In A Dark Dark Wood

In A Dark Dark Wood

Mysterious Book Report Special No. 4

by John Dwaine McKenna and Lora Brown

I was over at Rhyolite Press the other day, talking with Ms. Lora Brown.  She’s the Publisher’s Rep., Executive Assistant and all-around Golden Gal who makes sure all our work gets done on time, sent where it’s gotta go and that our little world up here on the Mesa runs with the precision of a jeweled Swiss Chronometer.  As soon as we got the Hi, how-are-yas out of the way, Lora said, “Why aren’t you doing more MBRs featuring women? You hardly ever read books written by women.” I thought about it for a
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Run You Down

Run You Down

Mysterious Book Report No. 228

by John Dwaine McKenna

The word Haredi is literally translated from the Hebrew as “One who trembles in awe at the word of God.” The Haredim are “Members of any various Orthodox Jewish sects characterized by strict adherence to the traditional form of Jewish Law and the rejection of modern secular culture,” according to the Oxford Dictionary of English language.  The Hasidim, or Hasidics, are one branch of the Haredi and they are all, by definition, a cult.  Cults are dedicated, highly restrictive and generally patriarchal, or male-dominated in nature
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Goodhouse

Goodhouse

Mysterious Book Report No 216

by John Dwaine McKenna

This week is Halloween and the last of our first-ever Freak-Fest, celebrating novels with creepy characters, angels, demons, or things that creak, sneak and chomp in the dark of the night.  Send us your thoughts—social media, snail mail or eee mail—let us know if you liked it or not and why . . . maybe we’ll do it again. After all the supernatural mayhem of the past four weeks, we’re dialing it down to close out FF#1 by reading a thought provoking Sci-Fi novel with the ironic name, Goodhouse, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26.00, 320 pages,
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The Boy Who Killed Demons

The Boy Who Killed Demons

Mysterious Book Report No 215

by John Dwaine McKenna

Our Halloween Freak-fest continues this week with a YA (Young Adult) novel whose title says it all. His name is Henry Dudlow.  He’s “fifteen and a half and cursed.  Or damned.  Take your pick.”  The reason?  “I see demons,” in Henry’s own words. And so begins, The Boy Who Killed Demons, (Overlook Press, Peter Mayer Publishers Inc., $24.95, 288 pages, ISBN 978-1-4683-0960-7) by Dave Zeltserman.  It’s the story of an ordinary kid named Henry, age fifteen and a half, who’s been seeing demons since he turned thirt
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All Day and A Night

All Day and A Night

All Day and A Night

Mysterious Book Report No. 194

by John Dwaine McKenna

In the argot of the penitentiary—prison slang—an inmate saying that he’s “got all day” means that he’s serving a life sentence.  The term “all day and a night” means a life sentence without the possibility of parole, also referred to as life without and sometimes as LWOP.  I know these terms because I just finished reading, at the expense of all other activities planned for this winter Monday, All Day and A Night, (Harper Collins, $26.99, 352 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-220838-5) by Alafair Burke. Published to rave reviews by
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Sometimes the Wolf

Sometimes the Wolf

Sometimes the Wolf

Mysterious Book Report No. 185

by John Dwaine McKenna

Falling from grace, for whatever reason, has been an enduring theme throughout human history and all of world literature.  Whether it’s from individual malfeasance, political upheaval or personal relationships gone bad, we humans seem endlessly fascinated when the high and mighty ‘take their licks’ and ‘get theirs.’ Sometimes the Wolf, (Wm Morrow/Harper Collins, $26.99, 277 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-221691-5) by up-and-coming author Urban Waite, is a study of one man’s fall from grace and his son, who is trying to understand his
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