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Time to Murder and Create (Matthew Scudder, #2)
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Time to Murder and Create

(Matthew Scudder #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,443 Ratings  ·  256 Reviews
Small-time stoolie, Jake " The Spinner" Jablon, made a lot of new enemies when he switched careers, from informer to blackmailer. And the more "clients", he figured, the more money -- and more people eager to see him dead. So no one is surprised when the pigeon is found floating in the East River with his skull bashed in. And what's worse, no one cares -- except Matthew Sc ...more
Paperback, 185 pages
Published July 2nd 2002 by Avon Books (first published 1976)
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Bill  Kerwin

Two-bit blackmailer “Spinner” Jablon hires Matthew Scudder to find a murderer. The victim? “Spinner” himself. He entrusts Matt with an envelope filled with “dirt” on three blackmail “clients," and, if he dies suddenly, wants Scudder to discover which of the three is responsible. Soon Jablon's body is fished out of the East River with a smashed-up skull, and Scudder decides to act as if he were the inheritor of the blackmail operation, hoping this strategy will compel the murderer to show his han
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Matthew Scudder, assisted by larger and larger doses of bourbon & coffee, investigates the brutal murder of a blackmailer known as the Spinner. The prime suspects are the Spinner’s three cash cows, including:

1. A former hooker/porn star turned high society wife;

2. A wealthy father of a reckless driving, man-slaughtering ex-drug addict; and

3. A buggery loving, pederast politician running for Governor of New York.

As Scudder begins to look into his dead friend’s operation, he finds himself
Spinner Jablon is a small-time criminal and hustler that Matt Scudder knows from his days on the police. One day he shows up with money in his pockets and an offer for Matt: Hold onto an envelope to be opened if Spinner gets killed. It seems like easy money and weeks pass until Spinner misses his regular check-in and his body is found in the river.

When Matt opens the envelope he finds a note from Spinner, a wad of cash, and blackmail info on three people. Spinner’s note explains that he thought

A very entertaining read.
Jason Koivu
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a criminal "friend" goes belly up in the river with a bump on his head, retired cop Matthew Scudder takes it upon himself to find out whodunnit.

In this, the second of the so-far-enjoyable Scudder series, our hero is tasked with figuring out which of three shitty people with a darkened past was the one who did-in his friend. None of the three are likable, hell, even Matt has some unpleasant skeletons in his closest, so why the hell is this such a good read?!

I've pondered that quite a bit. I
James Thane
This is the second book in Lawrence Block's excellent series featuring Matthew Scudder. It doesn't pack quite the emotional wallop of the first, The Sins of the Fathers, but it's a very good read nonetheless.

For those who don't know, Matthew Scudder is an ex cop who lives in New York City and who works as an unlicensed P.I. He left the force under tragic circumstances and has since developed a drinking problem which is here noticeably worse than it was in the first book. His "office" is in a sal
Dan Schwent
Stoolie and blackmailer Spinner Jablon winds up dead and due to a mysterious envelope entrusted to him by Spinner, Matthew Scudder is trying to find out who killed him. Only Spinner was blackmailing three people: a former porn actress, a rich man who covered up his daughter's hit and run accident, and a pedophile who may just be the next governor of New York. Can Scudder find out who killed Jablon before he becomes a victim himself?

Wow. I knew I had something with Lawrence Block after I read the
Ahhh, Scudder...I have a bone to pick with you. Why you wanna hurt me so bad?

More on that in just a bit, first just a little note on the numbering of these early Scudder books. Feel free to skip this paragraph which cuts right to the nerd in me. I tend to be a tad OCD when I take on any series, and always want to read them in order. Goodreads has this book listed as #2 which turns out to be correct. In the afterword Block explains that Time to Murder and Create is the second Scudder book he wro
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noir dectective fans, NYC fans
Recommended to Carol. by: LoD
Second edition of Matthew Scudder's saga, and I'm looking forward to the next.

(Oh, who am I kidding? I've already started the next one, but had to stop and do the review for this so I can give it the thought it deserves).

