Bad guy(s?) from Des Moines Roosevelt

Of course the bad guy(s?) in my crime novel would be Roosevelt alum(ni?). #DesMoines #Dowling #promocave

A fictional cop’s take on Des Moines’ sculpture park

"Blood Solutions" front
Available for e-readers

Shaw told his partner the one time they walked through the sculpture park that he found it a little disturbing, beginning with the fantastical, scrawny, rabbit-like creature that openly mocked Rodin’s The Thinker. There was a dark gray blob that looked like a rotting Mr. Potato Head, a stick figure titled Untitled that was frozen in mid-stretch, and then the scandalous Gymnast III that was clearly an enormous black erection.

“Red,” he remembered Phil saying, “you don’t know shit about art.”

“I’ve got eyes,” he’d said, “and a brain. I know a big dick when I see one sticking right up there between Grand and Locust where it shouldn’t be sticking.”

An excerpt from “Blood Solutions,” a Detective Red Shaw novel
Copyright 2015 B.J. Smith

Available for e-readers at AmazonBarnes&Noble, iTunesScribd, Smashwords and other online book sellers.

An imaginary, unarmed compound without walls and fences and stuff

The idea of having a compound has always sounded kind of cool. Not a pharmaceutical thing, or a place the ATF might besiege someday, but more of a Kennedy compound sort of place except not so big and fancy.

For now, we’re making do right here without all the walls and fences and stuff.

Right to free speech or just ways to find an audience?

The other day I stumbled across some paragraphs in which a writer (or at least a typer of words) adamantly defended our right to freedom of expression through Amazon’s self-publishing platform.

The typer, whose screed I have been unable to relocate, credited the company with giving any and all the right to have their say.

Human rights in the United States
Human rights in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I remember correctly, we’ve had the right to free speech in the U.S. since around about 1791. Were Amazon and others to disappear, we would still have that right.

What we have now are new ways to (1) find an audience, (2) make a few bucks, (3) embarrass ourselves, and/or (4) contribute to the clutter that makes it difficult to find something good to read.

Here’s to doing 1 and 2 and avoiding 3 and 4 — and to knowing the difference between rights and opportunities.

~ ~ ~ ~

Speaking of books … maybe you’ll like Blood Solutions.

Des Moines Det. Edward ‘Red’ Shaw hunts killer in new novel

Now that the first “Red” Shaw novel — Blood Solutions — is in the hands of some readers and the inventories of a growing list of online book stores, it’s time to make some serious progress on the next one.

I already know where the body is found, and you don’t.

Get Blood Solutions at, Barnes&NobleSmashwords and other fine ebook retailers.

Someone is wearing those “boots on the ground”

The term “boots on the ground” is popular among the politicians and talking heads who increasingly and disturbingly adopt military-sounding lingo while discussing our participation in deadly violence around the world.

Its four syllables (and worse, the lazy acronym you can see on Twitter) make it shorter than the more precise and honest “America’s sons and daughters” who wear the boots that some are so eager to put on the ground.

If you want to send your fellow citizens off to kill and be killed on your behalf, say it clearly.