Why would a guy with advanced degrees in computer science, and who had been a hacker in Hong Kong, want to be a private investigator after he got out of Chinese prison and came home? And how good would he be in his chosen profession? Such is the premise of The Reluctant Detective? And why would a guy in his late 20s or early 30s be dependent on his wealthy parents to subsidize his first case with a gift of $50,000 if he succeeded?
Coningsby Trent (CT) Ferguson is smart, but rather unmotivated as The Reluctant Detective by Tom Fowler begins its steady roll towards a denouement. But beginnings can be deceiving. CT exercises his smarts throughout the novel, even surprising his cousin, Rich Ferguson, a member of the Baltimore Police Department, with his deductions.
CT’s first case supposedly involves adultery. Alice Fisher believes her husband, Paul, is playing around. But CT soon realizes that Alice has a problem, not her husband. And it’s gambling, not adultery. Nonetheless, he sticks with the case.
Gangsters, both small time and overlords, as well as their “goons” threaten CT with harm if he steps on their toes or hurts their business. The goons are the ones who get hurt when they think CT is an easy target.
Good characterization, especially of CT. I’ll read the rest of the CT Ferguson series, including the novella prequel, Hong Kong Dangerous.
Stay tuned for a review of Tom Fowler’s second series featuring John Tyler.
Here we go with a mystery-review website roundup, These websites review mystery, crime, thriller, spy and suspense books. Some of them also incorporate author interviews and book lists.
The Real Book Spy
According to Ryan Steck, owner of The Real Book Spy, the site presents “full coverage of all your favorite thriller authors, and their characters, unlike anywhere else on the web!”
A few of the book reviews currently offered on the site are Daughter of War by Brad Taylor, Crucible by James Rollins, New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke and The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk. Steck also offers author interviews with such luminaries as Brad Thor, Sean Parnell, and Brad Taylor, among others.
My short post speaks about what I like about being a book blogger. Although reading the book, forming an opinion and writing the review take time, it’s not all hardship. As publishers produce more and more books each year, plenty of candidates from many genres vie for my attention. Currently, I deal mainly with mystery novels. In the future, I plan to include some literary fiction, poetry and nonfiction. I frequently request Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) through www.netgalley.com, www.librarything.com and www.goodreads.com.
I foresee myself book blogging for quite a while into the future. Here’s to meeting new literary friends in real life and through the pages of their books.
For anyone new to blogging and who wants to blog about and review books, The Book Blogger Platform, by Barb Drozdowich, gives a solid overview of the main blogging platforms. The book is aimed at those who are not totally tech savvy. Ms. Drozdowich discusses WordPress and Blogger, the two most popular blogging platforms. She discusses the posts, plugins, gadgets, widgets and sidebars that are part of every blog. Also discussed are backing up your blog and monetizing it.
Since this book focuses on book blogging, Ms. Drozdowich discusses where and how to get books about which to blog. Netgalley and Edelweiss are mentioned as prime sources from which to request advanced reader copies (ARCs) and as places to post reviews.
Book bloggers can also guest post on blogs of other book reviewers/bloggers. Other sites to post book reviews are GoodReads, LibraryThing, and Booklike. Ms. Drozdowich is also a proponent of posting to the major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Instagram.
Overall, this book is a good overview of how blogging software works, where book bloggers can find ARCs and suggestions for other places to review books and get your name out there.