February’s Newzine!

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      Podcasts

LeVar Burton Reads: The Best Short Fiction, Handpicked by the World’s Greatest Storyteller – Literally LeVar Burton (of Reading Rainbow & Star Trek fame) reading short stories (all kinds) to you!

Netflix has released a new series that IS interesting and certainly IS grisly: Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.  It is also full of period film of Seattle in the 70s.

      Word of the Month

supergrass (n): supergrass is a British slang term for an informant who turns Queen’s evidence, often in return for protection and immunity from prosecution. In the British criminal world, police informants have been called “grasses” since the late 1930s, and the “super” prefix was coined by journalists in the early 1970s to describe those who witnessed against fellow criminals in a series of high-profile mass trials at the time…

The first known use of “grass” in that context is Arthur Gardner’s crime novel Tinker’s Kitchen, published in 1932, in which a “grass” is defined as “an informer”. The origin of the term “grass” being used as signifying a traitor, a person who informs on people he or she knows intimately, ostensibly can be traced to the expression “snake in the grass”, which has a similar meaning. The phrase derives from the writings of Virgil (in Latin, latet anguis in herba) and has been known in the English language, meaning “traitor”, since the late 17th century.

An alternative claim is made for the term originating from rhyming slang, whereby “grasshopper” is defined as “copper”, meaning “policeman”. The rhyming slang version was supported in 1950 by lexicographer Paul Tempest. (wikipedia)

      Book Events

February 4: April Henry, 7pm Powell’s

February 9: Mike Lawson, 1pm Barnes & Noble, Silverdale

February 14: Mary Daheim AND Candace Robb, 7pm Third Place/LFP

February 16: Mike Lawson, 3pm, Magnolia Bookstore

February 24: Jasper Fforde, 6pm Third Place/LFP

      Links of Interest

January 1: Books are good for your brain. These techniques will help you read more.

January 2: Australian police respond to spider death threats

January 3: Can An Auto-Immune Disease Explain The Salem Witch Trials?

January 4: Manson family murderer Robert Beausoleil recommended for parole

January 5: ‘Kidnapper’ chased out of North Carolina karate studio

January 6 (from the UK): Independent bookshops grow for second year after 20-year decline

January 7: ‘The Sopranos’ at 20: How did the show change TV — and us?

January 7: David Chase on ‘The Sopranos,’ Trump and, Yes, That Ending

January 8: A woman’s murder in Peking and a literary feud

January 8: How true-crime podcasts find clues the police miss

January 9: ‘The Millions’ Will Live on, But the Indie Book Blog Is Dead

January 10: Woman fined after bragging about illegal hunt on dating app

January 11: Some Dos and Don’ts from Famous Authors

January 11: ‘Hugely heavy’ hippo sculpture stolen

January 11: Can Romance Novels Save Heterosexual Sex?

January 11: British sarcasm ‘lost on Americans’

January 12: Can a fugitive remain on the run forever?

January 13: True Detective’: Three Real-Life Cases Behind the Show’s Central Mystery

January 13: After Stephen King Tweeted at a Maine Paper for Cutting Book Reviews, It Gave Readers a ‘Scary Good’ Offer

January 14: The Hunt for the Nazi Loot Still Sitting on Library Shelves

January 15: The Homeless Man Who Set Up A Book Club

January 15: ‘Most famous’ banned book to be sold

January 16: TV series based on Portland writer Chelsea Cain’s novel premieres on WGN America

January 16: The Villainous Bitch Has Become the Most Boring Trend in Literature

January 17: The Library Of Forbidden Books

January 17: New York’s Secret Travel Club

January 17: Nancy Drew is Still Influencing – Well the covers are at any rate

January 17: Sherrilyn Kenyon~Bestselling author accuses husband of poisoning her in ‘Shakespearean plot’

January 18: Earliest Fragments of the English Language Revealed

January 21: How ‘Sherlock’ went from super-sleuth to the Baker Street Men Behaving Badly

January 22: ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Film Finds Young Tony: Michael Gandolfini Is Chip Off Old Block

January 23: An infamous mobster’s home was up for sale in Vegas. Buyers made an offer. Who could refuse?

January 23: ‘Buffy’ returns with a modern comic book reboot

January 23: Guillermo del Toro leads drive to save horror bookshop Dark Delicacies

January 23: San Francisco’s Aardvark Bookstore Closes after 40 Years

January 23: ~ If I Hate Violence So Much, Why Do I Love Writing About It?

January 23: Don Winslow ~ I Write Fiction About Border Crime, But Unlike Trump I Tell the Truth.

