My Favorite Reviewers


C.K. (Carol) Crigger

C.K. Crigger lives with her husband and three feisty little dogs in Spokane Valley, Washington, where she crafts stories set in the Inland Northwest. Her current release of western suspense is TWO FEET BELOW.

jv poore

jv poore lives in Midlothian, VA with her charmingly tolerant and indulgent husband, her consistently amazing son and a recently inherited pseudo-dog.  In addition to her two raison d’êtres, reading and Phish make her very happy.

Carl Brookins

Carl Brookins hails from a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  He’s been writing and reviewing crime fiction since he retired from Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, nearly twenty years ago.  He also sails, does photography and TV,  drinks a little scotch, and laughs a lot.

Susan Belsky

Because her graduate school advisor wouldn’t let her major in exosociology (the study of interactions with extraterrestrials), Susan Belsky became a librarian. Whenever she’s not reading, she enjoys watching giant insect horror movies from the fifties, taking road trips in an unreliable 1979 Fiat Spider convertible, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. She also reviews books for Library Journal.

John R. Clark

John R. Clark grew up on a poultry farm in midcoast Maine and then went to college in Arizona. Following graduation, he spent 29 years working in a state mental hospital, doing everything, some of which were too strange to be left out of short stories. He earned masters degrees in adult education and library science. Following his escape from the asylum, he was a public librarian until his recent retirement. He is an avid reader, mostly of young adult fiction as well as a book reviewer and an author himself. When not reading or writing, he enters sweepstakes and plays in his gardens.

P.J. Coldren

P.J. Coldren lives in northern lower Michigan with her husband. They owns a a Maltese-Shi Tzu mixed named Sadie (for Silly-Ass Dam Dog), a dachshund named Penny, and are owned by a large feline named Mongo. She reads widely in the mystery genre and selectively from almost any other book category. She has retired from dealing drugs professionally (in a hospital pharmacy) now that Uncle Sam pays her to stay home; she spends much of her non-reading time knitting. She has been a judge for the Malice Domestic/St. Martin’s Press Best First Traditional Mystery Novel contest for over twenty-five years and has reviewed mystery novels for almost that long. She is totally thrilled to be the Malice Domestic Fan Guest of Honor for 2019.

Melinda Drew

Melinda Drew lives in a town just outside Boston, MA.  She reviewed books for Kate’s Mystery Books newsletter (Cambridge, MA) for years until Kate retired and closed the store.  She also reviewed manuscripts for Poison Pen Press.  Melinda‘s original profession was as a Registered Nurse in which she worked with substance abusers.  Having gone to law school and practiced law for a few years, her most recent career has been as law professor.  She likes reading books with a legal theme though she sometimes is frustrated when an author gets the law wrong (she realizes it’s often for dramatic effect but still . . .).  Melinda is delighted at the opportunity to review for Creatures ‘n Crooks and hope you all find her reviews helpful.

Ted and Gloria Feit

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside of New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan.  Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they’re now retied, they’re able to indulge their passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.  On their first [blind] date, Ted showed up with a Dick Francis book under his arm and the rest, as they say, is history.

Aubrey Hamilton

Aubrey Hamilton is a Midwesterner who has lived in Virginia for over 30 years. She translated her love of reading into an MLS degree as her first attempt at full-time adult employment. Although she left libraries as a means of earning a living a long time ago, she still haunts them regularly to support her need to read, mostly mysteries. She is a Certified Quality Manager and a Project Management Professional.

Patricia E. Reid

Patricia E. Reid has recently moved from Kansas to West Virginia.   She retired as office manager for two Darling International, Inc. blending plants.  One is in Kansas City, Kansas and the other is in Fairfax, Missouri.  Prior to that, she managed a law office for seventeen years.  She has two daughters, one living in Kansas City and one in West Virginia.  She also has a granddaughter living in Kansas City.  All three share her love of reading.  Patricia favors mysteries, suspense and thrillers.  One daughter reads romance and the other mystery; the more hard-boiled the better.  Her granddaughter reads most everything but enjoys fantasy.

Marilyn Nulman

Marilyn Nulman lives in a small town near the coast of Maine, with one tiny Papillon and two dog-loving cats.  She’s been reading mysteries since the year umph, and has worked in bookstores and libraries.  She’s also a semi-retired bookbinder and a storyteller.  She’s grateful to the many writers who have enriched her life.

Michele Drier

Michele Drier, a fifth generation Californian, was born in Santa Cruz, California to a family that migrated west to San Francisco in 1849.

Unfortunately, they never found gold, nor did they buy (and hang onto) any California land, but books and writing are in her blood.

Her mother named her Michael, after author and actress Blanche Oelrichs, who wrote under the name of Michael Strange. Her maternal grandmother belonged to a writing club in San Francisco in the early part of the 20th century and wrote poems and jingles—one of which won her a travel trailer during the Depression.

Before she began her third career as a genre novelist, she had a two-decade stint as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, and also spent about 20 years as a non-profit CEO.

She’s a member of the Society of California Pioneers and Sisters in Crime and lives in California’s Central Valley with a cat, skunks, wild turkeys and an opossum (only the cat gets to come in the house, although the others have tried!).

Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson lives in London, Ontario, Canada with her husband, artist Charles Vincent, and their cats Rascal and Morley. She became addicted to mysteries after reading The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers, and has never looked back. In addition to loving mysteries because of their focus on the search for truth, Andrea is fond of walking, craft beer, Canadian rock’n’roll, and roller derby.

Joyce Brown

Joyce Ann Brown owns rental properties in Kansas City with her husband. Her Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteries take place in rentals, but none of their real tenants have so far been involved in theft, kidnapping, or murder, and her two cats, Moose and Chloe, are cuddly, not psycho. Besides being a landlady, Joyce has worked as a story teller, a library media specialist, a Realtor, and a freelance writer. Her writing has appeared in local and national publications.

Award-winning Catastrophic Connections is the first of her Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteries. Furtive Investigation is the second book in the series. You can find out more on Ms. Brown’s website:

Laura McLaughlin < sounds Scottish I know but we’re actually Irish.

Laura lives in Northern Ireland and consequently spends a lot of her time trying to stay dry. She shares a little house with her long suffering husband and six dogs, yes six! She has a degree in Psychology from Queens University, Belfast and is currently studying for a HND in Fine Art, which she probably should have done in the first place. When not drinking tea and being all “artistic” she likes reading, listening to music and trying to beat her husband at University Challenge.  To clarify, University Challenge is a long running quiz show in the UK where you have to be super smart to get anything right, or in her case, super lucky  😉   Oh, and she also volunteers as a reading mentor in her old primary school.

Elaine Faber

Elaine lives in Elk Grove, CA with a husband of 51 years and  four cats. (That’s a 51-year-old marriage, not a 51 year old husband). Three additional feral cats come daily to the back door chow line, without whom, the inspiration for her cat mystery series would be sorely lacking. She speaks cat! Black Cat’s Legacy, the first of Elaine’s Black Cat mystery series, scheduled to be published in early 2014, is for readers who love cat mysteries, cozy mysteries and light mystery without questionable content.  Elaine belongs to Sisters In Crime writer’s group,  and serves as librarian and as an annual anthology editor for Inspire Christian Writers. Read more about Elaine at:

Erin Farwell

Although I have a business and a law degree, I spend my days writing, teaching art classes (metal clay) and taking care of my family, which includes my husband, daughter, three cats, two guinea pigs and two fish. I grew up in the small town of Berrien Springs, Michigan and lived in Chicago for many years before moving to Roswell, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. I love to travel had have been fortunate enough to visit many states as well as go to Paris, France, Salzburg, Austria, Munich, Germany and Venice, Italy. I’ve also been to parts of Belgium and Slavania. Together my husband and I climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro in Kenya and traveled to China to adopt our daughter. My first mystery novel, Shadowlands, was published in 2012 and my short story, “The Carver”, was included in the All Hallows’ Evil anthology in 2013.

Kristina Akers

Kristina Akers lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Woodlawn, Virginia. A 2013 Communication Studies graduate from Hollins University, she’s aspiring to become a journalist. In the meantime, she’s spending her time catching up on her reading list between penning her novel and teaching her church youth group.

Anika Abbate

Anika Abbate lives with her husband and two little boys near Philadelphia, where she works as a freelance translator and writes her historical mystery set in early 20th Century Philadelphia. Her three men are just as crazy about books as she is. Anika adores the ocean and coffee.

Caroline Pruett

Caroline Pruett lives in Henrico, Virginia, and she loves reading genre fiction of all kinds. She has degrees in law and creative writing, and she is a co-founder and editor at, a site that covers comic books, television, and other geeky media. In whatever time she’s got left, she likes to attend rock concerts and live theater, especially if it’s Shakespeare.

Chris Swinney

Chris Swinney is a narcotics and homicide detective working in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He spends as much time as he can with his two children and lovely wife.  He enjoys camping and fly fishing and volunteering time at local schools educating children about drug abuse.  Beyond writing, Chris spends a lot of time teaching folks how to use social media sites to promote their work.  His debut book, Gray Ghost, is contracted with Oak Tree Press and should be coming out in 2013. Chris can be found at his website , Writing by C.L. Swinney.

Constance Reader

Constance is a transplanted Californian living in Portland, Oregon. She reads and writes all things fiction. She fell in love with Darcy her husband while reading Pride and Prejudice together. Constance prefers books over movies and turning pages over swiping them. She shares her life with several other humans, a charming Beagle and a sassy Flame Point Siamese; the net effect of which is that the humans are allowed seating wherever a vacancy occurs.

Laura Taylor

Laura lives in a converted 150-year-old gristmill surrounded by mountains and cow pastures, with her teenage son and devoted, if noisy, dog. She holds a Master’s degree in Medieval History from Western Michigan University and hopes to teach high school history. In the meantime, she keeps busy reading and working on the mystery novel she wrote for NaNoWriMo 2009. She blogs, when the mood strikes, at The Two-Fingered Typist ( and has recently started posting book reviews at Beyond the Blurb (

Stephen L. Brayton

Stephen is a Fifth Degree Black belt who owns and operates a taekwondo club. He lives with Thomas, a fifteen pound cat. He lives about an hour away from two supportive and loving parents and two hours away from a younger sister, her husband and three beautiful nieces. Stephen also posts reviews on Brayton’s Book Buzz and he is the author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha. He can also be found at Brayton’s Briefs and his website .

Becky Kyle

Becky Kyle was born on Friday 13, never mind how long ago.  She lives between the Smoky and Cumberland Mountains with her husband and four cats, none of which are black at the moment. Her favorite past-times are reading, listening to music and writing.  She is working on a mystery series of her own.

Jean Tribull Harris

Jean is currently an Environmental Compliance Coordinator at the Bremo Power Station for Dominion Virginia Power. She holds a B.S. degree in chemistry and biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ and a M.S. in environmental biology from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

Frances Boynton

Frances has lived in Richmond, VA for almost her entire life.  She has 3 cats of her own and does pet-sitting for a fair portion of the cat & dog population of Richmond.  She loves animals, history, wandering around exploring (getting lost), and, of course, reading!

Wendi Chapman

Wendi lives in Richmond with her husband and four dog kids: Wobbles, Acorn,  Care Bear and Chester. She works as a customer care specialist in the  freight industry. She tutors in elementary education every Wednesday and  reads every book she gets and every chance she gets in a lot of different  subjects, not just mysteries.

Jennifer Hancock

Jennifer graduated from VCU with a degree in Craft (Furniture Design) and minors in Philosophy and Art History.  She happily resides in the neighborhood of Oregon Hill.  She is blessed with a tolerant partner, a house crammed with books and enough cats for every lap in the house plus guests.  Her pastimes include reading, community activism, running two book clubs with an iron fist, herding cats and wrestling with an unruly library.

Alva Hughes

Alva teaches at Randolph-Macon College. She has a B.S. from R-MC and an M.A. & Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.  She finds living with at least one dog necessary.  When she is not busy trying to understand cognitive processes in humans and dogs, she reads, knits, & eats chocolate.

Kate Ernst

Kate is an Australian who has been living in Germany for the last ten years with her husband and their child. She was always the girl on the school bus with her nose in a book, and often the girl tripping her way home from the bus stop in much the same fashion! Recently, she has realised a passion for photography ( ) and baking. She enjoys reading any kind of genre, as long as the characters are strong and the plot is followable and is tentatively moving towards Sci Fi as we speak.

Brenda Cothern

Brenda’s introduction to fantasy novels started in the early 80’s.  She is still an avid player of D&D/LFR, an RPGA member, and her obvious addiction to fantasy stories continues. She can be found immersed daily in Fantasy or Paranormal books or any number of other worlds that give her the fantasy fix she needs! Formally a Dir. of Ops for a marketing company, part web designer, genealogist and full time writer, Brenda lives in Florida with her husband, 3 teenage daughters, 3 dogs, 3 cats, and a turtle named Tammy. Brenda also posts reviews for Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing (

Marta Chausée

Marta Chausée is a Southern California author, artist, life coach and counselor from a cross-cultural background.  She enjoys writing non-fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and killing people in her murder mysteries. She has won several writing prizes and been published in magazines,  literary reviews, mental health newsletters and an online Denver newsletter.  Her first book, Murder’s Last Resort, will be published in 2013 by Oak Tree Press. Ms. Chausée lives in a tree house in the college town of Claremont, with her luck dragon, Falcor, and her writing fellows nearby. For fun, she likes to travel, dance, ride her bike, ski, laugh, sing, play and otherwise carry on to the embarrassment of her children.  She enjoys books, art, antiques, theater, movies and good times with good friends.  Her motto is:  Manus manum lavat.

9 thoughts on “My Favorite Reviewers

  1. I saw your post on DorothyL and would be interested in blogging for you and/or reviewing for you. Please let me know what my end of this requires, if you are interested. Thank you.

    P.J. Coldren


  2. Aloha,
    I found your website through a posting on DL. My husband, Douglas Corleone, has a debut novel coming out April 27. It is the winner of the 2009 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel award. Would you be interested in reviewing his book? He would also like to guest blog on your site.
    All best,


  3. I, too, found your website through a posting on DL. My second bookstore cozy, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, is slated by Five Star for release in August, 2011. The second in the Jane Serrano Mystery series continues the adventures of bookstore clerk Jane Serrano, first detailed in MURDER OF THE MONTH (Five Star, 2005; Lava River Press, 2011), as she manages a mystery book club sponsored by the indie bookstore in Central Oregon where she works. Unfortunately, the unruly club members would rather solve crimes than read about them. I used to work in a Central Oregon indie (now, sadly, out of business), where I met plenty of characters there who have since made their way into my books. I’d be delighted to send an ARC if you’re interested in doing a review. Thanks for your consideration. Best, Liz


  4. Lots of fun, reading the bios on your favorite reviewers. Love yours, too.

    Marta Chausée, author
    Resort to Murder Series


  5. My novel, Tell A Thousand Lies, was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia prize.

    One liner teaser: power-hungry politician bribes village oracle to declare the teen he’s targeted is a goddess descended from the heavens to endorse him in the elections.

    Should you wish to review it, I’d be happy to generate an ebook in the format of your choosing.

    I came here from the MMA list.


  6. Thank you for considering my novel or a review. The print and Kindle versions are on Amazon. Other reviews are on my website.

    The name of the novel is “Operation Downfall.” It is based on a quote by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”

    A courageous and cathartic narrative, Operation Downfall, mirrors the political landscape that has become both acceptable and repulsive to a country that prides itself on freedom and democracy. Novelist Daniel McNeet has written a taunting-political thriller which serves as a literary fable for a country in search of its self-identity and moral sense.

    A stunning beauty, brilliant, vibrant and veracious attorney, Mariah O’Leary, grew up in the worst slum in New York and became an orphan as a teenager. She received scholarships to undergraduate and graduate school, but it is not enough so she worked. When she graduated she joined the military for five years and served in a full black unit. Full black means it is off the books and even the president is not aware of the unit.

    She is going to do what most people only dream about — expose the amoral corrupticians and their political machinery deep within and without of the White House. She uncovers their unprincipled scheme to create a series of events which will justify the launching of an illegal war. A complex web of relationships between the president, vice president and their investors place the American people in heightened jeopardy. Mariah’s investigation uncovers a “War Plan” which will poison thousands of American citizens and blame a Middle East country for the terrorist attack.
    Mariah O’Leary organizes “Operation Downfall” which consists of teams of former Central Intelligence Agency agents and field officers, Special Forces and other clandestine operatives to expose the conspiracy, corruption and treachery by the president, vice president and a billionaire defense contractor.

    The president needs a war to get re-elected, the vice president needs a war to increase his wealth, create fear among the American people so he can establish an unitary presidency — a shift to toward fascism. The billionaire needs a war to become the richest man in the world and save his failing companies.

    The results of the operation reap retribution, political suicide, deaths, infamy and exposes the puppeteer, decision maker, and his group who are actually controlling the United States by manipulating the strings on the marionettes — the president and vice president.

    The settings are Bel Air and Los Angeles, California, Houston, Texas, Abiquiu, New Mexico, Washington, D.C. and Georgetown.


  7. My first novel, a light mystery with humor called Death of a Bride and Groom, will be released by Five Star (Cengage) May 20. Five Star is a small press and I’m trying to get the book a little attention. I have ARCs available now, or a PDQ file, whichever you prefer, and I’d love a review. Here’s the blurb:

    When the body of writer Iris Morland is discovered in full bridal array atop a giant wedding cake parade float, the little resort town of Honeymoon Falls is left reeling. Not only is its reputation as “the Romance Capital of the World” at risk, its very survival is threatened. Murder, it seems, has a chilling effect on those considering venues for potential nuptials.

    Suspects include Iris’s husband, Kenneth, enraged after discovering her liaison with television host Arnold Reifel. Arnold’s wife, Marjorie, was seething because Iris had turned Marjorie’s interior decoration schemes into a very public humiliation. Then there’s haughty French film auteur, Pierre Blondin, in town filming Iris’s novel. Did Iris trigger his murderous wrath by opposing a nude scene featuring ninety-five-year-old actress Hermione Hopkins?

    Captain Will Halsey, head of Honeymoon Falls’ three-person police force, struggles to find the killer while coping with small-town politics, feuding among his subordinates, and the ferocious attentions of the media.


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