• Search
  • Lost Password?
Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them … ‘Mailbox Monday’

Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

Vicki of ‘I’d Rather Be At The Beach’

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!


For any of you seasoned fans of writing duo, Carolyn J. Rose and Mike Nettleton out there, this is not so much a new title, as the re-release of one of their earlier mystery novels, with some of the “wrinkles ironed out” and the “surgical removal of some unwanted material”.

For me, as a relative newcomer to their writing, I have once again been honoured to have received a complimentary copy of this book for my reading pleasure.

Carolyn admits that she considers the cover of  ‘The Hard Karma Shuffle’ to be “kind of weird”, however the protagonist is a huge fan of The Grateful Dead, so Mike thought it worked. I have to say that I agree with Mike on this one (sorry Carolyn!), I love both cover and title and can’t wait to read the book.


Paladin – that’s his only name now – is a gray-haired and pony-tailed love-child who has grown up and opted out of mainstream life for nearly 30 years. He’s got no social security number, no driver’s license, and has never paid a cent to the IRS.

Now in his forties, Paladin takes care of his minimal needs through barter and payments under the table for delivering packages on his bicycle in the weather-cursed city of Portland. One ugly afternoon, Paladin is sent to deliver an envelope to a software company and then ordered by the sender to “undeliver” it. Upon his return, Paladin finds his client – a good friend – dead.

What happens to this counterculture and innocent soul, and the envelope in his possession, is the stuff of the mystery.


Photograph of author Carolyn J. RoseCarolyn J. Rose is the author of several mysteries including the bestselling cozy’s No Substitute for Murder and No Substitute for Money. Others include Hemlock Lake, Through a Yellow Wood, An Uncertain Refuge, Sea of Regret, and A Place of Forgetting.

She grew up in New York’s Catskill Mountains, graduated from the University of Arizona, logged two years in Arkansas with Volunteers in Service to America, and spent 25 years as a television news researcher, writer, producer, and assignment editor in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.

She founded the Vancouver Writers’ Mixers and is an active supporter of her local bookstore, Cover to Cover.

Her interests are reading, gardening, and not cooking.


Image Of Author Mike NettletonMike Nettleton, enjoying his retirement after a 40 plus year career in Broadcasting is the author of The Shotgun Kiss and co-author (with Carolyn J. Rose) of Drum Warrior, The Hard Karma Shuffle, The Crushed Velvet Miasma, Death at Devil’s Harbor and Deceit at Devil’s Harbor. He’s also involved in local theater productions, plays golf when the sun decides to shine and plays tournament poker.

You can catch up with Carolyn and Mike here, at Deadly Duo Mysteries

I can’t wait to discover all your own great new finds this week … so please stop by and share your link, so that I can visit your post.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

View all articles
Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Thanks for featuring The Hard Karma Shuffle. It was the first of five books Mike and I wrote together and we’ve always had a soft spot in our hearts (and maybe in our heads) for Paladin.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

      Paladin certainly does sound like an eccentric character, a real throw back to the hippy days of the 1960’s / 70’s, although I am simply guessing that the story is actually set in a much later time than that, as you refer to a software company in the synopsis.

      Personally, I am not a fan of middle aged, grey haired men who insist on having ponytails, but I am sure I shall be able to get over it enough to enjoy what sounds like an intriguing storyline.

      Have a good week both of you.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I didn’t think I had come across any Paladin type characters, however on reflection, there have definitely been one or two, although I hasten to add that they were both US work colleagues of my husband’s and not my own personal friends.

      I have come across a couple of authors, where there was a writing partnership going on, however never a husband and wife combination, or where both parties live in the same house. I don’t know whether it would be more difficult to write in collaboration when both people are occupying the same physical space, or remotely where it is more difficult to confer or share ideas and thought processes.

      There may be some mileage in a guest post if Carolyn is up for it, I ‘ll have to sound her out!

      Thanks for the interesting comment and have a good week.

    • Thanks Serena,

      The weather is pretty awful and business in the charity shop very slow. However I have a fantastic niece who yesterday raised nearly £600 for the local hospice, in memory of our friend who died there a fortnight ago and an excellent book to curl up with later ‘The Mine’ by John Heldt, so all in all things are not shaping up too badly.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your week is also good.

    • Hi Gautami,

      It is always a great mailbox when authors are kind enough to consider Fiction Books as a suitable site for their books to be promoted and reviewed, but even more so when I have something on the table from Carolyn or Carolyn and Mike, as their brand and style of mystery writing never fails to inspire me.

      Thanks for stopping by today and I hope that you enjoy your week.

    • Hi Mary,

      I am sure I shall, Carolyn has never yet sent me a book which I haven’t enjoyed, but then I am a sucker for a good mystery and a quirky cast of characters.

      Have a great week, I appreciate the visit and comment.

