Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dead Peasants by Larry Thompson (Review, Interview and Giveaway!)

Virtual Book Tour of Dead Peasants by Larry Thompson is hosted by Partners in Crime Tours.

Follow the tour & you could win your own copy:

April 1, 2013 Showcase by Catherine @ Lavender & Camomile Press
April 1, 2013 Showcase by Sapphyria @ Sapphyria's Book Reviews
April 1, 2013 Review by Tammy & Michelle @ The Nook Users Book Club
April 2, 2013 Guest Post by Cherie @ Cherie Reads
April 3, 2013 Showcase by Cheryl @ CMash Reads
April 4, 2013 Review by Ashley @ Dr. Pepper Diva
April 5, 2013 Guest Post & Review by Lori @ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
April 8, 2013 Review by Steve @ True Media Solutions LLC
April 9, 2013 Review by Barbara @ Views from the Countryside
April 10, 2013 Review by JoyAnne @ Deco My Heart
April 11, 2013 Interview & Review by Janiera @ Books & Beauty
April 14, 2013 Review by Susan @ My Cozie Corner
April 15, 2013 Review by Victor @ Vic's Media Room
April 16, 2013 Interview & Review by Kristi @ Books and Needlepoint
April 17, 2013 Guest Post by Jo @ Writers and Authors
April 19, 2013 Review by Mason Canyon @ Thoughts in Progress
April 22, 2013 Review by Kayla @ I Read a Book Once
April 23, 2013 Review by Fenny @ Hotchpotch
April 24, 2013 Review by Athena @ TheStuff of Success
April 25, 2013 Review by Mary @ Mary's Cup of Tea
April 26, 2013 Guest Post by Laurie @ Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
April 29, 2013 Review by Carol Wong
April 30, 2013 Interview by Review Jodi @ Words by Webb
May 1, 2013 Showcase @ Omnimystery
May 6, 2013 Guest Post & Review by Kathleen @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
May 7, 2013 Interview & Review by Vicky @ DealSharing Aunt
May 8, 2013 Review by Heather @ Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
May 9, 2013 Interview & Review by Jean @ JeanBookNerd
May 20, 2013 Showcase @ Hott Books
May 21, 2013 Review by Joy @ Thoughts of Joy
May 22nd, 2013 Review by Sandy @ Mama Knows Books
May 24, 2013 Review by Ashna @ WantedReaders
May 25, 2013 Review by Brittany @ Book Nook
May 27, 2013 Interview & Review by Kate @ Read2 Review
May 30, 2013 Review by Tammy @ The Self-Taught Cook

Title: Dead Peasants

Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

About the Book: Lawyer Jack Bryant retires early to Fort Worth to kick back, relax and watch his son play football at TCU. Bored with retirement he opens a pro bono office in his RV. When Jack finds an elderly widow at his doorstep, clutching a check for life insurance proceeds on her husband but payable to his former employer, Jack files a civil suit to collect the benefits rightfully due the widow. A seemingly accidental death of his client’s husband thrusts Jack into a vortex of serial killings. He and his new love interest find themselves targets in the same murder for hire scheme. To stop the killings Jack must unravel what in their past makes certain people worth more dead than alive.

My Thoughts: This was a pretty good book.  I had never heard the term Dead Peasants before and I liked the way it was incorporated into this story.  The first 75 pages or so were kind of slow, but it laid out all the key characters and gave you a good foundation to build on.  Then the murders started and the characters all started to mesh together.  

The story unfolded and I found myself second guessing myself as to who could be behind everything.  I really liked Jack Bryant as well as his friend Colby.  Both of these people were loyal to a fault and very giving of themselves to others.  I would love to be in a position where I could help people like Jack does in the book when he starts doing his pro bono work.  What a great way to give back to the community where he grew up.  

The book flowed easily and I loved the short chapters (90 chapters in a 292 page book).  Sometimes I only have short bursts of time to read and so this style works well for me.  I look forward to seeing if Jack Bryant is going to be spearheading any other cases in the future.

~I received a complimentary copy of Dead Peasants from PICT in exchange for my unbiased review.~


The knock at the door of the RV was so soft that at first Jack thought it must have been the wind. It came again. He rose from his chair and opened the door. An elderly black lady who he recognized as June Davis stood at the bottom of the steps.

“Mrs. Davis, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you at first. Please come in. It’s chilly out there for early May.” Jack went down a step and extended his hand to assist his visitor, then offered her something to drink.

