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San Juan Noir edited by Mayra Santos-Febres

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San Juan Noir edited by Mayra Santos-Febres

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A collection of noir stories taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Even those these averaged out to a solid 3/5, I found the collection as a whole very satisfying. There is a cohesiveness found in the selections which is usually elusive in anthology collections. I came into this blind about the culture and social aspects of San Juan but feel like the collection has given me a sense for the people. Worth reading!

1. Death on the Scaffold by Janette Becerra - A good story to start the collection. A mysterious narrator tells of a painter at her very high up apartment. An incident occurs and she realises a crime has been committed. It's a strange tale with the narrator being a recluse. (4/5)

2. Fish Food by Manolo Nunez Negron - The dark story of a friendship between two men from childhood until one becomes successful and the other ends up with a hit on him from the gang lords. Very well-written and engaging. (5/5)

Boo! by Ben Newman

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Boo! by Ben Newman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Adorable! The art is fantastic! Especially on the double spreads. The stylised animals are delightfully cute while the story is fun. It has a repeating text which will make it a delight as a read-aloud. The book starts with a mouse saying he's afraid of nothing at all, then an owl comes along and scares him. Then the owl claims to be the bravest, most fearless until another animal comes along and scares him. The pattern repeats itself until the story comes full circle with the mouse scaring an elephant. Loved it!


Real Crime Magazine 2017 (#21)

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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


CreepyPasta

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 sto…

Real Crime Magazine, Holi 2016 editor, Ben Biggs

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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.


The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume

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The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
1886


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.


Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine April 1983

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Mike 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…