Monday, August 31, 2020
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Masked Prey by John Sandford
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Masked Prey by John Sandford: We are delighted to present another review from Kevin Tipple, author and avid reader. He maintains a review and information blog wh...
Lesa's Book Critiques: One for the Books by Jenn McKinlay
In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 8/31/2020
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 9:55 AM No comments:
Labels: audio, August 2020, BV Lawson, in reference to murder, interviews, Media Murder for Monday for 8/31/2020, movies, news, podcasts, radio, streaming services, television, video
Markets & Jobs for Writers for 8/31/2020
Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Beware, Beware by Steph Cha
Before Steph Cha achieved international fame with her multi-award-winning novel of contemporary social dissonance in Los Angeles, Your House Will Pay (Ecco, 2019), she wrote three books about Juniper Song, a perceptive young Korean private investigator in Southern California. In the second book, Beware, Beware (Minotaur, 2014) Song is trying to put the harrowing events of her debut adventure behind her. Song has also become formally apprenticed to a private investigative firm and is working on accruing enough hours in the field to receive her own license.
One day Chaz Lindley, her mentor and part-owner of the firm, who is one of my favorite characters in the book, hands off what should be a simple assignment of finding and following Jamie Landon who seems to have gone AWOL. His artist girlfriend Daphne Freamon in New York is afraid his current job with a Hollywood star might encourage him to re-engage with drugs and is willing to pay whatever it takes to put her mind at ease.
Song’s monitoring suggests Daphne had good reason to be concerned. The all-night parties with Hollywood insiders and periodic visits to an isolated house in the Valley indicate Jamie might well be back in the drug world. Song breaks the news to Daphne and continues to watch Jamie while she waits for Daphne to decide what to do next. She’s nearby when Jamie awakens after a night of partying to find the Hollywood star he works for violently dead. He calls Daphne in New York, who tells him to call Song, making her one of the first people on the crime scene. She calls the police, and the havoc that surrounds the unnatural death of a famous personality ensues.
Jamie is under suspicion, and Daphne wants Song to try to uncover enough evidence to at least create reasonable doubt. Song’s interviews and research reveal the back stories of the players are more complex than she thought. Her shock is comprehensible by anyone who’s taken people at face value, only to learn reality is far different. The lies she’s been told and how she is supposed to proceed causes her a good deal of lost sleep. All of this against a backdrop of modern Los Angeles, which is captured in well-turned vignettes.
Song is an intriguing spin on the contemporary private investigator, intelligent and alive to nuances, perhaps a little too sensitive for the sometimes brutal profession she’s fallen into. The supporting cast of characters is realistic, not a cardboard outline among them. The noirish story line is almost tortuous in its convolution. Recommended.
· Hardcover: 304 pages
· ISBN-10: 1250049016
· ISBN-13: 978-1250049018
· Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition (August 12, 2014)
Aubrey Hamilton ©2020
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Sweet Freedom: Friday's "Forgotten" Books: the links to the revie...
Sweet Freedom: Friday's "Forgotten" Books: the links to the revie...: The past week's and a few more books and other literature, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers be...
Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder with Minarets (1968) by Charles Forsyte
Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder with Minarets (1968) by Charles Forsyte: Earlier this year, I was introduced to the excellent detective fiction of " Charles Forsyte ," a penname shared between Gordon ...
Lesa's Book Critiques: The House on Widows Hill by Simon R. Green
The Education of a Pulp Writer: Buddies in the Saddle: Ron Scheer
The Education of a Pulp Writer: Buddies in the Saddle: Ron Scheer: I finished my first Cash Laramie short story in over seven years and before I crossed the finish line, I spent some time with an old cowboy ...
SleuthSayers: Talking to Strangers by R. T. Lawton
SleuthSayers: Talking to Strangers: From March through August is a long time to have a void in your socializing. It's enough to make you start talking to strangers in a par...
