As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
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by Permanent Press, 31 January 2017. ISBN: 978-1-57962-436-1 (HB)
From the publisher: At 59, facing a dull and
lonely future, Phil Vail yearns for a way to put vigor and purpose into his
remaining years. Then he finds the Mafia. He is riding a commuter
train, enjoying a chat with the younger woman sitting next to him when they
encounter three drunks threatening violence and rape. Phil is powerless and
terrified but the woman is neither: her father is the caporegime
of New York’s Sforza crime family and a cell call brings her three mobster
brothers who deal out brutal punishment. Phil is appalled but
fascinated. In subsequent contacts with the woman he finds himself
falling in love and his fall takes him deeper into the Mob. Then comes
the game changer: a crazy-seeming offer to become a crime boss himself,
an offer he cannot refuse. Phil sees the dark comedy in his situation but
tells the story earnestly in a first-person account describing his emotions,
reflections and surprising leadership as well as adventures including a
sensational brawl with a Mafia kingpin in a posh Manhattan restaurant, a
near-death experience in a karate dojo, and a spectacular stunt to force the
hand of the FBI.
This novel had me hooked from the first page,
something that seldom happens, I must admit, But the opening scene, which
has our protagonist falling in love and falling into the mob in quick
succession, is written in so engaging a fashion that it has the reader swiftly
engaged in the tale.
Phil, divorced for 3 years and with a 26-year-old son,
is 20 years older than Sylvia, the woman who entrances him immediately. A
former client, who also was his last-remaining client, decides he wants to run
for the presidency of the US. His description in this regard may sound
familiar to many: “He had no elected-office experience, no campaign
experience, no voter constituency, and no political agenda.’ The author
also speaks of a high-lever meeting which takes place in a venue whose guests
include “a celebrity real estate mogul who pushed to the front eager for camera
time,” a description which might also sound familiar.
Our protagonist muses that he “was finally getting the
hang of gangster rock ‘n’ roll.” The novel references writings and
writers including John LeCarre and William Shakespeare, just an example of the
erudition and simply wonderful writing found here. A very fast and
terrific read, the novel is highly recommended.
Zousmerspent half his
career as a journalist, mainly with ABC News, and the other half as a freelance
speechwriter for the CEOs or presidents of about 30 major corporations. His ABC
assignments included chief writer of Good Morning America and 20/20, senior producer
of Nightline, and writer for Harry Reasoner and Peter Jennings. He also wrote
documentaries for Discovery, Audubon, Smithsonian World, and National
Geographic. He is a graduate of Stanford and Columbia Universities and served
as a United States Navy officer in Vietnam. He has written six books: two
novels, three books on writing, and a Smithsonian book on evolution in the
Ted and Gloria Feit
live in Long Beach, NY,
a few miles outside New York City.
For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in
Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and
writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly
publications. Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're
now retired, they're able to indulge that passion. Their reviews appear
online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US. On a more personal
note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine
grandchildren between them.
Published by Riverrun, 4 May
2017. ISBN: 978-1-78429-726-8
It's 1969 and a high-class prostitute named Lena but
known as Julie Teenager, should be in her flat awaiting her next client but
Florence her maid is puzzled to find her place empty.
Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen is
called in to investigate when she is found murdered. He is soon convinced that
it is one of her clients who killed her but which one? There now begins the
difficult task of tracing them all. The only names the police have to go on are
made up ones by Florence based on their appearances.
Breen finds out that the local beat
policemen were warned to keep away from Julie's road at night. Who could be
responsible for such as order? Could there be a policeman with influence
involved or does it go even higher? When Breen digs deeper and seems to be
getting nearer the truth, more murders are committed.
His pregnant girlfriend, an
ex-police officer, Helen Tozer, is bored now she has given up work and insists
on helping Breen. The more they discover the more they are convinced that
politics come into it, especially involving Russia and the exchange of spies.
As Helen becomes more involved Breen begins to fear for her safety, with good
reason. He also has the creepy feeling that he is being followed but he wonders
if he is getting paranoid or is whoever is responsible just very good at it?
It all leads to a great finale but
it leaves Breen wondering if he really wants to carry on as a policeman.
Another great story well written,
from William Shaw, I do like his books. I particularly enjoyed the nostalgic
feeling of the sixties, I remember all the events he describes well. It is easy
to forget how different lives were without mobile telephones, they really do
have their uses!
A really good book full of intrigue
which keeps the reader guessing right until the final pages. Hurry up with your
next one William! Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
Shaw was born in
Newton Abbot, Devon, and lived for sixteen
years in Hackney. For over twenty years he has written on popular culture and
sub-culture for various publications including the Observer and the New York
Times. A Song from Dead Lips was his
first novel. He lives in Brighton.
Chappell. I have a
great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the
occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising
especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more
reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new
by Abacus, 13 December 2016. ISBN: 978-0-349-14287-9
1920s America, with prohibition in
full swing. Small-time crook Joe Coughlin was nineteen when he fell in love
with Emma Gould, ‘moll’ of one of the town’s key liquor bosses ...
page-turning gangster story begins seven years later: Joe’s on a boat, with his
arms bound and his feet in a bucket of cement. It then goes straight back to
the main story, his first heist, where he meets Emma, and followed his journey
from petty criminal to the respected and feared organiser of a major liquor
racket. The third-person focus is on Joe throughout, so we’re taken right into
his world, feel share his shock and pain as the world double-crosses around
him, and sympathise with the choices he makes. He’s a likeable gangster,
endearingly naive and loyal, vulnerable in his love for the enigmatic Emma, and
unwilling to kill. He’s surrounded by a cast of equally-vivid characters: his
police chief father, his ruthless best friend, Dion, and top shark Maso
Pescatore. The historical background is casually, convincingly done, with deft
references to cars, costume and current events. There’s a high body count,
though the violence isn’t too graphic, and you need to stay alert on who’s
working for who, because that changes frequently. The action builds up to a
breath-holding climax and a satisfying conclusion.
roller-coaster thriller which takes you to the heart of the Prohibition mob
Dennis Lehanewas born and
raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts.. Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he’s published nine
more novels since then. Lehane was a staff writer for HBO’s The Wire, and is a writer/producer on HBO’s
Boardwalk Empire. He has taught fiction and literature at the Harvard Extension
School, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and Tufts University.
becoming a full-time writer, Mr. Lehane worked as a counsellor with mentally
handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos,
worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. He and his wife and children
divide their time between Boston and Los Angeles.
Marsali Taylor grew up near
Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently
a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and
two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is
fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive
dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a
keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of
her local drama group.Marsali also does
a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.
A review of her recent book Ghosts
of the Vikings can be read here.