Current Reading: Peet, Mal

murdstoneI finished reading Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories by Andrea Camilleri, which I liked a lot. Then I read a few short stories, still plugging away on some larger collections, until the next library book popped up: The Murdstone Trilogy By Malbrook Peet.

Phillip Murdstone, a British writer of “literary” YA novels is a one-trick pony, and the books are no longer selling, so his agent tells him he needs to try to write epic fantasy. He hates the idea, but likes the idea of eating even more, so he tries to no effect. Then he falls asleep in an old circle of standing stones near the small village where he lives, and wakes up with a huge concept, characters, everything in his head. But there are problems. I first saw mention of this on the Black Gate blog. It’s light, some humor, fun so far, good “summer reading”, which is appropriate, since it’s in the high 90s here just now.

heat lightingNext up for me will be something by Rex Stout (for the July special FFB) and a hard-boiled anthology (for the September special FFB), plus I’ll be reading more short stories.

Barbara finished Police by Jo Nesbo which she liked a lot, as she always does with his books, and has started a John Sandford novel, Heat Lightning. It’s the second in Sanford’s Virgil Flowers series. 

How about you?
What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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19 Responses to Current Reading: Peet, Mal

  1. Todd Mason says:

    Still reading my three fiction magazines for the last one of those posts so far…begun watching Nesbo’s tv series OCCUPATION.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Glad you liked the Montalbano so much. There seems to be something preventing me from reading the book, namely more and more other short story collections turning up, mostly (but not all) library books. This week I read Loren D. Estleman’s new collection, DESPERATE DETROIT and Stories of Other Dire Places. Surprisingly (since most were published in EQMM or AHMM), I’d only read one or two previously. Good book. I also have the Pronzini book I mentioned last week, and got another (SCENARIOS, a “Nameless” collection) among 7 new books that came in this week. Another new arrival in that order was one I’d read about somewhere, BEYOND ARMAGEDDON, edited by Walter M. Miller, Jr. & Martin Greenberg, with stories by Bradbury, Clarke, Ellison, Sheckley, Zelazny, Ballard, etc. (This one’s a paperback.)

    Also read: HE BOOKSELLER by Mark Pryor, mentioned by George Easter. It’s the first in his series about Hugo Marston, Head of Security at the American Embassy in Paris, who gets involved with a friend, one of the booksellers along the Seine, is kidnapped. It’s fast moving but not very deep. I’m not sure I’ll read another. Much better (you and Bill Crider both recommended it) was the excellent THE BOOKMAN’S TALE by Charlie Lovett. Although subtitled “A Novel of Obsession” I would definitely call it a mystery. This one grabbed me immediately – antiquarian books! – and held me start to finish. Highly recommended.

    The others I bought in that sale (books were $3.50-$4, but the sale was 50% off) were several by Peter Turnbull – AFTERMATH, TURNING POINT, FIRE BURN, and THE TRUTH OF VALOR- and one I’ve been after a while, Raymond F. Jones’s THE YEAR WHEN STARDUST FELL.

    Current reading. Another Martin Edwards anthology, this one a CWA (Crime Writers Association) title, DEADLY PLEASURES, with writers including Liza Cody, John Harvey, Peter Lovesey, Lindsey Davis, Simon Brett, and Christopher Fowler. (This and the Pryor are downloads from the library, as is the next Ben Aaronovitch, though I might not get to it in time.) Lastly is the third in the PASSAGE (and THE TWELVE) trilogy by Justin Cronin, CITY OF MIRRORS. It is 600 pages and smallish print, so I better get reading.

    • Get reading, indeed. I think the Montalbano is worth setting others aside to read, but only you know. I didn’t know there was a Nameless collection, that’s one I’ll look for. I sure am glad you enjoyed THE BOOKMAN’S TALE so much. Hopefully more people will try it. I’m not familiar with Turnbull, though the name sounds familiar, you may have mentioned him before. I recently read another CWA collection, NORTHERN BLOOD, one Geoff Bradley sent me during APA days. I have something here by Cronin, but don’t know what.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        Turnbull is basically your old-style British police procedural writer. Maybe it isn’t your cup of tea.

