Monday, September 29, 2014

CT Scan---Completed

We are finally home. Sandi did her CT Scan and  hydration deal with something else bags before and afterwards with no issues. The Doctor should have the results in 48 to 72 hours.

There are more than 200 e-mails in my inbox right now. I'm in very bad shape. So, if you sent me somehing and are awaiting a response please be patient.

Review: "The Girl Who Wanted To Be Sherlock Holmes" by Bill Crider

As a junior at Harry Whittington high School, Ralph Markley, has enough going on every day without any complications.  Things have enough a tendency to happen to him and he gets blamed a lot.  It really isn’t his fault. He just is in the wrong place at the wrong time and because of that gets blamed for stuff.

Of course, before now, he had never picked up a section of pipe that had blood and maybe something more on it. If he hadn’t tripped over it, he would not have picked it up. Of course, if he hadn’t gone into the school boiler room in the first place he would not have discovered the body of Oscar Mullen who worked on maintenance for the school. If none of that had happened Ralph Markely would not have been standing there near the body while holding the murder weapon when a number of campus security folks arrived on scene.

Now that he is in trouble and with accusations swirling around him it is a good thing that his childhood friend, Shirley Holmes, is around to help him.  Shirley is not only beautiful and smart as Ralph has started to notice, but she is also is sure that she is related to the fictional Sherlock Holmes. Because of that belief she is sure the case of who killed Oscar and why won’t be solved unless she, Ralph, and their friends Reed and Franny uncover the truth. Before long the kids are at work and the suspect list grows longer in a delightful read.

The Girl Who Wanted To Be Sherlock Holmes is a fun young adult read that also works well for adults. Especially the secondary storyline of Ralph’s father who writes men’s adventure books that discerning readers realize are a bit more literary than they appear by covers and titles. Interesting characters, a case with a lot of suspects, and interesting secondary storylines make this another excellent read from Texas author Bill Crider. One worthy of your attention just like all his other books.

The Girl Who Wanted To Be Sherlock Holmes
Bill Crider
April 2011
147 Pages

The author supplied a word file for my use in an objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Via PW-- Lee Child On Why He Signed with Authors United

As we have learned the hard way with my son's store that Amazon closed a month ago over three customers who filed multiple complaints over allegedly defective products they still have not returned, having all your eggs in the Amazon basket is a very bad idea long term. They are still reviewing the situation I fully detailed here. The only reason I am an Amazon Associate after what they have done to Karl is simply because we need every single penny. Medical debt and other money issues continue to worsen and Amazon's actions with Karl's store have really hurt us badly.

Lee Child On Why He Signed with Authors United

Amazon can and will turn off the pipeline any time they want. While e-books and Amzon have clearly helped a great number of authors--including myself-- there are no assurances what they will do in the future as they control more and more of the publishing landscape as well as the retail world.

In case you are interested Karl is now on e-Bay. Anything in his store at Amazon is available --despite their posted nonsense--- and some of those items have made it to e-Bay. Anything else that has not gotten there yet can be ordered directly from him if you so desire. He often passes on the savings when folks order direct.

If you send me an e-mail I can help you get what you need or want.

Bill Crider Has Read One-- He Beats Me (Again)

10 Best Historical Novels

Via Mystery Fanfare: 2014 Shamus Award Nominees

Mystery Fanfare: 2014 Shamus Award Nominees: The Private Eye Writers of America announced the finalists for its 2014 Shamus Awards . Winners will be named during a banquet at...

Background On An Upcoming Review--- "The Girl Who Wanted To Be Sherlock Holmes" by Bill Crider

I have written before here about  how I go about writing a review in longhand, Scott or sometimes Sandi (if she feels well enough) types it for me, and then I go back  over the review and edit. I think doing things that way works out for a better review.

As part of that editing process after I am happy with what I wrote, I usually go read a bunch of reviews to see what other folks have said about the material. If a number of folks mention the same thing-- as happened recently with Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child that was reviewed here-- I consider whether or not to mention it in my review. I also go poking around to see what else is out there on the book. If there is a back story I always read that.

Such was the case here by way of Ed Gorman's excellent blog. One you should be reading if you are not already. I found on his blog a post  written by Bill Crider back in late April 2011 explaining the backstory behind The Girl Who Wanted To Be Sherlock Holmes.  You ought to go read it and can do so here.

Back when I was doing Sample Sunday deals here on the blog, Bill contributed Chapter One of the book and you can read that here if you like.

The book is a good one and I review it here on the blog tomorrow.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

KRL This Week Update-- Denise Hamilton, Victoria Abbott, Josie Belle, Coming Attractions, short story, giveaways & much more in KRL

As posted elsewhere earlier today....

