Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Year of Wonders, Purpose of Power, Laced, The Splendid and the Vile, China Dolls

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Year of Wonders, Purpose of Power, Lac...:   The first book up was Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks which, as the title implies, is set in London in 1666 ...

Lesa's Book Critiques: M.E. HILLIARD, AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 Lesa's Book Critiques: M.E. HILLIARD, AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW

SleuthSayers: The Busted Flush by David Edgerley Gates

SleuthSayers: The Busted Flush: Penguin/Random House has reissued John D. MacDonald’s twenty-one Travis McGee novels in nicely-packaged trade paper, with tasteful cover art...

Short Story Wednesday Review: Merrick: A Short Story by Ben Boulden

From the archives….

 

Almost from the beginning, the planned robbery of the armored stage goes wrong one day in Texas. Nobody was supposed to die. Clarence Tilley, had a good plan, but he didn’t plan for everything in Merrick: A Short Story.

 

A robbery gang is only as good as its weakest link. The point is proven again and again in this fast moving western tale by Ben Boulden. Filled with plenty of action, intrigue and deceit, as well as need for justice, the story recounts how Merrick does what needs to be done to settle things as best as can be done in the hard scrabble West. Like his novel, Blaze: Red Rock Rampage, the short story, Merrick, is highly recommended.



Merrick: A Short Story 

Ben Boulden

http://www.gravetapping.blogspot.com

.45-70 Press

September  2017

ASIN: B075JN7Y21

eBook

25 Pages 

 

Digital ARC was provided by the author for my use in an objective review. 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2017, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Lesa's Book Critiques: THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS BY M.E. HILLIARD

 Lesa's Book Critiques: THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS BY M.E. HILLIARD

Review: Dark Sky: Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box

 

It was not a job that Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett wanted, but the Governor made it clear he had no choice. At fifty-one and doing a job for the most part he loves, he is very well aware that politics controls his career and his department. If he did not already know, a recent meeting with the newly elected Governor made that fact abundantly and bluntly clear in a recent meeting.

 

So, on this October morning with signs that winter is coming, Joe Pickett is at the Saddlestring Municipal Airport watching a Gulf Stream worth sixty-five million dollars power across the western sky above the Bighorn Mountains. It is a plane he is not looking forward to meeting and not just because standing there in the morning cold is not doing a lot for his still healing leg due to the events in Long Range. The rifle round ripped through his thigh and, while he is better and able to be back at work, he feels it when he stands in the cold or where he exerts that leg. He is also not wearing his gun, holster, or belt and he is keenly aware of the missing weight.

 

It is not long before the plane stops and the man he is supposed to take elk hunting comes down the stairway. Steven “Steve-2” Price, social media tech mogul, has arrived for his hunting experience. With him is his assistant, Timothy Joannides, and his bodyguard Zsolt, who treats Joe like he is a threat and not law enforcement. It is clear from the start that the three men have no business coming to Wyoming for an elk hunt and the trip is designed as a sort of publicity stunt. It is also clear that they will be treating Joe and his friend who is helping guide the trip, Brock Boedecker, as glorified servants to do their every whim.

 

The three from California, despite what Steve-2 says, are not there to really experience nature and fully participate in the elk hunt. Thanks to all their high-tech toys and unwillingness to actually help set up camp or do anything, they are there to be seen, by way of constant social media posts, to be seen on the hunt. While his daughters know about Steve-2 and use his sites, Game Warden Joe Pickett cares nothing about that.

 

Pickett’s plan is to get through the next few days as best as he can while hopefully accomplishing the main mission as outlined by the Governor. His job, as well as the jobs of many others is at stake, per the Governor's stated threat. A mission that would be difficult at best if things went right. It won’t because the five of them and their horses are not the only ones in the mountains.

 

Dark Sky: A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box is the latest in this long running series and is a good one. Readers unfamiliar with the series could start here as the backstory is limited and does not impact previous reads. Readers long familiar with the series will find plenty to enjoy in this latest read that ends in a fittingly violent and intense resolution in the mountains of Wyoming. An ending that is also used, much like a billboard neon sign out by the highway, to tell one and all the focus of the next book in the series.

 

  

Dark Sky: A Joe Pickett Novel

C. J. Box

http://www.cjbox.net

G. P. Putnam’s Sons

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/588964/dark-sky-by-c-j-box/

March 2021

ASIN: B08BKTNP9X

eBook (Hardback, audio, and large print paperback formats also available)

363 Pages

 

 

Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Library System. Big time thanks to Scott who was able to make the technology work for his old man. 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Little Big Crimes: Ghost of a Ghost by Martin Hill Ortiz

Little Big Crimes: Ghost of a Ghost, by Martin Hill Ortiz:  "Ghost of a Ghost," by Martin Hill Ortiz, in Mystery Weekly Magazine, April 2021. This is, I think, at least the fourth story in ...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder in the Oval Office (1989) by Elliott Roosevelt

Beneath the Stains of Time: Murder in the Oval Office (1989) by Elliott Roosevelt: Some years ago, "JJ," of The Invisible Event , started a sporadic series of blog-posts entitled "A Little Help for My Friends...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: #1936Club: Case for Three Detectives

Bitter Tea and Mystery: #1936Club: Case for Three Detectives: I read this book for the 1936 Club hosted by Simon at Stuck in a Book and Karen at Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings . I have had this book on...

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 4/12/2021

 In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 4/12/2021

Lesa's Book Critiques: THE SIGN OF DEATH BY CALLIE HUTTON

 Lesa Holstine: THE SIGN OF DEATH BY CALLIE HUTTON

SleuthSayers: Anthologies, Pro and Con by Steve Liskow

SleuthSayers: Anthologies, Pro and Con: When I started taking writing seriously, I aimed to produce a novel every year or so, along with three or four short stories. When I publish...

Markets and Jobs for Writers for 4/12/2021

 Markets and Jobs for Writers for 4/12/2021

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Someone to Watch Over Me by Ace Atkins


Someone to Watch Over Me by Ace Atkins (Putnam, 2021) is the ninth book he’s released in the series about the iconic private eye Spenser created by Robert B. Parker in 1973.

 

Spenser has always been inclined to mentor the youngsters who come his way, Paul Giacomin and Zebulon Sixkill most notably. The latest is Mattie Sullivan, a former client, who is acting as his trainee while she attends college classes. Mattie’s new client is a 15-year-old girl who wants to recover her laptop and backpack which were taken from her after the girl was assaulted by a much older man in an exclusive Boston club. The teenager is afraid to report the attack and insists on secrecy. Mattie is enraged after she learns her client is one of many girls victimized by this wealthy executive and his friends. 

 

Spenser is understandably disgusted; he and Hawk become involved in Mattie’s case as the relatively simple request to recover a laptop and backpack gradually reveals a major sex trafficking operation that moves girls out of Boston to a private estate in the Bahamas. Word that Spenser’s nemesis The Gray Man serves as the security lead for the operation creates flashbacks to their last encounter, from which Spenser emerged critically wounded.

 

A significant subplot deals with the loss of Pearl II and the ways Spenser, Susan Silverman, and Hawk each react to the replacement puppy.

 

This story was clearly written in 2019 at the time Jeffrey Epstein and his colleagues were making headlines. Current events have provided cases for Spenser before; School Days (Putnam, 2005) is a notable example. Atkins follows the details of the depressingly sordid tale so closely that even the physical descriptions of the characters match the real-life players. The ending however is considerably different and far more satisfying.

 

Comparisons between Atkins’ version of Spenser and that of the series creator are inevitable. Spenser is not quite the same in Atkins’ hands but then Spenser in the early Parker books is not the same as Spenser in the last few Parker books either. Which one is the real Spenser? The differences may lie more in the plot treatments. For instance, the thread about the puppy seemed unParker-like to me. It was not the sort of detail I think he would have included.

 

I was glad to see a mention of Paul Giacomin, as he has thus far been missing from the Atkins books, and I wondered where he was. My very favorite bit though was Spenser saying he has Hank Phillipi Ryan on speed dial. Ryan is an actual well-known investigative reporter for Boston station WHDH-TV as well as an award-winning mystery novelist. Inside jokes are always fun. This book is a good thriller and essential reading for fans of the Spenser canon.

