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Luggage By Kroger: A True Crime Memoir by [Taylor, Gary]
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Luggage By Kroger: A True Crime Memoir Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 318 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Remember the movie "Fatal Attraction"? And the movie "Basic Instinct"? And the movie "Play Misty For Me"? Toss all three of the movies in a blender, hit frappe and stand back. What comes out would be Gary Taylor's new book--Luggage By Kroger.

LBK is the story of Gary's intimate relationship with Catherine Mehaffey, which began way back in 1979. As the story opens, Mehaffey is suing her live-in lover for half of everything he has. No, they weren't married. Mehaffey claimed they were some bizarre version of common-law husband and wife, therefore, she was entitled to sue for divorce and get half her husband's money. Before the divorce hearing can take place, Mehaffey's live-in lover husband turns up dead. Somebody beat him to death with a pipe (or some other equally gruesome blunt instrument). Now Mehaffey wants the entire estate and the money from the life insurance policy. And did I mention that Mehaffey is a person of interest to the Houston Police Department. In fact, they consider her their prime suspect.

By the way, did I mention that this is a true story. This is not fiction.

Enter Gary Taylor, who is a reporter for the Houston Post. He's trying to write a story on the whole Mehaffey/murder/quasi-marriage/dead lover/who might be a former husband. Taylor gets shall we say "involved" with Mehaffey. They have lots of steamy sexual interludes. As the freak show, which is called a "relationship" (sounds like a disease), moves along, Taylor begins to wonder about his new girlfriend. What he wonders is if she's just psychosocial or fully psychotic. It's obvious to Taylor that Mehaffey killed her previous live-in lover. And it isn't too long before Mehaffey takes aim - literally - at Taylor. She tries to kill him. I won't describe it, but it involves a .32 caliber handgun, a screaming harridan, and Taylor running away as fast as he can.

LBK is a great book. It's well-written, which means that it moves along and doesn't get bogged down in nonsense that isn't pertinent to the story. And Taylor's voice, which is funny in a I-can't-believe-I-did-this-and-lived kind of way, entertains without trying to deliberately prove he should have been a comedian.

Did I mention another tidbit? It's a self-published book, which is hard to tell because somebody did a good job of editing the text. And somebody (the same person?) did a wonderful job copy-editing the text. I couldn't find one typo or glitch in punctuation. Most self-publishers don't put that kind of time and attention into their final product. The self-publishers forget that when readers pay 20 bucks or more for a book, they want their money's worth. Taylor provides it.

Short review summary: buy this book. It's sick! as the hip kids say. (Guest-reviewed by Randall Radic, author of "A Priest in Hell" and "The Sound of Meat." --Self-Publishing Review, February 4, 2009

From the Publisher

Reviews

Recognized as one of 2009's top true crime thrillers with a Silver Medal from the IPPYs (Independent Publisher Book Awards), a Bronze Medal from ForeWord Magazine and Runner-Up in the true crime category of the National Indie Excellence Awards.

Finalist: ForeWord Magazine's 2008 Book-of-the-Year Awards.

"Remember the movie Fatal Attraction? And the movie Basic Instinct? And the movie Play Misty For Me? Toss all three of the movies in a blender, hit frappe and stand back. What comes out would be Gary Taylor's new book--Luggage By Kroger."--Self-Publishing Review online magazine.

"--And what a story it turned out to be!"--Reader Views online review.

"A riveting true story that reads like a high-octane crime thriller."--Midwest Book Review

From the publisher

"Catherine was destined to become several important things to me. But most prominently, she would become my problem-solver. Before I met her, I had a bunch of problems. Then, all of sudden, with her in my life I had only one."

In Luggage By Kroger, former Houston Post reporter Gary Taylor recounts his intensely personal involvement in the trail of controversy that has followed former Texas attorney Catherine Mehaffey Shelton for nearly three decades. It's a trail littered with murder investigations and acts of violence that has warranted coverage by media outlets as diverse as People magazine, The Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Press, CBS-News 48 Hours and the A&E channel's American Justice. It's a trail that has placed Taylor in the public eye as a true-life fatal attraction interview subject on talk shows from Oprah Winfrey to Sally Jesse Raphael. It's a story that has been twice-optioned for television docudramas and served as the lead segment on a prime-time TV special called Crimes of Passion.

But the intimate details of Taylor's fatal attraction tale have remained under the radar until now. With his true crime memoir, Taylor invites the reader to grab a seat on the wild ride of an obsessive relationship, from its erotic beginning through the violent end and the trials required to clean up the mess. Laying bitterness aside, he employs self-deprecating humor to maintain a reporter's detachment on what emerges as a tale of self-discovery through a potentially deadly encounter that nearly cost him his life.

Beyond that volatile relationship, Taylor's brief backstory offers a historical treasure trove of information from his days as a crime and courts reporter for The Post, covering some of the state's most significant criminal events: from the 1972 murder of Dr. John Hill, through the 1974 siege of Huntsville prison, the trial of officers accused in the death of Joe Campos Torres, early capital murder cases in the death penalty center of America and the Houston trial of Fort Worth tycoon T. Cullen Davis.

