Blog Archives

Review: Honky Tonk Samurai by Joe R. Lansdale

February 27, 2017
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This Hap and Leonard novel opens thusly: “I don’t think we ask for trouble, me and Leonard. It just finds us. It often starts casually, and then something comes loose and starts to rattle, like an unscrewed bolt on a carnival ride. No big thing at first, just a loose, rattling bolt, then the...

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Double Switch by T.T. Monday: Review

May 18, 2016
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The book is equal parts mystery and baseball. Johnny Adcock is a terrific protagonist. He is a no-longer-young baseball player, 36 to be exact, fourteen years in the big leagues, his assigned role to come into a game in the eighth inning, primarily to face left-handed hitters (as he is a southpaw himself), and...

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The Buried by Brett Battles — Review

May 2, 2016
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This newest entry in the Jonathan Quinn series brings back many of the usual cast of characters: Nate, Quinn’s mentee and now an elite cleaner himself (the job entailing discreetly cleaning up crime scenes and the occasional body after the always possible bloodshed); their colleague, Daeng; and of course Orlando, the love of Quinn’s...

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Shark Skin Suite by Tim Dorsey — review

December 26, 2015
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From the publisher: “Bottom feeders beware: The Sunshine State’s favorite psychotic killer and lovable Floridaphile, Serge Storms, has found a new calling, legal eagle, and he’s going to make a killing as a crusading attorney – – and star as a dashing lawyer on the big screen – – in this madcap escapade ....

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The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband By E.J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen — review

November 3, 2015
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Samuel Hoenig, the protagonist and first-person narrator in the second book in the series (following the wonderful The Question of the Missing Head last year) by E.J. Copperman, is 30 years old and still living with his mother. His business, Questions Answered, was opened six months ago in Piscataway, New Jersey, and as the...

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Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan — review

September 20, 2015
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In a plot that uses still-living facets of the recent housing crash as a jumping-off point, Jane Ryland returns in this newest entry in the wonderful series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. After having been an award-winning investigative TV reporter before she lost her job a year ago for refusing to give up a source, Jane...

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Personal by Lee Child — review

August 16, 2015
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This is the 20th book in the Jack Reacher series and, no surprise, it is just as terrific as one would expect. Reacher at this point is a retired military cop. But as he soon discovers, “you can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely.” As I seem...

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The Stranger on the Train By Abbie Taylor — review

April 27, 2015
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We first meet Emma Turner as she and her 13-month-old son, Ritchie, are returning from a trip across London to the East End. They are waiting for a train on the platform of a nearly-deserted Underground station. In a dizzying sequence of events, Emma suddenly somehow has lost her baby when a stranger, a...

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Inspector Specter by E. J. Copperman — review

April 11, 2015
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Alison Kerby returns in the newest Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series by E.J. Copperman. Alison, a single mother in her late thirties, runs a guesthouse in her childhood hometown of Harbor Haven, on the Jersey Shore, inhabited by her and her precocious eleven-year-old daughter, as well as Maxie Malone, Alison’s resident Internet expert, and Paul...

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The Setup Man by T. T. Monday — review

April 8, 2015
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The book is equal parts mystery and baseball. There is enough action in both aspects to keep the reader involved and turning pages quickly. Johnny Adcock is a terrific protagonist. He is a no-longer-young baseball player, 35 to be exact, thirteen years in the big leagues, his assigned role, as the title would suggest,...

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A Few Drops of Blood by Jan Merete Weiss — review

March 18, 2015
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Venice has Donna Leon and her Commissario Guido Brunetti, and now Naples has Jan Merete Weiss and her Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabinieri. The author brings fully to life the historic beauty of the city, as well as its rampant poverty and nearly total control by the Napolitan version of the American mafia...

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Wolf by Mo Hader — review

March 16, 2015
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The first several pages are in the third person, with pov being that of Amy, a five-year-old with verbiage typical of a child that age (a bit disconcertingly). Early on the reader is given hints about a place deep in the woods near Litton, Somerset, in the West Country of England, where a gruesome...

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Borderline By Lawrence Block — review

February 27, 2015
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“Borderline” introduces its main characters in the first few dozen pages, none of them being very likeable, I hasten to add. There is Marty Granger, a professional gambler; Meg Rector, 26 and only hours past her divorce after four years of marriage and bored; Lily Daniels, 17, from Denver and, more recently, San Francisco;...

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The Sun is God by Adrian McKinty – review

October 13, 2014
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Having just read the latest in this author’s Detective Sean Duffy novels, and loved it, I was greatly looking forward to his most recent book, and was not in the least disappointed. Although the setting is as different from 1980’s Ireland as possible, this book is equally terrific, with funny and original writing that...

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In the Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty – review

October 13, 2014
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The final book of The Troubles Trilogy brings back Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). As the book opens, in Belfast in the early ‘80’s, there is “a mass breakout of IRA prisoners” from the notorious Maze Prison (a maximum security prison “considered to be one of the...

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The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel – review

October 12, 2014
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This newest novel from Theresa Schewegel is at its heart a tale about a boy and his dog, either (or both) of which could be the eponymous Good Boy. The boy is 11-year-old Joel Murphy; the dog is his father Pete’s K-9 partner, Butchie (more formally Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry Butch O’Hare, and from...

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Chance By Kem Nunn – review

September 3, 2014
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The page before the first page by Ken Nunn contains a definition of the word “chance,” which concludes with the sentence “Sometimes granted agency, as in Chance governs all.” “Chance” is also the name of the protagonist, one Eldon J. Chance, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry at UCSF Medical School. He is...

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After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman – review

March 13, 2014
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After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman – review

Laura Lippman is known for her wonderful series featuring p.i. Tess Monaghan, among other terrific books. So I started this book believing it to be a murder mystery, especially as it begins with the discovery of a dead body. But then it appeared that I was wrong, that it was instead a very interesting...

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The Killer is Dying by James Sallis – review

February 11, 2012
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The first thing one perceives on reading the first pages of James Sallis’ new novel is the literal accuracy of the title: The man who calls himself Christian is a contract killer, a Vietnam vet now terminally ill, on his last job. A few pages later, something goes awry as the man he has...

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Where All the Dead Lie by By J.T. Ellison – review

February 11, 2012
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As this newest entry in the Taylor Jackson series opens, although the serial killer whose death ended the last book, “So Close the Hand of Death,” is no longer around to continue his terror campaign, his legacy is very much alive: Both Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her closest friend, medical examiner Dr....

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