Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mystery Fanfare: When Selfies Kill

Mystery Fanfare: When Selfies Kill: Looking for a new topic for your mystery novel? How about Death by Selfie. You may think this is funny, but given that there have been hund...

Criminal Minds: So Many Books, So Little Time

Criminal Minds: So Many Books, So Little Time: Once you start a book, do you feel compelled to finish it? If not, what causes you to put it down? by Paul D. Marks No! And ditto for ...

Beneath the Stains of Time: A Veiled Threat

Beneath the Stains of Time: A Veiled Threat: " Sure, it's dangerous. It's been dangerous, it is dangerous, and it's going to be a whole lot more dangerous .&quo...


FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: LUCAS HALLAM RIDES (AND SLEUTHS) !: Lucas Hallam has long been one of my favorite fictional characters. Not only that, but he ranks as a favorite in TWO separate genres ...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Jacqueline Seewald: Short Fiction Opportunities for Writers by Jacquel...

Jacqueline Seewald: Short Fiction Opportunities for Writers by Jacquel...: If you are a writer of short fiction, there are many unique markets constantly popping up. They provide an exciting opportunity for new as ...

Mystery Fanfare: Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology

Mystery Fanfare: Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology: Bouchercon will be invading New Orleans for its annual world mystery convention this September where every year readers, writers, publis...

Market Call: Hard Sentences: Crime Fiction Inspired by Alcatraz

Market Call:  Hard Sentences: Crime Fiction Inspired by Alcatraz

Review: Magazine: Nebula Rift V4N1 (Planetary Defense Command Blog)

Review: Magazine: Nebula Rift V4N1 (Planetary Defense Command Blog)

30 Great Writing Conferences in July 2016 (Publishing.... and Other Forms of Insanity)

30 Great Writing Conferences in July 2016 (Publishing.... and Other Forms of Insanity)

New issue of Crime Review

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (, together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author Adam Brookes in the Countdown hot seat.
We’re on Twitter at:
Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Philip Kerr, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Bernie Gunther is living a quiet life in the South of France in 1956 when
an old enemy reappears, and he is asked to undertake a sensitive task for
the writer Somerset Maugham.

A HERO IN FRANCE by Alan Furst, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Mathieu and his French Resistance colleagues must risk their lives to
smuggle British airmen out of the country and back into the fray.

THE 14TH COLONY by Steve Berry, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
The Cold War has been over for years and Russia has lost it. However, there
is one man who refuses to accept this and has plans to take a horrifying
revenge on the US.

CITY OF JACKALS by Parker Bilal, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Cairo investigator Makana is asked to find a young student who has gone
missing. The next day a human head is fished out of the river next to the
investigator’s houseboat.

SCARLET WIDOW by Graham Masterson, reviewed by John Cleal
Beatrice Scarlet marries a Protestant preacher and emigrates to America.
When animals are found slaughtered, with indications of satanism, she
suspects a human hand.

THE PLEA by Steve Cavanagh, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Lawyer Eddie Flynn is given a proposition by the CIA: he has 48 hours to
get hired by a man accused of murder and persuade him to plead guilty, or
see his wife go to prison.

THE PRINTER’S COFFIN by MJ Carter, reviewed by John Cleal
Blake and Avery are back in England and charged by philanthropist and
social reformer Lord Allington with investigating the strange murders of
two printers.

TIME OF DEATH by Mark Billingham, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Two children are missing from Polesford and hopes of finding them alive are
rapidly fading.

DANGEROUS CARGO by Pauline Rowson, reviewed by Sharon Wheeler
Former marine Art Marvik is roped in by the intelligence services to
investigate the recent death of a man – who was supposed to have died 55
years previously.

THE REVELATION CODE by Andy McDermott, reviewed by Linda Roberts
A cult leader is determined to bring about a biblical apocalypse, and when
archaeologist Nina Wilde is kidnapped to further his plans, it’s up to her
husband Eddie Chase to throw a spanner in the works.

THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST CEZANNE by ML Longworth, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
A friend asks Antoine Verlaque to visit a man called Rene Rouquet, who
lives in an apartment once occupied by Paul Cezanne, and who may have
discovered a lost Cezanne painting. When he arrives at the apartment he
receives a severe shock.

MIDNIGHT SUN by Jo Nesbo, reviewed by Ewa Sherman
Jon Hansen is on the run after betraying Oslo’s biggest crime lord, the
Fisherman. But hiding in a small town in the far north of Norway, close to
the Arctic Circle, brings its own dangers, and the never-ending daylight is
just one of them.

