Saturday, January 31, 2015

KRL This Week Update-- Tracy Weber, Julie Hyzy, Cate Price, DorothyL, Coming Attractions, mystery short story, giveaways & more

As  posted elsewhere earlier today..... 

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine an article by Terry Ambrose on one of the oldest online mystery communities, DorothyL

Also up a review & giveaway of "MacDeath," a fun theatre related mystery by Cindy Brown, published by Henery Press

We also have a review & giveaway of "A Killer Retreat," the latest Downward Dog mystery by Tracy Weber

And we have reviews & giveaways of 4 great mysteries from Penguin and Kensington-"Snow Way Out" by Christine Husom, "Lie of the Needle" by Cate Price, "All the President’s Menus": A White House Chef Mystery by Julie Hyzy and "Criminal Confections": A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery By Colette London

We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions column from Sunny Frazier, along with giveaways of books by Terry Ambrose, Sherry Harris & Alison McMahon

Lastly, for our readers who also enjoy fantasy, a review & giveaway of First and Last Sorcerer by JC and Barb Hendee

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 Tess Gerritsen's Blog-- My GRAVITY lawsuit and how it affects every writer who sells to Hollywood

My GRAVITY lawsuit and how it affects every writer who sells to Hollywood

The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers Press Release-- Hammett Prize Nominees

The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers is pleased to announce nominees for their annual HAMMETT PRIZE for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author. The nominees are as follows:

Wayfaring Stranger: A Novel, by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
Smoke River, by Krista Foss (McClelland & Stewart)
Gangsterland: A Novel, by Tod Goldberg (Counterpoint)
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel, by Stephen King (Scribner)
Goodhouse: A Novel, by Peyton Marshall (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

A reading committee of IACW/NA members selected the nominees, based on recommendations from other members and the publishing community. The committee was headed by Del Staecker and included Maria Hudgins, Heidi Noroozy, Howard Owen, and Allen Wyler.

The winner will be chosen by three distinguished outside judges: Morris Dickstein, author of Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education; Daniel Simon, Editor-in Chief of World Literature Today; and Frank Wilson, former Books Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and blogger at Booksinq.

The organization will name the HAMMETT PRIZE winner, during the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association’s (NAIBA) Fall Conference, in Somerset, New Jersey, October 2-4. The winner will receive a bronze trophy, designed by sculptor Peter Boiger.

Via Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Lady and Her Monsters: a Tale of Dissections, ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Lady and Her Monsters: a Tale of Dissections, ...: Reviewed by Christy H. The pull-quote on the cover of my edition of this book states that it “rattles enjoyably through a lu...

Malice Domestic Press Release-- Announcing the 2014 Agatha Nominees

The 2014 Agatha Nominees are:

Best Contemporary Novel

The Good, The Bad and The Emus by Donna Andrews (Minotaur Books)
A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur Books)
Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)

Best Historical Novel

Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd (William Morrow)
Wouldn't it Be Deadly by D.E. Ireland (Minotaur Books)
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
Murder in Murray Hill by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

Best First Novel

Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris (Kensington Publishing)
Finding Sky by Susan O'Brien (Henery Press)
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran (Berkley Prime Crime)
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink)

Best Nonfiction

400 Things Cops Know: Street Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman by Adam Plantinga (Quill Driver Books)
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan (ed) (Henery Press)
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice by Kate Flora (New Horizon Press)
The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley (Pegasus Books)
The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England's Most Notorious Doctor by Stephen Bates (Overlook Hardcover)

Best Short Story

"The Odds are Against Us" by Art Taylor (EQMM)
"Premonition" (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Art Taylor (Wildside Press)
"The Shadow Knows" (Chesapeake Crimes Homicidal Holidays) by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
"Just Desserts for Johnny" by Edith Maxwell (Kings River Life Magazine)
"The Blessing Witch" (Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave) by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Level Best Books)

Best Children's/Young Adult

Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower (ZonderKidz)
Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books)
Uncertain Glory by Lea Wait (Islandport Press)
The Code Buster's Club, Case #4, The Mummy's Curse by Penny Warner (Egmont USA)
Found by Harlen Coben (Putnam Juvenile)

The winners will be announced at the Agatha Awards Banquet on May 2, 2015. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

Via The Rap Sheet-- Bullet Points: Pre-Super Bowl Edition

Bullet Points: Pre-Super Bowl Edition

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The Interview

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The Interview: In a week when cheaters can still play in the Super Bowl and major cities braced for winter superstorms that never came, what better time...

Via Writer Beware--Lost in Translation: In Which I Investigate a Translation Service, and They Are Not Amused

Lost in Translation: In Which I Investigate a Translation Service, and They Are Not Amused

Friday, January 30, 2015

Via The Southwest Armchair Traveler: Review: Legend and Lore of the Guadalupe Mountains...

The Southwest Armchair Traveler: Review: Legend and Lore of the Guadalupe Mountains...: I’ve been researching lost and buried treasures as I plot the next book in my treasure hunting romantic adventure series. The first book...

Via SHOTSMAG CONFIDENTIAL: The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing

SHOTSMAG CONFIDENTIAL: The James Herbert Award for Horror Writing: The shortlist for the first James Herbert Award for Horror Writing is announced today, Thursday 29 January 2015. From the darkly fan...

Medical Update

Home from the hospital. They have added a second antibiotic to her IV. The new treatment is of one antibiotic, wait about a half an hour, and then the other antibiotic. Sandi's leg does not look any better.

Hopefully the new treatment deal will start making progress.

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

FFB Review: "WICKED WOMEN" edited by Lee Wright --- Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Barry is back today with his review the short story anthology  Wicked Women.  After you read the review make sure you surf over to BV Lawson's very cool blog In Reference To Murder  and check out other possibilities…

WICKED WOMEN (1960) edited by Lee Wright

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Selected and introduced by the esteemed mystery editor Lee Wright, this is a largely solid collection of tales by (mostly) well-known authors. I have a criticism which some readers might consider a spoiler that I’ll save until the last paragraph of the review. But first, the stories:

Margery Allingham: The case appears to be a relatively straightforward one: after he and his wife dined with his aunt, Mary Alice Cibber, Richard Woodruff returned later and shot her. Detective Inspector Kenny knows that once all the evidence is presented, “One Morning They’ll Hang Him.” But he needs Albert Campion’s help to locate a critical item: the gun.

Robert Arthur: It requires “Weapon, Motive, Method—” to commit a crime. The ambitious Lucy has used each husband as a stepping-stone to a better future, divorcing one as a better prospect comes along. Ferdinand Relling could make her the First Lady of the United States. Current husband Tom is an obstacle, and divorce won’t play well with voters. Widowhood, on the other hand, is a different matter….

Agatha Christie: Retired and now living in the country, former C.I.D. Inspector Evans recognizes Mrs. Merrowdene as the former Mrs. Anthony, who was tried for and acquitted of killing her husband, the death being deemed an “Accident.” Evans’s friend Haydock is all for leaving it in the past, but Evans can’t let things lie, especially after he learns her current husband  has  purchased a new life insurance policy.

M.R. James: Although he is “not specially infected with the witch-finding mania,” Sir Matthew Fell must testify to the strange events that have occurred three times in “The Ash Tree” just beyond the window of his bedroom in Castringham Hall—events involving Mrs. Mothersole. On her way to the gallows she says: “There will be guests at the Hall.” Soon after, bizarre and inexplicable death befalls, and it isn’t confined to a single generation.

Kenneth Millar: Santa Barbara-based private detective Rogers is hired by Mrs. Dreen to “Find the Woman,” her missing daughter, young motion picture star Una Sand. Did Una vanish willingly, did she drown in the sea beyond the family’s beach house, or was she murdered? Featuring much of the author’s vivid, poetic prose—e.g., “Nothing could have looked more innocent than the quiet blue cove, held in the curve of the white beach like a benign blue eye set in a serene brow”—hardcore mystery fans will recognize that Millar is the pseudonym of Ross Macdonald, author of the classic P.I. Lew Archer novels, among others. Under the same title, a revised version of this story was subsequently included in the Macdonald collection The Name is Archer.   

Emily Neff: Marcia Hendrix has long believed her marriage to oft- traveling businessman Charles is ideal and idyllic, even when she finds a woman’s cigarette lighter in his coat pocket. But when she eventually learns that there really is another woman in Charles’s life, she sets out to do something about it, and unwittingly acquires a “Partner in Crime” in the process. The ending is easily foreseeable, but the story is entertaining nonetheless.

Q. Patrick: Thirty-six-year-old John Tuthill Crane is the kind of man who’d ask, “Mother, May I Go Out to Swim?” because he’s always been inordinately close to his doting, overprotective mother, Claire. Until, that is, vacationing in Maine by himself because Claire has to help nurse another son’s measles-infected children in Philadelphia, he meets and becomes passionately involved with Lotte Rank. Mother stays in touch daily by phone, and also by letters, so John’s loyalties are torn between the two women. What will happen when Claire finally arrives in this story by an author I’ve seldom known to disappoint?

Ellery Queen: “No Parking” is the problem for writer and amateur sleuth Ellery Queen, one that could mean the difference between life and death for Broadway actress Modesta Ryan on a stormy New York evening. Having earlier accepted the proposal of one suitor and rejected two others, she calls Ellery near midnight, says she’s in trouble, and begs him to come to her Madison Avenue apartment. Once he finally arrives, he has an emergency and a mystery to deal with.

Dorothy L. Sayers: It has been a month since a woman named Andrews has poisoned a family in the nearby town of Lincoln, and the police have had no luck in capturing her. Estate agent Harold Mummery, whose wife Ethel is recovering from a nervous breakdown, is feeling slightly under the weather with digestive issues, despite eating excellent meals from their newly-hired cook, Mrs. Sutton. When he considers timelines, he develops the “Suspicion” that Mrs. Sutton is really Mrs. Andrews….

Wilbur Daniel Steele: The philandering, egomaniacal B.J. Cantra fancies himself quite “The Lady-Killer.” But when he gets separated in the Carolina woods from friends with whom he’s vacationing and meets Cath, wife of farmer Jess Judah, he’s suddenly faced with the kind of customer for his imagined charms he’s never had to deal with. 

Joan Vatsek: The principal of the missionary school in Egypt, Miss Haskell, a woman stern and sometimes repellent, a woman of contradictory behaviors, is also a source of magnetic fascination for Patricia Burney, the newest and youngest teacher. Miss Haskell’s sister Ivy fell to her death from “The Balcony” in her bedroom, the bedroom now given to Patricia in a story that’s subtly erotic in places, and which is the most literary of those in the anthology.

Edgar Wallace: The last and, for me, weakest story in the collection is “The Dancing Stones.” In colonial Africa, Commissioner Sanders tries to negotiate a truce between Limbili, king of the Yitingi, who considers himself the world’s greatest king, and the Icheli. When Sanders rejects the advances of the fifteen-year-old dancing Daihili, who resents the rejection, and whose father willingly gifts her to Limbili, a confrontation ensues that almost costs Sanders his life.

This is a nicely diverse group of stories that provides a good mix of mystery categories including  straightforward crime, traditional and hardboiled detective stories, psychological suspense, the supernatural, and one, as mentioned, I’d call literary.

The book’s biggest problem is its title. Why? Because a couple of the stories are fairly-clued whodunits. Wicked Women, however, gives the game away so that even inexperienced mystery readers who like to try to solve the puzzles before the detectives do needn’t worry about spotting clues to a culprit’s identity in these. It’s evident from the outset that the criminal will be a woman. Allowing for that relatively minor fault, the book is recommended.

© 2015 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s website is You can find some of his written work at Amazon, Smashwords, and Scribd.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sandi Update

She is a very unhappy patient for a variety of reasons. While I was there with Scott, her doctor came in to look at her leg. He says her leg looks better and that should mean the IV antibiotic is doing something. Quite honestly, he is apparently seeing an improvement that Sandi and I are not seeing.

The plan is for her to have the round the clock IV antibiotic for the next two weeks minimum. Sometime next week, if it becomes clear the antibiotic is working, they will start setting something up for her to have the IV antibiotic at home. How that will work we have no idea. 

In the meantime she is going nowhere and hating every minute of it. I know for sure I am going back down to the hospital tomorrow. I may stay home for the weekend as heavy rain is in the forecast and my cane does not do well on wet pavement. Neither do I for that matter. I have done way too much the last couple of days out of necessity and am paying the price.

As to reviews, for FFB tomorrow,  Barry's review of  the short story anthology Wicked Women will run. I have several reviews to write and post thanks to a lot of reading at the hospital, but have no idea when I will get to them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sandi Hospitalized

I just got home from the hospital. Sandi has been admitted to Medical City Dallas Hospital in order to fight the infection and additional leg swelling as her leg is now nearly three times bigger than it should be and is massively discolored. They also will be running a new ultrasound and most likely an MRI at the very least.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers if you would. There is no timetable at this point for her release.

9:30 PM UPDATE---Patient is extremely unhappy as, according to her, there have been numerous medication errors involving her insulin, blood pressure drugs, and other medications. Because the nurses would not listen to her she notified the emergency services of both the endocrinologist and the cancer doctor as to the issues.

She is currently receiving her second bag of antibiotic IV through her port. They have done an ultrasound and according to the tech the pictures were in pretty bad shape due to the fluid in her leg. The tech thinks the leg will have to be drained and then they can try again, but stresses that is the call of the doctor.

I am hoping that things will settle down soon and she can get some sleep. She never got her multi hour afternoon nap today so I am sure that is not helping things tonight. Somehow Sandi is still up and going after being awake since 7 am. If I didn't know better I would think she was back on the high dose steroids.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Home from the Cardiologist

We are back home from the Cardiologist. Sandi's visit went as well as it could have considering the situation. Knowing her situation they are billing insurance and then will work with us on what is left on the bill. Things are very bad and their decision is a huge help. Her next appointment is scheduled for July.

We go back to the cancer doctor tomorrow and her leg has not improved at all. Hopefully they will have an idea or two.

Both of us are wiped out and not looking forward to tomorrow.

Via Brainsnorts: Brock – short story, 1st draft

Brock – short story, 1st draft

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Transparent

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Transparent: I recently got a Kindle Fire, and along with it, a free thirty day subscription to Amazon Prime, so I immediately took advantage of it an...

Via Bookbrowsing--- Managing Your Time to Promote by Jan Christensen

Managing Your Time to Promote by Jan Christensen

Monday, January 26, 2015

Via Life of a Writing Publisher--- Whose Blog is it Anyway?

Whose Blog is it Anyway?

Via Writer Beware-- Two Red-Flag Sentences in Publishing Contracts

Two Red-Flag Sentences in Publishing Contracts


Mystery Fanfare: LEFT COAST CRIME AWARD NOMINATIONS: LEFT COAST CRIME 2015 * CRIMELANDIA PORTLAND, OREGON * MARCH 12-15, 2015 2015 Left Coast Crime Award Nominations . Congratulations to all...

