Current Reading, January 26 – February 1, 2015

BehindThatCurtainI read Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan, the second in the Lady Trent series. While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first book, I’m looking forward to the third, which will be out in March.

Also this week I read Behind That Curtain by Earl Derr Biggers, the third Charlie Chan novel (published in 1928). I like these novels and was not disappointed in this one.

I’m continuing to read short stories. I’ve already found a couple of the collections to be more enjoyable than the others and am focusing on them, and yet another I stumbled on. I read stories from Lights In the Deep by Brad Torgerson (3), Robots and Magic by Lester Del Rey (2), Grottos of Chinatown by Arthur J. Banks (1) and The Python Pit by George Worts (1).

sleeping dollNext up for me are more short stories and a Peter Robinson Inspector Banks novel I just picked up at the library.

Barbara has been reading a lot of books by two authors lately, Mark Billingham and Jeffrey Deaver. She just finished Deaver’s The Sleeping Doll. In Deaver’s The Cold Moon, with series protagonist Lincoln Rhyme, a new character was introduced, Special Agent Kathryn Dance. Sleeping Doll is Dance’s first solo outing and she has appeared in subsequent novels.

Barbara is now reading Buried by Mark Billingham and there’s yet another Billingham in the wings.

What are you reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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23 Responses to Current Reading, January 26 – February 1, 2015

  1. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Reading a non fiction book called Ghettoside. The new James Morrow novel Galapagos Regained and the new short story collection from George Pelecanos. Have read all of Peter Robinsons novels. I’m a big fan obviously.
    On deck The Whispering Swarm by Michael Moorcock, Death of the Detective by Mark Smith and Neil Gaimans new collection.

  2. Richard, I’m reading BATTLE CRY by Leon Uris as part of my own “First Novels” challenge. I like Uris’ war-related novels. He is an engaging writer.

  3. I’m with Prashant on Leon Uris. He knows how to write about war. I’m trying to read a couple short story collections during the snow storm that has buried us. I’m still perplexed about the Seahawk’s decision to PASS when they were on the one-yard line when they have Marshawn Lynch.

  4. I’m getting in the mood for some more short stories myself

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    George, that play was inexplicable and unforgiveable and Pete Carroll’s explanation was nonsense.

    I read a lot of Leon Uris books back in the day and liked them a lot.

    I’ve been meaning to try Brad Torgerson too, but haven’t yet. In January I read 51 short stories (last January: 53) and I’m still reading the collections by Phyllis Bentley (Crippen & Landru) and Randall Garrett (Kindle). Maybe next week one or both will be done. I’m enjoying the Bentley more than I’d expected. Her detective, Miss Marian Phipps, is a true aarmchair detective.

    THis week: I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of Dave Barry’s forthcoming book (thanks, Beth!), LIVE RIGHT AND FIND HAPPINESS (ALTHOUGH BEER WORKS MUCH FASTER), which I read. All Barry fans will enjoy it, as I did, greatly. I finished the second novel (there was a novella first) in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Retrieval Arftist series, EXTREMES, about murder during the Moon Marathon. I like this series and have most of them sitting on the shelf waiting to be read. Lastly I read an ebook western mystery (set in 1884 California) by Ed Gorman & Bill Crider, FAST TRACK, which was as worth reading as any book by these two writers.

    I am currently reading the second in Tanya Huff’s Confederation of Valor series featuring Marine Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr, THE BETTER PART OF VALOR, another good one.

  6. Richard says:

    Steve, I haven’t read Murrow. For me, Pelecanos is too grim. I have read a few of Robinson’s novels, and just picked this one up while browsing at the library. Not sure where it comes in the series or how old/new it is. You’ll probably enjoy the Gaiman, almost everyone likes his stuff.

  7. Jerry House says:

    As the rain pours down outside, I’m huddled up with A HOLIDAY FOR MURDER, one of the few Agatha Christie mysteries I have not read.

    This past week I read JONAH HEX: SHADOWS WEST, an omnibus collection of Joe R. Lansdale’s Jonah Hex graphic novels. Loved it. Also, Marian Babson’s THE CAT NEXT DOOR, a cozy mystery previously published as DEADLY DECEIT. (St. Martin’s has a tendency to retitle her mysteries to include a cat in the title –. targeted marketing, I guess.) And finally, The Henry Kuttner/C. L. Moore omnibus collection DETOUR TO OTHERNESS, which included two previous collections (BYPASS TO OTHERNESS and RETURN TO OTHERNESS) along with an original Collection (DETOUR TO OTHERNESS). Like so many others, I am in awe of the Kuttners’ versatility and talent.

