Current Reading, February 16 – 22, 2015

necessary endIt’s been a busy week, but I did work in some reading. I finished Watson’s Choice by Gladys Mitchell as mentioned in the last Current Reading post (over on Broken Bullhorn), and liked it though I thought the ending somewhat pale. Next for me is The Advent of Murder by Martha Ockley.

I just finished A Necessary End by Peter Robinson. I liked the books by Robinson I’ve read in the past, but this one was a bit plodding through the first three quarters, and only picked up in the last 40 pages or so. I think 100 pages in the middle could have been cut with no harm done, but I’m not an editor, am I?

the-tuesday-club-murdersI’m also reading short stories from several collections, including, just this week, Agatha Christie’s The Tuesday Club Murders (also as The Thirteen Problems). It’s easy to forget how good, and enjoyable, these Miss Marple stories are.

Other short story collections I’m dipping into are Detective Duos edited by Bill Pronzini, Realms 2, a Clarkesworld collection and I’m almost finished with the Saint collection mentioned previously. I’m not sure I’ll finish The Book of Locked Room Murders which I’ve barely touched. Also as previously told, I have a ton of library books popping up.

Barbara has also been busy, taking a knitting class and working on two quilts. She is almost finished with Mark Billingham’s Death Message. Next up is The Skeleton Road, a stand-alone novel by Val McDermid, one of her favorite authors.

What are you reading?


About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, Mystery, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Current Reading, February 16 – 22, 2015

  1. Richard, I didn’t know about your blog hop until now but that’s because I haven’t been around blogs, including mine, lately. I’ll update your new blog address. All the best to you.

  2. I really liked THE TUESDAY CLUB MURDERS, too. I’m reading much shorter books this week because my vacation is over. You’ll be surprised at how many anthologies you can finish when you read one short story per day.

  3. Jerry House says:

    Another slow week. We had our first snow of the season. It started Monday as I was driving home from the Baltimore/D.C. airport; normally an hour’s drive, it took four hours as I watched stupid drivers spin in circles and drive off the road into ditches. After that, we hunkered down and watched a lot of television.

    The one novel I read was Marian Babson’s DO FEED THE CAT, a cozy mystery that was not quite up to her standards. It takes place in an English village where a number of mystery writers live. It’s a satire on mystery writers and the current state of the market; the most enjoyable parts were the examples of mystery stories written to specific markets. The murder in this one seems like an afterthought.

    I also read Seabury Quinn’s IS THE DEVIL A GENTLEMAN?, a collection the author felt consisted of his best work. Quinn was the author most popular with WEIRD TALES readers. The stories here were all effective pulp writing — not great literature but enjoyable reading.

    I read two anthologies this week: Carolyn Wells’ AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES and DIXIE GHOSTS, edited by Frank D. McSherry, Jr., Charles G. Waugh, and Martin H. Greenberg. Wells’ book, published in 1927, considers the term “mystery” to cover stories of the supernatural and riddle stories rather than detective stories. The McSherry anthology contains mostly unfamiliar stories; some of the older ones told in unfortunate dialect.

    I’m still working my through Hugh Cave’s massive MURGUNSTRUMM and can only read a few stories at a time; this is a book for sampling, not reading straight through. Still on deck are collections by Lawrence Block, James Tiptree, Jr., and Joanna Russ, as well as a passel of anthologies. February is turning out to be short story month for me.

    By the way, congrats on tipping the wink.

  4. Just finished A rat’s tail, which was very good.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I agree with you and George about THE TUESDAY CLUB MURDERS. It was a good one. I can’t remember which Robinson A NECESSARY END was, but there are few current mysteries that couldn’t be helped by judicious editing. OK, I checked, it is an early one. Dirty Dick Burgess reappears in several later books, by the way.

    My reading has been slowed down by the usual suspects, plus the new tablet, which has enabled me to get my old Freecell game back (the one where you can choose your own games so you can play each game in numerical order if you so choose, as Art Scott and Jeff Smith both do). I did read PASSPORT TO PERIL by Robert B. (but not that one) Parker, a spy novel set in post-WWII Budapest that was reprinted by Hard Case Crime. It was certainly readable but I wouldn’t call it great, just an entertaining read. Short stories: I read (ebook) Wayne D. Dundee’s first collection of Joe Hannibal stories, BODY COUNT, which I enjoyed. Hannibal is a Rockford, Illinois p.i. when the series starts, but in later stories (and books) has moved (as his creator did) to Oglalla, Nebraska. Good, fast rad.

    I’m currently reading a fantasy collection, the BEST STORIES OF CHARLES DE LINT (as chosen by the author), as well as the first in Brett Battles’ Project Eden series of (SPOILER ALERT: government conspiracy) of thrillers, SICK. Both are ebooks. I tend to read on the tablet indoors but the Kindle Paperwhite outdoors.

  6. Richard says:

    Prashant, glad you know now. I didn’t have an email addy for you so you didn’t get the word. Thanks for updating my blog info.

  7. Richard says:

    George, I’m reading Christie stories as a break from the other short story collections with longer stories or SF-F stuff. I won’t finish a lot of ss books because I jump around so much, but eventually…

  8. Richard says:

    Jerry, people drive too fast in slick conditions, then blame the weather if they skid or slide. I have read some Babson, but not that one. I’m not a big fan of weird stories, so the Quinn collection wouldn’t have been of interest to me.

    I don’t consider supernatural stuff as mystery, just as I don’t include horror in SF-F, but many people do. A matter of taste for each person, I guess.

    I’m trying to read a lot of short stories too, but I don’t read a fast as you. “By the way, congrats on tipping the wink.” Thanks, I decided I wanted a new blog name, is all.

  9. Richard says:

    Jeff, A NECESSARY END is the fourth book in the Banks series. I assumed Burgess would reappear. That new tablet sure seems to have slowed you down. I rarely play computer games, never got into it, though we do have Sudoku on the laptop and I give that a whirl now and then.

    That De Lint collection is at the library but I gave it a pass. I read a couple of his novels, (or was it story collections?) and was unimpressed. When I read indoors and outdoors I read a print book… (surprise!)

  10. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    I’m a big fan of Robinson and have read all of his books. I don’t care much for Agatha Christie-esp dislike her Miss Marple stories. Just don’t care for mysteries solved by elderly women. Or cats.
    Am reading the new Mick Herron-Nobody Walks. Liked his 2 previous books. Just finished Paul McAuleys Something Coming Through-a SF novel. Liked it a lot. Up next probably Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear, the new Joe Abercrombie or Black Gods Kiss by Lavie Tidhar.

  11. Richard says:

    Steve, we’ll agree to disagree on Christie, as I think she is a good writer and had a genius for plotting. I’m awaiting Karen Memory from the library, soon now, and looking forward to it.

  12. Patti Abbott says:

    I didn’t much care for Robinson’s WATCHING THE DARK. Now I am reading Henning Mankell again. THE PYRAMID. Also still BOYS IN THE BOAT for my reading group. Tough rowing–I mean going.

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