Friday, January 31, 2020
Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners and Award Nominees Giveaway
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 2:00 PM No comments:
Labels: Ann Cleeves, book giveaways, Catriona McPherson, January 2020, lesa holstine, lesa's book critiques, Strangers at the Gate, The Long Call, Winners and Award Nominees Giveaway
Beneath the Stains of Time: Department of Juvenile Justice: The Ellery Queen, ...
Beneath the Stains of Time: Department of Juvenile Justice: The Ellery Queen, ...: Frederic Dannay and his cousin Manfred B. Lee, better known by their shared penname of " Ellery Queen ," were two of the most i...
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 12:18 PM No comments:
Labels: BENEATH THE STAINS OF TIME BLOG, golden age of detection, January 2020, Juvenile Mysteries, locked room mysteries, mysteries, The Ellery Queen Junior Mysteries series, tomcat
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter: Reviewed by Kristin Series books are hard to review. Characters’ back stories can arc through several books, and when done wel...
FFB Review: "Breathe No More" by John D. MacDonald Reviewed by Barry Ergang
This week, Barry Ergang’s 2012 review of the short story, “Breathe No More” by John D. MacDonald is the focus for this last Friday of January 2020. For the full list of reading suggestions check out Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog.
"Breathe No More" by John D. MacDonald
Reviewed by Barry Ergang
Writers who contributed to the pulp magazines had to be, above all else, able storytellers or they wouldn't see their efforts in print. Many of them were what I call "grinders," folks who could mechanically crank out competent but undistinguished stories to suit various markets in order to earn money to live on, with no thought of artistry. But there were also some conscious craftsmen who honed their skills in the pulp markets, writers who have since come to be regarded as serious and enduring artists whose work constitutes Literature with a capital L or something approaching it. Among these are Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury and--yes!--Tennessee Williams.
John D. MacDonald is another from the latter group. Although for many years his novels were published as paperback originals by Fawcett during an era when "serious" writers' work initially appeared in hardcover editions, MacDonald was always well-received critically, considered one of America's finest storytellers and a man who had important things to say and insights to share.
Primarily known as a novelist, he was no slouch in the short fiction department. "Breathe No More," reprinted in the 1982 collection The Good Old Stuff, and originally published under the title "Breathe No More, My Lovely" in the May 1950 issue of Detective Tales, is a good example. Its morally ambiguous protagonist is a quirky man of wealth named Park Falkner, who lives on a private island in Florida and who has a crew of investigators who look into cases that interest him. Falkner invites the principle figures in a given case, among other guests, to his island so as to expose them and dispense his particular brand of justice. In "Breathe No More," his plan backfires when one of the guests is murdered and another, a woman near and dear to Falkner, is put in jeopardy.
The story amply displays MacDonald's crisp, literate prose style, his sense of place and pace, and his skill in limning characters. Beyond this I'll say no more lest I spoil the story for readers unfamiliar with it.
Barry Ergang © 2012, 2020
Among other works, Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang's own impossible crime novelette, The Play of Light and Shadow, is available at Amazon and Smashwords as is his recently released book of poetry, Farrago, and other entertaining reads. For more on Barry’s books as well as his editing services, check out Barry’s website.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Do Some Damage: LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX by Shawn A. Cosby
Do Some Damage: LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX: Let's talk about sex shall we? Come now we are all adults here. Well we try to be adults. Now we are not going to talk about graphic se...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 26 Calls for Submissions in February 2020 - Paying...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 26 Calls for Submissions in February 2020 - Paying...: Pixabay T here are more than two dozen calls for submissions in February. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fe...
Mystery Fanfare: MURDER AT THE SUPER BOWL & OTHER FOOTBALL MYSTERIE...
Mystery Fanfare: MURDER AT THE SUPER BOWL & OTHER FOOTBALL MYSTERIE...: SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! There's lots of real crime surrounding the Super Bowl : drugs, money, egos, etc, and it's a...
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Been A Rough Week
Alive, sober, and wallowing in a stormy sea of grief.