 

  

·         Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (January 12, 2021)

·         Language: English

·         Hardcover: 320 pages

·         ISBN-10: 052553685X

·         ISBN-13: 978-0525536857

 

Aubrey Hamilton ©2021

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

MWA: New Books and Short Stories by MWA Members – April 2021

MWA: New Books and Short Stories by MWA Members – April 2021 

Punk Noir Fiction: The Company Man by Paul D. Brazill

 Paul posted this a few days ago and I just found it today. To be fair..... I feel seen. 🤣

Punk Noir Fiction: The Company Man by Paul D. Brazill


ScifiandScarycom: Crime Files: Rattlesnake Rodeo by Nick Kolakowski

 ScifiandScarycom: Crime Files: Rattlesnake Rodeo by Nick Kolakowski 

Lesa's Book Critiques: OCEAN PREY BY JOHN SANDFORD

 Lesa's Book Critiques: OCEAN PREY BY JOHN SANDFORD

The Rap Sheet: Lefty Winners Are Right Here

 The Rap Sheet: Lefty Winners Are Right Here

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett:     Reviewed by Jeanne Thirteen year old Tiffany Aching is continuing her training to be a witch.   At the moment, she’s apprenticed to ...

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lesa's Book Critiques: RECAP – RANDOM ROAD BY THOMAS KIES

 Lesa's Book Critiques: RECAP – RANDOM ROAD BY THOMAS KIES

Beneath the Stains of Time: Pell-Mell in a Hotel (2021) by Eugenius Quak

Beneath the Stains of Time: Pell-Mell in a Hotel (2021) by Eugenius Quak: A few years ago, E-Pulp published Gruwelijk is het huwelijk ( Marriage is Gruesome , 2017) by the impalpable enfant terrible of oranje pu...

Scott's Take: Once & Future Volume Two: Old English by Kieron Gillen and Illustrator Dan Mora

Once and Future Volume 2: Old English by Kieron Gillen and illustrator Dan Mora is the second volume in the series. I reviewed Once and Future Volume 1: The King Is Undead back last January. I said in the conclusion of that review that this book was on order and that the library system was not accepting holds. Eventually, they did, I did my hold, and it finally came my way.

 

Once and Future Volume 2: Old English continues the story of Duncan and his grandmother, Bridgette McGuire. After the revelations in the first volume, Duncan has lost a lot of his innocence and has become a bitter young man. His relationship with his grandmother is worse than ever. As they attempt to stop the undead King Arthur from enacting his new evil plan, they have a new problem. Beowulf has manifested in the real world. Because Beowulf has manifested, so too has Grendel and his mother, who are also threats.

 


Full of action, the same sense of humor, and incredible art like the first volume makes this another very good read. Both Duncan and his grandmother remain the same great characters they were in the first volume. The bad guys are just as evil as they were in the first volume.  if you enjoyed the first volume you will love this volume. Once and Future Volume 2: Old English has a bit more of a horror tone to it than the first book. Despite that fact, it was not over the top.

 

I highly recommend this series. 

 

The next book in the series, Once & Future Volume 3: The Parliament of Magpies and scheduled to be released in late July. This means with the way things work in the Dallas Library System, I am looking at very late summer or early Fall before I will be able to get my hands on a copy to read.

 

  

 Once & Future Volume One: Old English

Kieron Gillen

https://www.comixology.com/Kieron-Gillen/comics-creator/1864

Illustrator Dan Mora

https://www.behance.net/danmora

Boom Studios

https://www.boom-studios.com/wordpress/

November 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68415-637-5

Paperback (also available in eBook format)

160 Pages

 

 

My reading copy came from the Dunbar Branch of the Dallas Public Library System. 

 

Scott A. Tipple ©2021

Friday, April 09, 2021

Patti Abbott: FFB: LOSER TAKES ALL, Graham Greene

 Patti Abbott: FFB: LOSER TAKES ALL, Graham Greene

The Reading Room: You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story That Never Happened ~ Reading Room Review

The Reading Room: You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story That Never H...:     If you could travel back in time and not only observe but interact with your ten-year-old self and your then family, would you? Amy Wein...

Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE MILLINER’S HAT MYSTERY BY BASIL THOMSON

Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE MILLINER’S HAT MYSTERY BY BASIL THOMSON

Gravetapping: Coming Soon: Killers, Crooks & Spies: Jack Bickham's Fiction

Gravetapping: Coming Soon: Killers, Crooks & Spies: Jack Bickham...:               My companion to the late-Jack Bickham’s novels, titled Killers, Crooks & Spies: Jack Bickham’s Fiction , is coming out ne...

