Cruel Works of Nature by Amor Gemma is billed as a collection of 11 illustrated horror novellas. This is from Haunted House Publishing, an enterprise associated with Tobias Wade. His recommendations have always assured me a good read in the horror genre. The illustrations show up in Kindle as a series of attractive drawings that precede each chapter. This is a concern for me because Kindle books with illustrations are not always compatible with all devices. This collection worked, and the illustrations were a nice touch.
The Ones Who Never Came Back by R. C. Bowman is a collection of twenty-five short horror stories and novellas. I like to comment on each story but in summary; No. 13, The Wooden King is very good as far as a twisted horror story. The last two stories are wonderful celebrations of humanity and the ways the human spirit can deal with horrible situations. This is a solid five Amazon stars collection.
Missing on Date Night by Michael Ace Smith is a forty-five-page crime story. I received an email from the author with several attached PDF files and a request for reviews. Once I saw attached PDF files, the email with unopened attachments remained in my inbox for several days because I hate reading stories in PDF format. Yep, there are programs that convert files to different formats but why should I be forced to convert files to my desired reading form (mobi)? I decided to open one attachment just to get a feel for the style of writing and was pleasantly surprised. Because the story was short, I suffered the pain of scrolling as I read the first one, Missing on Date Night. Putting the title into Amazon, I found the novella available through Kindle Unlimited. I could download the book and it would be a verified purchase. No PDF files! I am happy.
A Story of Betrayal by Michael Ace Smith is a 92-page story of, just like the title indicates, a betrayal. Ben Churchinoff is a Captain, and thus commander, of the Juneau police force. He is described on the Amazon page as a small-town Captain. I am not familiar with Alaska but I did not think of Juneau as a small town. The way this story is told, it seems the police force is large. In one case, Ben calls his office and seems not to know the person, Morgan Turner, answering the phone.
Full Circle by Michael Ace Smith moves away from Alaska, a scene in earlier Smith novellas, to Alabama and Hawaii. Detective Ralph Houston has achieved fame and recognition as a detective specializing in ransom for kidnapping cases, especially when they involve children. He had been driven to become proficient in this specialty as a result of personal tragedy; his own daughter, Stella, had been kidnapped and killed despite ransom being paid. Ralph had delivered the money to a place designated by the kidnappers. Ralph had found his daughter’s body hanging from a tree.
Tagged, You’re It is a novelette by Jamie Lee Scott which she labels as A Gotcha Detective Agency Mystery. I felt this was a novel written to a perceived niche market and therefore had an element of unreality. This very diverse group of people could have come together in their business and social relationships, but I believe it unlikely. The setting is a New Year’s Eve party. There will be several minor mysteries throughout the story as to who invited whom and for what purpose (other than to celebrate the holiday.
Crime: Murder in a Small Town by Michael Ace Smith takes place in a small town in Yorkshire, England. It must be scary to live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, no strangers have been observed passing through, and a murderer is on the loose. It must be someone known to the rest of the town’s inhabitants.
In Violence Knows No Boundaries by Michael Ace Smith the author again adopts a small town where-everyone-knows-everyone setting. In this case, everyone knows that Sheriff Bob McCallum doesn’t belong. While he is trying to gain acceptance from the community, he faces two additional problems. He is trying to put his life back together and someone is committing murders in a town where such crimes don’t happen. Will McCallum be seen by the town as bad luck?
Monday’s Child is a novella or short story (653 Kindle locations) published in 2014 by Jamie Lee Scott. This story is part of a Gotcha Detective Agency series. This is Nick’s story. By the end of this story, we know that Nick is a detective in the Salinas Police Department, a city in Monterey County. I was attracted to the story because I was a Monterey County Sheriff’s deputy; the county jail facility was located in Salinas, and I spent more time in the jail (not as an inmate) than I would have liked.
Time to remember July 2018. It was not that long ago. Stephanie Bond writes something that might fall into a genre called “Diary Novels.” It might not be a genre but I’ll call it that. The idea is that Bond tells a story in installments, one published every day. My introduction to Stephanie Bond was with the series Coma Girl. Absolutely great. My expectations for this series are high. This is Part 1 of Comeback Girl; chapter titles are the dates in July. That makes each chapter a short read I believe perfect for readers who study English as a Second Language. Readers look forward to each installment, interest is maintained by cliffhanger endings, short attention spans are not penalized, this is an all-around win situation. There is even a bit of a mystery about the line at the bottom of the cover, “Home is where the hurt is.” Really? How is that going to work out? Is there a possibility of a happy ending? Readers will not find out until the end of December.