Blog Archives

How Criminals Think

Malcolm Tanner
Malcolm Tanner Author Interview

Drowning My Suspicions follows two friends who investigate the death of their friend and find that it might not have been an accident and the killer may be lurking. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I am an avid watcher of detective and investigative stories. I have always wondered how criminals think and how they act when greed and power take over in a person’s mind and nothing will stand in their way. I try to look at the motivation that drives them and incorporate that into the story.

The characters in your story are interesting and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The characters in the book are developed behind the ideals of wanting to find justice, character flaws that they try to correct, and from background, whether it be home life or friend’s influences. I think it is important to see each character from the events in their lives that shaped them and formed them. I also shoot for a blend of what I know about real people and what I would like my readers to see in these characters. The blend of those two things are important when I am bringing those characters to life.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Some themes that were important were justice, the frailty of the human mind, relationships and the outcomes when they turn bad. People can become very selfish and cold hearted. When opportunity becomes a series of sordid events to make that opportunity a reality for a person, their mind is clouded and judgment is affected. They get trapped and instead of doing the right thing, they are caught up into making one mistake after another until the climax builds a situation that becomes desperate. People are affected psychologically by the things that happen in their life, both the good and the bad. I want my readers to seriously consider that in their own lives when it comes to understanding others.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book will be the fourth in the Mike Parsons series, “Mirror Image”. I have three previous books in this series that you can find here at the following link: The Mike Parsons Trilogy (3 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com). The book will be available sometime in the late fall of 2021.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Meet Braden McDermott, former college football star, professional football announcer, and… ex-boyfriend.

Braden lands the job of his dreams and he leaves his girlfriend Arial behind to accept the position. Once he starts his new career, but realizing he’s still hung up on Arial, he wants to go back to her. However, his agent Tyler, and Braden’s best friend investigative reporter Larry, try to convince him to forget about Arial and move on, but when Braden falls ill he has to make a decision on what to do with his life.

Arial Kramer is furious when Braden dumps her for a ‘job’. She vows never to depend on a man again and makes the decision to use men to get what she wants. Power, money and fame. Then, at an inopportune time, she gets a call informing her he’s sick and wants to get their relationship on track again. Braden admits he made a mistake and she reluctantly takes him back. She wonders if he will find out she is involved with some seedy characters in a fraud scheme.

When Braden meets an untimely demise and his friends, Larry and Tyler start to investigate what really happened that night at Arial’s place. Was it an accident or was it murder? Who could have done what to their friend?

In this thriller filled with greed, lust, money and power, Larry and Tyler set out to find the truth and ensure that justice for their friend, Braden McDermott is served.

1A Penn Road – Book Trailer

1A Penn Road is a short, suspense thriller about obsession fuelled by desire. Man’s desire is the desire of the other, but be careful who you let in.

Three strangers move into 1A Penn Road and soon become best friends with their live-in landlady Chrissy.

Chrissy is young, vibrant and generous. However, she is prone to outbursts of rage and depression, triggered by an obsession with her ex-boyfriend Leon.

The lack of recognition from whom she most desires it, has led Chrissy to develop reckless and self-serving tendencies, which continue to escalate tensions at 1A Penn Road. Until one Thursday evening, she is found bleeding to death on the staircase.

1A Penn Road is a short, sharp gripping thriller. It is one of the books in a series written by the same author. The stories require only an hour of your time to read, but in that hour you will be drawn in by the suspense and kept guessing until the last few pages.

The next book in the series will be the title Jay Deux.

Buy Now From B&N.com

A Primary Motive for His Murder

Cam Lang
Cam Lang Author Interview

The Concrete Vineyard follows a homicide detective who finds himself at the heart of a deadly murder mystery case where his friend is the next target. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to write a novel about urban planning but didn’t know how to make it appealing to the masses. Usually, the only people who read urban planning books are other urban planners. So in order to make things interesting I decided to kill one of the most respected senior citizens in the town – Edward Mitchell, its modern day patriarch. He also happens to own one of the most coveted properties in the Old Town district. By having the pursuit of this man’s property become the central focus of the novel, I would be able to tie in characters in the land development industry (realtors, developers, planners, lawyers, politicians) with greed as a primary motive for his murder.

