Thursday, April 30, 2015


A note about BOOK REVIEWS. Sort Of.:

These are not, in any way, meant to be comprehensive reviews. They are intended to acknowledge that I have read the book, and give my honest core impressions.

If a real review is what you wish, there are many wonderful book blogs available, and I have provided some tools to find them under the tab marked "Useful Stuff."


The American Gun Mystery - (audiobook) - Ellery Queen

Ellery is a bit out of his comfort zone with the wild west show, but it doesn't impair his keen sense of observation.

I on the other hand, missed this one entirely.


Angle of Investigation (ebook) - Michael Connelly

This is a collection of three Harry Bosch short stories that take place at three different times in his long career. They're not as compelling as the full length Bosch offerings, but they will do fine to tide me over until the next novel arrives.

Switchblade (ebook) - Michael Connelly

This is one short story. It wasn't bad, but compared to Connelly's intricate Harry Bosch novels, it reads more like a story proposal than a fully fleshed out story.

I think that the writing of novels and short stories are two different skills, and no amount of skill in one guarantees skill in the other.

Windy City Blues (ebook) - Sara Paretsky

This is an interesting and well written assortment of short stories, scattered pieces of V.I. Warshawski's timeline, that add to both the back story and mystique of reoccuring characters in the series.


Bitter Medicine (ebook) - Sara Paretsky

Another lesson on how greed perverts the systems meant to help us, how it's mostly legal, and how the poor and powerless suffer the most.

On the bright side, V.I. gets the pleasure of irritating her ex.

The First Rule (ebook) - Robert Crais

I like both the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike novels. They both contain the same base cast, but the focus changes.

The writing is consistent and the plots work well.

Hard as he seems, Joe is a sucker for the underdog, when someone is truly in need of help.

Blacklist - Sara Paretsky

"Let me tell you, I saw plenty of that in Europe in 'fourty-four, never thought I watch it in my own country. I risked my life on the beaches at Anzio, I know what real fire feels like comming at you out of real artillary, I saw my buddies cut up in pieces around me. If I'd known I was doing that so you could break into any house in america because you felt like it, they couldn't a got me on that landing boat"

"In these times, any whiff of wrong doing by a prominent progressive would only give the right wing radicals more cause for triumphalism. I couldn't bear to contribute to their jubilant trampling on human rights. I couldn't pursue this investigation further."

This novel positions the McCarthy era against today's 9/11 erosion of rights and governmental overreach in a way that does not preach, but evokes the sadness, loss, and tragedy engendered by fear run rampant.

It is by far my favorite of the series yet, and the saddest.

Serpent's Tooth (ebook) - Faye Kellerman

Ms Kellerman's stories occupy a position between the cozy and the hard hitting, with a generous mix of family and mystery.

As Decker ages his concerns have changed, the least of which is a daughter who wants to join the force.

The Beige Man (ebook) - Helene Tursten

The wait for a new translation can be a long one, and unlike with new publications, is not always predictable. Like the rest of Ms Tursten's novels,  this one was worth the wait.

Do we ever really know the people in our lives?

Total Recall (ebook) - Sara Paretsky

"When not only your family, but your house, maybe even your entire town, has been obliterated - you have no records to turn to. And if you did, the company would treat you the way they did Carl: by denying the claim because you couldn't produce a death certificate. They really were a prize group of bastards, those bankers and insurers."

Still are.

Again, V.I. is drawn into the past, and learns more of the devastation suffered by those closest to her.

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