Fantasy-Horror-Gothic, Mythology

American Gods by Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is hailed as the author’s best novel, “an intellectual and artistic benchmark.” The story had potential, exploring mythology and metaphorically examining a culture’s fickle tendency to turn from one “god” to the next. However, while the tale is episodic, it lacks cohesion, character development, and follow-through. Gaiman’s American Gods could have… Continue reading American Gods by Gaiman

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Nonfiction

The Ravenmaster by Skaife

The Ravenmaster, by Christopher Skaife, is part guidebook, part history, part memoir, and completely engaging. The author, a Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London, also holds the title of Ravenmaster.  Skaife is the caretaker, wrangler, and advocate for the seven ravens currently in residence at the notorious Tower. His role as Yeoman Warder includes… Continue reading The Ravenmaster by Skaife

Crime Fiction, Mystery, Review Short, Thriller

Girl Targeted by Collins

Girl Targeted, by Val Collins, is unsettling and packed with tension. This debut novel has plenty of surprise twists and red herrings. Each flawed character reads authentically, and each one is laden with secrets.  Girl Targeted is a suspenseful mystery thriller with the “whodunit” storyline interlaced with a chilling tale of insidious domestic abuse.

Crime Fiction, Essay

A Time to Write: Crime Fiction and the Independent Press

The quest of the writer is to cast a light on the human condition, and the storyteller has always been drawn to the dark heart of human experience. We are intrigued by the stories that keep us awake at night. We are enthralled by the tales that make us check the locks on our doors.… Continue reading A Time to Write: Crime Fiction and the Independent Press

Classic

Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a classic well-suited to the name. Examining the lives of the working class and migrant workers during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, Steinbeck portrays the hope and loneliness of the American dream. The short length of the story belies the powerful poignancy. The writing is straightforward and… Continue reading Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

Biography, Nonfiction

As Thousands Cheer by Bergreen

Laurence Bergreen’s As Thousands Cheer is a detailed study of one of the greatest songwriters in musical history. Irving Berlin comes to life on the pages of Bergreen’s biography, a man who was quicksilver, prolific, driven, and brilliant. He is presented as a fully rounded figure here, complex and tireless, but even at the end… Continue reading As Thousands Cheer by Bergreen

Crime Fiction, Mystery, Review Short, Thriller

Review Short: A Hollow Sky by Coleman

A Hollow Sky is the second installment in M. Sean Coleman’s Alex Ripley Mystery series. Like the first book, this tale is a fresh new take on the crime genre. The characters are well-developed, the mystery intriguing, the small town setting atmospheric. This is a gritty, sly story that grapples with the issues of morality,… Continue reading Review Short: A Hollow Sky by Coleman