Sunday, July 21, 2024

Beneath the Stains of Time: Bunraku Noir (2023) by K.O. Enigma

Beneath the Stains of Time: Bunraku Noir (2023) by K.O. Enigma: Earlier this month, I reviewed Aosaki Yugo's short story " Tokuma shoten " ("Knockin' On Locked," 2014), introdu...

Guest Post: A Study in Contrasts by Paul A. Barra


Please welcome back author Paul A Barra to the blog today…

 

A Study in Contrasts by Paul A. Barra

 

I admire contrast when authors have two important characters vying for prominence in a mystery novel. Otherwise, why have two? The contrast can vary from the natural complementarity between a man and a woman, working together as protagonists, to a good protagonist opposing an evil antagonist. Whether the contrast is inherently occurring or forced by circumstances, it is important to a story because it adds conflict—and conflict drives the plot, creating tension, the lifeblood of the genre.

 

Many of us write, and read, crime fiction precisely because a certain tension or suspense is a built-in part of the fictive type, pitting criminal activity against investigative efforts designed to end that activity. A person or persons unknown commits a crime, usually murder, early in the book and a good person or persons tries to identify the killer(s) and prevent more of his or her or their evil work. I need hardly mention here that “good” is a relative term when describing our protagonists. Victims are innocents (also speaking relatively), so there is also the satisfying result of justice served. Usually. No matter how intricate a writer’s plot or how well-crafted his characters, introducing a pair of contrasting good guys trying to solve the same mystery adds tension, and so adds interest.

 

When I was working to add such interest to my new thriller, SGT. FORD’S WIDOW, I searched for an opposite to my protagonist. Gil Ford is a rangy native of wild Wyoming who can ride a horse as well as he can drive a pickup. I wanted him to be a veteran of the Vietnam War because I think the Modern-Historical Mystery is the wave of the future in the genre as readers tire of the ubiquitous cell phone playing the role of an electronic version of deus ex machina, or forcing the writer to invent unlikely reasons for a character to be unable to use his or her cell. I say unlikely because we know most people today would rather leave home without their shirts than without their phones. A charged cell is as important to a detective as a loaded sidearm. Cell phone towers have proliferated today to such an extent that Statista, a statistical research company, estimates that there are 16 billion (that’s sixteen thousand million or 16 x 109) mobile phones in the world today—a world of just less than 8 billion human inhabitants. A garbage picker in Bangladesh can now call after work to see if his wife needs anything from Walmart on his way home. Well, maybe not Walmart.

 

What I needed was a person to work with Ford who was small, had never known winter, had never seen a horse or a cow, and who spoke no English. Enter Tran Thi Linh, the wife of a Viet Cong guerilla who died trying to infiltrate Ford’s army base. Ford was an MP then, and he rescued Linh from incensed GIs taking out their anger on her for the damage done by her late husband. As she recovers after in an army field hospital, she realizes Ford saved her very life and she decides she must dedicate the rest of that life to repaying him for his kindness. For his part, Ford realizes Linh will not survive on her own in the war-torn Mekong delta. She is broken, scarred and ostracized by the villagers who hate the grief her husband’s actions brought to them. Ford must get her to his home in Wyoming. It’s 1967. The trouble is, home is 8,000 miles away and American officials, not happy by then with how the war is going, will not transport the family of a VC to the World, as American conscripts referred to the USA. Ford works out an ingenious deal with an officer on a South Vietnamese gunboat, and Linh gets to Guam. And then to California on a plane with other wounded people.


The main part of the book takes place in eastern Wyoming, where Linh is convinced that no living thing can survive outside in January, and where Ford returns to work as a P.I. She accommodates to the weather, and to the large, hairy people, the amounts of protein they consume regularly, and the primitive language they speak. Women in Wyoming shoot guns and smoke cigarettes, she discovers to her horror. But she overcomes all the divergences from her former life and helps Ford solve the theft of six pigeon-blood-red rubies and subsequent murders. Linh eventually becomes locally famous as a crime-buster. She bows to her neighbors, and they bow back. Ford bows to no one. They are the perfect pair—if you like contrast between protagonists—except that Linh can no longer tolerate any sexual contact. That produces yet another contrast to chew over as you read.

