Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Via WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Poor Devil

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Poor Devil: Poor Devil ~ This failed TV pilot/made for TV movie is one I have been trying to locate for a while. I saw it a couple times as a kid a...

Review: "Raining Willie & Cranked: Two Texas Tales" by Bill Crider

Karla Ercums claimed the pink amethyst ring on her finger was handed down to her by her grandmother. Drug Cop Ray Tabor is sure the ring is stolen though he can’t prove it. Law
enforcement can easily prove she stole other pieces of jewelry while working for Kleen Maid Service. Her actions as a thief as well as her desire for a shorter prison sentence means Tabor can use her as a snitch. In an area where everybody knows everybody else and most folks are related by blood, marriage, or both, Tabor is a definite outsider. He can’t make a drug deal on his own and needs the help of locals who are not interested. Karla has no choice, as both she and tabor know, and he will use her as he sees fit.

So the plan is for Karla to get into a meth house down in the Angelina River Bottoms. She is to wear a wire and make a buy. It should not be that hard or complicated, but things go sidewise. Good thing Karla can improvise and think on her feet.

The repercussions of the above and their aftermath is the subject of the following tale titled “Cranked.” One can’t say more without telling too much and ruining the good read.

Raining Willie & Cranked: Two Texas Tales features gritty characters deep into the drug trade and living on the edge where violence is common place. The short tales in this quick read are good ones where folks die, things get blown up, and things are more than a little twisted. Don't let the tranquil cover fool you.

Raining Willie & Cranked: Two Texas Tales
Bill Crider
February 2012
ASIN: B0075D53KW
23 Pages

According to Amazon I picked this up on February 24, 2012. I will have to take their word on this. Beyond the fact that everything does get read and reviewed here—eventually—I have no idea now if I got this during a free read promotion by the author or by way of gift card purchase using funds from my Amazon Associate account. Since Amazon counts free reads as sales they don’t designate anything beyond the date acquired so I have no idea. Regardless, the information above is designed to comply with the nonsensical mandatory FTC reporting requirement aimed at us dangerous book reviewers as well as to appease meth heads, soccer Moms, and our coming simian overlords.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Still Holiday Shopping?

In case you are, I ask that you think about a couple of things.....

If you are buying at Amazon please consider going through the blog here to do your shopping at Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate and that means I receive a few pennies on each sale. Those small amounts don't affect your price or bill at all. They do add up for me and when I cash out I can buy the occasional book for me along with medical supplies for Sandi.

And, speaking of my better half, in addition to what she has available online at Tapir and Friends Animal Store Sandi still has her iOffer store should you be looking for a homemade teddy bear, walker caddy, chemo hat or something else with a personal touch. This is most likely the last holiday season her iOffer store will be available. As always, sales go to pay something towards her mounting cancer bills as there is much her insurance refuses to cover despite our appeals.

Thank you!

Via The Education of a Pulp Writer: The Lawyer: Stay of Execution by Wayne D. Dundee

The Education of a Pulp Writer: The Lawyer: Stay of Execution by Wayne D. Dundee: Coming soon... In the Old West, J.D. Miller had been an attorney at law. A respected and successful one. Until the horrific, soul-scarri...

Via Do Some Damage: Police, torture, and crime fiction

Do Some Damage: Police, torture, and crime fiction: (I really didn't know what to call this post) A couple of days ago our very own Jay Stringer asked where now for procedural writers in...

Via Venture Galleries-- Embroiled in Our Own World of Mystery

Embroiled in Our Own World of Mystery

Our Latest.....

Sandi had her appointment with the endocrinologist yesterday. As expected, the dosage on her twice daily insulin shots was bumped up a little bit. Things seem to be progressing in the right direction so the plan is to leave her alone for now.

Scott took his last final for the fall semester. He is now on a break until mid January. All teh grades are not in just yet, but it looks like he will finish the semester with 4 B's and an A. Pretty damn good for our Criminology Major.

So, not only do I get the break from hauling Scott to UTD, if things go right, Sandi and I get a break from the doctors and hospital stuff till the middle of next month. Having spent the holidays in hospitals before we really appreciate the fact that this year we should not have to do that.

Knock on wood.....

