Sunday, November 30, 2014

RTE Update-- November 29 issue of RTE

As posted elsewhere earlier today...

The current issue of RTE, out on November 29, includes fifteen new reviews as well as a new interview:


Mark Pryor in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:

Reviews this week:

TITLE                    AUTHOR                REVIEWER

A NEW YORK CHRISTMAS    Anne Perry     Lourdes Venard   
 When Thomas Pitt’s daughter, Jemima, travels to New York City, she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery.

Meg is in charge of the Historical Society’s Designer House set to open Christmas Eve, but things become complicated when Meg finds the most difficult of the designers shot to death in the house

HELSINKI NOIR    James Thompson, Editor    Anne Corey       
A collection of short stories that shows the dark underbelly of Helsinki—a city that may have nothing that is not dark—including tales of murder, rape, betrayal, disillusionment, gangs, knifings, theft, beheadings, serial killers, and the nature of the Finnish people as a whole, to list but a few of the book's topics.

TWO SOLDIERS    Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom PJ Coldren       
Two members of Stockholm's Organized Crime & Gang Section take on two gang leaders in a southern suburb of Stockholm.

BROKEN MONSTERS    Lauren Beukes     Karen Chisholm       
A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses

THE HIDDEN CHILD    Camilla L√§ckberg,    Barbara Fister       
When two boys find a gruesome body, police are stymied, but a clue to this murder may lie in the war diaries of reporter Erika Falck's mother

SWEET SUNDAY    John Lawton    Yvonne Klein       
Turner Raines, ex-Freedom Rider, ex-lawyer, ex-journalist turned skip tracer is launched on an odyssey around the United States as he tries to uncover the facts behind his best friend's murder.

THE LAWS OF MURDER    Charles Finch      Meredith Frazier   
After leaving Parliament, Charles Lenox and three friends open Victorian London's first detective agency only to be met with unexpected obstacles and the murder of a friend.

CAUGHT DEAD    Andrew Lanh        146420330X       
One of the beautiful Le sisters, a pillar of the Vietnamese community of Hartford, is killed in a known drug-infested section of the city, but what was she doing there?

STARS GO BLUE    Laura Pritchett     Sharon Mensing   
Ben Cross, a Colorado rancher, is suffering from Alzheimer's but does not let that keep him from exacting revenge upon his daughter's murderer

NIGHT OF THE WHITE BUFFALO   Margaret Coel     Sharon Mensing       
Cowboys are missing from a buffalo ranch in Wyoming when a white buffalo calf is born.

THE SECRET PLACE (Audio)     Tana French    Karla Jay   
An anonymous note leads to the reopening of a case involving the murder of a high school boy on the grounds of a girls' boarding school near Dublin.

RUTHLESS    Cath Staincliffe    Jim Napier           
DCs Rachel Bailey, Janet Scott and their boss, Gill Bailey, wage a war on two fronts as they try to solve a series of murders while dealing with escalating family tensions. Before it is over there will be deaths on both fronts.

DEADLY RUSE    E. Michael Helms    Paris Abell       
Private detective Mac McClellan stumbles onto a complicated conspiracy when he looks into the supposed death of his girlfriend's former fiancé.

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

Dallas MWA SW-- Reminder: Saturday, December 6 meeting

As posted elsewhere....
Saturday, December 6, 2014

Law Enforcement 101

Rollin Morris, former Police officer and Federal Probation Officer with 25 years of experience, will be our speaker in December. Born in Jamaica, raised in Connecticut and New York, Mr. Morris served in the Air Force and has a Masters Degree in Counseling. We're delighted that he will share his expertise and experiences with us on December 6th.



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 (correct change greatly appreciated). 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)

Short Story Review: "Annie And The Grateful Dead" by Denise Dietz

Told from the perspective of a cat that prefers to be considered “feline” because he is house broken, this short story mixing humor and mystery is an enjoyable read. The cat----or feline---in question goes by “Grateful” as his full name is “Grateful Dead.” He is okay with the name though, if he had a choice, he would have gone with Elvis since his great grandmother lived at Graceland and there are other family connections. It’s a good life as his pet is Annie (his owner) and Grateful has a favorite female feline, “Fluffster” close by.

Annie isn’t happy much at all these days. In large part Grateful blames Annie’s boyfriend Robert Dumbrowski. They were high school sweethearts back in the day. In the here and now he is with a struggling band, calls himself Rocky Dove, and wants to be a rock star. When he isn’t around to boss Annie, he spends a lot of time out on the road doing whatever. Home or on the road he is not really around to help Annie who is a struggling artist with very little income. Also against him in the mind of our feline narrator is the fact that he doesn’t like felines. Grateful also does not much care for Annie’s mother and for good reason. But, Rocky Dove is the biggest problem in Annie’s life according to Grateful.

