Book Review ARC ~ I GOT A NAME

I Got a Name: The Murder of Krystal Senyk

by Eliza Robertson & Myles Dolphin

SYNOPSIS –A vivid and meticulous true-crime story that exposes the deep fractures in a system that repeatedly fails to protect women, while tracking the once-cold trail of a murderer still at large.

Krystal Senyk was the kind of friend everybody wants: a reliable confidant, a handywoman of all trades, and an infectious creative with an adventurous spirit. Most importantly, she was tough as nails. So when her best friend needed support to leave her abusive husband, Ronald Bax, Krystal leapt into action.

But soon Krystal became the new outlet for Bax’s rage. He terrorized and intimidated her for months on end, and finally issued a chilling warning to her and his ex-wife: the hunt is on. Krystal was scared but she was smart: she reached out to the RCMP for a police escort home. The officer brushed her off.

Bax’s threat had been all too real. At 29 years old, the woman who seemed invincible—who was a beloved sister, daughter, and friend—was shot and killed at her home in the Yukon. Ronald Bax disappeared without a trace.

Three decades later, Eliza Robertson has re-opened the case. In compelling, vibrant prose, she works tirelessly to piece together Krystal’s story, retracing the dire failings of Canadian law enforcement and Bax’s last steps. I Got a Name uses one woman’s tragic story to boldly interrogate themes of gender-based violence and the pervasive issues that plague our society. In this riveting true-crime story about victimhood, power, and control, Robertson examines the broken system in place, and asks: if it isn’t looking out for the vulnerable, the threatened, the hunted—who among us is it protecting?

MY THOUGHTS – This was an engrossing read with depth about a killing in the Yukon of Canada. Krystal was just helping her good friend to get away from her abusive husband, when he turned his anger on her. Ron Bax blamed Krystal for his wife leaving him and taking the kids. What follows is a look at the broken system and sad lack of results in the case, as the killer was never caught.

PUBLISHER – Hamish Hamilton – 256 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – May 23rd, 2023



Eliza K. Robertson is a Canadian writer.[1]

She studied creative writing and political science at the University of Victoria and graduated with an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia in 2012, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing. Eliza was a joint winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has been longlisted twice for the prestigious Writers’ Trust / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. She was a Journey Prize finalist in 2013 for “My Sister Sang”.


Trail of the Lost: The Relentless Search to Bring Home the Missing Hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail

by Andrea Lankford

SYNOPSIS – From an award-winning former park ranger, a breathtaking true crime adventure that follows an eclectic team’s quest to find missing hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail
As a park ranger with the National Park Service’s law enforcement team, Andrea Lankford led search and rescue missions in some of the most beautiful (and dangerous) landscapes across America, from Yosemite to the Grand Canyon. But though she had the support of the agency, Andrea grew frustrated with the service’s bureaucratic idiosyncrasies, and left the force after twelve years. Two decades later, however, she stumbles across a mystery that pulls her right back where she left off: three young men have vanished from the Pacific Crest Trail, the 2,650-mile trek made famous by Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, and no one has been able to find them. It’s bugging the hell out of her.
Andrea’s concern soon leads her to a wild environment unlike any she’s ever encountered: missing person Facebook groups. Andrea launches an investigation, joining forces with an eclectic team of amateurs who are determined to solve the cases by land and by screen: a mother of the missing, a retired pharmacy manager, and a mapmaker who monitors terrorist activity for the government. Together, they track the activities of kidnappers and murderers, investigate a cult, rescue a psychic in peril, cross paths with an unconventional scientist, and reunite an international fugitive with his family. Searching for the missing is a brutal psychological and physical test with the highest stakes, but eventually their hardships begin to bear strange fruits—ones that lead them to places and people they never saw coming.
Beautifully written, heartfelt, and at times harrowing, TRAIL OF THE LOST paints a vivid picture of hiker culture and its complicated relationship with the ever-expanding online realm, all while exploring the power and limits of determination, generosity, and hope. It also offers a deep awe of the natural world, even as it unearths just how vast and treacherous it can be.  
On the TRAIL OF THE LOST, you may not find what you are looking for, but you will certainly find more than you seek.

