Current Reading: October 26 – November 1

Murder On IceLooking ahead to the November 21 special Friday Forgotten Book on the theme of Winter / Holiday, I decided to read a book for that. I started off with Patricia Hall’s The Dead of Winter, which I liked well enough but got confused. I hadn’t read the previous books in the series and thus didn’t understand references to past events, people or places, which had a lot to do with motive. I felt lost enough times I gave it up two-thirds in.

Much better was Murder On Ice by Ted Wood, which takes place in the dead of Winter in small Murphy’s Harbor, Ontario, Canada. It’s the second in the series featuring Reid Bennett, one-man police department of the town. I’d read the book a couple of times before, and enjoyed it just as much this time. Review later this month.

Finally, I read Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin by W.J. Burley, which takes place during the two days before, on, and three days after Christmas. This is the first Wycliffe novel I’ve read, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, both writing and character. It’s the one I’ll probably review for that FFB, and so won’t say more here.

Barbara finished The Killing Lessons by Saul Black which she liked though it was pretty grim. She also finished The Oregon Trail, an American Journey and she enjoyed it. It’s slow going, with tremendous detail, as is to be expected in such a book. Well worth reading.

Now she’s just started reading The Girl In the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, which is, for any who don’t know, a continuation of the story of the abrasive yet beloved Lisbeth Salander, created by the late Stieg Larsson in the original “Millennium” trilogy, beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Barbara liked those books and is looking forward to this one.


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

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, Fiction, Mystery and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Current Reading: October 26 – November 1

  1. Richard, I’m currently reading KILLING FLOOR, my first Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child. The writing is modest but effective.

  2. Jerry House says:

    Various short stories and three novels for me, Richard: Thomas Tesssier’s RAPTURE, Craig Johnson’s DRY BONES, and — my Halloween day reading — James Herbert’s THE RATS. The Tessier was my Friday Forgotten Book; DRY BONES was the latest Longmire mystery and a good read; THE RATS was Herbert’s first book and a visceral, by-the-numbers story, yet there was enough social commentary to boost the book well above the pack.

    Blue skies. Rain. Blue skies. Rain. So it goes. Hope this are fine on your end.

    • Richard says:

      Jerry, nice pun there at the end. RATS “above the pack” indeed.

      Johnson is another writer I’ve not tried, though he was interesting to hear on a panel at LCC, and the article in the current MYSTERY SCENE makes his books tempting. Lots of rain here.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    I am reading GOD REST YOU (Charlotte MacLeod) for the date. I have to say it is a very strange book with not much attention being paid to the corpse. Instead she seems intent on being funny. Oh, well, funny is a good thing sometimes. Also still slogging along with AMERICANAH.

  4. I’ve been reading Library books that bordering on OVERDUE. I have my holiday FFB book picked out and may read it tomorrow. The College is closed tomorrow for ELECTION DAY. I’ll take advantage of the extra time to catch up on my reading.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Patti, the MacLeod series definitely goes for the humor, often of the slapstick variety. I wouldn’t have thought it was your cup of tea. (I believe the correct title is REST YOU MERRY.)

    I read Herbert’s RATS trilogy (LAIR and DOMAIN were the others) years ago, along with a bunch of his others, of which I’d recommend THE FOG.

    OK, I did manage to have a productive second half of October after being on the road much of the first half of the month. I read the aforementioned ADVENTURES OF CARDIGAN, the collection of pulp stories by Frederick Nebel. The stories first appeared in Dime Detective in 1933-35 and are fun and fast reading, generally about 30-35 pages each. I wouldn’t mind reading more of them.

    For a light read you could do a lot worse than the latest in Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg’s Fox & O’Hare series, THE SCAM. This time they have to take down a casino owner in Las Vegas & Macau who is helping terrorists and other criminals launder money. One warning: there is a cliffhanger ending.

    I’m halfway through a first mystery, Carrie Smith’s SILENT CITY, featuring Insp. Claire Codella, a cancer survivor just back on the job to investigate the murder of a polarizing New York City school principal. As you might expect, Jackie will read this after I finish it. (She is reading THE SCAM now after finishing a dark J. D. Robb book.) I’m also read Lawrence Block’s short story collection, CATCH AND RELEASE.

    The latter is one of a box o’books I got in this week, including two of Bill Crider’s excellent Sheriff Rhodes series (both already read), COMPOUND MURDER and HALF IN LOVE WITH ARTFUL DEATH. I also got a couple of short story collections(these were trade paperbacks; the Criders were hardbacks) I’d read good things about: BRIEF ENCOUNTERS WITH CHE GUEVARA by Ben Fountain and HARD GROUND: Woods Cop Stories by Joseph Heywood. The last two (also paperbacks) were Robert Silverberg’s BLOOD ON THE MINK and S. L. Grey’s horror novel, THE MALL.

    Plus, I have nearly 10 library books, including the latest by Lee Child, Archer Mayor, and Jeffrey Siger.

    • Richard says:

      Jeff, I’m guessing that ADVENTURES OF CARDIGAN is the single volume collection. There is a four volume set published by Altus Press that has a LOT more stories. I think Dave Lewis wrote the intro to it. I have the books here but haven’t cracked them yet, though I have read the one you just read.

      The last – and only – mystery I read featuring a cancer survivor had as much focus on the cancer survival as on he crime solving, apparently to no purpose other than to advertise the fact. I’ll skip the books that get preachy or off track for causes when what I want is a good old mystery – crime and solving it, straightforward.

      Wow, lots of books, from all sources. I have a lot of things on hand, but struggle to get far, make a dent.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        You’re right that the Cardigan was the Mysterious Press collection. I may get the multi-volume set some day.

        The cancer thing is handled pretty realistically, I think. She has recovered but naturally thinks more than once about the ordeal she went through.

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    George, Jackie wanted to bring that school book to Diane’s attention.

  7. I thought that “spider’s web” book had the look of a Larson

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