Monday, December 31, 2018

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changi...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changi...: Note:  Since the New Year is traditionally the time to make resolutions, we offer our favorite, the one we'd put at the top of all o...

Tangent Online: Tangent Online 2018 Recommended Reading List

Tangent Online: Tangent Online 2018 Recommended Reading List

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday - Final 2018 Edition for 12/31/18

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday - Final 2018 Edition for 12/31/18

Mystery Fanfare: CHAMPAGNE IN CRIME FICTION: National Champagne Day...

Mystery Fanfare: CHAMPAGNE IN CRIME FICTION: National Champagne Day...: If you follow this blog or if you know me in real time, you know that I'm a list maker . And, since today is National Champagne...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar December 3...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar December 3...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 31, 2018-January 6, 2019:  Ongoing Exhibits: Finding Sophie Blackall Exhibitio...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Dead Man’s Footsteps by Peter James

Dead Man’s Footsteps by Peter James (Pan Macmillan, 2014) is the fourth book in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace contemporary police procedural series. Based in Brighton, significant parts of the book take place in New York and in Australia.

The story opens with Ronnie Wilson in New York City on 11 September 2001, preparing for an important business meeting in the World Trade Center at 10:00 A.M. A meeting that does not take place for reasons we all know. Wilson is up to his ears in debt and uses the terrorist attacks and subsequent chaos to shed those debts along with his identity. The graphic descriptions of the bombings and their impact on New York City and its residents continue to chill, despite the intervening years.

Then the story focuses on Abby Dawson and her terrifying experience locked in a failed elevator for more than 24 hours. Anyone with the slightest bit of claustrophobia will find this part hard to read.

The story flips to DS Grace on a late Friday afternoon in October 2007, in a foul mood over poker losses the night before and made worse by a call about the skeletal remains found at a building site. The subsequent investigation will consume his weekend along with that of many of his colleagues.

The book moves back and forth in time and in place among Wilson, Dawson, and Grace, disorienting and without clear connection for many chapters until the skeleton is identified as Wilson’s first wife, who was believed to have gone to Los Angeles years before. It’s this lack of clear momentum I think that makes the book slow going for about the first third. It seems to pick up steam about then, as Abby’s role begins to take shape and as Grace’s comprehensively explained detective work comes to the fore.

The authenticity of the detailed police procedures is a hallmark of this series, I gather from many reviews. The portrayal of internal department politics, complete with hateful managers and backstabbing peers, is recognizable to anyone who has worked in a large organization. The socially inept detective whom everyone avoids but just happens to be brilliant at his job is also a character familiar to me in real life.

A fine police procedural, after its slow start, that unfortunately requires a more than normal investment of reading time for its 566 pages. It may well be hard to find as this appears to be another series that is not published in the United States. This review is based on the UK trade paperback released in 2014. The original hardback was published by Macmillan UK in 2008.

·         Trade Paperback: 592 pages
·         Publisher: Pan Macmillan; New edition (October 9, 2014)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1447272641
·         ISBN-13: 978-1447272649

Aubrey Hamilton ©2018
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Critters Readers' Poll Voting

Again this year, Kevin’s Corner, is up for consideration as Favorite Review Site. As always, we are up against many sites most of which have teams of reviewers and are active in many genres across multiple forms of media. If you think we are worthy of your vote, please go cast your vote today. Remember, you have to respond to the confirmation email for your vote to count.

On behalf of Barry Ergang, Jeanne of the BPL, Kaye George, and the numerous guests that have visited the blog during 2018, and myself, thank you for your support.

Texas Parks and Wildlife: Game Warden Field Notes for 12/27/18

Texas Parks and Wildlife: Game Warden Field Notes for 12/27/18

Lesa's Book Critiques: Favorite Books of 2018

Lesa's Book Critiques: Favorite Books of 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018

MysteryPeople: Meike’s favorite mysteries of 2018

MysteryPeople: Meike’s favorite mysteries of 2018

Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Business Musings: The Current State of Disruption (Planning for 2019 Part 1)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Business Musings: The Current State of Disruption (Planning for 2019 Part 1)

KRL This Week Update for 12/29/18

Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "A Wrench in the Works" by Kate Carlisle and a fun guest post by Kate with tips for fixing your house up in the new year

