New Arrivals and Current Reading, April 14 – 20, 2014

New Arrivals
I continue to gather the Dunction books, plus a mystery I bought because of a Friday Forgotten Books review.

The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude [The British Library 2014 paperback,  purchased new] – mystery, originally published in 1935. I ordered this after reading a review of it on Pretty Sinister Books. Probably dated, but with old mysteries that’s not always a sin, and when reading old things I never focus on what isn’t there, only on what is.

Duncton Quest by William Horwood [Century Hutchinson 1988 hardcover, purchased used] – fantasy-adventure-animal community. I’m just about done finding and buying the two trilogies of Duncton books by Horwood. This novel and Duncton Found (see below) constitute, with the first one, Duncton Wood the initial trilogy.

Duncton Found by William Horwood. [Century Hutchinson 1989 hardcover, purchased used] – fantasy. This is the thrid novel in the first Duncton trilogy. By the way, each of these novels is doorstop thick, so it will take me a while to read them.

Current Reading
I finished the second book in Jeffrey Sigel’s Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series, Assassins of Athens. It was very good.  Now about halfway through John Scalzi’s The Human Division which is also very good. I didn’t read it on screen in the installments, so I’m missing the installment-specific artwork by John Harris, but the story is all there and Scalzi is really good at writing it. He may get tired of writing Old Man’s War universe books, but I surely do enjoy reading them.

Barbara read two novels by William Kent Krueger, Trickster’s Point and Tamarack County so she’s current on his O’Conner books until the new once comes out in August. Then she read Murder in Mykonos by Jeffrey Siger and has started on the second book in the series, Assassins of Athens, which I just finished.

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

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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18 Responses to New Arrivals and Current Reading, April 14 – 20, 2014

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I hope to finish the Mykonos book today. I like Kaldis and Tassos but he sure makes most of the Greek men seem sleazy, doesn’t he?

    I did finish the Arthur C. Clarke collection, OF TIME AND STARS, as well as (from the library) the second Harry Hole book by Jo Nesbo, COCKROACHES, this one set in Bangkok. Apparently I liked it better than Barbara, from what you’ve said. I’m curious to see how Harry acts when back in Norway. Otherwise our week in New Orleans left little time for reading. But that’s OK too, as we really enjoying seeing apa friends and eating one fine meal after another.

    Up next: the latest Peter Robinson/Alan Banks book, plus the rest of the Dr. Sam Hawthorne collection by Ed Hoch.

  2. I just finished Sharan Newman’s THE DEVIL’S DOOR. My review will be up on my blog next week. I’ll be correcting 100 research papers next week, then conducting review sessions the week after that, and then I’ll be correcting FINAL EXAMS the week after that. Then, I’ll be on Summer Vacation! I can read Big Fat Books like Duncton Quest in June, July, and August.

  3. Richard says:

    Jeff, Murder in Mykonos has an interesting ending. I liked the second book even better and have the third coming from the library. Did you enjoy the Clarke stories? Some don’t have a lot of “content” but I find his stories entertaining and often technically clever.

    I trust you had fun in N.O. I miss not being able to read your and Beth’s and Maggie’s trip reports in the apa of your adventures there. I haven’t read a Peter Robinson book in a while.

  4. those Duncton books sound interesting. I’m a big fan of animal stories. The doorstop thickness gives me pause unfortunately.

  5. Richard says:

    George, you have a lot of correcting and testing to do, but then by the middle of May you’re short-term retired for a few months. I’ll bet you have a stack of books and movies lined up for your free days and evenings. You usually read non-fiction fat books, like Wilson’s Marketing Strategies for a Warming World, rather than fiction, don’t you?

  6. Richard says:

    Charles, yes the length is daunting to me too, but I’m going to start with the first book (next month sometime) and try to get through the trilogy. I’ll be doing reviews as I finish each book.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Yes the ending was surprising. I generally dislike serial killer books and I hope the rest of the series is different. I’d read a few of the Clarke stories before (the White Hart stories, for example) but they went down easily.

    Unfortunately, Maggie got sick and had to cancel the trip at the last minute but we had a great time with Jeff & Ann Smith (who has lost 85 pounds!) and Beth. We appreciated the cooler than normal weather too.

