Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Finally Home ....and Things Are Not Good.

Sandi had her fifth radiation treatment this morning and as of right now she is still scheduled for 20 more. She remains in severe pain from the tumor itself as well as the back spasms it is causing. She is also having some severe stomach cramps that could be those tumors in and around her intestinal tract reacting to the radiation or it could be another issue including some sort of sympathy spasms caused by the large spinal tumor.

That is not the worst of it as the visit with her doctor and the blood work indicates there are severe and worsening issues. There are multiple and worsening issues including one with her white blood cell count as it is soaring. More blood was taken from her for a second round of testing that will included the dreaded bacterial blood tests. The hope is she does not have yet another bacterial blood infection.

Several medications have been stopped as her blood pressure is far too low and that is another puzzler. After putting her into an actual hospital bed in one of the bedrooms instead of out in an infusion chair, they put a massive amount of fluid into her and slowly got her blood pressure back up. I am not sure how much it was, but I do know it was easily in excess of a liter. I suspect it was two.

The current plan is for her to have radiation this week as scheduled and into next week and have her come to the main office for fluids on Friday as well as a doctor visit and more fluid next Tuesday. Before we left this afternoon, two different staff members again went over the drill with me about what to look for, when to call the doctor, and when to call  911. One hopes that I never have to make another 911 call.

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 10/16/17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 10/16/17

Reviews by David Nemeth--Small Press Crime Fiction: Incident Report No. 13

Reviews by David Nemeth--Small Press Crime Fiction: Incident Report No. 13

Monday, October 16, 2017

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 10/16/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 10/16/17

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 10/16/17

 Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 10/16/17

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins: Reviewed by Ambrea Murian MacDonald loved Rowallen Castle, and she loved the immeasurably happy life she lived.   But when the ea...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: INTERVIEW WITH LAUREAN BROOKS!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: INTERVIEW WITH LAUREAN BROOKS!: Today I’m pleased to have as my guest Laurean Brooks. She was brave enough to let me interview her. Here’s the result: Please tell us a...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 9/16-22: Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 16-22, 2017:  Special Events: 9th DFW Metroplex Linguistics Conference , Fort Worth, Octob...

4 Down, 21 To Go

4 Down, 21 To Go as of today. No change here one way or the other. We met with the radiation doctor after the treatment and he remains very optimistic about how things are going. Sandi is  frustrated at how things don't seem to be getting better, but he says it will take a bit longer. How long? He never really answered that question.

After she has another radiation treatment tomorrow, we see her main cancer folks for blood work and an office visit.

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Silent Murders by Mary Miley

Silent Murders by Mary Miley (Minotaur, 2014) is the second book in the Jazz Age historical mysteries. After recovering from events described in the tumultuous series debut that introduced Leah Randall, a vaudeville actress who aged out of the child parts she’d been playing, Leah has taken the names of her cousin and her father and moved to Hollywood. Now known as Jessie Beckett, friends from vaudeville helped her find a job as a script girl in the new United Artists film studio founded by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith. Jessie is beside herself with delight when Bruno Heilmann, a famous director, invites her to one of his enormous parties. She is even happier when she discovers one of the caterers at the party is a former vaudevillian who often shared a stage with Jessie’s late mother. She makes an appointment to meet the caterer to talk over old times as she leaves the party.

Jessie learns early the next day that Heilmann has been found dead, clearly murdered, setting Hollywood in a tailspin. When Jessie arrives at the home of the caterer that afternoon for tea, she is devastated to find her dead, another murder victim. Within a few days, two more of the party-goers are poisoned. Jessie uses her acting skills, her access to costumes and make-up, and her ability to move around the film world unnoticed to investigate the crimes and protect her new Hollywood family.

Miley based this book on the unsolved 1922 murder of Hollywood director William Desmond Taylor. About this time a series of scandals made Hollywood synonymous in the mind of the public with depravity and immorality, and Miley mentions these scandals as this story unfolds. This is a well-written, soundly researched narrative that can be read as a stand-alone.

I particularly like the entertainment history that is woven into the background and the implications that changing technology had for the people who made their livelihoods from show business. In the first book, Jessie is out of work because the venues for vaudeville are drying up as the silent movie becomes the preferred form of mass entertainment. In this book the changes that sound would bring to the film industry are discussed in a brief aside. Many of the silent film stars were from other countries and had strong accents or little ability to speak English. They did not survive the transition to the talkies. The stars that could adapt continued their careers, for instance, consider Jack Benny, who started his career on the vaudeville circuit and transitioned into radio, film, and television. Not everyone was as versatile. Parallels to the effects of technological changes in the past 30 years are all too easy to draw.

·         Hardcover: 320 pages
·         Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition (September 23, 2014)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1250051371
·         ISBN-13: 978-1250051370

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

KRL This Week Update for 10/14/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of another Halloween mystery, "A Catered Costume Party" by Isis Crawford http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/a-catered-costume-party-by-isis-crawford/

And a review of "The Adventures of the REAL Tom Sawyer" A Memoir by Tom Sawyer. We also have an awesome giveaway-not only can you win a copy of the book but you can win a signed copy of a script from an episode of "Murder She Wrote" (written by Tom)! http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/the-adventures-of-the-real-tom-sawyer-by-tom-sawyer/

Also another Halloween mystery short story, this one by Margaret Hamilton http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/taste-before-you-buy-a-halloween-mystery-short-story/

And a review & giveaway of another Halloween mystery by Kathi Daley,"Trick or Treason" http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/trick-or-treason-by-kathi-daley/

We also have a review & giveaway of a fun Halloween anthology-"Witch and Treat" http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/witch-and-treat-a-collection-of-paranormal-cozy-shorts/

And a review & giveaway of another mystery set in the Halloween season-"A Hive of Homicides" by Meera Lester, and a fun Halloween related guest post by Meera http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/a-hive-of-homicides-by-meera-lester/

We also have a review & giveaway of another perfect book for your Halloween reading, "The Haunting of Dr. Bowne" by C.A. Verstraete http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/the-haunting-of-dr-bowen-by-c-a-verstraete/

And for those who also enjoy fantasy, over on KRL News & Reviews a review of "The Hunt" by Chloe Neill, and a giveaway of the first book in the series http://www.krlnews.com/2017/10/the-hunt-by-chloe-neill-reviewgiveaway.html

If you are looking for some fun Halloween reading for the kids, up in KRL this morning we have a review & giveaway of "Skoob Revisited" by Clovis author Kathy Goosev Howell http://kingsriverlife.com/10/14/skoob-revisited-by-kathy-goosev-howell/

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 http://KingsRiverLife.com
Check out my own blog at http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/

Monday Mystery—Texas Authors: Earl Staggs

Monday Mystery—Texas Authors: Earl Staggs

Friday, October 13, 2017

Relevant History: Anza’s 1775 Expedition: Arizona to San Francisco in Five Months

Relevant History: Anza’s 1775 Expedition: Arizona to San Francisco in Five Months

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn: Reviewed by Jeanne When Dr. William Ravenswood and his sister Mary arrive in London in 1815, they are all but friendless.   They a...

The Rap Sheet: Bullet Points: Bouchercon Week Edition

The Rap Sheet: Bullet Points: Bouchercon Week Edition

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Eleanor Oliphant, Lost City, Shadow Ma...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Eleanor Oliphant, Lost City, Shadow Ma...: To start, Nevermore dived into Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine , a debut novel by Gail Honeyman .   Eleanor Oliphant is not yo...

3 Down, 22 To Go

No changes better or worse.

FFB Review: Spirit Of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story by Craig Johnson

Earlier this week I reviewed the latest incredible book by Craig Johnson, The Western Star. Memories of a legendary train are a major part of that book. As I was reading, I was reminded of another book of his where memories of a mode of transportation played a major role in the tale. For this Friday in October when there has already been snow in the Northern Rockies it seemed appropriate to remind you of Spirit Of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story first reviewed here in late December 2013. Patti is at Bouchercon 2017 with her husband, so this week Todd Mason has the honors at his Sweet Freedom blog for more reading suggestions.

The Tuesday before Christmas brings snow, relative quiet, and no real plans for Sheriff Walt Longmire other than his annual rereading of A Christmas Carol. That is until the quiet dark haired woman toting a garment bag walked into his office. Eventually it becomes clear that she wants to see the former Sheriff, Lucian Connally. The woman claims to have something that she would like to return to him.

Lucian is living at the “Durant Home for Assisted Living” and could probably use a visit from somebody besides Sheriff Walt Longmire and Dog. Not only is the home’s television another victim of Lucian’s legendary temper having died by gunshot, the man is not in the best of moods because it is Christmas and he has been drinking quite a bit. He has no idea who the mystery woman is either until she says “Steamboat.”

What follows is an incredibly suspenseful flashback tale of a flight to save a child’s life against the odds---medical and environmental. On Christmas Eve in 1988 an aging WWII plane and a cast of locals including the recently retired Lucian and first year Sheriff Walt Longmire pulled off a Christmas miracle. Though readers can surmise from nearly the start that the dark haired woman was that child, there is plenty of suspense in how the flight happened and why she is back now.

While Spirit Of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story is a short book as it is a novella, it is a powerful and deeply moving book. Craig Johnson brings alive the storm, the people, and the history of a legendary aircraft in a way that few novelists could do. The resulting 160 page book might simply be the best thing the man has ever written.

Spirit Of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story
Craig Johnson
Viking (part of Penguin Group)
ISBN# 978-0-670-01578-8
October 2013
Hardback (also available in e-book and audio)
160 Pages

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

You can also read  Lesa Holstine's take on the book here.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 10/9/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 10/9/17

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Navel Gazing by Michael Ian Black

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Navel Gazing by Michael Ian Black: Reviewed by Ambrea When I first picked up  Navel Gazing , I realized I recognized the author’s name.  He was relatively famous, I...

Crime Review Update

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (
www.crimereview.co.uk), together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author Chris Carter in the Countdown hot seat:

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

FEVER by Deon Meyer, reviewed by John Cleal

In a world where the majority of the population has been destroyed by a
pandemic, an altruistic academic sets out to build a society free from the
pressures of South Africa’s past.

COLD BLOOD by Andy McNab, reviewed by Linda Wilson

When his former CO calls in a favour, Nick Stone ends up on a walking trip
to the North Pole.

FOREVER AND A DEATH by Donald E Westlake, reviewed by Sylvia Wilson

Millionaire businessman Richard Curtis, who was forced to leave Hong Kong
when the Chinese took over, plans a terrible revenge.

THE SPY’S DAUGHTER by Adam Brookes, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Pearl is an American teenager with a genius-level grasp of developments in
artificial intelligence, only recently awakened to her Chinese parents’
plans for her future.

GIVE ME THE CHILD by Mel McGrath, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

An unexpected night-time visitor and a bag of lies is about to destroy Cat
Lupo’s family.

SIX STORIES by Matt Wesolowski, reviewed Ewa Sherman

In 1996 teenager Tom Jeffries vanished from an Outward Bound centre. His
body was found a year later. In 2017 in a series of podcasts investigative
journalist Scott King attempts to discover what really happened.

UNFORGIVABLE by Mike Thomas, reviewed by John Cleal

Terrorists hit a multicultural event in Cardiff and follow up with more
bombings. With police resources stretched, DC Will MacReady is unhappy to
be assigned to investigate the murder of a girl, but soon realises there is
a link between the events.

WOMAN OF STATE by Simon Berthon, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

It is 1991 and the Troubles are still ongoing in Northern Ireland.
Eighteen-year-old Maire Anne McCartney is caught up in a violent honey trap.

RED EARTH by Tony Park, reviewed by John Cleal

A South African woman is carjacked. Police are dealing with the
assassination of the American ambassador by a suicide bomber and cannot
respond, so helicopter pilot Nia Carras and wildlife researcher Mike Dunn
are called in to pursue the vehicle.

THE ESCAPE by CL Taylor, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

‘Keep an eye on your daughter.’ These are six words of advice to Jo
Blackmore – or a threat. She must save her daughter and plan their escape.

THE SILK STOCKING MURDERS by Anthony Berkeley, reviewed by Anthea Hawdon

A vicar’s daughter goes missing and Roger Sheringham, a crime writer and
amateur sleuth, is asked to investigate. This simple case leads to a chase
to stop a serial killer from striking again.

ASHES TO ASHES by Paul Finch, reviewed by John Barnbrook

A killer has a caravan kitted out as a torture chamber, and he has moved to
Bradburn, home of DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenberg. In the same town, there is
another monstrous killer who, armed with a flame thrower, is burning his
victims to death

A TRUE AND FAITHFUL BROTHER by Linda Stratmann, reviewed by John Cleal

A wealthy philanthropist disappears from a locked Masonic hall. Lady
Detective Frances Doughty is drawn into a case that involves her own family
and puts her life at risk.

GHOST MONTH by Ed Lin, reviewed by Chris Roberts

When Jing-nan hears that his high school sweetheart has been murdered, he
is determined to get an explanation, especially when he gets warned off.

FALLING CREATURES by Katherine Stansfield, reviewed by John Cleal

Country girl Shilly finds love with the strangely gifted Charlotte Dymond
on an isolated Cornish farm. When Charlotte is murdered she sets out to
find the truth.

TWO LOST BOYS by LF Robertson, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy is on death row for the rape and murder of two women.
Janet Moodie is preparing a case to convince the courts that he doesn’t
deserve to die.

POPULAR MEDICINE by Owen Davies and Francesca Matteoni, reviewed by Linda

The early modern era saw a grisly trade in the body parts of convicted
criminals and their means of execution and its uses in popular medicine.

DIGGING IN THE DARK by Ben Johnson, reviewed by Kim Fleet

A history of the Yorkshire resurrectionists: body snatchers who robbed
graves and sold the cadavers to medical schools for research.

CITY OF LIGHT, CITY OF POISON by Holly Tucker, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Nicholas de la Reynie, the first police chief of Paris, is given the job of
cleaning up the streets of Paris and ridding it and its courts of poisoners
and black magic.

YOUNG BOND: RED NEMESIS by Steve Cole, reviewed by Linda Wilson

James Bond receives a mysterious package from beyond the grave and has to
work out the meaning of the cryptic notes left by his father.

Best wishes


Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 13 Paying Markets for Flash Fiction

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 13 Paying Markets for Flash Fiction: In this age of short attention spans, flash fiction is becoming increasingly popular. Literary magazines which previously only considere...

