Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 35 Calls for Submissions in May 2019 - No submissi...: Max Pixel There are nearly three dozen calls for submissions in May. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. ...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Lady Killers: Deadly Women Through History by Tor...: Reviewed by Ambrea According to Lady Killers , a FBI profiler infamously declared, “There are no female serial killers.” Tori Te...
Monday, April 29, 2019
Beneath the Stains of Time: The Case of the Magic Mirror (1943) by Christopher...: Christopher Bush 's The Case of the Magic Mirror (1943) is the twenty-sixth entry in the Ludovic Travers series and here the influen...
Bitter Tea and Mystery: Follow Her Home: Steph Cha: Follow Her Home is the first of three books featuring Korean-American Juniper Song. I read this book in August 2018, but never had time to ...
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar April 29-M...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of April 29-May 5, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover. ...
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam Books, 2011) is the first of eight, so far, historical thrillers set during World War II featuring Margaret Hope, an English citizen raised in the United States. When Maggie’s parents were killed in a car accident, her aunt in Wellesley, Massachusetts, took her in, where Maggie was raised in an academic tradition. Excelling in mathematics, in the spring of 1940 Maggie is preparing to enter the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for doctoral work when her grandmother in London dies. Maggie goes to London to close out her estate and sell the huge Victorian house, which languishes on the market as war gets closer.
Maggie applies for work with the English Government and, despite her excellent research credentials, is relegated to the job of typist for Winston Churchill soon after he takes office as prime minister. She takes in a few boarders and prepares to wait out the war, to the great dismay of her aunt. Churchill is a demanding employer but Maggie finds the work is immensely rewarding. She also finds there are those who would exploit the knowledge she gains by typing the great man’s memos and letters.
This is a fast-moving story that is mostly faithful to the time and place of its setting, although there are a few historical discrepancies. The IRA and the pacifist movement are both represented, as are the brilliant denizens of Bletchley Park. I liked the sketches of the roommates. Some reviews complain that the book reads like a history text, and parts of it are overloaded with research. I have always been in awe of the English people’s spirit and courage during this bleak and frightening time so I can cut the book some slack. Coincidence plays a larger role than it should have perhaps as a plot to assassinate Churchill is foiled, and a couple of the enemy agents are remarkably unprepared to kill their victims, which I suspect was not the case in real life. Overall a pleasant read if not terribly realistic.
· Paperback: 384 pages
· Publisher: Bantam; 2011
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 9780553593617
· ISBN-13: 978-0553593617
Aubrey Hamilton ©2019
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Smart Girls Read Romance: FINDING A NEW SERIES: By Caroline Clemmons Beth Trissel is tending to her husband, Dennis, as they go for medical tests. So, you’re stuck with me. One o...
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Firefly: Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove: Reviewed by Kristin Science fiction fans have a tendency to hold onto what they love, going to huge gatherings, dressing up as th...
Do Some Damage: The Privilege of Boycott: By Jay Stringer Another week, another controversy. Or....the same controversy. Again. On repeat. The same controversy that should have bee...
Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Charity's Burden" by Edith Maxwell along with an interesting interview with Edith
And a review and giveaway of "Trouble on the Books" by Essie Lang along with an interesting guest post by Essie about the bookstores that inspired the one in her book
We also have a review and giveaway of "Saving Ferris" by A R Kennedy along with an interesting guest post by AR about pets being family not property
And the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier
Up on KRL News and Reviews we have a review and giveaway of "Cat Got Your Crown" by Julie Chase
And a review and giveaway of "Blood on the Chesapeake" by Randy Overbeck
And a review and ebook giveaway of "Betrayal by the Sea" by Kathi Daley, along with a player for our latest Mysteryrat's Maze podcast which features another of Kathi's books, "Boxes in the Basement" read by local actor Julia Reimer
A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: NEW RELEASE -- ALEXANDRA'S AWAKENING: When I was growing up, my dad told me stories about his family in Texas. He was from a family of one girl and seven boys—and what a rowdy ...
Friday, April 26, 2019
Beneath the Stains of Time: Unrest at Raubrakken (1935) by A. Roothaert: Anton Roothaert was a Dutch lawyer, writer and a pesky gadfly of the Roman Catholic Church, who agitated against " the suffocating ...
