Saturday, November 16, 2019

Truth Telling


SleuthSayers: Boucherconnections, 2019 by John M. Floyd

SleuthSayers: Boucherconnections, 2019: Two weeks ago I attended my sixth Bouchercon mystery convention, in Dallas. My wife Carolyn and I drove over from our home in Mississippi,...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Case of the Black Twenty-Two (1928) by Brian F...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Case of the Black Twenty-Two (1928) by Brian F...: The Case of the Black Twenty-Two (1928) is only the second entry in the Anthony Bathurst series, but the plot already showed improvement o...

Barry Ergang: The Play Of Light And Shadow


Barry Ergang’s excellent mystery, The Play Of Light And Shadow, is now available in both print and digital formats. Previously only available in digital format, Barry has made a print edition now available and both editions feature the new snazzy cover. You can find it on Amazon in both formats and digital only at Smashwords.

Synopsis:

A party at the home of a wealthy couple to celebrate the recent acquisition of a valuable painting results in the painting's theft from a locked room under constant observation, and the subsequent murder of one of the guests. Is the culprit a legendary master thief out for revenge? Darnell, a no-nonsense private detective and Alan Driscoll, a college professor turned bartender, team up to investigate in this whodunit/howdunit. Plus an article about how the novelette came to be written: "Writing THE PLAY OF LIGHT AND SHADOW."



KRL Update: KRL This Week for 11/16/19

Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Shot Through the Hearth" by Kate Carlisle

Also up, a review and giveaway of our first Christmas mystery of the season, "Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide" by Lois Winston along with a fun guest post by Lois 

And reviews and giveaways of another fun group of mysteries, one of which is another
Christmas mystery-"A Killer Carol": An Amish Mystery by Laura Bradford, "Beyond a Reasonable Stout": A Sloan Krause series by Ellie Alexander, "Read and Buried": A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates, and "All Hat’s on Deck": A Missy DuBois Mystery by Sandra Bretting

We also have a review of "Stumptown" https://kingsriverlife.com/11/16/stumptown-on-abc/

And a review and giveaway of "Carpet Diem" by Misty Simon along with a fun interview with Misty 

And a look at 3 mysteries by Steven J Havill 

Up in KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and ebook giveaway of "Thanksgiving by the Sea" by Kathi Daley

And a review and giveaway of "Lowcountry Boomerang" by Susan M. Boyer published by Henery Press

And a review and giveaway of 2 mystery anthologies-"The Book of Extraordinary Historical Mystery Stories" and "The Book of Extraordinary Amateur Sleuth and Private Eye Stories"

Happy reading,
Lorie

Do Some Damage: It was like ........the use of similes and metapho...

Do Some Damage: It was like ........the use of similes and metapho...: I love a good metaphor.   I know I know, its cliche and trite in crime fiction but dammit a really good simile or metaphor makes me smile l...

Scott's Take: Daredevil End of Days by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack


Daredevil End of Days by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack is a tale of a possible future in the Marvel Universe. The story is told from the perspective of reporter Ben Urich who is investigating the murder of Matt Murdoch aka Daredevil. That investigation by Ben Urich draws in many supporting characters of the Daredevil world such as friends Spiderman, the Punisher, Nick Fury as well as enemies such as the Kingpin, Bullseye, The Owl, Bullet and The Purple Man. Not only is the legacy of Daredevil as hero considered, so too is the private life and his romantic relationships with Elektra, Black Widow, Typhoid Mary, and others.  There is a lot of introspection in to the character of Daredevil and Matt Murdock on who he is. Why did he do what he did?

The Punisher has some great moments in the latter half of the book that I enjoyed a lot. Spiderman gets his moments and the villains have their moments too. Black Widow has a great moment that one cannot go into detail without ruining the main twist. Someone could easily write a sequel to this book based on that off camera moment that is referenced in the story.

There is a lot of action, violence, ninjas and it is a very good mystery. What happens flows well and makes a lot of sense for each of the characters. This is a very mature story with a lot of violent death so this is not for kids. Readers should keep in mind that Matt Murdock got around a lot so a lot of implied sex scenes and dialogue. The artwork is good if a little dark, but fits the story. 

