Friday, November 5, 2010

Reading Roundup


There are many reasons to like Ross Thomas's The Fools in Town Are On Our Side, not least of which is the name of its narrator, Lucifer Dye. His mother died in childbirth; what else was his father going to name him but Lucifer? After his father's death when Lucifer was only six, the boy is taken in by a French madame and raised in an international whorehouse in Shanghai where he learns to speak half a dozen languages before he can read or write. So of course he grows up to be a spook, a secret agent working for a double-secret agency. And when he's cashiered for another agent's mistake, why not take the first offer to come his way, even if that offer involves the job of corrupting a small Southern town...Yeah, long story short, the somewhat twisted theory is that you can't fix it until it's done been good and broke, and that's why the town fathers want Lucifer to do the dirty work. Sounds convoluted? It is. Convoluted and wonderful.

Travis McGee lives on a houseboat, The Busted Flush which he won, naturally, in a poker game. He's a beach bum, a partier, who does jobs for people. He gets stuff back for people who have no legal recourse (though he only takes jobs when either his funds are running dangerously low or he can't resist the dame who has the problem), and takes a nice cut of the recovery. The Deep Blue Good-By is his first adventure, and it involves strippers and psychotic vets and one delicate and fragile lady who steals Trav's heart. John D. MacDonald kicks ass, and everyone should read him (especially crime writers).


 Bernie Rhodenbarr is a Greenwich Village rare books dealer by day (bookstore complete with lazy cat) and a thief by night. In this installment of the popular series a beautiful and mysterious foreigner walks into Bernie's store...he's captivated, ensnared, and quickly caught up in a convoluted--albeit pretty darned funny--caper. Read the review here.



Stories from the Dresden Files, arranged chronologically. Beginning with Butcher's very first effort, which was written before Storm Front, the first novel in the series, and introduces several key characters, and ending with a previously unpublished novella which takes place [insert anticipatory sharp intake of breath here] after the cliff-hanger ending of Changes, the most recent novel. Each story is introduced with a brief explanation of where it falls in the chronology, where it was published, and how it came to be written. So far--and I'm a little more than halfway through--the only story that falls somewhat flat is Backup, which is told from the perspective of Harry Dresden's older half brother, Thomas.

My lunchtime reading at work. Urban fantasy set in a future California, centering on orphaned teenage twins Eliot and Fiona, who have lived a sheltered life under the iron rule of their grandmother. All hell--if you'll pardon the pun--breaks loose when they learn that they are the offspring of a goddess and the Prince of Darkness himself.


Books from two of my favorite authors. Read anything you can get your hands on by these guys. They both rock, albeit in very different ways. McCarry writes elegant and intricate and incredibly literary novels of espionage and political intrigue, while Campbell's La-La Land books are set in the seedy world of L.A. crime--underage prostitutes, junkies, and child traffickers are among the bad guys, and good guy Whistler's Yoda is a one-armed bartender named Bosco Silverlake.

I'm kind of on a Lawrence Sanders kick lately. Even though I've only read one of his novels so far (The Tangent Objective, reviewed here), I've acquired five or six of them in the last couple of months. This is his first.


Did you publish a book-related post during the last week of which you're particularly proud? Did you read a book-related post that you particularly enjoyed? Link it up below! 

The Linky will be open now through 11:59 p.m. on Friday.  I look forward to reading everybody's entries.


EnriqueFreeque said...

You've mentioned Charles McCarry many times before. He's officially now (finally) on my radar during "my rounds".

Rebecca Glenn said...

EF: It's about time!

Hey, thanks to all who have shared links so far. I'm intrigued, albeit in different ways, by all the books you've mentioned.

jewelknits said...

LOVE all of the mysteries! Great books! Enjoy the new!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

stargazerpuj said...

So many new books and authors I need to check out!