Sunday, January 31, 2021
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Up in KRL this morning KRL staff shares their favorite books from 2020 https://kingsriverlife.com/01/30/krls-favorite-books-of-2020/
Also up this week our reviewer Kathleen Costa shares her favorite books and TV shows she reviewed in 2020, plus you can enter to win a $3 Amazon gift card https://kingsriverlife.com/01/30/youre-the-top-my-best-from-2020/
We also have reviews and giveaways of another fun catch up group of mysteries-"Broadcast for Murder" by JC Eaton, "Fishing for Trouble" by Elizabeth Logan, "Murder in the Margins" by Margaret Loudon, and "On Deadly Tides" by Elizabeth Duncan https://kingsriverlife.com/01/30/end-of-january-2021-mystery-catch-up/
And a review and giveaway of "Bait and Witch" by Angela M. Sanders along with a fun interview with Angela https://kingsriverlife.com/01/30/bait-and-witch-by-angela-m-sanders/
And the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier together with a giveaway of a $20 Amazon from VM Burns whose book "A Tourist’s Guide To Murder" was featured in last month's Coming Attractions https://kingsriverlife.com/01/30/coming-attractions-sweet-treats-edition/
We also have an article about Baker Street West, which is part of a fun bookstore in Jackson, CA called Hein & Co Bookstore. If you love Sherlock Holmes you won’t want to miss this place! https://kingsriverlife.com/01/30/baker-street-west-aka-hein-company-bookstore/
For those who prefer to listen to Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast directly on KRL, you can find the player here for our latest episode, "The Bucket List" by Ang Pompano read by local actor Teya Juarez https://kingsriverlife.com/01/30/mysteryrats-maze-podcast-the-bucket-list/
During the week we posted another special midweek guest post, this one by author Nicole Givens Kurtz about the inspiration for her mystery/fantasy series and you can enter to win an ebook copy of her latest book "A Theft Most Fowl" https://kingsriverlife.com/01/27/my-inspiration-a-theft-most-fowl/
Up on KRL News and Reviews this morning we have a review and ebook giveaway of "Malice in Miami" by Barbara Venkataraman https://www.krlnews.com/2021/01/malice-in-miami-by-barbara-venkataraman.html
And a review and ebook giveaway of "How to Frame a Fashionista" by Debra Sennefelder https://www.krlnews.com/2021/01/how-to-frame-fashionista-by-debra.html
Scott's Take: Thor by Donny Cates Vol 1: The Devourer King by author Donny Cates and Artist Nic Klein
Thor by Donny Cates Vol 1: The Devourer King by author Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein. Picking up several months after The War Of The Realms and the realms are finally at peace. Thor is now King of Asgard and not enjoying his time as king. Thor thinks his days of being a hero are behind him and is going to spend the rest of his life getting fat while sitting on a throne waiting for his death. Loki is king of the Jotunheimr and Lady Sif is now guardian of the Bifrost. Everyone is trying to get used to their new responsibilities and their new roles.
Thor’s boredom is shattered when Galactus, The Devourer of Worlds, falls out of the sky landing in Asgard. Because of his gigantic size, his crash landing crushes buildings killing many Asgardians. A severely injured Galactus has come for Thor’s aid to stop The Black Winter. While Galactus eats planets to live, The Black Winter is a cosmic entity that wants to consume everything. The Black Winter is far worse than Galactus and Thor will have to help to stop it.
Thor must embrace his role as a king and stopping trying to handle everything alone. Thor has always preferred to work by himself or as part of a small team and before the arrival of Galactus he was struggling with that idea. Now, the need of the many forces him to leave the Kingdom behind, delegate things, and go off with Galactus to face the threat that could destroy them all.
Full of action, character development, future plot line hints, and incredible art. Thor by Donny Cates Vol 1: The Devourer King is a good read. The book marks the start of a new writer, a new direction for Thor, and a new vision for the character that means he has new powers and a new costume. Much has changed and this is a good starting point for anyone looking to read Thor.
While the book is tied into Jason Aaron’s multiyear run of writing Thor, one does not need to read those books before starting here. This is a fresh start and one that looks intriguing based on the events that fill this first volume.
