Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Lesa’s Book Critiques: MUD SEASON BY SUSAN STEWART TAYLOR

Lesa’s Book Critiques: MUD SEASON BY SUSAN STEWART TAYLOR

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Nettle & Bone, Kamogawa Food Detectives, Greenlights

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Nettle & Bone, Kamogawa Food Detective...: Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher To save her sister and topple a throne, Marra is offered the tools she needs if she ...

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Clue in the Air (1917) by Isabel Ostrander

Beneath the Stains of Time: The Clue in the Air (1917) by Isabel Ostrander: Isabel Ostrander was an American socialite from a well-to-do New York family, of Dutch descent, who traveled and lived all over the world a...

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday: Crime Hits Home, Part 2

Bitter Tea and Mystery: Short Story Wednesday: Crime Hits Home, Part 2:   Crime Hits Home is an anthology from Mystery Writers of America, edited by S. J. Rozan. The book was published in April 2022 and all of t...

Jerry's House of Everything: SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: YOU WERE PERFECTLY FINE

Jerry's House of Everything: SHORT STORY WEDNESDAY: YOU WERE PERFECTLY FINE:  "You Were Perfectly Fine"  by Dorothy Parker  (first published in The New Yorker , February 23, 1929; reprinted twice in The Even...

George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S SHORT STORIES #178: THE GIST HUNTER & OTHER STORIES By Matthew Hughes

 George Kelly: WEDNESDAY’S SHORT STORIES #178: THE GIST HUNTER & OTHER STORIES By Matthew Hughes

Short Story Wednesday Review: Moon Shot: Murder And Mayhem On The Edge Of Space Editor J. Alan Hartman

While I have read something that I thought I would have reviewed today, I did not get the review done with the book signing events over the weekend and the toll it took on me. So, I decided that if I was going to offer a repeat for Short Story Wednesday, I would offer you my most popular review ever. Also rather fitting as the astronauts aboard the space station are doing space walks this week while a Chinese lander is on the way back to Earth after retrieving samples from the far side of the moon. While the book is no longer listed on the Untreed Reads website due to the change in ownership, Amazon still has it listed in digital format. I have the link for this great book at the bottom of the review.

 


As long as humans are involved in space exploration, crime is a distinct possibility. It is a common occurrence in this anthology of 14 short stories. Recently released by Untreed Reads, Moon Shot: Murder And Mayhem On The Edge Of Space proves that in space they may not hear you scream, but thanks to surveillance cameras and other technology they often see you kill.

 

 

 

According to editor Jay Hartman, the inspiration for the anthology was a story submitted by Suzanne Berube Rorhus several months ago. That story set abroad the International Space Station titled “A Murder Far From Home” starts off the anthology.  Chrissie Isaac is very much dead thanks to the slit in her carotid artery. With Atlantis docked to the station there are nine possible suspects on board and not one of them is a homicide detective. The beautiful Chrissie had been possibly borderline at her job, but she definitely was far better at creating drama and sexual tension. The ISS doctor has to determine who did the deed in a case where almost everyone had plenty of motive.

 

Beauregard wasn’t supposed to die. But, he did after what would have been routine surgery on Earth. Surgery at the Lunar Base is a far different thing in “Virtual Crimes, Real Consequences” by Elizabeth Hossang. An investigation is launched and Commander Ortiz is going to have to make some tough decisions.

 

Jack Bates is up next with “Rocket Garden” set at the NASA complex in Florida. It is night and the visitor center is closed. That is part of Jacob’s plan to deal with problem and the easiest part. Everything else is kind of up in the air including the large moon that illuminates all.

 

 

Mars make the first appearance in the anthology in “Where Egos Collide” by Laird Long.  Dr. Lazar wants to surrender to the warden of the “Martian Territory Correctional Facility.” He claims to be the same Dr. Lazar that is, according to reports, the one who has threatened to move the Earth from its orbit unless the United States pays him ten billion dollars. This Dr. Lazar wants protective custody. Unfortunately for him, they already have in protective custody another Dr. Lazar who seems to know everything.

 

Homicide Detectives as well as cops in general are nearly obsolete thanks to advances in technology and computers. Those few homicide detectives left are referred to as “Fedoras.”  In this story of the same name by Jeremy K. Tyler Detective Stone is human with a few cybernetic enhancements. Something bad had happened onboard The Caledonia that has resulted in four fatalities. What happened is just one of the things Detective Stone has to figure out.

 

“Mayhem on Mars” by E. Lynn Hooghiemstra features a crew that is slipping over the edge. Things are going wrong with critical systems and Saskia hasn’t been able to fix the problems on a permanent basis. The personnel involved are also failing at important times and despite all their training are having emotional crises. If Saskia can’t figure out what is happening everyone will be dead –-one way or another. 

 

Michael has a serious problem in “At the Corner of Night and Nowhere” by Toby Speed. His wealthy wife wants out of the marriage and to return to Earth. Mary Beth has it all planned out and makes it very clear she is done with the marriage as well as life on Mars. Now, Michael has to figure out what to do as the clock ticks down to her departure.

 

Pickpocketing is just one of the things at work in “On Gossamer Wings” by Wenda Morrone.  Little J knows how to move things through Penn Station and bypass the cops. The guy wearing the Star Trek pin would do well to listen. An upcoming moon shot could be at stake in this alternative history story.

 

It is supposed to be a relaxing evening at home. A little wine, a little music, and off to bed in “Crime of Passion” by Suzanne Derham Cifarelli. That was until the intercom buzzed and ruined things for Amelia McGhee. At least she is still alive. According to detectives from the settlement police, Mr. Henry Watkins, colleague at the high school, has been murdered.  Just like on Earth, on Mars, the cops want you down to the station immediately and answer questions.

 

Being the great grandson of the wealthy founder of the Moon colony has its privileges. The very privileged Henry Compton, Junior, has a problem and would like Mr. Tybalt Kenyon to help him in “The Case of Frankenstein and Spanish Nun” by Andrew MacRae.  The family put Henry Compton in charge of the only library on the moon and, despite their attempt to put Junior somewhere he would do no harm, a book has gone missing. Not just missing, but stolen for ransom. With over twenty thousand people at the base, finding the suspect or suspects and retrieving the book without paying the ransom first may be impossible.

 

Detective Ba has a strange case in “Downhill Slide” by Jeff Howe. Six weeks out from an automatic promotion a return to Earth, the detective has a murder mystery to solve at the deep space mining operation known as Ceres Station One. The beautiful Eliso Espinosa has killed her husband according to the records and her confession. But, she didn’t.

 

For the past eight years a special day for killing has been designated in this tale from Percy Spurlark Parker. “Death Day” is about to happen again and private investigator Max Pomeroy doesn’t have a target in mind. That is until Roget Byoyack walks in and wants to hire Pomeroy to keep him alive. It’s going to be a challenge and one the first vice president of finance for the Mars Mineral Mines Corporation can well afford.

 

It is a huge discovery in “Goodbye Moon” by Mary McCarroll White and Jay Taylor made it.  While Jay’s personal life is a mess this space scientist knows what is happening on the moon.  An object that has fascinated him for years and one with that he is going to share one final link.

 

Sneezing can be a problem in space when one is in the suit. It should not be a problem when one is working inside the moon base. In “Moon Dust” a simple sneeze has proven fatal for Robert Egan who has been ejected out an air lock. Parker Morgan and Cassidy Diaz have to figure out what went wrong and put a stop to it in this story by Lance Zarimba. After all, “In Space, no one can hear you sneeze.”

 

The book closes with brief biographies of each of the authors.

 

The fourteen stories in this anthology are all good ones and showcase a lot of variety in the book. Some are harder edged mystery reads than others while some lean heavily on technology as compared to other ones. Moon Shot: Murder And Mayhem On The Edge Of Space makes it clear that wherever humans go, murder and mayhem will follow. It is only a question of time---and opportunity.

 


 

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

 

 

Material supplied by the Editor in exchange for my objective review.

 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2013, 2024

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Lesa's Book Critiques: HOPE TO DIE BY CARA HUNTER

 Lesa's Book Critiques: HOPE TO DIE BY CARA HUNTER

Wicked Authors: Three Strikes–You’re Dead! with Guest Barb Goffman #giveaway

Wicked Authors: Three Strikes–You’re Dead! with Guest Barb Goffman #giveaway

Writers Who Kill: The Case of the Short Story Spreadsheet by Judy Penz Sheluk

Writers Who Kill: The Case of the Short Story Spreadsheet by Judy Pe...: Something you might not know about me is that I worked in the corporate world for several years, initially specializing in credit and coll...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Cryptids in Fiction

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Cryptids in Fiction:   Round up by Jeanne Sometimes in fiction, you just want to have a different monster, something other than a vampire or werewolf or ghosts...

Clete: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke


Clete: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke takes readers back to the late 90s and events that Clete Purcell and Dave Robicheaux experienced. Told primarily from the point of view of Clete, the read features all the classic elements of a Dave Robicheaux novel. Southern Louisiana setting and vivid descriptions, references to faith and societal decay, and apparitions that are symbolic of history and the great wrongs that have happened before and will happen again.

 

Both Clete and Dave served in Vietnam, had horrible experiences, and came back home. Coping with their military service has been a struggle for both of them. While Dave is still a cop, Clete no longer is thanks to some of the things he did. He is now a private investigator and is struggle to hang on in every way possible. He drives a 1959 El Dorado and loves that car.

 

He entrusts it to Eddy Durbin, owner and operator of the car wash, Eddy’s Car Wash, over in Algiers. Eddy did all his time in Angola and has made a name for himself in the years since. Clete was late in picking up the car as he was in New Orleans for a bondsman chasing down a dancer. He got back, got the car, and takes it back home to where he lives in the Garden District.

 

Couple of days later one morning, he hears noises, and discovers three guys pulling the leather off the seats and pulling damn near everything else out of the car. The three guys are sure there was something of theirs in the car. If not there, maybe it made its way into the house. When confronted about what they are doing to his car in his driveway, they get the idea in their heads that they want to come inside and check. Clete wasn’t going to have that.

 

Clete was holding his own until one of the three hit him in the head with a crowbar. Down and out, the guys got away, and New Orleans police were of no help. That means Clete is going to have to hunt these guys on his own,.

 

Obviously, the first stop is the carwash. Eddy Durbin sees him coming and jumps into an available car. He takes off with Clete chasing him. He finally stops and explains that there was another El Dorado and that his little brother is involved. The stuff, whatever it was, was supposed to go into that car and got put in Clete’s car by mistake. He has no idea where his brother, is but thinks the Dixie Mafia is involved. He also thinks that the stuff was probably fentanyl.

 

The same horrible drug that recently killed Clete’s grandniece. That makes it double personally for Clete. One way or another, Clete is going to see everyone involved dead or locked up in cage for forever. He would be fine with killing them all.

 

What follows is a highly atmospheric story as Clete explains what happened in the case long ago as well as shares observations on faith, morality, politics, environmental issues, and the slow destruction of Eden (Louisiana). Many of the observations fit the time period of decades ago as well as are accurately reflect the times we are in today. There have always been those among us that seek to profit off of others and just don’t care how they do it.

 

As often happens in Dave Robicheaux series, knowing that a person is evil and doing crimes, is one thing. Proving it for a court of law takes a lot of work with numerous detours.

 

Such as the case here in Clete: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke. A book where the evil one sees is just the tip of a rotten iceberg that could destroy everything.


 

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

 

My reading copy came from the publisher, Atlantic Monthly Press, by way of Net Galley.

