Review of The Quartet Murders

"The Quartet Murders" coverThe Quartet Murders: A Yorkshire Murder MysteryBy: J. R .Ellis | Publisher:  Amazon Publishing UK / Thomas & Mercer | Copyright: 2018 | ISBN: 9781053903098 | Genre: Mystery

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is thoroughly enjoying a concert of chamber music in a chapel in a small Yorkshire town when one on the quartet members is shot while performing onstage by an unseen assailant and the musician’s irreplaceable Stradivarius violin goes missing. No one is seen leaving the building, yet the murderer and thief aren’t found. Is this the work of a gang of art thieves with whom some of the locals are involved? A few of the local well-heeled gentry are known for their private collections of rare and priceless musical instruments. Before long another member of the quartet is killed, and his murder linked to the stolen violin. DCI Oldroyd assists his old friend, DCI Sam Armitage of the local Halifax police force, in unraveling the knotted strings of these mysteries. The police assume the two deaths and the theft of the violin are committed by the same group of criminals. But are they connected or are they separate cases?

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Review of The Fairfax Incident

"The Fairfax Incident" book coverThe Fairfax Incident by Terrence McCauley

Polis Books, LLC | Published 2018 | ISBN 978-947993-05-1 & 978-947993-33-4 | Format: trade paperback and e-book | Genre: Mystery

Charlie Doherty, private investigator, “crooked” ex-NYPD detective, ex-Marine, thinks he has it easy. Since his “retirement” from the police force, he has been investigating cases for wealthy clients and being paid handsomely. Cases are funneled to him by the mysterious Harriman Van Dorn—easy cases such as tracking down wayward offspring or tailing spouses in divorce cases. Easy, that is, until he takes on the case of a society matron wanting to know why her husband was murdered. Although the police had ruled Walter Fairfax’s death an open-and-shut case of suicide, his wife thinks otherwise, “Walter was incapable of suicide. Not that he wasn’t a coward, mind you, for Walter Fairfax was most certainly a cowardly man. He simply wasn’t considerate enough to kill himself.” He was too busy making sure his insurance company remained a successful venture even throughout the Depression, during which time this story takes place. Mrs. Fairfax is adamant that someone drove her husband to his death, “The lives and fortunes of insurance men are based on calculations and charts and payment schedules that were created on the off chance that something terrible might happen to a policy holder one day. Do you know that they even have charts that can determine how long a policy holder will live based on certain factors? What’s even more troubling is how accurate the charts are…And that is why, Mr. Doherty, I know my husband did not take his own life.”

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Great American Read

I watched the #greatamericanread on PBS last week. I’m glad to see that some of my favorite books (like Moby Dick and War and Peace, to name just two) made it onto the list. You can bet that I’ll be voting for them. I can’t believe that The Scarlet Letter didn’t show up on the list. Anyone else have favorites that didn’t make it? What are your favorite reads?

Update to Published Poem

The poem that was supposed to be published in Spring 2017 should finally make its appearance online this Spring. I will post a link once it’s actually live.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Poem Published

I am pleased to announce that one of my poems, “Beyond Alice,” will be published digitally by Far Off Places in their forthcoming Spring edition, “Trespassers Beware.”

I’ll post again when the issue comes out.

Collaborative Consumption

Recently, I read, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers.

According to Botsman and Rogers, BIXI, a bike-sharing system, which launched in Montreal in 2009, is one of a small group of companies focusing on alternative commuting solutions in large urban areas.

The BIXI system, now under the auspices of PBSC Urban Solutions, has expanded to other large cities around the world.  The New York Times ran a short article about PBSC Urban Solutions in the Business section of its Sunday, 1/11/15, edition.  According to this article, Bruno Rodi, a Canadian real estate developer, saved PBSC Urban Solutions from bankruptcy court and will take the company out of operating bike-share systems and will focus on selling hardware and software. Rodi is quoted in the Times article as saying, “We’re going back to our core business [emphasis added], which was to build this machine. I don’t need to worry about how many workers are on this street or in that city. It’s not my job.”  Huh? Don’t understand this one.

Pink Dogwood

Pink Dogwood

We are having snow flurries today…I am ready for spring and can’t wait until our pink dogwood tree blooms, again!