Thor by Donny Cates Vol 1: The Devourer King
Artist Nic Klein
Paperback (also available in eBook format)
My reading copy came from the Downtown Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Scott A. Tipple ©2021
Friday, January 29, 2021
Orbiting buzzards in the desert country often indicate that a person is dead out there somewhere. Those circling buzzards did in this case as U.S. Border Patrol Officer Dolph Martinez had seen them and headed their way while pursuing a group of undocumented workers that had crossed the border and were heading through the surrounding desert. Dolph Martinez had first seen the blood on a cactus and then found the body. While it is not immediately clear whether or not the deceased person was part of that group under custody nearby, it is clear is that the deceased probably died by way of having his head opened up via gunshot and not the perils of the desert. The deceased is also wearing distinctive boots and is not the first person wearing those particular style of boots to be found dead in the surrounding desert in recent days.
Based out of the hardship duty station in Presidio, Texas, Patrol Officer Dolph Martinez, wants to investigate the case. Especially because the deceased was found clutching a vial of blue metallic liquid. One of those reasons he wants to investigate is that Sister Quinn is known to pass these vials out now and then as some sort of talisman. In a region known for eccentrics, she stands out as she is part nun and part witch doctor. Some believe she is a saint in human form while other locals claim she transforms into an owl at night, just like the souls of the dead, and flies around to perch on tombstones. She is complicated and a sign that everything is going to get very complicated fast.
Investigating a murder has little to do with his job description, so his boss shuts down that idea. Instead, the mission of the Border Patrol is to round up the folks they were tracking, process them, and send them back across the border knowing full well they are going to see them again.
But, officer Dolph Martinez can’t leave it alone and is soon talking to the nun and many other folks while running afoul of his boss, an officious DEA agent, and a number of other folks who wish he would accept life as it is in the Border county where a river does nothing to stem the flow of people and goods. The investigation may kill him, body and soul, before he is through as things are going to get complicated and weird.
El Camino Del Rio: A Novel by Jim Sanderson was the 1997 Frank Waters Southwest Writing Contest winner and was published in 1998. As such, it depicts the Southwest Texas border country that I grew up with and existed before 9/11 changed everything. Because it was published over twenty years ago, it reflects language that may offend some readers today as it repeatedly refers to “wets” which is slang for “wetbacks” or illegals. It also contains some language that does not reflect women in the best way of description along with some graphic scenes of intimate sexuality. It is a book in today’s world that, at times, some would classify as “edgy” and others would call misogynistic.
Regardless of all that, there is a complicated and quite intense bordering on the surreal read at work here. El Camino Del Rio: A Novel does not fit easily into any labeling box. I enjoyed it while conceding that the last forty pages or so delves into the surreal and issues far too complicated to be easily explained. I also concede the fact that part of my appreciation was no doubt fueled by my love for the Big Bend area that dates back to my earliest childhood memories. This is not a read for everyone, but it is a very good read.
El Camino Del Rio: A Novel
University of New Mexico Press
My reading copy came from the Downtown Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 51 Calls for Submissions in February 2021 - Paying Markets
Fatal Divisions: A Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery by Claire Booth opens with the good sheriff still thinking about recent events. It has only been a matter of a couple of weeks or so since the events of A Deadly Turn and Sheriff Hank Worth is shaken to his core. He is trying to fake it by throwing himself into his work and other projects, but his wife, Maggie, and other folks see beyond the façade and know better. Grief and guilt are very hard to deal with though it helps that Sheriff Worth has a lot of people who care and support him.
Taking a break could help and it is suggested that he could take a fishing trip for a few days. While he tells everyone that is what he is going to do and visit an old college friend in Columbia, Missouri, the real motive is to try and help a family member who thinks her husband is involved in something very bad. Hank is best when he is working out a puzzle and going elsewhere to do so will also give him a break from everything at home.
This also allows chief Deputy Sheila Turley to take over in his absence and implement some changes. She has come up with a plan to stop overtime caused by staffing issues at the jail. Not only will her plan save money, but it will also save jobs. It will also fire up the old boys network that do not like her or Sheriff Worth and will cause folks to choose sides. Efficiency and a balanced budget means everybody keeps a job as the county commissioners are not about to increase the funding of the department. Of course, a complicated murder case is going to present complications with the least of it being her budget.
The twin storylines gradually coalesce together in Fatal Divisions: A Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery. Things are complicated as they always are in this highly enjoyable mystery series. So too are the always present family relationships, home and the job, and the flashes of laugh out loud humor. In a series that should be read in order, this latest book is another very good read in a series that is very much well worth your time.