Up this weekend in Kings River Life Magazine reviews & giveaways of 4 more Penguin mysteries- "Marked Down for Murder" by Josie Belle, "Murder of a Needled Knitter" by Denise Swanson, "Nightmares Can Be Murder": A Dream Club Mystery by Mary Kennedy, and "The Wolfe Widow": A Book Collector Mystery by Victoria Abbott

Also up a review & giveaway of "Mistress of Lies" by Holly West along with an interesting interview with Holly

And we have the latest mystery Coming Attractions by Sunny Frazier which includes a giveaway of the latest mystery from Nancy J Coco

For those who also enjoy fantasy we have a review and giveaway of "Black Water", a Jane Yellowrock short story collection by Faith Hunter

And a review & giveaway of "Codex Born" (a mystery series involving a librarian) by Jim C. Hines

And lastly over on KRL Lite we have a review of "The Bad Wife" by Jacqueline Seewald

Happy reading,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for a Limited Time--Hawthorne: Tales of a Weirder West

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Free for Kindle for a Limited Time: Hawthorne: Tales of a Weirder West - Kindle edition by Heath Lowrance. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ : There are mons...

Via The Digital Reader-- Ellora’s Cave Sues Dear Author Book Blog for Defamation

Ellora’s Cave Sues Dear Author Book Blog for Defamation

Senior News Newspaper Book Review Column-- September 2014

For my monthly newspaper book review column in the Senior News Newspaper, I usually make sure to choose one fiction and one nonfiction book in the hopes of interesting more readers. For September I went with The Contractors by local area resident Harry Hunsicker who I have been a  huge fan of since reading his first book, Still River. For the non-fiction book I went with Playing with Stencils: Exploring Repetition, Pattern, and Personal Designs by Amy Rice. For a number of years before Sandi had cancer she did a lot of stencil work. These days her eyes as well as her hand/eye coordination won’t allow it, but she still looks at the books when I bring them home for use in the column and on the blog. Longer reviews of both were run here on the blog earlier this year and can easily be found by clicking on the above book titles.

Included below are the relevant book covers for my September 2014 column…  

The Contractors: A Thriller
Harry Hunsicker
Thomas & Mercer (Amazon)
ISBN-13: 978-1477808726
E-Book (available in paperback and audio)
514 Pages

Anyone who has read the Lee Henry Oswald series by Harry Hunsicker knows that the author does not write the Dallas Chamber of Commerce ad copy type of books. Bad things happen to all on the streets of Dallas in his books. The Contractors: A Thriller raises that bar to all new levels.

While nearly everyone has heard of the private contractors working in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere overseas, they also are working here at home. Jon Cantrell and Piper are contractors for the DEA as well as being romantically involved. As the book opens, they are on the trail of Lisa, a missing 14 year old teenager. Hired by a retired crooked cop named Sinclair they need to find the girl and get her back home. Not only will that get them paid, it will allow them to focus on another job where their violent skills will be put to the test.

Those who expect a serious mystery in the style of the excellent Lee Henry Oswald series will be disappointed in The Contractors: A Thriller. This is a fast paced action orientated novel where nearly everyone has very few redeeming qualities. A thriller in every sense of the word where character development is limited and told in occasional bursts of backstory to give readers a break from the frenetic forward pace. The Contractors: A Thriller by Harry Hunsicker takes readers on a violent and bloody rampage from one end of Texas to the other in a read that constantly twists and turns in ways that should keep readers hooked to the very end.

Playing with Stencils: Exploring Repetition, Pattern, and Personal Designs
Amy Rice
Quarry Books (Quayside Publishing Group)
ISBN# 978-1-59253-829-4
144 Pages

Playing with Stencils: Exploring Repetition, Pattern, and Personal Designs by Amy Rice features variety in design of others while teaching readers how to go about creating their own personal touches in various projects. Along with plenty of information there are a number of photographs depicting the various ideas covered in the book.

Broken into three main sections along with several resource sections the book features projects that go from floor to table and runs the gamut. While skill level is not addressed in this 145 page book it is clear that like any other art form patience and practice will be needed to perfect the image you are trying to create. This is a good resource featuring plenty of colorful projects to help you get started while also providing plenty of inspiration.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Via Tapir and Friends Animal Store--- Sandi's Chemo Hats and Walker Caddies

Via The Non-Gamer's Gamer's Blog: Injustice

The Non-Gamer's Gamer's Blog: Injustice: I like games with superheroes, mostly because I'm a big comic book geek. Injustice: Gods Among Us is therefore my jam. You've ...

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: New Western Fiction E-Zine

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: New Western Fiction E-Zine: Check It Out:   Welcome to Saddlebag Dispatches , Where Stories Of The West Come To Be Told. If you like stories of the Old West, you’ve c...

Via Mike Monson's Blog-- Sneak Peak of Tussinland — Coming October 7 From All Due Respect Books

I really enjoyed Mike's THE SCENT OF NEW DEATH as well as WHAT HAPPENS IN RENO when I read and reviewed them earlier this year. Mike has a blog and has announced his new  full length novel at...

Via A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: OUR STATE FAIR IS A GREAT STATE FAIR!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: OUR STATE FAIR IS A GREAT STATE FAIR!: Here we are with Fall begun and in Texas, that means the State Fair. Personally, I love the fair and hate to miss it this year because of r...

FFB Review: "A Werewolf Named Wayne" by Bill Crider

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. Having read and reviewed A Vampire NamedFred by Bill Crider last week it seemed appropriate to do the second in the series this week. Like the previous book this one is  a fun read that works for all ages making it very much worth your time. Seems to me the author should start working on the rest of the creatures of the night series with A Zombie Named Bruce coming next….

A Werewolf Named Wayne

Readers who have read A Vampire Named Fred are well aware that Hermie and Al helped Fred and his assistant, Carl, with a couple of issues. While Kermit felt it wasn’t easy being green, being a vampire in these times of extreme prejudice caused by bogus Hollywood movies isn’t easy. Not to mention the fact that cats don’t like vampires and will come by the hundreds to the home and yowl in the yard. Neighbors don’t like that sort of thing.

Thanks to Hermie and Al’s friendship and efforts, things are far better for Fred and Carl these days. So much so they are moving to Vegas and that means the house has been sold again. Al and Hermie are really going to miss Fred and Carl. But, people as well as the creatures of the night move on when circumstances change. Fred has made it clear to the new owner how helpful the boys were and that is a good thing. The new owner is Wayne and he is a werewolf. Good thing the boys are in 7th grade now as he needs their help with a far more complicated problem than Fred ever had.

While not as humorous as the previous book, this is another very good read that will appeal to both adults and kids alike. Wayne’s issues are far different than Fred and his concerns are far different. With characters and expectations firmly established in the preceding book, A Werewolf Named Wayne focuses primarily on his unique situation and the help he needs. The result is a very good fun read that keeps the adventure going.

A Werewolf Named Wayne
Bill Crider
Delabarre Publishing
July 2011
71 Pages

Material was picked up during a recent author promotion for my use in an objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Via Sea Minor-- One Man's Opinion: THE BLUE SWEETHEART by DAVID GOODIS


Via Crime Watch: 9mm: An interview with JA Jance

Crime Watch: 9mm: An interview with JA Jance: One of my favourite things about being a keen reader is discovering new-to-me authors who have written many books that I haven't tried...

Via Texas State Historical Association --- Get the Texas Almanac eBook - Free!

Get the Texas Almanac eBook - Free!

Via Rough Edges: Now Available: Outlaw Ranger - James Reasoner

Rough Edges: Now Available: Outlaw Ranger - James Reasoner: G.W. Braddock was raised to be a Texas Ranger and never wanted anything else. But when he's stripped of his badge through no fault of...

Review: "A Case of Noir" by Paul D. Brazill

A Case of Noir by Paul D. Brazil takes readers on a dark and twisted road through five chapters. Even though each one is a fairly contained short story, the five chapters link together to form a complex tale featuring Luke Case.

Except his name isn’t really Luke Case. Not that readers know that as the first installment, “Red Esperanto” opens. Instead, readers know it is Warsaw in winter and our narrator prefers Jack Daniels with Coke only after he is so drunk already that he shouldn’t be drinking at all, a Ukrainian hooker by the name of Tatiana, and hanging out with a fellow ex-pat by the name of Sean Bradley. Sean has his reasons why he drinks heavily as does Luke and their lives are going to be intertwined as the months and pages pass.

It is while with Sean in their favorite watering hole, “Rory’s Irish Pub” that the stunning C. J. walked in very late one night. Known as Crazy Jola, she is the wife of Robert Mohawk who is a mid-level a gangster of some repute. Despite being warned off about his reputation as well as hers, Luke manages to talk her into a drink and eventually quite a lot more.

Considering his past, he should have stopped while he was ahead. A Case of Noir is a complicated stylistic read full of visual imagery that moves across Europe adding and dropping people and clues as it goes. While Luke Case has a fake name and a fake cover he has his vices no matter what and that means he leaves a trail in his wake. A complicated dark trail as strikingly depicted on the cover with the maze and one that isn’t at all easy to figure out from start to finish. 

A Case of Noir
Paul D. Brazill
Lite Editions
ISBN# 978-8866655053
May 2014
Paperback (also available e-book)
134 Pages

E-book version supplied by the author some time ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Via Mystery Fanfare: Crime Fiction during the Days of Awe

Mystery Fanfare: Crime Fiction during the Days of Awe: The Jewish calendar is lunar, and Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, begins this Wednesday night. The Days of Awe are th...

Via...Hey, There's A Dead Guy In The Living Room--- A freelance's lot is not a simple one

A freelance's lot is not a simple one

Review: "Piano Man" by Bill Crider

Originally published in the excellent anthology, On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir, Bill Crider’s very good and very dark tale “Piano Man” is now available as a short story. Somewhere near Fort Laramie in the year 1880 there sits a place known as the “Bad Dog Saloon.” It is the home for a man who forsook nearly everything else because of the booze. He is known as the “piano man” and most don’t pay any attention to him in the corner of the saloon as their focus is on drinking, gambling, and the whores.

Then, in the wake of a card game that went very wrong for at least one of the participants he got an idea. It wasn’t a particularly good idea, but it took over and slowly became an obsession. An obsession, much like his obsession with alcohol, is going to change everything.

Bill Crider
Brash Books
17 Pages

Material was picked up during a recent author promotion for my use in an objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014