Monday 30 May 2016


After a couple of months off from the task at hand, back again......
Iain Levison x 2, John D. MacDonald, Tess Gerritsen x 2, 

One from the long Travis series!

 A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember

Margaret Millar, Joel Dicker, Iain Levison, Chris Holbrook, Ellery Queen two-fer!

Not tried any Millar yet!

Courtesy of blog friend Moira @ CiB

Short story collection,

Dan Fante, Jennifer Kincheloe, Bill Hillmann, Jeff Klima,

The title has me thinking of Anne Frank and her diary somehow!

Irvine Welsh liked it!

Fante memoir by the son - the recently passed Dan Fante.

Nice job - cleaning up crime scenes! 

Mark Pryor, Ruth Dugdall, Terry Shames, Gordon McAlpine, Eric Matheny,

Already read - photos taken 6 months ago!

Intriguing title! Intriguing book!
 "Woman with a Blue Pencil is a brilliantly structured labyrinth of a novel--something of an enigma wrapped in a mystery, postmodernist in its experimental bravado and yet satisfyingly well-grounded in the Los Angeles of its World War II era. Gordon McAlpine has imagined a totally unique work of 'mystery' fiction--one that Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov, as well as Dashiell Hammett, would have appreciated."


What becomes of a character cut from a writer's working manuscript? 

On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Sam Sumida, a Japanese-American academic, has been thrust into the role of amateur P.I., investigating his wife's murder, which has been largely ignored by the LAPD.  Grief stricken by her loss, disoriented by his ill-prepared change of occupation, the worst is yet to come, Sam discovers that, inexplicably, he has become not only unrecognizable to his former acquaintances but that all signs of his existence (including even the murder he's investigating) have been erased. Unaware that he is a discarded, fictional creation, he resumes his investigation in a world now characterized not only by his own sense of isolation but by wartime fear. 

Meantime, Sam's story is interspersed with chapters from a pulp spy novel that features an L.A.-based Korean P.I. with jingoistic and anti-Japanese, post December 7th attitudes - the revised, politically and commercially viable character for whom Sumida has been excised. 

Behind it all is the ambitious, 20-year-old Nisei author who has made the changes, despite the relocation of himself and his family to a Japanese internment camp.  And, looming above, is his book editor in New York, who serves as both muse and manipulator to the young author--the woman with the blue pencil, a new kind of femme fatale.   
New-to-me author - Eric Matheny

Ruth Dugdall!

Nicholas Searle, Robert Palmer, Allen Eskens, Mick Herron, Kerry Hadley-Pryce,

Anyone familiar with the "black country" an area in the West Midlands, England?
 Maddie and Harry: she’s an estate agent, he’s a teacher. They’ll say they live in the Black Country. They’ll say how they met Jonathan Cotard, explain how they later argued, had a car accident, thought they’d killed someone. Thought they had. And as they search for a truth, they’ll tell us their secrets, their mistakes. And we’ll judge them. We'll judge Harry's fling with a schoolgirl and Maddie's previous life. We'll judge the nature of love and violence, good and evil. The Black Country. For Maddie and Harry, it’s darker than it should be.

Mick Herron and his gang of Slow Horses from Slough House!

Read a few months back - very good!

Sheila Quigley, Peter Swanson. C. B. McKenzie, Susan Froetschel, Leo Perutz,

Vintage crime given a new lease of life by Pushkin!

Susan Froetschel 

Debut novel!
 Winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize, winner of the Spur Award for Best Western Contemporary Novel, and a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, a debut mystery set in the Southwest starring a former rodeo cowboy turned private investigator, told in a transfixingly original style.

John D. MacDonald, Linwood Barclay, Tony Parsons, Sam Millar, J. Frank James,

Karl Kane - PI novel from an author with a somewhat interesting past!
An ex-resident of Long Kesh and part of the blanket protest, to a conviction for armed robbery. His memoir ON THE BRINKS was pretty damn good!
J. Frank James - new-to-me author!

Tony Parsons - seen mixed reviews for this one - my wife sort of enjoyed it!

Travis again!

John Grant, L. A. Morse x 2, Anya Lipska, Stephanie Gayle,

Mr Noirish himself - John Grant - fact or fiction? 

Polish crime in London?

Stephanie Gayle!

Christina James, Kris Nelscott, Matthew Pritchard, J. Frank James, Frank Westworth,

Short series opener.

Murder and corruption in Spain!

Male, black PI novel from a white, female author!  

Frank Westworth Chastity book!

Roy A. Teel Jr., Mark Stubbs, David Shafer, L. T. Graham, Chelsea Cain,

New-to-me author - Roy A. Teel Jr.

David Shafer - something I meant to read a year ago!

Mark Stubbs - 12 Rounds!

Chelsea Cain - standalone book possibly!

Mis-filed - read over a year ago!

Tub 73!

HIGHLIGHTS..... Looking forward to in particular - Bill Hillmann, Jeff Klima, Mick Herron, L. A. Morse, Iain Levison, 
LOWLIGHTS..... nothing I'm totally dreading, Tess Gerritsen more my wife's cup of tea than mine!


To be back-filled at some point....


  1. You do have some good choices there, Col. I've actually got the McKenzie to read, also, so it'll be interesting to see what you think when you get to that. And I hope you'll like the Lipska; I think her series is a good 'un.

    1. Margot cheers. I expect you might get to McKenzie before me, I think I'll enjoy both that and the Lipska when I do get around to them.

  2. Are you going to surpass one hundred tubs? Curious minds...well mine anyway.

    1. I don't think I will. I'll probably hit the 90 mark with physical books!

  3. I would like to try the Anya Lipska series eventually. Woman with a Blue Pen sounds interesting. Don't know if I would like it or not. I finally got a copy of the 2nd Terry Shames book and will give that series another try. All your books in buckets help me feel better about all my boxes of books in the garage. At least I am not the only deranged one.

    1. Definitely not the only deranged one Tracy! Woman with a Blue Pencil seems a bit cross-genre fantasy-crime. I'll be interested to see if I like it, but it might be more you than me. Hope the 2nd Shames works out better for you than the 1st.

  4. Col, this looks like more than one tub. I have DARKER THAN AMBER with exactly the same cover, which was why I bought it, one of several unread JDM novels in my pile.

    1. Prashant, I've read a few of these already in the 6 months since I took the photos. I did start the Travis McGee series a couple of years ago but stopped after about 4 books I think - not because I wasn't enjoying them. Maybe I should restart it.

  5. Golly! That represents about half the publisher's reported sales of Sex Secrets . . .

    Woman with a Blue Pencil is the one there that catches my eye, too. Off to the library catalogue we go.

    1. Not featured on the NYT bestseller list then? Shame, definitely a title that caught my attention.

      Hopefully you can track down BLUE PENCIL - I'd like to know what you think.

  6. I'm another one intrigued by Blue Pencil, and also will take a look at Anna Blanc. Also attracting my attention: the Ellery Queen that I gave you, and the orange Whisky Foxtrot that I got as a giveaway via your blog. We both need to read it....

    1. Funny re BLUE PENCIL, the more I read the back cover, the less it kind of appeals to me, which relegates it further down the pile. I should read the Queen soon, or one of the other books you sent me - KInd of rude not to! WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT - yeah we should. I might have a slot in September opening up!