GAME OF MIRRORS by Andrea Camilleri, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Inspector Montalbano notices his neighbour, Mrs Lombardo, looking under the
bonnet of her car.  It turns out that the car has been deliberately
damaged.  Meanwhile a bomb has exploded in town, all giving Montalbano a
lot to think about.

RUNAWAY by Peter May, reviewed by John Cleal
Five young Scots run away to swinging 60s London. Their adventure turns
sour when they find few people can be trusted and favours always expect
returns. Fifty years later three return to solve a mystery killing.

THE FORSAKEN by Ace Atkins, reviewed by Chris Roberts
In Jericho, Mississippi, the release from prison of ‘Chains’ LeDoux
re-awakens memories of a brutal lynching nearly 40 years ago.

CALLED BACK by Hugh Conway, reviewed by John Cleal
A blind man stumbles on a murder. Because he cannot see, the assassins
allow him to go. He later recovers his sight and falls in love with a
mysterious girl who is in some way involved in the crime.

THE Z MURDERS by J Jefferson Farjeon, reviewed by Anthea Hawdon
After witnessing an apparently random murder, Richard Temperley sets out to
find some answers.

ART IN THE BLOOD by Bonnie MacBird, reviewed by John Cleal
Sherlock Holmes is approached by a beautiful French cabaret star when her
illegitimate son by an English aristocrat goes missing.

ORANGEBOY by Patrice Lawrence, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Marlon promised his mother that he would have nothing to do with drugs, but
when he falls under Sonya’s spell, keeping that promise suddenly becomes a
lot more difficult.

THE STORM (audiobook) by Virginia Bergin, reviewed by Linda Wilson.
With the killer rain still falling from the sky, teenager Ruby Morris has
to survive in a hostile world.

Best wishes


Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan: Reviewed by Ambrea Suyuan Woo, An-mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-ying St. Clair are members of the Joy Luck Club, a group of women...

Review: "Off The Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel" by C. J. Box

Nate Romanowski has been found despite his best efforts in staying off the grid. It is October in the Upper North Platte River Valley when the quiet is broken by armed new arrivals at the ranch owned by Dr.
Center Point Large Print Edition
Bucholz. The ranch is large and has provided sanctuary to Nate as he recovers from recent events and hiding from law enforcement. Brian Tyrell and Keith Volk lead a team of special operators that have arrived to make an offer Nate can’t refuse. In exchange for clearing his criminal record they want him to assist them in an operation.

They call themselves “The Wolverines” and are part of a shadowy government within the government. They claim to be in all areas of the government and at all levels. Supposedly they all are united to defend America from the ruling political elite that is only interested in gaining power. All Nate knows for sure is that they are Feds of some type and have him in a box. They want him to go to Wyoming’s legendary “Red Desert” and meet a man known as Muhammad  Ibraaheem who may have been radicalized before coming back to Wyoming. Known as “Ibby” he may be part of recent thefts in the area as well as increasing chatter out of the Middle East about a planned terror attack in the mountain west. Like Nate, Ibby is a falconer, so Tyrell and Volk figure Nate can use that as a cover to meet the man and check him out.

While they know a lot about Nate, Tyrell and Volk know nothing about falconry or being a falconer. They don’t care either. That is Nate’s problem. They insist Nate is going to meet Ibby and check him out. He will cooperate, investigate, and give them detailed information on the target and his activities. Otherwise, they will make sure he winds up in a federal correctional facility to end his days and will take action against anyone Nate cares about. Nate has no choices.

He isn’t the only one. Game Warden Joe Pickett has plenty going on before having a mandatory meeting with soon to be ex-governor Spencer Rulon. The governor, well known not to be a fan of the federal government or any of their representatives, recently got a call from Dr. Bucholz reporting the actions of federal agents on his land and how he and his family were treated. In addition to telling Warden Joe Pickett about what happened to his friend, Nate Romanowski, Rulon wants to know what in the heck is going on with the four federal agents who had the nerve to act like they owned to place and treated his constituents with contempt. Rulon wants Pickett to use a recent bear attack as his cover story and go to the Red Desert and find out what is going on.

Shifting in viewpoint between Nate, Joe Pickett, and several other characters, Off The Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box eventually brings two primary storylines and a couple of secondary ones together in a very enjoyable read. No new character developments are at work here as the characters were fleshed out long ago. Instead, as expected in this series, characters continue to evolve and change as they gradually get older and are impacted by various events. Some of those events in recent books are mentioned here though the primary focus is on the current events.

