Literary Look: Detective Hank Palace from World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters

WOF_blogtour (1)

I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for World of Trouble (The Last Policeman Book Three) by Ben H. Winters. Ben is one  of my favorite authors. His book Bedbugs is one of my top ten favorite horror novels, and I loved The Last Policeman (Book One) and Countdown City (Book Two).

Today I’m going to break down Hank’s wardrobe. Hank keeps working missing person cases in the face of a crisis of apocalyptic proportions (an asteroid is about to obliterate Earth), and he dresses the part of no-nonsense detective. In an unpredictable world readers can count on one thing from Hank: his attire stays pretty much the same throughout the books. He’s kind of like this Biology teacher I had in high school who owned five blue, oxford cloth, short sleeve shirts and five pairs of navy blue pants so he could wear the same thing everyday. Hank’s not quite as extreme in his clothing choices as my old high school teacher, but readers get the feeling Hank is trying to keep a sense of normalcy by adhering as best he can to the dress code from his days on the police force.


1. Hank would try to wear a white non-iron dress shirt (he’s practical like that) as often as possible. That’s just so Hank.

2. Hank’s often depicted wearing a sport coat or blazer in the books. I think this tan, slightly rugged blazer looks like it would be Hank approved.

3. The watch pictured above is a Timex. I can picture Hank looking down at it and thinking it takes a licking and keeps on ticking alright.

4. I think Hank would wear a pair of sturdy oxfords or loafers. I can also see him rocking hiking boots if he could get his hands on a pair.

5. I chose navy blue, wrinkle resistant chinos for Hank, because he would want a heavier fabric than suit pants as it gets colder and even harder to get around than it was before.

6. Hank is constantly reaching for a notebook to write down observations, clues, etc. Even when he doesn’t have one he automatically reaches for it.

Look for World of Trouble (Quirk Books, 320 pages, $14.95) in bookstores on July 15th (also my 14th wedding anniversary!).

More World of Trouble Links to Checkout

Click here for The World of Trouble Pre-order Campaign. By pre-ordering readers have a chance to get all kinds of cool extras.

Click here to check out Ben H. Winter’s blog. He’s doing a reverse blog tour over at his site.

Follow along with the other stops on the blog tour:

Monday, July 7th:
The End of a Series: The tour launches with Ben H. Winters on the challenges of finishing a book series and tackling a trilogy.
Tuesday, July 8th:
The Making of a Book Trailer: The book-trailer for The Last Policeman revisited, a discussion with Opie Cooper and Ben H. Winters.
Wednesday, July 9th:
Ben shares some of the best writing advice he’s ever gotten from his peers.
Thursday, July 10th:
Pre-Apocalyptic Fashion: What would it take to dress up as Hank? A post that details Hank Palace’s attire.
Friday, July 11th:
Hank Palace, a geek? It’s true. Ben H. Winters talks about the geekiest moments in The Last Policeman trilogy.
Monday, July 14th:
The Almost & Original Covers: Ben talks about some of the original cover ideas for The Last Policeman, as well as the almost-covers for World of Trouble.
Tuesday, July 15th:
#WriterWednesday: Research. What goes in to researching for a book like this? Ben H. Winters shares some advice.
Wednesday, July 16th:
#WriterWednesday on Loss & Character: A discussion / guest post on what drives a character in the wake of everything ending / losing so much.
Thursday, July 17th:
Man’s Best Friend: An ode to Houdini. Ben talks about Hank’s furry best friend in The Last Policeman trilogy.
Friday, July 18th:  
#FridayReads for Aspiring Mystery Writers. Ben discusses books every aspiring mystery or thriller writer should read.
Monday, July 21st: 
From stage to novel, Ben talks about writing plays and how it helped him become a better novelist.


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FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of World of Trouble from Quirk Books. I receive a commission on all purchases made through using the Amazon, affiliate, and ShopSense links on this site.

Book Review: Wedding Dogs by Katie Preston Toepfer and Sam Stall

Title: Wedding Dogs: A Celebration of Holy Muttrimony

Authors: Katie Preston Toepfer and Sam Stall

144 pages, Published by Quirk Books

Buy the Book: Amazon


Wedding Dogs captures man’s best friend at 75 weddings—dogs as the best man, maid of honor, ring bearer, or another member of the wedding party! Decked out in little doggy tuxedos or sporting a wreath of roses around their necks, these pooches share in the wedding couple’s big day.

Each photograph is accompanied by a brief essay telling the dog’s (and the couple’s) story. A perfect wedding, bridal shower, or groom’s gift, Wedding Dogs shares the joy of the moment when dogs join in the celebration of their owners’ most special day. (Summary provided by Quirk Books.)

My Thoughts:

I love dogs. I have two, thirteen-year-old Miss Piggy (a Shih Tzu mix) and eleven-year-old Margie (a miniature poodle). Nate and I refer to  Margie and Miss Piggy as our first children. They are part of the family. I was thrilled to get a chance to review the photo essay book, Wedding Dogs by Katie Preston Toepfer and Sam Stall.

This is one of the most beautiful books of animal photography I have ever seen. Seeing a dog amidst the formalities of a couple’s wedding day presents a lovely contrast. The photography and each accompanying essay is beautiful. Each picture and brief essay tells a story of a couple’s special day and how their dog took part in the celebration.

It is the perfect book to have on your coffee table. In fact, Wedding Dogs has found it’s way to the top of my coffee table pile, because my little boys love looking at all of the cute doggies. It would make the perfect engagement present for a couple who has a precious dog of their own.

I enjoyed Wedding Dogs so much I have bestowed upon it the (much coveted and not at all just now made up) Awesome Coffee Table Book About Dogs in Weddings Award. All kidding aside, I am a dog lover, and this book absolutely tugged at my heart strings. I highly recommend it to dog lovers, anyone planning a wedding, and for people who enjoy looking at gorgeous photography.

