A Study in Scarlet: The first novel featuring the prototypical detective, it was a page-turner that made me excited to read the rest of the Sherlock H...moreA Study in Scarlet: The first novel featuring the prototypical detective, it was a page-turner that made me excited to read the rest of the Sherlock Holmes canon. I was unnecessarily concerned when the second part of the novel opened in America, and did not seem to concern the original mystery that was set in England, but it came back and tied it together successfully.
The Sign of the Four: Not only was this story's mystery on par with the Jefferson Hope case, it also fleshed out the characters of both Holmes and Watson, making them more three-dimensional and interesting.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: 'A Scandal in Bohemia' was very reminiscent of Poe's 'The Purloined Letter.' 'The Red Headed League' was especially engaging, possibly because it was the first mystery I solved before Holmes exposed his thinking to Watson at the conclusion. 'A Case of Identity' was a quick and not particularly fulfilling case. 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery' was really interesting, but was the first that seemed to end abruptly. 'The Five Orange Pips' was also quite interesting, and also ended abruptly. 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' seemed to be a darker tale, with its opium den intro, but did not maintain its macabre mood after it left that setting. 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band' was reportedly Arthur Conan Doyle's favorite Sherlock Holmes story, and with good reason. It was definitely one of my favorites so far. That story, and 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle', both showed interesting takes on Holmes view of legality and morality. 'The Adventures of the Copper Beeches' was a fitting conclusion to the book.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes: I loved that the idea of unsolved cases, and cases which Holmes got wrong, was touched on in 'The Yellow Face.' I also really enjoyed the second case of Holmes foiling a bank robbery con, 'The Stockbroker's Client.' 'The Gloria Scott', told as a memory of Sherlock Holmes's first case, served as an origin story of sorts for the detective, which gave it more weight than any other stand-alone tale. 'The Musgrave Ritual' was a continuation of Holmes recantation of his earlier cases, and was interesting for that reason, as well as for being reminiscent of Poe's 'The Gold Bug.' I appreciated this collection of short stories more than the first because it delves deeper into the main characters' lives -- such as meeting Sherlock Holmes's brother Mycroft in 'The Greek Interpreter' and his nemesis Professor Moriarty in 'The Final Problem.'
The Hound of the Baskervilles: This mystery will be hard to top, and I understand completely why it is considered the greatest of the Holmes stories. I especially enjoyed Watson's more prominent role in the case.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes: I enjoyed that some of the cases in this collection involve plots beyond Holmes's deduction, which are nonetheless interesting -- such as 'The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist,' where Holmes and Watson save the day without solving the crime logically, and 'The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton,' where they witness a murder while committing a crime themselves. 'The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton' may actually be my favorite Sherlock Holmes story to date.
The Valley of Fear: This story had the same structure as A Study in Scarlett, but in this case, the reader is warned that the second half of the tale is set in America and assured that it will return to Baker Street. The second part that didn't feature Sherlock Holmes was actually more interesting than the first part, which started off slow and a little stale, but picked up as it went.
His Last Bow: 'The Adventure of the Cardboard Box', a story so dark it was taken out of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes due to its controversial subject matter, is one of Holmes's darkest cases, one which I enjoyed reading. 'The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans' was a top-rate mystery, featuring a rare appearance by one of my favorite characters -- Mycroft Holmes. 'The Dying Detective' and 'His Last Bow,' which was told in the third person, were also unique. I am impressed that even after reading this many stories featuring the detective and his chronicler, Arthur Conan Doyle's mysteries are still both fresh and interesting.
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: After reading the preface by the author, I honestly felt bad for Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes had clearly become a monster, akin to Frankenstein's creation, for him. Reading the first story, 'The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone,' I am glad that he stopped after this collection, as it was not on the same level with his previous stories. Apparently, it was a (failed) attempt to adapt a stage play.(less)
I decided to read Poe's Dupin stories after reading this exchange between Watson and Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet:
"It is simple enough as you
...moreI decided to read Poe's Dupin stories after reading this exchange between Watson and Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet:
"It is simple enough as you explain it," I said, smiling. "You remind me of Edgar Allen Poe's Dupin. I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories."
Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe. "No doubt you think that you are complimenting me in comparing me to Dupin," he observed. "Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow. That trick of his of breaking in on his friends' thoughts with an apropos remark after a quarter of an hour's silence is really very showy and superficial. He had some analytical genius, no doubt; but he was by no means such a phenomenon as Poe appeared to imagine."
I cannot look at this compilation as one cohesive work, as each of the three stories -- 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', 'The Mystery of Marie Roget', and 'The Purloined Letter' -- are written in different styles with different themes, linked only by the presence of Dupin and the unnamed narrator. As such, I will comment on and rate each story individually.
'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' was easily the most entertaining of the three. While imperfect, it is the prototypical detective story on which all others are based, and still managed to be an engaging read over a century and a half after it was written. The biggest flaw is that the solution to the murders is a) rather absurd and b) incapable of being surmised by the reader before it is revealed at the conclusion. My rating: Four stars.
'The Mystery of Marie Roget' lacked all the positive qualities of its predecessor, but maintained its biggest flaw -- the overlong sections of Dupin's exposition. The result was a short story that was dry as a criminal justice textbook and lacked any overall characters or plot. My rating: Two stars.
'The Purloined Letter' was the best of the Dupin tales by any critical measure. The story balances plot, storytelling, exposition, and pace better than the previous two. The story is shorter, tighter, and gives the most insight into the mind and heart of Dupin, beyond his long-winded critical analysis. My rating: Four stars.(less)
I read these stories after seeing that Carnacki was one of the latest characters in Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The short stor...moreI read these stories after seeing that Carnacki was one of the latest characters in Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The short stories are a cross between Edgar Allen Poe's Dupin detective stories and Poe's gothic horror stories, and are an interesting quick read.(less)
As someone that has read all of the Sherlock Holmes canon, I was doubtful that I would like a parody in which Holmes is described in the following man...moreAs someone that has read all of the Sherlock Holmes canon, I was doubtful that I would like a parody in which Holmes is described in the following manner: "Anybody that knows him the way I do knows he can't detect a crime except where he plans it all out beforehand and arranges the clues and hires some fellow to commit it according to instructions." But I freely admit, despite my love of the fictional detective, this subversion was equally enjoyable.(less)
I recently found an old copy of this book in my parents' attic, and gave it a quick read to see if it was anywhere nearly as interesting as I found Th...moreI recently found an old copy of this book in my parents' attic, and gave it a quick read to see if it was anywhere nearly as interesting as I found The Hardy Boys books to be as a kid (I read all of them growing up).
Surprisingly, for the most part, The Tower Treasure held its own. There were exceptions -- some outdated language and character names, and the 1950s Boy Scout feel of the two main characters -- but the underlying mystery was solid and kept me interested.(less)
An enjoyable story where a certain retired detective picks up his magnifying glass and houndstooth cap to help a little boy who has lost his pet parro...moreAn enjoyable story where a certain retired detective picks up his magnifying glass and houndstooth cap to help a little boy who has lost his pet parrot -- which may be reciting military code numbers. While Sherlock Holmes is never named in the story, the allusion is clear, if only from naming the story The Final Solution (Sherlock Holmes' last appearance before his presumed "death" in Arthur Conan Doyle's canon was in The Final Problem.) The little mystery was top notch, and the characters all seemed to fit in the detective's world, my only issue was that the author's language was often overbearing, which I never found Doyle's to be. I guess I am just a firm believer in George Orwell's Rules of Writing.(less)
While no one can replace Arthur Conan Doyle, this homage by Nicholas Meyer is a fairly good attempt. It hits all the right notes -- with guest spots b...moreWhile no one can replace Arthur Conan Doyle, this homage by Nicholas Meyer is a fairly good attempt. It hits all the right notes -- with guest spots by favorites such as Professor Moriarty, Mycroft Holmes and Tobey the tracking dog -- as well as raises the stakes by adding the celebrity Dr. Sigmund Freud to the mix, which despite seeming to be inspired by television teams-ups like Scooby Doo Meets Batman, actually works fairly well in the story.(less)
This novel is the best book I've read so far this year, and will be a tough title to beat, although I have hope for the sequels. But I wonder if they...moreThis novel is the best book I've read so far this year, and will be a tough title to beat, although I have hope for the sequels. But I wonder if they won't seem contrived, like Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books, since one of my favorite things about this book was how organic the detective aspect came about. I am looking forward to finding out.
