Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Billy Ray Chitwood's Latest Novel is Out!

Billy Ray Chitwood's final novel in his Bailey Crane mystery series, A Common Evil, launches this week.

If you haven't yet sampled his writing, you really should!

My review is set out below, followed by book links and ways you can contact the author.


‘A Common Evil’ is the sixth book in Billy Ray Chitwood’s mystery series. It is also the first of the series I have read – but I WILL be back for more.

Chitwood’s detective, Bailey Crane, has moved to Mexico with his wife, Wendy, hoping for a quiet retirement by the Sea of Cortez. But fate intervenes and Crane finds himself caught up in a shootout with members of a Mexican drugs cartel. So much for a quiet life. From then on, things go from bad to worse for the ex-detective…

One of the things I enjoy about Chitwood’s books – apart from the absorbing passages of reflection on life and purpose – is that his characters possess a moral ambivalence. Tales about two-dimensional ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys bore me to tears. Not only does this approach strike me as lazy writing, but it also patronises the reader. Chitwood’s protagonists, on the other hand, face tough choices and the decisions they make are not always good ones.

Not just a crime/adventure tale, this novel is a treatise on what it means to grow old, to have secrets and to recognize the things that bind us and the things that fulfill us.

‘A Common Evil’ is a quick read, but a satisfying one. Now I need to go back and start the series at book one to see what I’ve missed.

Click HERE to read a sample of A Common Evil (and to buy a copy if you have any sense!) 

Connect with Billy Ray:

On Twitter  @brchitwood

On his blog  thefinalcurtain1

On his website  billyraychitwood

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mapping Stranger Desires

It has been a great last couple of months for new Indie books, and one of my favourite writers - Eden Baylee - launches her first full-length novel today. Read my review below, then grab a copy! Click HERE to take you to (though it is also available on all Amazon sites worldwide). Read the first few pages on Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature and I guarantee you will be hooked.

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I first encountered Eden Baylee in late 2012 when I read her collection of poems and flash fiction, entitled 'Hot Flash'. The literary quality of her writing and her wit encouraged me to dip into the erotic novellas in her 'Spring into Summer' collection. I have been a fan ever since.

So when I discovered she was writing a full-length mystery/thriller novel, I was intrigued.

'Stranger at Sunset' is a great piece of fiction writing with engaging characters, many of whom - in the fine mystery tradition - have embarrassing and potentially lethal secrets. The novel opens with a fine noir scene, which could have been straight out of Dashiel Hammett, and then Ms. Baylee's dark lens pans back to give us a view of the various people assembling for a holiday at Sunset Villa in Jamaica.

The backdrop of the Caribbean island in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy gives 'Stranger' an exotic feel, and the author treats the reader to the sights, sounds and smells of that wonderful island. The cast of this drama is well-drawn and diverse, displaying a variety of psychological types well-suited to a whodunnit. Humour, feisty encounters and a hint of romance make for a heady cocktail.

Some mysteries are so plot-driven, that the characters come over as two-dimensional, mere grist for the plot, but Ms. Baylee knows how to avoid this. The events grow organically out of human interactions, rivalries and grievances.

For me, Eden Baylee remains 'the cartographer of desire', although she demonstrates here her skills include mapping not only sexual attraction, but many of the other emotions that haunt us.

I look forward to the next of Dr. Kate Hampton's adventures. An excerpt of the second book in the series - 'A Fragile Truce' - is included at the end of the novel. Bring it on!

Connect with Eden and find out more about her and her writing!

Twitter   @edenbaylee