Tag Archives: murder

Crime Author Sentenced to Death in China

4 Aug

Liu Yongbiao is an acclaimed crime novelist in China. He and another man killed four people 23 years ago, and Liu used the memory of the murders to write a novel. How crazy is that! Because of new DNA testing, investigators were finally able to trace the murders to the novelist, and he and his accomplice were sentenced to death.

The memories weighed on Liu and he said that they were “so cruel” he deserved to “die 100 times” for committing them. Read the full story on Newsweek.


Book Review & Giveaway: Venetian Blood by Christine Evelyn Volker

29 Sep

Book Title: Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City
Author: Christine Evelyn Volker
Category: Adult Fiction, 328 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release date: August 2017
Tour dates: Sept 25 to Oct 6, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are a few instances of bad language and a scene with partial nakedness but little concrete description)


Book Description

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend—but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into a police station and accused of murdering a money laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. In the days that follow, Anna, a US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, fights to clear her name in a seductive city of watery illusions. But as she tries to pry clues from a cast of uncooperative characters who implausibly deny what she sees and hears, she begins to question whether they are hiding something…or she is losing touch with reality. Racing to unlock secrets, she succeeds instead in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears?

A captivating tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is the story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth—before it’s too late.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Poor Anna is on a vacation in Venice to relax and forget her problems but she finds more problems than she can handle while she is there. She’s a suspect in a murder case, an affair during a conference that was a big mistake keeps coming back to haunt her, and she thinks someone is trying to kill her. She is having difficulty trusting anyone she meets but that is a good thing because some of the people she meets are pretty shady.

Venetian Blood contains a lot of history and descriptions of Venice. Since the author knows international banking, she is able to make the banking aspects of the book seem authentic. The characters are interesting and complex but for some reason, I wasn’t able to invest them, not even Anna. I wanted to but it just wasn’t there.

There are suspense and action in Venetian Blood and even a surprise ending, although I had it figured out. 



Buy the Book:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

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Meet the Author

Christine Evelyn Volker became intrigued by foreign cultures at an early age, which propelled her to study Spanish, German, and Italian. After pursuing an MLS and an MBA, she was drawn to international banking and became a senior vice president at a global financial institution. Her career brought her to Italy, where she immersed herself in the language and made frequent visits to Venice. A native New Yorker, she resides with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where she heads a local library non-profit organization and writes about environmental sustainability. She is currently at work on her second international mystery, this one set in the rainforest of Peru.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
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Short Story Review: Distorted Lullaby by Noizchild Johnson

13 Jul

22910016Title: Distorted Lullaby

Author: Noizchild Johnson

Genre: drama

Publication date: July 31, 2014

Length: 36 pages

About the Book

(from Goodreads)

No one in the small town of Patterson would have foreseen the death of the violent town drunk, Trevor Grey, on Halloween night. When police arrive to investigate his murder, they find his wife, Maureen, sitting far away from Trevor’s body. Obviously, she is the prime suspect in her abusive husband’s murder. The only problem is, she doesn’t remember the events before the police found her. Rookie detective, Gina Torres, takes it upon herself to unlock Maureen’s memories and solve the case. Driven by family pride and tragedy, Gina turned to psychology as a way to help people. She feels that only she can help Maureen silence the “distorted lullaby” in her head and help her stand as a person again.


My Review

I received a free ecopy for an honest review.

Distorted Lullaby is a short story that has a good premise: the death of a man at the hand of his wife whom he had abused for many years. At the end, the wife asks a police officer to share her story and to encourage women not to stay in abusive relationships.

Because the story is so short, there’s not a lot of character development, so I didn’t feel like I got to know the characters very well.

There were grammar errors and a lot of missing words as well as incorrect words. This was an interesting short story so I’m glad the author is in the process of getting her stories edited (see below).


About the Author

(from Goodreads)

8441095My name is Noizchild Johnson and I am a self-published fiction writer. What can I say about myself? I love to write, watch anime, read manga, swim, and indulge in all things Japanese and British. My genres cover erotica, romance, comedy, drama, poetry, supernatural/paranormal, and maybe a little mystery. My stories are usually set in Japan, England, or the US. Music also plays a huge role in my writing.

I am currently in process of editing my previous works for more publishing.

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