January 23: A week in the life of a London murder detective

January 24: Medieval book coffer shows appetite for mobile reading ‘is nothing new’

January 24: Times reporter pens book about mystery of missing Skelton brothers

January 24: 7-year-old’s book accepted into Library of Congress

January 24: Amanda Knox ~ European court orders Italy to pay damages

January 25: Penguin Random House Closes the Prestigious Imprint Spiegel & Grau

January 27: Booker Prize Looses Sponsor

January 27: The Knotty Nostalgia of the Hardy Boys Series

January 28: The tiny library bringing books to remote villages

January 28: Book explores old murder mysteries in Lorain County

      Word of the Month – Continued

croodle (v): To cower or cuddle together, as from fear or cold; to lie close and snug together, as pigs in straw. (thanks to wordfinder)

      R.I.P.

December 29: June Whitfield – The wonderful voice of Miss Marple on BBC Radio

We say farewell to Ed Kennedy, a customer who went back to the early daysimage-69068_20190102 of the shop. He’d bop in with a big smile and a friendly “Hey, Man!” He bought books for himself, mysteries and special orders for himself and relatives. Ed had a deep, smooth voice and would often be on his way to or from a session of taping a book for the Washington Talking Book. This seemed to be one of his great pleasures, reading a book aloud for those who couldn’t read themselves. With that voice he must’ve been one of their stars.

Thanks, Ed. Vios con dios!

January 4: Edgar Winner Brian Garfield, dead at 79

January 20: Tony Mendez, Mastermind of the Rescue of the US Hostages in Iran

January 31: Dick Miller, Gremlins and Terminator actor, dies aged 90

      Word of the Month – Lastly

Rivulose – adjective – marked with irregular, narrow, sinuous, crooked lines or furrows resembling rivers marked on a map.

While they may use this word primarily to describe the irregular, surfaces of bugs, fishes, and mushrooms (for purposes entomological, ichthyological, and mycological), you can apply it as you wish. It can, for example, do the job of describing the wrinkles on your typical lexicographer’s shirt. The word is Latin in origin, tracing back to rivulus, meaning “rivulet,” and the English suffix –ose, meaning “possessing the qualities of.” Something that is rivulose is marked with lines reminiscent of those made by a rivulet—that is, a small stream—as viewed from far above.

(thank-you to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)

      What We’ve Been Doing

    Amber

Don’t forget! Check out my mystery blog!

 Finder Of Lost Things

After an eventful night which included a mysterious FLYT fare, the discovery of Little Ben’s ill conceived pet cemetery plans and getting chewed out by Joseph at Nevermore. Phoebe’s on her way home for a quiet snack and then bed…

But her night’s not quite over yet!

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No Wind Of Blame by Georgette Heyer

So this mystery is a bit of a conundrum.

Because, for one reason or another, until the murder of Wally Carter I disliked every character Heyer introduced into the narrative. Since the deed wasn’t done until page one-hundred-and-thirty-one…well let’s just say it took me a while to work my through the cast’s hysterics, dramatics, whining, and martyrdom to the meat of the matter.

But two things kept me from shelving the book permanently, neither Heyer nor her foil, Inspector Hemingway has ever let me down.

And as you’ve guessed, (since I’m writing a review) my patience was rewarded, because the last half of the book was excellent.

Even better?

Through Hemingway’s investigation, observations, and dry wit, you come to understand exactly who these people are and their motivations, which shed an entirely new light on the first half of the book, making it infinitely more interesting – and well worth a reread.

Perhaps not the best of Heyer’s mysteries (it is definitely not the worst), the solution straining the boundary of credulity, it is still a satisfying read.

You just need to stick with it!

BTW – Source Books has reissued all of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries! So if you couldn’t find them previously, they are easy to find now! And I highly recommend a read thru of her mysteries, if you enjoy classic 1930s-1950s British mysteries!

My favorites: Death In The Stocks & Why Shoot A Butler?

    Fran

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Okay, let me just say up front that I adore Amber and trust her implicitly. Therefore you have to understand the sorrow with which I tell you, Amber lied.

Amber lied BIG TIME.

Okay, first of all, go back and read her review of Brandon Sanderson‘s book, LEGION. It’s okay, we’ve got time. I’ll wait. It’s back in December, so you won’t have to scroll far.

Done? Groovy.

I’m not going to recap the synopsis; you just read it. But what you’re not getting is how BADLY SHE UNDERSELLS THIS BOOK!

Holy cats.

Granted, if you’re looking for Sanderson’s telltale fantasy story, you’ll be disappointed, but only briefly because the writing is incredible! It’s a suspense story, yes, and it’s told in three parts, but once again, it’s the characters that make it. And Stephen Leeds’ “aspects” are so fully formed, so incredibly wonderful, that you can’t help but get involved with them.

And if you have an artistic friend, perhaps a writer, this helps you understand how complex characters can be created.

I’ll be re-reading it, I have no doubt. It’s the kind of story that is multi-layered, and psychologically complex.

And I do wish we were still working together because Amber would have had me read this much sooner than I did, and that would have been wonderful. So now, listen to her, listen to me, and go read Brandon Sanderson’s LEGION!

Why are you still here? Go!

    JB

Coming in April is a fascinating history of the Allies’ use of women to work with the Resistance during World War II in preparation for the invasion of Europe.

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Sarah Rose’s D-Day Girls is a heady mix of mission and personality as you get to know these women – Rose takes pain to note that the women involved did refer to themselves as “girls” – the men in charge of the missions in London, and the men hunting them in France.

Rose details the resistance within the Allies to allowing women to have a role in the fight, partly due to the usual, age-old sexism that women can’t or shouldn’t go into battle, partly due to racism (one woman was Jewish and could she be trusted!!), and partly due to real qualms about possible sexual torture if captured. There’s a pageant of humanity in this story – fear and courage, hope and frustration, passion and fury, good and evil – all told with a lively writing style that is somewhere in-between Ben McIntyre, Eric Larson, and Alan Furst.

In one of those strange quirks of history, the man in charge of these heroes was Captain Selwyn Jepson. It was his job to find people to insert into France and it seemed only logical to him that if men were in short supply send women. Jepson was a well-known mystery novelist and screenwriter before and after the war.

It’s a fascinating story with details and dates. I guess I’d always thought that the French Resistance took place throughout the war but Rose shows that the Resistance as a nation-wide organization really only started in 1943, with the women spending ’42 being trained in tradecraft. It was due to the approach of the invasion that the Allies used the Resistance to bedevil the Nazis so that they couldn’t respond well to an invasion. Luckily for us all it worked well enough to allow Normandy to succeed.

Thank god the men got out of the way and let these women do their jobs!

The author notes that the indignities these women went through before going into enemy territory didn’t end then. After the war, they were not awarded to the same extent as the men who did the same thing, their medals were of lesser levels. And then, of course, they were ignored by historians for the last sixty years.

I’m glad Sarah Rose has stepped in to redress this contemptuous treatment.

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A Dangerous Threat to Freedom and Fun

The new “community guidelines”* announced by tumblr are, to me, insidious and dangerous. We’re being told that anything with “adult content” will not be allowed. It is limiting free expression in so very many ways and leaves us at the mercy of the repressive tastes of others.  In effect, tumblr is setting itself up to be an “adult filter”. In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stevens wrote “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.“ Bullshit!

My fear now is that the mystery and crime and noir images that I have spent years assembling may fall prey to tumblr’s new rules and old images may have to be removed, new images will be rejected, or this entire site may be turned off by them against my choice.

It is very true that a majority of the images I have posted over the years involve violence and cruelty by one person against another: thugs roughing up women, gunman blasting tommyguns at g-men, femme fatales shooting marks, dames stealing and tux-clad dandies smiling while they turn the screws. These are the dark streets of American culture as Chandler eloquently wrote, accompanied by “the raucous laughter of the strongman.”

I do not support the violence included in these images but they are images that we can no more suppress or ignore than we can ban Mark Twain for the language of his time that he used in his books. This is the way it was, ladies and gentleman, deal with it. It is our cultural history, our cultural landscape. You cannot have “Chinatown” or “LA Confidential” without the pulp images of the early 20th C. Do we no longer show “Psycho” because a naked woman is slaughtered in a shower?

And while we’re at it, some of those who painted the covers for the early pulps were Great American Artists: Dalton Stevens, H.J. Ward, Norman Saunders, Gloria Stoll, Robert Maguire, Robert McGinnis, Walter Popp, Robert Stanley, Modest Stein, Jes Schlaikjer – the list is large. No one should be able to tell you you can’t see any of them due to a painting of a fist, a knife, an unclad bust, or a face twisted in fear. That’s just un-American. It is also ludicrous.

I reject that anyone can tell me what I can see. I reject that anyone has the right to monitor and decide for themselves what can be seen. Tumblr may say they are doing this to create a safe place for all but censorship to achieve safety is a slippery slope. Are you prepared to “exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead roll in a cage”?

I will continue to post what I want, what I think is good and worthy of being shared. I do not post what I find to be cruel or salacious. I post what I find interesting visually. There are thousands of images of true crime magazines from the 60s on what are stupidly ugly and there’s nothing at all, for me, redeeming in how they’re presented or designed or composed.They’re just mean and I won’t use them. Others may think what I have posted are mean and that’s fine. Turn away, don’t look. But I filter myself, you don’t get to do it.

I began this blog as a creative outlet for myself and for something else for the customers and fans of the bookshop. Since then, as of this moment, I’ve posted 15,561 images, I have 61 in queue to post and have 142 in draft form. I had never thought about how long I’d continue but rebel at the idea that others may decide what I can and cannot post. That’s unacceptable.

So it may come some day that there are no more posts on the Seattle Mystery Bookshop Hardboiled site. My bookshop is gone, living only in our memories and in places like this. Building this collection has been a labor of love. I hope to continue. If it ends, it will not be by choice.

If you enjoy this site, if you like sites like this, take the time to let those who have instituted it know.

~ JB Dickey

*From tumblr’s new guidelines:

Adult Content. Don’t upload images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples —this includes content that is so photorealistic that it could be mistaken for featuring real-life humans (nice try, though). Certain types of artistic, educational, newsworthy, or political content featuring nudity are fine. Don’t upload any content, including images, videos, GIFs, or illustrations, that depicts sex acts. For more information about what this guideline prohibits and how to appeal decisions about adult content, check out our help desk.

Violent Content and Threats, Gore and Mutilation. Don’t post content which includes violent threats toward individuals or groups – this includes threats of theft, property damage, or financial harm. Don’t post violent content or gore just to be shocking. Don’t showcase the mutilation or torture of human beings, animals (including bestiality), or their remains. Don’t post content that encourages or incites violence, or glorifies acts of violence or the perpetrators.”

 

Stan Lee ~ thanks and rest in peace!

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That cover is from 1941. It was Stan Lee’s first job in comics, writing an issue of “Captain America”.

Sometime in the mid-60s, I discovered Spiderman and the Fantastic Four and Captain America and began collecting the back issues. I subscribed to them as well and each month they arrived in the mailbox. It was heaven. I was a member of the Mighty Marvel Fanclub, too. Somewhere around here I have a couple of sheets from a notepad sent to members.

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Excelsior!

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That’s the earliest Spiderman issue that I have that has an intact cover. From there they go up to around #100. The Ditko years were the best.

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That’s the return of Captain America, found frozen in the ocean, revived and back to fight the bad guys – Kirby and Lee!

Lee was the last of those greats. Jack Kirby died in 1994 at the age of 76. Steve Ditko died last Summer, June 29th, at 90.

But we’re left with their creations.

‘Nuff Said ….

~JB

OCTOBER NEWZINE

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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)


2018 Seattle Antiquarian Bookfair ~ Oct. 13th & 14!


    LINKS OF INTEREST

August 31st: Man stole mother-in-law’s corpse from funeral parlour – it’s not what you think

August 31st: How the Hogwarts Express was saved from a Welsh scrapyard

September 4th: Judy Garland’s slippers: Five more items that are still missing

September 4th: The Books Everyone Starts and No One Finishes

September 5th: Teacher’s hidden book cover pebbles inspire reading

September 5th: Manchester Pusher: Does a serial killer haunt the city’s canals?

September 7th: Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea. With a single scholarly article, Lina Khan, 29, has reframed decades of monopoly law.

September 7th: Adam Woog ~ Ruthless vs. righteous: vivid stories on ‘Scarface and the Untouchable’ and ‘The Sinners’

September 7th – John Steinbeck was a sadistic womaniser, says wife in memoir

September 8th – Lee Child on Birmingham: ‘The pollution was insane. Rivers would catch fire’

September 8th: The FBI’s Spying on Writers Was Literary Criticism at Its Worst

September 8th: Agent Jack by Robert Hutton review – MI5’s secret Nazi hunter

September 11th: ‘So shocked’: customer wins bookshop in raffle

September 12th: Author Of ‘How To Murder Your Husband’ Arrested For Allegedly Killing Her Husband

September 13th: The Book List: The alternative titles F Scott Fitzgerald considered for ‘The Great Gatsby’

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 17th: The Joker: Joaquin Phoenix and the many faces of Gotham’s most wanted

September 19th: Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’ is the fastest-selling book in Simon & Schuster’s history

September 19th: Author of ‘Kopp Sisters’ historical crime fiction series now calls Portland home

September 20: Impersonating Philip Marlowe

September 21st: How to write the perfect sentence

September 22nd: Ann Cleeves on north Devon: ‘I remember family days on the beach, picnics and space’

September 23rd: Galileo’s newly discovered letter shows his clever attempt to outsmart the Catholic Church

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

    AUTHOR EVENTS

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

  AMBER

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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!

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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!)

  JB

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.DSCN0089

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. 9781504049108

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?

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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?

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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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Until November