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That Is Why They Call It the Present

On Sunday, I finished THE KILLING HABIT by Mark Billingham. I ripped off the last 100 pages or so while the person behind me on my flight home was vomiting in his chair. Happy Easter..... (bunny emoji)
Despite my inauspicious personal surroundings, THE KILLING HABIT was a good day for the author Mark Billingham. Over the course of the last couple books, he has transitioned his series from Tom Thorne to Tom Thorne and Nicola Tanner. And in fact, his next work, THEIR LITTLE SECRET, is firmly presented as Thorne and Tanner novel. [Editors Note: Well at least on the UK side it is ...] And given how THE KILLING HABIT ended calling THEIR LITTLE SECRET a Thorne/Tanner book makes a lot of sense if just for this one only.
Of course, I am reminded of another series trying to do something similar, the Bosch and Ballard books that Michael Connelly has been writing over a similar amount of time. And based on the limited sample size of both authors works, I have to say Billingham is doing a better…
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Spring 2019 Preview

A few Spring books of note now that the season is a couple weeks old. Very likely that I will acquire all but the Atkinson. Lots of old friends....
Let me know in the comments what you are looking forward to this Spring.
CELTIC EMPIRE - Clive and Dirk Cussler - OUT NOW I have been reading Dirk Pitt adventure novels for going on 30 years. Realistically I should have stopped about 20 years ago. The books can be rousing tales but now I brush past the long action set pieces. I’ve read too many. There is a vintage car, lots of bullets, careening through streets, or something with a boat, etc. It has all gone a little stale. His 'long-lost' kids showed up about 6 or 7 books ago. Snooze. Neither Cussler has figured out how to use them without making them into frustrating dopes who always do the wrong thing. Now ‘doing the wrong thing’ is the stuff of narrative tension, here the kids are only annoying plot devices. I read these books for me, as a reminder of who I was back then. They…

I Also Watch the Television.

These late winter months have brought two high profiles Crime Dramas to television screens. The third season of TRUE DETECTIVE and the Chris Pine lead I AM THE NIGHT. Both wrapped up their seasons in back to back weeks.
Let me start with I AM THE NIGHT. It is my longheld belief that Chris Pine won the great Chris Wars of 2016. Evans and Hemsworth have been trapped behind a Marvel pay-wall and lose the battle based primarily on lack of variety. Chris Pratt is a nonentity, because while he is perfectly cast in those GUARDIANS movies, he is a bad actor. But I digress. Chris Pine makes a lot of choices in I AM THE NIGHT and gives a very good unhinged Nick Cage type performance. Watching the final episode I also remarked that he is a very good bleeder. The show looks at the intersection of the The Black Dahlia murder case and the interesting story of main suspect Dr. George Hodel. Hodel has been posited as an OG suspect since back in the day, but more recently his own son has came forward…

Out of Order

These are the next 6 books I am going to read. All but the latest James Lee Burke are 2018 releases. I am also under the vague impression that I can do this by early April.
Initially, I was going to move onto THE KILLING HABIT next, but I pivoted to the Craig Johnson because in thinking it over, his previous novel, THE WESTERN STAR, was my favorite read last year. DEPTH OF WINTER is the continuation of that book and the (possible?) conclusion to a longer running arc of Tom├ís Bidarte as Walt Longmire's nemesis. Following that will be the Connelly. Which will be the first book of his that I have some mild trepidation to read. TWO KINDS OF TRUTH did not connect with me and the first book in a long time that I felt was lacking from Mr. Connelly. In the past, I always thought to myself that mediocre -- insert author that you like -- is still better than most books. In truth, that is a weird narrative. And I should just embrace that fact that I didn't like the book. Anyway, TWO KIN…

I read 5 Books in a Row

As mentioned previously I am playing catch up with my TBR. One way to bring the list into some form of submission was to focus on one author to read all of the backlog. The logic is that I would become accustomed to the rhythms of the writer which in turn would allow me to read faster.
The author I was the biggest offender with is Stephen Booth. I own 5 books that I needed to read, from DEAD AND BURIED, the 12th in the series, to SECRETS OF DEATH his 16th Cooper and Fry novel. My thesis that reading a run of books would help proved to be true as I was able to get through all of the books in about 3 weeks.
Facilitating the quick read was the fact that DEAD AND BURIED, ALREADY DEAD, and THE CORPSE BRIDGE made a very strong trilogy. And in point of fact some of the best work of the entire series. I felt like Mr. Booth was really on a heater after some not so memorable reads leading up to DEAD AND BURIED. As a series reader, I am often daunted by the fact that starting a long-running ser…

I Miss Some People - Troy Soos

A couple weeks ago Mrs. Hungry Detective left on a weekend trip to Tucson. I took the opportunity to do a reorganization of the books. It is a long, frustrating project as I re-affirm my command of the alphabet and its standard order. Invariably, I run across a book by an author who is no longer writing. Some have crossed the river Styx, others have been lost in the gutting of the mid-list author that happens periodically. Others have moved on from the genre and I choose not to follow. I'm gonna tell you about some of them.
Author: Troy Soos Character: Mickey Rawlins The Work: MURDER AT FENWAY PARK (1994); MURDER AT EBBETS FIELD (1995); MURDER AT WRIGLEY FIELD (1996); HUNTING A DETROIT TIGER (1997); THE CINCINNATI RED STALKINGS (1998); HANGING CURVE (1999).
I went to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair a couple times. One of those times I bought Mr. Soos's first book MURDER AT FENWAY PARK. It cost me in excess of $100 which meant a lot to me then. I was making 20K a year and t…