    In line are the new Flavia de Luce mystery, a dozen or so anthologies and collections, and THE WRAITH, Joe Hill’s new graphic novel.

    Our groundhog in Southern Maryland did not see his shadow; sadly he drowned when the rain poured into his burrow. **sigh**

  8. Richard says:

    Prashant, I read BATTLE CRY decades ago, and honestly don’t remember much of it, other than I liked it.

  9. Richard says:

    George, you’re a short story reader almost as much as Jeff, I think. Do you still try for one a day? Hope that weather clears up.

    I guess if that last Seahawks play had worked everyone would have thought it was smart. I thought they would tie it to Lynch or fake to him and let Wilson run it in. It’s a bitter loss.

  10. Richard says:

    Jeff, see my comment to George re the end of the game. I’m finding the Torgerson collection uneven, so far I liked a couple and didn’t like a couple. I think I read about a dozen stories in January, which is pretty darn good for me. Are you enjoying the Garrett? Barry has never caught my fancy, but I know you are a huge fan.

    I remember that was a good Retrieval Arftist book. They are getting hard to find these days, so it’s god you have them. I liked the first of Tanya Huff’s Confederation of Valor books better than that second one.

  11. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The Garrett seems to go chronoloigcally. These start in the mid-50s and I’m up to early 1960s stories now. They are readable without being anything special for the most part. I liked the book collecting stories he wrote with Robert Silverberg.

  12. Richard says:

    Jerry, what’s a little rain shower? Sorry you’re getting too much of it. I think I’ve read that Christie, but I’d have to pull up a file on the other computer to check and I’m too darn lazy today. I do like her stuff now and then. To me, Kuttner can be a joy or a pain in the ***. So some I like, the rest no. I read TERROR IN THE HOUSE collection and enjoyed maybe a third of the stories, not good stats for a $35 hardcover I was tempted into by the blurb. On the other hand, if you’d like to try it, I’ll send it at no charge, just give me the surface mail address

    Our groundhog in Southern Maryland did not see his shadow; sadly he drowned when the rain poured into his burrow. **sigh**” – there was a shadow here. Fear not, the beasts an swim.

  13. Richard says:

    Jeff, I remember reading Garrett stories in Astounding in the Fifties and liking them.

  14. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    I don’t find Torgerson a very good writer and doubt I will try anything again in the future. I love Kuttner but found Terror in the House rather mediocre. His best work came later.
    Would rather take a bullet to the head than read a cozy. Ugh. I have the collected Lord D’Arcy stories which I mean to get around to some day. Read most of them when they were first published. Not sure how they will hold up 40 years later.

  15. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    The D’Arcy stories are by Randall Garrett which I left off my previous post.

  16. Richard says:

    Steve, luckily, I knew that, and have read a couple of collections and liked them, but thanks for the clarification.

  17. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I have Garrett’s (huge) complete Lord Darcy collection – including the novels – but have only read a couple of the stories so far.

  18. While I’m working, I only have a half hour here and 20 minutes there. So short stories fit my schedule right now. Like Jeff Meyerson, I try to read a short story per day. SPRING BREAK is coming up and I’ll have time to read some longer novels.

  19. Richard says:

    Jeff, I have some paperback Lord Darcey books, not that collection you have.

  20. Richard says:

    George, Spring Break? Weren’t you just on Christmas Break? As fast as you read, I’d think a half hour here and there would get you through a book in a day or two.

  21. We used to get a week off in March for SPRING BREAK. But this year, the College has decided to align with the Buffalo Public Schools and give us PRESIDENTS’ WEEK off. Hey, one less week of winter commuting in February is fine with me! The problem with reading a novel for just a half hour is that I DON’T WANT TO STOP! That’s why I stick to short stories while I’m working. Plus, I have plenty of short story collections to read! I’m reviewing one this week for FFB.

  22. I need to get to the Lady Trent books one of these days. I own the first two and have every intention of picking up a copy of the third. Everything I’ve read about these books has me convinced I will enjoy them.

  23. Richard says:

    Carl, I think you’ll like them!

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