Mystery Novelist Margot Kinberg Discusses her new book Downfall

Downfall Margot Kinberg



They Said It Was a Tragedy. They Said It Was an Accident. They Lied.


Second Chance is a Philadelphia alternative school designed for at-risk students. They live on campus, they take classes, and everyone hopes they’ll stay out of prison. And then one of them dies. When Curtis Templeton falls from a piece of scaffolding near the school, it’s called a tragic accident. A damned shame. A terrible loss. And everyone moves on.

Two years later, former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams and two of his colleagues do a study of Second Chance for a research paper. When they find out about Curtis’ death, they start asking questions. And no-one wants to answer them.

The search for the truth takes Williams and his research partners behind the scenes of for-profit alternative education – and straight into the path of someone who thought everything would stay buried.

In the meantime, changes are coming to Tilton University. The School of Social Sciences is going to be the new home of a center for research on juvenile offenders. But not everyone is happy about it. YouthPromises, the company that’s underwriting the center, is a for-profit alternative program that has a stake in the outcome of any research the center does. What will that mean for the faculty? Williams finds himself caught in the controversy over the center, just as he’s finding out the truth about Second Chance


Amazon | Goodreads





Today's Guest Talk Show Microphone Discussion Interview Program








*Is it easier writing about protagonist Joel Williams as the series progresses?

It actually is. As the years have gone by, I’ve gotten to know him better, if I can put it like that. So, it’s easier to see him as a complete person.



*How did you develop the plot for Downfall?

When I write my crime fiction, I always start with the victim. So, in this case, I began with fifteen-year- old Curtis Templeton. Once I imagined what he might be like, I thought about the sort of school/program he’d attend, and about his background. That gave me the context. And that led to the people in his life, and to the reason he’s killed.



*What are alternative schools like Second Chance?

Alternative schools are intended for students who can’t benefit from ‘regular’ public schools or private schools (like religious schools). For example, students who are pregnant or who are raising young children might need a school program that allows them to parent as well as attend classes. Students who have certain medical problems may also need an alternative program that allows them to meet their medical needs. And students with certain behavioral problems (this is where Curtis Templeton fits in) may benefit more from an alternative program with closer supervision and a different learning environment.








*What does ‘at risk’ kids mean and how do they qualify as such?

The thing about the term ‘at risk’ is that its definition varies depending on (for the US) the state and sometimes the school district. In a very general sense, an at-risk student is a student who is in danger of either failing out of school or of being expelled. Both situations make a student far more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system, so the idea of the ‘at risk’ label is to help these students before they end up in prison. It doesn’t always work, sadly, but that’s the idea. A student who’s got several suspensions from school might be considered ‘at-risk.’ So might a student who struggles academically. For instance, students who are a certain number of grade levels behind their peers in reading might be considered ‘at-risk,’ depending on other factors in their lives.



*What were the most challenging aspects about writing this book?

The thing about writing crime novels is that, in most of them, people die. That’s a devastating loss for friends, loved ones, and co-workers who grieve for them. To portray that grief in what I hope is an authentic way isn’t easy. Everyone grieves differently, and there’s nothing to say that one way of coping with loss is ‘better,’ or ‘more normal’ than another way. So, one challenge is allowing for different people to express grief
differently. Another challenge is to do so without either getting melodramatic, or not doing justice to the real-life suffering of those who lose people.




Challenges road.jpeg





*What are the most rewarding?

One of the best parts about writing this novel was seeing the characters come to life, so to speak, and letting them tell their stories. When the characters start to seem real (or close to it), the story gets more interesting. And that makes it more of a pleasure to write.

I also richly enjoyed exploring Philadelphia as I wrote. It’s a large city with a lot to it, so even though I consider Philadelphia my home town, there’s still a lot I don’t know about it. It was rewarding to learn a few things. And I did enjoy the chance to immerse myself in the city. I often get homesick, and writing the book was a good tonic.




Reward Rises From Risk





*Who are the members of Joel’s research team?

The other members of the research team are Dr. Jered Carr and Dr. Ben Peterson. Carr’s a former parole officer who’s gone into academia. He’s got experience working with juvenile offenders and their families, so his skills will help in getting a broad picture of Second Chance. Peterson has a background in data analysis and an interest in computer crime, so his research skills are invaluable. He’s also got a brother in prison, so he has a personal interest in whether for-profit programs are helpful.




laptop computer




*Tell us about the changes coming to Tilton University and the Social Sciences department. 