Bryan Dee is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I knew that my main character (urban planner Kris Gage) would reveal and tackle the planning issues I wanted to raise in my novel but I needed another character to bring out the history component. I decided to cast my main detective (Bryan) as a former history major who doesn’t really care for his position as a police officer but he does experience enlightenment about what is happening to his former hometown. Fire plays an important role in the history and evolution of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Bryan’s understanding of the past is required to reveal this major storyline. A key message of the novel is you can’t plan for and be a good caretaker of a place if you don’t appreciate its history – like Bryan does.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I actually started this book as a non-fiction account of why the colonial charm of historic Niagara-on-the-Lake is eroding. With every passing year, more and more of its tree canopy is being etched away as homebuilders carve out more for infill development, poorly designed sites and subdivisions have become tragically normal, and traffic and congestion continue to increase. Meanwhile, the wine and hospitality industry is singularly focused on generating business and tourism as town administration council – bereft of vision and creativity at the best of times – continue to adopt a status quo that is no longer working. Like a big rig on a highway, it is difficult to slow down and even harder to turn around, so it’s easier to just keep it going in the same direction.

Greed is a common, if not ubiquitous condition in any town or city and it has hit its peak in the first capital of Upper Canada. From realtors to developers, homebuilders, winery owners and politicians to a flock of Torontonians who now call this town their own, they’re all padding their pockets at the expense of the greater good. While the themes of sustainability, good planning and historic preservation reign overtly in my novel, this book is actually about automobile dependency and addiction. If the town eventually decides to address this core issue, everything else will get better.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a lot of things on my bucket list. I’m surprised I even wrote one novel. If I find a good issue or a corrupt character who I feel like picking on, I might try to write another urban planning mystery.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Why would anyone want to murder the most respected senior citizen, Niagara-on-the-Lake has ever had?

Retired history professor Edward Mitchell was surely not long for the grave, so why would someone risk life in prison to kill him? Picking up the clues is the reluctant Homicide Chief Detective, Bryan Dee. Thinking he might be out of his depth he is happy to enlist the aid of his friend, Kris Gage. But when Dee reads the deceased’s last entry in his diary, ‘time to take care of K. Gage,’ he becomes torn between investigation and friendship.

As an urban planner, Gage understands real estate and the bureaucracy of planning. Following the money, he soon finds himself in the middle of corrupt developers who seek to take all the charm out of the area. Over two hundred years after the War of 1812, is Niagara-on-the-Lake, once again, on-the-Take?

The Concrete Vineyard is an intriguing and unique whodunit. Packing an intellectual punch, this smart murder/mystery will have you guessing and gripped! If you like great characters, clever plots and intelligent storytelling, then you’ll love this creative and thought-provoking novel.

Buy The Concrete Vineyard today for a thoroughly enjoyable read!

Drowning My Suspicions

Drowning My Suspicions by [Malcolm Tanner]

Drowning My Suspicions by Malcolm Tanner is a captivating story of Braden McDermott, a well-established sports broadcaster and close friend of Larry Mattingly, an investigative reporter. Larry narrates his journey to investigate his friend’s death, which he believes was not justly resolved by the law. The story is action-packed and moves smoothly between an ongoing court case and the series of events leading up to the trial in a succession of flashbacks. As Larry delves into his friend’s acquaintances and connections stemming from Arial Kramer, an ex-girlfriend, he follows a path of deceit and crime that stems over several years, leading up to Braden’s unfortunate fate.

Malcolm Tanner writes with an exciting, fast-paced tale that keeps you engaged immediately from the beginning. The story quickly shifts into past events tied to the court testimonies and witness accounts, focusing on specific individuals and their connections to the case. The author leads the reader into layers of circumstances and events surrounding Braden, Larry, Arial, and a few key players in the story. This process creates an atmosphere of mystery about the death and how what appears to be a straightforward story is far more complex. As new events and developments occur, new characters and situations emerge, drawing the reader deeper as the story digs far below the plot’s surface.

The author steadily builds momentum, along with unexpected twists, holding the reader’s attention until the end. Larry’s investigation takes in a lot more as the story moves to include peripheral characters and instances that weave into a much larger role in the plot. He is a likable character with a keen eye for finding justice with an unrelenting nature. Each chapter is short and concise but descriptive enough to keep you moving forward without pause. It’s an addictive read that ignites a sense of getting to the bottom of the case. I felt that longing to solve the mystery like a jigsaw puzzle that continues to grow, adding more pieces along the journey.

