Review: Writing Mysteries edited by Sue Grafton

Writing MysteriesSo far I’ve written a female coming-of-age novel, a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, a time-travel book…and those are all in the same series. What’s next? I think a murder mystery is on the horizon, and as a newcomer to this genre, I needed to get back to basics.

Writing Mysteries is a solid book for any new writer, though I ended up skimming certain sections that either didn’t apply to me as an experience writer or didn’t apply to me because I’m won’t be writing, say, a medical mystery or true crime novel. Note also that this book was released in 2002, so plenty of the seasoned veterans contributing chapters make frequent mentions of typewriters and that new-fangled Internet (I might exaggerate a bit, there). Despite the dated technology and submission issues, the writing advice is fairly solid, and I do recommend this as a basic craft book to new writers who know they’ll be specializing in the mystery genre.  Continue reading

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Review: Origin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown

OriginFor all of the ridiculousness of Brown’s plots and my frustration with some of his writing style, I absolutely keep coming back to his books because when you remove everything I dislike, the rest is a personal guided tour of some amazing information about art, culture, and history.  Continue reading

Review: “A Case of Spirits” (A Charm of Magpies short) by K.J. Charles

Case of SpiritsThis short story was included in my Kindle edition of A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies #2).

This delightful short story doesn’t add much to the interpersonal relationship between Lord Crane and Stephen Day, but it does show how Crane and his manservant Merrick have become intricately linked with Day’s world of magician justiciars. This might have been an simple mystery, but it provided tantalizing clues to Crane’s past — and Merrick’s future.

Also, I would like to be best friends with Esther Gold.  Continue reading

Review: Night Shift (Midnight, Texas #3) by Charlaine Harris

night shiftI quickly sped through the finale of this trilogy once it arrived in the mail. However, this was mostly to get to the end of the story rather than through any great love for the world or the characters. On the one hand, I am very satisfied with how some story lines concluded, such as the explanation for the hotel renovation and the purpose of the Reeds in Midnight.

On the other, however, this series jumped from murder mysteries solved by the town’s supernatural residents to demon wackiness awfully quickly, and the jump in this final book was a bit jarring.  Continue reading

Book Spotlight & Review: HOUNDS OF THE UNDERWORLD (Path of Ra #1) by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray

Hounds of the UnderworldToday is release day for the newest Raw Dog Screaming Press authors: Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray! I read this book ages ago, and I’ve been so excited to share it with all of you.


ABOUT THE BOOK

On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. And with seventeen murder cases on the go, the surly inspector is happy to leave her to it. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving. But something about the case spooks Matiu, something other than the lack of a body in the congealing pool of blood in the locked room or that odd little bowl.

Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.

Hounds of the Underworld blends mystery, near-future noir and horror. Set in New Zealand it’s the product of a collaboration by two Kiwi authors, one with Chinese heritage and the other Māori. This debut book in The Path of Ra series offers compelling new voices and an exotic perspective on the detective drama.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press


REVIEW

Disclaimer: The authors and I share a publisher. I received a hardcopy version of this book as a thank you for proofing an earlier version of the text.

On the surface, this book doesn’t seem to have a lot that would appeal to me as a reader. In an alternate universe, I probably bought a copy to support the fellow authors who write for the same indie press that I do and quietly left it on a shelf with a promise to read it “someday” (sadly, true for some books in our own universe). Instead, my editor asked me to read an earlier version of the submitted text with the promise that I’d make it through the horror bits okay.

I’m glad I did. I loved so much about this book.  Continue reading