 


Paul A. Barra’s new mystery-thriller, SGT. FORD’S WIDOW, will be released by the venerable publishing house The Permanent Press on Oct. 1, 2024. He invites you to kindly check out his website for more information (www.paulbarra.com).


 

Paul A. Barra ©2024

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: TROUBLE IN QUEENSTOWN BY DELIA PITTS

 Lesa's Book Critiques: TROUBLE IN QUEENSTOWN BY DELIA PITTS

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

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

SleuthSayers: Transparent, Proactive, and Incentivized

SleuthSayers: Transparent, Proactive, and Incentivized:    Let me begin with a confession. This post is of very little literary value, and required no research and no knowledge. It's just a ve...

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers: 7-19-24

 The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers: 7-19-24

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Third Shift Society by Meredith Moriarty

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Third Shift Society by Meredith Moriarty: Reviewed by Jeanne Ellie is not having a good day.   Bills are due, well, okay PAST due, the landlady wants the rent, and when she goes ...

Scott's Take: Duke Volume 1: Knowing is Half the Battle by Joshua Williamson


Duke Volume 1: Knowing is Half the Battle by Joshua Williamson with Tom Reilly (illustrator) and Jordie Bellaire (colorist) is a miniseries despite being titled Volume 1. There is no Volume 2 and there will not be. This is a miniseries set in the Energon Universe. A recently started line of books based on the idea--- what if the Transformers and the G.I. Joe lived in the same universe? This miniseries is designed to start setting up the G.I. Joe part of the Energon Universe. 

 

Duke barely survived an encounter with the Decepticon known as Starscream, but his friend was not so lucky. The United States military is covering it up and telling the highly decorated soldier that he is just wrong. So, Duke goes rogue and finds out that the rot in the institutions he has served his whole life in is deeper that he knows.

 

The art is pretty good even if the colors are a little dull. I don’t know if this was a deliberate choice, but Duke spends a good portion of this tale looking like Captain America from Infinity War. This is a mature and well thought out tale that raises a number of questions about what does a man who believes in the system do when the system fails him? We don’t get to explore this version of Duke too in much depth as this is more of a thriller than a character development read.

 

I really liked this read until the ending. Major spoilers, but a lot of the questions raised in this tale are brushed aside in order to have Duke help form the G.I. Joes.

 

The newly formed G.I. Joe group is assigned to kill Optimus Prime. They don’t know he is a good guy or, I guess, a good robot. Started here, this mission will be followed up in one of the new books in the universe. At the time of this review, I do not know which one.

 

The next announced book in the series, Cobra Commander, focuses on the Cobra Commander forming his group to take over the world.

 

Additionally, a full G.I. Joe series will start sometime this fall. That series will have Duke and other members of the G. I. Joe group.

 

Overall, while they are building up the G.I. Joe part of the universe with miniseries, they are currently giving the Transformers universe an actual series.

 

There is also something called Void Rivals set in space. I read it, and quite frankly, I still have no idea how it’s supposed to tie in yet. Which is why I have not reviewed it. I did not much care for it either.

 


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

 

My reading copy was a Hoopla digital eBook via the Dallas Public Library System.

 

Scott A. Tipple ©2024

Friday, July 19, 2024

Update

For those scoring along at home… left ear is still a mess. Not any better so went back to the doc today. Ear drum looks way better. Ear canal is a little better. Next we try a steroid dose pack and Claritin and Flonase. The ongoing bad air from allergens and Saharan Dust might be causing all of this. Also working on a referral to an ENT. Sigh.

