Smokey the Cat
Gregory Galloway

Sixty seconds with Gregory Galloway...

I grew up at the intersection of Right and Wrong. My father was a probation officer who also taught at the State Prison. Our house was filled with cops, lawyers, judges, social workers, and people in and out of trouble. I was fascinated by the people who passed through, aware that they all had much more in common than not. And I didn’t want to be like any of them. I wanted to be a writer. I am the Author of THE 39 DEATHS OF ADAM STRAND, the Alex Award-winning AS SIMPLE AS SNOW, and JUST THIEVES (out now).

RTE: Describe yourself in a sentence?

Galloway: A multi-functional utensil with no clear purpose.

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

Galloway: Big Star (3rd if I'm stranded, Radio City if I'm leaving)

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

Galloway: A writer or "button collector." I'm not entirely sure what the latter exactly means, but I wrote them both down when I was four, and I still wonder if I made the wrong choice.

Tim Major

Sixty seconds with Tim Major...

Amber Garza

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October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween! This October, Reviewing the Evidence has encountered some books that are far more terrifying than any haunted house, as well as a few that function like haunted houses, daring the reader to explore their labyrinthine secrets.

Looking for a truly terrifying premise? STATE OF TERROR, the much-hyped political thriller co-authored by seasoned novelist Louise Penney and her friend, former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, has such a premise. As my review explains, Penney and Clinton explore the ghoulish possibility that a hypothetical US administration very much like the Trump regime might accidentally put the world at risk of nuclear war. It's up to a Clinton-like Secretary of State to prevent that catastrophe.

According to RTE editor Yvonne Klein, fans of noir absolutely must read Gregory Galloway's JUST THIEVES, which explores the legacy of American noir in the context of America's history of casual theft. You can find out more about Galloway in this month's "Sixty Seconds" Interview. Look over to your left to see what he has to say for himself.

Yvonne Klein also recommends Helene Tursten's wickedly diverting AN ELDERLY LADY MUST NOT BE CROSSED, in which eponymous protagonist Maud returns to turn assumptions about old age and women to her advantage.

Several new cozies feature witches, usually of the benevolent variety. In THE SEVEN YEAR WITCH, the latest in Angela M. Sanders's Witch Way series, sorceress Josie Way investigates a murder at an Oregonian mill, and also switches consciousnesses with her cat. Ruth Castleberry finds Sanders's cocktail of mystery and magic truly enchanting. In MIDNIGHT SPELLS MURDER, it's Halloween in the Black Hills of the Dakotas. A locally famous witch, author of a book about witchcraft, turns up dead. Gift shop owner Zo Jones investigates. Reviewer PJ Coldren appreciates Jones's smart heroine and MIDNIGHT SPELLS MURDER's clever plot.

Another Halloween-themed cozy worth a look is Carol J. Perry's BE MY GHOST, featuring a Floridian inn that's apparently haunted by a well-drawn cast of ghosts. Are they real? Reviewer Meredith Frazier enjoyed finding out.

Far less cozy, but very much a ghost story, is newcomer Aden Polydoros’s THE CITY BEAUTIFUL. This murder mystery, set in an impeccably recreated 1893 Chicago, follows a young Romanian Jewish immigrant as he discovers serial murder and his sexuality. Polydoros’s ghosts are vital voices from history, particularly LGBT history, that demand to be heard and seen.

If you'd like to travel to the United Kingdom via armchair, this Halloween offers several more opportunities. Robert Lloyd's THE BLOODLESS BOY is a frightening tour of 1678 London at the dawn of the scientific revolution, while THE PICKWICK MURDERS, much cozier, finds the future wife of Charles Dickens trying to exonerate him from murder--and also trying to believe that as Mrs. Dickens, she can still fulfill her desire for adventure. Both are well worth reading, for very different reasons.

Moving forward in time, Lori Rader-Day's suspense novel DEATH AT GREENWAY finds World War Two era British heroines investigating murder on the grounds of Greenway House, Agatha Christie's home, to which London children have been evacuated. It's "subtly powerful," writes Lourdes Venard. Jim Napier recommends Peter Lovesey's police procedural DIAMOND AND THE EYE, set in Bath and laced with "crackling wit."

Another fine World War Two historical is Meredith Jaeger's THE PILOT'S DAUGHTER, in which a San Francisco journalist investigates her father's Earhart-like disappearance. Her sleuthing uncovers twenty-year-old secrets from Jazz Age New York. Meredith Frazier found it "hard to put down." Lourdes also recommends Lee Child's selection of twenty BEST MYSTERY STORIES OF THE YEAR, especially Martin Edwards' "The Locked Cabin," a locked-room mystery set aboard the glamorous cruise ship Queen Mary 2.

Kwon Yeo-Sun's gripping, incisive LEMON is newly translated by Janet Hong and reviewed by Barbara Fister. In this psychological thriller set in South Korea, non-linear storytelling rips open the wounds of classism. A less gripping urban mystery is Andy Rosenfelt's latest not-so-shaggy dog tale, BEST IN SNOW, which didn't thrill our reviewer C. Downs. She wanted its dogs to have more visibility and personality.

Our friends across the sea have been busy keeping up with what is going on in British crime. You can find out what they thought of it at CRIMEREVIEW.

Best wishes,

Rebecca Nesvet, Co-Editor

Yvonne Klein, Co-Editor

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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Since RTE first appeared, some twelve years ago, the business of books has changed out of all recognition. Then, books were reviewed in the print media for the most part, though Amazon was encouraging readers to post their reviews of the books they read. Now, newspapers across North America have reduced or eliminated the space they allot to books and, with certain notable exceptions, only best-selling authors are likely to get noticed. As a result, electronic reviewing has become increasingly important and, due to the somewhat slippery question of online authorship, occasionally problematic.

For this reason and in view of a recent article in the NY Times detailing a reviews-for-hire enterprise, it's probably wise for RTE to reiterate its position on reviewing. While our reviewers receive galleys, ARCs, or finished copies of books for review, they are otherwise unpaid. Furthermore, they are asked to disclose any special interest they might have in a book or an author they are reviewing. No one, including the editors, receives any compensation for the work they do. All our reviewers are encouraged to express their honest opinions, whether positive or negative, about the books they are reviewing. None of our reviewers uses a pseudonym and all are who they say they are. Nor do we employ rating systems (stars, grades, "highly recommended," or the like) in the belief that our reviews deserve to be read in their entirety. Since RTE does not review self-published or digital-only releases, we are perhaps less vulnerable to offers to pay for reviews, but it seems a good idea to make our policy clear. Finally, in the years that I've been editing RTE, I have never once been approached by a press or a publicist to violate this principle in any way.

Contact: Yvonne Klein (

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