And an end of the year catch up of reviews and giveaways of "City of Secrets": Counterfeit Lady series by Victoria Thompson, "Cut to the Chaise": Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery by Karen Rose Smith, "Harvest of Secrets": Wine Country Mystery by Ellen Crosby, "Just Plain Murder": An Amish Mystery by Laura Bradford, "Murder, She Wrote": Manuscript for Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land, and "Death and Daisies": A Magic Garden Mystery by Amanda Flower

We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions by Sunny Frazier with giveaways of books by Linda Reilly and Laura Childs

Up on KRL News and Reviews we have a review and giveaway of "The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories" by Gigi Pandian published by Henery Press

And a review and giveaway of "Lover Come Hack" by Diane Vallere

And a review and ebook giveaway of "Holiday Hostage" by Kathi Daley

We also have a New Year's Eve mystery short story by Angie Sherwood

Have a happy new year!

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Christmas at the Cat Café by Melissa Daley

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Christmas at the Cat Café by Melissa Daley: Reviewed by Jeanne After a rough patch in life (as recounted in Molly and theCat Café ), life has become sweet for Molly and ...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder's a Must: My Top 5 Favorite Detective Novel...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder's a Must: My Top 5 Favorite Detective Novel...: There are prolific writers and then you have John Russell Fearn . An astoundingly productive genre writer with a fertile imagination, pro...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Infinite Wonder, White Darkness, Red Mo...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Infinite Wonder, White Darkness, Red Mo...: Reported by Jeanne Infinite Wonder by astronaut Scott Kelly was the first book examined at Nevermore this week, much to the ...

Friday, December 28, 2018

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 27 Calls for Submissions in January 2019 - Paying ...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 27 Calls for Submissions in January 2019 - Paying ...: Public domain There are more than two dozen calls for submissions in January 2019. All of these are paying markets, and none charge sub...

Mystery Fanfare: NEW YEAR'S Crime Fiction, Thrillers, and Movies!

Mystery Fanfare: NEW YEAR'S Crime Fiction, Thrillers, and Movies!: New Year's Mysteries! Mysteries, Crime Fiction, Thrillers and Movies that take place at the New Year.  I wish you a safe, health...

FFB Review: FEAR AND TREMBLING (1989) by Robert Bloch Reviewed by Barry Ergang

For this final Friday of 2018 Barry Ergang is here to put a wrap on it. Make sure you check out the full FFB list over at Patti’s blog.

FEAR AND TREMBLING (1989) by Robert Bloch

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

I was 13 or14 when I discovered Robert Bloch, which was when Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” based on Bloch’s novelistic and—to my mind—Hitchcock’s cinematic masterpiece, was released. There’s no need to detail the circumstances here, but I read the entire second half of Bloch’s novel (prior to seeing the movie) in a room nearly pitch-black save for the lamp in the corner alongside the couch on which I sat. I became a fan from that point on, and over many years have read my share of Bloch’s novels and, especially, short fiction. Fear and Trembling is among the many collections of his latter works. To begin:—

The narrator, visiting Paris, is not there in search of adventure. But an evening’s stroll results in his being accosted by a bunch of young boys. When they finally leave him alone and run off, he discovers they’ve lifted his wallet. He subsequently learns they’re known as “The Yougoslaves,” victims of human trafficking who have been trained by adult masters to commit these kinds of crimes. The wallet contains an item far more valuable to its owner than money or credit cards, so when it becomes apparent the police will do nothing, he sets out on his own to recover it—but with drastic results for whom?

Hilary Kane knows London intimately. “Over the years he strolled the pavements, reading the city sentence by sentence until every line was familiar; he’d learned London by heart.” On this particular day when he, strolling with his friend Lester Woods, comes upon an antique store that shouldn’t be where it is, he’s compelled to enter and examine its wares, among them an apparent medical kit Kane is determined to have regardless of cost. Woods subsequently learns that Kane is a student of the crimes of Jack the Ripper, and that the original owner of the kit might have been the Whitechapel slayer. Neither can foresee what becomes “A Most Unusual Murder.”

“What unnatural life had festered and flourished here in the black bosom of earth?” Such is the question that disturbs the nameless narrator, who has sailed from New York to Cornwall, England, to visit his old friend Malcolm Kent. Both men are fascinated by legends and folklore. Malcolm tells him of a discovery he’s made that proves ancient Egyptians visited England. Soon both men make the descent deep into the earth where they encounter “The Brood of Bubastis.”

 Only a few minutes after starting his writing job at the film studio, Joe Considine finds himself unemployed thanks to script prohibitions from the Anti-Amusement League. At the unemployment office he meets the lovely Sandy Simpson, to whom he offers a ride to what will soon become his new home. On the way, an accident that luckily isn’t fatal results in them meeting the friendly alien Drool, whose mission is to conquer Earth. Considine, once he discovers Drool’s extraordinary talent, has a much better way for him to realize his conquest. Far from the kind of story that aptly suits the title of this collection, “Groovyland”—which was first published in 1969—is a comical sci-fi tale loaded with punning and cultural prescience.

A film fan since childhood, Dale ultimately comes to teach film history at the university level. When he decides to lease an out-of-the-way cottage in the Hollywood Hills the realtor refers to as “the Chaney house,” he and his girlfriend Debbie have a falling-out, Debbie wanting to share a more fashionable new condo with him. But the idea of living in a home possibly once occupied by silent film star Lon Chaney, whom Dale reveres and intends to write about, is irresistible. The nightmarish aspects of the move begin when he comes upon “The Chaney Legacy,” a makeup kit that’s much more than it first seems.

More poignant than horrifying is “Floral Tribute.” Until he was six, when he was taken away from Grandma and placed in an orphanage until he went into military service, Ed previously lived with her in the house directly behind the cemetery. It’s now twenty years later and Ed, hospitalized with a war wound, is desperately trying to recall this nearly forgotten time of his childhood when he receives a letter from Grandma. Once he’s received his medical discharge, it’s time to go home to find out if so-called figments are indeed figments or realities.   

Lifelong loner and writer of fantasy fiction of the darker variety, Ross is somewhat obsessed by Death with a capital D. His sixty-fifth birthday only serves to reinforce the obsession. When he meets Death in what may or may not be a dream, in which the sands in the hourglass of his existence are about to run out, he reluctantly assents to a bargain that will keep him alive: for every person that he kills—for whom he’s the “Reaper”— he’ll gain an additional year of life. With the passage of a few years and some unintended lives resulting in emotional setbacks, Ross seems able not only to defy but also to destroy Death.

Thirty-year-old psychiatrist Dr. Degradian is almost instantly smitten by twenty-year-old Angela when she enters his office for her first appointment. Her problem? She can’t get any sleep because of the incubus who visits her nightly and has his way with her all night long. She insists she’s not dreaming. Degradian’s initial efforts to help this lovely young woman who, he’s certain, is hallucinating, do not succeed. She then consults her priest, but his exorcistic efforts lead to other difficulties, so she returns to Degradian for help. I’ll say no more about “The Shrink and the Mink” other than that it is, far from horrific,  hilariously risqué, Bloch indulging his love of wordplay to a degree that might have you laughing out loud as it had me more than a few times.

Albert Kessler is a man driven to make “A Killing in the Market.” Formerly a clerk in a Wall Street brokerage house, he has carefully followed the successes of Lon Mariner, a man who has made millions from shrewd investments rather than from slapdash gambles. Kessler quits his job and, having tracked Mariner’s movements, goes to Chicago to try to meet him “in hopes that I’d get him to cut me in on his big deal.” He checks into the same hotel Mariner is staying in, discreetly inquires about him to various personnel, and eventually meets him in the hotel bar. But after Mariner leaves the bar with a tall blonde, he disappears, and suddenly nobody Kessler has previously spoken to remembers him, nor is his name in the hotel register.

Late-night TV talk show host Harry Hoaker came up the hard way, but has had a very successful career competing against the likes of Johnny Carson. What the public doesn’t know about his secret issues needn’t be aired and, besides, it’s “The New Season.” But as he once again faces the lights, camera and audience, and as untoward things begin to happen he begins to glean the nature of, Harry must decide whether to say anything about them to his viewers.