First and foremost, Barry and I would like to express our deepest condolences to Patti Abbott and the family over the passing of Patti’s husband, Phil. Cancer is such an evil bastard. It takes and it takes and somehow the rest of us are supposed to just go on as if everything is okay when nothing will ever be okay again.
And, yet, somehow we must go on. That going on is brutal and it continues day by day. As this is Friday, that going on means it is time for another FFB review. Neither Barry nor I had anything new, so Barry suggested I run again his review below which previously appeared in this space back in June of 2016. His wish was my command and so it shall be. For the full list of reading suggestions head over to Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog.
KILLED ON THE ROCKS (1990) by William L. DeAndrea
Reviewed by Barry Ergang
Matt Cobb is the vice-president of the Special Projects division of a television network identified only as “the Network.” As he explains in his first-person narrative: “‘Special Projects’ is the title some nameless propaganda genius gave years ago to the part of the Network that would handle everything too nasty for the Legal Department, and too sensitive for Public Relations…I’d never lusted after the job, and sometimes I didn’t want it now, but I had it, and I did the best I could. I tried to keep things as legal as necessary and as moral as possible.”
The network has been targeted for a takeover by billionaire G.B. Dost, who “bought companies the way a kid bought baseball cards, and treated them that way, too: collecting them, trading them, rearranging them, and for all I know, flipping them against other corporate raiders to see who could get his company closest to the stoop without touching, winner take all.” But the Network’s president tells Cobb someone is trying to quash the deal, shows him an anonymous letter of warning, and assigns him to accompany a number of other Network personnel to Dost’s northern New York estate, the aptly-named Rocky Point, where negotiations are supposed to begin in a home whose residents, regular and temporary, include Dost, his wife, his son, his business partner, and his longtime domestic help.
It’s February, it’s been snowing in the Rocky Point area periodically for weeks, and it’s snowing on the drive up. In fact, it’s becoming a major snowstorm. And so we have the setup for a very entertaining take on a classic “impossible crime” situation: a murder victim—in this case Dost—found in a field of unmarked snow. The nature of the murder is such that the killer would have to be close to the victim. Traditionally, the only footprints in the snow would be the victim’s, leaving readers and detectives to ponder how the murderer could have approached and slain the victim, then departed without leaving prints of his or her own. For Matt Cobb the question becomes not only who killed Dost, but also how and why his body lay a significant distance from the house in utterly unmarked snow.
Killed on the Rocks is written in an engagingly wry-toned conversational style and filled with its share of semi-hardboiled action and reasonably well-differentiated characters. This is the first of this author’s series that I’ve read, though I’ve known of it for years. I cannot only recommend Killed on the Rocks as a clever, fast-paced diversion, I’m sure if I’m lucky to live long enough, I’ll read other Matt Cobb mysteries.
Warning: some occasional raw language, including a few—but not a lot of—f-bombs, so those easily offended will want to avoid this one.
© Barry Ergang 2016, 2019
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Gravetapping: THE QUAKING WIDOW by Robert Colby: A man can get into a lot of trouble if he’s lonely. If he’s just lonely enough and has time on his hands. That’s a combination made for ...
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 David Young 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 BORDER by Don Winslow, reviewed by Chris Roberts
While a battle for control of the drugs trade rages in Mexico, a man comes to head the DEA in Washington determined to combat the drug cash that’s buying influence at US government level.
A CAPITOL DEATH by Lindsey Davis, reviewed by John Cleal
Informer Flavia Albia must discover how an unpopular overseer met a death that threatens the triumphal procession of the Emperor Domitian.
IN BLOOM by CJ Skuse, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
No one has ever stopped Rhiannon killing the lowlifes before. But a little voice inside her says things are about to change.
SHADOWS OF ATHENS by JM Alvey, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When aspiring Athenian playwright Philocles finds a murder victim on his doorstep, he hopes it’s nothing personal, but events soon prove otherwise.
KILL FOR ME by Tom Wood, reviewed by John Cleal
Killer-for-hire Victor is hired by a drugs cartel boss to kill her own sister who she is fighting for control of their dead father’s multi-billion empire.
JUDGMENT by Joseph Finder, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A rare departure from her normal correct behaviour renders Judge Juliana Brody vulnerable to blackmail. To defeat her adversary, she will need to be as ruthless as they are.
PALM BEACH FINLAND by Antti Tuomainen, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Top undercover detective Jan Nyman travels from Helsinki to a newly established holiday resort, Palm Beach Finland, to investigate a murder and the main suspect Olivia Koski in whose house the victim was found.
THE RIGHTEOUS SPY by Merle Nygate, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
The Israeli Intelligence Services know that MI6 has information they need and devise an intricate plot to persuade them to part with it. It involves a young woman from Gaza, but what part, precisely, is she going to play?
THE LOST MAN by Jane Harper, reviewed by Chris Roberts
The death of Australian outback farmer Cameron Bright brings his estranged brother Nathan back to the family home, where there are plenty of unresolved conflicts.
FALLEN ANGEL by Chris Brookmyre, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Amanda has nothing to do with the Temple family, but she is about to uncover their secret, with devastating consequences.
AFTERSHOCK by Adam Hamdy, reviewed by John Cleal
Met detective Patrick Bailey, FBI agent Christine Ash and photographer John Wallace are reunited in the final battle against an evil organisation.
THE NEW ACHILLES by Christian Cameron, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Former soldier Alexanor is now a healer priest in the sanctuary of Epidaurus in ancient Greece, but when the brutal reality of war ends up on his doorstep, his fate becomes bound up with the man who will become dubbed the new Achilles.
THE BELTING INHERITANCE by Julian Symons, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
The owner of Belting, Lady Wainwright, had four sons, the eldest two of whom, Hugh and David, were reported killed in World War II. However, one day a car arrives at Belting and a man gets out, claiming to be David.
ALL THIS I WILL GIVE TO YOU by Dolores Redondo, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Novelist Manuel Ortigosa is devastated when his husband Alvaro is killed in a car accident, and astounded when he finds Alvaro is a marquis from a wealthy family.
ONLY CHILD by Rhiannon Nevin, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Six-year-old Zach is safe, but the gunman outside his classroom is about to destroy his life.
THE CORSET by Laura Purcell, reviewed by John Cleal
Prison visitor Dorothea Truelove hears a chilling story of brutality and the supernatural from a young seamstress accused of murder.
GALLOWSTREE LANE by Kate London, reviewed by Linda Wilson
The death of a young gang member sparks off an investigation that threatens to collide with a long-running covert operation.
FOG ISLAND by Mariette Lindstein, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Sofia accepts an offer of employment at a mysterious New Age movement. She’s excited about creating a library at its headquarters on an isolated island but gradually becomes aware how impossible is to leave the cult.
OUT OF THIN AIR: A TRUE STORY OF IMPOSSIBLE MURDER IN ICELAND by Anthony
Adeane, reviewed by Kim Fleet
How the disappearance of two men in Iceland in 1974 still reverberates today
THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU by Chelsea Pitcher, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Five teens are invited to a murder-mystery evening at an old house. The prize for the one who solves the puzzle is a valuable scholarship. They all want it, but none of them expects to have to contend with the mysterious Ringmaster.
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 34 Writing Contests in May 2019 - No entry fees: Wikimedia Commons There are nearly three dozen free writing contests in May. Prizes range from tens of thousands of dollars to publicat...
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Only days left to win a copy of "Pie Hard" by Kirsten Weiss and while there check out a yummy pie recipe from Kirsten
And to win copies of some more food mysteries -"Broken Bone China": A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs, "Leave No Scone Unturned": A Chef-To-Go Mystery by Denise Swanson, Murder Lo Mein": A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien, and “One Feta in the Grave”: A Kitchen Kebab Mystery by Tina Kashian
Also to win copies of "Scot and Soda" by Catriona McPherson and the first in the series "Scot Free"
And to win copies of 3 Lola Cruz Mysteries by Melissa Bourbon
And to win a copy of "The Book Artist" by Mark Pryor
And to win a copy of the science fiction thriller "10,000 Bones" by Joe
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Sisters of the Winter Wood, Someone, L...: Reported by Jeanne Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner caught the eye of a Nevermore reader who was browsing our new book s...
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Pacific Homicide by Patricia Smiley: Once again, we welcome back Kevin Tipple with a review. Catch up with more reviews, book news, and interesting links at his blog, Kev...
SleuthSayers: Writer in a Raincoat: by Michael Bracken As Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character Rod Tidwell repeatedly shouted in Jerry Maguire, “Show me the exposure!” Too warm ...