As always in a tale by C. J. Box, the author’s love of the Wyoming landscape comes through loud and clear. Off The Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel is another very good read in a long series of very good reads. 

Off The Grid: A Joe Pickett Novel
C. J. Box
Center Point Large Print
ISBN# 978-1628999211
April 2016
Large Print Hardback (also available in eBook, audio, and regular print hardback formats)
445 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lesa's Latest Contest: Give me a B Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away copies of Allison Brennan's Poisonous & War Hawk by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Important note: Because of my schedule next week, this giveaway will be short, ending Tuesday, June 28 at 6 PM CT. I'll put the books in the mail on Wednesday.

Lesa Holstine

Garrison Keillor reads "River" by Ginger Murchison from "A Scrap of Linen, A Bone" at "The Writer's Almanac"

At The Writer’s Almanac, Garrison Keillor once again reads from Ginger Murchison’s a scrap of linen, a bone. Today it’s the poem entitled “River.” Click the link and have a listen.  This follows the readings Garrison Keillor did in April of “Roller Coaster” and in May of “The East Berliner, 1989” from the book. You can find links to all three readings on the author’s page at 

FFB Review: "THE TWISTED ONES" (1959) by Vin Packer (Reviewed by Barry Ergang)

Another new FFB review from Barry today. Make sure you check out the full list over on Todd's blog after you read Barry’s work below.

THE TWISTED ONES (1959) by Vin Packer

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

The Twisted Ones comprises three separate stories about youths driven to extremes by personal and familial issues. 

Sixteen-year-old Brock Brown, a student at the high school in the town of Sykes, New York, is a handsome young man who “dressed meticulously, with a rigid sense of style that he had formulated over the years.” His mother Edith, whose maiden name was Brock, whose family was among the town’s upper crust, and who never wanted children, died when he was seven. His forty-two-year-old father remarried a woman named Clara who is only twelve years older than Brock, and who tries to encourage her loner stepson to participate in normal teenage activities: e.g., to ask Carrie Bates, whom he frequently talks about, to the prom. Brock, who has never had a date, vehemently refuses, contending that Carrie is “fast” and that being with her “‘could get me in a whole big crazy pack of trouble if I didn’t know right from wrong.’” One who thinks of and describes himself as “boy cat, all shook up,” Brock’s rigidity extends beyond superficial style to an off-kilter sense of what is right and wrong, legal and illegal, moral and immoral—with catastrophic consequences.

Charles Berrey is eight years old and has an I.Q. of 165. “The unexpected fruit of Howard and Evelyn Berry’s middle age, [he is going to] make his third appearance on Cash-Answer, the most popular quiz show on television.” Evelyn Berrey is a loving, doting mother. Howard “Duke” Berrey is an ex-Marine who still works out regularly and who sells sporting goods for a living. Conflicted about his son’s success, he appreciates Charles’s ability to win huge sums of money while simultaneously disliking the way people regard him as an aberration. A physically and verbally abusive type, he constantly berates his son about his vocabulary and often talks to him like a drill instructor to a Marine in training. He argues with, and sometimes strikes, his wife. When he orders his son to “spoof” his boss, Paul Carter, the president of the sporting goods company, he inadvertently ignites a flame in Charles, who devours books on a multitude of subjects “like a hungry tomcat devoured mice.” One of the myths he’s read about is a favorite from Polynesia. It drives him to the commission of an act that forever changes lives—his, his parents’, and the lives of some of the residents in his hometown of Reddton, New Jersey.

Nineteen-year-old Reginald Whittier lives in Auburn, Vermont with his mother above their antique shop, Whittier’s Wheel, “as archaic and old-fangled in its appearance as the attitudes and opinions of its proprietress, Miss Ella.” Impregnated by the husband who subsequently abandoned her, she gave her son his father’s first name and her own maiden surname. At her request the town jeweler, Mr. Danker, has become something of a surrogate father to Reggie with regard to certain matters—e.g., the facts of life—although the young man feels uncomfortable around him. (It becomes clear to the reader that Mr. Danker has designs on Reggie of his own.) A stutterer, Reggie has always been shy around people his own age but is nonetheless someone who finds it easier to talk to women than to men. When he becomes involved with eighteen-year-old Laura Lee, who works as a maid at a local junior college, his internal conflict about pleasing her, pleasing his overly protective and possessive mother, and wanting a better life than he’s so far had, results in drastic actions.

A short, absorbing, fast-moving novel, its title and the publisher’s teaser suggest that The Twisted Ones are only Brock Brown, Charles Berrey, and Reginald Whittier. In fact, their parents and some other adult authority figures are equally deserving of that description.

Although I’ve known of Vin Packer (real name Marijane Meaker) for decades, this is the first of her books I’ve read. I hope to read others, which is also a way of saying I highly recommend this one.

© 2016 Barry Ergang

Winner of the 2007 Derringer Award for the best flash fiction story of 2006, Barry Ergang’s fiction, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. His recent e-books, a story for children called The Boy Who Ate Rainbows and a science-fiction parody, The Vole Eater, are available at Amazon and Smashwords. Criminalities: Three Short Crime Stories and an Essay is available for free at Smashwords.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: Booked Up

Mystery Fanfare: Cartoon of the Day: Booked Up

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Shot in Detroit -- Patti Abbott

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Shot in Detroit -- Patti Abbott: Violet Hart is a photographer.  She has artistic aspirations, but mostly she shoots weddings and bar mitzvahs to survive.  She can't fin...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: RELEASE DAY FOR OPHELIA, BRIDE BRIGADE BOOK 4

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: RELEASE DAY FOR OPHELIA, BRIDE BRIGADE BOOK 4: Release day for a new book is always exciting for the author. Will people like our baby? Will readers buy our offering? So many fears and h...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Theodore Roosevelt, Hearts, Munich, Au...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Theodore Roosevelt, Hearts, Munich, Au...: To kick off Nevermore this week, we welcomed back an old friend to our midst and eagerly listened to her review of David McCullough’s Mo...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Radiation Has Started

After a morning when the machine did not work and we had to be rescheduled to the afternoon, Sandi has finally had her first radiation treatment. She reports the bed of the machine is not padded and therefore caused her quite a lot of pain. Another issues is that there are panels that rotate in very close to the patient making her claustrophobic. Considering that I am the one with big time claustrophobia issues, the fact it bothered her that way really says something. All in all she absolutely hated the session and is not a happy camper.

While she was in the chamber I met with the financial counselor. For now, all they want was signatures on various releases so they can bill and work on payment issues.

Crime Watch: Review: THE QUEEN OF PATPONG

Crime Watch: Review: THE QUEEN OF PATPONG: THE QUEEN OF PATPONG by Tim Hallinan (William Morrow, 2010) Reviewed by Craig Sisterson Poke Rafferty has an unusual family life: his w...

SleuthSayers: Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conferenc...

SleuthSayers: Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conferenc...: by Jan Grape and Velma 22 June 2016 Footnotes ...

Guest Post: Jeanne on "What’s in a Name?"

Please welcome back Jeanne of the Bristol Public library with a few thoughts regarding author names. I have noticed the same thing. Before we get to her post, let me digress for just a moment. If my digression bugs you, skip on down the page. It is my blog so I can blab if I want to. 

Over the years my Mom has talked about the fact she did not know any Kevins so her and Dad went with that. Of course, by the time I got to public school there was a sea of Kevins. It seemed like every class had at least two boys carrying the Kevin mantle of responsibility. Every employer I ever worked for had at least two—myself and somebody else. On one job there were three of us. Management was not amused when we linked hands during a staff meeting and chanted, “By the power invested in we Kevins we shall make it so!" Of course, I was the one hauled into the office and talked to about my attitude after the meeting because, as one manager put it, “You’re the strange one.” I don’t know…maybe throwing in the Thundercats yell at the end was too much.

And now on to Jeanne….

What’s in a Name?

I noticed some years ago that I was making assumptions about people from their names in the obituary pages.  Zachary?  Probably a young person, no older than 30.  Ruby? I’d guess at least 80.  Donna?  Probably between 60 and 45.  I was right often enough that I still do it today.  I think I first noticed trends when I was in Children’s Services back in the 80s.  It seemed that every other little girl was named either Heather or Amber. In my high school the number of Brendas, Glendas, and Lindas was staggering, but apparently the “—nda” fad is over.

Some names go in and out of fashion, while others are timeless:  James, Elizabeth, Sara, Thomas, or Emily may be for an eight year old or an eighty year old.  A prominent military person used to result in many namesakes: I’ve met a number of elderly men named “Winfield Scott.”  “Lafayette” was a popular name in my mother’s family and a British friend was appalled to find out I had cousins named Napoleon.  Most of the gem names for women have gone out of style (Ruby, Opal, Garnet—though the latter is as likely to be for a man as a women) although Pearl is making a slight comeback.  The same goes for the flower names:  Pansy, Daisy, Viola, Violet, but Rose hangs on. State names have also gone by the wayside: Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, Texas, Carolina, and Nevada. Dakota is popular, but that may be from the Native American tribe rather than the states. Sherry has lost popularity but I still meet Brandys.