  8. Richard says:

    The next book isn’t what I’d call a serial killer book, and has more Greek politics in it, but I thought it was better.

  9. Jerry House says:

    I finished Ed Gorman’s THE SILVER SCREAM, a suspense novel that appears to have been only published in England. It’s second-tier Gorman, but second-tier Gorman is a lot better than other writers’ first-tier work. Also read was Lloyd Alexander’s children’s book THE FOUR DONKEYS, a Halloween themed anthology, DEADLY TREATS, edited by Anne Frasier, a collection of humorous western stories by Robert E. Howard, THE RIOT AT BUCKSNORT, the anonymously written 1864 mystery collection THE RECOLLECTIONS OF A LADY DETECTIVE, and two Joe Lansdale weird western collections DEADMAN’S ROAD and SHADOWS WEST.

    THE RECOLLECTIONS OF A LADY DETECTIVE was until recently one of the rarest books on the Queen’s Quorum, with just a few fragile in existence and out of reach to most readers and scholars. It was finally reprinted in 2010, along with Andrew Forrester, Jr.’s THE FEMALE DETECTIVE, in a volume titled THE FIRST FEMALE DETECTIVES (1864). Both books appeared at the same time so there is some question as to which the first to feature a female detective. The comments about LADY DETECTIVE that I had previously read were not flattering and seems based on only the first story in the collection, the only story that had previously been available to the general reader. Despite those comments, the book is a very interesting read.

    DEADMAN’S ROAD is a collection of the Reverend Jebediah Mercer stories, including a rewrite of Lansdale’s early novel DEAD IN THE WEST. SHADOWS WEST (written with Lansdale’s brother John) is a collection of three unproduced movies scripts including DEAD IN THE WEST; one of the other two scripts is based on the Jebediah Mercer story “Dead in the West,” but with a different hero. Both collections are highly recommended.

    Coming up this week from the top of Mount TBR is THE FIRST FEMALE DETECTIVE, a couple more Lansdales, a few books Arkham House books and two from one of August Derleth’s other publishing houses, Stanton & Lee, and the Frank R. Paul retrospective FROM THE PEN OF PAUL.

  10. Jerry House says:

    Danged fumble fingers! My post should have read: one of the other two scripts is based on the Jebediah Mercer story “Deadman’s Road”…

    (I blame my fingers, but it’s really my confused mind.)

  11. Richard says:

    So Jerry, read anything good lately? Ha. Seems you’re reading a lot of weird and old of late. I’m afraid I’m not much fascinated by the old female detective stuff, nor which one it was. I’m aware of the debate, but find it difficult to care. Deadly Treats sounds interesting, though.

  12. Richard says:

    Jerry, my fingers betray me all the time when I type on the blasted laptop. Not so much on the regular keyboard on the iMac.

  13. You’re right, Rick. I have several long non-fiction books ready to read as soon as I finish this semester. My usual pattern is to alternate Big Fat fiction books with Big Fat non-fiction books all Summer long.

  14. Patti Abbott says:

    Reading THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, an Argentinian mystery which is very good. Phil is reading a spy novel by Charles Cummings.

  15. Richard says:

    Patti, I’m not familiar with The Secret in Their Eyes, I’ll have to look it up. I used to enjoy spy novels much more than I do now. Not sure what happened to put me off them.

  16. John says:

    Finishing up THE SUSPECT by L. R. Wright and THE GLASS SIDED ANTS’ NEST by Peter Dickinson. Both oldies and definitely goodies.

    I’m inundated with review copies, a mix of brand new books and reprints of vintage mysteries. I’ve got ten books to read, half of which I need to post reviews in the next two weeks. Three of them sound really fascinating. So I’ll be reading Syndrome F by French writer Franck Thilliez, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker, and Christopher Fowler’s latest The Bleeding Heart. Penguin promises in their P.R. for the Dicker book that it may become this year’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Hmm…. to my mind that is *not* a compliment. But to a publisher obviously it means something completley different: $$$. Right?

  17. John says:

    Um… That should be Syndrome E for the title of the Franck Thilliez book. You can understand the error, I hope.

  18. I was wondering which Scalzi book to try out for my first I’m thinking either Old Man’s War or Redshirts.

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