MY THOUGHTS – This was an interesting read if you like books about the Pacific Coast Trail and looking for missing hikers long overdue. It deals with three men in particular who were being looked for, and the pain and struggle of the families. But it mostly deals with different efforts and stories of trying to find them in various areas. A good read on this topic.

PUBLISHER – Hachette Books – 352 pages



ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Andrea Lankford is the author of Ranger Confidential: Living, Working and Dying in the National Park, a National Geographic “Top Ten Book About U.S. Parks,” and three trail guides. During her twelve-year career as a law enforcement ranger with the National Park Service, Andrea won several awards for her criminal investigations. After leaving the ranger ranks, the accomplished outdoorswoman thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, kayaked from Miami to Key West, and was the first to mountain bike the 800-mile Arizona Trail. Andrea is now a registered nurse living in Northern California.


Secrets of a Hollywood Private Eye: A Rollicking No-Holds Barred Expose Of Tinsel Town

by Fred Wolfson & Burl Barer

SYNOPSIS – Famous Rock Stars, TV Celebrities, Stone Cold Conmen, A Daring Rescue of Kidnapped Kids, And More!

Ready to uncover the truth behind Hollywood’s elite? SECRETS OF A HOLLYWOOD PRIVATE EYE is your ultimate source for the juiciest stories, scandals, and gossip from Tinsel Town.

Join private investigator Fred Wolfson on thrilling adventures from the glitz and glamour of Bel Air and Beverly Hills to the gritty streets of Hollywood Boulevard. Experience the real-life drama of Wolfson’s cases firsthand and the truth behind cheating spouses, greedy con artists, duped superstars, jealous directors, kidnapped children, and every type of civil and criminal caper imaginable in a city known for scandal and celebrity intrigue.

As the star of the popular USA Network reality series CASE CLOSED and consulting credits on hit crime dramas like L.A. Law, Murder She Wrote, and Picket Fences, Wolfson brings a lifetime of experience to this compelling compendium of stranger-than-fiction cases.

MY THOUGHTS – An informative read, written with insight and at times, humor. Shares some behind the scenes details of being a private eye and how they get and/or hide information. I found it enjoyable and not overly long.

PUBLISHER – WildBlue Press – 168 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – May 9th, 2023



Fred Wolfson is perhaps America’s most famous private investigator. His client list is a who’s who of show biz celebrities, famed politicians including a President of the United States, and those English bad boys, the Rolling Stones. Semi-retired and living in Florida, Wolfson still consults clients worldwide.

Burl Barer is an Edgar Award winning author and accomplished media professional, with a career spanning several decades. Among his many books, his WildBlue Press true crime classic, MURDER IN THE FAMILY, is ranked #3 on the “Ten Best True Crime Books Ever Written,” and he is listed as one of America’s 100 “MUST READ” authors.


A Thread of Violence: A Story of Truth, Invention, and Murder

by Mark O’Connell

SYNOPSIS – From the award-winning author comes a gripping account of one of the most scandalous murders in modern Irish history, at once a propulsive work of true crime and an act of literary subversion.

Circles the inner life of the murderer Malcolm Macarthur with subtlety and forensic care…Complex and disturbing as well as intriguing and compelling.” —Colm Toíbín, author of The Magicianand New York Timesbestseller Brooklyn

Malcolm Macarthur was a well-known Dublin socialite and heir.  Suave and urbane, he passed his days mingling with artists and aristocrats, reading philosophy, living a life of the mind. But by 1982, his inheritance had dwindled to almost nothing, a desperate threat to his lifestyle. Macarthur hastily conceived a plan: He would commit bank robbery, of the kind that had become frightfully common in Dublin at the time. But his plan spun swiftly out of control, and he needlessly killed two innocent people. The ensuing manhunt, arrest, and conviction amounted to one of the most infamous political scandals in modern Irish history, contributing to the eventual collapse of a government.

Winner of the Wellcome and Rooney Prizes, Mark O’Connell spent countless hours in conversation with Macarthur—interviews that veered from confession to evasion. Through their tense exchanges and O’Connell’s independent reporting, a pair of narratives unspools: a riveting account of Macarthur’s crimes and a study of the hazy line between truth and invention. We come to see not only the enormity of the murders but the damage that’s inflicted when a life is rendered into story.

