Current Reading: Holmes, Mankell

mx-holmes-vol-5-christmas-adventuresAs said in the Friday comfort reading post, I’ve been reading Sherlock Holmes stories in order to calm myself from various bad news and stresses. I began with David Marcum’s Papers of Sherlock Holmes, volume 1 & 2 (just okay), then the massive anthology The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories edited by Otto Penzler, which  unfortunately contains quite a few parodies. Those are not my cup of tea, so I was skipping them. Happily, I was saved by the arrival of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part V: Christmas Adventures, edited by David Marcum. Due to the season and timing, I’m especially enjoying this one. Since it’s now snowing – the first of the season – it’s good reading weather.

Barbara is at about the halfway point of Henning Mankell’s One Step Behind, which she will follow with Personal by Lee Child.

What about you?
What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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20 Responses to Current Reading: Holmes, Mankell

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Haven’t read any of those other than the Child. When I get home I will give you the current reading.

  2. Deb says:

    I read Ted Chiang’s short story, “The Story of Your Life,” basis for the movie, ARRIVAL. Undoubtedly, a beautifully-written work, but I think I would have gotten more out of it if I knew more about physics and linguistics.

    On Saturday, I made a completely unnecessary trip to the Friends of the Library book sale where I got a great haul for $20, including lots of science fiction (LeGuin, Russ, Pohl). I also picked up two books for my daughter–REBECCA and THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY–who is taking a humanities course called “From Page to Screen” next semester. I ended up rereading RIPLEY this weekend. Admittedly an odd sort of comfort read, but I enjoyed it more this time around than before–especially the depictions of ex-pat life in Italy in the 1950s.

    • I have not read either REBECCA or THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, but have seen the films. I stay away from library sales, I have no control, and I have too many, waaay too many, books already.

  3. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    As I have mentioned before I am a big fan of the Wallender books by Henning Menkell. Not so much his standalones. Read one Lee Child and didn’t care for it and have read no more.
    This week I read Stettin Station by David Downing. The 3rd in his John Russell spy series set in early WW2 Germany. Have enjoyed the first 3 and will read the next 3. Also reread Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock, one of my favorite fantasy novels. Am currently reading City of Saints by Andrew Hunt, his first novel which won the Tony Hillerman award in 2012. I read his 3rd novel in the series last week and enjoyed that. Also dappling in several short story collections by Howard Waldrop. If you have never read his story The Ugly Chickens you are in for a real treat. I have read it 2 or 4 times.
    I love the Highsmith’s Ripley books. Rebecca I could never get through.

    • Steve Oerkfitz says:

      Forgot I also read How Like An Angel by Margaret Millar. Her collected works is being reissued in 5 volumes. The first two are out containing 9 novels which are a good buy at 17.95 each. I got them cheaper on Ebay. Have always liked Millar. Her work holds up pretty well.

    • I’ll try the chickens story. Are you reading anything seasonal?

      • Steve Oerkfitz says:

        No. The only thing close to seasonal would be the new Junior Bender novel by Timothy Hallinan. Christmas stuff just doesn’t appeal to me. I worked retail for a number of years and spending at least 4 weeks every year listening to Christmas music has turned me into a bit of a Scrooge.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Books read: 1. ANATOMY OF A SONG: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits, by Marc Myers. I believe George recommended this first and you already read it. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
    2. DEADMAN’S CROSSING by Joe R. Lansdale (library download to Kindle). Four short horror western tales of the Rev. Jebidiah Mercer and his fight against evil things in the Old West.
    3. THE VINYL DETECTIVE: WRITTEN IN DEAD WAX, first in a series by Andrew Cartmel (again, library download), which you recommended. I liked it, at least in part because his search for old records paralleled the trips we used to make around Britain looking for old books. There was a bit of wish fulfillment, I thought, in the two gorgeous women jumping into his bed, but I’ll definitely look for the second when it is published in May.
    4. Peter Turnbull, DARK SECRETS (mine), 6th in the Hennessey and Yellich series, and a good one, if particularly nasty. A middle aged drunkard suddenly remembers seeing a murder some 20 years ago, which he blocked from his memory, and it turns out to be accurate recall and the beginning of a very dark case. Definitely one of the better ones in this series.

    Current reading: THE HEAVENS MAY FALL, third by Allen Eskens, bringing back characters from his first book (THE LIFE WE BURY). I liked his first two books a lot and so far, so good with this one. The other is the new Crippen & Landru collection (new stories), MOTIVES FOR MURDER: A Celebration of Peter Lovesey on his 80th Birthday by Members of the Detection Club, edited by Martin Edwards. Again, so far, so good. Authors include Catherine Aird, Simon Brett, Michael Z. Lewin, Liza Cody, Ann Cleeves, Kate Ellis, and Andrew Taylor, among others.

    • As a jazz listener and fan, I really liked the jazz references in Written in Dead Wax. The C&L sounds pretty good, though the last thing I need is more short story books here! You’re reading good stuff, as usual, Jeff.

  5. I’m dealing with different kinds of stresses than you are. The last two weeks of any Semester is chaotic with student problems to deal with, FINAL EXAMS to correct, and FINAL GRADES to calculate. But this year, I have tons of RETIREMENT paperwork to fill out and an EXIT INTERVIEW to endure. Pleasure reading, comfort reading, and just plain reading should arrive around the end of the month.

  6. Guy says:


    Just read Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir and I am just finishing his latest Absolutely on Music Conversations with Seiji Ozawa. I like his fiction so I like anything that gives insight into his thinking. Also SF short stories by Aliette de Bodard, Yoon Ha Lee, An Owomoyela and Caitlín R. Kiernan.

    Happy Reading

  7. Jerry House says:

    I was sending good thoughts your way over the last few days, Richard. Hope you got them. I also hope your stress level is a bit lower now. Old friends like Sherlock can be great stress relievers, especially on new adventures.

    This week i read James Herbert’s THE SPEAR (a Nazi occult thriller that was my FFB), THE PROFESSIONAL (a late-ish Spenser novel by Robert B. Parker), and NEVER GO BACK (a Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child). I enjoyed them all, but the Herbert book takes top honors of the three. The Spenser was a change of pace in the series, delving into the psychology of the so-called “villain” in the book. I read a paperback copy of this one and the back cover copy totally misrepresented the book. The Reacher seemed a bit stretched out and Reacher’s motivation had to be taken with a large grain of salt.

    The one collection this week was THE BEST OF MURRAY LEINSTER (the U.S. edition edited by J. J. Pierce — the British book of the same name has different contents). The 13 stories here were great, but you’d need many more to fully cover the scope of Leinster’s best work.

    I also read five graphic novels. THE RETURN OF SUPERMAN was the third collection in the series that began with THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN. Mark Millar’s CIVIL WAR provided the backbone of the Marvel comics CIVIL WAR saga. THE ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN & WOLVERINE took the two on a confusing romp through various time-lines because of the machinations of a joke villain. Meh. Warren Ellis’ DOWN started with a gritty noir story, then tacked on a futuristic Witchblade story. The two did not mesh well between the same covers. PREDATOR VERSUS JUDGE DREDD was a mashup with a lot of flashbang but not much more.

    Coming up are a book apiece by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini for my FFB in two weeks. I also picked up a copy of Roald Dahl’s COLLECTED STORIES I’m eager to get into. And there’s the Chris Ware GN collection and the Prince Valiant collections that slipped by me last week. Also, I made the mistake of leaving my planned FFB for this week where Kitty could see it and now I have to try to wrest it from her hands so I can finish it. (No fair telling you what it is ahead of time.)

    ‘Tis the beginning of ’tis the season here. Saturday we watched the local Christmas parade in beautiful weather. Every float and marcher seemed more than happy to toss candy and beads to the crowd, which made the 4-year-old Kangaroo very excited — he ended up with a shopping bag full of goodies, including a very cuddly teddy bear. Grandson Mark was loaded down with a gazillion beads hanging around his neck, mainly given to him by girls in the parade — although Mark is very shy, he’s also very good-looking. Parade Saturday was the only day we needed good weather, so Sunday and today it rained like stink with thunder that would shake the house.

    Have a great week!

    • Sounds like you’ve had a fine kick-off to the season, Jerry. I did get some of those astral good vibes, and they undoubtedly help my med visit today go pretty well, so thanks. I have a Dahl collection that’s three inches thick, and it’s a paperback. It’s daunting. I’ve read 2 stories from it.

      Happy Christmas back at you.

  8. Patti Abbott says:

    Read THE WATER”S EDGE by Karen Fossum, which I know I read somewhat recently now. Too bad but it is a good one. Started THE GIRLS by Emma Cline-not sure I want to go to Manson land again though. Phil is reading Lawrence Porters’s BRANDENBURG GATE.

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      A young woman across from us on the subway going to the Steve Earle concert last night was reading the Emma Cline book. It was a concert for the one-on-one school where Earle’s non-verbal autistic son goes. Guests were Graham Nash and Shawn Colvin.

  9. I guess westerns and old space opera stuff are my comfort reads.

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