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Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded by Clay…

Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded (edition 2015)

by Clay Stafford (Editor), Jeffery Deaver (Contributor), Anne Perry (Contributor), Donald Bain (Contributor), Jefferson Bass (Contributor)3 more, Robert Dugoni (Contributor), Mary Burton (Contributor), Daco (Contributor)

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Every year some of the biggest names in the thriller world converge in Tennessee for the Killer Nashville conference, an event where stars of the genre rub elbows with their most devoted fans, where the bestsellers of tomorrow pick up tricks of the trade and where some of the best writers of today swap dark tales of good deals gone bad, rights made wrong and murder in all shades.… (more)
Title:Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded
Authors:Clay Stafford (Editor)
Other authors:Jeffery Deaver (Contributor), Anne Perry (Contributor), Donald Bain (Contributor), Jefferson Bass (Contributor), Robert Dugoni (Contributor)2 more, Mary Burton (Contributor), Daco (Contributor)
Info:Diversion Publishing (2015), 330 pages
Collections:Your library

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Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded by Clay Stafford


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What a diverse group of mysteries Mr. Stafford put together. There was something for everyone. I really enjoyed them all, some of them were like watching the twilight zone, the way they ended so off the wall. I had to stop and think a bit about the story before I went on to the next one. I loved it.

A lot of anthologies are hit and miss, some you like and other you kind of skim through but I have to admit I liked them all.

I would like to thank Diversion Books and NetGalley for the providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review. ( )
  sj1335 | Nov 12, 2015 |
A special thank you to Diversion Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

KILLER NASHVILLE NOIR: Cold-Blooded 21 Authors Featured in 20 stories, not to miss! From crime thrillers, psychological, cozy quirky mysteries-- from witty, contemporary to historical, and realistic to horror. ​ With a nice lineup of talent, readers will have the opportunity of reading some of their favorite authors, along with a chance of discovering some some new found authors. I discovered a few, not read previously...which is always a nice surprise.

Every reader, and writer of course, have different interests and talents. The stories will appeal to a wide audience, based on your favorite genre. The ratings below are based on my individual interest--not an easy task with short stories. Christmas Comes Early- a nice gift for your thriller/mystery friends.

Authors & Their Stories Featured in the Killer Nashville Anthology

“The Hunt for Skippy Walker” by Donald Bain 4 Stars * * *
Enter Sleepy town of Savannah, full of ghost stories. Tensions run high. An argument. A knife. A bank VP. An alter-ego. Did Skip or Willard murder the wife Debbie? Guilty or Not Guilty? A second personality? Note: Watch you say about your alter— Summary: Inside us all is the desire to be something more than what we are. The weak want to be stronger. Those who have little want more. All Willard Walker wanted was to be happy. Instead that part of him that wanted to be more became someone else he couldn’t control. Bain is known for Murder, She Wrote, but Jessica Fletcher never experienced anything this dark.

"In Plain Sight” By Jefferson Bass 3 Stars * * *
A Body Farm. Human Decomposition Research lab. Skeletons. Jane and John Does. Forensic anthropologist. Stolen skulls. Prints. Blackmail. Drugs. Sure the author’s fans will enjoy the short story of crime and bones. Not enough to rattle my bones. . . . Summary: A group of undergraduate students from the University of Tennessee aren’t surprised when they stumble upon a decomposing body in the famed “Body Farm”. Featuring the Jefferson Bass recurring characters of Bill Brockton and Miranda Lovelady, the shock comes after they realize this particular body wasn’t supposed to be there.

“A Matter of Honor” by Paula Gail Benson & Robert Dugoni 4 Stars * * *
A fan of Robert Dugoni, and a first from Paula Benson—always in the mood for a southern tale. Politics in the SC. A body in the basement. A killer. A Civil War Tribute Foster Kids. Drugs. Old Grievances. Secrets. . Summary: Pride comes before a fall. Wrongful Death author Robert Dugoni (called “the best of Scott Turow and John Grisham”) teams with writer Paula Gail Benson in a tale of Southern honor as attorney Sara Ainsley Sims and agent B.A. Azevedo learn first-hand that a cold-blooded killer attacking prominent politicians in the South Carolina Statehouse will stop at nothing until a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old grievance has been addressed.

“Ripple” by Baron R. Birtcher 4 stars * * * *
Bad things come in threes. Someone is looking for him. A former Seal. NSA. Rex needs Travis’ help. A retired cop. An island. Investigation. A manuscript. A cover up. The bigger the lie, the more easily it will be believed.. . Summary: Baron R. Birtcher’s recurring characters Mike Travis, a retired cop, and Snyder, a military veteran, get roped into a mission to maintain government secrets when an old friend, Rex Blackwood, comes to the sleepy Hawaiian isle of Hualalai seeking something that is not supposed to exist. There are no umbrella drinks at the bar for this reunion.

“The Keepsake” by Mary Burton 5 Stars * * * * *
My Favorite! A long-time fan--Mary happened to be the motivation behind reading this exciting collection of short stories. Having recently read the third in the suspenseful series Morgans of Nashville-- a huge fan of The Morgans. (I’ll Never Let You Go—5 Stars), my top books of 2015----Totally invested in this must read series. Always fun to catch up with Georgia. With Keepsake, Mary once again delivers a clever twist to an unsolved cold case---her specialty! Highly recommend this series and looking forward to Vulnerable, (#4 Morgans of Nashville), coming 2016! Summary: Recurring characters officer Georgia Morgan and homicide Detective Jake Bishop take up the case of murdered Grace Duvall, a twenty-eight-year-old, unsolved, cold case. The aging widower, Lance Duvall, visits the police every year in hopes that some new information leads them to his wife’s killer. This year, the officer and detective get a tip they can’t ignore.

“Lullabies & Lightning Storms” by Dana Chamblee Carpenter 3 Stars * * * Gideon. A baby. Cassie’s daughter Sybil. A fever. The bubble girl. Judgment or prophecy? Do you really want to know? Summary: The newspaper clippings in Cassie’s attic read Gideon Gets Its Own Bubble Baby. For years to come, reporters, church groups, students, and tourists crowd Cassie’s house to view her daughter Sybil. She hardly speaks but when she does, it’s to softly whisper a prophecy in the form of broken lyrics — to those who come seeking answers and to those who never ask.

“Rich Talk” by C. Hope Clark 5 Stars * * * * *
My first read by Clark—was drawn to the SC author and setting in the LowCounty. Where Southern hospitality and appearances matter. A miserable marriage, an affair, a law partner. A butler in the middle. Note to self: Never cross your butler. Watch your back. Check your boat and your drinks. A great introduction to a newfound southern author…looking forward to reading more---Author has been added to my TBR list. Summary: Set in C. Hope Clark’s Low Country, defense attorney Harlowe Franklin and his wife Lavella O’Hara Franklin have the perfect life until boredom rocks their worlds. Now both deal with the situation in their own way, putting their butler Stevens square in the middle.

“The Virgo Affair” by Daco 3 Stars: * * *
As a Virgo myself, intrigued with Operation Virgo—seduce and pretend to fall in love with a NASA scientist. Hit list. A cryptic message. Unfortunately for me the astrology failed to intrigue…..a fizz buzz kill. Summary: Operation Virgo calls for Daco’s recurring double-agent Jordan Jakes to seduce and fall in love with former NASA scientist Ben Johnson, who now spends his time crafting cocktails for his bar’s patrons. As the night goes on, and the spies begin to descend, Jakes quickly learns the only person she can trust is herself.

