Anastasia Pollack is not having a good time lately. Her husband Karl recently died in Vegas.  The fact that he died on a roulette table at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas was pretty bad. The fact that he was a closet gambler, cleaned out every account they had without her knowing about it, and made a deal that has resulted in a 50K debt to a loan shark is worse.


Ricardo, the loan shark, wants his money. Anastasia has no way to pay him as she has no money. She also, for all intents and purposes, has no help other than what little her young sons do around the house. It is a real tossup which is worse–the loan shark or the mother-in-law. Her dead husband’s mother, Lucille Pollack, wants to keep living rent free and doing nothing to help while criticizing Anastasia right and left. She also wants to pontificate on the merits of the “American Communist Party” while doting on her annoying dog Mephisto.


Work is her escape from the reality of home and it isn’t much fun these days. There have been lots of changes since Trimedia took over. Despite all the negatives with the new ownership and the long commute to work, Anastasia does like her job as Crafts Editor for the “American Woman” magazine. Some of her coworkers she could do without. Especially Fashion Editor, Marlys Vandenberg, who got her job the old fashioned way according to the scuttlebutt around the office. A prima donna hated by nearly one and all, it isn’t long before she is found dead in a very fitting way. There should be a long list of suspects starting with anyone Vandenberg ever had contact with inside and outside the office.  Instead, because her glue gun was used in the killing as well as the fact that the despicable Vandenberg was murdered at Anastasia’s desk, Anastasia is the main suspect.


With Stephanie Plum as her inspiration, Anastasia starts investigating to clear her name. Chaos builds as Ricardo puts the pressure on to get his money, Anastasia’s mother with her cat named “Catherine the Great” moves in, the cops move closer to arresting Anastasia, and numerous other incidents occur. Adding to the mix of noise in the house is a certain parrot that quotes Shakespeare every so often.


The result is an often funny cozy style read that overall provides a good mystery. Written in the style of a Janet Evanovich mystery, there are frequent references to Stephanie Plum and her situations. Not only does Author Lois Winston make direct references to the Stephanie Plum series, one can’t help but notice amidst the sassy tone, the fact that several characters seem very reminiscent of that series.


A nice touch is the occasional section with craft instructions. Short and quick they provide an interesting angle to the character and the overall mystery. At the same time, they are not so prevalent to slow down the read or serve as a distraction.


Assault With A Deadly Glue Gun: An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery is a good book that does not take itself too seriously. Author Lois Winston has provided an interesting and well done angle on the crafting niche in the cozy mystery. Death By Killer Mop Doll  is the second book in this series and was released earlier this month.



Assault With A Deadly Glue Gun: An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery

Lois Winston

Thorndike Press (a part of Gale, Cengage Learning)


ISBN# 978-1-4104-3461-6

Hardback–LARGE PRINT (also available as paperback and e-book)

376 Pages




Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.



Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

 Offending somebody somewhere on a regular basis since 1961

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