Any academic can tell you that when a foundation or corporation is willing to invest several million, a university sits up and pays attention. In this case, a for-profit company called YouthPromises is planning to donate three million (US) dollars to Tilton to fund a center for research into juvenile offenders. On the one hand, this is very good news for the School of Social Sciences. Members of the Departments of Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice (that’s Joel Williams’ department) will have all sorts of opportunities. Trust me, universities everywhere love it when they get funding for research. Among other things, it means that faculty can pursue their interests, and that students interested the field can get the support and facilities they need.

On the other hand, YouthPromises is a for-profit company. What might this mean for the sort of research that goes on at the new center? Some people are afraid that there might be an undue amount of pressure on the faculty to research certain topics, and to support certain findings. And what might that mean for academic freedom and integrity of research findings? It’s not an easy set of questions.



*Tell us about Youthpromises and the role it plays in the book. 

YouthPromises is a company that owns several alternative programs. This company has just agreed to donate three million (US) dollars to fund a research center at Tilton. And that means both lots of opportunities, and some very difficult controversial questions.


While YouthPromises employees and facilities don’t appear in the book, the fact that it wants to fund a research center means that the School of Social Sciences will be paying a lot more attention to alternative programs for young people who are at risk of ending up in prison.




Companies Youth promise




*Tell us some fun facts you discovered that aren’t in the book. 

That’s what I love about researching for a book. I always learn a lot. One thing I learned is the sometimes-complicated picture of which police authority has jurisdiction in certain places. In US National Parks, it’s the National Park Service, which is a federal authority. Park rangers may be assisted by local police in nearby towns or townships, or by state police, depending on the situation. And it works better for everyone if these different groups share information and cooperate. But, when a murder occurs in a US National Park, as one does in Downfall, the US National Park Service steps in. Thanks, by the way, to Valley Forge National Park for helping me with this part of the novel.

I also learned some interesting things about different sorts of row homes. For those of you not familiar with row homes, they’re a very common sort of architecture in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and some other cities. They tend to be longer than they are wide, and you may see several blocks of connected row homes. Here is a link to an interesting article from Philadelphia Magazine about Philadelphia row homes. There are
some helpful photographs, for those who haven’t seen this style of home before.

Thanks again, Benjamin, for hosting me!





Margot Kinberg headshot




Margot Kinberg is a mystery author and Associate Professor. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kinberg graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, then moved to Philadelphia, which Kinberg still considers home.

Kinberg had always been fascinated by crime fiction and mystery novels. In fact, she became an “addict” while still in her teens. So in 2007, she began her fiction writing career with her debut novel, Publish or Perish. In that novel, Kinberg put her experience in the world of higher education to use in creating a murder mystery that takes place at fictional Tilton University. This story introduces Joel Williams, a former police detective-turned-professor, who teaches in Tilton University’s Department of Criminal Justice. In this first outing, Williams helps solve the murder of a graduate student. The second in Kinberg’s Joel Williams series is B-Very Flat, in which Williams helps to solve the murder of a young violin virtuosa who dies suddenly on the night of an important musical competition

Kinberg, who now lives with her family in Southern California, is currently at work on her third Joel Williams novel.




Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon







Murder in the Meadow Blog Tour with Author Faith Martin

MIM cover jpg





Blog Tour BANNER - Murder in the Meadow





Looking for a brilliant best-selling murder mystery  with a feisty female detective?

Meet DI HILLARY GREENE, a policewoman struggling to save her career and catch criminals.

Wayne Sutton is found dead by a stream in a beautiful meadow. His head has been bashed in and a red paper heart left on his body. The handsome young artist had a reputation as a ladies’ man.

DI Hillary Greene discovers that there were many wealthy married women buying his paintings and taking ‘private’ art lesson from him.  It appears that several of them might have wanted him dead.

Hillary also has a new detective sergeant, Gemma Fordham. Seemingly efficient and pleasant, she harbours a secret agenda.

Can Hillary get to the bottom of a complex case involving jealousy, love, and cold-blooded murder?

This is a crime mystery full of well-observed characters, which will have you gripped from start to finish.

MURDER IN THE MEADOW  is the seventh in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.
Perfect for fans of  Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.