Via Prose&Cons: Dear Writer's Block, Please Die

Prose&Cons: Dear Writer's Block, Please Die: It isn't the first time I've had writer's block. But, it certainly feels just as dreadful and career-ending every time I do. W...

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Review: "Original Cyn" by Sylvia Dickey Smith (Guest Reviewer Earl Staggs)

Please welcome back prolific author, occasional reviewer, and all around good guy Earl Staggs to the blog today as he takes a look at Original Cyn by Sylvia Dickey Smith. If you are not familiar with her, Sylvia also wrote the Sidra Smart Series as well as A War Of Her Own and survived relocating to Arkansas.

ORIGINAL CYN by Sylvia Dickey Smith
Reviewed by Earl Staggs

When the preacher is in his pulpit and his dutiful wife sits in the front row performing as his support and helpmate, their lives seem perfect and full. When the sermon is over, Cyn Carter’s life is far from full and she doesn’t know why. Why does she feel that over the years her life was sucked dry and she

became an empty shell? The answer comes suddenly in an avalanche of revelations which turn her life not only upside down but inside out. She finds herself flooded in a tsunami of truths about love, sex, marriage, hypocrisy and narrow-minded intolerance and is forced into a challenging journey of examination and discovery.
Sylvia Dickey Smith is uniquely qualified to write a story as powerful and revealing as this one. Like Cyn, she was a pastor’s wife for a number of years. At the same time, while raising four children and still serving as the pastor’s wife and missionary, she earned a BA in Sociology and a Masters in Educational Psychology. This led her to a new career in private practice as a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist.

Her next career goal was to become a writer. In the process of writing a successful and highly praised series of novels and becoming a state and national award winning novelist, she found her niche in creating strong female characters forced to face overwhelming adversity.

In ORIGINAL CYN, she has combined her psychological education and experience as a professional counselor with her writing skill and crafted a compelling story that will keep any reader turning pages.

This book is highly recommended for both men and women.

Original Cyn
Sylvia Dickey Smith
Oya House Publishing
October 2014
ISBN# 978-0692259290
Print (e-book version available)
288 Pages

Earl Staggs ©2015

Earl Staggs earned a long list of Five Star reviews for his novels MEMORY OF A MURDER and JUSTIFIED ACTION and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year.  He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

RTE Update--- January 24 2015 Issue of RTE

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

The current issue of RTE, out on January 24th, includes fifteen new reviews as well as a new interview:


Becky Masterman in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:


THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN    Paula Hawkins    Reviewed by Yvonne Klein   
On her daily commute into London, Rachel fantasizes about the lovely life led by a couple she sees from the train every morning in their back garden, until one day she sees something so shocking that she is unwisely impelled to interfere in their lives.

ONE STEP TOO FAR    Tina Seskis.    Reviewed by Christine Zibas   
What would make a successful, happily married woman disappear from her own life, leaving no trace?

THE BLUE JOURNAL    L. T. Graham.      Reviewed by Sharon Mensing
Walker investigates the murder of a woman who had been writing a diary about her sexual conquests in a wealthy Connecticut suburb

FEAR THE DARKNESS   Becky Masterman.  Reviewed by Megan Sweeney   
After her sisters in law's untimely death, Brigid and her new husband take in Bridgid's teenaged niece, Gemma Kate. Not long after Gemma Kate moves in things start to go wrong.

A FINE SUMMER'S DAY    Charles Todd.     Reviewed by PJ Coldren       
Detective Ian Rutledge connects a series of seemingly unrelated cases in an England teetering on the edge of The Great War.

AS CHIMNEY SWEEPERS COME TO DUST.  Alan Bradley.Reviewed by Yvonne Klein
Abruptly banished from her ancestral home, Flavia de Luce is transported across the sea to a girls' boarding school in Toronto, where she is immediately confronted by a mummified corpse stuffed up a chimney.

MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP   Maggie King.    Reviewed by Phyllis Onstad
Romance writer untangles the secrets and jealousies that lead to a book club poisoning; all told with a light, humorous touch.

FIVE MINUTES ALONE    Paul Cleave.    Reviewed by Karen Chisholm   
Someone is helping rape victims wreak revenge on their attackers and Theo Tate and Carl Schroder find themselves on opposite sides in the attempt to stop him.

BRED TO KILL    Franck Thilliez.    Reviewed by Anne Corey       
Horrific violence may be linked to a prehistoric virus, and both Inspector Franck Sharko and ex-police officer Lucie Henebelle are drawn into the search for the scientists who have manipulated this virus to create modern-day monsters

SONS OF SPARTA  Jeffrey Siger. Reviewed by Sharon Mensing       
The death of a crime boss in the Mani, at the southern tip of the Peloponnese, leads to an investigation of the corruption that permeates Greek society.

HIGH STAKES    John McEvoy.    Reviewed by Meredith Frazier    `
While assisting the FBI solve a series of deaths of retired racehorses, Jack Doyle finds himself involved in a number of crimes both on and off the racetrack, and the intrigue reaches from Chicago to Ireland.

SHARK SKIN SUITE    Tim Dorsey.    Reviewed by Peter Flom`
Serge Storms teams up with new lawyer Brook Campanella to right some wrongs in Florida.

DYING FOR THE PAST    T.J. O'Connor.    Reviewed by Ben Neal   
Former detective, now dead Oliver "Tuck Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time—until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor.

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

Euro Crime Update-- New Reviews on Euro Crime: Alaux & Balen, Grey, Hall, James, Kelly, McKinty, Rendell, Russell, Schumacher

As posted elsewhere earlier today..

Since the last set of reviews went up, the Euro Crime favourite reads of 2014 have been compiled and the most mentioned authors/titles/translators announced. (

In addition the review team's favourite discoveries of 2014 have been revealed. (

Here are nine reviews which have been added to the Euro Crime website today.

New Reviews

Terry Halligan reviews 'Treachery in Bordeaux' by Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen tr. Anne Trager, the first in the Winemaker Detective series;

Susan White reviews Isabelle Grey's 'Good Girls Don't Die';

Lynn Harvey reviews Tarquin Hall's 'The Case of the Love Commandos';

Rich Westwood reviews Christina James's 'Sausage Hall', the third in the DI Yates series;

Geoff Jones reviews Jim Kelly's 'At Death's Window', the latest in his North Norfolk-set Shaw & Valentine series;

Mark Bailey reviews 'Gun Street Girl' by Adrian McKinty, the fourth in the Sean Duffy series;

Michelle Peckham reviews 'The Girl Next Door' by Ruth Rendell;

Amanda Gillies reviews Leigh Russell's 'Race to Death'

and Susan also reviews Tony Schumacher's 'The Darkest Hour'.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year. or via the blog:

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive (

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

best wishes,
Karen M

Via Omnimystery News-- A Conversation with Mystery Author BJ Bourg

A Conversation with Mystery Author BJ Bourg

Via Mystery Fanfare: The Reference Shelf: Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrat...

Mystery Fanfare: The Reference Shelf: Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrat...: I collect secondary material, so when this 'older' review came to my attention, I asked John E. Simpson if I could reprint it here...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Via Lesa's Book Critiques-- The Body Snatchers Affair by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini

The Body Snatchers Affair by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini

Via Buddies in the Saddle: Now available: How the West Was Written, Vol. 2 (1907-1915)

Buddies in the Saddle: Now available: How the West Was Written, Vol. 2 (1907-1915)

FREE Book Alert--- WIDE SPOT IN THE ROAD by Wayne D. Dundee

As posted on the BEAT TO A PULP page on Facebook:

"A FREE ebook offer for the next few days: WIDE SPOT IN THE ROAD by Wayne D. Dundee (THE EMPTY BADGE) is the fourth novella in The Drifter Detective series, following on the heels of THE GIRLS OF BUNKER PINES, HELL UP IN HOUSTON, and the eponymous debut, THE DRIFTER DETECTIVE."


KRL This Week Update-- Melissa Bourbon, Gigi Pandian, JJ Cook, Christine Wenger, mystery short story, giveaways & much more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today.....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of a fun food mystery-"Diners, Drive-ins, and Death" by Christine Wenger

Also up, a review & giveaway of "A Seamless Murder" by Author Melissa Bourbon

We also have a review & giveaway of "In Hot Water" by J.J. Cook

Also we have a review & giveaway of "The Accidental Alchemist," a paranormal mystery by Gigi Pandian, along with a fun interview with Gigi

And we have an article on 10 Great African American Actors & Crime Solvers, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday

We also have a never before published mystery short story by Gary R. Hoffman

Have you ever thought about how important weather can be to the setting of a mystery you are reading or writing? Check out this fun article on that by Marilyn Meredith

Lastly, for those who enjoy fantasy with their mystery, a review & giveaway of "The Clockwork Dagger" by Beth Cato

And over on KRL Lite, more fantasy, with a review & giveaway of "House Immortal" by Devon Monk
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

Lesa's Latest Contest-- St. Martin's Press Giveaway

As posted elsewhere....

This week, I'm giving away two books from St. Martin's Press - Martine Bailey's historical novel, including some mystery & recipes - An Appetite for Violets, and Lisa Scottoline's Betrayed. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine

Friday, January 23, 2015

Crime Review Update: New issue of Crime Review

As posted elsewhere early this evening.....

In our new edition of Crime Review ( this week we
have 16 reviews, together with Simon Kernick 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:
HOUR OF DARKNESS by Quintin Jardine, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A female naked body washed up near Edinburgh baffles police until a woman
is found to be missing from a bloodstained flat.

THE KILL ROOM by Jeffery Deaver, reviewed by John Cleal
An outspoken critic of US foreign policy is assassinated in the Bahamas.
All routes lead to a shady government agency. Lincoln Rhyme and his partner
Amelia Sachs investigate.

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surete investigates the death
of a quintuplet, and his battle with corrupt powerful people comes to a

TELL NO TALES by Eva Dolan, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Peterborough’s hate crimes unit – DI Dushan Zigic and DS Mel Ferreira –
battle community tensions as they investigate a hit and run accident and
also the murder of two immigrants who were kicked to death

GUN MACHINE by Warren Ellis, reviewed by John Cleal
A disenchanted New York detective is jolted into life when his partner is
killed and during a search of the murder building he stumbles on a room
containing hundreds of guns arranged in a bizarre pattern – each used in a
recent killing and each matched with a weapon used in a historic murder.

KILLING FOR KEEPS by Mari Hannah, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When two hideously brutal killings take place within a few hours of each
other, it’s not hard to find the link between the two, but bringing the
killers to justice proves a lot harder for DCI Kate Daniels and her team.

THE DIRECTOR by David Ignatius, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
Post-WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, the CIA is fast losing credibility. The
president appoints as CIA Director Graham Weber, a wealthy businessman and
a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, with full
authority to make any changes he considers necessary.

DUST by Patricia Cornwell, reviewed by Sylvia Wilson
In bed with flu, Dr Kay Scarpetta is called to the body of a young girl
posed in the middle of an MIT sports field, her body covered in a dust that
fluoresces in rainbow colours. Scarpetta is reminded of similar cases in
Washington, but the FBI is determined to prove that they are unrelated.

A HOUSE OF KNIVES by William Shaw, reviewed by John Cleal
DS Cathal Breen and DC Helen Tozer investigate the death and mutilation of
an MP’s son in swinging – and corrupt – London in 1968.

COME, SWEET DEATH by Wolf Haas, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Simon Brenner finds driving an ambulance less stressful than police work,
but his boss pushes him back into detection to find out how a competitor is
stealing their business.

GONE by Rebecca Muddiman, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When troubled teenager Emma Thorley went missing, the police and everyone
else assumed she’d run away again, but 11 years later when a body is found
in woods near Blyth, it looks like there was another, far more deadly
reason for her disappearance.

DEAD OF NIGHT by Chris Collett, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
DCI Tom Mariner and his Birmingham team investigate the disappearance of a
young woman, whose clothes are sent, neatly cleaned and pressed, to the

SINGAPORE NOIR, edited by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Fourteen short stories about the dark side of the lives of local residents
that belie the common belief that Singapore is a sanitised and dull place.

ROSEBLOOD by Paul Doherty, reviewed by John Cleal
England is poised on the brink of civil war in 1455. Former soldier Simon
Roseblood, a sworn Lancastrian supporter, faces growing threats to his
position and businesses – and a fanatical group seeking revenge for a
massacre in which he had no part.

THE MONOGRAM MURDERS by Sophie Hannah, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Hercule Poirot is sitting in a coffee house in London when in flies a young
woman in a state of panic. Later three bodies are discovered in a local
hotel, each carefully laid out in a particular way. Are the two incidents
linked? Poirot and sidekick Catchpole from Scotland Yard investigate.

SPIDERS by Tom Hoyle, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Adam thought he was finished with adventure when he turned 13, but when bad
things start to happen to people he’s connected with, his life is about to
be turned upside down again.

Best wishes


Via BuzzFeed-- 24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing

24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

FFB: "Thriller 2: Stories You Just Can't Put Down" Edited by Clive Cussler-- Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Barry is back today with his review the short story anthology Thriller 2: Stories You Just Can’t Put Down.  After you read the review make sure you check out Patti’s blog and check out other possibilities…

edited by Clive Cussler

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Edited by Clive Cussler, who supplies an introduction and a preface to each of the twenty-three stories in this collection, Thriller 2 is the sequel to a previous volume of short stories by members of International Thriller Writers, Inc.

Jeffery Deaver: When U.S. intelligence agencies learn about “The Weapon,” they also learn they have only four days to identify exactly what it is, where it will be deployed, and by whom. Will they be able to do so in time to stop it?     

Blake Crouch: Keeping the young boy and his father under surveillance, what exactly is Mitchell’s motive, and what kind of “Remaking” does he hope to accomplish?

Harry Hunsicker: In “Iced,” murder comes easy to Tom, a formerly respectable banker and family man, as long as he has Chrissie and the drugs and the prospect of living large in Costa Rica.

Mariah Stewart: Because of Deanna’s cowardice, her friend Jessie is assaulted, and thus severely traumatized, by a gang of punks. Determined to see “Justice Served,” Deanna sets out to avenge Jessie—with nightmarish unintended consequences.

David Hewson: Melanie, a temporary employee at the Palace of Westminster, has traveled “The Circle,” the London subway system, since she was a little girl. Today’s trip and arrival will be considerably different ones.

R.L. Stine: Wayne swears that he’s innocent and has a “Roomful of Witnesses” to prove it after his coworker Leon pays a price for abusive behavior at The Haven, a facility for elderly residents.
Readers won’t soon forget either the witnesses or the abused residents in this jewel by an author best known for his books for children.

Phillip Margolin: From the time her mother brought her as a child to it, Monica Esteban dreamed of living like a princess in “The House on Pine Terrace.” Opportunity presents itself when she meets Dan Emery and they fall in love. But when do things ever go that smoothly in crime fiction?

Marcus Sakey: His army service earned Nick post-traumatic stress disorder and Cooper’s  friendship. Now the two live in Las Vegas and Cooper needs Nick’s help, as he did after an incident in Iraq. For Nick, “The Desert Here and the Desert Far Away” mix unpleasant memories from the past with danger in the present in a story persuasively told in the second-person.

Carla Neggers: Ill-prepared for the weather conditions and the terrain but “On the Run,” the fugitive has kidnapped Gus Winters and demanded that Winters lead him to a specific location high up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Whether one or the other or both will die of hypothermia eventually becomes the question, provided the fugitive doesn’t use his gun first.

Robert Ferrigno: The accountant’s hands are bound behind his back as he leads Briggs and Sean through swampy ground to retrieve the ledger they want before they kill him. It’s amusing up to that point, but once he asks, “Can You Help Me Out Here?” it becomes even funnier. Carl Hiaasen fans—and I’m one of them—will likely love this one.

Joe Hartlaub: When in “Crossed Double,” C.T.’s son Andy gets himself into trouble with loan shark Kozee, Dad—with growing annoyance and as matters become more complex—has to  bail him out.  

Lawrence Light: “When the man he’d killed a year ago walked into the bar, Joe Dogan was surprised. So surprised that he fell off his stool.” So begins a wry story about life and politics in the environs of southern New Jersey as they relate to “The Lamented” Brad Acton, his friends, associates, and enemies.

Lisa Jackson: Private detective Lucas Parker has been hired by his former brother-in-law to provide security for a formal gathering at the D’Amato Winery in a powerful  tale of personal angst, a dysfunctional family’s secrets, a lust for revenge, and “Vintage Murder.”

Tim Maleeny: Author Jim Masterson is no longer merely a writer; he’s become a brand whose name on a book cover means sales in the tens of millions—even if the book was “co-written” by someone whose name appears in smaller type. When his editor shows up and says that if he  doesn’t finish his latest manuscript in forty-four minutes, Jim’s wife Emily will be killed, Jim isn’t sure if the situation requires a “Suspension of Disbelief.”

I have to add here that I find it ironically amusing that Thriller 2 was edited by Clive Cussler, and that its predecessor—which I haven’t read—was edited by James Patterson, both of whom are “brands” whose names appear in large type on the covers of a multitude of novels “co-authored” by lesser-known writers who, I suspect but cannot prove, did most (possibly all) of the actual work.

Sean Chercover: Tom Bailey runs a charter boat and isn’t particular about most of his clientele. But the man who calls himself Diego proves to be a different story entirely, “A Calculated Risk” whose motives are suspect and upon whom Bailey’s life hinges.

Javier Sierra: Professors in America, Madrid, and Mexico are being murdered in a ritualistic manner. Solar storms and eruptions threaten the Earth. Is one of them the Big One that a dead scientist was investigating? What events might lead to “The Fifth World”?

Gary Braver: Former best-selling author Geoffrey Dane hasn’t been able to sell anything for quite awhile, and is currently teaching a writing course at a local college to make ends meet—barely. Lauren Grant asks him to be her “Ghost Writer” for a book idea she has. But who—and what—is she, and is that all she really wants from him?

Kathleen Antrim: “It’s time to kill my husband, Izaan Bekkar. The forty-eighth president of the United States.” So opens Sylvia’s story—Sylvia, who knows what the public does not, and who experiences it “Through a Veil Darkly.”

David J. Montgomery: Li Jinping is officially the Cultural Attaché of the People’s Republic of China. In his unofficial capacity he’s a spy. A very inept one, as well as a horndog with two mistresses in the D.C. area and a predilection for hookers. Hitman Jason Ryder has been hired to make it a permanent “Bedtime for Mr. Li,” the more embarrassingly the better.

Simon Wood: Nick is more than a little smitten with Melanie. Unfortunately for him, her brother Jamie disapproves and warns him off as though he’s “Protecting the Innocent.” When Nick digs into Melanie’s past, it seems obvious than Jamie has been unduly overprotective—and deadly.  

Joan Johnston: Before leaving for his tour of duty in Iraq, Carter Benedict asked his brother Nash to “Watch Out for My Girl.” Nash has complied—to the point of falling in love with firefighter Morgan Hunter. The morning after he impetuously kissed her, she’s gone missing. While trying to resolve her own feelings, Morgan drives into murderous trouble she might not survive unless she gets some help—and soon.

Jon Land: Fallon, a skilled professional killer who likes his work, is a man in hiding, posing as an English teacher at the Hampton Lake Middle School. He’s ill-prepared for that position, but no longer just “Killing Time” until he can leave the country when his pursuers, who want him dead after he botched a job, track him to the school and imperil the student body and staff.   

