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The Lime Pit (Harry Stoner Mystery #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Harry Stoner is a private eye in the classic tradition: A loner with a history of failed relationships with women and all-too-successful relationships with bottles of scotch, he's unable to look away from the world's corruption, and unable to avoid trying?futilely?to do something about it. His latest hopeless cause is Cindy Ann, a teenage hooker. She's not very pretty or b ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Felony & Mayhem (first published 1980)
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Cathy DuPont
Apr 13, 2013 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it
cd: Who are your writing influences?

Valin: Well, I really don't have any except maybe Dashiell Hammett.

cd: Who did you read when you were young?

Valin: Books which were assigned to me for school projects.

cd: In school, what were your interests?

Valin: Not much of anything except getting through.

cd: Why didn't you continue the Harry Stoner series since it was so popular?

Valin: He got boring to me.

cd: You haven't written a book since the last Stoner in the series Missing which was published in 19
Aug 10, 2015 Col rated it it was amazing
Shelves: v, 2015

The first Harry Stoner mystery

Harry Stoner is a private eye in the classic tradition. A loner with a history of failed relationships with women and all-too-successful relationships with bottles of scotch, he's unable to look away from the world's corruption and unable to avoid trying--futiley--to do something about it. His latest hopeless cause is Cindy Ann, a teenage hooker. Neither pretty nor engaging, she doesn't have much to offer at all, and somehow that makes her disappeara
Sep 23, 2016 Still rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of "Philip Marlowe", "Lew Archer", and other knights-errant
Recommended to Still by: Col

Inspired by Goodreads friend Col (please see his outstanding review: )
I dug this one out of my library where it's been filed with 4 or 5 other entries in Valin's outstanding "Harry Stoner" series.

I bought each of those novels when they first came out in paperback from Avon - early 1980s.
"Harry Stoner" might be my favorite private eye character of that era.

I hadn't read this in nearly 30 years.
The novel is leisurely paced.
The first 45-50 pages were so slo
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Mar 17, 2012 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it liked it
Shelves: noir
Cincinnati P.I. Harry Stoner is hired by a retired vet to find Cindy Ann Evans, a troubled teenager who'd been rooming with him until very recently. His client sends Stoner over to talk to a couple suspicious neighbors, who'd befriended Cindy Ann before her sudden disappearance. He also provides Stoner with a couple of obscene Polaroids of Cindy Ann that she'd left behind. Stoner reluctantly takes the case, figuring the girl for a wayward vixen who'd gotten tired of the old man and blew town. He ...more
Jim A
Jul 02, 2013 Jim A rated it really liked it
Jonathan Valin was a new author for me, brought to my attention by one of my GR friends. Thank you, Cathy.

Some readers compare authors. John D. MacDonald to Robert B. Parker to Dashell Hammit, to Raymond Chandler. And I suppose that's logical as authors tend to lean on each other's style. I'm more character driven and tend think about what Spenser, McGee, or Elvis Cole might do in a given situation. I can now add Harry Stoner to that list.

I was impressed with the character created by Valin in
John Marsh
Aug 05, 2015 John Marsh rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2017 Peggy rated it liked it
I listened to this audiobook. Harry Stoner is a typical hard-boiled private eye in Cincinnati. He is called by a tottering old man who wants to hire him to find his little girl. As it happens, she is not his daughter or granddaughter, she is his companion. Harry looks into the disappearance, but really thinks the young girl just moved on from taking advantage of a lonely old man. But as he delves into it what he finds is a prostitution ring ruining young girl and boys. He begins to suspect the g ...more
Rob Kitchin
Aug 10, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it
Jonathan Valin is a great observational writer of both characters and places. In Harry Stone he created a multi-layered, complex and flawed character that one immediately identifies with and cares about, and the book is populated with a myriad of other memorable and well drawn characters. The pacing is good and the dialogue snappy and realistic, and the contextualisation is strong without being overbearing. I thought the first half of the book was excellent, but the story started to slip a bit i ...more
Mar 22, 2010 Maura rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
a good solid mystery, recommended by one of my co-workers. Seems to be currently out of print, but is likely to be in your local library. at least if your local library is in Ohio, since Valin (and his protagonist Harry Stoner) is a Cincinnati boy. (yup, said co-worker hails from Ohio as well -- thus his ability to recommend a mystery that my mother had never heard of. and let me tell you, that takes some doing.)