Lesa's Book Critiques: A Sister's Courage by Molly Green
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Appalachian Passage, Girl Who Fell Fro...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Appalachian Passage, Girl Who Fell Fro...: Reported by Jeanne Our first Nevermore speaker had read Appalachian Passage by Helen Hiscoe. Adapted from Hiscoe’s journals, t...
Crime City Review: NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS by Allen Eskens
Indies Unlimited: Plot Twist: Romance Writers of America
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Lesa's Book Critiques: Night Train to Murder by Simon R. Green
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 4:00 PM No comments:
Labels: books, January 2020, lesa holstine, lesa's book critiques, locked room mysteries, mysteries, news, Night Train to Murder, Paranormal, paranormal mystery, reviews, Simon Green
Beneath the Stains of Time: The Bloody Tower (1938) by John Rhode
Beneath the Stains of Time: The Bloody Tower (1938) by John Rhode: The Bloody Tower (1938) is the 32nd novel in the Dr. Lancelot Priestley series and has a plot fulfilling John Rhode 's own requireme...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 51 Writing Contests in February 2020 - No entry fe...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 51 Writing Contests in February 2020 - No entry fe...: Wikimedia Commons February is a short month, but it packs a punch. This month there are more than four dozen contests calling for every ...
Monday, January 27, 2020
Lesa's Book Critiques: The Vineyards of Champagne by Juliet Blackwell
In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 1/27/2020
Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 1/27/2020
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Jan 27-Feb...
TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar Jan 27-Feb...: Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of January 27-February 2, 2020, compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lo...
Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Trouble in Nuala by Harriet Steel
Trouble in Nuala by Harriet Steel (Stane Street Press, 2016) is the first book in the Inspector Shanti de Silva mysteries. Six more follow the first one. Set in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, during the 1930s and the waning days of British Colonial rule, the book is an examination of the cultures inhabiting the island nation that gave the world much of its tea as well as a traditional murder mystery.
Inspector de Silva and his English wife Jane have left the city of Colombo for the slower pace of life in hilly Nuala, where he has taken a position with the local police force. While Colombo is a real city of about 750,000, Nuala is a fictionalized version of Nuwara Eliya; Nuala is a proper English city with a lively and involved group of British expatriates.
Upon his return to Nuala after testifying in a trial of gang members in another city, de Silva is promptly confronted with the information that one of the plantation owners has been accused of flogging one of the native workers. While most of the plantation owners realize it is in their best interests to treat their workers well, there still remained one or two who are troglodytes. No one wants a native uprising but no specific labor laws exist to protect them either. A Tamil lawyer from Colombo has been asking questions about the incident and has been demanding action from the authorities. De Silva’s boss sees the difficulty in balancing the need for justice and defending the English plantation owner, no matter how difficult he is. He hands the whole thing off to the inspector and requests a prompt resolution.
After equally troublesome interviews with both the lawyer from Colombo and the plantation owner, who refuses to allow de Silva to interview his workers, the inspector puzzles over next steps. The sudden death of the plantation owner changes everything. The medical examiner thinks the cause of death is a heart attack brought on by a drinking binge but de Silva is not so sure.
The author stated in an interview that she especially enjoys vintage murder mysteries and it shows. The style, the pacing, the motives for murder, the characters all fit the time, the classic detection Golden Age. The descriptions throughout of the flora and fauna are most appealing; like C.D. Sloan of Catherine Aird’s Calleshire books, the inspector raises beautiful roses. Perhaps not a wildly original plot, but fresh enough when combined with well-defined characters and punctuated with exquisite scenery to be an agreeable read. Recommended.
· Paperback: 198 pages
· Publisher: Stane Street Press, 2016
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0995693404
· ISBN-13: 978-0995693401
Aubrey Hamilton ©2020
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: She Died Without Light (1956) by Nieves Mathews
Beneath the Stains of Time: She Died Without Light (1956) by Nieves Mathews: Nieves Mathews was a Scottish-Spanish author who wrote the 606-page volume Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination (1996...
RTE Update: Reviewing The Evidence for 1/25/2020
The January 25 2020 issue of RTE is out and includes new reviews and a new interview.