At once propulsive and searching, A Thread of Violence is a hard look at a brutal act, its subterranean origins, and the long shadow it casts. It offers a haunting and insightful examination of the lies we tell ourselves—and the lengths we’ll go to preserve them.

MY THOUGHTS – An excellent true crime read about a writer’s quest to get the real story behind a pair of gruesome murders for which a Dublin man pleaded guilty and was convicted. The least likely suspect prior to the murders, Malcolm Macarthur was part of the landed upper class, polite and well-mannered. He had no history of crime or violence, but was afraid of losing his life of freedom from having to work.

PUBLISHER – Doubleday – 304 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – June 27th, 2023


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – MARK O’CONNELL is the author of Notes from an Apocalypse and To Be a Machine, which was awarded the 2019 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize and short-listed for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. He is a contributor to The New YorkerThe New York Review of BooksThe New York Times Magazine, and The Guardian.–


The Maid and the Socialite: The Brave Women Behind Green Bey’s Scandalous Minahan Trials

by Lynda Drews


At the turn of the 20th century, cities around the world were rife with syphilis, yet no blood test could prove it. Two women in Green Bay, Wisconsin found their lives destroyed by that simple fact. Mary, an illiterate maid, and Mollie, a college-educated socialite, fell victim to the physical violence and mental abuse of celebrated surgeon Dr. John R. Minahan. To silence them, he claimed they had that shameful and dreaded disease. But as medical science advanced and suffragettes marched for their rights, Mary and Mollie found the courage to stand up for theirs.

This is the only full account written about Dr. John R. Minahan, whose family dominated Green Bay’s professional, business, and political arenas from 1892 to 1954. Dr. Minahan’s wealth built a college stadium, science hall, and six-story office building—all named for him—while history lost, or perhaps erased, Mary’s and Mollie’s heroic stories. Until now.

Disturbingly, these women’s intimate narratives embody the same battles dominating headlines today: men’s entitlement versus women’s liberty, wealth versus poverty, and false information versus scientific fact. This is a story of power, abuse, and seeking justice. It is the story of Dr. Minahan versus the maid and the socialite.

MY THOUGHTS – This is such a strange and powerful story written about events from around the beginning of the 20th century in Green Bay. The things this so-called doctor Minahan did and got away with are just awful. But Mary and Minnie were finally pushed too far. A well researched read.

PUBLISHER – Little Creek Press – 300 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Feb 22nd, 2023


ABOUT THE AUTHOR –Lynda Drews, a Brown County Historical Society board member, is the author of three books including her most notable, Run at Destruction: A True Fatal Love Triangle. She and her husband Jim have lived in Green Bay since 1974, eighteen years in the Astor Historic District where The Maid and the Socialite takes place. 

Book Review ARC ~ MOMMY DON’T

Mommy Don’t: From Mother to Murderer, The True Story of Penny and Karissa Boudreau

by Sherri Aikenhead

SYNOPSIS – An award-winning journalist recreates the shocking story of the murder of “Bridgewater’s daughter,” Karissa Boudreau, in this riveting work of true crime.

On January 29, 2008, just days after a bitter winter storm, Nova Scotians watched with breaking hearts as a young mother in the small town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, pleaded on the supper-hour news for help finding her missing twelve-year-old daughter. For thirteen days, the country held its breath as the search for Karissa Boudreau continued. When, finally, frozen toes were found poking out of a snowbank, police confirmed Karissa was dead.

Shock quickly turned to anger when Karissa’s mother, Penny Boudreau, was arrested for the murder of her only child. A year later, Penny sat in the prisoner’s box in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. The moment seasoned journalist Sherri Aikenhead heard Penny confess to the killing, she knew she would write this story.

Aikenhead scoured official Bridgewater Police records, RCMP investigative records, court records, and Penny Boudreau’s Parole Board of Canada decisions to recreate what happened fifteen years ago. Through interviews with Karissa’s circle of family and friends, and including a first-hand account from a key undercover agent who reveals how the Mr. Big operation extracted Penny’s confession, Aikenhead skillfully builds a powerful and intimate narrative of what really happened to “Bridgewater’s daughter.” With fifteen black-and-white photos, some provided by Karissa”s family members, Mommy Don”t takes readers on a heart-pounding journey into the unfathomable question: how could a mother murder her own daughter?

