Sunday, March 31, 2019

Grandkids Visit

My son, his wife, and the grandkids came down for a visit this morning and spent much of the day here. Scott and I had fun and we are very worn out. A couple of pictures taken by Scott appear below.

Jacob in a rare moment when he was not flying around

Justin (on the left) and Grandpa

Lesa's Book Critiques: Lights! Camera! Puzzles! by Parnell Hall

Lesa's Book Critiques: Lights! Camera! Puzzles! by Parnell Hall

Mystery Fanfare: LEFTY AWARD WINNERS 2019

Mystery Fanfare: LEFTY AWARD WINNERS 2019: Left Coast Crime announced the winners of the Lefty Awards tonight in Vancouver, B.C.  during Left Coast Crime . Congrats to all! ...

Saturday, March 30, 2019

KRL This Week Update for 3/29/19

Up in KRL this morning reviews and giveaways of 4 more fun mysteries-"Something Read, Something Dead": A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates, "Murder, She Meowed": A Pawsitively Organic Mystery by Liz Mugavero, "Mrs. Jeffries Delivers the Goods": Mrs. Jeffries series by Emily Brightwell, and "Angels and Alibis": A Sister Lou Mystery by Olivia Matthews

And reviews and giveaways of 2 books by Anna Celeste Burke-"A Body on Fitzgerald’s Bluff" and "The Murder of Shakespeare’s Ghost"

We also have the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier 

And a review and giveaway of "The Shaker Murders" by Eleanor Kuhns along with an interesting interview with Eleanor

Just up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and giveaway of "Chocolate a la Murder" by Kirsten Weiss

And a review and ebook giveaway of "Sprinkled in Malice" by Catherine Bruns 

Happy reading,

Short Story Review: The Feast Of All Souls: A Short Story by George Wier

Well known for his Bill Travis Mystery Series, Texas author George Wier has made quite a name for himself in the realm of short stories as well. Many of them are stand alone tales with a hint of the paranormal in some aspect. Such is the case here with The Feast Of All Souls: A Short Story.

It has been fifty-eight years since Glenn Robinson had his pocket knife. He knows exactly where and when he lost it all those years ago. At seventy-two, he knows that the clock is ticking on his life. He also knows that the sudden return of his pocket knife as thanks for a pilfered breakfast is significant and means a lot. That morning would change everything as there are many other pieces of his life he would love to have back.

He also knows that some people are watching for signs of anything that would give them an excuse to throw him into a nursing home and effectively end his life. He knows he has to be super careful and have a plan that will work and deal with all contingencies.

The Feast Of All Souls: A Short Story is a tale of the past, present, and future. It is a tale of what was, what is, and what will be. It also is a tale that is not easy to explain even after one has read it and thought about it awhile. It is a good read and well worth your attention. 

The Feast Of All Souls: A Short Story
George Wier
Flagstone Books
December 2018
ZG27 Pages

Material was purchased in early February 2019 to read and review by way of funds in my Amazon Associate account.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2019

Friday, March 29, 2019



Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton: Reviewed by Christy             Marisol, a Cuban-American woman, is traveling to Cuba for the first time in her life to spread t...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 28 Calls for Submissions in April 2019 - Paying ma...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 28 Calls for Submissions in April 2019 - Paying ma...: Pixabay There are 28 calls for submissions in April. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. As always, ever...

Friday’s Forgotten Book: So Pretty a Problem by Francis Duncan

Friday’s Forgotten Book: So Pretty a Problem by Francis Duncan

Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners and Food a la Death

Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners and Food a la Death

Crime Review Update: New issue of Crime Review

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (, together with a top industry interview. This time it’s Kjell Ola Dahl in the Countdown hot seat:

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

THE ROOT OF EVIL by Hakan Nesser, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

Detective Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti receives a letter informing him that a murder will take place in his small Swedish town. And indeed, a man is soon found dead. When more letters arrive, he and his team must try to prevent more deaths.

THE CUTTING EDGE by Jeffery Deaver, reviewed by Linda Wilson

A serial killer with a strange affinity for diamonds is at work in New York targeting couples seeking the perfect engagement ring. Criminalist Lincoln Rhyme is drafted in to help make sense of the brutal murders.

THE MOBSTER’S LAMENT by Ray Celestin, reviewed by John Cleal

Investigator Ida Davis is called to New York by her old partner, Michael Talbot, to investigate the brutal slaying of four people in a Harlem flophouse for which his son faces the electric chair. As they delve into the case, Ida and Michael realise the killings are part of a far larger conspiracy.

THE RECKONING by John Grisham, reviewed by Chris Roberts

After returning to the rural Mississippi town of Clanton, World War II hero Pete Banning drives to his local Methodist church and shot the Reverend Dexter Bell. He has never said why.

FEBRUARY’S SON by Alan Parks, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Detective Harry McCoy of the Glasgow police is not long returned to duty when he is called out by his chief inspector, Murray, to view a body found on the roof of a 14-storey tower block. The body, showing obvious signs of torture, turns out to be that of a well-known Celtic footballer.

WE CAN SEE YOU by Simon Kernick, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Brook Connor seems to have it all. But her life comes crashing down in ruins when her daughter is kidnapped. She can’t go to the police, as the kidnappers say they can see everything she does. The trouble is, Brook doesn’t even know if she can trust her own husband.

THE COLOUR OF MURDER by Julian Symons, reviewed by John Cleal

An unhappy young man trapped in a loveless marriage faces the death penalty for a crime he claims not to remember, the brutal beating to death of a girl with whom he had become obsessed.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TIME TRAVEL by Kate Mascarenhas, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

When Odette finds a body, discovering the identity of the woman murdered in impossible circumstances becomes an obsession that will drive her into the clutches of the Conclave.

THE THIN BLUE LINE by Christoffer Carlsson, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

Detective Leo Junker has crossed many professional lines. But when John Grimberg, his oldest friend/enemy and a hardened criminal on the run, asks him to investigate a five-year-old case of a murdered prostitute, Junker has to face own demons from the past and corruption at the heart of the Swedish police force.


Ten of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best short stories featuring the world’s first consulting detective.

A FRIEND IS A GIFT YOU GIVE YOURSELF by William Boyle, reviewed by Chris

An aging porn star, a mob widow and her granddaughter meet as strangers, face some problems and find they are stronger together.

ALL THE HIDDEN TRUTHS by Claire Askew, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

Ryan Summers, a young student equipped with three guns, enters Three Rivers College and immediately begins shooting girls. He kills 13 of them and then himself. Everybody wants to know why but there appears to be no answer to the question.

I STOP SOMEWHERE by TE Carter, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Ellie Frias is over the moon when rich, good-looking Caleb Breward takes an interest in her, but the fairytale romance soon turns to horror.

ONE LAW FOR THE REST OF US by Peter Murphy, reviewed by Chris Roberts

A revelation of sexual abuse by a child blows open her mother’s repressed memories of the same treatment she suffered – but will the legal system offer her redress?

SEVEN SKINS by John Steele, reviewed by John Cleal

Jackie Shaw, former soldier, policeman and one-time RUC undercover officer, is coerced by the security services into investigating a hit-list of retired security operatives.

STALKER by Lisa Stone, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

When DC Beth Mayes begins seeing a link between a series of crimes in the area, instinct tells her security expert Derek Flint is involved.

THE CHAOS OF NOW by Erin Large, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Teenager hacker Eli Bennett is asked by two schoolmates to join them in an attempt to win a prestigious coding competition ñ and they aren’t prepared to take no for an answer.

RETRIBUTION by Richard Anderson, reviewed by Chris Roberts

In a small farming town in Australia, a few discontented people are drawn together and tempted into taking retribution for wrongs done, real or imaginary.

SHAKESPEARE’S SWORD by Alan Judd, reviewed by John Cleal

Antiques dealer Simon Gold discovers an ancient sword which may have belonged to William Shakespeare and becomes obsessed with owning it. But how far is he prepared to go to get it?

JAR OF HEARTS by Jennifer Hillier, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Geo kept a secret for 14 years – one that destroyed her childhood and eventually sent her to prison. She has served her time, but the destruction is far from over.

Best wishes


New Glasses

Went out to Plano this morning and one of my two new pairs of glasses were in. My new reading glasses are somewhere in transit between California and here. My new driving glasses were in and put into use immediately as soon as we got back into the car. They make a huge difference. Scott did the picture taking honors when we got back here.

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder Isn't Cricket (1946) by E. and M.A. Radford...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder Isn't Cricket (1946) by E. and M.A. Radford...: Edwin and Mona A. Radford were a British husband-and-wife writing team who compiled several encyclopedic works, such as the Encyclopedia...

FFB Review: Warning Signs (Warning Signs #1) by Jan Christensen

Back in April 2012 I first told you about Warning Signs by Jan Christensen. For this final Friday of March 2019, I remind you why this short story collection is a good one. For the full list of other reading suggestions, head on over to Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog. Sadly, that blog still has nothing at all about the sweet freedom of not wearing pants, but maybe someday.

Warning Signs by award winning author Jan Christensen is made up of three short stories that were previously published in print and online markets. This collection is a bit less than 19, 000 words and each story is a good one. Each story has a small intro, a brief explanation of how the story came about, and details on where the piece first appeared.

The book opens with the longest story “Warning Signs.” Rhoda isn’t happy with her ex-husband Hank for a lot of reasons. For one thing, he isn’t paying his child support for their daughter Tiffany. To draw attention to the problem, Rhoda had a bright idea to put up a few wanted posters with Hank’s picture prominently displayed along a local highway. He owes fourteen thousand in back child support and with Tiffany in kindergarten and other issues, Rhoda is desperate.

Somebody put up a “For Sale” sign in her front yard and Rhoda is sure Hank did it. She decides to retaliate by placing “garage sale” signs in his new more expensive neighborhood so that Hank and his new wife Melanie can get a dose of their own medicine. It is going to be a busy Saturday for Hank and his wife and serves them right.

The war takes a new turn that Sunday morning when she comes outside to find her ex dead beside her car with the apparent murder weapon, one of her old iron skillets, on the ground next to him. Rhoda takes the skillet, washes it, and puts it away where it belongs in her kitchen before calling 911. Rhoda soon learns she wasn’t the only one angry at Hank and possibly wanted him dead.

28 year old Connie is not divorced yet but the divorce is coming in “Overkill.” She is supposed to meet with her divorce attorney, Jerry, but one thing after another happens delaying her arrival at his office. When she finally does get there she finds him apparently dead at his desk. The murder weapon still embedded deep in his chest.

Soon named as a suspect and arrested, Connie has no choice but to take help anywhere she can get it to clear her name. That includes her soon to be ex-husband Howard who has more on his mind then clearing her name.

The final story titled “Quack” involves a kidnapping.  Awhile back Josie defended a guy, Harley Summers, who shot up a local coffeehouse. Fortunately, he didn’t hit anyone but he still ended up serving jail time. He is now out supposedly none too happy about having had to serve jail time. That makes him the obvious suspect when Josie disappears and her aunt Reba is told that the ransom is 50K. The police can’t be involved and fortunately, Reba is not only also a lawyer, but a resourceful woman who has people she can trust.

Coming in a bit less than 1900 words this small short story collection is a fun and fast read full of mystery and double dealing with the occasional flash of humor. These three stories feature women who can handle their business and deal with whatever comes their way. Feisty and independent, the heroines don’t wait to be rescued but take action on their own to get the job done. Violence is kept at a minimum in these three stories as are the body counts and descriptions of the death scenes. Instead, the focus in Warning Signs is more on the psychology of people and their relationships and how folks may interact in ways that are not revealed until the aftermath of a murder.

The award winning author has publicly stated Warning Signs is the first of a collection series with more around various themes planned in the future.  

Warning Signs (Warning Signs #1)
Jan Christensen
April 2012

Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012, 2019

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Gravetapping: RIDERS ON THE STORM by Ed Gorman

Gravetapping: RIDERS ON THE STORM by Ed Gorman: Ed Gorman’s Sam McCain—small town lawyer and investigator—is at the top of my list for private eye serial characters. He is charming, sa...

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 3/28/19

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 3/28/19

Bitter Tea and Mystery: A Killing in Quail County by Jameson Cole

Bitter Tea and Mystery: A Killing in Quail County: Jameson Cole: This is a terrific mystery narrated by a teenage boy, Mark Stoddard, growing up in Oklahoma, living with his older brother, Jess, after the...

Guest Post: An Author’s Focus in the Chaos of Publishing by C. Hope Clark

Please welcome C. Hope Clark back to the blog today…

An Author’s Focus in the Chaos of Publishing  by C. Hope Clark

Somewhere along the way, probably with the onset of indie publishing, authors lost sight of why they became writers. Not everyone, but a good many, with a chunk of the new entrants never having understood to start with.

