Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Blood and Lemonade -- Joe R. Lansdale

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Blood and Lemonade -- Joe R. Lansdale: In his afterword to Blood and Lemonade , Joe Lansdale calls his latest book about Hap and Leonard a "mosaic novel."  You can read ...

Guest Reviewer John Stickney Reviews THE LAST COLLAR by Lawrence Kelter and Frank Zafiro

Please welcome guest reviewer John Stickney to the blog today. This is his first review here and hopefully there will be many more.

THE LAST COLLAR by Lawrence Kelter and Frank Zafiro. Down & Out Books.

Not all police procedurals are created equal.  Some reach beyond the standard cliches.  The Last Collar delivers what we expect and much more.  Writing that is clean, fast and decisive.  Snappy dialogue, cops cracking wise in a funny back and forth.   We discover what the investigating detectives, Brooklyn Homicide’s finest Detective John “Mocha” Moccia and his partner Matt Winslow, discover, and are led to the make the same hunches and brought to the same conclusions.  We are also there as  larger personal questions are asked of Mocha.  So yes, we want our Ed McBain procedural, and it is delivered.  Collaborating authors Lawrence Kelter and Frank Zafiro add the unexpected, a little John Donne to the mix.  

Our narrator John “Mocha” Moccia is relentless, working his cases in a methodical manner but obsessed to find justice for the victims.  His single mindedness cost him his marriage and he is a coast away from his young daughter.  Mocha is determined to help see his partner, Matt Winslow to his retirement seven months away.  They catch a case, a beautiful wealthy young woman, Jessica Shannon, strangled to death.  “Her face looks as distressed as Han Solo’s  sealed in carbonate.”  The case has some ‘high jingo’, Jessica’s father is a prominent wealthy defense attorney who is a member of the CPAC, the Citizens Police Advisory Committee which meets informally and regularly with the top Brass.  The suspects include a therapist  ex-husband recently released from prison after doing a stint for underage sex crimes.  A current boy friend who is an artist though his past includes various criminal charges including prostitution and theft.  Their Lieutenant Marcus Coltrane is putting on pressure to get the case solved.  “Why don’t your try coming to work dressed as a professional,” Lt. Coltrane tells Mocha,”instead of a substitute teacher.”  And Winslow, “A first year real estate agent.”  

As the story develops we get hints that things are a bit off with Mocha, as he begins engaging in risky, out of character behavior.  He chases a suspected rapist down a dark alley without back-up, suffering a head injury.  He has unprotected sex with a street prostitute.  In a dalliance with a coffee shop waitress, he turns violently ill.  We learn how little time Mocha has left.  The second half of the book deals with personal mortality and Mocha’s sense of duty.  

A note on method, The Last Collar is a book written in collaboration by Lawrence Kelter and Frank Zafiro. Both authors have published other books, Zafiro has written a crime novel The Back List  in collaboration with Eric Beetner.  As to The Last Collar, I am not sure what Kelter and Zafiro’s method of composition might be but the result is a seamless, enjoyable read.  Highly recommended.   

ARC provided by Netgalley for a fair and honest review.

John Stickney ©2017

John Stickney is a writer formerly from Cleveland, Ohio now residing in North Carolina.  His fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Demolition, Needle, among others.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Need To Dump A Body?

Includes some cool drone footage....

Mysterious 2-mile-long crack found in Arizona desert

Mystery Fanfare: Chinese New Year Crime Fiction

Mystery Fanfare: Chinese New Year Crime Fiction: 恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy! This is the Year of the Rooster. Chinese Lunar New Year. I've put together Chinese New Year Mystery...

KRL This Week Update for 1/28/17

Up this weekend in KRL a review & giveaway of "Death of a Big Kahuna" by Catherine Bruns

Also up a review & giveaway of "Holiday Hangover" by Kathi Daley

And a review & giveaway of "A Fatal Twist" by Tracy Weber

We also have reviews & giveaways of 3 more mystery novels from Kensington & Penguin authors-"Telling Tails": A Second Chance Cat Mystery by Sofie Ryan, "Death on the Patagonian Express": Amy’s Travel Mystery by Hy Conrad & "A Pinch of Poison": A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery series by Alyssa Maxwell

And a review of "Framed For Murder" the latest mystery movie on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel, based on a book by Kate Carlisle

We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions column from Sunny Frazier along with a giveaway of a new book by Amy Reade

And on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of “Milicent Le Sueur" By Margaret Moseley, published by Brash Books

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

Solving Your Tax and Debt Problems-- A We All Are So Screwed Update

Conspiracy theory predicts doomsday asteroid will destroy the Earth in February

Publishers Weekly: Tate Publishing Closes Its Doors

Publishers Weekly: Tate Publishing Closes Its Doors

Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and The Wild West: Will Murray's KING KONG vs. TARZAN: Two Icons for ...

Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and The Wild West: Will Murray's KING KONG vs. TARZAN: Two Icons for ...: The Lord of the Jungle has bested some mighty tough critters over the course of his long career. The King of Skull Island, meanwhile, ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Boar Island by Nevada Barr

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Boar Island by Nevada Barr: Reviewed by Kristin Ever since I began reading Nevada Barr’s mysteries set in U.S. national parks, I’ve been hoping that she wo...

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 1-26-17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 1-26-17

Friday, January 27, 2017

FFB Review: TRIAL BY FURY (1941) by Craig Rice (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

FFB is back today in the form of Barry Ergang and his review of Trial By Fury by Craig Rice. Make sure you check out the full FFB list over at Patti Abbott’s blog. You know, the Patti Abbott who was nominated for an Edgar Award for her book, SHOT IN DETROIT.

TRIAL BY FURY (1941) by Craig Rice
Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Wanting a break from the hurly-burly of Chicago, Jake and Helene Justus hie themselves off to Jackson, Wisconsin and the county courthouse, from which they want to obtain a fishing license. They haven’t been there very long when vacationus interruptus occurs in the form of ex-Senator Peveley being shot by a person unknown in what initially seems to be under impossible conditions since there are six people close by, all of whom are prominent local officials. None of them have seen the shooter—or so they claim.

The senator is the second murder victim in Jackson in thirty-two years. This complicates the inept and irascible Sheriff Marvin Kling’s life considerably, since it’s the first murder he’s ever had to investigate. It also complicates Jake’s life, because he and Helene are looked upon as strangers in small-town Jackson, and thus highly suspect. When the sheriff decides to hold them as material witnesses, Helene sends a telegram to their old friend, lawyer John J. Malone, in Chicago, tersely apprising him of their situation—especially Jake’s—and asking him to come help them. After an exchange of additional telegrams, some of the lawyer’s indicating reluctance, Malone finally agrees.

Three more murders, each committed in a different manner, occur. Is Jackson County dealing with one killer or four different ones?

Jake disappears. Is he on the run either from actual guilt, or simply to elude capture until the crimes are solved? Or has he been murdered or kidnapped?  

It’s up to Malone to resolve matters and reveal the identity of the actual killer or killers.
I’m pretty sure that this was the first Craig Rice novel I ever read back in the Dark Ages of my teen years, when a cousin who learned I was enamored of detective novels gave me a copy. Since so many years had passed, I decided to reread it.

I can recommend Trial by Fury as an entertaining and reasonably well-paced whodunit, but I wouldn’t classify it as one of Craig Rice’s best. She was an exemplar of the screwball comedy school of mystery, but this particular novel, though it has its share of humorous dialogue, is not nearly as funny as other titles in the Malone/Justus series, where both dialogue and situations result in zanier scenes.

Barry Ergang © 2017

Among his other works, Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s locked-room novelette, The Play of Light and Shadow, can be found in e-book formats at and

Thursday, January 26, 2017

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: THE SAVAGE PACK by Fred Blosser

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: THE SAVAGE PACK by Fred Blosser: Reading this rousing historical adventure by Fred Blosser made me feel much the same as when I was a kid first discovering books like T...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 46 Writing Contests in February 2017 - No Entry Fe...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 46 Writing Contests in February 2017 - No Entry Fe...: For such a short month, February hosts an inordinate number of free literary contests. Every genre is represented, from speculative fictio...

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Mary Tyler Moore 1936-2017: Actress, icon, and star of television, stage, and film, Mary Tyler Moore, has passed away. She was 80. As long as I've been aware, ...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Review: INTERFERENCE by Kay Honeyman: I reviewed Interference  ( Arthur A. Levine Books ) by Kay Honeyman for Lone Star Literary Life . This YA fiction coming-of-age-as-a-fish...

Guest Post: Jeanne on "Fictitious Fiction"

Please welcome back Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Public Library as she considers that annoying practice of fake books being mentioned in real books. On more than one occasion, I have been led on a wild goose chase by an author. I don’t much appreciate it.

Fictitious Fiction

I’ve just finished reading a delightful romance book by Jenny Colgan entitled The Bookshop on the Corner about Nina, a librarian who loses her job and ends up in a little village in Scotland with a mobile bookshop.  Nina loves books and especially loves connecting people with just the perfect book.  A blurb called it “a Valentine to readers everywhere,” and so it is. The joy of reading is well portrayed and the descriptions of the books sound wonderful.

Unfortunately (as far as I’m concerned), the books are mostly made up.  There are a couple of titles which I suspect I know what book is meant, but the descriptions don’t really match up exactly with the book.  I’ve seen posts from readers who are intrigued and who want to read the books mentioned, only to find they don’t exist.  I find this rather puzzling, especially in a novel about connecting readers to books. Why not use real books?

In other instances, there are perfectly good reasons for making up books and authors.  James Patterson had a Bookshots with the controversial title of  The Murder of Stephen King.  Reportedly, it was set around the King’s real home and, given the public outcry and based on real threats to King in the past, Patterson decided to cancel the title. If a writer intends to kill off an author or make him very unlikeable, it’s probably best to invent one to suit rather than use a real person—unless said author is in on the joke.   In Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley, part of the plot centers around a set of beloved children’s books written by the late but equally beloved Oliver Inchbald.  Inchbald’s claim to fame centers around a series of books with a main character modeled on his son, which of course brought to mind A.A. Milne but considering the end Bradley contrived for Inchbald, using a created author and book was necessary.  Other real books are referenced, usually in the form of a quotation from Flavia.

Also, Ali Brandon had a wildly popular author of teen vampire fiction meet her demise in Double Booked for Death, so any comparisons to the then wildly popular Stephenie Meyer were of course coincidences.  Dean James made sure that readers wouldn’t think of Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden when he came up with Electra Barnes Cartwright and her Veronica Thane series for The Silence of the Library. Clea Simon has built a series around Dulcie Schwartz’s search for the identity of the eighteenth century author of the fictitious novel The Ravages of Umbria, a search which usually leads her to a present day murder.

Then there are those non-existent books which seem to take on lives of their own.  When Dean Koontz needed a quotation but couldn’t find one he liked, he simply made up The Book of Counted Sorrows.  He was surprised at the number of requests he got about the book until he finally wrote a poetry book with that title.  Previously, the most requested non-book for us was The Necronomicon, the fabled book by the half-mad Arab cited by H.P. Lovecraft and his followers.  Numerous “copies” have cropped up over the years as some folks produced books by that title.

However, I have to say that my favorite fake book was part of the plot in Dorothy Gilman’s The Tightrope Walker.  This was a standalone novel in which a shy young woman named Amelia had clung to a book entitled The Maze in the Heart of the Castle for solace during a very difficult childhood.  In The Tightrope Walker, Amelia solves a murder, all the while recalling that book for comfort and inspiration.  Several years after Tightrope Walker, Gilman published a real book of The Maze in the Heart of the Castle. I’ve often wondered if she intended to write the book all along or if she only really formulated the story as she wrote Tightrope Walker.

Does anyone else have favorite examples of fictitious fiction?

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Letters from the Trenches, Trials of th...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Letters from the Trenches, Trials of th...: Reported by Ambrea This week, Nevermore decided to get historical, kicking things off with Letters from the Trenches:   The First Wor...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lesa's Book Critiques: Where I Can See You by Larry D. Sweazy

Lesa's Book Critiques: Where I Can See You by Larry D. Sweazy

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: To Have and Have Not

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: To Have and Have Not: To Have and Have Not ~ Okay, confession time, I've never seen this film until very recently, but I've owned it forever. When I ...

The Rap Sheet: 2017 Bullet Points: No “Alternative Facts” Edition

The Rap Sheet:  2017 Bullet Points: No “Alternative Facts” Edition

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: RIDING HIGH BY STACY FINZ

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: RIDING HIGH BY STACY FINZ: GENRE: Contemporary Romance RIDING HIGH Blurb: When it's time to get back in the saddle again, there's no better place th...

Monday, January 23, 2017

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 01/23/17

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 01/23/17

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather: Reviewed by Rita 15 year old Samantha “Sam” Mather is cursed. Her father is in a coma and her stepmother tells her that mountin...

2016 Preditors & Editors Official Poll Results

The final tallies are in and this year this blog finished in 7th place. Once again beaten out by the sites that focus on horror and romance or do a ton of different things involving book giveaways, interviews, and more. Again this year, among those sites that focus on mystery and crime fiction, this blog remains number one among review sites.  

On behalf of all of us with the blog, thank you for your support.

