Wobble Wheel Wooley’s End of the Road: A Review

In Trey Barker’s contribution to Colin Conway’s Back Road Bobby and His Friends, Jesse is ready to leave the world behind and live off the grid. But to do that, he needs some cash. A carefully placed question or two connects him with Wobble Wheel Wooley, a man on a quest for a pile of money hidden by Handbrake Hardy.

This call-and-answer style story has two men whose paths become crossed. Jesse isn’t fussy about where his next pay day comes from, just that it comes. Wobble Wheel is on a Coronado quest for the mother of all payouts. Unpredictable, Wobble Wheel drives the story, dragging Jesse along for the right. A clean, straight-forward story, I give this 4 stars.

Dead Dead Girls: A Review

There is a lot to love in Nekesa Afia’s debut mystery Dead Dead Girls. This book is an amateur sleuth-style mystery. Our sleuth is 26-year old Louise Lovey Lloyd. A Black woman in 1920s Harlem, she works as a waitress in a café over a kinda sleezy speakeasy by day and dances her feet off in the best club in the neighborhood at night. On her way home from a late night of music and drinking, Louise and her companion Rosa Maria discover the body of a teen in the cafe’s doorway. Louise feels for the girl who reminds her of her younger self, of her younger sisters. With a spine of steel, Louise works with the New York police to go into the one place they can’t, the homes and businesses of Black New York.

Rating Dead Dead Girls on a 5-point scale against the perfect mystery, I give this 3.5 stars.

Strengths of the story. The lead character is vividly imagined and brought out on the page. You can the pride and frustration that would come with being friends with the smart and courageous woman. The setting is equally well drawn out, letting us feel the pulse of the band as Louise dances the Charleston. I simply love the language. I do not know how much research Ms. Afia did, but it was worth it. The slang is a key part of being transported to this neighborhood, at this point in time. The story is well told in the noun-verb-noun sense and is well edited, as you would expect with Berkley Prime Crime.

Where the story fell short of ideal. Ms. Afia weaves a complicated plot for her debut novel and with that intricacy comes the opportunity to make leaps in logic and leave string hanging. It is the type of story that at the end you think ‘ok, fine. That’s good.’ And then the questions start popping up. What about this and how was that managed. Beside the mystery itself, this happens with the apparent constant threat Louise is under. For readers who tend not to dissect the logic of a story, I am confident you will be delighted with this one.

Bottomline: Dead Dead Girls is for you if you like dynamic amateur sleuths and the under explored time of 1920s Harlem.

Robbing Banks with Gator Wilson: A Review

In Dave Zeltserman’s contribution to Colin Conway’s Back Road Bobby and his Friends, Jack “Gator” Wilson is living a simple life after doing time for his role in a horse track robbery. Billy Slake finds him, plying him with coffee, donuts, and an offer too good to be true.

And you know what they say about offers too good to be true.

This straightforward story is a fast, clean read. A two-character story, the play between Gator and Billy Slake rings true as anyone knows who has followed a friend into a misadventure. A solid read at three stars.

Card Shark Molly’s Last Hand: A Review

The Nikki Dolson’s Card Shark Molly’s Last Hand is the second story in Back Roads Bobby and His Friends, Colin Conway’s last edition to the 509 Crime Anthology. Molly is picking up a month’s worth of cash in one night by working as a dealer in a very private, pop-up poker game. The crowd is rough but the pot is big and Molly has plans for her share of the take. She is working the crowd as she makes the flop: a pair of eights and an ace. More money is thrown on the table. Molly flips the next card, another ace. The deadman’s hand, she realizes. And that’s went everything goes to hell.

Card Shark Molly’s Last Hand is one of those stories that slaps you in the face if you get so cocky as to assume where it is going. Nikki does a great job of dragging you through a litany of emotions – pride, fear, anger, anguish, more anger – all in twenty-one pages. It is a strong example of short story writing, made more potent by being in the hard crime genre. A 5-star review. Read this one if you are a fan of stories that keep you on the edge of your seat.

Stalking Under the Hunter’s Moon

Welcome to On the Prowl.

This October provided a gorgeous setting for a beautiful full moon. I was staring at the clouds instead of writing my newsletter. This month we explore the goddess of the hunt, the science behind the color of autumn, and go down the rabbit hole on fingerprints.



