Sunday, April 21, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT – KIM HAYS

 Lesa's Book Critiques: SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT – KIM HAYS

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Conjure-Man Dies (1932) by Rudolph Fisher

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Conjure-Man Dies (1932) by Rudolph Fisher: Rudolph Fisher was an African-American physician, radiologist and a notable author from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, but, during the...

The Rap Sheet: Who Has the Edge in Daggers Contest?

 The Rap Sheet: Who Has the Edge in Daggers Contest?

The Rap Sheet: A Chorus of Praise for Pochoda

 The Rap Sheet:  A Chorus of Praise for Pochoda

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: KEVIN’S CORNER ANNEX – PIERCE BY PATRICK B. SIMPSON

 Lesa's Book Critiques: KEVIN’S CORNER ANNEX – PIERCE BY PATRICK B. SIMPSON

Dru's Book Musings New Releases ~ Week of April 21, 2024

 Dru's Book Musings New Releases ~ Week of April 21, 2024

SleuthSayers: Dryer Is a Noun

SleuthSayers: Dryer Is a Noun:    We all know that. It's the big appliance that sits beside your washing machine. If you want to compare the moisture content of things...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: A Shimmer of Red by Valerie Wilson Wesley

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: A Shimmer of Red by Valerie Wilson Wesley:   Reviewed by Jeanne Things are finally looking up for Odessa Jones.     The pandemic has made real estate a hot commodity with houses a...

Scott's Take: X-Men: Hellfire Gala: Fall of X by Gerry Duggan


X-Men: Hellfire Gala: Fall of X by Gerry Duggan collects the issues that compose the third Hellfire Gala book. This book kicks off the Fall of X books. The Fall of X is the banner name for a series of titles for the X-Men.  Since this is the beginning, there are a lot of plot points setup that are not finished here. In this story, the X-Men are hosting their third annual party trying to build relations between humans and mutants. Of course, things go horribly wrong for the X-Men.

 

There is plenty of gore, violence, and death as the party is ruined. Some big-name characters are killed along with several lower-level names. The big names of course will return quicker since they already have books set after the events depicted here. The art for the most part is spectacular in the main Hellfire Gala issue, the free comic book day issue, and the Iron Man issue.

 

However, the art is just adequate in the X-Men unlimited issues which are set before the gala. Marvel has a series of comics that are exclusive to their app Unlimited. In this case, the X-Men Unlimited issues are short stories that expand on minor plot points using lower tier art and lower tier, name recognition wise, writers. They don’t get the budget the main titles get.

 

Additionally, the prequels are presented in this collection after the main issue.  By doing it that way, the momentum of the collection is derailed. It also kills the idea of giving some character development to certain characters who are later killed.

 

Jean Grey is the highlight in this read, in my opinion, as she has some impressive moments. However, there are plenty of cool scenes for other characters such as Wolverine, Talon, Emma Frost, and Iron Man. The Kingpin (who has now joined the X-Men) also has a cool moment himself. Professor X is put through the ringer in this Gala. The villains are impressive and well prepared. They remain formidable foes as the X-Men are forced to go on the run.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this volume despite some hiccups in how Marvel chose to handle this story.



 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/43rPhUo

 

 

My reading copy came by way of the Hoopla App and the Dallas Public Library System.

 

Scott A. Tipple ©2024

Friday, April 19, 2024

We Have A Cover!

As shared by Sisters in Crime North Dallas earlier today, the anthology comes out next month. It includes my short story, "Whatever Happened To...?" In my tale, I make extensive use of aspects of my life and my NE Dallas neighborhood. 



Lesa's Book Critiques: A MYSTERY GIVEAWAY

 Lesa's Book Critiques: A MYSTERY GIVEAWAY

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 37 Marvelous Writing Conferences and Workshops in May 2024

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 37 Marvelous Writing Conferences and Workshops in ...: This May there are more than three dozen writing conferences and workshops. Some conferences and workshops will be held online, but most wil...

In Reference To Murder: Friday's Forgotten Books - The Saint in Europe

 In Reference To Murder: Friday's Forgotten Books - The Saint in Europe

Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: DEATH OF A BOVVER BOY BY LEO BRUCE

 Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: DEATH OF A BOVVER BOY BY LEO BRUCE

Jerry's House of Everything: FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE LAST CHRISTMAS

Jerry's House of Everything: FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE LAST CHRISTMAS:   The Last Christmas  by F. Paul Wilson  (2019) More of a How The Hell Did This Slip Under My Radar Book than a Forgotten Book. I am a big f...

Patricia Abbott: FFB: Hollywood and LeVine, Andrew Bergman

 Patricia Abbott: FFB: Hollywood and LeVine, Andrew Bergman

Barry Ergang's FFB Review: Fast One by Paul Cain


From the massive archive…

 

I can enthusiastically recommend Fast One to any reader who loves the hardboiled school—especially from the pulp era—but don’t ask me for a detailed plot summary. That’s next to impossible. Suffice it to say that a tough character named Gerry Kells, who is visiting L.A. from New York and who seems to know every major racket boss in southern California, is in the first chapter framed for a murder he didn’t commit, and who spends the remainder of the book either dodging or deliberately confronting cops and hoods with words, fists, and firearms. Along the way he considers trying to take over L.A.‘s rackets himself.

 

It’s an aptly titled book because the story roars along at a hectic pace. The pace is aided in no small measure by Cain's staccato prose style, which almost redefines “lean and mean.” But the pace and the story’s complexity are the book’s undoing because there is no characterization for readers to relate to. Most of the players—including the principal female—are referred to only by their last names. The absence of character definition reduces them to mere names on the page. It’s frequently an effort trying to recall from one chapter to another who's who and who's done what to whom.

 

Fast One has long been hailed as the ne plus ultra of hardboiled gangster tales by the likes of Bill Pronzini, E.R. Hagemann, and Raymond Chandler. David A. Bowman, in his introductory essay to the 1987 Black Lizard edition I have, writes: “Cain took the hardboiled style as far as anyone would want to. Fast One is the Antarctica of hardboiled writing. There is nowhere else to go.”

 

Forget about any insights into the human condition or any other sorts of profound meanings. Just buckle up and go along on the wild ride.

 


For more on this novel or the Golden Age of Detection follow the link to the GA Detection wiki. http://gadetection.pbwiki.com/Fast-One

 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/4aX3gnK

 

Barry Ergang © 2007, 2014, 2024

Some of Derringer Award winner Barry Ergang’s work can be found at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 Lesa's Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 4/18/2024

 In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 4/18/2024

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The #1937Club: They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The #1937Club: They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer: I read They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer for the 1937 Club hosted by Simon at Stuck in a Book and Karen at Kaggsy's Bookish Ramb...

In Reference To Murder: Crème de la CrimeFest

 In Reference To Murder: Crème de la CrimeFest

Review: Toxic Prey: A Lucas and Letty Novel by John Sandford

 

The fate of the world and most of its inhabitants is the subject of Toxic Prey: A Lucas and Letty Novel by John Sandford. Dr. Lionel Scott has a vision to save a planet besieged by global warming and human overpopulation. Kill a lot of people. Create a new pandemic far more lethal and wider ranging than Covid. Kill billions of people to stop the strain on the world and possibly reverse the coming collapse.

 

Letty Davenport is sent to England by her boss, Senator Christopher Colles. Officially, she works for the Department of Homeland Security, but the reality is that she is sort of a fixer type for Colles. She is sent to England to talk to three of Lionel Scott’s friends and find out what they know about Scott and if they know where he is.

 

There is a concern as the good doc previously worked at U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and was currently working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Scott is an infectious disease specialist and has a lot of knowledge in his head. That knowledge could be dangerous if used by others.

 

Met by Alec Hawkins of MI5, Letty is shown Oxford, and A few other things. It soon becomes clear that Lionel Scott has a history of depression and a fascination with the possibilities of the Gaia hypothesis. 

 

Simplifying greatly, the theory is that the Earth is a living organism and all life on Earth live in a sort of harmony and are protected by the Earth. That balance has been destroyed by human overpopulation. If you remove billions of humans from the planet, the survivors would live in a world that would steadily improve as nature healed itself. Climate change would immediately stop and would probably reverse. Species and plants would rebound, improving the quality of life for the humans that remained. Those humans would have improved access to housing, resources, etc.

 

It becomes clear to Letty that Scott might be trying to make that event happen by way of a virus. He has the medical skills to engineer one. He probably has folks with him that believe in the same mission. She knows she needs help and starts raising the alarm.

 

Before long, Lucas Davenport, Letty, Hawkins, and many others are in New Mexico on Scott’s trail and trying to stop the end of the world before it starts.

 

A top-notch thriller that offers an all too real scenario, Toxic Prey is a mighty good read. Intense, often violent, it carries readers along at a rapid pace as Lucas, Letty, and others do everything they can to stop a group of people committed to wiping out the vast majority of the human population. Toxic Prey is not only a mighty good read, it is also a scary predicator of what could be done by one man with knowledge and resources easily bought online. 


