Tuesday, 9 October 2018

2 BY MICHAEL Z. LEWIN


A couple from the late 80s and early 90s and Michael Z. Lewin this week, not an author I've yet had the pleasure of reading.

I do like the NO EXIT PRESS covers on these two, especially Underdog.






















Lewin hails from the US, but has been a long-time resident of the UK, currently living in the west country.

Lewin has written twenty plus books across three series including about half a dozen standalone novels. His first Albert Sansom mystery - Ask the Right Question was published in 1972. The other two series feature Leroy Powder and Adele Buffington.

He's still writing today - The Right Thing, a novella was published last year.


Michael Z. Lewin has his website here.

Childproof  (1988)

It seems that someone has it in for the Indianapolis Service agency, Hendricks, when the head of one of the offices, Adele Buffington is assaulted in her office and witnesses the assailant copying some of her files. Then a man with the same name as an ex-Hendricks employee is found murdered.

In between having to cope with her workload of abused children, bewildered parents, and overworked staff, and having to deal with both a love-sick daughter and the baffling affair of Donna East - who has gone missing with her two children after being promised a fortune by a mysterious visitor - Adele solves the case in this refreshingly original mystery.

Michael Lewin was born in Massachusetts in 1942 and educated at Harvard. Since 1971 he has lived in Frome, Somerset and is a full-time writer. He has three "characters" - Albert Samson, Leroy Powder and Adele Buffington. Adele Buffington is the girlfriend of Albert Samson, who appears in many other Michael Lewin novels including Our of Time and Ask the Right Question.

Underdog (1993)

Jan Moro is a small businessman. Very small. He dines behind restaurants and showers where he can. Jan Moro is, in point of fact, homeless... and on the run from Billy Cigar, a likely type who has made his mark murdering people in South America. How did Billy ever notice Moro? Why are all the Indianapolis cops looking for Jan? It all started with a big man being mean to a small dog.... then Moro got one of his great ideas. Now he has become the world's first homeless P.I. and if he can't figure out what makes Billy Cigar burn and how to give the Law what they want.... he won't get out of this concrete jungle alive!

"An ironic commentator on the state of Midwestern bizarre." - New York Times

" A writer with style, sensibility and wit...." - Ross Macdonald

18 comments:

  1. Another new author for me, Col, though I'll say the synopsis of both is as intriguing as the covers.

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    1. I'm slightly more drawn towards Underdog I think Prashant, but they both have an appeal.

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  2. These do look interesting, Col. I've not read a book about a homeless PI before; that makes for some interesting possibilities when it comes to plots.

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    1. Margot, it does sound rather unlikely but promising. A lot of people walking down the road don't acknowledge homelessness, so he could have a certain invisibility about him which could prove useful.

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  3. These do look interesting
    .. on the state of Midwestern
    lawyers-judge com

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  4. I bought Underdog yonks ago when Lewin was part of a presentation at the Exeter Waterstones, when my daughter alongside me was still small enough she could swing her feet while sitting in her chair; her son is now about the same age she was then. Bravo to No Exit for keeping the book in print this long!

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    1. Can you recall much about it? My copies hail from the mid-90s so I'm not sure if the hat-tip to No Exit is entirely warranted. I think it one of these two came out in kindle a year or two back courtesy of Open Road Media.

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  5. It'd be about the mid-80s that I bought my copy. The cover's pretty different from the one you have, so I was assuming yours was a much more recent purchase than clearly it is.

    I haven't read my copy yet. Like you, I find even the best of books can hang around for years or decades before I get to them. It looks jolly good, but somehow its moment hasn't yet come.

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    1. Nice to know that I'm not the only one who leaves them to mellow for a while before getting around to reading them.

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  6. Col – Thanks for the post. I have not read any of his books and will be interested to see what you think of them.

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    1. Elgin, hopefully I'll try at least one of these soon.

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  7. I read the first book in the Lunghi Family series by this author (Family Business) and was not so taken with that one. I have a couple in the Albert Samson series, I should try those.

    I also have lovely copies of three short story anthologies (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Culprit) that he co-edited and I am sure he has a short story in each of those.

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    1. I'm glad your prepared to give him another go Tracy. I think I'll stick with these two for now at least.

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  8. I have read something by Michael Z Lewin! Sadly I can't remember what it was called or anything about it, but that name is distinctive enough for me to be certain. I will see if I can find it on shelf or in records!

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    1. Happy hunting! I can only rely on records from 2010 onwards, it's memory before that!

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