A Classic Tale From the Streets

James Mitchum Oates

Xlibris, 131 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781514408919
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

Set in a crime-infested section of Los Angeles, this novel about an inner-city youth delivers a tale of poverty, drugs, gangs, guns, murders, and redemption through Jesus Christ.

Teenager Dan Whitlock attends the worst high school in the city, a place where students take drugs, fight on campus, and carry weapons. When his older brother […]

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Mike McCluskey

Xlibris, 78 pages, (paperback) $15.99, 9781984513533
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

Mike McCluskey’s Therapy is a collection of rhymed and unrhymed poems arranged into two sections. Interspersed throughout are black-and-white photographs of the same doctor in a clinical setting, complete with skeleton and other medical accoutrement, in postures of progressive distress.

The poems in the first section, “PATIENT,” are written from the perspective of a mental […]

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Climate Change: Be Prepared: A Convenient Truth That We All Need to Know

Marshall Clayton

Xlibris, 110 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781543484960
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

Marshall Clayton’s book Climate Change: Be Prepared has little to do with global warming. Instead, it’s a metaphor and call to arms for the need to shift our thoughts and actions from self-centeredness to a focus on God. In a work that mixes eschatological theology with scriptural examination, the author argues that Jesus can bring […]

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Ghost Busting Mystery: Shady Hoosier Detective Agency, Book 1

Daisy Pettles

Hot Pants Press, 219 pages, (paperback) $10.99, 9780981567822
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

Filled to the brim with farce and local color, this first outing in Daisy Pettles’ Shady Hoosier Detective series is a good-humored romp that is sometimes laugh-out-loud amusing.

When farmer Dode Schneider of rural Knobby Waters, Indiana, claims that he’s seen ghosts (or could it be aliens?) that he’s sure are “up to no good” […]

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Silent, But Superhero: Releasing Your Power and Purpose

Mindscope Seven

WestBow Press, 198 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 9781973628392
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

MindScope Seven’s Silent, But Superhero, aims to help readers overcome “obstacles” in order to live life “as Authentic Self.” Unfortunately, the book is more puzzling than illuminating.

Readers are never told who MindScope Seven is or what she does. Likewise, an oft-cited woman named Beatrix, an abused child and now a successful businesswoman, remains an […]

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Volatility: The Fourteenth Buck Jaspers Mystery

Jerry Blanton

iUniverse, 106 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532051685
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

This latest installment in Jerry Blanton’s series about Miami private detective Buck Jaspers takes the protagonist to rural Pennsylvania to find a serial killer.

The story begins when Mayor Schultz of Raquel, Pennsylvania, hires Jaspers to work on the case of Sarah Nathan, a sweet young woman whose past seven boyfriends have died mysteriously. Her […]

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The Path to Enlightenment: The View of a Schizophrenic

Devilishly Angelic

iUniverse, 68 pages, (paperback) $10.99, 9781532052637
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

In The Path to Enlightenment: The View of a Schizophrenic, pseudonymous author Devilishly Angelic describes her experiences growing up with auditory and visual hallucinations.

The author is now a therapist and owner of a social service agency that helps clients “manage symptoms ranging from schizophrenia to substance abuse,” according to the book’s back cover. African-American, […]

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God Help Us: Second Edition

Arthur "Mac" McCaffry

iUniverse, 339 pages, (paperback) $20.99, 9781532048364
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

Tonally and thematically similar to Hal Lindsey’s landmark 1970 release The Late, Great Planet Earth, Arthur “Mac” McCaffry’s novel—which chronicles a Vietnam veteran’s spiritual journey of self-discovery—is a blend of Christian eschatological fiction and mainstream thriller.

Mike Cutler is a 62-year old war veteran living in Indiana. He has overcome much in his life: surviving […]

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Just an Ordinary Elephant and The Bald Cardinal: Stories from Squirrel Hill

Paul Sleman Clark, illustrated by Ray Driver

Ozymandias Publishing, 32 pages, (paperback) $6.95, 9781723230899
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

In the second installment in Paul Sleman Clark’s charming Squirrel Hill series for children, an elephant overhears someone call him “ordinary,” and later, his friends learn about his kind deed that reveals he really is special after all.

“Perfesser,” a know-it-all goose, comments to his son that many who live in their neighborhood are “ordinary.” […]

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Yet I Still Stand

Steven Wayne

iUniverse, 215 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532047107
(Reviewed: October, 2018)

Author Steven Wayne offers a violent and disturbingly abhorrent portrait of a vigilante killer in this urban thriller that owes more to pulp fiction like Death Wish than it does to serial killer fiction.

We first meet Jonathan Anthony Russo, the mixed-race son of a gangster, as a kid in Queens, New York. Immediately, the […]

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