“Repressed” by Jeffery Deaver 5 Stars * * * * *
The name, Deaver, the author--of course, and the NC setting drew me in, immediately. A northerner moving to the south, trying to fit in the superficial world. Culture shock. A yellow Buick at an antique car show, brings back weird memories. Restored by Frank Killdaire. A trigger. A nightmare. A past. A shrink. Old Feelings. Bad ones. A Georgia town. A father. Uncle Seth. A 12-yr old boy. A mysterious driver. Repressed memories. Murder. Quirky. Mysterious. Nicely Done. The power of a name. Horror. (Note: these short stories love pantyhose). Look for his upcoming, The Steel Kiss, coming, March, 2016. Summary: From the author of The Bone Collector comes Sam Fogel, a professor of Northern transplant displaced in a quiet North Carolina town who becomes disturbed when he sees an old, yellow Buick. After visiting a therapist on his wife’s suggestion, he comes across repressed memories. Can Sam’s discovery save his marriage, his family, his sanity? And will a cold case finally be solved.

“The Coal Torpedo” by Blake Fontenay 3 Stars * * *
Treason. .Patriotism . Home state of Tennessee. History. The Bloody First. Spies. Documents. Coal Torpedoes. North versus South. Civil War. The War is Over. . . . Summary: The Civil War has just ended and historical figure Allan Pinkerton is in Washington, D.C. in the office of President Andrew Johnson on a mission to set wrongs right. But Johnson may have another agenda than the truth and – if Johnson has his way – the person responsible for the deaths of 1,700 American civilians may go unpunished.

“He’ll Kill Again” by Heywood Gould 3 Stars * * *
A redneck janitor at the college. Students (mostly rich) get hammered every Thursday night at O’Meara. He likes to go and watch. Spent his pay check. One night things go bad. Girl slashed. Dude was almost choked to death. The old man. He knows he will kill again. Every other Thursday is pay day. The old man with the cane. . Summary: From the writer and director responsible for Fort Apache the Bronx, The Boys from Brazil, Cocktail, and Rolling Thunder comes an eerie tale of an average janitor whose only ambition seems to be going to a local bar called O’Meara’s every Thursday night to spend some of his paycheck. Amid the bar brawls on this particular Thursday, he hears a gagging, chocking noise, and – before he knows it – his life is about to change.

“Second Thoughts” by Steven James 4 Stars * * * *
quirky psychological murder plan. Love is a dark thing. Death. Choices. Justice. Revenge is sweet. Summary: Murder never goes as planned. And some victims are exceptional. What happens when someone asks, “Help me die”? From the mind that created the “Bowers Files” – Steven James – comes a psychological portrait of a character so determined and singular that he is unstoppable. And just when he thinks it is over, the urge to kill comes again, but that is love, a very dark thing.

“Giving Blood” by Jon Jefferson 4 Stars * * * *
A blood bank. A pregnant wife taken. A score to settle. O negative. George wants to rid the world of injustice and evil. An accident. Murder. An eye for an eye. Blood for Blood . . Summary: In a tale of conspiracy, Jon Jefferson (National Geographic filmmaker and half the writing team of NY Bestselling author Jefferson Bass) shares the twisting story of George Hartley who only wanted to make a difference in this world, but discovered no one was paying attention. After his wife is cruelly taken from him, he is willing to give his blood – and even someone else’s – to even the score.

“Kissin’ Don’t Kill” by Catriona McPherson 3 Stars * * *
Marriages. Anniversaries. Good Food. A Nice Table. Cross-stitching. Floozies. Justice! Unfortunately failed to meet my epicurean delight. A short one. Summary: Agatha and Anthony Award Winning author Catriona McPherson knows that there’s more to a happy home than appearances, good food being one of them. And, it’s always best to honor your commitments until the bitter end. In this story of geriatric love, the spice is still in the pudding.

“Shutter Speed” by Anne Perry 3 Stars * * *
A murder. A fashion photographer. Hitler. A hidden clue. A weapon. Summary: The world-famed author Anne Perry – creator of the detective characters Thomas & Charlotte Pitt, William Monk, and Hester Latterly – historically examines another time and crime of passion. Eighteen years after World War I, Londoner and fashion photographer Jenny McAllister seeks only peace. William Churchill is at odds with Hitler. Within this time of heated escalation and world dominance, Jenny comes upon a street fight with a fatal ending in which one of her pacifist friends is killed. The murderer is unknown. The clue is hidden, but visible, if only Jenny can expose it.

