Online Issue 17: “Living My Best Life”


This issue begins and ends with mourning. We mark the passing of long-time reviewer and crime fiction enthusiast, Theodore Feit, with his final review.

We’re also reeling with the fresh pain from the news that Evie Swierczynski has passed away after her fight with leukemia. Many years ago, I was hired to travel to Philadelphia and interview Duane Swierczynski for a magazine feature. I got to meet his children and Meredith. I’m lucky enough to say I’ve known Duane for many years, and yet I do not know him and his family well … and yet Duane’s posts over the past several months have made many of us feel as though Evie was a part of our family, because he captured her spirit and shared her with us all.

All I really know today is that their grief is unfathomable. In the days and weeks ahead I’ll be thinking of Duane, Meredith and Parker as they begin the unfathomable journey forward without Evie.

One thing Duane mentioned months ago was that Evie always said, “Living my best life.” For her, it was a statement of sarcasm in response to misfortunes. (DS FB June 7)

May we all cherish the moments we have and truly live our best lives.

Scroll down a bit and you’ll see a list of ways to pay tribute to a loved one’s memory.

Sticking with the Music Theme

Paul D. Brazill’s Supernatural Noir is out in stores now, and he’s sharing his new work’s playlist with us.

Author Interviews

Kelli Owen talks being a Nerdy Klutz, how that impacts her zombie apocalypse plan, and what a vampire story has to do with prejudice.

Brian Lindenmuth chats with Terrence McCauley about writing westerns.

Robert White talks about Thomas Harris, David Lindsey and Martin Cruz Smith, his protagonist’s biggest fear, and how real life events inspired Northtown Eclipse.

When The Hunger Games and The Handmaid’s Tale Collide: Barbara Winkes talks about her Dystopian tale, Cypher.


Sandra Ruttan takes a look at In The Galway Silence, the latest Jack Taylor novel by Ken Bruen.

Brian also has a horror review column up, just in time for Halloween.

And, in sad news, the review of The Line by Martin Limon marks Theodore Feit’s final review. Our condolences to Gloria on Ted’s unexpected passing last month. He was a long-standing reviewer who was committed to sharing his love of books, and will be missed.

Actors Wanted

Tom Leins picks the Actors who Could play Joe Rey, the Gunrunner, Slattery and Wila.

To Be Read Features

Wondering what some of your favorite author are reading these days and hoping to crack open soon?

What Do John Verdon, Annette Dashofy, Gwen Floria, Eric Beetner and Kyle Mills Have in Common? JJ Hensley talks recent reads and more.

J.L. Abramo talks about global events that impact his current reading, works by Erik Larson and Bryan Burroughs and his hopes for new Tim O’Brien novels.





J.L. Abramo talks about global events that impact his current reading, works by Erik Larson and Bryan Burroughs and his hopes for new Tim O’Brien novels


What are some of the titles in your to be read pile?

I was born in 1947.  In that year two critical events effectively ended the centuries-long dominance of the British Empire and changed the map of the world—the British withdrawal from the Indian sub-continent and its partitioning into India and Pakistan, and the British withdrawal from Palestine leading to the creation of Israel. On my TBR list are two books by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Freedom at Midnight and O Jerusalem, dealing with each of those historic milestones.  


What book are you currently reading?American History Cover

Having just finished reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, set in Berlin in 1933-34 when Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party was beginning to gain total control of Germany, I am now reading Public Enemies by Bryan Burroughs which is set in America in those same two years when the infant FBI was hunting down the likes of John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Clyde Barrow, and others.

What do you hope to add to your to be read pile soon and why?

Erik Larson refers often to Hans Bernd Gisevius, who served in the Gestapo and the German Intelligence Service during World War II while a covert opponent of the Nazi regime, and who later testified at the Nuremberg trials.  I plan to add his book To the Bitter End: An Insider’s Account of the Plot to Kill Hitler, 1933-1944 to my TBR pile.  It accounts a number of such plots to end Hitler’s life, and the subject intrigues me.

What author do you want to see have a new book out soon?

Having read The Things They Carried, Going After Cacciato, and In the Lake of the Woods, I have been continually moved and awed by the writing of Tim O’Brien and hope he will write more soon.


JL Abramo photoJ.L. ABRAMO was born and raised in the seaside paradise of Brooklyn, New York on Raymond Chandler’s fifty-ninth birthday.

Abramo is the author of Catching Water in a Net, winner of the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America prize for Best First Private Eye Novel; the subsequent Jake Diamond Novels Clutching at Straws, Counting to Infinity and Circling the Runway (Shamus Award Winner); Chasing Charlie Chan, a prequel to the Jake Diamond series; and the stand-alone thrillers Gravesend, Brooklyn Justice and Coney Island Avenue, a follow-up to Gravesend.  His latest novel is American History.

Abramo is the current president of Private Eye Writers of America.For more please visit: