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Old 06-07-2010, 11:05 PM   #76
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Just enjoyed ...

Sue Grafton's P is for Peril, the Pth [aka 17th] in the series of her alphabet books featuring PI Kinsey Milhone. It was my first encounter. The stories are told in the first person, from Kinsey's point of view, and the tale of the missing or deceased doctor and the unravelling of his past and two marriages and business life is nicely intertwined with Kinsey rather routine personal life. Entertaining, leaving one wanting to read the next one.

Sidney Sheldon's A Rage of Angels, recently available free from Amazon and elsewhere, was a 1980 bestseller. His career as a writer began as a screenwriter: The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer in 1947. This crime thriller concerns Jennifer Parker, who falls in love with two men -- one a Mafia crime lord, the other US Senator destined for the White House. For my taste, it was much too much like a TV movie; while full of plots twists, the writing itself lacks grace and charm, with little memorable for those "who love words". A breezy, if a bit predictable, summer read.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:12 PM   #77
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The presence of Perry Mason is a persistent thread in my life as long as I can remember: watching original shows if I was allowed up that late, then reruns, then the Return of Perry Mason as TV movies (the early ones filmed right here in Toronto), buying occasional hardcover anthologies and later collecting original paperbacks on eBay (even old TV Guide cover story issues), and most recently devouring the DVDs as they are released, a half a season at a time, every six months. I love the back and forth of investigative leg work and court room drama.

So imagine my delight in discovering Steve Martini's Shadow of Power in which our latter day criminal lawyer, Paul Madriani and his partner Harry Hinds, take on the case of an angry young man caught at the scene of a murder with his finger and shoeprints all over the room ... and the murder weapon! Set against a backdrop of the run up to the 2008 presidential elections, and involving, from the sidelines an ailing Supreme Court Justice, and a delightful conceit in the form of an undiscovered "Jefferson Letter" on slavery which threatens to ignite race riots across the country, the story tumbles along sometimes patiently, sometimes briskly, as the trial wears on and new revelations come to light. Highly recommended!
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:54 AM   #78
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There's nothing like a classic -- they are classics for a reason. Kobo books is offering Agatha Christie novels at under $5 from Harper Collins which is as good an excuse as any to dip into The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, the second of Hercule Poirot's appearances. (The first is The Mysterious Affair at Styles which is in public domain.) This is one of the charms of growing older and the mind -- shall we be generous and say its ability to be selectively forgetful? -- providing the opportunity to re-read Sherlock Holmes and rediscover the clever trick of the snake and the bell pull.

And so it is re-reading, and re-discovering, the details surrounding Roger Ackroyd's demise. Good lord: I must have seen television versions of this, and I am certain somewhere along the line I have read the novel -- but what a treat to uncover the murderer in the final pages as Christie intended! Her prose throughout is gentle, and Poirot emerges fully formed, even in this second novel. It's charming, too, to encounter some of the turns of phrase locked to her era; the title was published in 1927.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #79
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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, the second of Hercule Poirot's appearances. (The first is The Mysterious Affair at Styles which is in public domain.)
For the sake of accuracy, "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" is actually the fourth Poirot novel, published in 1926. The first three were:

- The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
- The Murder on the Links (1923)
- Poirot Investigates (1924)
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #80
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Thanks Harry! My error! Perhaps that's why Poirot seems so "settled" in character.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:11 PM   #81
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I had an enjoyable read through Connie Shelton's Deadly Gamble, the first in her Charlie Parker mystery series. Charlie is a female amateur investigator (her brother has the agency, she's "just" the bookkeeper) who gets involved in a minor mystery handed to her by an old school chum. Turns out, the chum has had an expensive watch stolen and her husband in very jealous ... the man who jilted Charlie and ran off with the "best friend". By the end of the first chapter we learn the man who stole the watch has been murdered. Ok, I was hooked. This is a basic who dun it tale with clues and revelations in fairly neat order; it wasn't much of a surprise who dun it in the end, but the characters are sympathetic and it's a breezy diversion. Don't expect Christie or Rankin and you'll be perfectly content. There are another ten in the series and probably more on the away. Available at Smashwords, Amazon, Kobobooks and probably elsewhere.

And speaking of Agatha Christie, I tackled Murder on the Links, the second Hercule Poirot tale, with Hastings and Poirot investigating the murder of a client in France. Told from Hasting's perspective, we are constantly bombarded by Hasting's solutions and Poirot's continual admonishments and course corrections. There's an amusing second detective, M Giraud, who is made out to be a buffoon and is the spitting image someone embracing the methods of Sherlock Holmes ... only Watson is missing. A little author's rivalry perhaps? This, and other Christie works, can be had for the sensible price of under $5 at Kobobooks in Canada and Amazon in the US.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:26 PM   #82
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There's a "Canadian" author, born in Hamilton, Ontario -- but who lived most of his life in New York and later Chesapeake Beach, Maryland -- named Hulbert Footner who wrote at least three dozen novels and many short stories -- most of those based in New York. Like Agatha Christie, his mystery output consists of a number of "one offs" but coalesces around two characters: a series about Madame Rosika Storey and another about Amos Lee Mappin, both private detectives.

The Under Dogs, published in 1925, is the first novel about Rosika Storey, told by her trusty secretary, Bella Brickley. Rosika receives a plea from a young woman on the wrong side of the law who is mixed up with "The Organisation". In a spectacular escape arranged by her cronies, she breaks out of jail ... only to be taken prisoner by her mafia "friends". It's Rosika to the rescue! and in due course she lands in prison (under cover), and makes an escape with the help of the mafia and tracks down the poor young woman. But to break up the organisation Rosika herself must commit a dazzling robbery. It's fun stuff, with lots of "action", and occasional humour as the timid Bella gets sucked into the vortex of activity. Recommended as a breezy summer read.

