Saturday, February 28, 2015

Via Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Blood Rubies by Jane K. Cleland

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Blood Rubies by Jane K. Cleland: Reviewed by Jeanne Josie Prescott, owner of Prescott’s Antiques, has been asked to film a segment for a new reality TV show ...

KRL This Week Update-- MC Beaton, Jane Tesh, Sunny Frazier, Sherlock Holmes, Coming Attractions, giveaways & more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today.......

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine​ a review and giveaway of "Death of a Liar" by MC Beaton

Also up an article by Kathleen Kaska​ about how Mary Watson's portrayal from Sherlock Holmes has changed over the years, and & you can enter to win a copy of Kathleen's Sherlock Holmes trivia book

Also up this morning a review & giveaway of "A Snitch in Time" by Sunny Frazier​ along with a fun interview with Sunny

We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions column by Sunny Frazier​ along with giveaways of books by Karen Rose Smith​ & Barbara Graham​

And we have​ reviews & giveaways of more fun food mysteries from Penguin & Kensington authors-"Town in a Sweet Pickle" by BB Haywood, "License to Dill" by Mary Ellen Hughes​, and "Fry Me a Liver" by Delia Rosen

And we have​ a review & giveaway of "Just You Wait" by Jane Tesh​

For our fantasy/sci-fi readers, we have a review & giveaway of "Vacant" by Alex Hughes​

Lastly, over on  KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "The Deep End" by Julie Mulhern​, 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 Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for One Day Only

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for One Day Only: The Perfect Coed (Oak Grove Mysteries Book 1) - Kindle edition by Judy Alter. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ :...

Via DFW Writers Workshop-- North Texas Teen Book Festival

North Texas Teen Book Festival

Via The Rap Sheet-- Watch for Your Bouchercon Ballot

Watch for Your Bouchercon Ballot

Via Crime Watch: Review: THE LAST CHILD by John Hart

Crime Watch: Review: THE LAST CHILD by John Hart: THE LAST CHILD by John Hart (John Murray, 2009) Reviewed by Craig Sisterson North Carolina attorney-turned-author John Hart had a mete...

Markets Closing-- Crescent Moon Press, Musa Publishing Close Their Doors

Crescent Moon Press, Musa Publishing Close Their Doors

Via Briansnorts-- The Minute Hand – short story

The Minute Hand – short story

Friday, February 27, 2015

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Leonard Nimoy - Live Long and Prosper

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Leonard Nimoy - Live Long and Prosper: After a short hospital stay last week, Leonard Nimoy died at his home in Los Angeles this morning. The cause was heart disease, brought ...

Via Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

Sandi Update--Finally Home

After a 2 hour drive home (double the normal time) thanks to the snow and traffic signals with issues, we are finally home. Sandi's bloodwork was okay though her blood pressure was high. Medication changes to address that and a couple of other things were made. She also got the usual shot to try to slow down the normal white blood cell freefall after chemo.

We go back Tuesday and Friday of next week to do it all again.

Tuesday we might be dealing with severe thunderstorms too.

FFB Review: "MASTERS OF NOIR, Volume Two" --- Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. As far as I know as I set this up to run, later today Patti will have the links on her blog. If not, she will have the designated collector named and where to go. Barry is back this week with his review of the second volume of Masters Of Noir. You can read his review of the first volume from mid January for FFB here.

MASTERS OF NOIR, Volume Two (2010)

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

The second volume in an e-book series from Wonder Audiobooks, I can only surmise, based on the names of the authors represented, that the stories included were culled from old pulp digests such as Manhunt, Pursuit, Verdict, and perhaps others originally put out by Flying Eagle Publications. No actual original publication credits are supplied.

Please note that despite the publisher’s name, this is not an audio book. The stories and their authors are as follows:--

Vacationing in Acapulco, Jim Withers wonders about his wife Kathy and Juan, a waiter at their hotel. Is Jim’s jealousy without foundation, or are his “Green Eyes” justified? Hal Ellson does an excellent job of building the tension to an edgy climax.

After an initial meeting with singer Mona Varden in the night club in which she performs, private detective Johnny Liddell agrees to meet with her at her apartment at 3 a.m. But he’s barely left the club when he’s taken for a ride by a couple of goons. Matters get nastier from that point on—matters that involve murder and a “Big Steal” in a story by Frank Kane most experienced readers will have solved long before it ends.

His is an elegant, subdued cocktail lounge/restaurant in the Times Square area, one he’s owned for twenty years. In that time he has come to know how to read people, how to cater to the right sort and how, without a fuss, to persuade undesirables to leave. So handling the wild-eyed man in the old Army field jacket ought to be easy, right? Not before the man starts a “Necktie Party” in Robert Turner’s absorbing tale.

