This is a book published in 2013. At its conclusion, we do not know what the final verdict will be. We know Jodi Arias was found guilty, but there are two stages left in the process to decide whether she will get the death penalty, life with possibility of parole, or life without the possibility of parole. She was found guilty in 2013 of the murder of Travis Alexander and it took until April of 2015 before the judge was told to make a decision that was not the death penalty; she was sentenced to life without possibility of parole. So, knowing the result of this famous trial, why read the book?

This is a read one get one free type of crime novel with lots of humor delivered by dialogue. First there is the primary mystery from page one to page 328. (I read on a Kindle, your page numbers may vary). Cassandra Scott is a fourteen-year-old molestation victim. Who did it? Even when we find out she was molested by Toes (a name, not an appendage) there are lots of questions remaining. Hero, poet, and almost private detective Talba Wallis wants to pursue and develop any leads to bring Toes to justice. Cassandra makes this more difficult as her and her party-going colleagues refuse to identify the man with the ridiculous name, Toes. Solving the mystery following a linear path from beginning to end of the book is the first big mystery. A quick resolution is desired because people Cassandra’s friends begin disappearing. It turns out Toes is not a nice man. Few psychopaths are.

This is a short story, a Kindle Single, and a good way to pass the time. You are feeling frustrated because someone else is late and all of a sudden you have unanticipated time to pass. This story might clam you down, or it might make you afraid to ride commuter trains.

It’s a Joseph Wambaugh novel so it is a bit hard for me to think that there might be a reader who does not know what to expect when reading one of his novels. However, the plot of this novel is absurd enough to consider the entire book a put-on. He writes of the world of cops with knowledge from experience of having been a cop. The most entertaining depictions presented are those of life in a squad room or precinct, where the cops live. Those are the plausible parts. For those without experience as a cop, it might be difficult to imagine it could be as wacky as described in this book. I had no problem accepting it.

The author asked me to review this collection of short stories in return for a copy of the book. SIDENOTE TO MY INDONESIAN STUDENTS. The author sent me a paper copy of the book. This is not easy in Indonesia; the book saw more of Indonesia than I have seen so far as it wound its way through several provinces before arriving in Malang, Jawa Timur. On the good side, the stories so impressed my son that he carried a copy to his classes. The stories were so weird in a horror (not sexual) way that his teachers were not equally impressed; they thought it was a waste of reading time. I disagree. Read everything. Read all the time.

Beasts                                      by Brendan Dezner

This interesting collection of short stories defies attempts at a comprehensive “book” review. There are stories which are quite intriguing, which I liked, and a couple that left little to no impression other than a feeling of wanting to get to the next story. A feature I liked was that several did not end; the reader was left to imagine what would happen or the reasons for what was presented. This is a good book to carry along and read for diversion while getting on with daily routines. Here are snap impressions of the stories.

Some people would call this an e-zine; I think we can all be comfortable with an epub. It is a collection of short stories, one of my favorite things to carry around to spice up boring meetings. As I read the stories I like to make one line comments (OLC). These are just teasers that might make a reader want to look at the story. Sometimes I quote my favorite lines. Sometimes a story is so unremarkable I recommend skipping it. That did not happen with this collection, each story had its own appeal. I received a complimentary copy in return for a review.

Incantations has enough ghosts, scary stuff, and horror to keep you up late. I pulled this off the to read shelf and read it in one reading session. The novel is presented as a series of blog posts, each one describing a generation level that will eventually meet their ultimate fate at 129 Walsh Street in Summerhaven. Many of the actors in the story have existed before in a different generation. At least one exists twice side-by-side as a Jekyll and Hyde type. I won’t say which one, that is part of the fun of discovery. Straker begins in the present day with character descriptions and plot hints. Successive chapters will move one generation back, then towards the end of the book, we return to the present. Some actors change names as they emerge in different generations; readers might want to use a highlight function to keep track.

Serial killers who begin their careers at five years old are rare. It is probably an item best left off a resume. Even though it was only dogs, cats, and fish that Nicola killed, there was bound to be disapproval. Not from mom. Nicola’s single parent was creative in the ways she beat and punished Nicola, so she couldn’t say she hadn’t received any education from mom. At age of ten Nicola graduated to a higher class of subjects by poisoning one of her classmates. At twelve she killed a homeless man for practice. At fourteen she killed a pedophile. It seemed only natural that she become a nurse. What a beginning!

Juan Williams makes frequent appearances on Fox News as a member of The Five. I observed him make frequent observations that were well thought out but not always in agreement with the “other four.” When offered an early reviewer copy of his book by Library Thing, I accepted because I wanted to see if his writing style differs from his appearance “voice.” It does not. In return for the early copy, what follows is the review I submitted.

I reviewed Patrick Kearney: The True Story of The Freeway Killer by Jack Rosewood in return for a free copy of the book.

I did not read this book in a reverse order, from back to front. But I should have. At the 78% point (loc 992) there is a bonus chapter. This chapter was well written and organized, much more than the rest of the book that precedes it. This review will look at the book from the more conventional front to back order.