Scudder's daily meander between bourbon and coffee is interrupted when Spinner, one of his ex-stoolies, comes to him with a request. Hold on to an envelope; if Spinner dies, open it and take whatever action Scudder thinks is right. If nothing happens to Spinner, no fair eyeballi
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Scudder, Scudder, Scudder. Other than learning that you do not, in fact, vote, my literary crush on you knows no bounds. With one-liners like
Somebody put money in the jukebox, and Lesley Gore said it was her party and she would cry if she wanted to.

You don’t want people driving cars at you. It’s unhealthy.

I, in fact, find you downright irresistible.
Since some pretty kick-ass reviewers have tackled this the second-written of Block's Matthew Scudder stories (see Trudi, Carol, Kemper, and D
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, crime, thriller

Another stonking effort in this, my 3rd in the series…stupid audible! The plot synopsis was far more intriguing than the previous novels in the series and so it turned out as this story was my favourite to date.

"Spinner" Jablon entrusts Matt to do some investigating should he meet an untimely demise. Low and behold, he's required to look into things a little quicker than Jablon would have liked. Who would have thought that being a serial blackmailer would endanger oneself? There turns out t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
Has the feel of Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye

Matt Scudder returns to investigate the death of a former acquaintance who has been murdered in the middle of a blackmail scam, the only difficulty is that there are three suspects "on the rope" and all three are equally reprehensible in their own way.

Again in this series the story is less about the investigation and more about the life choice of the detective, Scudder is a drunk who stumbles around New York in a manner highly reminiscent of Elliot
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the better Noir novel
Onto part deux of the adventures of Matthew Scudder former policeman turned into and investigator of the non-legal variety. This one is about a former acquaintance of Scudder in his cop years. The Spinner was a petty crook and a blackmailer. And by the look at his wardrobe he was doing very well. Which was no excuse for anybody to kill him. Which brings us to the letter he left in Scudders possession which contains the information that probably has killed Spinner to gebin with.
Scudder now has an
Mike French
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Block created a tremendous character in Mathew Scudder. Looking forward to reading more of this series. Very enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish!
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matt Scudder has been entrusted with an envelope following the death of blackmailer, Jacob “Spinner” Jablon. The contents of said envelope you ask? Oh, nothing crazy, just evidence that could ruin the lives of three New Yorkers. Basically, Spinner has posthumously asked Scudder to find out who killed him. The only catch is that one of the 3 that Spinner had wrapped around his finger intends to silence Scudder just like they silenced Spinner. It all comes down to if Matt’s mind can work fast enou ...more
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I guess I should state that this is the second Matthew Scudder novel.

Sometime while reading the second half of this book today it dawned on me that Scudder is quite a bit like another character I came across recently. At first I couldn't remember which one, but I knew it was from one of the Hard Case novels I've devoured in the past three months. I thought maybe it was from an earlier Lawrence Block novel, but then it hit me, Scudder is a lot like Matt Cordell (I had to look this up just now, I
3-Stars. Some parts were good, especially with Trina and Spinner, maybe Guzik.

Mostly, though, it was uneven pacing, repetitious in parts, some clumsy plotting, many characters lacking in depth, all-in-all not nearly as good as the first book.

20% of all girls in America and 8% of all boys are sexually abused before they are 18.
Why do we allow this?

(view spoiler)

Oct 04, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark_harvest-own
This hardcover is numbered 239 of 300 and is signed by Lawrence Block and Jonathan Kellerman (introduction).
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in '76, we find Scudder approached by a small-time acquaintance, Spinner Jablon. Spinner, sporting a nice suit, appears to have moved up in the world. He asks Matt to hold on to an envelope for him, as he fears his life may be in danger.

The danger is that Spinner has moved into blackmail, and of his 3 fish on the line, one plans on erasing the blackmailer.

For $3000, Scudder is on retainer to open the envelope on Spinner's demise, and put things right.

A preposterous premise done right in
Nancy Ellis
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has become one of my favorite series. In this episode, small-time informer Jake "The Spinner" Jablon has hired Scudder to find his killer if and when he is killed for his new occupation of blackmailer. His body is soon found floating in the river, and Scudder is the only person interested in finding who murdered him. Scudder does a conscientious job, as always, and uncovers some unsavory characters as he solves the case in this no-nonsense, down to earth story. I really enjoy the setting of ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars -- I'm making my way through Block's Matthew Scudder books since he isn't writing anymore BURGLAR books. I enjoyed this one better than the first in the series; so I'll carry on.
Matthew Scudder is back and this time a small-time stoolie named Jake “The Spinner” Jablon has come to him for help. This informer has found a new line of business in blackmail but now one of his clients has figured it was better to kill than keep paying for his silence. After an attempt on his life goes wrong, The Spinner turns to Scudder to be his avenging angel if he ever does wind up dead. Only problem is when he eventually was found floating in the river, Scudder had to work out just who fi ...more
My first matthew scudder and i am not disappointed... short and pacy, I didn't guess the killer correctly bcos I thought that was too obvious, but well..!!
Gloria Bernal
Book 2 in the Scudder series introduces us to an old bud of Matt’s, the Spinner. His nick-name derived from a habit he has of spinning a silver dollar on a table top while conversing. He pays Scudder for keeping an envelope for him, not to be opened unless he is found dead somewhere, which could be likely as he is in the risky business of blackmailing people. When indeed the Spinner’s body shows up in the river, Scudder opens the envelope with details of 3 individuals who have been blackmailed b ...more
Cathy DuPont
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hummm. Matthew Scudder is a fellow who does 'favors' for friends for 'gifts' such as money. Not really a P. I. although all indications lead the reader to believe that's what he is, a P.I. That an ex-cop who resigned after 15 years on the force due to an accidential shooting by him of an innocent little girl. That would make anyone re-examine thier lot in life.

Scudder knows he drinks far to much. He can be forgiven though since he donates regularly to the money box in churchs. One religion, no,
James Joyce
Two things I'm thinking. One is that Matt Scudder is a son-of-a-bitch.

Don't take my word for it, he gets called that (and other things) enough times. He's not a knight in shining armor, though he is a hero. Tarnished, dirty, mean and nasty, and honest enough to own up to all the above.

A friend who is also a blackmailer of criminals and a not-so-decent human being is murdered by one of his victims. But he knew it was coming and, in preparation, he gifted Matt with all the blackmail evidence for
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
This series. This series here.
Thank god there are a lot of books in it, because I think I'm in love.
Matt Scudder. So tragic and guilty and badass. It doesn't even matter if he solves a case, just the blundering around threatening people, being sad and drinking is enough for me.
Anyway, this book is good. I can't think of anything else to say right now that isn't a spoiler.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great story.....again. Scudder has a unique sense of justice and he dispenses it evenly no matter his personal distaste for villains and the law.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1 dead blackmailer, 3 equally rotten suspects make up this lean ride through the mean streets of NYC. It is short, stylish but not as smart as the last book in the series was. Dialogue hits the mark, writing neither demands attention nor detracts from storytelling. The plotting has got its issues, Block himself points out that one of the three blackmail victims had no business falling for the ruse. However if you are reading this series it is because of Matt Scudder. He takes generic elements an ...more
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Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for more than half a century. He has published in excess (oh, wretched excess!) of 100 books, and no end of short stories.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., LB attended Antioch College, but left before completing his studies; school authorities advised him that they felt he’d be happier elsewhere, and he thought this was remarkably perceptiv

Other books in the series

Matthew Scudder (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1)
  • In the Midst of Death (Matthew Scudder, #3)
  • A Stab in the Dark (Matthew Scudder, #4)
  • Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5)
  • When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6)
  • Out on the Cutting Edge (Matthew Scudder, #7)
  • A Ticket to the Boneyard (Matthew Scudder, #8)
  • A Dance At The Slaughterhouse (Matthew Scudder, #9)
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones (Matthew Scudder, #10)
  • The Devil Knows You're Dead (Matthew Scudder, #11)
“Your unconscious mind takes the things you can’t handle and plays with them while you sleep until some of the sharp corners are worn off.” 3 likes
“The moving finger writes, and having writ Moves on. Nor all your piety and wit Can call it back to cancel half a line Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.” 2 likes
More quotes…