national companies such as Lexis-Nexis, Dorling Kindersley and Brown Books, and has edited more than a dozen published books of both fiction and nonfiction. Joy’s honors include the Texas Katie Award for opinion writing, the Texas Medical Association Media Award, and others for writing in the areas of arts/literary criticism, humor, health, city services and juvenile crime. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas. While at Brookhaven College prior to attending North Texas, she was named “Business Student of the Year,” the most unlikely award she has ever received, and her favorite. She lives in downtown Dallas, with her husband and two extremely spoiled dogs.

Personal note: Joy's career took her all over the writing world, and she will, without fail, answer honestly when asked a question.


The Dallas MWASW group meets the first Saturday of each month at Texas Land & Cattle, 812 South Central Expressway, Richardson, TX 75080. Meeting time is 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. There is a $5.00 door fee, cash only. All who attend are invited to remain for lunch. Contact info:

James E. Gaskin
Writer / Consultant / Speaker
Latest book: Email From a Dead Friend (Kindle)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CT Scan Done

CT Scan is done and we are back home. It took way longer than expected, but the good thing is it was done by Texas Oncology folks so they should have the results quicker than what would have otherwise happened.

She has a cardiologist appointment tomorrow. This should be routine, but one never knows these days.

Doctor Stuff

The last several days have been rough and today won't help. Later today we will be going down to Medical City Dallas Hospital and basically wasting our time and money because insurance is being massive stupidly. Aetna and their third party agent Med Solutions have again this month refused to allow Sandi to have her needed PET Scan here.

This is the same PET Scan she was supposed to have late last August down at Mayo on Jacksonville, Florida. That was her 100 day point. It was approved to be done there as it is  part of their standard post stem cell evaluation and treatment plan. Unfortunately, thanks to the blood clot in her neck that they sent her home with as well as the pneumonitis that quickly presented itself here requiring Sandi to be hospitalized last summer, she can't fly. She remains totally dependent on oxygen delivered by machine and portable canisters. Her need for those canisters means she is not cleared by her doctors here or the TSA to fly.

So, since she can't go there, Aetna and Med Solutions won't let her have it here. Instead, they will make her go through a CT scan and await for those results before they will consider the much needed PET Scan. We have zero hope or faith in anything that comes out of the CT Scan as that test has never once shown anything cancer related. She has had several since November 2011 when she was hospitalized most of the month while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. While it was later determined, thanks to the PET Scan, that Sandi had cancer everywhere but her eyes, brain, and jawbone, the CT Scans showed nothing.

Not only is the CT Scan worthless, the PET Scan would be happening if she were at Mayo. The reality is that they are not denying the test. They are denying this location which is necessary because of the treatment decisions and complications they previously imposed upon her.

To say this is frustrating does not begin to cover it. It is a horrendous waste of time, money, and equipment in addition to needlessly doing something to her that does nothing to help her in her fragile medical state or assess anything. When the CT scan comes back negative, we all know that we still won't know a damn thing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Hard Case Crime Update

 One of my favorite books of the year. You can read my review here if so inclined....

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Hard Case Crime Update: Hard Case Crime Announces Two New Editions  of Stephen King's #1 Best-Seller, JOYLAND Edgar Award-nominated novel to be published in ...

Senior News Column---January 2014

For several years now I have been writing a monthly book review column for the Senior News newspaper. The Senior News is aimed for the 50 and over readership 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 January 2014 column …

Long Fall From Heaven
George Wier and Milton T. Burton
Cinco Puntos Press
ISBN# 978-1-935955-52-8
Paperback (also available as an e-book)
224 Pages

Cueball Boland, owner of NiteWise Security Company as well as a couple of other things in Galveston, Texas has a very unpleasant task when he knocks on Micah Lanscomb’s trailer.  Cueball needs Micah’s help because a fellow guard, Jack Pense, is dead. Jack was on the job in the Demour warehouse when somebody hit him on the head, tied him up, and then beat him to death. Cueball wants Micah to go have a look at the crime scene before they have to call the cops.

Both Cueball and Micah have extensive law enforcement backgrounds and distaste for local law enforcement which means they will ultimately work the case themselves. A case that will have links to the past when Galveston was a criminal paradise where anything went.

Featuring twin Texas story lines with one set in the late 1980’s and the other in the mid to late war years of World War II, Long Fall from Heaven is a powerful novel co-written by Texas authors George Wier and the late Milton T. Burton. Rich in Texas history and details, the book is a complex multilayered read that is incredibly good.

Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery
Bill Crider
Minotaur Books (A Thomas Dunne Book)
ISBN# 978-0312641658
Hardback (also available in e-book form)
272 Pages

It is the middle of October and still very hot and dry in Blacklin County, Texas. The weather has not been right for years and that isn’t all. Sheriff Dan Rhodes has already had a busy morning when the call comes in about the dead body. English Teacher Earl Wellington is dead. Probable cause of death is the obvious visual sign that part of his head is bashed in. Considering what looks to be blood and hair in the right place on one of the dumpsters at the branch campus of the local community college, it appears that a sharp corner did it with some help by person or persons unknown. Wellington was a bachelor, but he was also an English teacher and unpopular one at that. As Dean King points out, “It's always the English teachers.”

This latest in the series is number eighteen and is another good mystery with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Texas author Bill Crider has another very good read in the series with Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I have Heard This From Time To Time

and a lot more lately....

RTE--- New Crime Fiction Reviews on RTE

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

At RTE this week we have

Fifteen new crime fiction reviews:

Nele Neuhaus  in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:

Reviews this week:

TITLE                    AUTHOR                REVIEWER

THE WAYS OF EVIL MEN    Leighton Gage        P.J. Coldren       
Federal Police Chief Inspector Mario Silva and his team are sent to investigate the possible genocide of a tribe of indigenous people near a small town in rural Brazil.

DOMINION    C J Sansom        Yvonne Klein       
In a Britain which, in 1952, has been a client state of a triumphant Nazi Germany for over a decade, certain civil servants respond to Churchill's exhortation to "never surrender," and act as an underground resistance cell to undermine German power.

THE DEAD IN THEIR VAULTED ARCHES   Alan Bradley    Yvonne Klein   
In her sixth appearance, almost twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is confronted with a suspicious death and learns much about her own family that she never knew.

THEN WE TAKE BERLIN    John Lawton    Anne Corey       
In 1963, John Holderness, known as Wilderness, an undercover burglary operative for the British secret service, is lured back to Berlin to facilitate an escape from East Berlin, through the tunnels he had used after WWII for smuggling goods.

CROSS AND BURN    Val McDermid        Jim Napier       
Forensic psychologist Dr. Tony Hill and ex-DCI Carol Jordan, struggle to rebuild their lives after a vicious killer has wrecked havoc on them. But even as they struggle within themselves, a new terror is on the loose in Bradfield: someone is kidnapping, murdering and mutilating young women, and his actions will test their already-severely-strained relationship.

BAD WOLF     Nele Neuhaus         Paris Abell                 
German police Inspectors Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein investigate seemingly unrelated crimes, only to uncover a monstrous conspiracy that goes to the highest levels of German society

DEAD TO ME    Cath Staincliffe    Meredith Frazier   
Newly partnered Manchester cops Janet Scott and Rachel Bailey investigate the murder of seventeen-year-old Lisa Finn while navigating the complicated personal and professional relationships of their own lives.

THE HARLOT'S TALE    Sam Thomas        Diana Bourse       
In 17th century York a prostitute and her client are found horridly murdered and Lady Bridget Hodgson is summoned to the scene by Joseph, brother to her deceased husband, to help him figure out what has happened and to ferret out information from those in the city who will never talk to him

THE HANGING JUDGE    Michael Ponsor    Yvonne Klein       
The author draws on his own experience on the bench in this legal thriller centred on a Federal death penalty case tried before a judge who is not in favour of capital punishment.

THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME    Donato Carrisi        Christine Zibas       
A forensic scientist with the Rome police investigates the murder of her husband and uncovers a trail that leads to an ancient secret society.

THE ORPHAN CHOIR    Sophie Hannah    Caryn St Clair
A seriously depressed woman starts out having a feud with her neighbor over the volume of his music and ends up being haunted by music that no one else hears.

THE WRONG QUARRY    Max Allan Collins    P.J. Coldren    
Quarry has a new twist on his profession but he may have played it wrong this time around.

BLOOD PROMISE    Mark Pryor     Sharon Mensing       
Hugo Marston is assigned to babysit for a xenophobic U.S. Senator in France, but nonetheless finds himself in the midst of a murder investigation

THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC    Mary Jane Clark    Meredith Frazier   
Piper Donovan, still recovering from a traumatic attempt on her life, travels to New Orleans to work at the renowned French Quarter bakery Boulangerie Bertrand and finds herself in the middle of a string of serial killings with links to voodoo.

THE KILL ORDER    Robin Burcell        Paris Abell       
FBI Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick uncovers a code that poses a serious threat to national security, but that also might unlock the secret behind her father's death.

We post more than 900 new reviews a year -- all of them are archived on the site -- as well as a new interview with a top author every issue.

Yvonne Klein

FREE Book Alert-- "Heartshot" by Steven F. Havill

There are certain series of mysteries that have been my favorite for years. This is one of them.

HEARTSHOT is the very first book in the series and right now it is free for Kindle.  You can get it here. Trust will be glad you got it.

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Q & A with Mark Troy

 Interesting interview with a fellow writers group member.....

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Q & A with Mark Troy: SONS OF SPADE: Q & A with Mark Troy

Euro Crime Update--- New Reviews on Euro Crime: Brightwell, Gerhardsen, Indridason, Miller, Nickson, O'Brien

As posted elsewhere earlier today...

Here are details of six new reviews added to the Euro Crime website today.

Check back tomorrow to see what is the favourite overall Euro Crime read of 2013, plus who are the team's favourite authors and translators of 2013.

NB. You can keep up to date with 'Euro Crime' by following the blog and/or liking the Euro Crime Facebook page (

New Reviews:

I review Emily Brightwell's 'The Inspector and Mrs Jeffries' which has recently had a (very belated) UK release;

Rich Westwood reviews 'The Gingerbread House' by Carin Gerhardsen tr. Paul Norlen, the first in the Hammarby (Stockholm) series;

Michelle Peckham reviews Arnaldur Indridason's 'Strange Shores' tr. Victoria Cribb;

Amanda Gillies reviews 'Norwegian by Night' by Derek B Miller;

Terry Halligan reviews Chris Nickson's 'The Crooked Spire', set in fourteenth-century Chesterfield

and Lynn Harvey reviews the latest in Martin O'Brien's south of France set, Daniel Jacquot series, 'The Dying Minutes'. or via the blog:

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here ( along with releases by year.

best wishes,
Karen M

KRL This Week-- Ellery Adams, Laura Childs, Jane Tesh, short stories, ME's on TV, giveaways & more in KRL

As posted elsewhere yesterday....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine we have a review & giveaway of "The Ghoul Next Door" by Victoria Laurie

Also this morning, Deborah Harter Williams talks about ME's on TV from Quincy to Maura Isles

We also have reviews & giveaways of some new food related mysteries: "Eggs in a Casket" by Laura Childs, "Home of the Braised" by Julie Hyzy, "Pecan Pies and Homicide" by Ellery Adams, and "Tapestry of Lies" by Carol Ann Martin

We also have a review & giveaway of Jane Tesh brand new mystery "A Bad Reputation"

And don't miss this mystery short story by Anita Page

And another fun short story called "Lunch at the Five and Dime", that has just a bit of a crime twist to it

 And as always, you can also find all of these by going to our home page and scrolling down

Happy reading,

Lorie Ham

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

Sample Sunday: Excerpt from "They Die in Eight Minutes" by Peter DiChellis

Awhile back I read The Shamus Sampler and enjoyed it quite a lot as you can see from the review here. After my review went up in various places, Peter wrote me and thanked me for the review. I made an offer –as I have done with other authors I have read and liked---for him to come be a part of things here with a Sunday Sample. Peter expressed interest and then later followed through (a rarity in of itself) with the below piece. Bit different than what we normally do here…..