June perched on the edge of the cushioned bench that circled the table. “Water would be nice,” she said in a soft voice.

Jack went to the refrigerator and returned with a bottle. He twisted the cap a half a turn and handed it to her. She twisted the cap the rest of the way, took a small sip, replaced the cap and set it on the table.

“How are you doing, Mrs. Davis? I mean since your husband died have you been managing okay?”

“I’m fine, Mr. Bryant. My house is paid for and I get a little social security check. Besides, my kids look after me.” She reached into her purse and retrieved an envelope which she slid across the table to Jack. “This came in the mail, addressed to me. I, I wasn’t sure what to do with it; so, I called Miss Colby. She said I should take it to you.”

Jack picked up the envelope. The return address was the United States Postal Service. He opened it and found another envelope, this one torn and mangled with the addressee illegible. The letter from the postal service read, Dear Mrs. Davis: One of our sorting machines jammed and mangled this letter. We apologize for the problem. Your name was the only one we could make out on the letter, and we were able to get your address. Please handle as you see fit. Very truly yours.

Jack looked at the mangled letter. It was from Euro Life Insurance Company, based on the Isle of Gibraltar. It stated that Euro had determined that one William Davis was married to June Davis. Under the terms of the policy, since it paid double indemnity in the event of an accidental death, the benefit was $400,000, payable to Allison Southwest. Jack looked through the documents a second time before he looked up.

“Did you know that they had insured Willie for $400,000?”

“Lawdy, no, Mr. Bryant. Willie only made $20,000 a year. Why would anyone insure him for that kind of money? Besides, he retired from Allison fifteen years ago.”

“Good question. Let me keep these papers and the check. I’ll get back to you in a couple of days.”

Author Bio:

Larry D. Thompson is a veteran trial lawyer and has drawn on decades of experience in the courtroom to produce riveting legal thrillers. Dead Peasants is is third After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Thompson founded the Houston trial firm where he still serves as managing partner. The proud father of three grown children, he lives and works in Texas but spends his summers in Colorado, where he crafts his novels and hikes the mountains surrounding Vail. His greatest inspiration came from Thomas Thompson, his brother, who wrote many best-selling true-crime books and novels.

Websites & Links:

Please enjoy this interview with Larry!
1.  How do you typically write?  Do you plot it all out beforehand or do you just let the story pour out?

I’m a plotter.  I outline the story and the major characters before I begin writing.  Of course, then the story takes on a life of its own and the characters do their own thing, which is always fun to observe.  By the way, I put away the outline once I start writing and read again when the story is finished.  I find that I come reasonably close to my outline…most of the time.

2. Do you have a favorite place to write or "must haves" while writing?

My wife and I spend summers in Vail, Colorado, and that is clearly my favorite place to write.  Otherwise, I write in my home office with nothing but the house across the street for inspiration.  As to “must haves”, there are none, other than a computer. 

3. Do you have much say in the title or covers of your books?

My publisher, St. Martin’s Press, has the final say-so on the title and the cover.  However, they will listen to me, particularly about the title.  There was a big internal squabble about the title, Dead Peasants.  I insisted on it and finally prevailed. 

4. Is there anything that has surprised you about writing, publishing or touring with your books?

Boy, there are too many things to cover in response.  However, I can eliminate any surprises about writing.  When I started, I found I loved it.  As to publishing, I became a writer in the age of confusion as we are still transitioning to ebooks.  The publishers don’t know what to do; nor do the writers in the Amazon age.  The publishers are reluctant to put any money in marketing.  They will publish an author and then do nothing.  Their mantra is the old one:  Throw enough books out there and see which ones will sell on their own. 

5. So you have a favorite author/book or one that you always recommend?

Actually, Blood and Money, written by my brother, Thomas Thompson, who died many years ago at a far too young age.  It’s at the top of the heap when it comes to true crime non-fiction. 

6. Was there anything (or anyone) while growing up which helped you decide you wanted to be a writer?

My mother was an English teacher.  My brother was a world-class writer; so, at some time I knew I would start writing. 

7. Do you have a job outside of being an author?

I’m still a full time trial lawyer, my profession for my entire adult life.  I write between trials.  Fortunately, all of that experience as a trial lawyer makes me a very good writer of legal thrillers.

8. What would you tell a beginning writer?

This is trite, but NEVERGIVEUP! Every rejection leads an author closer to an acceptance.  And the more you write the better you get. 

9. What were your favorite books growing up?

All of the Mark Twain Books

10 Do you have any books on your nightstand right now?

Black Box (Michael Connelly);  One Shot (Lee Child);

11. If you could meet one person who has died, who would that be?

Mark Twain

12.  If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would it be?

My Brother, Thomas Thompson

13 Do you have a favorite quote?

Never give up.  A great motto for life and for a writer.

14.  In one sentence, why should we read your book?

It’s the best legal thriller since Grisham’s “A Time To Kill.”

15. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Probably my age.  I didn’t start writing until I was sixty.  Fortunately, I come from long-lived stock and figure I have another fifteen or twenty novels in me. 

16. What do you come up with first when creating your character -- the back story, the plot, the characteristics?

All of the above. 

17 What do you do in your spare time?

What spare time?  I’m a full time trial lawyer, have a wife and family and write.  So, I suppose I can say that I write in my spare time. 

18. What does a day in your life look like?

My life is still dictated by my work as a trial lawyer.  I write when I’m not in trial.  Fortunately, that is not as often these days.  So, when I’m working on a novel, I can write a couple of hours in the morning and then go to my “day job.”  On weekends I write for four or five hours each day. 

19.  What does a day look like in the life of your main character?

He’s a lawyer who made a fortune as a plaintiff lawyer.  He tries to retire in his hometown in Fort Worth and quickly becomes bored.  So he sets up a pro bono law office in a poor part of town, working five or six hours a day until he and his love interest have to start solving a series of serial murders. 

20. How does your family feel about having a writer in the family?  Do they read your books?

This is interesting.  No one in my family reads fiction, except mine.  They all read, criticize and enjoy my stories. 

21.  Is there anything else that you would like my readers to know?

That’s a question almost impossible to answer.  Maybe the best response is that I write fiction like its real life.  There’s no leap of faith.  My readers almost always give me five stars.  I’m proud of that response.

22.  What time of day do you like to write?

Mornings.  I’m a morning person and my creative juices flow freely then. 

23 Where/when do you brainstorm the best?

At home in the evening while having a glass of wine with my wife. 

24.  How long do you think about a story before starting to write a book?

It varies.  I delayed my first novel for six months because I couldn’t think of an ending.  In Dead Peasants, it was only a matter of days.

25.  What is the most you have written in one day?

Five thousand words.  That was a chore, but the muse was with me and the words flowed.

26.  What themes do you love to read or write about?

I love thrillers.  History is interesting and even the occasional biography, but give me a well-written thriller any time. 

27.  What book fairs or events do you attend?

The International Thriller Writers Thrillerfest held in New York City each July.  It’s a great place to hang out with and exchange ideas with other thriller writers.

28.  What is your favorite way to promote a book?

I’ve tried all of the usual ways and have yet to figure out what works.  Check with me next year. 

Silly questions –

1. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Reading minds.

2.  Do you have any hidden talents?

None that I care to talk about in public.

3. Night owl or early bird?

Definitely an early bird.  I’m much more creative after a good night’s sleep. 

4. Favorite season?

Summer, but only in the mountains around Vail, CO. 

5. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

He Gave It His All!

6. Favorite sport?


7. Favorite music?

Jimmy Buffet

8. Talk or text?


9. Cat or dog?


10.  Guilty pleasure TV show?


11. Sweet or salty snacks?


12. Favorite holiday destination?

Colorado Mountains

13.  Do you have a literary crush?

Not really, but my current favorite author is Michael Connelly.

14.  If you could live in a literary world -- what world would that be and why?

Current time in the United States.  We have problems here, but it’s still the best.

15. Most embarrassing moment?

None that come to mind.

16. If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?

The time of the American Revolution.  I would like to be there while they discuss the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

17 If your book were made into a movie, who would play the main characters?  What would the theme song be?

Hard to figure right now.

18. Most ________________ in High School?


Wow!  Thank you for answering so many of my questions!  

Now that you know everything there is to know about Larry Thompson - enter to win a copy of Dead Peasants!

Thank you to Larry Thompson and Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for generously offering this book to me for review.
If you'd like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by their sites and sign up today!

1 comment:

CMash said...

Fantastic post. Really enjoyed the interview. Great questions and revies. Thank you for sharing your thoughts of this book.


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