Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Chemo Update--Wednesday Evening

Chemo continues and so far everything looks really good. They are also pumping her full of steroids to support her along with saline fluid. Steroids are very hard on kidneys and Sandi's kidneys do not function very well in the best of times so they are running a ton of saline fluid through her to try to keep them stable. They are tracking her output and so far her kidneys are coping pretty well.

Her diabetes is acting up as expected due to chemo and the steroids. They are on top of it and handling that situation pretty well as well. We have been through a lot of nurses and support staff through the years and the team around her yesterday and today has been exceptionally good.

All in all, she is doing very well so far and is in good spirits as you can tell below.


Chemo Update

So far so good. Sandi reports that overnight she has had one bag of steroids and three bags of chemo. So far she feels fine and reports that steroids "are awesome." Having powered her up I am sure she is crocheting like crazy.

Guest Post: Jeanne and Treadmill Books: Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series by J.J. Cook

Earlier this month Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Library started something new with her Treadmill Books Reviews. These are books that she reads while on the treadmill. Such books have to fit her criteria of “…. A book has to be entertaining without being too demanding. If I’d rather walk than read, that is not a good book. On the other hand, if the book is so enjoyable that I end up walking extra steps just so I can read another chapter, then that is a fine book indeed.” 


Treadmill Books:  Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade series by J.J. Cook


Firefighter Stella Griffin is a big city girl—Chicago, to be specific—but after punching out her boyfriend for cheating on her, she takes a leave of absence to set up a volunteer fire brigade in a Smoky Mountain town.   It’s been a tough but satisfying assignment, and Stella plans to leave before long to return to Chicago.  She’s a bit worried that the all-volunteer department might have trouble staying together after she leaves.  Businesswoman Tory Lambert is also concerned, and is pushing for Stella to stay on as fire chief to give the department some badly needed stability.  Then comes a fire call from Tory’s house, but by the time they get her out, she’s already dead.  The question is, was it an accident—or murder?

Helping in her investigation is John Trump, a very attractive cop, and Eric Gamlyn, the former fire chief.

Oh, and Eric died in the 70s.

J.J. Cook is one of the pseudonyms used by Jim and Joyce Lavene, authors of the Retired Witches series. A friend knew I liked the latter series, so she gave me the four books in the Sweet Pepper series. I liked the fact that Stella was a competent woman in a male-dominated profession, even if the other trappings were pretty standard.  (If I had a nickel for every cozy featuring a woman on the rebound from a lousy relationship--!) The plot itself was rather nifty, too.  The Lavenes also avoided a lot of the hillbilly stereotypes, thank goodness.

On the negative side, I found the setting a bit problematical.  I know it’s just me, but I have trouble picturing East Tennessee as a hot pepper producer, at least on the scale the book depicts.  While most people now like a dose of hot peppers, it’s not a staple of the local cuisine.  I harbor suspicions that peppers were picked because it made for a trendy ingredient in the recipes that accompany each story instead of a real local item, such as ramps.  (For the uninitiated, ramps are a sort of wild onion or leek with a flavor between onion and garlic. A VERY pungent flavor, I might add.  Entire festivals are built around eating ramps, but they are seasonal and not widely available—so not likely to entice those who like to find new recipes in their mysteries.)

My second part of the setting problem is while place names are dropped (Little Pigeon River, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge), the huge tourist attractions aren’t mentioned:  Dollywood, Ober Gatlinburg, the outlet malls.  It seemed a curious omission, akin to writing something set in Anaheim and never mentioning Disneyland. To have characters discuss the economic impact of tourism and never mentioning the major draw just seemed odd.  

And if I wanted to get really picky, having Stella drive down in a Harley and never mention riding the Dragon’s Tail just indicated to me that they weren’t really familiar with the area. I may be totally wrong, but that’s how it felt to me.

There’s another aspect of the series which confounds me a little, but I’m reluctant to discuss it because it  might constitute a spoiler. 

Finally, there’s a great effort to avoid the word “said” in favor of any other verbal reference (quipped, opined, considered, rebuked, rebutted, refuted, commented, etc.)  There’s also a tendency to tell rather than show in order to speed things up, but characterization suffers.  There are several disagreeable characters in the books but they’re one dimensional villains whose only function is to thwart or threaten Stella.

I made it through the first book and most of the second, before finding something else to read. I need to be distracted and entertained as I trudge along on the treadmill, and these just didn’t do it for me.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chemo Has Finally Begun

More than two hours after the most recently planned start time, chemo has finally started. Sandi reports there was some sort of difficulty with getting her lab reports and that held up things. At least it has finally started.

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Vertigo

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Vertigo: Vertigo ~ On the last TCM Classic Cruise I saw Spellbound and didn't like it.  Yeah, I know, save it for someone who cares.  Anywa...

Hospital Bound

We got the call a little while ago and are about to head out to Medical City Dallas Hospital so that Sandi can start the new chemo later today. Considering how much worse she has gotten the last several days they need her in asap.

If you have a moment to think about her in whatever way works for you please do so.