Lesa's Book Critiques: WINNERS & A THRILLER GIVEAWAY

 Lesa's Book Critiques: WINNERS & A THRILLER GIVEAWAY

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Hotel of the Three Roses (1936) by Augusto de Angelis

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Hotel of the Three Roses (1936) by Augusto de ...: Back in 2016, Pushkin Vertigo introduced the world to the father of the Italian detective story, Augusto de Angelis , who created a homegrow...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams:     Reviewed by Ambrea Gavin Scott is second baseman for the Nashville Legends.   His career is at an all-time high, he has a beauti...

FFB Review: The Texas Capitol Murders by Bill Crider

From the Archives…. 


The Texas Capitol Murders features romance, murder, a Texas Ranger, a governor afraid of his own shadow, strident anti-abortionists, at least one pervert (depending on your personal definition of “pervert” there could be a couple more), and other unique human beings. In other words, the read easily could be nonfiction, but author Bill Crider is offering this read featuring a cast of characters as a fictional mystery. Originally published in 1992 by St. Martin’s Press, the book has recently been released again in an e-book version with a much better cover than the original. The setting of the late eighties may be twenty plus years old, but the story itself is not dated and could easily be happening right now considering how things work at the state capitol.

 

Nearly everyone involved in this story is trying to use their job at the state capitol to move up to better things. The usual worst point of the day for many is when “Wayne the Wagger” comes out in view of tourists and staff and the drug addicted homeless man does what comes naturally. That does not ever go over well and the usual response by capitol police is to kick him out of the building for the day.

 

While they may tolerate Wayne inside the building when he does his thing when he goes outside and decides to use one of the small cannons flanking the entrance – cannons that may or may not have been used in both the Texas Revolution and the Civil War – as a public urinal, it gets him arrested. Too bad Wayne can’t remember witnessing the murder of a woman in the capitol building the night before because the police could really use his help. They don’t even yet know there is a dead woman in the building.

 

Shifting through a large cast of characters, Texas author Bill Crider weaves a story of romance, greed, lust, and political agendas run amok. Likeable and respectable characters are few in this wild tale where idiots (certified and otherwise) abound. Far different than his Sheriff Rhodes series where Sheriff Dan Rhodes is the main focus while investigating the latest murder, here author Bill Crider puts a number of characters into motion and unleashes chaos as those involved randomly collide and ricochet off each other while going through their day-to-day activities.

 

Occasionally a little raunchy, sometimes sarcastic, The Texas Capitol Murders is an entertaining tale that is quirky and funny while delivering a topflight mystery to its fitting dangerous end at the top of the capitol dome. Like the floor below, nearly everyone is cracked in this story that is well worth your time.

 

 

The Texas Capital Murders

Bill Crider

http://www.billcrider.com

ASIN: B00BV8ZCC6

March 2013

E-book (print length 266 pages) 

 

 

With the print copy unavailable at my local library, the material was purchased via a gift card by this reviewer for use in an objective review.

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013, 2021

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Vaccine Update: 52 Hours

 We felt better when we got up this morning so we decided to go about things like it was a normal day and not stay in bed all day like we did yesterday. That was a bit of a mistake. 

As the day wore on, we felt more and more fatigued and somewhat achy. Scott also developed off and on chills though that seems to have stopped this evening. His right arm still bothers him a bit, but he seems to be powering through it and it is not impacting his video game performance levels tonight. 

All in all, if this is the worst of it, we have done very well. 

Lesa Holstine: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 Lesa Holstine: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 4/8/2021

 In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange for 4/8/2021

SleuthSayers: Get Under the Kanopy

SleuthSayers: Get Under the Kanopy:  What I am about to tell you will probably delight a few people and annoy a lot more.  That is the risk you take in the hard-hitting world o...

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 4/8/21

 The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 4/8/21

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: Release Day! Mail Order Blaze by Caroline Clemmons

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: Release Day! Mail Order Blaze by Caroline Clemmons:     Caroline Clemmons has a new release today. It’s available through Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.      About the Book     After her sister ...

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Late Night Vaccine Update

As I write this, it has been nearly 30 hours since we each got our shot. So far, so good. Scott's arm is hurting a bit at the injection site, but not too bad. I have not had any arm pain. We both have had a headache today. 

