Back home from the doc. Sandi is doing okay, but
things are starting to get shaky overall. I am not surprised because I could
see things happening and she is in a lot of pain. Another drug to deal with her
worsening neuropathy issues will be added to the mix, but she has to wait ten
days to get AETNA to approve it.
In the meantime, she will have the next round of
chemo starting on January 13.
Then, two weeks later, she will go back on the IVIG.
This is the immune support drug that takes about three hours to drip into her
This means that every two weeks we will be there for
a number of hours while they run something into her port.
That is the plan for the next two months and then
things will be reassessed based on the PET Scan.
As always, things and plans are subject to change.
back Earl Staggs with his latest installment in his “History’s Rich With
Mysteries” blog series….
I look at the past, I find stories about people which fascinate me,
particularly those in which there is a curious mixture of fact, legend, and
mysterious uncertainty. In this series of articles, I want to explore some of
those stories. I think of them as mysteries swaddled in legend. While truth is
always desired in most things, truth easily becomes staid and boring. Legend,
on the other hand, forever holds a hint of romanticism and an aura of
excitement borne of adventure, imagination and, of course, mystery.
RUBY. . .Why Did He Shoot Oswald? by Earl Staggs
you want to shoot someone. It’s important
to choose the right time and place. You certainly wouldn’t do it:
. .at a police station.
. .when you’re surrounded by cops, reporters, and photographers with cameras
. .if the man you want to shoot is handcuffed to a cop.
sound very smart, does it? In fact, it sounds like the worst possible way to go
that’s exactly how Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, shot Lee Harvey Oswald,
the man accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy. I’ve always
wondered why Ruby shot Oswald the way he did.
was arrested on November 22, 1963, a few hours after President Kennedy had been
shot. After two days of interrogation at Dallas police headquarters, Oswald was
to be transferred to a county jail. As he was being escorted out of the police
station into a garage where a car awaited, Ruby stepped out of the crowd of
police officers, reporters and photographers and shot him. Ruby was immediately
subdued and arrested.
researchers and conspiracy theorists contend Ruby was involved with major
figures in organized crime, and he killed Oswald as part of an overall plot
surrounding the Kennedy assassination. The masterminds behind the assassination
didn’t trust Oswald to keep his mouth shut and assigned the task of silencing
him to Ruby. A woman who danced at one of Ruby’s clubs lent credence to that
had no choice,” she said. “Jack had bosses, just like everyone else. He was
instructed on what he needed to do, therefore he did it.”
of that conspiracy theory hold that Ruby was ordered to kill Oswald by Jimmy
Hoffa. Another version said the Mafia gave the order. Another had the order
coming from Cuba. Still another involves major politicians in our own
plots connecting Ruby to a major conspiracy don’t hold up for two reasons. First,
Oswald had been in custody and under interrogation for two days already.If he had names of co-conspirators to
divulge, he probably would have done so by then, and it would have made the
news. Second, everyone who knew him
argued that Ruby's
connection with gangsters was minimal, and Ruby was not the sort anyone would
trust in a high-level conspiracy.
Dallas reporter Tony Zoppi, who knew Ruby well, claims that one "would
have to be crazy" to entrust Ruby with anything as important as a
high-level plot to kill Kennedy since he “couldn't keep a secret for five
minutes. He'd be the worst fellow in the world to be part of a conspiracy,
because he just plain talked too much.” Zoppi and others described Ruby as a
man who wanted to be friends with people who had power and money, but only
succeeding in being a nuisance to them.
Without exception, his family and friends felt the
suggestion that Ruby was connected to the mob was ridiculous and that his
killing Oswald for them was laughable.
The Warren Commission, the group given the responsibility of investigating
the Kennedy assassination, eventually found no evidence linking Ruby's killing
of Oswald with any conspiracy.
the timeline of the morning Oswald was shot, which makes it clear Ruby’s act
was not even premeditated.
moved from Dallas police headquarters to the county jail was originally
scheduled for 10:00 a.m. The press was there waiting before that time. Postal inspector Harry Holmes arrived at police headquarters
unannounced and was invited to question the prisoner. Due to this unexpected
delay, Oswald was not
brought down to the garage until after eleven. He was shot by Ruby at 11:21
began with errands. He took one of his beloved dogs (or two – both numbers have
been stated) along with him. His last stop was the Western Union office across
the street from police headquarters. His transaction there was time-stamped by
Western Union at 11:17. He left Western Union and walked across the street,
probably to say hello to some of his pals in blue at the station. He often
visited his friends on the force, so it was not unusual for anyone to see him
there. He walked down the ramp to the garage entrance to the building and was
surprised to see a crowd waiting. When he saw Oswald being brought out, he
pulled his gun and shot. He frequently had large amounts of money on him and
always carried his .38
caliber Colt Cobra revolver for protection.
If he’d planned to kill Oswald
that day, he would have been there at 10:00. Also, author Norman Mailer
and others found it hard to believe Ruby would have left his beloved dog (or
dogs) in his car if he’d planned on killing Oswald. He would only have done
that if he’d planned to return shortly.
if no shadowy figures or big time conspirators ordered him to shoot Oswald, and
if he hadn’t gone there to do it, why did he? The only place to look for a
motive would be within Jack Ruby himself.
Jacob Leon Rubenstein was born in
Chicago on March 25, 1911, the fifth of ten children. He later shortened his
name to Jack Ruby. His troubled childhood and adolescence were marked bytime spent in foster homes. His father was
a drunk and an abuser, and his mother spent time in a state hospital for mental
illness. In his early years, Jack supported himself as a street hustler
scalping sports tickets and other activities. He was drafted into the Army in
1943, was discharged in 1946, and moved to Dallas in 1947.
In Dallas, he managed nightclubs and dance halls
and eventually owned three clubs of his own, although they weren’t great
moneymakers. By 1963, he had been arrested eight times for various misdemeanors
and liquor law violations. During that time, he built relationships with local
underworld figures as well as a number of Dallas police officers who visited
his nightclubs and received free liquor, prostitutes and other favors.
Jack Ruby was foul-mouthed and mean-tempered and didn’t drink or smoke. Although
he was violently opposed to drugs, he maintained his high energy level by
popping Preludin – a popular “upper” sold as an appetite suppressant.
Shortly after his arrest for shooting Oswald, Ruby told several people he
did it so Dallas could “redeem” itself and so that Mrs. Kennedy would be spared
the ordeal of coming back to Dallas for Oswald’s trial. In a private note to
one of his attorneys, however, Ruby wrote, “Joe, you should know that my first
lawyer told me to say I shot Oswald so Caroline and Mrs. Kennedy wouldn’t have
to come to Dallas to testify. OK?”
Based on that, the House Select
Committee on Assassinations discounted that explanation for the
shooting of Oswald as “a fabricated legal ploy." Ruby’s lawyer
apparently thought it would buy his client some sympathy from the jury.
Ruby was devastated over the death of Kennedy. His friends, relatives and
associates all told how upset he was. He closed his clubs for three days as a
mark of respect.
Melvin Belli, who became Ruby's lawyer, wrote, ''There was one weird trait.
Unfailingly, at the mention of a member of President Kennedy's family, tears
would start to course down his cheeks.”
Ruby's sister, Eva Grant, testified to the emotional turmoil Ruby
experienced the weekend of the assassination. ''He was sick to his stomach and
looked terrible.” According to his sister, Ruby remarked, “I never felt so bad
in all my life even when Ma and Pa died. Someone tore my heart out.''
After the assassination, Ruby visited his synagogue and cried. His brother
Hyman said, ''They didn't believe a guy like Jack would ever cry.”
Based on Ruby’s mental state at the time, it’s not hard to conclude that
when he accidentally found himself not ten feet from Oswald, he did not think
about it at all. His emotions exploded, he brought out his gun and pulled the
trigger. He reportedly yelled "You killed the president, you rat!"
Ruby told Assistant D.A. Bill Alexander, ''Well, you guys couldn't do it.
Someone had to do it. That son of a bitch killed my President.''
Two other points need to be mentioned. After Ruby died, an autopsy revealed
his body was riddled with cancer, including brain tumors. The disease was not
diagnosed, but had been eating away inside him for some time and might have
warped his common sense and sound judgment.
In addition, Ruby had always wanted to be a hero. James Leavelle, the
homicide detective handcuffed to Oswald when he was shot, asked Ruby why he did
it. Ruby’s answer was, ''I wanted to be a hero. It looks like I f***ed things
up.'' Leavelle also said Ruby told him years before, “I'd like to see two
police officers sometime in a death struggle about to lose their lives, and I
could jump in there and save them and be a hero.''
It’s possible that in his grief-laden mind where tumors were growing, Ruby
thought it was his duty to avenge the death of the President by killing Oswald.
It’s possible in those few seconds before he drew his gun and fired, he thought
he would be given a medal and cheered as a great American hero. When one of his
dancers came to visit him in jail, he told her she needn’t worry and everything
would be okay after the first of the year. He believed he would soon be out of
jail and running his nightclubs as usual.
After his arrest, he was diagnosed as a ''psychotic depressive.'' He also
became obsessive about the treatment of Jews. His family was staunchly Jewish,
and while in jail, Jack urged his brother to pack up and go into hiding because
another Holocaust was coming.
trial, Ruby asked to speak to the Warren Commission but got no response. On March 14, 1964, Ruby was convicted of murder with malice
received a death sentence. Finally, three months after the sentencing, Chief Justice
Earl Warren and other members of the Commission traveled to Dallas to see him.
life is in danger here,” Ruby said. “I want to tell the truth, and I can't tell
it here." Ruby said he wanted to go to Washington so he could convince
President Lyndon Johnson that he was not part of any conspiracy to kill
Kennedy. Ruby held President Johnson in high esteem and believed him to be an
honest and fair man. Warren did not take him to meet with President Johnson.
''In the beginning,'' Attorney Joe Tonahill said, ''Ruby considered himself
a hero. He thought he had done a great service for the community. When Mayor
Earle Cabell testified that the act brought great disgrace to Dallas, Jack
started going downhill very fast. He got more nervous by the day. When they
brought in the death penalty, he cracked. Ten days later, he rammed his head
into a cell wall. Then he tried to kill himself with an electric light socket.
Then he tried to hang himself with sheets.''
The reality of being convicted
of murder and sentenced to death instead of being hailed as a hero drove Ruby’s
mind even more down the road to delusion. He even became somewhat of a
conspiracy theorist himself. In March 1965, a year after his conviction, Ruby
said in a televised news conference, “Everything pertaining to what's happening
has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts of what
occurred, my motives. The people who had so much to gain, and had such an
ulterior motive for putting me in the position I'm in, will never let the true
facts come above board to the world."
When asked if
the people he referred to were in high office, Ruby responded, “Yes.”
Apparently, by then, he had changed his mind about President Johnson. He said,
“When I mentioned about Adlai
Stevenson, if he was vice president there would never have been an
assassination of our beloved President Kennedy. Well,
the answer is the man in office now.”
Ruby decided that since Johnson would not let explain why he did what he did,
he would put the blame for everything on him.
When told he had cancer, he claimed the
higher-ups had injected it into him, which was ridiculous. If they wanted to
shut him up, they would have chosen a weapon more rapid and efficient than
Eventually, the appellate court ruled that a
motion for a change of venue before the original trial court
should have been granted. Ruby's conviction and death sentence
were overturned. Arrangements were underway for a new trial to be held in
February 1967 in Wichita Falls, Texas. On December 9, 1966,
however, Ruby was diagnosed with pneumonia
and admitted to Parkland Hospital, the same hospital both
Kennedy and Oswald had been taken to after being shot.
According to the Associated Press , Ruby stated from his
hospital bed on December 19, 1966, that he alone had been responsible for the
murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. He said, "There is nothing to hide. There was
no one else."
He died on January 3, 1967, three weeks after being hospitalized. An autopsy
revealed the brain tumors and massive spread of cancer. A blood clot in his leg
finally killed him.
I think his final statement came in a rare moment
of clarity during his last days and is close enough to be considered a deathbed
confession. Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald completely on his own and for his
own reasons because, in his cancer-addled mind, he thought he would be
considered a hero.
But Jack Ruby’s legacy goes beyond the shooting of
an alleged assassin. There will always be those who believe Oswald did not act
alone and that people in high places were involved in the assassination of
President Kennedy.If Oswald had lived,
there’s a possibility his trial might have brought out some truths. Jack Ruby
obliterated that possibility. Because of what he did, there could be facts
about that incident in Dallas that will always be shrouded in mystery.
Staggs earned all 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
Amazon Synopsis:TWO WRONGS starts with great sex: ends in sudden death. US Navy SEAL
Stretch McCann believes he’s met the girl of his dreams. Trouble is, she’s
married to someone else; another military man not inclined to suffer rivals
lightly. When she’s involved in a crippling car crash, Stretch loses much more
than just a lover. He and she have been mightily wronged.
Enter an altogether unusual Englishman, JJ Stoner, covert investigator and
occasional assassin. Stoner offers Stretch an opportunity for action. Can Stretch
set things straight, no matter what the cost? And why, exactly, have the FBI
taken a sudden interest in Stoner?
It has been approximately a year
since the events of The
Burning Room and these days find Bosch retired, suing the LAPD over
the retirement and other issues, and spending his time working on restoring his
vintage motorcycle. He should be spending his days working homicide cases.
That is exactly what his half-brother
Mickey Haller wants him doing. Part of that is by helping Bosch with his
lawsuit against the department. Another part of that would be convincing Bosch
to work for him as an investigator. Mickey Haller, known to one and all as “The
Lincoln Lawyer,” has no idea how strongly Bosch feels about such a move. To do
that, to slip over and work for the defense (the dark side), would betray
everything Bosch has ever stood for as a detective with his three decades plus
with the LAPD. .
Haller’s client is a man by the name
of Da’Quan Foster.A reformed man,
Foster is sitting in jail on a murder charge and Haller is sure he did not do
it. Haller is positive that his client is a pillar of the community these days and
is willing to deal with the consequences if Bosch proves otherwise. All he wants
right now is for Bosch to look over the case and offer an opinion. The problem
for Bosch, more than being asked to crossover and work for the defense to help
set a man free, is that if Foster is innocent the wrong man is in custody. The idea that a killer might be out there
walking free is a small possibility and the only reason Bosch takes a look. It does
not take him long to determine that there are questions and inconsistencies in
the prosecution case and, at the very least, some sloppy police investigative
The Crossing: A Bosch Novel is another solidly good book from author Michael Connelly
who has been doing this a long time. Part police procedural and part mystery,
the read moves rapidly as Bosch, working without the legitimacy of the police
department, has to finagle and nuance his way through an increasingly complex
case. A case that ultimately leads to one of the best climatic endings in this
series to date.
While events earlier the series are
briefly referenced one could read this first if you are new to the series. If
you are, why have you waited so long?
For this final Monday of 2015
Kaye George offers a review of a thriller featuring a massive hurricane, body
parts, and more……
Damaged by Alex Kava
This thriller is a fast read. Not
because it’s short, but because it’s so hard to put down non-stop action. The
short chapters, mostly five to six pages long, move the reader through the book
like the hurricane sweeps through the story.
Hurricane Isaac is heading straight for
Pensacola, Florida. It has already hit Jamaica as a category-4 storm,
which means its winds were 131 to 155 miles per hour and caused “devastating”
damage, killing dozens of people. It soon picks up to a catagory-5 with winds
156 miles per hour or greater and capable of causing “catastrophic” damage.
Some residents of Pensacola—the ones who
rode out the last storm—don’t believe it will hit dead on, but most of the area
is evacuating. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Bailey, a twenty-seven-year-old Coast Guard
rescue swimmer and veteran of Hurricane Katrina, is
part of a team who discovers a floating cooler of horror, full of body parts.
They’re not even all from the same body.
Meanwhile…Maggie O’Dell, FBI special
agent and profiler, returns from a bloody shootout to be sent by her unfriendly
boss into the hurricane’s path to help investigate the discovery. No time to
Meanwhile…Colonel Benjamin Platt, an
infectious disease expert and a guy Maggie would like to have as more than a
friend, is sent to the same area to see if he can figure out what’s happening
to cause some mysterious deaths among military patients.
Meanwhile…a funeral director named
Scott, who is Elizabeth Bailey’s brother-in-law, is getting himself involved in
something that he knows should make him a lot of money. He doesn’t exactly realize
what it is though.
The threads are woven together expertly
against the backdrop of the impending storm, which is picking up power and
heading straight for all these characters. The climax will keep you on the edge
of your seat.
Again this year Kevin's Corner is listed on the Predators
& Editors Poll under review sites. Last year this blog finished number one in the
mystery/thriller realm and fifth best overall behind sites that only do romance
and/or horror. I am hoping that you, the
voters, will feel that this blog is worthy of your vote.
If you do think this blog is worthy as a review
site, please go to the review page to
cast your vote.
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Thank you for considering my blog for best review site. I appreciate it.
Known for their very good bimonthly
magazine of crime fiction (often very dark and twisted), the Thuglit folks put
together their first themed holiday collection. Thuglit Presents Cruel Yule
is an anthology of 11 twisted stories set during the holiday season. If
you are have ever considered the idea that Santa Claus was a peeping tom
pervert who stalked people long before the NSA decided to track everyone, this
is the book for you.
After a very brief introduction from
Editor Todd Robinson it is on to the stories. “The Santa Con” by Rob Hart gets
things going by way of having some Santas in full costume rob a bank. The
robbery has been timed to coincide with SantaCon in New York City where
hundreds of folks show up dressed like Saint Nick. A perfect plan destined to
fail because this is a Thuglit production. The real question is how
spectacularly wrong will it go?
Sometimes one can get nitrous oxide outside
of going to the dentist and needing a procedure. If you were lucky and at a
certain concert out west--- usually some sort of hippie jam or electronic dance
festival---- you might have come across a certain van. Led by a normal seeming
guy by the name of Chris who was clearly psycho the more time you spent around
him he had connections that would get the nitrous. The group would sell the
balloon hits that would give you a buzz. In “Christmas Morning Coming Down” by
Jordan Harper things were okay until Jimmy got stabbed and everything went
wrong out in the desert that Christmas.
Sexual harassment is the backdrop to
“Mistletoe” by Hilary Davidson. The holiday party is just an excuse for Ian Wainwright
to go after Sadie. She knew almost from her first day of work what kind of guy
he was and had managed to avoid things until now. With few options and no help
by way of HR Sadie is a millennial that will have to learn a new life skill.
A child of divorce learns mad
skills. Some of those skills in negotiation can make one a very good
arbitrator. Such a job can be lucrative as noted early on in “Letters to Santa”
by Thomas Puck. There are also consequences in a story that has a touch of the
Halloween season in it.
It is Christmas day in 1837 as
“Okeechobee” by Ed Kurtz begins. In a swamp of the same name, the 4th
infantry regiment of a 1000 men has come to quell the Creek and Seminole. While
most of the men have the killing of Indians on their mind, a soldier by the
name of Parker Getts has a more personal target in mind. Finally, after eleven
long years, Parker Getts is going to get payback. His annual Christmas Day
prayer has apparently finally been answered.
Discovered by Johnny Shaw, “Feliz
Navidead” by Brace Godfrey tells the tale of the world’s deadliest
Mexican. He is also the world’s greatest Mexican lover and a few other
things. His name is Chingón and men who go up against him die the most gruesome
deaths. He loves grenades. Women love him and can’t keep their hands off
of him. A former member of an elite team known as the Explosioners that had
battled and defeated numerous foes including Dr. Pervert’s mutant army of sex
ogres, Chingón has determined that it is time to go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to
see the old gang again. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for Chingón, sex
and death are on the menu at the reunion.
The usual poker game is in play as
“The Brass Coin” by Justin Porter begins. Dre, a writer, is having a hard time
of things. His money situation is not helpful to the goal of buying a nice
present for his son. Desperate times call for desperate measures including
giving up a very special coin.
When a bodyguard by the name of “Krampus”
is driving somebody by the name of “Krissy Kringle” around in her Geo Tracker
as a story starts, you know things are going to be weird. In “A Very Blacky
Christmas” by Angel Luis Colón, Krissy wants a guy named Black Jaguar
dead. Christmas, Florida is her small town and Blacky must die. The
problem is he is crazier than she is. The town is going to be a war zone when
everything is said, burned, fried, blown up, dead, and done.
For the children of Joseph Ketler a
hard life is made worse by an abusive father. Kids playing around just before
dinner has consequences in “Fork” by Jan Conley. For some of us, this very well
done story brings back some hard memories.
No one will hear Roger Cobb sing “O
Holy Night” on Christmas morning in “Unholy Night” by Terrence McCauley. There
is no one for miles around the abandoned resort deep in the jungle. That also
means nobody is around to hear his prisoner scream. It is time for negations to
The cellar was supposed to
have a band for Christmas Eve. But, there is no music and the man known to all
as “Boo” is not a happy man. He is less happy when Caleb shows up with a lady Boo
vaguely knows. Her name is Darla and she should have way better taste in men.
Things are about to get messy in “’Twas The Night Before….” by editor and
contributor Todd Robinson.
The 11 tales included in Thuglit
Presents Cruel Yule are all dark ones that have virtually nothing in common
with the idea of goodwill to all men. Instead, bad will to all is often the
theme though there are occasional moments of humor. Dark and twisted as one
would expect from Thuglit with some mighty good noir style holiday tales.
Hopefully, this is not the last of
the themed holiday collections. After all, Valentine’s Day is coming up which
is good for a massacre or two. Then after that somebody has to slaughter all
those rabbits for Easter. Not to mention the fact that the Fourth of July
demands somebody to take an explosive firework up the rear. Heck of a way to
rob a bank. There is a lot of dark potential in holidays for Thuglit to mine.
Archeologist Ruth Galloway lives
alone in a small cottage on the edge of an area known as “the Saltmarsh.” It is
a coastal land of desolation where the sky and sea meet. It is a treacherous and
dangerous land of stark beauty and one that few people enjoy. She is far from
her south London upbringing as well as her parents. Considering her observations
about them distance is a very good thing.
When she isn’t at her small cottage
with her cats she is at the University of North Norfolk where she teaches
forensic archeology. It is there, thanks to her department chair Phil, she
first meets Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. The inspector wants her to
inspect some bones that have been found out near the bird sanctuary in another
part of the Saltmarsh.
He hopes that the bones might be a
missing child who vanished ten years ago. Her name was Lucy Downey. Since her
disappearance a decade ago the inspector has been receiving strange letters from
someone. A person who uses quotes from the Bible, Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, and
other sources to taunt the inspector with clues. If Ruth Galloway can verify
that the bones are of the missing child, he might just have the first solid
piece of evidence to advance the case.
What follows is a complex and highly
atmospheric read as Ruth Galloway gets drawn deeper and deeper in the mystery
of the Lucy Downey case. At the same time a bond begins between her and
the inspector creating additional stress. It isn’t surprising when Ruth herself
becomes a target as the case proceeds.
Character complexity is at work here
from the beginning. In some senses Ruth is the classic clichéd spinster-- overweight,
cats as her companions, no romantic interest, and a job that that fills her
days. It is her observations on her parents, life, the world around her, and
much more that fill the character with depth and meaning. The same is true to a
lesser extent with the inspector though most of the book is told from watching
The Crossing Places: A Ruth Galloway
Mystery by Elly Griffiths is a solidly good
start to what could be a very intriguing series. At least in this book,
history, archaeology, and more take prominent roles resulting in the subtle education
of the reader as the pages move by. A mystery that encourages the reader to
think while also quietly teaching is a book that is very much worth
Merry Christmas Eve… as
a special treat today we have an extra review from Kaye George separate from
her Monday posts. Enjoy!
Fighting Chance by B.
This is what you’ve been looking for! If you’re looking for
a book for teen boys, you know they’re scarce. This one has enough excitement,
twists, and turns to keep them up way too late on a school night, avidly
Not only is it about an appealing group of four, sometimes
five kids, who don’t always get along, it’s also about the nice and not-so-nice
teachers they share, and about family relationships that are not always ideal.
But it’s also about martial arts.
Their coach is facing an opponent as the book opens, but the
main character, Matt, thinks something is a bit off about this other guy. His
name is Bobby Davis and he’s come from a dojo in Richmond to Ridgecrest for the
competition. He neither looks like a fighter nor acts like one, until the
moment he crushes Coach Colson’s larynx with a spinning hook kick. Was it
intentional or an accident? Most people say the latter. Matt knows they’re
When he and his friends try to dig deeper and find out who
Bobby Davis is and why he wanted to kill the coach, trouble starts happening
all around them. They seem to be antagonizing some dangerous people. Matt and
his friends, including the intriguing Graciana, join a krav maga class as
result of some of their investigating. That’s a good thing, because they’ll
need their wits about them and all the martial arts training they have to get
days are going to start getting longer. So, get your killing done now
while you have plenty of night time hours to get rid of the bodies. Been
warmer than normal which means you can still dig those deep graves out
in the woods. Feed the woods...dump a body.
This short story collection by Miles
Archer opens with the signature story “Never Kill A Cat.” Dolores Sorrento is
elderly, very lonely, and spends much of her time reading mystery books. When
she isn’t reading, she is talking to her many feline companions. That is when
she is not dealing with Tommy Cooper and his parents who live across the
street. Tommy Cooper is the terror of the neighborhood. Now, he has gone too
far and has to pay for this crime.
Renn is supposed to be focused on
the live fire exercise at the training grounds. That is a bit difficult since
he and Becky had a major fight in the hours preceding. In “Murder In Uniform” Renn
does what he needs to do to get through the day.
It is October of 1973 in San
Francisco in “Nobody Gets Outa Here Alive.” Freddy Jones has a job he despises,
but at least he has one. A routine trip for smokes on his way home turns into
the most intense experience of his life. It changes the whole way he considers
the world. Fortunately, his job has the tools needs to take the first steps
along his new path.
Brian Donovan has lost yet another
job as “Eternal Love” begins. He is a good worker, but annoys his coworkers
with his attitude. His day is going to get way worse when he gets home.
The next several stories feature
Doug Mc Cool over the years. As time passes, Doug McCool gets more and more
into the private investigator line of work. That process starts with “For What It’s Worth”
where it is 1972 and McCool has returned from Vietnam. He is in San Francisco
spending a lot of time in the VA rehab. While there he spends a lot of time
with a guy Johnny White. The same Johnny White who, after discharge from rehab,
became heavily involved with the Black Panthers and changed his name to Karim
After about a year or so, McCool got
a call from an attorney representing Johnny/Karim. There had been an FBI raid
and Jonny/Karim was under arrest for the murder of an informer named Perkins. The
attorney thinks that maybe McCool could help as some of those involved in the
case might be more willing to talk to a white guy instead of the African
Move forward in time a few years and
McCool’s latest client is Mrs. Washington in “Hell Hath No Fury.” Her daughter,
Noorleen, has been arrested for murder. A criminal defense attorney
McCool knows by the name of Peter Tallent told Mrs. Washington to hire
McCool to do some leg work, create a report, and he might take the case pro
bono. Mr. Tallent is one of the good guys and the case in interesting enough
that McCool agrees to do a little digging. It quickly is clear that Norleen is
in a bind because of circumstantial evidence. Once they had their suspect in
the local jail they quit working the case.
