Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly: Reviewed by Jeanne Talia Marby seems to have come full circle.   As a teenager, she worked for the Lamberts in their fish ...

Sandi Update 6/26/17

Back home from the hospital where we found her much improved from yesterday. Sandi was awake and watching television when we walked into her room. She knew who we were and what was going on in the world. She could again have a conversation with us and did for a couple of hours. She has no memory of the last several days and that is just as well. It haunts me.

Her doctor and the treatment team came in while we were visiting her and they are all very pleased. her doctor tried again to explain what had happened. Basically, because her blood pressure was so high and her kidney function was so off in certain areas, the back of her brain and the surrounding area at the back of the head became inflamed and that caused her mental confusion and fatigue. Now that her BP is back to normal, sometime this afternoon they will do the MRI to make sure the diagnosis of what happened to her is correct.

Her blood pressure is back to normal and has been since sometime overnight. Her kidney function has improved massively. Her pancreas numbers are coming down a little bit more rapidly than the last few days. She still is having some on and off stomach pain and nausea. Because of her pancreas and the stomach issues, she remains NPO which means clear liquids only, but she is now aware that she would like some food.

So, all in all, while she is not out of the woods, she clearly is massively better. I am a bit relieved though I am well aware that things could easily swing back the other way again.

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pa...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pa...: Reviewed by Kristin Am I the only person who feels like dinner is always the same old boring food, week in and week out?   I am ...

Review: Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 by Terry W. Ervin II

Relic Tech Class 4 Transport Security Specialist Krakista Keesay has a significant problem. Actually, he has several problems and they are all very significant. Employed by the Negral Corp and assigned to the transport ship Kalavar, Keesay has been seriously injured as Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 by Terry W. Ervin II begins. He has no memory of how he sustained those injuries. He has no memory of ever being onboard the Kalavar. 

He is accused of numerous crimes, including treason, and is accused of being responsible for the deaths of over 100 military and corporate personnel. He has no memory of any such actions either. Due to his injuries as well as the fact he is heavily restrained, fleeing is not an option. With no memories, he is unable to refute the charges against him. He also does not care for the option strongly suggested by his appointed legal counsel to plead guilty because the evidence against him is insurmountable. 

He is aware that things are not right though he has no real clue as to what is wrong. His only option is a very dangerous plan using alien technology. An ancient alien race known as the Umblegarri assisted mankind years ago with becoming part of the intergalactic community. This was before the Silicate War. One of their capabilities is an A Tech-- or advanced technology – machine known as Cranaltar IV. A brain scanning instrument that has the ability to retrieve and store the memories of the subject in the machine. These memories can then be displayed through various means. It also has a tendency to scramble the brains of human test subjects.

Keesay, by invoking his right to be scanned may prove his innocence, but he could also be permanently damaged if he survives the encounter. He might prove his innocence, but he also could easily have no mind left afterwards. It is a risk he is willing to take. Assuming he makes it alive to the small moon of Io to undergo the scanning. Between his health and the forces against him that need him dead to keep the secrets in his head hidden nothing is assured. 

Published in 2013 the first book of a new series by author Terry W. Ervin II, Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 is a combination political/ espionage and science fiction alien invasion war book. While plenty of reviews note the western style aspects of the read, those same reviews seem to miss the political/espionage elements also strongly present in the book. Blending science and history along with plenty of creatures one never wants to meet, Terry Ervin has created a far flung space opera style science fiction read set far in the future with plenty of mystery and thriller elements along with the previously mentioned elements. While it is clearly science fiction, like many of the author’s other works, the tale has elements of nearly every other genre heavily present throughout the work. At over 400 pages, the book certainly isn’t a fast read, but there is plenty of action, intrigue, and various attacking creatures as well as plenty of other things to keep the reader turning pages. You won’t be bored.

Like the very good Flank Hawk series that I also strongly recommend, Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 is a very good read and well worth your time. 

Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1
Terry W. Ervin II
Gryphonwood Press
November 2013
ISBN# 978-1940095-10-3
Paperback (also available in e-book and audio formats)
452 Pages

Material provided by the author long ago in exchange for my objective review. The second book in the series, Relic Hunted is in my TBR pile.