The big thing has been that we both have been very tired today. Neither one of us slept very much last night. So, how much is the lack of sleep and how much is the shot, we do not know. 

If this is the worst of it, we are very happy. 

Dallas Morning News: Art and the City: Literary Dallas continues to grow, despite challenges of the pandemic

 Dallas Morning News: Art and the City: Literary Dallas continues to grow, despite challenges of the pandemic

Beneath the Stains of Time: The League of Matthias (1934) by Brian Flynn

Beneath the Stains of Time: The League of Matthias (1934) by Brian Flynn: Brian Flynn 's The League of Matthias (1934) is the fourteenth entry in the once criminally overlooked and now justifiably revived Anth...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday: "So Much Cooking" by Naomi Kritzer

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday: "So Much Cooking" by Naomi ...: This short story is written as a series of blog posts, beginning with hints of an outbreak of bird flu. The blog focuses on food and cooking...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Dark Arts and a Daiquiri, Best of Iggy, Promised Land, Dark Money, Paris Hours, Murder List

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Dark Arts and a Daiquiri, Best of Iggy...:   Reported by Garry   Nevermore started with some light and fluffy reading, which was just what our reviewer needed.    Dark Arts and a Daiq...

Lesa's Book Critiques: THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON BY MADELINE MARTIN

 Lesa's Book Critiques: THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON BY MADELINE MARTIN

Been a Hell of A Day

The last few days I have been dealing with a lot of things. Way more than normal. Late this afternoon, we got our one and done J&J Covid 19 shots and it seemed like things might start turning around. Then some other stuff happened this evening and enough was enough. 

Effective immediately, I have resigned as VP of the SMFS and have left the group in all aspects. Clearly, I over stayed my welcome. I wish all involved well as they move forward. 

Monday, April 05, 2021

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey:      Reviewed by Christy     Evelyn is a renowned and award-winning scientist, known for her groundbreaking work in creating genetically c...

Lesa's Book Critiques: COVER REVEAL – ARYA WINTERS AND THE TIRAMISU OF DEATH

 Lesa's Book Critiques: COVER REVEAL – ARYA WINTERS AND THE TIRAMISU OF DEATH

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 4/5/2021

 In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday for 4/5/2021

Markets & Jobs for Writers for 4/5/2021

 Markets & Jobs for Writers for 4/5/2021

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: The Lady Upstairs by Halley Sutton


Halley Sutton is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles. Her debut novel The Lady Upstairs (Putnam, 2020) is a startlingly original piece of noir that’s earned praise from major reviewing outlets, including a starred review from Kirkus. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are mixed, which is a testament to the deeply dark nature of the tale.

Set in contemporary Los Angeles, the main character and sole narrator of the story is a woman named Jo. At a low point in her life Jo was recruited for a specialized line of work by her coworker Lou, who is the contact with their elusive boss Jo knows only as The Lady Upstairs.

The agency is advertised as a recruiting and placement firm but its source of revenue is blackmail. Its goal is to take revenge on men who exploit women: the Hollywood producers, the powerful business executives, the corrupt politicians, the men who have insulated themselves from retribution with their clout and their money. Jo arranges for their quarries to meet appealing women and, when they behave as usual, a hidden photographer collects incontrovertible evidence of their vices. The targets of her stings are always willing to pay handsomely to see that their venality stays secret.

Most of Jo’s sizable income is earmarked to reduce a substantial debt. Once the slate is wiped clean, Jo intends to leave the job and Los Angeles and start over somewhere else. Freedom is in sight when one of her targets ends up dead, drawing law enforcement attention to the agency and Jo. Jo desperately sets up one last scam to win back the trust of The Lady Upstairs, recoup the lost money, and divert the police.

In other hands this plot could have turned into a feminist caper, a light-hearted spin on “don’t get mad, get even.” But Sutton has turned out an intense piece of noir with unlikeable characters and desperate situations where none of the choices are good. Everything is filtered through Jo and her increasingly alcoholic perceptions, creating doubt in the reader as to what really is happening. The ending seems inevitable. An acutely suspenseful story, even though I realized early on what was meant to be a big reveal near the end of the book. Halley Sutton is an author to watch.  


