CCP to Absorb La Llorona Road

We have decided to absorb our horror imprint, La Llorona Road. The move was made to streamline Copper Pen Press’ accusations and production. Copper Pen Press will now publish horror along with its mystery line.

If you are on the La Llorona Road’s mailing list, we will be merging that mailing list with Copper Pen Press’s list.

If you are on Team La Llorona Road, you will be merged with Team Copper Pen Press.

Freakshow Release Coming Soon

freakshow2What do you get when mystery and suspense authors from around the world pin stories set in a circus, carnival or freak show? Copper Pen Press is proud to announce the April release of Freakshow: Freakishly Fascinating Tales of Mystery and Suspense.

The fourteen stories in this anthology will take you back in time, as well as the present, to introduce to you freaks the likes you have never seen before. Stir in murder, mayhem, and robbery and you have a recipe for stories that you will not soon forget.

Step right up. Buy your ticket and take a ride like you have never been on before.






Join the Copper Pen Press Team

Become a member of Team Copper Pen Press. We are seeking beta readers, ARC readers, and street team members.

A beta reader receives a pre-edited copy our book. Beta readers provide helpful insight on how to improve important elements of a story such as characters, setting, and plot. They also provide suggestions for spelling, grammar, and fact checking.

An ARC (Advanced Review Copy) reader is a person who receives a pre-published copy of a book in exchange for leaving an honest book review (typically on Amazon and/or Goodreads) just before, or once the book is available for distribution.

Street team members help promote a book by handing out materials such as bookmarks and fliers, posting reviews and book recommendations online, requesting the book from area libraries and bookstores, and spreading book info through word of mouth.

If you would like to become a member of Team Copper Pen Press, go to our Team Copper Pen Press registration page and fill out the online form.

We will be in touch with you soon.

Another Door Opens…

In his poem Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer penned the line “All good things come to an end.” And so it is with the theme of this website.  I have had a blast helping authors by reviewing their books here on Ron Hervey’s Whodunit. With the emergence of my small publishing house, Copper Pen Press, taking up so much of my time now, sadly, I will no longer review books on this site.

As one door closes, another opens. And so it is with this site. Ron Hervey’s Whodunit will be converting over from a book review site to the original purpose of this site, which is to promote my own writing.

I want to thank all of the wonderful authors that have provided their works to me for an honest review. If you have sent your book to me and I have not reviewed it yet, I will be searching other review sites that will review your book. It is my hope that I can get all of the books I have not reviewed new “review homes.”

I want to extend a heartfelt, sincere thank you to all who have supported me with my reviews. I hope that you continue to support me during this exciting time as I move forward with my own writing and with Copper Pen Press. THANK YOU.

Call for Submissions

Looking Forward to Bouchercon

boucherconI am looking forward to September, mostly because this year I am attending Bouchercon. For those not familiar with Bouchercon, it is the world’s largest convention of writers and fans of mystery and detective fiction. It’s named in honor of writer, reviewer, and editor Anthony Boucher. 

As an added bonus for me, this year’s event is in New Orleans! I love that old city, but I haven’t been back since Katrina. I can hardly wait.

Today I was looking at a list of authors that will be attending Bouchercon. I compared it against a list of author’s books that I have reviewed here on my blog. I guess I was figuring out my odds of being murdered while at the convention. As it stands, it looks like it’s about 50/50.nolins

Death by Diploma – a Review

deathdeplomaLeaving her old life behind, Emma Lovett begins the next chapter in her life by traveling across the country to take a job as a teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Colorado.

One day at school, she overhears a heated conversation about something special being done for some of the school’s athletes, but she doesn’t hear enough to understand the full conversation or who was having the conversation.

Not long after, arriving early at school one morning she finds custodian Melvin McManus dead from a head wound. Emma and her new friend, fellow teacher Leslie Parker, decide to take it upon themselves to solve the murder.

Did the conversation Emma overheard have anything to do with the murder? One by one, the amateur sleuths cross suspects off their list. Will they find the killer before the killer finds them?

Death by Diploma (Chalkboard Outlines #1) by Kelley Kaye was published on January 6, 2016 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC. The book is available in both paperback and eBook.

The Author taught High School English and Drama for twenty years. Her experience as a teacher comes through in her writing, giving the reader a believable view of school life from a teacher’s perspective. We also get a good feel of interaction between teachers, even the dislike of coaches by the more academically minded faculty.

The pace seemed slow at the beginning as we met several of the characters. No page-turners in the first half, but it picks up once the murder was committed and the investigation begins.

The main characters were well developed, and Kaye did a good job of making the reader like the characters.

By biggest hang-up with the book is the author’s attempt to convey Emma’s southern accent. Throughout the book she uses “ah’m” for I’m and “ah”for I. The first few mentions of this pronunciation were fine, but it became a little distracting as the book progressed. The best use of accent is to use the accent in in the first few lines of dialog, then drop it completely. The reader will “read” the accent into the character’s voice for the rest of the story on his or her own. I’m not sure why her editor did not catch this.

At one point the author inserts herself into the story when she tells the reader “she will use her English teacher status to make up her own words” after using the word dentier. I realize it’s an effort at humor, but for me it was a little distracting, jarring the reader away from the story line. Again, how this made it past her editor is beyond me.

I have not found other works by Kaye, so I am assuming that this is her first book. If that is the case, I can see the foundation for a great storyteller. I look forward to reading more of her work and watching her grow as an author.

This book will resonate well with Janet Evanovich readers, as Kaye does a good job at inserting humor into her story. In fact, I think she must be a fan of Evanovich, giving a nod to the bestselling author by naming one of her characters Adam Evanovich.

There’s no hard edge or blood and guts in this story. It undoubtedly fits well within the cozy genre. Many chick lit fans will also find Death by Diploma entertaining, while some male readers may find it a little too fluffy.

I give Death by Diploma three out of five stars.

The author of this book provided a copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.