Monday, December 15, 2014

Via Anne R. Allen's Blog: Confessions of NYT Bestselling Author Gone Indie

Anne R. Allen's Blog: Confessions of NYT Bestselling Author Gone Indie: by Eileen Goudge We have a visit from a literary superstar this week. New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge has written 32 n...

Via Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Monday Markets for Writers: No Fees, Paying Gigs

Review: "Deadline: A Virgil Flowers Novel" by John Sandford

It begins with missing dogs. The latest victim was Windy Butterfield who had two black labs stolen right out of his kennel. Butterfield knew a guy who knew Virgil and was willing to call him at three in the morning. By the next day Virgil Flowers is on the road to Trippton, Minnesota to see what is what.

Lucas Davenport has more than enough on his plate with the Black Hole Case (see Field Of Prey) so Virgil’s allowed even more freedom to poke around. That means he is still in the area when things that would get a higher priority investigation wise begin to happen.  Like a murder. Like an arson. As other events take precedence the theft of dozens and dozens of dogs of all types becomes a secondary storyline while Virgil works a case where folks are being killed and more.

The eighth book in the Virgil Flowers series that began with Dark of the Moon is another good one. As usual, the language can be a bit much for some readers and there is plenty of sexual innuendo as Virgil works cases in multiple storylines. Readers are cautioned that if Field Of Prey  has not been read it -should be read before this book as there are numerous direct references to it and several of them are detailed enough to be considered spoilers.

Beyond that, if you have read this series before you know what you are getting into and Deadline: A Virgil Flowers Novel is another good one. While it does not break new ground in the character, it does deliver exactly what one would expect from this very enjoyable series. If not familiar, make sure you read the earlier ones starting with Dark of the Moon so that you get the often dark humor at work in this series.

Deadline: A Virgil Flowers Novel
John Sandford
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group USA)
ISBN# 978-0-399-16237-4
Hardback (also available in e-book and audio formats)
401 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Crime Review Update-- New issue of Crime Review

As posted elsewhere....

In our new edition of Crime Review ( this week we
have 16 reviews, together with Conor Fitzgerald in the Countdown interview
hot seat.
Crime Review can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson can be followed on Twitter: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler can be followed on Twitter: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:
Werner, reviewed by Linda Wilson
A sumptuously illustrated and authoritative tour into the world of Sherlock
Holmes to accompany the Museum of London’s exhibition.

GODS OF WAR by James Lovegrove, reviewed by John Cleal
Watson is re-united with Holmes on a rare visit to his retirement home and
the pair plunge into a whirlpool of ambition, obsession and murder when
Holmes is engaged by a powerful industrialist to prove his son’s death was
a suicide.

MORIARTY by Anthony Horowitz, reviewed by Maddy Marsh
After the tragic happenings at Reichenbach Falls, two detectives join
forces to ensure the void left by Sherlock Holmes in London is filled, and
the one left by Moriarty is not.

A MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN by Laurie R King, reviewed by John Cleal
Mary Russell comes of age. In London she meets an old university friend who
introduces her to a charitable women’s organisation run by the charismatic
Margery Childe. But when several of its wealthier members are murdered,
Mary’s involvement becomes her first solo investigation – with a little
help from her mentor Sherlock Holmes.

YOUNG SHERLOCK: STONE COLD by Andrew Lane, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Sherlock has been sent to Oxford to catch up on his studies but, along with
his friend Matty, they’re soon caught up in a mystery involving missing
body parts.

FRIENDS TO DIE FOR by Hilary Bonner, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
A group of friends meet every Sunday in a Covent Garden restaurant. But
their lives are turned upside down when some seemingly minor pranks turn
very nasty.

THE DANCER AT THE GAI-MOULIN by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
Two boys, attempting to burgle a Liege nightclub, find a body on the
premises and flee. When, a day or so later, the body turns up in the
botanical gardens the boys and the nightclub staff come under suspicion.

THE COMPETITION by Marcia Clark, reviewed by Chris Roberts
A high school shooting with multiple fatalities looks to have ended with
the suicide of the two perpetrators, but it soon becomes clear that those
responsible are still alive, and planning further outrages.

CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE by Owen Laukkanen, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Carter Tomlin is a man driven to bank robbery when he loses his job, but
finds it a thrill and his ambition soon becomes overwhelming.

