Current Reading: Cox, Blount Jr., Allan, Brennan, Jewell, Klingborg

Sorry I’m late. I’ve been jumping between books, both physical and ebook, with mixed progress. A friend loaned me a collection of stories, Flash Casey…Detective which I finished and will be my Friday Forgotten post this week.

Next was One Fell Soup by Roy Blount Jr. because I wanted some humor. That’s what I got, some – but not a lot – of humor. I also started a science fiction ebook from the library, Jay Allan’s Shadow of Empire which is the first book in The Far Stars Trilogy. I’m not smitten and will probably let the borrow run out without finishing it.

Lastly, I’m currently reading In the Labyrinth of Drakes the fourth Memoir by Lady Trent, written by Marie Brennan. The 5th and last of the series, In the Sanctuary of Wings was published last month, and I’d fallen a book behind on this series detailing the experiences and exploits of Lady Trent, Draconoligist. A delightful character and series. I have the new book lined up to read directly after.

Barbara finished I Found You by Lisa Jewell, which she enjoyed. The plot seemed predictable well into the book then had a twist which made it much more interesting. She says she will try others by the author. She’s now reading Kill Devil Falls by Brian Klingborg. Here’s the blurb:

“When U.S. Marshal Helen Morrissey is tasked with collecting a fugitive bank robber from a remote town in the Sierra Nevadas, she braces for a rough trip. After all, with a name like Kill Devil Falls, her destination must be a real hellhole. Turns out it’s worse than she imagined. Much worse.”

So how about you?
What have you been reading?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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29 Responses to Current Reading: Cox, Blount Jr., Allan, Brennan, Jewell, Klingborg

  1. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    This week I read The Long Firm by Jake Arnott. I had read his book He Kills Coppers a number of years ago and loved it. Also loved The Long Firm-basically about London Gangsters in the 60’s. I also read the newest Spenser novel , Little White Lies by Ace Atkins. I enjoyed it. I belive Atkins is actually a better writer than Robert Parker. Read the newest novelette from Matthew Hughes in the May June F&SF. I’m a big fan of Hughes and he seldom disappoints. Am now half way thru the newest Amos Walker from Loren Estleman. Also have The Violated by Bill Pronzini and Nearly Nero from Estleman from the library. Never read any of the Brennans although they have been well received. Dragons are not really my thing unless written by Lucius Shepard or Michael Swanwick.

    • Steve, you really read an interesting mix of books. I haven’t tried any of the Spenser novels by Atkins, but you’re not the only one to praise them. I got a little weary of Spenser, Susan, et al toward the end of the series, so I’m not sure how much I’d like them now.

      I’ve read some Hughes but this minute can’t think what, or when or if my liked. Tired ol’ brain, I guess. I very much want to hear your opinion of Nearly Nero.

  2. tracybham says:

    I finished The Likeness by Tana French, and liked it a lot, even though it was over 400 pages. I read Cocaine Blues by Kerri Greenwood and it was very good (and short). I am now reading Murder in Jerusalem, the last mystery by Batya Gur.

    In late April I purchased Miss Darkness: The Great Short Crime Fiction of Fredric Brown. I have only read two of the stories, including “Miss Darkness” and I liked those so I am sure I am going to enjoy all (or most) of the stories.

    • I’m unfamiliar with the French – as I am with thousands of other books, nay hundreds of thousands – but perhaps you’d like to edify me. Or not, your choice. 😀 Nor am I conversant with the Greenwood.

      Now Fredrick Brown is an author with whom I’m familiar. I’ve read a good deal of his science fiction, and some mystery, and have the new (and soon to arrive here, I hope) collection from Haffner Press. I preordered it November 2013, so it’s about time it showed up! There are reasons for the delay, but it’s a good…story I’m not familiar with that collection you bought, butt sounds interesting Brown was a skilled writer.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve heard of Kill Devil Hills, not Kill Devil Falls. It’s associated with the Wright Brothers’ flight.

    Too many books. Two more ebooks on reserve were checked out to me from the library, so I’m trying to get through these as fast as possible before going back to “real” books. I’m reading the Lydia Davis story collection, CAN’T AND WON’T (over 75% done); a George Kelley pick, LAST NIGHT, A SUPERHERO SAVED MY LIFE, which is more interesting to me than I’d expected (even though I was not familiar with most of the authors so far); one of yours, which I am reading now, Mur Lafferty’s SIX WAKES (good one); and the one that came in most recently, which I will get to after the Lafferty, Jodi Taylor’s A SYMPHONY OF ECHOES, the sequel to JUST ONE DAMNED THING AFTER ANOTHER.