Kevin R.  Tipple © 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sandi Update 6/26/17

Back home from spending time at the hospital with Sandi. The last several days she has been sleeping a lot and very confused and out of it when she was awake for very brief periods. Sunday was very scary as it seemed like something irreversible had happened and would be devastating for her. I deliberately did not say anything publicly as I feared the worst and wanted to know for sure before I said anything. Based on the doctor who is a bit more optimistic than he has been the last few days, I think I can safely say something now with the understanding things could easily change.

Tests have been run and more tests are planned for today.

At this point, they have ruled out a stroke and do not believe this is a cancer related issue or an infection. There is a possibility she had a seizure of some type late last week and she is on anti seizure meds as a proactive measure. The main working theory is that her kidneys and her high blood pressure are causing the mental confusion. I don't really understand how this works so I can only repeat what I was told. In some cancer patients, when the blood pressure is elevated and resisting control and the kidneys are not functioning as well as they should, this syndrome sets up in the patient. Takes about a week to ten days to run its course as they medicate for blood pressure and kidney function.

That is being done and she was somewhat more present this morning. She does know what year it is, where she is at, that sort of thing. But, right now she is very confused as to various family things and is extremely repetitive in her questions and statements. She gets agitated very easily and at times for apparently no reason. As bad and out of touch as she is, today was a slight improvement over the weekend.

A brain wave scan as well as an MRI are planned as soon as possible. If those tests back up what the doctor currently believes, she hopefully will be better by the end of the week.

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 6/26/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 6/26/17

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for June 26, 2017

 Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for June 26, 2017


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 6/26-7/2: Bookish events in Texas for the week of June 26-July 2, 2017:  Special Events: 2017 National Federation of State Poetry Societies Convent...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Bad Country by C. B. McKenzie

Back in March 2015 I reviewed Bad Country by C. B. McKenzie. I thought it was a very good read. Today on this final Monday of June, Aubrey  Hamilton is here with her review of the book. Make sure you check out her other reviews on these pages.

Bad Country by C. B. McKenzie (Minotaur, 2014) is the story of a former rodeo cowboy who fell into a second career of private investigator in the stark Arizona desert around Tucson. Someone is killing the Indians who live in the area and Rodeo Grace Garnet returns from a brief vacation to find a body of one of them near the entrance of his remote home.  He’s offered a day’s work to investigate the death of another one and, since he’s always in desperate need of money, takes it even though the person retaining him is strangely uninterested in the outcome of his research. The body count rises considerably before he can identify and stop the killer.

I found this book intriguing in its original characters and matter-of-fact presentation of gritty details. No drama here, just the facts. His lack of money for instance:  he visits the local store which serves as a pawn shop and notes to himself that several of his possessions are on display, implying he’s had to pawn them for cash. I especially liked Rodeo’s kindness. He keeps water and food in a cave that he knows is used by undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S. border from the south, saying he can’t stand the thought of people dying in his back yard. His devotion to the old dog he won in a poker game is wonderful, spending money he doesn’t have on medicine and vitamins for him.

However, the author’s aversion to quotation marks made it a challenging read, as I could not always tell when dialog stopped and narrative began. The reason for omitting standard punctuation is not clear. The story would have been just as compelling with it.

I love books set in the Southwest United States. Steven Havill’s Posada County books are a particular favorite. Why I, a child of the lush green Ohio Valley and a long-established transplant to rolling Virginia hills, should be so enthralled by printed descriptions of sand and unbearable heat is a mystery. I am looking forward to more from this author.

This book won the Tony Hillerman Prize and the Spur Award for Best Western Contemporary Novel. It was shortlisted for a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, for the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel, and for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel.  Kirkus starred review.

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1St Edition edition (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250053544 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250053541

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017


FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: CHIRICAHUA BLUES:   This third installment of Frank Leslie's "Bloody Arizona" quartet of Yakima Henry tales is once again an action-pack...