 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2024

 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Little Big Crimes: A Matter of Trust, by Barb Goffman

Little Big Crimes: A Matter of Trust, by Barb Goffman:  "A Matter of Trust, by Barb Goffman, in Three Strikes -- You're Dead!, edited by Donna  Andrews, Barb Goffman, and Marcia Talley,...

In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 6/10/2024

 In Reference To Murder: Media Murder for Monday 6/10/2024

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

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

Bitter Tea and Mystery: A Rip Through Time: Kelley Armstrong

Bitter Tea and Mystery: A Rip Through Time: Kelley Armstrong:   This is the first book in a time travel trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. The main character in this book is a female police detective, Mallory...

Markets and Jobs for Writers 6/10/2024

 Markets and Jobs for Writers 6/10/2024

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: The Accidental Joe: The Top-Secret Life of a Celebrity Chef by Tom Straw


In the June 2, 2024, issue of the Washington Post, librarian and reviewer Karen MacPherson named The Accidental Joe: The Top-Secret Life of a Celebrity Chef by Tom Straw one of five new mysteries to read this summer. Published on 14 May, just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend, this clever book melds the knowledge of a long-time television insider, which Straw certainly is, with the conventions of the standard spy novel, yielding a fun and absorbing read with series potential.

Tom Straw is a television screenwriter working on comedies such as Night Court, then serving as head writer for Whoopi, Nurse Jackie, Dave’s World and Grace under Fire. When the television series Castle came along, with its lead character crime fiction author Richard Castle, Straw ghost-wrote seven detective novels under Castle’s name. In his latest book he’s taken a composite of the tantrum-throwing, globe-trotting superstar chef and turned him and his television show into a front for a CIA undercover operation.

Sebastian Pike is in Paris, filming another episode in his travelling culinary show. He is aghast to see an unknown and unplanned interview as part of his new producer’s schedule for the next day. He has no background on Victor Fabron, no knowledge of why he should be interested in Fabron. Pike largely ad libs an interview that is disrupted by the noise of the cop show being filmed nearby. When Fabron crumples to the ground, the bullet wounds in his back demonstrate the fire from someone’s gun had been live.

A few hours later Pike is pulled into a chat with a member of the CIA who tells him his new producer is a plant from the agency and she had been on site to receive intelligence from Fabron who was an agent. The news revealed that a highly placed mole in Russia was in danger and needed to be extracted right away. The CIA representative twists Pike’s arm into providing cover for the agency to bring their undercover man to safety.

The story goes into full-blown espionage mode at this point. Every secret agent convention, every bit of tradecraft, I don’t think Straw missed many of the spy traditions. He’s created a fast-moving cohesive story with an entertaining set of characters, leaving the door open for a potential sequel. Immensely readable. Recommended.


 

·         ASIN: B0CPL158T2

·         Publisher: Regalo Press (May 14, 2024)

·         Language: English

·         Hardcover: 296 pages

·         ISBN-13: 979-8888452950

 

 

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

 

Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2024

 

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

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Scott's Take: Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood by Gerry Duggan, artist Adam Kubert,

 

Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood by Gerry Duggan, artist Adam Kubert, and others is a collection of issues featuring short stories where Wolverine is in various time periods and places. There are other books with the black, white, blood format out there. This particular trade version is oversized and way bigger than most graphic novel collection.

Like the others, these stories limit the artists to using only black, white, and red as colors to depict the action in the stories. These tales are interesting and feature Wolverine facing foes such as the Wendigo, Arcade, the Reavers, Sabertooth, and many more. Some minor cameos by X-Men like Kitty Pryde and Magik are used, but these are mainly Wolverine solo stories. For the most part Wolverine is alone enacting bloody violence and death across.

This is a good standalone anthology of Wolverine stories as long as you like Wolverine covered in blood and ripping his enemies apart.

