If it isn’t obvious by the cover and the back cover synopsis, Four of a Kind: Four Tales of Mystery and Suspense is an anthology containing four novellas that revolve around playing card games. Poker to be exact and the game plays a major role in each novella. In each case, poker isn’t the only game being played where the stakes include life and death.


After a brief introduction by author and editor Douglas Quinn, the book opens with “Papa’s Girl” by J. R. Lindermuth. It is December 1957 and young soldier Danny Penkovic has made it as far as Ballyn, Pennsylvania on his quest to get home. A snow storm has shut down all forms of travel, including his bus, so he plans to spend the night at the terminal waiting for the first bus in the morning. That is until Tony Anskis makes him an offer to spend the night at his place and meet his daughter, Anna.


“Jigsaw” by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz follows with her tale of Lester T. Hayes, private detective.  Lester Hayes owns Ace Detective Services and times are not good financially speaking. So, when Samantha Chandler, a wealthy woman who is also self-proclaimed psychic, throws a lot of money at him to play in a tournament he agrees. He agrees even though he knows there is something off about her and the situation.


Douglas Quinn’s character Webb Sawyer makes an appearance next in “I Lost my Happy Days” where a business, a boat, and more are at stake. Dave “The Wave” Meekins and Webb served together long ago. These days they both live on North Carolina’s outer banks where Dave runs a successful charter business and Webb does what he does. He has skills and when his skills are needed he makes his money. So, when Dave gambled his boat “Happy Days” and lost he turned to Webb for help.


“Millie McCall’s Full Moon Poker Night” by Sara Williams closes the book. The setting is the San Juan Islands where Jim Halprin is asked to fulfill a commitment made by a friend. Ben Bridges is injured and needs Jim to attend a poker game in his place. Just a few hours later Jim is in place and meets the unique Millie McCall. An heiress that rides a Harley, walks in the surf under a full moon, and does a few other strange things in this tale.


A game of deceit, poker, binds these tales together in Four of a Kind: Four Tales of Mystery and Suspense. A book where deceit is a major player in its own right. As prominent as any character, deceit is the dealer in each case where hidden agendas abound, money flows, and treachery runs like a raging river. These four very different and good novellas contain numerous twists and turns to keep readers guessing long after the last card.

Four of a Kind: Four Tales of Mystery and Suspense

Editor Douglas Quinn


White Heron Press (CreateSpace)

October 2012

ISBN# 978-1479397457


396 Pages



Material supplied by Editor Douglas Quinn for my objective review.

For further reading on this book you may wish to scroll over to Kings River Life where there is a review from last December as well as brief explanations from the authors involved as to how each one of their stories came to life. Interesting reading at: http://kingsriverlife.com/12/22/four-of-a-kind-four-tales-of-mystery-and-suspense/


Kevin R. Tipple ©2013

Mind Slices and Carpathian Shadows, Volume II
Book Reviews and More http://kevintipplescorner.blogspot.com/

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