Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Guest Post: Jeanne and Tradmill Books: Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries

Jeanne is back today….

Treadmill Books: Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries

When Lily Ivory opens a secondhand clothing store in San Francisco, she’s hoping for a fresh start.  Lily grew up in Texas under the watchful eyes of her grandmother after Lily’s mother couldn’t deal with a daughter who had considerable supernatural powers. Lily’s father, himself a powerful witch, was pretty much out of the picture for reasons not quite revealed.  Suffice it to say he seems an untrustworthy sort, if not evil.  That last is still to be determined.

In the opening book, Lily’s efforts to keep a low profile runs into problems when a murder forces her to use her power, which in turn draws the attention of Aidan Rhodes, a handsome and extremely powerful witch who more or less runs the supernatural portion of the city. She also has to deal with a skeptical reporter and a gargoyle/goblin.

This is a charming series (pun somewhat intended) which makes for great treadmill reading and beyond.  Blackwell takes her stories seriously; some sections are quite intense.  There is humor to leaven the tension, often in the form of Lily’s pig who is also her familiar.  And not really a pig.

While the first books appear to be following tried and true formulas, later books show Blackwell forging her own path.  In short, her story arcs are less predictable than some series. While the main story is wrapped up in each book, there are a few plot threads that are ongoing; this leaves readers satisfied but at the same time intrigued to see how Lily’s overall story will play out.

As with most of my favorite books, characterization is the strongest aspect.  Lily is not only a novice witch, but a newcomer to a lot of human interactions.  Shunned as a child, she never experienced close relationships with anyone but her grandmother: no girlish friendships or steady boyfriends.  She’s not unwilling to forge relationships, just uncertain. The supporting characters are also well developed, and like Lily herself, change and grow over the course of the series.  Some prove disappointing; others turn out to be true allies; and some remain ambiguous figures.

There are numerous other things to enjoy about the series.  One aspect is the vintage clothing and accessories, which is odd in a way because my idea of fashion is to have earrings that match my blouse.  The reason I do enjoy it is that Blackwell drops in bits of historical information about the pieces, the material, and even the social conditions that created the fashion.  For example, she notes that most vintage fashion isn’t off the rack suitable for modern wearers because body shapes have changed in the past few decades.

Blackwell’s witchcraft blends a number of traditions, but Lily is primarily a brewer of potions, especially in the earlier books.  She describes a few techniques, including how to harvest certain plants.  Another aspect I enjoy is that Lily is, in many ways, still a student. There is much she doesn’t understand yet, and even some things she has believed to be true that are not—or might not be true.  This goes back to characters, many of whom have their own agendas.

In short, this is a series that keeps me walking past my original goal which makes it Treadmill Gold.

Juliet Blackwell is the author of another series, Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, and has written two standalone non-mystery novels.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Aditional Update

So, we have additional medical news. Her port--the one she has had for three years or so is infected. So much for locking that down to protect it. Either today or tomorrow they will do a quick surgical procedure and remove it leaving her with only the tri fusion port that went in about a month or so ago. I don't yet know if the fact that the port was infected/contaminated means they now will hold her in there longer or not. She is to get a blood transfusion later today as well which means her numbers are going the wrong way again. How much of that is due to the bacterial blood infection and how much of that is her body still trying to recover from the blood dialysis after the botched chemo six weeks ago or what I do not know. Scott and I have been to the hospital to see her, then to the apartment to load up, and then back here to fight with the washing machine and boxes upon boxes.


They are running the bacterial blood test again and will not have results until sometime late Wednesday. If it comes back negative (clear), they will begin the process of sending her home. That includes training me how to handle her tri fusion port and change antibiotic and other fluid bags as well as lining up home health care aides and nursing support. She will be coming home to what was my Mom's house as we have her bed here and other things including a ton of boxes. This all means that the next round of chemo is delayed and I have no idea when they plan to try again. The first hurdle that has to be crossed is a negative blood test.

Earl Staggs Reviews: From Hay To Eternity: Ten Devilish Tales of Crime and Deception by Sandra Murphy

It has been a very long time since Earl Staggs came by with a review. Today he reviews the new short story collection, From Hay To Eternity: Ten Devilish Tales of Crime and Deception by Sandra Murphy.

In the ten stories in this collection, Sandra Murphy exhibits her deliciously inventive imagination to create stories and memorable characters which will involve you and entertain you from beginning to end.

Here's a sampling.

In “Superstition,” a woman ponders them all:  stepping on a crack, walking under a ladder, a black cat crossing your path,  three black birds on your roof mean death, and more.  What is real and what is foolish imagination and silliness?  Once she figures it out, she knows what she must do. 

“The Chicken Pot Pie Fiasco,” concerns a large quirky family in the process of preparing their own traditional Thanksgiving meal. In this family, it's a huge chicken pot pie.  Our narrator, who manages too observe it all without getting involved due to his “stealth,” explains, “There’s one big pie, and if there’s some of the inside stuff left over, there are little pies for later. I like that part.”   Everyone adds their own favorite ingredients, but a surprise ingredient somehow gets added which no one expected.

For “The Space Heater vs. the Window Fan,” we meet a woman who only needs to get dressed and prettied up for her sister's wedding. Unfortunately, every necessary machine, from her computer to the local laundromat's equipment, refuses to cooperate and do its part, culminating in a major struggle with one particularly stubborn appliance.

The title story, “From Hay to Eternity,” takes on a darker turn and gives us a murder mystery.  It begins with the driver announcing, “Welcome to the hayride. Listen up! Find a seat on the bench or one of the hay bales and hold on. Our horse, Sam, sometimes rocks the wagon when he starts, but it will be a smooth ride after that.”

Riders on the haywagon include a cross section of local parents and children, along with a pair of feuding brothers and an attention-grabbing teenage girl wearing tiny cut-off jeans and a tight top  designed to “show what your momma gave you.”  Her goal is to turn the hayride into a photo op which will make her the next supermodel.  She has no idea that one photo will turn the hayride into something other than a smooth ride.  

There are six more stories in this collection and each one is a delightful gem. Sandra Murphy is an author to watch. Her stories will not disappoint.

·      Print Length: 90 pages
·      Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
·      Publisher: Untreed Reads (May 25, 2017)
·      Publication Date: May 25, 2017
·      Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
·      Language: English
·      ASIN: B0714MY8CD

Earl Staggs © 2017

Texas author Earl Staggs earned all Five Star reviews for his novels MEMORY OF A MURDER and JUSTIFIED ACTION and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars.

He invites any comments via email at

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: The Ranger by Ace Atkins

I have a couple of the books from this series as part of the massive tbr pile that was moved to the house. Just have not had time to read them yet. Aubrey Hamilton has and has read some of them including the first book which is the subject of her review today.

Most people know Ace Atkins through his fictionalized true crime books and his continuation of the Spenser series through the Robert B. Parker estate. I read his books about Nick Travers, the jazz-loving ex-football player, years ago, so I recognized his name when I found one of his Quinn Colson books in my book bag at a conference. I was enthralled with the portrayal of a small town and its residents in the South, caught between its history and the incursion of the 21st century. Viewers of the FX series Justified will recognize the scenario.

I found the first book in the series recently and realized that I started with book 3 or 4 and never got around to seeing how the saga began. In this initial volume Quinn Colson returns to his hometown in northeastern Mississippi to attend the funeral of his uncle after 10 years as an Army Ranger in the Middle East. He finds a town overrun by meth dealers, a thriving strip joint at the local truck stop, and a corrupt local politician claiming his uncle’s estate. His mother is caring for a toddler, the son of Quinn’s unmarried sister, who has an ongoing drug problem and who has disappeared again. Quinn’s long-time girlfriend, who dumped him while he was overseas to marry the local doctor, doesn’t seem to be finished with Quinn despite the presence of her husband. Deputy sheriff Lillie Virgil prods Quinn to investigate his uncle’s death. Gun-toting goons are everywhere.