 


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

 

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

 

Scott A. Tipple ©2024

Friday, June 07, 2024

Friday Evening Humor

 


Writer Beware: From Motionflick Studios to Snow Day Film: The Evolution of a Book-to-Film Scam

 Writer Beware: From Motionflick Studios to Snow Day Film: The Evolution of a Book-to-Film Scam

Lesa's Book Critiques: WINNERS AND SUSPENSE

 Lesa's Book Critiques: WINNERS AND SUSPENSE

Bitter Tea and Mystery: What Was Lost: Catherine O'Flynn

Bitter Tea and Mystery: What Was Lost: Catherine O'Flynn:   A young girl, Kate, ten years old, lives with her grandmother; her goal is to be a detective, and run her own detective agency. She has fe...

Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: POSTMAN’S KNOCK BY J. F. STRAKER

 Happiness Is A Book: FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOK: POSTMAN’S KNOCK BY J. F. STRAKER

Patricia Abbott: FFB: LANDMARKS: A HAIBUN COLLECTION by Ray Rasmussen

 Patricia Abbott: FFB: LANDMARKS: A HAIBUN COLLECTION by Ray Rasmussen

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

 

It is early 2061 as Echoes in Death begins and Eve Dallas just wants to go home. She did her duty under, as she refers to it, “the marriage rules,” and had gussied up for Roarke and gone to the charity ball. She got through the event safely despite a couple of absolute fools that also attended. She did her job of as wife to quite possibly the richest man in the world. Now it is time to get home, ditch the dress and heels, and get back to normal.

 

At least that was the plan.

 

Would have happened to if a naked woman had not stepped out into the roadway right in front of them as they headed home. Naked, bloody, and very disoriented, she was very lucky that Roarke was able to stop in time. They bundle her into the car and head for the nearest hospital.

 

As Eve calls it in to the hospital, she sees the woman has got cuts, abrasions, as well as ligature marks around the neck. She has other injuries as well and appears to have blood on her that is not her own.

 

They get her to the hospital and Dr. Del Nobel begins to asses and treat her. Thanks to Dallas’ scan of her fingerprints, they soon learn that the woman is 24-year-old Daphne Strazza. She is married to the more than two decades older Anthony Strazza. The same Dr. Anthony Strazza, who is a big shot at this same hospital, and is not very well thought of or liked.

 

Soon, Roarke, and Dallas, discover the former big shot doctor went through considerable hell before he died.  Daphne’s story regarding what she went through and saw is convoluted and does not make sense. But it is clear, she went through hell. She is lucky to be alive. Her far older husband is very dead.

 

Is she involved in some way? Was she part of a plan to kill her husband and she went through far more than originally intended? Or, is she totally innocent, and is only a brutally traumatized victim?

 

Time will tell as this first married couple are just the top of a brutally violent pyramid of rape, murder, and more in Echoes in Death.

 

As always, the head hopping POV is initially disruptive. At least, it is for this reader. However, as it often happens, the case evolves and the storyline progresses, that all falls away, and the reader is left with a complicated read that pulls one into an intriguing mess. Mostly police procedural, part romance, Echoes in Death is another good one in a long line of good reads. It maybe nearly 20 years in the future, and the weapons are different, but the themes are universal.



So too is my need for Roark’s library and a working Auto Chef.

 

Amazon Associate Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3x2C6gq

 

My reading copy came by way of the Libby/OverDrive App and the Dallas Public Library System.

 

 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2024

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Lesa’s Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 Lesa’s Book Critiques: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Kathleeen Marple Kalb's Blog: So You Wrote the Book, Now What?: HANG IN THERE!

 Kathleeen Marple Kalb's Blog: So You Wrote the Book, Now What?: HANG IN THERE!

Miss Demeanors: Five Tips for Short-Story Success: A Guest Post by Judy Penz Sheluk

 Miss Demeanors: Five Tips for Short-Story Success: A Guest Post by Judy Penz Sheluk

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 6/6/2024

In Reference To Murder: Mystery Melange 6/6/2024


Bookblog of the Bristol Library: New Books in June!

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: New Books in June!:   Atkins, Ace   Don’t Let the Devil Ride Battles, Brett Stuart Woods’ Smolder (Stone Barrington) Berry, Flynn   Trust Her Berry, St...