Image Credit: Aubrey Gemignani/NASA

Space.com curated a collection of specular photos of this month’s moon, including the featured image by Aubrey Gemignani. The Hunter’s moon takes my mind to the Greek goddess Artemis. The goddess of the hunt, moon, and chastity, Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto. Zeus’s wife, Hera, not at all pleased with her husband’s infidelity (again!) went after Leto because, well, her husband was Zeus. Hera took her revenge by forbidding Leto from giving birth anywhere on solid earth. And so Leto gave birth to Artemis while she balanced on an olive branch! Hera railed at being outsmarted. Hera’s daughter, Eileithyia (no idea how you say it), was the goddess of childbirth. (Here I thought the goddess of childbirth was Epidural). Hera forbade Eileithyia from helping Leto birth her son, Apollo. Artemis, at nine days old, helped deliver her twin brother. Talk about being gifted and talented. Spectacular!

Learn more about Artemis


Read the De La Cruz Series series.

The third casefile for Cleveland homicide detective Jesus De La Cruz is set to release in February 2022. That gives you plenty of time to catch up with Cruz, Yablonski, and Aurora before starting their next adventure.

#1 A serial killer is targeting drug dealers. Cruz puts his neck on the line to create the break and stop a killer some are cheering on.

From Down & Out Books. Amazon Link

#2 A young woman is in a coma. Two 9-1-1 calls point to murder and put Cruz on the trail of an assailant with a taste for revenge.

From Down & Out Books. Amazon Link

#3 An up-and-coming accountant is killed in a hit and run. Cruz searches his past, present, and future for a ice cold killer

From Down & Out Books. February 2022


Down the Rabbit Hole: Finger Prints

This month, I’ve been working on the adaptation for M2D4 Season 3Episode 7. This story The Red Thumb Mark, by R. Austin Freeman was published in 1907. A story of fiction, it was written at a dynamic time of science and discovery, documenting progress in action. This is first case for the British medical investigator Dr. John Thorndyke was working for the defense on what appears to be an open-and-shut case. A business man locks diamonds in his safe with a receipt. In the morning, the diamonds are gone and on the receipt is a red thumbprint. Which made me curious about fingerprints…and down the rabbit hole we go…

Click HERE to read the full article


The Painted Month

One of my favorite things about living in the Great Lakes region is that each month has a different feel. October is a most comfortable month, a beautiful month, thanks to the colorful theatrical display put on by the leaves. But, what makes the leaves change color?

Click HERE to get the magic on

BTW, I love the picture of this woman. It makes me want to rake up a pile and leaves and jump in!


Welcome to Mysteries to Die For

Mysteries to Die For. Season 3: Enter the Detective

Mysteries to Die For Season 3 is in full swing! This season is titled Enter the Detective. Each of the 11 episodes features the first case of a detective who went on to an illustrious career. Some you know by a single word: Holmes, Poirot, Chan. Others may be new to you but were cutting edge and set the standard for our modern day detectives.

New to podcasts? An easy way to start is through my website. Click PODCAST

New York Detective Ebenezer Gryce is called in to solve the murder of Horatio Leavenworth. Alone in the room, all doors are locked, it’s a clear case of murder.

Dropped October 22

A man is found dead in an empty room. He wasn’t shot. He wasn’t stabbed. He wasn’t strangled. This is a case for the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

Dropping November 5

In the posh home at Lenton Croft, visiting ladies are losing their jewels. When Scotland Yard is stymied, the calls goes out the expert Martin Hewitt.

Dropping November 19


Support comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. Down & Out Books and imprint All Due Respect support my books and podcast. Help me support them back. I am very proud to recommended these new releases to your reading pile, smart phone, or Kindle. It doesn’t matter how you read…just read!

Sonny Cantone’s having a really bad day. Wait until he sees the next 24 hours… From Greg F. Gifune, author of DANGEROUS BOYS and THE BLEEDING SEASON, comes VELVET ELVIS. Set in one hot and crazy night, and populated with hard drinking, pot smoking ex-cons, shady strippers, aging mobsters, crooked cops and sociopathic drug lords, VELVET ELVIS is one man’s dark and sometimes darkly comic descent into madness and mayhem.

Buy, download, and read Greg F. Gifune’s VELVET ELVIS. From publisher Down & Out Books.

Amazon Link to give Sonny a hand.

ALL THE GOOD IN EVIL tells the story of Amos Swain and his attempt for redemption. The more he tries, the more enemies he creates. As an enemy maelstrom circles around him, a betrayal he’d never imagined drags him deeper into chaos until the only redemption he can find is a little good in evil.

Buy, download, and read Joe Ricker and his awesomely titled ALL THE GOOD IN EVIL. From publisher Down & Out Books.

Amazon Link to support Amos Swain’s redemption.


Mysteries and thrillers from mainstream publishers leave you feeling like you kissed your best friend?

Then you are ready to step down to Down & Out Books.

Mystery, thrillers and true crime. Gritty. Hard core. Obscure. Twisted. Imaginative. Fantastic. Stories the way you like them.

Discover your next amazing read at Downandoutbooks.com and your favorite social media site.


The Beaver Moon chews up November, cresting on the 19th. Will I be On the Prowl on time? Stay Tuned!


Tumbling under the Harvest Moon

Welcome to On the Prowl.

Did you get to see that beautiful moon on the 20th? While I was not able to pull this newsletter together on time, I did get outside that evening to gaze up at a moon that glowed like an LED light. My 5 month old puppies, Kane and Skye, wrestled on the moonlight dappled grass. A sight impossible to photograph. The photo below was captured in daylight (obviously) by my husband when our bundles of fur were a bit younger.

Skye and Kane no holds barred in the back yard


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Autumn images sky and full moon

It doesn’t take imagination to understand how the Harvest Moon got its name. Here’s a link to our favorite source, The Farmer’s Almanac, if you want the official background. Taking a page from Kane and Skye, let’s be more playful. Looking around my world, if I were to name the moon today, I would call it….

The Spider Moon. Charlotte isn’t the only on spinning her web this September. There are spider webs in my shrubs, in the grass, in our woods, and between our house and our hockey goal. This last was spectacular and I tried to take a picture for you…but it didn’t work. A heavy rain last week undid the spider’s hard work and he has yet to rebuild.

The Concert F Moon. It is marching band season here in Indiana. The marching band Jack (of Mysteries to Die For fame) is in uses Concert F for tuning the band. I hadn’t known marching band was sport until moving to Indiana. The hours these kids, director and techs, and volunteers put in is a cause for applause.

The Pigskin Moon. Nothing screams it’s fall like football. Since the mid-1970s, footballs have been made from cow hide instead of pig but it’s nice that we keep the outdated tech reference. It’s sort like saying “change the dial” on anything today.

I want to know, if you named the moon based on your life, what would it be? Email me at tina at tgwolff.com.


Read the first in my series.

De La Cruz Case Files

From Down & Out Books. Amazon Link

Diamond Mysteries

From Down & Out Books. Amazon Link

Romantic Suspense – Lost In Series

From Entangled Publishing. Amazon Link


Down the Rabbit Hole: Exchanging American Dollars…or American Dollars

A one dollar bill from Citizen’s Bank of Louisiana

Episode 3 in Season 3 of Mysteries to Die For is an adaptation of the Allan Pinkerton Story “The Detective and the Expressman.” This story may be the first financial mystery. Written about a Pinkerton case in 1858, the story is the investigation into the misappropriation of $50,000 from the Adams Express Company. One of the things I enjoy about reading these original mysteries is the casual, everyday look into normal life. Sometimes, though, it is challenging to understand because our life today can be so very different. In this case, let’s talk about money.

Throughout the story, there are several references to various characters having to “change money.” Today, we certainly have to change money when we travel to other countries. You can’t use a ten dollar bill in London. You can’t use a 10 euro note in the states. You have to exchange one currency to another – or use a credit card in which a bank will do it for you in the background for a nice (not nice) fee.

But this story takes place in the United States, such as it was in the 1850s (31 states plus four territories). The story begins in Montgomery, Alabama and includes activities in New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and New York. So why were these characters “changing money”? Click HERE to read the full article


Sights and Sounds: South Haven, Michigan. A Great Spot on a Great Lake One of the fun things about being an author is exploring new places and then bringing those places to life on a page. People who live there or visited get a little thrill recognizing the places they came to cherish. People new to the places get to explore and make a new entry to their bucket list. In the 3rd book of the Diamond series, Diamond tracks a witness to the lake town of South Haven, Michigan. South Haven is located at the mouth of the Black River and Lake Michigan. Her +/- 4,400 residents love everything water, beach, and fishing. According to the LindyLou captain, South Haven has been a vacation spot for Midwesterners since the 1800s. Click HERE to read the full story.


Welcome to Mysteries to Die For

Mysteries to Die For. Season 3: Enter the Detective

Mysteries to Die For Season 3 has arrived! This season is titled Enter the Detective. Each of the 11 episodes features the first case of a detective who went on to an illustrious career. Some you know by a single word: Holmes, Poirot, Chan. Others may be new to you but were cutting edge and set the standard for our modern day detectives. Episodes 1 and 2 are live! Episode 3 drops on October 8. Jack and I recorded it this morning. Oh, boy, ragweed was messing with my throat.

New to podcasts? An easy way to start is through my website. Click PODCAST

A woman of high esteem is being blackmailed. She turns to the head of the Paris police for the return of her purloined letter. He turns to the first master detective – C. Auguste Dupin.

The young, beautiful Countess de Tremoral is found murdered on the banks of the Seine River. Her home has been ransacked but the only thing missing…is her husband.

Episode 3 Pinkerton’s The Expressman and The Detective

Dropping October 8

It was daring plot. Two thefts, months apart, leave the Adams Express Company missing $50,000. The company turns to the original private eye, Allan Pinkerton, for answers.


Our podcast is supported by my publisher, Down & Out Books. I am very proud to recommended these new releases to your reading pile, smart phone, or Kindle. It doesn’t matter how you read…just read!

In the psychological suspense thriller Stalker Stalked, Lexi Mazur learns the only way to beat her stalker is to use her own stalking prowess to turn the game back around. That’s her plan, but has she finally met her match? 

Buy, download, and read Stalker Stalked by Lee Matthew Goldberg. From publisher All Due Respect.

Amazon Link, show Lee some love!

Steve Harrison, thirty-five years old, handsome, has the world in his hands.  He is admired by his co-workers, his friends, his wife, and his mistress. And then he gets a call. “Bill” informs him that his wife has been kidnapped and if Steve wants her back alive, he has to do exactly what he says.  If Steve deviates from Bill’s plan, tries going to the police, or tries to involve others, his wife won’t be breathing when he brings her home.

Buy, download, and read Person Unknown by Michael Penncavage. From publisher Down & Out Books.

Releases on October 8. Pre-Order NOW! Buy Direct from D&O HERE


Mysteries and thrillers from mainstream publishers leave you feeling like you kissed your best friend?

Then you are ready to step down to Down & Out Books.

Mystery, thrillers and true crime. Gritty. Hard core. Obscure. Twisted. Imaginative. Fantastic. Stories the way you like them.

Discover your next amazing read at Downandoutbooks.com and your favorite social media site.


Take the time to watch the leaves turn until we meet under October’s Hunter’s Moon


Doing the Back Stroke under the Sturgeon Moon

Welcome to On the Prowl.

Where I wish I was a fish because it’s too damn hot. A wolf (or at least this wolff) was not built for August.

This month we are finding reasons to celebrate August, laughing at ourselves, playing with fish, and looking forward to the next season of Mysteries to Die For



The August Moon is the Sturgeon Moon, named for the time when the delicious fish are bountiful. While fisherman may delight, for the rest of us, August can feel like a long, sweltering desert between the holiday oasis of Independence and Labor day. Our favorite source, The Farmer’s Almanac, relieves the tedium with holidays you can celebrate.

8th: Sneak some Zucchini on your Neighbor’s Porch Day. (A joy for some, a punishment for others)

10th: National S’mores Day (Marshmellow lovers unite!)

11th: Presidential Joke Day (I thought that was everyday…😊)

13th: Left-Handers Day (Only 12% of people are southpaws and, yes, I’m one. So was DaVinci))

14th: National Creamsicle Day (Unexpected. I like it.)

15th: Relaxation Day. (Dang, I could have used that one.)

18th: Bad Poetry Day (I resemble this holiday)

22nd: National Tooth Fairy Day (That’s today!!)

26th: Dog Appreciation Day (That is definitely everyday in our house)

27th: Just Because Day (Goovy)

28th: Race your Mouse Day (Who?….and Why???)

29th: More Herbs, Less Salt Day (Just a reminder that salt is a sodium is dietarily necessary. And yummy)

So pick one and celebrate like it’s going out of style


Mystery lovers! The 2nd in my Diamond series, Suicide Squeeze, is available.

Diamond wanted ten minutes of peace and quiet. She got an incessant doorbell pressed by a gorgeous blonde holding a note compelling Diamond’s help. The blonde had a story, the “no one believes my perfect husband’s been kidnapped” kind. Eyeroll. Diamond slid the safety on the gun and climbed out of the bathtub. Dying would have to wait. Put Suicide Squeeze on the top of your reading stack. From your favorite book seller.

Shortcut to Amazon: Suicide Squeeze


Down the Rabbit Hole: I Don’t Care If You Are Saving The World…

This month I’ve been working on a scene in Diamond’s third mystery (working title Psycho Therapy) where a victim was killed while he was playing an online video game. I’m not a gamer. If I were, I doubt I’d have seven books and a podcast out. So, when I needed insight on the life of gamers – specifically on how much someone you were playing with online would hear. I turned to Subject Matter Experts: my family. Jack, my piano player and podcast producer, turned me on to videos where behind the scenes people stole the show. Yes, it was mostly mothers. It seems we, as a group, all tend to yell to our children without having any idea what they are really doing. The link below is to the first video Jack showed me and it is my favorite. Be a little patient through the set up…it’s worth it. ETA 5 Minutes to Bedtime Boys


Fun with Fish

Let’s celebrate the sturgeon moon with a fishy game. Use the clues to solve for the word. In each answer is the word fish…or rather the letters F, I, S, and H. (Scroll to the bottom for answers)

Someone who works 11p to 7a works the night _________

Oysters, crabs and mussels are type of _____________

My teenage son still has trouble _____________ the toilet

Someone who thinks only of themselves is ___________

The piece of metal between the chimney and roofing is the ____


Pocket Curiosity: East LaPort Footbridge, Plymouth Indiana


Welcome to Mysteries to Die For

Mysteries to Die For. Season 3: Enter the Detective

Mysteries To Die For is BACK!

Mark your calendars for Friday, September 10. Season 3 begins with an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Purloined Letter. This season is titled Enter the Detective. Each of the 11 episodes features the first case of a detective who went on to an illustrious career. Some you know by a single word: Holmes, Poirot, Chan. Others may be new to you but were cutting edge and set the standard for our modern day detectives.

New to podcasts? An easy way to start is through my website. Click PODCAST


Mysteries and thrillers from mainstream publishers leave you feeling like you kissed your best friend?

Then you are ready to step down to Down & Out Books.

Mystery, thrillers and true crime. Gritty. Hard core. Obscure. Twisted. Imaginative. Fantastic. Stories the way you like them.

Discover your next amazing read at Downandoutbooks.com and your favorite social media site.


Stay cool, my friends, until we meet under September’s Harvest Moon


Fun with Fish: The Answers

Someone who works 11p to 7a works the night SHIFt

Oysters, crabs and mussels are type of SHellFIsh

My teenage son still has trouble FluSHIng the toilet

Someone who thinks only of themself is SelFIsH

The piece of metal between the chimney and roofing is the FlaSHIng

Running Naked under the Buck Moon

Welcome to On the Prowl.

It’s summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertine!

Sorry I missed you in May and June. Life was a little bit crazy here. Hope it was calmer for you. A simple newsletter this month. Next month, I’m going to change the format a little, hoping to get more done earlier in the month.



July’s full moon is the Buck Moon. According to our favorite source, The Farmer’s Almanac, this is the time when new antlers begin to grow. Being a city kid, I’ll take their word on it. Other names for this moon are Full Thunder (yep, that’s appropriate) and Hay (again, no opinion). If I were to name it, it would be the  NO, SUMMER CAN’T BE HALF OVER moon. Whatever you all it, the moon hits it’s peak at 10:37 pm eastern on Friday, July 23.


BREAKING NEWS!

The first of my Lost in Tennessee series has come to KISS! KISS is a new and exciting way to experience Romance stories of all genres. Enjoy serialized quality content from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors, available right from your phone. KISS has hundreds of titles and authors to choose from, including new and exclusive content from some of your favorite voices! Best of all, you can choose just how much to read with our pay-as-you-go format!

To Celebrate, I have 20 Coins to give away to only 4 readers. They belong to the first 4 people who email me at tina at tgwolff dot com.


Down the Rabbit Hole: Dr. Watson, I Presume

Ancient hospital for treatment soldiers on battlefield – 18th or 19th century. Forceps, syringe, scissors, scalpel and other medical instruments on the table. Medicine in a field military hospital.

This month’s trip down the rabbit hole lands…in the front door of 221B Baker Street. I have been working on adaptations for the 3rd season of Mysteries to Die For. This season is all about the first cases of some of the most celebrated detectives. Of course, Sherlock Holmes is featured in a version of A Study in Scarlet. Now, I have been a Holmes fan for years. I tried reading Holmes but unfortunately started with The Hounds of the Baskerville, which is written in my least favorite way (letters from Watson to Holmes) and I barely finished. Consequently, my fandom existed on the screen. I raise my hand as a fan of all the movie variations and most of the television.

One character I never have quite “gotten” was Dr. John Watson. I see why Holmes wants Watson around. He needs an audience, an entourage. What’s the point of being great if there isn’t anyone to celebrate it with?

But why does Watson stick with Holmes? In most adaptations, Watson is portrayed as a bright, competent man who is routinely tricked, out smarted, and used by Holmes. So why doesn’t he tell Holmes to shove off?

A Study in Scarlet, like all Holmes mysteries, is told by Watson. But in this first story, the entire first part is Watson’s backstory. I’m sure there are Watson fans out there who know what I’m going to tell you, just move along to the puzzle. For the rest of you, did you know…

  • After med school in London, John joined the army and was assigned to Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers. This infantry regiment has roots back to 1674! Check out the Unit History Here
  • John was later transferred to the Berkshire Regiment (another real regiment) and was at the Battle of Maiwand. According to Wikipedia, the Berkire Regiment took heavy loses on July 27, 1880 with 286 dead and 32 wounded. Learn more from Wikipedia Here:
  • Dr. John Watson was among the wounded. The bullet entered his shoulder and nicked an artery. A brave orderly put him on a pack horse and got him back behind British lines.
  • While recovering from the wound, Watson came down with Typhoid fever. It put him to bed for weeks. Learn more from the Mayo Clinic HERE
  • As soon as he could travel, the Army gave him a discharge and returned him to England with a pension of 11 shillings and sixpence a day.
  • Dr. John Watson lived in a hotel. He was pain riddled, slept little and irregularly, and spent all his money with nothing to show but a dog. He was near to broke when he decided he had to move to something more affordable than the hotel. That is when a friend of a friend introduced him to Holmes.
  • Watson describes himself as lazy, keeping odd hours, and unable to tolerate arguments, because of his nerves.
  • When he moves into 221B Baker Street, Watson doesn’t know what Holmes does for a living and he doesn’t care. It is only after a few months that he begins to get curious and tries to puzzle out for himself what the tall, lanky man does to earn his money.

I loved how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle missed reality in with his fiction. Totally fascinating and it all makes sense! Still recovering from being deathly ill, Watson’s brain becomes intrigued with Holmes and drags his body along. Whenever Watson was in pain or dragging from a lack of sleep, Holmes was the reason he left the house.

I found Watson to be a far, far more interesting character than he is portrayed as on the screen. I also found Holmes to be more human and less arrogant than most portrayals, especially when interacting with Watson.


Get Your Sherlock On

Mrs. O’Leary is found dead at her kitchen table. The poison was found in her glass of ice water. Complete the phrase ladder beginning with ICE WATER to reveal the poison and who Detective Ng should arrest. (Scroll to the bottom for answers)

ICE WATER

WATER _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ & DIRTY

DIRTY _ _ _

_ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ PEN

PEN _ _ _


Mysteries to Die For. Season 2: The Originators

Mysteries to Die For combines storytelling and original music to put you in the heart of murder, mystery, and mayhem. This season features adaptations of some of the first stories to be considered mysteries. The season is complete! All 11 episodes can be found everywhere you get your podcasts.

New to podcasts? An easy way to start is through my website. Click PODCAST


Down & Out Books is the publisher of my mystery series and supports Mysteries to Die For. Check out these new releases on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, indiebound and ask for them at your favorite book store.