From the start, Rocky’s latest visit to town proves Grateful Dead’s point. The feline has quite a few other observations about life and more while also managing to solve a mystery in “Annie And The Grateful Dead: A Short Story.

Originally written as “a story to benefit the international fund for animal welfare” this is a fun read that blends some mystery, quite a lot of humor, and more into a quirky tale. It isn’t clear in the beginning where the story is headed, but once the ground work is laid for the mystery, the short story powers along quickly working things out. Well worth it, Annie And The Grateful Dead: A Short Story should be on your short story reading list.

Annie And The Grateful Dead: A Short Story
Denise Dietz
October 2014

Picked up this material during the author’s recent free read promotion to read and use in an objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

KRL This Week Update-- Sue Ann Jaffarian, Elaine Viets, Betty Hechtman, Diane Vallere, Tina Whittle, giveaways, short story & more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of 3 more November Penguin mysteries-"For Better or Worsted": A Crochet Mystery by Betty Hechtman, "A Dog Gone Murder" by Elaine Viets and "Suede to Rest" by Diane Vallere

Also up, the latest mystery Coming Attractions column from Sunny Frazier. You can also enter to win copies of "Fatal Brushstroke" by Sybil Johnson and "Meow If It’s Murder" by T. C. LoTempio

We also have a review & giveaway of "Hell on Wheels" by Sue Ann Jaffarian

And we have a mystery short story by Pam Da Voe

We also have a review & giveaway of "Murder Off the Beaten Path" by ML Rowland

And we have a review & giveaway of "Knot in My Backyard" by Mary Marks

And a review & giveaway of "Deeper Than the Grave" by Tina Whittle

For those who also enjoy fantasy, we have a review & giveaway of "The Winter Long" by Seanan McGuire

And over on KRL Lite, we have a review & giveaway of "Death By Blue Water" by Kait Carson, and published by Henery Press

Happy reading,

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

Via All Due Respect: Sneak Peak of Prodigal Sons, by Mike Miner, coming...

All Due Respect: Sneak Peak of Prodigal Sons, by Mike Miner, coming...: M atthew Flanagan was awake a long time before he opened his eyes. Fragments of a dream lingered. Decaying at the end of a street, a...

Review: "Wait For Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories" by Craig Johnson

As author Craig Johnson explains in “acknowledgements” the stories in “Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories” come from his annual holiday treat for his newsletter subscribers. Not only were they previously published in that sense several were also previously published in the small 2012 publication titled Christmas in Absaroka County: Walt Longmire Christmas Stories. Some of the stories are mysteries or have something a little mysterious going on and others are more slice of life type stories featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming. A fact that is also noted in the introduction written by Lou Diamond Phillips that follows.

Then it is on to the stories which begin with “Old Indian Trick.” An award winning tale that starts off with a routine trip for Sheriff Walt Longmire and Lonnie Little Bird to Billings so that Lonnie Little Bird can have his routine diabetes checkup at Deaconess Hospital.  They stop for food and a break at the Blue Cow Cafe on the Crow Reservation. Before long any chance to go on up to Billings this day is out of the question.

Walt Longmire is also on the road as the next story “Ministerial Aid” beings. It is just before dawn on January 1, 2000 and he is headed to Powder Junction located about 45 minutes away from the county seat of Durant, Wyoming. He is driving the 100 miles round trip to deliver deputy Turk Connally his paycheck. While delivering the check at the empty station the phone rings. Instead of letting the phone call roll over to Turk’s rented house and waking him up on New Year’s Day, Longmire decides to answer the call and give his deputy a holiday break. It is an impulse he will come to question almost as much as his clothing choice of only wearing a robe.

A small part of the previous story is the fact that it has been only a few months since Longmire’s wife, Martha passed due to cancer. That situation is a major part of the very powerful tale “Slick-Tongued Devil.”

New Year’s Eve and Sheriff Walt Longmire is at the Durant Home for Assisted Living. His old boss and occasional chess opponent, Lucian Connally, apparently left a space heater to close to the curtains in his room, causing some damage. Known for his cantankerous ways, Longmire is there to help keep things calm and peaceful. That is not going to be easy since Lucian hates having to sit in the communal area with everyone else. It certainly does not help Lucian’s mood that he is afraid he is losing his mind in “Fire Bird.”

Mental stability is part of several stories in the book and aspect of the preceding one. It is also a factor “Unbalanced” which also uses Sheriff Walt Longmire on the road traveling to get things started. Cady is on the way home for the holidays and is scheduled to arrive in Billings just before midnight. Sheriff Walt Longmire is on the way to the airport with his always present canine companion, Dog, at his side.  He stops as at empty gas station where the pumps will take a credit card after hours in Garryowen, Montana to get gas. Clearly, the young woman sitting on the bench needs help on this incredible cold night. The question is whether or not she will take it.

The aftermath of a truck crash on the snowy interstate in “Several Stations” could have been worse. The driver who rolled the semi did so at slow speed and escaped unhurt though as a precaution he has been taken to the hospital. The truck and its cargo of toys did not fare so well on this Christmas Eve. As the snow continues to fall and a wrecker is at least 45 minutes way, Walt Longmire is left alone to babysit a crash scene that should remain quiet. One just knows it won’t.

Sometimes folks accidently drive off without paying for gas. The department has a way of handling those situations in “High Holidays.” They also have a way of dealing with things when they escalate.

Cady has just arrived for the holidays in “Toys for Tots.” She wants to make a stop at the local mall in Billings before they head home. Longmire made the mistake of telling her they could go shopping when she came home for holidays and now she is calling him on it.

Unlike many of these preceding stories which are set around Christmas, “Divorce Horse” is set on the Memorial Day weekend. It has been few months since Walt nearly died in the Bighorn Mountains chasing the convicts, Vic seems to be sticking around, and soon to be married Cady has a few questions in mind. That is all going to have to take a back seat to trying to figure out what happened to Tommy Jefferson’s horse.

It is Thanksgiving and Longmire and Dog are at Red Pony with Bear who is cooking the traditional dinner. They are not going to be alone for long in “Thankstaking.”

Henry, Dog, and Bear are coming back from a fishing trip with a cooler of trout in “Messenger.” They are going to need them to rescue Ranger Chuck Coon and a civilian from a possible bear attack.  Rescuing them will be the easy part.

The book closes with a new story, “Petunia, Bandit Queen of the Big Horns.” Sheep are involved in this tale that has far more to do with inner character of people than anything else.

The 12 tales of Wait for Signs are all good ones. Mysterious in many cases, they all show various small details of the Walt Longmire character and his motivations regarding people, animals, and cultures. All of the short stories in the book are good ones well worth your time as are the novel which began with “The Cold Dish.” If you have not read the novels, Wait For Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories is an excellent introduction to the character that has garnered so many fans worldwide.

Wait For Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories
Craig Johnson
Viking (Penguin Group)
ISBN# 978-0-525-42791-9
Hardback (e-book and audio editions available)
198 Pages

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

Late last October Lesa Holstine reviewed Wait For Signs and you can and should read her review here. She also was the recipient of a poem from the author when she was leaving Arizona and you can read that here. I must point out that nobody ever wrote me a poem. All I ever get is the occasional dirty limerick from somebody telling me where I should go.

So many seem to involve a horse.....

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Crime Review Update-- New issue of Crime Review

As posted elsewhere earlier this evening....

In our new edition of Crime Review ( this week we
have 16 reviews, together with Rory Clements in the Countdown interview hot
Crime Review can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler can be followed on Twitter: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:
FOXGLOVE SUMMER by Ben Aaronovitch, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Peter Grant takes a trip to rural Herefordshire to assist in the search for
two missing children.

JANUARY WINDOW by Philip Kerr, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Scott Manson is coach at Premiership football team London City. But he
finds himself investigating murder when the manager is found dead.

THE AXE FACTOR by Colin Cotterill, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Jimm Juree, an attractive ex-journalist, is sent to interview a British
writer in his house in Thailand. His apparent obsession with axes is
worrying especially when Jimm learns that his first wife has disappeared.
What follows is completely unpredictable.

NIGHT AFTER NIGHT by Phil Rickman, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A group of sceptics and believers are brought together for a week in a
supposedly haunted house, under the all-seeing eye of the TV cameras.

THE AMBER FURY by Natalie Haynes, reviewed by Sylvia Wilson
Alex is anxious to escape past events, and takes a job as a drama therapist
at a pupil referral unit in Edinburgh.  Using her love of Greek tragedy,
she slowly gets through to a group of troubled 15-year-olds, but perhaps
the children are taking the stories too much to heart.

ENEMIES AT HOME by Lindsey Davis, reviewed by John Cleal
Investigator Flavia Albia is hired to discover who killed a newly-wed
couple. The main suspects are their slaves, but they have sought sanctuary
in a temple. Together with aedile Manlius Faustus, Falco’s adopted daughter
sets out to uncover the truth.

A BRIGHT MOON FOR FOOLS by Jasper Gibson, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Harry Christmas has flown to Venezuela to shake off his crazed stepson
whose mother he has relieved of £26,000, but finds escape elusive.

PRAY FOR THE DYING by Quintin Jardine, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When a senior figure is shot at a charity concert, Bob Skinner is already
on the scene, having taken down one of the gunman. What follows next is a
career move that he’s been dead set against for a very long time.

I CAN SEE IN THE DARK by Karin Fossum, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Riktor is a strange man without friends who tortures old people at a home
where he works, but is surprised to be arrested for the murder of one.

THE VIEW FROM THE TOWER by Charles Lambert, reviewed by John Cleal
Helen di Stasi is in a Rome hotel with her lover, when her husband
Federico, a senior civil servant, is assassinated. In trying to discover
why, she finds herself in a murky world of half-truths and betrayals – and
must face her own past.

THE TOOTH TATTOO by Peter Lovesey, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
A body is found on the towpath of the river Avon in Bath. It has all the
hallmarks of suicide but Peter Diamond, head of Bath CID, is not so sure
and decides to investigate.

NOTHING BUT LIES by Lyndon Stacey, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Dog handler Daniel Whelan has left the police force under a cloud. But he
rushes to help a former colleague, whose partner claims she is being

WINTER SIEGE by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Morgan, reviewed by John Cleal
As the Empress Matilda, only surviving child of Henry I, and her cousin
Stephen battle for the English throne, two women from very different
backgrounds struggle to survive as bands of mercenaries burn, rape and loot
their way across the country.

THE RULES OF WOLFE by James Carlos Blake, reviewed by Chris Roberts
At a Mexican gang lord’s isolated retreat Eddie Gato Wolfe is caught with
one of his boss’s girls, and the pair take off across the Sonora Desert in
fear for their lives.

THE RISING TIDE by Patrick Easter, reviewed by John Cleal
Tom Pascoe is drinking himself to death grieving for his murdered wife. His
last chance to save his job with the River Police is to investigate the
death of an MP found floating in the Thames. His inquiries leads to a
ruthless ring of slavers determined to preserve their trade at any price –
even treason.

DEAD TIME (audiobook) by Anne Cassidy, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When Rose and Joshua’s parents go missing, everyone is baffled, including
the police, but Joshua is determined to find them again.

Best wishes


Lesa's Latest Contest-- Holiday Mystery Giveaway

As posted elsewhere earlier today.....

This week, I'm giving away 2 holiday mysteries, Sofie Kelly's A Midwinter's Tail and an autographed ARC of Cleo Coyle's Holiday Buzz. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The African Queen

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The African Queen: The African Queen ~ What makes the TCM Classic Cruise so special? One could say it's getting to meet and chat with new friends wh...

FFB Review: "Four of a Kind: Four Tales of Mystery and Suspense" Editor Douglas Quinn

As you move around in your ongoing turkey haze, I hope you and yours had a most excellent Thanksgiving. In addition to all of the other activities you have planned for this Friday, I hope you check out the list over at Evan Lewis’ Davey Crockett’s Almanac Blog. If you have read my blog for awhile you know Douglas Quinn is an excellent author for kids books. He is one of those rare guys who makes it work for adults too. The book below is a case in point….

If it isn’t obvious by the cover and the back cover synopsis, Four of a Kind: Four Tales of Mystery and Suspense is an anthology containing four novellas that revolve around playing card games. Poker to be exact and the game plays a major role in each novella. In each case, poker isn’t the only game being played where the stakes include life and death.

After a brief introduction by author and editor Douglas Quinn, the book opens with “Papa’s Girl” by J. R. Lindermuth. It is December 1957 and young soldier Danny Penkovic has made it as far as Ballyn, Pennsylvania on his quest to get home. A snow storm has shut down all forms of travel, including his bus, so he plans to spend the night at the terminal waiting for the first bus in the morning. That is until Tony Anskis makes him an offer to spend the night at his place and meet his daughter, Anna.

“Jigsaw” by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz follows with her tale of Lester T. Hayes, private detective.  Lester Hayes owns Ace Detective Services and times are not good financially speaking. So, when Samantha Chandler, a wealthy woman who is also self-proclaimed psychic, throws a lot of money at him to play in a tournament he agrees. He agrees even though he knows there is something off about her and the situation.

Douglas Quinn’s character Webb Sawyer makes an appearance next in “I Lost my Happy Days” where a business, a boat, and more are at stake. Dave “The Wave” Meekins and Webb served together long ago. These days they both live on North Carolina’s outer banks where Dave runs a successful charter business and Webb does what he does. He has skills and when his skills are needed he makes his money. So, when Dave gambled his boat “Happy Days” and lost he turned to Webb for help.

“Millie McCall’s Full Moon Poker Night” by Sara Williams closes the book. The setting is the San Juan Islands where Jim Halprin is asked to fulfill a commitment made by a friend. Ben Bridges is injured and needs Jim to attend a poker game in his place. Just a few hours later Jim is in place and meets the unique Millie McCall. An heiress that rides a Harley, walks in the surf under a full moon, and does a few other strange things in this tale.