 

·         Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (November 17, 2020)

·         Language: English

·         Paperback: 320 pages

·         ISBN-10: 0593187733

·         ISBN-13: 978-0593187739 

 

Aubrey Hamilton ©2021

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Lesa's Book Critiques: THE LOST GALLOWS BY JOHN DICKSON CARR

 Lesa's Book Critiques: THE LOST GALLOWS BY JOHN DICKSON CARR

Scott's Take: Batman: Three Jokers

Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns is a DC Black Label title so it is meant for adult readers. This book took several years to create and that ended up causing it to be an elseworlds tale and not cannon. With beginnings that tie into Justice League: The Darkseid War published in 2016, this book took so long to complete that it ends up being designed to address the original question raised in that book. In that tale Batman gains the knowledge of a god and basically asks what is the real name of the Joker? The answer was there are three jokers.

 

Why has Batman faced off with such widely different versions of the Joker.  It was not because the Joker is crazy. Instead, there have been three versions of the Joker. The three depictions of the Joker commonly referred to as The Criminal (his earliest version and a crime boss), The Clown (a Joker who is more focused on being funny though still more violent than the earlier version), and the Comedian (who is the evilest version of the Joker who is more modern and more of a horror character). Most writers have a preferred version of the Joker that they use for their story and then use parts of each Joker to make their own version of the Joker. In this book, all three versions of the Joker are present and working together.


In this book all three versions of the Joker face off against the heroes they have most traumatized. Batman, Red Hood (who was killed by one of the Jokers), and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon who was paralyzed by one of the Jokers and in a wheelchair for several years and has since regained the use of her legs). Batman has a hard time just fighting one Joker. Taking on all three Jokers could he his most difficult challenge yet.

 


Since this is a DC Black Label tale, this is a violent more adult story. This is an action-packed read with frequent references to earlier encounters with the Joker as the characters attempt to stop the various Jokers. This book is very good though it would be confusing for newer Batman fans since there is a lot of discussion about other crimes that the Joker has committed and discussing which version of the Joker might have been involved. I recommend this for longtime Batman fans that have read cannon and non-cannon tales.

 

 

Batman: Three Jokers

Geoff Jones

DC Black Label

https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Batman:_Three_Jokers_Vol_1

November 2020

ISBN# 978-1779500236

Hardback (also available eBook format)

160 Pages 

 

My reading copy came from the Prairie Creek of the Dallas Public Library System. 

 

Scott Tipple ©2021

Friday, April 02, 2021

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman and Rafael Albuquerque

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman and Rafael Albuq...:   Reviewed by Ambrea Defined as a cross between the world of Sherlock Holmes and the mythos of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu, A Study in Emerald...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The New Kindaichi Files (1994) by Seimaru Amagi

Beneath the Stains of Time: The New Kindaichi Files (1994) by Seimaru Amagi: Two years ago, I reviewed Seimaru Amagi's Denn ō sansō satsujin jiken ( Murder On-Line , 1996), a so-called "light novel," wh...

Lesa's Book Critiques: WINNERS AND A COZIER GIVEAWAY

 Lesa's Book Critiques: WINNERS AND A COZIER GIVEAWAY

Blood-Red Pencil: 2021 Workshops and Conferences April to June

Blood-Red Pencil: 2021 Workshops and Conferences April to June: Whether a one day session, one week conference, or a month-long writing workshop, writing related events are a good way to commune with othe...

FFB Review: Tilt A Whirl: The John Ceepak Mysteries Book 1 by Chris Grabenstein

Sea Haven, New Jersey is an eighteen mile long barrier island consisting of motels, beach houses, bait shops, etc. For twenty-four year old Danny Boyle it is home and he works part time as an unarmed summer cop who helps with the influx of tourists in the muggy summer months. He just never expected to work a murder scene.

 

But, that is exactly what quickly happens because Danny also serves as the driver for John Ceepak. Ceepak used to be a military policeman, spent time in Iraq, and has been forced to deal with some really bad guys on more than one occasion. War is hell and Ceepak has lived it and has the memories. Ceepak is the man you want to follow into battle and is the man you want on your side. He lives by “The Code” that few these days can understand let alone follow.