MysteryPeople Q&A with Terry Shames

MysteryPeople Q&A with Terry Shames


A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: MIST BY EMILY MIMS BRINGS ROMANTIC SUSPENSE!: MIST by Emily Mims GENRE: Romance/romantic suspense MIST Blurb: The widow of a lying drug dealer, dulcimer-player Kylie Barstow...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 1/23-29: Bookish events in Texas for the week of January 23-29, 2017:  Special Events: Dallas Public Library Book Sale , January 27-29 Traces of...

New Issue of Crime Review

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (, together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author Mandasue Heller in the Countdown hot seat.

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

WHY DID YOU LIE by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

Four people are stranded in a small lighthouse on a rock surrounded by
raging sea. An ordinary couple return from home-swap in America to find
their guests apparently missing. A journalist on the track of an old case
hangs himself in his own garage. Someone is determined to punish them.

COLD EARTH by Ann Cleeves, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez of the Shetland police is attending the
funeral of an old friend when a sudden land slip smashes through a croft in
its path.

THESE SHALLOW GRAVES by Jennifer Donnelly, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Miss Josephine Montfort has been destined from birth to lead a respectable
life and make a good marriage. But her father’s untimely death threatens to
rock Jo’s world to its foundations.

KID GOT SHOT by Simon Mason, reviewed by Linda Wilson

When a teenager from his school is shot dead, Garvie Smith is reluctant to
leave the investigation to the local police, especially as he’s sure
they’re just not asking the right questions.

THE TURNCOAT by Allan Murray, reviewed by Chris Roberts

The search for a spy in the Glasgow suburb of Clydebank during WWII becomes
all the more urgent when Hitler’s second-in-command arrives seeking to
contact Nazi sympathisers in the British establishment.

THE SECRET OF HIGH ELDERSHAM by Miles Burton, reviewed by John Cleal

The East Anglian village of High Eldersham is unwelcoming to strangers.
Several have suffered catastrophic accidents. But when a new landlord is
found stabbed in his own pub, Scotland Yard are called in.

THE MYSTERY OF THE THREE ORCHIDS by Augusto de Angelis, reviewed by John

As models parade her new creations, fashion house owner Cristiana O’Brian
discovers the body of one of her staff on her own bed. Commissario Carlo De
Vincenzi  must untangle a web of deceit and blackmail to find the

THE MALICE OF WAVES by Mark Douglas-Home, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Oceanographer Dr Cal McGill is called in to try to solve the mystery of a
14-year-old boy’s disappearance from a remote Scottish island five years
THE HUNTER OF THE DARK by Donato Carrisi, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan

Marcus is a man who can see evil, but he has amnesia. In the past he
appears to have been an investigator for an ancient holy order. The torso
of a young woman is found within the Vatican walls. Before Marcus can
investigate properly there are other murders, starting with two young
lovers in a car.

THE HOUSE WITH NO ROOMS by Lesley Thomson, reviewed by Jim Beaman

There’s a chilling case for detective’s daughter, Stella Darnell, as crimes
of the past echo in the present.

PERFECT REMAINS by Helen Field, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Hikers find the remains of a body in a deserted Scottish bothy. There are
clues to the identity of the victim but in reality she is screaming in fear
in a locked Edinburgh basement.

ORDEAL BY FIRE by Sarah Hawkswood, reviewed by John Cleal

Veteran Sheriff Sergeant Catchpoll must catch a 12th century arsonist who
has set fires which have killed two people – and at the same time cope with
a keen, but inexperienced, new Under Sheriff.

MOSKVA by Jack Grimwood, reviewed by Chris Roberts

In December 1985, with the USSR crumbling, ex-paratrooper Tom Fox has been
in Moscow less than a week when the ambassador’s daughter Alex goes
missing. Tom makes it his job to get her home safe.

LITTLE DEATHS by Emma Flint, reviewed by John Cleal

Ruth Malone wakes one morning to find a window wide open and her two young
children missing. It’s every mother’s nightmare – but Malone is not like
other mothers.

HER HUSBAND’S LOVE by Julia Crouch, reviewed by Kati Barr Taylor

Louise is trying to move on from the horrific car accident that took her
husband, Sam, and her children. But Sophie, Sam’s lover, is out to destroy
Louise’s future.

CUT ME IN by Ed McBain, reviewed by John Cleal

No one liked tough literary agent Del Gilbert – not those he did business
with, the women he cheated on, not even his partner in the agency. But when
he is found shot in his office, Josh Blake must find the killer – and a
missing contract potentially worth millions.

A LIFE TO KILL by Matthew Hall, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Coroner Jenny Cooper has to handle her hardest case to date, the inquest
into the death of a young soldier in Afghanistan.

A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER by Del Quentin Wilbur, reviewed by Chris Roberts

A factual depiction of a particularly active month for the police homicide
unit in Prince George’s County, a suburban sprawl east of Washington, DC.

A DIVIDED SPY by Charles Cumming, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Thomas Kell had decided his days with MI6 were over. Then an encounter with
an MI5 employee offers him the chance of getting even with the Russian who
he believes murdered his girlfriend.

A DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Michael Stanley, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

Wilmon Bengu is found murdered but his son detective Kubu isn’t allowed to
investigate his father’s death. Kubu goes against his superiors but soon
needs to follow a series of murders connected to the Chinese owners of a
mining company.

Best wishes


Sunday, January 22, 2017

KRL This Week Update for 1/21/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Dead and Breakfast" by Kate Kingsbury along with a fun guest post about ghosts by Kate

We also have reviews of 2 books by Jenny Kales, a giveaway of her latest food mystery "Spiced & Iced" & an interview with Jenny

And a review & giveaway of "Iced Under" by Barbara Ross

And a review & giveaway of "A Palette For Murder" by Sybil Johnson

Also a never before published mystery short story by James R. Callan

Also Sharon Tucker shares about the mysteries written by CC Benison

For those who also enjoy fantasy, we have a review & giveaway of "Winter Halo" by Keri Arthur

And over on KRL Lite, a review & giveaway of "A Death at the Yoga Cafe" by Michelle Kelly

Happy reading, Lorie

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--Giveaway

This week I'm giving away a thriller and a traditional mystery - James Rollins' The Seventh Plague and Sara Rosett's Marriage, Monsters-in-Law, and Murder. Details are available on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Time’s Up by Janey Mack

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Time’s Up by Janey Mack: Reviewed by Kristin Move over Stephanie Plum, there’s a fresh new character in town and she’s got a ticket to write. Maisie Mc...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Laid To Rest...

Back in February 2012, my Mom’s world was irretrievably broken when her husband, my Dad, suddenly died. A romance that began when she was twenty continues as Mom joined Dad as she had so desperately wanted these past few years.

Under grey skies, Mom was laid to rest this morning. In a small simple ceremony at graveside attended by my brother, myself, and a few very close friends of my parents, Mom was placed in her final resting place. Mom and Dad are back together and with my grandparents.

I don’t know if there is a hereafter. I do know Mom is no longer in pain.

Somehow, we are all supposed to go on……

Market Call: TOUGH: Introductions

TOUGH: Introductions: Hi. I'm Rusty Barnes, crime writer and proprietor of this new blogazine of crime stories and occasional reviews: Tough . By way of bona ...

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: SleuthSayers: The very best stories of 2016

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: SleuthSayers: The very best stories of 2016: SleuthSayers: The very best stories of 2016 : by Robert Lopresti I hope you have all donned your tuxes and/or gowns, because I am about to...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017



In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday (01/16/17)

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday (01/16/17)


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 1/16-22!: Bookish events in Texas for the week of January 16-22, 2017:  Special Events: 12th Annual MLK Symposium , Dallas, January 16 The Tom Bi...


A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: THE RISE OF MISS NOTLEY BY RACHAEL ANDERSON: The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson To escape an undesirable match, Miss Notley must give up her riches for rags. When M...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Market Call: Deadline Jan. 21 - Seeking original crime poetry

As you may know, I run the Five-Two weekly crime poetry site, I'm currently seeking two more 
original poems to fit the February 2017 theme of love gone wrong/crimes 
of passion.

There is no monetary payment, but all contributors receive a 
complimentary copy of the annual poetry ebook where their work appears. 
If you're up to doing a reading of your poem by audio file or phone, 
your voice will be featured on the poem's companion YouTube video. 
Alternatively, I can have a volunteer record for you.

Each poem post includes a bio where you can promote your stories, books,
and websites. I'm open to first-time poets. You may find, as I do, that
some ideas that don't fit well into stories make excellent poems. 
Writing poems may also help you see your ideas from different angles, 
helping you with stories you're working on.

The deadline to submit for the February theme is Saturday, January 21, but general submissions are always open:

Thanks for your consideration. I look forward to reading your poems.

Gerald So

KRL This Week Update for 1/14/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "The Ghosts of Misty Hollow"
by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Also a review & giveaway of "Third Time's a Crime" by Diana Orgain

And we have a review & giveaway of "The Elusive Elixir" by Gigi Pandian and
an interesting guest post by Gigi about the story behind the book

We also have a review & giveaway of a fun pet related mystery, "Custom
Baked Murder" by Liz Mugavero

And a review & giveaway of a fun new food mystery, "Pop Goes the
Murder" by Kristi

We also have a review of the 10th season of the "Murdoch Mysteries" on
Acorn TV

And a mystery short story by Guy Belleranti

Over on KRL Lite we have a review & giveaway of "River City Dead" by Nancy
G West and published by Henery Press

Happy reading,

Lesa's Latest Contest: This week's giveaway - Cleland & Castillo

This week, I'm giving away copies of Jane K. Cleland's Glow of Death & Linda Castillo's Her Last Breath. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine

Sandi Update

Sandi had an appointment this morning for labs and a visit with her cancer doctor. Thankfully, everything with her seems to be really good right now.  We go back in a month.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Mom

My Mom stepped off this mortal plane of existence just before three this afternoon. It was as peaceful as it possibly could have been. I choose to believe she is now with my Dad as she has so desperately wanted since he passed nearly five years ago.

Friday, January 13, 2017

It has been a really BAD Week

This has been one really bad week....except for one very good thing. Our son, Karl, and his wife, Amy, welcomed their son, Jacob Ryan, to the world yesterday afternoon. So, we are now grandparents which is a fairly amazing thing. Baby is one month early and over six pounds with a full head of hair. Everybody involved is doing well.

And now to the worst of the bad stuff that has happened this week .....

As those who follow my blog know, I said I was offline and dealing with a major family situation. After I and my out of state brother were unable to get my Mom on the phone Monday evening, Scott and  I went to her house. Around 11 pm I found her on the kitchen floor and she had clearly had a stroke. Dallas Fire Rescue came and were simply wonderful with me as well as my Mom.

Mom has had a major stroke and the prognosis is pretty bad. Near as I can tell by the phone messages on her answering machine, she was down at least 13 hours if not longer. That means the damage to a large section of the right side of her brain is not reversible. Her neurologist gently walked me through the visual record via MRI so I could understand the reality of the situation. She is now experiencing brain swelling and additional hemorrhaging so she is she is gradually getting worse. Everyone involved with her care is doing everything they possibly can, but some things just can't be stopped. I am braced as well as possible for what seems to be, at this point, inevitable.

If that was not enough, while coming home from her hospital yesterday, I had a car accident. I am more sore than normal and in new places this morning, but I think I will be okay. My car is probably totaled though that is not official from the insurance company yet. Sandi was exhausted after going to the hospital to see Mom the day before so she was not in the car with me yesterday. That was a very good thing as the front seat passenger door is now in the car having massively buckled in as I was hit from the side. Most of the right side of the car is buckled in. So severely it took multiple efforts to get the glove box open for the proof of insurance, etc. for the Plano police and other parties. Amazingly, the airbags, including the door side airbags did not trigger. I do, however, have the front license plate of the other car as it is crammed into the buckled metal of my car.

The other driver was not hurt. His car was a bit better off than mine and he was able to drive away when all was said and done. The Plano PD officer was a huge help as was the wrecker driver that was dispatched to deal with me and the car.

All I can say is that I have really had enough.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


While both Sandi and Scott are fine, I am dealing with a very serious family situation. Since I am not the only person affected by what has happened, I can't talk about it publicly. I will check my email when I can so please be very patient if you are waiting for a response.

Monday, January 09, 2017

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday, January 9, 2017

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday, January 9, 2017

George Weir, Last Call: A Bill Travis Mystery (Words & Music Blog)

George Weir, Last Call: A Bill Travis Mystery  (Words & Music Blog)

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil...: Reviewed by Jeanne The subtitle to this book is “A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds,” and that does give ...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR January 9-...: Bookish events in Texas for the week of January 9-15, 2017:  Special Events: Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend , Nacogdoches, January 12-...

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 1-8-17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 1-8-17

Sunday, January 08, 2017

RTE for January 7, 2017

The January 07 2017  issue of RTE is out and includes fifteen new reviews as well as a new interview:                       

Ashley Weaver in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:        

We also present the year end lists of the editor's favourite books and the reviewers' favourite reviews for 2016


BLACK WIDOW            Christopher Brookmyre     Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

THE TRESPASSER            Tana French            Reviewed by Jim Napier

BEYOND THE TRUTH          Anne Holt            Reviewed by Barbara Fister

DEATH AT ST. VEDAST        Mary Lawrence         Reviewed by Meredith Frazier

THE REEK OF RED HERRINGS     Catriona McPherson         Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

LAMENT FOR BONNIE        Anne Emery            Reviewed by Susan Hoover   

ASH ISLAND                Barry Maitland         Reviewed by Anne Corey   

AN UNSETTLING CRIME        Terry Shames            Reviewed by Diana Borse

DIFFERENT CLASS            Joanne Harris            Reviewed by Diana Borse

SHE STOPPED FOR DEATH        Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli     Reviewed by PJ Coldren

PRECIOUS AND GRACE        Alexander McCall Smith    Reviewed by Nicole Leclerc

FICKLE                Peter Manus            Reviewed by Christine Zibas

BRONX REQUIEM            John Clarkson            Reviewed by Susan Hoover

THE MARRIAGE LIE            Kimberly Belle            Reviewed by Sharon Mensing

PLAID AND PLAGIARISM        Molly MacRae            Reviewed by PJ Coldren

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

The Five-Two: Deadine January 21: Poems about Crimes of Passion,...

The Five-Two: Deadine January 21: Poems about Crimes of Passion,...: I'm seeking two more unpublished poems for our February 2017 Valentine's/passion/love theme. Aside from the theme, the usual guideli...

19th Annual Preditors & Editors / Critters Readers Poll--Best Review Site

Again in this year, this blog (Kevin's Corner) is listed for consideration in the review site category. If you think we are worthy, we would very much appreciate your vote.

The review sites are listed in alphabetical order which means this blog is about halfway down the review site page.

After you vote, you have to follow the directions on the confirmation email to validate your vote. You also have the option of adding a comment for all to see after your vote has been confirmed.

On behalf of Barry, Earl, Jeanne, Kaye George, Judy Penz Sheluk, Larry W. Chavis, and all the other many people who consistently contribute to the blog and tolerate my madness, we thank you!

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Do Some Damage: Take Control of Your 2017 Goals

Do Some Damage: Take Control of Your 2017 Goals: By Scott D. Parker You can do anything you put your mind to. Now that 2017 has begun, most of us have made resolutions. I know I have. ...

Taking The Tree Down

Sandi and I now have the tree down and things packed to take to storage. I always hate this part. So damn depressing and much more so these days.

KRL This Week Update for January 7, 2017

Up in KRL this morning an interview with Kate Carlisle about her books being turned into movies on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel

Also up this morning, our main reviewers share their top 5 books that they reviewed in 2016

Also up a review & giveaway of "Egg Drop Dead" by Laura Childs

And a review & giveaway of "Plaid or Plagiarism" by Molly MacRae, along with an interesting interview with Molly

And in KRL a review & giveaway of "Pot Luck" by Kendel Lynn

We also have a review & giveaway of "Bell, Book, & Candlemas" by Jennifer David Hesse

And a mystery short story by Charles West

For those who also enjoy fantasy, we have a review & giveaway of "Curse on the Land" by Faith Hunter

And on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock" by Terry Shames

Happy Reading, Lorie

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mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
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Guest Post: Jeanne on "My Own Golden Age Mysteries"

Please welcome back Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Library as she explains how her Mom influenced her early reading choices….

My Own Golden Age Mysteries

Growing up with a mother who was an avid reader in all genres, but especially mysteries, I was introduced to many of her favorite authors. I didn’t know then that they were largely Golden Age or Silver Age writers, but I did have the dim realization that not many of my peers were reading them.  I’m sad to say that nowadays the names of these idols of my youth aren’t often recognized among the contemporary mystery readers (to be referred to hereafter as “The Young People.”)

As one year ends and another begins, I tend to wax nostalgic.  (And trust me, I don’t wax anything else!) This year someone asked for books by some of the “old mystery writers” and that started me thinking about some of my favorite authors I read growing up.  In no particular order:

·        Agatha Christie: I soon learned that Dame Agatha loved to plant clues in casual conversations.  If someone was chatting about a distant relative in Australia, it was even money that the relative might pop up (perhaps in disguise). Characterization was not one of her strong suits, however; when a story really hinged on character, it remained vivid in my mind (The Hollow, for example). I am partial to series with continuing characters, so of course my favorites were Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, though I really loved her collection of stories about Harley Quinn.  Some of those are my favorites. While she tended to play fair with the reader,   I do remember being terribly frustrated at the clues which hinged on Victorian Flower Language.   

   Ngaio Marsh: Oh, how I enjoyed Inspector Alleyn! He was very much the Gentleman Detective and as an added bonus, some of the books were set in exotic locales, such as New Zealand. Also, I liked that he was married to Agatha Troy, who was an artist with a career of her own.

·        Dorothy L. Sayers: Lord Peter Wimsey was the perfect model of the gifted amateur detective, an aristocrat whose restless intelligence drove him to solve mysteries.  As a member of the upper classes, he often posed as a dimwit in order to gain information.  He changed, though, after falling in love with Harriet Vane and we saw a more serious side of Lord Peter.

·        Ellery Queen: Written originally by cousins Dannay and Lee using the pseudonym Ellery Queen, the character Ellery was the American version of the Gentleman Detective, a gifted amateur who was at times a bit of a snob.  Like Lord Peter, he later mellowed.  The books were also a bit like Christie’s in that all or most of the clues were presented to the reader.  I particularly liked the cases in which his father, a policeman, appeared.  I did notice that the books were sometimes a bit uneven.  One case was downright peculiar (And on the Eighth Day) and seemed almost like a science fiction novel.  Later, I learned that other writers were working on the series, not just the cousins.

·        Josephine Tey:  Being a series fan, I started reading her Alan Grant series.  My mother was particularly attached to Daughter of Time, the famous fictional defense of Richard the Third.  It was certainly a unique book, at least at the time; Tey had Grant laid up with a broken leg, and to pass the time he began to research Richard.  This allowed Tey to make a very convincing and emotional case for Richard as a greatly misunderstood, greatly wronged man.  Even though I am a series fan, I finally read two of Tey’s non-series books and discovered I liked those even better. In fact, Brat Farrar turned out to be one of my favorite books of all time, and The Franchise Affair was riveting.  The irony is that I can no longer remember much of anything about Alan Grant except for the title above.
·        Robert van Gulik: I was fascinated by Asia in my youth, probably from having read so many Pearl S. Buck novels, so I dove into the van Gulik’s Judge Dee mysteries with gusto. I was almost as curious about the story behind the story as I was the books themselves.  According to the sources I read, van Gulik was attempting to bridge the gap between Chinese and Western mystery story tradition in his translations of the Judge Dee stories by not revealing the culprit at the beginning nor relying on helpful spirits to deliver clues, but keeping some of the Chinese sensibilities and legal system.  For example, torture was an acceptable method of getting information, but the judge who ordered torture could be held responsible in case of death or lasting damage to an innocent person.  There was a TV movie made of one of the books that made a very favorable impression on me, but alas! I can’t find that it’s available on DVD and the old VHS tape I have is of much trimmed version.  Nicholas Meyer (Seven-Per-Cent Solution ) directed with a cast of mostly Asian actors, including Mako, Keye Luke, James Hong, and Soon-Tek Oh.  Dee was played by Khigh Dhiegh, best known as Wo Fat on the original Hawaii Five-O. Dhiegh was an American of Egyptian-Sudanese-Anglo descent. 

·        Erle Stanley Gardner: I was an avid fan of the Perry Mason series, then in syndicated re-runs every weekday, and I devoured all the books I could get my hands on.  There was never a lot in terms of character development but the plots were always good and the courtroom scenes were riveting.  Of course, I always hoped that Della and Perry would get together but the closest I remember them coming was that they were going to take a cruise and promenade about the deck.  I don’t think I dreamed that. I definitely remember that almost every celebratory dinner consisted of steak, potatoes, and a salad—the big question being, were the potatoes going to be baked with lots of butter and sour cream, or would they be in fry form?
·        Rex Stout: At first I was unimpressed with Archie and Nero, mainly because of my amazing ability to choose exactly the wrong books:  I started with Black Mountain and Some Buried Caesar.  I remember complaining that everyone kept saying that Wolfe never left his brownstone, but from what I could see he left at least once every book, sometimes on very long journeys. Pfui! I persevered, however, and soon learned just how atypical those books were. I became a lifelong fan and have copies of all the Wolfe books as well as the Nero Wolfe Cookbook and Nero Wolfe of West 35th Street. The combination of fast-talking, slang-speaking Archie and the very formal, very particular Nero Wolfe has continued to delight me to this day. It was an American version of Holmes and Watson, except that Archie had a much higher opinion of himself. 
·        Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:  I almost didn’t list him simply because it was such a non-brainer—is there any detective more iconic that Sherlock?—but I realized his absence would cause more comment than anything else. So, Sir Arthur, you had me from “The Speckled Band.”

I’m sure I’m leaving people out, but these were my first thoughts.  So who are your classic mystery favorites?