this day in crime history: september 26, 1933

Nobody Move!

This one’s a two-fer. September 26, 1933 was a big day for crime stories.


On this date in 1933, George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes was arrested by FBI agents in Memphis, TN. Kelly, who was asleep when agents burst in on him, surrendered without incident.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Machine Gun Kelly

Amsterdam Evening Recorder – “Machine Gun” Kelly, Notorious Desperado, Captured in Memphis


Also on this date in 1933, ten inmates escaped from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. The inmates took hostages using three pistols that had been smuggled into the prison. The escapees included Dillinger associates Harry Pierpont, Charles Makley, Russell Clark, and John Hamilton.

Further reading:

Wikipedia – Harry Pierpont – September 1933

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“Don’t Write It Down” by CE Wilson is Cool Mix of Scary and Entertaining

Dont Write It Down Cover shot

Don’t Write It Down-Episode One in the Rainbow Noir Series
C.E. Wilson
Rainbow Noir
Released July 4, 2017
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Don’t Write It Down is a book so full of twists and turns that I guarantee you will find it impossible to put down. Like eating a certain brand of potato chips, you can’t read just one page of C.E. Wilson’s work. This is some damn good writing that sucks you in like a tornado!

It’s amazing how easily all the events in this story could happen. Wilson’s writing is very descriptive and mentions stuff we use all the time, such as cell phones, laptops, and hobbies like watching horror movies For those of us who are writers, we’re way too familiar with how we get when we’re chasing a story. We’ve got a story to write and it’s going to be great! Hey world, get the hell out of my way! Staying alive on our beverages, food, and drugs of choice is crazy, but true. Showering is a nuisance, as is staying in contact with people like our parents. All they do is sidetrack us and ruin our flow! But in the end it’s all worth it. Right?

NY Times Bestselling Horror Writer Emma/Shade thinks so. The only thing she can focus on is making it into the number one slot. If only she could, life would be fantastic and all her dreams fulfilled. Trouble is, that slot is always filled by a writer named Jessen Blake-“The Kurt Cobain of Horror Writers.” He’s called that because with all respects to Kurt, the majority of his hits are posthumous and they keep on coming. How do you compete with that? Emma is determined to do it. Even though it has destroyed her marriage, family relations, health, and brain, she just keeps on plugging.

Speaking for myself and the writers I know, we’d be pretty damn happy with being in the number two spot. There’s still plenty of perks and getting there is a huge achievement! Emma is number two for an extended time, yet she never takes time to enjoy her status by living somewhere nice, eating better, or truly sharing her life with someone else. Oh sure, there’s Kevin, who’s her legal husband, but Emma treats him like shit. The reason she uses for her behavior is that Kevin had a one night stand. He says it only happened because Emma couldn’t be bothered with his desires for her. Well SHE had a book to finish, damn it!

Either way, Kevin takes care of Emma by checking in with her daily and bringing her food. He also tries to tidy up the mess that she is making of her shabby townhouse. But Emma roars off to writing land, stuffing her feelings and yelling at people with venom. She keeps throwing Kevin out, not accepting phone calls, and pretty much cutting all ties to the “real world.”

Granted, this does produce results, but the cost is high. Her intensity even attracts the attention of Mr. Jessen Blake himself, who visits her during dreams that are more like nightmares. The main purpose of his visits is to discourage Emma from becoming number one. She thinks it’s jealousy on his part, but Jessen says that there is a lot more to being number one than she realizes. There are parts about being the number one horror writer that are really horrible. But Emma lets him know what she thinks about that and finally makes it to number one.

But Emma still isn’t happy. She doesn’t feel the warm glow of achievement or much of anything. Until death rears its ugly head. While she’s been busy celebrating her successes, Emma’s father is killed and buried before she could even try to make it home. Not only that, but Jessen Blake comes to tell Emma that it was her fault because she wrote about such a scene in her book. Wait, what? Things she writes come true? No, that’s ridiculous! How could that happen? Emma walls herself in with denial, shoves her husband away when he tries to help, and stops taking her mental health medications. But she keeps on drinking and smoking like fiend. Things are going completely out of control.