His next client is also in a bind,
but not with the cops. In fact, it is because of the San Francisco cops,
specifically one by the name of inspector Harry Stanton, that Mr. Mori is in
McCool’s office looking for help. Mr. Mori owns a waste hauling company known
as “South Metro Waste.” It operates in the south side of San Francisco in the
area formerly known as “Butchertown.” The meat packers the area is known
for are no longer around, but South Metro Waste that was started in 1901 is going
So strong that the mob is trying to
take over his business unless he sells out to an outfit known as “United Haulers”
based out of Cleveland, bad things will start happening to his family. McCool
likes the guy and agrees to poke a little and see if he can figure out a way to
get Mori and his family clear of the problem in “The Art of War.”
The beautiful Monica Grant appears
in his office doorway in “Il Beso Di Morta.” Married to an investment banker of
some type, her husband is apparently in some sort of business deal with a guy
known as Dominic Abbruzio. Good old Dominic is deep in the mob and is known by
his nickname “Razor.” Mrs. Grant wants McCool to get her husband out of the
mess he has gotten himself in to and to do it with our husband having a clue
about it.Good thing she can pay as that
hat will be easier said than done.
Author Miles Archer shifts narrator
gender with his next story titled “The Miller’s Wife’s Tale.” Told from
the perspective of Barbara Brown, McCool’s everything; she has been left behind
to hold the fort while McCool cavorts in Mexico with a certain lady. She is not happy as her hair needs a touch up,
she has a headache and feels bloated, and is about to have her time of the
month as well as deal with clients.
One of those clients is Tammy Wingate
who wants them to investigate the string of prostitute murders in the city
thanks to a serial killer. She is the executive director of COYOTE, a
prostitute support organization. She also has connections to the important people
in the city of San Francisco. The cops aren’t getting anywhere in their case so
Inspector Dave Toshi sent her their way.
The good Inspector had no idea
McCool was in Mexico, but considering Barbara is the real brains of the outfit
it should not be a problem. It is one of two cases that she will handle in this
The final McCool tale is one of pain
titled “The Black Hole.” McCool now lives in a trailer contemplating suicide by
bottle or gun. It has been months since he had a client and is not in the shape
for one. But, a woman by the name of Susan Sharpe is nothing if not persistent.
She is divorced and very glad to be
rid of her ex-husband. While packing up some stuff across she came across a
computer disk. Her ex works for a petroleum company and apparently didn’t take
it with him. Somebody is making threats over the disk, Susan is scared, and
needs McCool’s help. The first thing to do, after he learns what is on it, is
return the damn disk. How to do that is a problem not easily solved.
The nine tales that make up Never
Kill A Cat And Other Stories are all highly atmospheric and very
complicated tales featuring fully developed characters. The McCool
tales make up two thirds of the book while providing some very good
reading. Those stories frequently play with the classic private detective
stereotypes while going off in unconventional tangents. The result is a read recently published by
Untreed Reads that is highly entertaining and well worth your time.
Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us. She is now free and not hurting anymore. I am still trying to pay off her past treatments at Medical City Dallas Hospital as well as at Texas Oncology. While the hospital can't handle direct donations, if you can help and would prefer to donate directly, please contact Debra, the financial counselor at TEXAS ONCOLOGY in SUITE 220 of Building D at Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Texas. We thank you for your prayers, thoughts, and support for the past six years plus as Sandi did everything she could to be here with all of us.