February Reading – Week 1

short story readingOnly short stories, as planned, just not as many as I’d hoped. Here’s what I read:

  • “The Celestial Buffet” by Susan Dunlap from The Celestial Buffet
  • “Death And Diamonds” by Susan Dunlap from The Celestial Buffet
  • “An Unsuitable Job For A Mullin” by Susan Dunlap from The Celestial Buffet
  • “The Sands Of Thyme” by Michael Innes from The Big Book of Locked Room Mysteries
  • “The Flying Death” by Samuel Hopkins Adams from The Big Book of Locked Room Mysteries
  • “The Kidnapping” by Charles Todd from Tales
  • “The Girl On The Beach” by Charles Todd from Tales
  • “The Problem of Dead Wood Hall” by Dick Donovan from from Murder At The Manor
  • “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing” by Charlotte Carter from Blue Lighting
  • “John Lennon In The American South” by Roseanne Cash from Blue Lighting
  • “Gentlemen and Players” by E.W. Horning from Murder At The Manor
  • “The Well” by W.W. Jacobs from Murder At The Manor
  • “The White Pillars Murder by G.K. Chesterton from Murder At The Manor

The Innes, Todd, Cash and Horning were my favorites.

deadly echoesBarbara is reading Deadly Echoes by Philip Donlay, a book we picked up at Left Coast Crime last year. She’s not read this author before.

Just as she started this book, three things came in for her at the library, so she’s loaded up with lots of choices for the next book.

Have you read any of these stories or authors?
What are you reading? Any short stories?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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20 Responses to February Reading – Week 1

  1. tracybham says:

    “John Lennon In The American South” by Roseanne Cash sounds very interesting. I will have to look into the book that was in.

    • Richard says:

      Tracy, the story is a “what if” supposing Lennon had gone to Memphis and met Johnny Cash. The collection, edited by John Harvey, whose Charlie Resnick mysteries I like, This is themed around music. Title: Blue Lightening.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Yeah, never heard of that one at all.

    I’ve been reading more short stay collections I downloaded for free, like the Shaun Meeks book I mentioned last week or the current Gun Sex by Pearce Hansen. I also read John Hegenberger’s Cross Examinations: Crime in Columbus, about p.I. Eliot Cross in 1988 Ohio. They were your more or less typical fare, other than the unusual setting. Also read Tales From the Otherverse: Stories of Alternate History, edited and published by James Reasoner. Let’s just say I enjoyed it without being knocked out by most of the stories. My favorites were Reasoner’s own tale of President Wild Bill Hickok (“The Hero of Deadwood “) and Bill Crider’s ” It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” about Buddy Holly (and Elvis) 10 years after “the day the music died.”

    • Richard says:

      Jeff, I thought I’d get more stories read, but was ill for a couple of days and didn’t feel like reading. Now I have two books from the library, so I’ll try to read 2 stories a day and then the novels. That Crider story sounds familiar.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    But wait- there’s more, as late night infomercials like to say.

    After clearing up Leviathan Wakes – the SyFy Channel version botched it enough that we gave up on the last two hour episode – I was ready to read a lot more. First up was Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, which I’d never read. I picked up a paperback copy left in our basement laundry room. I guess I’ll have to read the rest of the series when I get home. Of course I read his robot stories recently too.

    The last book of the week was an excellent Baen trade paperback by a favorite writer, Brendan DuBois’ Dark Victory: A Novel of Alien Resistance. The protagonist and narrator is 16 year old Sergeant Randy Knox of the New Hampshire National Guard, ten years into a war against the “Creepers,” described as looking like scorpions the size of a school bus. Good book. Lee Child blurbs DuBois as “the best short story writer of his generation”- something I’ve said myself. But I also like his stand alone thrillers a lot.

    Up next, an Andrea Camilleri set in Sicily followed by a YA borrowed from the library and downloaded to the Kindle.

    • Richard says:

      So you finished LEVIATHAN WAKES, i guess you liked it, but not enough to go on to the second book? I think I read the three Foundation books when I was in college, perhaps even high school. I think I’d find them quite different now, based on reviews I’ve read more recently which talked of gender roles and cultural influence. I just read it as a story…

      I still haven’t read DuBois.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I did like it enough to read the second book. I’ll be curious to see what happens next. But I’ll have to get the second book when we get home.

        The television series had a lot of boring stuff about machinations at the U.N. that wasn’t even in the book.

        DuBois sets most of his novels and stories in New Hampshire. I also have his forthcoming thriller with me. He was nice enough to give me an ARC of it at Bouchercon.

  4. Jerry House says:

    I’ve read most of the authors you’ve listed, Richard, with the exceptions of Carter and Cash, my favorites being Innes, Todd, Chesterton, and .Donovan. Donovan (real name Joyce E. Preston Muddick) was one of those very prolific Victorian writers who wrote a zillion historical and “sensational” novels under his own name and his pseudonym; he wrote over 50 books as Donovan.

    My own self-imposed story a day challenge goes apace, with tales by “Leo Page” (William Cochrane), Robert Ernest Gilbert, Henry Hasse, Roald Dahl, ;”Jonathan Craig” (Frank E. Smith), Jack Vance, Avram Davidson, and James Herbert.