2 Down, 23 To Go

Sandi had her second radiation treatment this morning. The docs think that her severe chills last night could have been caused by the radiation, but more likely caused by the cancer reacting to the first treatment. In addition to the spinal tumor, she has numerous tumors on her stomach, intestinal tract, liver, kidneys, etc., so they all get hit by spill over from the focused beam. While they are concerned about what happened, they don’t think it means she has to already stop treatment. That was a relief because things were severe last night. At least they were not severe in the way we thought they were.

Review: Blaze! Red Rock Rampage (Blaze! Western Series Book 15) by Ben Boulden

It is a moonlit night in the badlands of Southern Utah as the western tale, Blaze! Red Rock Rampage begins. With his wife, Kate, asleep beside him, J. D. struggles to stay vigilant. His struggle is soon rewarded by the noise of a boot heel sliding across rock. Two stalkers become visible in the moonlit night and their planned ambush quickly turns against them.

With one dead and J. D. in pursuit of the second man, it is obvious that if they had not taken the offered job they would not be in this position now. The man from the railroad made it clear he was willing to pay to stop the robberies and did not care if the thieves lived to serve time in jail. Therefore, Kate and J. D. had waited weeks for the next robbery and when it finally happened, they started tracking the gang across northern Arizona and into Utah. In the harsh and unforgiving country, they had thought they were closing in on the thieves undetected, but clearly not.

When J. D. does not return, Kate goes looking for him and finds him unconscious and injured. His Colt handgun is also missing. When he awakes, J. D. is very unhappy and most definitely wants his gun back. After a brief discussion and thanks to a couple of clues, they decide the one who got away is headed to the nearby town of Small Basin.

Small Basin is a small and very poor town where the Mormon faith is practiced by nearly everyone and where folks prefer to be left alone. Those that live there were not friendly years ago when J. D. came through on the trail of another fugitive. Nothing has changed now, as most are still not at all friendly towards strangers. That is especially true of the sheriff who is in possession of J. D.’s gun. While they are not welcome in town and have been ordered by the Sheriff to leave, they need to get the gun back, find their suspected thief, and do a couple of other things too. Kate and J.D. have much work to do, but there will be times for play.

That play is of an adult nature and is a bit graphic. This is a series that is very clearly billed as an “adult western.” That means that some of the graphic language and descriptions applies to erotic situations. While this book is not erotica and the scenes are not at that level, there is some detail of the intimate moments. This means this book is not for all readers. Those that are offended by descriptions of loving intimacy between two married people or by graphic language or violence will need to look elsewhere for their entertainment.

Blaze! Red Rock Rampage  is a very good western. 15th in the series originally created by Stephen Mertz, the read features plenty of action and adventure in a western setting with some mystery and romantic elements thrown into the high octane mix. Well plotted and complicated, the read moves forward at a rapid pace. Blaze! Red Rock Rampage is highly recommended.

Blaze! Red Rock Rampage (Blaze! Western Series Book 15)
Ben Boulden
Rough Edges Press
February 2017
eBook (also available in print format)
115 Pages

While the author originally provided a digital copy to read and review, it somehow was lost during the move. A digital copy was then purchased last month to read and review using funds in my Amazon Associate account.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

1 Down, 24 To Go

Sandi had her first radiation treatment this afternoon. Unfortunately, it appears the side effects have already started. Last time she was  the second week before negative things started happening. What this means long term for getting through the treatment deal I don't know.

Medical Update

It was a very long day at the hospital into the evening as Sandi needed blood yesterday. She was critically low and that may have played a role into events over the last several days. They gave her some steroids, other fluids, and then two units of blood. That meant it was not until well after dark when we finally got home.

Her other lab work was okay. The doc believes that after a couple of sessions of radiation that should cut down the massive inflammation area around the tumor in her spine, Sandi may start feeling a little better and be in less pain. We start that process today at 2.

Barry Ergang Reviews: THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE: A Philip Marlowe Novel (2014) by Benjamin Black

A rare non FFB review from Barry Ergang...

THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE: A Philip Marlowe Novel (2014) by Benjamin Black

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

A private detective named “Philip Marlowe” is hired by Clare Cavendish, the wealthy daughter of perfume magnate Dorothea Langrishe, to find a man named Nico Peterson. Clare, the beautiful blonde of the title with whom “Marlowe” is almost instantly smitten, gives the impression that she and Peterson were lovers. Although married, she says she and her husband have an arrangement—which is to say an open marriage. “Marlowe’s” investigation reveals that Peterson is dead, the victim of an automobile accident. Clare admits she knows that, then tells him she spotted Peterson, alive and well, in San Francisco, and wants “Marlowe” to find him.

As events progress, “Marlowe” is set upon by a couple of Mexican thugs; threatened by a local crime boss who wants a certain item recovered; tortured by the “butler” of the exclusive Cahuilla Club at the behest of the club’s owner, who has a vested interest in the investigation; and is ultimately no more surprised than I was by the “surprise” revelation that’s a major part of the story’s solution. I said to myself at the beginning of Chapter 23 (of 25 chapters) that if a certain party was revealed to be involved in or behind all of this, as I’d come to suspect, I’d be seriously irritated. Irritation became fury when my suspicion proved correct. 

If you’re wondering why, in the preceding paragraphs, I bracketed Marlowe’s name with quotation marks, it’s because the pallid, pathetic excuse in this disaster of a novel has as much in common with Raymond Chandler’s character and style as Mickey Spillane’s has with Jane Austen’s. If ever there were a cautionary tale about the inadvisability of major publishers signing first- and second-tier mystery writers to continue series about classic characters by esteemed authors, The Black-Eyed Blonde is it. 

Begin with the admission that I started this novel with a couple of biases and a great deal of skepticism. A hardcore Raymond Chandler fan since I first discovered him in my early teens some roughly 57 years ago, he’s the author of my favorite novel, independent of genre, The Long Goodbye. (Although I might rate Huckleberry Finn and The Sound and the Fury somewhat  above it in the “Significant Literature” category, I’ve only read those three times each, so far,  whereas I’ve read The Long Goodbye  six times—so far.) Why does one read—and re-read—Raymond Chandler? Definitely not for plot—and by Chandler’s own admission, plot was far less important to him than were character and style.

Benjamin Black, pseudonym for acclaimed Irish author John Banville, isn’t even close to Chandler, his own arguments notwithstanding as far as I’m concerned: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/30/writing-a-new-philip-marlowe-black-eyed-blonde and https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2015/feb/09/rebooting-raymond-chandler-five-things-we-learned-from-john-banville Serious, big-time, major-league spoiler alert: unless and until you’ve read The Big Sleep and—above all—Chandler’s masterwork, The Long Goodbye, avoid this lame excuse for a “Philip Marlowe” novel. Banville gives away some key information about The Big Sleep, and utterly and unconscionably ruins The Long Goodbye by revealing most of its key points. 

Moreover, he gets a number of things absolutely wrong. Marlowe, despite once having been an investigator for the D.A.’s office, is renowned for not getting along with many cops. But among the few relatively close friends he’s ever acknowledged is Bernie Ohls, chief investigator for the District Attorney at the time of The Big Sleep and Assistant Chief of Homicide in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office in The Long Goodbye. In The Black-Eyed Blonde, Banville makes their relationship completely adversarial while having “Marlowe” get along more cooperatively with Sergeant Green than his actual counterpart did or probably would have in The Long Goodbye. Another mistake Banville makes with regard to the latter novel is that Sylvia Lennox is beaten to death and that a bullet is found in her skull. Beaten to death, yes; skull shot, no.

As you may have noticed in the third paragraph, I’m more than a little peeved, to put it charitably, by major publishers who try to cash in on long-established authors and their series. For instance—and I’m sure I’ll be branded a heretic by his legion of Spenser-series fans—the grossly overrated Robert B. Parker was commissioned by Putnam to create the Chandler cash-ins Poodle Springs and Perchance to Dream, which rank high in my Oh, Puh-leeze! Are You Kidding Department.  

Argue though some might, I think Chandler’s style was among the most influential of Twentieth Century American authors. He had (and probably still has) many an imitator, particularly among those writing hardboiled detective stories, and at least one esteemed parodist, S.J. Perelman, who wrote the memorable “Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer.” When it comes to Chandler’s more outright stylistic imitators, look to Howard Browne writing as John Evans in his Paul Pine series of mysteries, to Roy Huggins’s The Double Take, and especially to Keith Laumer’s Deadfall, the single finest pseudo-Chandler novel (and homage—it’s dedicated to Chandler and Marlowe) I’ve ever come across. The hero, private eye Joe Shaw, was more than likely named for the esteemed editor of the famed Black Mask magazine where Chandler’s work debuted. I’ve maintained for ages that if you were to give a copy of Laumer’s novel with its author’s name deleted and claimed it was a previously undiscovered Chandler, the latter’s most devoted fans would, based on both style and substance, believe the falsehood.

I seriously have to question how much of Chandler’s work Olen Steinhauer, who reviewed this novel for The New York Times, has actually read, let alone absorbed. Those who have read and absorbed both can make their own determinations. As far as I’m concerned, both publisher Henry Holt and Company and John Banville, independent of the hair-coloring of each, rate black eyes for The Black-Eyed Blonde, an eminently and deservedly forgettable example of corporate whoring which should never have come to light in the first place. May there never be a follow-up!

© October 2017 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award winner and writer/editor Barry Ergang’s own Chandler homage is the poem  “Nocturne,” which can be found in Dances of the Disaffected at Amazon. Some of his additional work can be found at Smashwords and Amazon, among both of which is a definitively non-Marlowe-like detective novelette, “The Play of Light and Shadow.”  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review: The Western Star by Craig Johnson

The Western Star is the latest in the Sheriff Longmire Mystery Series by Craig Johnson. It is a book of two primary storylines--- one of the past decades ago and one of the here and now. A complicated book full of nuance and meaning, it isn’t one easy to review without revealing key details that would impact the enjoyment of the book.

In the here and now, Sheriff Walt Longmire is back at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy recertifying his weapon status. The academy is also on the way to Cheyenne where he goes every four years to attend a parole hearing. It his duty and a promise he made many years ago to do everything possible to keep a certain inmate locked up.

His deputy, Victoria Moretti, is also recertifying and headed to the hearing with him. Former Absaroka County Sheriff Lucian Connelly is along for the ride. After recertifying they three eventually wind up in a bar hanging out with other law enforcement folks and trading stories. At one point, the topic of The Western Star comes up. A steam-powered locomotive that led a sheriff train each year from 1948 to 1972 and served as a rolling meeting of the Wyoming Sheriff’s Association. Back in 1972, Sheriff Lucian Connelly brought Deputy Walt Longmire, just home from Vietnam, with him. There is a picture of the twenty-four sheriffs and one deputy, Walt Longmire, standing next to the old locomotive and that picture brings up for Walt Longmire some intense memories. That picture and those memories serve as the basis for a powerful flashback secondary storyline that dominates much of the book.

The storylines eventually merge in The Western Star and this thirteenth novel in the series becomes a powerful read. Partly due to the past and partly due to dire warnings of the evils in the present day. The latest in the series is very good. Fans of the television show tempted to read this book need to understand that the books are far different from the television show and must be read in order.

The Western Star is highly recommended and well worth your time. 
For another and slightly more detailed take on the book, make sure you head over to Lesa Holstine’s review. Lesa' review was recently saluted by The Rap Sheet in a Revue of Reviewers segment.

The Western Star
Craig Johnson
Viking (Penguin Random House LLC)
September 2017
ISBN# 978-0-525-42695-0
Hardback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
304 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2017

Monday, October 09, 2017

Tough Day.....Again

The last several days have been very tough. Sandi is having a very hard time of things. We see the doc in the morning and hopefully we can get some help.

Jerry's House of Everything: RALPHIE MAY

Jerry's House of Everything: RALPHIE MAY: ComedianRalphie May died this week at the all too young age of 43.  Friends described him as a genuinely nice person.  And a very funny one....


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 10/9-15: Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 9-15, 2017:  Special Events: Friends of the Dallas Public Library gala , October 12 Te...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 10/9/17

 Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 10/9/17

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967 by Mitzi M. Brunsdale

Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967 by Mitzi M. Brunsdale (McFarland, 2016) is an authoritative resource on the explosion of detective fiction that has been pouring out of Scandinavia since Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo introduced Martin Beck to the English-speaking world in 1967. Brunsdale believes simmering societal issues are driving this production of dark crime fiction in the North.

Separate chapters are devoted to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. For each country, a lengthy chapter has a detailed analysis of the cultural context of crime fiction in that country, followed by a list of awards given to crime fiction there and a chronology of national crime fiction and events set against world crime fiction and events. Crime fiction authors from each country with their works and awards are listed and discussed. Finally, titles of crime fiction set in each country by authors from other countries are listed. A 35-page bibliography and an index round out the book.

This unusual book was shortlisted for the Dartmouth Medal earlier this year by the American Library Association. The Dartmouth Medal honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance. The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association gave it along with ten other titles their Outstanding Reference Sources award for 2017, titles they consider the most outstanding reference publications for small and medium-sized libraries.

A review copy of this book will be available for bidding in the silent auction at Bouchercon this week.

·         Paperback: 572 pages
·         Publisher: McFarland (April 28, 2016)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 0786475366
·         ISBN-13: 978-0786475360

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

RTE October 7 Issue

The October 7 2017 issue of RTE is out and includes fifteen new reviews as well as a new interview:


 Rich Zahradnik in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:                             


FEVER    Deon Meyer    Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

A CASUALTY OF WAR    Charles Todd    Reviewed by PJ Coldren   

LIGHTS OUT SUMMER    Rich Zahradnik    Reviewed by Diana Borse

THE LONG COUNT    J. M. Gulvin    Reviewed by Cathy Downs   

THE WESTERN STAR    Craig Johnson    Reviewed by Sharon Mensing   

RAGGED LAKE    Ron Corbett    Reviewed by Sharon Mensing   

BELLEVUE SQUARE    Michael Redhill    Reviewed by Yvonne Klein   

RING     Vidar Sundstøl    Reviewed by Barbara Fister   
THE TRUST    Ronald H. Balson    Reviewed by Susan Hoover   

THE SEAGULL    Ann Cleeves    Reviewed by Jim Napier   

HOUSE. TREE. PERSON.    Catriona McPherson    Reviewed by Lourdes Venard   

KALEIDOSCOPE EYES    David Handler    Reviewed by Caryn St Clair   

BEST DAY EVER    Kaira Rouda    Reviewed by Diana Borse   

PASSPORT TO MURDER    Mary Angela    Reviewed byMeredith Frazier   

GROUND (Audio)    Peter Robinson    Reviewed by Karla Jay   

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
Editor: ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: SMFS Lunch at Bouchercon - Oct 13th

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: SMFS Lunch at Bouchercon - Oct 13th:   As announced on the list on September 9th, SMFS member Madeleine Callway has organized a lunch for SMFS members attending Bouchercon in To...

Saturday, October 07, 2017


For those who are wondering....there really is nothing new to report. Sandi continues to have a lot of pain made worse by violent and painful back spasms thanks to the spinal tumor, other physical issues, and is sleeping much of each day and night. She did eat a little dinner tonight as she did last night. It is what it is and it continues.

KRL This Week Update For 10/7/17

Up in KRL this morning reviews & giveaways of 2 fun Halloween
mysteries by Kathi Daley-"Frankencat": A Whales & Tails Cozy Mystery & "Seacliff High: The Haunting"

Also up a review & giveaway of another Halloween mystery-"Grave Errors" by
Carol Perry http://kingsriverlife.com/10/07/grave-errors-by-carol-j-perry/

And a review & giveaway of a perfect anthology for your Halloween reading,
as it includes some fun scary stories-"Day of the Dark" edited by Kaye
George http://kingsriverlife.com/10/07/day-of-the-dark-by-kaye-george/

We also have a review & giveaway of another mystery perfect for your
Halloween reading, "A Ghostly Secret" by Tonya Kappes

And for those who enjoy fantasy with their mystery, a review & giveaway of
a new urban fantasy novel by Jeri Westerson-"Booke of the Hidden" & an
interview with Jeri about the new series and other books she is working on

Perfect for your Halloween month viewing--we have a TV review of "Midnight,
Texas", based on the books by Charlaine Harris

And on KRL News & Reviews a review & giveaway of a fun Halloween mystery,
"Deadly Brew" by Karen MacInerney

Happy reading,

Cybercriminals Posing As Atlantic Media Target Freelance Writers With Email Scam

Cybercriminals Posing As Atlantic Media Target Freelance Writers With Email Scam

Liz Burton's Portable Soup: Review: Finks by Joel Whitney

Liz Burton's Portable Soup: Review: Finks by Joel Whitney

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 10/6/17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 10/6/17

Friday, October 06, 2017

Lesa's Lastest Contest: Charlaine Harris Book Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away copies of Charlaine Harris' All the Little Liars and Sleep Like a Baby. Details on my blog, http://www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com. Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: How to Game the Amazon Rating System

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: How to Game the Amazon Rating System: The person who posted this ad was sued by Amazon. Fake reviews are no joke. Amazon recently filed five arbitration demands against auth...

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange 10/4/17

Mystery Melange

The Rap Sheet: Bullet Points: Phooey on Rules Edition

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SleuthSayers: The Librarian Murder Mysteries

SleuthSayers: The Librarian Murder Mysteries: by Robert Lopresti Crime-writing attracts people from many different fields, including crime-fighters and, of course, criminals.   I am ...

New Books and Short Stories by MWA Members – October 2017

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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer: Reviewed by Kristin It’s not the mean streets of Chicago, but it is the mean streets of New Klondike, a domed city on Mars.   G...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: FICTIONAL HUMOR - BEACH SPACE

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WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The Live PD Phenomenon

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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Lost City of Z, Emory's Gift, Red Plan...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Lost City of Z, Emory's Gift, Red Plan...: Reported by Kristin Our first Nevermore reader enjoyed The Lost City of Z:   A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David ...

No FFB This Week

No FFB this week for obvious reasons. I don't have the heart to give you another repeat review. Head over to Patti Abbott's blog for reading suggestions.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Birthday Boy

As you may already know by way of FB, Scott's birthday is today. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Radiation Treatment Plan

Long afternoon and we are finally home. We met with the doctor and a CT scan was done to map the area they will target with their focused radiation beam. Sandi starts radiation next Wednesday afternoon. The plan, subject to change, is for 25 sessions. That means five days a week each week or until mid November.

The doctor is optimistic that radiation will work on this tumor as it has before. She faces significant complications due to the previous radiation, all the chemos she has had, and her significantly weakened medical state now.

In the meantime, she is to eat when she can, rest, and see her main cancer doctor for blood work and an office visit next Tuesday morning.

Mystery Fanfare: Free Jeffery Deaver story Download: New MWA Presen...

Mystery Fanfare: Free Jeffery Deaver story Download: New MWA Presen...: To launch its new e-book program of classic MWA anthologies , Mystery Writers of America Presents , is the e-book release of 2003’s bes...

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Pet Scan Results

We have gotten very bad news today regarding Sandi's PET Scan done Saturday. Because of what we were told and her overall medical condition now, we had a very difficult conversation with the doctor about ending all treatment. Sandi wants to keep going as long as she physically can and does not want to stop treatment.She expressed that wish very clearly so this is where we are at and what we plan to do tomorrow.

While the current chemo has slowed the growth of a few of her tumors, others tumors that were visible before on the scan back in the spring have increased significantly. The spinal tumor that was radiated in the summer of 2015 and had virtually gone away is now back. It is msaller than before, but has pulled itself back together and is growing. Not only that, but she has significant new tumors at various lymph node points through her body, along her right rib cage, a few other spots,  and an all new massive spinal tumor.

This new one covers her L3 and L4 vertebrae and then some and is attempting to compress her spinal cord and column in that area as well as shut down her colon, bladder, and kidneys. It is sufficiently big enough at this time that she could be paralyzed at any time. This explains why she is in such tremendous pain in her back, can hardly walk,  and having other issues.

The PET Scan found some other stuff that is also very bad, but the worst is the cancer news. As a result, we meet with the radiation doctor tomorrow and will make a plan for treatment. Last time it was 25 doses of radiation on a daily basis for five days each week. We expect that at the minimum she is looking at that again. Hopefully, we are wrong, but we won't know until the early afternoon appointment tomorrow.

They also have to determine what to do chemo wise. At this point she is far too weak to do chemo so the hope is the radiation will do something as a stop gap while they try to figure out what they can do chemo wise. Their chemo options are very limited and they need time to do some research and see if they can try a couple of things they have thought of at this point.

We expected bad news today, but not anywhere near the level we got it. Things are very grim, but she is not quitting and neither is her medical team or anyone involved in her care. The fight is not over yet. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 10/2/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 10/2/17

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 28 Calls for Submissions in October 2017 - Paying ...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 28 Calls for Submissions in October 2017 - Paying ...: There are more than two dozen calls for submissions in October. Every genre and every form is welcome! All are paying markets. There ar...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Molly and the Cat Café by Melissa Daley

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Molly and the Cat Café by Melissa Daley: Reviewed by Jeanne Molly the tabby barely remembers her kittenhood except for the moment of meeting Margery, the kind lady who ...

Gravetapping: THE MOSES DECEPTION by Stephen Mertz

Gravetapping: THE MOSES DECEPTION by Stephen Mertz: The Moses Deception , the latest from Stephen Mertz, is a high energy, entertaining chase novel with a unique premise. An eleventh comm...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 10/2/17

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A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: GUEST POST AND HISTORICAL ROMANCE TOUR

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: GUEST POST AND HISTORICAL ROMANCE TOUR: DESPERATE BRIDE by A.S. Fenichel Genre: Historical Romance Pub Date: 9/26/2017 An unexpected promise . . . a...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 10/2-8: Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 2-8, 2017:  Special Events: Waco WordFest , October 6-8 Lone Star Book Festival , Dallas...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Whiskey Island by Les Roberts

Whiskey Island by Les Roberts (Gray & Co., 2012) is the 16th title in the Milan Jacovich private investigator series. The FBI has been busy in Cleveland, Ohio, where they have indicted any number of shady local politicians, some of which have gone to trial and been convicted. One of the kingpins awaiting trial is council member Bert Loftus, a high-living, double-dealing creep that Milan would rather not work for but money is money and he needs the business. Milan doesn’t take Bert’s claims that someone is trying to kill him very seriously but Bert paid him to look into the situation and Milan sees this as a low-risk way to train his new employee Kevin O’Bannion (KO). 

Milan and KO develop a list of the people that might be happier to see Bert gone – it’s a long one -- and begin interviewing them. They generally find that these folks are cut from the same piece of cloth as Bert and deserve the law enforcement scrutiny they are receiving. What isn’t clear is exactly what Bert and his cronies were up to. It’s obvious that local businesses wined and dined Bert to obtain city contracts but overtones of more sinister activities are apparent. When a middle-aged call girl is murdered and her collection of customer video tapes is discovered, the local police want all the information that Milan has collected, as his client was known to have visited her shortly before her death. Inevitably he learns the local political corruption and the murder are deeply entangled.

This is a robust contemporary mystery. I have read about a half dozen of the titles in this series and find them to be reliable entertainment. Well-written, interesting characters, nicely developed and credible plots. The local color is particularly engaging. Les Roberts loves his adopted hometown of Cleveland and his affection shows on every page. In addition to a mystery, the reader is immersed in the sociology, history, and geography of northeastern Ohio. Loren Estleman’s books about Detroit achieve the same end.

Whiskey Island is the first book in which Milan has taken on an employee. Heretofore he has largely worked alone. The chapters are written first from Milan’s perspective and then from KO’s, reminiscent of Bill Pronzini’s Nameless Detective series when he decided to bring in a partner. When I heard John Lescroart talk at a conference a few years ago, he said his editor wanted someone younger to feature in some of the stories, so he created Wyatt Hunt, a private investigator that lawyer Dismas Hardy, the main character of Lescroart’s series, employed to work some of his cases. I am wondering if all of the editors with authors of long-running series have asked them to bring in younger characters, as this seems to be quite a trend. Not necessarily a bad trend, but definitely a trend.

Booklist starred review.

·                     Hardcover: 259 pages
·                     Publisher: Gray & Company, Publishers; 1 edition (August 14, 2012)
·                     Language: English
·                     ISBN-10: 1938441095
·                     ISBN-13: 978-1938441097

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.