First of all, Thriller Guy is sick, sick, sick of grown-up thriller writers having heroes, tough guy heroes, chuckle. Enough! No more chuckling! Really, has anyone actually seen anyone chuckle? It's a childish, stupid word. Stop. Right now. Never again.
Thriller Guy's ongoing experiment in selling Allen Appel's period mystery, Abraham Lincoln: Detective, in the Kindle format continues. In the month since the book was put up on Amazon, 12 copies have sold. Pitiful, really pitiful. The roll-out has been purposely slow with mentions of the book on this blog, Facebook and now TG's wife has notified her friends. Profits are hovering around $70.00, enough to buy a middling bottle of Balvenie whiskey. Obviously, if Appel thinks he's going to make any real money on the project he is deluded. Actually, thirteen books were sold and one person came to his senses or something and quickly canceled his order and got a refund.
The book chronicles the adventures of Abraham Lincoln and his sidekick law partner, William Herndon as they try to get to the bottom of a mystery surrounding the disappearance and possible death of an addle-brained visitor to their hometown of Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln's on-again, off-again girlfriend, Mary Todd, involves herself in the detecting, much to the disgust of Herndon who could not abide Mary Todd. The fiction is based on a real case that Lincoln once wrote a short article about. He was never able to solve the mystery, but Appel has helped him out with a solution. Along the way readers will, one hopes, learn a great deal about Lincoln and the period.
Here's the deal: the book is fun, funny, clever and damn interesting. If you don't believe Thriller Guy, go to the Amazon Kindle site and take a gander at the three reviews there. TG feels so strongly that you will like this book that he's offering the following terms: If you download the book, read it and don't like it, TG will send you your $9.99 back. Yep, no strings, just comment on this blog with an email and TG will get in touch and send you your money. Now what could be more fair than that? Jesus, what does it take to pry ten bucks out of TG's reader's pockets?
OK, now that's out of the way... On the physical book front -- you know, books, the ones printed on paper -- TG has a few new recommendations.
Mike Lawson continues his entertaining series of mystery/thrillers (House Rules, House Secrets) with House Divided, starring Senate fix-it man Joe Demarco. Joe works for John Mahoney, Speaker of the House of Representatives, a larger-than-life, blustery politician based on the Tip O'neil mold, though in this book Mahoney remains offstage, in a coma. This is a gutsy move for Lawson as this character is a good one and he's taking a chance leaving him off the page. TG can report that the gambit works all right, but he would advise author Lawson to not try it again. TG has some tales of woe that come from his own experience of killing off a well-loved character in a series much to the dismay of readers who were very upset at the move. One of these days, TG will devote an entire blog to this mistake. Anyway, those of you who like a Washington-based mystery will like this series. TG suggests that you start with the first and read them in order, which though not strictly necessary will give you a better look at Joe Demarco's continuing history.
The Burning Lake by Brent Ghelfi is a tough, dark book set in today's tough, dark Russia. Ghelfi's hero is Alexei “Volk” Volkovoy, a man who wears many hats – soldier, spy, criminal, assassin – and who works for the mysterious, dwarfish criminal kingpin known only as The General. The story is built around the disappearance of Volk's girlfriend, a journalist who writes under the name Kato, who is investigating a dead zone in the Urals where a radioactive reservoir exploded 50 years ago. Readers interested in Russia today and who can handle some rough stuff will like it.
TG has some more new thrillers here on his desk to tell you about, but they'll have to wait until next week. Meanwhile, stay tuned for the actual numbers on the book that TG mentored and which was mentioned last week. You will be amazed.