Ridley Pearson: “Boldt’s Broken Angel” is the final and longest story in the book, a police procedural that emphasizes forensics. Amateur jazz pianist and police detective Lou Boldt, aided by partner John LaMoia and Daphne Matthews,  investigates a missing persons case that leads to a particularly deranged serial killer.

Whereas most such collections contain some stories that are stronger and more engrossing than  others, Thriller 2 is an exception. I found every story totally engaging. Moreover, none is like another.  Plot, tone and style vary widely, providing the reader with different takes on what constitutes a thriller. The only caveats are raw language and some scenes which, while not flagrantly explicit, might just be graphic enough to repel some readers. Those who find these elements offensive are advised to stay away. Those who don’t will find this a very entertaining  read.

© 2015 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s website is You can find some of his written work at Amazon, Smashwords, and Scribd.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Via SleuthSayers: All the best from me to you

SleuthSayers: All the best from me to you: by Robert Lopresti Now comes that joyous season again when I reveal the best stories of the year as chosen by me.  This is only a slightly...

Via Find My Audience Blog-- 11 Steps To Take In Marketing Your Book by Mark Stevens

11 Steps To Take In Marketing Your Book by Mark Stevens

Review: "James 516" by BJ Bourg

For most folks it was a calm Tuesday in Magnolia Parrish in southern Louisiana. For a few others, such as the unlucky folks who worked at the First Gold Bank it has been an hour plus of sheer terror on this mid-August day. A man walked in, robbed the place, and then attempted to leave only to be
stopped by the first police officer dispatched to the scene as a result of a teller hitting the silent alarm. The bank robber fired a shot at the officer and missed before retreating back into the bank and taking hostages. Sergeant London Carter, a sniper, and the rest of his team from the Magnolia Parrish Sheriff’s Office are tasked with dealing with the suspect and saving as many lives as possible.

During the course of the operation one of their own is killed to the shock and horror of nearly every officer on scene. In the aftermath of the officer involved shooting Internal Affairs Lieutenant Bethany Riggs is brought into the lead the investigation into what happened. Was the death of Captain Landry a result of an accidental discharge by one of the snipers or was he killed by somebody else?

Answering that question leads to a far bigger mystery in the new and very intense read James 516 by B. J. Bourg. Well known for his short stories and nonfiction work, this novel published by Amber Quill Press features complicated characters, plenty of action, and a mystery that works well from start to finish. The book opens in the thick of the action quickly grabbing the reader’s attention with a complicated mystery, a romantic angle, an outside threat, along with several other ingredients. The author skillfully keeps the reader tightly focused into the book as he gradually ratchets up the tension to the final page. The book is compelling and intense from start to finish and one heck of a read.

James 516
BJ Bourg
Amber Quill Press
December 2014
ISBN 978-1-61124-711-4
Print (E-Book available)
248 Pages

E-book supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Via MWA The Edgars.Com-- The 2015 Edgar® Nominees

The 2015 Edgar® Nominees

Via National Book Critics Circle-- NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE ANNOUNCES FINALISTS; Sandrof Award to Toni Morrison

Sandi's Leg-- A Update

Back home from the doctor. The second culture swab--the one from last week--came back showing the infection they thought it was. Apparently, while the antibiotic sort of slowed it down, it did not stop it. So, a new more powerful antibiotic has been prescribed which she will start as soon as they get the prescription filled.

Her kidneys are not doing well so she stays off the diuretic with the hope being that once the infection starts clearing the massive swelling will start going away.

Back next Wednesday to do all this again.

Via BookBrowsing-- The Great American Novel by Robin Tidwell

The Great American Novel by Robin Tidwell

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Via Lesa's Book Critiques-- And Grant You Peace by Kate Flora

And Grant You Peace by Kate Flora

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Princess of Mars

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Princess of Mars: Princess of Mars ~ As The Asylum is always wont to do when there is a big blockbuster movie coming out, or in this case, a potential bi...

Review: "Herbie's Diner" by L. Joseph Shosty

While Herbie isn’t around these days, the diner with his name is still in business forty miles south of Sacramento, California. It is a good location if you don’t want to work much during the off season as
hardly anybody comes by on that lonely stretch of road. For private detective John Harwood, it is hard to be undercover and part of the back ground when your face has been used on bill boards and you are just about the only other customer in the diner.
That is except for Mort Peters. Hardwood has been following Mort Peters all over northern California for a case. A case that is getting more complicated by the second now that Mort seems to have made him. The fact that the waitress drew attention to him certainly didn’t help Harwood stay inconspicuous. Her name is Arlene and her behavior isn’t helping nor is the chicken dinner by way of the cook, Muncy.

Things get increasingly complicated in this novella mystery written by L. Joseph Shosty. Set in 1950 this heavily atmospheric tale features plenty of mystery and double crosses along with interesting characters and lots of action.  Herbie’s Diner pays homage to the legendary radio style dramas of the past where nothing was as it seemed and the hard working average guy had to live by wits and fists. Published by Untreed Reads this one should definitely be on your reading list. 

Herbie’s Diner
L. Joseph Shosty
Untreed Reads Publishing
July 2014
65 Pages

Material supplied by the publisher in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015