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Old 10-02-2011, 06:43 PM   #496
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Thumbs up John D MacDonald - The Deep Blue Good-by

The tales of Travis McGee -- a fiercely independent loner who earns his keep by his own rules as a salvage operator off the Florida coast -- span more than twenty years. Although commissioned by Fawcett Books as a formula series (each book title features a color), already veteran author John D MacDonald created a memorable, serious, tough guy character who easily gets under the skin ... in a nice way. You have to start somewhere and this is it - the 1964 published The Deep Blue Good-by.

Travis McGee lives at Fort Lauderdale on a house boat aptly named the Busted Flush -- he won it in a card game. McGee works only when he has to, taking salvage commissions before his money runs out. Not yet in need of cash, as a favour he talks to a friend of a friend, a dancer named Cathy Kerr, who has become involved with a very nasty man, Junior Allen -- a thief, an abuser, a taker, a bully. Just the whiff of Allen is enough to engage McGee's sense of injustice but when the trail quickly leads to a half-dead Lois, McGee is hooked, determined to track down Allen and repair the damage he's done.

I wasn't expecting to be so captivated: like Chandler's Philip Marlowe, Travis McGee is much more than tough guy and the tales easily transcend mere hard-boiled crime. This book is close to perfection: grittily likeable, plausible and plausibly flawed main characters (except for a very black villain); pacing through several changes of scene as the threads of the mystery are followed through; a prose style that is un-self-conscious, voiced in a rich baritone that's comforting ... one feels McGee's arms gently craddling you throughout.

First rate; highly recommended. Not, alas, available at this time as an e-book.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:03 PM   #497
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The tales of Travis McGee -- a fiercely independent loner who earns his keep by his own rules as a salvage operator off the Florida coast -- span more than twenty years. Although commissioned by Fawcett Books as a formula series (each book title features a color), already veteran author John D MacDonald created a memorable, serious, tough guy character who easily gets under the skin ... in a nice way. You have to start somewhere and this is it - the 1964 published The Deep Blue Good-by.

Travis McGee lives at Fort Lauderdale on a house boat aptly named the Busted Flush -- he won it in a card game. McGee works only when he has to, taking salvage commissions before his money runs out. Not yet in need of cash, as a favour he talks to a friend of a friend, a dancer named Cathy Kerr, who has become involved with a very nasty man, Junior Allen -- a thief, an abuser, a taker, a bully. Just the whiff of Allen is enough to engage McGee's sense of injustice but when the trail quickly leads to a half-dead Lois, McGee is hooked, determined to track down Allen and repair the damage he's done.

I wasn't expecting to be so captivated: like Chandler's Philip Marlowe, Travis McGee is much more than tough guy and the tales easily transcend mere hard-boiled crime. This book is close to perfection: grittily likeable, plausible and plausibly flawed main characters (except for a very black villain); pacing through several changes of scene as the threads of the mystery are followed through; a prose style that is un-self-conscious, voiced in a rich baritone that's comforting ... one feels McGee's arms gently craddling you throughout.

First rate; highly recommended. Not, alas, available at this time as an e-book.
nice, i agree. i've read all 21 of them, twice. here's a list:

* The Deep Blue Good-by (1964)
* Nightmare in Pink (1964)
* A Purple Place for Dying (1964)
* The Quick Red Fox (1964)
* A Deadly Shade of Gold (1965)
* Bright Orange for the Shroud (1965)
* Darker than Amber (1966)
* One Fearful Yellow Eye (1966)
* Pale Gray for Guilt (1968)
* The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (1968)
* Dress Her in Indigo (1969)
* The Long Lavender Look (1970)
* A Tan and Sandy Silence (1971)
* The Scarlet Ruse (1972)
* The Turquoise Lament (1973)
* The Dreadful Lemon Sky (1974)
* The Empty Copper Sea (1978)
* The Green Ripper (1979)
* Free Fall in Crimson (1981)
* Cinnamon Skin (1982)
* The Lonely Silver Rain (1984)
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:41 PM   #498
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Michael Innes - Death at the President's Lodging

First novels are often a special treat and, in this case, Death at the President's Lodging, published in 1936 by the scholar J.I.M. Stewart under his pseudonym Michael Innes, turns out to be a cracking good puzzle set in a fictional college not unlike the author's own experience … except, of course, the president in his day wasn't snuffed out. His lead character, Inspector Appleby, would turn up in 30-odd novels with his last outing published at the end of Stewart's life in the 1980s.

St Anthony's President Umpleby is dispatched in the opening pages of what turns out to be a variation on the classic locked room: except in this case, it is the inner College courtyard which locks in the President, four college Fellows and the porter, as well as possibly involving a few others who may have had a gate key. Though the keys had all been changed that morning, by nightfall the president had met his end, shot quite dead, apparently in his rooms. Through many twists and turns, seven suspects come to light, several with motive, opportunity and each relating their version of the fatal night ... who is lying? and who’s recriminations are true? When Inspector Appleby comes down from Scotland Yard to assist the local Constable Dodd, it's not long before Appleby himself has been knocked on the noggin. Who knew academia was this dangerous!

More intense than some of the later tales, with more dense prose and a truly thorny puzzle to unknot, Innes' way of getting to the interior voices of the characters is winning. As the truth slowly dawns on Appleby, so also does the reader get a glimmer, here and there, of the cracks in the case and a solution fully worthy of Agatha Christie. The confident mastery of the writing belies this being the author's first novel and its immediate success reshaped his career. Well recommended and surprisingly contemporary (especially for those of us raised on period pieces from Masterpiece Theatre!).

This ebook edition, produced by House of Stratus on behalf of the Stewart estate, is first rate in presentation and formatting. Happily, the entire series has been reissued by this firm.

Available as a Kindle or a Kobo for under $10.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:30 PM   #499
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Re John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series...

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nice, i agree. i've read all 21 of them, twice.
Yep, definitely a series worth reading - or rereading. I do wish they'd come out in e-book.

However, as one of my girlfriends and I agreed many years ago, we wouldn't want to be Travis's girlfriend or female lead/interest - they usually seem to have short life expectancies.

When MacDonald died, there were persistent rumours that he had left a last Travis McGee book with "Black" in the title, but I guess not...sigh!
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:47 AM   #500
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Perhaps a bit out of genre, but I'm amazed that nothing by John Grisham has shown up in any post - unless I missed the name in my 34 screen scan. Grisham was (is) a lawyer and writes from the legal perspective.

Another new author (to me) that I had the privilege of reading in an ARC copy is Defending Jacob by William Landay. Landay was a former District Attorney and the novel turns his protagonist from a prosecutor into the father of a teen-age son accused of murder. The novel is written from both perspectives and does no favors to the criminal justice system in the U.S. It is admittedly a bit more on the legal side of crime-mystery, but a good read. I think he'll be one to watch. The book isn't available until Jan 31, 2012 - Delacort Press / Random House. He's also written Mission Flats and The Strangler, neither of which I've read.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:52 AM   #501
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I did a search, and I think I only noticed one reference to Ed McBain's wonderful 87th Precinct series. These are phenomenal, and if you enjoy Connelly, you'll enjoy McBain. (At least, it worked the other direction for me.)
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:10 AM   #502
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Thank you for the recommendation, I will check him out. Probably not too many Harry Boschs left in MC. He seems to be leaning more toward Mickey Haller.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:20 AM   #503
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I don't know if anyone else has already recommended these: but Tana French is great. I specially loved the third book she wrote (although I forget it's name at present).

There's also Louise Penny's inspector Gamache series. Book 6 was actually pretty good.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:45 PM   #504
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There's also Louise Penny's inspector Gamache series. Book 6 was actually pretty good.

I started reading it this morning, I'll start chapter 2 in a few minutes in the bus ride home
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:17 AM   #505
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in my opinion best are

Lawrence Block
Erle Stanley Gardner
Sis Arthur Conan Doyle
Agatha Christie
Jean Christophe Grange
Maxime Chattam
Glenn Meade
Carter Dickson A.k.a John Dickson Carr
Clive Cussler
Sue Grafton
Jack Higgins
Ellery Queen
Robin Cook
Harlan Coben
Robert Ludlum
Georges Simenon
Maurice Leblanc

good are

Craig Russell
Ian Fleming (James Bond)
Patrick Quintin
William Irish
Dorothy L. Sayers
Mickey Spillane
Hennig Mankell
Dan Brown
Tom Clancy
Ted Dekker
Jeffrey Deaver
Frederick Forsyth
Tess Gerritsen
Ruth Rendell
Gaston Leroux
Rex Stout
Trevanian


i just read mystery and crime books about ten years and i am reading now too
i can advise a lot of books if you want
regards

Last edited by coderserdar; 10-27-2011 at 05:27 AM. Reason: added some authors :)
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:24 AM   #506
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Nice list of authors coderserdar - a few talking points there for sure!

Personally I cannot get on with Patrick Quintin or Dan Brown...
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:34 AM   #507
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Nice list of authors coderserdar - a few talking points there for sure!

Personally I cannot get on with Patrick Quintin or Dan Brown...
i can advise

the scarlet circle from partick quentin
and
angels and demons from dan brown

dan brown is a popular author in my opinion
it gives a lot of historical and technical information in his books
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:17 AM   #508
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i can advise

the scarlet circle from partick quentin
and
angels and demons from dan brown

dan brown is a popular author in my opinion
it gives a lot of historical and technical information in his books
Dan Brown is popular. Unfortunately, I read a notice from the author in Angels and Demons that the book was fiction but the historical data was correct. Then I read about scrolls that weren't scrolls and began to suspect that Dan Brown was not being honest or was very sloppy. I skipped the DaVinci Code but the hysteria about the book attested to the popularity, not the accuracy. We've seen other books that were for whatever reason quite popular but not accurate in any respect.

If I had to limit myself to one author it would probably be Lawrence Block. He's great.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:27 AM   #509
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Dan Brown is popular. Unfortunately, I read a notice from the author in Angels and Demons that the book was fiction but the historical data was correct. Then I read about scrolls that weren't scrolls and began to suspect that Dan Brown was not being honest or was very sloppy. I skipped the DaVinci Code but the hysteria about the book attested to the popularity, not the accuracy. We've seen other books that were for whatever reason quite popular but not accurate in any respect.

If I had to limit myself to one author it would probably be Lawrence Block. He's great.
i agree about lawrence block

but i prefer to read glenn meade rather than dan brown
these authors' books are similar about the writing themes
but glenn meade's books are excellent
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:56 AM   #510
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Shame most of Dan Brown's historical context and geographical knowledge is rubbish.

I have read a couple of his books, but the inaccuracies and the poor writing doesn't do it for me. Patrick Quentin is another I have tried but didn't like, but it is horses for courses and it is good we all have different opinions otherwise life here would be boring!
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