Not only was the story, the writing, and the translation phenomenal, the narration -- by Simon Vance, who also narrates Ian Fleming's James Bond stories -- was top notch. Vance has quickly become my favorite audiobook narrator. (less)
While I liked this book almost as much as The Lincoln Lawyer and The Brass Verdict, I am subtracting a star because I had a lot of difficulty getting...moreWhile I liked this book almost as much as The Lincoln Lawyer and The Brass Verdict, I am subtracting a star because I had a lot of difficulty getting past the alternating points-of-view -- every other chapter alternates between Haller in first-person narrative and Bosch in third-person narrative. It was very distracting, and did not aid to the story in any discernible way.(less)
A perfect detective story. It was well framed, had a tight plot, great descriptions, believable three-dimensional characters, phenomenal dialogue, and...moreA perfect detective story. It was well framed, had a tight plot, great descriptions, believable three-dimensional characters, phenomenal dialogue, and an unseen ending that didn't seem forced or gimmicky.
A Drop of the Hard Stuff is worth reading if only as a case study for how to write dialogue realistically, or how to research a setting -- the entire book revolves around Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and writings, which Block wrote so well, I was certain he was a recovering alcoholic.(less)
I have two specific gripes about this novel -- the beginning and the end.
The first third of the book could have been edited with a heavy hand. The adventure that occurs in the Caribbean was completely superfluous to the story and didn't add much in character depth. Furthermore, the entire Salander and the mathematical algorithm subplot is belabored on a great deal in the beginning of the novel, and only very briefly touched upon at the end -- and unsatisfactorily, at that.
The end, on the other hand, has exactly the opposite problem. The book ends directly after the climax, without any resolution. What about Salander's health? What about the book to expose the sex traffickers? What about Berger leaving Millennium? What happens to Zalachenko, Niedermann, Bjorck, and Telebroian? What was most frustrating to me about this is that the first book in the series wrapped up all its plot-lines so well, so I expected more of a resolution from this one.
The book ends directly after the climax, without any resolution. What about Salander's health? What about the book to expose the sex traffickers? What about Berger leaving Millennium? What happens to Zalachenko, Niedermann, Bjorck, and Telebroian?
Silly me. I had no idea those questions would be the entire subject of the third book. And wow, what a book it was. Larsson stayed true to the style he set up in the first two books, giving copious details without ever seeming redundant or overlong, and managed to satisfactorily resolve the many threads he unwound over the course of the Millennium trilogy.
What this book lacks in mystery --the key ingredient to the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- it makes up with elements of espionage, thriller, and legal drama, as well as the interrelations of the cast of characters that Larsson has endeared to the reader.
One thing that was a bit odd is the epilogue -- it reads as more of a second climax than a typically mundane they-all-lived-happily-ever-after epilogue. (less)
I finished it less than two days later. It was a first-cla...moreI picked this up at the library after reading this review of the book from Orson Scott Card.
I finished it less than two days later. It was a first-class page-turner, with a lot of balls in the air at the same time, and good depth to the characters, especially the lead character, whose first person point-of-view perspective was especially enjoyable. (less)
Though there are some linguistic flourishes that date this work (the lead character calls himself a 'private dick' with no hint of irony), overall thi...moreThough there are some linguistic flourishes that date this work (the lead character calls himself a 'private dick' with no hint of irony), overall this is a timeless -- prototypical -- detective story; Philip Marlowe could easily be pounding the pavement in a modern day Los Angeles.(less)
I enjoyed reading this hard-boiled caper, despite a cast of extremely one-dimensional characters and stereotypes. Overall, while I would revisit Hamme...moreI enjoyed reading this hard-boiled caper, despite a cast of extremely one-dimensional characters and stereotypes. Overall, while I would revisit Hammett's Sam Spade, I prefer Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, who seemed more realistic and fleshed out.
As an aside, I saw the phrase "gooseberry lay" in the dialogue, and researched it and came upon this interesting article about how Dashiell Hammett tricked his editors into slipping grittier language into his novels.
This book was made just for me. It's about a mystery super-team that solves paranormal cases, complete with supernatural allies, secret hide-outs and...moreThis book was made just for me. It's about a mystery super-team that solves paranormal cases, complete with supernatural allies, secret hide-outs and high tech gadgets, and references Area 51, Jules Verne and Edgar Allen Poe. Sign me up.
Mystery Society -- which on top of everything else, was beautifully drawn -- is the perfect blend of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Losers, Scooby Doo, The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, well then you've been warned. Otherwise, maybe this is made just for you, too. I only hope there will be more than this five-issue mini-series, because all it's done is whet my appetite for more.(less)
I came at Michael Connelly backwards, reading the entire Mickey Haller series before any of his Harry Bosch books. And after encountering Bosch in The...moreI came at Michael Connelly backwards, reading the entire Mickey Haller series before any of his Harry Bosch books. And after encountering Bosch in The Reversal, I wasn't that compelled to read more about him. But then I found the Kindle version of this on sale for 99c, so I couldn't really say no at that point.
I was not disappointed, but blown away instead. This is a perfect detective mystery tale. Connelly's storytelling gifts are many and varied. He is a master of pacing, has a knack for creating multi-dimensional characters, writes realistic dialogue, a creates a robust plot. The best part is that even after you think you figured out the caper, you haven't, because there are so many layers to Connelly's writing that you've only peeled it back to the next.(less)
I really liked this novel, and would have given it four stars if not for three things that irked me about the way it was written.
1) The authors (this...moreI really liked this novel, and would have given it four stars if not for three things that irked me about the way it was written.
1) The authors (this was written by a married couple) use the present tense in narration (e.g. Joona walks into the room and sits down). At first, I thought there was a compelling reason for this, but after finishing the book, I can't come up with anything, except perhaps that it was poorly translated into English -- do Swedish authors normally write in present tense? I really don't know. But it pulled me out of the story a number of times, as I was focusing on the tense instead.
2) There were over 100 chapters, which I'm totally okay with. However, there was a date/time stamp header at the beginning of each chapter. With an average chapter length of five pages, this was unnecessary, and also pulled me out of the story, as I kept thinking, "is it a different day? I think it's the same day, but I better flip back a chapter and double-check." This could have easily been avoided by only putting the header when the date and/or time was different than the previous chapter.
3) The flashback to the period ten years earlier was awkwardly inserted in the middle of a scene, went on continuously for over 100 pages, and then spit right back out into that same scene. A better author would have sprinkled that flashback better over the course of the novel, instead of in a giant information dump.
And as for the inevitable comparisons to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy: No, this is not a continuation or homage to those works. It is likely not in the same class as them either (I'll withhold judgement until I see if there is more to follow with these characters). It is, however, a quality murder mystery with interesting characters written by a Swedish author and set in the same harsh, unforgiving Sweden as the Millennium trilogy.(less)
This book is one-part Clue, one-part Doubt, and one-part Murder She Wrote (Angela Lansbury happens to be one of the actresses that played Miss Marple)...moreThis book is one-part Clue, one-part Doubt, and one-part Murder She Wrote (Angela Lansbury happens to be one of the actresses that played Miss Marple), stirred together into a first-rate mystery. It's not as good as Sherlock Holmes, but it's pretty close.
A few quick thoughts:
- I find it very interesting that Agatha Christie was able to acknowledge all the prejudices of the time against women -- with the male characters calling the female characters silly, foolish, troublesome gossips -- and subvert nearly all of them in the process (view spoiler)[like having a woman as the killer after the inspector saying a woman wouldn't handle a gun, having a woman figure out the mystery and set trap that catches the killer, etc. (hide spoiler)].
- I don't really understand calling it a "Miss Marple Mystery", as it is narrated by the vicar and Miss Marple is a tertiary -- albeit interesting -- character. It would be like renaming the Harry Potter series after Neville Longbottom, just because he kills the snake at the end.
- My only negative comment is the way the dialogue is written, as I often had no idea who was speaking, and had to reread a few of the conversations to make sure I was following it correctly.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Sometimes book labeling really frustrates me, and this is definitely one of those cases. Down the Mysterly River is listed as a children's book -- not...moreSometimes book labeling really frustrates me, and this is definitely one of those cases. Down the Mysterly River is listed as a children's book -- not even as a young adult book -- but it is so much deeper than, for example, a Lemony Snicket children's book. Although it's an easy read that can and should be enjoyed by children, it can be enjoyed on an entirely different level by adults (I can't say more without revealing the big mystery of the book). I'm glad I ignored the children's book label and picked up a copy. After all, you can never have to many stories with a motley band such as this one -- a Boy Scout, a warrior badger, a bear sheriff, and a cat named McTavish the Monster.(less)
As always, Neil Gaiman's perspective -- in this case, of She...moreThe stories I read from this collection are:
'The Case of Death and Honey', by Neil Gaiman
As always, Neil Gaiman's perspective -- in this case, of Sherlock's later years -- is interesting. However, this is not on the same level as his other Holmes pastiche, 'A Study in Emerald.'
'The Mysterious Case of the Unwritten Short Story', by Colin Cotterill
This was a chuckle-worthy graphic novel that I would have enjoyed more if I found it in the funny pages instead of in an otherwise serious Sherlock Holmes collection.
'The Last of Sheila-Locke Holmes', by Laura Lippman
My least favorite story in the collection. The first strike was that it didn't feature Sherlock Holmes. The second was that it didn't feature a real mystery or any detection. The third and final strike was that it wasn't interesting as a short story besides that.
'The Bone-Headed League', by Lee Child
A solid short story and modern day nod to 'The Red-Headed League' involving an anglophile FBI agent stationed in London.
'The Case That Holmes Lost', by Charles Todd
My favorite story in the collection, because it was so wonderfully meta and featured Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a character.(less)
Many of these stories were too intricately interwoven with Holmes' canon (most notably A Study in Scarlet and The Valley of Fear) for the casual reader to enjoy, but at the same time, the mysteries in these short stories were so elementary -- if existent at all -- that the serious Holmes fan could not have any appreciation for them.
Many of the stories seemed more preoccupied with guest appearances by famous historical Americans, such as Doc Holliday, Davy Crockett, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Houdini, Albert Spalding and Pop Warner, than in telling a compelling detective yarn -- and the Houdini tale, 'The Seven Walnuts', did not even feature an appearance by Sherlock Holmes.
There were a few stories I enjoyed in spite of themselves, as none held a candle to the actual detective's stories. 'Excerpts from an Unpublished Memoir Found In the Basement of the Home for Retired Actors' was humorous and unique, despite having a middling mystery; 'The Adventure of the Boston Dromio' was a good revenge tale, despite Holmes acting out of character by employing burglary and blackmail instead of detection; and 'The Song at Twilight' was well written, despite its absurdity.
What I found most baffling was why the essay 'Moriarty, Moran, and More: Anti-Hibernian Sentiment in the Canon' was included at the end of this collection. As someone that has read Holmes' entire canon, I don't see the anti-Irish angle the essay accused of Arthur Conan Doyle, but more importantly, shoehorning this political piece into a book about Sherlock Holmes in America made no sense. If an essay was to be inserted at the end of this edition -- and none were needed -- surely an essay on Doyle's portrayal of Mormons in his first novel would be more appropriate, as they have a correlation with the collection's common thread, being an American religion.(less)
Michael Connelly has squeezed a lot of stories out of Harry Bosch, and looks to be trying to retire the character while he is still in prime form, giv...moreMichael Connelly has squeezed a lot of stories out of Harry Bosch, and looks to be trying to retire the character while he is still in prime form, giving Bosch only a few years until being forced into retirement in The Drop, which actually refers to the retirement -- Deferred Retirement Option Plan -- as well as the alleged suicide fall the detective investigates.
The two simultaneous cases are both strong, and this is hardly a case of a sequel degrading in quality. There is the obligatory love interest, and little character development outside the confines of the police cases Bosch works, but all-in-all, its a riveting police procedural.
As an aside, I wonder if Connelly is setting up Bosch's daughter Madie as a potential spin-off candidate for when Bosch retires, with her seeming interest in detective work and marksmanship.(less)
Another great Harry Bosch book. While I don't normally love a single book using multiple narrative techniques, neither the switching between the point...moreAnother great Harry Bosch book. While I don't normally love a single book using multiple narrative techniques, neither the switching between the points-of-view of Harry Bosch, Rachel Walling and Robert Bachus, nor the switching between first-person and third-person perspective, bothered me.