Our guest in the "Sixty Seconds" spot this week is Eileen Brady:
REVIEWS THIS WEEK:
THE CHRISTMAS DEMON James Lovegrove Reviewed by Rebecca Nesvet
OWL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Donna Andrews Reviewed by Susan Hoover
WINTER GRAVE Helene Tursten Reviewed by Yvonne Klein
HOW THE DEAD SPEAK Val McDermid Reviewed by Yvonne Klein
BROOKLYN LEGACIES Triss Stein Reviewed byLourdes Venard
GENESIS Robin Cook Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry
MURDER IN RAT ALLEY Mark de Castrique Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry
BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH M. C. Beaton Reviewed by Diana Borse
HEMS & HOMICIDE Elizabeth Penney Reviewed by Meredith Frazier
WILD DOGS OF MEXICO T.E. Wilson Reviewed by Susan Hoover
CUTTING EDGE Joyce Carol Oates, ed. Reviewed by Yvonne Klein
We post more than 900 new reviews a year -- all of them are archived on the site -- as well as a new interview with a top author every issue.
Saturday, January 25, 2020
The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 1/25/2020
KRL Update: Kings River Life Update for 1/25/2020
Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Thin Ice" by Paige Shelton along with an interesting guest post by Paige about going from writing cozies to writing a suspense novel
And a review and giveaway of "Gone, Kitty, Gone" by Eileen Watkins along with an interesting interview with Eileen
We also have reviews and giveaways of a pair of K-9 mysteries-"No Man’s Land": An FBI K-9 series by Sara Driscoll and "Tracking Game": Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Margaret Mizushima
And reviews and giveaways of 2 food mysteries and a craft mystery-"A Murderous Tangle": Seaside Knitters Society Mystery by Sally Goldenbaum, "Cobblered to Death": Courtney Archer series by Rosemarie Ross, and "Murder with Cherry Tarts": Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery by Karen Rose Smith
And the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier along with an ebook giveaway of "There’s a New Witch in Town" by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson which was featured in a past Coming Attractions
Up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and ebook giveaway of "Blizzard In the Bay" by Kathi Daley
And a review and giveaway of "Much Ado About Nutmeg" by Sarah Fox
And a review of the latest Gourmet Detective Mystery on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel, "Roux the Day"
Scott's Take: Spider-Man Life Story by Chip Zdarsky
Spider-Man Life Story by Chip Zdarsky is an else worlds tale featuring Spider-Man. The idea here addresses what would happen if Spider-Man aged in real time starting in 1962 when he is fifteen and ends 57 years later with the last mission. Each issue in the book covers a decade of Peter Parker’s life.
Featuring a variety of characters, it helps if you are highly familiar with the spider-man mythos. Since the characters are depicted the way they were in the 1960s, certain characters behave radically different then the versions many readers are familiar with in this current climate. An example of this is how Iron Man of today is far, far more heroic than originally depicted.
The story is really good and so is the art. However, this story is not new reader friendly as it uses Marvel history and a ton of characters. In so doing, it uses the classic depictions of these characters and they are far different than what folks are used from the movies and recent comics under a variety of authors. Spider-Man Life Story by Chip Zdarsky is a bittersweet story that I enjoyed a lot.
Spider-Man Life Story
Paperback (also available in digital format)
Material supplied by the Highland Hills Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Scott A. Tipple ©2020
Friday, January 24, 2020
Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners and The Great War Giveaway
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 6:26 PM No comments:
Labels: City of Scoundrels, January 2020, Jessica Ellicott, lesa holstine, lesa's book critiques, Murder Cuts the Mustard, Victoria Thompson, Winners and The Great War Giveaway, WWI
Writer Beware: JUNK BOOK MARKETING: PAY-TO-PLAY MAGAZINES
Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder in the Dog Days (1991) by P.M. Carlson
Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder in the Dog Days (1991) by P.M. Carlson: I've always been fascinated with detective stories set in either the thick of war, the home-front or among the (societal) wreckage of...
