It’s been so miserably hot – for Portland – that it’s taken a lot my reading energy away, but I did manage to get back in the mood for novel reading, so I finished three novelettes, a short story and a novel.
The novel was Patricia Abbott’s Concrete Angel, which I shall be reviewing here shortly.
The novelettes are from a collection of three real oldie science fiction tales published by Black Dog Books: Zenith Rand, Planet Vigilante by Richard Tooker. The three novelettes: “Planet Vigilante”, “Revenge On Scylla” and “Angels Of Oorn”. I can’t say they were great, but they were fun.
I read one more short story from the mammoth collection The Black Lizard Big Book Of Locked-Room Mysteries: “The Man From Nowhere” by Edward D. Hoch, which was a re-read for me.
Current reading: a science fiction novel, A Darkling Sea, by James L. Cambias, which I’m enjoying a lot.
Barbara finished Split Second by David Baldacci, which she enjoyed quite a lot.
Now she’s reading Gathering Prey by John Sanford, his current novel, and loving it. Next up for her is Stephen King’s Finders Keepers, which is waiting at the library.
How about you?
Have you read these books or authors?
What are you reading?
I never heard of that ZENITH RAND book but looks like fun. Of course I’ve read Patti’s book and the Locked Room collection. I’ve decided against the King, at least for the present.
The big read this week was Martin Edwards’ THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER, which I can’t remember if you’ve read yet or not. If not, this was written for your taste. It did interest me how many of the seemingly “dull” British Golden Age (roughly 1920-40) mystery writers had private lives that were anything but dull. It did make me want to read some of these books. Good book. I’m nearly done with the collection of “macabre western tales” edited by Joe Lansdale *& Pat LoBrutto, RAZORED SADDLES, which I’m finding uneven if readable. And I’ve read a third of James Patterson’s ZOO which, while readable and quick moving, is nothing to get excited over.
I’m not sure what I’ll read next, maybe the new Lansdale.
I have THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER on request at the library, but it’s not ready for pickup yet. ZOO intrigues me, but I’m not sure about it. I’ll finish A DARKLING SEA today,
The new Lansdale-Paradise Sky-is excellent. read it in two days.
Thanks, Steve! Another vote.
THINK OF A NUMBER by John Verdon and an arc called JACK IS BACK. The new Lansdale sounds good to me too. Phil is reading THE WHITES by Richard Price and just finished SNOW ANGELS by James Thompson, which he liked a lot.
I’ve wondered about SNOW ANGELS. I’m unfamiliar with the others.
I just finished reading Garrett Manningly’s brilliant THE ARMADA. Time Travel Week ended on my blog and I’m reading some Charles Stross. Loved THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER!
George, I look forward to your review of THE ARMADA.
I finished the first book in Damon Knight’s ORBIT anthology series, the slender poetry book FOOTSTEPS IN THE ATTIC by Stanley McNail, and SHADOWS WEST — a collection of 3 weird western movie scripts by Joe Lansdale (two written with his brother Robert). The last few days were with a Marion Babson cozy, CANAPES FOR KITTIES (horrible title; I much prefer the UK title MISS PETUNIA’S LAST CASE). This one takes place in an English village enclave for mystery writers, many of whom are tired of the series characters who provide their bread and butter, but the characters couldn’t be fighting back, could the?. You never know where Babson’s mysteries will take you: the “least likely person” is just as apt to be the victim as the killer, the protagonist may never solve the crime, the killer may never be caught, or the crime, the victim, or the killer (or a combination thereof) may not be part of the plot at all. Usually all of this is done with insight and humor. I know you are not fond of cozies, Richard, but someday I may actually convince you to try one of hers.
Moving away from cozies, Joe Lansdale’s PARADISE SKY is near the top of my queue, right nest to Dan Nokes’ THE PISTOLEERS, a weird western graphic novel I picked up from the author this weekend.
It’s a beautiful day here; hope you are enjoying the same there.
Jerry, I remember seeing those ORBIT collections. Do you ever get poetry from the library? I read poetry, but usually from the many collections I own. Still reading Babson, I see. Are you planning on reading all her books? Yes, bad title, THE CANAPE KILLER would have been better. I do read cozies, and have a few of Babson’s books on shelf. I will try one. I’d skip the western, but everyone seems high on the Landsdale.
I wish I could say it was nice, but the nasty heat wave continues here. Beautiful, but hot – in the 90s and up.
I’ve heard good and bad things about Baldacci. I picked up one of his books once and read a few paragraphs and thought it was horribly written. Never read anything else by him but I know some like him a lot.
Charles, Barbara say you should try another, she thinks they’re written well and fun to read.
Richard, I look forward to your review of Patti’s debut novel. I’m currently reading IN BITTER CHILL, another debut novel by my blog friend Sarah Ward. I’m also reading Robert J. Randisi’s westerns back to back. Some good reading after a long time.
Prashant, that review will be up in a week or so. I also have a column to write for SF Signal.
Am halfway thru The Cartel by Don Winslow. Enjoying it immensely. Why this guy is not on the bestseller lists is a shame. Could not ever get thru a David Balducci novel. Didn’t much care for his writing. Liked Snow Angels-too bad the author recently died at a young age. Wouldn’t read a cozy if it was the last book on earth.
Steve, Don Winslow writes great stuff, and there are a few I have yet to read. I’m not sure why his books haven’t taken off. Maybe Balducci is an acquired taste, but a lot of people like him, one of whom is my wife. I haven’t tried one. As for cozies, the first non Hardy Boys mystery I read, as an adult, was by Agatha Christie, one of her Poirot novels. Up to that point I’d been reading pretty much all SF and fantasy. So her books and other cozies were where I started, then I discovered Hammett and Chandler…