have reviews and giveaways of another fun group of mysteries-"Down in
Flames": A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery by Cheryl Hollon, "Guilty as
Charred": A Cook-Off Mystery by Devon Delaney, "Left Fur Dead":
A Jules & Bun Mystery by J.M. Griffin, "Seeing Red": A Red
Herring Mystery by Dana Dratch, and "Murder’s No Votive Confidence":
A Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery by Christin Brecher
who prefer to listen to Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast directly on KRL we have a
player of the latest one here-"Sifting Through Clues" by Daryl Wood
Gerber. And we also have a contest for a chance to win a copy of the book
Society: Science Fair Crisis by Derek Fridolfs, Pamela Lovas, and Shane Clester is a book aimed
at the middle school or pre-teen reader.It comes to readers from the DC Universe and features the superheroes
when they were kids and members of the “Junior Detective Club.” The members
include Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and other
superheroes when they were kids and investigating mysteries around their
school. Secret Hero Society: Science Fair is the fourth book in the
series and this time the science fair is at risk because somebody keeps sabotaging
The story is
presented through various ways by using letters, illustrations, journal writings,
texts, emails and more. This book is fun and has an enjoyable story
featuring cameos of good and bad people from the DC Universe where here they
are students, teachers, and more. There are various jokes made that if a person
is familiar with the DC universe are funny. While the artwork in this one is
not nearly as good as the earlier books, the characterizations established
earlier in the series remains true
Therefore, it does
make sense that a middle school aged Batman is very interested in forensic
science and is always very secretive and a young Aquaman is interested in sea
life and is part of the swim team. This deal works with the adults as well
as James Gordon, instead of being a police captain, is a strict and fair principal.
Alec Holland (aka Swamp Thing) is a biology teacher with a focus on plants. One
of the PE teachers is the mercenary known as Sports Master and is really good
at sports. Here he is on the straight and narrow. In the comics where he is
also really good at sports, he wears a hockey mask and uses his sports skills
to commit crimes.
book and series is just a kid appropriate version of the Justice League. In these
tales, the authors deal with subjects important to the primary reading audience
such as bullying and other school problems. Those issues are raised in the
background while a pretty good mystery keeps kids reading. If you have a child
who likes mysteries and the DC Universe, this kid friendly story would be a
good match. Secret Hero Society: Science Fair Crisis by Derek Fridolfs,
Pamela Lovas, and Shane Clester is just fun.
This October, the
fifth book in the series titled, Secret Hero Society: The Field Trip Disaster
by this same writing and artwork team. The series begins with the 2016 book, The
Study Hall of Justice.
a recent unplanned hospital stay and complications from that as I am still not
back to my crummy normal, FFB here finally returns today with an all new review
from yours truly. This is the second book in a 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.
As we learned in the first book of this series, Oregon
Hill, reporter Willie Black is not one to back off the story even when
his bosses or the powerful elite order him to do so. While those in charge may
think it is a character flaw, like his drinking, others would see it as his way
of being principled when justice is being denied. The same is true in The Philadelphia
Quarry where a wrongfully convicted man is once again arrested for a
crime he did not commit.
In August 1983 in
the good city of Richmond, Virginia, Richard Slade was arrested for the rape of
sixteen year old Ashley Simpson. In May of 1984 he was convicted on little evidence
and sent to prison. In the middle of January 2011, he was finally released when
DNA evidence proved without a shadow of a doubt that he did not do it despite
the fact that Ashley Simpson identified him as her rapist those many years ago.
Her accusation was the main evidence against him at the time.
Did she make a horrible mistake or did she deliberately lie?
The Innocence Project may have successfully proven the point that
Mr. Slade was innocent of the crime of rape, but nothing can restore Mr.
Slade’s reputation in the minds of many or undo what Mr. Slade has gone through
all these years in prison.As he was
held for a crime he did not do, his reputation took a beating over the years,
in large part, due to scathing editorials that came out in the same newspaper that
Willie Black works for as a reporter. The paper, through those editorials, has
been very vocal in the belief that Mr. Slade was guilty and a threat to the
community. Then, as in now, many people did not understand that editorial writers
and news reporters share little in common other than being employed by the same
Decades ago, reporter
Willie Black worked the night crime beat and reported on the case from the
start. All these years later he is back on that same crime beat and thus back on
the story of Richard Slade and the victim, Ashley Simpson. In the hours
following Mr. Slade’s release, Willie Black is trying to do follow ups with the
two principals and isn’t getting any traction with either one of them. Simpson
and her well connected family want their privacy while Mr. Slade’s family sees
Willie Black as the enemy thanks to the editorials from the paper.
He is getting nowhere at all and then everything changes. Within hours
of Mr. Slade’s release, Simpson is shot and dies. Who has the best motive to
kill her? A man recently released from prison after being convicted of a rape
he did not do or somebody else? Within
hours of her death, Richard Slade is again arrested for a crime he did not
commit. The elite and powerful close ranks and before long Willie is being
asked to choose employment over chasing a story that is clearly going in a
different direction than his bosses would like.
Quarry is a powerful sequel to Oregon Hill. It is a timeless crime fiction
tale with plenty of twists and turns. Set in the twin dying worlds of journalism
and newspapers, the read powers along at a steady clip while also delivering
societal observations that are even more relevant today six years after
publication. It is also a mighty good mystery read.
Slam by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books, 2016)
is the sixth book in this award-winning series led by an irritable semi-retired
Japanese-American gardener in his 80s named Mas Arai who just wants to be left
alone. Instead, his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live with him,
interfering with Mas’s potential plans to ask his girlfriend to move in with
him and generally complicating his life.
The son-in-law has finally gotten a good job as
head groundskeeper at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and Mas is helping him out
during the World Baseball Classic series where Korea and Japan are playing. An
obnoxious Japanese sportswriter from an unsavory publication drops dead among
the crowd of spectators and journalists jostling for position near the dugout.
Mas ends up answering questions from the police instead of watching the game,
since he was helping pass water among the group.
The grandson of Mas’s childhood girlfriend
arrives from Japan a couple of days later ostensibly to take over the dead
sportswriter’s job and hires Mas as chauffeur and translator. In reality Yuki
is investigating what has turned out to be a homicide. The victim’s computer
files are missing and just what he was working on isn’t clear. Some signs point
to the dead journalist dabbling in blackmail on the side. Mas’s unwillingness
to explain his relationship to Yuki’s grandmother to Mas’s current girlfriend
creates a possible turning point in their lives.
This is a leisurely mystery, perhaps not for
everyone, no car chases and no shoot-outs, but it is a fine read about people
who sound authentic. It holds a great deal of history woven into the background
of the story, Japan and Korean political relationships, Hiroshima and World War
II survivors, prisoner exchanges, but none of it obtrusive. Other reviewers
suggest starting at the beginning of the series for a fuller picture of the
characters and their backgrounds.
·Paperback: 280 pages
·Publisher: Prospect Park
Books LLC - Prospect Park Books (April 26, 2016)
Hardcover Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon (HarperCollins, 1992) is the first in the police procedural mystery series with Guido Brun...
Supporting The Blog
In my wife's memory and honoring a promise I made to Sandi, the blog continues...at least for now. If you would like to make a donation of support, you can do so at the links below. Most of the donated funds go to the purchase of various short story anthologies and collections which eventually are read and reviewed here.