Note: By coincidence, today in the library’s book club, a member was reading Agatha Christie’s Pale Horse.  She was enjoying it, but she said she was distracted by all the “old” names:  she was envisioning the characters as being much older than they were supposed to be in the book. I checked, and saw that there were female characters named Pamela, Rhoda, and Eileen, all of which have lost most of their popularity but would have still been stylish when the book came out in 1961.

At my workplace we laugh because while the staff is relatively small in number there are a lot of the same names repeated.  We now have only one Nancy, but for a while we had four; we have three Susans/Susies; two Christys;  two Brendas; two Rebeccas; two Amys, with another person nicknamed Amy; and until recently, two Megans.  When I first joined the staff, confusion often reigned.  I was Jeanne, but we also had a Jean, a Jeannie, a Janie, and a Gina.  It took a lot of careful questioning to figure out who was being asked for sometimes. We joked that we weren’t going to hire anyone else who had a matching name because it was just too confusing.

Which sort of leads into what inspired this post: authors with the same first names who write in the same genre.  Years ago, I was asked to find a Christian author named Lori.  Confidently, I led the patron to books by Lori Copeland.  The patron said no, that wasn’t the right author.  This was before the internet, so I couldn’t google the info and the patron couldn’t remember anything else about the author.  By chance when shelving, I came across books by Lori Wick.

Since then I’ve noticed several other genres have multiple well-known authors with the same first name who are all actively writing.  Here are my favorites:

Thriller-type mysteries:  Look for men named Brad. They haven’t cornered the market, but they own a good chunk of it!

Brad Thor
Brad Taylor
Brad Meltzer
Brad Parks

Fantasy?  Look for a Terry!

Terry Goodkind
Terry Brooks
Terry Prachett

Female mystery authors, non-cozy?  Look for Lisa, Linda, or Karin.

Lisa Scottoline
Lisa Gardner
Lisa Jackson
Lisa Unger

Linda Fairstein
Linda Castillo
Linda Howard

Karin Slaughter
Karin Fossum

What names have you noticed?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Little Big Crimes: Blank Shot, by Craig Faustus Buck.

Little Big Crimes: Blank Shot, by Craig Faustus Buck.: "Blank Shot," by Craig Faustus Buck, in Black Coffee, edited by Andrew MacRae, Dark House Books, 2016. This is the second app...

Gravetapping: THE LONG COUNT by Ron Faust

Gravetapping: THE LONG COUNT by Ron Faust: Jim Racine is a professional boxer. He is 36, and his best years are gone; he is still fit, but his quickness, speed, and strength are me...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon: Trouble with Goats & Sheep & Elmer Reviewed by Jeanne England is experiencing a scorching July in 1976 when Mrs. Creasy...

Guest Post: Author Kate Flora on "Branding, Platform Building, and the Call of Story"

Please welcome author Kate Flora to the blog today….

Branding, Platform Building, and the Call of Story

Thirty-three years ago, I bought a computer, sat down at a desk, and started writing a mystery. That led to another, and another, and another, as I got hooked on the writing process. Along the way, during the ten years I spent in the unpublished writer’s corner, trying to write in the company of the boy who never slept and the one who was an escape artist, I ended up with several trial books in the drawer, learned to be a
better writer, and developed the alligator-tough skin a writer needs to survive rejection. I found a character I loved in my Thea Kozak “strong woman” series. I acquired an agent and a three-book hard/soft deal and thought I’d gone to the show.

I was living every writer’s dream. A book a year. Nine months of writing. Three months of promotion. I would have been happy if that had gone on forever. But that was not to be. Publishing is a game of numbers and mine, alas, convinced my publisher to drop the series. One year I had two new books out—a series book and a stand-alone suspense and the next series book in the pipeline—the next year, I was the writer formerly known as Kate Flora or Katharine Clark, wondering what to do next.

This was before we worried about branding and platform building. This was back when writers thought mostly about storytelling. When I was dumped, as so many of us are, I pondered my options. Go back to practicing law, fade away from utter despair (even the alligator-tough can despair), or find something new to write. This period taught me the value of taking chances. Getting dumped led to a publishing collaboration with Susan Oleksiw and Skye Alexander, producing yearly anthologies of crime stories by New England writers as Level Best Books. Getting dumped made me realize that interviewing cops for my series had made me fascinated by the police officers’ lives, and to a new series of police procedurals, my award-winning Joe Burgess series set in Portland, Maine.