The Penns River Police Department has a new chief, deputy chief, and several new officers. Crime pays no attention.

A woman dies in a hit-and-run the night before the new chief takes over. The case demands more manpower than Penns River has, and the investigation loses steam as day-to-day events require immediate attention: domestic disputes, petty theft, not so petty theft, armed robbery, a visit from the Dixie mafia, and things police take care of because no one else will.

Sullivan doesn’t want the first homicide on his watch to be an open file and tasks Teresa Shimp to spend as much time as she can on it. It’s Teresa’s first gig as primary homicide investigator.  She sticks with it, going back over things to re-assemble her thoughts until she has a eureka moment.

Lead detective Ben “Doc” Dougherty has all this and some personal matters to contend with: his parents’ failing health, a dramatic change in the domestic situation of two young men he is close to, and finding an old friend has colored outside the lines.

Penns River’s cast changes, as do the roles they play. The job is still the job.

sk for Leaving the Scene from your favorite bookseller. Amazon Link is HERE


 Life is a constant party for restaurant manager, Finn Roose. When he seduces an underage woman on one of his booze cruises and loses her—literally, it sets off a massive search involving the police, her parents, and a private investigator. Finn is an expert manipulator but his endless lies only tighten the screws on himself and his unsuspecting best friend. Finn scrambles to make things right which may be too much to ask from a guy who can’t resist a hot babe and a stiff drink.

Ask for Cleaning Up Finn from your favorite bookseller. Amazon Link is HERE


Frank Zafiro writes gritty crime fiction from both sides of the badge. His River City series is a police procedural that follows an ensemble cast of police officers, while his SpoCompton series focuses on a variety of criminals or people just down on their luck. He’s written over thirty novels, some on one side of the badge and some on the other. You can pick and choose which you prefer at his website:  frankzafiro.com.


Until August when we are swimming with the sturgeon once again. Stay cool.


Mrs. O’Leary is found dead at her kitchen table. The poison was found in her glass of ice water. Complete the phrase ladder beginning with ICE WATER to reveal the poison and who Detective Ng should arrest.

ICE WATER

WATER DOWN

DOWN & DIRTY

DIRTY RAT

RAT POISON (The poison)

POISON PEN

PEN PAL (The Killer. She traveled.)

Blushing under the Pink Moon

Welcome to On the Prowl.

Wow, April has flown by. I hope it has been kind to you. A late snow made for some spectacular scenery here. This is a simple edition. We explore this month’s supermoon, dive down the rabbit hole of palmistry, and look at some new releases worthy of your attention.



April full moon peaks Monday, April 26 at 11:33pm EDT. According to our favorite source on full moons, The Farmer’s Almanac, this nickname came simple from the abundance of pink flowers that aggressively bloom this time of year. Other names include Breaking Ice Moon, Moon When the Streams Are Again Navigable, and the Frog Moon. We certainly are hearing a lot of frogs around my house.

This month’s moon is going to be especially big and bright. A “supermoon”, the moon will be literally closer to the earth than most full moons. According to NASA, Supermoon was termed by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 and refers to new or full moons in the part of their orbit that puts them closest to Earth. There will be two this year: April and May. Take the time to step outside and turned your eyes skyward. What do you see in the moon?


Down the Rabbit Hole: Palmistry

Palmistry. Open hand lines and symbols mystical reading

This month’s trip down the rabbit hole lands…in the palm of your hand. Lately, most of my recreational reading has been mysteries written in the 1800s and early 1900s as research for our podcast Mysteries to Die For. I just finished Raspberry Jam by Carolyn Wells. An excellent mystery with some very entertaining characters. Aunt Abbey is the mothering aunt who is fascinated with the occult including seances and palmistry…which started my trip down the rabbit hole.