Make sure you read Lesa's review here  


Amazon Associate Purchase Link:    https://amzn.to/48HmDAz


My digital ARC came by way of the publisher, G.P. Putnam's Sons, through NetGalley with no expectation of a review.

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2024

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Vox: Amazon is filled with garbage ebooks. Here’s how they get made.

 Vox: Amazon is filled with garbage ebooks. Here’s how they get made.

Lesa's Book Critiques: THE SECRET LIVES OF BOOKSELLERS AND LIBRARIANS BY JAMES PATTERSON AND MATT EVERSMANN

 Lesa's Book Critiques: THE SECRET LIVES OF BOOKSELLERS AND LIBRARIANS BY JAMES PATTERSON AND MATT EVERSMANN

SleuthSayers: Seen in Seattle

SleuthSayers: Seen in Seattle:   I just spent a long  weekend in Bellevue, WA for Left Coast Crime: Seattle Shakedown, and I had a great time. More than 500 mystery write...

MAKE MINE MYSTERY: The Most Frightening Thing in the World and How to Conquer It

MAKE MINE MYSTERY: The Most Frightening Thing in the World and How to...: by Janis Patterson Everyone is afraid of something. Some people are terrified of everything, some just a few, but there is something - whate...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Girls in the Stilt House, Writing Retreat, March Forward Girl

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Girls in the Stilt House, Writing Retr...: Reported by Rita The Girls in the Stilt House: a Novel by Kelly Mustian Murder breaks through the racial divide that separates two teena...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Death of an Author (1935) by E.C.R. Lorac

Beneath the Stains of Time: Death of an Author (1935) by E.C.R. Lorac: Edith Caroline Rivett was a British mystery novelist who, over a thirty year period, penned over seventy detective novels and a smattering o...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday: "Disguise for Murder" by Rex Stout

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday: "Disguise for Murder" by Re...:   Rex Stout's "Disguise for Murder" is an 80-page story in the Nero Wolfe series. It is one of three stories in Curtains for ...

George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S SHORT STORIES #170: WESTERNS OF THE 40s By Damon Knight

 George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S SHORT STORIES #170: WESTERNS OF THE 40s By Damon Knight

Jerry's House of Everything: SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: THE METAL GIANTS

Jerry's House of Everything: SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: THE METAL GIANTS:  "The Metal Giants" by Edmond Hamilton  (first published in Weird Tales , December 1926; reprinted in pamphlet form as The Metal G...

Patricia Abbott: Short Story Wednesday: "Late Love" Joyce Carol Oates, THE NEW YORKER

 Patricia Abbott: Short Story Wednesday: "Late Love" Joyce Carol Oates, THE NEW YORKER

Short Story Wednesday Review: To Serve, Protect, and Write: Cops Writing Crime Fiction Volume 1 Editor A. B. Patterson

 

From the massive archive..

 

To Serve, Protect, and Write: Cops Writing Crime Fiction Volume 1 features 15 tales written by current or former members of law enforcement. While the preponderance of the tales included here feature stories on the bob, many do not. This anthology features an international assemblage of authors reflecting experience in law enforcement around the globe as well as varied perspectives on crime fiction. The result is an entertaining read.

After an introduction by Editor A. B. Patterson that goes into considerable detail regarding the premise and the ground rules of the anthology, it is on to the stories. The first one is a historical tale by Christopher Allen titled, “All Good Things Must Begin.” Subtitled “The first Frank DeGrae Case” the tale features an attempted theft, an officer involved shooting, and possible police corruption.

The next tale is also a historical piece as the year is 1936 and it is June in San Francisco. “Johnny Walker” by Thonie Hevron has Jack and Captain Ronald Bertrand head out to a strangulation of a woman in the Embarcadero area. Bertrand is not on the up and up and the fact that he is actually leaving the office at the Kearney Street Hall of Justice means something is going on more than this particular homicide.

“I Remember Who I Am” by Michael O’Keefe comes next where our narrator is Robbie Meyer. A cop working in Dunson, Ohio. A cop whose faith, family history, and legacy, will be tested on a call in the old north-east section of town. How he handles that call as well as his actions afterwards are part of the process of Robbie Meyer staying true to himself.

Readers go cross the pond to the Dublin International airport as “Dublin to Liverpool” by Barry Lees begins. Detective Constable Trevor Massingham has been on an undercover stakeout for four days watching travelers. He has been sent from Liverpool to sit in the airport and watch those who are passing through on their way elsewhere. The hope was that he would be able to identify potential drug mules as they boarded aircraft. A new batch of ecstasy has hit the streets of Liverpool in recent days and is worse than the normal stuff.