A game of deceit, poker, binds these tales together in Four of a Kind: Four Tales of Mystery and Suspense. A book where deceit is a major player in its own right. As prominent as any character, deceit is the dealer in each case where hidden agendas abound, money flows, and treachery runs like a raging river. These four very different and good novellas contain numerous twists and turns to keep readers guessing long after the last card.

Four of a Kind: Four Tales of Mystery and Suspense
Editor Douglas Quinn
White Heron Press (CreateSpace)
October 2012
ISBN# 978-1479397457
396 Pages

Material supplied by Editor Douglas Quinn for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In Memoriam

Earlier today Bill Crider posted on his blog the very sad news that his wife, Judy, passed away after a very long fight against cancer. We are devastated by this news. We always felt that as long as Judy kept beating cancer there was hope --- no matter what.

It is impossible to put in  words how sorry we are for Bill and the entire family. Please take a moment in whatever way you are comfortable with to think about the Crider family and the loss they have suffered today.

Via The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Members' Publication News

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Members' Publication News: The following members sent in publication news this month: Tace Baker, Bluffing is Murder , Barking Rain Press (November 2014) Linda Cahi...

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us to all of you......


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Now We Know......

the rest of the story.


Palm Trees and Sandy Beaches

We don't have sandy beaches here...let alone any real beaches of any type at all with the way the lakes are dropping. We do have palm trees. They look really cool until the killing freezes happen. After things freeze hard for days on end, what you see are giant trees with brown or black fronds waving in the breeze.

Seems to me a Palm Tree Beaded Keychain makes more sense. Fortunately, you can get one via Tapir And Friends Animal Store. I recently wrote about them and further added to the body of work there.

Hope you kick on by and take a look.

Via Mark Troy-- Black and White Friday (FREE BOOKS)

As posted elsewhere....

Let's turn Black Friday into Black and White Friday, that is, a day for reading instead of shopping. What could be better than a comfortable chair, a leftover turkey sandwich, and a good mystery? 

To get it going, I am making my novella, The Rules, available for free download to Kindle from today through Sunday:  And my collection of short stories, Game Face, will be available free on Smashwords during the same period: 
The Rules is an Ava Rome mystery. Game Face is a collection of all the Val Lyon short stories.

Mark Troy
The Splintered Paddle, an Ava Rome Mystery from Five Star Publishing

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Night of Noir

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Night of Noir: One of the great features of the TCM Classic Cruise this year was the Night of Noir. Essentially it was just a big dress-up night with ...

Review: "In The Shadow Of El Paso" by Frank Zafiro

Well known for his excellent River City Series of police procedurals set in the Seattle area, author Frank Zafiro moves the action to Texas In The Shadow Of El Paso. Published in 2012 the book contains two short stories set in the fictional Texas city named “La Sombra” located just outside El Paso. As many folks in the border country know, laws and more get blurred along the border.

Something pointed out in the opening tale “In The Shadow Of El Paso.” Being a lawman in La Sombra is a bit different than elsewhere. Carl Riggins is a transplant to the area and after three years is still considered an outsider and maybe something worse. Being in love is also bit different.  Isabella is the object of our lawman’s affection. She is beautiful and she serves drinks at Tres Estrellas almost every night. It is one a few place where white and brown can get along with little trouble---most of the time. This Tuesday night violence erupts and Deputy Carl Riggins is one of the first dispatched to the scene. His arrival puts a friendship is put to the test and more in this compelling story of love, racism, fate, and more.

Following that read is a tough act, but “Jack’s Town” makes it work. Deputy Carl Riggins is dispatched to handle a possible domestic at the home of Jack and Doris Talbot. Jack is the richest man in La Sombra and probably the entire county. He owns a lot of land, a cattle ranch, and a car dealership and quite a few other things including his wife. Like a lot of very wealthy people, Jack Talbot has a bit of a reputation and not all of that is positive. Upon responding to the house Deputy Carl Riggins knows something bad has happened. It is going to be dealt with, as are consequences, one way or another.

Author notes/explanations of a couple things in the stories followed by promotional material for other books by the author bring the read to a close.

While “In The Shadow Of El Paso” was previously published in the 2007 anthology Map of Murder the following story “Jack’s Town” is a previously unpublished tale. It picks up a few months after the first story and is just as compelling as the first. Taken together the complicated stories work as book ends that consider societal issues along the border and society as a whole while working that chemistry dynamic between a man and a very beautiful woman. Along with the mysteries at work in each tale, at their core each tale is about far more than the mystery that is eventually solved. An incredible amount is at work here in this excellent read.