Review: Golden Prey: A Novel by John Sandford

As Golden Prey by John Sandford begins, Lucas Davenport is now working for the United States Marshals Service. He is also working undercover. He is also a bit bored. The undercover case just doesn’t hold his interest as Lucas has always lived for the hunt. The undercover case is nothing more than role-playing where all the bad actors are known to the cops and law enforcement needed a fresh face that was not known to the bad actors. While Lucas was glad to help out and play a role, it was not a good use of his considerable talents. Hunting down the bad guys, especially the more difficult suspects, is what has always driven him. Working for the Marshals Service, despite the fact he has not had to do a lot of the drudge tasks expected of new agents, has not been what he expected. Even his wife, Weather, knows he is bored.

Lucas is about to get a case that will have him on the hunt in a big way. Years ago a man that was on their top fifteen wanted list disappeared and was presumed dead. A known holdup man who once did time in the Tennessee Prison system, Garvin Poole did some bad stuff over the years before disappearing. Based on DNA found at a crime scene in Biloxi, Mississippi ten days ago, Garvin Poole may have been involved. The robbers killed five people including a six-year-old girl at a house used to count drug money.

The current crime and the old but still valid federal warrants on Poole give Lucas and the powers that be plenty of justification for Lucas to go hunting for him and the other folks involved the case in Biloxi. Before long, Lucas is on the hunt for some very bad people who thought they had an easy score and now are on the run. Lucas is not the only one hunting. So too are cartel contractors who are torturing and killing anyone they thinks has info on their ultimate targets.

The latest in the Lucas Davenport series is another thriller style read where most of the bad guys and gals are identified in the first chapter. Moving the action forward from multiple character viewpoints is the main objective here as the days and weeks pass in a case that goes across the Deep South, through North Texas, as well as quite a few other places.

Humor is also occasionally present. Observations about culture in the south as well as life in the North Texas brought out an occasional laugh out loud moment for this reviewer and native Texan. Despite what is claimed in some “reviews” once can find online, the political observations are very few and far between and are always in terms of the context of a character. In short, the comments are what most folks used to understand was a concept known as “character development.”

Golden Prey hums along nicely with plenty of twists and turns, action, and flashes of humor as Lucas Davenport does what he does best--- hunt people. According to the back cover blurb, Stephen King is quoted stating, “’If you haven’t read Sandford yet, you have been missing one if the great summer-read novelists of all time.’”

There is no need to quantify John Sandford on any level or in terms of any season. John Sandford is worth reading every day of the year. Period. While you should have read the series before consuming Golden Prey, if you have not, don’t let that stop you. While there are a few references to earlier events, especially in terms of Extreme Prey, they are not enough to derail those past reads.

My review of the previous book in the series, Extreme Prey, can be found here.


Golden Prey
John Sandford
G.P. Putnam's Sons (Penguin Random House)
April 2017
ISBN# 978-0-399-18457-4
Hardcover (also available in large print, eBook, and audio formats)
400 Pages
$29.00


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


Kevin R. Tipple ©2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

It Is Obvious


I have Read None Of These--- 20 Must-Read Novels By Female Mystery Authors

20 Must-Read Novels By Female Mystery Authors

The Practicing Writer: Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 5/29/17

The Practicing Writer: Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 5/29/17

Rough Edges: Hardboiled, Noir, and Gold Medals: Essays on Crime...

Rough Edges: Hardboiled, Noir, and Gold Medals: Essays on Crime...: Rick Ollerman's detailed critical essays, written about both modern and classic crime writers, have an electric-charged verve so b...

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday for 5/29/17

In Reference To Murder Blog:  Media Murder for Monday for 5/29/17

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The Long Harbor Testament by Tom Minder

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: The Long Harbor Testament by Tom Minder: The Long Harbor Testament by Tom Minder ~ I like the easy way out. It is hard to write a fair review for a friend's book. On the ...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: TEXAS FIRE -- MEGAN'S CROSSROADS

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: TEXAS FIRE -- MEGAN'S CROSSROADS: TEXAS FIRE by Gerry Bartlett Pub. Date: 5/2/2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance Her father’s dream. Her crossroads. And ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Decoration Day in the Mountains by Alan Jabbour an...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Decoration Day in the Mountains by Alan Jabbour an...:   An Appreciation by Jeanne While listening to NPR yesterday, I heard a serviceman interviewed about Memorial Day, a day set asid...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Remember the Fallen

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Remember the Fallen: Memorial Day : Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United Stat...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 5/29-6/4

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 5/29-6/4: Bookish events in Texas for the week of May 29-June 4, 2017:  Special Events: Deep Ellum Lit Hop II , Dallas, June 3 McKinney Square Bo...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Murder at Madingley Grange by Caroline Graham

Caroline Graham wrote mysteries featuring Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, upon which the A&E Midsomer Murders television series is based. She also wrote a couple of stand-alones, the later one Murder at Madingley Grange was first published in 1991 and was reprinted by Felony & Mayhem in 2006. It is a wonderfully witty description of just how badly a 1930s Murder Mystery Weekend can go awry.