In “ETFF,” an alien who has adopted human form promotes a ride to the World Science Fiction Convention, thanks in part to the titular Extra-Terrestrial Fan Fund, where he/she/it (gender never specified) creates undesired and unexpected chaos in another comical story that proves the title of this collection is a misnomer.  

The placard, which has been posted by the bearded man named Fall on every telephone pole in Goober City, reads Carnival of Life. The Greatest Show on Earth. Adults Only—Fairgrounds, Tonight. When the local citizenry arrives in droves that night, they find only one tent—and that not terribly large. First they’re treated to verbal teases about the visuals on banners hung on the tent’s outer canvas walls. But then they’re allowed to go inside for the actual “Freak Show.”

The unnamed narrator is a retired professor of criminology and sometime consultant to the police department. When he begins to study the natures of the grisly murders, each of which involves the severance of a victim’s body part and a key aspect of each victim’s history, he’s certain astrology plays a part in the serial killer’s twisted motive. His ultimate confrontation does and does not fit into the chart of a “Horror Scope.” 

Despite what I wrote in the first paragraph and several story descriptions, it’s been a long time since I’ve read much in the way of what Tor Books, in its cover classification of Fear and Trembling, rates as horror fiction. I’d personally call it a collection of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and crime fiction. Debate designations as you will—or won’t—I can easily recommend this as good entertainment.   

© 2018 Barry Ergang

Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s mystery novelette, The Play of Light and Shadow, is available at Amazon and Smashwords, along with some of his other work.

Thursday, December 27, 2018



In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 12/27/18

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 12/27/18

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 43 Writing Contests in January 2019 - No entry fee...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 43 Writing Contests in January 2019 - No entry fee...: "Does this coat make me look fat?" - Pixabay January is a great month for writing contests. This month there are 42 contests,...

Review: Residue: A Kevin Kerney Novel by Michael McGarrity

The past has always been a major part of the Kevin Kerney series and is a major piece if not the main theme of the latest, Residue. A novel that serves to tie up several different story arcs that have been present most of the series.

As the thirteenth novel in the series begins, after twenty-eight years of distinguished service Brigadier General Sara Brannon is finally retiring from the U. S. Army. After her latest posting as Commandant of the U. S Army Military Police School and commander of the MP regiment, Sara is finally coming home to Santa Fe and her husband, Kevin Kerrey, and their son, Patrick. Patrick is already on the way back with his grandparents. Once the last formal dinner honoring her is done, Sara and Kevin plan on a few days of fun across the Deep South. The highlight of the trip will be some time in New Orleans before returning to their ranch outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. For the former Santa Fe Police Chief and Sara it is to be a second honeymoon.

That is until seconds after a warning call from Clayton’s mother, Isabel Istee, when Kevin Kerney is arrested. Placed into custody by military police and local sheriff deputies he faces a charge of murder in the death of Kimberly Ann Ward.

A cold case from 45 years ago, back in the days of Vietnam, Kimberly Anna Ward was a very special woman and a major part of Kevin’s Kerney’s life. College lovers, Kerry had gone to war in Vietnam and come home damaged and self-medicating by way of alcohol. Ward had her own war at home and eventually reconnected with Kerney. That is until one night she ran out from the place he was renting and vanished never to be seen again.

Not only has her body been found, the probable murder weapon was found near her body. A gun that was Kevin Kerney’s long ago and one that he had reported missing at the time. Why the gun he reported missing was found with her is just one of many things he can’t explain all these years later.

While Kerney’s estranged son, Clayton Istee, a Lieutenant on the New Mexico State Police force leads an investigation into the past, everything he turns up seems to indicate Kerney is a killer. Once social media gets ahold of the case, things get worse for all involved rapidly as the 24 hour news cycle unleashes a fury that has Kevin Kerney at the center.

Building off of various plot points and story arcs of previous books, Residue: A Kevin Kerney Novel is a book that not only ties up the past, it implies a way forward as the series will again evolve in a new direction While there are a couple of hints as to what that might be, long time readers know that author Michael McGarrity always comes up with more than a few surprises in his books. Such was the aim in Residue: A Kevin Kerney Novel and the result was a complex and multi-layered read that was also very good.