Beneath the Stains of Time: The Locked Room Reader X: My Five Favorite Impossi...: Previously, I reviewed volume 69 of Gosho Aoyama 's Case Closed , a long-running Japanese detective anime/manga series published in t...
Mystery Fanfare: EARTH DAY 2019: Environmental & Ecological Mysteri...: Earth Day 2019 Earth Day! Today the world considers climate change, environmental issues, and how we can save our planet. At least I ...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 32 Great Writing Conferences in May 2019: Wikimedia Commons May is a great month for writing conferences! This month there are some excellent opportunities to network, pitch you...
Monday, April 22, 2019
Little Big Crimes: The Use of Landscape, by Robert Boswell: "The Use of Landscape," by Robert Boswell, in Houston Noir, edited by Gwendolyn Zepeda, Akashic Press, 2019. The publisher sent...
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar April 22-2...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of April 22-28, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover. Sp...
Light It Up by Nick Petrie (Putnam, 2018) is the third book in the Peter Ash contemporary thriller series. Ash is a veteran of the Middle East conflicts, dealing with painful PTSD-induced claustrophobia. In this outing he is rebuilding hiking trails in Oregon, which allows him to stay outdors. One of the volunteers on the project is a Vietnam veteran named Henry. After a few months of working together, Henry asks Ash to help him out. Henry’s daughter has started a security business in Denver to protect deliveries of legal cannabis. This is a cash-only industry, leaving it especially vulnerable to robbery. Two weeks previously a shipment vanished, the cannabis, money, driver, vehicle, and security guards gone without a trace. While Henry’s daughter regroups, Henry and Ash, with a couple of other ex-veterans, will ensure the next delivery goes as planned.
Of course it doesn’t. The delivery truck is hijacked on the side of a mountain in a neatly arranged scheme that leaves Ash slack-jawed in admiration, when he isn’t trying to figure out how to escape. The hijackers, who have a considerable arsenal and don’t mind using it, seriously hurt Henry and kill one of the other guards. Nonetheless, Ash manages to extricate himself and Henry in a savage dogfight that left me wondering what could possibly happen in the remainder of the book to top it.
Back in Denver the police are very interested in Ash’s lethal escape methods, while Ash is very interested in finding out why this particular security firm has been targeted and in gaining revenge for his fallen comrades.
Some of the characters are a bit predictable: flawed protagonist and the psychopath who manages to fool most people most of the time, for instance. However, Ash is described as having the thoughtful eyes of a werewolf a week before the change, which is certainly not routine. The dishonorably discharged Marine, who is more or less blackmailed into supporting the crime boss, is a new one, though, and more sympathetic than he’s probably meant to be. Ash’s love interest is a fine twist on the traditional. June is self-sufficient and unafraid to let Ash know she wants him in her life, but on her terms. And since she carries pepper spray and a small knife with her, when she is captured by the psychopath, she doesn’t need to wait for someone to rescue her, thankyouverymuch. I really like this character.
A fascinating view into the world of legal cannabis growers and an excellent addition to the thriller genre. A galloping good story.
· Hardcover: 400 pages
· Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (January 16, 2018)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0399575634
· ISBN-13: 978-0399575631
Aubrey Hamilton ©2019
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Pie Hard" by Kirsten Weiss along with an Easter pie recipe from Kirsten
We also have reviews and giveaways of some more food mysteries perfect for your Easter reading-"Broken Bone China": A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs, "Leave No Scone Unturned": A Chef-To-Go Mystery by Denise Swanson, "Murder Lo Mein": A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien, and One Feta in the Grave: A Kitchen Kebab Mystery by Tina Kashian
And a review of a new British mystery show, "Queens of Mystery", available on Acorn TV
And we have a review of "Canyons, Caravans, and Cadavers" by Tonya Kappes along with a giveaway of an audiobook copy of the first book in the series, " Beaches, Bungalows, and Burglaries"
Up in KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review of "Scot and Soda" by Catriona McPherson and a giveaway of this book and the first in the series "Scot Free"
And a review and giveaway of 3 Lola Cruz Mysteries by Melissa Bourbon
And a review and giveaway of "The Book Artist" by Mark Pryor, Author
And a review and giveaway of the science fiction thriller "10,000 Bones" by Joe Ollinger