Not content to simply house-sit his aunt’s country mansion, Simon Hannaford persuades his sister Laurie to use the opportunity to raise money by hosting a mystery weekend. The staff hired without checking their references is larcenous and only marginally competent. The chief advantage of the ill-assorted guests is their money.  The elderly mother of one insists on seeing ghosts in the manor and reading tea leaves for the other visitors. Another thinks he is a latter day Sherlock Holmes and is determined to find hidden rooms and secret passages. When one of the guests actually turns up dead, things go from bad to worse.

Beautifully and amusingly written, lots of descriptions of 1930s clothing and elaborate meals. This is the kind of book that might have resulted from collaboration between Agatha Christie and Noel Coward.   A good beach read.

  • Hardcover: 295 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (January 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068809984X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688099848

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017

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

Sunday, May 28, 2017

In Honor of Barry Ergang

I found this a few weeks ago and thought of my man Barry as he says "meh" a lot by email and on the phone. I meant to share this at that time. Things happened and I did not get it done. Found it again tonight and it made me laugh again.



Texas Writers Month: A (Partial) Atlas of Texas Crime Fiction (Mystery People)

Texas Writers Month: A (Partial) Atlas of Texas Crime Fiction (Mystery People)

At the Scene of the Crime: Treasure Island

At the Scene of the Crime: Treasure Island: Introduction: Goodness me, it has been a very long time since I last reviewed a book, not since late August of 2015!! Unfortunately, the ...

Mystery Fanfare: Barbecue Mysteries

Mystery Fanfare: Barbecue Mysteries: Hope you're having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  Did you know that 53% of Americans will be barbecuing this weekend ? Will you?...

MysteryPeople Q&A with Ace Atkins

MysteryPeople Q&A with Ace Atkins

Relevant History: Psilocybin in the Bronze Age by Rebecca Lochlann

Relevant History: Psilocybin in the Bronze Age by Rebecca Lochlann

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Short Story Month: Kevin R. Tipple

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Short Story Month: Kevin R. Tipple: StoryADay.org proclaimed May International Short Story Month back in 2013. As the short story, in the mystery genre is the reason why the ...

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 5/27/17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 5/27/17

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: LORRAINE, BRIDE BRIGADE BOOK 6, RELEASED!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: LORRAINE, BRIDE BRIGADE BOOK 6, RELEASED!: Thanks to the many of you who have requested the next book in the Bride Brigade series. I’m happy to announce the release of LORRAIN E, B...

Mystery Fanfare: Memorial Day Mysteries / Memorial Day Crime Fiction

Mystery Fanfare: Memorial Day Mysteries / Memorial Day Crime Fictio...: Memorial Day aka Decoration Day is a day of remembrance of those men and women who who fell protecting us, of those who didn't co...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon by Kelley and Thomas French

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon by Kelley ...: Reviewed by Kristin How do you decide whether or not to take extraordinary measures to save a baby born at twenty-three weeks and s...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 61 Fabulous Writing Conferences in June 2017!

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 61 Fabulous Writing Conferences in June 2017!: June is a great month for writing conferences. It's vacation time for anyone attending school, and with the warm weather and free time...

KRL This Week Update for 5/27/17

Up in KRL this morning reviews & giveaways of 4 May mysteries for your summer reading-"A Nightshade for Warning": An Enchanted Garden Mystery by Bailey Cattrell, "Every Body on Deck": A Savannah Reid Mystery by G.A. McKevett, "Magick & Mayhem": An Abracadabra Mystery by Sharon Pape, and "Death in Dark Blue": A Writer’s Apprentice Mystery by Julia Buckley http://kingsriverlife.com/05/27/may-mysteries-for-your-summer-reading/

Also up this week a review & giveaway of a fun new pet mystery by Linda O. Johnston, "Bad to the Bone", along with a pet related guest post by Linda http://kingsriverlife.com/05/27/bad-to-the-bone-by-linda-o-johnston/

And a review & giveaway of "Hospitality and Homicide" by Lynn Cahoon, along with an interesting interview with Lynn http://kingsriverlife.com/05/27/hospitality-and-homicide-by-lynn-cahoon/

Also the latest mystery Coming Attractions by Sunny Frazier, along with a giveaway of a signed hard copy of "Mulch Ado About Murder" by Edith Maxwell http://kingsriverlife.com/05/27/coming-attractions-june-is-bustin-out-all-over/

We also have an article about the mysteries of Faye Kellerman http://kingsriverlife.com/05/27/faye-kellermans-orthodox-detectives-peter-and-rina-decker/


May 29 is KRL's 7th Anniversary! To celebrate we are introducing a new blog (which is a work in progress), and a contest to give the blog its official name. Details of the contest can be found in the post--you have a chance at winning a $10 Amazon gift card, so be sure to check it out http://krlreviews.blogspot.com/2017/05/name-that-blog-krl-anniversary-contest.html

For those who also enjoy fantasy, over on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "Bound" by Benedict Jacka http://kingsriverlife.blogspot.com/2017/05/bound-by-benedict-jacka.html
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 http://KingsRiverLife.com
Check out my own blog at http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Western Short Story: A Bad Draw of the Cards by J. R. Lindermuth (Rope and Wire)

Western Short Story: A Bad Draw of the Cards by J. R. Lindermuth (Rope and Wire)

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 5/24/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 5/24/17

Crime Review Update: New Issue

We feature 20 new reviews in each issue of Crime Review (
www.crimereview.co.uk), together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author James Oswald in the Countdown hot seat:
http://crimereview.co.uk/page.php/interview/4845

We’re on Twitter at:
Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

PRUSSIAN BLUE by Philip Kerr, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Bernie Gunther takes flight from a Stasi apparatchik in 1956, putting him
in mind of his 1939 investigation into a murder at the Berchtesgaden.