TP&WD: Game Warden Field Notes for 1/24/2020
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: It’s Bristol Baby! by Shirley Vernick, Art by Paig...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: It’s Bristol Baby! by Shirley Vernick, Art by Paig...: Reviewed by Kristin The bookblog usually focuses on adult books, but we think many will enjoy this lovely new children’s book...
In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 1/23/2020
Mystery Fanfare: LUNAR NEW YEAR CRIME FICTION: Year of the Rat
Mystery Fanfare: LUNAR NEW YEAR CRIME FICTION: Year of the Rat: 恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy! This is the Year of the Rat. I've put together my latest Chinese New Year Mystery List. Inc...
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 10:14 AM No comments:
Labels: books, Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year Crime Fiction, Chinese New Year Mysteries, crime fiction, Janet Rudolph, January 2020, Lunar New Year Crime Fiction: Year of the Rat, mysteries, news
FFB Review: Short Stories of Earl Staggs Reviewed by Barry Ergang
We all lost a lot with the recent passing of Earl Staggs. Fortunately, the books and the short stories live on. It seemed appropriate to remind you again of Barry Ergang’s 2011 review of the Short Stories of Earl Staggs. For the full list of reading suggestions check out Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog.
SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS
Reviewed by Barry Ergang
In the interests of full disclosure, let me explain at the outset that Earl Staggs and I have been friends for a number of years, going back to when I joined the staff of the then-named Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine as an editorial reviewer and Earl was Managing Editor. No more than a year later, maybe less, some changes occurred with the staff, and Earl asked if I'd like to be one of three fiction editors. I accepted the position and, when a year or two after that Earl stepped down as M.E. to serve as Editorial Consultant for the renamed Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, he offered me his former position and I accepted.
Prior to the publication of Short Stories of Earl Staggs, I had read some of Earl's short fiction as well as his excellent--and recommended--novel, Memory of a Murder. I correctly assumed, therefore, that reading this collection of fifteen stories, each of which is prefaced by an author's note about its origins, would be a satisfying experience.
The book opens with the Derringer Award-winning "All the Fine Actors," in which a hitman assassinates a local sheriff. Both he and his employer are aware that people too often aren't what they seem, and both know the collection of his fee won't be an easy task.
"A Rainy Day Robbery" is a lighter-weight tale about the fictional Watango County, Texas Sheriff Mollie Goodall who, while trying to track down a thief, has to contend with a broken fingernail, every mention of which made me wince.
A tough former Baltimore cop, now living and working as a bail bondsman and sometime bounty hunter, returns to his hometown to pursue an escaped criminal and confront some people and issues from his past in "Baltimore Bounty."
"Battered" concerns Detective Sam Hollis's rabid determination to nail a longtime abuser who has finally killed his victim. Hollis has his own demons to deal with while trying to salvage his marriage.
After his sister's funeral, a visiting small-town cop arranges a meeting with her estranged husband, a wastrel pretty boy, in "Brother-in-Law." Ostensibly to discuss which of them as the woman's survivors gets what, the meeting has a much darker purpose.
The weakest story in the collection for me was "Caught On Christmas Eve," the tale of a twelve-year-old wannabe thief and the man who witnesses what he's up to at a department store's jewelry counter. Originally written for a Christmas anthology , it's predictable and sentimental--but redeemed by not being too soppy.
A contract killer who prides himself for being meticulous and thorough gets the shock of his life when a woman he killed walks into the restaurant in which he regularly dines. Before the evening is over, he's in for dyspepsia-inducing surprises in "Dead Woman Walking."
"Fig Newtons and Heavy Bags" is the lightweight tale of two spinster sisters who aren't quite what they seem.
Another Mollie Goodall story, "Robbery On Christmas Eve," concerns the theft of church funds from a locked office. How the thief got in and out, as well as who the thief is, are the puzzles Mollie must solve.
In "Room Six," a small-town sheriff sets a simple trap to determine which of three wealthy, spoiled brothers murdered a nineteen-year-old woman.
"Silky's Getaway" is a brief comic tale about a professional burglar's encounter with a most unlikely obstacle.
Not without moral qualms, a cop exceeds standard procedural boundaries to dispense the justice the courts failed to in "Taking Richie Gold Down."
On her daughter's wedding day, Amanda Barnes is kidnapped by a man who has held a grudge against her for twenty years, a man who stirs up memories of her harrowing past in the tense and exciting "That Night in Galveston."
"The Chopsticks Clue" resulted, as the author explains in his prefatory note, from an editorial challenge. Homicide Lieutenant Sue Townes encounters her former partner Millie Walker, now a meter maid, while investigating a stabbing death at a Chinese restaurant. More interesting than the crime itself is the animosity Sue has toward Millie because of an incident in their past.
Sheriff Mollie Goodall makes another appearance in the comical "The Naked Man On the Roof" when she has to talk the titular character down from the roof of a deserted icehouse (the fall from which wouldn't kill him), learn why he's despondent, and then solve a crime.
Chief of Police Harry Winfield learns from a pair of Dallas cops, to his surprise and disheartenment, that Pam Wilson is wanted for the murder of a prominent attorney in "The Waitress." She swears she didn't kill him but knows who does--but won't reveal the murderer's name lest she be forced to reveal things about herself she can't afford to reveal. Harry must determine where the truth lies.
Short Stories of Earl Staggs is a nicely varied collection of light and dark, humorous and serious, soft-boiled and hardboiled crime stories. The author writes in a smooth, accessible prose style, delineates characters nicely, and has an excellent sense of pace. To my friend and former colleague, the venerable Earl of Staggs, I say, "Well done, amigo. Give us more." To you who are reading this review, I say, "If you enjoy good short crime and mystery fiction, get yourself a copy of this collection, which is available in electronic and paperback formats, because the Earl Staggs byline always guarantees a pleasurable reading experience."
Barry Ergang © 2011, 2014, 2020
Among other works, Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang's own impossible crime novelette, The Play of Light and Shadow, is available at Amazon and Smashwords as is his recently released book of poetry, Farrago, and other entertaining reads. For more on Barry’s books as well as his editing services, check out Barry’s website.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: Going Ashore: "The High House" (1948) by Hake Talb...
Beneath the Stains of Time: Going Ashore: "The High House" (1948) by Hake Talb...: Henning Nelms was an American magician and authored a trickster's manual, entitled Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers (...
ColinConway.Com: Why I Wrote... Charlie-316
Mystery Tribune: “American Dirt” And The Banality of Evil by Nick Kolakowksi
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 8 Great Writing Conferences in February 2020
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 8 Great Writing Conferences in February 2020: Pexels Conferences are not only the best way to meet agents, get tips from other writers, and learn about the publishing industry, they ...
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Lesa's Book Critiques: St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Not Taco Bell Material, Heartbeat of Wo...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Not Taco Bell Material, Heartbeat of Wo...: Reported by Jeanne Adam Carolla is a well-known podcaster and satirist who has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. O...
Review: Dark Yonder: Tales and Tabs Edited by Liam Sweeny
Dark Yonder: Tales and Tabs is billed as an anthology of crime stories. It certainly is and there is not a bad tale on the book. The read is far more than a crime anthology of often powerful short stories. It is a book that pays homage to what is clearly a loved bar by so many of the authors involved in the book. The bar and the setting for nearly every story, Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew, is not one of those trendy hipster bars with the staff decked out in bling and man buns on half of the males and wanna be males in the place. Instead, Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew is a serious bar and one that has a legendary history and character to it. While I have never been there, it is clear that the place is a throwback to the past and a serious bar with many stories to tell.
Some of those stories have made it into this anthology edited by Liam Sweeny. Published by Joyride Press last year, there is also nonfiction in the form of essay observations, many black and white pictures of customers and staff, and more than a few drink recipes. In fact, because very story is led off by a drink recipe, there are nearly two dozen drink recipes listed in the read. Those same drink recipes contain no amounts regarding ingredients because one is encouraged to “live a little.” That concept of “live a little” is often what happens in these tales with some deadly consequences as well as the resulting biohazardous material messes to clean up.
