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Margaret Mizushima

Sixty seconds with Margaret Mizushima...

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Active within the writing community, Margaret serves on the board for the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America and was elected the 2019-2020 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a host of animals. Visit her website at or find her on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, on Twitter @margmizu, or on Instagram at margmizu.

RTE: Describe yourself in a sentence?

Mizushima: I'm a retired speech pathologist married to a veterinarian for almost thirty-eight years, mother of two daughters, and author of the award winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries.

RTE: What's the one record you'd take to a desert island?

Mizushima: I'd rather have a book, but the one record I'd take would be Ultimate Hits by Garth Brooks.

RTE: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Mizushima: A veterinarian, a flight attendant, and a storyteller.

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Nancy Boyarsky

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November 30, 2019

We hope everyone who was engaging in the traditional festive activities of turkey eating and mad shopping is now recovering and ready to think about reading a good book. And of course we hope you all had a lovely holiday. Now to the books.

We begin with two that are admittedly far from cheerful. Ken Bruen makes his annual return to Galway and the trials of Jack Taylor in GALWAY GIRL. The general plot is not unfamiliar, but Bruen's impeccable stylistic control makes it not to be missed for readers who appreciate good writing. I also read Liam McIlvanney's THE QUAKER, a Bible John inspired quasi-historical set in Glasgow in 1969 and found it, in a word that I think is generally overused, immersive.

Rebecca Nesvet has been pursuing the modern representations of Sherlock Holmes for some time now. While she often finds some of these less than compelling, she had praise for Nicholas Meyer's THE ADVENTURE OF THE PECULIAR PROTOCOLS, which takes on a social scourge that was present in Holmes' day and persists into our own - race hatred, in this case of the sort promulgated by the Protocols of Zion. She calls this long-awaited book by the author of THE SEVEN PER CENT SOLUTION immensely powerful. Rebecca thought THE DEVIL'S DUE by Bonne MacBird, another foray into Sherlockiana, rather less successful, but still says that, with its solid Holmes adventure and believable Watsonian narration, it is a diverting romp.

Joseph Kanon's Nazi-catching thriller THE ACCOMPLICE is set in the early 60s and deals with what to do with apprehended war criminals who to date have escaped justice. Anne Corey remarks that we may in the end find that the title has a quite complicated meaning.

Moving into the current decade, we find two books that have dogs as principal characters. Sharon Mensing enjoyed TRACKING GAME, by our guest in this week's "Sixty Seconds with..." spot, Margaret Mizushima. Sharon says it is both a suspenseful mystery and a book that deals with how certain events can bring about a family's dissolution. Diana Borse reviews NO MAN'S LAND, by Sara Driscoll. Whereas Robo in TRACKING GAME was a deep country tracker, here we find a K-9 FBI dog working in a derelict urban area frequented by hobbyists who call themselves "ubexers," a term new to both Diana and myself. Diana liked the book and the series it is part of, even though she was disappointed by a serious hole in the plot.

ONE NIGHT GONE by Tara Laskowski, set in a beach-side, town involves both the disappearance of a young woman many years ago and its effect on another woman, new to the same town, some thirty years later. Keshena Hanson really liked this one, saying it was perfect to cosy up to on a stormy night.

While Lourdes Venard thought that TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE, by Susan Isaacs, had some problems, she still felt it came together in the end and says that Isaacs fans will certainly appreciate her trademark humour. THREAD AND BURIED, by Lea Wait, is the ninth in the Mainely Needlepoint series and Ruth Castleberry says that while it is a little different from earlier entries, it is an exceptional addition to the series.

MOLTEN MUD MURDER, by Sara E. Johnson, on the other hand, is a debut, set in New Zealand and written by a US author who recently spent a year in that country. While it has a number of problems common to first novels, Sharon Mensing found it a diverting read and looks forward to the next in the projected series. Diana Borse, on the other hand, found little to applaud in WHITE ELEPHANT, a locked Alpine ski-lodge mystery that she says is thin on mystery and lacking in challenge.

Margaret Mizushima answers our questions in the "Sixty Seconds With..." spot over to your left. Take a look at what she has to say.

If you'd like to know what's going on in crime fiction across the sea, our friends at CRIMEREVIEW have much to say on the subject.

We'll be back in the middle of December and hope you will be too.

In the meantime, please get in touch if there's anything you'd like to say to us. We'd love to hear from you.



P.S. If you wish to submit a book for review, please check here before contacting us. Please note that we do not review self-published books.

Our mascot and masthead is Smokey the Cat. Smokey the cat went to the great playground in the sky on April 29, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. He was about 13 years old, had diabetes and only 11 teeth left. He is much happier now. He will remain as our masthead and mascot.

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Since RTE first appeared, some twelve years ago, the business of books has changed out of all recognition. Then, books were reviewed in the print media for the most part, though Amazon was encouraging readers to post their reviews of the books they read. Now, newspapers across North America have reduced or eliminated the space they allot to books and, with certain notable exceptions, only best-selling authors are likely to get noticed. As a result, electronic reviewing has become increasingly important and, due to the somewhat slippery question of online authorship, occasionally problematic.

For this reason and in view of a recent article in the NY Times detailing a reviews-for-hire enterprise, it's probably wise for RTE to reiterate its position on reviewing. While our reviewers receive galleys, ARCs, or finished copies of books for review, they are otherwise unpaid. Furthermore, they are asked to disclose any special interest they might have in a book or an author they are reviewing. No one, including the editors, receives any compensation for the work they do. All our reviewers are encouraged to express their honest opinions, whether positive or negative, about the books they are reviewing. None of our reviewers uses a pseudonym and all are who they say they are. Nor do we employ rating systems (stars, grades, "highly recommended," or the like) in the belief that our reviews deserve to be read in their entirety. Since RTE does not review self-published or digital-only releases, we are perhaps less vulnerable to offers to pay for reviews, but it seems a good idea to make our policy clear. Finally, in the years that I've been editing RTE, I have never once been approached by a press or a publicist to violate this principle in any way.

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