MASK OF SHADOWS by Oscar de Muriel, reviewed by John Cleal
London’s top luvvies bring the Scottish Play – and its curse – north of the
border and create a scene of chaos and corpses for paranormal investigators
Inspectors Frey and ‘Nine Nails’ McGray.

MAIGRET AND THE TALL WOMAN by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
Maigret receives a surprise visit from a former prostitute he had arrested
many years before. She tells a strange story and asks for his help.

FROST AT MIDNIGHT by James Henry, reviewed by Linda Wilson
DI Jack Frost has a wedding and a murder to contend with in Denton during
the hot summer of 1983. And then a woman goes missing.

THE CITY IN DARKNESS by Michael Russell, reviewed by Chris Roberts
In 1939, neutrality distances Ireland from the struggle in Europe, but the
Irish Special Branch have plenty of concerns about what is happening at
home.

WRITTEN IN BONES by James Oswald, reviewed by Linda Wilson
DI Tony Maclean is given the unenviable job of discovering why a former
bent copper has ended up impaled on top of a tree in an Edinburgh park.

ROGUES’ HOLIDAY by Margery Allingham writing as Maxwell March, reviewed by
John Cleal
Inspector David Blest, unhappy when his superiors curtail his investigation
into the apparent suicide of a young man-about-town, takes a break at a
posh seaside hotel, where the distinguished lawyer, whose account of events
leaves him dissatisfied, is also staying

UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Nora is expecting a home-cooked dinner with her sister. That will never
happen again. 
 
 
MISTRESS OF THE JUST LAND by David Ashton, reviewed by John Cleal
Jean Brash, a child of the streets, now madam of Edinburgh’s finest
brothel, sets out to discover who killed an unpopular judge and left his
body in her cellar.

DOG FIGHT by Michael J Malone, reviewed by Linda Wilson
An underground fight ring is sucking in former soldiers living on the
streets with promises of big money. But the risks are high and there’s no
easy way out.

DEATH GOING DOWN by María Angélica Bosco, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A beautiful young woman is found dead in the lift of a luxury Buenos Aires
apartment block. Inspector Ericort and his assistant Blasi try to find out
why.

ARROWOOD by Mick Finlay, reviewed by John Cleal
A missing-person case for down-at-heel private eye William Arrowood and his
friend Norman Barnett spirals into an investigation of sexual exploitation,
perversion, murder and terrorism.

CHAMELEON PEOPLE by Hans Olav Lahlum, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen’s quiet evening is shattered when a young
cyclist turns up at his apartment. He has run away from a crime scene but
proclaims his innocence, even though he’s in possession of a bloodied knife
used to kill a prominent politician.

BLACKOUT by Marc Elsberg, reviewed by Jim Beaman
Someone is wiping out electrical power all over Europe. Can Piero Manzano
stop the blackout before it’s too late?

BLACK NIGHT FALLING by Rod Reynolds, reviewed by John Cleal
Reporter Charlie Yates answers a plea from a former colleague and is
plunged into a stew of small town corruption and murder.

SIREN by Annemarie Neary, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Roisin Burns has spent the last 25 years hiding out in New York, living,
breathing and creating memories of herself as Sheen. But it is all a lie.

THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH BY Donna Leon, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Commissario Brunetti is asked to investigate the case of a young girl who
nearly drowned 15 years ago. Brain damage has left her trapped in the
mindset of the young girl. He must find out how she came to be in the
water, and whether she fell or was pushed.

THE BLACK PANTHER by Gordon Lowe, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
January 1975. A girl is missing. But this is no teenage prank, as her
mother and the whole of Britain is about to find out.

THE MISSING HOURS by Emma Kavanagh, reviewed by John Barnbrook
Selena Cole disappears leaving her two young daughters alone in a
playground. Meanwhile, on an isolated mountain road, the body of a young
man is found. Against a background of commercial kidnap and rescue work,
the police investigation leads to some surprising connections.

THE CRUELTY by Scott Bergstrom, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When Gwen Bloom’s diplomat father goes missing, she’s forced to take
matters into her own hands if she ever wants to see him again.

Best wishes

Sharon 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart: Reviewed by Jeanne Camilla Haven, a young Englishwoman, is taking a long anticipated vacation in Greece when a man approache...

Cardiologists Visit

Both Sandi and I had visits with our respective cardiologists today. They went fine. We passed both of our EKG tests with flying colors. I was amazed as I had not done any studying at all.

Her guy thinks she is stable and there should be no issues from a cardiac standpoint with her chemo. Obviously, something bad could happen with her heart and the chemo, but he does not expect that at all. He was absolutely thrilled to see her and made her promise to see him next year at this time.

