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Showing posts from 2014

Economics and the Future.

I was thinking about the economics of my Crime Fiction buying. What are they exactly? How many and how much? My Amazon purchases over the last few years would be an accurate reflection of that number. I feel like that leaves out a great deal, and for the purposes of this exercise I want to know what the amount is without it reflecting Amazon's typical 30-50% discount. The goal here is to produce a number that I can craft a budget around. If I spend 'X' on new books and 'Y' on used books I can plan better. Plan mainly for the 'Y' because the 'Y' figure for used books is unknowable to an extent. I could get HEAVEN'S PRISONERS by James Lee Burke for $200 or $300 depending on the circumstances. The latest Michael Connelly is going to be $27.95, and the one next year is going to be the same price or a dollar or two more. I can plan for the incremental movements of that situation more than I can in the used market where the price can move in one d

Book Haul - Bouchercon

I have spent more time then I care to admit watching 'Book Haul' videos on YouTube recently. If you don't know these are videos that almost exclusively feature young women who display recent purchases that focus heavily on YA fiction. Fascinating. I'm not going to do a video because I just don't have that kind of energy. But I do like talking about books, so here is what I bought at Bouchercon 2014. Justice Hall - Laurie R. King  - Bantam I lost this book when The Hungry Detective moved Headquarters. The book got inexplicably crushed. This is the first book I have had to repurchase. Let it be the last.... [Editor's Note: Maybe you should wait until the end of this post before you make this claim]. Japantown - Barry Lancet - Simon and Schuster A book and author I identified for purchase before I went to the show. It is a thriller which gives me a bit of a pause. I've burned out on thrillers over the last couple years. On the plus

2014 Long Beach Bouchercon - Report

It is late on Sunday. A long, fun weekend and honestly I am exhausted. My recap of the 2014 Long Beach Bouchercon could wait until tomorrow. But why put off today what you will probably have to complete tomorrow or the next day. [Editor's Note: Probably?] I had good luck with the panels this year. It amazes me that you throw a bunch of authors in a room and more often then not the panel works. I found myself in a number of panels this year where I either knew nothing of the author or only what I could glean while doing Amazon searchers for their books in the five minutes before the panel started. It works when it feels like it should fail more often. I do know that I have become selective in the panels I choose to attend. There was at least one panel session on Thursday and Friday I did not attend. There was only one panel that was a bust from the get go. For those little traumas I have long learned to follow the adage of life being too short. A quick, quiet exit is smart f

The Hungry Detective Panel Picks - Bouchercon 2014

Hello and welcome to The Hungry Detective panel picks for the 2014 Long Beach Bouchercon. In years past I would pick one panel for each session. This time around I'm going to pick 2-3 for each day. Some of these I will make, and some of these I will be in a line to get books signed. It has been a few years since my last Bouchercon, and I am excited to return. Safe travels if you are making the journey to Southern California. THURSDAY: The Hungry Detective is now based in the greater Los Angles area. A scheduling error will cause me to miss most of Saturday. However, I will be there for all of Thursday, and I am thankful for the 11:30 am start because I am going to have to take the subway to Long Beach. 11:30-12:30 Regency C No More Badge: Crime Solvers Who've Left the Badge Behind George Easter (Moderator), Paul Doiron, David Housewright, John Lutz, Sean Lynch I like cops. I like detectives. I like detectives that used to be cops because something horrible

UPDATE: The Big 4 plus a Gorey

This list has actually changed a lot more than I thought it would in first year of existence. The small mysteries of life... 1.  Heaven's Prisoners  - James Lee Burke Still on top. When I first created this list I strongly considered Robert Crais's LULLABY TOWN for the head of the list, primarily under the assumption that the cost would prohibit me from buying it. It was not and now HEAVEN'S PRISONERS has been here since the beginning. Soon, I'll head to the same Pasadena Book show where I was tripping over copies last year, and with the express purpose is to land a copy there. Writing that dooms the whole enterprise. [Editor's Note: B'ah it totally did...] 2.  The Beekeeper's Apprentice  - Laurie R. King Previously I have written that my hopes are pinned the acquisition of this book at the Long Beach B'Con in a few months time. That plan has not changed. [Editor's Note: I can no longer state with any certainty if this assertion or the o

Lawrence Block - Grantland Podcast

Lawrence Block - Grantland Podcast Here is another Grantland podcast featuring the great Lawrence Block. This comes from Brian Koppleman on his podcast The Moment. Now unlike the Dennis Lehane podcast from a couple weeks ago I have not listened to this and unlike Dennis Lehane I have not read very much Lawrence Block. In fact the correct answer is one. I have read one book by Lawrence Block. That does not mean you shouldn't and that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen this podcast. Enjoy!

Bouchercon 2014 - Panels

Likely not the final schedule, but lots to peruse with the release  of the Long Beach Bouchercon panels. The Hungry Detective will be there Thursday PM to Sunday. I'll miss all the panels on Thursday, but I'll catch up with the authors I'll miss later in the weekend. I think I'm destined to take it pretty easy the days I am there. Four Bouchercons later, I've learned my limits. I will bring a lot fewer books to sign. Right it now it stands at 30 books. a misleading number because two authors account for half that number.  About a week out I'll write a 'best of panels' post for the whole weekend.

