So I don't have it keep googling to find this article. It is a good one. A little bit of history, a little bit on the rise of the mystery book shop, and little bit on tips for collecting Collecting Mystery Books by Barry T. Zeman
Finally managed to pick Sean Doolittle's The Cleanup. Total purchase: $6.79 A bit of karma as Doolittle dedicates The Cleanup to the author of my current book, Pistol Poets. I have actually yet to crack the book. Packers on MNF. Tomorrow I got a mother and sister-in-law visiting so reading may not commence until Wednesday.
Managed to finish Joe Konrath’s first, Whiskey Sour . I don’t feel it is a criticism to say that there is nothing original here. The standard tenets of the police procedural/serial genre are all employed quite enjoyably. My chief complaint is that the book is too short. I could have used more character development, but that is what books 2 thru infinity accomplish. Have moved on to Mad Mouse . Really liked the first in Chris Grabenstein’s Jon Ceepak series. The book was wonderful in getting you to identify with the young Danny Boyle and revere the stalwart Cepak. Who cares if I knew the who… but not the why… done it 350 pages before the authors tell us. Grabenstein has another series out. Reportedly stand alones that surround a holiday theme. The first and the author’s latest is Slay Ride . The book was released in both soft and hard covers. Borders only had the soft. Grr…. Third in the Ceepak seris is Whack A Mole . I’m in. Might go back to Konrath’s second, Bloody Mary , but nex
I could write a short parable about why I will never shop at Circuit city again. Their loose affiliation w/ the American system of alphabetizing was chief among their crimes. Today, I wanted to spend $600+ at one of their stores, and for reasons best left unsaid… I’m trying to be the bigger man… I couldn’t As far as Blk. Friday goes consumer electronics have laid waste to this day. When I grew up today was essentially the day that I could go out and find a reasonable priced cable knit sweater for my sister at JC Penny’s. Those halcyon days… Why didn’t I get up at the crack of ass to stand in line at Barnes and Noble or Borders? I don’t know… and neither do they.
I went to Canada on Tuesday. I bought a few books. While we were driving to Canada’s B+N equivalent, Chapters, We drove past a sign on a residential street. Printed in black marker on a large piece of poster board was the word ‘Poet’ with an arrow at the bottom pointing to the house. Hilarious. Desperately in need of a camera for moments likes that. Was hopeful that there would be some British first of a few UK authors I like to read. Two big stumbling blocks to that were; lack of money and an annoying UK publishing practice of producing both hard and soft cover versions of a book at the time of initial release. As a ‘collector’ there is nothing more frustrating. Saved me a few loonies though. Maureen Jennings has started a new series. Christine Morris, Forensic Profiler. I can think of now finer historical series out there than here Murdoch books. For the longest time when KM used to say Poor Tom is Cold in relation to whatever book I was reading. Tremendous author. Anyway this book i
Finished Backstabber . Enjoyed the book a great deal. Hmmm? What? Oh yeah. BUT. I am left w/ the lingering feeling that Cockey has run out of things to do for Hitchcock Sewell. It was almost if he was so excited to move on to the fresh ground of Speak of the Devil that he phoned this one in a bit. And when I say phoned it in… I mean that in the best possible way. Still thumbs up, 7/10. 3 and half stars. So Joe Konrath’s first . Near about 75 pages in. Don’t know enough to form an opinion yet. I was just thinking that I don't read enough female authors. And I still am not, but the leadin Whiskey is female, so I am half way there. Sparkle Hayter and Sandra West Prowell were two of my favs, but Sparkle has not been published w/ any frequency of late. For Prowell is it has been a decade since here last. I hear that there is a real tale of legal woe behind her abscence. I miss both of them. Went out this afternoon and bought wine for Thanksgiving. I think I am working up to a na
I need to fancy the blog up a bit. I need a proper masthead. KM is in charge of that. Although I’m sure she sees it as a burden. She has a publishing company with a friend of ours, Tate Shaw. It is called Preacher's Biscuit Books. She is very busy work on things related to that. It fulfills her in very necessary ways. New masthead. Check I would like to bring a bit of color into the site. Some of that depends on the above. Color. Check There are all sorts of plug-ins I could add to the site, but most are rather ridiculous. Plug-ins. Judicious check I could also change the overall template. Blogger has about 6 to choose from and they are all rather dull. There many more stylish ones to choose from on various sites, but is it worth the trouble. Although if I am going to that, I should do it now while the site is rather un-developed. If it all goes to hell I will be able to recreate the site w/o much trouble. New Template. Check. I have all of next week off. This might give me some
Couple things yesterday. Michael McGarrity's Nothing But Trouble . I love this guy! Under the Color of Law and Big Gamble are fabulous books. McGarrity is the James Lee Burke of the Southwest. Or is Burke the McGarrity of the Louisiana Bayou? I’ll give it to Burke cause of longevity. It will be interesting to see where McGarrity’s books go. At this point in the Robicheaux series we had Dixie City Jam and Burning Angel. Those books are why I love Burke. Black Cherry Blues is the zenith of that series, but Jam, Angel, and Cadillac Jukebox. Amazing. I’m on the funny kick, but McGarrity’s 8th Everyone Dies my claim the charts on my to be read pile. McGarrity is not all that dark anyway. The second book I bought was Suspect by Michael Robotham . I saw him talk at the Madison B'Con and I bought his second book, Lost then and there. Finding his first book was a treat. He lives in Australia, but spent many years in London, where he sets his books. A side character in this book i