This book wasn’t as satisfying to read as the others in the series, despite the high quality of the writing. Perhaps because all it does is set the framework for future books and I picked that up as I read the succeeding titles. The good guy comes home to clean house premise is predictable and a bit tiresome. However, the following books are very good. I spoke to Ace Atkins briefly at Bouchercon last fall, and he said he was focusing hard on this series, which was clear to me as each book is better than the previous one. The setting is somewhat bleak and many of the people are unlikable, but this is an exceptional series. The Ranger is a good place to start for anyone unfamilar with Quinn Colson. 

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (June 2011)
·         ISBN-13: 9780425247495
ISBN-10: 042524749X

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Crime Review Update

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

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Audra and her two children have escaped an abusive husband, but her
road-trip across the US turns out to be a case of out of the frying pan
into the fire when Sean and Louise are abducted.

EXTREME PREY by John Sandford, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Lucas Davenport is called in when a presidential candidate is threatened
with assassination.

FRAMED by Ronnie O’Sullivan, reviewed by John Cleal

Snooker hall owner Frankie James sets out to prove his wild younger
brother’s innocence of a gangland murder and must face the police, gang
bosses and warped killers.

THE TEMPLARS’ LAST SECRET by Martin Walker, reviewed by Linda Wilson

When the body of an unknown woman is found at the base of the walls of a
ruined castle, Bruno, Chief of Police, is called to investigate.

THE CROW GIRL by Erik Axl Sund, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

A gruesome discovery leads Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg into
a horrendous world of abuse of trafficked children, and also into a
personal and professional relationship with a psychotherapist working with
young victims of abuse.

Strevens, reviewed by Kim Fleet

The true story of 19th century thief, con artist and poisoner Mary Bateman,
known as the Yorkshire Witch.

THREE ENVELOPES by Nir Hezroni, reviewed by Chris Roberts

A notebook held by a law firm for ten years before its delivery reveals a
terrifying pattern of mass murders and a pitiless perpetrator who has not
finished yet.

WRONG PLACE by Michelle Davies, reviewed by Kate Balfour

DC Maggie Neville has to juggle two roles and two cases - an attempted
murder/suicide, and a serious assault on an elderly lady - until the
investigations begin to intertwine, and lead to echoes of a missing person
from 16 years before. 
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Helena was raised in isolation, schooled in woodcraft and knew no different
until the day she and her mother escaped. Now her father has escaped from
prison and she needs all her childhood skills to catch him.

BEFORE THE DAWN by Jake Woodhouse, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Detective Inspector Jaap Rykel heads an investigation into a series of
murders of young women, a task which draws in his girlfriend Tanya and
colleague Kees.

BASED ON A TRUE STORY by Delphine de Vigan, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Authoress Delphine is signing autographs following the publication of a hit
novel when she encounters L for the first time and is totally fascinated by

THE TROPHY CHILD by Paula Daly, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Karen Bloom’s family is cracking under her demands for perfection. Then her
daughter Bronte goes missing, and the cracks become gaping chasms.

THE CLEANER by Elizabeth Herrmann, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Judith Kepler cleans up crime scenes. Called upon to clean the house of a
murdered woman, she is dragged back to her unhappy past.

THE MAGICIAN’S LIE by Greer Macallister, reviewed by John Cleal

The Amazing Arden, the most notorious female illusionist of her day and
renowned for sawing a man in half, is questioned by a small-town policeman
over the apparent murder of her husband.

CRIMSON LAKE by Candice Fox, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

He was in prison for 241 days, she for ten years. But which side of the law
are they on?

RETRIBUTION ROAD by Antonin Varenne, reviewed by John Cleal

East India Company Sergeant Arthur Bowman is sent on a secret mission.
Years later as a drink and drug addicted policeman, he stumbles on a vile
murder and knows only someone who shared his Burmese prison could have
committed the crime.

FIERCE KINGDOM by Gin Phillips, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

A family trip to the zoo turns into a fight for survival – but it is not
the animals Joan must fear.

ELEMENTARY MURDER by AJ Wright, reviewed by John Cleal

A would-be teacher is found dead inside a locked classroom. DS Michael
Brennan suspects her death is not the suicide it seems.

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Sixteen-year-old Starr is the only witness to the shooting, by a police
officer, of her friend Khalil, a killing that comes close to tearing her
neighbourhood apart.

THE TRAP by Alan Gibbons, reviewed by Linda Wilson

With the help of an undercover agent, the security services are engaged in
a desperate race to stop a terror attack.

Best wishes


MAKE MINE MYSTERY: Publicity and Privacy - How Much is Too Much?

MAKE MINE MYSTERY: Publicity and Privacy - How Much is Too Much?: by Janis Patterson The hardest thing about blogging regularly is coming up with an idea for a post. After the basic premise is secure,...

Lesa's Lates Contest: Book-related mysteries

This week, I'm giving away first editions of book-related mysteries - Kate Carlisle's Once Upon a Spine and Lorna Barrett's A Just Clause. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 7/21/17

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 7/21/17

KRL This Week Update for 7/22/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Murder at the Puppy Fest" by Laurien Berenson, along with an interesting interview with Laurien

Also up a review & giveaway of "The Black Cat Sees His Shadow" by Kay Finch

Anda review & giveaway of "From Hay to Eternity" by Sandra Murphy

And a review & giveaway of "Taming the Tabby" by Kathi Daley

Also reviews & giveaways of 3 fun mysteries by Kensington authors for your July reading-"A Toast to Murder": A Mack’s Bar Mystery by Allyson K. Abbott, "If the Haunting Fits, Wear It": A Haunted Vintage Mystery by Rose Pressey, & "Mulch Ado About Murder": A Local Foods Mystery by Edith Maxwell

And an article about three clerical mystery series-G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown, S.J. Parris’s Giordano Bruno, and Charles Merrill Smith’s C.P. Randollph

And a mystery short story by Larry W. Chavis

And over on KRL News & Reviews, for those who also enjoy fantasy, a review & giveaway of "Ash and Quill" by Rachel Caine
  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

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck: Reviewed by Brenda G.           A fast-moving and powerful novel about the abuse of power and child sex-trafficking, though ...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sandi Update 7/22/17

After taking yet another load to the house, Scott and I went to the hospital to see Sandi. She was up and sitting in her chair with the television on and yarn close at hand. She was tired, but awake. She sounds very congested and so they are running tests to make sure she does not have a cold too. I think it is the work of the sinus tumor.

She said to pass on her thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes directed her way. She is not online much to say it directly, so she wanted me to pass on her gratitude and appreciation for everyone thinking about her. Thank you.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sandi Update 7/20/17

After spending all morning and much of the early afternoon at the house doing stuff, we went to the hospital to see Sandi. She was awake, alert, and sitting up out of bed as the the IV pump pulsed antibiotic into her. She still has no fever and things seem to be relatively stable so far.

She will have, at the minimum, two weeks of in hospital antibiotics around the clock per the doctor today. Once she finishes that, they will assess her and then made a decision whether to send her home for a brief break or to go straight into chemo. We cross that bridge when we get there.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Brief Update

Temp remains the same and she says she feels fine. Antibiotics continue. They are considering temporarily locking down her port to protect that access point while she is hospitalized and only using the tri fusion deal that was installed last month after the chemo fiasco. More as I know it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sandi Hospitalized

After seemingly a very good day with Sandi where she was much more like normal, we got a call from the doctor’s office just before five. It was news they did not want to get or share. All of the blood tests from Sunday came back positive. That means she definitely does have a bacterial blood infection and it is serious. We were told to get to the hospital asap so that they could get her admitted and start IV antibiotics.