i can't say i'll be rabidly searching out the rest of this series. but then again, i
Rog Harrison
Jul 22, 2012 Rog Harrison rated it liked it
"I first read this about thirty years ago and I think at the time I borrowed some of his other books from the library. This features hard-boiled private eye, Harry Stoner, and is a good read but not as good as I had remembered." was what I wrote on 22 July 2012. I think that pretty much sums up how I felt about it this time around. I suspect the author was trying a little too hard to come up with a 1980s version of Chandler's Marlowe.
Sam Reaves
Aug 14, 2012 Sam Reaves rated it liked it
Recommended by Stuart Kaminsky for The Rap Sheet's One Book Project, a good source the next time you need something to read. Harold Stoner is a Cincinnati P.I. looking into the fate of a sixteen-year old runaway who has shown up in some nasty pictures. Even a nice staid town like Cincinnati has its seamy side... Kaminsky says Valin never got the credit he deserved for this well-written series.
Nov 07, 2015 Bruna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa, giallo
Ho riletto questo romanzo dopo molti anni, perché confesso che non lo ricordavo affatto. Ho scoperto una buona rivisitazione dell'hard-boiled, ma soprattutto ho trovato un libro scritto molto bene. Se vogliamo trovargli un difetto, questa riproposizione non risulta molto vitale né ben attualizzata, anche tenendo conto dei trent'anni passati nel frattempo.
Jun 24, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: harry-stoner
The first Harry Stoner mystery *pub. 1980*
The hard-headed and soft hearted PI, knows his way around Cincinnati. With a good sense of place, and a very "pulp" feel...this was a good debut. Will be checking in with Harry in the future....since I've collected the whole series.:)
Aug 28, 2013 Melanie rated it liked it
This book was published in 1980 and I thought reading it now brought a vintage feel to the book. It was a good PI/mystery book and I enjoyed reading it. I will probably put more of this series on my "to read" list.
Jan 18, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it
Interesting and well performed by Mark Peckham.
Apr 13, 2013 Laurel rated it liked it
Review to come
Carolyn Chambers
Dec 06, 2009 Carolyn Chambers rated it really liked it
Harry Stoner is a hoot and I love that it's set in Cincinnati. Hope Valin gets around to writing another one in this series, which I hear he's been promising to do.
Sep 11, 2015 Rushbug23 rated it really liked it
Good plot, good story well written
Thomas Fox
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Aug 22, 2016
Julie Coble
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Feb 04, 2014
Andrew Setters
Andrew Setters rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2012
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Mar 19, 2011
Paul rated it it was ok
Apr 04, 2013
Heather rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2013
Brian Joynt
Brian Joynt rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2014
Paul Chase
Paul Chase rated it really liked it
Apr 26, 2010
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Sep 12, 2014
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Jan 07, 2015
Harry Nagel
Harry Nagel rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2014
Mingus rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2008
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Pulp Fiction: Harry Stoner 20 34 Apr 17, 2013 12:13PM  
Jonathan Valin is an American mystery author best known for the Harry Stoner detective series. He won the Shamus Award for best mystery novel of 1989. After writing eleven Harry Stoner novels over a 14-year period, he took a break from mystery writing to help found Fi, a magazine of music criticism. He now works as an editor and reviewer for magazines.

He is an alumnus of the University of Chicago
More about Jonathan Valin...

Other Books in the Series

Harry Stoner Mystery (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Final Notice
  • Dead Letter
  • Day of Wrath (A Harry Stoner Mystery)
  • Natural Causes
  • Life's Work
  • Fire Lake
  • Extenuating Circumstances
  • Second Chance
  • The Music Lovers
  • Missing

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