Tag Archives: historical fiction mystery

Interview with Scott Kauffman 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

My fiction career began with an in-class book report written in Mrs. Baer’s eighth-grade English class when, due to a conflict of priorities, I failed to read the book, necessitating an exercise of the imagination. Not only was I not found out, but I snagged a B, better than the C that I received on my last report when I actually read the book. Thus began my life-long apprenticeship as a teller of tales and, some would snidely suggest, as a lawyer as well, but they would be cynics, a race Oscar Wilde warned us knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I am the author of the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences (Medallion Press), loosely drawn on two murder cases from earlier in my career, and the coming-of-age novel Revenants, The Odyssey Home (Moonshine Cove Publishing). I am a recipient of the Mighty River Short Story Contest and the Hackney Literary Award. My short fiction has appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review. I will admit to being an attorney in Irvine, California, where my practice focuses upon white-collar crime and tax litigation with my clients providing me endless story fodder. I graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, (where Walter Tevis, author of Queen’s Gambit, was my first fiction professor) and in the upper ten percent of my class from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where I was a member of the Environmental Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflict of Laws. I can be found at www.scottkauffman.net.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

As I said above, my first novel In Deepest Consequences was loosely based upon two murder cases from earlier in my career. Revenants, The Odyssey Home, was drawn from the death of my late-wife’s uncle in Viet Nam, who is the only member of an MIA recovery team known to have died in combat. My inspiration for Saving Thomas was seeded in a general revulsion arising during some or another election campaign at those politicians who may have served but then try to get elected by trafficking in the dead who never came home. So I started to ask myself a series of what if questions. Such as what if someone had served and suffered but was honor bound never to reveal he had served and suffered and because of it suffered all the more? Which lead to more what if questions. The end result of all these what ifs the book you read and reviewed.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Saving Thomas explores the age-old themes harking back to the Old Testament and Homer of betrayal, redemption, and ultimate forgiveness. All of us have been betrayed in our lives by those we love. All of us in turn have betrayed those we love. But if we are to come to terms with our betrayals, both those suffered and inflicted, we must move beyond a shattered trust to commence anew. Hope will reveal itself when we reaffirm those bonds of commitment, and it is in our finding a way forward where forgiveness will be found. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I don’t consider myself a genre writer. When a story with legs comes to me, I write it not caring where Barnes & Noble will shelve it. Having said that, I think it was Nietzsche who said melodrama is right versus wrong whereas tragedy is right versus right with no good outcome. I am drawn to tragedies.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

My villain, Erec Renard. This guy has to have at least a dozen stories to keep a writer employed.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Twitter and Instagram.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Learn from other writers. Revise, revise, revise, then revise some more. Master the rules of Greek rhetoric passed on down to the Romans, lost in the Dark Ages, resurrected during the Renaissance, and rediscovered in England just about the time Shakespeare was penning his plays and King James’s scribes were translating the Bible into English and give their works so much power, mimicking the power of Bach and Handel through repetition and point/counter point. Power you can hear in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream. Perhaps most importantly, remember that being published is someone else’s call. It’s impossible to know what to write to please those someones and may not be where your writing comes from. But someone’s first book changed you. Know there are others waiting for yours.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?

Next up, Finding Forest: A death-row attorney walks the murderous streets of East Oakland by night searching for the family of the executed client he betrayed twenty-four years before.

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About the Author

Scott is an attorney in Irvine, California, where his practice focuses upon white-collar crime with his clients providing him endless story fodder. His short story “Cat Dance” was short-listed for the 2018 Adelaide Literary Award. He is the author of the coming-of-age novel Revenants, The Odyssey Home (Moonshine Cove Publishing) and the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences (Medallion Press) and is the recipient of the Mighty River Short Story Contest and the Hackney Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review.

Website:www.scottkauffman.net 

Publisher: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kauffman_scott 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scottkauffmanauthor/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Scott-Kauffman-Author-402186853680261/ 

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3234487.Scott_Kauffman 

Book Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59610226-saving-thomas?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=81e5CNjnYi&rank=1 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Saving-Thomas-Scott-Kauffman/dp/1509238638/ref=sr_1_2?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&keywords=Saving+Thomas&qid=1646075976&s=books&sr=1-2 

The Order by John-Patrick Bayle Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The discovery of a mysterious manuscript puts a novice monk into the perilous journey none would have seen coming in author John-Patrick Bayle’s “The Order”.

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The Synopsis

1513, France -An ancient origin. A secret society. A long anticipated birth has come to pass. The news spreads in a hushed wave throughout the world. It has begun.Armies move while nations sleep, and one of human history’s greatest movements teeters on the edge of collapse. The Order is a gripping tale of deception, secrecy, cruelty, and a man whose faith stands firm in the face of it all. 

The Review

The pacing and tone of the narrative were so well balanced. The way author was able to capture the atmosphere and behavior of the monks early into the story while infusing mystery and intrigue to keep the stakes of the mission alive. The tension that the author infused into the narrative was felt heavily in the story, as the brotherhood that the author established early on took some twists that made the protagonist force himself to view the world a bit more warily, while also struggling with his views and trusting nature.

