Various & Sundry might be a good description for this weeks additions to the stockpile here at the Portland abode. Old mystery, newer mystery, travel, graphic novels, fantasy, pulp. To quote a line from the film Jurassic Park, (remember? It’s when the girl gets the computer system back up.): “you want it, you got it”. So click to see bigger images or just read on…
The first set of books are the first 5 (as published by Cinebook, not in originally published order) in a series of graphic novels starring Professor Phillip Mortimar and Captain Francis Blake:
- The Yellow M,
- The Mystery of the Great Pyramid Part 1
- The Mystery o the Great Pyramid Part 2
- The Francis Blake Affair
- Strange Encounter
[Cinebook, translated from the French, 2001 – 2003, new] – graphic novel, adventure – the author-artist on the first 3 is Edgar P. Jacobs, who worked with Hergé on many of the Tintin books. You may see the similarity in the style of the artwork. The other two books in the group are by Jean Van Hamme and Ted Benoit, who assumed the series after Jacobs.
Coyote Frontier by Allen Steele [Ace, 2006 mass market paperback, used] – science fiction, space opera, interstellar colonization – this is the third in the series, I got the first two a month ago or so, this was on my PaperBack Swap wish list and just came. Going on the shelf for now.
A Darker Shade of Blue by John Harvey [Arrow Books, 2010, paperback, used] – mystery short story collection – Harvey is always a favorite, but I’d missed this collection from last year. I was glad to find this used copy, and expect it will be a good read.
Another group of 5 books, these gotten from Barry Ergang after reading a Friday Forgotten Book post of his. These are the first 5 in the Tony Costaine and Bert McCall series by Neil MacNeil (pseudonym of Willis Todhunter Ballard, 1903-1980). Costaine and McCall, starring in 7 books, were two happy-go-lucky, high-priced private eyes who worked in the Rat Pack era of the late fifties/early sixties. Very swinging, very cool and very high-priced indeed, so successful that they routinely asked for and got as much as $20,000 as in up front fee, and that’s in 1950’s bucks!
The books in the series – all published by Gold Medal – are:
- Death Takes an Option (1958)
- Third on a Seesaw (1959)
- Two Guns for Hire (1959)
- Hot Dam (1960)
- The Death Ride (1960)
- Mexican Slay Ride (1962)
- The Spy Catchers (1966)
I don’t have the last two — yet.
Mystery Ranch by Max Brand [Triangle Books 1938 hardcover, used] – western – also from Barry Ergang after reading his review of it HERE. He describes it much better than I can, since I’ve not read it yet. So follow the link and see what I got.
Perfect .38 by William Ard [Ramble House 2011 trade paper, new] – mystery fiction – this collects two novels featuring PI Timothy Dane: The Perfect Frame and .38 (also published as You Can’t Stop Me). George Kelley reviewed this on July 29, 2011. After reading his opinion, I had to have it. Now to find time to read it.
The Tao of Travel – Enlightenments from Lives on the Road edited by Paul Theroux [Hamish Hamilton (Penguin Books) 2011 hardcover, new] – non-fiction – travel – another review and suggestion by George Kelley reviewed July 13, 2011. George says: “In The Tao of Travel, Theroux doesn’t just provide dazzling excerpts from his own travel books, Theroux manages to assemble a guide to the best travel books ever written. If you love lists, you’re really going to love this book. Theroux is clever enough just to give the reader a nugget from a classic travel book like Evelyn Waugh’s When the Going Was Good and leave it to the reader to want to read more. You can open The Tao of Travel anywhere and find fascinating prose.”
The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schaffer [Night Shade Books 2011 trade paper, new] – fantasy – the review at Fantasy Book Critic, a daily stop for me, was so strong I bought this. They deem it the best fantasy debut of the year.