Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review of Under the Microscope by Jane Bennett Munro


Title: Murder Under the Microscope
Author: Jane Bennett Munro
Genre: Mystery
Price: $ 5.99 ebook/ $ 18.93 Paperback
Publisher: iuniverse.com
ISBN-10: 1450298621
Reviewed by: Erica Moulton

I love a good murder mystery.  Ones with twists and turns.  I know it is a good book if I am tempted to skip right to the end because I can't stand the suspense of who-did-it-and-why.  That is why I could not pass up an opportunity to review Murder Under the Microscope by Forensic Pathologist Jane Bennett Munro.
Dr. Munro's in depth knowledge of pathology and how a hospital functions is evident in the book.  The writing is thick with jargon related to the medical field and sometimes it was over my head.  Despite this, I did enjoy the book.  I thought it had a strong story line with just enough scandal to make it interesting but still keeping it plausible.  I do think that in the future, some research into how crimes are solved would be beneficial as I had a hard time buying that the police would involve a suspect as deeply as they involved Dr. Day (main character in the book). 
In the novel, Dr. Munro seemed to have infused two story lines together in one novel.  Building up to and solving the murder would have been satisfying enough to entertain the reader without the introduction of another complication of a blast from the past clouding the current storyline.  I would have preferred to have followed the storyline of the blast from the past in a separate novel.  Both story lines made for entertaining stories, just when together at times it was overwhelming to keep up with it all.  Sometimes less is more and with 418 pages in this one novel, the content could have easily been split into two. 
I am giving a rating of 6.5/10. 
Rating: 6.5/10

Saturday, December 28, 2013


What is it?

BookTrakr is a site that promises to track your self-published sales from the main platfroms such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  I am trying the beta version and would be interested in hearing from other authors trying this or similar services.

Good points

1) A really useful service especially for platfroms like kindle that are difficult to use and do not store lifetime sales data.

2) So far it seems pretty easy to use.


1) You have to give log in details for each platform which is not something everyone will be comfortable with, and it means that data is out there on another site and so more vulnerable to hacking etc.

2) Eventually this will become a service you have to pay for.

3) The sales data seems accurate except it does nto seem to count returns, but the earnings data seems way off so I would not use this for accounting.

4) I am having glitchs with some checked and accurate log in data not be accepted.

Monday, December 23, 2013

REVIEW: Embustero

Title: Embustero
Genre: science fiction
Price: $2.99 (ebook) $11.25 (paperback)
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1480074729
Point of Sale: Amazon  
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

Embustero is the second novel in Scott Cleveland’s Pale Boundaries universe.  It starts very much right after the events of the first novel.  Fortunately for this reader (who reviewed the book years ago) everything you need to know about the previous book is provided.

In essence, Terson Reilly, the protagonist, has discovered that Nivia, the world he’s living on, has a well-hidden secret colony on a supposedly-uninhabited continent.  This colony is governed by a mafia-like organization, who besides hiding it are using it as a base for their various criminal enterprises.  In the first book, Reilly learned too much, and so an attempt was made to kill him.  It failed.

In this book we have two plots that are largely moving independently of each other.  Reilly, having escaped with his life, is trying to make a go of things with his rescuers, who have secrets of their own, while back on Nivia the mafia is dealing with various problems caused by Reilly and other local unrest.  There’s a bit less action in this book than in Pale Boundaries, but more mystery and intrigue, so overall it’s a wash.

In reading my previous review, I noted that Cleveland did several things in his writing that I didn’t approve of.  I note with pleasure that in Embustero Cleveland “fixed” those problems.  Overall, I found Embustero well worth the read, and I look forward to his next novel.


Saturday, December 14, 2013


Title: Doubt
Author: Anne-Rae Vasquez
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $1.99 (ebook) 
Publisher: AR Publishing
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed by: Psyche

While the notion of beautiful young people using a video game to organize a revolutionary social movement might sound exciting, it fails somewhat in the execution.  There are a lot of characters who are quite bitchy towards each other.  The story gets bogged down in details that never seem to have much significance.

My inability to find any of the characters interesting, and the vagueness of key facts like what the Truth Seekers game is, and what it was designed to to, prevented me from developing any real interest in the story.  My feeling is that if this had been written with a better focus on the two main characters and their goals (especially Harry's) it would have been the first half of a much better novel.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

REVIEW: Sherlocked:The Secret of the Holy Death

Title: Sherlocked: The Secret of the Holy Death
Author: Asif Khan
Genre: Mystery
Price: $2.99 (ebook) 
Publisher: None
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed by: veinglory

As suggested by the title, Sherlocked by Asif Khan is BBC Sherlock fan-fiction.  It includes the named mentioned of characters from the show including Sally Donovan. On the other hand Watson is shown as a practicing doctor, which is not the case in the BBC version.

There are serious issues throughout the story with grammar, punctuation, and tense. Also people are constantly thinking and speaking in exclamations (!). And the cover has nothing to do with the story at all, which is a tad disappointing.

Quite long sections take on unnecessarily detailed and technically correct form. I discovered that this is because they come straight from Wikipedia, for example: "The Bengal tiger's coat is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black; the belly and the interior parts of the limbs are white, and the tail is orange with black rings."

The mystery itself is competent but not especially clever, and the entire story takes only a few minutes to read.  So, given the poor technical quality and inappropriate fan-fiction elements I think I have to give this one 1/10.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

REVIEW: Dogging

Title: Dogging -- the inside story of outdoor sexAuthor: Abby GoldGenre: Erotica?Price: $4.99 (ebook)Publisher: Spire PublishingISBN: B00AMSDBS8
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed by: Psyche Skinner

Dogging is a relatively non-explicit set of stories from the world of people who meet for sex with strangers in outdoor areas.The book is humorous in sections, but most chapter also include someone being hurt by the activity, directly or indirectly.

The most frequent scenario being groups of men having sex with a woman either alone or with her boyfriend presence -- so I assume this is typical for the local scene.  The issue of safe sex is noticeably  from most of the stories and its consequences from all of them. A lot of the protagonists are fairly unpleasant and even those that are well-meaning are extremely flawed.

Overall this feels like a themed collection of short stories rather than a novel. the point of views range from male to female, good and bad experiences, cops, fiances, writers, tourists, sex-dolls, fantasies and dreams. Some stories are connected but most are not.  I suspect a slightly shorter collection with more connections might have had more overall impact.

This book is interesting and occasionally thought-provoking but still leaves one wondering what to think of short stories, acting like a documentary and packaged like a novel. Reading it was entertaining but I do not know who I would recommend this book to as, for all its interesting elements, it is not sexually titillating, not actually true, and not quite literary.