Daily Archives: May 24, 2015

A Day in the Life with Aria Tortura by Tim Hall

Tie DiedI don’t know what you people want from me. If you’re trying to get some dirt on my boyfriend, Bert Shambles, keep dreaming. Bert’s the sweetest guy I’ve ever met—totally different from the typical Long Island men who hit on you at clubs with their gold chains and hairy chests. I’m done with those guys.

Before I met Bert, my typical day went something like this: get up around 9, go downstairs and see what the cook has made for breakfast, then sit out on one of the terraces and catch up with texts and Facebook while the landscapers tend to the 15 acres we live on overlooking Long Island Sound. Then I might work out or go swimming, or go to the club, make plans with friends—the usual stuff that 22-year olds do.

It sounds cushy, and it is, but the truth is that before I met Bert I was miserable. All I was ever really doing was trying to fill the emptiness of my days, while under the thumb of my parents and brothers. I’ve been overprotected and sheltered my whole life; I’m definitely privileged but I don’t think I’m spoiled, if that makes sense. Bert and I were in high school English together—I was a year behind but I was put into the advanced class—I had a huge crush on him back then but he never noticed me until we met again recently.

A day with Bert is unlike anything I’ve experienced. We’ve broken into people’s houses, threatened a powerful real estate developer, and I’ve been kidnapped and Bert was almost killed trying to save me. It’s a lot more exciting than scheduling pedicures at the spa, I can tell you that.

And yeah, sometimes he does stuff that makes me want to put his head through a wall—like the other day I flew across country on the red-eye just because I was worried about him and wanted to see him, and I get to his place and he has two women in there with him! And one of them is coming out of the shower! I could have killed him—and believe me, I could if I wanted to—but here’s the crazy thing: after Bert explained it to me, and I understood what had happened and that nothing had gone on except he was trying to help them, I couldn’t be mad at him. My brothers are always doing bad stuff and then denying it, all innocent-like, but with Bert there’s usually a good explanation. He’s actually. . .honest, I guess is the word. How weird is that for a guy his age?

Also, most people our age are still living at home (hello, I’m one of them), with no clue where to go or how to move forward, but Bert is determined to pay his own way and live on his own terms, however humbly. That’s something I totally admire about him. Half the time I want to punch him, and half the time I think I’m falling in love with him, and it doesn’t really matter because we’re both in our early twenties so it’s supposed to be kind of crazy and dramatic, right?

Those are just some of the things I love about Bert. He knows that I’m not shallow like some people, just because I’m rich and a daddy’s girl and my daddy happens to be a very powerful man with a bad temper. That’s why I suggest you ladies all stay away from Bert. If I ever come over one morning and find you hanging out at his place, you’re not going to be so lucky, believe me.


You can read more about Aria in Tie Died, the second book in the “Bert Shambles” mystery series, published by Cozy Cat Press. The first book in the series is Dead Stock.

About Tie Died
Bert Shambles is still recovering from the injuries he sustained in his first adventure when he is recognized at the local library by a lovely hippie named Scarlet. She hires Bert to help dispose of her deceased father’s memorabilia and takes him to a music festival at a local park, where they witness the tragic electrocution of the lead singer, who is an old friend of Scarlet’s. Bert soon finds himself entangled in a plot to steal a rare guitar, accidentally drugged with a powerful psychedelic, and dumped by his girlfriend and soul mate, Aria–until a second rock musician is found dead, and the clues all point to him as the prime suspect.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 29 for the chance to win a print copy of Tie Died. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Tim Hall is the author of the Bert Shambles Mysteries, featuring an amateur sleuth trying to stay out of trouble while temporarily living back in his Long Island hometown. He works part-time at a thrift shop and has a complicated relationship with a mobster’s daughter. The series has quickly gained a small but devoted fan base—including online magazine Splice Today, which called Dead Stock one of the best novels of 2013 and said “Shambles is an amazing character.” Tim lives in New York City with his wife and son and pet hamster. As if New York doesn’t have enough rodents. Visit at timhallbooks.wordpress.com

My Musing ~ Tie Died by Tim Hall

Tie DiedTie Died by Tim Hall is the second book in the “Bert Shambles” mystery series. Publisher: Cozy Cat Press, March 2015

Bert Shambles is still recovering from the injuries he sustained in his first adventure when he is recognized at the local library by a lovely hippie named Scarlet. She hires Bert to help dispose of her deceased father’s memorabilia and takes him to a music festival at a local park, where they witness the tragic electrocution of the lead singer, who is an old friend of Scarlet’s. Bert soon finds himself entangled in a plot to steal a rare guitar, accidentally drugged with a powerful psychedelic, and dumped by his girlfriend and soul mate, Aria–until a second rock musician is found dead, and the clues all point to him as the prime suspect.

This was a very good read that had me rooting for Bert Shambles in this entertaining whodunit. The tone and the pacing of this light drama were nicely done, making it easy to follow the plot. The author has a way with the words as he describes the actions of Bert and his fellow characters. I like how the mystery was set-up with clues that the author planted to keep me glued to the pages. There were some amusing moments that caused a few chuckles with the interaction between Bert, Scarlett, China and Aria. Poor Bert, he tries so hard. I like the author’s approach in the telling of this story and I can’t wait to see what befalls Bert in the next book in this terrific series.

My Musing ~ Gathering Prey by John Sandford

Gathering PreyGathering Prey by John Sandford is the 25th book in the “Prey” thriller series. Publisher: Putnam Adult, April 2015

They call them Travelers. They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes—they just like to stay on the move. And now somebody is killing them.

Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she’d befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody’s killing her friends, she’s afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She’s hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn’t know what to do.

Letty tells Lucas she’s going to get her, and, though he suspects Letty’s getting played, he volunteers to go with her. When he hears the woman’s story, though, he begins to think there’s something in it. Little does he know. In the days to come, he will embark upon an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen, a trip that will not only put the two of them in danger—but just may change the course of his life.

I always know when I read a John Sandford book that I will be taken on a fast-paced, adrenaline-rushed roller coaster ride filled with deep dives and twisty turns that continues until the drama pulls to a complete stop and then it’s like, let’s do it all over again. John has a way with the narrative that grabbed me instantly in the telling of this story with a well-written plot and some very intriguing characters that make you believe that you are standing there in the shadow next to Lucas. The action never stops and the dialogue keeps me entertained and I really enjoyed how it all ended with new directions for the gang. The author does a great job carving out a strong plot that kept me satisfied from beginning to end and I can’t wait to read what happens next with Lucas, Letty, Del and the rest of the gang.

My Musing ~ Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert

BittersweetBittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert is the 23rd book in the “China Bayles” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2015

It’s Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother’s husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise—turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She’s also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. But Leatha calls with bad news: Sam has had a heart attack.

How will Leatha manage if Sam can’t carry his share? She does have a helper, Sue Ellen Krause. But China discovers that Sue Ellen, who is in the process of leaving her marriage to the assistant foreman at a large trophy game ranch, is in some serious trouble. Before Sue Ellen can tell China the full story, her car veers off a deserted road and she is killed.

Meanwhile, when a local veterinarian is shot in what appears to be a burglary at his clinic, Mack Chambers believes his murder could be related to fawns stolen from a nearby ranch. As Mack follows the trail, China begins to wonder if Sue Ellen’s death may not have been an accident, and if there’s a connection to the stolen animals. But their search for the truth may put their own lives in danger.

I like it. China is not in Pecan Springs in this adventure but is still pulled into a murder when it hits a bit too close to home. I love the pacing and the comfortable tone of this book which makes the story easy to follow. This was a well-written mystery filled with suspense and intrigue that kept my interest. The author did a great job in keeping me on my toes as I pondered the clues and every time I thought I had a fix on the perpetrators, the author changed direction that kept me glued to the pages as I had to know what the outcome will be. I did enjoy the scenes with China and her mother. This was an enjoyable read and I look forward to China’s next adventure being back in Pecan Springs with the rest of the gang that includes Ruby, Sheila, Blackie and even McQuaid.