Sunday, July 31, 2016

David Cranmer Reviews: A Time to Die by Tom Wood (

David Cranmer Reviews: A Time to Die by Tom Wood (

Little Big Crimes: Voices in the Cistern, by William Burton McCormick...

Little Big Crimes: Voices in the Cistern, by William Burton McCormick...: "Voices in the Cistern," by William Burton McClintock, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, August 2016. This is McClintoc...

A Certain Point of View: Writing, Film and Stuff: The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the S...

A Certain Point of View: Writing, Film and Stuff: The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the S...: In 1979, almost a year before the release of Star Wars - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, I purchased my first copy of Carol Titleman&...

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Ghostbusters 2016

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Ghostbusters 2016: Ghostbusters ~ My pre-viewing problems with the 2016 remake/reboot/reimagining of Ghostbusters had nothing to do with the gender or t...

Guest Blogger: Caroline Clemmons – The Rancher and the Shepherdess (

Guest Blogger: Caroline Clemmons – The Rancher and the Shepherdess (

New Reviews at Flash Bang Mysteries

In addition to the fiction issues of Flash Bang Mysteries there are reviews. It has been awhile since my new reviews appeared at Flash Bang Mysteries. Part of that was simply because I wasn’t getting as much done these days. Anyway, the new ones are up and can be found as follows:

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Business Musings: Protecting Your Content and Your Name (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

Business Musings: Protecting Your Content and Your Name (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for Reviews (Comfy Reading Book Blog)

Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for Reviews (Comfy Reading Book Blog)

Kings River Life Magazine Update: July 30, 2016

Up this morning in KRL a review & giveaway of "All You Need is Fudge" by Nancy J Coco, along with a fun food guest post from Nancy with a recipe
Also up a review & giveaway of "Someone Always Knows" by Marcia Muller

And a review & giveaway of "Survivors Will Be Shot" by Bill Crider
Also a review & giveaway of "Nun But the Brave" by Alice Loweecey​, published by Henery Press​
And a review & giveaway of "Murder on the Quai" by Cara Black
We also have a mystery short story by Adel Aaron

And the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier, along with a giveaway of books by Krista Davis, Edith M. Maxwell, and James Callan
For those who enjoy fantasy, a review of "Blood of the Earth" by Faith Hunter, and we are part of her blog tour so not only are we giving away a copy of her book, you can enter a big giveaway connected to the tour, and we have an excerpt from a story by Faith
And up on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "Murder Under a Covered Bridge" by Elizabeth Perona

 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: The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy (The Monkeewrench Series)

This week, I'm giving away the new Monkeewrench novel, The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy. A friend reminded me it's been 4 years since the last one. Check my blog at for information. Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Aquaman: The Trench Graphic Novel

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Aquaman: The Trench Graphic Novel: Reviewed by Ambrea For years, Aquaman has reigned supreme as king of the seas, but, on the surface, he’s discounted as a sec...

Barry Ergang Reviews: RESCUE (2013) by Earl Staggs

RESCUE (2013) by Earl Staggs

As I did in my review of Short Stories of Earl Staggs, I have to mention up front that Earl and I are old friends and editorial colleagues. That said, and based on some of the short stories of his I read before I ever got to know him, I thought he was an excellent storyteller.

"Rescue" underscores my contention. A novelette-length adventure, it stars Tallmadge "Tall" Chambers, who was introduced in the superb thriller Justified Action, and who has become the head of a secret nameless agency that puts terrorist groups out of business: “When a terrorist group was determined to have definite plans to strike and harm innocent people, the agency stepped in and stopped them by whatever actions were necessary. That included insurgent groups on American soil, homegrown and foreign, who thought the American way needed to be changed by violent methods.”

After preventing a busload of terrorists from killing attendees of a street festival in Abu Dhabi, Chambers and his crew, one member of which is on loan from the Air Force and utterly inexperienced in this sort of operation, are assigned by the President to effect a rescue of hostages from a location "in a rural area north of Dubai" so exposed on all sides that mounting a sneak attack is impossible.

To say any more would be to spoil a rapid-fire tale which deals with the kinds of regrettable real-life episodes we hear about in the news all too frequently at the time of this writing. It’s not likely that action and adventure fans will be disappointed by “Rescue”—with the possible exception of those offended by a few instances of the kind of street language which isn’t out of place in a story of this kind. (Relax! No f-bombs in a carload.)

Interested readers can find “Rescue” in multiple formats at Smashwords, and in the Kindle edition at Amazon.

© 2016 Barry Ergang

Some of Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s work can be found at Amazon and Smashwords. The latter site has it on sale through the end of July.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Mail I Get: Booktweep Edition (LeeGoldberg.Com)

The Mail I Get: Booktweep Edition (LeeGoldberg.Com)

FFB Review: Holy Moly by Ben Rehder

It is repeat time here today for FFB. The review below first appeared  back in June of 2008. This blog was in its infancy and a whopping 35 people saw it. That means that most likely the review is new to you and that would be a good thing. After you read my effort, make sure you head over to Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog for the FFB list.

The death of backhoe operator Hollis Farley appears at first glance to be a tragic accident. Found underneath his overturned rig on land he was clearing to make way for a mega church near the Pedernales River, Hollis Farley died on the job. But, this is Blanco County where weird things happen and this one is another. Instead of being killed when the backhoe hit a boulder and flipped as first theorized, it turns out that he was shot in the back with an arrow capped with a broadhead hunting point.

As the case unfolds and Game Warden John Marlin's involvement increases, the facts and the people involved get stranger and stranger. Finding a dinosaur bone on the property of the planned mega church didn't get Hollis Farley killed. What he did afterwards just might have done the trick. With so many having a motive for doing the deed, it is up to John Marlin and Sheriff Bobby Garza to flush the real killer out before he or she strikes again.

Much like he did with Gun Shy Austin, Texas area writer Ben Rehder has penned another often funny novel that lets everyone in sight have it. This time his main target is the religious hypocrisy often found in the mega churches. It is tempting to speculate a bit as to which church served as inspiration but unnecessary. Considering past events across the country, this satiric novel could easily become too real in coming months as no doubt another religious leader of a mega church will be caught doing something very wrong. It is inevitable—much like news reports of Jesus sightings in recently washed windows and fried food products.

In the meantime what we have here is yet another often funny novel sent in Blanco County, Texas featuring a strange murder, a ton of offbeat characters, and the resulting twisted and often funny search for justice. The book is another tale of the weird, funny and often absurd that packs a punch to the mind and the gut. Beyond the continuing romance involving John Marlin there is no real character development to speak of regarding the returning characters. That romance is a minor factor in the book with most of the focus on the murder case and the cast of offbeat characters who are involved at various levels. The result is a good piece of work with plenty of comedy and mystery guaranteed to keep readers entertained to the very last page.

Holy Moly
Ben Rehder
St. Martins Paperbacks
May 2008
ISBN# 0-312-35754-0

Review copy provided by PJ Nunn of Breakthrough Promotions

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Update

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Update: I spent a good bit of the day today at M. D. Anderson.   My doctor is Eleni Efstathiou, MD , who is, according to the nurse, a "super d...

Best Wishes to Bill Crider (The Rap Sheet)

Best Wishes to Bill Crider (The Rap Sheet)

How to get yourself blacklisted ( In the Inbox: query advice from a literary agency intern blog)

How to get yourself blacklisted ( In the Inbox: query advice from a literary agency intern blog)

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore:Oates, Laukken, Haruf, Burroughs, & McMi...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore:Oates, Laukken, Haruf, Burroughs, & McMi...: Reported by Jeanne Nevermore was fascinated with fiction this week! The first book discussed was Man Without a Shadow by Joy...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 21 Calls for Submissions in August 2016 - Paying Markets ...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 21 Calls for Submissions in August 2016 - Paying M...: Here are nearly two dozen calls for submissions with deadlines in August. All of these markets pay writers. As always, there are calls f...

Crime Time : PICKUP NOTES – Jane Lebak

Crime Time : PICKUP NOTES – Jane Lebak: If Rodney Dangerfield played in a string quartet his instrument would be, disrespectfully of course, the viola. I wouldn’t have susp...

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: A Preacher Virgin Looks at Preacher

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: A Preacher Virgin Looks at Preacher: Unlike a lot of comic book properties that move to television and film, I don't really know all that much about Preacher . I've ...

Review: Mage, Maze, Demon (Veridical Dreams Book 3) by Charles Allen Gramlich

The unconventional title of Mage, Maze, Demon as well as the subtitle “A Barbarian Sent On A Mission Of No Return” pretty much tells it all. The barbarian goes by the name “Bryle” and is a warrior fleeing for his life as the read begins. A wildfire is chasing him and every other living creature in the forest. The fire is right
behind him as he flees into a cave. A previously unseen doorway swings closed behind him protecting him from the fire.

That also means that his way out is now closed. He is forced to find another way out of the cave and begins to explore. That exploration leads him downward into the mountain and to an incredible cavern. A cavern populated by one person--- a sorcerer. A sorcerer that wants his help and will grant Bryle his freedom if he accomplishes his task. Much is to be done if Bryle is going to successful in Mage, Maze, Demon by Charles Allen Gramlich.

Beyond the obvious maze and a demon involving a mage (sorcerer) of the tile, much is going on in this short fantasy tale by Charles Allen Gramlich. Bryle is a complicated character as it the tale itself with plenty of detail. Billed as the third entry in the Veridacal Dreams series inspired by the dream journals of Kyle J. Knapp, Mage, Maze, Demon follows the anthology The Lizard’s Ardent Uniform and Other Stories as the fantasy novella Treasure of Ice and Fire. Charles Allen Gramlich quickly pulls the reader into his tale firmly grounded in the sword and sorcery fare while throwing in a mystery element or two. The extensive details are what make this tale come alive for the reader. One hopes there will soon by another outing for Bryle. 

Mage, Maze, Demon
Charles Allen Gramlich
Beat To A Pulp
March 2016
eBook (also available in paperback)
35 Pages

The Amazon Overlords state I picked this up on March 19, 2016. They do not tell me whether my “purchase” came by way of a free read or using funds in my Amazon Associate account. They still do not know everything and I do not either.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Radiation Done!

Sandi had her 25th and final radiation treatment this morning. She is now done!

Plans were changed in the last couple of days. Now, she will be seen by the radiation doctor for a follow up on September 1st. It also appears they intend to do their quick version of a CT Scan to measure the size of the tumor at that time.

In the meantime, she sees the regular cancer doctor for a visit and the usual blood work on August 11th.

All this means the car and I get a bit of a break. ;)

And big time thank you to the unnamed benefactor who donated some bucks via Paypal yesterday evening. Being completely wiped out money wise, that donation saved us and allowed me to gas up the car on the way home which was very much needed. I don't beg as much as I used to as I hate myself for saying anything, but the need is still very much there.

HISTORY’S RICH WITH MYSTERIES: "RUBY McCOLLUM - Justice in Black and White" by Earl Staggs

As July draws to a close it is time once again for the latest “History’s Rich With Mysteries” column by Texas author Earl Staggs. This time he looks at the case of Ruby McCollum. What happened is just stunning.


When 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 McCOLLUM - Justice in Black and White
by Earl Staggs

On Sunday morning, August 3, 1952, in Live Oak, a farming town in north Florida, forty-three-year-old Ruby McCollum, the wealthiest black woman in town, entered the office of Dr. C. Leroy Adams, a prominent white physician, and shot him dead. 

Dr. Adams treated many of the black families in town, including Ruby's, and had recently been elected to the state senate. He was known as the “poor man’s doctor,” the “best friend a man ever had,” and the “only doctor who visited coloreds.” His funeral was the largest in the history of Suwannee County. Newspapers said the “beloved Dr. Adams” had been murdered by an angry “Negress” over her doctor bill.

She was born Ruby Jackson in Zuber, Florida, in 1909, and in 1931, married Sam McCollum, the operator of a large and prosperous gambling enterprise. Their holdings grew to include a number of bars which sold illegal liquor and flourished by paying off local law enforcement officers. They also owned several large farms in the state and a local funeral home. They settled into a large two-story home in Live Oak, a small town with a population of about 4,000 people, where they raised four children, were well-respected in the community, and contributed liberally to their church

Ruby's trial that year was a sensational one widely covered in the United States press, as well as by international papers. The prosecuting attorney claimed Ruby shot him when they argued about a disputed bill. 

Ruby testified that Dr. Adams had been forcing her to have sex with him for several years, that he was the biological father of her youngest child, and she was pregnant by him for the second time. She said she fired at the doctor in self-defense when he attacked her.

She was not allowed to say much more than that. Her testimony was continuously interrupted by objections made by the prosecutor and sustained by the judge. The jury, made up entirely of white men, did not learn from her that she was torn between her husband who threatened to shoot her if she had another white baby and Dr. Adams who threatened to shoot her if she aborted his child. 

Zora Neale Hurston, a noted black journalist, novelist, and anthropologist who covered the case for The Pittsburgh Courier, maintained that Ruby's trial was the first time in history that a certain unwritten but widely recognized antebellum law was called into question. Known as “Paramour Rights,” it gave white men the right to a "Negro" woman even if she was married and placed no responsibility on the white man for support of the women or their offspring. As hard as it may be to believe, it was a common practice since before the Civil War and it continued well into the 20th Century. 

Ms Hurston, who was forced to observe the trial from the second-floor gallery reserved for black people, wrote, "I had the feeling that the trial was a conspiracy of silence. The real story took place behind a curtain of secrecy."

Staid members of the Segregationist South considered the relationship between Ruby and Dr. Adams nothing more than an instance of Paramour Rights rather than one of sexual abuse and certainly not something that needed to be discussed in public. 

Ruby served as bookkeeper for her husband's varied businesses, and many prominent members of the white community knew their names were recorded in her ledgers, along with a record of "no-interest loans” from Sam McCollum. 

Then there were rumors about Dr. Adams having his hand in Sam’s gambling operation, serving as the connection with the white establishment which provided immunity for Sam’s illegal gambling and liquor operations in Suwannee County.

None of these issues were brought out in the one-sided trial. From the time she was arrested and throughout the trial, Ruby was placed under a gag order by the judge and was not allowed to speak with anyone except her attorneys and immediate family.

On December 20, 1952, Ruby McCollum was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death in the electric chair. 

On appeal, her case was overturned by the State Supreme Court on July 20, 1954. Prior to the second trial, however, she was examined and declared mentally incompetent to stand trial. She was committed to the state mental hospital at Chattahoochee, Florida, an institution known for mis-treatment such as keeping patients on Thorazine and giving electroshock therapy. 

She remained there for twenty years. In 1974, her attorney obtained her release under the Baker Act as she was not considered a danger to herself or others. 

In November, 1980, Ruby was interviewed at a rest home in Silver Springs, Florida. As is  common after electroshock therapy, her memory of the entire ordeal with regard to Dr. Adams and her trial for his murder had faded.  (The process of electroshock therapy as it was used in those days was well-known to produce the side effect of memory impairment.)

On May 23, 1992, Ruby McCollum died of a stroke at the at the age of eighty-two. She was buried beside her brother who died a year earlier in a cemetery behind the New Hope Baptist Church near Ocala, Florida.

While it cannot be denied that Ruby took a man's life, we can look back now and reflect on all she suffered. We can consider the mitigating circumstances of her actions and her inability to tell all of the details of her story in court. She was robbed of the opportunity a second trial might have afforded by being conveniently declared mentally ill and institutionalized where her memory was erased. 

Others have looked at the facts of Ruby's ordeal and called it a landmark case with a positive influence on the civil rights movement. Never before had a “Negress” talked in open court about her sexual abuse by a white man and being forced to bear his children. They point to the fact that her case was the first ever to bring the so-called “Paramour Rights” issue into the open. They can say her case sounded the death knell of that last vestige of slavery in this country which provided no protection for a black woman against rape by a white man.

While some people think along those lines, I find myself more concerned about the horrible subjugation and deprecation Ruby and certainly thousands of other black American women had to endure during the many decades Paramour Rights were practiced in this country.

Earl Staggs © 2016

Earl 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 seminars. He invites any comments via email at

He also invites you to visit his blog site at to learn more about his novels and stories.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: 1st appt. at M. D. Anderson on Thurs. 

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: 1st appt. at M. D. Anderson on Thurs. : 1st appt. at M. D. Anderson on Thurs.

July 23 issue of RTE

The July 23 2016  issue of RTE is out and includes fifteen new reviews as well as a new interview:                       

Brian Thiem in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:


GO-BETWEEN    Lisa Brackmann        Reviewed by Barbara Fister

FALL FROM GRACE    Tim Weaver        Reviewed by Susan Hoover           

GOES TONIGHT      Peter Lovesey         Reviewed by Yvonne Klein       

THE BLACK WIDOW    Daniel Silva        Reviewed by Anne Corey

THE GIRLS (Audio)EMMA CLINE        Reviewed by Karla Jay       

THE SECOND GIRL    David Swinson        Reviewed by Christine Zibas

DESTINY'S PAWN    D.A. Keeley        Reviewed by Susan Hoover

YELLOWSTONE STANDOFF  Scott Graham    Reviewed by Sharon Mensing

BUFFALO JUMP BLUES  Keith McCafferty    Reviewed by Sharon Mensing   

WHITE SHARK    Ross Gresham        Reviewed by Ben Neal   

LOST AND GONE    Alex Grecian        Reviewed by Rebecca Nesvet   

A FRONT PAGE AFFAIR Radha Vatsal     Reviewed by Lourdes Venard

THE ENGLISH BOYS    Julia Thomas    Reviewed by Diana Borse

COVERED BRIDGE      Elizabeth Perona Reviewed by PJ Coldren

TERROR IN TAFFETA    Marla Cooper    Reviewed by Sharon Katz                                

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

Review: Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 1 Edited by Eric Beetner and Michael Pool

Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 1 certainly delivers on their idea of “A Magazine Of Crime Fiction.” From the distinctive cover to the eight short tales selected by Guest Editor Eric Beetner and Founder/Editior-In-Chief Michael Pool the first issue delivers in all aspects. As these are short stories and therefore it is not possible to say much without creating spoilers, the barebones descriptions below will have to suffice.

After a brief introduction from Michael Pool, the issue opens with “So Close” by Eric Beetner. He knew his wife, Shelly, was having an affair with a neighbor named Robert. Their affair has been going on for awhile now so he isn’t surprised to find them together at the house. He just never thought he would find them like this.

Suppose a family member died because of a crime. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fully loaded clone ready to resume life and relationships if the worst happened? Reporters and other folks call the idea “victim replacement.” Those who work in sales prefer to call it “Restoration” in the tale of the same name by Art Taylor. No matter what you call it, sometimes customers have to have an additional incentive to make the sale.

One of the drawbacks of social media is that you can find out what others think about you. There are even a website that serves as the “premier consumer review site for mafia thugs, hitman, and muscle. Based in Hoboken, New Jersey the man known as Jackson “Jack the Hammer” Palmer isn’t getting good reviews. For Jack, an online diary helps him vent in “Jack The Hammer’s Online Identity Crisis” by Jeff Bowles.

Marco is always a bit of a jerk when the cards are going his way. For Darius they often don’t and the Berretta next to him isn’t helping with that. The poker game just the latest clash between the two in “On Tilt” by James Queally.

Danny needs a miracle in the form of 10k by next Tuesday or some very bad men are going to come to his airstream camper and do some very bad things to him. Tyler “The Plumber” Anderson is the bookie who most definitely wants his money in “Dee The Friendly Grizzly’s Little Miracle” by Nick Kolakowski.

Zeke is out and now Don and Jackson need to get to work in “God May Forgive You” by Paul Heatley. A score needs to be settled.

The familiar theme of being cheated on is just one small piece of “Tuning The Old Joanna” by Tess Makovesky. Roy just needs to prove it by catching her in the act. To do that is going to require surveillance and that will not be easy.

Trooper Alvin Mags is working undercover in “The Line” by C. J. Edwards. The job is dangerous and that was before things got seriously complicated.

The first issue ends with an interesting interview with Eric Beetner. He talks about writing, upcoming projects, and quite a lot more.

Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 1 was a mighty good read. The eight short stories selected are far more complicated than their brief spoiler free explanations above. These are reads of depth that will surprise experienced mystery readers. Notably very funny with “Jack The Hammer’s Online Identity Crisis,” each short tale has quite a lot going on. Simply put, there is not a bad one in the bunch. Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 1 is a real treat for mystery and crime fiction readers. 

Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 1
Edited by Eric Beetner and Michael Pool
Short Stack Books
December 2015
eBook (paperback available)
79 Pages

I first heard about this in early May after Michael Bracken announced he had a story in the second issue. About that same time, in anticipation of their second issue, those in charge put this first issue temporarily free at Amazon. So, I picked up a copy. I used my funds in my Amazon Associate account to pick up issue two and that very good issue will be reviewed soon. As will the final and very good issue of Thuglit and a few other things. Spending a lot of time each day at the hospital this past month while Sandi got her radiation treatments has meant a lot of stuff has been read so I am way behind on reviews.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Markets for Writers (The Practicing Writer)

 Monday Markets for Writers (The Practicing Writer)

23 Done, 2 More

This morning Sandi has completed her 23rd radiation treatment. We also met with the radiation doctor as we do each Monday. He is very pleased at how well she has done so far.

