This post was originally published on acclaimed indie novelist Suzanne Jenkins’ author website ( ) on March 16, 2016. Suzanne has very kindly permitted us to re-post it here on All Things Crime Blog.

  Cicero’s Dead

cicero's dead
Note from Suzanne: My reading time is limited because of my own writing schedule, but I know I must continue to read! It’s paramount as a writer to keep words dangling in front of my eyes at all times. If a book doesn’t catch me right away, I hate to admit, I’m one of those who won’t continue reading. But I continue buying. My TBR pile is about a year behind.

I waited for Cicero’s Dead to be published last year and grabbed it as soon as it came out, putting it in line to read. Finally, last weekend I earmarked hours to sit with it, savoring every word. I couldn’t put it down. I did my own work quickly, looking forward to digging in with Nick and his cartel of interesting characters. You can read my review here. The main thing that appealed to me about this work is it’s ability to transport me. I was there with Nick.

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by Frankie Rendón

Public consciousness is collectively enthralled by the media circus, elusive events, bizarre behavior and often gruesome details that surround highly publicized crimes. Most mesmerizing, however, are the perpetrators responsible for committing these dastardly deeds.

With our eyes glued to TV screens watching the criminal proceedings unfold, we wonder: “What might prompt someone to act so irrationally? What circumstances drove them toward that brink?” Then, there’s the classic “nature versus nurture” debate. Were they psychologically predisposed to violence, or are environmental factors to blame?

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by John W. Taylor

jim10Lester and Ruth Rupard lived in the small, rural town of Banner Elk, located in the western mountains of North Carolina. Their adult son, Dennis, died in a car accident in 1961. When Dennis’ son, James Rupard, was born two months later, Lester and Ruth adopted and raised him.

There were no outward indications of trouble in the Rupard home. However, on September 25, 1978, at 10:00 a.m., several nearby construction workers spotted two men running out of the Rupard home. The first one wore a robe and the second carried a rifle. As the first individual stopped and turned toward his pursuer, the second individual fired two shots into him.

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It’s once again time for Cicero’s Dead, Patrick H. Moore’s award-winning crime novel to be given away free (for 3 days — March 21 to March 23) to the deserving American (and international) readership. Enjoy!


Many thanks to my courageous publisher and editor, Max Myers, and my spiritual advisor, Chaplain Michael D. Sellers (try getting a cliche past this guy :-).

And a special thanks to everyone else who has helped with All Things Crime Blog and Cicero’s Dead including (but not limited to) Darcia Helle, Peter Prasad, John Nardizzi, Max Myers and my latest discovery, Suzanne Jenkins (great fiction writers I’ve been privileged to read); Lise LaSalle, BJW Nashe, Darcia Helle and the late Starks Shrink (fantastic past contributors to ATCB), and John W. Taylor, Bob Couttie and Jared Keever (esteemed past and current contributors).

I also want to thank everyone who has posted a review of Cicero’s Dead on either Amazon or Goodreads. The modicum of success we’ve enjoyed would not have been possible without your reviews.


Noted crime fiction writer and blogger, Suzanne Jenkins (author of the Pam of Babylon series and the Greektown Trilogy), asked me to write a post concerning the Making and Selling of Cicero’s Dead. It was posted today, along with a tremendous introduction by Suzanne, on her Blog.


by Thomas Davidson

kongkong2Literary genius supports aggrieved gorilla?

“Many years later, as he faced a firing squad of military biplanes, King Kong was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover the unpolluted beaches of Skull Island.”

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, New York Times, 1933 (Op/Ed letter from Marquez, a five-year-old Columbian boy)

kong3-131x300Tomb of the Unknown Mojo

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by Bob Couttie

Murders at sea may be the stuff of seafarers tales but they do happen. When three mysterious deaths occur in just a few weeks aboard a ship under the command of a self-confessed gun-runner and allegedly physically abusive master intent on preventing complaints by his crew from reaching the authorities, it is inevitable that the possibility of murder will be taken seriously.

Like any other random event, accidents can and do happen in clusters that suggest a pattern, even when there is no common link between them. Such may be so in the case of the fatalities aboard Sage Sagittarius, a Panama-flagged bulker of 73,430 gross tonnes built in 2001. It will be up to a New South Wales Coroners Court to determine whether the deaths need further investigation by police authorities.

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by John W. Taylor

At 3:30 a.m. on February 10, 2009, a 9-1-1 call came into a Putnam County, Florida emergency call center. Seventeen year-old Misty Croslin reported five year-old Haleigh Cummings missing. Misty was the girlfriend of Haleigh’s father, Ronald Cummings. At the time, she was babysitting Haleigh and her four year-old brother, Ronald Junior, while their father worked the night shift.

haleigh6Misty put the children to bed around 8:00 p.m. She cleaned and did laundry prior to retiring to bed at 10:00 p.m. In the master bedroom of their trailer, Haleigh slept on a small bed about four feet from where Misty slept, while Ronald Junior slept in the bed with Misty. Shortly after 3:00 a.m., Misty awoke to use the bathroom. After noticing the kitchen light was on and seeing the back door propped open, she returned to the bedroom and noticed Haleigh was not in her bed. Misty immediately searched the trailer, but could not locate Haleigh. She called Ronald several times on his cell phone, but he did not answer. Ronald pulled into the driveway about five minutes later and instructed her to call 9-1-1.

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compiled by Patrick H. Moore

Beth Thomas was the angry little girl featured on the remarkable, albeit disturbing, HBO documentary, Child of Rage, which was released around 1990. She suffered from severe Reactive Attachment Disorder.

In an excellent blog post by marilyn4ever, posted on October 30, 2010, Marilyn details Beth Thomas’s story with empathy and apparent clarity. I strongly suggest you read Beth’s post and a second post critiquing a controversial treatment program for RAD called Attachment Therapy, as well as Marilyn’s follow-up post on Attachment Therapy called Beth Thomas, Candace Newmaker and Attachment Therapy Controversy.

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by Darcia Helle

August 15th of this year marks the 100th anniversary of the most gruesome mass murder Wisconsin has ever seen. The story has all the makings of a New York Times bestseller or blockbuster movie. We have the wealthy and world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who had the sense of entitlement that often accompanies being born into a respected and prestigious family. We have a torrid love affair, the ensuing scandal, and, of course, the crazed killer.

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