“The Purple Collar” does not refer to an article of apparel. In Jonathan Craig’s police procedural, the sub-genre that was his specialty, first-person narrator NYPD detective Pete, whose surname we aren’t given, and his partner Ben Muller methodically investigate a death to determine whether it was suicide or murder. The story moves along decently, but it’s well below the Ed McBain 87th Precinct level.

Not quite seventeen yet, George Burton broodingly worships the nearly two-years-older Lynette McCaffrey—mainly from afar. When she promises him a dance at the weekly Yacht Club dance, then has to postpone it until the following week, he tries to take it in stride. But his romantic nature takes over with dramatic adolescent morbidity, and telling himself “I Don’t Fool Around,” he takes drastic actions in Charles Jackson’s story.

You know how it is, guys like to kid. And Marty, who sells newspapers at the station, is ripe for kidding, so the taxi drivers and pool hall habitués kid him constantly, sometimes making him angry. But they’re basically a “Nice Bunch of Guys,” as Michael Fessier titles them, who mean no harm, so they can’t possibly be responsible for the things Marty does after some good-natured needling, can they?

When Mr. Algernon Petty gets himself into a monetary jam with his employer, he consults John J. Malone, leaving with the lawyer a sealed envelope to deliver to one Carmelita Maguire. Not long afterward, Petty’s murdered in an apparent robbery at the plant where he works. When Benson retains Malone, things become more complicated, one of the lovelier complications being Serena Gates, whom Malone gifts with “Flowers to the Fair.The story is attributed to Craig Rice. As I did for my review of The Best from Manhunt, I consulted Rice’s biographer Jeffrey Marks, who suspects that this particular story is another that was written by someone else. It’s not a bad story by any means, and even has a little of the trademark Rice humor, but it probably did not spring from the brow of Malone’s creator.

Cheap wine and booze brings Skid Row bums Jack (“Nobody ever gives their right names on Skid Row and that was what they called me when they called me anything”) Doc Trevor, and the four-legged Pasteur together in David Alexander’s “Die Like a Dog.” Any reader who has or has ever had a beloved canine friend—and I’m one of those—is likely to find this story one of or the most powerful in the collection.

The very attractive Grace Denney hires lawyer Scott Jordan to find out what’s going on with her estranged Aunt Paula, who is in a nursing home, after private detective Lester Britt has let her down. Soon it’s time to “Build Another Coffin” because the case turns murderous. It’s been many years since I’ve read one of the late Harold Q. Masur’s Scott Jordan novels or short stories, so this one was a genuine treat. Masur had a lively, literate style. In his earliest cases, Perry Mason was attitudinally and verbally hardboiled, but never physically so. Jordan is easily as tough-minded, but he can also handle himself physically, the story under consideration being a good example.

 “I’m afraid to go home tonight,” Enos Mavery says, because “Somebody’s Going to Die,” after which he launches into the story of how he met his wife Doreen, how he’s come to embezzle money from a successful and growing business, how he’s resolved that issue with his partner, and what the unforeseeable but ultimately frightening consequences of his actions might be in the concluding story by reliably solid storyteller Talmage Powell.

Crime and mystery fans who enjoy short fiction will probably enjoy this collection. The stories are well-paced and well-told, and offer a nice variety. It’s an easy anthology to recommend. And for me, it’s on to Volume Three.

© 2015 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. Some of it is available at Amazon and at Smashwords. His website is

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Via Today in MYSTERY HISTORY: 2/26/1962 Donald E. Westlake's 87th Precinct?

Today in MYSTERY HISTORY: 2/26/1962 Donald E. Westlake's 87th Precinct?: February 26, 1962.   This is a complicated story, so bear with me.  In  1959 Donald E. Westlake started writing a series of stories abou...

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Bitter Water Blues -- Patrick Shawn Bagley

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Bitter Water Blues -- Patrick Shawn Bagley: Bitter Water Blues  is Patrick Shawn Bagley's first novel, and it's a good one.  The basic situation's a familiar one: a cold-bl...

Via My Life Called So: Crimespree #58

My Life Called So: Crimespree #58: © by Gerald So | | 2:00 P.M. The February 2015 issue includes my review of Robert B. Parker's Blind Spot , Ree...

Via The Southwest Armchair Traveler: Review: Lost Mines and Buried Treasures of Arizona...

The Southwest Armchair Traveler: Review: Lost Mines and Buried Treasures of Arizona...: Lost Mines and Buried Treasures of Arizona W. C. Jameson Paperback $20 , e-book $14 Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (200...

Got Mine!

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Review Copies Available: I have a couple more eBook review copies left to give away, so if you'd like to review this great book on your blog or on Amazon (or b...

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The Quiet Riot Movie

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The Quiet Riot Movie: Quiet Riot: Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back ~ At first glance one might think this is just another rock documentary, ...