After a forward from Eryk Pruitt, he also offers a piece on how a drink and a bar experience should be as opposed to how things are these days in many places. That is followed by a piece by Dan Barbour on his real life musical experience in the aforementioned drinking establishment. Then it is on to the twenty-two stories published in the Dark Yonder: Tales and Tabs anthology. As noted before, there is not a bad tale in the bunch. Several can cause laugh out moments. So, grab your favorite beverage and take a few minutes to read this review as each tale is briefly explained. That explanation is done without the use of herbs, bitters, or spoilers. The various illustrative pictures in the read can’t be explained. You just have to see them for yourself. Those pictures have their own tales to tell.
Travis Richardson gets things started with “Them’s Fighting Words.” Grady Edwards just wanted to be left alone. Then Eryk Pruitt and Drew showed up asking questions about the murder of Jessica Talbert. Wesley Winston spent twenty years of his life in prison until that damn DNA test cleared him. If that had not happened, Grady Edwards would not be dealing with this porch problem.
He knew she wanted to be left alone when she came into the bar by herself. He’s seen her before, usually with a bunch of coworkers, and knows that her name is Alana. He also knows she has a problem of some sort in “Run Its Course” by Frank Zafiro.
A late meeting at Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew is planned between a reporter and the man known to all as “Popcorn.” The legendary moonshiner might or might not show up for the meeting. If he does and does wish to tell it, he has quite the story to tell in “Popcorn” by Gabriel Valjan.
Will Viharo is up next with the short story, “Living Proof (A Vic Valentine Vignette).” The private investigator in from San Francisco is a long way from home as he walks into the North Carolina bar. This is a case that will get stranger by the minute as Vic Valentine quickly learns he is far from home in more than just the physical sense and is way out of his depth.
It has been a hard two years for Jewel since the FBI shut down the family law firm. She is skittish and she has good reason to be so in “Off-Label” by Terri Lynn Coop. Even with Max Geno present and her favorite adult beverage available, she knows this is not a social meeting.
Freddie the Cripple has a certain reputation and one that he likes to exploit here and there. In “Yonder There’s aMargarita” by Matt Phillips, he also likes a decent margarita. He likes the bar, Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew, as well and really does not want to do the job he has been hired to complete.
Gordon has been working on being a regular at Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew. Part of that process is always sitting on the same stool and therefore claiming it as his own. Tonight is starting off wrong from the get go in “The Regular” by Eric Beetner. As often happens in bars, making your claim for respect can result in violence.
Why the customer brought a ventriloquist dummy into the bar no one really knows. If the guy would just drink his drink and do it quietly, things would probably okay. But, he won’t. Before long the dummy, Slappy Sacramento, is talking way too much in running’s its mouth way too much in Todd Morr’s short story, “Slappy Sacramento.”
When your insides are making like explosive lava, it is nearly impossibly hard to be a quiet criminal. “Huey and the Burrito of Doom” by Nick Kolakowski need little explanation. The tale is dark, twisted, messy, and more than a little funny.
She may be beautiful, but she is cold too in “The Door in the Floor” by Allison A. Davis. She also knows exactly how her drink should be made. She also seems to know far more than she should about a lot of things. It is past time to get the boss, Eryk Pruitt, on scene to deal with her.
Technology is wonderful until it isn’t. Everything started off innocently enough in “Close Your Laptop” by Judy Wilkinson. One little thing lead to another and now, thanks to technology, she knows far too much.
The plan is to recue Darlene’s little sister in “They Have Fancy Drinks Named After Famous Writers” by S. A. Cosby. Give the pimp some money that is more than it seems. The plan is to fool him just long enough to get him out back of Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew and then give him the beat down he deserves to find sixteen year old Julie.
Editor Liam Sweeny is next with the short story, “Legs Diamond.” Life has been hard and Rory is doing the best he can. He’s figured out Eryk Pruitt is a good man. Finding the body proved the point.
Being a salesman is a tough gig in “The Proposition” by Phillip Kimbrough. He still has one more deal to clinch before the night is through.