The why we write used to be to create a deeply satisfying book. No matter how long it took. It had to be written, rewritten, edited and re-edited. It had to ferment and distill over time to become a book someone wished to retain in a permanent library to be read again and again.

Now sales rule. The situation is not the author’s fault, necessarily, but instead has evolved with the industry. Books sell for less, are easier to produce, easier to distribute, and easier for more people to become authors. But the number of readers (demand) hasn’t increased with the number of books published (supply). Simple economics means you have to sell a higher quantity to earn the same income one would have made even three years ago, not to mention five or ten.

So authors write faster. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. abounds with groups bragging about daily word count and goals of three to even twelve books a year. While authors can be prolific (which used to mean a book a year), one has to wonder if the writers are more focused on production than the love.

But many would argue that an author has to eat, which means more sales, more writing, faster writing. It’s painfully true. This pace also leads to burnout and anxiety. Just read comments in Facebook groups where writers are freaking about how to do more, get their name out, best the Amazon algorithms, and advertise yet a new way on Facebook.

A writer has to write. But even more so, writers need to write for themselves. We miss the concept that we can stroll to our notebooks with coffee or tea in hand and immerse ourselves into our worlds, reappearing at the end of the day with whatever creation came about. Just writing. Just storytelling. No emails, social media, word count per hour, or hourly ranking checks on Amazon.

Just writing a story.

Becoming the characters, living amongst the players in a setting so beautifully displayed that the reader doesn’t want to leave. A world the writer cannot wait to return to the next morning. A story the writer never wants to end. A journey.

Personally, I don’t believe in writer’s block. But if a writer struggles with putting words to paper, my solution is simply this. Unplug from the computer. Remove goals, all goals. Remember how in your youth you envisioned how a writer was supposed to create? How magical it was supposed to be? The study. The cup. The right type of pen. Nothing more.

There you go. Write for the fun of it. Go back to when all you wanted was to tell a story.

C. Hope Clark ©2019

C. Hope Clark’s latest release is Dying on Edisto, Book 5 of the Edisto Island Mysteries. She has also authored one other award-winning mystery series and is working on another. She founded, selected by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for 18 years. Her newsletter reaches 35,000 readers. /


One death. Two detectives. And unexpected backup.
A Callie Morgan and Carolina Slade crossover, standalone mystery!

When a renowned—and now dead—travel blogger washes ashore on the banks of Indigo Plantation, Edisto Beach Police Chief Callie Morgan agrees to head the investigation as a favor to the county sheriff, whose reasons are as questionable as the death itself. When death turns to murder and a watchdog from the county makes her investigation difficult, Callie reluctantly turns to Carolina Slade and Wayne Largo, vacationing agents with the Department of Agriculture.

Because poison is growing on this plantation and someone knows how to use it well.

Murder, corruption, and page-turning intrigue are usually the elements that shine the brightest in mysteries like Hope Clark’s latest Dying on Edisto. But it’s the characters that bring a vivid literary element to Clark’s prose and create a strong emotional response to their tangled lives. The scenic town of Edisto Beach is peopled with a modern-day pirate claiming to be a descendent of Blackbeard, a degenerate travel blogger, a yoga teacher who drives a baby blue vintage Benz convertible, a mixed race waitress and her matriarchal grandmother, and a whole slew of wealthy and crooked good ole boys. Leading the cast are two strong female protagonists—a police chief and an investigator with the Department of Agriculture. Did someone say hemlock? —Susan Cushman, author of Cherry Bomb and editor of Southern Writers on Writing

"In a plot as complicated as the numerous waterways that create Edisto Island in South Carolina, C. Hope Clark has combined the characters from her two series to solve the murder of a renowned travel blogger. They mystery requires all of their detective skills and blends the two mystery worlds in a page-turning standalone. The story opens with a floater and progresses with edge-of-your-seat action. Prepare to be absorbed by Clark's crisp writing and compelling storytelling. This is one you don't want to miss!"--- Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of three mystery series. She is the author of over 80 books and has received numerous writing awards.

Hope Clark converges her sleuths, Carolina and Callie Jean, on Edisto Island for the finale, Dying on Edisto, concluding her two murder mystery series. Slews of fans always awaited these highly addictive and superbly penned novels - grabbing you from the first page and not letting go until the last. A pristine, sleeper sea island, two determined masters of law who butt heads, a mystery corpse from Atlantic waters, a few idiosyncrasies along the way - the absolute best cast and plot for an intense coastal thriller. ~Karen Carter, Owner, Edisto Bookstore

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Lesa's Book Critiques: Orchestrated Death by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Lesa's Book Critiques: Orchestrated Death by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

ALLI: Watchdog Alert: Dog Ear Publishing

ALLI: Watchdog Alert: Dog Ear Publishing

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Running With Scissors, American Prison,...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Running With Scissors, American Prison,...: Reported by Kristin Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs has been a popular selection for various Nevermore readers o...

