Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Very big kitty

For those of you who have seen my California wildlife slideshow, it's time to take another look.  We had a pretty exciting visitor last night and he came at about the time my wife, Hurricane Sandy, was taking our two silly dogs for a walk.  The new picture is near the end of the slideshow.  Here's the link: Critters of the Canyon

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review of Arnold Crabtree, WWI British Sniper

Arnold Crabtree, WWI British Sniper is a very interesting, and very concise snippet of history.  It is a twenty-minute glimpse into the life and death of a common soldier on the Western Front in the early days of that war that the United States took so very long to join.  One always hears of machine gun charges and gas attacks.  The role of snipers has heretofore been ignored.  I'd like to thank Alex Devaney for shedding light on the topic.

Buy at Amazon

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review of Pearl Lagoon by Eric Timar

A banana republic, a perpetual civil war, two murders in a sleepy fishing village and a tall, stunning, blond obeah woman, this is backdrop for a story that might have come from Grahame Greene.  In the prohibition era an ambitious young vice-consul investigates the murder of an American in a remote part of Nicaragua.  The exotic setting is the appeal of this story and Eric Timar has done a fine job of conveying the ambiance.  The character development and the dialect is first rate.  Pearl Lagoon will appeal to historical fictions fans and those fond of adventure travel as well anyone who loves a murder mystery.

Buy at Amazon

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review of Charleston Murders

Meet Alexis Dorchester, Charleston socialite, heiress and pampered Southern Belle.  Her husband is gay, the love of her life is a black eunuch, her son is a mulatto, her father is a murderous bigot and her servants are her stepsiblings—certainly colorful living arrangements.  Charleston Murders is a tale of segregation, treachery and mayhem that covers the time period from the 1920's to present.  It is told in the form of a deathbed confession and it's rather long, so it was surely a slow painful death.  The narration is a folksy southern dialect which initially put me off, but in very few pages it began to speak to my inner redneck.  I continued avidly to the climax of the story then I began to hope for a merciful death.  It's a very good book until the aforementioned climax, then its voice changes and it becomes somewhat maudlin and self-indulgent.  In my frank opinion it would be improved were it pruned by about twenty-five percent.
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Friday, November 23, 2012


For those of you who were waiting on pins and needles, my new author's website is live at:

I hope you agree that it is an improvement over the dinosaur that I had been using.  I even had the courage to use an honest picture of myself this time.

This blog will, as before, be used almost exclusively for reviews of self published books.  I just don't have much else to say that you would find interesting.  Besides, the self publishing industry needs all the exposure we can get.

The thirty-some reviews from my old blog are now embedded in the new site.

The nifty wildlife photos from our yard are still available via a link on the Bio/Blog page.  Our favorite bear has been back, so I'll be uploading some new ones.

For my next media miracle I will attempt a book trailer for The Hundred Years Farce.  Standby.

A Masterful Piece of Work

The War Widow is the story of the Nuremburg trails so one wouldn't expect the ending to be a surprise, but it is.  Mr. Durham has woven multiple threads of intrigue into his finely executed version of a familiar piece of history.  His knowledge and expression of military life propels the reader right into the scene and the character development is top notch from his handling of Herrmann Goering to the despicable Colonel Gaffner.  The reader feels as though he's known these people all his life.  The prose is compelling, the pace brisk and, as I said, the ending jerks the rug out from under you.

Buy at Amazon