Monday, February 26, 2018

Vintage


First I want to thank everyone for keeping positive thoughts and prayers for me and my family during my stroke and the Parkinson's Disease all of which I have.

I must add I'm feeling rather vintage. However, it's not  the type of vintage I want to talk about this afternoon.
I love vintage clothes, hats and jewelry but most of all I love vintage posters and tins.
There are other things vintage I like as such aprons and cookie cutters.

Vintage mystery authors are a passion of mine. 
Am I in a minority on all things vintage?

In a different life I think I would be a jewelry designer or have own a clock repair shop complete with watches.

Anyway what are your thoughts?

Until next time keep reading,

Pam James





Friday, February 23, 2018

Review: Thread the Halls by Lea Wait


Angie Curtis and Patrick West have no time to enjoy their holiday season. His mother (Skye West) has returned home. She is a famous actress along with Skye costar, screenwriters, and the director. If this isn't add s murder, a stalker, and a bunch needlework pillows for "Mainely Pointers Guild decortions need to be done.
Then Patrick falls ill and his mother blames Angie. The Christmas Cookies were left for Patrick from an secret admirer.
Now who is going to be dead by Christmas Morning and who will make the nice list?
Everyone has to added to list which is quite but Angie knows who might know the answers on the background of some the people.
A killer who hiding in plain sight on snow covered night does not make anyone feel wam and cozy.
Pam James


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: This World is Full of Monsters by Jeff Vandermeer

A writer finds a letter on his doorstep which is the beginning of an invasion by otherwordly creatures starting with a story-creature.  Filled with evocative images and a very strong sense of surrealism and wonder.  It is life and death and transformation and becoming and growing and all sorts of wonderful and terrifying things. This is a Tor.com original story.  To me it is a perfect example of how you can tell a complete story in a short story and not be needing more.  It truly let's you mind wander and ask questions and just wonder.  And yeah - be creeped out as well.  

Terri

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

TV review: The Mist

I really enjoy the Limited series that have been coming out recently (formerly called mini series. LOL)  I was excited to see that The Mist had been made for tv.  I have loved it ever since the Original Novella a long time ago.  That said, since then, there is another version of the novella and the 2007 Movie.  All of which have different endings etc...  That is one thing I find fascinating, that the story could be told so many ways.

So, as for the TV show on SPIKE, really enjoyed it.  Definitely updated for the new century with lots of interesting characters.  Absolutely loved Frances Conway (as always).  There was also a really good buildup as the people start turning on each other. 

The thing I hated was that it ends without explaining anything.  All the explanations have been set up but it is another predictable cliffhanger season ending which is now quite common.  They are trying to set it up so there is a season 2.  Manipulative and frankly, annoying.  I feel like something called a LIMITED series, should be finished at the end.  This also happened with The Family and other limited series.  Then guess what?  It is not picked up for the second season!  So there will never be answers.

Have closure for an enjoyable  viewer experience -- don't try and force a second season by such cheap storytelling.  Then if there is a second season, you can BE CREATIVE and find another way to start off.  A really good writer certainly can do that - instead of cheap tricks.

Terri

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: The Toolbox Killers by Jack Rosewood


Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris are two of the most horrific pair of killers. Had they not met in prison on other crimes, it is likely neither would have achieved the level of sadism they did. The book is well researched and engrossing. I was surprised to find that Bittaker actually would sell hair or other things from famous inmates in prison with him adding another level of creepiness to his whole existence.

The book also contained multiple free books (on Belle Gunness, Wisconsin Killers, Edmund Kemper, William Heirins, Cary Strayner and others). So it was even more of a good investment.  

Terri

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Review: Captain Underhill Uncovers the Truth - by Steven Thomas Oney

At an Antiques Roadshow gathering in New England, a woman comes in with an antique sideboard found to contain fascinating Edgar Allen Poe items that could be worth a fortune. Only what will people do to obtain them? And is everything what it seems?

I enjoyed this story. I do like the occasional mystery without a murder! (Though they are often hard to find in adult stories).

The one thing I really did not like was that it was recorded at a very low volume. I had to blast the CD player to hear it (I DO love 
ensemble cast recordings), and of course when switching to radio in the car, I would be blown away (not my favorite thing....)

It was also fun to see that everything was in fact, not as it seemed....

Terri

Monday, February 12, 2018

TV Review: Mindhunter

I finished the first season of the Netflix Show and really enjoyed it.

It tells the story of the beginnings of what is now known as the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) as made famous on Criminal Minds.

Mindhunter on Netflix

It stars Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany and Anna Torv (who I loved in Fringe!)

It is based on John Douglas' books from his experiences (which I have read and loved)

All in all, the show is really interesting as the Douglas character interviews people like Edmund Kemper and Richard Speck.  It highlights how new all this applying psychology to understand serial crimes and use it to catch criminals.  AND how much the Bureau had trouble accepting what they were doing. It also shows that they are learning as they go and make mistakes.

I will say that if Douglas was as arrogant as portrayed, they are lucky it worked. LOL

Looking forward to another season.

Terri


Friday, February 9, 2018

Review: In the Woods by Tana French

Detective Ryan is called to a murder scene on an archeological dig site when the body of a 12 year old girl was found.  What people on the Dublin Murder Squad do not know, is that when he was  a child of the same age, 20 years prior, two of his friends disappeared from the same woods while only he remained but with no memory of events.  He and his partner Cassie investigate to see if there is any connection without letting anyone know of his past.

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a solid police procedural with interesting and complex characters.  The language is almost poetic and full of wonderful imagery.  I love the relationship between Ryan and Cassie.  Incredibly connected friends that 'get' each other.

The only thing that gnawed at me was his hiding his past from the squad because reality check, it could destroy the case if it came out.  Though understanding his motives, it really bothered me. :)  That said -- I loved the book and definitely want to read more in the series!

Terri

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan


February

By gum, January was an okay month! Well, until the end, when I got sick and received edits for SPIRITS UNEARTHED at the same time and suffered a minor meltdown. Having people tell you your book sucks hurts even when you’re healthy, y’know? And actually, nobody said that. That’s just how I took the comments. Not that I lack self-esteem or anything.

Anyway, probably the best thing that happened in January was that Peter Brandvold, western writer extraordinaire, came to see me! He lives in Minnesota, where there’s snow and ice everywhere. Therefore, he rented a cabin in Arizona (he went to college and taught in Arizona) for January and most of February. He and his dog, Bad Buddy, drove there and, on the way, stopped to see me! I edit Mean Pete’s books (he calls himself Mean Pete, and I’d never do anything to jeopardize his reputation as a bad guy, even though he isn’t one), and they’re so much fun to edit! I never knew there were so many ways for the good guys to kill the bad guys in the wild and woolly Old West until I began editing Mean Pete’s books for Five Star’s Frontier Fiction line. Anyway, it was great to meet him. Bad Buddy didn’t like me, but I guess he’s skittish around most people, so I wasn’t offended. I’m skittish around most people, too. Here’s a picture of Mean Pete and me:



Then my very first friend in the whole world (because until I was four, we lived on a farm in Maine without anyone else around), Dena Mossar, whom I met when my family moved to El Monte, California, sent me some absolutely adorable pictures of when Dena and I were young, which was an incredibly long time ago. Thank you, Dena!




I also found out my next Daisy book, SPIRITS UNEARTHED (the one I got the edits for) will be published in April of this year! I wish I had the cover art to show you, but I don’t yet. Will post on my Facebook page as soon as I get it. This book starts in December of 1924, when Daisy and Sam are at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena to visit their respective spouses’ graves, and Spike finds a shoe and brings it to them. Unfortunately for all concerned, the shoe has a foot in it. Thus begins a new bout of sleuthing. In this book, Sam doesn’t actually mind Daisy being involved, since she … well, is. From the beginning, you know? Anyway, he’s becoming reconciled to the fact that people are more inclined to bare their souls to Daisy than they are to the Pasadena Police Department. He doesn’t like it, but he’s becoming reconciled. Sort of. In a way. Anyway, here’s the Amazon link, in case you have a mad urge to pre-order it: https://smile.amazon.com/Spirits-Unearthed-Daisy-Majesty-Mystery-ebook/dp/B079CC4BTG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1517417169&sr=1-1&keywords=spirits+unearthed+alice+duncan

Anyhow… The winners of January’s contest are:

THANKSGIVING ANGELS: Aloha Burnard and Polly O’Brien
GENTEEL SPIRITS: Margaret Cronk and Michelle Santana

I’ll mail your books as soon as I can, ladies. I need your address, Aloha! Thanks.

As for February’s contest… I dunno. I’ll think of something. I’m pretty sure I won’t have copies of SPIRITS UNEARTHED yet, so I’ll have to give away something else. What the heck. I’ll let the winners (up to four of you) choose whichever book you want. If I have a hard copy, I’ll send that. If I don’t, I can send an e-copy.

A word about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that.

If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email (alice@aliceduncan.net) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.

Thank you!


Review: Adrift: A Mer Cavallo Mystery by Micki Browning

Mer is a marine biologist who is currently working as a safety diver on a charter boat, The LunaSea (I love that name). The boat is chartere...