Saturday, March 31, 2018
We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review ( www.crimereview.co.uk), together with a top industry interview. This time it’s author Thomas Enger in the Countdown hot seat. We’re on Twitter at: Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia This week’s reviews are: COME AND FIND ME by Sarah Hilary, reviewed by Linda Wilson A dangerous criminal is on the run after a bloody prison riot that left men dead and horribly maimed. DI Marnie Rome and her team have the job of putting him back behind bars. ONLY THE DEAD CAN TELL by Alex Gray, reviewed by John Cleal Superintendent William Lorimer and his Major Incident Team uncover links between an apparent domestic murder and a vicious team of people traffickers. A SUMMER REVENGE by Tom Callaghan, reviewed by Chris Roberts An ex-girlfriend of the Kyrgyz Minister for State Security has absconded to Dubai with a memory stick he is keen to retrieve. Akyl Borubaev is sent to bring her back. MAIGRET AND THE DEAD GIRL by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Arnold Taylor When the body of a dead girl is found on Place Vintimille, Maigret and Janvier go to investigate. AFTER I’VE GONE by Linda Green, reviewed by Kate Balfour Jess Mount lives a fairly ordinary life for a 20-something – until her Facebook page begins to show posted items about her death, 18 months in the future, which only she can see. ARTEMIS by Andy Weir, reviewed by Linda Wilson Low-level criminal Jazz Bashara is offered a job for a price she can’t afford to turn down, but it’s not without its dangers, as if life on the moon wasn’t already dangerous enough. THE COVEN by Graham Masterton, reviewed by John Cleal Widowed Beatrice Scarlet loses her son to Red Indian raiders and returns to England to help at a home for ‘fallen girls’, but finds there are as many savages in 18th century London as in the wilds of colonial America. RESTLESS COFFINS by MP Wright, reviewed by Nicola Hodges Bristol 1967. Private investigator JT Ellington receives a tragic telegram that sends him on a journey to Harlem, New Orleans and his native Barbados.CONVICTION by Julia Dahl, reviewed by Chris Roberts Journalist Rebekah Roberts looks into a murder conviction over 20 years old, when the New York crime rate was appalling and justice severely compromised. WHEN I WAKE UP by Jessica Jarlvi, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor There are only two people who know why Anna was left for dead. And one of them is in a coma. DEATH IN THE TUSCAN HILLS by Marco Vichi, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan Inspector Bordelli has been investigating a horrible crime involving a young boy. The ramifications of this are so bad that Bordelli decides to leave his job – he just walks out, and starts a new life in the countryside. BERLIN SYNDROME by Melanie Joosten, reviewed by Ewa Sherman When Australian photographer Clare meets Berliner Andi, she has no idea that she will become a prisoner in his flat and his twisted world of love and secrets. EXILE by James Swallow, reviewed by John Cleal Disgraced former MI6 man Marc Dane faces a threat to the world when a Somali warlord acquires a nuclear weapon. GREEN SUN by Kent Anderson, reviewed by Chris Roberts Hanson is new to the Oakland Police, but set apart by age, a stint as a policeman in Portland, service in Vietnam and a master’s degree in English literature. THE DEVIL’S DICE by Roz Watkins, reviewed by Linda Wilson A man is found dead near a cave system with a sinister reputation. DI Meg Dalton investigates. HADES by Candice Fox, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor Homicide detective Frank Bennet should be grateful for his new partner, but he senses she is even more dangerous than the serial killer they are trying to bring down. DESPERATION ROAD by Michael Farris Smith, reviewed by Chris Roberts Many years after an event which dramatically changed lives, the two people most affected return to the town but find they still have battles to fight. THE DEATH OF HER by Debbie Howells, reviewed by Linda Wilson A woman is attacked and left for dead in a field in Cornwall. She has no idea who she is, but she knows her young daughter is missing. SHE BE DAMED by MJ Tjia, reviewed by John Cleal Prostitutes are turning up dead, their sexual organs mutilated and removed. Courtesan and detective Heloise Chancey investigates. THE BONEYARD by Mark Sennen, reviewed by John Barnbrook A suspected murderer is returned from the US to the UK after his confession was found to be suspect. Attention turns immediately to him when similar killings start up again near where he is living. Best wishes Sharon www.crimereview.co.uk
Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Hippity Hoppity Homicide" by Kathi Daley http://kingsriverlife.com/03/31/hippity-hoppity-homicide-by-kathi-daley/
Also up this week a Kensington Mystery Catchup for your spring reading-"Color Me Murder": The Pen & Ink Mystery by Krista Davis, "I Know What You Bid Last Summer": A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery by Sherry Harris, and "Murder She Knit": A Knit & Nibble Mystery by Peggy Ehrhart http://kingsriverlife.com/03/31/kensington-mystery-catchup-for-spring/
And a review & giveaway of a very different kind of Sherlock Holmes book with a fantasy/scifi twist, "Holmes Entangled" by Gordon McAlpine http://kingsriverlife.com/03/31/holmes-entangled-by-gordon-mcalpine/
We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions by Sunny Frazier along with a giveaway of "Tailed" by Joyce Ann Brown http://kingsriverlife.com/03/31/whats-in-your-easter-basket-april-coming-attractions/
Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "The Burial Place" by Larry Enmon along with an interview with Larry who has a very interesting background http://kingsriverlife.com/03/31/the-burial-place-by-larry-enmon/
In honor of March Madness, up in KRL this morning we have a basketball mystery short story by Diana Deverell http://kingsriverlife.com/03/31/texas-two-step-a-basketball-mystery-short-story/
Up on KRL News and Reviews a review & giveaway of "The Purloined Puzzle" by Parnell Hall http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/the-purloined-puzzle-by-parnell-hall.html
And for those who enjoy fantasy with their mystery, a review & giveaway of "The Lost Plot" by Genevieve Cogman http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/the-lost-plot-by-genevieve-cogman.html
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: Reviewed by Kristin You can make one mistake in Alaska, but the second one will kill you. That’s the advice the Allbright fa...
Friday, March 30, 2018
Gravetapping: "Postcard from Cambodia" by Andrew Nette: “Postcard from Cambodia” is a stark, hard-nosed, crime tale from Australian writer Andrew Nette. When Moss’ 1990 Commodore, purchased fo...
This review first appeared as an FFB review back in late April 2011. Having come across the review the other day while looking for something else, it seemed fitting to remind you on this final Friday of March in the year of 2018 that Barry had done this review. For more reading suggestions today, head over to Todd’s blog.
NO CHANCE IN HELL (1960) by Nick Quarry
Reviewed by Barry Ergang
Marvin H. Albert wrote a variety of novels under a variety of pseudonyms, among them Albert Conroy, J.D. Christilian, Ian MacAlister, and Anthony Rome. (The Rome titles included two that served as the basis for two films starring Frank Sinatra: "Tony Rome" and "Lady in Cement.") He also wrote a number of books as Nick Quarry, six of which starred New York private detective Jake Barrow.
No Chance in Hell is fast-paced tale of chaos stretching from New York City to Santa Fe. Showing off his expensive new apartment to his girlfriend Sandy, herself an undercover cop, Barrow discovers that a sixteen-year-old girl named Nina Cloud has climbed in through a rear window. Her father Johnny Cloud, an old wartime friend of Barrow's, has told her to seek out the detective for protection after a woman she was staying with is murdered.
Barrow, worried that Johnny Cloud's phone may be tapped, doesn't want to call his New Mexico ranch from the apartment for fear his—Barrow's—own number might prove traceable, so he leaves Nina in Sandy's care and goes out to make the call. He learns that Cloud, who occasionally drives big rigs for an Albuquerque trucking company to supplement his income, left for New York several days earlier. Returning to the apartment, he finds that Sandy has been shot and that Nina is gone.
Barrow also knows that a vicious killer named Ben Hanks—probably the same man who shot Sandy—is after her, and he wants to get to Hanks before he can harm Nina. As his investigation expands, he learns that Harvey Kew, who has his hand in a number of rackets but who has so far evaded prosecution, is mixed up in whatever Johnny Cloud has gotten himself into—because it gradually becomes clearer that Cloud is involved somehow. As it turns out, he's in a New York hospital recovering from gunshot wounds, but he won't tell Barrow or the police what's going on until he's assured Nina is safe. Whoever is after him intends to use Nina to prevent him from talking.
As his investigation progresses, Barrow is framed by Ben Hanks for the savage murder of a teenaged boy who was sheltering Nina, and now must manage to escape from cops and evade killers while he searches for the girl. He wants to save her life, of course, but he also realizes she's the only person who can clear him of a murder charge. Aided by Johnny Cloud's beautiful sister, who goes by the appropriate nickname Stormy, he must make his way across the country to New Mexico to save Nina and force a showdown with Hanks.
How I can adequately describe No Chance in Hell without resorting to clichés like "action-packed" and "hardboiled"? It's simple. I can't. It is. Should I tell you it moves like a runaway train? Well, yeah, provided you understand it's the Bullet Train. And I guess I should mention that there are a couple of high-tension chapters in which Barrow, trying to get away from the police after he's been framed, must make his way almost blindly through a network of underground sewer pipes—a section that vaguely reminded me of a couple of chapters in Ian Fleming's Dr. No, which predated No Chance in Hell by two years. I suppose I should point out as a forewarning to squeamish readers that Albert/Quarry, like many another author of paperback originals from this era, liked to dwell on the physical attributes of female characters in some detail, as well as write descriptions of sexual encounters that were overheated and overwrought to the point of being unintentionally comical—to wit: "There was a roaring and pounding of blood in my ears, a hot liquid urgency coursing all through me...I pulled her closer in a rising madness and she was all coiled, supple strength sheathed in springy softness—by turns provoking, refusing, demanding, retracting, assaulting...And then her teeth were sinking into my shoulder, stifling her gasping cries of pain and delight, and a furious whirlwind of savage sensation swept me and I was attacking her slim agile wickedness in a mounting, driving frenzy...."
