Kevin R. Tipple's Blog (544)

Book Review: "Force Of Nature: A Joe Pickett Novel" by C. J. Box.

All Nate Romanowski ever wanted was to be left alone with his secrets and his guilt. He dropped out of society, went off the grid, and vanished into the wilderness. He knew at some point there could be a reckoning. In the last month his good friend, Large Merle, died just after giving him the warning – “The Five. They’ve deployed.”


Now the battle has begun and has come in an unexpected form. Lucky to survive, Nate can’t make any more mistakes. Not only does he have to…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on June 13, 2012 at 2:28pm — No Comments

Short Story Review: "News Flash" by Michael Bracken


Diane Chalmers likes to keep the temperature in her house cold. Maybe that is because she spends so much time in front of the powerful television lights on the 6 and 10pm newscasts. Waco, Texas is a step up or down market wise in a television anchor career. For Diane Chalmers both her career and her marriage seemed headed down and Private Investigator Morris Ronald Boyette does not have any real answers for her.

She isn’t alone as he won’t have any easy answers for…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on June 4, 2012 at 1:53am — No Comments

Book Review: "Warning Signs" by Jan Christensen


Warning Signs by award winning author Jan Christensen is made up of three short stories that were previously published in print and online markets. This collection is a bit less than 19, 000 words and each story is a good one. Each story has a small intro, a brief explanation of how the story came about, and details on where the piece first appeared.


The book opens with the longest story “Warning Signs.” Rhoda isn’t happy with her ex-husband Hank…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 29, 2012 at 12:05pm — No Comments

Book Review: "A Woman's Touch-11 Short Stories of Murder and Misdeamors" by Sniplits Publishing


Like the anthology "Killer Fiction: 11 Short Stories of Killers, Fixers, and P.I.’s" the anthology does not waste time with an introduction of some type. While the "Killer Fiction" anthology had a decidedly noir bent in style, "A Woman’s Touch- 11 Short Stories of Murder and Misdemeanors" anthology is much more on the cozy side of reading with some stories being very predictable for seasoned mystery readers.

This anthology published by Sniplits…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 15, 2012 at 2:38am — No Comments

Book Review: "Death Will Extend Your Vacation" by Elizabeth Zelvin

This latest book featuring recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler and his friends Jimmy and Barbara, is another good one. While it could be read as a stand-alone this novel is later in time after Death Will Get You Sober and Death Will Help You Leave Him and thus should be read after those two good books.

This time around the three have taken shares for the summer in a group house in the Hamptons. They are not alone in the hose which is dedicated to clean and sober living. Vitally…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 11, 2012 at 12:13am — No Comments

Book Review: "The Skeleton Box: A Starvation Lake Mystery" by Bryan Gruley

The Skeleton Box: A Starvation Lake Mystery is the third book in the series and opens in March 2000 with somebody breaking into houses in Starvation Lake on bingo nights. Despite the break-ins, the victims report that nothing has been taken. The motive as well as the identity or identities of those involved remain a mystery. Pine County Sheriff Dingus has no suspects and the town is on edge.


Then, apparently in the course of a break-in, a murder happens and for…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 10, 2012 at 12:17am — No Comments

Book Review: "Daiquiri Dock Murder: A Key West Mystery" by Dorothy Francis

If it is spring it must be time to go back to Key West via author Dorothy Francis. This year she takes readers there via her latest cozy style mystery titled Daiquiri Dock Murder: A Key West Mystery. Featuring a cast of offbeat characters, plenty of local culture and a mystery that has more than a few twists the read is a comfortably good one. It also fits well into line with the style and tone of other books generated by this author.


Rafa Blue, who has issues…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 30, 2012 at 4:05am — No Comments

Book Review: "The Girl Next Door" by Brad Parks

Despite the steadily worsening situation for newspapers across the country as well as at his own, Reporter Carter Ross still has a job at a Newark Eagle–Examiner. While the newspaper maybe having serious fiscal issues, the obituary pages are still one thing the bosses have not surrendered in the face of declining circulation and revenues. It was while he was reading the obits that Reporter Carter Ross come across the notice about the death of 42 year old Nancy B.…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 21, 2012 at 6:21am — No Comments

Book Review: "The Adventures of Quinn Higgins: Boy Detective--The Case of the Haunted House" by Douglas Quinn


The Adventures of Quinn Higgins: Boy Detective--The Case of the Haunted House is third in this series authored by Douglas Quinn. It is the start of a new school year for Quinn Higgins who is looking forward to the fifth grade and seeing his best buddy, Reginald Robinson, known to all as Reggie. It has been a long summer with the visit with Dad and Quinn hasn’t seen Reggie in months. It is a new year and the dynamic duo is back together and in…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 21, 2012 at 2:04am — No Comments

Book Review: "THE DROP" by Michael Connelly

“Everybody counts or nobody counts” has always been Detective Harry Bosch’s personal mantra. In THE DROP, the latest book in a series that began long ago with the excellent novel The Black Echo, Harry Bosch’s belief system and his trust in others are tested in new ways. Ways that will have him second guessing himself again and again before these two cases are over.