My guy is a bit worried about me and the "extreme stress" I have been under since January. Is it extreme? I have no way of actually knowing. It is our lives. It does not feel different than normal. He says that is a concern, but not something he is going to try and address now.

I am to monitor my blood pressure and other symptoms I have and if I have additional issues or my ongoing situation seems to be worsening, I am to immediately get in touch with with him and we will go from there. Standard advice though he really pushed it today.

So, all in all, things went fine for today on that front.


FFB Today Elsewhere

For obvious reasons, I do not have an FFB post today. Todd Mason has the links over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Very Bad News

After a brief detour to see my brother who is currently here, as well as pick up Sandi's latest medications, we are now home. We got very bad news today.

Long story short--- the large B cell thing is pretty much everywhere in all sizes and shapes tumor wise and that includes multiple lymph nodes in her neck, chest and groin area. Doctors are trying to be positive and scrape me off the floor, but the situation is really bad. 

Only because it is a holiday weekend and all that entails with hospital staff and support, they are holding off admitting her for a new five day round of chemo until next Tuesday. Much of what they have used before chemo wise is ruled out now due to the fact that she has either built up a tolerance to it or if they used it again it would kill her.

If the first chemo deal does not work, they have a second option that has huge toxicity and other risks with it. They really don't want to try that as there are major issues with it.

So, not only is the news bad, it is far worse than anyone expected. They kept stressing they were not giving up and did not want her to give up either. She isn't. She took it amazingly well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pet Scan Done

One never wants to hear that that the "drug product failed sterility test." That is what we were told about 10:20 this morning as we waited for the procedure to get going. We were already twenty minutes behind so we knew something was up as nobody had any sense of urgency at check in or anywhere along the line. That was because the check in folks already knew things were running two hours behind.

Once they finally got started, Sandi's blood sugar number was all the way down to 56 so that had to be treated and brought back up high enough to start the test. That took an hour.

Finally, they got underway sometime after 1--more than three hours late--and got it done. At least it is finally over. Theoretically, they will have the results tomorrow morning when we see the cancer doctor.

Guest Post: Jeanne and Treadmill Books: Mainely Needlepoint Mystery Series by Lea Wait

Last Wednesday Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Library started something new with her Treadmill Books Review. These are books that she reads while on the treadmill. Such books have to fit her criteria of “…. A  book has to be entertaining without being too demanding. If I’d rather walk than read, that is not a good book. On the other hand, if the book is so enjoyable that I end up walking extra steps just so I can read another chapter, then that is a fine book indeed.” 


Treadmill Books:  Mainely Needlepoint Mystery Series by Lea Wait


Angie Curtis is an independent young woman who never knew who her father was, and whose mother disappeared when she was still a child.  She was reared and loved by her grandmother who gave her stability, but there’s still a bit of a void in her life. She left her grandmother and Maine far behind, taking on a variety of odd jobs, including acting as an assistant to a private investigator.  Finding herself at loose ends, she’s not sure what her next step should be—and then comes word that her mother has been found.

Or what’s left of her.

Angie had always believed that her mother simply abandoned her, so the revelation that her mother died all those years ago shakes her to her core.  She heads back to Maine to face her memories, and maybe to reconnect a bit before she moves on again.

Then she discovers that her mother was murdered.

Naturally, I picked up the large print version of the book based on the cat on the cover.  My theory is that if I don’t like the hero/heroine, maybe I’ll like the cat enough to finish. In this case, the cat is mostly false advertising. There is a cat in the early books, Juno, but she belongs to Angie’s grandmother and merits only brief mentions.  (Later on, Angie ends up with a cat of her own who is a bit more involved in the story.) 

Luckily, this was a book that held my interest even without a cat. The plot allows the reader to get to know Angie very well as she searches her childhood memories for anything that might be, in hindsight, an important clue. This is a good time to note that Wait is very good with characterization.  She creates memorable characters instead of stereotypical ones and uses the coastal Maine setting to quite well.  I like her use of sensory descriptions, from the gritty feel of the sand to the smell of frying seafood, making Haven Harbor feel tangible. Because Angie has spent time in Arizona, there is ample opportunity for Wait to have Angie re-experience her hometown through all her senses: new and yet familiar.  It gives readers a good feel for the place.

There’s a fine blend of character, place, and plot.  Over the course of the series, Wait constantly introduces new characters while fleshing out old ones.  This makes the books somewhat sequential and yet I don’t think this is a series that has to be read in order as each book is self-contained. (Though I would recommend starting with Twisted Threads for Angie’s background; after that, it’s easier to jump around.)  I admire the way Wait handles the possibility that someone may read out of sequence: acknowledging an event obliquely but without so much detail that the older book is spoiled, giving a sense of continuity to those who have read the previous books but not spoiling it for newcomers.  It’s a delicate balance and Wait navigates it well.

This is a favorite treadmill series because the books keep me so involved that I don’t mind as much that I am on a trail to nowhere.  In fact, I have been known to walk for “just one more chapter,” which is quite the achievement. My Fitbit thanks you, Ms. Wait.  

At the moment, I’m all caught up with the series but Thread the Halls is due out in October 2017.  

The rest of the books are:

1.      Twisted Threads
2.      Threads of Evidence
3.      Thread and Gone
4.      Dangling by a Thread
5.      Tightening the Threads



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sandi Update

Assuming her diabetes cooperates --and that is very questionable as her numbers have been all over the map---Sandi is supposed to have her PET SCAN much of the morning tomorrow. They believe they will have the  results back in time for her appointment Thursday morning with the cancer folks.

At least if they do have the results we will know just how bad the situation truly is and what the plan is for treatment. The waiting is brutal.

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Jeff Cohen on “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Girl”

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Jeff Cohen on “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Girl”: Jeff Cohen on “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Girl” | Trace Evidence : Jeff Cohen is the author of the Aaron Tucker series, the Asperger’s Myster...

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

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Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Roger Moore , R. I. P.

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My Review At Plano Reads: A Dying Fall: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Do Some Damage: Word Power

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In Reference to Murder: Media Murder for Monday 5/22/17

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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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Small Crimes: Seeing my book made into a movie

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A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: FALLING FOR HIM WAS NOT PART OF HER PLAN!

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TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 5/22-28

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Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie

Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie (William Morrow, 2017) is the 17th title in a fine British police procedural series that is notable for its consistency.  Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are acclimating to their new assignments, new locales and new coworkers to size up and fit in with, when they are each pulled into separate investigations. The body of a nanny is found in the private garden of an upscale Notting Hill neighborhood one morning. Because Gemma knows some of the residents, the investigating officer pulls strings to have her assigned to support the inquiry. She learns a lot about the seemingly peaceful neighborhood: a child died in an accident earlier in the year, one of the boys is a promising student in the competitive world of ballet, and residents slip in and out of each other’s houses after dark.

In the meantime Duncan’s former supervisor has popped up again after being on leave for several months. Duncan has questions about his sudden transfer arranged by this supervisor but is mystified by the request to meet with him after hours at a pub well away from any of the usual police hangouts. He is still haunted by the death of a police colleague a couple of months earlier and feels the investigation was closed prematurely. Duncan begins quietly asking questions about this case and others that seem to be linked. When he learns the supervisor was savagely attacked on his way home from their meeting, he uses the attack to delve into a number of cases thought to be resolved and to answer simmering questions.

Crombie balanced the competing plots nicely. Either is sufficiently complex for a book on its own, I wondered why she decided to put both into one book. All of the threads were carefully pulled together though and tied off at the end. I particularly liked the realism in juggling family and work responsibilities. Gemma and Duncan have three children; at least once while out interviewing witnesses Gemma told her colleague that they had to stop soon or she would have to arrange for child care. She was angered by Duncan cancelling his plans with the children when he was consumed with his work, all quite realistic. (Authors who work children or pets into a story and then forget to take care of them lose me as a reader.)

My only complaint with this book, as with many other current releases: I am tired of stories told in different timeframes. Yes, that’s just about the only way to explain a cold case, which is a common theme these days. Yes, the usage in this book is not as annoying as some others I’ve read. However, I was intrigued when I first encountered the device, now I’m not. Just tell the story, please.

This is a long book, over 400 pages, but worth the reading time. Booklist starred review.
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (February 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062271636 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062271631 


Aubrey Hamilton © 2017

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 20 2017 RTE

The May 20 2017  issue of RTE is out and includes fifteen new reviews as well as a new interview:
http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com                       

Pam Wechsler   in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:

http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/interviews.html?id=239

REVIEWS THIS WEEK:

CONVICTION                Julia Dahl            Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

THE CUTAWAY            Christina Kovac             Reviewed by Sharon Mensing

WHAT MY BODY REMEMBERS        Agnete Friis            Reviewed by Barbara Fister

NOT A SOUND                Heather Gudenkauf        Reviewed by Diana Borse   

THE KILLING BAY            Chris Ould            Reviewed by Sharon Mensing
                               
COLD EARTH                Ann Cleeves            Reviewed by Jim Napier   

UNRELIABLE                Lee Irby             Reviewed by .Lourdes Venard

NORMAL                Warren Ellis            Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

THE MAN WHO WANTED TO KNOW
 EVERYTHING                D.A Mishani            Reviewed by Phyllis Onstad

THE ENDS OF THE EARTH        Robert Goddard             Reviewed by Anne Corey   

OF BOOKS AND BAGPIPES        Paige Shelton            Reviewed by Sharon Mensing

BAKER STREET IRREGULARS    Michael A. Ventrella and Jonathan Maberry. eds
                                    Reviewed by Lourdes Venard

ANATOMY OF INNOCENCE        Laura Caldwell & Leslie S. Klinger, eds Reviewed by Yvonne Klein         

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

How I Spent My Saturday

When not driving in the car to and from Fort Worth, or in the car with Earl Staggs and Graham Powell going back and forth between FW and Hewitt, Texas, I was at Michael Bracken's palatial estate where he and his wife, Temple, entertained several writers from across Texas. The picture below proves I was there massively restraining myself from making my usual twisted and occasionally inappropriate comments. One or two did slip out anyway. More pictures at Michael Bracken's FB page.



My Review At Plano Reads: Escape Clause by John Sandford

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Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: FFB: Rafferty: Last Seen Alive -- W. Glenn Duncan

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KRL This Week Update for 5/20/17

Up in KRL this morning an interview with mystery author Dana Cameron, about her books being turned into movies on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel http://kingsriverlife.com/05/20/dana-camerons-books-come-to-hallmark-movies-mysteries-channel/

Also up a review & giveaway of "Ghostal Living" by Kathleen Bridge, along with an interesting interview with Kathleen http://kingsriverlife.com/05/20/ghostal-living-by-kathleen-bridge/

And a review & giveaway of "Kiss the Bricks" by Tammy Kaehler, along with an interesting guest post by Tammy http://kingsriverlife.com/05/20/kiss-the-bricks-by-tammy-kaehler/

Also a review & giveaway of "First Case" by Kathi Daley, along with a fun guest post by Kathi http://kingsriverlife.com/05/20/first-case-by-kathi-daley/

And a review of the Millerfield Village Cozy Mystery Series by Carrie Marsh & a chance to win an ebook copy of any one book in the series. We also have a fun interview with Carrie http://kingsriverlife.com/05/20/millerfield-village-cozy-murder-mystery-series-by-carrie-marsh/

We also have a review of "Midsomer Murders" on Acorn TV http://kingsriverlife.com/05/20/midsomer-murders-x-2-4-ever-favorites-on-acorn-tv/

And a never before published mystery short story by Maddie Davidson

For those who also enjoy fantasy, we have a review & giveaway of "Etched in Bone" by Anne Bishop http://kingsriverlife.com/05/20/etched-in-bone-by-anne-bishop/

And on KRL Lite, a review & giveaway of "The Woodpecker Always Pecks Twice" by JR Ripley http://kingsriverlife.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-woodpecker-always-pecks-twice-bird.html
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 http://KingsRiverLife.com
Check out my own blog at http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mystery Fanfare: Anthony Award Nominations

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In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 5/17/17

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A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA WHITE DAILLE!

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WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Rest in Peace Chris Cornell

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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Fur Person, Tennis Partner, Strong Lead...

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FFB Today for 5/19/17

Being Friday,  normally you would see an FFB post on the blog. Between Sandi's latest cancer developments and my own health issues, this as been a brutal week. So, I don't have an FFB review for today.

Patti Abbott has the full list for FFB over on her blog. Go check the list.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Update

For the last six weeks  or so, Sandi has had two spots on the top of her head that have looked a little off. They had looked at them and thought they were nothing. Until yesterday, when they had suddenly grown massively in size and height and had become very painful.

The cancer doctor took one look at them and said they were Lymphomas. Cancer. No question. Not only did he see those two, he saw what he believes to be a third  Lymphoma that has suddenly erupted in the back of her throat. This is on top of at least one he had diagnosed off of her CT scan. So, the count was four. Of the four, the one that would be the least complicated to get a sample from turned out to be the sinus one as the other ones would also involve the services of a plastic surgeon.

This morning, in the office of the ENT, he was able to get three samples from her sinus tumor. The doctor believes he got more than enough to determine which type of Lymphoma it is in there. He concurs with the current belief that the four tumors they know about are most likely all the same type of lymphoma.

This means the cancer is back and has returned with a vengeance. 

He also concurs with the belief of her cancer doctors that, in all likelihood, she has multiple recurrent Lymphoma sites scattered elsewhere in her body. He supported the idea that the PET Scan is needed ASAP as he seems to agree that most likely there is other organ involvement and other horrible possibilities.

The biopsy went as well as possible. Without being graphic, she is having some drainage and some pain, but not nearly as much ans we feared. Things have slowly gotten a little better as the day has gone on. He plans to see her as a followup next Wednesday afternoon.

The PET Scan has to be done through the hospital and we have yet to hear when that is scheduled. The plan had been to have it no later than next Wednesday. All we know tonight is that it will not be tomorrow.

At this point, we see the ENT Wednesday afternoon for a followup.
 
After that, we are supposed to see the  the cancer folks on Thursday morning for labwork and a doctor visit. While it was not officially schedules, we expect chemo to be started again at that time.  We have no idea what treatment schedule will be undertaken, but they clearly feel a strong sense of urgency to get things underway as her situation has deteriorated markedly in the past month in multiple areas.

Friday morning we both are supposed to see our respective cardiologists. That meant be rescheduled depending on what happens Thursday.

This is all we know at this point. We both are exhausted from the stress of the last two days. On behalf of Sandi, thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and best wishes expressed here and elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Home

Finally home and the news is not good. IVIG cancelled. We have an emergency appointment with the ENT for tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. After that I will know more.

At this point, just know that the cancer is back and in full scale multiple attack mode. She needs your thoughts and prayers more than ever.

I have no idea how much I am going to be around online. Please be patient.

Cancer Doc Visit

By the time this post appears, if things are going right, Sandi will be starting her IVIG infusion as we should have had the blood work and doc visit. Hopefully, we also know what the plan is for the biopsy for the new cancer.

Will update when we finally get home.

Guest Post: Jeanne and Treadmill Books: Bad Luck Cat Mysteries

Starting today, Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Library is doing something new. I think it is a cool idea and I think you will too.