Review: "Redemption: A Noah Milano Novelette" by Jochem Vandersteen

Howard Pratt would not stand out if you saw him on the street as he is just an average 36 year old guy. An average guy with hair a little too long and a scar at the corner of his mouth. An average guy who twenty some odd years ago killed another 16 year old boy after he tortured him. Pratt went to an adult facility, did his time, and since then has had a clean record.

Noah Milano, son of the most notorious crime boss in Los Angeles, is willing to consider being Pratt’s bodyguard while he is in town. That sort of thing is what Noah does these days as a security specialist. Pratt is supposed to meet with Brady’s parents in the office of psychologist Denny Sturgis. The meeting is supposed to help both sides heal at least somewhat, but Pratt knows many would like to see him dead including Brady’s parents, Martha and Frank Resnick. Milano agrees to be there as his bodyguard in in Redemption: A Noah Milano Novelette.

Also part of this e-book is an excerpt from Triage: A Thriller (Shell Series) as well as synopses for several other Noah Milano series books.

A good compact story, the novelette is very focused on the case with little of Milano’s personal life. While the results of the initial set up are predictable, the rest of the read is not as it blends action, detective work, and twists in a page turning story. Action and detective work at a fast pace was also present in The Death Business: A Noah Milano Novella though in that book readers do get a little more of the background of security specialist Noah Milano. Like that book this read is another good one for fans of hardboiled pulp style stories.

Redemption: A Noah Milano Novelette
Jochem Vandersteen
Sons Of Spade Publishing
March 2012
40 Pages

Material purchased to read and review by way of funds in my Amazon Associate account.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chemo Round 2: Part 2--Done

We are finally home. Both of us are wiped out, but Sandi did better than expected today. Last couple of hours were very tough on her.

Next up is blood word, doctor visit, and a shot Friday morning. We absolutely have to get there so we really need the forecast of snow/ice not to happen.

Guest Author Cathy Strasser and "TO SWEAR OR NOT TO SWEAR – THAT IS THE QUESTION"

Please welcome Cathy Strasser author of An Unquiet Grave. She is a Registered/Licensed Occupational Therapist who writes cozy mysteries in her spare time. The tricky question of adult language is the theme of her guest post today. After you read the post make sure you check out her website at


As a writer, I often get the question, “Do your characters swear? Why or why not?”

Choosing whether or not to have characters swear is a tough call. My book, An Unquiet Grave, falls mainly in the cozy category and many cozy readers are put off by swearing. On the other hand, as an author I want to create believable characters, and if one or more of those characters are law enforcement officers, wouldn’t it be more realistic to have these officers swear, at least occasionally, under times of extreme provocation? Because most cops swear. Same with EMT’s, fire fighters, doctors and nurses and other high stress professions. It’s a way to release pressure.

So the question remains, if you have police officers in what is an otherwise cozy book, should they swear? Mine do.

But not often, not excessively and only for effect. In a 72,000 word book, I think my characters use a total of eight swear words. I feel that, for my smaller town officers, having a few strategically placed swear words provides more impact than a continuous stream of expletives – but again, this is for my characters in my particular books. I think it makes them more believable if they occasionally let loose a frustrated four letter word.

By the same token, characters in more hard-boiled or noir books would not be as believable if they didn’t swear; frequently, colorfully and in original and inventive combinations. I think it’s a judgment call every author has to make, based on book type that leads to character believability.

The next book….

The next book in the White Mountain Mystery series is being written now. The same investigative team of New Hampshire State Troopers Cliff Codey and Mike Eldrich will be returning to investigate another body, but this time it’s not a cold case. Once again, their connections to the “North Country” of New Hampshire will both help and hinder their progress in the case.

Cathy Strasser

Cathy belongs to The New Hampshire Writer’s Project. Her first book, An Uncertain Grave, published by Oak Tree Press is a humorous hiking mystery set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She lives in Sugar Hill, NH with her husband and is currently working on her second book. Her website is .

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chemo 2: Part 1---Done

Today was a tough day and not just because the streets were dangerous from the ice. We had understood the CT Scan had shown the cancer in two spots. One being the middle of her chest in the wall and not lung related. The other being a pocket of stomach lymph nodes that were massively swollen and cutting off  return blood flow from her foot causing the massive swelling in her leg.

That is just partially the situation.

In fact, she has multiple sites throughout her stomach area and down into her legs that are cancerous. The most obvious one we knew about, but the cancer is pretty much everywhere else in the region. the obvious implication--though no one will go that far--is it is everywhere in her body.

As usual, Sandi took the news far better than I did. Her quiet comment when we got settled in the infusion room was, "I'm not surprised."

She has said since early last October that she thought it was back. Even after we were told otherwise  when she was in the hospital and they had determined it was back, she has been sure it was everywhere in her.  Why we just found this out today I don't know. I don't think we both had misunderstood what we had been told before.

