Monday, December 28, 2015


Call me


Recently I read two really good yarns.

I was enjoying each when, in a word from my working days, I encountered a "got'cha."

A venue in one of the books was South Florida University.

According to the author, South Florida University is, logically, located in south Florida.

South Florida has many universities and colleges; even a few professional and trade schools who grandly label themselves "university" or "college."

South Florida University is not one of them.

South Florida University, as this father of an alum knows, has its main campus in Tampa - about 250 miles NNE from my house in south Florida.

An otherwise good read was interrupted by carelessness on someone's part.

The author gets the most blame. She assumed something. Perhaps that the school's name reflected its physical location or that her fact-checker, if she had one, actually checked the facts set forth in the who-done-it.

The editors that read her novel likewise must have assumed the author did her homework and ignored the faux pas.

I complained to the author; I don't recall that I received a satisfactory answer , but never mind; I'll read more of her efforts.

A book I finished today almost was a "can't put down" read; that's a high rating.

This was a Jesse Stone yarn called Fool Me Twice. Michael Brandman, writing for the late Robt. B. Parker, informed the reader that the bad guy had a .38 Beretta automatic.

While my sons favor semi-automatics, I prefer the simpler, easier to maintain wheel guns (revolvers). My revolvers fire .38 Special rounds, also known a S&W .38s.

I searched - and searched and searched again - on the Internet to find a .38 Beretta. There IS a .38 Super round made for pistols, but the .38 Special is not made for semi-automatics. (A few DO fire the .38 Special, but only wad cutters for target shooting, not true defensive rounds.)

I learned a lot about ammunition thanks to the book's reference to a .38 Beretta automatic.

There was a second factual error in the same sentence. The Beretta pistol the writer was trying to describe would be a semi-automatic, not an automatic.

A machine gun is an "automatic." Pull the trigger and hold it back and bullets continue to fire as long as they last (or until the gun barrel melts).A SEMI-automatic requires the shooter to pull the trigger for each shot.

A revolver can be considered a "semi-automatic" but the term now most often refers to a pistol with a clip or magazine feeding bullets into the firing chamber. All but single shot rifles and shotguns also can be considered "semi-automatics."

Only the the military and terrorists can use "automatic" weapons - machine guns. A few police departments may have a machine gun, but it is rare.

I don't actually read books to catch factual errors, but when I see one I like to share the find with the author so that the faux pas will be corrected in future editions and perhaps, perhaps, the author will do due diligence on their next book.

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