My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Friday, June 28, 2013

Gryphon Double #23

Gryphon Double Novel #23 (2001). I just found a few copies of this rare double novel by me, published by Gary Lovisi’s old Gryphon Double Novel series. A flip-over book in the format of the old Ace Doubles, both stories are by me, and feature my character The Masked Avenger. Gary didn’t edit books back then, so unfortunately there are numerous typos. Copies are available for $11.50 post paid as long as they last. Anyone interested you can contact me at

Crime's Last StandAs a young boy lies wounded in a hospital after gangsters murder his mother, The Masked Avenger trails the gangsters to their hidden mastermind, known only as the Centipede. Can the Masked Avenger survive the final battle with the city's underworld when crime makes its last stand?

Dark Streets of DoomThe Masked Avenger's most incredible adventure! When homeless children begin disappearing from the streets of New York, can even the great Masked Avenger protect those who are left and rescue the missing waifs?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Mystery of Rio

The Mystery of Rio (Murder Mystery)
By Alberto Mussa
ISBN #978-1609451363
Europa Editions
Price $16.00
192 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

In 1913 Rio de Janeiro, a government official is murdered in a house of prostitution. The main suspect is the prostitute administering to his needs. The prostitute disappears completely, and the police are baffled. They find her brother, but he says he doesn’t know where she is. Did she really kill the man, or has something befallen her also?

This was a very weird story. Written like a Cold Case investigation, the narrator explaining what has happened, and what transpired over the course of the investigation. The reader is bored with details and history of Rio de Janeiro, often going off on tangents about other cases centuries before. There is little, if any, tension or danger to the investigators.

However, the mystery of the murder was such that the reader will want to follow the case to its conclusion. Although I had my suspicions about the case, as all the so-called clues were presented within the first 75 pages, I wanted to find out if my ideas were correct. This book will interest True Crime readers more than fiction readers, simply the way it was written, yet it presents a fine mystery in the telling.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Johnston McCulley Stories

 “El Torbilino” (The Whirlwind) from THE WHIRLWIND, published by Altus Press

“Blind As A Bat” (The Bat) from PULP ECHOES, published by NTD

“Crimson Clown – Killer” (The Crimson Clown) from PULP ECHOES, published by NTD

“Seven Men of Greed” (Man In Purple) from THE MAN IN PURPLE, published by Altus Press

“Senora Scorpion” (The Whirlwind, from Senora Scorpion’s POV) from PULP ECHOES, published by NTD

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Letter From Junior High School

I recently received a very nice letter from Betsy McMahaman, the Secondary & Elementary Librarian of the Haskell I.S.D., one of the school libraries where I donated some of my books, including “Three Go Back”, published by NTD.

Dear Mr. Johnson,

On behalf of the students and faculty of Haskell Junior High, I want to thank you for your generous donation of THREE GO BACK to the Junior High Library. This looks like just the right combination of science fiction and adventure to grab the interest of our Junior High kids. It has been added to that collection for all to enjoy.

We appreciate your work in providing a good story that should spur this age group on to more reading. Thank you again.

Betsy McMahaman

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Restrike (Mystery)
By Reba White Williams
ISBN #978-1839052001
Price $12.00
391 Pages
Rating 5 Stars

“An Interesting Concept”

Coleman and Dinah Greene are involved in the New York art scene. Coleman is the owner and editor of an influential art magazine, and Dinah is the owner of a print gallery in Greenwich Village. When a young gay man is murdered, it turns out that he had sold several rare and valuable art prints to an auction house, where they are sold for very high prices. Yet the young man should not have been in possession of such items. Coleman wants to investigate the sale for her magazine, while also worrying about a spy in her company. It seems that a rival magazine is picking up important stories before hers goes to print. Meanwhile, the buyer of those rare prints is planning a museum to feature a print gallery, and this pulls Dinah into the situation.

This is an introductory novel, bringing the characters all forward to meet the reader, thus the story reads a bit slow, and at times confusing, and difficult to keep up with the characters. Too many characters can spoil a plot, and there really appears to be too many characters for the reader to keep everyone straight. Two minor characters in the story caught my attention over the leads, actually. Rachel Ransome of Ransome Galleries is rich, decisive, and quick to act; Robert Mondelli is an ex cop, ex lawyer, and now a private detective investigating art crimes. Both had more potential than the leads. Another minor problem was too much backstory of each character all at once. Since this is to be a series, backstory should be revealed a little at a time over the course of the series. The backstory is then discussed throughout the story, which bogs down the pace – not to mention all the restaurant scenes.

These negative comments do not downplay the interesting story here. I considered giving the book a 4-Star rating, but since this is the author's first novel I felt she deserved a higher rating. I think the author will tighten up her plots in future books, and the concept is one that should hook mystery readers quickly. Although many novels have touched on this topic, such as “The Art Museum Murders”, to my knowledge, there has never been a series featuring crime in the art world, and Coleman and Dinah Greene are certain to correct that oversight.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories