Down-at-heels PI Moss Cole is trying to make a living in investigations using only some tips and an old hat handed down by his more successful grandfaDown-at-heels PI Moss Cole is trying to make a living in investigations using only some tips and an old hat handed down by his more successful grandfather. It’s the old man’s reputation that gets him the case of the missing Sinatra recording, which leads to the inevitable dame and at least two sets of threatening thugs, all pulling Moss in different directions with plenty of hard knocks and bad language along the way. The trope of the hard-drinking, hard-fisted PI has its unique twists here, lifting ‘Hot Sinatra’ from imitation to heartfelt homage for the Golden Age of the American private eye....more
Short horror fiction inspired by old grindhouse films seen at the drive-in and on late-night tv back in the day. Twenty tales told with economy and stShort horror fiction inspired by old grindhouse films seen at the drive-in and on late-night tv back in the day. Twenty tales told with economy and style, in which we meet swamp monsters and self-destructing starlets, evil men brought down by hubris and supernatural vengeance. Some tales are over the top and others as subtle as anything from Hitchcock. All are horrifying visually or psychologically or both. Don’t read by flashlight unless you’re willing to spend the night with your head under the covers, too freaked to peek out....more
Set in the familiar Old West of saloons and wagons, canyons and forests, peopled by the usual cowpokes, gamblers, good-time girls and good-for-nothingSet in the familiar Old West of saloons and wagons, canyons and forests, peopled by the usual cowpokes, gamblers, good-time girls and good-for-nothing layabouts, this collection manages to be anything but predictable. No story in this collection ever goes in the direction you expect. Instead they have sci-fi twists or are touched by the paranormal. The stuff of European fairy tales and horror stories is transplanted to cunning effect onto the dusty plains of North America. The writing from all authors is consistently good and the tales well-paced. Overall a gripping read, whether dipped into one story at a time or chomped down all in one evening.
One of my best reads of the year in Steampunk/Fantasy.
While the title and early reviews make it sound like primarily a romance, this is not accurate.One of my best reads of the year in Steampunk/Fantasy.
While the title and early reviews make it sound like primarily a romance, this is not accurate. The romantic elements are present but woven into a wonderfully complex - technological and social - society built around the 'heart' of the mountain.
A caper worthy of Donald Westlake, but starring a woman much more savvy than Dortmunder. What more need be said?
Dangerously funny! Be warned, there arA caper worthy of Donald Westlake, but starring a woman much more savvy than Dortmunder. What more need be said?
Dangerously funny! Be warned, there are sneaky spit-laugh moments throughout. Honestly, I have not laughed out loud, loudly, in the middle of the night so often since I was in third grade and entranced by Freddy the Pig.
The porkers here are Gina’s male relatives and their “business” acquaintances, as befits a woman whose extended family is THE local crime family in their part of Canada. After a courier from another “famly” gets killed on their turf, they’re desperate to avoid a gang war and Gina’s the least likely to be searched at the border so….
Oh, did I mention the jewels? Fabulous! And the shoes? To die for, darlings! And the MAN. The kind we’d all like to have at our side (or back, or front) when bullets are flying and bodies are bouncing. There’s a bit of mattress-bouncing too, but the heated action takes place off-page, with only some tasty flirtation around it.
Also, it’s short, a Rapid Read that you can get through in half an hour over your coffee.With due respect for potential choking due to sudden spurts of laughter.
This is an insanely zany caper that unrolls speedily into your eyes and brain with great visual images crafted from fewer words than I would have ever imagined possible. A comic tour-de-force and not to be missed! A heartfelt five stars from me. ...more
This novel is at once a neatly plotted mystery and a lacy confection worthy of the Baroque in gilded, dissolute Venice. The writing is so smooth as toThis novel is at once a neatly plotted mystery and a lacy confection worthy of the Baroque in gilded, dissolute Venice. The writing is so smooth as to become rapidly invisible, leaving me immersed in the world of Tito Amato: his home life, his singing background and aspirations, his adjustment to his new role as a fêted darling of the haughty ruling families of Venice. The secondary characters are well rounded and believable.
The investigation of a dire crime at Tito's first opera job is motivated and convincingly conducted. It was not necessary to know anything about opera, and very little about Venice, to follow this tale, but I learned quite a bit about both without being at all distracted from Tito's travails.
A wonderful book, and highly recommended to historical mystery readers and those looking for a solid mystery outside the usual. ...more