Thursday, January 31, 2019
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Dovekeepers, Bookshop of Yesterdays, Pa...: Reported by Ambrea Nevermore started their meeting off by sharing The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, which tells the story of ...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 19 Calls for Submissions in February 2019 - Paying...: Wikimedia There are 19 calls for submissions in February 2019. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. As al...
Only days left to win copies of another great bunch of food and wine mysteries-"Batter Off Dead": A Southern Cake Baker Mystery by Maymee Bell, "One Taste Too Many": Sarah Blair Mystery by Debra H. Goldstein, "Steamed Open": A Maine Clambake Mystery by Barbara Ross, "Wine and Punishment": A Literary Pub Mystery by Sarah Fox, "Live and Let Pie": A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander aka Kate Dyer-Seeley, "Kappy King and the Pie Kaper": An Amish Mystery by Amy Lillard
And to win a copy of "Crewel and Unusual" by Molly MacRae and while there check out a fun craft guest post from Molly
Also to win a copy of "Marriage Vow Murder" by Leslie Langtry along with an interesting interview with Leslie
And to win books by Alexis Morgan and Diane Kelly when you check out the latest mystery Coming Attractions,
And on KRL News and Reviews to win a copy of "A Display of Death" by Gin Jones
And to win a copy of "A Cold Brew Killing" by Lena Gregory
And to win a copy of "Murder at the Harbor Village" by GP Gardner
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Cat Lover’s Craft Book: Cute and Easy Accessor...: Reviewed by Kristin Are you crafty? Are you catty? Are you cattily crafty? Do you just love cats so much that you want t...
Mystery Fanfare: MURDER AT THE SUPER BOWL & Other Football Crime Fi...: There's lots of real crime surrounding the Super Bowl : drugs, money, egos, etc. Fodder for the crime writer . So in ...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Book Bingo!: By popular request, we are posting some of our Book Bingo Sheets! The rules are: Read a book or complete a task and mark off the correspon...
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Monday, January 28, 2019
|Photograph taken by Scott when I wasn't looking|
While the news had stories warning about the brutal cold far to our north, we had severe clear here and nearly 70 degrees. That meant there was only one thing to do.....READ OUTSIDE. Because Scott worked some magic on my iPad I can now finally check mail on that and then go back to the latest book.
By 4 we were driven inside as the southern end of the front had swept through and we had wind gusts into the 30s as the temps dropped. At this hour it is down to 42 here and blowing way harder than it was this afternoon. A freeze is predicted area wide tonight with a slight warming trend after tomorrow.
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 51 Writing Contests in February 2019 - No entry fe...: Wikimedia For a month that is nasty, brutish and short, February packs a punch when it comes to writing contests. This month there are ...
Unlawful Acts: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Do Some Damage: Be The Community You Want and Need: (All tweets displayed have corresponding links and only those with ability to share/retweet have been used, since those are public.) It w...
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar January 28...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of January 28-February 3, 2019: Special Events: Visiting Literary Scholar in Residence with Mei...
Lullaby Road by James Anderson (Crown, 2018) is another prose poem and unconventional crime fiction story from the author of The Never-Open Desert Diner. It features Ben Jones, a few months after the events of Diner. Winter started early and a snowstorm seems to be brewing on the horizon. Ben is in a hurry to fill his truck when he finds a large German shepherd or husky guarding a small child in the subfreezing wind at the truck stop. The owner has conveniently disappeared, no one else is around, and Ben can’t leave the child in the cold. Both the dog and the toddler, who doesn’t talk, join him in the warm truck so he can get on the road with the day’s delivery of water, propane, and other necessities to the isolated residents of Utah’s high desert. Among them are John, who walks the lonely state highway six months of the year carrying a huge wooden cross, no one knows why. Occasionally Ben stops to talk to John and they share an imaginary cigarette, as carefully rolled and lit and passed back and forth as if it were real tobacco. Another of the damaged but harmless desert rats is Roy, the proud creator of a solar-powered dog house made of used tires. Others who have come to the desert to hide from the world are not as innocuous but they all need the lifeline to the outside that Ben provides.
Searching for the child’s home is only one of the plots in this story. John is struck by a hit-and-run driver and sustains life-threatening injuries. There are of course no doctors practicing in that part of the state and the nearest hospital’s sole emergency helicopter has multiple calls for its services. Getting John to the hospital falls to Ben, as does stopping a shooting and robbery at the local convenience store. At home, his single-parent neighbor gives up on trying to work two jobs and go to college while taking care of her daughter and calls her domineering mother, who brings an aggressive boyfriend when she shows up.