Palmistry foretells the future based on the lines and bumps in your hands. Also called chiromancy, it was practiced in ancient India, Nepal, China, Persia, Roma, Babylonia—pretty much any place that was any place. Mainstream society’s relationship with the practice has ebbed and flowed over time. Alexander the Great used it as a tool to evaluate character of his officers. During the renaissance, palmistry was one of the seven “forbidden arts” for divination. The U.S. National Library of Medicine has two volumes on the subject. The first is a 1533 volume written by Bartolommeo della Rocca titled  Barptolomaei Coclitis Bononiensis, naturalis philosophiae ac medicinae doctoris Physiognomiae & chiromantiae compendium. Wow. The second title is a miniature book by Andre Corve published in 1578 in Lyons, France titled Excellente chiromancie monstrant par les lignes de la main les meurs & complexions des gens selon les figures qui y sont depeintes. The book couldn’t have been that small with a title that big!

The website China Highlights gives the uninformed beginner (i.e. me) at tutorial in the art. Your palm contains lines that connect to life as we know it. Marriage, love, career, health, wisdom are there for the reading. But which hand to read and how to interpret is where the magic it. Check out China Highlight’s Palm Line Calculator. For myself, I think I need a professional. My marriage line seems non-existent (don’t tell my husband) and my life line is disturbingly short. For the record, I plan to live to 95 and achieve the coveted status of ‘eccentric old woman’.

References:

US National Library of Medicine. https://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/2016/10/31/palmistry-the-future-in-the-palm-of-your-hand/

Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmistry

China Highlights https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/article-palmistry.htm


Mysteries to Die For. Season 2: The Originators

Mysteries to Die For combines storytelling and original music to put you in the heart of murder, mystery, and mayhem. This season features adaptations of some of the first stories to be considered mysteries. Episodes drop every other Friday.

New to podcasts? An easy way to start is through my website. Click PODCAST

S2 E7 In Plain Sight drops Friday, April 30

A young seamstress disappears in the middle of the night. For a woman of no great importance, someone is going to extremes to hide her. The job of finding her falls to the esteemed Mr. Gryce and his young associate Thomas Quinn

An adaptation of A Strange Disappearance by Anna Katherine Greene

S2 E8 Poetic Dissonance drops Friday, May 14

The most famous goldsmith in Paris is dead. His apprentice is under arrest. He is guilty, but not of murder. It is up to Mademoiselle de Scuderi to save him from the guillotine

An adaptation of Mademoiselle de Scuderi by E.T.A. Hoffman


Down & Out Books is the publisher of my mystery series and supports Mysteries to Die For. Check out these new releases on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, indiebound and ask for them at your favorite book store.


Dick Moonlight is dead for real this time. Thanks to a trio of masked thugs in a dark downtown Albany alley, he’s purchased a one-way ticket to the Pearly Gates—that is, until he feels his floating spirit painfully pulled back into his bruised but breathing body. And that’s when the real trouble starts.

A private detective with a short-term memory problem due to a wayward self-inflicted slug, Moonlight knows he’s still in danger. Now he just needs to know why. And he’s got plenty of enemies to keep him guessing—the Albany police, the local mob, even the latest love of his life, Lola, can’t be trusted. Only his Vietnam-vet best friend, Georgie, is on the level. But it seems the goons who tried to take him out have bigger fish to fry—chiefly Moonlight’s latest client, Peter Czech, a handicapped nuclear engineer with a mysterious Russian heritage. Czech had something—a box—the gang believes is now in Moonlight’s possession, and they’re willing to get it any deadly way they can. Problem is, Moonlight doesn’t recall Czech giving him any box—of course, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it. He just better figure out where it is before he winds up dead for the last time.

Amazon link is here


It’s August 1986. The Cold War rages and Yuppies make all the money. Fresh off a three-year stretch at Starke for keeping Pearce family secrets, Scotland has a new place to call home on Fort Myers Beach. All should be perfect except Scotland’s wife is going to die unless he comes up with $100,000.

He enlists a trusted friend to help him rob a Tampa casino to pay for her unconventional treatment. While freely risking life in prison if he’s caught, he never thought his trusted accomplice could go rogue and turn against him. On top of that, his long-lost nieces come to him in need of help only he can provide, while a mysterious female former Marine has her own surprise plan for him.

Scotland hurtles through his new-found freedom right back into a storm of violence and pain with strong women and treacherous men gusting in all directions. Without him, the women would be doomed; without them, he would be. Yet, success and failure are put to the biggest challenge by an unsettled score from the past that threatens to bury them all in the surf.

Coming May 10 from Down & Out Books. Pre-Order Now. Amazon Link is here


See you in May to tiptoe through the petals under the Flower Moon