Book Review - 3d rendered headline




If you haven’t started the DI Hillary Green series then you’re missing out. I always find it fascinating to peer into the point of view of protagonist Hillary. She investigates the mysterious death of a young Casanova who’s left by the river with red heart pinned to his chest. Who had the motivation to kill him? A former lover? A jealous one?

Faith Martin is having such great success by re-releasing this series with Joffe books. Her writing is really entertaining, witty, with great characters and well thought out plots. I recommend Murder in the Meadow and the rest of the series to anyone.



Review image Faith martin



The pretty iron stone village of Deddington.  Not far from the market town of Banbury (noted for its famous Banbury Cross of the nursery rhyme “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross, to see a fine lady upon a white horse, with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes.”)  It has an attractive and unusual church, antique shop and hotel, and several pubs known locally for their cuisine.  Although not a tourist spot as such, it is a picturesque spot.  Water meadows, such as the one where the body is found, are a feature of valleys in the area, and regularly flood in the winter time, adding  nutrients to the soil, making them especially lovely in the spring and summer, when they can flower quite spectacularly.




meadow faith martin





DI Hillary Greene
An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence.

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow
Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.




Investigation image faith martin




Books 8-11 coming soon!


Amazon | Goodreads







Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL. MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY, MURDER OF THE BRIDE, MURDER IN THE VILLAGE, MURDER IN THE FAMILY and MURDER AT HOME are available now. Books 8-11 coming soon!

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.




Check out Jill’s Books n All Book Promotions! Crime books, book reviews, blog tours and more.


Don’t miss Mystery Thriller Week 2018. The new dates for this year are April 12th-22nd. Don’t miss out!




Books & Blurbs: A Short Horror Story by Jordon Greene

Pages and glowing letters flying out of a book



Welcome to another Book Blurb!



What’s up book lovers!! Any horror readers in the house?

Author Jordon Greene is releasing his new short story come May 23, 2017. But pre-order it now on Amazon for 0.99 cents. 





Anywhere but Here






“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand” -Neil Gaiman




books landscape




Contact: Jordon Greene FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tel: 704-659-3915 Email:

ANYWHERE BUT HERE: A SHORT HORROR STORY TO RELEASE MAY 23, 2017 Have you ever woken in the middle of a dream only to find it isn’t over? A place where reality and fantasy become blurred. When sleep becomes torment, could you close your eyes?

CONCORD, N.C. (April 6, 2017) – Franklin/Kerr Press is pleased to announce the release of Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling Horror Author Jordon Greene’s first foray into the world of short stories with Anywhere But Here: A Short Horror Story, to be released on May 23, 2017. Anywhere But Here is a literal nightmarish story that follows Taren Evan’s confrontation with sleep paralysis, a disorder which wakes Taren from his dreams but renders him incapable of moving while they continue to play out in the real world around him.

Just as he did in his most recent horror release To Watch You Bleed, Jordon weaves a daunting story that’s all-too-possible. He takes us into the mind of Taren Evans as he’s thrust into a dream world that’s grafted atop the real world, captured by a horrifying inability to do anything about his situation. As the story’s tag line asks, when sleep becomes torment, could you close your eyes?

The short story releases May 23, 2017 on eBook and in paperback. The eBook version will be exclusive to Amazon Kindle for $0.99, including the Kindle Unlimited Program where members can read for free. The paperback version will be available at $4.99 from most major online retailers. The short story is currently available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle.

Anywhere But Here follows the release of Jordon’s first psychological horror thriller To Watch You Bleed, an Amazon Bestselling Horror which released in January.  Watch the trailer: Here



Pre-order it Now 0.99 cents!

Add it to Goodreads! 



*If you’re interested in a review copy please let me know in the comments*



Jordon Greene is the Award-Winning & Amazon Bestselling Horror Author of To Watch You Bleed and They’ll Call It Treason. He is a full stack web developer for the nation’s largest privately owned shoe retailer and a graduate of UNC Charlotte. Jordon spends his time building web applications, attempting to sing along to his favorite rock songs, reading and, of course, writing. He lives in Concord, NC just close enough and just far enough away from Charlotte.

For more information about “Anywhere But Here,” or to schedule an interview please call Jordon at 704-659-3915 or e-mail Jordon at



*If you’re interested in promos, book releases, interviews, chapter critiques, Q&A’s, Social Media, Media blasts, Please check with me for prices*

Put me to work!!

-Benjamin Thomas




Catch you on the next blurb!!




Waving bye




Benjamin Thomas