Ruins Of War

By |2019-12-12T21:42:05+00:00October 2nd, 2019|2016 Best Books of the Year, Historical/Thriller, Mysterious Book Report|

Ruins of War Mysterious Book Report No. 234 by John Dwaine McKenna Every time we start thinking that the deep, thoroughly-explored and fully-drawn well of World War II stories is about to run dry . . . along comes another author with a whole new, and fascinating point of view, coupled together with a totally original plot to disabuse us of the notion. So move over Ken Follett, make

Cambodia Noir

By |2019-12-17T21:54:13+00:00February 20th, 2017|2016 Best Books of the Year, Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Mysterious Book Report No. 256 Cambodia Noir by John Dwaine McKenna Nestled between south Thailand and south Vietnam is the small Asian nation of Cambodia.  Fronted on the Gulf of Thailand and bisected by the Mekong River, the capitol city is Phnom Penh.  It’s a transit point for the opium-producing region known as the Golden Triangle.  As such, it’s a lawless place where corruption is rampant, drugs are plentiful

The Second Life Of Nick Mason

By |2019-12-17T21:48:48+00:00February 6th, 2017|2016 Best Books of the Year, Crime Fiction, Mysterious Book Report|

Mysterious Book Report No. 254 The Second Life of Nick Mason by John Dwaine McKenna Author Steve Hamilton’s Alex McKnight series won an Edgar Award and captured a boatload of other major crime fiction distinctions, including two listings on the New York Times notable books of the year roster. Pretty impressive, to say the least. Now, he’s begun a new series with an anti-hero protagonist that’s creating an earthquake

Fever City

By |2019-12-17T21:43:23+00:00January 23rd, 2017|2016 Best Books of the Year, Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Mysterious Book Report No. 252 Fever City by John Dwaine McKenna The joke’s on me . . . Some weeks ago I was queried by a publicist for Europa Editions in New York City: “Would I review a noir novel of theirs if they sent a copy?” I noted that it had a September release date and said, ‘Sure,” then got an ARC (advance review copy) in the mail

The Mulberry Bush

By |2019-12-17T21:29:49+00:00January 4th, 2017|2016 Best Books of the Year, Mysterious Book Report, Spy/Thriller|

Mysterious Book Report No. 250 The Mulberry Bush by John Dwaine McKenna Somewhere in the big junkyard that passes as my mind, there’s a snippet of a country song that goes . . . “I thought I’d been loved and I thought I’d been kissed, but that was before I met you . . .” which I’m going to rip off and paraphrase to introduce this week’s Mysterious Book

Where It Hurts

By |2019-12-17T21:23:21+00:00December 7th, 2016|2016 Best Books of the Year, Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Mysterious Book Report No. 246 Where it Hurts by John Dwaine McKenna If you’re a fan of hard-boiled noir--as I am--you’re gonna love Gus Murphy. He’s the beat-down, used up, cynical, angry, divorced, grieving, cuckolded, bitter and weary ex-cop who’s tough as a ten year old steel-toed boot, but still as altruistic at heart as the first day he pinned on a policeman’s badge. He’s the newly-minted character from

The Yid

By |2019-12-17T21:17:47+00:00December 6th, 2016|2016 Best Books of the Year, Historical/Thriller, Mysterious Book Report|

Mysterious Book Report No. 245 The Yid by John Dwaine McKenna The legacy of Joseph Stalin, the ruthless dictator of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, 40s and early 50s, is one of famine, endless bloodshed and tens of millions of deaths due to malfeasance, malevolence and gross mismanagement.  It was an era of terror for ordinary citizens . . . a time when neighbor spied upon neighbor and

The Lightkeepers

By |2019-12-12T21:49:46+00:00November 18th, 2016|2016 Best Books of the Year, Murder Mystery, Mysterious Book Report|

Mysterious Book Report No. 239 The Lightkeepers by John Dwaine McKenna An exceptional new authorial voice was brought to our attention by some friends in New York City a few weeks ago. They know we’re always looking for exemplary first novels by as-yet unknown writers to introduce to our MBR audience—and although we don’t always agree—this time they’re spot on! With thanks to Ian and all the crew at

Last Words

By |2019-12-12T21:38:18+00:00October 31st, 2016|2016 Best Books of the Year, Mysterious Book Report, Thriller|

Mysterious Book Report No. 231 Last Words by John Dwaine McKenna There ought to be a special word for novels that have more than one theme, more than one story arc, and a tricky, psychologically-twisted plot interwoven with numerous backstories blended together into a complex and genre-defying literary stew that you just can’t put down once you begin reading. Something like Mindaffectus-Mystery or Terribullistawickedus-Thriller, which would easily identify smash-mouth,

Run You Down

By |2019-12-12T21:31:13+00:00October 26th, 2016|2016 Best Books of the Year, Crime Fiction, Mysterious Book Report|

Mysterious Book Report No. 228 Run You Down 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