    My book reading was curtailed this week by a particularly nasty cold/flu/certainly not Zika that has been knocking the stuffing out of me. (I mention Zika because our county was one of the four in Florida where it first hit.) I did finish Craig Johnson’s Longmire novel ANOTHER MAN’S MOCCASINS; as expected, a very good book. This one had alternating story lines — the murder of a Vietnamese woman in modern day Wyoming and Longmire’s investigation into the drug trade when he was serving in the Vietnam War,

    My FFB this week took me further south than Wyoming and into Tony Hillerman territory in CAPTIVE by The Gordons (Mildred and Gordon Gordon). I really liked this one and will be reading more by the authors in the future.

    Finally, and in between several boxes of Kleenex, I read Henry Kuttner’s THE WELL OF THE WORLDS, an SF novel first published in Startling Stories in 1952. This was an old-fashioned super science tale of islands floating in air in another dimension and alien overlords. Sometimes you just need a good pulpish story. I liked it so much, I’ve started another Kuttner novel from Startling Stories, THE TIME AXIS, reading bits of it in between flu-induced naps.

    For your own safety, Richard, I’ve avoided breathing my germs on this post because I’m such a good guy and I care.

    Have a great week with lots of great stories!

    • Richard says:

      Jerry, in spite of your efforts, I already had to fight off the bug. Sounds like your short story reading is going better than mine. I have the first Longmire novel here, but am waiting until next month to read it. I’m not familiar with the Gordon’s, but will look into it. I haven’t read any Kuttner in a few years.

      Hope you feel better soon!

  5. I’m back from Florida with single-digit temperatures forecast for the upcoming weekend. When the temps get below ZERO it’s a good time to read. I finished a short story collection by Matthew Hughes.and I’m reading STATION ELEVEN.

  6. Deb says:

    Tracy beat me to the comment about Roseanne Cash’s story. It intrigues me because of the title and because of Roseanne being Johnny Cash’s daughter. What did you think about it?

    This week, I finished Margaret Yorke’s DANGEROUS TO KNOW, one of her novels of domestic suspense, this one about a woman trapped in an abusive marriage. It was well- written, but the husband was do obviously psychotic it drained some of the suspense from the book.

    I also finished David Mitchell’s SLADE HOUSE, a supernatural horror novel about a house that materializes every nine years and selects a victim for nefarious purposes. I don’t read much in this genre (Mitchell wrote THE BONE CLOCKS and CLOUD ATLAS), so I wasn’t sure if all the references to lacunas, orisons, spectral planes, etc., is de rigeur for these types of books. My eyes tended to gloss over those “explanations”, but I liked the way Mitchell gradually provided information about how the victims are selected and lured to the house, so that toward the end of the book I’d find myself silently willing the next victim not to step over the threshold, not to accept a drink, not to believe anything they saw or heard.

    I’ve just started Patrick Modiano’s MISSING PERSON. I had no idea he’d won the Nobel Prize until I checked out this book and it was mentioned on the cover. I had found another of Modiano’s books in a list of offbeat/unorthodox thrillers. This book is about a man with amnesia trying to uncover clues about his identity. It’s set in Paris and there’s a Simenon feeling to the books (lots of precise geographical references).

    • Richard says:

      Deb, see my comment to Tracy. It was my favorite of the stories I read, though the Raffles story was a close second. I tried a Yorke novel once, but it didn’t resonate and I didn’t finish it. (So many books…etc.)

      I am not a fan of supernatural or horror, so SLADE HOUSE would have been a non-starter for me. I certainly get the eyes-glaze-over response. MISSING PERSON sounds interesting, I’ll have to follow up with it.

  7. Patti Abbott says:

    Phil just read a Modiano, George, Paris Nocturnes I think. He was so-so about it. And he loved STATION 11. I am trying to get going on ALL THE LIGHT YOU CANNOT SEE for my return to Michigan and my book group.Despite having written many many short stories, I find most mystery short stories-especially if they attempt a whudunnit- unsatisfying. We should talk about this some day.

    • Richard says:

      Patti, see my comment to George on Station Eleven. Barbara really liked All the Light… I haven’t read it. I find it’s the author who makes a successful who dunnit short story, most seem to have trouble with it. More successful are the how do they catch ‘um stories, where we know the criminal and watch him/her get caught, or not.

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve tried more than once to read David Mitchell but so far I haven’t been able to get him at all. My fault, no doubt. The Modiano sounds more like it.

    • Deb says:

      Jeff–SLADE HOUSE might actually be a good place to start: it’s short (you could easily read it in a couple of days), divided neatly into almost self-contained chapters, and you don’t have to know about Mitchell’s previously laid-out mythology to understand what’s going on (although I’ve read comments where some readers say that if you’ve read THE BONE CLOCKS, it makes SLADE HOUSE more understandable). As I said, all of the mystical whoop-dee-do was of less interest to me than the clever way Mitchell provided additional information in each successive chapter, so that as I noted above, I was really rooting for the later victims NOT to do the very things that would make them become a victim.

  9. Just so happens I have a new short story up today at The Flash Fiction Press. There is a little mystery to it, but not this kind of mystery. Flash fiction as well. But I do love short stories.

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