    • Hi Naida,

      I’m definitely with co author Mike on the question of the cover art. It is about as unique and quirky as the lead character Paladin himself and your word entertaining is surely going to be quite appropriate, although I am certain that no mystery is going to be all fun!!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I do hope that all is well with you and that you enjoy your week.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Of course I, like Mike, can remember the heyday of ‘The Grateful Dead’ and can quite see the connection with the book cover. However my own first response to the quirky cover was a scene I recall from a live ‘Beetlejuice’ show we went to see …. Fast sorward this clip to about 5minutes in and you can see what I mean


      Thanks for leaving a comment, I truly appreciate it.

    • Thanks Mary Ann,

      It’s not often that I get really bogged down by a book I wish I hadn’t started, I tend to enjoy most things, but then I guess that’s all part of being a bookaholic!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate the comment.

  • Carolyn and I wrote this book after seeing a character in a tie-dye shirt and long gray ponytail riding his bicycle hell-bent-for leather through the streets of downtown Portland. We started speculating what life was like for someone who hadn’t gotten over the sixties, operated totally under the radar and didn’t want anything to do with “The Man.” What would happen, we wondered, if he became the prime suspect in a murder he didn’t commit. It was fun to put Paladin in conflict with the modern world (as it existed in the late 90’s) and watch him wriggle. I hope you’ll take advantage of the inexpensive download for your Kindle or Nook before the end of February and enjoy the read.

    • Hi Mike,

      I know that much of the great fiction out there in publication, is based on real life incidents and characters, so placing Paladin in conflict with the modern world, might make for some quirky and undoubtedly funny situations. However it does sound kind of strange to have Paladin working out the ‘what if …’ scenario, of being implicated in something as terrible as a murder he didn’t commit. I wonder how I would feel if that person were me and I recognised myself in the book if I happened to read it!

      Perhaps I just think too deeply about things, or perhaps I would never have thought about it at all, if the both of you hadn’t put the thought in my head.

      Either way, the cover looks great, the character of Paladin sounds eccentric to just the right degree and I can’t wait to find out how he works through the awful predicament he finds himself in.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and say Hi! It makes such a difference to a post to receive input from the author and I appreciate it.

    • Thanks Elizabeth,

      It is always good to stop by other blogs, to check out just what’s going on in the publishing world, as everyone seems to get some fantastic offerings from publishers and authors alike.

      The problems only come when I want everything I see and my TBR list takes on monstrous proportions, which are totally unrealistic and unachievable.

      Speed reading would then come in handy, but just wouldn’t be any fun!

      Have a great week, won’t you.

    • Hi,

      If you like a good intriguing mystery story, full of unique characters with plenty of personality, then you are sure to enjoy this couples writing, so I do hope that you manage to find a copy of ‘The Hard Karma Shuffle’ very soon.

      I hope that you are well and having a good week so far.

  • Yvonne, I hope the latest storm to pummel the U.S. skirts your water-logged area and you’re able to enjoy a book from your TBR stack. Thanks again for featuring The Hard Karma Shuffle.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I must admit that the floods were pretty spectacular when seen from the air, almost of biblical proportions. Happily, the water is subsiding now, although it will be months, even years apparently, before many of the evacuees will be able to return home. Many farmers on the Somerset Levels have given up altogether and won’t be returning to the land.

      A couple of dry sunny days, however more wet and windy weather is forecast for Thursday!

      I hope that your snowy conditions are improving and that school is back to normal again!

      I am currently reading a time travel book ‘The Mine’, as a review request by its author John Heldt. The story is very reminiscent of the film ‘Back To The Future’, however it is most enjoyable so far.

      Have a good week.

    • Hi Vicki,

      I too, am a sucker for a good mystery, although I sometimes prefer the more gritty writing of authors in the thriller genre. Carolyn’s style of writing fits a given mood for me and I have not been disappointed to date.

      This will be the first book I have read, written by the collaboration of Carolyn and Mike, so I guess that I will be trying to ‘spot the join’ in the two individual writing styles. The concept of two people working on the same story, especially fictional rather than factual, is quite something and certainly wouldn’t work for hubbie and I … we would be at each others throats in no time!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of the week.

    • Hi Tracy,

      You are the second commenter to pick up on this particular part of the post and I have to admit, it is one of the most interesting aspects for me as well.

      I have come across a writing duo who live on opposite coasts of the US, with each of them writing a section of the book, then liaising by phone and email, to connect the two portions of the story together and make it into one seamless narrative. You really do have to be on a similar wavelength with the other person to make that work, don’t you think?

      I am even more intrigued by a writing duo who live side by side in the same house … separate desks, separate offices, separate buildings??? I should think that more than being on a similar wavelength, you need to fit together hand in glove to my this scenario work!

      There is a follow up story to ‘The Hard Karma Shuffle’ coming very soon, with the even more intriguing title of ‘The Crushed Velevet Miasma’, so I can’t wait to get my hands on the synopsis for that one!

      Thanks for the interesting comment and I hope that your week is going well.

Written by Yvonne