Helen Mathews, literary agent, is sitting in front of her fireplace in her farm house in Maine as “His First” by P. J. Bodnar begins. As she rejects a submission, she tosses the pages into her fireplace, making use of the hard work of others to heat her home. She is not alone. Before long the police will be involved as life changes for several people this night.

“Cold Comfort” by Desmond P. Ryan begins on a night where a cold rain is falling. Despite the nastiness of the night, Detectives Mike O’Shea and Ron Roberts had to go out and do something. Anything at all to get out of the office for a little while. The plan was to go get a coffee. As it happens, before they get there, they get a dispatch to go to their intended coffeeshop to investigate a sudden death.

Deputy Rory Comeaux is dealing with all of the complications of being a woman in full uniform and needing to use the restroom as “The Ladysmith” by Pearson O’Meara begins. While she is dealing with the lack of room for her and her gear in the bathroom stall, a killer lurks nearby. A lot is change to happen in the next few minutes as well as the weeks to come in this part of Southern Louisiana.

Corporal Seaton and his trainee, Officer Day, are dispatched to the Bat Hovno Blazon Institution. While Corporal Seaton thought the 911 call was possibly exaggerated in “Riot In The Mental Institution” by Ryan Sayles, it is soon very clear the call was no exaggeration. There definitely is a riot. It is going to be a very long call.

Since the arrest, Detective Bill Derbyshire has not been feeling right. There is a reason for that as is slowly revealed in “The Snug” by Keith Wright. His final shift as he takes retirement was the arrest of an armed criminal. It is a good way to finish thirty years on the job.

It is a dark and nearly deserted road in Alabama where she pulls over. An elderly woman, she thinks she saw something out of the corner of her eye as she drove by the scene so she stops. Good thing she did in “The Old Lady” by T. K. Thorne. Good thing also that she lives to talk about what she saw that night.

“The Translator” by James Ellson features a family on the run. They have to move yet again thanks to his job and security concerns. There has been a breech, but nobody yet knows how damaging it is or if there is a real security threat. Time will tell. In the meantime, the translator will do his own investigation when he is not doing his assigned tasks.

Angel Castello is in town to do a job in the Saint Louis Area. Darla has a deal going and needs to make an example of somebody refusing to pay what is owed. Angelo is in the family business, but he does not like it. He also has to make sure to get the job done right in “The Carpenter’s Son” by Mark Atley. Unlike most of the tales in the book, law enforcement does not have much presence in this solid crime fiction tale.

Our narrator has a lot to think about as she waits to give court testimony in “Waiting” by Lisa Cutts. Especially in terms of Clive and their last call on a recent shift.

Editor A. B. Patterson comes next with “Rights and Wrongs” and reflects how law enforcement is changing. Harrington has a new boss who clearly does not think much of him. The new boss has all the touchy-feely tags on his resume that are trendy in policing, but nothing that reflects actual police work. Thanks to a complaint being investigated by internal affairs, the new boss is more than happy to confine Harrington to desk duty. The Azalea Quinn case led to the complaint and is the subject of much of this story.

Frank Zafiro takes a shot at predicting the future of law enforcement in the short story that is the last one in the book. “The Last Cop” is set a couple of decades in the future where officers no longer carry guns, have to get court orders to talk to anyone, and banned words get a person fined. Individual freedom has morphed into a strange new world where cops use “compliance sticks” that give a mild shock and private security has taken over law enforcement functions for those who can afford it. Officer Ramirez is about to be shown the door under mandatory retirement and he just might be the last officer with an actual gun. He will need it, no matter what the boss thinks.

An acknowledgment section and extensive bios of the authors involved in order of appearance bring the book to a close.

While this reviewer had his personal favorites, all of the authors involved weaved solidly good and complex tales. Most included a strong law enforcement presence in the tale. Not all of the cops are good guys and not all of the cops are bad guys. Instead, like real life, there is a lot of grey in To Serve, Protect, and Write: Cops Writing Crime Fiction Volume 1. Compiled, edited, and published by A. B. Patterson, the anthology is well worth your time.

 


 Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3Q2WZyZ



I picked this up in eBook format back in early February using funds in my Amazon Associate account.

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2022, 2024 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: AN UNFINISHED LOVE STORY: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF THE 1960S BY DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN

 Lesa's Book Critiques: AN UNFINISHED LOVE STORY: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF THE 1960S BY DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN

SleuthSayers: Killing in Different Ways

SleuthSayers: Killing in Different Ways: Recently, Agatha Award-winning short-story author Toni L.P. Kelner asked if she could run a guest post here on SleuthSayers, highlighting t...

Writers Who Kill: Celebrating with the Agatha Nominees

Writers Who Kill: Celebrating with the Agatha Nominees: By Paula Gail Benson Each year, I look forward to interviewing Agatha nominees prior to the Malice Domestic Conference. Unfortunately, my ...

Review: The General's Gold: The Turner and Mosley Files Book 1 by Lyndee Walker and Bruce Robert Coffin


The General’s Gold by Lyndee Walker and Bruce Robert Coffin is billed as the first book of The Turner and Mosley Files. It is a read that is very reminiscent of early Clive Cussler books. We have shipwrecks, a hunt for treasure, and a plot by bad actors to get the loot first. It is also a fun and good read.

 

It begins down in the Florida Keys with Avery Turner.  Young, recently rich thanks to the sale of her app to a tech company, she is a bit bored with her life. She likes being independently wealthy as well as her new home on an island in the Keys. But, something is missing. She is a bit bored.

 

She has recently taken up scuba diving and Carter Mosley is teaching her how to go about things safely. His passion is diving to shipwrecks, mainly modern-day commercial vessels. That has resulted in a growing social media platform. Like Avery, his efforts are attracting attention from the wealthy in his industry, and he has opportunities as well as obstacles to manage. He is also a bit of an adventurer and is one of those folks who likes jumping out of perfectly good airplanes.

 

As part of her scuba training, Carter takes her down to the first wreck he ever dived, and the one that made him famous, Isabella’s Dream. The sunken freighter will be good training dive for her and it was.

 

She had a blast, but reality crashed in once they got back to the surface. A detective in Boston calls with the news that Mark Hawkins, friend, business partner, and more, is suddenly dead. Boston PD is treating it as a drug overdose.

 

She knows better and is soon on her private plane, along with her assistant, Harrison, as she wants to see the crime scene herself. Fortunately, Harrison worked with her mom long ago on the job and can make calls to help smooth the way.

 

At same time, Carter goes about his life in the Keys, aware that he is being watched. Who is watching him and why are two questions he can not answer.

 

Before long, both are involved in escalating situations. All events lead to a ship that went down during the civil war. It may have been filled with a treasure that would have financed the south after victory. Who knows what it could finance today?

 

What follows is a read that moves up and down the east coast in a hunt for the lost ship and its cargo. Multiple secondary story lines are also at work giving additional character depth as well as obstacles. The result is a complicated fast-moving adventure read that fully engages the reader. The General’s Gold is a mighty good read and well worth your time.

 


Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3TZ9xtt

 

Both the publisher, Severn River Publishing, by way of NetGalley, as well as author Bruce Robert Coffin supplied ARCs for my use. In neither case was there any expectation of a review.

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2024

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers: 4-15-24

 The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers: 4-15-24

Lesa's Book Critiques: 2024 LEFTY AWARD WINNERS

 Lesa's Book Critiques: 2024 LEFTY AWARD WINNERS

Little Big Crimes: The Barguzin Sable, by Sam Wiebe

Little Big Crimes: The Barguzin Sable, by Sam Wiebe:   "The Barguzin Sable," by Sam Wiebe, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April, 2024. Let's talk Macguffins. Some people...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Mrs. Quinn's Rise to Fame by Olivia Ford

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Mrs. Quinn's Rise to Fame by Olivia Ford:   Reviewed by Christy             Jenny is 77 and has been married to her beloved Bernard for almost 60 years! Unlike some of her friends,...

SleuthSayers: Time to Say Adios

SleuthSayers: Time to Say Adios: Okay, I haven't known Marcia Muller for 47 years but perhaps a little closer to 37 years. I'm sorta on shaky ground but reasonabl...

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 4/15/2024

 In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 4/15/2024

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Plot It Yourself: Rex Stout

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Plot It Yourself: Rex Stout: I had not planned to review this book, but then I realized that this is a bookish book, with the plot revolving around authors, publishers, ...

Markets and Jobs for Writers 4/15/2024

 Markets and Jobs for Writers 4/15/2024

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Nothing But the Bones by Brian Panowich


Brian Panowich continues his multi-generational saga about the Burroughs crime family on Bull Mountain in McFalls County, Georgia, with Nothing But the Bones (Minotaur Books, April 2024). Most of the action takes place before the later events of Bull Mountain. The book is broken into three segments, the first one set in 1989, the second one in 1996, and the third one in 2007.