While her leg had been slowly going down that reversed over the weekend and by yesterday the swelling was markedly pronounced again and obvious to one and all. This indicates that the stomach lymph nodes have again attained a size to start cutting off blood flow. The hope is that the chemo that started today will again knock them back down a bit.

Her blood work looked fairly decent today though the white blood cell count continues to decline at a slower rate. Her anemia is a little better so no transfusion. No drug changes at this point which helps.

The chemo today was on a drug she has extensive history with and handles well so they could do the infusion a little quicker than originally planned. It is back to the new stuff tomorrow so the pace will be very slow and it will take most of the day. While it would be far better to do part two tomorrow,  we could,  if the predicted winter weather event of tonight and tomorrow morning makes it necessary, push the second part back to Thursday.

The plan going forward is to do that tomorrow, doctor visit with blood work and a shot on Friday and again next Tuesday. Another CT Scan to make absolutely sure the chemo is working is going to be done before the next round of chemo in two weeks. That date will be determined later depending on how she handles this round.

In the meantime, we rest and try to recover from today.

We need help....find Dr. Who!

Review: "Guns Of Brixton" by Paul D. Brazill

Getting good help is always a problem whether in the real world at the store or repair shop, or in the fictional world. Kenny Rogan and Big Jim Lawson were supposed to go get a brief case from a man known as Half Pint Harry Hebb. Now, his name could be changed to Brainless Half-Pint Harry Hebb as Big Jim just used a sawed off shotgun to permanently change the man’s cognitive skills in a highly negative way. While Big Jim considers the matter “a little accident” Kenny vehemently disagrees and understands the catastrophe that has befallen the duo.

Half-Pint Harry Hebb was a key player with the local underworld. Considering the fact that Mad Tony Cook sent them to get the now slightly damaged stainless steel briefcase he is not going to be pleased at all that a man of Half-Pint Harry Hebb’s stature is now dead. Once they turn over the briefcase their fates are pretty much sealed. Of course, if Kenny and Big Jim can get rid of the body on their own and make it all go away with no one the wiser then they should be good. And they can get rid of the body as part of a trip they have planned to do an independent job of their own.

Anyone who pays attention at any level to the world of politics, religion, crime, and other humans endeavors should be well aware that the cover up is always a worse disaster than the original crime. Such is the case here in Guns of Brixton when the effects of a few minutes in a Landon garage ripple far afield from Kenny, Big Jim, and the departed Half-Pint Harry Hebb. For all involved it is going to be an odd and often violent start to the New Year.

Like a lot of the Paul D. Brazill’s excellent stories there are a large number of cultural references at work in this twisting crime yarn. Many become clear in time via the context of the story through one does get the feeling one is missing a point or joke here and there. What is clear regardless of your personal familiarity with the cultural references is that humor is prevalent in this read as is plenty of serious violence and action in a noir style tale that gets bigger and bigger as the novella works toward the conclusion.

Much like his very good A Case of Noir much is at work in Guns of Brixton making the read well worth your time and money.

Guns of Brixton
Paul D. Brazill
Byker Books
December 2014
E-Book (Print also available)
134 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chemo Tuesday

Assuming we can get there in the morning despite the ice covered streets here, tomorrow will be the first day of a two day chemo deal for Sandi. Her leg has swelled considerably today and she is in significant pain making it clear that we really have to get there.

Tomorrow they will do a blood work deal and a doctor visit making sure she is strong enough to do it before she can do the multi hour chemo.

If we can get there and they can do the chemo, we would absolutely have go back Wednesday for more chemo and the shot. There can't be a very long break between the drugs as they work together. Of course, earlier this evening a winter storm watch was issued for tomorrow night and Wednesday.

As if things are not tough enough already.....

Via Heath Lowrance: When Everybody Dies

Heath Lowrance: When Everybody Dies

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Bionic Nostalgia - The Six Million Dollar Man

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Bionic Nostalgia - The Six Million Dollar Man: Esquire TV (formerly the much missed G4 channel) has been showing old reruns of "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bion...

Via Texas Book Lover-- Monday Roundup: February 23 - March 1

Monday Roundup: February 23 - March 1

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: A Conversation With Joe R. Lansdale

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: A Conversation With Joe R. Lansdale: The Chauncey DeVega Show: A Conversation With Author Mr. Joe R. Lansdale

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees. Paying Gigs.

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees. Paying Gigs.

Guest Author Reviewer Kaye George and "Designated Daughters" by Margaret Maron

Please welcome author Kaye George to the blog. She offers her thoughts on Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron in a review originally written for Suspense Magazine. After you read her first of what hopefully will be many posts here make sure you go check out her website at

Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron

It’s great to be back in Colleton County, North Carolina, with the Knott family.

Miss Rachel, in no pain and expected to pass over soon, is visited by flocks of family members, eager to see her one last time. She’s resting quietly, until she perks up and starts talking a blue streak. Some of what she says is unintelligible, unless you know what she’s referring to. Finally, exhausted, she stops talking and the family goes to get some supper while the aide freshens up the sheets.

Very soon after that, Aunt Rachel is dead, but not of natural causes. Someone smothered her with a pillow.

It’s up to The Honorable Deborah Knott to sort through her tangled family and the other assorted people who were at Rachel’s bedside when she was rattling on about old scandals, to see which one of them felt compelling to stop Rachel from talking. She talks with all of them, dredging up more than one old secret. She and her husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, look into Rachel’s minister, her neighboring doctor, and others. She eventually finds out about the Designated Daughters, women who care for the elderly, sometimes even when they aren’t family members. Rachel’s daughter was one of these. Deborah knows it’s one of Rachel’s final words that brought about her death, but which one?

Great puzzler with the usual crowded cast of family members. Don’t worry, a family tree is provided.

Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Death in the Time of Ice for Suspense Magazine

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Via Not The Baseball Pitcher--- If You Meet Sartana, Pray For Your Death(Se Incontri Sartana Prega Per La Tua Morte)1968

If You Meet Sartana, Pray For Your Death(Se Incontri Sartana Prega Per La Tua Morte)1968

Crime Review Update--New issue of Crime Review

As posted elsewhere....

In our new edition of Crime Review ( this week we
have 16 reviews, together with Kevin Brooks 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:
A TWIST OF THE KNIFE by Peter James, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A collection of short stories bringing together vengeful spouses, ghosts
and police procedurals, including the first-ever case for Roy Grace.

SINS OF THE FATHER by Graham Hurley, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
DS Jimmy Suttle’s marriage has broken up, his daughter is dead and a
stomach-churning murder on his Devon patch leads him to Africa.

THE SPRING OF KASPER MEIER by Ben Fergusson, reviewed by Chris Roberts
In 1946 Berlin, Kasper Meier is pressured to locate a RAF pilot but his
attempts to find out the truth put him in extreme danger.

BONES NEVER LIE by Kathy Reichs, reviewed by Sylvia Wilson
Forensic scientist Temperance Brennan is called in to assist with a cold
case investigation, and learns that DNA from a recent case links it to
Anique Pomerleau, an old adversary.

JUDGES by Andrea Camilleri, Carlo Lucarelli and Giancarlo de Cataldo,
reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Three Italian judges in three different areas each have similar ideals and
are differently equipped to achieve them. Will any of them ever succeed in
overcoming the established criminal societies with their associated
collaborators in the field of the law?

GALVESTON by Nic Pizzolatto, reviewed by John Cleal
Gangland enforcer Roy Cady has been sentenced to death twice – by cancer
and by his own boss. He escapes a murder set-up, rescues a young prostitute
and the pair, together with her little ‘sister’, go on the run from New
Orleans through Louisiana and Texas.

BITTER REMEDY by Conor Fitzgerald, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Commissioner Alec Blume takes a break with a course on Bach Flower Remedies
in Monterozzo, but the discovery that he is a policeman from Rome stirs up
some activity related to cases of missing persons.

DEATH OF AN AVID READER by Frances Brody, reviewed by John Cleal
Detective Kate Shackleton is hired by a titled lady to find her
illegitimate daughter and her inquiries take her into the quiet of a
Yorkshire library, the poverty-stricken back streets of Leeds, a series of
murders – and a meeting with a very clever monkey!

INSIDE ENEMY by Alan Judd, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
Charles Thoroughgood, the newly-appointed head of a revamped MI6, is
presented almost immediately with the problem of cyber attacks on the UK.
At the same time one of his field agents is murdered and a former colleague
who turned traitor escapes from prison.

A TRICK OF THE MIND by Penny Hancock, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Ellie is convinced she’s been responsible for a hit and run accident and is
determined to make amends, but her decision to become involved with the
victim has far-reaching consequences.

THE ISLANDERS by Pascal Garnier, reviewed by Chris Roberts
After a separation of quarter of a century, Olivier and Jeanne resume their
occupation of the island, a notional refuge and the only place offering the
pair contentment. But a death is only the start of a series of nightmarish

AS THE CROW FLIES by Damien Boyd, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
DI Nick Dixon has moved back to Somerset from the Met – and finds himself
investigating the death of an old climbing friend who wasn’t all that he

THE NIGHT HUNTER by Caro Ramsay, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Elvie McCulloch’s sister disappeared while out for a run. When a woman who
disappeared in similar circumstances turns up dead in dramatic
circumstances, Elvie starts to fear the worst for Sophie.

