On our side of this blog, we get to see statistics about visitors. We don’t see your names or what kind of slippers you’re wearing, but we see the nations from which you come to visit us. Most – duh – are from North America. No surprise about that, or visitors from England or Australia; there’s that common tongue issue. But there have been visitors from all across Europe, Asia, the subcontinent, Africa… 59 different countries at last count. China doesn’t like us and no one from the Caribbean has visited – if any of us were in the Caribbean, we wouldn’t be lookin’ at websites either!
Wherever you are, whatever kind of slippers you wear, welcome. We’re gratified so many folks still care what we do and say.
WORD OF THE MONTH
Tohubohu (n): complete disorder or dishevelment. (thanks to Says You!, #1516)
LINKS OF INTEREST
August 31st: Man stole mother-in-law’s corpse from funeral parlour – it’s not what you think
September 4th: The Books Everyone Starts and No One Finishes
September 5th: Teacher’s hidden book cover pebbles inspire reading
September 7th – John Steinbeck was a sadistic womaniser, says wife in memoir
September 8th: Agent Jack by Robert Hutton review – MI5’s secret Nazi hunter
September 11th: ‘So shocked’: customer wins bookshop in raffle
September 13th: Bob Woodward: By the Book
September 14th: Agatha Christie Shaped How the World Sees Britain
September 14th: Bond 25 Is Getting a Whole New Script
September 17th: Last call for Nevada’s brothels?
September 17th: Cat in Bristol brings home bag of suspected class A drugs
September 17th: CCTV footage of 85-year-old tackling armed raiders goes viral
September 20: Impersonating Philip Marlowe
September 21st: How to write the perfect sentence
September 23rd: from Adam Woog ~ New crime fiction: An Agatha Christie-ish mystery and two new offerings from local writers
September 26th: Remembering Code Breaker Jean Annette Watters
September 26th: Do We Really Still Need Banned Books Week?
September 26th: A Window into the Lucrative World of Rare Book Heists
September 27th: Bookworms’ paradise away from Beijing bustle
ANOTHER WORD OF THE MONTH
mool (n): The soil used to fill a grave. (thanks to Says You!, #1003 – recorded live in Seattle!)
FAREWELL AND REST IN PEACE
August 31st – Thriller writer Amanda Kyle Williams, 61
September 1st – Bookseller Barbara Bailey, 74
September 6th – Burt Reynolds died at 82
October 10th, 7:30 pm: Deborah Harkness, Powell’s
October 12th, 7pm: Charlaine Harris, Powell’s
October 18th, 7pm: Walter Mosley, Northwest African American Museum, Seattle
October 18th, 7pm: Elizabeth George, Hugo House
October 19th, 7:30pm: Walter Mosley, Powell’s
October 25th, 7pm: Joe Ide, Third Place Books/LFP
October 25th, 7pm: Warren C. Easley, Powell’s
ONE LAST WORD OF THE MONTH
Concantenation (n.): Circa 1600, “state of being linked together”, from Late Latin concatenationem (nominative concatenatio) “linking together”, noun of action from past participle stem of concatenare “to link together”, from com “with together” (see con) + cantenare, from catena “a chain” (see chain (n.)). As a series of things united like links in a chain from 1726. [thanks to etymonline.com]
WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING
J.D. Robb – Leverage In Death
What would you do to save your family?
This is the question facing Paul Rogan. His answer? To follow his instructions exactly, so he walks into his 9 am meeting and detonates the bomb.
When Eve Dallas discovers the bomber is a victim himself, coerced into killing his friends, she won’t rest until she finds the who and why of these crimes.
This installment of the In Death series is a solid addition to the rest of the series. It hits all the notes you are looking for with Roarke, Mavis (and her adorable kid), Peabody and Nadine, while advancing several side storylines Robb’s been building over the last few books with her supporting cast. The most important amongst them? Will Eve ever catch the dastardly candy thief? Dallas has a plan…
In any event, this book was a fun and fast read which, if you are a fan of the series, I don’t think you will be disappointed in!
Dianne Freeman – A Lady’s Guide To Etiquette And Murder
Frances Wynn married young. Her mother, a New York socialite, was keen on marrying her off to a man with a title – which is how Frances became the Countess of Harleigh. Unfortunately, her husband took a looser stance on their marriage vows than Frances and when he suddenly passed away – it was under scandalous circumstances.
But that’s behind Frances, her year of mourning is finished and she’s determined to leave the country (and her money hungry in-laws) behind. To that end, Frances’ has secured a lovely little house in Belgrave for her and her young daughter. Even better? Her younger sister and favorite Aunt are coming to spend the season with her!
But things soon turn sour when an anonymous letter surfaces accusing Frances of murdering her husband! To clear her name, she’s going to have to figure out how to solve this mystery without making any social gaffes!
I loved reading this mystery! In fact, I devoured it all in one (very long) sitting.
While it is on the lighter side, it isn’t nearly as frivolous as the cover makes it look (though to be honest it is what first caught my eye). This book is about a woman who’s trying to reclaim her own life and discovering (and reveling) in the freedom afforded to a widow which she never had as a debutante or wife. This heady sense of freedom allows her to muster up the chutzpah to try and solve the mystery of the anonymous letters, a series of burglaries, and figure out why she doesn’t entirely trust one of her sister’s suitors!