As a reader who enjoys character development and complexities, I found Drowning My Suspicions an enjoyable read, with a layered plot that kept me moving from one riveting scene to the next. Drowning My Suspicions is a hard-boiled mystery with an engaging storyline, fascinating characters, and a plot that will engross you.

Pages: 243 | ASIN: B08V57XXPM

Buy Now From B&N.com

Polish Dragon P. I. (The Lineage Sword)

Cindy’s brother was missing, along with the intricately forged sword that had been handed down through their family for generations. Carved into the hilt of this sword is a dragon with eyes that seem alive. So when she read about Tom Sipowicz, a P.I. nicknamed the Polish Dragon, it seemed only natural to hire him for the case. Tom soon finds out that there’s more adventure to be had here than he usually finds in his line of work. He ends up chasing leads to Taiwan and back while unearthing a wealth of knowledge about the culture, history, traditions, and superstitions of Cindy’s family and people.

Polish Dragon P.I. (The Lineage Sword) by Steve Zimcosky is a fast paced mystery filled with exotic locales that all seem infused with a sense of the supernatural. Zimcosky wastes no time getting to the meat of the story, introducing Cindy, the lineage sword, Tom, and a hint at his own background within the first few pages. From there the action is consistent, and Tom uses all his tricks to try and find the missing man. Paul is a law student reluctant to continue in the family’s martial arts business after the death of his and Cindy’s father. Tom calls in some favors from old friends in high places. Eventually, a letter from Paul himself helps guide the way, but not before a trip to Taiwan and visits to many of Cindy and Paul’s family friends. This provides readers with ample opportunity to meet intriguing characters as we wind through this short but well crafted mystery.

The Lineage Sword has a fascinating story that is layered and full of potential. I would have really loved this story to be a full novel so that we had time to explore different plot points, and give more breadth to events and interactions that feel only briefly explored here.

Polish Dragon P.I.- The Lineage Sword combines a curious mystery with an imaginative supernatural element that holds promise and will surely capture the attention of amateur sleuths looking for a quick but engaging read.

Pages: 85 | ASIN: B08VF7ZZ99

Buy Now From B&N.com

How Ferris Wolfe Got Fired

How Ferris Wolfe Got Fired is a memorable story about the intricacies of working for a corporation, in this case it is ‘Aquatic Hobbyist.’ The novella focuses on different perspectives within the company and the building where the company resides. The different perspectives give you insight of how unhappy people actually are working for this company. I really enjoyed this evocative story and couldn’t help but empathize with Ferris. Just as soon as he had tried his best in raising the company’s numbers and then being recognized with this accomplishment, he is fired for an incident that occurs in the office. Just as he is about to rejoice in his triumph he is quickly shot down and blamed for a lot of the actions that his employees partake in.

The reality of this intriguing story is how the most dedicated workers are punished, despite their devotion to their occupation, just like Wolfe, while the others are given a pass; it’s frustrating but it is true in essence. One thing I really like about the different perspectives, or rather focus on different characters, was that it gives readers a look at people who might have had a motivation to sabotage the company. We see characters like Elena and Theo who arguably are taken advantage of as well as Imogen. They are characters who attempt to not only work but do their best and pick up the slack–arguably they are underestimated. This is a short but entertaining tale that gives insights into how a corporation might operate and it reels you in with a curious whodunit story? Who has breached the system and attempted to take down Wolfe?

How Ferris Wolfe Got Fired is a quick read that has characters you can empathize with and a puzzling riddle that makes this mystery story an engaging read!

Pages: 113 | ASIN: B08RSQVRMR

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Reader Can Feel Her Pain

James E Smith
James E. Smith Jr. Author Interview

1989: What Happens When A Killer Returns For Revenge is a haunting crime thriller that follows a woman who is determined to find the man that murdered her husband. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to create this vision of accomplishment and happiness, while also providing some background for Nicole, to get the reader to feel the joy and happiness that she felt at the beginning of the book, so when she finds her husband dead, the reader can feel her pain and understand why she went on this journey.