Residue: A Kevin Kerney Novel
Michael McGarrity
W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
October 2018
ISBN# 978-0-393-63435-8
Hardback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
377 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Barry Ergang and the Smashwords Sale

Barry has asked me to pass along the message below..... is holding its year-end sale, which began at 1 minute after midnight Pacific time on December 25th, and ends at midnight Pacific time on January 1st. Along with many other writers, I'm participating. 
     Three of my e-books, "Criminalities," "Slow and Quiet, Drift Away," and "A Flash of Fear," are year-round freebies. For the duration of the sale I've also made "Funeral for a Flightless Phoenix" and "No Candles for Antiochus" freebies. "The Vole Eater," "The Boy Who Ate Rainbows," "Stuffed Shirt," "PUN-ishing Tales," and "The Play of Light and Shadow," which were never pricey to begin with, have all been marked down until the sale ends.
     Smashwords allows authors to decide how long samplers of individual works can be, and I've been pretty generous in that regard. As to what each work is all about, have a look at where you can read some brief descriptions and access the works themselves.
     Please post "reviews" of anything you decide to read--and be honest. If you don't like a given work, feel free to say so. I won't be insulted; I know not everyone will like everything I (or anyone else) writes.
     Thank you for your consideration, and have a terrific New Year.




Mystery Fanfare: BOXING DAY MYSTERIES: December 26 is Boxing Day . I've put together a list of over 1700 mysteries that take place at Christmas , and although I'm s...

Guest Post: Jeanne and Airport Books II: Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

Jeanne is back with another installment.... 

Airport Books II:  Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

This book has one of those covers that catches the eye:  there is former president Barack Obama standing up in a convertible pointing ahead while Joe Biden is behind the wheel.  My first thought was, What the heck is this?  Even reading the jacket copy wasn’t quite enough to convince me.  As a rule, I’m not fond of mysteries (or other fiction, for that matter) which use celebrities or other notables as characters; I find myself regarding every action with suspicion.  Would Grover Cleveland really have done that?

My reservations were allied in great part by Kristin’s review at our bookblog     so I tucked a copy in my suitcase for airport reading.

The book opens with Biden at loose ends.  His job has ended, Barak is off wind-surfing with Bradley Cooper, Jill has her own work schedule—and so Joe is trying to figure out what to do next.  Truth to tell, he’s also feeling more than a little left out.  He thought he and Barack were buddies and now, well, it appears that Obama has moved on and left Joe behind. Then, Obama shows up with his Secret Service agent, Steve, to tell Joe that Finn Donnelly,  his favorite Amtrak conductor back from the days when Joe used to commute from Delaware to Washington  has been found dead, presumably by suicide.  The worrisome thing is that he had a map with Joe’s house marked on it.  Could it be part of some sort of plot?

Joe has a hard time with the information, mostly because he doesn’t believe that Finn would have committed suicide.  With nothing else on his agenda, Joe decides to investigate, despite Barack’s injunctions to leave it to the police.

This was not an airport book.  It was way too fun.

Somehow Shaffer did capture the public personas of these two and made a buddy picture—er, book—out of it.  Joe is impulsive and big-hearted, an everyman.  Barack is serious and prone to lapse into lecture mode at the drop of a hat. Steve is stoic, which is good because he bears the brunt of most of the shenanigans.  Funny, breezy, and cheerful, Hope Never Dies doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Oh, and there is indeed a mystery with an interesting solution.

There’s to be a sequel, Hope Rides Again.  I’m ready for another road trip!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. . .

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. . .: A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore Thoughts on a Christmas reading tradition by Kristin Reading the poem A...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Dec 24-30

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Dec 24-30: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 24-30, 2018:  Ongoing Exhibits: Finding Sophie Blackall Exhibition , Abilene, ...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 12/24/18

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 12/24/18

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: A Stillness in Bethlehem by Orania Papazoglou (Jane Haddam)

Hardback Cover

In the spirit of the season, up for consideration today is A Stillness in Bethlehem by Orania Papazoglou writing as Jane Haddam (Bantam, 1992). This is the seventh book in the Gregor Demarkian contemporary mystery series. Demarkian is a retired FBI agent, one who established and led the agency’s profiling department. In his retirement he began consulting with police departments on a volunteer basis but has no official standing or credentials. He has however a significant reputation as an investigator; the references to him in the more sensational news outlets as “the Armenian Hercule Poirot” cause him much angst.