Although it seems at first to be a straightforward thriller whose protagonist happens to be a private eye, No Chance in Hell also turns out to be a genuine detective story, with Barrow at the end resolving the mystery of who wounded and later killed Harvey Kew. His explanation of what happened and how he deduced it runs a tad longer than necessary, but nevertheless shows that Barrow is a detective who can use his brain as well as his fists and gun.
For additional information about Marvin H. Albert, see http://www.thrillingdetective.com/eyes/barrow.html and #http://www.mysteryfile.com/GM_Albert/goldmedal_albert.html
Barry Ergang ©2011, 2018
While his website is http://www.writetrack.yolasite.com/ some of Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s work is available at Amazon and Smashwords.com
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Mystery Fanfare: EASTER Crime Fiction // EASTER Mysteries: Even if you don't live in Norway where Paskekrim ( Easter Crime Fiction ) is a crime fiction Easter Holiday tradition , you can enj...
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 20 Calls for Submissions in April 2018 - Paying ma...: Pixabay - CC0 license There are twenty calls for submissions in April. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees....
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: White Tiger, Beale Street, BAD, Bellev...: Reported by Jeanne Our first reviewer was very enthusiastic about his book, White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. The story is revealed t...
Only days left to win a copy of "Raspberry Danish Murder" by Joanne Fluke along with a recipe from Joanne perfect for your Easter morning breakfast http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/raspberry-danish-murder-by-joanne-fluke/ And to win a copy of "Tart of Darkness" by Denise Swanson, & while there check out an Easter guest post by Denise which includes an Easter recipe http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/tart-of-darkness-by-denise-swanson/ Also to win a copy of "Death al Fresco" by Leslie Karst, & while there check out an interesting interview with Leslie and she shares an Easter recipe http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/death-al-fresco-by-leslie-karst/ And to win copies of of some more fun food mysteries-"Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake": A Death by Chocolate Mystery by Sarah Graves, "Hummus and Homicide": Kebab Kitchen Mystery By Tina Kashian, "Plum Tea Crazy": A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs, and "Marinating in Murder": A Dinner Club Mystery by Linda Sundman Wiken http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/even-more-food-mysteries-for-your-reading-fun/ On KRL News & Reviews, only days left to win a copy of "Down the River Unto the Sea" by Walter Mosley http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/down-river-unto-sea-by-walter-mosley.html And to win a copy of "The Marshal and the Moonshiner" by C.M. Wendelboe http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/the-marshal-and-moonshiner-by-c-m-wendelboe.html Happy Easter! Lorie
A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: MORNINGS ON MAIN --REVIEW: Jodi Thomas is one of my favorite western authors. In fact, some of her books are on my keeper shelf. For the last few years, her books ha...
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Name of the Rose, Grief Cottage, Shippi...: Reported by Ambrea Nevermore kicked things off with a review of The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, a historical mystery set i...
Bitter Tea and Mystery: Hit Man: Lawrence Block: Hit Man is not a novel but a series of connected stories about an assassin named Keller. He lives in an apartment in New York City and lead...
Gravetapping: Mystery Scene: Issue No. 153: The latest issue of Mystery Scene Magazine —No. 153—is at a newsstand near you. As usual, it is packed, featuring interviews with Jane H...
34 Writing Contests in April 2018 - No entry fees: Pixabay - CC0 license There are nearly three dozen free writing contests in April. As always, every form and genre is represented. T...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Sisters on the Fly: Caravans, Campfires, and Tale...: Reviewed by Kristin BPL Bingo makes strange bedfellows, or at least pushes some of us to read outside of our usual genres. ...
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 3/26-4/1: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 26-April 1, 2018: Special Events: Anime Matsuri Convention , Houston, March 29-April 1...
Monday, March 26, 2018
She Shall Have Murder by Delano Ames introduces Jane Hamish and Dagobert Brown in a Golden Age gem first published in 1948 and reprinted by Rue Morgue Press in 2008. Ames released twelve amusing mysteries featuring the pair between 1948 and 1959. Tom and Enid Schantz point out in their excellent introduction to the 2008 reissue that Jane and Dagobert are one of the earliest detecting couples, preceded only by Tommy and Tuppence Beresford and possibly Nick and Nora Charles.
Jane is a law clerk in a small legal firm in London and Dagobert is perennially un- or underemployed, existing, one assumes, on an allowance from his family. He is subject to a great many whims and sudden interests. His current preoccupation is the mystery that he thinks Jane should write, since he is sure a law office provides a wealth of material. Jane is busy trying to earn a living and keep her employer happy, but she begins work on a story in odd moments of her day.