TIGHT-LIPPED by David Barrie, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Jean-Jacques Marsay and his wife Carine Dufour live a life that many in
Paris envy, but their seemingly charmed existence is darkened when a woman
close to them is murdered.

PLAGUE LAND by SD Sykes, reviewed by John Cleal
Monastery-raised teenager Oswald de Lacy, lord of the manor after the
plague deaths of his father and brothers, must battle greed and
superstition to solve the brutal murder of a young girl.

THE KEEPER by John Lescroart, reviewed by Chris Roberts
When a wife goes missing, her husband looks like the prime suspect.
Investigator Abe Glitsky sets out to prove otherwise.

INDELIBLE by Peter Helton, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Artist and reluctant PI Chris Honeysett finds that organising an exhibition
at an eccentric art college isn’t as safe as it might appear.

WARLORD’S GOLD by Michael Arnold, reviewed by John Cleal
Captain Innocent Stryker is dispatched to the Scilly Isles in search of
treasure hidden by a Royalist supporter.

BRICKS AND MORTALITY by Ann Granger, reviewed by Jude Evans
A dead body is found in a burned-out Cotswold manor house. Is it accident
or murder?

WANTED by Emlyn Rees, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Danny Shanklin is still on the run, falsely accused of a massacre outside a
London hotel. He has to track down the people who framed him, as well
preventing a disaster of even greater proportions.

Season's greetings to everyone and thanks for your support during the year.


KRL This Week Update---Christmas mystery short story by Gary Hoffman in KRL & much more

As posted elsewhere earlier today.....

Up this morning in Kings River Life Magazine a review & giveaway of the latest Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle, "Once Upon a Grind", along with a fun post by Cleo & a chance to also win a $$20 Starbucks gift card!

We also have a review & giveaway of a fun Christmas mystery-"Death With All the Trimmings" by Lucy Burdette

And of a review & giveaway of another Christmas mystery-"Murder, Served Simply" by Isabella Alan, author

Also up another Christmas mystery short story--this one by Gary R. Hoffman

We also have an article on how "Longmire" the TV show based on the Craig Johnson books got a new life on Netflix, and the dedicated fans who helped make it happen!

And we have a review & giveaway of "After Arie"l by Diana Hockley

And also, a review & giveaway of" Delilah West V1", a collection of 3 books by Maxine O'Callaghan & published by Brash Books

While not a mystery, we also have a review & giveaway of "Though Heaven Fall": A Medieval Parable by mystery author Jeri Westerson

And for those who also enjoy fantasy, a review & giveaway of "Another One Bites the Dust" by Chris Marie Green 

Lastly, over on KRL Lite a review of "The Last Alibi" by David Ellis.
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 Lady Sandra: Eleven Hats for Texas Oncology

Pictures and explanations from my wife on what she made and donated to her fellow cancer patients yesterday ...... 

Lady Sandra: Eleven Hats for Texas Oncology: Today, I delivered eleven more hats to my oncologist office. In addition, I dropped off three lap quilts. Two whimsical hats...

Press Release: Mystery Writers of America Announces 2015 Grand Masters Lois Duncan and James Ellroy Plus 2015 Raven and Ellery Queen Award Winners

MWA LogoHoriz

Mystery Writers of America Announces 2015 Grand Masters
Lois Duncan and James Ellroy
Plus 2015 Raven and Ellery Queen Award Winners

December 12, 2014 – New York, NY - Lois Duncan and James Ellroy have been chosen as the 2015 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Ms. Duncan and Mr. Ellroy will be presented with their awards at the Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

When told of being named a Grand Master, Duncan said, "I'm stunned and overwhelmed by this incredible honor! To have my own name included on this illustrious list of my idols--Agatha Christie, Ira Levin, Stephen King, Tony Hillerman--is something I could never have imagined.”

Lois Duncan published her first short story in a national magazine when she was thirteen, and her first novel, Debutante Hill, at age eighteen. Early in her career, Duncan primarily focused on romance novels for teens and pictures books for children. In 1966, Duncan published two novels that revolutionized the world of young adult fiction: Point of Violence and Ransom. Prior to these two novels, most fiction aimed at young adults was filled with ‘lessons to be learned’ and two-dimensional lead characters. Duncan changed that, using the realistic viewpoint she had brought to her earlier romance novels, presenting her main characters with choices and decisions that had consequences, paving the way for many other young adult authors that followed.

