~ Archive for Mystery ~

Dead Witch Walking

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Kim Harrison introduces Rachel Morgan, witch, Ivy, her vampire partner, and Jenks, pixy and all-around loudmouth. Dark fantasy and romance all in one package. This first book in a series was interesting enough to pick up the second book. We’ll see how it goes. Also available in Spanish with the title La noche del la bruja muerta.

Published in mass-market paperback by HarperCollins. ISBN 0060572965

Double Play

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World War II vet Joseph Burke is a man who doesn’t care about anything. He agrees to be Jackie Robinson‘s bodyguard during his first year with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Protecting the ballplayer’s life, brings Burke back to life. Robert B. Parker has crafted a moving historical novel that is part crime novel and part homage to the golden age of baseball. A nice read.

Published in mass-market paperback by Penguin. ISBN 0425199630

Mr. Paradise

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Kelly Barr agrees to help her roommate play Michigan cheerleader for her 84 year-old boyfriend, Tony Paradiso, but a couple of killers spoil the party. Detective Frank Delsa isn’t sure what Kelly is up tp, but he likes her style. Another smooth tale from the master, Elmore Leonard. You can’t go wrong with any of his books.

Published in mass-market paperback by HarperCollins. ISBN 0060083964

Whispering Nickel Idols

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I guess I’ve finally caught up with recent reading. PI Garrett is back in action, along with his housekeeper Dean, Pular Singe, and, of course, the Dead Man. Once he wakes up, the Dead Man is pulling everyone’s strings, Garrett is getting his ass kicked and giving a little of what he’s getting, all to learn why an underworld boss is in a coma and what a basket of odd kittens may have to do with it. As usual, author Glen Cook pens a wild fantasy noir novel that’s difficult to put down.

Published in mass market paperback by Penguin. ISBN 0451459741

The Last Noel

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It’s a little off season to be reading this book, but I actually read it right after the holidays. I just haven’t been posting any of these nano-reviews lately for a variety of reasons that no one would find interesting.

Steve Brewer is one of four contributors to this collection of novellas with a holiday theme. The other writers are Catherine Dain, Mat Coward, and Linda Berry, whose stories, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t read. Brewer’s leadoff tale, Sanity Clause, features Albuquerque PI Bubba Mabry, his wife, reporter Felicia Quattlebaum, his Dodge Ram, and Santa, very dead, at a local mall. Brewer is always good for a fast, fun read. I’ll read the other stories someday.

Published in mass market paperback by Worldwide Library. ISBN 0373265093

Screwball

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A rookie with a 110 mile per hour fastball takes the Red Sox to the World Series and, oh, by the way, he might be a serial killer. David Ferrell wrote this sports noir novel. The back cover says “it’s as if Carl Hiaasen moved to Boston”. I don’t agree. Hiaasen’s characters, even the bad guys, are more appealing. This book was mildly entertaining, but the Sox didn’t need a serial killer to win a Series title.

Published in trade paperback by HarperCollins. ISBN 0060726008

Nobody Runs Forever

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This is another lean mean Parker novel by Richard Stark. All of the Parker tales are quick and entertaining reads. Neither Parker nor Stark disappoint, but this time around, Parker runs. This doesn’t happen often.

Published in hardcover by Mysterious Press. ISBN 0892967986

Skeleton Man

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Tony Hillerman returns to the bookshelf with this tale based on a 1956 plane crash in the Grand Canyon. While Jim Chee is suffering a little anxiety over his forthcoming marriage to Bernie Manuelito, Joe Leaphorn is called in for a consultation. Leaphorn digs up old memories and, with Chee, an old case. As always, Hillerman’s characters are as welcome as old friends.

Published in hardcover by Harper Collins. ISBN 0060563443

Whiteout

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This graphic novel collects the four-issue mini-series published by Oni Press. The story is by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Steve Lieber with additional artwork by Frank Miller, Matt Wagner, Mike Mignola, and Dave Gibbons. Rucka’s tale about a U.S. Marshall serving in Antarctica and investigating multiple murders on the ice, is lean and taut. The black and white artwork fits the stark location and the main character’s personal demons nicely.

Published in trade paperback by Oni Press. ISBN 0966712714

Convenient Disposal

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Steven F. Havill continues the Posadas County series with this title, featuring Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman. As always, he weaves the everyday lives of his characters, with everyday crimes. The end result is a compelling read. Highly recommended.

Published in hardcover by St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 0312324049

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