Seriously – this book is a fun, witty read and it never rests upon its laurels! If you like lighter historicals like Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series – I think this book will be right up your alley! (Seriously can’t remember the last time I had so much fun reading a mystery!)
Here’s a word you’ll need to know for the new John Connolly: chthonic (adj.) “of or pertaining to the under world,” 1882, with -ic + Latinized form of Greek khthonios “of the earth, in the earth,” from khthon “the earth, solid surface of the earth” (mostly poetic), from Proto-Indo-European root *dhghem- “earth.”
His latest Charlie Parker novel, The Woman in the Woods continues Parker’s dance with those things, those creatures, who come from the darkness, from a world that the opposite of Parker’s, where the dead live and talk, and some who do live have long ago relinquished their souls to a ugly, black power. There are the Pale Children, who limbs are jointed backwards; The Backers, wealthy, established Brahman who are allied with the fabled Not-Gods who search for the King of Wasps, the Buried God; there’s the deadly Mors, a woman completely devoid of color and compassion, whose evil rolls off her with the scent of “a whorehouse mattress”; and there’s Quayle, a dignified figure who may have once been human – he can’t honestly recall – but whose murderous search for the missing leaves of a book cause the deaths of those in his way.
Along the way there are three very different bookmen. Dobey, owner of a greasy spoon who helps damaged girls and women escape to safety and offers them a quiet place to rest amongst his collection. Of course there is Quayle, whose timeless search is for the missing pages of a volume that can change reality once reassembled. Then there is the cantankerous expert in Portland who finds the key piece of the puzzle.
This book fills in more to the picture of the evil Parker and his allies battle. It’s not yet complete but we get more of it, pieces added to a freaky puzzle. And in this book, Connolly ties this fictional evil to that is afoot in our “real” world. Parker’s friend Moxie bemoans “…If I could outlaw one word, the obvious others apart, it would be fucking ‘patriotism’. It’s nationalism in better clothing. You know who were patriots? The Nazis, and those Japanese fucks who bombed Pearl Harbor, and the Serbs who rounded up all those men and boys and put them in holes in the ground outside Srebrenica before going back to rape their women, at least until someone tried bombing sense into them. Patriots build Auschwitz. You start believing that ‘my-country-wrong-or-right’ shit, and it always ends up at the same place: a pit filled with bones.”
Indeed, Connolly writes pointedly that “Violence called to violence, and intemperate words were the kindling of savagery.” This goes for the Parker saga, as well as 2018 America.
One of the many unsettling aspects of the book at the center of the tale is that it’s illustrations change, while being viewed and from viewer to viewer. You seem to see things that might not really be there. Much like the face of the woman in the woods on the dust jacket.
Com’on John – hurry up with the next!
and thanks to Clare for the advanced reading copy, a nice addition to my Connolly shelf!
The Battered Badge is Robert Goldsborough‘s 13th Nero Wolfe mystery. Bill Farley always dismissed them as a pale imitation of Rex Stout’s series but he always read them, saying he couldn’t miss a chance to spend time with old friends.
I approach them the same way and have enjoyed them. But I must admit that this entry is dull and lifeless, even though we get a good visit with Lily Rowen. There are too many phone conversations spread out in the chapters as they trade information and wisecracks. For all of the action, this could’ve been a novella and been fine.
What is fun is that it ends with Inspector Cramer getting all the participants together at police headquarters instead of the brownstone to catch the killer. That scene made it all worth while.
Make no mistake, I’ll keep reading these books. Why miss the chance to spend time with old friends?
After what I thought were a couple of, well, duds, Craig Johnson is back in thrilling form with Depth of Winter, his 14th full Longmire novel. (I found An Obvious Fact to be boring and I didn’t buy the revelation of who was the killer in The Western Star, even though I liked the scenes from the past and getting to know Martha).
is a mirror image of Hell is Empty(the best, I think, of this fine series), though this time Walt’s desperate journey is into the heat of the desert, not the snow of the mountains. If you’ve been keeping up with the Longmire books, you’ll remember that the Mexican killer Bidarte – with whom Walt and his friends have been dancing Serpent’s Tooth – has struck back in vengeance, kidnapping Cady and drawing Walt south of the border. ”
I slowly turned in all directions, but all I could see was the heat undulating from the baked surface of the desert like invisible samba dancers. I wished for a sound, but pressed hard against the sky, the terrain gave no answers.”
While the usual cast is mostly absent – Henry guards grandbaby Lola and Vic is heard only by phone – there’s a wonderful new group of folks helping Walt on his quest. An Apache sharpshooter, a retired member of the Mexican secret service and his sister with the violet eyes who is thought to be a witch, mules and a pink Cadillac, and of course death, too much death. There is even, slyly slipped in so don’t miss it, about guides from another world. Walt is not alone. But he sure feels like it. Boy howdy…
Does he succeed? What – you think I’d spill that?
Lastly, a year ago today, Sept. 30, 2017, the Seattle Mystery Bookshop ceased operation at the close of business.
Seemed like something we should note.
Support Small Businesses…
If you don’t they go away!
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