Beautifully, exquisitely written, I focused on the telling of the story with its evocative imagery rather than the story itself for a considerable part of the tale, then began to fix on the people the narrative brings to life. These mini-plots are vignettes wrapped into a single book with the desert setting and the lost child as the threads that run through it from beginning to end. For readers who appreciate good writing and thoughtful portrayals of humanity.
· Hardcover: 320 pages
· Publisher: Crown (January 16, 2018)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 1101906545
· ISBN-13: 978-1101906545
Aubrey Hamilton ©2019
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Crime Time : Twofer: DEAD IN THE WATER/MURDER ON ICE – Ted Wood...: When Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone's booze problem cost him his wife and his job as a detective with the LAPD he went east, takin...
Bitter Tea and Mystery: A Colder Kind of Death: Gail Bowen: Gail Bowen is the author of an 18-book series featuring Joanne Kilbourn, a Canadian political analyst and college professor who lives in Reg...
Up in KRL this morning reviews and giveaways of another great bunch of food
and wine mysteries-"Batter Off Dead": A Southern Cake Baker Mystery by
Maymee Bell, "One Taste Too Many": Sarah Blair Mystery by Debra H. Goldstein,
"Steamed Open": A Maine Clambake Mystery by Barbara Ross, "Wine and
Punishment": A Literary Pub Mystery by Sarah Fox, "Live and Let Pie": A
Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander aka Kate Dyer-Seeley, "Kappy King and
the Pie Kaper": An Amish Mystery by Amy Lillard
And a review and giveaway of "Crewel and Unusual" by Molly MacRae along
with a fun craft guest post from Molly
And a review and ebook giveaway of "Marriage Vow Murder" by Leslie Langtry
along with an interesting interview with Leslie
Also up, the latest mystery Coming Attractions, along with a chance to win
books by Alexis Morgan and Diane Kelly
Up in KRL News and Reviews this week a review and ebook giveaway of "A
Display of Death" by Gin Jones
And a review and ebook giveaway of "A Cold Brew Killing" by Lena Gregory
Up on KRL News and Reviews this morning a review and ebook giveaway of
"Murder at the Harbor Village" by GP Gardner
For those who prefer to listen to the podcast directly on KRL, a player for
the latest episode is up here! It's "When Pigs Fly" by Lesley Diehl
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Elevation by Stephen King: Reviewed by Kristin Scott Carey has a bit of a problem. He’s losing weight, though usually that would be welcome for the middl...
Friday, January 25, 2019
Barry is back for this final Friday in January with another FFB Review. Make sure your check out the full list over at Patti Abbott’s blog.
SKYLAR (1995) by Gregory McDonald
Reviewed by Barry Ergang
Skylar Whitfield, now in his late teens, has spent his living and working life on his family’s farm at Greendowns (pronounced “Grendons”) County, Tennessee. A strong and good-looking young man who was a straight-A school student with no athletic inclinations, he has no further academic ambitions. He’s quite content to stay where he is, have sex with Tandy McJane, and carouse with his pal Dufus.
When the novel opens, Skylar and Tandy are going at it instead of being where they ought to be: at the party Skylar’s parents Dan and Monica have thrown for friends and neighbors to celebrate the arrival from Boston of their nephew Jonathan, a Harvard student who is recovering from a bout of mononucleosis. Uncomfortable in the southern atmosphere with which he’s as unfamiliar as the partiers would be up north, Jonathan nevertheless tries to mingle with other guests, among them Mary Lou Simes, a popular local girl known for entering and winning beauty contests and Skylar’s former girlfriend.
Eventually Skylar gets to the party and finally meets his cousin for the first time. Their relationship is somewhat edgy from the outset, but along with Dufus, the two ultimately wind up at a favorite local roadhouse called the Holler. Shortly thereafter, Mary Lou Simes comes in with three of the party-goers from Whitfield Farm. Later on, Skylar and others observe her leave the place alone.
The next day, Sheriff Culpepper (a.k.a. Pepp) is notified that disabled veteran Tommy Barker has discovered what appear to be human remains in the woods, remains that are later identified as Mary Lou’s. Not far from her body is a Swiss Army knife, one identified as Skylar’s. Jailed as the prime suspect, Skylar is subsequently broken out of his cell by friends so he can try to find out what actually happened. When Mary Lou’s brother Jack who, with some friends, beat up Skylar, is also found dead, Skylar’s troubles deepen.
It’s been a very long time since I read the late author’s novels about newsman Fletch (the character for whom he’s probably best known) and detective Flynn, as well as a standalone called Running Scared, and I no longer own copies of those novels to consult. But with the possible exception of the standalone, I don’t remember any of them having characters as colorful, well-delineated and complex as there are in Skylar, which is absolutely as much a novel of character as it is a mystery story, and in which McDonald skillfully modulates humor with solemnity. And in which surprises abound.
Strongly recommended to readers who don’t object to some explicit sexuality and occasional raw street language.
© 2019 Barry Ergang
Some of Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang’s work can be found at Smashwords (some freebies here) and Amazon.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
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 Rebecca Denton in the Countdown hot seat:
We’re on Twitter at:
Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia
This week’s reviews are:
SHELL GAME by Sara Paretsky, reviewed by Chris Roberts
VI Warshawski is run ragged when the nephew of her closest friend is linked to a murder, and the niece of her ex-husband shows up desperate about a missing sister.
COLD BONES by David Mark, reviewed by John Cleal
DS Aector McAvoy follows a report that an elderly woman has not been seen for days and finds her frozen in her bath, the start of a trail that reaches far into the past and uncovers a series of grisly murders.
POISONED GROUND by Barbara Nadel, reviewed by Linda Wilson
London PI Lee Arnold is still struggling to make ends meet. He’s been called in to track down a missing fraudster and Mumtaz Hakim has gone undercover at a psychiatric unit in an attempt to clear a former employee accused of terrorist activity.
THE RUIN by Dervla McTiernan, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Jack Blake’s suicide rings increasingly loud alarm bells in Garda Cormac Reilly’s ears – ones he should have listened to long ago.
CAPTIVE by Tony Park, reviewed by John Cleal
Australian lawyer Kerry Maxwell, in Africa to volunteer alongside vet Dr Graham Baird at a wildlife rehabilitation centre, finds herself a captive in a bloody feud on the frontline of the war on poaching.
RESIN by Ane Riel, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Liv lives on an isolated farm with her hoarder-carpenter father Jens, bed-ridden obese mother Maria, dead twin brother Carl and mummified baby sister. She’s happy but a bit worried, especially when she witnesses her dad killing her granny. Life goes on but a newcomer to the area wants to find out more about the strange family.
NIGHT SHIFT by Robin Triggs, reviewed by Linda Wilson
The new head of security at a mining base in Antarctica is told there’ll be nothing for him to do, but that prediction is soon proved wrong in spectacular fashion.
THE SYNDICATE by Guy Bolton, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
1947. A notorious New York mobster is murdered in Hollywood. Jonathan Craine, a retired Los Angeles policeman, is blackmailed into taking on the task of finding his killer.
A SNAPSHOT OF MURDER by Frances Brody, reviewed by John Cleal
Kate Shackleton organises a photographic society outing to Haworth, the heart of Brontë country. But when the most obnoxious member of the party is murdered, her planned break from detection comes to an abrupt end.
SLUGGER by Martin Holmén, reviewed by Chris Roberts
When a priest is killed in what is made to look like a Jewish atrocity, Harry Kvist has his suspicions. An opportunity for payback is difficult to refuse.
RUIN BEACH by Kate Rhodes, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A march by Mosley and his Blackshirts is held in Leeds. There is considerable violence throughout the march and when it is over the body of a man is discovered. He has been strangled.
BLOOD & SUGAR by Laura Shepherd-Robinson, reviewed by John Cleal
A body hanging on a hook at Deptford Dock, horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark, propels American war hero Captain Harry Corsham into a dark secret at the very core of British society.
PHANTOM by Leo Hunt, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Talented hacker Nova is given the task of infiltrating one of the most powerful corporations on the planet.
MOTHERLAND by GD Abson, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Captain Natalya Ivanova of the St Petersburg police makes preliminary enquiries when a Swedish girl goes missing, but the case has many complications.
IN FOR THE KILL by Ed James, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
The murder of a student at the University of Southwark may prove too close to home for DI Simon Fenchurch.
STITCH UP by William McIntyre, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Lawyer Robbie Munro is asked by an old flame to investigate a death, while doing his best to protect his ex-copper father who’s accused of stitching up a child-killer.
THE CHANGELING MURDERS by CS Quinn, reviewed by John Cleal
As London rebuilds after the Great Fire, thief-taker Charlie Tuesday’s former flame is kidnapped on the way to her own wedding and an actress, wearing her clothes, is found hanging from theatre scenery.
THE BURNING HILL by AD Flint, reviewed by Chris Roberts
An encounter between a young British soldier and a couple of street kids on Brazil’s Copacabana beach has fateful consequences.
THE DEAD ON LEAVE by Chris Nickson, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
A march by Mosley and his Blackshirts is held in Leeds. There is considerable violence throughout the march and when it is over the body of a man is discovered. He has been strangled.
TALL ORDER by Stephen Leather, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd puts his extraordinary memory to the test when he’s tasked with the search for the terrorists behind a suicide bombing at a football stadium.
Do Some Damage: Newsletters and podcasts, revisited: By Steve Weddle I don't know how you ingest your news. How could I? I know so little about you. As you may know, we have a podcast c...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: American Quilt, Underground Railroad, ...: Reported by Kristin Nevermore began this week with a couple of different readers delving into different books concerning slav...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 7 Great Writing Conferences in February 2019: Pexels Conferences are not only the best way to meet agents, get tips from other writers, and learn about the publishing industry, the...
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Only days left to win a copy of "The Whispered Word" by Ellery Adams and while there check out a fun recipe from Ellery
And to win a copy of "Spiked" by Avery Daniels
Also to win a copy of "The Coloring Crook" by Krista Davis and while there check out a fun guest post by Krista about the coloring craze
And to win a copy of "Gone Fishing in Lottawatah" by Evelyn David aka Marian Borden and Rhonda Dossett and while there check out an interesting guest post by them about writing as a team
Also to win a copy of "The Mortality of Matias" by Annette Moncheri and while there check out an interesting interview with Annette
And on KRL News & Reviews, only days left to win a copy of "Catch Me If Yukon" by Maddy Hunter
And to win a copy of "Death's Favorite Child" by Frankie Y. Bailey
And to win a copy of "A Vintage Death" by Mary Ellen Hughes
A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: KILLER LAWYER: Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post! KILLER LAWYER by Mark Nolan Thriller Date Published: ...
If you have not read the short fiction of CS DeWildt, you may be unaware that the short fiction tends to darkness and noir themes. Unlike his novel, Suburban Dick, that had dark moments, but was also filled with flashes of humor, Mr. DeWildt’s short fiction tends to be humor free. While A Not Good Teacher has a couple of moments of humor, The Louisville Problem had very little and the deeply disturbing Corbin’s Dreams Take Flight had none. Such is also the case with the short story, Panties: A Short Story.
The boss of the work crew started things off on the wrong foot early one morning by calling him “panties.” Maybe Earl was just generally joking. Or maybe he actually knew something. Maybe all these years later Paul Garth, a kid the narrator went to school with all those years ago, said something. If he talked to anyone, there would be no coming back from that taint. His life would be over. Everything….his wife, Stacy…the kids…everything would be wiped out. Once you got labeled as something, your life is over. Secrets have to stay secret.
A lot is going on in this complicated and solidly good short story by C. S. DeWildt. What is happening and why are just two of the many issues the protagonist is dealing with in Panties: A Short Story. A noir story so one knows it will not end in happiness.
Panties: A Short Story
Ugly Dad Books
Material purchased by way of funds in my Amazon Associate account last August in order to read and review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2019
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Gravetapping: AT FIRST SIGHT by Stephen J. Cannell: Stephen J. Cannell’s fourteenth novel, At First Sight , received mixed reviews from the critics when it was released in 2008. Publishe...
Mystery Fanfare: MWA Edgar Award Nominees: Mystery Writers of America announced the Nominees for the 2019 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-ficti...
A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: THE FABERGE ENTANGLEMENT: Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post! The Faberge Entanglement by Lesley Meryn and Elle Brooks ...
Billed as The Women of Noir Special Issue, and edited by Lisa Douglas who also contributed a poem, Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled is packed with stories of no nonsense women doing what they need to do to survive. Often, survival involves lethality and doing very bad things unto others before bad things are done to them.
The short fiction begins with “Dishes, Dishes, Dishes” by Cindy Rosmus. The last thing she ever wanted to do was wash dishes. The dishwasher in the place is, of course, broken so her first night on the job starts off bad and then gets way worse.
“Ring. Buzz.” by Ann Aptaker follows with a grocery delivery that changed everything. That delivery and the arrival of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
Kelsey isn’t about to easily give up the password in “Concrete Blond” by Susan Kuchinskas. Tommy is what he is so she knows he is doing all this because of her baby sister, Lisa. Game on as he can be played.
While the three preceding stories were in the “Quick & Dirty Flash” section, the next story is all by itself in the ‘Micro Flash” section. “A Shot at Being Ordinary” by Susan Cornford. A tale of less than fifty words, it defied being described. To do so, in any way, would ruin a power tale.
The works of nine authors make up the following “Sharp & Deadly Fiction” section that opens with a tale by Tawny Pike. Her story, “Death Dance in Jacksonino County” features a couple of sleaze ball cops of the lowest order, drugs, and a mom who is doing her best to keep her and her kids surviving. Good thing she always has her knife on the leather thong around her neck. Just part of her plan.
She should have been left alone at her elderly age. Left to live in pace as she was not real threat to anyone. If somebody was going to mess with her, that person should have picked a better tool. In “Strong- armed and Dangerous” by Charlotte Platt, somebody sent the wrong guy to kill Ida Brown. She knew how to handle the young punk because she had a lifetime of experience. Now somebody in charge has become a problem and it is time to track the problem back to where it started.
Not everything the woman wears to entertain the kids is fake. In “Priscilla, the Amazing Dancing Pig” by Sarah Jilek, the paying gig was supposed to be the typical kids birthday party. Then the father of the birthday girl took things way too far as the man wanted a souvenir. Now she wants one, maybe more, as well.
Mom is not going to make the same mistakes with her youngest daughter. In “Influencers” by Sarah M. Chen, Mom is still mourning the loss of Lil Bei-Bei who was gunned down at the Hollywood Palladium on Sunset. The hip hop game is a tough one, but Mom is working on getting her seven year old daughter, Bhad Mei, ready now. She is going to be an even bigger, brighter star than her deceased older sister.
Paige Kaneko knows exactly what her brother is and has frequently saved him from a crisis. In “Mayhem & Mahalo” by Bethany Maines he needs her help again. And this time it is bad enough she is going to have to put on a bra. She does not like doing that one damn bit. Blood, dead guys, and a living guy tied up in a bathtub is just some of what is going on thanks to Benjiro latest crisis.
She isn’t going to make it through the night if she can’t outwit the loan shark, Slater. She would not be playing cards for her life in the old hotel casino in Vegas if the other card game a few days earlier had gone right for her and her boyfriend, Carl. It didn’t and now she has a bad hand in more ways than one in “Crazy Eights” by Serena Jayne.
“A Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God” by Carmen Jaramillo follows with a tale where the past has come back to haunt her via a blackmail/extortion attempt. The woman a few folks knew as ‘Freya” isn’t the same person she was twenty-five years ago. Because of the man who goes by the name “Gespenst” and her own personal pain, she did things back then that must never see the light of day. Her new life would be destroyed and a lawyer sending a cease and desist letter is not going to solve her problem.
Ashton Talley is working hard, sexually speaking, and getting nowhere in "Mouthbreather” by E. F. Sweetman. He isn’t any better as a businessman or a boss and Kristi knows it. She just had no idea how little he thought of her until she stayed late one night and he and his buddies came back after a night of heavy drinking. She knows the insurance business and the company will go under if she does not take charge and fix the problem.
She goes by various names and she knows she should have gotten rid of the phone after the last job. She only kept it because Fred Mikes said he might have another job for her. Instead of working for him again, he went and told Cynthia Samson about her. Samson is willing to pay very well in order to have something of hers taken back from her soon to be ex-husband. A dangerous man that she is in hiding from and wants her help in “Hardball” by Lissa Marie Redmond. This story also brings the fiction to a close.
Published last November, the thirteen tales included in Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled are occasionally graphic in terms of dialogue and scene descriptions as one would expect from a crime fiction noir read. In every case women are doing what they need to do to survive in either a world they created or one that was thrust upon them. Consequences of failure are often lethal as are the consequences of freedom.
Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled is certainly not for everyone. If you prefer your violence off page, prefer women to drink tea and solve murders while possibly knitting or running small bookshops, this is not the read for you. If you like violence and alcohol and getting even, regardless of your gender, this is the read for you. Just remember that plans, no matter how good they are, often don’t work out. Or maybe they do as none of us really have any control over anything.
Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled
Editor Lisa Douglass
eBook (also available in paperback format)
Material was purchased to read and review last November.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2019