No FFB Review Today-- Doctor Visit Instead

By the time this post appears, I should be at, or very near, the doctor's office. I went last Tuesday, over a week ago, to have my left ear looked at after various over the counter things did not help. Turned out that I had a left ear drum infection and the ear canal was also swollen and infected. I did not know one could get their ear canal infected, but I did it. A five day dose pack of antibiotics was prescribed as were ear drops. 

Due to how late in the day it was after the doc, I had to wait till Wednesday to get the pills and start them. I did not get the ear drops until late Thursday as they were on a truck and it took awhile. 

Nothing has worked. I still have more ear drops, and am continuing to do that, but nothing is happening. So, it is back to the doc today to see what will be the new plan. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2024

SleuthSayers: Anaaaackronyms

SleuthSayers: Anaaaackronyms: I hate anachronisms.  They do nasty things to the suspension of one's disbelief.  One of them can yank me right out of a story and make ...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Tragedy at Freyne (1927) by Anthony Gilbert

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Tragedy at Freyne (1927) by Anthony Gilbert: " Anthony Gilbert " was the penname of Lucy Malleson, an inventive, productive and a shade unconventional mystery writer, who wrot...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Figures in a Landscape, When the Jessamine Grows, Followed by Frost

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Figures in a Landscape, When the Jessa...:   Nevermore 5-28-24 Reported by Rita   Figures in a Landscape: People and Places: Essays: 2001-2016 by Paul Theroux Drawing together ...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday – Valentino: Film Detective

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday – Valentino: Film Detective: This week I read three stories from Valentino: Film Detective by Loren D. Estleman, published by Crippen & Landru in 2011. The collecti...

Jerry's House of Everything: SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: THE VILLAGE OF THE DEVIL-DEVIL DRUMS, PLUS A MURRAY LEINSTER COLLECTION I PROBABLY WILL NEVER READ

Jerry's House of Everything: SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: THE VILLAGE OF THE DEVIL-D...:  "The Village of the Devil-Devil Drums" by "Murray Leinster" (Will F. Jenkins)  (first published in Danger Trails , June...

George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S SHORT STORIES #184: THE FOLLY OF EUSTACE AND OTHER SATIRES AND STORIES By Robert Hichens

 George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S SHORT STORIES #184: THE FOLLY OF EUSTACE AND OTHER SATIRES AND STORIES By Robert Hichens

Patricia Abbott: Short Story Wednesday: "Alaska" from POTATO TREE by James Sallis

 Patricia Abbott: Short Story Wednesday: "Alaska" from POTATO TREE by James Sallis

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: SHADES OF MERCY BY BRUCE BORGOS

 Lesa's Book Critiques: SHADES OF MERCY BY BRUCE BORGOS

SleuthSayers: Art and Artists

SleuthSayers: Art and Artists: There’s an ongoing conversation about separating the art from the artist, a topic that resurfaces each time negative information surfaces ab...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison:   Reviewed by Jeanne Thara Celehar is a Witness for the Dead:   that is, he can touch a deceased person and sometimes ascertain the answ...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry: Gabrielle Zevin

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry: Gabrielle Zevin:   As the story opens, A.J. Fikry is a widower. His wife died 21 months earlier and left him to run their book store on Alice Island, Massach...

Review: The Cardinal's Curse: The Turner and Mosley Files Book 2 by Lyndee Walker and Bruce Robert Coffin


I’m late with this one thanks to the spate of new falls as well as the diagnosis last week of my left ear infection of the drum and the ear canal. Who does that? This guy! I had no idea one could get the ear canal itself infected. Wish the meds would hurry up and do something. Anyway, this came out back over a month ago, so I am very late with my spoiler free review.

 

Back in November 1537, Cardinal Olav Engelbrektsson had a gold crown encrusted with jewels and other important treasures. He was the Archbishop of Nidaros and had ruled Norway due to the lack of a king and the black death. He has been in exile and hiding these past seven months as Christian III became king of Denmark and claimed Norway as a dependency. Cardinal Engelbrektsson plans to seize power again. The first part of that is for the crown and other treasures to be loaded aboard the wagons so that he and his group can move out on their journey back to power.