Misfit Nelson McKenna was born crippled, his family abused and mistreated him, then he was rejected by most of the world until Gareth Burroughs took him in as a teenager and diverted his formidable strength into an enforcer role for Burroughs’ criminal activities.

One night at a club McKenna sees a woman being mistreated and loses his temper, killing the bully in full view of a number of people. Burroughs doesn’t have enough political pull to protect McKenna from the legal consequences, so he gives him a place to run to and enough money to pay for the trip.

The mistreated woman invites herself along and the two hesitantly bond during the drive to Jacksonville, Florida, discovering both had been damaged by their parents and exploited by others. Clayton Burroughs, Gareth’s youngest son and the conscience of the Burroughs family, finds McKenna to bring him back to Georgia. Things go sideways rapidly in a series of inhumanely violent events that miraculously converge to deliver hope and happiness for both of the main characters, who are amazing creations.

The definition of family, of friendship, and of loyalty is explored here in the context of the poverty and hopelessness of rural Appalachian Georgia. Beautifully and powerfully written, this book is compulsively readable despite the brutality and callousness much of it portrays. I was immediately immersed and it was hard to put the book down. The time shifts are straightforward here and easier to follow than I found the repeated chronological disruptions of Bull Mountain. Not an easy read but fans of southern noir will welcome this addition to the Bull Mountain canon.

 


·         Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 16, 2024)

·         Language: English

·         Hardcover: 336 pages

·         ISBN-10: 1250835240

·         ISBN-13: 978-1250835246

 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3Q5yTU3

 

Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2024 

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

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sunday Evening Humor

 


Kathleeen Marple Kalb's Blog: So You Wrote the Book, Now What?: DEALBREAKERS

 Kathleeen Marple Kalb's Blog: So You Wrote the Book, Now What?: DEALBREAKERS

Beneath the Stains of Time: The X-Files: Case Closed, vol. 89 by Gosho Aoyama

Beneath the Stains of Time: The X-Files: Case Closed, vol. 89 by Gosho Aoyama: The 89th volume of Gosho Aoyama ' s long-running Case Closed series begins, as so often, with winding up the story that started in the ...

Jungle Red Writers: Roadblocks: a guest post by Kim Hays

Jungle Red Writers: Roadblocks: a guest post by Kim Hays: JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING : One of the reasons we tend to love mysteries set in foreign (to us) lands, is the pleasure of armchair traveling. A...

Sample Sunday: Excerpt: By The Light Of The Moon

 

Before there was my short story collection, Mind Slices, there was Carpathian Shadows Volume 2. The anthology, published several years ago by BooksforaBuck.com, contains a number of stories, including mine.

 

The gist of the setting is that deep in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, in Transylvania, lies a castle. This castle was once home to a nobleman who, it is claimed, warred with the church, bound his servants with a curse of silence, and ruled his lands with a grip of iron. Fortunately for modern-day visitors, Lord John Erdely has been dead for centuries and his castle now a haven for tourists. Or so, at least, is the claim.

 

 

Each visitor to a local hotel receives a fancy invitation--they're invited on a free tour and paranormal investigation. When a freak storm hits, forcing the visitors to overnight in Lord Erdely's castle, the tourists learn that Erdely's power is not limited merely to ancient fairy tales.

 

My story, By The Light Of The Moon, explains what happens to those who learn too much of the Carpathian castle's secrets. If you are intrigued by the sample below ordering is easy. Available in print and e-book forms at the publisher, Amazon, and elsewhere. 

 

By The Light Of The Moon

 

"Is he here?"

 

"Yes, Commander."

 

"How is he?"

 

What he was asking was whether or not the suspect had made it alive into his station. He should have but sometimes accidents happened in the field. The young officer stepped a little ways into the room. New to his job, he was working hard to impress, which is why the Commander had chosen him. Things had to be contained, and he knew he could keep the man, more like a boy at twenty, in line.

 

"Typical American." The young officer couldn't keep the scorn out of his voice, "Very emotional. Fits of screaming and crying when we placed the cuffs on him. He's sitting quietly in Interrogation 4 now."

 

"Good. That will be all."

 

The young man saluted, swiveled in his black spit-polished boots, and strode confidently out of the office. The Commander sat back and smiled to himself while he listened to the pleasurable sound of the boots striking the floor fade away down the long hall. To be young again and so sure of righteousness, of purpose. Not that it really mattered, as fate ordained everything.  His die was cast long ago, as was my own, he thought, and the idea depressed him as it had the last few months.

 

He stood and stretched, feeling his spine pop before he walked down the same hall. Unlike the young man before him who had turned right so that he could pass the front desk and go back out on patrol, the Commander turned left and, with a few steps, began to feel like the walls were closing in on him. The truth was, they were as he journeyed deeper into the old section of the garrison. This part had been built into the mountain long ago, and the Commander secretly suspected that there had to be a tunnel from here up to the castle far above. He suspected it but had never tried to find out because he knew that in such matters, a lack of knowledge was safer than knowing the truth…. 

 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2008, 2024

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Saturday Evening Humor Via Scott

 


Dru's Book Musings: New Releases ~ Week of April 14, 2024

 Dru's Book Musings: New Releases ~ Week of April 14, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: TOXIC PREY BY JOHN SANDFORD

 Lesa's Book Critiques: TOXIC PREY BY JOHN SANDFORD

SleuthSayers: Adventures In Spelling (Or, An Author Gives Up)

SleuthSayers: Adventures In Spelling (Or, An Author Gives Up): Words. They're kind of important in writing. Words are comprised of letters, optimally in the correct order. I'm a liberal arts maj...

Scott's Take: Justice Society of America Vol. 1: The New Golden Age by Geoff Johns


Justice Society of America Vol. 1: The New Golden Age by Geoff Johns collects the first 7 issues of the new series. This volume follows up on several plot points for other series, but can be read as a standalone. A time traveling Nazi is working in the future to destroy the teams of the JSA. If successful, that would ripple back through time to destroy the present-day Justice Society as well as the Justice Society of WWII. Luckily, a hero from the future is sent back to stop him. Huntress, aka Helena Wayne, the daughter of Catwoman and Batman.

 

Since there is a lot of time travel and teams being juggled, the read might get a little confusing for new readers. The art by Mikel Janin is great in this readers opinion. Star Girl, the two Dr. Fates, and Huntress play key roles in the battle to stop the Nazi from enacting his plan. There are also guest stars like Batman, Detective Chimp, and others.

 

The second volume will come out at some point. This series has suffered a lot of delays between issues for some reason, so it is unknown how long we have to wait.  In this readers opinion, the read is worth the wait.

 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3PwvNIn

 

My reading copy came by way of the Hoopla App and the Dallas Public Library System.

 

Scott A. Tipple ©2024

Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday Night Funny

 


Lesa's Book Critiques: SCOTT TIPPLE, GUEST REVIEWER

 Lesa's Book Critiques: SCOTT TIPPLE, GUEST REVIEWER

Writer Beware: Guest Post: How a Book Really Becomes a Movie by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman

Writer Beware:  Guest Post: How a Book Really Becomes a Movie by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Historical Fiction with Libraries!

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Historical Fiction with Libraries!:  Happy National Library Week!  Here are some historical fiction books which feature libraries and librarians. The Personal Librarian by Mar...

SleuthSayers: Paperback Writer

SleuthSayers: Paperback Writer: When I dreamed of writing a novel in high school – my goal was to be a paperback writer, like the song. Twenty years after graduating from h...

The Rap Sheet: More Reasons to Flip on the TV

 The Rap Sheet: More Reasons to Flip on the TV

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Two Brief Reviews

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Two Brief Reviews: I read these books in March. Both were good books and very different stories. Each was challenging to read at times, and both were well wort...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Library Mystery Series

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Library Mystery Series:  In honor of National Library Week, here are some popular mystery series with libraries and librarians! The Unkindness of Ravens by M.E. Hil...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Your Republic is Calling You: Young-Ha Kim

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Your Republic is Calling You: Young-Ha Kim:   The story takes place over the course of one day in the life of Ki-Yong, a South Korean with a wife and teenage daughter. Except that he i...

Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE WORM OF DEATH BY NICHOLAS BLAKE

Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE WORM OF DEATH BY NICHOLAS BLAKE 

Jerry's House of Everything: FORGOTTEN BOOK: OUTLAW GUNS

Jerry's House of Everything: FORGOTTEN BOOK: OUTLAW GUNS:   Outlaw Guns  by "Murray Leinster" (Will F. Jenkins) (originally published as "Wanted -- Dead or Alive," a four-part se...

In Reference To Murder: Friday's "Forgotten" Books: Five Passengers From Lisbon

 In Reference To Murder: Friday's "Forgotten" Books: Five Passengers From Lisbon

Patricia Abbott: FFB: ORDINARY LIGHT, Tracy K Smith

 Patricia Abbott: FFB: ORDINARY LIGHT, Tracy K Smith

FFB Review: Brotherhood in Death: In Death Series by J.D. Robb


Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYPSD has plans for a quiet evening at home as Brotherhood in Death begins. It has been a long day and is sliding into a nasty January night as she packs up her things to leave Cop Central. She needs her husband, her cat, some food, and the quiet of home to relax and recharge. She has not made it all the way out of the building when Mira, good friend, and the top shrink of the department, catches up to her. The normally calm Mira is upset as her husband, Dennis, and his cousin, have been violently attacked and now Edward is missing.

 

While Dallas works homicides, she also helps friends in need. Mira and her academic Professor husband Dennis mean everything to her. Soon the two of them are lights and sirens on the way to a home in Soho.

 

Former Senator Edward, Mira was at the house meeting with a realtor to sell the place. Dennis went over to tell Edward once again that he would not agree to sell. Beyond the will, they made a promise to a dying family member and that means the place can’t, and won’t be sold. As Dennis explains to Dallas, he walked in, saw, Edward in a chair bleeding, and then was knocked out.

 

When he woke up, Edward was gone, and everything looked fine. He is sure it happened the way he thinks it did, though his memory does slip a little bit, here and there. But, his memory issues would not account for why he has injuries. Those memory issues would also not explain why, on closer examination by Dallas, the scene has evidence that something happened.

 

Where is Edward? Who has him? Why was he attacked and subsequently taken?

 

All questions and other ones that have to be answered by Dallas, Peabody, and the team in the increasingly complicated Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb. A story that will quickly pull you in. A story that also just maybe will find you rooting for the wrong side just a bit.

 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/4a6RQxb

 

 

My reading copy through the Libby/Overdrive App and the Dallas Public Library System.

 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2024

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 Lesa's Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Something Is Going To Happen: When Mysteries and Westerns Meet (by Larry D. Sweazy)

 Something Is Going To Happen: When Mysteries and Westerns Meet (by Larry D. Sweazy)

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 4/11/2024

 In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 4/11/2024

The Rap Sheet: Who’s Talking Now?

 The Rap Sheet: Who’s Talking Now?

Review: All The Rage In Texas: An Al Quinn Novel by Russ Hall


All The Rage In Texas: An Al Quinn Novel by Russ Hall is the latest reading in the long running and very good series that started with To Hell And Gone In Texas. This one begins with Bonnie out in Al Quinn’s Truck with Little Al in his car seat in the back seat. Both are nearly killed when she tried to merge onto a local highway as a speeder decides to cut her off. She slides off onto the shoulder as the truck barrels by with the driver either shaking his fist or flipping her off.

 

She doesn’t know what he was thinking or doing acting like that. It takes several minutes for her to calm down. Eventually, when there is a long gap in traffic, she pulls out and resumes her trip home.

 

Unfortunately, the truck is sitting a half mile down the divided roadway. Knowing that such incidents have resulted in drivers being shot, she decides to pull back on the side of the road. She also pulls her gun out of her purse in case she needs it. Bonnie is a good shot and is ready if the other driver wants to escalate things farther.

 

He does as he starts back towards the truck firing shots. She answers back with her .38. As the man is undeterred and continues to advance on her, she gets into the glove box. Bonnie pulls out Al’s Glock and returns fire. She hits the guy in the left thigh. He spins, loses his gun, and hits the asphalt. With the shooter down and weaponless for a few minutes, she takes the chance to drive by at high speed, and flee the scene.

 

She calls for help and soon Al, his wife, Fergie, and his brother, Maury, meet her and assess the situation. In addition to damage to the truck, Bonnie’s sure the guy got the license plate of Al’s truck.

 

Bonnie was right because they soon find the wounded man at their house at Lake Travis. The man has his gun and, when nobody comes to answer the door, fires a shot through the door, wounding Al’s dog, Tanner. Justifiably engaged, it takes everything in Al not to solve the issue immediately. Instead, Al tackles him, cuffs him to a nearby faucet, and rushes his dog to a nearby vet as members of the Sheriffs Department arrive.

 

Tanner is soon patched up and the whole family is back together. It becomes clear that the whole family is the target of Ketchum and his group. Sprung by Biff Groton from the hospital where Ketchum was being treated for his injuries, Ketchum and the group goes on a crime spree seeking vengeance on Bonnie, Al, and the rest of the family. Good thing Al worked for the Sherriffs Department for a long time and has lots of friends.

 

They are going to need them in this fast paced read. Stopping Ketchum and his crew is going to take some doing in this enjoyable read. One that highlights the ongoing and steadily worsening road rage situation here in Texas where things are not getting better.



Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3VMyh9y


My reading copy was purchased in early February 2024 before publication day.

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2024