  3. Reading Marjorie Morningstar-a friend and I decided to read it together. Loved it as a girl but so far I think it was written for a girl. We’ll see.

    • It’s a book I’ve heard of, of course, but know nothing about except that it’s something young girls read at one time. Fascinating that you are reading it. Looking forward to your comments/review.

  4. I just bought 100 books at the American Association of University Women’s annual Book Sale. Plenty of goodies! I’m in the middle of a Big Fat Book and I’m reading my usual short story per day. Life is Good!

  5. I have read some of his.

  6. Jerry House says:

    I’ve yet to read Camirelli, Richard, although I have several of his books around here somewhere and I enjoy the television series. The Peet book sounds interesting.

    It’d been a John Connolly week for me. While moving some boxes of books I came across two of his Charlie Parker series I had not read: DARK HOLLOW and THE BLACK ANGEL, the second and the fifth books in the series. Both were very good, although the latter seemed a bit padded with (of all things) Croatian history. I have another one on hand which I’ll be reading this week or the next. My FFB this week was John Farris’ HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, HARRISON HIGH, one of a series of sexed-up potboilers he wrote for Pocket Books; this one was an enjoyable, far-out romp of the absurd. Also, I finally read Dean Koontz’s “You Are Meant to Be Together Forever,” the Odd Thomas prequel previously only available in e-format.

    I read four graphic novels: Peter David’s AVENGERS: SEASON ONE, Rick Remender’s ULTIMATE AVENGERS, VOLUME 2: THE APOCALYPSE TWINS and VOLUME 3: RAGNOROK NOW, and Jonathan Hickman’s AVENGERS, VOLUME 4: INFINITY. I’d rate them all meh-plus. The trend for bigger, more complicated stories with large and larger casts is not a good fit for the limited pages the stories are given. Too many sudden jumps. too much unsaid. Sometimes I got the feeling that the same effect could be achieved by tossing the pages into the ait and then assembling them willy-nilly. (Perhaps that had been done here.) Also, a decision was made to use dark, earth-toned colors which — to me, at least — muddied up the artwork and the story lines. I found these books to be an exercise in head-scratching and ennui, mixed with occasional glimpses of excitement.

    Coming up, I have a lot to choose from the top of Mount TBR: The Sherlock Homes radio adaptaions I’ve been working on, a collection by Joe Hill, The John Connolly mentioned above, the third book in James Herbert’s The Rats trilogy, a couple of Ed Hoch’s SF novels, Matt Ruff’s LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, and a previously unread Rex Stout.

    Have a great week!

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      Ah, yes, the RATS trilogy. A classic. At one point we were reading every James Herbert book.

    • I had a long reply to you here, but accidentally jumped to another page a lost it. Damn. So, to start again…

      Barbara read both of those Charlie Parker books, but says she doesn’t remember the Croation history. I saw your FFB, but wasn’t tempted to get or read the book. The thing about current graphic novels I like is the artwork and color work. The writing, not so much, though Peter David is usually a good writer. The Rats trilogy sounds vaguely familiar…

  7. Rick, when I walk away from an event like the AAUW Book Sale with 100 books for about $50 it’s a bargain! Now that I’m on Summer vacation, I’m reading a book-a-day (unless it’s a Big Fat Book–those usually take me two days). I’m glad you have that Hal Clement book with the cool cover. I’d never seen it before!

  8. Deb says:

    I’m reading a collection of Daphne du Maurier short stories, ECHOES FROM THE MACABRE. Two of them (“Don’t Look Now” and “The Birds” are well-known and have been heavily anthologized, although both differ in significant ways from their movie adaptations), but several others are completely new to me. So far, I’ve really enjoyed “The Apple Tree” (a negligent husband gets his comeuppance), “The Pool” (an excellent evocation of a girl’s childhood’s end), and “The Blue Lenses” (a woman’s eye operation allows her to see people as they really are–with fearsome results).

  9. I really like the sound of the Peet – thanks for that!

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