First book by Jeff Abbott and a delight. A Jorday Poteet series book. Takes place in a small Texas town, with several murders and eight or so suspects. Good sluething and a very easy read. I recommend it. (I had read a later book by Abbott and decided to go back to the beginning.)
Edgar Allen Poe is the star of this tale. I learned a lot about him in an innocous manner. Fairstein spins a good tale that is very readable. No heartstopping moments but a continuing thread that keeps you reading avidly. I plan to read more of her work.
What is Chicago really like, beneath the glitter and great reputation? Michael Harvey does for Chicago what John Lescroart does for San Francisco, writing about both the pretty and the unpretty. Michael Kelly is a former policeman, framed and dismissed as part of the graft and corruption for which Chicago politics is renowned. As a private detective, he tackles whatever comes his way, but with humor, heart, and grace. Hard hitting at times but a softie at other times, Kelly is an engaging guy, trained in the classics, capable of quoting the ancients and reading their language.
The Fifth Floor is the second by Mr. Harvey, the first being The Chicago Way. I have read both and have his third on the wish list. In this particular book, Kelly examines the great Chicago fire and the myths that have sprung up around it. He is in and out of some Chicago landmark restaurants and pubs. The conclusion to his tale is satisfying and, unlike so many books these days, it is not completely off the wall. Read it if you like good suspense/thriller/ mystery, or whatever this genre is called. I just call it a good book to read.
By the way, if you want to get this book, put it on your wish list, as my copy is going out the door today.
Another Kurt Austin adventure from Clive Cussler. Start with a premise taking place during the Russian revolution and fall of the tsar; carry it forward to the present and develop the fall out that the event triggered almost 90 years later. A fun read with the usual ingeneous twists and turns.
Tickle your imagination with the idea of a sitting president being visited by the ghosts of Millard Fillmore, Grover Cleveland, and Andrew Jackson. They offer their expert assistance and support in resolving an international crisis abetted by a rogue Chinese admiral.
Only the president can see the ghosts, who converse with him as they drink his beer and eat his snacks.
Now also picture three crazy Cajun LSU college buds who descend on the White House for a visit. Their antics are over the top and perhaps overdone, especially when they import a voodoo priestess to help exorcise the ghosts whom the president casually mentions he has seen and with whom he has conversed.
This is a fun romp which ignores White House protocol and security.
Louis Tridico has written several other books which focus on his Louisiana background and love of history. His books are available on Amazon.
Leave it to Clive Cussler to write another perfect caper. Here a group of good mercenaries pull off a heist where all (or almost all) goes according to plan. Sure, it is fantasy to think that all the gadgets and gimmicks are really real and really work and that the good guys have the gimmicks. But forget about that and just sit back and enjoy a good read. This is the first in a new series, The Oregon Files, that Cussler is co-authoring with a new partner. I must admit that the writing is not as polished as in his earlier books--apparently his co-writer just does not yet have skills as smooth as you might wish for. Nevertheless, I intend to read more of this new series. Well, it is several years old now, but it is the first in the Oregon File series.
Cynthia Baxter has written a series of light, fun "whodidit?" mysteries. Part-time amateur sleuth and full time vet with a clinic on wheels, Jesse Popper rolls around Long Island caring for pets, chasing murderers, and finding herself in peril. It is refreshing to find that the story development is more important that sex, profanity, and vulgarities, though in this book, Dr. Popper does pay a visit to a dungeon party and observe some of the more esoteric activities of life.
The advantage of reading a series of any books is getting to know and feel comfortable with the cast of characters and the locale. Another plus in this series is that the descriptives of locations, events, characters are all good and not overdone to tedium, as one finds in P.D. James books. For enjoyable, light reading, try Cynthia Baxter's series of Jesse Popper books.
Here is a new author with his first novel, received to great acclaim. It is not your usual whodunit--while the question of who did it seemingly points to "the obvious one," there are enough twists to keep you guessing till the end, and it is not who you thought it would be. On a different and higher level, it is almost a coming of age of a thirty-something adult. In this case, the protagonist learns truths about himself, his family, his friends, and his enemies as he finally discovered who murdered his father. In doing so, he is set free from the constraints that have hampered him and kept him unfulfilled and without zest for life. The author is a lawyer and writes of what he knows best, with the hero also a lawyer. In my opinion, this writer has a great future.
Jeff Abbott is a totally engaging writer who knows how to tell a good tale. He is succinct and sees no need to pad the book with a lot of extra unncessary detail just to bulk up the book. This is the first in a new Whit Mosely series that takes place in a small town on the Texas Gulf coast. Not garishly violent like so many books, not totally laced with four letter words, not overly heavy on sex--just a good balance that makes this an engrossing read.
I suppose if you are a scholar and like 20-30 footnotes per page, you will enjoy this tome. I found wading through 40 pages substantiating Columbus' non-discovery of America about as exciting as reading the nemes of all the Joneses in a telephone directory. Each name is the same with a few variations and different addresses.
Interestingly, the book provides nothing of the author's credentials except two lines on the back cover, which state that he is a professor emeritous in socialogy from the University of New Hampshire. Not much in the way of credentials to support his views.
The writing is pedantic and boring. I think from the title, the subject matter could have come to life with some colorful, yet factual, writing. It might also have been more interesting if it were about 200 pages shorter than it is. On the other hand, if you are an insomniac, this book should be a great aid to you. And if you are a true scholar, which I admittedly am not, have at it. For those who are not true scholers, you might consider taking it off your wish list.
Another fun book in the Kurt Austin series. While the premise is perhaps a bit far-fetched, the pace is good, the story is engrossing, and the plot has the ususal twists and turns one comes to expect from Cussler. I recommend it to all fans of NUMA and the usual characters who populate the Cussler books.
New York Times Notable book. One of the best I have read in ages. The protagonist is a photographer, totally color blind, who lives and photographs in a black and white world. The story is suspenseful and well told, though a bit brutal at times. The author knows San Francisco well and provides ample detail on both the gritty and sophisticated side of the City by the Bay. A good read.
Part of the Tres Navarre series that occur in San Antonio. Mid-way you think you know who did it. But are you sure? Bet you don't figure out who really did "it" (but there are several layers of who "got done" and the real answer only comes at the very end.
I wondered what kind of author Margaret Truman might be. Could the daughter of Harry S Truman, a not-so-good singer, write a decent book? She wrote 21 or so books in the Capital Crime Seriesbooks with tales of crime in and around Washington, D.C. I was pleasantly surprised, enough so to read a second of her series. She crafts a good story with characters that are well-developed and a not-readily apparent perpetuator of murder most foul.
Murder at the Washington Tribune takes us into the workings of a big daily paper that, like most newspapers, is struggling to survive the competition of tabloid journalism from 24x7 television and electronic-age digital competitors. What are the staid, respectable papers doing to keep readership yet compete with the changing interests of American readers (that could say, the dumbing down of people today)? It is intriguing to watch a well-respected journalist slide into the trap of sensationalism in trying to retain his hold on his readership.
All of the places mentioned in the bookthe hotels, the restaurants, the placesare real. If you have any familiarity with Washington at all, this helps the book come to life. My only complaint is that Ms Truman focuses a bit too much on what people eat when dining out or at home. Perhaps she is a secret foodie of some sort. That is a minor issue though and rather than detract, merely slows the speed of the tale being spun. (I find that many writers go into unnecessary detail merely to add heft to a book.)
I also recommend Murder at Union Station, the other book I read, which deals more with the political intrigue at the Capital.
I was very surprised to find that Margaret Truman has written at least 23 or 24 "Capital Crimes Novels"--the capital being Washington DC, of course. I read it out of curiosity to see what kind of tales teller she is and how entertaining her writing might be. I was agreeably surprised and entertained and plan to read more. Her tale was readable and with the requisite "how will it end?" suspense. While there was a murder, the book was not filled with violence or profanity. It is always rewarding to find a writer who knows enough words without resorting to a continuing stream of profanity. As an old Navy man, I have heard just about every word there is to hear, but I find that intelligent words are best. I did find the ending a little soft after a terrific build up, and I did find a bit tedious numerous instances of listing what one character had to eat with great regularity. All in all, however, the book was worth the time to read it.