Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review: The Poacher's Son

The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron (Minotaur, 2010)
Reviewed by Cheryl Shore
         I haven’t been a big fan of series in the last decade. I usually gravitate toward stand-alones that offer something unique in the crime fiction or suspense genres. But reading The Poacher’s Son has changed that trend, at least for the moment. After reading this debut novel, I’m well on my way through the rest of the series featuring game warden Mike Bowditch.  
         The Poacher’s Son is a novel of familial suspense, my label for a genre that doesn’t exactly exist.  Protagonist Mike Bowditch learns about two murders, and one of the victims is a police officer. The number-one suspect is his father, Jack. We learn about Mike’s childhood with his father, and it’s a rough one. We learn about Mike’s attempt to connect with his father during his adolescence, and how that experiment ended in failure. Warden Mike Bowditch admits that his father is an unsavory character who doesn’t hesitate to break the law. But he also knows that Jack Bowditch is too smart to kill a cop. 
         The emotional tug to vindicate his father is strong and leads him into trouble with his superiors, and his girlfriend, Sarah. Still, Mike is driven to unravel the mystery of the cop-killing, finding a web of circumstances that hits closer to home and is far more complex than he could have imagined. When he realizes the magnitude of his personal danger, he’s all alone in the Maine wilderness. His survival depends on quick thinking, and his ability to reframe the situation by letting go of his preconceptions and emotional biases. I found The Poacher’s Son to be a page turner. If you start it, I don’t think you’ll want to put it down.    

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sketches in Black and White -- Another Excerpt from The Fine Art of Murder

        After spending years in prison, Max is desperate to play the knight in shining armor. But does he carry his fantasy a bit too far?  That's the starting point for C.L. Shore's short story Sketches in Black and White, included in The Fine Art of Murder, a collection of 18 short stories of murder and mystery all with a connection to fine art.   
        The Fine Art of Murder is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Walmart.com, the book makes a perfect gift or stocking stuffer for any reader on your Christmas list. 
      Here is an excerpt from C.L. Shore's Sketches in Black on White

“Anyhow,” I began. “I think I recognize the model in one of your sculptures.” I gestured toward  the living room. “The woman. I think her name was Lorraine.”
 “You have an impressive memory, Max. Yes, her name was Lorraine. Lorraine Yoder. Came from the Berne area, Mennonite stock, but I think her family had left the fold. She was the stereotypical pure and innocent farm girl . . . until she came to my class, that is. Earned part of  her tuition by modeling for me privately.” He sat back and started laughing. A small, high pitched, weaselly laugh. Not meant for my benefit. “Lorraine really earned her tuition.” He sat  back wearing a satisfied look and brought the teacup to his lips. “Those were the days. Great job  with satisfying benefits, if you know what I mean.”
I wanted to leap from my chair and grab him by the throat. I knew what he meant— sexual harassment. Abuse of authority. With a strong display of willpower I didn’t know I possessed, I remained in my chair and concentrated on maintaining a neutral expression. A blank canvas.
“The times have changed,” I said, after I trusted myself to speak.
“Oh, yeah.” The old man sighed. His more serious expression returned. “She was a lovely girl, a lovely girl.”
My original plan was to suggest we could do some sketching together. Now, I couldn’t stand being in the same room with the man. My cup was empty. I stood.
“Well, I hope you enjoyed the coffee. Maybe I’ll come back with more, the next cold, windy morning we have.”
“Thank you, Max. You’re thoughtful. The coffee was good, as was the conversation.”

Well, that’s your opinion. I picked up the thermos and let myself out of the apartment. When I climbed the stairs to my own place, I paced my small living room for at least a half hour. The nerve of the guy, the nerve. . .  He was a dirty old man, pure and simple. I couldn’t let go of my need for some kind of retaliation. He couldn’t get away with something like that. It wasn’t right. He’d made it clear he didn’t have any regret. He needed to pay. Pay up.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Elaine Orr Featured at Books for Breakfast December 14 in Decatur, Illinois

Speed City Sisters in Crime Member Elaine L. Orr will be featured at Books for Breakfast in Decatur, Illinois at on December 17.

The event takes place from 7 a.m. until noon at the Main Hanger Restaurant, 910 S Airport Rd 
Decatur, IL 6252. 

Elaine is the author numerous mysteries, including the popular Jolie Gentil mystery series, and two more recent murder mystery series, River's Edge series and Logland Mystery Series.  She is also the author of two non-fiction books:  Words to Write By: Putting Your Thoughts on Paper; and Writing in Retirement: Putting New Year's Resolutions to Work.

Elaine will be joined by other authors Sue Stewart Ade, Marilyn Gardiner, Katriena Knights, Angela Parson Myers,  and J. D. Webb. 

Elaine's books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and through her own website at elaineorr.com

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sisters In Crime Host Holiday Book Fair

Speed City Sisters in Crime hosted a book fair at Barnes and Noble near Keystone at the Crossing on December 4, promoting release of the group's newest short story collection, The Fine Art of Murder. Club President Cheryl Shore and member Russell Eberhart (writing under the name Ross Carley) help promote the Sisters in Crime anthologies and Russ' own books.