They Die in Eight Minutes
by Peter DiChellis

Tick, tick . . . 11:52pm. They die in eight minutes.
Shadows crept across the outside walls of the house. Moonlight. Hand signals. Whispers.
Cops. Three slipped to the front door. Two sneaked to the back.
Ready just in time, Sheriff’s Detective Benton Hammel thought. They die at midnight the man had promised. Not a second sooner, not a minute later. The man’s ex-wife, stepson, daughter-in-law, all of them. Dead at midnight.
Narcissistic psychopath, Hammel figured. Precise, cold, game player.
“Careful,” he’d whispered to his team moments ago. “The guy won’t kill his family until midnight, but he’ll kill us anytime.”
Tick, tick . . . 11:53.
Hammel had already briefed the team on the suspect, situation, and the isolated location. He had pushed them hard and they’d raced here, to this secluded housing development at the far edge of the county, after an anonymous caller alerted cops to the address. Hammel knew the area, had been house hunting nearby last month. Without that lucky break, and Hammel’s swift reaction, nobody could have arrived in time to save the family.
“Bust it open,” Hammel ordered.
The front door cracked off its hinges. Then the back door.
The cops’ flashlights dotted the pitch-black rooms as they hustled through, searching.
“Clear! Clear!”
“All clear!”
“Check for a basement,” Hammel instructed.
“No basement.”
“No attic.”
“Backyard, garage, outbuilding, anything!”
“Nothing. Nothing. Nobody here.”
Wrong. They are here, Hammel calculated. All of them. Hidden somewhere in this dark unsold house in an abandoned tract of unfinished new homes. At 427 Maple. A perfect spot for a midnight killing.
Tick, tick . . . 11:57.

End of sample. Click here to read the rest of the story free at Shotgun Honey.

Peter DiChellis ©2014
Peter DiChellis writes short mystery-suspense fiction. His sinister tales appear in a handful of publications, most recently at Shotgun Honey, Over My Dead Body!, and in The Shamus Sampler private eye anthology. (Coming soon: A story in Plan B Mystery Magazine’s Volume III Anthology.) For links to his published stories, visit his Wordpress site Murder and Fries at

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Starting With Insurance Companies, Debt Collectors, And Student Loan Companies

Three of my not so favorite things and I don't think I am asking too much...


I'm A Voracious Reader : Saturday Shorts

I'm A Voracious Reader : Saturday Shorts: Saturday Shorts   Saturday Shorts is a feature where I review 3-4 short stories that are 100 pages or less. Enjoy!   *Books sour...

Via The Passive Voice--Bread and Roses

 What Scott Turow and The Authors Guild should be doing....

Bread and Roses

FREE Book Alert

BEAT TO A PULP: HARDBOILED 2 is currently free for the kindle here.

Amazon Synopisis: "BEAT to a PULP: Hardboiled 2 follows the blood-soaked trail left behind by the 2011 award-winning collection, edited by David Cranmer and Scott D. Parker, and pumps out another thirteen knuckle-breaking, crime tales. With writers from the 1930s and 40s golden era of pulp (Paul S. Powers and Charles Boeckman) and modern hardboiled masters (Robert J. Randisi and Wayne D. Dundee), this wild bunch is set to blaze a rat-a-tat sweep across the pulp fiction landscape. Keeping the body count high are top-shelf stories from Jedidiah Ayres, Eric Beetner, Jen Conley, Matthew C. Funk, Edward A. Grainger, BV Lawson, Tom Roberts, Kieran Shea, and Jay Stringer."

I reviewed it here.  Good book so go get it!

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: All Too True


Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: All Too True: 16 Signs You Were An English Major

Review: "The Last Death Of Jack Harbin: A Samuel Craddock Mystery" by Terry Shames

Football is king in Texas. Especially high school football where the highlight of many a life might be beneath the lights on a Friday evening. Back in the day just before the first Gulf War, Jack Hardin was quarterback of the Jarrett Creek High School Panthers and he was the man. He might have had a spectacular college career. Instead, both Jack and Woody Patterson signed up to enlist in the Army not knowing a war was coming.

What had been a relatively simple love triangle between Jack, Woody and a certain hometown beauty changed when the Army rejected Woody and Jack left alone off to war. While Woody and the lady in question got married, Jack eventually came back badly damaged physically and emotionally. Blind, crippled and confined to a wheelchair, abandoned by his mom and many others, Jack primarily relies on his father Bob Harbin to take care of him. The same Bob Harbin who just died of an apparent heart attack on the street in front of his house in the opening pages of The Last Death Of Jack Harbin: A Samuel Craddock Mystery arbin who has just died on the street in front of his house in the opening pages of “Thwe Last Death of JAck Harbin” by Terry Shames.

As he was in A Killing At Cotton Hill Samuel Craddock, retired police chief, is the only real person around with actual law enforcement experience and training. Not that he has any mind to get involved as this second book in the series set in small town south Texas begins. Events of the last book (reviewed here) are still present in minds of many folks as well as in his own. Then there is the whole issue of his knee, which is going to have to be operated on, as well as a couple of other things.

But, the chief of police is a drunk, his number two man isn’t much better, and those in charge want him involved. An involvement which becomes more and more important as other events begin to happen and old secrets begin to see the light of day. The past may have been buried, but it coming back to life and taking a heavy toll on the town folk of Jarrett Creek, Texas in so many ways.

Reminiscent of Bill Crider’s excellent Sheriff Dan Rhodes series, albeit with far less humor, Samuel Craddock is a man you would be honored to have as a friend. Straight forward and plainspoken, he quietly goes about his business asking questions and doing a lot of listening to what is said and not said. While there are the action moments including a shootout in town, most of the book is Craddock keeping business low key in both his daily life as well as in his investigations. These books are a series with characters that quickly grow on you and stories that are well worth your time.

The Last Death Of Jack Harbin: A Samuel Craddock Mystery
Terry Shames
Seventh Street Books (imprint of Prometheus Books)
January 2014
ISBN# 978-1-61614-871-3
Paperback (also available as an e-book)
250 Pages

Material received from the publisher for my use in an objective review.

Terry Shames is a recently featured author over at Jenny Milchman’s “Made It Moment” series. You can and should read the interesting piece here.

You can also read an interesting interview with Terry over at MysteryPeople here.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: FFB: 5th Annual Edition The Year's Best S-F -- Jud...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: FFB: 5th Annual Edition The Year's Best S-F -- Jud...: At some point Judith Merril's anthologies originated in hardback, but they were reprinted by Dell, where the series started.  This one i...

Steve Fahnestalk at Amazing Stories

The latest column "Concise Convention Report and Some Other Thoughts" can be found here where Steve talks about his trip to Rustycon 31.

Via The Passive Voice--- Get Ready for More Publishing Mergers

 Just one of several very interesting pieces today. As I have said before--if you are not reading this blog on a daily basis you absolutely should be.

Get Ready for More Publishing Mergers

Lesa's Latest Contest

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

This week, I'm giving away books related to the Edgars. One is from Grand Master Carolyn Hart, Dearth By Surprise. The other is a nominee for True Crime Fact, Daniel Stashower's The Hour Of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Author Barry Eisler and Literary Agent Robert Gott...

 Long piece but worth it. Read the comments too....

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Author Barry Eisler and Literary Agent Robert Gott...: Scroll down to see the update. Joe: Barry Eisler posted this on The Bookseller recently . It's a back and forth with Trident Media c...

FFB Review: "Cover Of Snow" by Jenny Milchman

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted here by Patti Abbott. This week I thought I would do something a little bit different than normal. Clearly, Cover Of Snow, published last year is not really a forgotten book. This debut novel by Jenny Milchman was one of my five favorite books of last year. It is now up for the Mary Higgins Clark Award from the Mystery Writers of America. If you have not read it you really should. Especially since the next book from this talented author is coming in the spring…

Everything changed for Nora Hamilton that January morning when she woke up alone. Brendan, her police officer husband, was not in the bed with her. The normal morning sounds he would have made were not present. No sounds of the shower, no smell of morning coffee, no nothing as the strange silence stretched on and on. She will soon discover the silence exists for a good reason-- the man who made love to her the night before has committed suicide.

Devastated and distraught, Nora just wants to know why he did it. The “why” of it threatens to destroy her and makes her question everything. What drove him to this act--so out of character with no warning at all--and left her alone in the frozen small town of Wedeskyull in upstate New York. A frozen old place---literally and metaphorically--- she moved to for Brendan and where she is very much an outsider. An outsider not to be trusted and who does not understand her place in the community as well as the fact that things are the way they are because they have always been that way and will always be that way. Nora’s quest to get answers to why Brendan killed himself will take time and come at great cost to nearly everyone.

Cover of Snow is the debut novel of Jenny Milchman. Like any good mystery, nothing is what it seems and everyone has secrets to hide. Deceit is an art form long practiced by all and such is the case here. Nora is surrounded by smiling and friendly enemies who expect her to go back where she belongs in the wake of her husband’s death. Her unwillingness to just quietly go away sets the stage for a steady increasing level of suspense as the reader turns the pages.

This is a powerfully good book where the setting is just as alive as the other characters.  What legendary author James Lee Burke has done for Louisiana, author Jenny Milchman has done for upper New York in winter. The cold frozen landscape is always present lurking, waiting to kill throughout the suspenseful read. A living breathing force that is present on every single page where the characters are inside and warm for the moment or outside in the elements.

Much is at work here in this complicated read. This review does not give the book justice. You simply have to read it.