 

In the present day as The Cardinal’s Curse begins, Avery Turner and Carter Mosley are deep in the cold waters of Hudson Bay. She has a new dive computer, TreaureTech’s DiveNav, that she designed and created, strapped to her wrist. They are diving to find the wreck of the yacht, Moneymaker. The long missing yacht may hold the body of Broadway showgirl, Melody Fisher, and the NYPD, and others need it found. But, first, the new tech on her wrist needs to work and it clearly has a glitch that is making things even more dangerous.

 

Those cold waters are just a taste of what awaits them in the Antarctic. Dr. Noah Wyndham is leading an expedition to find the legendary lost ship, Fortitude. While the sunken ship is probably well preserved due to the incredibly cold waters, those same cold waters make any dive to it very dangerous. That assumes they can even get to it because of the depth of the wreck, the Antarctic environment, and a lot of other factors.

 

The expedition is already deep into Antarctica and has been hard at work for several months with little to no success. The expedition is twofold--one is climate research as they seek a way to artificially rebuild the Antarctic shelf ice as a way to fight the well documented climate change problem. The secondary research project and the one Dr. Wyndham wants Carter, Turner, Harrison, for is to help find the Fortitude.  Dr. Wyndham hopes that, by finding the Fortitude, the massive media attention of their discovery, will bring additional funding to continue their shelf ice research. Funds are running out and winter is coming. They have only days left to find the Fortitude before winter descends and they need help now.

 

Avery Carter and Turner Mosely are enthusiastic about joining the expedition. Harrison has grave reservations about all of it, but goes along with the others in the quest to find the Fortitude. Much like an iceberg, what they know going in, is just the tip of a huge and dangerous iceberg.

 

Book two of the of the Turner and Mosely Files that began with The General’s Gold is another fun filled action read. Along with plenty of history and science, there is a lot of action at the ends of the earth where survival can be measured in seconds.

 

The Cardinal’s Curse is another solidly good read and well worth your time. Like any good series, this builds on the first book, so I recommend you read that one first before embarking here. The third book in the series, The Pirate's Secret, is currently scheduled to be released October 29th.

 


Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3LnV7Oy

 

 

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, July 15, 2024

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/15/2024

 In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/15/2024

Kathleen Marple Kalb's Blog: So You Wrote the Book, Now What?: THE GOOD REJECTION

 Kathleen Marple Kalb's Blog: So You Wrote the Book, Now What?: THE GOOD REJECTION

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Deus X: An August Snow Novel by Stephen Mack Jones


August Octavio Snow, the Detroit ex-cop and self-appointed protector of the Mexicantown neighborhood where he grew up, is the inspired creation of Stephen Mack Jones, who has deservedly won a number of awards for Snow’s adventures.

In Snow’s fourth appearance, Deus X (Soho, November 2023), he is visiting his long-time girlfriend in Norway. He receives a panicked call from home: one of his elderly neighbors is in ICU with a heart attack. The two older ladies have been his special project for a long time. They took in the young computer whiz from an earlier book as a boarder and the three have become a tight trio. Of course Snow returns to Detroit, where he deals with the immediate crisis and in the process learns that the Catholic priest who baptized him and who has been omnipresent in his life suddenly retired and is quietly fading away. After some prying Snow learns a secret group within the Church has targeted the good father and Snow will not stand for a threat to the people he considers his family. While Snow’s mother was a devout believer, he is not quite as convinced so he has no trouble going after the rotten apples in the Church hierarchy.

Snow is a fine addition to the roster of fictional unlicensed investigators who do favors for friends – think Rush McKenzie, Henry Malone, Tom Bethany, J. W. Jackson, and Matt Scudder. He also cooks. A lot. Plan on keeping a bag of chips and dip nearby to assuage the hunger pains that will arise as you read this one.

While the themes are nothing new, Jones imbues the plot with crackling energy and creates memorable characters. His imagination apparently knows no bounds: In Dead of Winter I thought his depiction of the afterlife was striking; in Deus X he introduces a witch who practices quietly but openly in a residential neighborhood.

