Current Reading, June 8 – 14, 2015

It’s been hot here, some days in the mid-90s. I don’t like the heat, so that’s stay-inside weather for me. That should mean lots of reading, right? Well, remember, I ran out of energy for reading, or at least reading novels, and still haven’t recovered. So over the last couple of weeks I read short stories. As you can see from the list below, one of the books I chose is an old and oft-read favorite:

Big Book of Locked Room Mysteriesfrom The Black Lizard Big Book Of Locked-Room Mysteries:
The Doomsdorf Mystery by Melville Davisson Post
The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Wrong Problem by John Dickson Carr
The Thing Invisible by William Hope Hodson
Department of Impossible Crimes by James Jaffe
A Finger of Stone by G.K. Chesterton
Murder! by Arnold Bennett


Resorting to Murderfrom the Resorting to Murder anthology edited by Martin Edwards:
The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Schoolmaster Abroad by E.W. Hornung
The Murder on the Golf Links by M. McDonnell Bodkin
The Vanishing of Mrs. Fraser by Basil Thomson
A Mystery of the Sand-Hills by R. Austin Freeman
Razor Edge by Anthony Berkeley Cox
Holiday Task by Leo Bruce
A Posteriori by Helen Simpson

memoirs of Holmesand all of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Silver Blaze
The Yellow Face
The Stock-Broker’s Clerk
The Gloria Scott
The Musgrave Ritual
The Regate Puzzle
The Crooked Man
The Resident Patient
The Greek Interpreter
The Naval Treaty
The Final Problem

Barbara has kept up her reading, in addition to spending lots of time in the garden. Concrete AngelShe finished The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell, and liked it, but then she always enjoys his books.

Since I was reading short stories when it arrived, she grabbed the new novel by Patricia Abbott, Concrete Angel. She read it over the space of a few days and said: “It’s well written, a good story and she really has a way with characters. I really enjoyed it.”

That’s a fine recommendation, especially since Barbara usually reads darker, multiple murder mysteries or thrillers. This one is on the top of my TBR pile, as soon as I get over my novel malaise.

She’s not sure what’s up next. For once neither of us has any books on hold at the library, so what she picks will be something off the shelves here.

Have you read these books or authors? What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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15 Responses to Current Reading, June 8 – 14, 2015

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Good list of stories (though the first author is Melville Davisson Post, of course. Some classic stories there, including the Doyles, the Post and the Hodgson, the ones I remember. I read a bunch of stories from EQMM this week and I’m now reading the new MWA anthology edited by Mary Higgins Clark, MANHATTAN MAYHEM. You can’t go wrong with hew stories, set in various Manhattan neighborhoods (and with evocative black & white illustrations of the same) by such as Thomas Cook, Lee Child, Margaret Maron, Brendan DuBois and S. J. Rozan, among others.

    I did also read (and very much like) Patti Abbott’s CONCRETE ANGEL. I would have predicted it would be dark enough for Barbara to enjoy, so that isn’t a surprise.

    The only new arrival (which I read) was (surprise – I got a nice copy from the trade paperback of Lee Server’s OVER MY DEAD BODY: The Sensational Age of the American Paperback: 1945-1955. I know George Kelley reviewed this a while back.

    Current reading, besides the story collection, includes MR. MERCEDES, Stephen King’s very nasty, Edgar-winning mystery, since the sequel features the same protagonist. It is certainly a fast read. I did get in a couple of new library books, including one about baseball’s split season of 1981 written by the Mayor of Cooperstown, N.Y., Jeff Katz, and one that would appeal to you, THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER by Martin Edwards, about the writers who formed the Detection Club and the Golden Age of Mystery in Britain between the Wars. I’ll try and get to it before it has to go back. (It is well over 400 pages.)

  2. Bill Crider says:

    Just ordered THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER on Art Scott’s recommendation. I wasn’t all that fond of MR. MERCEDES, but I did read the sequel, FINDERS KEEPERS, because it involved writing and writers. That part of the book was okay, but overall it was too long, and I found it tedious.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Most (all?) of King’s books are too long. Still, I find stuff to enjoy in most of them.

    When I used to go around Britain searching out old books – especially paperbacks – one of the old series I would always pick up was the Collins Crime Club White Circle paperbacks. They were authors published by Collins, I guess – I never checked that but it was a fair assumption – and the books generally had a uniform cover. It was a black cover with (surprise!) a white circle with the title and author, plus drawings of two hooded figures with a knife and a gun to the side. Some of the authors were John Rhode/Miles Burton, Philip MacDonald, E. C. R. Lorac, Anthony Gilbert, Elizabeth Ferrars, and G. D. H. and M. Cole The books usually sold pretty well, especially those titles that had never been published in the U.S.

    I was pleasantly surprised, then, when I picked up the Edwards book at the library to see that they’d recreated those old paperback covers on the cover of this one, and acknowledged the same on the inside of the dust jacket. The paperback series ran from 1936-1959, according to the jacket.

    Sadly, I don’t have any of those books any more.

    As Bill would say, I miss the old days.

  4. My reading is the opposite of yours. You’re reading short stories and I’m reading door-stop books. I’m in the middle of another 500+ page novel. But I’m not ignoring non-fiction, either. Like Bill, I ordered Martin Edwards’ THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER on Art Scott’s recommendation. And, like both Bill and Jeff, I find Stephen King novels over the past 20 years to be “loose and baggy monsters.” I prefer Stephen King’s short fiction.

  5. Jerry House says:

    Life happily interfered with my reading this week as friends and family descended upon us. The only books I finished were Damon Knight’s ORBIT 2 anthology (my FFB this past week) and Victor Gischler’s graphic novel SALLY OF THE WASTELANDS (great fun!). In between, I’ve been dipping into Barry Malzberg’s IN THE STONE HOUSE and Hugh B. Cave’s BOTTLED IN BLONDE, both of which I hope to finish in the next few days. I have a couple of Marian Babsons on hand as well as Adrian McKinty’s 50 GRAND. With luck, Patti’s book will be coming in soon (in which case, all other activities will cease).

    Yesterday (Flag Day) would have been my father-in-law’s 95th birthday and we always celebrate with an ice cream feast/dinner/orgy/gluttonfest (take your pick), so thirteen of us gathered en masse at Bert’s 50s Diner in Mechanicsville, Maryland, where both food and ice cream is great and they serve plenty of it. While most of us settled for ginormous sundaes and splits, some of the younger ones added large racks of ribs to complement their ice cream. All in all it was a great week — lots of laughter and giggles — and I even got a bit of yard work done.

    I hope you and Barbara have a great week with bearable heat, relaxing gardening, and a happy return to reading.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    Thanks, Barbara for me. So kind of her to read it that quickly.

  7. Haven’t read any so far but I do plan to get to a couple.

  8. I get in that same space sometimes, Jim. And hot weather generally hampers my reading, as well as everything else. Although over the last few years I’ve made a more concerted effort to not let Summer be wasted time just because I despise the heat.

    I tend to read short stories or essays when that time hits.

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