One of the difficult routine tasks for the entire staff in the office is coping with Mrs. Robjohn, a lonely widow who lives down the street. She visits often, looking for help with the men that she says are watching her apartment. The employees have not found signs that anyone has the slightest interest in their client but must continue to do their best to placate her. Mrs. Robjohn’s growing paranoia and importunate visits are such that, when she is found dead one morning, everyone is relieved. Dagobert, however, is convinced she was murdered and pulls Jane into an investigation that has surprising consequences.
While the mystery itself is sound, the real reason to read this story is the description of daily living in post-war London. Food was still limited and many products were rationed. Even so, people still went out to eat and drink often, and the local pub was everyone’s favorite meeting place. The practice of paying for residential heat via a meter that takes a shilling at a time has always amazed me. The need to keep specific coins on hand to stay warm is similar, I expect, to hoarding quarters for the laundromat.
An unexpected bit was the matter-of-fact way divorce is treated. I thought divorce was an embarrassment rarely mentioned, yet Dagobert’s wife, whom we never meet, has filed for divorce and he asks Jane if she minds being named co-respondent. I would have expected her to be shocked or upset but she doesn’t seem to be.
The law office reminded me of the advertising firm in Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers. The staff intrigues and gossips in about the same way.
Unfortunately many of the books in this series are out of print and unavailable. With the renewed interest in Golden Age mysteries, perhaps an enterprising publisher will see fit to produce the entire set once again.
· Trade Paperback: 192 pages
· Publisher: Rue Morgue (May 15, 2008)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 1601870175
· ISBN-13: 978-1601870179
Aubrey Hamilton ©2018
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams: Reviewed by Jeanne Miracle Springs is a spa town, a tourist town. Not only are there natural hot springs purported to have ...
Crime Time : DOWN THE RIVER UNTO THE SEA – Walter Mosley: The people who framed NYPD Detective First Class Joe King Oliver, killing his career, his marriage, his respect for the law, his self-res...
Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Raspberry Danish Murder" by Joanne Fluke along with a recipe from Joanne perfect for your Easter morning breakfast http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/raspberry-danish-murder-by-joanne-fluke/
Also a review & giveaway of "Tart of Darkness" by Denise Swanson, along with an Easter guest post by Denise which includes an Easter recipe http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/tart-of-darkness-by-denise-swanson/
And a review and giveaway of "Death al Fresco" by Leslie Karst, along with an interesting interview with Leslie and she shares an Easter recipe http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/death-al-fresco-by-leslie-karst/
We also have reviews & giveaways of some more fun food mysteries-"Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake": A Death by Chocolate Mystery by Sarah Graves, "Hummus and Homicide": Kebab Kitchen Mystery By Tina Kashian, "Plum Tea Crazy": A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs, and "Marinating in Murder": A Dinner Club Mystery by Linda Linda Sundman Wiken http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/even-more-food-mysteries-for-your-reading-fun/
And we have an Easter mystery short story by Angie Sherwood http://kingsriverlife.com/03/24/a-person-of-interest-an-easter-mystery-short-story/
Up on KRL News & Reviews, a review & giveaway of "Down the River Unto the Sea" by Walter Mosley http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/down-river-unto-sea-by-walter-mosley.html
And a review & giveaway of "The Marshal and the Moonshiner" by C. M. Wendelboe http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/the-marshal-and-moonshiner-by-c-m-wendelboe.html
Obviously, I did not do an FFB post this week due to illness. But, not to worry, as Patti Abbott has the list of suggested readings over on her blog. She also has a new book of short stories you should read.
Friday, March 23, 2018
Briefly online this evening for a few minutes to assure one and all that this damn thing did not kill me. It tried. Scott is better than I am though he is still weak and gets tired very easily. I am still having some gastrointestinal issues of the non projectile vomiting kind, but there have been less episodes of that in the last 24 hours. I am very weak and having a hard time doing much of anything out of bed, but I am alive.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Jeanne is back this week with another in her Treadmill Book Reviews series. This week she is considering the Fat Cat Mysteries by Janet Cantrell. An author who is far better known in these parts as Kaye George.
Treadmill Books: Fat Cat Mysteries by Janet Cantrell
Charity “Chase” Oliver is the proud co-owner of the Bar None, a bakery specializing in bar cookies as well as owner of Quincy, a chubby yellow tabby cat who likes to taste-test. The first sign of trouble is when the new vet pronounces Quincy to be (gasp!) too fat and puts him on a diet. Neither Chase nor Quincy is enamored of the idea, but Chase decides to give it a try. A disgruntled Quincy follows his nose to more delectable food, which just happens to be located near the dead body of an unscrupulous business owner with whom Chase has clashed in the past. Can she clear her name? Can Quincy stick to his diet? Is this going to be a reoccurring theme?
In case it isn’t obvious, the answers are yes, no, and yes. Most of the book is told from Chase’s point of view, but there are sections in which we see the events from Quincy’s point of view. I found those sections to be particularly delightful but it’s possible that it would get old fast. Chase’s business partner in the Bar None shop is Anna, a seventy-something who is also the grandmother of Chase’s best friend. Other characters are gradually added during the series.
My biggest problem with the series was Chase. She is supposed to be a 32 year old entrepreneur but she seems more like a teenager: naïve, gullible, thoughtless. She isn’t unlikeable, but I was frustrated with her at several points. She is also mesmerized by cute guys (another reason I thought she seemed much younger than her supposed age) and doesn’t seem to be able to take charge of her employees. This doesn’t really improve throughout the books, but I decided to go with the flow instead of wanting to shake some sense into her. Communication between characters is sadly lacking, setting up situations which fester into problems that could have been solved in five minutes’ worth of conversation. The plots were okay, a bit far-fetched at times.
So why did I keep reading? I liked Quincy. I had a fat cat of my own, Melon, and Quincy reminded me very much of him. It’s entirely possible that I was projecting, but it seemed to me that Quincy had more personality than the human characters.
As a treadmill book, these didn’t work all that well. When I was annoyed with Chase, it was too easy to put the book down and wander off. However, I took Fat Cat Takes the Cake with me on a trip and it was much better as an airport book.
According to the Fat Cat website, the series was discontinued by the publisher. I’ll definitely miss Quincy. However, the author has several other series under the name Kaye George, including a new Vintage Sweets cozy series. The other series protagonists include a private investigator, a musician, and (most intriguingly!) a Neanderthal.
Maybe one of them will have a fat cat . . . well, maybe not the Neanderthal….
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Devon Connor knows her son, Tyson, is up to something. She thinks that her son is involved with drug dealers in some way as she has found money and more in his room including a Rolex. She wants private detective Elvis Cole to find out what her son is doing.
It does not take the world’s greatest detective long to figure out that Tyson, as well as his girlfriend, Amber, and another teen, Alec, are actually involved in burglaries. They have been taking expensive stuff from various houses. For the teens it is a rush and a game. For somebody they stole from it was very personal and that party has the resources to have them found, the property recovered, and the thieves dealt with in a very permanent way.
Until that happens, the two man hit team hired to find the stolen item will stack bodies in their hunt. It isn’t long before Elvis and the killers cross paths and the chaos begins to build. Good thing Cole has Pike to balance the odds a little bit.
The Wanted by Robert Crais is a fast paced thrill ride from start to finish. The read shifts nearly every chapter to a different character or characters as the chase winds across the Los Angeles area. What was taken and what it means is at the heart of a story where almost all the bad guys are identified from the start. Instead, the point of the read is building suspense as Elvis and Pike try to keep the clients alive and figure out what they want back and more.
While The Wanted is the latest in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series, it can easily be read as a standalone. There are hardly any backstory references in the book so reading this one first for readers new to the series would not be a hindrance. Readers of the series to this point should understand that while the tale is a good one, there is less meat on the bones here in terms of other characters being developed. For the most part, the secondary characters tend to be stock characters and at times a bit clichéd. The Wanted is one of those books that you read that is written in such a way that would be easy for Hollywood to make a movie.
Despite all of that, for what it is, The Wanted by Robert Crais is a pretty good read. It keeps the action moving forward at a strong pace and author Robert Crais does a good job of escalating things as needed. While not nearly as good as earlier books in the series, it is a good read and worth your time.
The Wanted: An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel
G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House LLC)
Hardback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
Material supplied by the good people of the Dallas Library System. Support your local libraries. When the zombies attack and the grid goes down, all those internet connected devices are not going to be worth crap. We will need printed books to rebuild the world.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2018
Monday, March 19, 2018
Unholy Writ by David Williams (Williams Collins Sons, 1976) is the first of 17 mysteries published between 1976 and 1993 featuring Mark Treasure, Vice-Chairman of Grenwood Phipps & Co., merchant bankers of London, and his actress wife Molly. Treasure is clearly cousin to John Putnam Thatcher, Senior Vice-President of the Sloan Guaranty Trust bank in New York. Anyone who has read the Emma Lathen series will recognize many of the same themes transported across the Atlantic.
The book opens with a letter dated 19 October 1644 from a landed Royalist to his wife, explaining where he hid the family valuables as well as a manuscript by Will Shakespeare about Arden Forest. The letter adjures the wife to hasten with their son to a place of safety while the writer continues to fight for the King against the traitor Cromwell.
The timeframe moves to the present where Mark Treasure is looking forward to a weekend in the country near Northampton after bank meetings have been cancelled unexpectedly. Treasure is a cousin to Sir Arthur Moonlight, the former owner of Mitchell Hall, who has come to regret allowing George Scarbuck, leader of the right-wing Forward Britain Movement, to acquire the white elephant. Treasure is enlisted to arrange to buy the estate back, even though doing so will bankrupt Sir Arthur.
Quite a lot goes on in this compact story. The parish grave digger disappears just before a funeral and his body is found in a burning boat miles away, bringing in the local police. An explosion in the middle of the night causes even more havoc. Scarbuck’s method of circumventing the strict laws on foreign workers --bringing in Filipino natives “on holiday” while they actually do manual labor for pennies a day-- gets a lot of verbiage. One of them escapes on a motorcycle and leads Treasure and the police on a midnight chase through the country. An Oxford grad student working on her doctoral dissertation searches for evidence that Shakespeare’s play As You Like It was initially staged in the gardens at Mitchell Hall. The dry and understated narrative results in some amusing scenes throughout and a hilarious one on the golf course.
Architectural features abound. Every parapet, column, roof, balustrade, etc. is described in exhaustive and exhausting detail. Some of the plot hinges on the construction of specific buildings. I was convinced the author was an architect and was quite surprised to learn he was an advertising executive before he took up mystery writing. Simon Brett wrote an informative obituary about Williams, which can be found here: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2003/oct/02/guardianobituaries.advertising
Review and photo based on the 2002 reprint by Chivers Press.
Hardcover: 156 pages
Publisher: Black Dagger Crime Series, 2002, Reprint
Aubrey Hamilton ©2018
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
It came up in my Facebook feed yesterday that it was five years since Scott and I had been down at the Dallas Museum of Art. We went, as did Sandi, because Scott had an Art Class at UTD and had to write a paper. So, if you follow the link, you can see a bit of text and a lot of pictures down at the museum.
We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review ( www.crimereview.co.uk), together with a top industry interview. This time it’s author Quintin Jardine in the Countdown hot seat. We’re on Twitter at: Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia This week’s reviews are: RIGHTEOUS by Joe Ide, reviewed by Chris Roberts Neighbourhood sleuth Isaiah Quintabe is getting closer to explaining his brother’s death, and is asked to help when a couple of gamblers get into trouble with Chinese triads. THE GIRL IN THE GREEN DRESS by Cath Staincliffe, reviewed by John Cleal Transgender teenager Allie Kennaway is brutally murdered at her school’s prom night. As Manchester police face the most vicious of hate crimes, two parents must decide how far they will go to protect their own child. WATCHING YOU by Arne Dahl, reviewed by Ewa Sherman Detective Sam Berger is convinced that a third missing 15-year-old girl is in fact another victim of a serial killer. He’s forced to deal with his long-buried personal demons to understand and catch the murderer. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by AJ Finn, reviewed by Nicola Hodges Dr Anna Fox is severely agoraphobic and watches her New York neighbours all day. She witnesses a serious crime in the house opposite and fights to prove it. NIGHT SCHOOL by Lee Child, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan Major Jack Reacher and two others are given a special project concerning a mystery American in Germany. First they have to find out who he is and why he is mysterious. A WANTED MAN by Robert Parker, reviewed by Linda Wilson Ex-soldier Ben Bracken is out of prison, but not through the normal channels. He’s a man on a mission, and the mission is revenge. But the murder of an old friend’s father derails his plans. ONE DAMN THINGS AFTER ANOTHER by Dan Latus, reviewed Arnold Taylor Being a Good Samaritan is not without its dangers, as private investigator Frank Doy discovers to his cost. IN THE DARK by Andreas Pflüger, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor Five years ago, tracking down a ruthless serial killer would have been all in a day’s work. But five years ago, Jenny Aaron wasn’t blind.
THE PRINCE AND THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS by Saul David, reviewed by John Cleal Jack the Ripper is murdering and mutilating prostitutes. Zulu Hart is called back to England by the Duke of Cambridge, his natural father, to investigate evidence which seems to point to Prince Edward as the killer. BLACKSTONE by Richard Falkirk, reviewed by Linda Wilson Bow Street Runner Edmund Blackstone is assigned to look after the young Princess Alexandrina Victoria, but things don’t quite go according to plan. DISTRICT VIII by Adam Lebor, reviewed by Chris Roberts Romany cop Balthazar Kovacs receives a text showing a dead man, one of the hundreds of refugees crowded into Budapest hoping for a new life in the West. SCARED TO DEATH by Kate Medina, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor A baby is found abandoned in an A&E unit. The police believe there is a possible link to a young man’s suicide a year before. GRINGA by Joe Thomas, reviewed by Chris Roberts Detective Leme has gringa Ellie under observation – she enters a building but doesn’t come out. When he follows, he finds a man dead and Ellie gone. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE by Jessie Daniels, reviewed by Linda Wilson Recently widowed Effie James does a favour for a friend and joins a local ghost-hunting group. To her surprise, it’s all a lot more interesting than she expected. SOOT by Andrew Martin, reviewed by John Cleal Fletcher Rigge, languishing in a debtor’s prison, receives a bizarre proposition. Find the killer of a prominent silhouette artist in one month and have his debts paid off, or return to jail possibly for the rest of his life. HOLLYWOOD HANG TEN by Eve Goldberg, reviewed by Chris Roberts Surfer dude and private investigator Ryan Zorn takes his first independent job, locating a missing boy, but finds a connection to the blackmail of Hollywood stars. A MAP OF THE DARK by Karen Ellis, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor Special Agent Elsa Myer is emotionally torn, hunting for a missing 17-year-old girl, whilst her father lies in a hospital bed, dying of cancer. GIRL IN SNOW by Danya Kukafka, reviewed by John Cleal Golden girl Lucinda Hayes is found murdered. Three small town misfits record their reactions as the hunt for the killer continues. SHATTERED MINDS by Laura Lam, reviewed by John Barnbrook In a future world, virtual reality is used to modify experience but a company plans a new program to control the emotions of the whole population. The Trust, a group of like-minded individuals, are determined to stop them. ALL THE RAGE (audiobook) by Courtney Summers, reviewed by Linda Wilson The sheriff’s son assaulted Romy Grey, but no one believed her. Then when Romy goes missing after a school party, she gets little sympathy then, either. And soon another girl is missing. Best wishes Sharon www.crimereview.co.uk
Mega-List of University Literary Journals Accepting Submissions in Fiction, Poetry, Art, CNF: CC0 License You may wonder why you should submit to literary journals run by MFA programs. They seldom pay, and they often charge to sub...
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "A Whisper of Bones" by Ellen Hart http://kingsriverlife.com/03/17/a-whisper-of-bones-by-ellen-hart/
Also, Elaine Viets shares about the re release of her Dead-End Job mystery series, and there is a giveaway of the entire series in ebook http://kingsriverlife.com/03/17/play-it-again/
And we have a review & giveaway of "Head Wounds" by Dennis Palumbo http://kingsriverlife.com/03/17/dennis-palumbos-head-wounds/
And a review & giveaway of a debut mystery-"The French Girl" by Lexie Elliott, along with an interesting interview with Lexie http://kingsriverlife.com/03/17/the-french-girl-by-lexie-elliott/
We also have a cat mystery short story by Elaine Faber http://kingsriverlife.com/03/17/bubbles-baubles-a-cat-mystery-short-story/
And a review of mystery TV show "The Alienist" http://kingsriverlife.com/03/17/the-alienist-tv-review/
On KRL News & Reviews we have a review & giveaway of "Scones and Scoundrels" by Molly MacRae http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/scones-and-scoundrels-by-molly-macrae.html
This week, I'm giving away cozy mysteries involving weddings - Maggie McConnon's Bel, Book and Scandal & Diane Kelly's Death, Taxes and a Shot Gun Wedding. Details on my blog at http://www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com. Entries from the U.S. only, please.-- Lesa Holstine firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 16, 2018
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths: Reviewed by Jeanne Ruth Galloway, university professor and archaeologist, is called in once again to examine some bones fou...
Gravetapping: SOME DIE HARD by Stephen Mertz: Some Die Hard is Stephen Mertz’s first published novel. It appeared as a paperback original in 1979 from the low-rent New York publisher ...
A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: RELEASE DAY FOR TEXAS LIGHTNING!: Top o' the morning to you! Your reply should be, " And the rest of the day to yourself. " I'm only a little Irish mix...
Crime Watch: Review: GREEN SUN: GREEN SUN by Kent Anderson (Mulholland Books, 2018) Reviewed by Craig Sisterson Hanson thought he had witnessed the worst of humanity ...
Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. My review of Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater originally appeared in November 2011. It seemed time to blow off the dust, tweak a couple of things, and run it again today. Make sure you check out the full list over at Patti’s blog as well as her new book, I Bring Sorrow And Other stories Of Transgression.
With rookie River Ranger Mandy Tanner and her boss Steve Hadley watching, things are about to get very dangerous on the Arkansas River in Colorado. One of the river rafts has flipped and tossed equipment and passengers into the swirling river churning towards some deadly rapids. With odds against them before they start, Tanner and Hadley start trying to rescue as many they can as fast as they can. That results in Mandy Tanner performing her first river rescue in increasingly dangerous conditions as she breaks protocol to save lives.
Rules are in place for a reason and she is lucky to have survived. Her second week patrol proves that sometimes doing things in an orthodox way is at times very necessary. She successfully pulls in two passengers, one female and one male. The woman, Hannah Fowler, is shaken but, all things considered, okay. The man, a local land developer named Tom King, was dead by the time she got him out of the water to a river bank.
With a wrongful death lawsuit in the early stages and her Uncle’s river rafting business at stake, Mandy Tanner decides to investigate and ask questions of anyone involved with that river trip. Her questions annoy a long list of suspects especially when it becomes clear Tom King was a victim of foul play. Still reeling from her guilt over Tom King’s death and a second much closer to home tragedy, Mandy Tanner does not know when to shut up and enjoy the river while leaving the case to the law enforcement professionals. If she isn’t careful and very lucky, her career and her young life might be over before it really starts.