She’s hallucinating, feeling horrible, but unable to stop writing stories in which she kills people that are close to her. Her husband makes one last ditch attempt to help Emma get out of the hole she’s dug for herself, but things don’t work out as planned. Nope, but they do go in crazy directions that I’m pretty sure all of our review readers will enjoy! Totally dug it. Grab a copy of Don’t Write It Down today!

Throwback Thursday Thriller

Catacombs John Farris TTT

Found this fine combo last night while doing some retail therapy! “Catacombs” by John Farris and secret box guarded by a gargoyle! I had been thinking of Farris lately because of another disturbing title by him I read a while back and now here he is. I love the gargoyle. Look out, I have protection!

Good Things Come In Threes!

Grey Matter Trio

WOW! I Cannot believe my good fortune to have THIS come in the mail!
Paul Kane’s  BEFORE
Karen Runge’s  SEEING DOUBLE
All new releases from GREY MATTER PRESS! I am so excited right now to get right down to some serious read and review time! Sometimes good deeds are rewarded! I will be featuring the reviews here and also on Hellnotes, Horror Review, and Horror World. Stay tuned to hear more about these fantastic books SOON!

Benjamin Blake’s “The Devil’s Children” is Fun Demon Hunt

The Devil’s Children
Benjamin Blake
James Ward Kirk Publishing
Released October 6, 2016
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

This is a fun romp of a book that should be read purely for entertainment. If you are a person who wants everything perfect and disputes a lot of what you read in speculative fiction, don’t read The Devil’s ChildrenHowever, if you’re looking for a fun tale and are willing to go on a loose and sometimes drunken demon chase, this is your baby!

The story starts out with a couple of childhood pals getting back together to re-visit their old stomping grounds. Harry and Adam are a couple of single guys who’ve kind of arrived at adulthood. They’re not dead by some divine miracle, which is nice, but they aren’t really achieving anything much with their lives. Adam’s life is pretty simple. He likes to drink a lot, play video games, and yank his yeeker. That’s about all his aspirations in life are, so I guess you could say he’s “living the dream.” One other thing Adam has going for him is rich parents. His Mom funds the entire trip that he and Harry take back to Wycombe, Massachusetts. This includes purchasing multiple used cars, renting a house, and buying a ridiculous amount of booze.

Harry is a little more mature than Adam, but not much. While he’s managed to live on his own in the world, he’s still pretty much hung up on teenage thoughts. Being able to smoke all the cigarettes you want because you’re an adult, still dreaming about his teenage crush, and fondling female fountains is how he rolls. One of the passions both guys share is demon hunting, something they used to do a lot as kids. But living separate lives away from Wycombe, they’ve given that part of themselves up. Until the funky dreams start. Weird, demon-filled dreams that include Harry’s girlfriend Rose, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Somehow all this gels into our two heroes zooming back to Wycombe. They need to defend the town against bad mojo and an evil… town historian? Well, so be it. Goats, goat masks, underground tunnels, and secret rooms all make an appearance in this tale which feels like it is made of vaguely familiar parts. There’s even the gruff old diner cook and an African American sidekick who can easily whip a football jock’s ass. Flashes of Tom Sawyer, Stephen King’s ItThe Goonies, a little romance, and a lot of pop culture fare have all been fed into the grinder to put together The Devil’s Children.

When I say that, I mean it in the very best way. This book is entertaining and a fun adventure of the sort that many of us would like to have. Instead we’re stuck in a cubicle, or behind a counter, or changing somebody’s oil while they sit in their car yakking on a cell phone. If you’ve ever wanted to go on a road trip with an old pal and drink too much while fighting evil, grab a copy of The Devil’s Children today!