Treadmill Books: Bad Luck Cat Mysteries

In my quest to get steps on my Fitbit, I vastly prefer walking outside to walking on the treadmill, something I resort to only if it’s too hot, too cold, too wet, or too dark to walk outside.  To make the treadmill trudge bearable, I read while walking. This means a book has to be entertaining without being too demanding. If I’d rather walk than read, that is not a good book. On the other hand, if the book is so enjoyable that I end up walking extra steps just so I can read another chapter, then that is a fine book indeed.  

Black Cat Crossing by Kay Finch

Aspiring author Sabrina Tate decides to take the plunge and quit working a job she hates to focus on writing full time.  The timing seems perfect:  Sabrina’s Aunt Rowe in Lavender, Texas is on crutches after a fall and needs someone to help manage her “Around the World” themed rental cottages, and Sabrina needs a place to stay while she tries to complete her first novel.  It’s a homecoming of sorts, since she’d spent a lot of time there growing up, but apparently missed out on one of the local superstitions about a big black cat who brings bad luck and has been doing so for decades.  Sabrina doesn’t believe a word of it, of course, but when she meets a cat fitting that description she decides she’d best keep an eye out to prevent some trigger happy resident from ridding the town of its “bad luck charm.”

Then the cat leads Sabrina to the body of an obnoxious cousin, Bobby Joe Flowers.  Since Bobby Joe seemed to specialize in making enemies, there’s no shortage of suspects.  Unfortunately, one of the strongest is Sabrina’s Aunt Rowe:   Bobby Joe had just announced that he was the rightful heir to Aunt Rowe’s cottages and he intended to press his claim.

This debut book features a feisty senior citizen in Aunt Rowe, a strong-willed Texas woman who isn’t going to let any conniving cousin muscle in on her business, a mysterious black cat named Hitchcock, and a young heroine who tends to frame events from an author’s standpoint.  The plotting is competent and there is a nice Texas flavor to books.  It was fun seeing Sabrina trying to incorporate parts of reality into the book she was writing, but not so much the fretting about missing her self-imposed writing deadlines.  It just reminded me of all the things I really should be doing other than reading.

I walked both this title and the follow-up, The Black Cat Knocks on Wood.  I’d rate them as “treadmill average.”  They kept me walking, but just as soon as time was up, the book went down and wasn’t taken up again until the next treadmill session.

I will pick up the third in the series, The Black Cat Sees His Shadow, when it comes out in June 2017, and give Sabrina another try.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Q&A with Court Merrigan, Author of The Broken Country

Out of the Gutter Online: Fatboy, by Paul Heatley

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Liz Burton Reviews The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank

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WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Mary Kills People

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The Web Writer Spotlight: 15 Editing and Proofreading Tools to Polish and Shine Your Content

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Western Fictioneers: Nominees for the 7th Annual Peacemaker Awards for Westerns Published in 2016

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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 5/15/17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 5/15/17

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 5/15/17

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In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 5/15/17

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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Cat with a Clue by Laurie Cass

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WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Class

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Diabetes Doc

Today was Diabetes Doc time for Sandi. Things went okay. She wants the cancer doctor  to run some blood tests for her, but that is a fairly routine occurrence. She has concerns, as she always does, and said to double check with her on whatever chemo is developed so that she can advise how to best handle things from her perspective. All in all, no surprises as things went as expected.

In other news---no word yet on the biopsy plan. We are still scheduled to see the cancer folks Wednesday for the doctor visit, lab work, and IVIG infusion.

The Rap Sheet-- Bullet Points: Finally, a Mother’s Day Edition

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A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: INTERVIEW WITH M PEPPER LANGLINAIS PLUS INFO ON HE...

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TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR May 15-21

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Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards

The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards (Poisoned Pen Press, October 2004) is the first book in the author’s Lake District mystery series, which now has seven titles. He has also written eight mysteries featuring lawyer Harry Devlin. Edwards is perhaps better known as a crime fiction critic and anthologist, which is unfortunate, because his mysteries are fine reads. 


Daniel Kind, an Oxford historian, visits a childhood vacation spot in England’s scenic Lake District with his new lover Miranda, where they impulsively buy a run-down home and decide to leave their urban lives to start over. Part of his interest in the village is in clearing the name of a local youth he’d been friends with during the long-ago holiday and who since then had been unofficially blamed for the gruesome murder of a tourist. About the same time DCI Hannah Scarlett of the local police force is assigned to clear up a number of cold cases, including this one. DCI Scarlett carries out her official investigation in parallel with Kind’s informal questioning of the long-time residents, both of which upset a lot of people for different reasons. They each gather essential clues that eventually they jointly assemble into a resolution that has a further twist at the very end.


Kind serves as tour guide to Miranda, in between wrangling with the local contractors they have hired to renovate the house, which allows the story to showcase the geographical features of the Lake District.  Setting is sometimes referred to as an additional character in a story; in this one the rich descriptions of the region’s hills and landmarks nearly elbow everyone else off the page.

This book was nominated for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s prize for best British crime novel of 2006.


  • Series: Lake District Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 1590581296 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590581292






Aubrey Hamilton © 2017


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