Monday, 30 December 2019

CRIME FICTION ALPHABET - F IS FOR..... FLORIDA, FRANCIS, FLOATERS

F is for .....

Florida which is a setting I like reading about, especially in the hands of either Carl Hiaasen or James W. Hall.

Other notables - John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series, Randy Wayne White and Doc Ford and Elmore Leonard set a few of his here...... Maximum Bob and Rum Punch spring to mind.

One of my earliest crime fiction reads was Carl Hiaasen's Tourist Season either late 80s or early 90s























Take a trip to exotic South Florida with this dark, funny book that established Carl Hiaasen as one of the top mystery writers in the game.


The first sign of trouble is a Shriner's fez washed up on a Miami beach. The next is a suitcase containing the almost-legless body of the local chamber of commerce president found floating in a canal...


The locals are desperate to keep the murders under wraps and the tourist money flowing. But it will take a reporter-turned-private eye to make sense of a caper that mixes football players, politicians, and one very hungry crocodile in this classic mystery that GQ called "one of the top ten destination reads of all time."



James W. Hall has written over a dozen books in his Thorn PI series. He's another author I discovered around the same time as Hiaasen
























The first Thorn mystery from Edgar Award–winning author James W. Hall: a story of revenge in the Florida Keys that “starts good and stays good, right to the end” (Chicago Tribune).

Thorn’s parents died the day he was born, run off the road by a drunk driver on their way back from the hospital. The baby lived, the offender beat the rap, and both went on with their lives—until nineteen years later, when Thorn took revenge, hunting down his parents’ killer and taking his life in a vain attempt to bring back those who had been lost. Two decades later, Thorn remains scarred by his crime. He lives in Key West, selling fishing flies and keeping an eye on Kate Truman, the woman who adopted him. But now he has lost her, too, to a pair of brutal murderers whom the police have no hope of tracking down. Thorn knows the Keys, and he will find them—but before he can take revenge, he must confront the horror of the first time he killed.

The first in the series featuring Thorn, who “may remind you of John D. MacDonald’s immortal Travis McGee . . . or perhaps Lee Child’s Jack Reacher” (TheWashington Post Book World), this intense thriller is filled with both danger and emotional depth. Elmore Leonard has called James W. Hall’s debut novel “a beauty.”


F is for .....

Dick Francis, who wrote about a gazillion novels all primarily set in the world of horse racing. I've only read a couple so far  - Dead Cert and Forfeit - but have more than a few on the pile.



Odds Against is the first of four books featuring Sid Halley and was originally published in 1965.

A classic mystery from Dick Francis, the champion of English storytellers.

Champion jockey Sid Halley retired from racing when his hand was smashed in a fall. Now he works as a private detective - which is proving to be no less dangerous to life and limb.

Recuperating from a bullet wound, Sid is asked by his father-in-law to look into some potentially shady activity involving Seabury racecourse and a ruthless property dealer.

But the closer Sid gets to those determined to get their hands on Seabury, the more he finds himself in harm's way. The odds are against him - but that's exactly when Sid is at his best...


F is for.....

Floaters by Joseph Wambaugh




Harbor cops Fortney and Leeds have a good time patrolling San Diego’s Mission Bay, scoping out body-sculpted beauties on pleasure craft, rescuing boating bozos who’ve run aground, and hauling in the occasional floater.


But now their days are anything but typical, for the America’s Cup regattas have come to town and San Diego swarms with sailors, schemers, spies, and saboteurs,and the cuppies who want to love them. It’s a randy cuppie named Blaze who tweaks their cop instincts that something’s not quite right on the waterfront—and it’s Blaze who sets off a bizarre criminal trail that would be hilarious if it didn’t wind up just as nasty as it gets, with a pair of murders right on the eve of the biggest sailing race of all.


Previous entries

CRIME FICTION ALPHABET - A IS FOR.... AX, ABBOTT, ABERDEEN

CRIME FICTION ALPHABET - B IS FOR ....... BOSTON, BIRD, BONES

CRIME FICTION ALPHABET - C IS FOR.........CAPE TOWN, CONFIDENCE MEN, CROSS

CRIME FICTION ALPHABET - D IS FOR ....... DETROIT, DISHER, DEAD

CRIME FICTION ALPHABET - E IS FOR ....... EDINBURGH, EXCESS, ELLIS

14 comments:

  1. Hi Col! I have not read Dick Francis and Joseph Wambaugh in years, though, luckily, paperbacks of both authors are available aplenty where I live. Interesting book setting challenge you have there.

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

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    1. Apologies for the delay in replying Prashant. Good to see you back here commenting. Wambaugh and Francis..... it's been too long for me as well.

      Hope 2020 is peaceful and prosperous for you and yours too.

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  2. I really like Hiassen's work, too, Col, so very glad to see it here. And Wambaugh and Francis have written excellent books. Might I also suggest, for your Florida reading, the work of Paul Levine? His (Steve) Solomon and (Victoria) Lord series takes place in South Florida. The protagonists are lawyers, so it's a legal series. But it's a lot more than that, in my opinion. Good cases, and lots of wit and funny scenes. Yet, it's not 'fluffy.'

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    1. Margot thanks for the reminder of Levine. I've tried his Jake Lassiter series but not Solomon and Lord and I do need to read some more legal mysteries.

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  3. From the coast of the Florida panhandle, Mac McClellan sends his wishes for a happy & prosperous New Year! :-)

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    1. Michael all the best to you sir for 2020. Thanks for the reminder of Mac. No intentional snub intended, but there was a lot I had to leave out!

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  4. what does it take to be a successful author ? I would say that initial reviews and marketing definitely boost your book. I used https://usabookreviewers.com/christmas-gift to get a few reviews and also promote my book. Hopping to be in the top 100 genre lists and see better sales this Christmas season…

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  5. I've not been around for a while (other projects) and it is great to come back and find Col's Criminal Library is still the same as ever - AND you've been doing more library logging and box filing - I always enjoy that! Will be back to my regular visits now.
    I definitely think Florida has crime books for you rather than me! Though I do share your admiration for Carl Hiaasen.

    Hope you had a good Xmas, and a Happy New Year to all the Col Family!

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    1. Welcome back Moira, you've been gone a while! I'm back into the logging now and hope to complete this year, though there might be a bit more of a gap between tubs, as opposed to my previous weekly posts.

      I do like Hiaasen though his last one didn't rock me. I hope you have a great 2020!

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  6. Just picked up a White novel and have a very old MacDonald on the TBR pile, Col, but don’t know when I will get to them. A friend recently gave me a box of Dick Francis novels. I’ve read some of his many, many books. The early novels in the box interest me most.

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    1. Elgin, I did enjoy the couple of Dick Francis books I've read and there's more than a few on the pile still waiting. I'm hoping to resurrect my series reading of MacDonald and White as well as a few others this year.

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  7. I still haven't read anything by Carl Hiaasen or James W. Hall. Stuart Kaminsky, one of my favorite authors, wrote as short series set in Sarasota, Florida and I haven't gotten to that one either. I have read Dick Francis (years ago) and plan to try a few more of his. I am glad you have included the links to earlier entries because I want to check them out too.

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    1. Tracy, I've not read anything from Kaminsky yet and I don't believe I have any from that series in the collection. Oh well, I'll stick with what I have.

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