Luggage By Kroger defies all efforts to pigeonhole it into one specific genre. In the end, however, it emerges as an action-packed and suspenseful memoir of a personal odyssey that should tantalize a wide range of reading interests.


Product Details

  • File Size: 875 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0595530303
  • Publisher: iUniverse (November 24, 2008)
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001TK3VH4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,096 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I opened Gary's book, it took me back to an early morning telephone call from Nene Foxhall, my colleague at the Houston Chronicle. "Catherine shot Gary." What thing to hear before my first cup of coffee.
Gary (known to those of us who knew him when he worked at the Chronicle as "Junk" because he said he was meaner than a junkyard dog) always was a good writer and this book is no exception. It's making the rounds of those of us who lived through this story. And, we're all buying it so Gary can get his royalties.
The story is simple yet complex. Catherine Mehaffey, then a young lawyer just starting in the Harris County Criminal Courthouse, was suspected to killing or arranging the killing of her former live-in boyfriend, Dr. George Tedesco. Tedesco was found on the floor of his garage with his skull bashed in, probably by a pipe.
The Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney's Office were sure she was guilty and they wanted to nail her for it.
About the same time, Gary Taylor, then a reporter for the Houston Post covering the criminal courts, was going through the divorce crazies. He started dating Catherine and things started getting crazy.
I spent most of it in the small county courthouse press room which I shared with Gary and other reporters, including Jim Strong, Gary's roommate. I tried my best to avoid the drama in Gary's relationship with Catherine but I couldn't avoid it all. It was hard to miss with Strong laughing and playing parts of taped telephone conversations with Catherine. Then there was the time she came to the pressroom and led Gary around by his neck tie.
Without giving too much of the story away, it was a crazy time. After Gary was shot, I carried an Army .
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Storyline/Relevance of Material: 3 1/2 Stars

At its core, this book is about the events that transpired when a man got mixed up in an abusive relationship with, from what I can tell, a woman with severe psychological problems. The book begins with some information about the woman, then switches over to Mr. Taylor's life story.

I was intrigued from the beginning by the information on Catherine's past relationships prior to her meeting Gary. Then, Mr. Taylor switched over to accounts of his life from different decades covering his childhood up to his meeting with Catherine.

While Mr. Taylor's life was not uneventful or boring, I still found myself wishing he would `just get on with it.' Therefore, I really felt like at least 25% of this book could have been left out. Those pertinent points of Mr. Taylor's life could have been reduced to a few paragraphs throughout the rest of the book while still maintaining the integrity of the story.

Once Mr. Taylor meandered his way back to his time with Catherine, he did pick up the pace quite a bit. This portion was well-told and much more concise.

Research: 4 Stars

This book was told entirely from Mr. Taylor's viewpoint. I felt that some research was lacking as I would liked to have had a little more background from Catherine's life. She was such a shocking personality.

Other portions of the book were extremely well researched with many interesting facts regarding the Texas judicial system and reporting. Also, there were many actual quotes throughout from recordings and court transcripts.

There is no sugar coating of himself. Mr. Taylor was a womanizer, a cheater, and just not always a nice guy, but he is honest.
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Format: Paperback
Many true crime reviews claim a book to be an extremely raw account of crime, but that statement has never been so true as it is with Luggage by Kroger from author Gary Taylor.

As a matter of fact, I found the writing to be so raw that at times I didn't know whether I wanted to sympathize with Taylor or slap him silly.

Gary Taylor walked through a literal hell-on-earth with the psychotic Catherine Mehaffey, yet came out with such a sanguine attitude you can't help but to admire him.

Before reading Luggage by Kroger, I had read others' reviews. I recall one in particular that stated the book contained too much filler. I'm not sure to what the reviewer was referring.

In the beginning it may seem that Taylor is providing too much information about his life - even a bit braggadocio at times - but as one continues reading it becomes obvious these details are important to understanding how Taylor came to be in such precarious circumstances.

I found Luggage by Kroger to be a thought-provoking, emotion-inducing, addictive tale that sucked me in much like Catherine Mehaffey sucked author Gary Taylor into her deranged life.

This award winning true crime gem is highly recommended for your reading list. You don't want to miss it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author, maybe in an attempt to try and be TOO honest, has so far taken the first 30% of this book and made it his entire life history in needlessly excruciating detail. Do we need to know he defecated down a stairwell in college? Do we need to know about all his friends and how long he's known them, his school and work history? I'm at a stage where he is now referring to himself in third person...and naming all of his various personalities: The Rogue, The Professional, The Domestic...I'm reading this on my Kindle and I'm 30% through it and still waiting to find out who the heck Catherine Mehaffey is and what her story is. The book bounces around a lot and seems to have conflicting information about his history, going back and forth through 3-count them, 3!!-decades of his life multiple times. It's getting tedious so I'm having trouble getting through it.
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