Kevin R. Tipple's Blog (680)

Review: "Wrecked" by Tricia Fields

The series that began with the award winning, The Territory, and continued in Scratchgravel Road, continues in the recently released Wrecked. While this novel could be read as a standalone, because of the numerous references to the two prior books scattered throughout this novel, readers who have read the earlier works will appreciate this one more. Some of those references are clear spoilers for the prior books.


Deep in…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 19, 2014 at 11:38pm — No Comments

Review: "The Contractors" by Harry Hunsicker

Anyone who has read the Lee Henry Oswald series by Harry Hunsicker knows that the author does not write the Dallas Chamber of Commerce ad copy type of books. The Dallas streets in his books are not of glitter and not necessarily always mean. Instead, these streets are broken dreams, cracked asphalt and the five dollar whore on the corner who might be turning tricks to feed the child she will soon lose to the state. These are streets where nobody cares because everybody has a…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 14, 2014 at 1:45am — No Comments

Review: "Lion Plays Rough: A Leo Maxwell Mystery" by Lachlan Smith

Teddy Maxwell had been the best criminal defense lawyer in town though he certainly wasn’t the most ethical. A gunshot to the head took him down and pretty much stopped his legal career. These days while he does show up at the office, he has a hard time with memory issues and various cognitive problems. It’s been two and a half years since that day and Leo Maxwell still hopes that someday his brother might live on his own.


In the meantime Leo has a major trial coming up with…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 9, 2014 at 12:49pm — No Comments

Review: "The Death Business: A Noah Milano Novella" by Jochem Vandersteen

The Death Business is a short novella by Jochem Vandersteen features Noah Milano, security specialist. Back in the day he did some bad things thanks to being raised in a family that was a major player in organized crime, but these days he is trying to do better. His best friend, the stunningly beautiful Minnie, works at the Medical Examiner’s office and she wants and needs Noah's help.


Back in college Minnie had a roommate by the name of Carol Dickinson. They…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 13, 2014 at 12:58am — No Comments

Review: "The Girls of Bunker Pines: The Drifter Detective Series" by Garnett Elliott

It began with The Drifter Detective and continued on with Hell Up In Houston and now traveling private investigator Jack Laramie is back in The Girls of Bunker Pines. It is 1956 in Kilgore, Texas as a hail storm pulls Jack Laramie from an intense dream of his B-17 being shot down over Germany during the war. While he is back home and has pretty much adjusted to civilian life by wandering across Texas in his Desoto hitched to a horse trailer…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 13, 2014 at 12:35am — No Comments

Review: "Outrage At Blanco" by Bill Crider

A trip to town and back for Ellie Taine has gone very wrong as this western from author Bill Crider begins. Just outside of the small Texas town of Blanco she had made the mistake of stopping for the two men who seemed friendly. As it became clear they had something else on their minds, she thought they only meant to rob her.  Unfortunately for Ellie, robbery wasn’t what they wanted. Ben Atticks and Jink Howard wanted something much more personal to Ellie than the few items she had purchased…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 10, 2014 at 2:21am — No Comments

Review: "Stone Cold: A Joe Picket Novel" by C. J. Box

Stone Cold: A Joe Pickett Novel is the fourteenth book in the series and features the return of both fugitive outlaw Nate Romanowski as well as Game Warden Joe Pickett. While Nate is doing what he has to do to survive and is out of contact with the Picketts, Joe is as well while also worrying about his missing friend. That means when Governor Rulon suddenly demands that he come to Cheyenne and doesn't care that Joe Pickett hates to fly, he has to go. The hatred of flying is…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 9, 2014 at 3:32am — No Comments

Review: "Thuglit: Issue Nine" edited by Todd Robinson

Thuglit: Issue Nine opens with “How to Make the Perfect New York Bagel” by Rob W. Hart. Mikey, like his father before him, makes bagels either plain or with salt. While the neighborhood on the Lower East Side is changing around him, he isn’t about to change the way he makes bagels or the way he handles his business. At his age he isn’t about to change in a story that is as much about the past as it is about the present. Sometimes old school is still the best way no matter how…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 23, 2014 at 12:19am — 2 Comments

Review: "Nightzone: The Posadas County Mysteries" by Steven F. Havill

Known for his legendary insomnia it would surprise no one to learn that retired Posadas County sheriff Bill Gastner is out and about somewhere in the county in the long hours of the night. This February night at one in the morning finds him on a rim rock of Cat Mesa wrapped up in a blanket looking at the stars and thinking about Bennett's Trail and his recent discovery of a Colt single action revolver lodged in a nearby crevice. Along with the possible history of a legendary weapon, also on…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 21, 2014 at 12:53am — No Comments

Review: Baby Shark's Grass Widow Legacy" by Robert Fate

It is June 1961 as this sixth book in the series opens. Kristin Van Dijk, known to one and all as “Baby Shark,” has always pushed things to the edge. While never fully expressed, no matter the situation, she carries herself with an attitude that she does not care whether she lives or dies. Working with Fort Worth Private Investigator Otis Millett has not polished her rough edges though he and others have tried. Working for him has increased her skill set while also making violent situations…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 19, 2014 at 1:28am — No Comments

Review: "Reel Stuff: A Lessor And More Mystery" by Don bruns

The guys James Lessor and Skip Moore have come a long way from their moving truck days of Stuff To Die For (reviewed here) in a highly entertaining series of books. The jobs are better, but money is still a huge issue. In this seventh and most recent book in the series published last December, REEL STUFF: A LESSOR AND MOORE MYSTERY, they continue to run a private investigation company and Skip sells security systems. The guys they still have the knack for being in…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 10, 2014 at 2:27am — No Comments

Review: "The Last Death Of Jack Harbin: A Samuel Craddock Mystery" by Terry Shames

Football is king in Texas. Especially high school football where the highlight of many a life might be beneath the lights on a Friday evening. Back in the day just before the first Gulf War, Jack Hardin was quarterback of the Jarrett Creek High School Panthers and he was the man. He might have had a spectacular college career. Instead, both Jack and Woody Patterson signed up to enlist in the Army not knowing a war was coming.


What had been a relatively simple love triangle…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on February 10, 2014 at 12:44am — No Comments

Review: "Beat To A Pulp: Hardboiled 3" Edited by David Cranmer & Else Wright

“’Just the luck of the draw, “Caleb would say, “sometimes you pull aces and sometimes two’s, and one times you pull an ace when what you really need is that two to make a straight.’” (Page 85, “The Blow Jobs” by Josh Stallings)


That attitude towards life very well sums up the situation for all the characters in Beat to a Pulp:  Hardboiled 3.  The characters in these nine pieces are folks that almost always have losing hands. Sometimes they know it…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 27, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Review: "Archie Solves The Case" by Dave Zeltserman

Boston’s brilliant investigator Julius Katz does not work unless he absolutely has to make some money. For his artificial intelligence sidekick, Archie, this is a frustration. As much as he can feel or recognize frustration, because Archie uses their cases to build on his neural network. Archie does not expect Julius Katz to meet with this latest potential client, Henri Chervil, but Julius surprises him and easily agrees to a meeting.


Julius soon figures out why the legendary…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 26, 2014 at 12:22pm — No Comments

Review: "The Gods Of Guilt: A Lincoln Lawyer Novel" by Michael Connelly

“’You know, lawyers have all sorts of nicknames for things, including juries. We call you people the ‘gods of guilt.’ Not in any sort of disrespect for religion or faith. But because that is what you are. You sit here and you decide who is guilty and who is not. Who goes free and who does not. It is a lofty and yet weighty burden. To make such a difficult decision you must have all the facts. You must have the whole and true story. You must have the proper interpretation of the…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 26, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Review: "Gumshoe" by Paul Brazill

New Year’s Day would be ugly enough thanks to the hangover if it wasn’t made worse by neighbors playing a certain and very annoying U2 song over and over. Fortunately in Seatown, a fading town on the northeast coast of England, Peter Ord, can pick up a few bucks here and there as a private investigator so that he can buy the booze and pills he needs to function. Look up self-medicating patient in the dictionary and there would be his name and a picture as he fits the classic definition.…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 24, 2014 at 3:32am — No Comments

Review: "A Killing At Cotton Hill: A Samuel Craddock Mystery" by Terry Shames

Former Chief of Police Samuel Craddock knows he should have done far more when he hears that Dora Lee has been murdered in her home in Cotton Hill. She had called him the evening before to tell him that somebody was sitting out on the road by her farm watching her. Craddock was in bed for the night and with her grandson, Greg, out there at the farm Craddock figured she was just being nervous and everything would be fine.


“I told her the same thing I always used to tell…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 16, 2014 at 1:02am — No Comments

Review: "Julius Katz Mysteries" by Dave Zeltserman

In the award winning novelette “Julius Katz” the latest client for Boston’s most famous and eccentric detective Julius Katz is the 53 year old Norman Brewer.  Accompanied by her slightly younger sister, Helen Arden, she wishes to discuss a family matter. A family matter she refused to tell Archie, Julius’ artificial intelligence sidekick, about over the phone thus preventing any real planning by Julius prior to their meeting.


The issue involves their 83 year old mother, Emma,…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 10, 2014 at 4:33am — No Comments

Review: "Trails of the Wild: Seven Tales of the Old West" Edited by David Cranmer

Trails of the Wild: Seven Tales of the Old West” book opens up with “Rattler” by James Reasoner. Texas Ranger Cobb and bank robber Franklin Harmon have had a gun battle going for the past hour. The large boulders were the only cover from the shots from Harmon and Cobb knew there was a big risk of a snake being in the rocks when he took cover in them. But, with his horse dead and no other cover around in the surrounding Texas landscape he didn’t have much of a choice.  Cobb…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 10, 2014 at 12:40am — No Comments

Book Review: "The Adventures of the Quinn Higgins Boy Detective: The Case of the Lost U-Boat" by Douglas Quinn

Reggie, Vaughn, Demian, and the Boy Detective, Quinn Higgins, like to pal around at school and at home. They call themselves “Quinn and the Three Musketeers.” Thanks to Demian they learn that there is a new kid in school. The 11 year old boy is from Chicago and just got to North Carolina and that means that Demian can happily give up his title of the “new kid.”


The new kid is Frederick Cullen and he is living with his grandfather out on Big Flatty Creek.  Word is that his mom…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on January 2, 2014 at 1:14am — No Comments

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