In The Shadow Of El Paso
Frank Zafiro
April 2012
E-Book (also available in paperback)
58 pages
$0.00 (at this time)

Material supplied by the author a very long time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

V ia Terry's Place-- In the Interview Room — J. R. Lindermuth

In the Interview Room — J. R. Lindermuth

Via Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: Thanksgiving Inquest

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: Thanksgiving Inquest

Via Not The Baseball Pitcher-- Storme Warning – W. L. Ripley

Storme Warning – W. L. Ripley

Via Carstairs Considers....: Book Review: Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery A...

Carstairs Considers....: Book Review: Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery A...: Stars : 4 out of 5 Pros : Strong characters in an engaging mystery Cons : A few niggles, but mostly minor issues. The Bottom Line :...

Senior News Newspaper Book Review Column-- November 2014

For my monthly newspaper book review column in the Senior News Newspaper, I usually make sure to choose one fiction and one nonfiction book in the hopes of interesting more readers. For November I went with Fast Track by Bill Crider and Ed Gorman. Different from Bill Crider’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes series set in East Texas and yet very good. I don’t think the man could write a bad book if he tried. For the non-fiction book I went with Crochet: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide by the DK Editors. Sandi crochets a lot so I always pick up the new crochet books when I see them at the library so she can take a look. Longer reviews of both books were run here on the blog earlier this year and can easily be found by clicking on the above book titles.

Included below are the relevant book covers for my November 2014 column… 

Fast Track
Bill Crider and Ed Gorman
Rough Edges Press
244 Pages

Agent Dev Mallory was supposed to get off the train in Corvair, California. He would have too if he hadn't been drugged and slept through the train stop. He also had with him a young female Secret Service agent named Tess O’Neill who was also supposed to get off the train with him in Corvair. Now, as the train approaches Rock Creek and the fog lifts from his mind, Mallory realizes she is missing. According to the conductor she appeared to be ill and was escorted off the train by two unknown and yet very helpful gentlemen.

Mallory from a secret federal agency that is so secret it has no name and Tess from the Secret Service were assigned to protect the most famous race horse in the world named Starcrossed at the most famous horse race in the world. Letting his guard down once got him drugged. Mallory isn't about to let his guard down again.

Fast Track by Bill Crider and Ed Gorman may be set roughly 100 years ago, but the issues in horse racing are almost as prevalent today. Recently released in e-book form by Rough Edges Press this is a complicated mystery western tale full of action, intrigue, and suspense. Rich and detailed in terms of characters and setting with plenty of twists and turns the read is a good one.

Crochet: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide
DK Editors
DK Publishing
ISBN# 978-1-4654-1591-2
320 Pages

Billed as a resource book for crocheters at all levels, Crochet: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide features the basics and over 80 patterns at all skill levels. Visually stunning thanks to the well done photographs, the book showcases quite a number of possibilities for gifts, home use, and more.

After a section on the basics of tools, various types of yarn, stitches, and more the book goes on to projects. Each of the more than eighty projects has detailed instructions, a recommended skill level, pictures of the finished project, and often a tip to make the item more useful or easier to make.

While a comprehensive and interesting book Crochet: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide suffers from organizational issues. Many of the projects seem to have little rhyme or reason as to why they are placed here or there and the table of contents is a bit scattered. The result is a good book that is made more difficult to use than it should be.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014
Shop Amazon - Black Friday Deals Week

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Via CNC Books Blog-- A Christmas Novella Giveaway

As posted elsewhere earlier today.....

The holiday stories are beginning to take hold of our reading consciousness
and I'm giving a new one away on Buried Under Books. If you'd like to have
a taste of Sharyn McCrumb's Ballad books or if you're already a fan, NORA
BONESTEEL'S CHRISTMAS PAST may be just the one for you---

Come on by for a chance to win a hardcover copy of this pleasing little
novella---it will make a dandy little gift for yourself or for a lucky
someone in your life 


Lelia Taylor
Creatures 'n Crooks / Buried Under Books

Via Anne R. Allen's Blog: 8 Bogus "Rules" New Writers Tell Each Other

Anne R. Allen's Blog: 8 Bogus "Rules" New Writers Tell Each Other: by Anne R. Allen W e get lots of questions from new writers who have spent time in forums and online writers' groups where they'v...

Via Smashwords: Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult from Here - H...

Smashwords: Ebook Publishing Gets More Difficult from Here - H...: First the good news.  For indie (self-published) authors, there’s never been a better time to publish an ebook.  Thanks to an ever-growi...

