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Monday, February 29, 2016


On Saturday, March 5, authors David Putnam and Matt Coyle will speak to the San Joaquin Sisters-in-Crime mystery lovers group. The topic is “Anatomy of Violence: What it takes to shoot someone.”

Both authors are from Southern California. Putnam was in the LAPD before joining the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. In his 22 years of service he worked Narcotics, SWAT, Violent Crimes and Internal Affairs. He retired in 2008 and went on to work at the real Hawaii Five-O, the Hawaiian Attorney General’s Office. “Squandered” is his latest crime novel.    
Coyle’s latest novel, “Night Tremors” is a Lefty nominee for this year’s Left Coast Crime convention in Phoenix. His debut novel “Yesterday’s Echo” won the Anthony, San Diego Book Award and the Ben Franklin Silver Award.

Scene of the Crime
Yosemite Falls Restaurant      On Ashlan, West side of 99     EARLY START at 10:00 am
SATURDAY March 5, 2016. – Please come early by 9:45 so we can start on time.

NOTE NEW LUNCH PRICES         Members - $16.50      Visitors - $21.50
**NOTE:  We will be served a choice of (New Lunch Items) Salmon Salad, Mushroom Swiss Burger, or Chile Verde Wet Burrito (with rice & beans)

RSVP by Wednesday before the meeting
If you can, we highly encourage you email your reservation instead of phoning it in, Thanks.
NOTE:  please put your lunch choice on subject line
Do not log on to the website, simply send email to the above address.
IF YOU CAN NOT EMAIL Please call 559-431-0360 
with your name & choice of lunch.
Dial carefully, there is no greeting announcing SJ SinC.

David Putnam

Matt Coyle

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review of Yesterday's Echo by Matt Coyle

Yesterday’s Echo
By Matt Coyle
“The first time I saw her, she made me remember and she made me forget.”

In this first line of Yesterday’s Echo, we meet Rick Cahill, former police officer and current manager of Muldoon’s Steak House in La Jolla, California. Rick is immediately drawn to Melody Malana (described above) and soon finds himself falling for her and a murder rap, for the second time in his life.  Rick scrambles to find evidence to clear Melody and himself.  There are dark secrets, political scandal and all the corruption that the wealthy seaside community can buy. Along the way he is threatened by cops and beaten by dead-eyed soulless bad guys. Does he find the truth in time to save Melody?  You have to read the book to find out!   

                Much of this first volume of the Rick Cahill Series reminds me of Philip Marlowe, Chandler’s iconic detective.  There have been some great movies made with the character of Marlowe, but they tend to emphasize hard-boiled at the expense of the heart and deeply chivalrous nature that Marlowe displays in the books. Marlowe carries a very sharp tongue in place of a sword, but the desire to right wrongs and protect the innocent is there in his actions and inner dialogue.  It is refreshing to find a new writer with a character that catches the essence of the golden age detective; a modern knight errant who carries his shield close, his lance high and takes on all the dragons that come. He rides to the rescue even if he knows that he cannot trust the virtue (or the truthfulness) of the current maiden in distress. 

The second volume in this series, Night Tremors, was released last year – get both and read them now!  Highly recommended.

“Following an Anthony Award-winning debut isn’t easy, but Matt Coyle slammed a homer.  Hard, tough, humane –Night Tremors is outstanding!” Robert Crais, MWA Grand Master, Anthony, Macavity, and Shamus Award-winning author of Suspect

Review by Terell Byrd

Friday, February 26, 2016


The Disposables by David Putnam

“The bell above the door jangled. I looked up from the open Wall Street Journal on the scarred, grimy counter. A kid came in with a brisk blast of Southern California winter, his ball cap skewed on his head, pulled down over the top of his hoodie. He was black with dark skin that made him difficult to recognize under the navy-blue sweatshirt hood. Both hands were in his pockets. The kid was about to die.”
                The scene is set, and Bruno Johnson moves into action.  This is South Central LA Noir; gritty, fast paced and full of the tragedies we see on the evening news.  

