Book Review: Dirty Old Town

Set in the mid-1970s, author Gabriel Valjan’s P.I. Shane Cleary follows down those dark mean streets traveled by Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, only in Boston. I thoroughly enjoyed this hard-boiled tale. If you like noir dark with wise-cracking dialogue this book, the first in a series is for you. Available at Amazon.

New Short Story – One More Cup of Coffee

Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

I have posted a new short story ony my Medium platform. It’s Free!!!

I sat at a table for two in the small coffee shop where we agreed to meet. The server, his name tag read Henry, had taken my order: one large dark roast coffee with almond milk and a toasted onion bagel with extra cream cheese. He said it would be ready in a few minutes. I opened my laptop and booted it up. Every few minutes, I kept looking up at the door to see who was coming in. It was early yet, but you never know.

It was here in this small upstate town back in 1969 where we met. She was my first date, my first love, and the one I never forgot…. CONTINUE READING HERE

Doucumentary – Men at Lunch

I recently watched the short documentary (slightly over one hour) called “Men at Lunch.” It relates the story about one of the most iconic photographs ever made. The film explores the origin, the meaning, and the impact the photo has had over its long history.

We see eleven men perched high up on a steel girder taking a lunch break while working on the construction of a building today we know as 30 Rockefeller Center. Who was the photographer? Who are the construction workers? And why is the photograph so relevant all these years later. These are some of the questions asked and much remains unknown. Except for two men, none have been identified, though there have been many claims otherwise, but only two of the men have been verified. That said, the photograph says a lot about the history of New York City, its immigrants who worked the dangerous jobs, and the American dream.

“Men at Lunch” is streaming on KANOPY and is available on YouTube.

Book Review: Caper (Lawrence Sanders)

Lawrence Sanders was a prolific author of over thirty-five crime novels including “The Anderson Tapes” and “The First Deadly Sin,” both made into films. Published in 1981, “Caper” is a fascinating study on how far one would go to save a career. Jannie Sheen is a bestselling mystery writer who has written bestsellers under various pseudonyms. Her work has become stale and unrealistic. Jannie’s publisher rejects her latest submission, telling her she needs to add realism to her storyline. She decides, along with her best friend, Dick Fleming, to plan a real robbery, enlisting a gang and coming up with a full proof plan, and then calling the entire event off just before the robbery is to take place.

Only one problem.

The men she enlists like the plan too much, and even after they discover who she really is they force her and her buddy Dick to go along with the robbery. The heist does not go as planned, and the gang is soon on the run.

The story is sharply told and only improves as it goes on. From the streets of New York City to the backwoods of Georgia and down to Florida you’re on the road with an exciting and fun read.