Bosch has 39 months to go before mandated retirement from the LAPD. He isn’t…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 14, 2012 at 11:09pm — No Comments

Book Review: "THE TERRITORY: A MYSTERY" by Tricia Fields

“Mexico blamed the American lust for drugs and lack of gun laws, and the U.S. blamed Mexico’s corrupt government and loss of control on the drug cartels. The blame was somewhere in the middle, so in a strange way, it made sense that the problems had collected and festered like an open wound in the hundred-mile strip of middle ground the locals called the Territory.” (Page 75)

Deep in southwest Texas where the…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 2, 2012 at 4:30am — No Comments

March Mystery Reads

I don't normally take the time to summarize these sort of things, but since other folks do them, I thought I would go ahead and put the list together. For those that don't know me, I have been reviewing books since 1998 and have an ongoing column for the Texas version of the Senior News Newspaper.  Because of that column, in addition to mystery and thriller books on my blog at   you also…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 1, 2012 at 8:52am — No Comments


Jane Whitefield has been helping people escape almost certain death for a long time. Her marriage didn’t stop what she did though maybe she didn’t work as often as she used to because there was much more to risk. But, people still came to her asking for help and if she believed in their innocence, Jane Whitefield helped.

Jane thought she had everything planned out for her latest project--breaking convicted murder James Shelby out from the courthouse in downtown Los…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 28, 2012 at 12:21am — 2 Comments

Book Review: "The Blacklin County Files: 5 Sheriff Dan Rhodes Stories" by Bill Crider

Long familiar to readers via the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series novels Texas author Bill Crider has assembled a short collection of previously published stories featuring the good sheriff Dan Rhodes. The Blacklin County Files: 5 Sheriff Dan Rhodes Stories read just like the good novels in that the stories feature humor, mystery, and the extensive cast of folks that populate the town of Clearview and the surrounding East Texas County of Blacklin.

The small collection opens…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 9, 2012 at 3:11am — No Comments

Book Review: "The Rope: An Anna Pigeon Novel" by Nevada Barr

As Lee Child recently did with his latest in the “Reacher series” titled The Affair: A Jack Reacher Novel author Nevada Barr takes readers back in time in this prequel to her Anna Pigeon series. The year is 1995 as The Rope: An Anna Pigeon Novel opens and Anna is thirty-five and adrift in a sea of mourning regarding the recent death of her husband Zach. She is a specter in black amongst the living and has barely connected with any of her fellow workers at the Glen Canyon Recreational Area…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 9, 2012 at 1:30am — No Comments

Book Review: "CUFFED: Stop, I’ll Shoot and Out on a Beam" by Bill Howe and Suzanne Rorhus

Recently released by Quake, a division of Echelon Press, this short e-book features two stories of police work aimed at the middle school reader. In both cases, humor is present in large amounts, dialogue is minimal, and the details of officers on patrol are many, bringing the reader a long for the ride. Both stories are good ones.

In “Out on a Beam” Officer Kim Brunetti confronts her greatest fear. It isn’t like she can call 911 or admit how scared she is to her fellow police…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 9, 2012 at 12:18am — No Comments

Book Review: "One Perfect Shot: The Posadas County Mysteries" by Steven F. Havill.

Prequels seem to be coming from numerous successful authors these days. It is a tricky thing to do and, as Lee Child and Nevada Barr have recently showed, can have decidedly mixed results. That is not true in this case as One Perfect Shot: The Posadas County Mysteries works on all levels. The book is not only true to the series as a whole; the book is a very good one.

It is 1989 and Undersheriff Bill Gastner’s latest case is a strange one. There is one road grader in all of…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 25, 2012 at 2:47am — No Comments

Book Review: "Game Face" by Mark Troy

Texas author Mark Troy brings together in this collection titled GAME FACE eight short stories featuring his signature character Val Lyon. A tough talking wise cracking private investigator that brooks no interference when there is a case to be solved. This former military brat calls Hawaii home.  Along with plenty of the sights, sounds, and history of the islands, readers get strong well written stories featuring complex cases and the always present search for…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 22, 2012 at 3:29am — No Comments

Book Review: "The Affair: A Jack Reacher Novel" by Lee Child

It began long ago in the multiple award winning debut novel Killing Floor. 16 novels later the backstory of why Jack Reacher, US Army MP, left the service is finally told in The Affair.


It is 1997 and there is a problem in Mississippi. Somebody killed the very beautiful 27 year old Janice May Chapman in Carter Crossing. The problem for the military is the fact that quite possibly somebody from the nearby army base, Fort Kelhem, might be involved.…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 22, 2012 at 12:00am — No Comments

Book Review: "Killer In Control: A Key West Mystery" by Dorothy Francis

Dorothy Francis takes readers back to Key West in Killer in Control and it’s another good very atmospheric cozy style mystery from the author. Full of guilt and heavy with memories, suspended Iowa police officer Kitt Morgan plans on spending time with her sister, Janell and her husband, Rex at their bed and breakfast inn, “The Poinsetta” located at Key West.  When she isn’t lecturing one and all about her Prius and how environmentally responsible it is, Kitt’s plan is to relax…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 18, 2012 at 11:52pm — No Comments

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