Bitter Tea and Mystery Review: The Janus Stone: Elly Griffiths

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Janus Stone: Elly Griffiths: This is the second book in the series featuring forensics archaeologist Ruth Galloway. Ruth lives in Norfolk in an isolated cottage on the s...

Not Deflating At All!!

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: It's a Scientific Fact!: Study: Cowboys top Patriots as team with the NFL's best fans, Chiefs rank dead last

Bookbrowsing Blog: THE AUTHOR SCAMMERS by LaLa Corriere

Bookbrowsing Blog: THE AUTHOR SCAMMERS by LaLa Corriere

KRL This Week Update for 6/24/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Yews with Caution" by Kate
Collins along with a fun guest post by Kate about yews

Also up reviews & giveaways of several mysteries for your summer reading
fun-"A Just Clause": A Booktown Mystery by Lorna Barrett, "Trumpet of
Death": Martha’s Vineyard Mystery by Cynthia Riggs, "Antiques Frame": A
Trash ’n’ Treasures Mystery by Barbara Allan, & "Dead and Berried":
Cranberry Cove series by Peg Peg Cochran

And up, perfect for your 4th of July reading, a review & giveaway of "Blood
Red, White and Blue" by Kathleen Delaney

Also up a review & giveaway (of a signed copy) of "The Spy Across the
Table" by Barry Lancet

And a review & giveaway of "Ivy Get Your Gun," another fun theatre related
mystery by Cindy Brown, along with an interesting interview with Cindy

And the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier

And over on KRL Reviews & News a review & giveaway of "Too Lucky to Live"
by Annie Hogsett

Happy reading,


Lesa's Latest Contest: Give Me a "C" Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away ARCs of Ann Cleeves' Cold Earth and Julia Chapman's Date with Death. Details on my blog at http://www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com. Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 13 Outdoor and Environmental Magazines that Pay Wr...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 13 Outdoor and Environmental Magazines that Pay Wr...: If you love the great outdoors and are passionate about conservation, you can get paid for writing about it! Hiking and climbing enthusias...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett: Reviewed by Brenda G.           Using numbers he and Rune, an impoverished young boy, choose, Tom Bennington III, a well-edu...

Joan Reeves: If Only I'd Known: Writing Lesson by Caroline Clemmons

Joan Reeves: If Only I'd Known: Writing Lesson by Caroline Clem...: Caroline Clemmons , one of my friends from the Smart Girls Read Romance group blog, is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of 3...

Two Ends of the Pen: #Review: THUNDER WELLS by Terry W Ervin II

Two Ends of the Pen: #Review: THUNDER WELLS by Terry W Ervin II:   5 of 5 stars I've been a fan of Mr. Ervin ever since I read his first book, "Flank Hawk." Mr. Ervin is a ta...

Sandi Update 6/23/17

After dropping off a load at the house Scott and I went to the hospital to see Sandi. We found her sleeping and she woke up a few minutes after we arrived. She was extremely out of it. We stayed for a little while and then left so that she could sleep in peace.

FFB Review: DARK PASSAGE (1946) by David Goodis -- Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Barry is back with a new review today as he reviews Dark Passage by David Goodis. This is not the first book by David Goodis he has reviewed here as he notes in the review below. After you read what Barry has to say make sure you head over to Patti Abbott’s blog for the full list of FFB review suggestions.

DARK PASSAGE (1946) by David Goodis

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Imprisoned for life for the murder of his wife—a crime he didn’t commit, believing instead that she died accidentally, despite the rhyme and meter at the beginning of this sentence—and that’s not a spoiler because you find it out in the second sentence on the first page—Vincent Parry manages an escape from San Quentin, his ultimate aim being to escape from the United States, having begun “remembering pictures he had seen in travel folders long ago. Places that looked out upon water. Lovely beaches. One was Patavilca, Peru.”

(I’ve no idea what Peruvian folders Parry or his creator may have seen, but when I looked up Patavilca to see if it actually exists, I discovered that it’s an inland rather than coastal town. However, if you look at the Wikipedia site, you’ll see that the town is spelled Pativilca and is shown as being coastal. I’m sure geography buffs and experienced travelers will help clarify this point, despite its ultimate insignificance to the thrust of the storyline.)

Unexpectedly and unwittingly the Blanche DuBois of noir fiction, Vincent Parry becomes dependent “on the kindness of strangers.” The first one, the driver of a Studebaker, seems inordinately curious about his passenger and eventually proves problematic. The second, Irene Janney, has reasons of her own for helping a man she knows to be an escaped convict. The third is an anonymous cab driver whose motives are far more ambiguously altruistic, as are those of the doctor to whom the driver takes him.

Beyond mentioning that when Parry’s best friend, George Felsinger, is murdered and Parry becomes the prime suspect, I don’t want to say anything more about the plot lest I ruin a classic novel for those who have neither read it nor seen the equally classic film from 1947 starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. 

I’ve read and enjoyed Goodis’s Black Friday, Shoot the Piano Player, Nightfall, Cassidy’s Girl, and Night Squad over a number of years, and I’ve seen the film version of Dark Passage God knows how many times, having been a hardcore Bogart fan since I was 12 or 13. I was curious about how the movie compared with its source, and can finally report that it is extremely faithful to the novel. 

For fans of noir fiction, it’s a definite case of “Read the Book, See the Movie.” 

© 2017 Barry Ergang

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ESCAPE TO INDIGO BAY -- SIX AUTHORS, SIX SWEET ROM...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ESCAPE TO INDIGO BAY -- SIX AUTHORS, SIX SWEET ROM...: $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Escape to Indigo Bay… Six authors. Six Sweet Romances. One small South Carolina beach to...

Crime Review Update

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (
www.crimereview.co.uk), together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author Susan Wilkins 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 LONG DROP by Denise Mina, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

William Watt, a Glasgow businessman widely suspected of murdering his wife,
daughter and sister-in-law, has arranged a meeting with a known criminal,
Peter Manuel, who claims to have information that will establish Watt’s

THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD by Belinda Bauer, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Eve Singer, crime correspondent for iWitness News, needs murder: it pays
the bills. For the killer who stabbed Layla Martin to death behind a glass
door, murder is his art. Eve would say they are worlds apart. The killer

THE RESTLESS DEAD by Simon Beckett, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Forensic anthropologist Dr David Hunter is called to give advice on a body
washed up on the Essex marshes. The police seem to want an easy resolution
to the case of a missing man, but Hunter isn’t convinced by the evidence
and wants to delve deeper.

BRIGHT SHINY THINGS by Barbara Nadel, reviewed by John Cleal

Former soldier-turned-PI Lee Arnold enlists his Muslim assistant,
Bangladeshi psychiatry graduate Mumtaz Hakim, in a daring deception to
bring a self-confessed ISIS terrorist to the West.

THE PLEDGE by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, reviewed by Chris Roberts

A detective becomes fixated with a serial killer of young girls, and
sacrifices his career and mental health in an attempt to bring the man to

FIRESIDE GOTHIC by Andrew Taylor, reviewed by John Cleal

A trio of supernatural, eerie and haunting Gothic novellas.

THE BURIAL HOUR by Jeffery Deaver, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs travel to Italy on the trail of a serial
kidnapper who likes to torture his victims in pursuit of some unusual goals.

SWEETPEA by CJ Skuse, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Rhiannon is an editorial assistant on a provincial newspaper, and despises
her invisibility – except when her lofty morals drive her to kill.
STRANGE TIDE by Christopher Fowler, reviewed by Jim Beaman

Bryant and May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit investigate when the body of a
woman is found chained to a post in the River Thames.

PURITAN by David Hingley, reviewed by John Cleal

Mercia Blakewood hopes her search for Charles II’s missing paintings, which
has taken her to America, has gained enough leverage to reclaim her family
home. But when a new friend is murdered, she will not leave until the
killer is found.

THE BINDING SONG by Elodie Harper, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Newly-appointed lead psychologist Janet Palmer is faced with a spate of
suicides amongst the prisoners and a worrying climate of secrecy amongst
the staff at Halvergate Prison.

HERETICS by Leonardo Padura, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Retired Cuban detective Mario Conde helps to trace the chain of possession
of a Rembrandt portrait that was stolen and disappeared for 70 years.

THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT by Graham Moore, reviewed by John Cleal

Brilliant novice lawyer Paul Cravath must help his first client withstand a
$1 billion dollar patent suit – with the very future of electric light
itself at stake.

THE ROAD TO ITHACA by Ben Pastor, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Wehrmacht officer Martin Von Bora lands in Crete immediately after the 1941
German invasion and is handed the investigation into a possible war crime.

ROOTED IN DISHONOUR by Christina James, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

When an 18-year old girl disappears days after she meets her husband-to-be,
DI Tim Yates is convinced this is his first encounter with an honour

THE NIGHT VISITOR by Lucy Atkins, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Professor Olivia Sweetman, a noted historian, has used a Victorian diary to
write the biography of one of the earliest women to become a doctor. But in
the background is the ominous presence of the woman who gave her the diary,
who could destroy her hard-earned reputation.

GOOD GIRLS DON’T TELL by Liselotte Roll, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

A tortured body of a man is found in an allotment shed. Inspector Magnus
Kalo and his team are mystified, especially due to the lack of information
about the victim. Eventually they find a connection to a past event in

LITTLE BONES by Sam Blake, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Zoë Grant is an aspiring artist on the verge of a breakthrough with a local
gallery. Garda Detective Cathy Connolly is called to investigate a break-in
at Zoë’s home and discovers an old wedding dress, ripped open, with baby’s
bones hidden in the hem.

A NECESSARY EVIL by Abir Mukherjee, reviewed by Chris Roberts

India 1920: Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of the Calcutta police
force visit the native state of Sambalpore to investigate the assassination
of a Maharajah’s son.

URBAN OUTLAWS: SHOCKWAVE by Peter Jay Black, reviewed by Linda Wilson

The Urban Outlaws have been infected with a deadly virus and now their
arch-enemy Hector Del Sarto is threatening to infect the whole of London –
and the rest of the country – as well. He also has the antidote, and the
Outlaws need it, fast.

Best wishes


The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Guest Post: HOW JOURNALISM GUIDELINES CAN HELP FIC...

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Guest Post: HOW JOURNALISM GUIDELINES CAN HELP FIC...: HOW JOURNALISM GUIDELINES CAN HELP FICTION WRITERS If you ever took a journalism class, you know the basics of writing nonfiction f...

Setback--Sandi Update 6/22/17

Just came home from spending most of the morning with Sandi and meeting with the doctor. She has had a significant setback from yesterday as the bad numbers have soared in several areas. This is especially true of her pancreas. The abdominal pain started again late yesterday and they are addressing that.

Today they are again working on trying to get the bad numbers down while also giving her another blood transfusion. They already are planning to do more blood transfusions tomorrow and most likely through the weekend. Coming home early next week is pretty much out the window at this point.

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 6/21/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 6/21/17

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: SHADOW MAN by Andrew McBride

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: SHADOW MAN by Andrew McBride: SHADOW MAN is the second novel in Andrew McBride's Calvin Taylor series, though you needn't have read the previous title to thoro...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Islam, The Risen, Iris Grace, Wanderer...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Islam, The Risen, Iris Grace, Wanderer...: Reported by Ambrea Nevermore discussed The Islamic Enlightenment:   The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times ...

Sandi Update for 6/21/17

Spent part of the morning today at the hospital and have seen her doctor. Though she is very out of it from the meds, things seem to be on the right track. She remains on a liquid diet as they want her pancreas numbers. Those finally seem to be trending in the right direction. She was moved to a new room yesterday, as required by Medicare, and will remain there through the weekend.

The current plan is that Sandi  might be coming home the early part of next week. Once home, she will have about a week here. After that week off, they will readmit her and start the next round of chemo over five days.

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Why Worry?

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Why Worry?: Why Worry? ~ The other Harold Lloyd film (other than The Kid Brother ) I got to see while on the 2016 TCM Classic Cruise was Why Worry?...