The very best part of this very good book is the portrayal of the profound connections that Snow forged with his parents and that he has replicated in his growing chosen family and the deep affection they all have for each other.

One of the few series that I track these days, I am looking forward to the next title. Highly recommended.




·       Publisher: Soho Crime (November 7, 2023)

·       Language: English

·       Hardcover: 360 pages

·       ISBN-10: 1641294957

·       ISBN-13: 978-1641294959

 

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

 

 

Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2024

 

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

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Little Big Crimes: How Easily Things Can Explode, by Daniel C. Bartlett

Little Big Crimes: How Easily Things Can Explode, by Daniel C. Bartlett:  "How Easily Things Can Explode," by Daniel C. Bartlett, in Crimeucopia: Totally Psycho Logical, Murderous Ink Press, 2024. The p...

Beneath the Stains of Time: Date for Murder (1942) by Louis Trimble

Beneath the Stains of Time: Date for Murder (1942) by Louis Trimble: Louis Trimble was an American academic and, as noted elsewhere, " a forgotten writer of the post-World War II ," who wrote scienc...

Review: The Burning: A Novel by Linda Castillo


I usually do not run reviews on Sunday. But recent health issues including, several falls over the last couple of weeks, as well as a just diagnosed left ear infection of both the drum as well as the ear canal, threw me off. I can assure everyone that the planet’s gravity still works, nothing broke as I just have assorted bumps and bruises, and I am on both a pill antibiotic and drops in the ear deal so one hopes one is on the mend. I am also back doing news posts for SMFS so the fat man is playing catchup as best as he can. This came out back on Tuesday so I am a few days late with my spoiler free review.

 

The latest in the series, The Burning: A Novel by Linda Castillo, finds Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti two months into their marriage. The newlyweds are blissfully happy. Especially Kate Burkholder as life is pretty good these days.

 

It wasn’t for Milan Swanz. Especially his last few minutes as he was, basically, burned alive at the stake. It is a 2:47 am wakeup call for Painters Mill Chief of Police Kate Burkholder like no other and a horrific crime scene. A scene that gets into your mind and body in more ways than one.

 

As her and her team dig for answers, it is clear that Milan Swanz was a deeply flawed human being. One that the Amish tried to handle internally. He was disciplined repeatedly and finally recently excommunicated. His situation may have been permanently solved as somebody seems to be a following a book from long ago in the Ana Baptist culture.

 

What follows is a complicated and twisted novel that puts Kate pretty much against everybody else in her search for the truth. Along the way, we find out a little more about Kate’s history and just how important family is to her.

 


Strongly recommended, as is the entire series.

 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3S5nN2j

 

Make sure you read Lesa Holstine’s recent review at Lesa’s Book Critiques. Lesa also sent me an ARC for the book a few weeks ago before I was approved for it by NetGalley so that was how I read this book.

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2024

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: KEVIN’S CORNER ANNEX – THE WEST BY JOHNNY GUNN

 Lesa's Book Critiques: KEVIN’S CORNER ANNEX – THE WEST BY JOHNNY GUNN

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

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

Scott's Take: Batman Brave and the Bold Volume 1: The Winning Card by Tom King, illustrated by Mitch Gerads


Batman Brave and the Bold Volume 1: The Winning Card by Tom King, illustrated by Mitch Gerads, is a very good standalone story as long as you understand what you are getting. Unlike most Brave and the Bold titles, this is not a team up title. This is a Batman solo title. Putting under the Brave and the Bold titling is misleading in this reader’s opinion.

 

This is another story telling a different version of the first encounters between Batman and Joker. This is a more horrifying and violent version. The Batman thinks he understands the Joker. By the end of the volume, Batman will learn he was very wrong.

 

Told in a unique manner as panels detailing the Joker’s crimes are placed along panels featuring dark jokes from the Joker. This is a very interesting way to tell a story that would only work in a visual medium like comics. Mitch Gerads is a really talented artist and does an excellent job in his use of shadows and lighting to high parts of the story. His art showcased here is frankly terrifying.

 

Collecting only four issues, this Eisner winning series is very short, but very fun. However, a lot of the points made at the end have been made by other writers utilizing the same arguments. Don’t get me wrong --this is a good Joker vs Batman story. The actual story is really good.  I just wish the arguments made at the end were original. They have been done so many times that I am tired of them.

 


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

 

My reading copy came by way of the Hoopla app through the Dallas Public Library System.

 

Scott A. Tipple ©2024

Friday, July 12, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: ELLEN BYRON’S BEARS GIVEAWAY

 Lesa's Book Critiques: ELLEN BYRON’S BEARS GIVEAWAY

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Dog Days! Books with Canine Stars

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Dog Days! Books with Canine Stars:   Enzo is a clever old dog who has learned a lot.   He adores Denny, an aspiring race car driver, and Denny’s daughter, Zoe, who is at the c...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: 18th Annual Canadian Reading Challenge

Bitter Tea and Mystery: 18th Annual Canadian Reading Challenge:   The Canadian Book Challenge was started in 2007 by John Mutford at the Book Mine Set blog (no longer available?). Now the challenge is hos...

Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: HARD LIVER BY ANTHONY WEYMOUTH

 Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: HARD LIVER BY ANTHONY WEYMOUTH

Jerry's House of Everything: FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE CITY DESTROYER

Jerry's House of Everything: FORGOTTEN BOOK: THE CITY DESTROYER:   The City Destroyer by "Grant Stockbridge" (Norvell W. Page) (first published in The Spider , January 1935, as the 16th of what w...

Patricia Abbott: FFB: EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULL, Peter Biskind

 Patricia Abbott: FFB: EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULL, Peter Biskind

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


It is said that art imitates real life. The reverse can also be true and is in Dark in Death by J.D. Robb. For Chanel Ryan, watching the classic movie, Psycho, with her friend should have been a fun night. It was until somebody seated behind her rammed an ice pick into the back of her neck during the classic shower scene.

When Lola Kawaski sat back down next to her and tried to explain why she had to leave, she soon realized that Chanel was dead. Lola’s screams shut down the movie. The authorities of the various agencies that responded includes Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York Police and Security Division on this brutally cold night of Feb 2061.

Dallas has just started with the body when Detective Peabody arrives. Between the two of them they quickly figure out that the crime scene was ruined by people trying to help the victim, that nobody saw a thing, and probably the killer created a distraction to get Lola out of the way. Once Lola was out of her seat and elsewhere, the killer did the deed, and later walked out in a crowd leaving one of the many other screens in place.

In short, they don’t have much of anything until Nadine Furst brings her Blaine Delano. Ms. DeLano. The woman and mom writes a series of crime fiction novels. Not only does the crime Dallas is working fit what DeLano wrote in a book, it isn’t first fictional murder to be copied. DeLano is sure that somebody is using her books as an outline to kill. By the time she gets through being interviewed by Dallas and Peabody, they thing that she is very likely correct.

This opens up another totally avenue of investigation and the team is off and running. What follows is an intriguing chase as Dallas, Peabody, and others close in on a killer who is tackling fiction and rewrite the works to suit her tastes.

Another fun read in the series and worth your time.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

My Large Print hardback came from the Audelia Road Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.

 

Kevin R. Tipple © 2024

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 Lesa's Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 7/11/2024

 In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 7/11/2024

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: SMFS Member Nominees for 2024 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: SMFS Member Nominees for 2024 Killer Nashville Sil...: The SMFS is proud to announce that again this year members of the SMFS have been nominated for the 2024 Silver Falchion Award. As stated on ...

Jerry's House of Everything: CALLING ALL CARS: THE LAUGHING KILLER (FEBRUARY 10, 1937)

Jerry's House of Everything: CALLING ALL CARS: THE LAUGHING KILLER (FEBRUARY ...: Before there was Dragnet , there was Calling All Cars , a crime drama focusing on "true" cases from the Los Angeles Police Departm...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Hit List: Top 10 Beneficiaries of the Reprint Renaissance

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Hit List: Top 10 Beneficiaries of the Reprint ...: After the frustrating " The Hit List: Top 5 Intriguing Pieces of Impossible Crime Fiction That Vanished into Thin Air " and the de...

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: When Crickets Cry, Southernmost, Boys from Biloxi

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: When Crickets Cry, Southernmost, Boys ...:   Reported by Rita When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seve...

Jerry's House of Everything: SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: THE NAKED GUN

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George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S STORT STORIES #183: MURDER IS MY BUSINESS Edited by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins

 George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S STORT STORIES #183: MURDER IS MY BUSINESS Edited by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins

Patricia Abbott: Short Story Wednesday: From Taffy Brodesser Aknew

 Patricia Abbott: Short Story Wednesday: From Taffy Brodesser Aknew

MWA: New Books by MWA Members – July 2024

 As always, the list also includes short stories. 

MWA: New Books by MWA Members – July 2024

Monday, July 08, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: THE BURNING BY LINDA CASTILLO

 Lesa's Book Critiques: THE BURNING BY LINDA CASTILLO

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Oversize Books: Mucha, Thing Explainer, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Atlas of Shipwrecks and TreasuresEgyptian ...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Oversize Books: Mucha, Thing Explainer, Egyptian ...:   One area of the library is sometimes a bit overlooked:   our Oversize Book collection. As the title implies, these are large books that ...

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/8/2024

 In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 7/8/2024

The Rap Sheet: Surprises and Prizes Galore

 The Rap Sheet: Surprises and Prizes Galore

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Think Twice by Harlan Coben

 

Think Twice by Harlan Coben is the newest title about Myron Bolitar. After turning out seven books between 1995 and 2000 featuring sports agent Bolitar, Coben branched out into stand-alone thrillers, only occasionally re-visiting his series character. Finally in Home, published in 2016, Bolitar hung up his agent hat and left New York. I thought we had seen the last of him but eight years later, he is back in New York, trying to resurrect his sports agent business.

Two FBI agents have inexplicably requested an interview with Myron and his long-time friend Windsor Horne Lockwood III. They are investigating the murder of a 1990s supermodel for which her estranged husband was being held. Neither Myron nor Win know any of the individuals involved and Myron is stunned when the agents want to know where their former client Greg Downing is. Since Downing died three years previously, neither Myron nor Win has an answer to their question. But Downing’s DNA has surfaced at the Callister crime scene and law enforcement not unreasonably wants to know why.

Downing had never terminated his contract with Myron, and Myron believes he still has an obligation to act as Downing’s agent and attorney, so he begins searching for further evidence that Downing is alive. His search takes him first of all to Downing’s ex-wife, Myron’s first love, which leads him down all sorts of rabbit holes and across the country.

Interspersed with the investigation the story brings the various character arcs up to date. Win is still running his financial services company and pursuing his unregenerate lifestyle, while Esperanza, Myron’s former partner, has joined an all-female law firm. Myron’s parents are retired and living in Florida. His warm affectionate relationship with them has always been a highlight of the series. His friendship with Win remains as close as ever, with sociopath Win demonstrating more attachment to Myron than I remember seeing in earlier books.

Slickly plotted with smooth pacing, polished writing, and relentless action. I am happy to see Myron is back in fine fettle and other fans of the series will be too.

 


·       Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition (May 14, 2024)

·       Language: English

·       Hardcover: 368 pages

·       ISBN-10: 1538756315

·       ISBN-13: 978-1538756317

 

 

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

 

Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2024 

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

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Little Big Crimes: Bridge to Nowhere, by William Kitcher

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Scott's Take: Superman Vol. 2: The Chained by Joshua Williams


Superman Vol. 2: The Chained by Joshua Williams and artists is the second volume in this series. “The Chained” is a new villain that Superman makes the mistake of releasing from a prison built by Lex Luthor. That is just the beginning as there is a lot that happens in this volume. There is plenty of action and dram in this story. Each artist does the illustrative work differently and that takes a while to get used to after  reading the previous volume, Superman Vol. 1: Supercorp.