Via Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Death, Snow, and Mistletoe by Valerie Malmont

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Death, Snow, and Mistletoe by Valerie Malmont: Reviewed by Jeanne Christmas time’s a-comin’ to the little town of Lickin Creek, an Appalachian town in Pennsylvania and preparations...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

KRL This Week Update-- Sandra Balzo, JoAnna Carl, Elaine Faber, Marilyn Meredith, Thanksgiving mystery short story & much more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of a Thanksgiving mystery, "Hit and Run" by Sandra Balzo

Also up, reviews & giveaways of three food related mysteries, perfect for Thanksgiving when we have food on the brain- "By Cook or By Crook" by Maya Corrigan, and "Chorus Lines, Caviar and Corpses" by Mary McHugh, and "The Chocolate Book Bandit" by JoAnna Carl

We also have a never before published Thanksgiving mystery short story by Gail Farrelly

And a review and giveaway of the "Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer" by Elaine Faber

Also a review & giveaway of "The Anthology of Cozy-Noir" edited by Andrew MacRae with stories by Bobbi A. Chukran, John Haas, and several others

And in honor of Thanksgiving being a time for families, Deborah Harter Williams looks at mystery TV shows featuring families, such as "Blue Bloods"

We also have a review & giveaway of the latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, "River Spirits," by Marilyn Meredith

And for those who enjoy fantasy with their mystery, a review and giveaway of "Spells at the Crossroads" by Barbara Ashford

Lastly, over on  KRL Lite, reviews & giveaways of "Ensconced" & "Purged" by M.E. May

Via The Education of a Pulp Writer: The Last Kind Words Saloon

The Education of a Pulp Writer: The Last Kind Words Saloon: Larry McMurtry  mentions in his brief introduction to  The Last Kind Words Saloon , “I had the great director John Ford in mind when I wrot...

Via Mystery Fanfare: Thanksgiving Mysteries / Thanksgiving Crime Fictio...

Mystery Fanfare: Thanksgiving Mysteries / Thanksgiving Crime Fictio...: Thanksgiving . I have a lot to give thanks for -- my family, my friends, and the wonderful mystery community. Once again we'll b...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

Via Books and Benches: Books and Benches Monthly Giveaway: STONE MOUNTAIN...

Books and Benches: Books and Benches Monthly Giveaway: STONE MOUNTAIN...: November 2014 Giveaway Author Caroline Clemmons is this month's Books & Benches featured author! Enter to win one of ...

FFB Review: "Kings of Colorado" by David E. Hilton

It is Friday and that means Friday’s Forgotten Books. In my post chocolate cake haze it seemed like a good idea to run my review of David E. Hilton’s Kings of Colorado. As I said in the review that appeared back in 2011 it isn’t easy to label this book. Suffice it to say, you should read it if you have not already done so. After you read the review make sure you check out the complete list over at Patti’s blog. Surely something will catch your eye…

Austin, Texas resident David E. Hilton's debut novel Kings of Colorado is in turns heart breaking and uplifting. A novel that is not easy to describe while filled with tragedy and ultimately redemption. At its core, it is the tale of one man finally finding peace with a very brutal past decades later.

It was the summer of 1963 when the abusive world William Sheppard knew changed forever. He was thirteen and one time too many his father came home in a drunken rage and started terrorizing his family. When it was over, his father was near death because his thirteen year old son William Shepard had stabbed him multiple times with a pocket knife.

By September, thanks to the order of the court, William Sheppard was on his way from Chicago to the Swope Ranch Boy's reformatory in Colorado. The legendary reform school located near Gunnison, Colorado in a high mountain valley isolated from the world is to be his home for the next twenty four months. That is if he can survive the altitude of over thirteen thousand feet, the extreme weather, the other inmates, and the guards.  Of all the threats the guards may be the worst threat as, with a couple of exceptions, they exist to abuse the boys in every way possible. The ranch sustains itself by using the boys as a cheap labor source to break and take care of the wild horses that are shipped in at regular intervals. The threats are many but the reality of life is put very simply by Warden Walter Barrow: 

“We'll break you, Mr. Sheppard. Just like we break each of the animals outside.  One step at a time.” (Page 22)

Those in charge use the natural environmental elements of the ranch being located in a valley above thirteen thousand feet, intimidation, weapons, and other factors to control the population. Days away from anywhere, knowing that to resist means being shot, etc. means that nobody is going anywhere. This prison may have beauty around it and nothing in terms of walls or guard towers but it is a lock down prison in every sense that matters.

What follows is a tale of William Sheppard during those brutal 24 months and the aftermath of his ordeals decades later. It is a harsh and unforgiving world that bears a striking resemblance to Lord of the Flies in a far different location. One wonders if it was pitched as that when the author was seeking representation and publication. If so, it was a truly perfect fit that encapsulates well what this novel is about.

An emotionally powerful book with both humor and sheer tragedy often mere lines of text apart, Kings of Colorado is a complex book that is very hard to define or explain in great detail without destroying the very story lines that serve as the fabric of the novel. It reads like a memoir with a voice far older than the author would appear, and yet there are elements of any good mystery fiction story. Crimes have been and are committed, there are several mysteries, and other elements could easily move the book into the mystery field.

Not for the squeamish or faint hearted, the graphic moments in this story of language and description fit well into the story. They are not added for shock value or to pad the word count. They are in there because they fit seamlessly into the text as a whole.

By the end of the book you will wonder if these events really did happen?

Kings of Colorado: A Novel
David E. Hilton
Simon & Schuster
January 2011
ISBN 978-1-4391-8382-3
Hardback(paperback, audio, and e-book versions available)
288 pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Anthology Market Call-- Submissions for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction

As posted elsewhere earlier today......

Subject: Submissions for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction

Submissions remain open for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction

Darkhouse Books seeks stories for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction. For the purpose of this anthology we are defining historical fiction as, those works set more than a few decades prior to the present and written by someone without direct experience in the setting and events of the story. But should a truly superb story happen to stray from the above strictures and cross our threshold, we would happily consider it.

The submission period is now open and will remain open through 11:59pm (PST), December 31st, 2014.

We are seeking stories in the 2500 to 7500 word range, though if it’s knockout material, we’ll consider any length.

The anthology will contain between twelve and twenty stories, depending on the overall length. Authors will share equally fifty percent of royalties received.

We accept MS Word .doc and .docx files. Submissions must be in standard manuscript format. Links to formatting guides are available here.

Previously published work will be considered, provided the author has the power to grant us the right to publish in ebook, audio, and print versions, and that it has not been available elsewhere more recently than January 1st, 2014.

Submissions may be sent to submissionsATdarkhousebooksDOTcom
Please leave “Submission-“ in the subject line and add the name of your story.

Andrew MacRae
Darkhouse Books
Now available "The Anthology of Cozy-Noir"!

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Another Little Update

As I said on Bill's blog this is encouraging news for Bill and his lovely wife Judy. Our thoughts and prayers continue.....

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Another Little Update: And this time it's relatively good news.  All the biopsy results have come in, and it appears that Judy's non-Hodgkin lymphoma has &...


Interestingly enough, I share my birthday today with comedians Richard Dawson and Joel McHale as well as Dick Smothers, V.P. Joe Biden, actress Bo Derek (she always ran on the beach better than me and looked way better doing it), astronomer Edward Hubble, author Don Delillo, Mark Gastineau (he ran and played football better than I could too) and Journalist Judy Woodruff, among many others.

I also share the date with friend and fellow Ravens Mavens writing buddy Jan Christensen. If you have seen her picture, you know she wears big hats way better than I do as well as being quite prolific book wise.

In history on this date, the British using tanks, which were thought to be more trouble than they were worth, as well as air support attacked German forces near Cambrai, France.  The Nuremberg Trials began in 1945. And, among other things on this date, in 1923 Garret Morgan patented the revolutionary three step traffic signal which included a “warning” between stop and go (equivalent of today’s yellow light). It is unknown exactly when humans evolved to interpret the warning signal as a reason to accelerate to beat the stop signal.  

Thank you one and all for the birthday wishes expressed here and elsewhere. Nobody has to be anywhere today---yeehaw!!!!—so the plan is to hang out at home and have a quiet day. There will also be serious consumption of chocolate cake.

*****Jinxed It*****

Not five minutes after I posted the above, it became clear I would be running errns as Sandi had an urgent need for her insulin and a couple of other things had to be done. At least it is a stunningly beautiful day here before possible severe weather rolls in late tonight thru Saturday.

And so it goes......

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Via Variety--- Netflix Picks Up ‘Longmire’ for Season 4 (EXCELLENT NEWS EDITION)

Netflix Picks Up ‘Longmire’ for Season 4

Via My Life Called So: Reviewer Bias Revisited

For the record I was the member who sparked this off yesterday by pointing out that reviewing a story in the same book your own story is published in is simply not done. I did say it was beyond a bad idea and way worse than a veiled sale pitch. Not surprisingly the only ones who disagreed all had a connection to the book in question.

I never mentioned friendships--the focus of Gerald So's post--as that had nothing to do with the group topic at hand.

My Life Called So: Reviewer Bias Revisited: © by Gerald So | | 4:00 A.M. The topic of reviewer etiquette came up yesterday in Short Mystery Fiction Society d...


I am buried in books and am pretty much closed to submissions unless you are an author I have read and enjoyed before. Having written my last column for the Senior News Newspaper books specifically aimed for that market are no longer needed.

If you do query have some freakin idea what I read.

For the record---  I am not reading anything billed as a "medical thriller." With a spouse dying of terminal cancer, I am certainly not going to read a soon to be published medical thriller where a dying cancer stricken woman gets some sort of treatment that turns her into a homicidal manic and she unleashes a reign of terror upon big pharma because they want folks to die from cancer.

I kid you not.