I have struggled not too mightily to understand VAT . It is a tax and that is where my understanding falls apart. I am under the vague impression that when I'm traveling in Europe I can go through a process of reclaiming any VAT I paid when I leave. I've see the longish lines at the airport. I can't be bothered. I consider it my support of the European lifestyle. This is all besides the point. I have been working up to buying a handful of things via Amazon UK. KM and I are huge fans of the British TV show Peep Show . KM is at times nearly incapacitated w/ laughter while watching the show. So into the cart you go Season 2. I had also wanted The Ipcress File . The US edition is long out of print. The UK edition was released late last year or early this year. Somehow in my languorous ordering process the UK edition now seems to have a 4 to 6 weeks delay. Which is code for I'm an idiot for not ordering this sooner. The two books I ordered were Stephen Booth's sixth book
I am working on Tim Cockey's latest Hitchcock Sewell book, Backstabber . He released another book earlier this year under the pen name Richard Hawke called Speak of the Devil . This pen name cloak and dagger was a badly kept secret (jeez he virtually gives it away on his website). I hope he goes back to Hitch. I love these books. I remember the third book, The Hearse Case Scenario , was a bit rough sloughing. It was a touch darker than the rest, but I do recall enjoying the darker tones. His books are a day of release purchase for me. Although I don't think I have ever bought one on the day of release. However, I am certainly trying to scrap the money together to purchase as soon as I see it on the self. So far the book has not disappointed. I am about 60 pages in. Cockey has already made w/ the funny and I am enjoying it. Our hero is the kind of loveable douche bag I am drawn to in crime fiction because he is so close to how I see myself. I will probably keep on this k
KM and I were closing in on our one year anniversary. My in-laws gave us a gift card last year to The Mundo Grill when they were just my soon to be wife’s parents. KM made a 6:30 reservation for Saturday night. We were sat promptly upon our arrival. The restaurant was ¾ full. A $75 gift card did not allow for a bottle of wine, which was good because KM is not really a wine drinker….. but neither am I. More like when in Rome… if Rome happened to have a view of the Citgo gas station across the street. I had a glass of the 2005 Little Penguin Pinot Noir. I don’t know wine at all but it was very nice. Full of flavor w/o being overpowering to my taste buds. Our waitress was just a bit too casual for me, but so what. It made for a relaxing evening, even if her descriptions of the specials and desert menu was not a thesaurus of mouthwatering adjectives. KM ordered the Crispy Duck, and I choose the Butcher’s Choices which was a flat iron steak over mashed potatoes. No
Just finished Hard Rain . The second of the Japanese assassin John Rain books penned by Barry Eisler. I am conflicted. Not about the book. I know exactly how I feel about the book. It is how I wish to portray books I read while in the course of writing this blog. There is enough negativity. That aside I will say this definitely reads like someone’s second book. I enjoyed his first book in the series, Rain Fall . Interesting character(s), interesting story, interesting location. Not the greatest thing I ever read, but enjoyable. Hell, I bought his second book didn't I? This second book is nearly plot-less. Lots of standing around, lots of conversations that go nowhere. I'm all for character development, but what I was reading was not development it was an author lost with no clear idea of where to go. The love interest from the first book returns out of flat desperation to add a different voice to the repetitive nature that marks the majority of this book. A side character is
A couple places of note. Esan Thai Restaurant. I was talked into going here for lunch primarily because there is less than nothing to eat at the house. I have recently discovered that Cool Whip does not make a nutritious or filling lunch. It was not very Thai of me, but I ordered the fried rice w/ chicken. Not terribly exciting and neither was the food. Don't know what it was, but w/ fried rice you should just want to shovel it in. Not today. Thai Ice Tea was delicious. Varied lunch menu means I‘ll go back, but not often. Friday night we went to Pomodoro Grill . It has a funky location and is in a funky little building. I am desperate to like this place, but that has yet to happen. I freely admit to being a bit of a restaurant snob. I like trendy places and will over look mediocre food if the atmosphere works for me. Nothing about Pomodoro does works for me. Noisy but not in a good way, an open kitchen that seems obvious, and the bathrooms, as I have mentioned above, make me u
Well I pulled the trigger on the Wiprud books this afternoon. A little consumer therapy never hurt any one. The disappointment was not getting the new Sean Doolittle, The Cleanup . Should have hit the shelves on Tuesday, but not at Borders apparently. Anyway the condition on the three soft covers was not so good. Serviceable, but still. I feel like condition is less important on soft cover than hard cover. The reason? Cuz I value soft covers less. The arrogance..... I know. Total purchase from Borders was $20.38. There was a 30% off coupon in there Finally.... as if there has been a long wait for this.... KM and I went Ruby Tuesday's and had their mini-hamburger. Forestalling glutton for another day we chose the two mini hamburgers and salad bar instead of the more ridiculous four-burger deal.
Secret Dead Blog: And We Have a Winner! Kinda! Got Duane to sign a couple of books at the Madison B'Con. Loved The Wheelman. Looking forward to his next, The Blonde. Duane takes pity on me and is kind enough to post one of my terrible suggestions for his tour.