 

The blonde girl, about thirteen years old, wearing a blood soaked dress and screaming as she comes up an avenue towards The Pancake Palace early one morning is a reminder that few live by Ceepak’s code. She is Ashley Hart, the daughter of Reginald and Betty Hall Heart. Betty Hall used to be on the local TV as the bubbly weather person. Reginald Hart was a businessman and real estate developer who did some rather unorthodox things and was very wealthy. Now, he is very dead having been gunned down on the Tilt-A-Whirl ride while sitting next to his daughter. The fact that the ride at the Sunnyside Play Land wasn’t even open yet this Saturday morning isn’t going to matter to the media or scared tourists. The fact that a crazed killer is wandering around the area is a chamber of commerce disaster and Chief Cosgrove wants it solved fast. He puts Ceepak and by extension his driver, Boyle, on the case. Murder is just the start of a twisting tale that ultimately leads to a horrifying conclusion.

 

Told at a fast pace, this is a read that quickly pulls the reader into the quirks of location and character. Both elements quickly come to life for the reader as back story is skillfully woven into dialogue and the occasional flashback. In a departure from most mysteries, the story is told in the first person from the Danny Boyle’s perspective while the real protagonist is Ceepak. This allows readers to get deeper into the Ceepak character because he is being observed while also getting a good idea of Danny’s character. It also works with the other characters that are never cardboard cutouts and instead are usually realistic and sometimes a bit quirky.

 

As some have noted, the cover does not remotely do justice to the book. Hot pink in background the cover prominently features a rollercoaster and not the ride depicted in the book. Though, there is a rollercoaster ride at the mythical Sunnyside Play Land so there is a vague link. While the design created by Michael Fusco seems very wrong, it does bring glances and inquires from folks when the book is out in public. More than one neighbor came over to see what I was working on now because they had spotted the cover as I sat reading on my apartment porch. Sometimes they came over at the most inopportune times.

 

The bottom line here is this is a book that fires on all cylinders and takes the reader on a very good ride. Sometimes funny, sometimes dark, this is a novel that quickly becomes riveting and one of the best I have read in a very long time. Start of a series, this is a very good one and a book you simply have to read.


 

Book provided by the author in exchange for my objective review.

 

Kevin R. Tipple © 2009, 2016, 2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

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

From the Archives….

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


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


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


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


 

The Feast Of All Souls: A Short Story

George Wier

http://www.billtravismysteries.com

Flagstone Books

December 2018

ASIN#: B07M5NCSZG

27 Pages


 

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

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2019, 2021

Monday, March 29, 2021

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Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: The Hallows by Victor Methos

Victor Methos is a successful practicing attorney in a firm he co-founded in Utah as well as an accomplished author with 50 mystery and science fiction novels to his credit including nine series. His stand-alone The Gambler’s Jury (Thomas & Mercer, 2018) was shortlisted for the Edgar’s Best Novel award.


The following stand-alone The Hallows (Thomas & Mercer, 2019) is a fine legal thriller. Tatum Graham is on top of the world, a leading defense lawyer in Miami, Florida, where his talent is in demand by the rich and famous. Known for getting his clients acquitted even in the most egregious situations, he charges outrageous fees and the luminaries in need of his services willingly pay them. Until he defends someone who celebrates his acquittal by promptly committing murder.


Tatum turns his back on Miami and his life there in disgust and desperation and heads back to his small hometown in Utah, on his way to somewhere he can hide. There he finds his desperately ill father from whom he parted on bad terms years before and his high school girlfriend Gates who is now the district attorney in an underfunded and understaffed office. Gates persuades Tatum to stay around long enough to help the two freshly minted lawyers in her office prosecute a murder case. Ineptly investigated by the local police and overshadowed by the political power of the defendants’ families, the case looks lost from the start. Tatum galvanizes the limited resources at his disposal and plunges in, feeling quite strange to be on the prosecutorial side of the fence. Misdirection abounds as he searches for more evidence to convict the defendants, resulting in a gratifying surprise ending.


No surprises in the outline of the plot, the conventions of the legal thriller are all there: the disenchanted superstar, the case with impossible odds, political opposition, the love from the past, the opportunity for redemption. Methos embellishes and polishes these standard components until they gleam like new in this sleek piece of writing. Compulsively readable. Readers of legal thrillers and police procedurals will especially enjoy this book.  


Winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.


 

·         Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (July 1, 2019)

·         Language: English

·         Hardcover: 350 pages

·         ISBN-10: 1542042747

·         ISBN-13: 978-1542042741


Aubrey Hamilton ©2021

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.