At the time, I had no idea where that would take me. Writing cops meant spending time with cops. R.A.D. classes, citizens’ police academy, ride-alongs, and developing contacts who could answer questions. Writing cops also meant reciprocal relationships with police officers who were interested in writing. I coached writing; they answered questions. Until the day one of my contacts had a murder investigation he wanted to write about, and my coaching role became a collaboration on a true crime. The result was the Edgar-nominated book, Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine.

What does all this have to do with platform building and branding? Well, the advice we’re given these days is to pick an area—thriller, suspense, police procedurals, traditional mystery, or true crime—and focus on that to create a personal brand. As a writer, I believe in going where the story is. That means I still write the occasional Thea Kozak mystery when a story idea fits that series, and love revisiting Joe Burgess to see what he and my fictional Portland cops are up to. It also means that when my public safety contacts have stories to tell, and need a collaborator, I say yes. This means that I’m straddling the line between fiction and
non-fiction. It means that if I have a brand—it’s crime and cops and telling the stories behind the headlines.

If someone were to ask, “What do you write?” I’d have to answer: mysteries, including strong, amateur, female PI and police procedurals. Suspense novels. Short stories. True crime. And most recently, memoir. And not MY memoir. Yes, I can hear the branding police and the diligent digital carpenters who are building my platform say in disbelief, “Memoir? What were you thinking?”

Yup. Because story calls up. The deputy police chief who wanted to write about a case led me to the Maine warden service, whose search and rescue expertise and trained cadaver dogs and handlers found the body in Finding Amy. Then the wardens sent me up to Miramichi, New Brunswick, where they’d gone to Canada to help find a second hidden body. That became the Agatha and Anthony nominated Death Dealer. Then one of the wardens on both those searches called up, said he’d recently retired, everyone said he told great stories but had no idea how to make them into a book, and asked if I could help. And even though it confused my brand even further, I said yes.

The result? Roger Guay’s memoir, A Good Man with a Dog: A Game Warden’s 25 Years in the Maine Woods.

Kate Flora ©2016

2013 and 2015 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction  "Living and writing in the great state of Maine."

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Writing the Second Novel -- Patti Abbott

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: Writing the Second Novel -- Patti Abbott: Writing the Second Novel -- Patti Abbott  Shot in Detroit was actually the first novel I wrote. It's the story of a female photographe...


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR June 20-26...: Bookish events in Texas for the week of June 20-26, 2016:  Special Events: Writers' League of Texas Annual Agents & Editors Confe...

Radiation Start Rescheduled

Radiation start rescheduled for Wednesday morning. We also have to meet with the financial counselor for that Wednesday morning BEFORE we can do anything.

Monday With Kaye: "Entry Island" by Peter May

Entry Island by Peter May won the Deanston Scottish Crime Novel of the year back in 2014. Today,  Kaye George brings us a review of the book ….

Entry Island by Peter May

Canada seems much more like a foreign country than usual in this polyglot setting. Amid the French-speaking Magdalen Islands (Madeleine in French), lies English-speaking Entry Island, settled in part by Scots who came during the potato famine years in the 1800s.

The story starts slowly, but builds gradually—two stories actually. The modern day narrative sends English speaker, Sime Mackenzie, whose Scottish/Gaelic family refused to leave Quebec when it went all French, to investigate a murder on Entry Island. The rest of the team are French speakers. He is ill at ease with them, but Thomas Blanc, with whom he works most closely, is friendly. One member of the team is his ex, Marie-Ange, a vitriolic, bitter woman who makes everything harder.

As soon as Sime sees the woman who is accused of murdering her husband, he feels he knows her. In spite of overwhelming opinion against her, he fights to find a shred of evidence that she didn’t kill her husband. Sime is suffering from chronic insomnia, but has waking dreams that put him into the tales from his ancestor’s diaries that were read to him by his grandmother when he was a child. The insomnia gets so bad that it threatens to impair his judgement and to get him ousted from his job as he retreats deeper and deeper into the past, imagining that he actually is his ancestor, and that the accused woman is his ancestor’s long-lost love as this story runs alternating with the other one.

This is a tale of two islands, two mysteries, and two places and times. A tale of misfits isolated within their own cultures, and a tale of cultures battling each other, both in the 1800s and today.

Reviewed by Kaye George, author of Death in the Time of Ice, for Suspense Magazine