She has tomorrow and Wednesday treatments to do. After the deal on Wednesday she will be given discharge instructions. Then, the radiation doctor and the main cancer doctor will plan the imagery test that will be needed to see how successful the radiation was for shrinking the tumor.

Monday With Kaye: Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline (Reviewed by Kaye George)

This week it is thriller time with Kaye….

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

As this domestic thriller opens, Christine Nilsson is leaving her job as a reading specialist at Nutmeg Hill grade school and her fellow teachers and faculty members are throwing her a shower. She’s leaving because she is finally pregnant, and rejoices in the fact. Only her best friend and her parents know the truth about the baby, that she and her husband Marcus used a sperm donor because of his low count. This was a difficult
decision, but they’re both happy with the way it’s turning out.

They’ve seen pictures of their donor, known only by a number, Donor 3319, and he’s a handsome, intelligent-looking blonde guy, a medical student, who resembles Marcus. As Christine is helping to clean up after the party, she spots a report on TV of a serial killer, a man who has brutally slain several nurses. The man has been caught and he’s shown being put into a police car. He looks straight into the camera. His name is Zachary Jeffcoat, aka the Nurse Murderer, but Christine realizes he’s also Donor 3319.

Marcus isn’t as convinced as his wife is, at first, and the best friend refuses to believe it. But Christine has to know for sure. She can no longer tell if her nausea is morning sickness or is from knowing that the child she carries, that she loves, is most probably fathered by a murderer. Eventually, this innocent unborn child wreaks havoc between her and Marcus and causes her to defy the orders of her husband and their lawyer, putting herself into a dangerous situation, trying to discover the truth and save her marriage—and her child.

What would you do if you were carrying the baby of a serial killer? This is a gut-wrenching, heart-pounding story.

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

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Making The Wife Freak Out--Again

I share funny and often twisted stuff on Facebook. Just how I roll. Every now and then Sandi comes across one of mine and shrieks in disgust. That victory happened today with this deal that made me laugh...

If you are interested in seeing what I do and also shrieking in disgust, I am here.

“Writing a New Series” (by Dave Zeltserman) at Something Is Going To Happen Blog

“Writing a New Series” (by Dave Zeltserman) at Something Is Going To Happen Blog

Little Big Crimes: A Meter of Murder, by Mark Thielman

Little Big Crimes: A Meter of Murder, by Mark Thielman: "A Meter of Murder," by Mark Thielman, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, July/August 2016. In his first published s...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Hey, blog fans.  I'm out of the hospital after bei...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Hey, blog fans.  I'm out of the hospital after bei...: Hey, blog fans.  I'm out of the hospital after being poked, prodded, tested. and humiliated.  I'm in much worse shape than when I we...

And this update on Facebook:

Dear Facebook friends: I've been reading your many posts of love and
support, and I'll admit that sometimes I've had tears in my eyes. I'm
out of the hospital now, having been subjected to more tests and
humiliations than anyone should have to undergo. My condition has not
improved, I'm sorry to say. The VBKs were happy to see me, but they
they're happy to see anyone. Turns out they weren't as lucky as we
thought, though.

I won't be posting anywhere for a while, if
ever, but I want you to know how much I appreciate you and your caring
for me. I'll be trying to get into M. D. Anderson and hoping for a
miracle. Thank you all so much for your continuing to keep me in your
minds and hearts.

Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema: New fiction previews: six mysteries and thrillers

Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema: New fiction previews: six mysteries and thrillers: I'm always curious about intriguing titles and covers of novels I read about online. They often convey little which makes them interest...

My Wink Books Review: Sinatra 100 by Charles Pignone

My Wink Books Review: Sinatra 100 by Charles Pignone

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Market Call: Robbed of Sleep - An Anthology of the Horribly Strange & the Strangely Horrible: Submissions

Robbed of Sleep - An Anthology of the Horribly Strange & the Strangely Horrible: Submissions: 'Robbed of Sleep' publishes twice each year, in mid-June and mid-December. We are always looking for a sampling of the strangely dar...

The First Trailer For WONDER WOMAN Starring Gal Gadot Is Finally HERE (

The First Trailer For WONDER WOMAN Starring Gal Gadot Is Finally HERE (

Sisters in Crime Meeting Reminder!

 I have not been able to attend in quite some time thanks to various things here....

 Check your calendar--meeting reminder that SinCND is this Sunday!

Meeting Reminder

Our Sisters in Crime meeting is this Sunday at 2:00 P.M. at the Frisco Library
Character and Setting with Melissa Lenhardt
Our own VP will talk about character and setting and how to make them standout!

July snacks will be provided by Lane Buckman

Copyright © *2014* *Sisters in Crime North Dallas*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
3411 Preston Road, #C13-130, Frisco, Texas 75034 USA

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison: Reviewed by Ambrea Gemma Craig has had enough of dating; instead, she has decided to focus on her job, which she’s surprisingly g...

KRL This Week Update--July 23, 2016

Up this morning in KRL a review & giveaway of "Murder Has Nine Lives" by Laura Levine
Also reviews & giveaways of a fun bunch of 5 mystery novels by Penguin & Kensington authors-"Gone with the Wool": Yarn Retreat Mystery by Betty Hechtman, "Dressed to Kilt": Scottish Highlands series by Hannah Reed, "Final Fondue": A Five-Ingredient Mystery by Maya Corrigan, "Take the Monkey and Run": A Call of the Wilde Mystery by Laura Morrigan, and "Toasting Up Trouble": A Dinner Club Mystery by Linda Wiken
And a review & giveaway of a fun food mystery, "Death at the Day Lily Cafe" by Wendy Sand Eckel, along with a fun food guest post by Wendy which includes recipes!
And a review & giveaway of "A Grave Prediction" by Victoria Laurie
We also have a review of 2 British mystery TV shows-"Inspector Lewis" & "Endeavour"
Over on KRL Lite this morning a review & giveaway of "Honolulu Hottie" by Terry Ambrose

Happy reading, 


Dear Dr. Crider (Meanderings and Musings)

Dear Dr. Crider (Meanderings and Musings)

Business Musings: Other Evil Clauses (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Worse news

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Worse news: Very aggressive form of carcinoma. Looks bad. Love to you all.

Bill Crider Update

This is per his daughter, Angela, on Facebook minutes ago:

"I wanted to post an update on Dad, although not a happy one. He has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of carcinoma. We do not know much, but we will be seeking appointments with specialists and having more tests during the coming days. I will let you know when there is an update. Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers."

Guest Blogger: Bill Crider – How to Write a Novel (Debra H. Goldstein It's Not Always a Mystery)

Guest Blogger: Bill Crider – How to Write a Novel (Debra H. Goldstein It's Not Always a Mystery)

Linda Castillo, In the Hot Seat (Lesa Holstine at the Poisoned Pen Blog)

Linda Castillo, In the Hot Seat (Lesa Holstine at the Poisoned Pen Blog)

Pulp Hack Confessions: Young Americans vs. Hillbilly Crime Lords and La C...

Pulp Hack Confessions: Young Americans vs. Hillbilly Crime Lords and La C...: Young Americans By Josh Stallings 288 pages ( Heist Publishing; October 30, 2015) ISBN-10: 0996948007 ISBN...

What Our Editors Look for on an Opening Page (Penguin Random House)

What Our Editors Look for on an Opening Page (Penguin Random House)

FFB Review: A CHAIN OF EVIDENCE (1912) by Carolyn Wells (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

Barry is back for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. Read Barry’s review and then check out the FFB list today.

A CHAIN OF EVIDENCE (1912) by Carolyn Wells

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Attorney Otis Landon and his widowed sister, Mrs. Laura Mulford, live together in the Hammersleigh, “one of the most attractive of the moderate-priced apartment houses in New York City.” At thirty-two, Otis expects never to marry, although, as he tells his sister, “I rather fancy that if I ever fall in love, it will be at first sight, and very desperately.”

Conveniently both for Otis and the plot, he does. The object of his affection is one Janet Pembroke, who lives in an apartment across the hall with her wealthy but miserly, temperamental, and somewhat reclusive great-uncle, Robert Pembroke. Although they’ve only lived in the Hammersleigh for two weeks, Otis and his sister have both heard Pembroke’s “voice raised in tones of vituperation and abuse.”

Not long after, Robert Pembroke is found dead. Otis and Laura Mulford are drawn into what turns out to be a case of murder, Pembroke slain by what is described as a woman’s method. When the crime was committed, the door to the apartment was locked, the windows were fastened tight, and a night-chain was in place, which suggests that only one or both of two others within it, Janet Pembroke and her maid, Charlotte, could have done the deed. Fully smitten, Otis is ready to do whatever it takes to protect the woman he (irrationally?) loves.

Thus begins the essence of a mystery novel by an author seminal to the genre who predates “the Golden Age.” It is a novel that demands of modern readers patience, tolerance and, above all, a sense of humor.

Patience is essential for several reasons. The author’s narrative style is that of an older, more formal era, and will likely seem stilted and verbose to a modern audience. The dialogue is equally stilted. I sincerely doubt Americans in the early 20th Century spoke the way Carolyn Wells’ middle- and upper-class characters do. Jane Austen’s English characters from the early 19th Century spoke less “literarily.” For example, consider this exchange between Laura Mulford and Otis Landon regarding whether Janet Pembroke merits her uncle’s berating:—

                        “Yes, but how do I know what she may do to deserve it? Those dark eyes show a smouldering fire that seems to me quite capable of breaking into flame. I rather fancy Miss Pembroke can hold her own against any verbal onslaught of her
                        “Then I’m glad she can,” I declared; “as she has to stand such unjust tyranny, I hope she has sufficient self-assertion to resent it. I’d rather like to see that girl in a towering rage; she must look stunning!”

The book could be shorter by a third to a half if Otis Landon’s first-person narrative didn’t contain multiple repetitions of the facts of the case and, especially, incessant lengthy passages in which he moons about the enigmatic and volatile Janet Pembroke, his love for her, his anxieties about her possible love for other men in the story, and angst about her possible guilt.

Tolerance is essential because of snobbishly demeaning, disparaging and racist attitudes toward “menials”—e.g., an elevator operator whose language suggests a substandard education, and Charlotte, the African-American maid, with her stereotyped dialect. Here’s Charlotte talking about forgetting to remove the night-chain before opening the apartment door:—

                        “Laws!” exclaimed what was unmistakably a negro (sic) girl’s voice, “I nebber can ’member dat chain!”

A sense of humor is essential—make that vital—when reading this novel. Thoroughly non-existent is police procedure as we’ve come to know it nowadays. Landon and others are given license to explore and tramp all over the crime scene as they see fit. A prominent lawyer, very much a suspect, who represented Robert Pembroke and who visited him the day before his death, is presently out of town on business. Rather than locate and bring him in for immediate questioning, the police and D.A. decide to delay official proceedings until his return. Otis Landon fancies himself possessed of a detective’s instincts, and manages to find physical clues and talk to people connected to the victim who might have reasons for wanting him dead while the police do almost nothing investigative. But despite his efforts, he can’t resolve the locked-apartment puzzle, so he ultimately consults Carolyn Wells’ incarnation of the Great Detective, Fleming Stone. A Chain of Evidence contains twenty-four chapters. Fleming Stone doesn’t appear until the twenty-first (or, according to my Kindle, until eighty percent of the novel was behind me). As soon as Landon explains the circumstances of the case to Stone, the latter announces that he knows who the murderer is. In order to solve the locked-room problem, however, he must visit the apartment. Once he does, it takes him no time at all to figure out the answer to that riddle.

The fact that the solution is a complete cheat is apparently inconsequential to the author. Much earlier in the story the reader is given several crucial details concerning the impossibility of entrance to the apartment with the night-chain in place. What is revealed in Stone’s explanation contradicts much of it and points up something the reader should have been told but wasn’t, thus underscoring that the reader has been unfairly duped.

Except to mystery historians and purists, I must conclude that A Chain of Evidence is nothing more than a (vaguely) entertaining curio.

For more information about Carolyn Wells, see mystery connoisseur and analyst Michael E. Grost’s A Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection: For more on Fleming Stone, see The Thrilling Detective website:

© 2016 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s own (fairly-clued!) locked-room mystery novelette, “The Play of Light and Shadow,” is available at Amazon and, during the annual sale through the end of July, at Smashwords at a reduced price, among his other works you can find at those sites.