Monday 3 November 2014


Two more this week, this time from a recently discovered author about whom I know very little – Charles Alverson. Alverson was a co-writer on the screenplay of Jabberwocky, a Terry Gilliam film. We won’t hold that against him though.

He has written about 12 novels to date and lives somewhere in Serbia married to his third wife.

I think I have about 4 or 5 of his books, including his 2 Joe Goodey books, which were published in the 70’s – Goodey’s Last Stand and Not Sleeping Just Dead.

There’s a website of sorts, with an author biography and a sample of some of his writing, both short stories and novel excerpts - chasonline


Goodey’s Last Stand

"...the next best thing to finding a new and unsuspected Raymond Chandler phantasmagoria." - The New Yorker

SFPD Detective Joe Goodey has all the luck: Bad.

After accidentally shooting an elderly janitor - who just happened to be the mayor's cousin - the detective is given an ultimatum.
Get out of town - and lose his badge - or go to jail.

But just as soon as Joe leaves sunny San Francisco, a "special friend" of the mayor's - Tina d'Oro, an infamous North Beach go-go queen - is murdered. Worse, her black diary, filled with intimate details of her many liaisons, has gone missing.

It's a sensitive situation - one that requires a certain down and out detective's skills. And discretion. It's not much of an offer, but with no prospects on the horizon, Goodey accepts the case.

Freshly minted Private Investigator's license in hand, Goodey returns to San Francisco to find the killer, recover the black book and, just maybe, get his old job back.

But not everyone wants Joe to solve the case or uncover Tina's diary. And with time running out and his adversaries closing in, this hard-boiled mystery might wind up being Joe Goodey's last.

Fighting Back


When neighborhood thug Charlie Rice comes into Harry Caster's new bar with an ultimatum - give up half the bar or pay the price - Harry wants to give in. Has to give in.

After all, Rice has deep ties to Abe Montera, a local crime boss with a violent reputation. And Rice's own volatile reputation precedes him.

But with a wife and two children at home - and every last dollar invested into the fledgling bar - Harry has no choice.

He has to fight back.

Enlisting the help of a war veteran turned PI, Caster tells Rice that he won't give in under any circumstances. Rice responds by blowing up Caster's car.

And with the stakes now elevated far beyond what either expected, both will soon discover just how far a man must go to protect the ones he loves.


  1. I like the idea of the missing diary, that's always a good solid plot device, but I'm going to need a good review before I put this on the list!

    1. I think I will pencil it in for early 2015. It's quite cheap secondhand and has also been issued on kindle. Hopefully an author I will actually read, rather than one I intend to read!

  2. Col - Thanks for sharing. The San Francisco setting appeals to me, I must say. I'll have to see what you think of these before I decide if they're for me.

    1. Margot - you can't go wrong with San Fran! Watch this space..

  3. Col, we'll never hear the last of blowing up a car in crime fiction and yet each time it makes a powerful impact on the reader or viewer, Meanwhile, I look forward to reading your review of THE BUTTON MAN. I'm unlikely to review it anytime soon. I think I'll stick to short fiction for a while.

    1. I'm scratching my head to think if I have read this feature previously. Definitely seen it more than once or twice in films. I'm looking forward to Button Man - non-Parisian setting I think, I haven't read the back cover too closely yet.

  4. I have heard of this author, but that is it. The San Francisco setting could be a plus. Hope you like them.

    1. Tracy thanks. I think Glen was interested in one of Alverson's books when I bought it.