A Kobo-friendly epub copy is available here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...33&postcount=1
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:14 PM   #83
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Hey Scott, you're right on! I recently read Identity Crisis by Debbi Mack. It’s a fun, complex and layered mystery/thriller that features new female lawyer/sleuth Sam McRae. The fast-paced story jump-starts when she takes on a seemingly simple open-and-shut case involving a missing person that spirals out of control when the mob, strippers, and an oddball gumshoe get involved. This is not only a gripping mystery/thriller from author Debbi Mack, but it is also a very fun read as she spices things up with a good dose of humor.
The $2 Whispernet Tax on this title has just recently been removed by Amazon and is now just $2.99 from Amazon in Canada. I've been watching for this one and have just purchased. Sounds terrific!
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:26 PM   #84
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Okay, I really like Michael Connelly, John Connolly, Peter James, Lynda La Plante, Lisa Scottoline, Linda Fairstein, Alex Gray, Adrian McKintry, Declan Hughes, Thomas Perry, Jeffery Deaver, T. Jefferson Parker, Harlan Coben, Mo Hayder, Karen Slaughter, and so forth. There are really too many to list. I should also include Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Arnaldur Indridason (both Icelandic), Helene Tursten, Peter Robinson, and the Scandinavian writers (most of them).

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Old 07-12-2010, 06:28 PM   #85
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Thank you, bettyq, for adding your voice to this thread. Can you comment on anything specific you have read lately?
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:28 PM   #86
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There's nothing like a classic. I recently read my first Ngaio Marsh novel, the second of the Roderick Alleyn tales, Enter A Murderer. Somehow I've never managed to see even the PBS/Brit TV episodes. In this 1935 adventure, Inspector Allen and his sidekick journalist Nigel Bathgate are the scene of a murder that takes place, literally, on stage to a packed house. The dialogue is delicious and the twists-and-turns great fun. Marsh had a solid bead on theatrical people and conjures them up in a delightful manner. Her style is also a reminder of how British mystery writers -- from Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin -- often add a special "readability" ingredient: the way one word follows another reflects an intelligence and "groundedness" not often found elsewhere outside of so-called "literary fiction".

Another discovery from a much more contemporary writer is the Death On Demand novels starring Annie Laurence, the proprietor of a bookshop on the South Carolina coast by Carolyn B Hart. The first title, appropriately called Death On Demand, introduces the characters (including Agatha the cat, and Max Darling, a love interest) and the delightful setting of Broward's Rock, a yuppyish community filled with golf courses, mystery writers and corpses -- no less than four in this opening tale! Hart is constantly quoting from the work of other mystery writers, naming names, characters, plots and titles ... and even includes a "contest" to "name that novel" based on five pictures hanging in the coffee shop section of the bookstore. If all is revealed in a rather conventional ending, the working out, and the characters, make for a splendid read. The series has reached 20 titles (!) since 1987 and I will certainly be adding more to my TBR list.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:23 PM   #87
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my all time favorite as of right now is
The Silence of the Lambs.....
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:11 PM   #88
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Hi S. Poet. Currently I am reading Broken by Karin Slaughter and just finished Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante. I will move on next to (probably) Stella Rimington's Dead Line (more a spy story), James Lee Burke's The Glass Rainbow or Tana French's Faithful Place. I see Greg Rucka has a new one coming out in October titled The Last Run. Also Jeffery Deaver has a new one, The Edge on 11/2. As you can tell, I am an avid reader and must, one of these days, come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to read every good mystery in my lifetime. Sorry I sent this so late, but I was off reading. bettyq
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:37 PM   #89
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Crime fiction is my genre of choice. Favourite authors in no particular order:

- Harlan Coben
- Michael Robotham
- Tess Gerritsen
- Mark Billingham
- James Patterson
- Lee Child
- Lynda La Plante
- Patricia Cornwell
- Erica Spindler
- Carol Smith
- Sandra Brown
- Kathy Reichs
- Michael Palmer
- Tami Hoag
- Lisa Gardner
- Mariah Stewart
- Patricia MacDonald
- and too many others to list.

All these authors write fast-paced, easy-reading crime fiction.
Wow - what a list! Patterson, Hoag, and Child are some of my faves as well. Now that Tess Gerritsen's Maura Isles books have been made into a TNT series, I'm doubly excited. Have been trying to get my hands on Coben at the digital library, but he is way too popular. Looks like I'm on a wait list
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:07 PM   #90
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I highly recommend Debbi Mack's Identity Crisis concerning a lawyer, Samantha "Sam" McRae who gets mixed up helping a client suspected of stealing from the bank she works for ... that quickly turns into murder. Sam works on her own but finds a couple of sympathetic friends along the way ... and has a couple of mafia encounters she'd rather not repeat. Vulnerable but tough, Sam's sleuthyness gets her into and out of trouble as she pieces together clues that reveal a much bigger story than her client's original challenges. Avaialble at Kobo, Kindle and Smashwords for abt $3.

Back to classic fiction: Agatha Christie's first Poirot, The Mysterious Affair at Styles was the perfect thing to shake off the summer thunder showers. Set at the end of WWI, we meet Hastings and Poirot for the first time, solving the locked room murder of Hasting's friend's step-mother, Emily Cavendish. As happen in so many later novels, Poirot gathers the suspects near the end to reveal the murderer. Later tales refine Poirot's mannerisms, but much is already in place. This work is PD and can be found in an excellent edition here on Mobileread.
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