Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Book review: Forget Me Not by Luana Lewis

A tragic suicide?

When Rose’s daughter, Vivien, is found dead in a suspected suicide, Rose has questions nobody can answer. Wasn’t Vivien living the perfect life? A caring husband, a sweet little girl of her own.

Or the perfect murder?

But as the police investigation develops, their findings raise new questions. Did Vivien kill herself, or was she attacked? If so, who has something to hide?

As Rose struggles to piece together the secrets of her daughter’s life, the cracks in the family begin to show. But once Rose knows the answers, there’s no going back...

A gripping thriller perfect for fans of Daughter, The Book of You and C L Taylor's The Lie.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Losing your child is the most devastating thing that can happen to someone. Rose loses her only daughter, police suspect a possible suicide. Her perfect daughter had everything, perfect home, perfect husband, perfect little girl. But was that enough for happiness? Why would she want to kill herself?

Rose's only hope in life now is little Lexi. She blames herself for her daughter's suicide and taking care for the granddaughter makes her feel less guilty. But her son-in-law, Ben, doesn't think that Rose is a good person to be around Lexi. He needs time for grieving. They both do. Or maybe there is some other reason for him to keep her far away from his daughter?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Blog Tour, Review and GIVEAWAY: Death in Shanghai by M.J.Lee

Blurb: Shanghai, 1928. The body of a blonde is washed up on the Beach of Dead Babies, in the heart of the smog-filled city. Seemingly a suicide, a closer inspection reveals a darker motive: the corpse has been weighed down, it’s lower half mutilated…and the Chinese character for ‘justice’ carved into the chest.

The moment Inspector Danilov lays eyes on the dismembered body, he realises that he has an exceptional case on his hands. And when the first body is followed by another, and another, each displaying a new, bloody message, he has no option but face the truth. He is dealing with the worst kind of criminal; someone determined, twisted…and vengeful.

Someone who must be caught….whatever the cost.

Death in Shanghai is the first novel in M J Lee’s Inspector Danilov series, perfect for fans of Philip Kerr.

                                          Links:  Goodreads  /  Amazon UK

Friday, December 18, 2015

Interview with C.M.Albrecht, the author of Jonas McCleary Series

Today, I have the honor to host one great author, true fan of classic crime noir, Mr. C. M. Albrecht. He is the author of Jonas McCleary Series, three so far and I hope many more. The Sand Bluff Murders was published in 2012, The Morgenstern Murders in 2014, and The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders came out this month. A former investigator, now private eye, he brings his rich experience to his novels. Let's meet the person who created PI Jonas McCleary! 

1.      Can you tell our readers something about you? Who is C. M. Albrecht?

My name is C. M. Albrecht, at least on my books, but here at home, people call me Carl. They probably call me other things as well, but not to my face. I've had a varied career, going from my years as a private investigator to a restaurant operator. I always enjoyed cooking so when an opportunity came up to take over a café, I jumped on it. But juggling two jobs at the same time was strenuous, especially when I also had a feeling I'd like to sit down and write. Fortunately, I now have the leisure to read and write, and I still get in the kitchen and cook up a mean dinner.

2.      Is Jonas McCleary based on you or someone you know?

Jonas McCleary, like all the characters in my books, wasn't borrowed from anyone I knew or knew about. At least not consciously. First, when I can, I lie down on the patio and daydream. Or I'll awaken at 3 in the morning and while I'm trying to get back sleep, I start "thinking". That's often how it starts. A situation begins to develop and the more I think about it, a character may begin to emerge. In my different books, as the characters develop they soon take over and sometimes it's hard for me to keep up with them. Of course a lot of these initial "great ideas" turn out to be duds.

3.      Can you tell us something about your books, besides the Jonas McCleary Series?

So far, I have 13 novels. Two of my favorites are The Little Mornings and Marta's Place. These are noir novels, and while I can't get away from crime, they aren't really mysteries or detective tales. Some wise writer once said: "Ideally the ending should be a surprise, yet inevitable". I really like that idea, and I've tried to incorporate it into my novels. But achieving that isn't always easy. I'm not sure I've always succeeded, but I try. The other novels are mysteries, although, in River Road, the situation is more like a Colombo episode. The reader knows up front who the baddie is, but watching homicide detective Raf Rafferty work his way through the maze to catch him (with the help of a "medium" a new girlfriend and his trusty cat, Fido who thinks he's a dog), adds a little different twist to this one.

4.      From your books, we can see that you have a very good experience with police procedurals and private investigations. Can you tell us about your previous career?

The real life of a private investigator is seldom like that of the characters in books and film. Occasionally, when a real murder case, for example, has gone cold, family may hire a private investigator to see if he/she can uncover new evidence, but by and large, catching thieving employees or tracking down missing family members, etc. make up the bulk of an investigator's work. It's not unusual however, during the course of these investigations to become acquainted with police and detectives and to gain insight into their methods.

5.      Who is your favorite detective in crime fiction?

I admit, my favorite fiction detective is probably Philip Marlowe, but there are many, many others I enjoy and appreciate.

6.      What is your favorite book?

My favorite book? That's a tough one.  One that stands out in my mind, although not a mystery exactly, is A Coffin for Dimitrios. I found that to be a fascinating novel. But there are so many others…I love to read and have read every sort of book, from Great Expectations to sea novels, (especially U-boot novels, adventure novels. Just about everything. Seldom, but sometimes, historical novels. And I still read the works of "classical" writers; Zola, Hugo, writers of that period.

7.      Who, or what inspired you to write? And why crime noir?

I'm not sure what inspired me to write. I simply began one day to feel the urge to try my hand at it. Pretty clumsy at first, I can assure you. But I didn't take any classes. Well, I attended a night class in writing for a couple of months and learned absolutely nothing. From then on, I just went with trial and error, and tried to pay close attention. What did I like in the works of others? What didn't I like about my own stuff? Little by little I worked my way into what I wanted to do, be reportorial, clear and concise. I love the poetic flights of others, Eco and Abécassis and Márquez, but I can't and never could write like that, so I don't try. Crime noir? Oh, I've always loved crime noir. I've read all the works of Cain, Woolrich, Thompson and so many others, and have always admired the down-to-earth gritty style they employed. And besides, a lot of life is just like that.

8.      Would you like to describe your writing corner?

My "office" is in a spare bedroom I share with my lovely wife, Irma. I just have a modest writing table for the computer while on her side she has another desk with her own computer where she manages apartments and condos and keeps track of everything on the computer. On my side, I have a couple of bookcases filled not only with books, but all sorts of things I don't have any other place for. On the wall above, I have framed pictures of book covers and a photo of my wife and me on a cruise from a few years ago.

9.      You don't use too much violence in your stories. Why?

These days, books and movies are full of violence, gutter language and what a few years ago would have been X-rated sex, and I don't really see that as a positive direction to take.  In my books, I want the focus to be on the story itself, the characters and their motivations, not on the body count or sexual conquests. There's obviously a place for all that too, but it doesn’t particularly interest me.

10.  I'll put some spoiler in here. You've touched on a subject that is very popular in the media these days, sex change. Tell us something about that. How did you come up with the idea to use that in your book?

These days, we've opened up the doors to same-sex relationships, trans-gender, cross-dressing and many other human characteristics that have always been with us. In the past, if people had a child that was perhaps autistic or suffered from Down's syndrome, etc., they sometimes kept it at home out of sight; their shameful secret.

For years, people who have had confused sexual orientation, had to keep their secret hidden away in the closet as well. Today, as we become more open-minded and with increased understanding, we're more willing to understand and accept that each individual is unique and there really is no "norm". (I always say, Normal is not normal.) We can no longer put people in boxes or categories and expect everyone to fit in to what we consider proper. I find it interesting sometimes to address some aspect or another of human behavior. Back in the 1964, Rex Stout took the daring step of publishing "A Right to Die", a Nero Wolfe mystery concerning a white woman who took up the cause for blacks and even took an apartment in Harlem. She planned to marry a young black man. In those days, that was a very touchy subject, but Mr. Stout handled it, and at the same time, showed us that we're all brothers and sisters no matter what the color of our skin, or country of origin.

11.   Something about the end…

In the end of The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders, I wanted to tie the package up and create as far as possible, a satisfactory ending for all concerned. I certainly hope I've left no questions unanswered and the reader will come away with a good feeling about the book and the future for the McCleary family.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Favorite Sherlock Holmes TV Shows

I am a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes. I've read most of his books, but mostly I am stuck in front of the tv when the tv adaptation runs. So here are my favorites:

The one and only, an actor who I always think of when someone mentions Sherlock Holmes, is Jeremy Brett. Jeremy Brett starred as Holmes in a Granada Television adaptation screened from 1984 to 1994, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", with David Burke and subsequently Edward Hardwicke as Watson. All but 18 of the Conan Doyle stories were filmed before the death of Jeremy Brett from a heart attack in 1995. Between 1984 and 1994, 36 episodes and five films were produced over six series. Brett and Hardwicke reprised their roles as Holmes and Watson in 1988-89 in a West End stage play, "The Secret of Sherlock Holmes", written by Jeremy Paul. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My favorite crime drama tv shows

One of my favorite television shows that involves crime in it is Castle. Even after 8 seasons, it doesn't get boring. The dynamic duo of Castle and Bennet is getting even better and better. I really love them as a couple. It all started when a murder was committed inspired by the book written by the crime writer Richard Castle and detective Kate Becket was in charge for the case. Soon Richard Castle became police consultant and "the partnership in crime" was born.


 If you are a fan of Castle, you simply can not ignore Bones. Another dynamic duo, Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan and Special agent Seeley Booth. They are absolutely amazing. The show is full of interesting criminal cases and characters and after 11 seasons I still can't get enough of it.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Book review: The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders by C.M.Albrecht

How could anybody want to harm this innocent innocuous young man? He didn’t bother anyone. He didn’t interfere with anyone. He minded his own business and did what he was told. But he was just the handicapped son of a couple of junk dealers.

What’s the big deal?

Well, it’s a big deal to his grieving parents and they want closure. Enter Jonas McCleary, private investigator. But very quickly Jonas feels he’s spinning his wheels and wasting his clients’ money.

All that changes however when he becomes involved with a famous artist who has “models”, an influential TV personality who has “people”, a huge Navajo with a chip on his shoulder and a local mob boss who has “a crew." Jonas quickly finds himself falling into a black hole of lies, intrigue, and deception.

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Jonas McCleary is an old class detective. No modern technology, no gadgets in every pocket, just his open mind and a great sense for justice. That is what makes him good at his job, catching the bad guys. So when a mourning father shows up at the door of his office, PI McCleary takes the case. His client's son is dead. An autistic young man who never bothered anyone. A young artist who lived in his own world. A kid who never troubled anyone and never got into the fight, never lied. David Zaretsky lived for his paintings. His only passion was to paint. The father doubts the natural causes for the death of his only son, so he hires the private investigator to do some research. The investigation leads Jonas McCleary into the world of art and goes behind the scenes of the famous television shows. Soon he finds out that it is all about the show, that masks fall behind the scenes and that a whole new world arises when the red light of the camera turns off. A world where David Zaretsky doesn't belong to, a world where he is invisible, where for the rich and famous, simply isn't there.