The Ghost of Longthorn Manor and Other Stories by Amy Cross is a collection of short stories published, 18 December 2016. I like collections of short stories because I can carry the collection around at work reading a quick short story whenever spare time appears. This is not that kind of collection. I read the 352-page collection in one session. Each story teases the reader into the next one. Is there a connection that binds all the stories together? There seems to be such a connection except for the last surprising, twisty, possibly stand-alone tale controlled primarily by a writer (who could be Amy Cross). It also takes place in a house which could be Longthorn Manor but in this last story, the house is not such an active participant.

Unheard, Unseen Submarine E14 and the Dardanelles by David Boyle should be an interesting non-fiction work for readers with interests in military history, in this case, the history of submarine warfare. It is well referenced with an interesting note at the end explaining the relationship of the author to the central character of this work, Courtney Boyle. Approximately 80% of this short work is about the E14 and Boyle; the remaining 20% is devoted to an extract of an additional David Boyle book.

The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling is a classic and also a Kindle Single. Because I am traveling a bit for the holidays, I am reading and posting a review for shorter works. When reading Rudyard Kipling, short stories are great for this purpose. This presentation has the story itself, a biography of Kipling, and 19 selected “best” Kipling quotes. It is a book that can be read from back to front, as I did, keeping the story for last.

Sadie the Sadist by Zane Sachs is one of those novels that should come with a warning label for exceptionally gruesome depictions of gore and violence. Sadie’s retelling of minute details of kinky sex prior to the termination of partners pales when compared to the impressions readers will carry away after reading her recipes. Sadie is an inventive culinary artist. So, other than fans of gore, who would select this as something to review? Why? Readers should consider this paragraph as a warning label. This is not a read for those with weak stomachs. A subtitle, X-tremely Black Humor/Horror provides further clues as to the genre of this novel. And Sadie’s recipes are never boring.

The Trestle is a Kindle Single which I got at the best possible price, free. This is not from Kindle Unlimited (KU), it was a free download offer. The offer is for everyone. It was not made in return for a review.

Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma by David Boyle (2014) is a non-fiction account of a man who solved puzzles. In this case, the puzzle had a name, Enigma. Germany had developed a system of codes during WWII that gave them an advantage over the allies in blocking shipping lanes to reduce what might become allied logistical superiority. In this Kindle Single of 112 pages, I discovered many things that were new to me about both the man and about breaking the code of Enigma.

Just Curious by Jude Devereaux is a novel I found that I thought would be appropriate for Christmas Day. No crime, no horror, no “bad” words, and an interesting story with a truly surprising ending makes this an almost perfect review post for Christmas day. There is just a little bit of sex but it is tastefully done and appropriate to the story. It is very definitely written for women, but, hey, a guy can enjoy a well-written story no matter the original target audience.

What with the holidays and all, I thought a Christmassy review would be nice. Given my favorite genre, crime fiction, I found the following short read about Christmas, murder, and cookies interesting. There are some who find it difficult to get into the holiday festive mood. Crunchy Christmas Murder by Patti Benning tells us that you should at least fake it and publicly display enthusiasm for the holidays. There aren’t a lot of surprises; this is what I would call a “comfort read.” I think I will make a tag that says that.

A Christmassacre Carol by Alex. S. Johnson is available as a free read from Kindle Unlimited (KU) or as a purchase for $0.99. For reasons presently unknown to me, I bought it. Thinking back, it was probably because of the weird-looking cover coupled with my fondness for horror stories. I thought I would find a few such stories in this short collection. And I did. But they are not new.

I originally downloaded this book through Kindle Unlimited (KU). If I returned the book after I finished it, I would lose it in my library. I thought this was good enough to go back and buy because I knew I would want to talk about it with my friends and I wanted to have it available for reference. This is the first book for which I have done this.