Smokey the Cat
Michael Gregorio

Sixty seconds with Michael Gregorio...

Michael Gregorio is the name used by Daniela De Gregorio and Michael G. Jacob when they write together. Critique of Criminal Reason, the first of four historical mystery novels featuring Prussian magistrate, Hanno Stiffeniis, was published in 2006. Cry Wolf, recently published in the USA, is a new departure: Sebastiano Cangio, a national park ranger, opposes the mafia invasion of Umbria, Italy, where the authors live.

RTE: Describe yourself in a sentence?

Gregorio: We’re a fun-loving couple whose main interests are crime and cats.

RTE: What's the one record you'd take to a desert island?

Gregorio: The one recording we’d probably agree on would be Mozart’s Don Giovanni, a fabulous opera which reminds us that the human spirit is indomitable in the face of all the odds.

RTE: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Gregorio: Daniela wanted to be a writer, while Mike was drawn to the noble profession of beachcombing

Cathy Ace

Sixty seconds with Cathy Ace...

Karin Salvalaggio

Sixty seconds with Karin Salvalaggio...

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January 23, 2016

Since Winter seems to have decided to make an emphatic appearance on the US east coast, I hope this finds everyone safe, warm, and reading. And even if you're warm and toasty and the sun is shining down upon you, you might want to take a look at what we've been reading this week.

I was happy to see the return of Hazel Micallef, that 60+ police detective from Port Dundas,Ontario, in THE NIGHT BELL, by Inger Ash Wolfe (aka Michael Redhill). Hazel's still in top form as she gets to work on some crimes that have only surfaced after fifty years.

Lourdes Venard was impressed with Jonathan Moore's psychological thriller, THE POISON ARTIST, which she says is perfect for curling up under the cover with on a dark night. Anne Corey tells us that while Michael Connelly is an author who never disappoints, his latest, THE CROSSING, is still one of his best.

Many of us not only like to have a crime to solve in our recreational reading, we also like to do a bit of armchair travelling. Barbara Fister was a bit disappointed in the lack of local detail in Australian WEB OF DECEIT, by Katherine Howell, but otherwise thought it was an excellent police procedural with a sound grasp of the life of a paramedic. On the other hand, New Zealand author Ben Sanders departs his native land for New Mexico and American gun culture in AMERICAN BLOOD. Karen Chisholm thought it would appeal to readers who like simple and lethal solutions to problems.

Marie Romero Cash did not have to travel far for the setting of THE MARIACHI MURDER, set in Sante Fe - that's her hometown. Meredith Frazier had a few reservations about the book but on the whole, she enjoyed it, especially for its strong local details. While Terry Shames has gone to live in California, she still knows a thing or two about Texas, her native state, as she demonstrates in her latest in the Sam Craddock series, THE NECESSARY MURDER OF NONIE BLAKE. Sharon Mensing enjoyed it, especially for its fortunate introduction of a new and potentially returning character, a dog. Dogs are central to Margaret Mizushma's debut, KILLING TRAIL, set in Colorado, where a K-9 police dog uncovers a crime. Diana Borse liked this very much indeed.

Enough of the West? How about crossing the Atlantic to England, Scotland or Ireland? Anne Cleeves' newest Vera Stanhope, THE MOTH CATCHER, couples a clever plot and rich characterization with a vivid portrait of country life, says Jim Napier. Jim also had a good time with THE LAST FOUR DAYS OF PADDY BUCKLEY, by Jeremy Massey, in which a Dublin undertaker has some really terrible days. Cathy Downs observed some first-novel problems in THE VISITORS, by Simon Sylvester, but thinks this haunted novel set on Bancree Island is worth a read. It's the season that's haunted in G.M. Maillet's novel of the same name, and Ben Neal thought very highly of it.

The most recent of James Lovegrove's extensions of the Holmes Canon, THE THINKING MACHINE, on the other hand, disappointed PJ Coldren, who had liked the author's previous GODS OF WAR.

This week, Michael Gregorio (who turns out to be two people) graces our "Sixty Seconds With..." feature. See what t[he]y have to say in the box to your left.

And don't forget to check out CRIMEREVIEW for the latest on UK crime.

We'll be back next month (yes, February - can Spring be far behind?). Until then make a snowman or snow angel, or a cup of hot chocolate and stay warm.



P.S. If you wish to submit a book for review, please check here before contacting us. Please note that we do not review self-published books.

Our mascot and masthead is Smokey the Cat. Smokey the cat went to the great playground in the sky on April 29, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. He was about 13 years old, had diabetes and only 11 teeth left. He is much happier now. He will remain as our masthead and mascot.

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