Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Real Crime Magazine 2017 (#21)

Real Crime Magazine 2017 (#21)Real Crime Magazine 2017 (#21) by Ben Biggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic magazine with well-written articles to read about different crimes from all around the world including historical cases up to the present day. The features in this issue are:
- the killing of Caroline Dickinson in a French hostel
- killers who placed ads in the papers and online
- Raoul Moat
- The Iceman
- Colleen Stan , the girl in the box
- Robert Hansen
- the Yakuza
- and many more

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


I read a short story every morning with my coffee. I've decided I'm going to start reading a creepypasta some mornings for a change. I pick my stories by researching "Top 10 Creepypasta" lists. This is my ongoing list of stories I read in reverse order so you can always see the newest one added.

6. Penpal by 1000vultures - (next, don't mention it in the comments yet.)

5. Smile Dog by Unknown - This is very good. It has a well-known horror theme of passing on a "meme" to others in this case a demonic picture of a smiling "dog" which will drive the viewers insane. Well-written compared to the other creepypasta I've read so far and a satisfying story. I had of ourse heard of this one though hadn't read the original. (4/5)

4. The Russian Sleep Experiment by Unknown - I had read a shortened version of this once and discussion about it often comes up on "macabre" sites I read accompanied by a weird picture. This is the original story and I loved parts of it, though overall, the ending is a letdown and it does have writting, grammar and logic issues. What I liked is the whole experiment theme, the historical setting, and the vivid description of the gross parts. A very creepy tale but not scary. (4/5)

3) Jeff the Killer by "killerjeff" - This is another one which is based on an image that first went viral. I couldn't enjoy this at all as the writing is atrocious. Misused words, grammatical errors, and just plain lousy writing. What is "a thing of bleach"? The character took on an internet cult following, though, for some strange reason, and other stories based on the character have been written. (1/5)

2) Candle Cove by Kris Straub - I loved this one. Quite creepy and very suspenseful. I love the format. Written as a series of responses on a forum, it starts with a guy asking if anyone remember's a kids' show from the '70s called "Candle Cove". Fun! (4/5)

1) The Expressionless by Unknown - A very short and creepy story. I'd not heard it before though I've seen the photo it is based on many times. The story is pretty good but the picture itself is much more creepy and disturbing even when you know the truth behind it. (3/5)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Real Crime Magazine, Holi 2016 editor, Ben Biggs

Real Crime Magazine, Holi 2016 (#19)Real Crime Magazine, Holi 2016 editor, Ben Biggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a true crime magazine published in the UK. It is a fantastic magazine for true crime aficionados which is also aimed at readers. The features and articles are lengthy and in depth. Although the mag. has plenty of glossy pictures it is also high on text and not comparable to a US genre magazine at all. Only a couple of cases here were known to me and they were international in scope featuring UK, US, Canada, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Bali and more. The cases include recent, current, 70s up and a couple of vintage 50s or later. Great magazine, highly recommended.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume

The Mystery of a Hansom CabThe Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've wanted to read this for a long time. A thrilling Victorian crime mystery with all sorts of sensationalism. There are murder and mayhem, mistresses and illegitimate children, poison and blackmail. It's a well-written and easy to read novel from this era. The suspense during the trial and at the unravelling of the mystery are delicious. There is a death scene of a drunken hag which is outrageously overdramatic. In fact, there are a few melodramatic scenes which made me giggle with delight. Written in Australia, this was a huge bestseller there, and I can just envisage how the lurid plot stoked the imaginations of the public at that time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine April 1983

Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine April 1983Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine April 1983
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last of my three issues of this magazine and certainly my favourite. Decent crime stories.

1. Shadow of Death by Brett Halliday - A fast-paced, easy to read Mike Shayne adventure. This was pretty hokey and dated with ninjas, revenge and a message that Viet Nam vets aren't crazy, drug-addled psychos but just like the rest of us. (3/5)

2. The Crucifixion by Mel D. Ames - A man is discovered nailed to a thirty-foot cross at a local church. Even though I couldn't stand the attitude of the lead detective, it was a fun mystery with the classic ending scenario of the suspects gathered in a room while the lieutenant explained which of them was the murderer. (5/5)

3. Blind Justice by Jerry Jacobson - I enjoyed this hardcore crime story. A punk severely maims an old man who lives downstairs in his low-income building. Justice is not served, but in the end, the assailant gets his due. (5/5)

4. A Matter of Organization by Dick Stodghill - A day in the life of an insurance investigator. He starts out finishing a job about a woman who broke her arm on a bus.He spends the rest of the day sorting out a jewellery heist for the insurance company. In the end, it turns out that everybody is a winner except him. (4/5)

5. Trial By Fire by Hal Charles - An excellent read, very different from the others. Set in a time when horse and buggies were still in use, this is a story of redemption. Arson is committed, and a body long-buried is found. Secrets and the truth finally come out. (5/5)

6. The Last of Clyde Dough by Wade Mosby - A small county finds a naked body with seared fingerprints in a snowbank during the March thaw. They can't identify the body nor do they have the facilities for an unclaimed body. What ensues is a comedic farce that is as funny as it is witty. My favourite in this magazine. (5/5)

7. Comeback by R. Tuttle - A short story about a has-been actress who still has a few business arrangements with her first ex-husband. Mary becomes a nuisance, and the ex decides to get rid of her. Enjoyable but predictable.(3/5)

8. The Assassin's Assassin by John Keating - More an encounter than a story at about 1 page in length. As the title indicates, an assassin goes to kill another assassin and finds the tables turned. Has a shock ending but not much. (2/5)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tin Soldier by Sigmund Brouwer

Tin SoldierTin Soldier by Sigmund Brouwer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book I've read in this series and probably my favourite so far. An excellent, exciting adventure for teens. This book deals with the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, secrets, spies and the CIA. A fast-paced read that was a real page-turner for me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland KidnappingsFinding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is so powerful and heart-wrenching. I hardly have the words to describe how much it affected me. I've read the book by Amanda and Gina already, but Michelle's book is superior.She is such an inspiration and her story so brutal. I was crying at her life before she was even kidnapped. The book held me in a shocked grip, and I read it in two sittings. A must read!