People who are new to Daredevil could be confused on why some characters are important since a book like this really needs some kind of chart or biography of various characters to explain why they matter. This book is not very new reader friendly and needs a backstory explanation in regards to various characters.  It is a great story, but is not new reader friendly.  Strongly recommended to readers familiar with the Daredevil series. 



Daredevil End of Days
Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack
Marvel
July 2013
ISBN #978-0-7851-2420-7
Hardback (also available in digital format)

My review copy came from the Park Forest Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.

Scott A. Tipple ©2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

Writer Beware: SCANDAL ENGULFS INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER CHIZINE PUBLICATIONS

Writer Beware: SCANDAL ENGULFS INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER CHIZINE PUBLICATIONS

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Vessel by Lisa Nichols

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Vessel by Lisa Nichols: Reviewed by Laura             This book is described as a tense psychological thriller perfect for fans of The Martian . It ...

Unlawful Acts: New Releases, July through Octoberish

Unlawful Acts: New Releases, July through Octoberish

Lesa's Book Critiques: Winner and Christmas Giveaway

Lesa's Book Critiques: Winner and Christmas Giveaway

FFB Review: Grace: A Willie Black Mystery by Howard Owen


FFB Review returns today with a series that I am enjoying very much. Grace: A Willie Black Mystery by Howard Owen is the fifth book in a great series that started with Oregon Hill. This is a series that should be read in order. For more reading suggestions, make sure you head over to Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog.

The fifth in the series, Grace: A Willie Black Mystery, opens early in December 2014 a few months after the preceding novel, The Bottom. Kids have been vanishing for years from Richmond’s East End. Nobody has been doing much about it because of racism, the fact that kids come from poor families, or for some other reason. The bottom line is that young black kids have been disappearing for years now and Artesian Cole is the latest young boy to vanish.

But, this time is different as they have the child’s body. Despite being bagged and weighed down with rocks, Artesian Cole surfaced in the waters of a lake over in Bryon Park. In the fifth grade, he also attended an afternoon tutoring program at the “Children of God.” Local legend Sam McNish has been running the program for many years despite some opposition in the neighborhood who would rather see the property put to a better use as they see it.

The death of Artesian Cole soon causes the arrest of Sam McNish by the local cops. Not only is he subsequently blamed for the murder of Artesian Cole, he is publicly blamed for the disappearances of other children as well. A fact that does not sit at all well with Willie Black.

Reporter Willie Black is well aware that the evidence against McNish is barely better than fence line gossip. Having worked the police beat for many years he is also aware that often the local cops have it all wrong. Both these two factors push him to start investigating and digging into the case. As usual, his digging causes issues with local law enforcement as well as his bosses at the paper who would prefer him to accept the official line.

Grace: A Willie Black Mystery by Howard Owen builds on the previous books in the series. Along with the occasional references to previous books in the series, characters in this read continue to evolve and change. While one could read this one as the starting point, one could also go jump off the roof if one wanted to do so. It would be far better to avoid roof jumping as well as to start this very good series from the beginning, Oregon Hill.

The Series to this point and my Reviews

Oregon Hill (June 14, 2019)

The Philadelphia Quarry (July 19, 2019)

Parker Field (September 2019)

The Bottom (October 4, 2019)




Grace: A Willie Black Mystery
Howard Owen
The Permanent Press
October 2016
ISBN# 978-1-57962-434-7
Hardback (also available in audio and digital formats)
245 Pages

My reading copy came from the Central Downtown Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 11/14/19

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 11/14/19

Buried Under Books Review: Past and Present by Judy Penz Sheluk

Buried Under Books Review: Past and Present by Judy Penz Sheluk

Ladies of Mystery: Law or Justice? What Do They Mean to Mystery Writers? by Janis Patterson

Ladies of Mystery:  Law or Justice? What Do They Mean to Mystery Writers? by Janis Patterson 

Mystery Tribune: Sarah Dessen is Your Helpful Reminder to Never Punch Down

Mystery Tribune: Sarah Dessen is Your Helpful Reminder to Never Punch Down

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Flying Boat Mystery (1935) by Franco Vailati

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Flying Boat Mystery (1935) by Franco Vailati: Leo Wollenborg Jr. was the son of a German-born Italian economist and a journalist, who moved to the United States in response to the int...

Matt Paust's Crime Time Review: THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA by Martin Cruz Smith

Matt Paust's Crime Time : THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA – Martin Cruz Smith: My fears after reading Arkady Renko’s previous adventure have proven unfounded. I’d predicted that Tatiana , #8 in the Russian crime seri...

Bitter Tea and Mystery Review: Death After Breakfast by Hugh Pentecost

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Death After Breakfast: Hugh Pentecost: I read the Pierre Chambrun novels by Hugh Pentecost years ago, and remember them fondly. Chambrun is the manager of a luxury hotel in New Yo...

Do Some Damage: The Joy of Quitting by David Nemeth

Do Some Damage: The Joy of Quitting: By David Nemeth Americans don't quit enough, a writer may have told me. It might have been, "Americans don't like quitt...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Keller, Blaedel, Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Keller, Blaedel, Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,...: Reported by Kristin Nevermore began with laughter, as one reader exclaimed that she really did not enjoy A Killing in the Hills...

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 11/12/19

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 11/12/19

Beneath the Stains of Time: A Twisted Fairy Tale: "The Too-Perfect Alibi" (194...

Beneath the Stains of Time: A Twisted Fairy Tale: "The Too-Perfect Alibi" (194...: " Dark theaters are best for dark deeds ." Previously, I reviewed Christopher St. John Sprigg's The Perfect Alibi...

Jeanne Reviews: Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Please welcome back Jeanne of the BPL with her latest review …


Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert


As with many small towns, Taylorsford, Virginia is looking for a festival to act as a draw for tourists. The mayor thinks a revival of the traditional May Day festivities might be just the ticket, and a college professor and her class are gathering information on local folklore and customs to add weight. Things go awry when one of the students goes missing.  The search turns up the student, injured but alive.  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the person found with her. . .  and just like that, librarian Amy Webber finds herself trying to solve a murder.

This is the third in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, and it is an enjoyable entry. I confess I had my doubts early on, as Amy’s significant other Richard Muir is considered a suspect and Amy fears that Richard’s affections may be waning.  One thing I had particularly appreciated in the series was the relationship between the two characters which I found refreshing for the lack of drama.  I’m happy to say that issue was resolved relatively early on in the book, letting the mystery take over.

The small town Blue Ridge setting is well done, and I especially like the folklore aspect.  Since I live near the region depicted in the books, I found much that rang true:  the old May Day festivals, the ghosts, hidden treasure, etc. all sounded very familiar.

The plot featured some good twists and turns, red herrings, and an interesting solution.  Gilbert is good about playing fair with the clues, which I appreciate in an author.

In short, this is a solid mystery that will entertain the cozy aficionado. While reading the two prior books in the series would illuminate character, this can be read as a standalone.

The other books in the series are A Murder for the Books and Shelved Under Murder.  However, keep in mind that the solution to the first mystery spoiled in the second. The fourth book in the series, Bound for Murder, is due out in January 2020.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Monday, November 11, 2019

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 11/11/19

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 11/11/19

Matt Paust's Crime Time : EASY ERRORS by Steven F. Havill

Matt Paust's Crime Time : EASY ERRORS – Steven F. Havill: Were I to consider becoming a police officer I doubt I could find better and more interesting training literature than Steven Havill'...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Perfect Alibi (1934) by Christopher St. John S...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Perfect Alibi (1934) by Christopher St. John S...: Christopher St. John Sprigg 's The Perfect Alibi (1934) is the third novel in the regrettably short-lived series about the Mercury ...

Bitter Tea and Mystery Review: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Woman in White: Wilkie Collins: This book is one of the first sensation novels. First published in 1859, it tells the story of a young woman  (Laura Fairlie) who marries un...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End...: Reviewed by Jeanne Modern medicine has had an enormous impact on society, and not just in the form of longer lifespans.   Ther...

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 81

Glad to see this deal by David Nemeth return....

Unlawful Acts: Incident Report No. 81

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 11/11/19

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 11/11/19

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Nov. 11-17...

TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Nov. 11-17...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of November 11-17, 2019 compiled exclusively for  Lone Star Literary Life  by Texas Book Lover.  ...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Wyatt by Garry Disher


The anti-hero always has a place in my crime fiction reading. I happily collected all of the Parker books, was tickled to discover Canada’s equivalent in Wilson, and now I find Wyatt. Wyatt by Garry Disher (Soho Crime, 2011) is the seventh book in this series about a professional thief in Melbourne but the first one published in the U.S. Wyatt is being driven out of his livelihood by technology. Few people carry enough cash these days to attract his attention, since they use their credit and debit cards instead. He lacks the skills to bypass the high-end security systems protecting large amounts worth the risk. Stealing art is not as easy as taking cash, and disposing of jewelry can be difficult. He’s begun taking on partners, which he really doesn’t like to do; they can be unreliable and create another item to be managed.

Eddie Oberin, a middleman in the underworld who passes information on for a fee, approaches Wyatt about the potential of a jewelry heist Eddie’s ex-wife Lydia told him about. A French courier visits a Melbourne jewelry designer periodically, bringing gems and watches he’s pinched in Europe. The Melbourne jeweler spreads the stolen goods among his many retail clients, who in turn market them as estate wares. The geographic distance between the theft site and the place the valuables re-appear almost guarantees they won’t be traced.

Wyatt is reluctant to work with Eddie and Lydia but really has no choice, it’s her score to begin with. They’ve included him because they need his experience and planning ability. He and Eddie smoothly steal the van the Melbourne jeweler uses to transport the stolen loot. They make their way to the park where they are supposed to remove the gems, leave the van, and meet Lydia, but the gig goes sideways at that point and Wyatt has to improvise madly.

The story is like a semi-tractor truck with failed brakes going downhill from there on. Wyatt struggles to escape capture, contain the fallout, and determine what went wrong. The plot is complicated, and Wyatt is a great character, smart, quick-witted, and decisive. The repeated references to how technology has changed the life of the ordinary thief are thought-provoking. I am adding the earlier books in the series to my TBR list.

2010 Ned Kelly Award for Crime Writing, Best Novel. Starred reviews from BooklistLibrary Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

·         Hardcover: 288 pages
·         Publisher: Soho Crime; 1 edition (August 9, 2011)
·         Language: English
·         ISBN-10: 1569479623
·         ISBN-13: 978-1569479629


Aubrey Hamilton ©2019
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thoughts of Bouchercon 2019


I don’t know that the world needs another recap of Bouchercon 2019. But, I had a blast and do have some pictures to share thanks to Scott. This was my only Boucheron so it was a once in a lifetime experience. It was also something I never would have done if not for the fact that, for some insane reason, Carol Puckett arranged things so I was comped for everything outside of meals and drinks.

Why she did it I have no idea. I also have no idea why so many folks came up to me and thanked me for what I do. Not just on behalf of the SMFS, but what I do here with this blog and in general regarding mysteries, books, and such. Quite honestly, I don’t see it as I feel that no one would notice if I quietly folded the blog bay doors and called it a day.  To have so many tell me that I make an impact was stunning and overwhelming.

Which was my feeling most of the five days. To meet Reed Farrel Coleman, Joe Landsdale, Lawrence Block, and many others who actually knew who the heck I was, was just incredible. Most of the time I was able to avoid mental vapor lock and actually string a few words together in a sentence or two that made sense. To finally meet Lesa Holstine and Angela Crider Neary in person was an incredible treat. To present the Derringer Awards on behalf of the SMFS, which is as close as I will ever get to that award, was a nerve wracking and incredible experience.

In short, it was all awesome.

Below are a few pictures of me and others at Bouchercon.

Lesa Holstine 

Legendary Dallas QB Roger Staubach 

Hanging out with Johnny Wesner



Do Some Damage: A Rock Drummer Amateur PI, by Jonathan Brown

Do Some Damage: A Rock Drummer Amateur PI, by Jonathan Brown: One of the best things about a crime fiction convention is all the people you meet. This happens in the hallways and book signing lines ...

Lesa's Book Critiques: The Little Book of Bob by James Bowen

Lesa's Book Critiques: The Little Book of Bob by James Bowen

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Derringer Award Presentation 2019

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Derringer Award Presentation 2019: During Bouchercon 2019 held at the Hyatt Hotel in Dallas, SMFS President Kevin R. Tipple presented the Derringer Medals to the winners prese...

The Rap Sheet: Bullet Points: Pre-Veterans Day Edition

The Rap Sheet: Bullet Points: Pre-Veterans Day Edition

Saturday, November 09, 2019

SleuthSayers: My Rules of Mystery by Stephen Ross

SleuthSayers: My Rules of Mystery: Many writers have drafted up a set of "rules" for how to write and, specifically, how to write mysteries. I thought now would be a...

KRL Update: KRL This Week for 11/9/19

Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Silent Night, Deadly Night" by Vicki Delany


And a review and giveaway of "Murder Double or Nothing" by Lida Sideris


We also have a review and giveaway of "Stain on the Soul" by Michele Drier along with an interesting interview with Michele


And a review and ebook giveaway of "Make Believe Murder" by Leslie Langtry, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing


And a review of the "Father Brown" TV shows on BritBoxTV, including a look at the latest season, season 7


We also have a profile on The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Arizona


For those who prefer to listen to Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast directly on KRL, you can find the player here for the latest episode, "Fig Newtons and Heavy Bags" written by Earl Staggs and read by local actor Donna Beavers


Up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and giveaway of "A Curio Killing" by Mary Ellen Hughes


And a review and giveaway of "Skin in the Game" by DP Lyle


And a review and ebook giveaway of "Thanksgiving in Paradise" by Kathi Daley


Happy reading,

Lorie

Scott's Take: Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire: Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling Illustrator Jim Kay


Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire: Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling with illustrations by Jim Kay. This is the 4th book of Harry Potter series and the fourth to come out with illustrated edition by Jim Kay. The same team is supposed to be adapting the fifth book which should be coming out in a few years. Most people who are interested in this series have probably read the original books and the plot remains the same. What is different here is the text is accompanied by large illustrations that change the pace of the book.

The original book is longer than earlier books in the series and that changed how the illustrations are handled here. There are fewer illustrations in this book and they are not placed in such a way on the sides of a page to wrap around to the next as was done before in the previous illustrated volumes.  As in the earlier books in the series, the illustrations here are great and really add to the story. One of the cooler parts of the book is that the illustrations are based on how the book depicts characters and scenes rather than how the movies did it. That makes the illustrations true to the text as opposed to the Hollywood version we were given.

The book illustrations are more stylized and more fantasy orientated than the more realist oriented movie version. There are major changes such as with Victor Krum who is back to being more emo and somewhat ugly as opposed to the Russian style pretty boy jock of the movie. The camp preceding the Quidditch World Cup is illustrated as a whimsical and fun place that clearly showcases how different the Wizarding World Muggle World. Then there are the more subtle illustrative changes such as Harry Potter’s eyes are again green and Voldemort is again red eyed. Both of which were very different for the movie.  


These illustrated editions are a lot of fun and really are cool as they depict things as author J. K. Rowling originally intended. I highly recommend this book as well as the other editions in the illustrated series for fellow Harry Potter type fans. 



Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire: Illustrated Edition
J. K. Rowling
Illustrator Jim Kay
Arthur E. Levine Books Scholastic Inc.
October 2019
ISBN #978-0-545-79142-7
Coffee Table Hardback
464 Pages


Material supplied by the Grauwyler Park Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.


Scott A. Tipple ©2019

Friday, November 08, 2019

Mystery Fanfare: VETERANS DAY MYSTERIES

Mystery Fanfare: VETERANS DAY MYSTERIES: Veterans Day , originally known as Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day ), is November 11 . Veterans Day commemorates ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: DNA of You and Me by Andrea Rothman

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: DNA of You and Me by Andrea Rothman: Reviewed by Kristin Emily is more comfortable dealing with a microscope than with people. If she could just sit in a lab and a...

TP&WD: Game Warden Field Notes FOR 11/8/19

TP&WD: Game Warden Field Notes FOR 11/8/19

Buried Under Books Audio Book Review: Skeletons in the Attic by Judy Penz Sheluk

Buried Under Books Audio Book Review: Skeletons in the Attic by Judy Penz Sheluk

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: NEW RELEASE! MELODY, ANGEL CREEK CHRISTMAS BRIDE!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: NEW RELEASE! MELODY, ANGEL CREEK CHRISTMAS BRIDE!: I’m celebrating the release of MELODY, Angel Creek Christmas Brides book 7 today! This book was so much fun to research and write. It is ...

Thursday, November 07, 2019

No FFB Tomorrow

I just don't see a point in running yet another repeat. Todd Mason will have the list over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

Horror DNA: CHIZINE FUCKED UP, BUT THEY'RE THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG by Gabino Iglesias

Horror DNA: CHIZINE FUCKED UP, BUT THEY'RE THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG by Gabino Iglesias

Writer Beware: CONTEST CAUTION: THE SUNDAY TIMES AUDIBLE SHORT STORY AWARD

Writer Beware: CONTEST CAUTION: THE SUNDAY TIMES AUDIBLE SHORT STORY AWARD

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Manual of Detection: Jedediah Berry

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Manual of Detection: Jedediah Berry: My son bought this book at the book sale last year. We both read it recently, and we both enjoyed it. But it is very hard to describe. It is...

Do Some Damage: BOUCHERCON 2019 SIX GREAT THINGS AND ONE AWKWARD M...

Do Some Damage: BOUCHERCON 2019 SIX GREAT THINGS AND ONE AWKWARD M...: This past weekend I,along with about 1800 other people, attended the World's biggest mystery and crime convention, Bouchercon, in Dallas...

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Uncle B. Publications: Upcoming Publications and Submission Opportunities...

Uncle B. Publications: Upcoming Publications and Submission Opportunities...: Beginning in 2020, Uncle B. Publications, the publisher responsible for  Pulp Modern , will begin publishing other books, including charity ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Clock Dance, Lilac Girls, Salt Lane, Be...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Clock Dance, Lilac Girls, Salt Lane, Be...: Reported by Kristin Nevermore began with a touching novel, Clock Dance by Anne Tyler. Willa Drake is a middle aged woman look...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder en Route (1930) by Brian Flynn

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder en Route (1930) by Brian Flynn: Back in February, I reviewed a Dutch short story, Anne van Doorn's " De bus die de mist inging " ("The Bus That Went I...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ARTICLE 15 BY M.T. BASS

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ARTICLE 15 BY M.T. BASS: Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post! Article 15 by M.T. Bass GENRE: Mystery BLURB: “...

Do Some Damage: ¡Pa'Que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico

Do Some Damage: ¡Pa'Que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the Peopl...: Scott's note: Angel Colon revisits today to talk about a new collection he has edited.  It's called ¡Pa'Que Tu Lo Sepas!, and it...

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Sandra Ruttan Reviews: Maxine Unleashes Doomsday by Nick Kolakowski


This book also happens to be in my digital tbr pile though I have no idea when I will get to it. Please welcome back Sandra Ruttan who can tell you about the book now.


You're probably going to see a lot of Mad Max comparisons and references when people talk about Nick Kolakowski's Maxine Unleashes Doomsday, and there is definitely a Mad Max vibe. We're propelled into the future - a future where current borders don't all exist, where parts of the United States have broken off and become their own countries.


But, unlike the world of Mad Max, this isn't a parched earth starving for water. This is a world where the seas have risen and the skyscrapers of New York City are surrounded by water instead of roads.


Kolakowski uses a distinct storytelling approach by having the parts of Maxine's life segmented. We are aware from the inserts throughout (and the arguments between academic scholars and AI) that there are gaps missing. One of the benefits of this approach is that you don't project in the same way and expect people who are relevant in the second stage of Maxine's life to pop back up in the later segments. This keeps you on your toes as a reader, because you're never quite sure when a character is about to make their exit.


There's a lot to dissect in this book. It touches on climate change, attitudes towards poverty, political instability, technology and its potential ills, but it is never weighed down with these issues. Some books risk being soap boxes and feeling preachy as they delve into tough topics, but that's never the case here. This is a non-stop action thrill ride with substance and heart. Maxine is feisty and likable, a self-made heroine who isn't about to be stepped on and squished by the wealthy in society. 


There's solid crime components and this is a dystopian story that should appeal to fans of dark fantasy stories set in a future earth. There are also a lot of science fiction elements, although the story is never stalled by technological specifics. Whatever you call it, it's a great read worthy of your time. Sit down, buckle up, and brace yourself. Maxine is one of a kind.


I'd pay to see this on the big screen.

* Sandra interviews Nick about Maxine Unleashes Doomsday on November 13 www.bronzevillebee.com



Sandra Ruttan ©2019

Sandra Ruttan is the YA, sci fi, fantasy and horror acquisitions editor for Bronzeville Books http://www.bronzevillebooks.com/ and the managing editor for Bronzeville Bee http://www.bronzevillebee.com. Stay up to date via twitter @sandraruttan