A KILLING OF ANGELS by Kate Rhodes, reviewed by John Cleal
Someone tucked a picture of an angel and a handful of white feathers into a
banker’s pocket before pushing him in front of a Tube. It appears that a
killer is stalking the Square Mile.

THE ICE TWINS by SK Tremayne, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A year after one of Sarah Moorcroft’s twins died in a tragic accident, the
horrible realisation dawns that she might have made a terrible mistake
about the identity of the dead twin.

CEMETERY GIRL by David Bell, reviewed by John Cleal
The disappearance of Tom and Abbey Stuart’s 12-year-old daughter shatters
their marriage and their lives. Four years later she is found. She refuses
to say anything about the time she has been missing and when the police
arrest a suspect, she will not give evidence. The Stuarts face a choice:
let the man who has destroyed their lives go free – or take matters into
their own hands.

Best wishes


Via Paul D. Brazill-- Recommended Read: SKULL FRAGMENTS: Noir Stories by Tim L. Williams

Recommended Read: SKULL FRAGMENTS: Noir Stories by Tim L. Williams

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: PimPage: An Occasional Feature in which I Call Att...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: PimPage: An Occasional Feature in which I Call Att...: Wolf Creek: Massacre! - Kindle edition by Ford Fargo, Jerry Guin, Jackson Lowry, Bill Crider, Charles Steel, Troy D. Smith. Literature &...

Via Prose&Cons: Writers: Are You Using Hashtags Effectively?

Prose&Cons: Writers: Are You Using Hashtags Effectively?: If you're anything like me I was utterly baffled using hashtags. Sure, I'd seen them around. You'd have to be blind not to see ...

Via Crime Watch: Review: THE BECKONING ICE by Joan Druett

Crime Watch: Review: THE BECKONING ICE by Joan Druett: THE BECKONING ICE by Joan Druett (Old Salt Press, 2013) Reviewed by Karen Chisholm Synopsis: It is February 1839, and the ships of the...

Via The Rap Sheet-- Saturday, February 21, 2015 Bullet Points: ... And the Kitchen Sink Edition

Bullet Points: ... And the Kitchen Sink Edition

Lesa's Latest Contest-- Mystery giveaway - Siger and Delany

As posted elsewhere ....

This week, I'm giving away books by two favorite authors - Jeffrey Siger's Sons of Sparta and Vicki Delany's Under Cold Stone. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. Only, please.

 Lesa Holstine

Saturday, February 21, 2015

KRL This Week Update

As posted elsewhere earlier today....
Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine​ reviews & giveaways of another fun group of February Penguin mysteries-"An Early Wake" by Sheila Connolly​, "By Book or By Crook" by Eva Cates, "The Drowning Spool" & "Darned if You Do" by Monica Ferris​

Also up​ a review & giveaway of "Scorched Eggs" by Laura Childs​

And we have​ a review & giveaway of "Running With Wild Blood" by Gerrie Ferris-Finger​ along with an interview with Gerrie

We also have​ a review of 2 mysteries by Joanne Fluke​, and a giveaway of her latest book "Double Fudge Brownie Murder"

And we also have​ a fun crime short story by Joyce Lautens O’Brien

Also, we have an article about some of the new mystery TV shows coming this March

Lastly, for our fantasy readers,​ a review & giveaway of "Night Shift," a fantasy anthology with stories by Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Mila Vane, & Nalini Singh

 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 Gilbert Curiosities: Andy Burns Talks About His Book, Wrapped in Plasti...

Gilbert Curiosities: Andy Burns Talks About His Book, Wrapped in Plasti...:                                                              My friend and Editor-In- Chief of the pop culture site, Biff Bam Pop! has...

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Wayne Dundee Interview

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Wayne Dundee Interview: Big Wayne Dundee Hits Amazon Pay Dirt With Westerns -

Via The Book Grrl: My Review of 'Ketchup Clouds'

The Book Grrl: My Review of 'Ketchup Clouds': Review of KETCHUP CLOUDS Author: Annabel Pitcher This is great young adult novel, told using an unusual narrative approach -- through ...

Via Criminal Minds: Pantser? Plotter? Agatha Short Story Finalists Wei...

Criminal Minds: Pantser? Plotter? Agatha Short Story Finalists Wei...: By Art Taylor I'm pleased to welcome a distinguished group of writers to help round out this week's discussion on the question &q...

Review: "Tussinland" by Mike Monson

If you have read Mike Monson’s work before such as The Scent Of New Death and What Happens In Reno you pretty know what to expect with Tussinland. You expect some seriously flawed human beings, plenty of violence, some sex, and a crime spree or two. Tussinland delivers on all that while mixing in some social commentary ab out life these days in the world of social media. It also explains how one might be able to use a certain cough syrup in a highly inappropriate way that is very contrary to all the warnings on the bottle and packaging.

