Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE BY Gerald Darnell @darnellgerald #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Judith has been reading Justifiable Homicide by Gerald Darnell

Justifiable Homicide is the first book I’ve read of Gerald Darnell’s Carson Reno Mysteries. It’s an enjoyable, easy read, a good entertaining mystery of blackmail and murder.

The author has inserted war portraits and photographs, , images, drawings and maps within the text; an unusual but interesting idea. I loved studying these; the people, the clothes, the backgrounds, all helped with giving the settings a sense of place, a flavour of the sixties in Tennessee, USA and of the Second World War.

The idea of interweaving fact and fiction is a fascinating one for me.

 I did like the ‘conversational’ writing style of the author which takes the reader along with the plot which is interesting, if rather complex. I sometimes found the plot jumped around a little but like I said, this is the first book I’ve read of this author so perhaps when I try others it’ll be easier for me to get into his way of thinking.

Told initially from an omniscient narrator’s viewpoint the reader is taken directly into the action. The rest of the story is from the first person point of view of the protagonist, Carson of the Drake Detective Agency. Through his eyes we meet a whole host of various other characters, amongst them: Marcie, Alexis Kelley, Joe Richardson, a connection his friend, Jack Logan, Mason Brown, owner of the Peabody Hotel,  Sheriff Leroy Epsee, Deputy Nancy Oakland. His descriptions of the personalities of the characters are subjective and tell us more about Carson Reno and his view on the world and the people around him than the characters themselves. But there are some great descriptions of their outward appearances and the dialogue works well to both carry the story along and to give dimensions to each character.

I won’t give any spoilers but here’s the Book Blurb which gives an overview

Carson’s client is suspected of two murders, and desperately needs his help. After a night of drinking she wakes up in a hotel room with a dead man, but claims no memory of the previous night’s events. However, a gun found in the hotel room was used for another murder – used to kill a lawyer at the local Drive Inn Theater. Then…things get worse!

The murder gun belongs to his client’s husband and has her fingerprints all over it. The dead lawyer was blackmailing her and witnesses saw her at both murder scenes.

Interesting and dangerous characters surface, and somehow events from World War Two are playing a part in the mystery. To prove his client innocent, Carson must unravel a complex blackmail scheme and explain a few murders.

Follow Carson as he chases clues trying to solve this old fashion murder mystery. A mystery that has everyone looking the wrong way. This is an unusual case for Carson – a case of Justifiable Homicide.


The only things that slightly spoiled it for me was the formatting which skipped lines and split the occasional words. And sometimes the attributes in the dialogue took me away from the actual words, which was a shame. E.g. ‘snickered,’ ‘sniggered,’ ‘snorted,’.

Other than that, Justifiable Homicide is exactly what the blurb explains; it’s a crime thriller, a mystery to be solved by Carson Reno; it has a satisfying the denouement and I would recommend it for readers who enjoy this genre.

Find copies here:

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 9 – Gerald Darnell @darnellgerald

Hop on board the Mystery tour bus and enjoy the ride.

Mystery Book Tour Bus copyright

Today our guest is Gerald Darnell and his book The Illegals.

Illegals for Kendal

‘The Illegals’

Crime DOES pay – especially crime that has the support of our legal system.

Carson’s investigative work for Attorney Jack Logan runs smack into the path of the largest law firm in West Tennessee. Trying to stay out of their path only succeeds in putting Carson in the crosshairs of lawyers who want him out of the way.

Power struggles, infidelity, organized crime and eventually murder all appear to be somehow linked to this powerful law firm – McCabe, McCabe, Clark and Lewis.

This is a story of the small versus the large in a little West Tennessee community that has no idea of the crime and corruption that lay underneath their quiet daily lives.

Join Carson as he takes on the fight of his career when he challenges ‘the Illegals’.

Gerald Darnell

Where is your home town?

I’ve always considered my home town as Humboldt, Tennessee (about 80 miles east of Memphis) – which plays a real part in my books and the Carson Reno Mystery Series. That’s not a straight answer because I was actually born in Florida, raised in Tennessee and moved back to Florida in 1984. However, I grew up in the small West Tennessee town of Humboldt and went to High School there before attending the University of Tennessee. God willing my mother will be 92 next January, and she still lives in Humboldt in the house where I grew up. For that reason, I do get back there on a regular basis.

What do you like about writing in the mystery genre?

Guess I just enjoy mysteries, both books and movies (especially the old black and white ones). My working career required extensive travel. I spent untold hours on an airplane, which gave the opportunity to read – and I read a lot during those 30+ years. Not all mystery, but it was my preferred choice when I had one.

What sub-genre of mystery does your book fit?

Carson Reno is a Private Detective. All books are set in the early 1960’s – an interesting time for our nation.

Where is your book set?

Carson Reno’s office is located just off the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s the early 1960’s and his adventures take him all over the South – sometimes even out of the country. However, he always finds some way to pass through or visit Humboldt during the travels.

Can you introduce us to the main characters?

Carson Reno is the main character in all my books. He’s a hard drinking, womanizing, tough talking (but sometimes humorous) Private Detective handling problems in the early 1960’s. Audio book producers have asked me how they should present him; I give them the examples of Sam Spade or Phillip Marlow. To me, as the writer, that’s what I see.

There are numerous other characters that continue with each novel – some come and go but I have about 10 core characters that appear in each adventure. Although all my novels are in a series (Carson Reno Mystery Series) it isn’t necessary to read them in any particular order. Each is a standalone story and not a carryover from another novel.

All my books are PG rated with no graphic sex and minimal violence. Each book is lightly illustrated with photos of period correct and actual places where possible.

Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?     (audio books)

Where can readers find your book?