I also, wanted show how his death not only affected her, but how it impacted his partner as well. I wanted to show that not only was Sgt Allen close to Marcus, but how he was equally, if not even closer to Nicole. The goal was to show the internal struggle as he dealt with not only the death of his friend, but also the re-emergence of the Penny Murderer, and a new partner who doesn’t trust him.

Nicole is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

She is a combination of both fictional characters and people I know. I wanted her to be both strong and vulnerable. I wanted to showcase her strength and determination, while also showing that she is a “real” person, hopefully creating someone that readers could relate to. I wanted her to be a “normal” person, someone readers would leave saying, I know someone like her or could see how she could be real. This was the same model I applied to all my characters.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was the mystery planned or did it develop organically while writing?

It was a combination of the two. I started with a general outline, it was pretty basic, because I didn’t want to write myself in a corner. I wanted to give myself the ability to adapt the story as I went along. The story ended up playing out in real life. Every event that occurred, did so from the characters perspective. I tried to immerse myself in them and take on their behaviors and tell their story not how I thought it should, but how I thought they would react and act.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on the follow-up to 1989: What Happens When A Killer Returns For Revenge. This was just the beginning, there is still so much more left of the story to be told. It will potentially be available towards the end of the year.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

For three years a serial killer known as the Penny Murderer terrified Monroe, Georgia. His signature was leaving a note on the body starting with “A penny for your thoughts.” Detective Mike Allen and his team tracked down and arrested Samuel Johnson for twelve murders. Throughout the trial and even after his conviction Johnson always proclaimed his innocence. The controversial trial divided the city, and things exploded when he was found dead in his cell shortly afterward. A cover-up?
Old ghosts are awakened almost thirty years later when Allen’s original partner on the Johnson case, Marcus Jones, is found dead. Attorney Nicole Jones, Marcus’s wife, starts to be suspected of his murder, so she goes on a dark journey to find out who really killed her husband and why. She experiences a roller coaster of emotions upon learning that both he and former partner Mike Allen had kept many disturbing secrets from her.
Meanwhile, Allen’s own investigation takes him in a different direction as he tries to solve who murdered Marcus, all while dealing with a new partner who not only questions his every move, but also the actions taken during the original investigation. Is this a new killer? Or did they get it wrong all those years ago and send an innocent man to jail…?
In this page-turning novel, complex characters and unexpected plot twists will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what will happen next.

1989: What Happens When A Killer Returns For Revenge

Nicole Jones has her work cut out for her. Her life hasn’t been easy, but she has managed to achieve great things and has done so despite the tragedies that haunt her. When she loses her husband, the secrets they have been hiding for years begin to rise to the surface and threaten Nicole’s very future. A murderer has made an appearance and seems hell bent on ruining the lives of everyone associated with a case from the past. Nicole, lonely and confused but determined, makes it her mission to find out who is behind these copycat killings and who stole her husband from her.

James Smith’s 1989: What Happens When a Killer Returns for Revenge, takes readers on a thrill ride that unfolds over decades and through the lives of everyone involved with the Penny Murders. The trail of despair left by these murders has inched its way into the lives of Nicole, her husband Marcus and everyone around them.

Right out of the gate, Smith hits the mark with this fantastic thriller. I enjoy a mystery with as little fluff as possible, and Smith delivers that and much more. This dark and engaging thrill ride draws readers into the lives of Nicole and Detective Howard. The steps the two take to find out who is responsible for killing Nicole’s husband are extensive and keep readers on their toes. When I can predict the killer in the first half of a book, I am disappointed to say the least. Smith, however, has managed to keep me guessing to the very last page–definitely a page-turner.

Smith’s characters are written with an intensity that keeps readers invested in every move they make, and he balances their appearances well throughout the plot. I appreciated the glimpses into the past, and the character development moves along at a nice clip. Readers will become attached to Nicole and her plight from the first chapter of Smith’s work.

James Smith’s 1989: What Happens When a Killer Returns for Revenge is a haunting crime thriller that will appeal to murder mystery fans. While it stands as a fairly long novel at just shy of 400 pages, Smith’s writing is a quick read. Readers will find themselves devouring the mystery surrounding this new onslaught of murders. The ending of Smith’s work will leave readers guessing and, as I have become fully invested in the characters, I am hoping to see more from Smith in this series.

Pages: 392 | ASIN: B08R6G856J

Buy Now From B&N.com

%d bloggers like this: