Monday, January 22, 2018

The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis (Minotaur, 2002) is the fourth book featuring Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson. This is an enduring series, with the 22nd title scheduled for release in April 2018. Peterson left the turbulence of London for the quiet life of a Devonshire policeman and finds that Devon police can sometimes be given tough problems to solve too. Peterson has a degree in archaeology which is useful in this region rich with ties to the past. Each story in the series invariably has a contemporary whodunit with some kind of link to a misdeed from long ago, resulting in a crime novel that is part historical mystery and part police procedural and, at least in the case of this book, the best of both. Fans of Elly Griffiths’ books about Ruth Galloway are likely to enjoy this series, although it is heavier on police procedure and lighter on romance than Griffiths’.

In this book home invasions are occurring in the isolated farms outside Devon, with the burglars threatening the families with shotguns to keep them at bay as the crooks ransack the houses and make off with the farm vehicles. Wesley and his boss Inspector Gerry Heffernan are called to the latest incident, where the farm owner decided to challenge the thieves and is severely wounded for his trouble.

Then a resident finds a skeleton while excavating his land for drainage. Wesley calls in his university friend who is on an archaeological dig at a nearby church to confirm that it is centuries old and not the body of the former owner who disappeared a few years ago, as Heffernan believes. Back at the police station one of Wesley’s colleagues takes a report from a local bed-and-breakfast owner whose Danish lodger has not returned from her day out. The family of one of the police constables becomes the next target of the home invading crew before Wesley can make much headway on any of these cases. Suddenly the small police force is stretched to the utmost trying to handle this quick crime wave.

Some of the crimes have surprising connections to others. The author ties each thread up efficiently and logically. The best bits of this book include the short excerpts from a diary written by a medieval monk that precede each chapter. The diary documents a raid on the Devon area by the plundering Danes around 1000 A.D., destroying the monk’s church and most of the surrounding community, which sets the context for the centuries-old skeleton.

This book reminded me of another Ellis who based a mystery on the Danish invasions of England in 1144, The Summer of the Danes by Ellis Peters, Brother Cadfael #19.


Hardcover: 240 pages 
Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (July 15, 2002) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0312274548 
ISBN-13: 978-0312274542

Aubrey Hamilton © 2018

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Writer Beware: Solicitation Alert: Book-Art Press Solutions and Window Press Club

Writer Beware: Solicitation Alert: Book-Art Press Solutions and Window Press Club

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Guest Post: A Quick Note About Ransom Notes by Pet...

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Guest Post: A Quick Note About Ransom Notes by Pet...: It has been awhile, but SMFS member Peter DiChellis is back today with some thoughts about ransom notes in this technological age….. ...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 3 Million Page Views ... and All I Got Was This Lo...

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HuffPost Shuts Down Its Unpaid Contributors Network after 13 Years

HuffPost Shuts Down Its Unpaid Contributors Network after 13 Years: Aspiring writers, bloggers, citizen journalists and celebrities will now not be able to contribute unvetted stories on the popular news aggregator and blogging site.

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 1/17/18

The Rap Sheet: Revue of Reviewers for 1/17/18

2017 Preditors & Editors Poll Review Site Results

The 2017 Preditors and Editors Poll has concluded and the results have been finalized. This year this blog finished in SECOND PLACE behind the mega review and book giveaway site, I Smell Sheep. As they focus primary on romance, horror, and fantasy in terms of reviews and book giveaways, that means Kevin's Corner is the top review site for mysteries, crime fiction, etc.

On behalf of myself, Barry, Aubrey, Jeanne, Earl and the many other contributors to this blog each year, thank you for your support.

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 Tim Baker in the Countdown hot seat.

We’re on Twitter at:
Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK
Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer
Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

AFTER THE FIRE by Henning Mankell, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
 Fredrik Welin was lucky to escape the fire in his home alive, but now he
must rebuild his life, and find out who wanted him dead.

SLEEP NO MORE by PD James, reviewed by John Cleal
Six inventive, occasionally witty and convincing scenarios involving
murder, its motives and the course of natural justice from one of crime
fiction’s greatest writers.

THE THIRST by Jo Nesbø, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

A woman is found dead after a Tinder date, and marks left on her body
indicate that the killer used iron teeth to kill her, and then drink her
blood. Oslo’s ex-detective Harry Hole reluctantly gets involved in a search
for a vampirist.

STATE SECRETS by Quintin Jardine, reviewed by Linda Wilson 
Former Chief Constable Bob Skinner has been asked to the Palace of
Westminster to talk about the possibility of him accepting a peerage, which
puts him in the right place at the right time to investigate a crime that
will shock the nation.

DARK PINES by Will Dean, reviewed by John Cleal 
Tuva Moodyson, a deaf local paper reporter, dreams of a story that could
make her career. Two bodies, their eyes cut out, copies of three unsolved
murders 20 years before, give her the chance – and plunge her into secrets
and fear in the dark forests.

THE RELUCTANT CONTACT by Stephen Burke, reviewed by Arnold Taylor
It is 1977 and Yuri is returning from attending his brother’s funeral in
Moscow to Pyramiden in the Svalbard Archipelago north of Norway. He is
about to discover that the quiet life of which he is so fond is about to
come to an end.

SIRACUSA by Delia Ephron, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan
Two American couples go on holiday together. Their friendship begins to
disintegrate almost immediately and death is the result.

THE BLACK SHEEP by Sophie McKenzie, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor
Francesca believes her husband’s death was a senseless attack, but then a
stranger’s words shakes her belief to the core. 
THE HIT by Anna Smith, reviewed by John Cleal
Reporter Rosie Gilmour, investigating the disappearance of an accountant
and the killing of his wife’s lover, becomes involved in an international
crime ring which steals and sells babies as well as trafficking people.

MAIGRET AND THE MAN ON THE BENCH by Georges Simenon, reviewed by Arnold
Maigret receives a call from Inspector Neveu of the Troisième
Arrondissement saying that a man has been stabbed to death on the Boulevard
Saint-Martin, that the murder seems out of the ordinary and that he would
be grateful for his help.

THE ABSENCE OF GUILT by Mark Gimenez, reviewed by Chris Roberts
District Judge Scott Fenney is asked to rule on the detention of suspected
terrorists, and becomes involved with a plot to bring down the Dallas
Cowboys’ stadium.

THE PAINTED QUEEN by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess, reviewed by John Cleal
Amelia Peabody and her archaeologist husband Radcliffe Emerson are again in
danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen

FROM THE SHADOWS by Neil White, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Robert Carter is accused of the murder of a 24-year-old woman. His defence
is flimsy and he seems determined not to help himself. But young solicitor
Dan Grant is determined to uncover the truth.

ROOTED IN EVIL by Ann Granger, reviewed by John Cleal
When a man’s body is found in a Cotswold wood, it looks like suicide, but
DI Jess Campbell and Superintendent Ian Carter soon discover looks can be

LIGHTNING MEN by Thomas Mullen, reviewed by Chris Roberts
In post-war Atlanta, police on both sides of the racial divide struggle to
contain criminals exploiting the tension, especially when family and
friends are involved.

THE CHILD FINDER by Rene Denfield, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Naomi is a private investigator who specialises in finding missing
children. Her latest case is that of five-year-old Madison Culver, who went
missing three years ago.

THE DEAD by Mark Oldfield, reviewed by Chris Roberts
Investigator Ana Maria Galindez seeks Leopoldo Guzman, who recently
reappeared in Madrid after years of dirty work in a shadowy squad created
by Franco – even now reluctant to surrender its powers.

MODESTY BLAISE: THE KILLING GAME by Peter O’Donnell (illustrated by Enric
Badia Romero), reviewed by Linda Wilson
Modesty and Willie go up against another set of villains in three more
iconic comic strip adventures.

NEMESIS by Brendan Reichs, reviewed by Linda Wilson
Every other year since Min turned eight, she’s been hunted and killed by a
sinister man in black. Every time, she wakes up, alive and unhurt, but
knowing the nightmare was real, and it isn’t ending any time soon.

BEYOND THE WALL by Tanya Landman, reviewed by John Barnbrook
Cassia is the slave of a wealthy Roman living in Roman Britain. She escapes
the attention of her master and runs to Roman London and then on up beyond
Hadrian’s Wall, saving her brother and meeting Marcus, who she is not sure
she can trust.

Best wishes


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lesa's Latest Contest-- Mysteries featuring amateur sleuths

This week, I'm giving away two mysteries featuring amateur sleuths. One is Katherine Hall Page's The Body in the Casket. The other is the first in a new series, Nancy J. Parra's A Case of Syrah, Syrah. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine  

KRL This Week Update for 1/20/18

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Comic Sans Murder" by Paige

And a review & giveaway of "Escape Claws" by Linda Reilly along with an
interesting interview with Linda

Also a review & giveaway of "Crust No One" by Winnie Archer along with an
interesting guest post by Winnie that takes you behind the scenes of the
book and the food in the book

We also have a review & giveaway of "Splintered Silence" by Susan Furlong

And a review & EBOOK giveaway of "And Death Goes to..." by Laura Bradford

And we have a look at and review of the new season of "Murdoch Mysteries"
on Acorn TV

And for those who also enjoy fantasy, a review & giveaway of "Through a
Dark Glass" by Barb Hendee, and a giveaway of the next book in the series
coming out soon

And on KRL News & Reviews a review & giveaway of "Courage Lost" by R. Scott
Happy reading,

Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema: Merrick by Ben Boulden, 2017

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Blood-Red Pencil: List of Writing Workshops Requiring Early Registra...

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Review: Another Man’s Ground by Claire Booth

“’I know that ain’t what the Bible says, but I do,’ she said. ‘He’s always got horrible music playing, he don’t got no housekeepin’ skills, and he’s mean as a constipated goat.’” (Page 145, Another Man’s Ground)

While that description fit more than a few of our neighbors at the old apartment complex over the years, the same could also be said of several different characters in Another Man’s Ground by Claire Booth. Second in the Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery Series, the events of The Branson Beauty are still on everyone’s mind. Those events had a definite impact on the local community and could easily affect the upcoming election for sheriff. Just doing the job isn’t good enough, especially when you have a slick and well-funded opponent.  An opponent who is going to take advantage of everything that happens as a result of the current investigation.

Vern Miles is upset as well as he should be because somebody is messing with his land and his livelihood. A person or persons unknown has been coming onto his land and stripping the bark off his trees. His particular type of elm tree has a substance in the bark that get processed and sold in stores as a supplement to treat various conditions. Not has somebody trespassed on his land and stolen bark from trees in such large quantities that the trees will die, that damage also destroys his income.

Unfortunately, those damaged and dying trees are just the start of the problem in the woods for Branson, Missouri Sheriff Hank Worth. There are undocumented workers running around the woods as well. The same woods are also hiding a couple of bodies and it least one potential murder suspect. All those problems in the woods, past events, and a couple of other things, are messing with his chances of being elected Sheriff in the upcoming election.

Dealing with it all is going to be difficult to say the least.

The second in the series that started with The Branson Beauty is a very good read. Another Man’s Ground seamlessly picks up the action after several months after the first book and keeps things rolling right along to a very satisfying conclusion. All the characters are back along with some new folks, a complex mystery, and the author’s clear appreciation for the area. Another Man’s Ground  is a very good read well worth your time. 

For a more detailed review of this very good book, check out Lesa Holstine’s review.

Another Man’s Ground
Claire Booth
Minotaur Books (St. Martins Publishing Group)
July 2017
ISBN# 978-1-250-08441-5
Hardback (eBook format available)
320 Pages

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

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Authors Publish: 20 Themed Calls for Submissions (Fiction, Essays, Poetry, & Plays)

Authors Publish: 20 Themed Calls for Submissions (Fiction, Essays, Poetry, & Plays)

Slushpile: The Ice Wagon’s Wheels Come Off: Mavis Gallant and Sadia Shepard in The New Yorker by Heather Quinlan

Slushpile: The Ice Wagon’s Wheels Come Off: Mavis Gallant and Sadia Shepard in The New Yorker by Heather Quinlan

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 1/17/18

In Reference To Murder Blog:  Mystery Melange for 1/17/18

MAKE MINE MYSTERY: Why We Write Mysteries

MAKE MINE MYSTERY: Why We Write Mysteries: by Janis Patterson Someone once asked me if I had ever seen a psychiatrist. When I could close my mouth again, I said of course not, a...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Triple Agent, Sam Houston, Kristin Lav...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Triple Agent, Sam Houston, Kristin Lav...: Reported by Kristin Nevermore began with a serious book: The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA by Joby W...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: DARING TO LOVE AGAIN!

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: DARING TO LOVE AGAIN!: Under the Sicilian Sky Daring To Love Again, Book 1 by Alexia Adams Genre: Contemporary Romance Amnesia obliterat...

Facebook Updates Its News Feed Again to Prioritize Friends’ Posts over Content from Brands and Media

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Gravetapping: LYNCHED by Ed Gorman

Gravetapping: LYNCHED by Ed Gorman: Ed Gorman wrote no fewer than 10 western novels for Berkley between 1999 and 2006. The earlier titles tended to be branded with a single...

Review: Down A Dark Road: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo

“’Be careful in your search for the truth, Kate Burkholder.’ Easing his arm away from me, he goes back to mucking. ‘You may not like what you find.’” (Page 216, Down A Dark Road)

A normal day in the life of Chief of Police Kate Burkholder goes sideways when she gets a call from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Deputy Warden Jerry Murphy of the prison 100 miles away from Painters Mill painter’s calls to let her know that Joseph King has escaped their facility. The same Joseph King who was her childhood friend all those years ago and lived over on the next farm.

Locked up in the Mansfield Correctional Institution for the shotgun murder of his wife, he is somehow gotten out and is on the run. After his conviction, his five kids moved to live with his sister and her husband in Painters Mill. Rebecca and Daniel Beachy adopted the five kids and continued to raise them as Amish. That means that nobody can call and alert them to what has happened as they don’t have a phone, electricity, or many of the other things that would be available to other families at risk. As Chief of Police of Painters Mill, Ohio, it is up to Kate Burkholder to not only let the Beachys know what has happened, but bring Joseph in should he come near.

The picture she has had of Joseph King in recent years is in sharp contrast to the boy she grew up with all those many years ago. Though Joseph always claimed his innocence, the evidence and his criminal history in the months leading up to his wife’s murder told a far different story. The case turned into a media sensationalized trial and in the end Joseph was convicted of murdering his wife, Naomi King.

While Burkholder is sure that he won’t set foot anywhere near Painters Mill, a desperate man will go to amazing lengths to see his kids. It isn’t long before Kate Burkholder is reminded of that fact and a lot more in Down A Dark Road.

Once again award winning author Linda Castillo has spun an intense web of atmosphere, mystery, and memories of bygone days and people. The past is always a living character in the Burkholder mysteries and this read is no exception. A current time mystery with tentacles reaching back to multiple points in the past, the tension swiftly ratchets upward over the last third of the book as Burkholder seeks the answers so that the dead may actually rest in peace.

The latest in the series, Down A Dark Road, is highly recommended. As always is the case in any good series it is best to read in order starting with Sworn To Silence

For a more detailed review of Down A Dark Road make sure you read Lesa Holstine’s review from last July.

Down A Dark Road: A Kate Burkholder Novel
Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Publishing Group)
July 2017
ISBN# 978-1-250-12128-8
Hardback (also available in eBook and audio formats)
304 Pages

Book provided by the good folks of the Dallas Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our Old Apartment

While poking around tonight, I discovered our old apartment is now back on the market and available as of 2/8/18. That means the folks who took it over after we moved and everything did not last six months. Don't know why.

Maybe, like us, they got very tired of waiting weeks on end for things to get repaired. Maybe, like us, they got very tired of having the entire building shut off for hours and even days so that a minor water leak in one apartment could be repaired. Maybe, like us, they got very upset over learning that the neighbors were being told they were the ones responsible for issues in the building that had nothing at all to do with them.

I have no idea. But, I do find it interesting that the old apartment is now suddenly again available. I miss the fireplace, the creek side porch and view, and most of the neighbors. We were very lucky that last year to have a lot of good folks as neighbors.

I don't miss the noise, waiting for weeks to get something simple fixed, dealing with a management team that had little to no regard for us as tenants, and many other things.

But, I would do it all again in a second if it meant Sandi was back with us.

Kevin and Sandi (on the right)

MysteryPeople Blog: Interview with Terry Shames

MysteryPeople Blog: Interview with Terry Shames

Seth Godin's Blog: Please don't kill the blogs

Seth Godin's Blog: Please don't kill the blogs

Do Some Damage: Preaching to the Choir

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Review: New Alleys For Nothing Men: Crime and Noir Stories by Michael Pool

New Alleys For Nothing Men: Crime and Noir Stories is one of those cases where the title makes it clear that the reading inside is not going to be of a light and fluffy nature. If one had not already picked up on the lack of a feline presence on the cover, or missed the idea that alleys are almost always trouble, and had no idea what “nothing men” meant, the fact that the subtitle referred to Crime and Noir Stories, should have made it clear that these tales won’t make you feel good about the world. For the male reader, these are not role models to live your life by though a couple of them might have some highly entertaining stories to share down at the strip club between acts.

This collection of short stories by Michael Pool opens with “Waylon, On Rerun.” Waylon is stealing stuff from a house when Bernie shows at the back fence. Bernie is not all together and appears to be a bit slow on the uptake as to what is happening at Mr. Collins’ house. He might be talked into helping with the television and some other stuff if Waylon works it right.

It is a hot and humid night as Karl Joyce drinks and smokes. Living in the trailer across from his house in “Tote The Note” is hard. He is out in the trailer for good reason. IRS auditor Timothy Sorren is not helping matters at all and neither is his wife, Claudia.

It is hard to drive down a snowy street with one hand holding an old t-shirt over the stab wound in your stomach, but that is what Harman is dealing with in “Two Feet Deep.” That and the body of Ray Miller in the back end of the old Subaru wagon. Ray should have stayed at Bingo like he normally did. In addition to dealing with his stomach wound, Harman has a major problem. How do you get rid of a body when the ground has been frozen for months and will be frozen for months to come?  

The screams at night are the hardest to deal with in “Edict From Nowhere” 35 years inside means our narrator has seen a lot in prison and has some stories to tell.

Manny owns Thompson’s on Twelve Street. He has a soft spot for his fellow ex-cons looking for a better life so he hired Travis to be a meat cutter. Travis hates the job in “Doo-Doo The Biker Boyee.” He hated the job until Miss Lynn came in the neighborhood bodega to place an order.

Standing at the grave, Terrance barely remembers his grandmother Irma. He will be joining her soon. He has some things to do first in “Eye Of The Hurricane.”

Franklin has found a lot of things in returned formal wear, but this is a totally new deal in “Franklin And The Finger.” How do you explain it to the police? What do you do if a customer walks in while are holding a severed finger? People might get the wrong idea about you.

Mandy needs Kate’s help in “An Art Show Mating Call’ and for very good reason. Timothy Briggs is causing trouble again.

The very air seems to be on fire from the noon sun in “Life Of A Salesman.” Our narrator, Marv, is not very good at selling cars. The customer that just showed up on the lot appears to be far more trouble than he is worth.

A dealership is a part of the next story titled “Queen Of The Rotten.” At least Helga is still working at the strip club even if he gets there two hours later than normal. Waldo’s might be your typical strip club, but what sets it apart is the magnificent Helga.

Ralston likes to shoot out car windows using his pellet gun. Nobody is supposed to get hurt. Until it happens in “Two Pulled From The Waters of Lake Genevieve.”

Mike Treadwell had a very distinctive plan for when he got out of prison. It is finally going to happen as the “Midnight at the San Fransican” begins. It has been ten years, but the forced wait has been worth it.

As made very clear by the book title, these short stories are not happy in tone or substance. New Alleys For Nothing Men: Crime and Noir Stories contains tales of men pushed to the breaking point. Some would argue these men made the choices that ultimately led to their respective fates. Others would argue that these men were pawns in an elaborate chess game orchestrated by fate and she is one very cruel mistress. The tales in New Alleys For Nothing Men: Crime and Noir Stories are good ones. 

New Alleys For Nothing Men: Crime and Noir Stories
Michael Pool
Short Stack Books
February 2016
eBook (also available in print format)
156 Pages

Digital ARC supplied by the author months ago in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2018