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Rick S. - Reviews

1 to 16 of 16
Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski, Bk 11)
Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski, Bk 11)
Author: Sara Paretsky
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 186
Review Date: 6/9/2012


Like another reviewer whose comments I read, I sense that Paretsky has moved away from simply writing good mysteries and has started using the books as a platform for her politics. I don't really care if it's liberal or conservative, it's starting to get old. The first few books were great, but now it seems like EVERY book is closely tied to politically-motivated crime. I didn't finish this one, and probably won't read any others in the series. That's a shame - the series started so well.


Bordersnakes
Bordersnakes
Author: James Crumley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 10/13/2012


I like Crumley's work as a rule, but I have to admit this one was very hard to follow. Crumley admitted he never seemed to gain a big audience in this country (his own), and I think that's because while the plots are generally good, it is very, very hard to pull for Milo or CW because they take so many drugs it just makes them less likeable. That's just my two cents.


Brat Farrar
Brat Farrar
Author: JosephineTey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/22/2012


I dscovered Josephine Tey's novels after seeing several -- including this one -- on a "100 Greatest Mystery Novels" list. I have never read anyone who can throw in a surprise ending better than Tey. This is a very good read.


A Catskill Eagle (Spenser, Bk 12)
A Catskill Eagle (Spenser, Bk 12)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 113
Review Date: 10/6/2010


The only Spenser book I've read that I didn't much like. Suddenly, Susan is a mindless automaton who does stupid things and is a willing slave to a killer. It just doesn't make sense. Spenser and Hawk are consistent, but Susan is not the Susan we've come to know and admire.


The Colorado Kid
The Colorado Kid
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 312
Review Date: 7/9/2006
Helpful Score: 1


I quit reading Stephen King in the 1980s after being dissatisfied with his work for a number of reasons, and this is the first King novel I've read in twenty years. It wasn't worth the wait. King goes on and on showing us how he can imitate localized diction and colloquialisms, trying to cleverly infuse his characters with local color as if to say, See, I can create interesting and colorful characters too, just as a writer such as Dickens did. Well, he spends so much time trying to imitate characters a la Murder She Wrote (which is referred to frequently), that one soon gets the sense that the novel is an exercise in character development -- and a weak one at that. If you like crime fiction and mysteries, stay far away from this. I can only think that the editors were so excited to get a writer of King's renown involved that he was given carte blanche to write a novel with no closure and one that is supremely unsatisfying.


Cop Hater (87th Precinct, Bk 1)
Cop Hater (87th Precinct, Bk 1)
Author: Ed McBain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 6/12/2012


I was surprised with just how average this book was. I'm reading my way through the list of "100 Greatest Crime Novels" and decided to give it a try. It was okay, but pretty predictable, and very bare-bones in terms of plot and characters. Maybe McBain's novels get better, but this was the one on the list so I would assume it is supposed to be the best. So-so, but not up to the level of Chandler, Macdonald, James, or Tey.


Death in Holy Orders (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 11)
Death in Holy Orders (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 11)
Author: P. D. James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 110
Review Date: 1/22/2012


I started reading the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries about midway through the series with "A Taste For Death" after seeing that novel on a "100 Greatest Mystery Novels" list.I found it interesting enough to keep reading subsequent books in order, and while well-plotted, I never felt like I knew the characters well, and frankly came to know Dalgliesh's assistants better than I knew him. The reason I liked "Death in Holy Orders" so much --and better than any other in the series to date -- was that for the first time I felt like I knew about Dalgliesh as a person. When we see his interest in Emma Lavenham developing for the first time he seemed, to me, more than just a literary character.Now I'm looking for to the other novels that follow.


Double Deuce  (Spenser, Bk 19)
Double Deuce (Spenser, Bk 19)
Author: Robert B. Parker
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 10/6/2010


I've read all 19 to this point, and this is only the second one I didn't care for. Slow moving, and Spenser seems to spend more time talking to Susan and cooking than being involved in the case. Even at the end, not much action.


The Franchise Affair (Alan Grant, Bk 3)
The Franchise Affair (Alan Grant, Bk 3)
Author: Josephine Tey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 33
Review Date: 1/22/2012


I discovered Josephine Tey's novels after seeing several -- including this one -- on a "100 Greatest Mystery Novels" list. I have never read anyone who can throw in a surprise ending better than Tey. This was a fantastic read, and though I'm now a big fan of Tey's work, this is my favorite. An excellent novel.


Last Good Kiss
Last Good Kiss
Author: James crumley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 9/22/2012


I saw this book on several lists of the all time greatest PI books, and I have to say I was not disappointed. It is a great book, and in fact it enocuraged me to read more by the author (though so far nothing else of his comes close to this one). A must read for lovers of crime fiction.


The Mexican Tree Duck
The Mexican Tree Duck
Author: James Crumley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 9/22/2012


I was so impressed by Crumley's "Last Good Kiss" that I wanted to read more of Sughrue's adventures. This was a not up to the previous novel, however, and though CW is supposed to be an anti-hero of sorts, he does so many drugs in this book that it's a major turnoff. The only likeable characters in this novel are Wynonna, Mel, and Baby Lester! Overall then, so-so, but if I'd read this before "Last Good Kiss" I never would have read another novel by Crumley.


Miss Pym Disposes
Miss Pym Disposes
Author: Josephine Tey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 1/22/2012


I discovered Josephine Tey's novels after seeing several on a "100 Greatest Mystery Novels" list. While this isn't my favorite work of hers -- that would have to be "The Franchise Affair," with "Brat Farrar" running a close second, this has the most shocking and unexpected ending of any of her novels, and she's the master of the surprise ending. It starts a bit slow, but stick with it. It's an excellent novel


Rat Race
Rat Race
Author: Dick Francis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 47
Review Date: 8/28/2012


One of the best Dick Francis books I've read


Sadie When She Died (87th Precinct Mysteries (Paperback))
Sadie When She Died (87th Precinct Mysteries (Paperback))
Author: Ed McBain
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 8/27/2012


There are a couple of "100 Greatest Crime Novels Lists," and two McBain novels are on those lists, "Cop Killer" and this one. I read "Cop Killer" first and wasn't real impressed, but given that it was written in the 50s and very formulaic, I understood its shortcomings. I read this one then, and it's the real deal. A very, very good novel, and it made me want to order more McBain novels. Worth the time to read.


The Secret Treasure of Oak Island : The Amazing True Story of a Centuries-Old Treasure Hunt
Review Date: 4/5/2009
Helpful Score: 2


By far the best, most balanced, and well-researched account of the Oak Island mystery I've ever read. I picked it up and read it in one day I was so engrossed. Well done.


The Walrus Was Paul : The Great Beatle Death Clues
The Walrus Was Paul : The Great Beatle Death Clues
Author: R. Gary Patterson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 4/5/2009


Perhaps the best treatment of this fascinating subject, but that's not saying much -- some of the others are horrible. Interesting, but you'll read it and feel that Patterson could have done it a bit better than he did.


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