    I’ve had to put aside the Brett Battles ebook, the Ben Aaronovitch paperback, and the Carrie Fisher memoir (so so). Yes, I’m still fitting in some Saki stories as well. Plus, I got the third Julia Dahl mystery about young New York reporter Rebekah Roberts, CONVICTION, and there are a couple of books waiting to be picked up.

    Jackie is doing better than me at finishing books, as she reads a real book during the day and a couple of chapters of an ebook on the Kindle in bed at night.

    • I understand too many books, yet what a great predicament to be in, as compared to the opposite. I’ve just aboutrun through the library holds, and haven’t added more requests. Seems the reading blahs I had just a week ago have vanished. The Kelley pick I decided to skip. Glad you seem to be enjoying the Lafferty. I doubt there will ba a sequel, but if there is one, I’ll read it.

      I’ve enjoyed the Jodi Taylor I’ve read but have fallen behind on the series. I’m getting better at returning library books unfinished. No guilt, no problem. Good for Jackie for finishing books, but I don’t feel the compulsion I once did. Not with SO MANY other books at the ready.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        I have another Lafferty (a cross-genre thing), sent by a friend (Beth Fedyn), called THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY, which I may or may not read. A young woman gets a job as a travel book editor, where everyone around her is a vampire or other monster.

  4. Jerry House says:

    This week i read the latest Bill Pronzini standalone THE VIOLATED. The multiple viewpoints worked for me. Also working for me was Lee Child’s WITHOUT FAIL, in which Reacher is asked to get around Secret Service efforts to prevent the assassination of the Vice President. SILENT NIGHT is a posthumous Spenser novel, completed after his death by his agent, Helen Brann — the book has all of Parker’s strengths and all of his weakness on display. I’ve also been mining old copies of WEIRD TALES magazine on the web for some Jules de Grandin occult detective stories by Seabury Quinn; there’s about twenty stories available that I have not yet read. When I finish those, I’ll only have 11 of the 93 stories to find.

    Graphic novels this week included Brian Michael Bendis’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: NEW GUARD, VOL. 1 — EMPEROR QUILL and Ta-Nihisi Coates’ BLACK PANTHER: A NATION UNDER OUR FEET, BOOK ONE. The Guardians book adds some familiar Marvel characters to the group’s lineup: Kitty Pryde (X-MEN), Ben Grimm (Fantastic Four), and Fl;ash Thompson/Venom (Spider-Man). The Panther book has the first comic book scripting by the always interesting Coates. A bit too much jumping back and forth, perhaps, but a solid story.

    Coming up will be the latest Bill Crider (finally! said Mr. So-Late-to-the-Party), the latest Nameless from Bill Pronzini, and two books by John Connolly.

    It’s been a beautiful week here. The weather has cooperated wonderfully. Two purple finches are building a nest on our front porch. My daughter and her husband decided to become true Floridians and are buying a boat, so I may be spending time out on the Gulf this summer.

    Will you be posting pictures of your springtime garden soon?

    • Jerry, nice comment, to which I shall endeavor to reply. I’m the only one who was in the least bothered by the POV switches in that Pronzini. Yet another example of why you should ignore my opinions. I’ve heard good things about the Spencer novels by Atkins, but not about those authored by others. See my comment to Steve, above.

      I’ve lined up an old Crider story, GATOR KILL for my “ebook to read soon” list. I’ve not read any of thr Truman Smith books. Sounds like lots of good reading in your future.

      As to the weather, Sunday and today, and tomorrow were/are/will be glorious. I like highs in the Seventies, sunny, light breeze, and that’s what we have. Rain will return Thursday, with temps in the low-mid Sixties and, of course, rain. Still this short run of days is very much appreciated. Enjoy your boat. You should demand the naming rights. Maybe something like… but, no. I’ll not make any suggestions. Enjoy your week.

      PS – garden photos will be coming soon.

      • Jerry House says:

        Looking forward to the garden pics, Richard. I have a black thumb, so I appreciate seeing gardening done right.