MY THOUGHTS – This was a jarring yet informative read about a woman who reports her 12 year old daughter missing. She later turns out to be the person who had hurt her, shocking everyone. The author tells the story in a compelling way, with sensitivity. The book is sprinkled with photos, which I like.

PUBLISHER – Nimbus Publishing – 264 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – May 9th, 2023


ABOUT THE AUTHOR –Sherri Aikenhead is an award-winning communications professional and former journalist who has worked at newspapers and magazines in Halifax, Toronto, and Edmonton. A mother of three boys, she is a recipient of a Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award for her work in public affairs communications and volunteering. She was the communications director at the Nova Scotia Department of Justice in 2008 when Karissa Boudreau was murdered. This is her first book.


All Is Not Forgiven

by Joe Kenda

SYNOPSIS – When murder is your business, solving the case is personal …

The Homicide Hunter’s riveting debut novel proves that fiction really can be stranger than truth …

All Is Not Forgiven is the debut crime novel by Investigation Discovery star Joe Kenda, a former homicide detective, whose hit series Homicide Hunter and American Detective have been watched by as many as 3.8 million viewers in 186 countries.

In this first novel, the rookie Det. Kenda investigates a 1975 case that begins with the murder of a beloved Colorado philanthropist and society figure whose husband, a gambler and womanizer, appears to have an air-tight alibi.

Mentored by his veteran partner Det. Lee Wilson, a former Nashville singer turned skilled investigator, Kenda’s case quickly attracts attention from the FBI, CIA, and Interpol, for its similarity to a string of killings involving wealthy married women. All the murders appear to have been committed by a hired professional whose trademark is the use of an unusual form of lethal ammunition that leaves no trace.

Detectives Kenda and Wilson travel across the country, following leads to Las Vegas and a mob “made man” pit boss who moonlights as a matchmaker for hitmen. In this first extraordinary case, the detectives join a full law-enforcement blitz to track down a twisted killer who has made murder his business.

MY THOUGHTS – This is a crime fiction book, which I normally wouldn’t be interested in, but the author is a favorite of mine. I’ve read both of his non-fiction works, so I decided to give this new endeavor a chance. I was glad I did, as it was very much worth reading, an exciting page-turner set in the mid 1970s. Lots of intrigue and suspense and moves briskly. I found it enjoyable and look forward to his next release.

PUBLISHER – Blackstone Publishing – 216 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – July 25th, 2023


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Lt. Joe Kenda spent twenty-one years chasing killers as a homicide detective and commander of the major crimes unit in Colorado Springs. After retiring from law enforcement, he starred in Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, an American true-crime documentary series that ran for nine seasons on the Investigation Discovery network and was aired in sixty-nine countries and territories worldwide. At its peak, Homicide Hunter averaged 1.9 million viewers in the US. All Is Not Forgiven is his first novel. 


Behold the Monster: Confronting America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer

by Jillian Lauren

SYNOPSIS – Jillian Lauren had no idea what she was getting into when she wrote her first letter to prolific serial killer Samuel Little. All she knew was her research had led her to believe he was good for far more murders than the three for which he had been convicted. While the two exchanged dozens of letters and embarked on hundreds of hours of interviews, Lauren gained the trust of a monster. After maintaining his innocence for decades, Little confessed to the murders of ninety-three women, often drawing his victims in haunting detail as he spoke. How could one man evade justice, manipulating the system for over four decades?

As the FBI, the DOJ, the LAPD, and countless law enforcement officials across the country worked to connect their cold cases with the confessions, Lauren’s coverage of the investigations and obsession with Little’s victims only escalated.

New York Times bestselling author and lead of the Starz docuseries Confronting a Serial Killer Jillian Lauren delivers the harrowing report of her unusual relationship with a psychopath. But this is more than a deep dive into the actions of Samuel Little. Lauren’s riveting and emotional accounts reveal the women who were lost to cold files, giving Little’s victims a chance to have their stories heard for the first time.

MY THOUGHTS – This is a deftly written and thoughtful story about the sick psycho who was Sam Little. He is currently pegged as the most prolific serial killer in the US with 93 victims. Lauren got the unimaginable scoop by being able to visit Little in prison and interview him extensively. Included are many of Little’s drawings of his victims, some with their real photos.

PUBLISHER – Sourcebooks – 496 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – July 18th, 2023


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Jillian Lauren is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs Everything You Ever Wanted and Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, and the novel Pretty. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle, The Rumpus, The Daily Beast, Salon, and many other publications, and she has been interviewed on The View, Good Morning America and Howard Stern, among others. She is married to Scott Shriner, the bass player for Weezer. 

Book Review ~ THE COPPER’S LOT

The Copper’s Lot: Frontline Policing in the UK

by Rob Hindley

SYNOPSIS – Policing is a uniquely dangerous, harrowing and challenging profession where officers are expected to do far more than prevent and detect crime. To be a police officer is also to be a social worker, marriage guidance counsellor, mental health worker and medic.

Offering incredible true stories from the front line of policing, The Coppers’ Lot is a compelling insight into what it takes to be a police officer in Britain in the 21st century. The extraordinary experiences recounted include:

  • The heroic officer who continued to put his life in grave danger as he pursued marauding terrorists wearing suicide vests, while they indiscriminatingly stabbed members of the public.
  • The undercover officer who targeted organised crime groups and drug dealers.
  • The courageous officer who regularly tackled knife crime head on, saving several lives.
  • The intense feeling of elation when an officer discovered key evidence to convict a murdering paedophile.
  • The officer who, trapped alone and disarmed with a violent man, persevered despite being in fear of her life as her radio was thrown away leaving no means of summoning help.

Taking readers on a ride along with the exceptional men and women who have sacrificed so much whilst protecting and serving their communities, these officers reveal, often in their own words, just how much policing has changed from the traditional notion of the bobby on the beat.

MY THOUGHTS – An eye-opening look at policing in the UK and what some officers endure regularly on the job. Some tragic stories from police officers that are heartbreaking. I’ve always enjoyed reading about law enforcement stories from Great Britain but this is another side to it. Lack of support, lousy pay, and low numbers are only part of the problem.

PUBLISHER – Matador – 179 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – March 26th, 2023


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Rob Hindley is a medically retired police officer with sixteen years’ service in both London and Manchester. He has worked in several roles, including the drugs and firearms team, licensing, and child protection. He has also worked on response as a constable and sergeant receiving commendations for bravery, leadership and outstanding service.


Precious Few Clues: The True Crime Investigation of Kansas City’s “Precious Doe” Murder

by Marla Bernard

SYNOPSIS – On an unseasonably warm April evening in 2001, the headless body of a tiny girl was found discarded in a makeshift dump site in the woods on the southeast side of Kansas City, Missouri.

One long night turned into four long years for Sgt. David Bernard and the Kansas City Police Department’s 1020 Squad. They followed 1,500 leads, had a replica of the child’s head sculpted from her skull, and ultimately conducted the single most extensive area canvass in the KCPD’s history.

Erica Michelle Marie Green, aka “Precious Doe,” captured the hearts of not only the dedicated detectives who fought tirelessly to identify her and her killer but of an entire community.

PRECIOUS FEW CLUES is a candid and touching account of the painful impact that this brutal murder had on Sgt. Bernard, his family, and the KCPD’s 1020 squad. It chronicles the all too frequent story of child abuse, failed social services, a flawed court system, and battered women who sacrificed their own children to shield their abusive lovers, echoing the same preposterous explanations of “…but I love him.”

MY THOUGHTS – This is the story behind the Precious Doe case, which dragged on for four years. It seemed like they would never learn who the little girl was, and who she belonged to, let alone who had murdered her. Learn about the sad details behind her case, and how she ended up in such dire circumstances when she had been in a foster home where she was loved.

PUBLISHER – WildBlue Press – 227 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – April 11th, 2023


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – A former police sergeant, Marla Bernard is a passionate victim’s rights advocate, writer and public speaker. She received her Masters of Arts with honors from Baker University. She serves as adjunct faculty for a national university where she has written several criminal justice courses. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and she is currently writing her second book. Marla and her husband, retired Sgt. David Bernard, reside in Kansas City near the loves of their lives – their two children and three grandchildren.