New Arrivals and Current Reading, March 17 – 30, 2014

New Arrivals Oh yes, we have new arrivals. Mysteries and more mysteries. It’s what happens when you go to a mystery convention.

note: we saw and got a lot of self published books. People who self publish need to proof, proof and then do it again, or better yet, use an editorial service!

I’ll start off with the books in the convention book bags. Between us we’ll read maybe two-thirds of these. Also in the bags there’s always an old issue or two of a mystery mag. These are from 2011.

Billy Boyle by James R. Benn [SOHO Crime 2006 mass market paperback, new] – mystery. Set in World War II, first in an eight book series.

Buried by Kate Watterson [TOR 2014 mass market paperback, new] – mystery. Third in Detective Ellie MacIntosh series.

Dove Season by Johnny Shaw [Amazon Encore 2010 trade paper, new] – mystery. Debut novel.

Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson [Forge 2013 trade paper, new] – mystery. Psychological thriller, author’s third novel.

Jail Coach by Hillary Bell Locke [Poisoned Pen Press 2012 hardcover, new] – mystery. First in Jay Davidovich series.

Murder in Retribution by Anne Cleeland [Kensington Books 2014 trade paper, ARC, free] – mystery. Author’s second mystery novel.

Providence Rag by Bruce DeSilva [Forge 2014 hardcover, new] – mystery. Hard-boiled.

Not all book bags are packed with the same things, so there is always a swapping table where people can put books they don’t want and pick up other ones they do. We swapped out our duplicates and picked up these.

Love Lies Bleeding by Edmund Crispin [Felony & Mayhem Vintage, 2007 paperback, new] – classic mystery. Originally published in the U.K. in 1948

Zoo Station byDavid Downing [SOHO Crime 2007 paperback, new] – mystery. “A John Russell World War II spy thriller”.

What You Wish For by Janet Dawson [Perserverence Press 2012 trade paper, new] – mystery. Suspense novel by the author of the Jeri Howard series.

 And then there are the books we paid cold hard cash for. The four Barbara bought first, then the four I bought.

Bone Pit by Bette & J.J. Lamb [Two Black Sheep Books 2013, new] – mystery, third in series. Barbara bought this after seeing Bette Lamb on a panel. Barbara has already read this. She liked the book but all of the typos and mistakes that an editor should or would have caught drove her crazy.

Cold Morning by Brenda Chapman [Dundurn 2013 mass market paperback, purchased new] – mystery. Bought based on Thursday morning panel. Second adult novel by author of several YA mysteries.

House of Cuts by June Gillam [Gorilla Girl Ink 2013 paperback, purchased new] – mystery. Gillam was on the first panel Barbara attended and she bought this just after.

Secret Thoughts by H.S. Clark [Grand Media 2012 paperback, new] – mystery. A medical thriller. Barbara saw Clark on a panel and was intrigued.

 Nightcrawlers by Bill Pronzini [Forge 2005 hardcover, used] – mystery. The 30th in the Nameless series, one I didn’t have.

Tip of A Bone by Christine Finlayson [Adventure Publications 2013 trade paper, new] – mystery. First novel, set on the Oregon coast, the author intrigued us at her panel. Looks very interesting.

Death Before Compline by Sharan Newman [Bagwyn Books 2012 paperback, new] – mystery. Historical mystery short story collection. Newman is an excellent writer and I like historical mysteries, so I got this seven story collection.

That’s the listing of the books we brought home from Left Coast Crime. We became aware of other authors whom we’ll search out at the library, but it will be a while before we need to do that, these will keep us busy for a while.

Current Reading
I finished the second volume of Liaden Universe short stories before we left for LCC, and startedA Question of Proof A Question of Proof by Nicholas Blake, his 1935 first novel, which I finished in Monterey. It was old-fashioned but fun. I read Murder in Mykonos by Jeffrey Siger which I enjoyed and will be seeking the 2nd in that series. Before I start on another novel, I’ll read some short stories.

