Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman, (Tess Monaghan #1) mystery. After reading about, and meeting, years ago, Lippman I finally pulled this first in the series off the shelf. As expected, Lippman does an fine job of establishing a sense of place, not surprising since she and her character are Baltimore natives.
Tess is a recently laid off newspaper reporter and is scrambling to earn a living with a few part-time jobs given to her by family members. She is also a rower, and finds solace and sustenance rowing her shell on the river, often with her friend and competitive rower, Rock (Darryl Paxton). Paxton hires Tess to trail his fiance, whom he suspects is carrying on with another man. When there’s a murder, her rowing friend is a suspect and Tess goes to work as an investigator for his lawyer. A good start to a series I’ve heard improves with each book.
Virtual Sabotage by Julie Hyzy, science fictional thriller. In the near future, virtual reality is sophisticated big business, and the environments can be so real-seeming that sometimes clients of the big VR firms get lost in the experience and need someone to pull them out.
When this happens and one of the rescuers find herself in a situation so real physical harm occurs, it’s clear something more than “virtual” is happening, and code can alter life, It’s a huge conspiracy, and someone has to stop it. Interesting.
So how about you?
What have you been reading?
I am almost thru Gutshot Straight by Lou Berney which I am enjoying. In the last week I also read a P.I. novel by G.M. Ford-Soul Survivor and Bones of the Earth a SF novel by Michael Swanwick, I liked the Swanwick a lot The Ford was good but not great. Not the best in the Leo Waterman series.
I have read all the Tess Monaghan novels by Lippman and enjoyed them. Haven’t read any of her standalones but her newest- Sunburn is supposed to be quite good. Her husband is David Simon who wrote Homicide which became the tv series. And created The Wire, Treme and The Deuce.
Steve, have you read Ron Corbett’s Cape Diamond, the sequel to Ragged Lake? I enjoyed it quite a lot. I haven’t read a Gerry Ford since his first one.
No. Not familiar with Ron Corbett. Somebody else I’ll have to check up on.
I like Lippman too and always think I should read more of her books. Like George today, I will be finishing 1,000 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE, which I enjoyed a lot. I’m almost done with the early O. Henry collection, HEART OF THE WEST, which introduced The Cisco Kid. Overall, however, it was another slow week.
See my comment on George’s blog about 1000 Books, it’s certainly not for me. I don’t think I knew The Cisco Kid was created by O. Henry.
I finished James Mustich’s wonderful 1,000 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE. It’s a Big, Fat Book that’s well worth reading. I also read Lee Child’s newest Jack Reacher novel, PAST TENSE. Our stroke victim friend is back in her home meeting with home-care nurses. Things are returning to Normal at the Kelley Hotel.
Barbara is reading that Reacher now. Enjoying it, apparently. I’ll skip that 1,000 books book, thanks. Glad things are returning to normal. Now you can enjoy your Kelley Christmas.
Two of the books I read this week were continuations of series by other authors. THE MYSTERY OF THE THREE QUARTERS by Sophie Hannah is her third novel featuring Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. It is 1930 and four supposedly unrelated people have each received a letter accusing them of murdering the same man,. Each of the letters was signed “Hercule Poirot.” Poirot knows he did not send the letters and the “vistim” was a 94-year-old man who died accidentally in his bathtub. The clues are cleverly planted and the solution relies heavily on psychology. An impressive book that somehow leaves a taste of “meh.”
Robert B. Parker’s various series have lived on after the author’s death with writers continuing his Spenser, Jesse Stone, and Virgil and Hitch tales. The only major series that has not been continued was that featuring Boston PI Sunny Randall — until now. Mike Lupica has picked up the mantle with ROBERT B. PARKER’S BLOOD FEUD. Sunny is carefully renewing her relationship with her ex-husband, a Boston mob boss’s son who has kept away from the family business. When Sunny’s ex is shot from behind, she is compelled to investigate. Two people are killed, havoc is wreaked, and large caches of guns go missing as Sunny navigates the perilous waters of New England crime families. A fairly good read marred only by having Sunny (and others) not glomming onto several main points that would be obvious to a fourteen-year-old reader by page 100. Oh well, it’s still good to having Sunny back.
Other books read this week were Ray Bradbury’s AHMED AND THE OBLIVION MACHINE, a juvenile oriental fantasy that was my FFB this week and Gordon R. Dickson’s SECRET UNDER THE CARIBBEAN, the third (and final) book in the Robbie Hoenig juvenile series. No potential prize winners here but I’m glad I read both of these books.
I’m currently reading an old chestnut I had never got along to — E.E. Smith’s SKYLARK THREE. Boy, the writing is creaky.
It’s chilly, windy, and rainy here but t least we don’t have 8-12 inches of partly cloudy.
Enjoy your week, Rick.
I enjoyed most of the original Spencer books, less so as the series went on and the books got lighter in plot and page count. I’m not sure I finished that series off, and didn’t read any of the others. I’m pretty sure I’ll not bother with the extensions / continuations.
I haven’t read either Skylark or Lensman in over 50 years. Not sure I want to, but I’m sure you’re right about the creaky writing.
We’ve finally gotten our early Winter rains, which we desperately need. So it’s cold (low 40s and mid-to-low 30s) and wet, this is soaking rain, not downpours, and the garden is settling into Winter. I like this time of year, especially as it feels “Christmasy”. We’ve decorated, shopped, etc. so we’re ready.
I found the E.E. Smith books badly written when I tried to read them at 13 or 14. And I wasn’t very critical at that age. I agree with you on the Parkers. After the first 7 or 8 I thought the quality went down. I have read a couple of Ace Atkin’s Spenser novels and found them better that Parkers.
I haven’t made a lot of progress in reading this week. I finished Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry last week, and finished Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg just last night. And I haven’t decided what to start reading tonight.
I read Baltimore Blues a few years ago and have a couple more of the early books in the series. I should get to those sometime soon. I think Julie Hyzy wrote a couple of cozy mystery series and I have one of those to try, set at the White House. I had wondered what this new book would be like, a totally different direction for her, it seems.