Check out the book trailer for Wedding Dogs below:



FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book for review, and I make a small commission off of any purchases made by clicking through the Amazon links on this site.



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Book Review: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

Title: The Last Policeman
Author: Ben H. Winters
288 pages, Published by Quirk Books
Ben’s Info: Website | Twitter
The Last Policeman Info: Website | Facebook
Buy The Book: Amazon


What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die? Detective Hank Palace has asked this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. Several kilometers wide, it’s on a collision course with planet Earth, with just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. Industry is grinding to a halt. Most people have abandoned their jobs. But not Hank Palace. As our story opens, he’s investigating the latest suicide in a city that’s full of suicides—only this one feels wrong. This one feels like homicide. And Palace is the only one who cares. What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die?

The Last Policeman offers a story we’ve never read before: A police procedural set on the brink of an apocalypse. What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered? (Summary provided by Quirk Books.)

My Thoughts:

What would you do if you only had six months to live before the entire planet is obliterated by an asteroid? Would you keep living the same way you always have? Would you cash in your retirement and try to complete your bucket list? Or would you go a little crazy? The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters proposes this scenario and the resulting novel is amazing.

The protagonist Hank Palace is a dedicated police detective who knows something isn’t quite right when called in to the scene of a “hanger.” Hank instinctively knows this is no typical doomsday suicide and is determined to find out what exactly happened to Peter Zell. Palace is a good cop and a fascinating character painted with precision by Ben H. Winters. Hank Palace reminds me of the sort of characters that populated the detective novels of the 1940s. My grandfather would hand over detective novels with protagonists like Hank Palace, covers crumbling from years of being read and reread, to me as a teen recommending each one with enthusiasm. It is this idea of the old fashioned, “by the book” detective set against the fantasy backdrop of an asteroid closing in on Earth that drew me over the line of merely liking The Last Policeman to absolutely loving it.

The Last Policeman is the first book in a trilogy. I hope the next book picks up with the subplot from this book. The subplot involved Hank’s troubled sister Nico. I don’t want to give anything away, but I would love to see more Nico. I would also like to catch a glimpse of New Orleans eventually. In The Last Policeman, New Orleans is described as having gone off the grid and a place people have taken off to in the end times for a walk on the wild side. I spend a lot of time in New Orleans, so I’m dying for a peek at “off the grid New Orleans.”

I am a sucker for books or films that deal with the human side of impending disaster. The Last Policeman’s pre-apocalyptic setting gives the reader a sense of impending doom coming from all directions. From the disturbing number of suicides all over the world to the loss of modern conveniences in the months leading up to the disaster to the slow decay of civilization as a whole, Winters’s subtle portrayal of a police detective trying to do his job while the world around him descends into madness is chilling. Ben H. Winters’s novel Bedbugs was one of my favorite books of 2011, and I had high expectations for The Last Policeman. Winters didn’t let me down. The Last Policeman is a book that will keep readers intrigued and entertained until the very last page.

FTC Disclaimer: Please assume that I received any book reviewed on the site for free from the publisher. Also, if you purchase books by clicking the Amazon links throughout the site, I get a small commission.


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Book Trailer: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

On Monday, I’m posting my review of Ben H. Winter’s latest book The Last Policeman: A Novel (288 pages, Published by Quirk Books). His last novel Bedbugs was one of my favorite books of 2011. So, I am very excited to share the book trailer for The Last Policeman. Watch the trailer below to find out more about The Last Policeman. (Hint: It involves an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth and a murder mystery!)



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Book Review: The Thorn and The Blossom by Theodora Goss

The Thorn and The Blossom by Theodora GossTitle: The Thorn And The Blossom

Author: Theodora Goss

82 pages, Published by Quirk Books

Theodora’s Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Buy The Book: Amazon


One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself…

The Thorn and the Blossom is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning. (Summary provided by Quirk Books.)

Book Trailer:


Please watch the book trailer for The Thorn and The Blossom (above) before reading my review.

My Thoughts:

The Thorn and The Blossom by Theodora Goss is a truly unique book. The book comes beautifully packaged in a box. When you are ready to read the book, you slide it out of the box and the book opens accordion style. It contains the same story told from two different points of view. If you open the book and read from one direction you get Evelyn’s story. If you open from the other direction you get Brendan’s story.

The Thorn And The Blossom is a tale of star crossed lovers, Evelyn and Brendan. Evelyn is a student studying abroad at Oxford when she meets Brendan while vacationing in the small town of Cornwall. Evelyn and Brendan have a very brief relationship but they are unable to forget each other and eventually reconnect. A story called The Tale Of The Green Knight shapes the love affair and the lives of Brendan and Evelyn. (Oh how I love a story within a story!) At times it seems as though they might be the fated lovers from the story.

Goss weaves a magical tale with The Thorn and The Blossom. At 82 pages it is a short read, however Ms. Goss injects brief flashes of fantasy throughout that had me rapidly turning the pages. At times certain elements of the book reminded me of the 80s classic horror/fantasy film The Lair of The White Worm. It wasn’t the actual plot that reminded me of the 80s film but rather the injection of brief flashes of fantasy into the story. I was absolutely dazzled by Theodora Goss’s storytelling ability and can’t wait to read more from her. This book would make a great Valentine’s Day gift. In addition to the romantic storyline, it is beautifully packaged and presented in such a unique way that it will be a treasured addition to anyone’s library.

FTC Disclosure: Please assume that I received any book reviewed or mentioned on the site for free from the publisher. Also, if you purchase books by clicking the Amazon links throughout the site, I get a small commission.


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