Only days left to win books and more from KRL

Only days left to win copies of some more food mysteries for your spring reading fun-"Hot Fudge Murder": A Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe Mystery by Cynthia Baxter, "Restaurant Weeks Are Murder": A Poppy McAllister Mystery by Libby Klein, "Drawn and Buttered": A Lobster Shack Mystery by Shari Randall, "No Good Tea Goes Unpunished": A Seaside Café Mystery by Bree Baker Books

And to win copies of "True Fiction" and "Killer Thriller" by Lee Goldberg

Also to win a copy of "Lily Barlow: The Mystery of Jane Dough" by Carla Vergot

And to win a copy of "Sleuthing for the Weekend" by Author Jennifer L. Hart

Happy reading,

Crime Watch: Review: TEETH OF THE WOLF by Lee Murray & Dan Rabarts

Crime Watch: Review: TEETH OF THE WOLF: TEETH OF THE WOLF by Lee Murray & Dan Rabarts (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2018) Reviewed by Alyson Baker Scientific consultant Penny...

Review: Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery by Andrew Shaffer

Former Vice-President Joe Biden is having a tough time in his friendship with President Obama. The change in administration in Washington has seen much of what was accomplished undone. It has also meant that Biden has not heard from Obama since while Obama has been busy living the high life doing one fun thing after another all around the world. It seems like Obama is not so privately auditioning just about everyone for the role of his new best friend. Biden is more than a bit bitter and jealous as Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery begins.

It is with those dark thoughts in mind that Biden happens to notice a small orange light outside his home office window. He goes outside to investigate and finds at least one agent of the Secret Service in the woods just outside his home in Delaware. Since former VP Joe Biden has not had Secret Service protection in months that agent is not for him. The presence of that agent as well as the distinctive odor of a certain kind of cigarette can only mean one thing- President Obama.

It is the man himself, but his sudden visit isn’t about the status of their friendship. President Obama brings the news of the death of Finn Donnelly, and wanted Biden to hear it from him directly and not see it on the news first. A conductor for Amtrak, Biden and Donnelly were friends when Biden was riding the trains to and from his home to the Senate in Washington. Once Biden was Vice President, riding the rails was too problematic due to the Secret Service rules and security issues, so Biden quit riding the rails and the two men lost touch. Biden had meant to get in touch in recent months and one thing and then another happened and he didn’t. Now Donnelly is dead and Wilmington PD thinks that the fact he was killed while sprawled out on the tracks was just an accident. They also think the man might have been stalking Biden since he had a map to Biden’s home in his pockets.

With Biden not under Secret Service Protection, they won’t investigate and claim it is an FBI problem. Of course, the FBI refuses to investigate and argues that the issue is one for the Secret Service. President Obama found out what was going on and thought Biden should know. Hence, the meeting in the woods between the two men who have not spoken since their White House days.

Biden doesn’t believe for a second that Donnelly meant him any harm. Why he had the map and what he was up to are just two of many questions Biden has. Biden may be out of politics, but he still has his old contacts in and outside of law enforcement. As a private citizen who does not believe the man was any kind of threat or a drug user of any type, he knows something is going on and isn’t of a mind to just let it go.

First in new series, Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery is a fun read as long as one accepts the premise that Biden and Obama could go around doing things without being noticed and/or attracting crowds of people. While it is a mystery, this is not a read that takes itself too seriously and neither should the reader. Some of the escapades Obama and Biden get into on the course of finding out what happened and why are bit out there, but so too is the basic premise. The result is an enjoyable read with occasional humor and political insight. 

The next book in the series, Hope Rides Again, is scheduled to be released on July 9, 2019.

For another take on the book, go over to the Bookblog of the Bristol Library and read Kristin’s review from last October.

Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery
Andrew Shaffer
Thorndike Press (Gale)
October 2018
ISBN# 978-1-4328-5841-4
LARGE PRINT Hardback (also available in paperback, audio, and digital formats)
385 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2019