She never shied away from social issues in her work. Daughters of Eve tackled societal sexism; Killing Mr. Griffin the pressure placed on teens to perform and get into good colleges, and I Know What You Did Last Summer dealt with the Vietnam War and society’s reactions to it, plus the struggles of returning veterans. She was nominated several times for the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile, and her books have been made into films. Ms. Duncan was also a long time writing instructor at the University of New Mexico.

Few crime writers have received the acclaim and recognition that newly named Grand Master James Ellroy has received in his three-decade-long career. Ellroy’s work has long been recognized as the worthy successor to such classic crime writers as Chandler, Hammett, and Cain. Ellroy managed to combine noir and hard-boiled crime fiction with a literary style that has influenced other mystery writers as well as impressed critics.

His Los Angeles is a dark place brimming with sexism, crime, homophobia, and racism. Ellroy confronts these issues in all of their ugliness with brutal honesty. Ellroy doesn’t pretend that the past was a pretty place. His characters live on the page, warts and all, and he has experimented with style, point of view, and language in a way that doesn’t interfere with the rapid pace of his stunning plotting. Several times his work has been filmed. L. A. Confidential may be one of the best crime films ever made.

Upon learning he was named a Grand Master, Ellroy said, “This is a splendid honor; it lauds my career to date and spurs me on to stay young, healthy, and productive. The Mystery Writers of America: ever honorable, ever grand in their contribution to the craft of crime writing.”

Previous Grand Masters include Robert Crais, Carolyn Hart, Ken Follett, Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Two Raven Awards will be awarded in 2015: one to the Jon and Ruth Jordan and the other to Kathryn Kennison.

It’s impossible to overstate the passion that Jon and Ruth Jordan have for mysteries. The two founded Crimespree Magazine in 2004, a bimonthly print magazine with a devoted following. Unlike some publications which cater to a particular niche in crime fiction, Crimespree is meant for readers across the mystery spectrum, from cozy to noir, and the magazine is devoted to promoting writers who are not (yet) household names. Crimespree Magazine also sponsors the Crimespree Awards, honoring excellence in the genre.

The Jordans have been heavily involved with the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, too, having first met at Bouchercon in 1999. Ruth Jordan co-chaired Bouchercon Baltimore in 2008. Jon Jordan chaired Bouchercon St. Louis in 2011, and the two of them, with Erin Mitchell, will co-chair the St. Petersburg convention in 2018. Their volunteer contributions have even extended to planning the convention programming for other years. The Jordans are also the co-founders and organizers of Murder and Mayhem in Muskego, a crime-fiction conference set in a Milwaukee suburb that this year became Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee, bringing the conference into the heart of the city.

When advised they would receive the Raven Award, they said, “Given the list of people who have been given this award, it is humbling and an honor to be asked to join this group. We’d also like to note that we squealed and did a little dance when we found out, though we won’t be doing this dance in public.”

Kathryn Kennison is the founder and heart and soul of Magna cum Murder, a well-regarded Midwestern mystery conference celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Magna’s start can be traced back to 1993 when Kathryn pitched the idea of putting together a three-day mystery conference in Muncie, Indiana. What Kathryn envisioned a "sedate weekend affair" with about 65 people including 3 or 4 authors ended up as a party with 265 registered guests including 40 authors, and the festival has only grown since then. In 2013 the convention was moved to downtown Indianapolis where there is a larger population. Guests of honor have included Alexander McCall Smith, Mary Higgins Clark, Donald Westlake, Sara Paretsky, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block, Louise Penny, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Charles Todd, Jeffrey Deaver, William Kent Krueger and John Gilstrap. It has retained its roots as a fan festival.

Kathryn said, “As a natural-born hero-worshipper, my champions always have been storytellers, so being selected by Mystery Writers of America to receive the Raven award is more humbling and gratifying than I can begin to describe. I'm so very proud, honored and indebted to you. ‘Thank you’ seems so inadequate, but I offer my most profound thanks.”

Previous Raven winners include Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oline Cogdill, Molly Weston, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.

The Ellery Queen Award was established in1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry. This year the Board chose to honor Charles Ardai, editor of Hard Case Crime. Hard Case Crime debuted in 2004, as an homage to the great pulp fiction paperbacks of the 1950’s and 1960’s (the ‘golden age of paperbacks’); the very books that helped shape and influence many generations of crime writers as well as the genre itself. Launched by Ardai and Max Phillips, Hard Case almost immediately had an impact on the crime fiction world—Domenic Stansberry’s The Confession won the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original and several others were nominated in the years following. The publishing company has also brought back into print forgotten gems by Donald Westlake, Erle Stanley Gardner, Harlan Ellison, Pete Hamill, and Lawrence Block. In the decade since its launch, Hard Case has published over 100 books and has also produced some excellent new titles, making short lists for almost every award in the mystery genre. Their list looks like a who’s who in American crime fiction.

On learning he would receive the Ellery Queen Award, Ardai said, “Ellery Queen has always been my model of what an editor should be: informed, engaged, ambitious, clever, a passionate evangelist, possessed of excellent taste, and gifted at unearthing wonders. To receive, for my own editing, the award that bears his name is that rarest of things in our profession: an honor beyond words.”

The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses more than 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:
# # #

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Via The Practicing Writer-- Friday Finds for Writers

Friday Finds for Writers

Via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: MWA 2015 Grand Master, Raven, & Ellery Queen Award...

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: MWA 2015 Grand Master, Raven, & Ellery Queen Award...: Mystery Fanfare: MWA 2015 Grand Master, Raven, & Ellery Queen Awards

Back Home

Things were chaotic there today, but we are finally home. Because her blood work for the most part seems to indicate stability it was decided to cut the dosage on a couple of things as of today. On Christmas Day she is also supposed to stop taking her steroid. Then we watch and see how her lungs do.

Assuming they don't suddenly get worse she might be able to stop the steroids for a little while. That would help her kidney function as well as her blood sugars which have stared going haywire yet again.

We see the endocrinologist on Monday and expect her to adjust the insulin shot dosage.

Assuming nothing wacky happens we go back to Texas Oncology in a month on January 9.

FFB Review: "Too Late To Die: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery" by Bill Crider

Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. This week I thought I would blow the dust off of my 2008 review of the first in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series Too Late To Die. I am a big time fan of the author and the series and was thrilled to see on his blog where at least two more books are coming. If you have not read this series you are really missing out. Make sure you check out Patti’s blog for still more books well worthy of your attention…..


Having recently read Of All Sad Words which is the latest in the Dan Rhodes series from Bill Crider and a book that I enjoyed very much, it seemed like I should read others. I'd never read Bill Crider before that book and while the TBR pile seems to achieving sentient life status, it still has not managed to sprout legs and move. So, I went back to where this series began with "Too Late To Die" and requested it from my local library.

It is election season as this is the first novel in the series opens. Sheriff Dan Rhodes knows that some folks aren't going to vote him in Blacklin County, Texas. The Sheriff gets blamed for everything and praised rarely. When somebody's store gets robbed and the bad guys get away, it is his fault. Some folks aren't going to vote for him for another reason. They are dead.

Jeanne Clinton, the much younger wife of Elmer Clinton has been found dead in her home. Her face is a little battered, her neck has been broken, and the house is in disarray. Word has spread fast and the town experts figure her husband Elmer did it. He's a suspect of course, but it soon becomes clear that there are other suspects.

The population of Thurston is 408 and a large number of the good folks are suspects. Several folks that aren't murder suspects are convinced that Sheriff Rhodes needs to be dating again because his wife Claire died awhile back and he needs to move on. Then there is the problem of his daughter, Kathy who is dating one of his deputies. A deputy who suddenly stands accused of assault and police brutality. Just what Sheriff Rhodes really needs in an election year.

Released in 1986 this novel moves at a steady pace that allows readers to learn about the characters before they learn of the first murder. Character development come first with crime second as author Bill Crider sets the solid foundation for this running series. Having read his most recent novel in the series, it isn't surprising that the same style and tone were set in this novel where the people come first and then the crime or case.

Unlike many books published over twenty years ago, the read does not come across as dated at all. Instead, it comes across as a mighty good story told by a friend sitting next to you on the living room couch. Can't ask for any better than that.


Too Late To Die
Bill Crider
Walker and Company
ISBN# 0-8027-5650-6
183 Pages

Review copy provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008, 2014