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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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Savage Summer

Savage Summer (Mystery)
Book One In the Curt Savage Series
By Ruth Bainbridge
ISBN #978-1494787560
Create Space
Price $9.89
246 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

“Characters Guaranteed To Entertain.”

A year after Curt Savage lost his fiancĂ© to a vicious murder, he is still trying to cope, and find clues to her murderer. As an ex Creston, Pennsylvania police officer, he’s hired by a neighbor, Marge Danvers to discover who tried to poison her dog. The culprit is hiding out in her back yard at night, and she wants Savage to find out why. He also starts receiving strange calls from a mysterious person he calls Dr. Shadows, giving him clues to his sweetheart’s killer.

Both are good mysteries, but for me the characters are the driving force in this yarn. Curt is still friends with one of the officers he worked with, known as Wolfie, who he can count on for help when needed. But his main pal is Mike O’Brien, real name Michelle. Mike, a lesbian, is a private detective, who is working on an infidelity case. This is not an alternative lifestyle novel, nor really a sex novel. It is purely a good mystery. And we can’t forget Marge, his feisty next-door neighbor. They keep Savage busy and definitely involved in both his girl’s murder, and the strange back yard prowler at night. The constant little asides between Savage and Mike are sometimes amusing and entertaining.

The writing is good, and the story flows smoothly. The author keeps the reader interested in the plot and characters. We want to find out who the killer is, and discover the reason for the mysterious man in Marge’s back yard, and that’s where the reader may feel cheated. We do get some answers, but there is no true ending to this story, and we are still left with unanswered questions. But I guarantee, the story will hold the reader’s interest to the final page.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories


The phone jarred me out of the fantasy. I awoke suddenly, shielding the light that assaulted my eyes. The odor of Ruthie’s perfume was everywhere.
“Ruth?” I called out. Disoriented, I reached out to her side of the bed, expecting her to be there. It took me several more seconds to realize that she was dead.
“Hello,” I started. The gravel in my throat demanded that I clear it once or twice.
“I’m responding to the ad about Ruth Warwick’s murder.”
 Those words officially woke me up. More effective than any cup of coffee, the voice synthesizer disguised the caller’s identity, but the point was that someone had finally phoned. Ever since I’d been dispensed with as a suspect, I’d placed small pennysaver ads in papers published in both Pennsylvania and Ruthie’s home state of Connecticut. Somebody knew something, but I hoped this wasn’t some clown trying to get the reward money from punking my ass.
“Yes, go ahead. I’m listening,” I replied as I ran for a pen and paper. I wanted to be ready, but all I heard was static and heavy breathing. I guessed that it was “all about the money” time. In a second, they’d be asking for the details of how to collect. I figured I’d beat them to that particular punch. “Look, if you’re worried about the reward, the $10,000 will be released when it leads to the arrest of the person, or persons, responsible.”
“I don’t care about the money. There are bigger things going on.”
“What? What do you mean? What things?”
“In due time, Savage.”
“You know my name? How—“
“Inconsequential, don’t you think? Right now, all I can say is this—Ruth was having an affair.”
The click of the receiver on the other end told me the call was concluded. Shocked by the accusation, I stared at the phone, still in my hand. In a million years, I’d never expected a call like that. I collapsed in a chair, trying to think things through. I concluded it had to be a joke perpetrated by someone that thought I hadn’t suffered enough. I slammed the phone back into its stand and took my shower. My stomach was in knots. I was upset that someone was trying to put things in my head about the woman I still loved.

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