The series in order and my reviews:
The Branson Beauty (Reviewed September 2016)
Another Man’s Ground (Reviewed January 2018)
A Deadly Turn (Reviewed March 2019)
Fatal Divisions (you are here and you look marvelous)
Fatal Divisions: A Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery
Hardback (eBook format available)
Material supplied by the author with no expectation of a review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Mystery Weekly Magazine: July 2020 issue opens with “A Hazard Of The Job” by Coy Hall. The psychiatric hospital has a problem and her name is Avery Sarfield. She has been a patient for five months and does not seem to really belong in the facility. But, she is in the place and seemingly able to go anywhere she pleases despite the best efforts of Olsen. She is going to get him fired and he as to figure out how she is doing it and why.
Next up is “Sir Oxnard” by Jeffery Hunt. He had been a local problem before his family sent him away. The years passed and things had been calm. Now Sir Oxnard is back and the upper crust of Cheshire County is invited to come celebrate his return. The estate has had work done and a good time for all is promised. While those invited are wary of a prank, as Sir Oxnard is legendary for his pranks, they went to see the renovations and are bound to attend thanks to the societal rules they live by each day.
Sometimes the cause of death, even though obvious, is not enough. Sometimes one needs to know the why and that means you need to know what was going through the mind of the person before the fatal event. Such is the case here in “Screen Shot” by Teel James Glenn. Mr. Shadows of the Shadows Foundation is in Los Angeles and working the case in this mystery tale that makes one nostalgic for all the old space television shows.
Sometimes it takes time to catch the bad guy. In a case that has gone on for quite some time, Donald Tucker Raffin did a horrible thing thirty years ago. The time has come for justice in “Setting The Pick” by April Kelly.
Working the target is also at work in “Tombstone Dodge” by Vincent H. O’Neil. The job is undercover. The locations are two self-storage sites. Unarmed but in uniform, he is supposed to walk each site for an hour and alternate back and forth. Call the cops if there is trouble and otherwise mind your business. Easy enough, but that is not the real reason he is here.
Brooklyn South Homicide Detective Bragg got the call from Madeline and went over to investigate the package left on her doorstep. It might be the work of a bomber that has been placing IED’S in various Brooklyn neighborhoods. Five have gone off in the last fifteen days and six are dead as a result. He works alone until his boss says otherwise in “Star Witness” by Joe Giordano.
Hurricane Norma did a lot of damage in “Wipeout” by Adam Meyer and Dominic is looking to get paid. A governmental program is a way to financially recover what they lost and maybe a bit more. He has a plan, but he is going to need help.
Waking up to “The Corpse At The Foot Of My Bed” is certainly not the best way to start the day. In this tale by Gordon Linzer, the apartment dweller has a body problem. He knows that calling the cops cannot be avoided as much as he would prefer to as he does not need all the questions.
The “You-Solve-It” this issue is “Poisoned Relationship” by Laird Long. Every Thursday afternoon, the five elderly ladies gather together to drink tea, eat, and talk about all sorts of stuff. Somebody had to die and does.
The solution to Gallery Thief by Peter DiChellis from the June “You-Solve-It” brings the issue to a close.
Mystery Weekly Magazine sets the mystery parameters wide and such remains the case here with the June issue. As always, these tales are clean of graphic language/violence and often focus on cases driven by personal relationships. The events in this issue, and in general, are not driven by random chance, but instead due to a direct relationship that is often not clear until the last few paragraphs. Mystery Weekly Magazine: July 2020 is also yet another solidly good issue.
For quite some time now I have been gifted a subscription by the publisher with no expectation at all of a review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Life has not been kind to John Rust and the latest DWI stop is not going to help matters in The Orphan’s Guilt: A Joe Gunther Novel by Archer Mayor. The arrest brought his lawyer, Scott Jezek, into his latest case. While John Rust is looking at suspension of his driving privileges and jail time, the background of why it happened is important.
Hours earlier that same day before he was arrested, John’s brother, Peter died. He was twenty-eight, severely disabled, and in a near vegetative state at death. For more than ten years, John Rust had cared for his brother under difficult and complicated circumstances. Attorney Jezek is looking at that background to try and figure out a way to blunt the prosecutorial zeal of the state’s It is an election year and being tough on drunk driving seems to be his theme this election year as he tries to convince voters to support him. Jezek wants private investigator Sally Kravitz to look at all the footage of the DUI arrest and see if she sees anything they can use. She does.
