Current Reading: Cartmel, Niven, Grecian

dream-parkReading has been a little problematic lately, there have been computer problems, migraines and other medical stuff, stress (much of it election-related), other projects, lack of energy. For several days I read a handful of Star Wars graphic novels (X-Wing Rogue Squadron series) for comfort reading, along with Valiant, Dog of Timberline, one of the several dog books I bought last spring. That was about all I could bother with.

Finally, I finished Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel, the first Vinyl Detective novel. There were times while reading it when I thought ‘I wish I was enjoying this more’ but that didn’t stop me from continuing to read and in the end I liked it. I’ll read the next book in the series, though not right away as I have too much else on my reading plate.

Now I’m reading Dream Park by Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes. I’m at the 100 page point, and as I was expecting good, not great I’m not disappointed, since that what I’m getting. I’m reading it because a friend sent me the 2nd book in the series, The Barsoom Project, and I thought I should read this one first.

lost-and-gone-foreverBarbara is still reading Lost and Gone Forever, by Alex Grecian, the latest in the novels of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad. It’s a series she’s been enjoying a lot.

What about you?
What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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32 Responses to Current Reading: Cartmel, Niven, Grecian

  1. macavityabc says:

    Currently reading a great anthology, HARD-BOILED, edited by Bill Pronzini and Jack Adrian.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve had problems too, with the election being a main time consumer and cause of stress, plus the trip to Vegas didn’t help. I will give you the list when I get home, but one excellent one was the special 7th Anniversary issue of EQMM they gave out at Bouchercon. Every story I’ve read – I have two left – has been very good or better. I really liked the Charlaine Harris story I read this morning.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I know I wrote 75th but it changed itself.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I read that Hard-Boiled anthology a while ago.

  5. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Read The Far Empty a first novel by J. Todd Scott which I liked a lot. It’s a crime novel that takes place on the Texas and Mexico border. Am currently reading So Say the Fallen by Irish crime writer Stuart Neville and dipping into a SF collection The Best of Ian MacDonald. On the radar Faller by Will McIntosh and Silesian Station by David Downing.

  6. Deb says:

    This past week, I discovered a sixth step after the five steps of grief: the ability to start reading again. The results of the election were devastating, but two days later I went through my library and requested about ten books. I started reading two immediately:

    Walter Mosley’s THE WAVE: a man receives late-night phone calls from someone claiming to be his father. Only problem is, his father died years ago. I’m really enjoying this one. I was only familiar with Mosley from his Easy Rawlins books, so was expecting this to be a crime/mystery novel. When I saw that the book was dedicated to Michael Moorcock, I knew it was going to be completely different from my expectations.

    Peter Turnbull’s TURNING POINT: a man tells the police that he witnessed a murder when he was a child–and his late father was one of the culprits. At about the same time, a burglar discovers a corpse in the house he’s robbing. How are these two deaths, decades apart, related? Inspector Hennessey is on the case.

    As long as we can read, we can see the light….

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      Deb, I’m working my way through the Turnbulls in order, and have another 8 on the shelf before I get to TURNING POINT. I remember really liking his Fabian Donoghue books set in Glasgow – I read the first 9 in a month or so in 1995 – and the Hennessey books have never grabbed me in quite the same way, despite my very favorable memories of York. But I like them well enough to keep reading them, and they are short enough to read in a day.

    • I tried the first Turnbull Fear of Drowning, and was unimpressed. Jeff said they get better, but I probably won’t try another.

      All I can seem to do, still, is comfort read, and that means likable characters, no violence or danger, no noir, happy ending, etc. I’m barely forging ahead in the SF book. It’s partly still the T Rump thing, the appointments have me unhappy, as does the likely future of the Supreme Court and what that will mean for Rowe vs. Wade, and who knows what else is coming. Plus the weather is really gloomy and I’m not sleeping well.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    OK. Home later than usual. First up was Fred Zackel’s ebook collection, sort of on the horror side, OF NIGHT AND BEYOND. I’d call it uneven.

    Last week Bill Crider recommended a book by Eric Beetner, LEADFOOT, a sequel to RUMRUNNERS, neither of which I’d read (though I had read a collection of his stories, and had others on the Kindle). I checked the library website and they only had one of his books, an ebook edition of TWO FOR THE MONEY, but it sounded good so I downloaded it. This one is a wild ride. Two moronic crooks (no other word for them) steal over $640,000 (left in a storage locker). When the less bad one is caught he quickly rolls over on his partner and they are sentenced to 25 years in prison. But like THE FUGITIVE, the van carrying them to prison crashes and they escape, after Slick (the really bad one) kills a guard and tries to kill Bo (the less bad one). They split up. The third part of the triangle is Slick’s girlfriend, sitting on the money and wanting to escape. After that it is a rollicking, non-stop crazy ride, with the three alternating POV chapters, with a horny cop, disgruntled landlady with a pervy son, and several innocent bystanders also along for the ride. Good stuff.

    In George Easter’s Deadly Pleasures I read an “A” review for a first novel by a former D.C. cop, David Swinson’s THE SECOND GIRL, apparently the first in a series about Frankie Marr, a former D.C. cop turned PI, with a drug habit of his own. This is Pelecanos country and so far this one is really well done, if you don’t mind it dark.

    Just picked up the new Jack Reacher prequel by Lee Child from the library.

    • See my comment to Deb about my reading, or lack of interest in it. I’m afraid none of the things you mention hold any interest for me. Sorry, it’s just me. Labs and cancer tests tomorrow.

  8. Jerry House says:

    It’s been a quiet week here in Lake Electionbegone: Two Asimov/Waugh/Greenberg anthologies (THE TWELVE FRIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS and THE SCIENCE FICTIONAL OLYMPICS), my FFB this week (ANTI-MAN BY Dean R. Koontz), and three graphic novels (SPAWN/BATMAN, WOLVERINE CLASSIC, VOLUME ONE, and SUPERMAN: OUR WORLDS AT WAR, BOOK ONE — and I’m currently reading BOOK TWO).

    I’d say better times are a-coming but that may be too optimistic. Stay strong, Richard.

  9. I finished BY GASLIGHT and now I’m back to reading short stories before the Research Paper tsunami hit next week. I’ll be reading and correcting 100 papers over Thanksgiving Break. This will be the Last Time I go through this correcting gauntlet. I won’t miss this in Retirement.

  10. bluemonkeyproductions says:

    I’ve read the first two Murder Squad novels and enjoyed them immensely.

  11. Guy says:


    The Dreampark books are good comfort food reading, not great but compelling enough to keep you reading, I read the first three. I have always found books a bit of a refugee, we have the chance thru our libraries to tailor our own world one we can turn to as needed finding old friends, whether it is specific titles and authors or secure familiar environments.

    All the best

  12. Redhead says:

    Yay for Dream Park, although most of my book club read Barsoom Project as a standalone.

    Is Dream Park sorta Jurassic Park meets Westworld?

    You’re probably already sick of my saying I’m still slogging through Cisco’s The Narrator. It’s a joy to read, it’s just impossible to read at any kind of speed.

  13. Richard, I haven’t been reading much because of home renovation and running about for stuff. However, I have been reading a lot of opinion and analysis on pre- and post-election scenario in the US and I can’t say it’s all very uplifting.

  14. Bob Napier says:

    Mostly modeling magazines from England, but I delve into Guilt by Association, by Marcia Clark, when I get a chance.

  15. Just got the Cartmel, Richard … shall report back 🙂

  16. Patti Abbott says:

    Still percolating in the first two steps of grief. If I had friends that were not so political it would surely help! I finished MISS JANE (Watson) which no one but me would like and when I described it last night to friends they looked at me with pity. Now reading a Marcia Muller, VANISHING POINT, for the week we do them and liking it a lot. I don’t think I have read more than one or two of her books before. She is very skilled. Phil finished LISTEN TO ME (Hannah Pitard), which he loved as much as me and is reading THE WRIGHT BROTHERS for his book group.

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      I have to say, Patti, that LISTEN TO ME is exactly the kind of book I would never read. I see 60% of reviewers on Amazon gave it one to three stars, but it’s the plot that is the kind I can’t stand. I have too many other things I do want to read.

      Glad you liked the Muller, but there have been so many changes in Sharon McCone’s life and work since the beginning that I’d really recommend starting with EDWIN OF THE IRON SHOES and going through all 30+ books.

    • Patti, try some Simon plays. I liked the Wright Brothers well enough, but it’s one of his weaker books, I think.

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