By 7:30 this evening they had her admitted, already had done a chest x-ray to make sure that her heart and lungs are still okay, and had discovered that she is now running a very low grade fever. They had pulled blood for another round of testing and were setting her up to start IV antibiotics. She was very tired and very cold so they had four blankets on her to try to warm her up.

I don’t know if she will be in for two weeks as discussed yesterday at the oncologist’s office or something else is now planned. All I do know is that the folks on her case are clearly very worried.

Author Bill Crider Interviewed at Lone Star Listens

Author Bill Crider Interviewed at Lone Star Listens

Monday, July 17, 2017

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/17/17

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/17/17

Scott's Anthology Idea

From time to time when we are running errands and driving around, Scott makes suggestions about stuff I should be writing. The other day Scott suggested an anthology idea that struck me as interesting. The title of the anthology--- DEAD BECAUSE OF TED. It would contain 15 or so stories that revolved around the idea that one of the characters was dead because of Ted. Ted would have to be alive, but somehow he had played a role, directly or indirectly, in why a character in a story was dead. The story would explain why the character was dead and therefore could be a mystery, crime fiction, or thriller. 

Seemed like a heck of a good idea to me. Making it happen would be the issue.

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: COURTING THE CORPORAL -- READ WITH A GLASS OF WINE...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: COURTING THE CORPORAL -- READ WITH A GLASS OF WINE...: COURTING THE CORPORAL by Heather McCorkle Genre: Historical Romance  Pub Date: 6/27/17 Guest Post  By Heather McC...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie:  Reviewed by Ambrea Allie McGuffey is a radio producer.   She’s the best in the business at WBBB, but when her boyfriend and ...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 7/17-23: Bookish events in Texas for the week of July 10-16, 2017:  Special Events: Texas Shakespeare Festival , Kilgore, June 29-July 30 The LaN...

Back Home

We are back home from seeing her cancer doctors at the hospital. Upon further review, there is now more confidence that the positive test results over the weekend were caused by contamination. This new belief is due to a number of factors including the fact that she is slowly improving in strength and mental ability and she does not have any sign of fever. If she was infected with what the test came back as claimed, one round of antibiotics done yesterday would not do much of anything. It would require a two week admission to the hospital with round the clock antibiotics that would play havoc with her still very unstable kidneys. Because of that, the planned antibiotic infusion for today has been cancelled.

They should have the results of the blood tests they did yesterday sometime tomorrow morning. All the tests were repeated today as a double check on results.

If the tests yesterday come back positive tomorrow, she will be admitted and the antibiotics will be started. There is no choice on that.

If they come back negative, as now expected, then we just keep doing what we have been doing and go back in Thursday as planned for another round of blood testing and a doctor visit.

So, we are a bit relieved and feeling a little more optimistic after the weekend scare. Obviously, as we well know, everything can change in a second. But, for right now, this was all good news today.

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: How to Survive Anything: From Animal Attacks to the End of the World (and Everything in Between)

Aubrey is back today with another interesting review…

I am taking a bit of a break from mysteries this week to talk about a book that I consider a good reference for everyone and an excellent resource for mystery authors who want to realistically extract their characters from whatever mayhem the plot has inflicted upon them. How to Survive Anything: From Animal Attacks to the End of the World (and Everything in Between) is one of several books written by Tim MacWelch and the editors of Outdoor Life Magazine (Weldon Owen, 2015).

Tim has run an outdoor survival skills training center in northern Virginia for about 20 years,, where he teaches archery, foraging, bushcraft, wilderness first aid, and similar courses to summer camps, law enforcement personnel, search and rescue teams, Boy Scouts, and all of the U.S. military services. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at a library program over the winter.