“Sad Like a Country Song” by Eyre Price 3 stars * * *
When you think of country music, there is always sadness, alcohol mixed with desperation and the next best song. Jimmie. Golden Boy. Fame. A stolen song. Short lived. The wrong kind of fame Summary: When desperation, aspiration, and alcohol mix, Jimmie Dallas steals a song from another up-and-coming musician named Golden Boy. When he hits it big in Nashville – largely from this song – Jimmie gets an unexpected visit from the original songwriter, Mr. Atibon, who convinces Jimmie that fame isn’t always what one thinks – especially when one bargains with the Devil. Eyre Price, the author of the Crossroads thriller series, shows a side of Nashville that few rarely see.

“Savage Gulf” by Clay Stafford 5 Stars * * * * *
My first story by the talented man and founder of Killer Nashville. Loved the deliciously witty evil game of cat and mouse. . . Justice. A love triangle. A twisted ​​tale of secrets, divorce, affairs, sex and lies – A scandalous web of deceit. A plan of attack goes wrong at a reunion. Who is doing who? Watch your back, your weight,bed, boobs, cliffs, and your toupee. Nice twist at the end! Summary: Everyone wants to be successful, and nothing lets one know life didn’t turn out as planned like a thirty-year high school reunion. By all accounts, Jack’s life is falling apart. His business is upside down. He suffers the loss of his wife. But between the punch bowl and the restroom, an opportunity presents itself to even the score. From filmmaker and author Clay Stafford comes a story of justice, as unique as the darkness beyond the cliffs of Savage Gulf.

“Mailman” by Jonathan Stone 5 Stars * * * * *
Having recently read a book about a mailman--found Stone’s main character intriguing. Enjoyed The Teller, and once again the author’s usage of regular boring characters with normal jobs (teller and mailman)--- turning their careers into a dangerous exciting game--part of a bigger complex crime mystery drama….Looking forward to reading more from this author!

Summary: About: George Waite is the perfect mailman — through rain, snow, sleet, and hail. And he knows when things aren’t right. The newly transplanted Muscovito family is different from everyone in the neighborhood. The neighbors want to know more about the reclusive residents…and so does George. Unfortunately, some mail was never meant to be opened.

“Peace, Sometimes” by Jaden Terrell 4 Stars * * * *
A serial rapist. A hostage. A win. An Insurance policy. Desire. You do not have to do it anymore. Angels. Death. A cabin. Juicy Revenge. Tables are turned. Summary: Shamus nominee Jaden Terrell shares the story of serial rapist Waylon Bayard. In prison for the unthinkable, he does it again. Escaping to an isolated cabin, with a victim tied, and his old tools on the table, Waylon finds peace in the arms of a woman he never expected. But with peace comes a price. Waylon Bayard never saw that coming.

“High Noon at Dollar Central” by Maggie Toussaint 4 Stars * * * *
A best friend. A reporter. A burglar. Sleuthing. Angels. Grandmother. Keepsakes. Clues. Cozy mystery. Summary: When a burglar keeps breaking into the county’s local stores – the liquor store, the Dollar Central, the art center – Maggie Toussaint’s series character Baxley Powell is dragged into personally investigating the crime by her long-time, best friend, Charlotte Armstrong. But when the clues point to Baxley herself – and even to her family – not even Charlotte knows what to do next. From unlikely sources come unlikely powers as Powell discovers when she is finally face-to-face with the person who wants to do her in. ( )
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  JudithDCollins | Oct 30, 2015 |
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Every year some of the biggest names in the thriller world converge in Tennessee for the Killer Nashville conference, an event where stars of the genre rub elbows with their most devoted fans, where the bestsellers of tomorrow pick up tricks of the trade and where some of the best writers of today swap dark tales of good deals gone bad, rights made wrong and murder in all shades.

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