Friday, May 24, 2024



MEN’S ADVENTURE Quarterly Issue # 10

The Vietnam Issue

Edited by Robert Deis & Bill Cunningham

Subtropic Productions, LLC.

167 pgs


When this issue arrived in the mail, we found our thoughts traveling back in time. This July, 2024, will mark 56 years since this reviewer came home from Vietnam as a U.S. Army soldier. We were twenty-one at the time. Honestly, it seems like it was another person who experienced those twelve months that war-torn foreign land.  

Since returning, we’ve never read a single book about Vietnam; fiction or non. It just wasn’t something we wanted to remember all that much. Oh, we saw a few movies, but for the most part, they were just make-believe to us. When young American country boys went off to fight in the Civil War, they compared it to going off to the circus to see an elephant. That’s what eight million of my generation did in those short years between late 50s and early 70s. We went off to see the elephant. Thousands of my brothers never came home and that’s something we’ve never forgotten.  

Okay, so back to this review. As ever we tip our hats to editors Bob Deis and Bill Cunningham who have once again put together a great package filled with both gritty, typical men’s action/adventure stories accompanied by truly gorgeous artwork. Their zeal of preserving the Men’s Adventure Mags of a by-gone day is praiseworthy. Each of their issues provides its readers with a glimpse into a literary genre that evolved from the pulp mags and paved the way to today’s modern thrillers.

As for the Vietnam theme, it was a bit hard to read some of those stories while at the same time smile at the memories of some of the great guys we served with. Hell, even the section on the beautiful Raquel Welch and her 67 Christmas tour with Bob Hope echoes in our heart. We were part of that 100,000 military audience they entertained in Long Binh during that junket. It was truly something else. As is this issue. Thanks, Bob and Bill.

Monday, May 20, 2024




A North Hollywood Detective Myster Club

By Mike Mains

Mystery Adventure Detective Books

204 pgs


This is one of a series of young adult books featuring Jeffrey Jones and his pal, Pablo Gomez as high school students who solve mysteries. In this book, they learn of a thirty year tragedy that occurred during the performance of Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet by the school drama club. Supposedly the young lady playing Juliet had committed suicide after having been jilted by her boyfriend. It is claimed that her ghost is said to haunt the school every so often and her scream can be heard at midnight. 

When Jeffrey and Paul discover a plastic bloody finger prop left in a copy of the play, it so unnerves the library staff and other teachers, their curiosity is aroused. Bit by bit, the more they learn about the girl’s death, the they begin to suspect the young lady was  murdered. By luck and serendipity, they uncover several vital clues that were somehow missed during the initial investigation. Clues that begin to point not only to foul play but the fact that the murderer was someone involved with the school and the circle students who knew the deceased.

Mike Mains has a nice easy style and his characters are fully developed with their own unique quirks and typical teenage foibles. He’s also ardent in regard to themes of faith, religion and the afterlife. We found that off putting at times, but never so much as to detract from the interactions of his young cast. In the end, “The Case of the Jilted Juliet” was a fun read and we give it major thumbs up.

Friday, May 10, 2024




A Vigilante Justice Thriller # 11

By Chuck Dixon

Rough Edge Press

183 pgs


Chuck Dixon’s eleventh Levon Cade book picks up a few months after the climax of his last. Cade has moved his family to Idaho and bought himself a mid-size ranch where he hopes to raise horses with his daughters, Uncle Fern and tag-along vet pal, Wes. All seems to be going fine, their Holman alias working well enough until one morning when they awaken to discover their five horses have been stolen.

With the aid of a recently hired cowboy named Ray, Cade goes into the surrounding high country in the search of the thieves. What he is unaware of is an old nemesis is hot on his trail, working for a vicious cartel with a score to settle. Once again, Chuck Dixon amps up the thrills with his lean economic narrative, propelling the action like classic pulp pacing. The hallmark of his Cade series, action galore from start to finish.

Friday, May 03, 2024




By Sandy Nicolson

Available @ Amazon

294 pgs


It’s the mid-1970s and on the outskirts of Salinas, California, sets an old gas station that long ago ran out of gas. Owned and operated by a South Korean immigrant known as Bonsai, the place remains open due Bonsai’s skills as a mechanic. He can pretty much fix any broken down engine built before the 90s and not attached to some kind of computer. The station also runs a small convenience store with the usual assortment of dry goods and soda for the luckless driver who wanders off the interstate in the middle of the night.

The mystery attached to the place is Bonsai’s daughter, Lily who’s origin is unknown by any of the locals.  

One day Bonsai ran the garage with his uncle, the previous owner. Then his uncled died and for a while it was only Bonsai. And then there was Bonsai and a precious, beautiful baby girl he said was his daughter, Lily. End of story, or as much as he would ever reveal to anyone. Even Lily.

The fact that he loved her more than anything in the world and did his best to provide for her, to keep her safe and happy, could not diminish her need to know about her mother. Still, Bonsai was as stubborn as his daughter. Finally, Lily left for college, became a lawyer and went to work for a prestige firm in San Francisco. Thus establishing her own life, she had nothing further to do with the stoic, impenetrable wall that was her father.

For a first novel, writer Sandy Nicolson displays and uncanny gift for memorable characters and unusual circumstances. Though none of the players in the story of Bonsai and Lily is what one would call exceptional, they remain absolutely fascinating. The riddle that has haunted them for thirty years slowly begins to unravel as the book moves to its climax and the answers to mystery are both beautiful and tragic. People, even imperfect people, can sometimes find love. If they are wise, they will hold on and never let go. Bravo, Sandy Nicolson, “Bonsai” as a truly wonderful surprise.