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The First 90 Days...

Nearing the end of the first quarter of 2021 somehow. I have taken an advantage of a mostly clear shelf to read 'other things' to start the year. Most of which I have found to be very enjoyable. I love the authors I read on a regular bases, but it is always nice to discover new...or new to me... authors to fill up my brain. I'll be sliding back to the shelf after the current read. The S.A. Cosby is next (Yay!) and I'll follow that with the latest Koryta and Mosely. CASE HISTORIES - Kate Atkinson Nobody needs me to write that CASE HISTORIES is extraordinary.  Melancholy books about the soul crashing weight of our past history are 100% my jam. On to ONE GOOD TURN soon. Mick Herron Slough House #1-4 I found these books to be a fair amount peppier than I anticipated. My expectation was that these would be stories of morose failed spies looking for redemption. And I guess the Slough House books are that, just less morose and a bit funnier than anticipated. Power ranking of
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The Hungry Detective Plan for 2021

Somethings I'm working on... George Smiley John le CarrĂ©, David Cornwell, passed away on December 12, 2019. At that point I had only read one of his books, his last, AGENT RUNNING IN THE FIELD. I have watched the Alec Guinness version of TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER SPY a number of times, and in real terms that series haunts me. It is unceasingly melancholy. There is a something special about a piece entertainment weather a book, a movie, or television show that can reach that deep sense of sadness and still be thrilling and wonderful.  I started the year with CALL OF THE DEAD (1961), his first, and his first George Smiley. I look forward to the rest. Billy Boyle I take great enjoyment in the Progressive - Don't Be Your Parents series of commercials. One of the early ones was Dr. Rick gently asking a young man who is reading a book about submarines about who else reads books about submarines. In a resigned sigh the young man says "My dad..." Now funny enough, but that exch

(Late, I know...) The Best of 2020!

I read 47 books in 2020 which is 17 more than my 2019 mark. If there is a silver lining to being home, there is more time to read since the start of my professional career. The books broke pretty evenly between being published in 2020, 2019 and in the immediate years before 2019.  It was a proud accomplishment to read down the backlog. There are just one offs sitting on the shelf now. Books that I recently explained to a friend that I could not remember why I bought them much less a desire to ever read them. 2021 hopes be a year where I read a few things I have always wanted too, plus a few classics of literature that I missed when I graduated High School 31 years ago. The Inaugural "I Regret Not Reading This Book" Award BLACKTOP WASTELAND - S.A. Crosby   Every year there is a BLACKTOP WASTELAND. Which is to say a highly regraded book that checks all of the boxes of my interest that I never quite get around to buying,. I read about this book back in July/August and I no dou

EIGHT DETECTIVE + WINTER COUNTS + NEXT TO LAST STAND - Review

It was nearing the end of October and what seemed like the 10th or 11th day in a row of receiving packages in the mail is when Mrs. Hungry Detective called a timeout on buying things in the form of a delivery of a box or padded envelope.  She was quite right to do so even if I had a couple of November releases to purchase.  Neither was desperate, both come from best selling authors. Finding those books in December was not a challenge. [ Editor's Note: Well, not until they shipped the wrong book... ] More distressing was a 20% off sale from a seller for the month of November. I was anticipate making at least one purchase to fill a hole in my Craig Johnson books. The same seller also has a complete run of James Benn novels. I own Mr. Benn's first and was thinking about buying the next 3-4 books. With the sale, I figured I could get a nice start without having to scour ABE for each book separately. Alas, they will have to wait. [ Editor's Note: Sale has been continued through

CRY BABY + A PRIVATE CATHEDRAL - Review

Curious occurrence that both books are written as flashbacks. I could not reconcile why this was the right time tell these stories this way. Still, both have The Hungry Detective's strongest recommendations.   CRY BABY - Mark Billingham Mr. Billingham is a closer. Which is to say that he knows how to bring to bare the weight of all that has come before in a book's closing moments. In the case of CRY BABY the closing moments certainly calmed some general qualms about why a flashback story now, especially as a milestone book, Mr. Billingham's 20th. There must be something there, right? There is no acknowledgement in previous books, no cryptic references to the events in previous books about this story. Regardless of this semi-frustrating structure, CRY BABY is great, and Mr. Billingham has not missed in quite some time.   A PRIVATE CATHEDRAL - James Lee Burke "I'm talking about the acknowledgment of mortality, and not the kind that slips up on you in hospice or on th

FIREWATCHING + RIVIERA GOLD - Review

It has been a long while since I read a first novel. [ Editor's Note: Long time since you enjoyed one too. ] But as the pile shrinks I have dipped my toe back into the waters of the first timer. FIREWATCHING by Russ Thomas falls into that category. While RIVIERA GOLD falls into the opposite as I have been reading Ms. King for over 20 years at this point. Additional, it is nice to read exclusively 2020 releases. And because of this, 2020 will be the first year I would feel comfortable to post a 'Best of' list in December. Even the act of starting that post with a list of potential books has been fun. FIREWATCHING - Russ Thomas Late last year and into the early part of 2020 I listened to a podcast that, impart, dealt with the production of television show. One of the podcasters is a producer/show-runner of a television show and he gamely detailed the ups and downs of that adventure. One of the things he talked about, in detailing the shows writing process, was that you leave

RESIDUE + THE LAST TOURIST + DEVOLUTION - Review

In between RESIDUE and THE LAST TOURIST, I read DEVOLUTION: A FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF THE RAINIER SASQUATCH MASSACRE. Low key, I think Max Brooks's WORLD WAR Z is a straight up masterpiece. DEVOLUTION was not as finely detailed and I found the opening chapters a little rough, but otherwise this is FANTASTIC. A grounded and compulsively well told story. Exceptional stuff. RESIDUE - Michael McGarrity There has always been a bit of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct in the Kevin Kerney series. Lots of characters moving in and out, occasionally taking over for a chapter or two, but the story is always ably lead by now retired Sheriff Kevin Kerney. RESIDUE certainly gets off on the right foot with the discovery of a long missing girl's body with a connection to Kerney. That connection turns Kerney into a murder suspect, and we are off and running with this compelling first act. The promising start is squandered, however, as the story veers from the girl and Kerney. Indeed, Kerney is