 

 I don’t think the art style for the first few issues fit the story at all. Not bad artwork necessarily, but did not right for that story. Exaggerated cartoony art does not work well with the story material. If the first few issues were lighter in time, then it would have worked better. Seeing cartoon Lex laid up on a gurney awaiting surgery and bleeding out made me want to laugh because of the art. His head is so big and so is his chest.

 

The Lex Luthor revenge squad continues their evil machinations to make Lex pay for his sins as Lex and Superman continue their team up. The return of Lex Luthor’s mother and daughter adds more chaos to this read. There is a minor plot point issue for this reader in that Superman does not wait for Lex to wake up after his surgery thanks to the stabbing in the previous volume. Instead, Superman says the typical hero stuff that The Chained should not be made to wait any longer for release and does it. Without waiting for Lex to wake up and talk. It is less than thirty minutes later when the Chained is free and on his rampage and then Lex is awake. So, a good portion of this volume could have been avoided if Superman just waited a bit.

 

Sort of like on television when the cops see the suspect four blocks away, scream at them, and then the unnecessary on foot police chase. This results in “Police Parkour.”

 

This series will have a third volume at some point. However, but before that there is a Superman led event, House of Brainiac, which is setup here. As Superman faces off against another Brainiac led invasion of the Earth.

 


Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/45aLThw

 

 

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

 

Scott A. Tipple ©2024

Friday, July 05, 2024

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Monday, July 01, 2024

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Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: False Witness by Veronica Heley


Veronica Heley is an English author of more than 70 books. She’s best known for her two contemporary mystery series, one about Ellie Quicke, a recently widowed middle-aged woman in the London suburbs who is finding her voice and her life after an unhappy marriage. She is a classic amateur sleuth, learning by happenstance that she has a gift for investigation. The other is about Bea Abbot who runs a catering and domestic services agency with a little investigation here and there. Both series are long running: there are 22 books about Ellie Quicke and the 17th book about the Abbot Agency will be released on 2 July 2024.

In False Witness (Severn House, July 2024) Bea Abbot is asked by former client Sir Julian Marston-Lang to look into odd occurrences at Marston Hall. He’d been shot at while out riding. A local woman was found murdered in a stall in one of the Marston Hall barns, and someone has started a rumor that Marston-Lang is the killer. The police are very interested in establishing his alibi. The locals are upset by the loss of their jobs while Marston-Lang renovates the buildings and brings them up to current building codes, so he supposed it could be one of them. But then cousins had thought to inherit the estate and they were still grumbling so maybe one of them was angry enough to step outside the law. The estate itself is bankrupt and Marston-Lang has sunk every penny of his own money into building supplies and contractors to try to return grounds to a self-supporting state so why anyone might want it in its current state is unknown.

Abbot moves in and brings one of her best operatives masquerading as a personal assistant to help sort through the endless paperwork. The seemingly innocuous assistant carries a gun and is a skilled combatant. She deserves a few books of her own. While the assistant protects Marston-Lang, Abbot searches for the person behind the strange goings-on at Marston Hall.

A smoothly paced and tightly plotted story, which might reasonably be expected from an author as experienced as Heley. An interesting subplot involves Abbot’s artist husband who is in a politically unstable Caribbean country; whether he will escape before the unrest turns into outright rebellion is unclear. 

Followers of the series will welcome this addition to the adventures of the Abbot Agency. Readers of cozy mysteries looking for a new series should consider this one and the books about Ellie Quicke.


·       Publisher: Severn House; Main edition (July 2, 2024)

·       Language: English

·       Hardcover: 224 pages

·       ISBN-10: 1448312566

·       ISBN-13: 978-1448312566

 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3L8aR89

 

Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2024

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