The Rap Sheet: Odds and Ends for 8/29/2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
The Siberian Times: Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up in Arctic tundra
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 5:12 PM No comments:
Labels: Artic, August 2020, bulgunnyakh, climate change, Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up in Arctic tundra, hydrolaccoliths, science, Siberia, The Siberian Times, Yamal peninsula
Nathan Brandsford: Supply issues will disrupt the fall season (This week in books)
Mystery Fanfare: BOOKSTORE MYSTERIES: Independent Bookstore Day
Mystery Fanfare: BOOKSTORE MYSTERIES: Independent Bookstore Day: Here's a random incomplete but fun updated list of Bookstore Mysteries for Independent Bookstore Day . I invite you to comment below ...
KRL This Week Update for 8/28/2020
Up in KRL this morning reviews and giveaways of 5 more mysteries-"The Devil’s Bones": A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery by Carolyn Haines, "A Royal Affair": A Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery by Allison Montclair, "Night Shift": A Helping Hands Mystery by Annelise Ryan, "Witch Hunt" by Cate Conte, and "Witches and Wedding Cake": A Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates
And a review and giveaway of "Sowing Malice" by Wendy Tyson published by Henery Press, along with a fun gardening post by Wendy
We also have a review and ebook giveaway of "Killing in the Caribbean" by Jennifer Fischetto, along with an interesting interview with Jennifer
And another mystery podcast interview, this one with the Crime Writers of Color Podcast
And we have the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier
During the week mystery author Daisy Bateman shared her Top 5 Mysteries Read During the Pandemic
And mystery author Susan Oleksiw shared her Top 5 Mysteries Read During the Pandemic
Also during the week we had another special guest post, this one by mystery author Jennifer Graeser Dornbush about cold cases and her new book "Hole in the Woods." You can also enter to win a copy of the book
Up in KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and giveaway of "It Cannoli Be Murder" by Catherine Bruns along with a bonus giveaway of the first book in the series, "Penne Dreadful"
And a review and giveaway of "Killer Queen" by Julie Mulhern
And a review and ebook giveaway of "Deadly Vows" by Keri Arthur
Lesa's Book Critiques: Have You Heard? - Miranda James' The Silence of the Library
SleuthSayers: Once Again in the Bargain Bin by John M. Floyd
SleuthSayers: Once Again in the Bargain Bin: Since I've been in pandemic mode like everyone else, I'm doing a lot of reading, writing, and movie watching. (As if I wouldn'...
Scott's Take: The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel Adapted by Orpheus Collar
The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel adapted by Orpheus Collar is based on the novel of the same title by Rick Riordan. This adaption of the first book in The Kane Chronicles is a great adaption of the underrated book series. While some claim that The Kane Chronicles is the weakest of the various series written by Rick Riordan, I very much enjoyed the books and disagree with a lot of the criticism.
This series focuses on Egyptian Mythology and is set in the larger Percy Jackson universe. Unlike the other series in this universe, here there are two main leads instead of one. Carter and Sadie Kane are siblings who are forced to adapt to a sudden new perspective of the world and the reality around them. Carter is a nerdy boy who has spent most of his life having to be a mini adult while Sadie is more rebellious, sarcastic, and outgoing. The kids are biracial and their mixed heritage is rare in fantasy reads. At the beginning of the series, they are not very close at all. That changes as time passes, as they are forced to work together in order to survive because everything they thought they knew was wrong.
The book deals with a lot of deep and complicated themes such as loss, grief, working with people you do not like, unique family situations, the legacy of bad acts in the distant past coming to the forefront now, racism, and much more. In order not to ruin the read, the simplest plot explanation is that the siblings must face the secrets of their bloodline at the same time they must deal with a God of Chaos named “Set.” Basically, he is the Egyptian version of “Loki” from Norse Mythology and does some of the same sorts of things.
The art is excellent, there is plenty of action, character development, and humor. The graphic novel adaption keeps the main plot points of the original novel while also depicting numerous scenes as well as battles from the original novel. One can think of it as a sort of buddy cop adventure with magical elements that is orientated to Egyptian Mythology. If you enjoy this read, the next in the series is The Throne of Fire.