Dennis Lehane on THE DROP + more

Dennis Lehane - Grantland Podcast Here is a good podcast from the greater Grantland empire. I have listened to a lot of the Grantland podcasts the last few months. And just about every one is smart, thoughtful, and frequently silly. Interviewed by Andy Greenwald, Mr. Lehane focuses THE DROP in all its forms, but touches on his work during THE WIRE, and writing THE GIVEN DAY, LIVE BY NIGHT, and the forthcoming conclusion WORLD GONE BY. Plus a mess of upcoming TV projects. Check it...

I'm gonna buy these books

In version 1.0 of this blog I wrote quarterly book release previews. I enjoyed that aspect a great deal, so here are a few things I'll buy in the coming months. WAYFARING STRANGER - James Lee Burke - Out Now A strictly non-series book from Mr. Burke is a rare occurrence...and honestly I am not even 100% that WAYFARING STRANGER does not refer to previous work. In the past, I have fooled myself into believing that I did not have to buy them to have the complete canon. That was foolish thinking. [Editors Note: A quick glance of Mr. Burke's website notes the main character being a part of the large 'Holland' clan.]  THE RECKONING - Rennie Airth - Out Now The first in this series, RIVER OF DARKNESS, lingers long in my memory. It is a great book. The two sequels are a case of diminishing returns. I don't believe either of those books survived the purge where as I would be loathed to part with RIVER OF DARKNESS. Perhaps it is the several year intermission betw

This is an addendum to the previous post

I bought another Edward Gorey. A SILENT FILM. It is the least illustrated book that Edward Gorey ever created...although I am not an expert. I bought it at an auction. An honest to goodness...albeit over the I frequent an Edward Gorey blog that announced the auction of a Gorey collection at the Swann Auction House. Of the 200 or so lots, three caught my eye. Which is too say there were delusions of grandeur. The day of the auction I watched two of three bids fall quickly away. One was for his first book, THE UNSTRUNG HARP, and the other was for his second Fantod Press package. Those lots sold for far more money than I thought they were worth. As for the third lot, A SILENT FILM, I was the sole bidder. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! It is a lovely little book. A screenplay with a sole illustration on the front cover. The book is a limited edition release of 100 copies. I have book 26. [Editors Note: This is incorrect, but for the life of me I can not remember to

Let me backtrack for a second...

[ Editors Note: I wrote this post about six weeks ago. I have been tinkering with it since. It is a bog standard post so I don't understand my reticence. Even now I don't think it is done. ] My latest purchases are Edward Gorey books. I'll talk about them, but first let me go back. I bought the four most recent books by Adrian McKinty. I read them in about six weeks. The books were restorative in the exact way that I had hoped. A solid author turning in solid work. Perhaps that sounds like damning them with faint praise, not all. I found the Duffy Trilogy along with FALLING GLASS to be the most evocative books I've read in sometime. Along with the McKinty, the latest Michael Connolly, and likely the best Easy Rawlins in fifteen years means that I can't even remember the last book I read that was a dud.  The California Antiquarian Book Fair happened more than a few months ago now. I talked up the lock I felt that purchasing James Lee Burke's HEAVEN'S P

Not Even Past - Dave White

I meant to write just a few quick words as I have done previously...but then it morphed into the longer piece below. This book was a difficult for me. Not Even Past - Dave White I am fan of Dave White's first two Jackson Donne books, When One Man Dies and the truly exceptional The Evil that Men Do . Gritty and urban with an every-man quality that got across the wide landscape of New Jersey without screaming Born to Run in your face. They are solid P.I. books and if nothing else I encourage you dig those out. They are great reads. He followed that up with a standalone ebook, Witness to Death , a book that I was delighted to find I had been burbled for in his long in waiting follow up Not Even Past . As a quick side note I got the first two books signed by Dave White at the Baltimore Bouchercon. He mentioned his next book would be awhile. I remember thinking... What eighteen months? Two years? No, no, seven years later. We are reintroduced to Jackson Donne, an in his 30'



The (new) Big Four plus the Gorey

1. Heaven's Prisoners - James Lee Burke Still number one, and with good reason. There are just too many gaps in my JLB collection for comfort. I am hoping to to pick this up at the big California Antiquarian Book Fair this week in Pasadena. If I can grab this book the fair will be a success for me. 2. Down By the River Where the Dead Men Go - George Pelecanos With recent purchases I was able to pick off A Firing Offense and Nick's Trip, two picks that will now never make this list. Let's see how long this book last on the list. I am a big advocate for buying something just so that I can stop thinking about it. This does not cover all occasions hence the reason why I do not have a Xbox. 3. The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King I am somewhat pinning my hopes on the Long Beach Bouchercon to pull the trigger on this book. The dealer room should have a few to choose from and if past BCons have proven anything most people are not looking to buy expen

This Bit of Business...

(Photo above is definition of awesomeness, also I stole the image form the Polis Books website) The return of 'Awesome' Dave White ! The Return of Jackson Donne! Read. This. Guy. Hurry February. Hurry....

Recent Purchases

(Photo above is evidence of corrected behavior) Dear Adrien McKinty -- I could use the excuse that gutless American publishers have kept me from purchasing your books over the last few years. They did not. Amazon UK is both a blessing and a curse in this case. I could tell you that I have experienced an ennui about Crime Fiction over the last three years. I could also tell you an equally convoluted story about priorities and lessons of adulthood that are still mysterious even at the age of 42. I'll spare you as I am certain that it would bore you as quickly as it does me at this point.      So, let me write that I recently bought three of your books, and that I think of DEAD I MAY WELL BE so often. All my very best to you in the New Year, Dan  The Hungry Detective