                Bruno, a former member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s elite Violent Crimes Team, served a term in prison and is out on parole.  He struggles with the hard realities of life as an ex-con like trying to make a living with most doors of employment closed to him.  He is hassled by his former brothers in arms, the police, at seemingly every turn.  He lives in an area that will be described as an American battle zone in the history books of our future.

                There is a bit of sunshine in the somber world of Bruno Johnson.  He is loved by Marie, a physician’s assistant, who saved him from despair in the 4:00 a.m. stretch of his soul’s dark night. He lives for the light he glimpses at the end of the tunnel, redemption in the form of saving some lives for those lost, for the one he took. He and Marie share a mission, they are working secretly to save what they can of The Disposables, abused, neglected children that fall through the great crevices in our society’s safety net for the young and vulnerable. 

                In this first volume of the series, a chance encounter with his former partner, Robby Wicks (now a high ranking detective), thrusts Bruno into helping investigate a high profile case.  This is ‘unofficial’ of course, and made all the more dangerous by his inability to be sure who is really friend or foe. 

                This is not a cozy book.  The subject matter is in the stygian gloom at the edges of our lives.  We all know crime exists in the bright, clean new suburbs of our cities. But if you have never lived or worked in the older, decrepit areas of town, you have never had a good look at the crumbling, blighted lives that exist there. This book has a clear-eyed view of the many people who are hungry, hurt, terrified and truly in need of help in our land of plenty.  This book has some hard subject matter, but read it.  There is hope here and a truly fine hero rising from the ashes of his former self.    Highly recommended.

"I really loved The Disposables.  It's raw, powerful, and eloquent. It’s a gritty street poem recited by a voice unalterable committed to redemption and doing the right thing in a wrong world. I’ll be first in line for the next one from David Putnam.” Michael Connelly, New York Times best-selling author of The Crossing

  Review by Terell Byrd

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Murder U.S.A. is free for a short time

Murder, U.S.A. is a compilation of excerpts from thirty-one full-length crime fiction novels. Each mystery, thriller, or suspense novel in the collection is set somewhere in the United States; together, the collection offers a "murder tour of the nation" to readers of all sub-genres of crime fiction. Organized by setting and labeled by sub-genre, the collection features pieces of romantic suspense, cozy mystery, legal and corporate thriller, paranormal mystery, historical mystery, dystopian suspense, near-future thriller, medical mystery, traditional mystery, political procedurals, hard-boiled/noir, international thriller, and psychological suspense.

Excerpts from Patrick Balester, Stephen Brayton, Joyce Ann Brown, Craig Faustus Buck, James R. Callan, Lance Charnes, Sue Coletta, G.G. Collins, Diana Deverell, Lesley A. Diehl, Pam Eglinski, Kristen Elise, Ph.D., Elaine Faber, Sunny Frazier, M.M. Gornell, Michael Hebler, Dorothy Howell, Gay Kinman, Tracy Lawson, Sheila Lowe, Janet Elizabeth Lynn, Kathy McIntosh, Kelly Miller, Cathy Perkins, Sara Rickover, Carole Sojka, Linda Thorne, and Will Zeilinger.

Order now!

Monday, February 22, 2016

HAIKU DANCE by Cora Ramos

You could say I took a detour from my previous writing, when I penned a historical romance, but not really. Since I write about past lives and present loves, it evolved out of my first novel, Dance the Dream Awake.

I decided to write more about the relationship of my protagonist, Tessa, with “the one that got away,” Jack. As I began the novel of his story, the past life that emerged took over and had to be written first. 

As a samurai who loved Tessa before, this was an important part of the evolution in my writing journey. It became Haiku Dance, a sensual romance in the era of the Pillow Book and The Tale of Genji:

In 968 A.D. Japan, thirteen year old, Shino, rebellious and undisciplined, is sent away to the Tendai monks to be trained as a samurai warrior. When leaving his childhood friend Miyoshi behind, he carelessly crushes her young heart.

Years later, weary of senseless battles fought for selfish lords, Shino is thrust into the world of Heian Kyo where he finds Miyoshi once again. Now blossomed into the beautiful and charming Lady Lotus, she is courtier to the emperor’s court and soon to be betrothed to another. Finally accepting that he has always loved her, he risks everything to keep her from the fate to which she is destined but does not want, and the dangers that threaten her life. Does he dare hope for more?

If you want a glimpse of Japan in that era, visit my blog page and see the city of Heian Kyo, what a day in the life of Miyoshi might look like and what sounds could be heard.

Published through Black Opal Books, it will be available for preorder on their website on March 12. Release date on Amazon and all other outlets is March 26.

I have a new website up. You can see it at

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Introducing Veronica Giolli, author of Whispers in the Wind.

Blurb for Whispers in the Wind. Having received news that her best friend, Gina, committed suicide, Fraud Investigator Sunny Davis, returns to her childhood home, an Indian reservation in Nevada.

Her investigation draws her back into the beliefs and customs of her tribal culture. She suspects all is not as it appears. Due to her faith in its native spirits, she becomes entangled in the case’s many complications. She calls on Gina’s spirit to provide the answers.

Arriving at Gina’s home she is confronted by mysteries and secrets. Close calls and chicanery deepen the puzzle. Are dark forces waiting for her? Did she really know her friend after all? As she comes close to unraveling the riddle, false clues lead her astray.

Whispers in the Wind is a powerful portrait of grief, fear and courage- and compelling insights into Native American families.

                                                                        About the Author

Veronica Giolli has been a freelance writer for several years. Her articles “We Can Prevent Bullying” and “Bullard Racing” appeared in the Fresno Bee. She also wrote “Solving a Crime,” “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” and “Remembering a Friend.” for the Sisters in Crime Poison Pen Newsletter.  

She was a founding member of Writers of the Purple Sage Publishing Consortium in Reno, Nevada. 

She belongs to several writing groups, Sisters in Crime, and Writing for Publication.

She acquired firsthand knowledge of tribal customs and spiritual practices, while living on a reservation. This in part provided the inspiration for Whispers in the Wind.

She lives in California’s Central Valley, with Maggie, her wire-haired terrier and Gina, her blonde, Shih Tzu.

Her book is now on Amazon and Kindle. There are many Whispers in the Wind but only one purple cover, her favorite color.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Lorie Ham of King's River Life interviewed Robin, follow the link:

Over a decade after her first mystery, “Every Move She Makes” was published, award-winning author Robin Burcell returned to the Valley on Feb. 6 to once again speak to the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime.

Burcell spoke of her rookie days at Lodi PD. A bookkeeper at the time with no interest in law enforcement, she was encouraged to apply via a friend. Burcell, an avid ice skater, passed all the physical demands with flying colors. She went back to her job and waited a year for them to contact her with a job offer, nearly forgetting she’d tried out.

On the oral board, she scored #11 out of 200 candidates. But, winning over the officers was much harder. “As women, we’ve always had to be smarter than the guys,” Burcell said.
In 1999, she was the first female police officer on the force. Many of the other policemen didn’t want a woman in their ranks. She was never promoted, despite high scores in her work. However, she became a hostage negotiator and a forensic artist.

Burcell’s writing goal was to publish a novel before her first child was born. She wrote a romance, “When Midnight Comes.” 

However, she had to stop writing when she gave birth a second time and found “It was easier to be a police officer than to raise twins.” Two years later she came back with a vengeance with Anthony Award mysteries: “Fatal Truth” and “Deadly Legacy.” 

One of her cases as a forensic artist brought her to the Valley and the town of Reedley. An 11-year-old girl had been raped and she worked with the child to do a composite sketch. The criminal was eventually arrested and confirmed using DNA. 

Author of the Sydney Fitzpatrick mysteries as well as the Kate Gillespie books, Burcell’s most recent novel is a continuation of Carolyn Weston’s works, on which the TV show, “The Streets of San Francisco” is based. She is also penning a novel with Clive Cussler.

--Sunny Frazier