My reading copy came by way of the Dunbar Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel
Adapted by Orpheus Collar
Lettered by Jared Fletcher
Scott Tipple ©2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Sixth Scandalous Serving edited by J. Alan Hartman - $15.30 : Untreed Reads Publishing
The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Sixth Scandalous Serving edited by J. Alan Hartman - $15.30 : Untreed Reads Publishing
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 5:48 PM No comments:
Labels: anthologies, August 2020, books, editor, Editor: J. Alan Hartman, mystery, publishing news, short stories, The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Sixth Scandalous Serving, Untreed Reads, upcoming book
Writer Beware®: The Blog: Alert: Scammers Impersonating Major Publishing Houses
Writer Beware®: The Blog: Alert: Scammers Impersonating Major Publishing Houses: Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware® A couple of weeks ago I wrote about scammers impersonating reputable literary agents . These...
Bitter Tea and Mystery Review: Shooting at Loons by Margaret Maron
Bitter Tea and Mystery: Shooting at Loons: Margaret Maron: Earlier this month I revisited a series that I had tried in 2003 but never returned to. I found the third book in the series, Shooting at Lo...
Lesa's Book Critiques: Winners and Give Me a B Giveaway
Larque Press: NEWS DIGEST for 8/28/2020
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 42 Calls for Submissions in September 2020 - Paying Markets
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 42 Calls for Submissions in September 2020 - Payin...: Pikist There are more than three dozen calls for submissions in September. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission f...
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 29 Writing Contests in September 2020 - No entry fees
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 29 Writing Contests in September 2020 - No entry fees: Pxfuel This September there are more than two dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonficti...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Lit Stitch: 26 Cross-Stitch Patterns for Book Lovers ...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Lit Stitch: 26 Cross-Stitch Patterns for Book Love...: Reviewed by Kristin Lit Stitch is an excellent mix for anyone who loves books, and who is feeling a little crafty. Most of these ...
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 10:15 AM No comments:
Labels: August 2020, Book Riot, books, crafts, cross stitch, cross stitch patterns, Kristin, Lit Stitch, Lit Stitch: 26 Cross-Stitch Patterns for Book Lovers, literature, Meredith A. Clark, reviews, Shawna Tang
FFB Review: Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 2 Editors Michael Pool and Dietrich Kalteis
For this final Friday in August, I am reminding you of this issue of Crime Syndicate Magazine. After you read the review, make sure you head over to Patti Abbott’s blog and see what she recommends as well as Happiness Is A Warm Book where Aubrey Nye Hamilton has her own selection. Don’t let the news of the world make you crazy and enjoy your weekend.
The second issue of Crime Syndicate Magazine proves that the first issue was not a fluke. Lightening does strike twice and it certainly did in this case. “Intense” and “edgy” are often over used clichés when applied to crime fiction, but they certainly apply here in several cases.
After a brief introduction by the boss, Michael Pool, Guest Editor Dietrich Kalteis kicks things off with his story “Bottom of the Ninth.” The Yankees are playing the Reds in the first game of the series. Gambler Nick Tuccirello has a lot riding on the game. Not just the pennant, but his wife too.
Readers go from 1939 to modern day Hawaii in “The Song Remains the Same” by Matt Andrew. Leroy is a music expert and is absolutely sure that certain classic rock songs should be played back to back. The DJ at KPOL “Oahu’s Best Rock Station” is seriously violating the rules. Kimo would rather get to the job on time than stop and talk music, but Leroy believes what songs go together are so important that they have affected how things in his life have worked out.
“Fight in the Dog” by Mike O’ Reilly takes readers to the brutal world of dog fighting. His favorite dog, Honey, is one heck of a fighter. She came to him by the way of Jimmy buying her from a guy known as Bobby Le Mas. The narrator does not like Bobby for multiple good reasons and is about to big time hate him. If you love dogs, this is a very tough story to read.
The young teen runaway is clearly out of place in the homeless shelter. Claudia, the counselor, does her best to make her feel welcome as well as get some basic information from her. Claudia is overworked and underpaid with few options at the Martinson Shelter. At least no matter what her situation had been the rich girl had far better options than Claudia ever did.
Samuel “Sugar” Cane is sitting on his back porch in Lacy Lakeview, Texas drinking beer and cleaning his .38 while sweating from the heat. “Sugar” by Michael Bracken explains where he got the gun, his history, and what he does as a collector for Tejano De La Rosa. There is plenty of work in the area around Waco. There are also some surprises along the way as he makes his rounds collecting money owed to his employer Monies paid by people who should have known better than to get involved in any way with Tejano De La Rosa.
A typical night of drinking has turned into a bizarre and very dangerous game among the four guys. The guy known as Rat had the original idea, but Yak has taken things to a terrible new level this time in “Thunderstone” by Stephen McQuiggan. Backing out now would make things worse.
There are mysteries to tell about what went on that recent winter when the snows hit Boston so hard. “Secrets in the Snow” by J. M. Taylor tells a couple of these secrets including what happened to Billy Myers.
There has been an incident as “Jackpot Blue Thistles” by Jinapher Hoffman begins and there is a bit of a mess. Prissy, the maid, can handle the cleanup. She has the easy job, all things considered, despite the spilled blood. Miss Honey has a couple of other things to arrange including getting a replacement package from Mr. Jal for her client.
Alan Johnson opened his liquor store in 1982 a week after he had purchased a shotgun with a pistol grip. He knows the neighborhood and still believes he will never have to use it. In “Stickup” by Nick Kolakowski things change in many ways including Alan’s plan to never use the weapon.
After the nine stories, there is an interview with Guest Editor Dietrich Kalteis. Michael Pool talks to him about his new novel Triggerfish as well as writing crime fiction, upcoming projects, and various other things.
Issue 2 of Crime Syndicate Magazine is another very good read featuring complicated tales and characters that do what needs to be done one way or another. While there is not a laugh out loud like there was in the first issue, there are times when a nod and sardonic smile might play across your lips. The tales are all good ones that work on every level. Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 2 is also very much worth your time.
Crime Syndicate Magazine: Issue 2
Edited by Michael Pool and Dietrich Kalteis
Short Stack Books
eBook (paperback available)
Material was picked up to read and review back in early May by way of funds in my Amazon Associate account.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2016, 2020
Thursday, August 27, 2020
In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 8/27/2020
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 3:08 PM No comments:
Labels: August 2020, awards, books, BV Lawson, conferences, crime fiction, in reference to murder, interviews, Mystery Melange for 8/27/2020, news, online, pandemic, the 5-2, virtual
The Rap Sheet: COVID-19 Is Already Ruining 2021
Review: Flash Bang Mysteries: Summer 2020 Issue 20
The cover story for Flash Bang Mysteries: Summer 2020 Issue 20 is “Prophetic Words” by Bruce Harris. The Tenement Bar and Grill may be dated in many ways, but Peter likes the place. It helps that they are the only bar that carries his beer preference. It would be smart not to screw up a good thing. It is questionable how smart Peter is this day.
Professor Chen fell down the stairs and is very much dead in “Light and Shadow” by Daria Davis. The question is what this will mean for his research assistant, Alicia Croft, and Professors Anderson and Selwyn. The on campus and very public death of the Department Head will have ripple effects.
Waking up painfully hungover is bad enough. Waking up painfully hungover in a Prius is Marie’s fate as “Looking For Ida’s Chevy” by Bud Sabelhaus begins. She hopes no tattoos were involved this time.
The Editor’s Choice story for this issue is “Dress Rehearsal” by Herschel Cozine. Everyone knows you really should not take your job home with you. Brad does in this gripping tale.
As one expects from this market run by B. J. Bourg and his son, Brad, the latest issue is another good one. Four short tales that each pack a punch in their own way. Flash Bang Mysteries Summer 20220 issue 20 is another fast and fun read. Despite the fact it is a well paying market, the read is free and can be found online here.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
The Rap Sheet: A Quick Five
Beneath the Stains of Time: Death at the Château Noir (1960) by E. and M.A. Radford
Beneath the Stains of Time: Death at the Château Noir (1960) by E. and M.A. Ra...: Over the past two years, Dean Street Press expanded their catalog with reissues of six obscure, hard-to-get forensic detective novels wr...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: First Frost, Never Have I Ever, Book Ch...
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: First Frost, Never Have I Ever, Book Ch...: Reported by Kristin Our first Nevermore reader reported on the joys of using Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. for ebooks. From the historical ...
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 10:20 AM No comments:
Labels: Allen, August 2020, Book Charmer, Bookblog of the Bristol Library, Downing, First Frost, Hawkins, Jackson, Kristin, My Lovely Wife, Never Have I Ever, Redhead by the Side of the Road, RODHAM, Sittenfeld, Tyler
Lesa's Book Critiques: Finish the Fight by Veronica Chambers & The Staff of the New York Times
Review: Fair Warning by Michael Connelly
Tracing your ancestry is all the rage the last few years and a lot of folks are doing it by way of various genetic testing sites. Many people are totally unaware that once you send off your genetic material, the company that receives your genetic materially can legally do pretty much do anything they want with it and nobody is the wiser. It can be used, as law enforcement has done, to catch a serial killer last active decades ago or for any purpose by anyone who buys it from the originating company. While the FDA claims governing authority, they have not set the rules so pretty much anything goes in this brave new world of genetics. That is a major theme of the latest novel by Michael Connelly, Fair Warning.
It has been a few years since we last saw Jack McEvoy. These days he works for a consumer protection news reporting site, FairWarning. It is a small five-person operation run by Editor and Founder Myron Levin. (Note: both the online publication and Myron Levin exist in these roles and author Michael Connelly is a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit.) these days, veteran reporter Jack McEvoy is not working his usual police beat as he now writes stories on consumer issues. As the book opens, he has just turned in a piece about scammers at work in the field of debt collection and how they deliberately fake things to get consumers to pay off nonexistent debt. (Also a real thing and something that happened to this reviewer a few years ago).
Upon arriving at his apartment at the end of his workday, Jack McEvoy is met by LAPD Homicide Detectives Mattson and Sakai. They have questions for him along with a bit of an attitude on Mattson’s part. Eventually, after a bit of back and forth, he finds out that a woman who he knew as Tina and spent just a couple of hours within an intimate way was found dead in recent days. Christina Portrero was brutally murdered by way of, basically, twisting her head around ninety degrees so that everything in the spinal area of the neck violently broke loose. Because of the fact that McEvoy’s number is in her contacts list on her cell phone and his books are on an night table in her place, the Detectives knew he knew her in some way and claim they want to rule him out as a suspect.
The detectives want a voluntary saliva sample for DNA analysis which tell McEvoy that there has to be some form of DNA on her body. As he knows that he cannot possibly be a match, he gives the detectives what they want and sends them on their way. That is after they ask him to take his short off so they can visually inspect him for scratches which tells him that they may have evidence from under her nails. Either way, he is clean and not worried about being a suspect other than he does not appreciate being part of their investigation or the fact they both seemed to have increasing attitude as they wasted his and their time.
He gets to work on solving her murder despite the fact that both the police and his editor want him to leave the story alone. The police want him to stay out of the way. His editor argues that this kind of thing isn’t his beat anymore, not what FairWarning does, and that he needs to be working on real news stories for their readers and not revisiting by way of this homicide his old glory days. That is until, thanks to McEvoy’s digging and a little help from his old friends, it begins to become clear that Tina was the latest of a string of murders with links to DNA analysis by a certain company that provides ancestry information and other things.
A crime read based in large part on fact, Fair Warning by Michael Connelly is a fast paced and intense book. Not only is it a mighty good tale, the read is a cautionary warning about the wild west of DNA research these days as millions of people give up their biological material with very few safeguards or second thoughts. Those issues are thoroughly explained and scattered throughout the book as the author does not info dump. Instead, those pieces of information are slowly added to the tale as background info while Mr. Connelly kept ratcheting up the pace and the hunt for a killer. The result is a really good book. Fair Warning is definitely well worth your time.
Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group)
Large Print Hardback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
My reading copy came by way of the Fretz Park Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
PBS: 7 Best Mystery Books to Read Right Now (According to Mystery Experts)
Criminal Minds: Recommending to Fans by Frank Zafiro
Criminal Minds: Recommending to Fans: Reading: Do you recommend books to your fans? Do you recommend books like yours, or books you enjoy? Have you noticed your book tastes...
Lesa's Book Critiques: All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
Review: Never Look Back In Texas: An Al Quinn Novel by Russ Hall
Never Look Back In Texas by Russ Hall begins innocently enough with Al Quinn long since retired being asked by Sheriff Clayton to do a little mentoring. He has the experience and despite the grumbling, is ready to help out. He just was not ready to see on his way home hours later, Fergie in deep conservation with a man who clearly is very special to Fergie.
Rattled to his core, it takes a while for Al to talk to her only to find out that the clearly intimate conversation was not at all what it seemed. Colin Tansey has a stepson named, Baron Fielding, and the thirty-two-year-old man is missing. Colin, who has known Fergie for nearly forever, wants Fergie’s help as the local cops have done nothing productive so far.
Before long, Al is on the mission with Fergie to find Baron and things escalate fast. More than once, Al’s doing a favor for a friend has nearly gotten them both killed. This time, Fergie’s willingness to do a favor for a friend might get them and a lot of other innocent folks killed.
The sixth book in the series, Never Look Back In Texas continues to build on the foundation set long ago in To Hell and Gone in Texas. As always, family by biology or extended by way of friendship plays a role in the mystery tale as does plenty of action, bad guys with big guns or small, and the Texas landscape, drought or not. Author Russ Hall has created a fine mystery series where the young guys do not have all the fun. As always, read in order, as the series is one that evolves over time and there are references to earlier events. There is not a bad read in the bunch and the latest installment, Never Look Back In Texas, is another good one. Highly recommended.
Never Look Back In Texas: An Al Quinn Novel
Red Adept Publishing
eBook (also available in print)
Material was purchased back in June to read and review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
Lesa's Book Critiques: Dead-End Detective by Amanda Flower
In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 8/24/2020
Posted by Kevin R. Tipple at 11:31 AM No comments:
Labels: audio, August 2020, BV Lawson, in reference to murder, interviews, Media Murder for Monday for 8/24/2020, movies, news, podcasts, radio, streaming services, television, video
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Lady Takes the Case: A Manor House Cat Mystery by Eliza Casey
Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Lady Takes the Case: A Manor House Cat Myster...: Reviewed by Jeanne England, 1912. The aristocratic Bates family is facing financial hardship as their efforts to maintain th...
Markets & Jobs for Writers for 8/24/2020
Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Nantucket Sawbuck by Steven Axelrod
Steven Axelrod’s police procedural series set on Nantucket surfaced recently on a list of Cape Cod mysteries. I’ve gobbled up Philip Craig’s books about J.W. Jackson and Cynthia Rigg’s books about Victoria Trumbull, both cited on the list. Since Axelrod’s series was mentioned more or less in the same breath as these two favorites, I made a point to find a copy of the first book, Nantucket Sawbuck (Poisoned Pen Press, 2014). Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist all agreed this series debut was worth reading, a rare editorial concurrence.
Preston Lomax was a wheeler-dealer, who earned a lot and spent a lot, especially on the mansion he was building on Nantucket Island. He did not hesitate to delay or forego altogether payments to the many tradesmen who made his renovations possible, earning a reputation among the island residents as someone to avoid if possible. Unfortunately with money tight, declining work from someone who should be and might eventually be a paying customer was just not an option for most of the folks trying to piece together enough jobs to exist. Lomax didn’t reserve his opprobrious behavior just for his contractors, all of his children hated him and his wife had cause to. When Lomax turns up dead, unquestionably murdered, new Chief of Police Hank Kennis couldn’t decide which direction to look first.
Lots of characters, maybe a little too many to easily keep track of, with corresponding multiple points of view and personal crises. Hank himself is an interesting guy, a published poet who left California to come to the East Coast and who is still finding his way in his new job and his new town. He definitely believes in the people aspect of policing; at one point one of his deputies refers to him as a “dinosaur” for failing to rely on computers for his collection and evaluation of evidence.
The book is divided into two parts, one setting the stage for the murder and the second for the investigation. The first was absorbing if a little long, but the real action starts in the investigation. Kennis is a careful, logical investigator, who encounters a few surprises on his way to an arrest. Well written, fully realized characters, satisfying resolution. Four more titles follow this one, creating an opportunity for a good summer reading binge.
· Hardcover: 318 pages
· Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1st edition (January 1, 2014)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 9781464200878
· ISBN-13: 978-1464200878
Aubrey Hamilton ©2020
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Crime Review Update
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 Caz Frear 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 GOLDEN TRESSES OF THE DEAD by Alan Bradley, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When a finger is found in her sister’s wedding cake, young sleuth Flavia de Luce is determined to identify its erstwhile owner.
