Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jeff Cohen - New Author / New Book

Jeff Cohen is making his debut as an author of the book The Killing of Mindi Quintana. Before becoming a published author, he practiced as a lawyer and operated some business ventures. He is already working on his next book so let me tell you about this one - his first. A brand new book, it was published April 25th, 2010.

I would kind of describe this book as a Tale of Two Lives. Very Interesting considering it involves the death of another person - Mindi Quintana.

The two lives belong to one person - Freddie Builder. Don't get me wrong - this is not one of those split personality cases. The first life is the life he lives prior to the death / killing of Mindi Quintana. Freddie is living an unsatisfied life in the sales / marketing world. This is kind of interesting because he does have a flare for creating displays that are not only artistically appealing but actually produces sales. He has already been named Manager of the Month once and is on the verge of winning it again. Maybe this is part of the reason it is unsatisfying. Once he completes his piece, somebody comes and buys something out of the set and it is no longer complete. The other part of the reason is because he wants to be a successful writer.

This is kind of where Mindi comes into the story. They knew each other earlier in their lives. They both had aspirations to get into writing. He went into marketing and she is now working for a little magazine company. When she sees his work in the store display, she is impressed by it. Later she even suggests he might think about using his decorating talents in another business like museums. She agrees to look at some of his writings.

Here we have two things that he feels may bring some satisfaction to his life. First a potential romantic interest with Mindi and second a potential boost in his dream to be a writer. And then when he the announcement is made he is the Manager of the Year you would think this would bring a sense of accomplishment in his life as well. IT DOES NOT!!!

This cause the downward spiral in his life. When he realizes there will not be any romantic interest from Mindi and she says his writing needs work, he ends up killing her.

This leads to a transition to the second life of Freddie. Now that he is a suspect of murder and now that he is in prison, the spotlight is on him and he sees a way to get attention turned to his writings. He gets all kinds of media attention and ways to work on his writing.

I do not want to give away any more of this story (and there is a lot I have not mentioned). If you think it sounds interesting, you need to read it for yourself.

STAY TUNED for a post by the book's author in a few days!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Mystery Theme - Roses

Roses - an interesting theme for this Monday. I chose it is because of a suggestion from my Mystery Reading Group at Firewheel Barnes and Noble. A lot of the group are into roses and were wondering if there were mysteries involving roses. So I undertook the task to find out. Here is what I found.

The Blue Rose: An English Garden Mystery (English Garden Mysteries) by Anthony Eglin

The Trail of the Wild Rose: An English Garden Mystery by Anthony Eglin

Murder by Roses by Alinka Zyrmont

There were several short stories as well that I did not list. I expected to find quite a few more books but did not - I'm sure there are more. Let me know if you know of any others.

About the picture: My wife bought a cutting off the Lady Banks Rose Bush in Tombstone, AZ at the Rose Tree Inn. This is what it looks like today after several years of trimming back. The one in Tombstone is reported as the World's Largest Rosebush and originated from a cutting taken off a rosebush in Scotland in 1885.

"You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses." - Ziggy

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Selection For MRD Group

Have you heard the phrase "Different strokes for different folks"? Loosely translated it means we all like different things and that was evident with this month's mystery book selection - No Way Home by Patricia MacDonald. There was a split when we took our traditional vote - 4 thumbs up and 4 thumbs down. But that is one of the great things about belonging to this reading group - we get exposed to different books and authors. We get to find new interests. We each have our own things we look for when we read a book. Some it may be the plot, others may look for plausibility, and others may look at style.

There were two things I saw in the story that I liked - the story and the clues. But first let me share my first impressions. Before I began reading I looked at the title - No Way Home. This triggered a thought about The Wizard of Oz. Do you remember the phrase "There's no place like home"? Well when I started reading the story there is talk about tornadoes - again it brings to mind The Wizard of Oz. Other than these two initial impressions though this is where the impressions end - cause this is NOT The Wizard of Oz after all.

The story starts with a family - a woman, her husband, her daughter, and her son. There were some interesting relationships in this family. The woman and her daughter were somewhat close to each other. The husband and son seemed to have more of a relationship with each other than the woman had with either of them.

The early mention of the tornado just seems to indicate something bad is coming. Bad first comes with the murder of the woman's daughter. There seems to be several possibilities for who the murderer is - the first and most predictable being an escaped prisoner. But first possibilities aren't always the best. Later we learn the local sheriff's son is suspected of being the murderer. He certainly is not thought of very highly by most people and seems to be disappointment to the Sheriff. Although thought to be a suspect, there are just to many things that did not add up.

Several points in the story there are clues that I noticed but did not realize were pointing to the real murderer. (It seems other readers may have picked up on these clues and knew who the murderer was pretty early.) I could list some of these clues but do not want to give away the murderer. The story ended with some surprises.

If you have not read this book, do not let the split decision dissuade you from reading it. You never know - "it might be your cup of tea".

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Mystery Theme - Dogs in Mysteries

In a previous post, I gave the feline the highlight so I thought it only fair that I give the dog (man's best friend) equal time. Here is what I have found about dogs in mysteries.

From Dog Hobbyist -

From the Cozy Mystery List Blog -

From Dena P's Amazon List -

From Williamsburg Regional Library -

I am sure there are a WHOLE LOTS MORE!! Let me know if you have a favorite one.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Announcing May Workshop for MWASW - Dallas


May 1st Workshop Speaker: Chief Frank McElligott

Join us for a workshop on Hostage Negotiations.

Currently serving as Chief of Police, Hutchins , TX , Frank McElligott has been in Law Enforcement for 33 years. He has worked in every area, from patrol to Task Force Commander and everything in between. We will be sure and leave plenty of time for questions.

The Dallas MWASW group meets the first Saturday of each month at Texas Land & Cattle, 812 South Central Expressway, Richardson , TX 75080 . Meeting time is 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. There is a $5.00 door fee, cash only. All who attend are invited to remain for lunch.

For more info about the group, check out their web page

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Mystery Theme - Halloween

Yeah .... I know. Halloween is a long ways off. But I got an email from my favorite Miniature Mysteries author - Margaret Grace about her latest book coming out. It is called Monster In Miniature. I thought I would check out other mysteries with Halloween as a theme - and what a mother load!!!

The first place I found was a place I am familiar with - it is the Cozy Mystery List. Here is the link there -

Here is a link from the Springfield City Library -

And finally here is another blog about Halloween mysteries. The blog is Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem -