ffb: Stakeout On Page Street by Joe Gores

this is the 153rd in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

Stakeout On Page Street by Joe Gores
Crippen & Landru, 2000 hardcover, mystery – short stories – DKA

Stakeout on Page StreetI like Gores’ DKA [Daniel Kearny Associates] novels a lot and have read them all a couple times each – or more – but perhaps it’s the short stories that are the most fun.

Gores takes his experience as a P.I. and the cases he worked or knew of and turns them into his stories. There is the ensemble cast for the DKA  and all of the stories in this book include them. With these stories it’s not the what so much as the how that matters, and the character’s interaction with each other and the people with whom the case brings them into contact. Of the stories here I especially liked “The O’Bannon Blarney File” and “The Maimed and the Halt”. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

More Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s fine blog Pattinase


Posted in Friday Forgotten Book, mystery | 6 Comments

Concrete Angel by Patricia Abbot

Patricia Abbott, short story writer extraordinaire, will be releasing her debut novel, with Polis Books, in the Summer of 2015.

CONCRETE ANGEL“Eve Moran has always wanted “things” and has proven both inventive and tenacious in both getting and keeping them – she lies, steals, cheats and swindles, paying little heed to the cost of her actions on those who love her.

When Eve kills a man she picks up in a shoe repair shop, she persuades her twelve year-old daughter, Christine, to confess to the crime. The girl, compelled by love, dependency and circumstance, is caught up in her mother’s deceptions

It’s only when Christine’s three year-old brother, Ryan, is drawn into his mother’s schemes that she finds the courage to try to end Eve’s tyranny.” – from the author

Set in 1970s Philadelphia and packaged to match, Concrete Angel pits a vindictive and manipulative mother against a daughter with just enough of her mother’s immorality to fight back.

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New Arrivals and Current Reading, September 8 – 14, 2014

New Arrivals
Once again, nothing. The hot weather continues, several days in the 90s, very windy, humidity in the low teens and we have had zero rain since early July. We’re parched! Many fires burning, one just 22 miles east of us. The air is full of smoke.

world of troubleI take my glasses in tomorrow (Monday afternoon) to have yet another set of lenses installed, will be without glasses for a 2-3 days (again), by Friday I hope, so no reading until then.

Current Reading
I’m working my way through the 4th volume of the Eragon books. It’s 850 pages, I’m at the 240 mark.

Barbara is reading World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters, the third of his The Last Policeman trilogy. She says “the astroid will hit soon”.

What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

Posted in Current Reading, mystery, New Arrivals | 13 Comments

Meme: 25 Rock ‘N’ Roll songs

rock-n-rollWhat 25 songs would you pick to describe your personal history with rock ‘n’ roll?

You can start whenever you like, end whenever you like, include whomever you like. This is more of a “favorites” list that shows your history with the music than anything academic, so just have fun with it, and then leave your list in comments, put the meme on your blog, pass it along.

My list:

  1. At the Hop – Danny and the Juniors
  2. La Bamba – Ritchie Valens
  3. I Saw Her Standing There – Beatles
  4. Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
  5. Come See About Me – Supremes
  6. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Platters
  7. Surfin’ U.S.A – Beach Boys
  8. Heard it Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
  9. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
  10. Light My Fire – The Doors
  11. White Rabbit – The Jefferson Airplane
  12. Purple Haze – Jimmy Hendricks
  13. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly
  14. Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  15. Teach Your Children – Crosby Still & Nash
  16. Hotel California – Eagles
  17. It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll (But I like It) – Rolling Stones
  18. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – Chicago
  19. Soul Man – Sam & Dave
  20. You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees
  21. Love Train – The O’Jays
  22. Bad Girls – Donna Summer
  23. Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
  24. Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan
  25. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears For Fears
Posted in Music | 29 Comments

New Arrivals and Current Reading, September 1 – 7, 2014

New Arrivals
No books, CDs, etc. Nada. The new refrigerator and freezer come sometime Monday, that’s it. It’s continued quite hot here, and I’ve been under the weather too, including my eyes bothering me a lot. Another new pair of glasses are on the way in a week or two.

Current Reading
I finished the Louise Penny The Long Way Home. I also read the fourth Jeffrey Siger Inspector Kaldis book, Target: Tinos which I thought was the weakest of the series. I understand the next one, Mykonos After Midnight is better. Generally, it’s a series I like.

Barbara just finished Bad Luck and Trouble and Nothing to Lose by Lee Child so she’s catching up on the Reacher series. She’s now reading Louise Penny’s newest, The Long Way Home.

What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

Posted in Adventure, Classical Music, Current Reading, mystery, New Arrivals | 12 Comments

ffb: Rocket to the Morgue

this is the 152nd in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

Rocket to the Morgue 
Anthony Boucher – first published as by H.H. Holmes, Dell – 1942 – paperback mystery novel (newer edition shown)

rocket to the morgue“Leona Marshall stretched her long legs out on the bed and clasped her hands comfortably behind her red head. “Isn’t it nice I couldn’t nurse her?” she murmured. “Think how awkward it would be for you to take over a feeding.”

With a book that’s been written about and discussed as significant in the genre, a classic, or similar accolades, it’s often hard for me to define the point at which expectation leaves off and the novel carries it’s own weight. It’s certain, however, that point is further into the book than the point where a simple jacket blurb or short review would place it. When I open a book that has established it’s place in the literature of the genre I always wonder, perhaps fear is a better word, how long I should stay with it should it turn out that the thing is unreadable.

I was at a collectable paperback show, and talking to Art Scott. I told him I had found lots of good stuff, spent my money, but was unable to locate a copy of Rocket to the Morgue. He steered me to a copy, (thanks again, Art!) and promptly I read it.

There was no problem with readability with Rocket to the Morgue. I fell in step with Boucher’s light patter right away, and stayed with him to the end. I’ll tell you right out that I saw the solution when I was barely halfway through. Whether this is due to my keen insight or Boucher’s lack of effort in fooling me I’m not sure, but I suspect the latter. I read Boucher’s The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars not too many months before this one and though I figured that one out too, it was much later in the book than this one.

I’ve read it and I’m glad I did. I enjoyed it, but my socks are still on, if you catch my meaning. Boucher writes light, airy, entertaining stories. I recommend them but only for what they are. Significant? Maybe. Groundbreaking? I don’t think so. Entertaining? Definitely.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

More Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s fine blog Pattinase

Posted in Friday Forgotten Book, mystery | 12 Comments

oooh! New, shiny!

When we bought this house, it had an Amana refrigerator/freezer, which has worked just fine for us for several years. Until last week.

Suddenly we had things in the refrigerator part freezing, things in the freezer thawing. We adjusted every setting on the thing to no avail. It was obvious the thing needed help, time to call the repairman. But wait, looking into the paperwork, we found the unit was nearly sixteen years old. You don’t repair a major appliance that old, you replace it.

So we spent a few miserable days of frozen milk and eggs, thawed meats and soupy ice cubes, doing research, and came up with a short list. With that in hand off we went to look at refrigerators. We started at Home Depot, which had a sale and the best price on the ones we wanted to look at. After a certain amount of door opening, bin rattling and looking at functionality, we settled on the one that we felt gave us the best combination of features and price. We spent more than we’d originally intended, but a counter-depth unit in the exact right dimensions limited our choices.

So we ordered it: LG 24.6 cf French Door (3 door) in stainless, counter depth, with ice and water in door. Plus, while we were there we bought a Maytag 15.8 cf upright freezer for the garage to replace our small chest freezer that had grown too small for our needs.

You want cold, we got cold.

Now all we have to do is wait a week for delivery, while wrestling with the faulty unit and it’s ills. Come on, September 8th.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 15 Comments

New Arrivals and Current Reading, August 25 – 31, 2014

New ArrivalsThe Long Way Home
Another pre-order I’ve been eagerly anticipating arrived Tuesday, plus I picked up some classical music.

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny [Minotaur Books August 2014, purchased new] – mystery novel. The latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel. I can’t overstate how much I love these!

Holst Cotwolds Symphony, Walt Whitman Overture  Indra, Japanese Suite, A Winter Idyll by Ulster Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta [Naxos 2012 CD 8.572914, purchased new] – classical, English symphonic. I already have another recording of the Cotswolds Symphony, but wanted the other pieces on this one.

Moniuszko Overatures – The Haunted Manor, Paria, Halka, The Fairy Tale Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit [Naxos 2014 CD 8.572716, purchased new] – classical, symphonic. I had none of this composer’s music before purchasing this one.

Respighi Brazil Impressions, La Boutique Fantasque Royal de Leige Philharmonic Orchestra, John Neschling [BIS 2014 super audio CD, purchased new]

Current Reading
I’m still reading the lengthy Inheritance Cycle of four books, Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance. As I said last time, these are 500-600 pages so reading the set is no small undertaking. I’ve now finished the first three and am taking a break before starting the last to read the new Louise Penny shown above, which I’m about 100 pages into.

Barbara has read The Heckler by Ed McBain, Target: Tinos and Mykonos After Midnight by Jeffrey Siger. His books are good as always, especially Midnight. She has just started another Lee Child/Reacher series book in an attempt to catch up there as well. Louise Penny’s newest soon.

What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

Posted in Adventure, Classical Music, Current Reading, mystery, New Arrivals | 10 Comments

Long, Hot Summer, continued

3789711442_22b06f7fe6There’s just no let-up. It’s been in the 90s a lot. The most 90 degree days we usually get here is 11 per summer. We’ve already had 16, and today was another.

Though we keep the thermostat set at 80, the air conditioning has been kicking on at 10:am and it’s still running at 9:pm.

If I have to leave the house, I do it early, then I’m indoors the rest of the day and evening. I really don’t like this weather one bit.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 6 Comments

Brookside fruit-chocolate snacks

In my situation, it’s rare I can have any kind of sweets, but that’s not true of everyone. So I want to share something really delicious. These are incredibly good!

How do I know? Because yes, I have eaten them. On those occasions when my blood sugar runs low, which does happen sometimes, this is my go-to solution. Yes, these have sugars, fats (no trans-fat though) and sodium. Honestly, it seems almost everything has some of those, but these are sweets, after all. Still there is another thing to consider: flavor, which these deliver in abundance. I’m telling you, these are to die for.

I saw the ads on television and decided to have some on hand for a sweet snack when I could have one, and I was delighted with the flavors. Plus Acai berries have healthy properties. Try these, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Here is the Brookside website, though there is little information, and it doesn’t show the clusters.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 8 Comments

New Arrivals and Current Reading, August 18 – 24, 2014

New Arrivals
This was a very good week. Three pre-ordered books all came through the door on Tuesday, things I’ve been looking forward to. Plus, shown after the books, two jazz albums. Goodness!

Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger [Atria Books August 2014 hardcover, purchased new] – mystery novel. The latest Cork O’conner novel. Ex-sherriff O’Conner, now a private eye, takes a case involving the disappearance and subsequent death of a teenage girl. I love Krueger’s books. Can hardly wait to read this.

Sherlock Holmes – The Spirit Box by  George Mann [Titan Books 2014 trade paper, purchased new] – mystery, Holmes pastiche. The next of Mann’s adventures of the famous detective. I enjoyed the first one, The Will of the Dead very much.

Darkness, Darkness by John Harvey [Pegasus Crime 2014 hardcover, purchased new] – mystery novel. Harvey has taken a long break from his Charlie Resnick series, which had seemed to be finished, but now he returns one more time to tell of Resnick’s last case. I couldn’t be happier that Resnick is back.

Also these jazz albums, which I once had on vinyl but never got on CD until now.

The Soothsayer by Wayne Shorter [Blue Note Records 1979] I think this is one of Shorter’s best albums, but then they are all great.

Speak No Evil  by Wayne Shorter [Blue Note Records 1965] This could be his best known album, but he’s so good who can say which is “best”?

Current Reading
My eyes seem better, at least enough for me to launch into a book rather than the occasional short story. If only the rest of my health would also improve! Anyway, I’ve decided to tackle a four book fantasy quartet, Christopher Paolai’s The Inheritance Cycle: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance. These are doorstop-sized books, in the 500-600 page range, so reading the set is no small undertaking. I’ll take breaks between books to read short stories. I’ve now finished Eragon and Eldest. and am about halfway through Brisinger. I had read Eragon when it came out (nearly ten years ago!), but only remembered parts of it.

I’m also eager to read the new books that just came today, so we’ll see. Plus, when the new Louise Penny book arrives in a day or so I’ll drop everything and read that.

Barbara has read three Ed McBain 87th Precinct novels: Doll, Give the Boys a Great Big Hand and Eighty Million Eyes. She also read Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child. She just finished Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger that was noted above, loving it.

What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

Posted in Adventure, Current Reading, mystery, New Arrivals | 19 Comments

new arrival, etc.

I guess that coffee maker will have to suffice as this week’s New Arrival. No books or other items of interest arrived here except yet another wave of nasty hot weather. It’s hit 90 the last three days here in our corner of Portland, which runs 2-3 degrees hotter in Summer and cooler in Winter than the official temperature downtown. Could hit three digits today.

I haven’t been feeling well, more of the same, and I’m suffering in this weather. Come on, Fall.

As for reading, nothing to report for me. Barbara read some things, but I don’t remember what right now.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 11 Comments

new coffee maker

Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Glass CarafeWe’re coffee drinkers, a cup or two apiece every morning. The faithful Krupp coffee maker I bought about eight years ago finally gave up the ghost last week, so it was time for a replacement.

I’d seen an article in the March issue of Cooks Illustrated magazine with reviews of drip coffee makers, and the winner for price and performance was the Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe. We found it at a good price and bought it. So far we’re quite happy with it. It doesn’t have any bells and whistles – no timer, or brew interrupt feature or such – but it makes darn good coffee and that’s what matters.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 10 Comments

New Arrivals and Current Reading, July 28 – August 10, 2014

Lights in the DeepLights in the Deep by Brad R. Torgersen [Wordfire Press 2013 trade paper, purchased new] – cover art by Bob Eggleton. Essay and science fiction short story collection. An author whose short fiction I’ve been hearing about for the last couple of years. If you’ve not read Torgersen, this collection – his first – is a great place to try his work. It contains stories nominated for or winner of Hugo, Nebula, Analog Reader’s Choice and Writers of the Future awards.

Here’s the table of contents:

Introductions by Stanley Schmidt, Mike Resnick and Allan Cole.

  1. “Outbound” (Analog, Nov 2010)
  2. “Gemini 17″ (Jim Baen Memorial Contest anthology, Baen Books, 2015)
  3. “Influences: Allan Cole & Chris Bunch”
  4. “The Bullfrog Radio Astronomy Project” (Analog, Oct 2011)
  5. “Exiles of Eden” (Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Issue #22)
  6. “Writer Dad: Mike Resnick”
  7. “Footprints” (Licton Springs Review, 2002)
  8. “The Exchange Officers” (Analog, Feb/Mar 2013)
  9. “Essay: On the Growth of Fantasy and the Waning of Science Fiction” (Writers of the Future web site)
  10. “The Chaplain’s Assistant” (Analog, Sept 2011)
  11. “The Chaplain’s Legacy” (Analog, Jul/Aug 2013)
  12. “The Hero’s Tongue: Larry Niven”
  13. “Exanastasis” (Writers and Illustrators of the Future, XXVI)
  14. “Ray of Light” (Analog, Dec 2011)
  15. “Denouement”

Current Reading
I’m trying to get a little bit of reading done and did read a couple of Saint short stories. I’ve listened to another audiobook or two, some more of The Complete Sherlock Holmes audiobook – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

Barbara read Living Proof by John Harvey, Murder in Retribution by Anne Cleeland, Give the Boys a Great Big Hand by Ed McBain. She has just gotten Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes from the library.

What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

Posted in Current Reading, New Arrivals, science fiction | 15 Comments

ffb: The Doomsters by Ross Macdonald

this is the 151st in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

The Doomsters by Ross Macdonald, 1958

DoomstersNot too long ago, for a single-author Friday Forgotten Book post, I read Macdonald’s The Zebra-Striped Hearse, which I liked quite a lot. Lately I was in the mood for another Lew Archer novel, so I read this one.

 Like most of Ross Macdonald’s mysteries, The Doomsters presents a dysfunctional family with plenty of secrets. Lew Archer has to explore the past in order to solve a murder in the present. That’s fine, and I’ve come to expect it from Macdonald. It makes for interesting plots and intriguing insights into the characters and the crime solving in the books.

On his blog a few months back George Kelley said about this book:

“Ross Macdonald sprinkles in some Oedipus references, but long-time readers of the Archer series know all about troubled father-son relationships. Along with The ChillThe Galton Case, and Black MoneyThe Doomsters is one of the best books in the series.”

I’m afraid I have to disagree. I’ve read about half of the Lew Archer books, and agree that the other books George names in his review are very good, but I found a lot to dislike in The Doomsters. Without a doubt, this is the most depressing Archer novel I’ve read. In addition, there are lots of loose ends left unaddressed, motives for actions by some of the characters are highly questionable, some very convenient coincidences.

I like Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer series a lot. I’m probably going against the tide here,  but for me, this is a low point in it.

Posted in Friday Forgotten Book, mystery | 16 Comments

Long, Hot Summer

3789711442_22b06f7fe6I don’t do well in hot weather, that’s just one of the reasons I wanted to move from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. When it’s very hot I stay indoors, don’t sleep well, grumble a good deal and am pretty miserable.

It’s been in the mid-to-high 80s for the last two weeks here, with several days in the 90s. That’s hotter than is normal for this time of year. The forecast for the next week is more of the same, followed by a week with temperatures rising into the 100s.

Like so many other parts of the west, we’re having drought conditions in parts of Oregon and there are many wildfires burning in the state. The air is smoky and hazy. Sure, it’s probably worse elsewhere, but for here, it’s lousy.

Nothing has changed with my health issues, so that’s piled on top of the heat. I’m not enjoying this Summer.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 17 Comments

New Arrivals and Current Reading, July 14 – 27, 2014

Health Update - Still having problems. Things are getting a little better generally, but my sight is not, so far. Hopefully a few more weeks will see some improvement.

New Arrival
Not ordering so much these days, but I had to have this one, as I have the rest of this fine set from NESFA.

 Bicycle Built for BrewA Bicycle Built for Brew – The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson, Volume 6 edited by Rick Katze [NESFA Press 2014 hardcover, purchased new] – science fiction short works. This collection contains five short novels and three novellas, a length Anderson is very good at.


Short Novels

  • A Bicycle Built for Brew
  • Three Hearts and Three Lions (original magazine version)
  • Silent Victory
  • A Plague of Masters (Dominic Flandry),
  • The Snows of Ganymede


  • “Territory” (Nicholas van Rijn)
  • “Three Cornered Wheel” (David Falkyn)
  • “The Sensitive Man”

Current Reading
I’m not reading. I have listened to some of The Complete Sherlock Holmes audiobook – A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, and a few of the short stories. It’s well done. I’ve also listened to about half of Changer of Worlds by David Weber. My old headphones were about worn out after many years, so I bought new ones, AudioTechna MTH M50. They are the over the ear type and quite comfortable.

Barbara read Norwegian By Night by Derek Miller, The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver,  The Last Policeman and Countdown City both by Ben H. Winters and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, which she liked very much.

What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

Posted in Current Reading, New Arrivals, science fiction | 17 Comments

Current Listening

While I’m unable to read, or watch movies or television, I’m by necessity listening to music and audiobooks. The iPod has come in handy, especially for listening to the many podcasts I have stored up, including Mystery Theater, News from Lake Wobegon, A Way With Words, The Classic Tales Podcast and many others including a good amount of Old Time Radio.

Fred Hersch - Alive at the Vangard

The music album that’s been living in the player for the last few days is exceptionally enjoyable.

The Fred Hersch Trio has done a lot of nice albums, but I’m finding the variety and skill of playing of Hersch and his trio on the 2-CD Alive at the Vanguard especially pleasing.

The group also has a new one out, Floating, which is winging it’s way to me even as I type this.

Track Listing:
CD1: Havana; Tristesse; Segment; Lonely Woman/Nardis; Dream of Monk; Rising, Falling; Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise; Doxy.
CD2: Opener; I Fall in Love Too Easily; Jackalope; The Wind/Moon and Sand; Sartorial; From This Moment On; The Song Is You/Played Twice.

Posted in At Home in Portland, Music | 11 Comments

Off the Netwaves

UPDATE: July 21 – I’m slowly improving, but still have little energy, my meds aren’t settled in yet. My vision is still pretty blurry, but the new glasses expected in a couple of weeks will help that. So it’s progress, but a goodly ways to go. Thanks for the well wishes from you all!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ve been having some medical problems lately, and until things get under control I’ll be off the net. Probably a week, maybe two, I hope not more than that! Meanwhile, I’ll be on the South Beach Diet, reading and getting out in the garden in the early mornings before it gets too hot. Behave while I’m gone, okay?

Posted in At Home in Portland | 20 Comments

New Arrivals and Current Reading, June 30 – July 6, 2014

New Arrivals
Not a thing, must be a Summer lull.

Current Reading
As mentioned last time, I went on a Sherlock Holmes pastiche run, reading The Will of the Dead by George Mann, The Stuff of Nightmares and The Gods of War both by James Lovegrove. I followed that up with a book that came in last week, Encounters with Sherlock Holmes edited by George Mann, a short story collection.

I read two books, The Web of Murder by Harry Whittington and The Kiss-Off by Douglas Heyes, a Steve Mallory novel, for next week’s July 11th special Friday Forgotten Book post on the femme fatale, though I’m not sure either one is a good fit for that subject, and sad to say I wasn’t wild about either one. Also, they have both already been reviewed, I come to realize, for FFB in the past. Unless I find something else by tomorrow, it’ll be one of those.

Barbara finished Norwegian By Night by Derek Miller, which was strongly recommended by Todd Mason. She also read Living Proof, a Charlie Resnick Novel by John Harvey. She has now started Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson, another book we picked up at Left Coast Crime.


What new books did you get, and what have you been reading?

Posted in Current Reading, mystery, New Arrivals | 10 Comments