Barbara finished William Kent Krueger’s Northwest Angle (very good indeed) in Monterey. She went on to finish Bone Pit by the husband and wife writing team of Bette and J.J. Lamb, which was good but plagued with typos and insufficient editing, and finished House of Cuts yesterday.

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

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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20 Responses to New Arrivals and Current Reading, March 17 – 30, 2014

  1. Richard, lots of good books and new writers here. I’m tempted by the Hitchcock mystery magazine. These days I’m playing virtual Scrabble more than reading anything. I recently finished reading Charles Gramlich’s engaging collection of western short stories. Let’s see what April brings beside Indian summer.

  2. Patti Abbott says:

    Yesterday I counted the books on my TBR pile on a bet with Phil and I came up with 257 and decided I had to take a break from buying books for a while. Of course, there is the library where I am reading the new Alice Laplante book and Edna O’Brien’s memoir. I did buy the YA novel THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

  3. Wow! That’s quite a haul. You’ll like the Crispin book. I don’t recognize some of the other authors, but I’ll be awaiting your reviews. My blog is still down. Patrick is working on restoring the back-up.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Hahahaha – good one, Patti. Take a break for a while? Yeah, right.


    I think you’ll like the John Green book. After several Bill Crider recommendations I’ve read all of his YA books and really like them.

    Some nice choices there, Rick. I’ve already mentioned my interest in Siger, whose first book should be coming from the library soon. I’ve read BILLY BOYLE and several others in that series (I’m a couple behind) as well as the Crispin (long ago I read them all) and ZOO STATION. I need to get on to the second in that very interesting series, which should appeal to you. I’m a couple behind on the Nameless series too, though I did read NIGHTCRAWLERS (in 2005). And the Newman short story collection sounds interesting.

    Two books came in last week (from Paperbackswap), as well as a couple of Jackie’s. First was Ed Gorman’s western GHOST TOWN (I read his TROUBLE MAN in Florida) and the other was Peter Orner’s first collection, ESTHER STORIES. I read his LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE last year, but this one wasn’t available in the library. I have a couple of other things on the way from them and Amazon. I also downloaded a few things to the Kindle, most notably (the only one that comes to mind immediately) the next (#5) in the Jonathan Quinn series by Brett Battles (not avalable in the library).

    Books read? As mentioned, Jackie bought Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT to read before we see the movie and I read the first in this mega-hit YA trilogy this week. I liked it, but it was no HUNGER GAMES, if that puts it in context. (I doubt if it helps you as I don’t think you’ve read the other.) In a Dystopian future Chicago everyone is divided into five factions, which you have to choose when you turn 16. We’ll definitely read the sequels, eventually. I’m not buying them in hardcover.

    In Florida I read two recommendations two weeks in a row in the NY Times (the first by mystery writer Laura Lippman) for children’s book author Edward Eager. Not only had I not read his books as a child (the first came out in 1954) but I’d never heard of him before. Anyway, I got the first, HALF MAGIC, from the library and read it and it is as charming and fun as everyone said. Four silblings (this is set in the 1920’s) find what turns out to be a magic coin that makes your wishes come true, but only half as much as you wish for so you need to double your requests. This is delightful fun if you’re in the right mood.

    I joked about Patti’s TBR list but mine is piling up too, especially with all the library books we missed while we were away. I have eight one hand, plus a number of short story collections of my own among the other stuff. I’m in the middle of the last volume (to date) of Robert Silverberg’s collected stories (#8) on the Kindle. So far I am not enjoying the stories as much as the earlier ones. One book I am enjoying is right up my alley. I think it was a George Kelley recommendation, Jo Walton’s WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT, subtitled Re-Reading the Classics of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Walton says you are either a re-reader of you’re not – she is, I’m not – and discusses many, many books and authors (most of which I havem’t read). It’s one of my favorite kinds of books. The mind-blowing thing to me was her offhand comment that when she is doing nothing but reading she can get through four to six books a day.


  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    George, the absence of your blog the last few days has left a real hole. I hope Patrick gets it back up soon.

  6. Dove season sounds kind of interesting to me. I did a lot of dove hunting as a kid. We always had great times.

  7. Peggy@Peggy Ann's Post says:

    I’m so jealous! I’d love to go to such an event here on the east coast! Read ‘Cold Mourning’ in arc form. Very good!

  8. Richard says:

    Prashant, if you enjoy short stories, both Hitchcock and Queen magazines provide several monthly. Virtual Scrabble? You must have a great vocabulary.

  9. Richard says:

    Peggy, Bouchercon is the best of the mystery conventions, and in 205 it will be in Raleigh, North Carolina – October 8-11, 2015. Make your plans now. Barbara will get to Cold Mourning sometime next month.

  10. Richard says:

    Patti, not that 257 isn’t a very large number, but I’m wondering how you determined what your TBR is, before you started counting? If I were to count, I’d have to decide if it’s the small pile on the nightstand, the larger group including nightstand, dresser and side table in another room, or heaven forbid, the entire total of books simply unread in the house which would easily quadruple your number several times over.

    Of course the idea of YOU taking a break for a while is…grin-producing. 🙂

    You’ll have noticed I’ve been cutting back on being books for half a year or more, none at all in February – or was it January – but between the book bag and other temptations this was a very heavy incoming book two weeks.

  11. Jerry House says:

    I’ve been reading a gazillion graphic novels, many by Joe Lansdale or based on Lansdale stories. The Pronzini-thon has come to a temporary end with the western collection ALL THE LONG YEARS. I’m now playing catch up with Ed Gorman and recently read NIGHT OF SHADOWS, SHADOW GAMES, THE MIDNIGHT ROOM, COLD BLUE MIDNIGHT, and (as “Daniel Ransom”) THE SERPENT’S KISS. I also read Manly Wade Wellman’s WEST POINT, 30,000 A.D. and Seth MacFarlane’s comedy western A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST.

    On the To Be Read Real Soon pile is Robert E. Howard’s collection of boxing stories, WATERFRONT FISTS, and an E. Hoffman Price collection.

  12. Richard says:

    Jeff, I appreciate the what I perceive as positive comments on the Boyle, Crispin and Zoo Station. I have read some Crispin over the years – none recently – the others are new to me. Your comment helps me decide what to read next, which is always a perplexing thing.

    I’ll probably skip Divergent for the same reasons I skipped Hunger Games: dystopian futures have lost their appeal for me. I read last year or perhaps the year before (not at the machine with the read list) and thought it clever. Yes, I just finished the Jo Walton What Makes This Book So Great, and enjoyed it a lot, though I skipped some authors that she likes and I don’t (Le Guin). Her ability to read so fast astounds me, but I’m not sure I’d want to, if it meant loss of detail. I would like to read a little faster than my one book every couple of weeks, though!

  13. Richard says:

    Jerry, I have the drive-in novels by Joe Lansdale sitting here unread, but naturally you’re way, way ahead of me on his stuff. That’s a Wellman I’ve missed. I tried a couple of Howard’s boxing stories, but not being a fan of pugilism, they left me cold and dry.

  14. Richard says:

    George, I agree with Jeff. Get the blog back up, I really miss it.

  15. My blog is entirely in the hands of Patrick (aka, IT Specialist). Restoring a blog that has been up for years from a backup is a big undertaking.

  16. Richard says:

    Okay, George, but tell him to get a move on, your public is getting anxious for new GK posts.

  17. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I picked up two more books at the library today, including the Siger.

  18. Richard says:

    Jeff, let’s chat after you finish it, I’ll be interested in your thoughts. I’m going to get the second one from the library.

  19. Cap'n Bob says:

    The last few mystery cons I’ve attended had many books in the gift bags and I usually leave most of them in the room when I go home. Too much to carry and too many I have no interest in reading.

    Prashant, Indian summer is at the end of our summer. Warm days that extend the season, usually in October. Or were you making a pun about India?

  20. Richard says:

    Bob, we leave the ones we don’t want on the swap table so others have a shot at them. The ones left in room usually go into the trash. I thought Prashant meant the pun. Now if he was in the southern hemisphere…

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