 How to Survive Anything is an oversized softbound book with metal reinforcements on the cover corners and full of color illustrations. It addresses nearly 50 dangerous situations in three groups: The Unexpected -- Everyday hazards such as severe weather, power failures, and car crashes; The Unpredictable – Earthquakes, home invasions, and plane crashes; and The Unthinkable – Kidnapping, pirates, and terrorism. The first pages in the book after the table of contents show a matrix plotting each situation on a Dangerous to Deadly/Be Prepared to Only in the Movies axis. Car crashes, for instance, are firmly on the Be Prepared side and zombie attacks are on the Only in the Movies end of the continuum. In some sections the matrix is repeated with more detail, thunderstorms are less deadly but more common than hail and flash floods are more dangerous than either.

Each section outlines the danger, lists the warning signs, and describes the appropriate response. (If you are on the beach and the water suddenly recedes well beyond its normal point, a tsunami is on the way. You have about 5 minutes to run as fast as you can.) Statistics related to the danger make interesting background reading – 50 children are mugged every day in London, usually for their mobile phones. The packing lists for emergency kits are especially useful, as are the references to essential equipment (radiation detector, car escape tool, fire extinguisher). 

 Some of the information is not new (change the batteries in smoke detectors twice a year) but it isn’t wrong and bears repeating for thoroughness. Some of the information is definitely new to me, for instance the guidance to stand in a doorway during an earthquake has been determined to be flawed.  I didn’t know black bears are more aggressive than grizzly bears either. Quite worrying considering the recent number of black bear sightings in suburban back yards. The answer? Bear spray. An illustration shows the safest seats on an airplane and the most dangerous. Another shows how to wash your hands thoroughly if you’re in the midst of a pandemic.

I could wish the book were not so flippant in spots but perhaps that says more about me than the book. Highly recommended resource for anyone who lives in a house, drives a car in the snow or on ice, flies in an airplane, goes camping or hiking in the wilderness, swims at a beach, or simply walks down the street.

  • Publisher: Weldon Owen (2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1616289503 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616289508

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

KRL This Week Update for 7/15/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Enforcing the Paw" by Diane Kelly & an interesting interview with Diane

And a review & giveaway of "A Ghostly Light" by Juliet Blackwell

Also a review & giveaway of "Mocha and Murder" by Tonya Kappes

And we have a review & giveaway of "Witch Summer's Night Cream" by H.Y. Hanna & a short interview about magic with HY.

We also have a review & giveaway of "Death in Abstract" by Emily Barnes

Over on KRL News & Reviews, we have a review and giveaway of "Fatal Forgeries" by Ritter Ames
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

Writers union sues Ebony Media for failing to pay $200,000 to 50 freelancers

Scammers Break The Kindle Store

Scammers Break The Kindle Store

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bacterial Blood Test--Positive

Just got woken up by one of Sandi's doctors who called to check on her and discuss symptoms. Apparently, at least one, if not more, of the bacterial blood tests has come back positive. The doctor is clearly very worried.

We are now to be at the hospital in nine hours so they can draw all the blood samples again to see if this is a false positive caused by contamination in the sample or something else. So, at least part of our Sunday morning will be spent on the 9th floor of Medical City Dallas Hospital.

Mystery Fanfare: Thriller Awards 2017

Mystery Fanfare: Thriller Awards 2017: The International Thriller Writers announced the winners of the Thriller Awards this evening at ThrillerFest in NYC. Congratulations...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Man Overboard by J.A. Jance

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Man Overboard by J.A. Jance: Reviewed by Kristin A computer hacker named Odin and an artificial intelligence called Frigg—what could go wrong in this scenar...

Gravetapping: Mystery Scene Issue No. 150

Gravetapping: Mystery Scene Issue No. 150: The latest issue of Mystery Scene Magazine —No. 150—is at a newsstand near you. As usual, it is packed. It features an interview with Sc...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: NOT THROUGH LOVING YOU -- A LOVE HEALS ALL ROMANCE...

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Friday, July 14, 2017

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Beauty and the Beast 2017

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Beauty and the Beast 2017: Beauty and the Beast ~ This is yet another of Disney's unnecessary live action remakes.  I don't see the point of these honestly...

FFB Review: The Ghost Fields: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths

It has been awhile since I have had an FFB review here. Thanks to the ongoing move to the house I grew up in as well as everything else going on here, it could be awhile before I have another FFB review. Today I review The Ghost Fields: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths. Todd Mason has all the other reviews and their links over at his Sweet Freedom blog for today. Enjoy your Friday and stay hydrated, my friends.

It is July 2013 as The Ghost Fields: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths begins. For Barry West, who drives a digger (backhoe), it is a hot day in Norfolk, England and much like any other day. The fact that the land on which he rips asunder has been the site of many battles and the spillage of blood by the injured and dying means nothing to him. All that matters is clearing the land as developer Edward Spens wants it done as fast as possible. There is going to be a bit of a delay as Barry West is about to find a vintage WW II plane with the pilot still inside buried in one of the craters on the land.

That finding will bring the police and that includes DCI Nelson. It also means he will call Dr. Ruth Galloway and interrupt her day. Not with a concerned call about their daughter, Kate, but as a colleague seeking her expert opinion. She will have to leave the nearby dig where her and her student team has recently a found a body that possibly dates back to the Bronze Age. A body that was there two thousand years before the Romans lived, fought, and died on the very soil she and her students dig through as they work to unearth history. Since she assists the North Norfolk Serious Crimes Unit as a forensic archeologist, the discovery of a body in a WWII plane is going to have to take priority over her research work.

Upon arrival at the scene, it does not take Dr. Galloway long before she thinks something very strange is going on. Not only is the American war plane in far better shape than one would think if it crashed, the soil around the aircraft is loose. Even accounting for the heavy equipment digging around the aircraft before it was discovered, the soil is far looser than one would expect. The body also is in far better shape than one would expect for being submerged in chalky soil. Not to mention the fact the body is sitting in the seat with hands on the flight stick. Clearly, the body was moved and posed for some reason. The fact that there is a bullet hole smack in the middle of his forehead further proves Dr. Galloway’s point that is not an crash related to the nearby American airbase that was last active during the war.

Who did and why are just two of the many mysteries at work in The Ghost Fields:  A Ruth Galloway Mystery. Seventh in the series that began with The Crossing Places, this read is full of mystery and history regarding the role of Americans based in England during the war. As one expects in the series there is continuing and evolving character development that continues to move the series forward.

The characters in the series are not static pieces that never change as years pass. Ruth is 45 and and her daughter Kate is approaching her fifth birthday while things continue to change. They have their turning points in the book, as do nearly all the secondary characters. A lot is in play here relationship wise. Then there are the mysteries with multiple ones present beyond the ones explained above. 

In short, another good read in a very good series despite a couple of clich├ęd points that many readers will see coming long before they happen. One can’t really explain what without creating a spoiler or two, but one situation is so classic it may generate a laugh out loud moment as it did for this reader. Despite that fact, the book is a good one. A series that one simply has to read in order, The Ghost Fields: A Ruth Galloway Mystery is a highly entertaining read that blends history and mystery together in a very satisfactory way. 

The books, in order, and my reviews:

The Crossing Places (Reviewed 12/26/15)
The Janus Stone (Reviewed 11/18/2016)
The House at Sea’s End (Reviewed 12/2/2016)
A Room Full of Bones (Reviewed 12/30/2016)

The Ghost Fields: A Ruth Galloway Mystery
Elly Griffiths 
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
May 2015
ISBN# 978-0-544-33014-6
Hardback (also available in paperback, audio, and eBook formats)
384 Pages

Material obtained via the Plano Public Library System to read and review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2017