New Arrivals and Current Reading, March 31 – April 6, 2014

New Arrivals
Three books plus a pamphlet. One of the books is a hold-over from Left Coast Crime, one bought as a result of a Friday Forgotten Books post, the other new from a favorite publisher.

Death Rides the Zephyr by Janet Dawson [Perserverence Press 2013 trade paper, purchased new] – mystery. I enjoy mysteries with a train setting, whether they are on, in or have a railroad background. This is tagged a thriller, but Dawson’s discussion of it on a panel at LCC convinced me to buy it. The book dealers at the con ran out of this one, so I got it at the book store when we got back. This one doubles as an historical mystery, as it takes place in the 1950s.

Redheads Die Quickly by Gil Brewer, edited by David Rachels [University of Florida Press 2012 trade paper, purchased new] – mystery short story collection. I bought this one as a result of reading Sergio Angelini’s excellent March 28 2014 Friday Forgotten Book post on The Vengeful Virgin by Gil Brewer. Late in that post he says:

[…] the first-ever collection of Gil Brewer short stories, Redheads Die Quickly and Other Stories (edited by David Rachels) has now come out, and it includes the first-ever authoritative list of the author’s short stories. It includes 25 stories, all published in the 1950s – for a complete listing of the contents, click here. It is now available from the University Press of Florida”

How could I pass that up? Thanks for that great post, Sergio. I admit that the darker noir stuff, some of which may be found in the collection, are not greatly to my taste, but I’ll read this a story at a time, here and there amongst other books, and plan to enjoy it when I do.

Nothing Is Impossible by Edward D. Hoch [Crippen & Landru 2014 limited edition hardcover, purchased new] – mystery short story collection. The latest Hoch collection by the short story publishing specialist, this is subtitled “Further Problems of Dr. Sam Hawthorne” and has fifteen stories plus introduction and a Sam Hawthorne checklist.

“A Slight Mistake” by Aaron Elkins [Crippen & Landru 2013 pamphlet, gift of publisher] – mystery short story.  This 6 page short story originally appeared in EQMM, and was published in this format in honor of Malice Domestic’s awarding Elkins a Lifetime Achievement award. I’ve read most of Elkins’ Gideon Oliver novels and enjoy them.

Current Reading
I finished Jeffrey Sigel’s Murder in Mykonos and have ordered up the second book in the series from the library. It’s just arrived. I read Death Before Compline by Sharan Newman (see my review here. The seven very entertaining short stories gathered here were initially written for various themed. I like Newman’s writing and need to get back to her series, the first two of which I have read, some years ago. I also finished Zoo Station, a WW II spy novel by David Downing, the first in his series of books about John Russell. I’m currently about a third of the way through The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel, the book on which the recent film was based. So far it’s very interesting.

Barbara finished June Gilliam’s House of Cuts, which she said was “okay”. She followed that with The Beautiful Mystery, an Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny, then went straight on to the latest in the series, How the Light Gets In and finished that. We’re both eager for Penny’s new one, which comes in August.

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

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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16 Responses to New Arrivals and Current Reading, March 31 – April 6, 2014

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    Finished THE KEPT, which was very good. Now reading Laura Lippman’s new book and have the Spanish book THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES waiting. Always liked Aaron Elkins.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I also got the Hoch (Yay!) and Elkins from Crippen & Landru, and I read the latter immediately. (This was two weeks ago when we got back from Florida.) I’m reading one Hoch story a day and enjoying them a lot. Overall, Dr. Sam Hawthorne is my favorite Hoch series character, as the combination of the locked rooms/impossible crimes and the historical settings make them fun. I did buy and read the Brewer last year. Good stuff, especially several of the earliest, bleakest stories. For some reason they were so dark they made me laugh.

    Call me crazy.

    Will get to this week’s books after breakfast.

  3. I’m ordering that new Hoch collection. REDHEADS DIE QUICKLY is uneven but worth having in your collection. I’ve been reading a new E.C. Tubb omnibus. My review will be up on my newly restored blog for FFB in a few weeks.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    What did I get this week? A few things from PaperbackSwap after reading Bill Crider’s FFB review of John D. MacDonald’s short essay READING FOR SURVIVAL I did pick up a copy and read it, and I agree with most of what it had to say. I also got Arthur C. Clarke’s collection of shorts, OF TIME AND STARS, which I thought I had read but hadn’t. (This came from a mention in Jo Walton’s WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT, which I am more than halfway through. I like it but as I am not that widely read in SF it would probably mean more to a real fan.)

    The other one I got was CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT by Dan Simmons. Who knows when I’ll get to that. One new book from Amazon (which I know you got too): JOHNNY MAYHEM: THE COMPLETE SERIES by Milton Lesser. The short story collections are really starting to puile up here.

    Besides the MacDonald essay and reading in the Hoch collection and Walton book, I read THE WRONG QUARRY by Max Allan Collins, a trade pb original from Hard Case Crime (from the library) that seemed particularly nasty to me. I also finished an ebook, Robert Silverberg’s HOT TIMES IN MAGMA CITY: Collected Stories (8), 1990-1995, which overall I did not care for nearly as much as earlier collections. There will be a ninth out this year. I’ll download and read it. Lastly I read another library book, the second collaboration by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg, THE CHASE. It was fairly entertaining but I thought the first one was better.

    I’m in the middle of a couple of library books, Jo Nesbo’s second Harry Hole book, COCKROACHES and Lee Goldberg’s MR. MONK IS CLEANED OUT. This has to do with us going away again on Thursday and what I can finish before then or renew from the library. I’m going to have to return a couple of them and get them out again later, and I have a couple of books waiting to be picked up. After this trip we should be home for the next six months I hope, so I should be able to catch up somewhat. I plan to take the Siger book with me.

    Incidentally, the first two Nesbo books – perhaps because Hole is operating outside of Norway – were not published in English with the later ones and just came out in the last couple of years. I decided to wait and read them first. This one is set in Bangkok. The first (THE BAT) was in Sydney.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    That was supposed to be an 8 rather than an asterisk up there. [Fixed it, Jeff]

    I also got two groups of CD’s from Amazon, including the STAX 50th Anniversary Collection reviewed by George Kelley a while back (at least I think it was), and others by Jimmy Durante and Louis Prima (I have ecletcic taste), as well as a Bonnie Raitt we’d had on LP but not CD and the new one by a favorite group of Jackie’s, Los Lonely Boys.

  6. I see they made a movie called Monuments men. Didn’t realize it had been a book.

  7. Jerry House says:

    Ed Hoch was nothing less than a consistently enjoyable writer and Dr. Sam Hawthorne is one of my favorites among his many characters. (He ranks just below Simon Ark and Ben Snow IMHO and slightly ahead of Leopold, Rand, and Nick Velvet — although are top shelf characters.)

    Not much reading for me this week. I read E. Hoffman Price’s Arkham House collection STRANGE GATEWAYS and Robert E. Howard’s WATERFRONT FISTS, a collection of his boxing stories. I’m now reading volume one of Brian Bendis’ SAM AND TWICH, a graphic novel featuring the police detectives who debuted in Todd McFarlane’s SPAWN series. (And speaking of SPAWN, I have volumes two and three near the top of Mount TBR.)

    I plan on starting Ed Gorman’s THE SILVER SCREAM later today. Coming from the library are three by Joe Lansdale, another Howard collection (RIOT AT BUCKSNORT), Margery Allingham’s THE DARINGS OF RED ROSE, and a collection of detective stories dating from 1864. Also near the top of Mount TBR are Groff Conklin’s anthology CROSSROADS IN TIME and some of William F. Nolan Sam Space stories. No idea of how many of these I’ll read this week.

  8. Richard says:

    Patti, I have yet to read any Lippman, and have been meaning to for years. I’m not familiar with THE KEPT but will look it up.

  9. Richard says:

    Jeff, I’m on subscription too, but didn’t get the Hoch until last Wednesday. Must be about distance. I was glad to get the Hoch, though it seems C&L is turning – has turned – into the Hoch Publishing Co. in recent years, and I like some more variety. I’ll get to that Brewer eventually, but I’m not in a hurry.

  10. Richard says:

    George, I’m looking forward to the Tubb piece on your blog. Tubb was an interesting writer, never top echelon, but could be counted on for a good story.

  11. Richard says:

    Jeff, (part two). I must have missed that Crider FFB, but the book sounds interesting. I have a lot of Arthur C. Clarke, both novels and short story collections. The short story collection to have is Collected Stories the massive (965 pp) “definitive” collection of his short works.

    I liked the Walton book, though some of her personal favorites, such as Ursula LeGuin, are not my favorites, so I did a little skimming in parts. Still an enjoyable book. I’m reading Collins’ other series, but not the Quarry books. Barbara liked the first Harry Hole (hate the name) but did not like the other Nesbo she read. I read about a third of The Bat and gave it up.

  12. Richard says:

    Charles, the Monuments Men book has a lot in it, much more than I can imagine could be put into a two hour film. I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

  13. Great stuff Richard – and after a very long wait, I am SO going to get the Ed Hoch book – hurrah!

  14. Richard says:

    Jerry, I like Hawthorn too, though in small doses. I can’t read a seven or eight story collection straight through., but one every day or two is fine. Funny, I’ve read that Allingham, but remember nothing of it.

  15. PS I can’t see a way to order the Hoch book from C&L’s website – any advice?

  16. Richard says:

    Sergio, it’s been what, 17 months between books? Let’s hope the books will flow again soon. And thanks again for that great post.

    You’re right, the book isn’t on the website yet, nor does Amazon have it listed. Try emailing Douglas Greene at and asking.

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