I am deducting a star, however, because there was no warning that I was starting a novel that was clearly a sequel to Michael Connelly's The Poet, which I hadn't already read, and isn't a Harry Bosch book.(less)
WARNING: Anyone buying this box set should know that:
- The box set starts with the tenth Harry Bosch book. - That book, The Narrows, is an indirect s...moreWARNING: Anyone buying this box set should know that:
- The box set starts with the tenth Harry Bosch book. - That book, The Narrows, is an indirect sequel to Connelly's The Poet. - The set then skips the eleventh book, and has the twelfth and thirteenth Harry Bosch books.
As long as you are okay with starting in the middle of a series, not having three in a row of the series on the set, and having a different Michael Connelly book spoiled, this is a good value. It has great Bosch stories, an excellent narrator, and a high production value. I just don't understand why these three books were picked out for the set.(less)
Even at it's dull and uninspired worst, Connelly's writing is still interesting in that the reader gets a more realistic look at how police procedure...moreEven at it's dull and uninspired worst, Connelly's writing is still interesting in that the reader gets a more realistic look at how police procedure actually works -- there is tons of paperwork, there are lots of fruitless leads to follow, stakeouts are long and boring, etc. -- and not some absurd action-movie trope of police life.
While not Connelly's finest effort, The Closers is still a serviceable detective novel. The acceleration of events in third act and subsequent climax/aftermath saved this book from being a total bore. The book also succeeds as part of the larger series in that Harry returns to the force, pushing his character development forward for future installments.(less)
Despite Murder on the Orient Express being over seventy-five years old, this locked room mystery was intriguing and timeless, and the solution was as...moreDespite Murder on the Orient Express being over seventy-five years old, this locked room mystery was intriguing and timeless, and the solution was as logical as it was surprising. For mystery readers that like to guess whodunit, (view spoiler)[this is one rare case where almost any guess is partially correct, as almost every character in the book had a hand in the murder, literally (hide spoiler)].
This was my first exposure to Hercule Poirot and my second to Agatha Christie, my first being The Murder in the Vicarage, a Miss Marple mystery. On that small sample size, I think I prefer Poirot to Marple. ["br"]>["br"]>(less)
First, let me say that no review is going to do this justice for any mystery genre fan -- it is the ultimate locked room, killer-in-our-midst whodunit...moreFirst, let me say that no review is going to do this justice for any mystery genre fan -- it is the ultimate locked room, killer-in-our-midst whodunit. Despite spending very little time with each of the ten main characters, they are all multi-dimensional and realistic, and quickly distinguishable -- the doctor, the colonel, the judge, the ex-inspector, the mercenary, the young playboy, the governess, the religious woman, and the butler and his wife. It was a hell of a trick to pull off getting the reader to understand and appreciate all these characters without becoming too attached to any of them, as, inevitably, they all must die. And the final brilliant flourish was the epistolary epilogue -- a perfect and fitting conclusion to be the perfect crime.
As an aside, I wish that this was originally titled And Then There Were None. I think it is a stronger title than either Ten Little Indians or Ten Little Niggers, and without being derogatory. But I do wonder how much editing had to go into the book when the title was changed -- surely the poem and the dining room figurines weren't originally soldiers when the book had "Indians" or "Niggers" in its title. I also wonder why Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is left untouched while other works such as this are edited. But any controversy over the title is really beside the point, as there are no racist overtones in the book, other than the killer's liking of the (originally) racist poem.(less)
Another intricate and well-written detective story about the hard-boiled, never-say-die Harry Bosch. My only issue is that this is the second serial k...moreAnother intricate and well-written detective story about the hard-boiled, never-say-die Harry Bosch. My only issue is that this is the second serial killer he has apprehended with Rachel Walling in three books -- and I was just praising Connelly for the Bosch series having some semblance of reality after reading the last book.(less)
So when I got wind that Block, a writer whose work I enjoy, wrote a book where his burglar protagonist, Bernie Rhodenbarr, attempts to steal a first-edition copy of The Big Sleep inscribed to Dashiell Hammett, only to get caught up in an Agatha Christie type murder-mystery in an English country house during a blizzard, I couldn't pass it up.
Even Rhodenbarr's cat is a literary allusion -- named after E.W. Hornung's gentleman thief A.J. Raffles. But I digress.
This story is, despite the murders, a light read that delights in hanging lampshades on many detective/mystery tropes. While the pace dragged a tiny bit in the middle, and the story jarred me with a switch from first to third-person at one point, it was, overall, a very fun, enjoyable read I would definitely recommend to mystery fans familiar with the above classics. (less)