Bob Dinkerman got himself murdered behind the bar known as Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew. According to the officer testifying in court in “Llama Juice” by Stacie Leininger he had it coming. For good reason as is made clear.
Not all battles are fought overseas. Some are fought here at home every single day as one does what one has to do to survive while desperately trying to forget the past. That works until the past is again right in front of you in “Moist Money” by Greg Herren.
Unlike that Gordon dude mentioned earlier, Belle is a regular and very much welcomed. She always sits at her place at one end of the bar in Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew. A classy lady, she likes her drinks in a certain way in “Old Fashioned” by Bruce Robert Coffin. She, like the place itself, is a throwback to the past and history.
It is hard to breathe when somebody holds you under whether it is water or whiskey. He really should not have caused Fat Phil an issue. He did. Now he is in a really bad spot as “The Big Splash” by Renato Bratkovicͮ begins.
When you get a bunch of crime writers to read at the bar things can escalate. A fight could break out. More than just about anyone else, crime writers know to and will use any weapon necessary. “Noir at the Bar Fight” by Dana King is a tale that will not be explained further other to say it is funny as all get out.
The suited men were clearly out of place when they walked into Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew. Frank Smith and Eryk Pruitt know that there is going to be a problem in “Two Clowns Walk into a Bar” by Jim Shaffer. The suits work for a certain loan shark and he wants his money now one way or another.
David Nemeth’s short story, “Retribution” comes next. An early close should have meant a peaceful evening. It didn’t. Now Heppy has arrived and he is most definitely a problem.
The regulars call her “Hazel” and for good reason In “Not Enough to Drink” by Rob Pierce. Hawthorne is not a regular so he does not know anything when he sees her in the bar. He also has been without sleep for over 36 hours. He has a plan and intends to get what he wants from her the easy way or the hard way. She just wants to drink in peace in this final story of the read.
Edited by Liam Sweeny, Dark Yonder: Tales and Tabs is a solidly good crime fiction anthology. Violence and mayhem make a frequent appearance in these tales where everything may not be as it seems at first glance. There are secrets at work and the bartender many know just a few of them.
I’m pretty sure this is one of those reads where a lot of insider style jokes went right by me because I am not a part of the right crowd. I have never been to the bar in question and have only been to two “Noir at the Bar” style events. Many of the authors in the book I have never met. A few of them I did very ͮͮͮbriefly meet at the recent Bouchercon in Dallas. I am also sure there are some insider stories behind the many black and white pictures from inside the bar that show various folks involved in the book. I am also sure that I picked up the main stuff that made Dark Yonder: Tales and Tabs a mighty good read.
My reading copy came because Johnny Wesner put in a word and my address with Eryk Pruitt who I had met briefly at his “Noir at the Bar” event at Bouchercon 2019. Because of the efforts of the man who markets himself as “Sweet Johnny,” Eryk then sent me a signed paperback copy with no expectation of a review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2020
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: The Case of the Rusted Room (1937) by John Donavan...
Beneath the Stains of Time: The Case of the Rusted Room (1937) by John Donavan...: Nigel Morland was an English editor of periodicals such as Edgar Wallace Mystery Magazine , The Criminologist and Current Crime , but c...
Lesa's Book Critiques: Careless Whiskers by Miranda James
Buried Under Books Review: Turn to Stone by James W. Ziskin—and a Giveaway!
Monday, January 20, 2020
Beneath the Stains of Time: Fossils of the Universe: Q.E.D, vol. 4 by Motohiro...
Beneath the Stains of Time: Fossils of the Universe: Q.E.D, vol. 4 by Motohiro...: Back in July, I reviewed the 3rd volume in the Q.E.D. series, created by Motohiro Katou , which comprised of two excellent, well-balanc...
Crime Review Update: New issue of Crime Review
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 Steph Cha 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 NIGHT FIRE by Michael Connelly, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When a cold case lands in Harry Bosch’s lap, he needs the help of night shift detective Renée Ballard again as the two look into an unsolved murder from 20 years ago.
SALT LANE by William Shaw, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
DS Alexandra Cupidi is about to learn that the Kentish Fens offer more than quiet and seclusion after the tumultuous Met. They are the almost perfect hiding place for bodies.
THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT by Susan Hill, reviewed by Viv Beeby
Lafferton police are just about coping with a series of ruthless and meticulously planned robberies. But a possible error of judgement puts Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailller's reputation on the line.
A SHADOW ON THE LENS by Sam Hurcom, reviewed by John Cleal
Forensic photographer and investigator Thomas Bexley probes the horrifying murder of a teenage girl in an isolated South Wales village and plunges into a world of claustrophobic suspicion, mass murder and the supernatural.
MAIGRET AND THE KILLER by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A young man with a particular interest in recording the voices of strangers is stabbed and killed in the street during an early spring downpour. The hobby initially proves to be a distraction for Maigret.
LIBERATION SQUARE by Gareth Rubin, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
Imagine that D-Day had gone the other way, with the Germans victorious, instead of the Allies. In the highly charged political climate that follows, a woman sets out to clear the name of her husband, who’s been arrested on a murder charge.
THE ROOM OF THE DEAD by MRC Kasasian, reviewed by John Cleal
Inspector Betty Church finds wartime life in her sleepy hometown of Sackwater hard to bear until a bombing raid and the discovery of a body on the beach put her on the trail of a killer.
CAGE BY LILJA SIGURÐARDÓTTIR, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
In Iceland Agla’s prison sentence for financial crimes is coming to an end while her former nemesis Maria gets drawn into helping her to pull another international money fraud.
WHEN THE DEAD COME CALLING by Helen Sedgwick, reviewed by Linda Wilson
The murder of a psychotherapist sends a northern village into shock and piles the pressure on resident DI Georgie Strachan.
GUILTY NOT GUILTY by Felix Francis, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Bill Russell is devastated when told that his wife has been murdered, and things get worse when the police make him their main suspect. Bill is sure his brother-in-law is the culprit, but is there enough evidence to get a conviction in court?
KILLING WITH CONFETTI by Peter Lovesey, reviewed by John Cleal
When the son of the county’s Deputy Chief Constable marries the daughter of a gang boss, Superintendent Peter Diamond, head of Bath CID, is assigned to make sure no criminal rivals can threaten the life of the bride’s father.
DEADLY DANCE by Hilary Bonner, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A killer has preyed on a 14-year-old girl in Bristol. At first it seems an easy case for DI David Vogel and his team, but then doubts creep in.
PRESERVATION by Jock Serong, reviewed by Chris Roberts
When in 1797 a vessel is shipwrecked on an island in what became known as Bass Strait, a small group make their way to Sydney, but the few who arrive have different tales about the journey.
IN HER EYES by Sarah Alderson, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
It isn’t the first time June’s life has hung in the balance. But this time it’s not cancer killing her. It’s a bullet.
MURDER IN THE MILL-RACE by ECR Lorac, reviewed by John Cleal
When the warden of a children’s home is killed, local police can make no headway in an isolated and self-contained village. Scotland Yard is called in and Chief Inspector Macdonald sent to take over the case.
ONCE A LIAR by AF Brady, reviewed by Chris Roberts
New York lawyer Peter Caine has built a successful career defending some very nasty people but finds himself as a suspect when his ex-mistress is murdered.
THE HOLIDAY by TM Logan, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
The villa in the south of France is idyllic, but the messages that Kate finds on her husband’s phone portend a lurking danger.
MORE RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Nick Rennison, reviewed by John Cleal
Fifteen of the rivals of the great Sherlock Holmes – police officers, PIs and eccentric criminologists – who all had their day in the sun in the popular magazines.
THE PROMISE by Teresa Driscoll, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
The Promise is one that they have kept for more than 30 years, but Beth and her friends know it is about to be unburied. And they all have too much to lose.
MY SECRET LIES WITH YOU by Faye Bird, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Cait is determined not to enjoy the holiday her mother has arranged. But a meeting with boy-next-door Marko changes things, and Cait starts to think North Wales might not be quite as dull as she expected. There’s also the mysterious disappearance of a local girl to add spice to the holiday.
Linda and Sharon
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