After a high-profile case Demarkian comes home to Cavanaugh Street in Philadelphia to find his friend Father Tibor Kasparian dangerously exhausted from his work on behalf of Armenian refugees. Their mutual friend Bennis Hannaford arranges for the three of them to travel to Bethlehem, Vermont, to see the town’s long-running Nativity play and to give Tibor a much-needed break. The tiny rural town has found a way to generate revenue and to lift itself out of genteel poverty, similar to the college students in Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod, who created a profitable Yule celebration. The Christmas pageant is a tourist destination and produces most of the income in Bethlehem, so when Tisha Verek, a recent transplant to the area, decides to file a civil liberties lawsuit against the town to stop the play, nearly everyone is upset. Who was upset enough to shoot her in front of her house, however, is not clear, and the State police wrote the death off as a hunting accident. The fact that a second town resident was killed in much the same manner about the same time and not far away did not rouse the State police’s curiosity, who labelled it another hunting accident.
eBook Cover

The town police chief was not so confident and, when he discovers Gregor Demarkian in his village, he begs Demarkian to review the evidence. When a third victim is claimed during the first night of the pageant under Demarkian’s nose, he feels he has no choice but to find and stop the culprit.

In a lifetime of reading mysteries, the Demarkian series is among my greatest favorites. The plots are often downright devious (see Blood in the Water, for instance), and the people on the pages are powerfully developed and finely nuanced. Father Tibor Kasparian is quite possibly the fictional character I would most like to meet; his apartment stacked high with books of all kinds on every surface inspires equal parts hilarity and envy every time I read about it. The structure of the stories is intriguing: Characters are sketched in a prologue to set the stage for the murders, there’s always more than one, and then their back story unfolds as the book progresses. My only quibble with the series is Demarkian’s astonishing obtuseness in his dealings with Bennis Hannaford, a successful writer of fantasy sagas whom he meets on his first case. Nonetheless, these books are simply not to be missed by any mystery reader, and this title is a fine place to start reading them.

·         Hardcover: 289 pages
·         Publisher: Bantam (November 1, 1992)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 0553090240
·         ISBN-13: 978-0553090246

Aubrey Hamilton ©2018

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Emotional Day

The last of Sandi's craft supplies--two pickup truck fulls--went to a new home today where they will be used and appreciated. They had to go and the yarn, fabrics, and more will be turned into glorious stuff for others. But, it makes me cry. Sandi was always her happiest when she was crafting and it is like another piece of her is now gone.

Iowa Public Radio: The Demise Of 'Tin House'

Iowa Public Radio: The Demise Of 'Tin House'

Friday, December 21, 2018

One Bite at a Time: We're Mad as Hell and We're Not Going to Take it A...

One Bite at a Time: We're Mad as Hell and We're Not Going to Take it A...: Lot of outrage going around for the holiday season. I’ve been pretty good at staying out of it for the most part, but I don’t maintain a b...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Christmas Letters by Lee Smith

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Mystery Fanfare: WINTER SOLSTICE MYSTERIES: I love the Winter Solstice. So glad the days will begin to lengthen. I'm big on light. I put together a huge list of Christmas Mys...

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 12/20/18

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 12/20/18

FFB Review: Flashback by Ted Wood

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. Make sure you check out the full list over at Patti’s blog.

Reid Bennett has been police chief of Murphy’s Harbour in Canada for three years now. That means he knows the locals pretty well and is very much aware of all the young people in the area. He knows that the kids he sees down Main Street are not local. They also seem to be the kind of kids waiting for trouble to happen.

They are and they will be more than once. The bigger issue is the body in the lake. More accurately, the body in the trunk of the car that was found submerged out in the lake. The car was recovered and towed to a nearby garage where the body was later found in the trunk. Moira Waites is the deceased and she had just left her husband, quite possibly for good, the day before.

Whatever future she had has now been destroyed with her death. The spouse is always a suspect and husband, John Waites, is definitely a suspect. Not only because he is the spouse and part of the argument they were having before she supposedly left, his behavior now is a bit off as he seems far more worried about the status of the car, his wife’s friends, and a host of other issues instead of the shocking loss of his wife.

That isn’t all that is going on either in Murphy’s Harbour as a bank robber who promised to get even with Bennett is on the way, and more. The tale is complicated and this installment is a good one.  Flashback is part of a series that should be read in order starting with Dead In The Water. People come and go in this series and the books interconnect making reading in order a good idea. As always, multiple mysteries are at work and there is plenty of action keeping things moving and the pages turning. 

Make sure you check out Aubrey Nye Hamilton’s review of Flashback that she did back in August. You can read that review here. Because of her review, I went to the beginning and read the first book, Dead In The Water. That became an FFB review back in September and I have kept going. The last book in the series, A Clean Kill, is only available to me at Amazon where I can get it in eBook form for $6.15. That price is just not in my budget right now. So, things may end here. We shall see.

Ted Wood
Charles Scribner’s Sons
ISBN# 0-684-19414-7
Hardback (also available in paperback and digital formats)
224 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

LitReactor: 5 Gifts NOT To Get That Special Writer In Your Life: A Guide

LitReactor:  5 Gifts NOT To Get That Special Writer In Your Life: A Guide

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 7 Notable Writing Conferences in January 2019

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TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Top 20 Texas Books of 2018

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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Christmas Movie Memories

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Review: Lies Come Easy: A Posadas County Mystery by Steven F. Havill

A Posadas County Mystery is always a special treat and the latest, Lies Come Easy, is no exception. It is late on a snowy Friday night and just three days before Christmas. Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman is looking forward to the end of her swing shift. That is until she gets a call from Deputy Pasquale who just found two and half year old Derry Fisher out on the side of a local highway. The little boy’s father, driving his red truck, had been seen minutes earlier by the same deputy who then spotted the son clad only in a T-shirt and diaper, socks, and sneakers trying to ride his Scamper down the side of the New Mexico highway in a snowstorm.

Whatever reason Dad put him out, the first matter of business is to get the child warmed up and checked out at the area hospital. Despite the weather and lack of clothing, the little boy seems relatively okay though final word will come from the oncoming EMTs and later hospital staff. Dad can and will be dealt with later.

Also of immediate concern is a missing persons alert from the US Forest Service. One of their range techs is missing as is his truck. Myron Fitzwater was supposed to be headed for nearby Stinkin’ Springs, but he has not been seen there or anywhere else in recent days. Not only is he missing, but his girlfriend, Constance Suarez, has been found deceased by way of a gunshot. What happened and why are two questions that need to be answered as is the question of whether Myron did it. He needs to be found immediately.

If all this is not enough, it is the holidays and the now grown kids are headed home for a very short visit. Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman needs to spend at least some time at home with the family. She is a cop and a good one, but she is also a wife and mother and time with the entire family is an increasing rarity. Something she has been well aware of for quite some time and the recent loss of her own mother brings that concept front and center. Her ability to find uninterrupted time at home with her family seems to be increasingly elusive as crisis after crisis rocks Posadas County.

Family has always been a major theme of this series. Family by blood as well as by friendship. Family in terms of the loss of a parent and the grief that comes from that even when that death is caused by nothing more than old age. That theme is certainly, present here as those undercurrents occupy a large part of the ongoing background in Lies Come Easy. The years pass and the inevitable and, for those left behind the unthinkable, finally happens.

Eighty-four year old William Gastner, the former sheriff and key component of so many of these books over the years, is well aware that time waits for no one. He too has plans for the coming future and uses this moment to make some suggestions that will fundamentally change the future for everyone he loves and cares about.

Despite the bittersweet and at times all too painful tone this reviewer perceived in the book, Lies Come Easy: A Posadas County Mystery is a mighty good read. A procedural that powers along at a steady clip as a number of mysteries are slowly unraveled. There are plenty of clues, a lot of action, and the cases are not easily solved. In short, Lies Come Easy: A Posadas County Mystery is very good and well worth your time.

Related items of interest:

Also check out this interview with the author:

Lies Come Easy: A Posadas County Mystery
Steven F. Havill
Poisoned Pen Press
November 20, 2018
ISBN# 978-1-4642-1032-7
LARGE PRINT PAPERBACK (also available in regular print hardback and digital formats)
424 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018