BLACKTOP WASTELAND by SA Cosby, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Beauregard ‘Bug’ Montage tries to extricate himself from money problems by driving for a jewellery heist, but the outcome threatens to destroy his life.
LAUNCH CODE by Michael Ridpath, reviewed by John Cleal
An order for a nuclear first strike in the paranoia of the 1980s Cold War threatens world apocalypse. Thirty-five years later, as a writer threatens to reveal what really happened, the family of a key player in the drama is threatened by unknown forces trying to keep the incident secret.
COLD FEAR by Mads Peder Nordbo, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Danish journalist Matthew Cave is in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital. Faced with the disappearance of his half-sister Arnaq and a murder inquiry that might have involved his father Tom, he finds himself in a strange search for the killers across the vast frozen land.
CRY BABY by Mark Billingham, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A seven-year-old boy has gone missing while playing with a friend in a wood next to a park, with his mother nearby. A police officer is determined not to have another child’s death on his conscience.
ALL IN HER HEAD by Nikki Smith, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Jack is back, and Alison is terrified – for her safety, her sanity and her life. But she cannot remember why.
THE WOMAN DOWNSTAIRS by Elisabeth Carpenter, reviewed by Viv Beeby
When the bailiffs are called in to a ground floor flat, they make a gruesome discovery. And the residents of Nelson Heights discover that they know very little about their neighbours.
THE NIGHT LAWYER by Alex Churchill, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Barrister Sophie Angel defends a young man accused of rape while facing some issues in her own life both current and past.
DEATH IN FANCY DRESS by Anthony Gilbert, reviewed by John Cleal
The dissolute Sir Ralph Feltham is murdered at a fancy-dress ball at his former home Feltham Abbey. Lawyer Tony Keith and his adventurer schoolfriend Jeremy Freyne, there to look into possible links to a
blackmail ring, investigate.
SEVEN LIES by Elizabeth Kay, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since childhood. And Jane will make sure that never changes, whatever it takes.
SEVEN YEARS OF DARKNESS by You-jeong Jeong, reviewed by Chris Roberts
After tragic events at a remote Korean reservoir, a young man is persecuted wherever he goes. After seven years he receives a package which reveals the truth about the past.
MAGPIE LANE by Lucy Atkins, reviewed by Linda Wilson
When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford academic goes missing, there are a limited pool of suspects, with the spotlight falling first on her parents and their live-in nanny.
FINDERS, KEEPERS by Sabine Durrant, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Verity Ann Baxter tells the story of her developing relationship with new neighbours Ailsa, Tom and family. It is a love-hate relationship, as Verity and Ailsa become more and more involved in each other’s lives. But who is guilty of Tom’s murder?
DISTURBANCE by Marianne Kavanagh, reviewed by John Barnbrook
Sara lives in a beautiful isolated house with an irrational abusive husband and two sons, one off to university and one autistic. Serious events cause dramatic changes to her life, but dog walker Katie is always there to protect her.
NO BAD DEED by Heather Chavez, reviewed by Linda Wilson
No good deed goes unpunished, as Cassie Larkin finds out when she stops to help a woman being attacked by the side of the road.
THE HONJIN MURDERS by Seishi Yokomizo, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A newly-wed couple are found dead inside a house locked from the inside, with the weapon, a bloody samurai sword, stuck in the snow outside. Renowned detective Kosuke Kindaichi is on the case.
COME BACK FOR ME by Heidi Perks, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Questions compel Stella to return to the island when she sees the TV report that someone has found a body at the bottom of her childhood garden.
KRAYS: THE FINAL WORD by James Morton, reviewed by John Cleal
Madness, assault, robbery, arson, murder, protection rackets, murder – a new look at the rise and fall of the East End of London’s most notorious gangsters.
MANHUNTERS by Steve Murphy and Javier F Pena, reviewed by Chris Roberts
The true story of two agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, in the words of the subtitle, telling ‘How we took down Pablo Escobar’.
CRIMINAL BRITAIN by Mirrorpix, reviewed by John Cleal
A look at some of Britain’s darkest criminal cases in a picture anthology from the files of the Daily Mirror.
Sharon and Linda
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