Peter’s death also eventually comes to the attention of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. That happens because Sally Kravitz unearths several things including the possibility that the death of Peter could be the final act in a homicide case that stretches back nearly thirty years. It may be nothing and easily explained or it could be murder. Joe Gunther and his team go to work to prove it one way or another. All cold cases are tough, but this is going to be very difficult.
The latest in a very long running series, The Orphan’s Guilt: A Joe Gunther Novel by Archer Mayor is another solidly good read. As always in each installment of this series, multiple mysteries and cases are at work. So too are the ongoing relationships at work and at home between the various characters. These reads are part mystery, part police procedural, and part drama and that mix varies in each book. The result is a consistently engaging and interesting series that is always well worth your time. So too is The Orphan’s Guilt.
The Orphan’s Guilt: A Joe Gunther Novel
Hardback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
Material supplied by my childhood reading gateway, Audelia Branch of the Dallas Public Library System
Kevin R. Tipple ©2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Up for discussion this week is a recently released charity anthology collected and published by Spellbound Books, the brainchild of Nikki East and Sumaira Wilson. All royalties will be donated to NHS Charities Together, a coalition of 240 NHS charities who support a wide range of health care institutions in the United Kingdom. See more here: https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/.
The C Word: For Some Lockdown Has Been Murder, released 7 January 2021 on Kindle, is an assortment of 26 short stories that appear to be limited only by the imaginations of the wide range of authors who wrote them. There are disappearances, there are zombies, there are stalkers, there are gang enforcers, there are book groups. There are a depressing number of stories about women with abusive husbands; Andy Hill’s story along those lines called Strength has a nice surprise at the end. There are families who have been driven to the breaking point by lockdown.
Supermarkets play a role in some; one of my favorites is by Nick Jackson called The Haunted Trolley. David Field’s offering, titled Out of Lockdown, is a positively brilliant tale of a creative way to enter witness protection. Derek Thompson’s The Understudy is about a young criminal who learns the ropes faster than his mentor realizes. Men who tell women they don’t know to smile will perhaps think twice if they read Trevor Wood’s entry called Smile Please.
I believe the names of contributors are largely unfamiliar to U.S. crime fiction readers, although a few are well-known.
· Yvonne Bastian
· Nick Jackson
· Jane Carrick
· Simon Maltan
· Karen Clarke
· Tracy Mearns
· David Field
· Vanessa Morgan
· Paul Finch
· Steve Mosby
· Chloe Greene
· Janine Pipe
· Elly Griffiths
· Nick Quantrill
· Sophie Hannah
· Rob Scragg
· Matt Hickman
· Derek Thompson
· Sarah Hilary
· Nick Triplow
· Andy Hill
· Mark Wilson
· Laura Huntley
· Claire Woolins
· Linda Innes
· Nick Jackson
This modestly priced compilation is a pleasant way to pass a few hours and to meet some new authors while lending support to a group whose resources have been severely taxed in the past year. Recommended!
· ASIN: B08RRW8K6P
· Publisher: SpellBound Books (January 7, 2021)
· Publication date: January 7, 2021
· Language: English
· File size: 758 KB
Aubrey Hamilton ©2021
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Up in KRL this morning a review and giveaway of "Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines" by Jennifer Chow along with a fun guest post by Jennifer about Valentine's Day
And a review and giveaway of "Bone Canyon" by Lee Goldberg
We also have a review and giveaway of "Cold Wind" by Paige Shelton along with an interesting interview with Paige
And the latest Crime Writers of Color Coming Attractions
And a review of the mystery TV show "Jericho of Scotland Yard" which can be watched on Acorn TV
Up during the week we posted another special midweek guest post, this one by mystery author Anne Louise Bannon talking about how she keeps all of her series time frames straight
And another special midweek guest post, this one by mystery author Ripley Hayes Author. She talks about how she came to write her series, and about the woods in Wales
Up on KRL News and Reviews this week we have a review and ebook giveaway of "Sit, Stay, Slay" by VM Burns
And a review and ebook giveaway of "Finding Shelter" by Kathi Daley
Kings River Life Magazine https://KingsRiverLife.com
KRL News & Reviews https://www.krlnews.com/
Mysteryrat's Maze Podcast https://mysteryratsmaze.podbean.com/