Kevin R. Tipple's Blog (737)

Book Review: "Pattern of Wounds: A Roland March Msytery" by J. Mark Bertrand

Friday, December 4th it snowed in Houston. That was yesterday and this is now on a Saturday night. While the rain falls on the city of Houston, a body lays half in and half out of the heated swimming pool behind a posh home. If you don’t look closely, it almost seems as if she is reaching for something on the pool deck.


The young woman is dead and the wounds across her back tell part of the story. Too perfect, too neat, the stab wounds aren’t what killed 24 old…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on September 26, 2011 at 4:22am — No Comments

Book Review: Back of Beyond" by C. J. Box

Cody Hoyt is your clichéd classic troubled cop on the edge.  Divorced, disgraced, alcoholic, with a reputation of being a cop with great investigative instincts but lots of issues,  Cody Hoyt is back home in Montana after everything blew up in Denver. These days he tries to stay sober while working as a detective in the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Department.  On one rainy night, while aimlessly driving around as he does many a night, he is sent to a remote fire damaged cabin in the Big…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on September 11, 2011 at 1:18pm — No Comments

Book Review: "On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir"


The world is filled with tomorrows and none are worth a damn, at least for me.  Tomorrow has some bit of hope attached. Things will be better tomorrow. I’ll have a decent job and a good solid wife.  Tomorrow I’ll have my health back or a brand new baby boy or a string of ponies.   (“Desert Reckoning”, Trey R. Barker, page 81)


The anthology “On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir” is filled with 21 stories by 21 very talented authors. The…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on August 22, 2011 at 11:33pm — No Comments

Book Review: "Dirty Old Town and Other Stories" by Nigel Bird

Featuring nine stories by Edinburgh resident Nigel Bird, this short collection features tales told by adults and juveniles dealing with dark days and even darker thoughts. The characters often are not happy go lucky folks. These are people trying to survive in a world stacked against them. As such, sometimes the language is a bit coarse but life is not all tea and crumpets for these folks.


This short book opens with “Drinking Wine.” She has kids at home and needs a break.  If…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on August 19, 2011 at 1:51am — No Comments

Book Review: "Lake Charles" by Ed Lynskey

It is 1979 and Brendan Fishback isn’t doing too well in the game called life. Waking up next to a dead woman can cause huge problems. The fact that she, Ashleigh Sizemore, was the daughter of the wealthy and powerfully connected, Ralph Sizemore is a huge problem. Word is old Ralph is going to be a Senator. The fact that drugs were planted in the room is a huge issue. The fact that Brendan keeps having strange dreams and visions where the dead teenage girl talks to him about her murder is a…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on August 18, 2011 at 12:33am — No Comments

Book Review: "A Journey To Die For" by Radine Trees Nehring

This novel marks the sixth installment of the “Something to Die For” mystery series as well a new publisher. Carrie and Henry King are an active retired couple who recently got married and occasionally help out small town police with peculiar cases. They have decided to celebrate their eight months of wedded bliss by taking a day trip to enjoy the historic excursion train from Springdale to Van Buren, Arkansas. They will spend the layover in Van Buren eating and shopping before they take the…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on August 18, 2011 at 12:14am — No Comments

Book Review: "Breaking Silence" by Linda Castillo

The third novel in this mystery series, “Breaking Silence” by Linda Castillo, is quite possibly the most disturbing book to date.  Police Chief Kate Burkholder is hard at work trying to stop a series of attacks against the Amish while solving a complex murder case.


At first, what happened that cold December morning at the Slabaugh farm appeared to be an accident. The 5:00 a.m. phone call signaled something bad had happened before Chief Kate Burkholder was told of the family…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on August 17, 2011 at 11:32pm — No Comments

Update on Us

The update on us is that we still don’t know anything about anything. The insurance folks are still working on reprocessing things so that hopefully Sandi can soon schedule and have surgery. The food stamp folks have not updated us as to the status of our Medicaid claim. I have not heard anything from the Social Security disability folks on my case.


This is why I am again asking for your help. Please donate. We are past due on our utilities, rent is coming due, etc. and we…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on July 20, 2011 at 7:32am — No Comments

Book Review: "The Fifth Witness" by Michael Connelly

In what is arguably the weakest book in a series that began with “The Lincoln lawyer” criminal defense attorney Michael Haller takes on the murder case of Lisa Trammel.


Lisa Trammel was already a client for Haller’s exploding business of stopping foreclosure. It is not work Haller likes but the criminal stuff was in short supply due to the bad economy. That same hideous economy created a huge foreclosure business caseload and that has kept things goings for his law practice.…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on July 12, 2011 at 12:47am — 3 Comments

Book Review: "Tabloid City: A Novel" by Pete Hamill

A lot can happen in 24 hours anywhere. Certainly it can in the city of New York where strangers and friends can intersect in many different ways.  Life can begin and end, both metaphorically and literally, in this complex interlocking tale created by Pete Hamill.


There are several major players in this 278 page novel. One is Sam Briscoe, age 71, editor in chief of the tabloid newspaper New York World. It is midnight as the book opens and Briscoe’s focus is on the still…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on July 11, 2011 at 12:32am — No Comments

Reviewed: "Short Stories of Earl Staggs: Mystery Fiction From Hardboiled To Humor" by Earl Staggs

Featuring sixteen stories written by Earl Staggs, this collection of previously published short stories is a very good one. While the works range in style from cozy to hardboiled noir, you won’t find gory violence or graphic sex. Each story comes with a small introduction that explains the history of the story regarding where it was previously published and how the story came to be. For both readers and writers, the brief introductions showcase not only the variety of publications, but the…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on June 19, 2011 at 11:17pm — No Comments

It begins with "Auraria Dead" by Melody Scott

Realtor Maria Sebastian had not wanted to take the trip north to Auraria, Georgia with her realtor partner Bonnie Keen but she had to do it. As it happened, both real estate agents had been independently working to sell the same 95 acre wooded tract in northern Georgia for different members in the same investor consortium. Her contact had not told her of the involvement of the other agent and Bonnie’s contact had apparently failed to tell Bonnie that Maria was working on the sale. Now,…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on June 9, 2011 at 12:05am — No Comments

FFB Review: "Private Heat" by Robert Bailey

It is Friday and that means it is time again for Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. For those left behind tomorrow and it very well could be everybody if that pastor is wrong again, Barry Ergang will be in this slot next week. And remember, there is still time until Sunday night at midnight to enter the GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN contest.  On to the book for this week…….



In this debut novel of a new series, the author has created a multi-faceted…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 21, 2011 at 3:38am — No Comments

Book Review: "THE HONEST DEALER" by Frank Gruber (reviewed by Barry Ergang)

Barry Ergang reviewed THE HONEST DEALER by Frank Gruber yesterday on my blog once blogger got back up and running. With his permission, I am posting the entire review here and not just the link as I usually do.



THE HONEST DEALER (1947) by Frank Gruber

Reviewed by Barry Ergang


There must be something about people named Fletcher that attracts them to murders or murders to them. Anyone who has ever seen…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 14, 2011 at 11:55pm — No Comments

Reviewing: "The Killing Storm" by Kathryn Casey

Kids always have been a key part of this series featuring Texas Ranger and Criminal Profiler Sarah Armstrong written by former true crime writer Kathryn Casey. The same is true from the first page despite the fact that the initial focus is about how the summer heat has lingered on deep into October, Hurricane Juanita is stalled out in the gulf, and somebody has killed a very expensive bull on a ranch outside of Houston in order to send a message.


With a vulture perched above…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 3, 2011 at 1:35am — No Comments

Book Review: "And Every Man Has To Die" by Frank Zafiro

Possibly the most complicated and hard hitting novel in the series, “And Every Man Has To Die” currently scheduled for May release is the fourth book in the River City series. A series that began with “Under A Raging Moon” moved into “Heroes Often Fail” and last year’s release “Beneath A Weeping Sky” has provided lots of action, crime, drama and occasional romance through the lives of the men and women of the River City Police Department in eastern Washington State. While the novels and…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on May 2, 2011 at 12:44am — No Comments

Review: "Double Prey" by Steven F. Havill

Located along the U.S. New Mexico border, Posadas County has served as the setting for many good books written by Steven F. Havill. This series has seen monumental shifts before and one gets the sense by the end of Double Prey another shift is underway.


A western diamond back rattlesnake is not a snake to play with. Unfortunately, Francisco, the nine year old son of Posada County Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman, and fourteen year old Butch Romero were doing…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 25, 2011 at 12:15am — No Comments

Book Review: "Bad Blood: A Virgil Flowers Novel" by John Sandford

Fourth in the Virgil Flower series, “Bad Blood” returns to a theme familiar to readers of this series ---sex. Usually it is some form of perversion and the issue comes to light while Virgil is having an intimate relationship with the local lead investigator. Such is the case here though it takes a bit to come to light with readers knowing far more than the investigators involved.


According to Bob Tripp, Jacob Flood died in a freak accident at the grain elevator while he was…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on April 5, 2011 at 1:21am — No Comments

Reviewing: "EUROSTORM" by Payne Harrison

In Libya, a weapon is in terrorists hands and must be recovered.


In Chicago, a pedestrian is killed one beautiful April morning. It was an accident. According to his finger prints he died more than fifty years ago.


The noontime bombing in Wellington Square in London kills and maims without consideration of gender, race or economic portfolio.


From those storylines, Texas author Payne Harrison (author of the bestseller Storming…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 24, 2011 at 12:27am — No Comments

Book Review: "Nights of the Red Moon"

Milton T. Burton’s third novel sets the stage for a series with a rock solid foundation, interesting characters, and a complex case. Sheriff Bo Handel has been the strong, and at times compassionate, arm of the law in Caddo County, Texas for nearly thirty years. Forty miles away from the Louisiana border and half that north of Nacogdoches, the county is fairly quiet though there have been strange events over the years. With a drought and heat wave gripping the state and painting the Texas…


Added by Kevin R. Tipple on March 4, 2011 at 12:57am — No Comments

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