Of course, Paul Dunn does live in Modesto, California, his flaming disaster of a marriage is over, and he is forced to live with his very odd mother, Mavis while being unemployed due to a back injury. Fortunately, she does not own a motel, but her house is bad enough.  One can’t blame him for wanting to use a certain cough syrup in mind altering amounts in order to escape reality.

If things weren’t bad enough for Paul, he is soon the number one murder suspect in the violent deaths of his ex-wife, Tina Dunn, and her new boyfriend, Mark Pisko. To the police and the average person reading the online news sites and commenting, it looks like Paul, despite the restraining order, made good on his threats to kill his ex and her lover. Being brought in for questioning by Detective Fagan is bad enough, but things are about to get way worse in this very twisted read.

Tussinland is the latest example of Mike Monson’s deep love and affection for the city of Modesto, California and its people. Filled with very twisted characters---Paul might just be the most stable of the bunch--- plenty of violence, evil doers, and more, the book is one heck of a read that is also full of social commentary. It also seems to this reviewer that Tarantino ought to talk to Mr. Monson about a movie deal or two. 

Mike Monson
All Due Respect
October 2014
ASIN: B00O9E6192
E-Book (Print also available)
296 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Via Writing Wranglers and Warriors-- Ten Authors Walk Through A Door

Ten Authors Walk Through A Door

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: This Year’s Nebula Award Nominees

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: This Year’s Nebula Award Nominees: This Year’s Nebula Award Nominees

Via Notes on the Shore: The Deepening Shade by Jake Hinkson

Notes on the Shore: The Deepening Shade by Jake Hinkson: Pages: 141 Genre: Noir, Short Stories Format: E-book Published by All Due Respect Books Borrowed from Kindle Library When I picked t...

Sandi Update

Blood work indicates everything is okay so chemotherapy will go ahead next week.

Tuesday she will have more blood work, a doctor visit, and then chemo for the rest of the day.

Wednesday will be chemo for most of the day with another shot.

While not scheduled just yet, we have been told to expect to be back next Friday for more blood work, a doctor visit, and a shot.

It also really says something when the nurses tell her how good she looks and then pull me aside to ask if I am okay. Then we get here and over the course of five minutes, two different neighbors stop by while walking their dogs to say the same thing to both of us. One went so far to ask me if I needed help getting up the outside stairs.

Via Confessions of a Writer of Westerns--- A Good Western Mystery

A Good Western Mystery

Via THE STILETTO GANG: Signal Boosting

THE STILETTO GANG: Signal Boosting: by Linda Rodriguez I have piles of books sitting on my coffee table right now. None of them are mine. Some of them are from peopl...

FFB Review: "Dead Even: A River City Crime Anthology" by Frank Zafiro

Since it is Friday again that means it is time for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. Not only should you be reading her blog, you should be reading her works such as the soon to be released Concrete Angel. You should also be reading author Frank Zafiro---especially if you like police procedurals. The below review dates back to 2011 when I first told you about Dead Even: A River City Crime Anthology

The men and woman of the fictional River City police department located somewhere in Eastern Washington are not super cops. They are real life human beings with their own lives on and off the job. Lives that contain hopes, dreams, shattered expectations, and failure just like the rest of us. Through novels that began with Under A Raging Moon, continued with Heroes Often Fail and continued in the most recent Beneath A Weeping Sky released last March, as well as numerous stories in a variety of markets, author Frank Zafiro has a consistently used his experiences as well as ones of other fellow police officers to make the characters he writes about alive for the reader.

The fifteen stories in this book released last October by Gray Dog Press have all appeared before either online in various venues or in print publication. Several of these stories were finalists for the Derringer award given out annually by the Short Mystery Fiction Society.  For those familiar with the novels, these stories further explore events before or in between the books. For readers new to the works of Frank Zafiro, these stories give you a glimpse of the treats to come in the novels.

The anthology is broken into four sections named for some of the characters in the novels. After a forward that briefly explains how the book was pulled together and his intentions, author Frank Zafiro starts off with the section on “Katie MacLeod.” The three stories, “Last Day In Paradise, “Three Days of Christmas,” and “Home for Christmas” revolve around Katie Macleod and are far after events in the first two novels. They showcase some of the motivations that drive this complex and intriguing character as well as several different cases.

The section on the detective tag team of “Finch and Elias” is next starting on page 55. There are five stories here and include “Be My Santa Baby,” “Finch and Elias,” “Core Issue,” “The Bastard Mummy” and “The Worst Door.”  Along with working some harsh and some funny cases, readers are treated to the dynamics between the detectives who may grate on each other occasionally but always have the partner’s back. These stories are interlocked, beginning with a robbery gone bad in “Be My Santa Baby” and carry the crimes forward to solving the case and the repercussions in successive stories. Many of the stories in this anthology work the same way detailing events from different perspectives and how the ripples from the original event spread outwards to touch other lives in ways unforeseen.
Beginning on page 155 is the section on “Paul Heiro” and features two stories titled “Running Into Darkness” and “If Only.” Paul Heiro is one of several rather tragic figures in the River City series. A strong theme of Mr. Zafiro’s work is the idea that events shape people causing some to get stronger while others go down. That path, up or down, is almost predetermined or fate for some characters and Paul Heiro seems to be one of those destined to go down.

It is not just the men and women who wear the badge that get the full character building treatment making them come alive for the reader. The victims as well as the criminals come fully alive for readers. One of the higher profile criminals, and there are several, is “Dominic Bracco” and his section begins on page 175.

The section contains five stories titled “The Meat-cutter’s Wife,” “Pride Goeth,” “And A Fall Cometh,” “Rescuing Isaac” and the title story of the anthology “Dead Even.” A New Jersey mobster exiled to River City in eastern Washington, Dominic Bracco is trying to get along with everyone while bringing his own business style to the area. The problem for him is he doesn't have the muscle to compete; he can't go against the Russian mob, or the other criminal interests in the area. And every now and then Uncle Angelo reaches out and wants something done and just can't get the basic fact that the state of Washington is not New Jersey. A dark figure that is also very smart and charming, his relationship with others is fascinating to watch---from a distance.
At 253 pages including publication notes for the stories and bio, this is a fast read. Many of the stories are very interconnected--not only with each other---but telling the same story from a different character's perspective. Violence and its descriptive depictions are present at times, but when they do appear, they are limited and not gratuitous. Instead of focusing on the carnage when it happens, as some authors do, Mr. Zafiro consistently focuses on the psychological aspects of events. How events work on the character of the individual, shape future actions, etc. Whether they be law enforcement or otherwise, how people hold up under expectations of others while dealing with events is a focus of these stories as well as the novels that feature the characters living their lives in the small town of River City.
Those new to the author's work will discover a terse writing style filled full with emotion and nuances in these stories. The characters will come alive with some you knew from the start heading on a path where things will not go well. The book can serve as a great introduction to the novels as characters are introduced through story as well as brief explanations at the beginning of the sections and the stories themselves.
For those well familiar with the novels, Dead Even: A River City Crime Anthology is a chance to read stories you may have missed on other venues and an opportunity to reacquaint with old friends. The latest River City novel titled And Every Man Has To Die is currently scheduled to be released in March by Gray Dog Press.

Dead Even: A River City Crime Anthology
Frank Zafiro
Gray Dog Press
March 2010
ISBN# 978-1-936178-33-9
253 Pages
(Kindle version currently $2.99)

ARC supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Via Briansnorts-- Dreamlands – Chapter 6

Dreamlands – Chapter 6

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Only 8 Hours Left in This Great Deal!

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Only 8 Hours Left in This Great Deal!: StoryBundle : Welcome to StoryBundle! As the temperature outside ranges from chilly to frigid, there's no better activity than to hole u...

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: Peter DiChellis, "More to Huff" , Shotgun Honey (February 11, 2015) ...

Review: "Red Venus" by Garnett Elliott

On the very cool cover of  Red Venus by Garnett Elliott there is a small quote from award winning author Bill Crider that reads, “Elliot takes the Cold War into space in this rip roaring planetary adventure.” The clear implication is that it is a good book. It is so there is absolutely no point in a review from this reader as Bill Crider said it all.

But, in case you want to know some details I offer my review….

After World War Two the Russians and the Americans both got ahold of schematics for the prototype V-5 rocket.  A rocket that was fission powered.  The Russians did the Americans one better and got their hands on an actual engine. Those discoveries created a space race. Efficient and high powered rockets opened up the new frontier with humans on Mars and Venus with mining efforts being made on Mercury and in the Asteroid Belt.

It took two months for the Russian spaceship Krasnny Sokol to make it Venus from Earth. 27 year old Nadezhda Gura, captain of the ship and star of the Donetsk Flight Academy, is feeling the pressure of the situation. Onboard her craft is very important cargo that is part of a mission that must be completed at all cost. Damaged by orbital mines the ship and its crew barely survive a very dangerous and highly unorthodox landing. Considering what awaits them on the surface of Venus they might have been safer aboard the crippled ship in space.

Filled with action and adventure, cool weapons, dangerous creatures and more, Red Venus is a terrific classic piece of science fiction pulp. Very reminiscent of some of the stuff I read at 2 am long ago when I was a teen, the tale works on all levels from start to finish. While Bill Crider said it best, I would also add---It’s Really Cool.

Red Venus
Garnett Elliott
Beat To A Pulp Press
January 2015
106 Pages

Material was purchased to read and review using funds in my Amazon Associate account.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015