Reminiscent of early Nevada Barr novels and not just because of the outdoor setting, this cozy style read is the start of a new series featuring River Ranger Mandy Tanner. Known for her novels A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket this novel is far different in style and tone. Along with a detailed and obvious appreciation of the outdoors, author Beth Groundwater has created an interesting core group of characters, a complex mystery, and plenty of action and adventure.
The start of a new series, Deadly Currents is not only good, but puts down an excellent foundation to build on. In will be very interesting to see how this develops further with Wicked Eddies slated for publication next year.
Deadly Currents: A RM Outdoors Adventures Mystery
Midnight Ink (Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.)
Paperback (also available in the Kindle)
Material supplied by the author quite some time ago in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2011, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Mystery Fanfare: Unforgotten: PBS Masterpiece Mystery!: PBS Masterpiece Mystery! has a new series coming up that starts Sundays April 8 and runs through May 13 (9 pm, but check local listings)....
Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Black Seraphim: Michael Gilbert: A description from the back of my paperback ediition: James Scotland, a young pathologist, has come to Melchester on a much-needed vacatio...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Sailing Alone, Coldest Winter, Roger Co...: Reported by Ambrea Nevermore started off with a pertinent poem by Billy Collins: “The name of the author is the first to go Fol...
Mystery Fanfare: St Patrick's Day Mysteries - St. Patrick's Day Cri...: Erin - Go - bragh! St. Patrick's Day figures in several mysteries , so here's my updated St. Patrick's Day Crime Fiction li...
Only days left to win a copy of "The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover" by Susan Wittig Albert, Author http://kingsriverlife.com/03/10/the-darling-dahlias-and-the-unlucky-clover-by-susan-wittig-albert/ Only days left to win a copy of "Murder in an Irish Churchyard" by Carlene O'Connor, & while there check out a fun St. Patrick's Day guest post by Carlene http://kingsriverlife.com/03/10/murder-in-an-irish-churchyard-by-carlene-oconnor/ Only days left to win a copy of "Killing in C Sharp" by Alexia Gordon, & while there check out a fun interview with Alexia http://kingsriverlife.com/03/10/killing-in-c-sharp-by-alexia-gordon/ Only days left to win a copy of "Little Girl Gone" by Gerry Schmitt aka Laura Childs http://kingsriverlife.com/03/10/little-girl-gone-by-gerry-schmitt/ Only days left to win a copy of "The Pajama Frame" by Diane Vallere http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/the-pajama-frame-by-diane-vallere.html Only days left to win a copy of "Deja Moo" by Kirsten Weiss, http://www.krlnews.com/2018/03/deja-moo-by-kirsten-weiss.html Happy reading! Lorie
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: INN THE SPIRIT OF LEGENDS: Inn the Spirit of Legends Spirits of Texas Book 1 by Becki Willis Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery From the author of...
Unity, Utah is where Kate and J.D. Blaze were planning to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The badlands that surround the town are home to numerous silver and gold mines. Those mines are responsible for most of the males in the town of Unity. Some of those miners and few others are in the saloon known as Petey’s Bucket of Blood as is Kate Blaze. That is until a nearby gunshot draws her and numerous others out to the dark streets like moths to a flame.
That pull leads Katie Blaze and numerous members of the local populace to a nearby alley where they find Sheriff Gentry holding a man at gunpoint. That man facing the deadly blast from a shotgun should he do anything at all is her husband, J.D. Blaze. If that wasn’t bad enough, Deputy Haskins is dead nearby and J.D. did kill him. Why he did it is not clear and most folks don’t care and want Sheriff Gentry to mete out justice with his shotgun. Fortunately for J. D. and his wife, Sheriff Gentry is not ready to shoot J.D. unless he has no other choice.
Why J. D. Blaze killed Deputy Haskins and what that had to do with the missing Spanish gold, missing men, and an albino who seems to have nefarious purposes in mind, are just some of the factors at work in Blaze! Spanish Gold. This is the eighteenth installment in the adult western series started by author Stephen Mertz. Like others in the series, including author Ben Boulden’s recent installment entry, Blaze! Red Rock Rampage, this is a standalone entry chronicling the exploits of the married gunfighter duo.
Those exploits happen on the trail, in town, and are often violent in nature against those who mean to do them harm. Those exploits are also detailed when they are in the form of a passionate nature as a married couple. These books are billed “adult westerns” and that means there is a high level of detail regarding intimate moments that one rarely sees in a western.
Blaze! Spanish Gold is another solidly good western tale with a few good guys, plenty of black hats, and a lot more innocents that can’t escape the evil that has Utah, Unity in its grasp. The mystery and romantic elements add color to a fine western tale. A fast and fun read that is well worth your time.
Blaze! Spanish Gold (Blaze! Western Series Book 18)
Rough Edges Press
Paperback (eBook available)
Rough Edges Press
Paperback (eBook available)
Print copy supplied by the author late last November for my use to read and review with no expectation of a review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2018