Cover of Snow
Jenny Milchman
Ballantine Books (Random House)
ISBN# 978-0-345-53421-7
Hardcover (also currently available as an e-book and audio book)
330 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing--Deadline Febrary 28, 2014

The Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing seeks to nurture talent in mystery writing—in fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting. The scholarship ($500) shall be used to offset tuition and fees for writing workshops, writing seminars, or university/college-level writing programs taking place in the U.S. in summer, fall or winter of 2014 or early spring 2015. Applicants must select a specific writing class/workshop/seminar to which scholarship funds would be applied. You can find submission details and requirements at

Or send an email to for more information.

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: “Cold in July”: Michael C. Hall’s unforgettable Te...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: “Cold in July”: Michael C. Hall’s unforgettable Te...: “Cold in July”: Michael C. Hall’s unforgettable Texas thriller : Built around nifty yin-yang paired performances by Michael C. Hall and Sam ...

2014 Writers' Police Academy

As recently posted elsewhere:

Registration for the 2014 Writers' Police Academy is scheduled to open on Sunday, January 26th at 12 noon east coast time. We try to be mindful of all time zones when we set the opening of registration. We must also choose a day and time when our IT experts are available, because it is they who actually flip the switch and then wait for the sparks to fly.
Remember, space is limited at the WPA,and the system is programmed to shut off when it reaches the maximum number of registrations. The same is so for the firearms training and driving simulators. They, too, will shut off when their top numbers are met. WPA registration is on a first-come/first-serve basis. 
As always, we've scheduled a number of specialty workshops that are available by sign-up only. You'll see those listed on the registration form. Please read carefully and follow the instructions listed. Again,when the maximum number of participants is reached the system will cease to accept entries.
Please watch for sign-up sections on the form that instruct you to make "only one" selection. For example, you may only select either Meggitt (formerly known as FATS) or the Driving Simulator, not both. We have this in place to give everyone the opportunity to do and see as  much as they possibly can. However, those of you who've attended in the
past already know it is impossible to see and do everything. So make your selections carefully and wisely.
Next, we've posted a "schedule-in-progress." From the WPA website's main page you may now click the Schedule Of Events tab that's located below right of the scrolling photos at the top of the page. Keep in mind, though, that our schedules are subject to change at any time due to the nature of the business (many of our instructors are active-duty police and other 1st responders). We also add new workshops as they become available. Please check the WPA site often, especially during the weeks closer to the event.

*Finally, if you don't get through at precisely 12 noon (east coast time), please try again. Sometimes a tiny bug works its way into the system and it takes our experts a minute or two to squash it. Don't wait too long before trying again, though, because we anticipate selling out in a short period of time. It could be days or it could be 
in a matter of minutes.
So, we, the entire WPA staff, hope to see each of you in September!

*Please do take a moment to pass along this information to your friends and fellow writers.

Lee Lofland 
Writers' Police Academy

The Graveyard Shift            

The Consulting Detective: Review - "The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes"

The Consulting Detective: Review - "The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes": The wait for Big Finish’s The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes has been grueling. Announced in April 2012, after the release of their last S...

Via The Passive Voice-- We need more gatekeepers, not fewer

 Interesting perspective.....

We need more gatekeepers, not fewer

Discussions with Kensington Publishing head Steven Zacharius lay bare the wide gulf between publishing execs and writers

It continues and is very enlightening.....

Discussions with Kensington Publishing head Steven Zacharius lay bare the wide gulf between publishing execs and writers

Dave Zeltserman's Kickstarter Project

From the posting at the Kickstarter site:

Publish The Hunted, The Dame and The Interloper in one volume.

I have published 12 novels, including the crime novels Small Crimes and Pariah, both of which were selected by The Washington Post as best books of the year, and the horror novel, The Caretaker of Lorne Field, which the American Library Association short listed as one of the 4 best horror novels of 2010. I have also had dozens of short stories published, including the award-winning Julius Katz mystery stories which have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

I have written three novellas in my ultra hardboiled Hunted series. These novellas combine government conspiracy with action-packed crime heists. The first two novellas in this series, The Hunted and The Dame have already been published as kindle books.The 3rd, The Interloper, is unpublished and is roughly 130 pages long (45k words) and wraps up these first two novellas nicely. I'm looking to publish all three of these within one volume as a 270 page book, both as a paperback and as a downloadable ebook.

More details here