  5. Deb says:

    (I’ve basically copied this verbatim from my comment on Lesa’s blog–sorry for the repetition for those who visit both blogs.) So, Saturday before last, after living less than an hour’s drive from the French Quarter for almost two decades, my husband and I finally had dinner at Antoine’s, one of New Orleans’s oldest and most popular restaurants. The food was amazingly good–I could write a whole post on that alone! By an odd coincidence, when we got home, our local PBS station was airing a program called “Great Restaurants of New Orleans”–and the first one they talked about was Antoine’s! One of the things the show mentioned was a 1948 mystery by Frances Parkinson Keyes called DINNER AT ANTOINE’S. So, naturally, I had to order it from the library. It came in a couple of days ago and I’m reading it now. Keyes was enormous popular in the mid-20th century, but she’s now a truly forgotten writer. DAA is her only mystery novel and so far it’s a bit slow going, but I’m persevering. The book also contains a lot of cringeworthy patronizing racism–reflective of its place and time, no doubt–but it doesn’t make it much easier to read.

    Added: The book is moving at a swifter pace now the death has occurred and all the suspects have been introduced; nonetheless, the book is the absolute antithesis of the brisk, concise pulps of around the same era.

    • No problem for me if you quote or repeat things said elsewhere. I’m happy to have any comment, he said woefully. That’s a very cool story about Antoine’s and then the show. I’ve certainly heard of Antoine’s, know of its fine reputation, though not having traveled to the Big Easy, I would have had no chance to dine there.

      Speaking of cuisine of your area, there’s a neat little place named NOLA here that has begnais if I’m not misspelling. They really load on the powdered sugar! They’re really good hot from the oven.

      Glad the book is getting better, but FPK wasn’t renowned for thrilling plots.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    My mother’s bookshelf had a lot of Frances Parkinson Keyes so when we were last in New Orleans we went to her house, Deb. But I still haven’t read her. Her house was elegant though.
    I am reading still THE DRY and the Letterman Book. Almost done THE DRY and about to start IQ.

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      Patti, I was about to take IQ from the library but I have too many others. I may have put it on the ebook hold list, but again, there are so many I can’t keep track. Still, I’d rather have too many books I want to read than too few.

    • I’m eager for your opinion on THE DRY, as so many others in our blog group/commenters have read it lately. I think the only author’s homes I’ve visited are Carl Sandberg and John Steinbeck.

      • Jeff Meyerson says:

        We’ve been to Hemingway’s house in Key West, and of course (the supposed) Shakespeare’s house in Stratford. I’m sure I could think of others.

    • Steve Oerkfitz says:

      I liked IQ and The Dry. Francis Parkinson Keyes. I name I had forgotten. Kind of like Frank Yerby.

  7. I’ve been reading BIG FAT BOOKS lately. I finished the new Library of American volume, SONTAG: LATER ESSAYS (865 pages!) and a 576 page fantasy novel. Like Steve, I’m a big Matthew Hughes fan. Here’s part of an email promotion Matthew Hughes sent me:

    “The big news this month is that I’ve self-published the complete collection of Raffalon stories (104,000 words), and I’m offering it to my core fans as a 99-cent ebook, available only on my webstore. Down the road, 9 TALES OF RAFFALON will be available on Amazon and other sites for my regular ebook price of $3.99, and as a POD paperback from CreateSpace for $12.99.

    The collection includes the seven novelettes that have run in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and “Inn of the Seven Blessings,” which ran in the bestselling anthology, ROGUES, plus “Sternutative Sortilege,” which is exclusive to 9 TALES OF RAFFALON”

    I downloaded the 99-cent ebook. I’m way over 100 ebooks on my iPad! All, unread!

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      George, my problem is that while I still occasionally download another e-book, the only ones I’ve had time to read lately are the ones I download from the library, as they have a due date! That’s how you end up with 600+ ebooks and counting.

    • I wish you’d given us a link to that 99 cent book. I’ll look for it. I have a lot of ebooks on the iPad, and read them occasionally, in situations where I have to wait, or from the library.

    • I bought it too, though the email to DL it has yet to arrive.

  8. I hope Barbara enjoys Kill Devil Falls, which I wrote. I’ll be interested to hear her thoughts. It seems like the two of you are extremely avid readers. We need more people like you to keep us writers afloat in stormy seas!

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