The two biggest things that stood out to me in this narrative were the wealth of character development and the brilliant infusion of history into the story. The way in which the protagonist relates to these characters and must traverse this shadowy world and organization within such a turbulent point in the 16th century was so captivating to read. The emotions that this character underwent on this transformative journey only added more depth to the action and battles that the narrative took later on in the story. 

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The Verdict

Memorable, entertaining, and hauntingly intriguing historical fiction, author John-Patrick Bayle’s “The Order” is a must-read novel! The fantastic blend of mystery and history is always such a plus for me as a reader and the engaging way the author delved into the man underneath the monk’s hood and the hood’s representation as a whole during this chaotic time period while also uncovering the mysteries of the narrative made for a story that could not be put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Saving Thomas by Scott Kauffman Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A reporter still reeling from his wife’s death finds himself confronted by the past when someone he met in his childhood resurfaces as a war hero from WWII, and he must uncover the mysteries behind the man’s service and his identity in an effort to recover a lost friendship and save his job in the process in author Scott Kauffman’s “Saving Thomas”.

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The Synopsis

After his wife’s death, reporter Jeremy Michaels concentrates on writing news stories that try to bring justice to the underdogs of the world, until an announcement by Buckingham Palace shatters his glass cocoon. The village hermit from the hometown Jeremy fled is to be knighted for still-classified services during World War II, a man Jeremy knows well from a certain childhood adventure.

The editor of the newspaper Jeremy writes for sends him back home to find out why, but he is scooped by the hometown paper’s revelation that the man worked inside the French Resistance. Yet the knighthood is refused, and Jeremy’s chance to save his job—and an old friendship—lies in discovering the truth.

The Review

The balance and engagement the author made with the reader throughout this novel were incredible. The attention to realism when it came to the memories and events of the war and the psychological and emotional impact it left on characters was so eloquently crafted, as was the cruelty and vicious nature of war in general. The imagery played a heavy hand in these scenes, as did the contrast between that dark past and the struggles of the more modern age.

The characters were the true heart of this narrative. The emotional struggles within protagonist Jeremy were so painful yet honest to approach, as his struggles with his wife’s loss mixed with his need to find the truth and the conflict over his childhood events. Thomas’s vision and POV really honed in on the war narrative, and the toll it takes on a person when confronted with that haunting past. Yet it was how these characters found one another, came together, and both the strengths each had and the pitfalls they found as time went on that made this narrative so engrossing. 

The Verdict

Haunting, brilliantly written, and entertaining in its delivery, author Scott Kauffman’s “Saving Thomas” is a must-read novel of 2022 for fans of historical mysteries. The layered path readers had to take to uncover the mystery was well-paced and did a great job of balancing the history with the mystery itself. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Author

Scott claims his fiction career began with a in-class book report written in Mrs. Baer’s eighth-grade English class when, due to a conflict of priorities, he failed to read the book. An exercise of imagination was required. Scott snagged a B, better than the C he received on his last report when he actually read the book. Thus began his life-long apprenticeship as a teller of tales and, some would snidely suggest, as a lawyer as well, but they would be cynics, a race Oscar Wilde warned us knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Scott is the author of the legal-suspense novel, In Deepest Consequences, and a recipient of the 2011 Mighty River Short Story Contest and the 2010 Hackney Literary Award. His short fiction has been appeared in Big Muddy, Adelaide Magazine, and Lascaux Review. He is now at work on two novel manuscripts and a collection of short stories. He is an attorney in Irvine, California, where his practice focuses upon white-collar crime and tax litigation with his clients providing him endless story fodder. He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and in the upper ten percent of his class from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, where he was a member of the Environmental Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award in Conflict of Laws.

A Death in Bloomsbury (The Simon Sampson Mysteries #1) by David C. Dawson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A renowned BBC Radio host and investigator must put his loyalty to the King of England to the test in 1930’s London as a plot to assassinate the King forces Simon Sampson to investigate, but at the risk of exposing his secret life as a gay man in a time when being gay meant facing prison time in the country in author David C. Dawson’s “A Death in Bloomsbury”, the first in the Simon Sampson Mysteries series. 

The Synopsis

Everyone has secrets… but some are fatal.

1932, London. Late one December night Simon Sampson stumbles across the body of a woman in an alleyway. Her death is linked to a plot by right-wing extremists to assassinate the King on Christmas Day. Simon resolves to do his patriotic duty and unmask the traitors.

But Simon Sampson lives a double life. Not only is he a highly respected BBC radio announcer, but he’s also a man who loves men, and as such must live a secret life. His investigation risks revealing his other life and with that imprisonment under Britain’s draconian homophobic laws of the time. He faces a stark choice: his loyalty to the King or his freedom.

This is the first in a new series from award-winning author David C. Dawson. A richly atmospheric novel set in the shadowy world of 1930s London, where secrets are commonplace, and no one is quite who they seem. 

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The Review

This was such a captivating and thought-provoking read. The author’s utilization of mystery and historical fiction was superb, showcasing a clear understanding and attention to detail historically that showed the amount of research that went into this narrative. The balance the author found with the history behind this intriguing mystery and the LGBTQ cast of characters that made up the novel’s main cast was so refreshing and fantastic to read.

What stood out to me was definitely the emphasis on the LGBTQ narratives, not only the characters as a whole but their experiences and the amount of secrecy that went into leading what was considered back then to be a “double life”. The way this mirrored so much of the novel’s noir and espionage elements within the mystery unfolding around the characters was perfect, and the emotional ups and downs the protagonist, in particular, went through all the way to the book’s final pages was so emotional to read.

The Verdict

A thoughtful, gripping, and entertaining read, author David C. Dawson’s “A Death in Bloomsbury” is a must-read mystery and historical fiction thriller this fall! The representation within the cast of characters and the struggles the LGBTQ community faced nearly a century ago was perfectly balanced the twists and turns in the book’s mystery, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager to read more of this exciting new series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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A Death in Bloomsbury - David C. Dawson

David C. Dawson has a new gay historical crime thriller out: A Death in Bloomsbury. And there’s a giveaway!

Everyone has secrets… but some are fatal.

1932, London. Late one December night Simon Sampson stumbles across the body of a woman in an alleyway. Her death is linked to a plot by right-wing extremists to assassinate the King on Christmas Day. Simon resolves to do his patriotic duty and unmask the traitors.

But Simon Sampson lives a double life. Not only is he a highly respected BBC radio announcer, but he’s also a man who loves men, and as such must live a secret life. His investigation risks revealing his other life and with that imprisonment under Britain’s draconian homophobic laws of the time. He faces a stark choice: his loyalty to the King or his freedom.

This is the first in a new series from award-winning author David C. Dawson. A richly atmospheric novel set in the shadowy world of 1930s London, where secrets are commonplace, and no one is quite who they seem.

About the Series

The Simon Sampson Mysteries start in London 1932 and continue through the 1930s across Europe. Set against the rise of fascism in the continent, the series features a man who does his patriotic duty to fight the enemy, even though as a gay man he’s an outlaw.

Amazon | Goodreads


Giveaway

David is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47212/?


Excerpt

Simon arrived at Piccadilly Circus at ten minutes to eight that evening and waited to cross the road to the statue of Eros on its traffic island. This part of London always gave Simon a thrill of excitement. It buzzed with activity, like a giant beehive. There were swarms of people hurrying from work, or strolling towards a restaurant, theatre or bar. The metaphor was apt, because within fifty yards of where Simon stood there were so many queens.

Across the road was The Trocadero. Its Long Bar was always guaranteed to provide a gay evening for gentlemen in search of pleasure. A little farther on was the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square. Its Upper Gallery was popular with painted boys and men dressed in smart suits who spent an evening either exchanging acid-tongued witticisms or seeking a friend for the night.

Even at that time of the evening the traffic on Piccadilly Circus was almost stationary. Simon stepped off the pavement and wove his way between taxis and omnibuses queuing to drive up Shaftesbury Avenue or down the Haymarket. Cameron was waiting for him, and Simon was pleased to see he was once again soberly dressed in his immaculate black coat. This time with a grey scarf and black leather gloves. Young men of a similar age to Cameron were also standing on the steps of Eros, and they wore far more flamboyant clothing. Simon preferred to be inconspicuous when out with a gentleman friend. There was less chance that they might draw the attention of the police, or busys as his friends in the Fitzroy Tavern would call them.

“I do hope you’ve not been waiting long.” Simon took Cameron’s outstretched hand and squeezed it firmly. “It’s getting awfully cold. I think it might snow this Christmas.”

Cameron reached out his other hand and rested it on Simon’s hip. Simon pushed it away. “Best not here, old chap,” he whispered. “Awfully public you know.”

He released Cameron’s hand and pointed across the road. “We need to head towards Leicester Square. The Lily Pond is two roads up. And we can walk past the Trocadero on the way and see who’s out gadding tonight.”

“I’m glad I’m wi’ ye,” Cameron replied. “I’m still finding ma bearin’s in London. I’ve nae come down to this part of town since I moved to York House.”

“Oh, you should.” Simon led the way through the still stationary traffic to Coventry Street. “It’s frightfully exciting. And you can always be sure of meeting someone interesting.” He pointed to the corner of Glasshouse Street. “That’s the Regent Palace Hotel. Awfully good bar. Perfect place to meet gentlemen from overseas, and they can hire a room for you by the hour if that interests you.” He grabbed Cameron’s arm and pulled him to safety as a motor car attempted to circumvent the traffic jam and drove up onto the pavement.

“Try not to get yourself killed, my dear.”


Author Bio

David C. Dawson

David C. Dawson is an award-winning author, journalist and documentary maker. He writes gay romance and contemporary thrillers featuring gay heroes in love.

His latest book The Foreign Affair was published in 2020. It’s the third in the Delingpole Mysteries series.

The first in the series: The Necessary Deaths, won an FAPA award in the best suspense/thriller category.

David’s also written two gay romances: For the Love of Luke and Heroes in Love.

He lives near Oxford, with his boyfriend and two cats. In his spare time, he tours Europe and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

Author Website: https://www.davidcdawson.co.uk

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Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/david-c-dawson/

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