Somebody Done Somebody Wrong

Rumpole and the Reign of Terror
John Mortimer

You can always tell when I have too much going on because the only books I  finish are lighter fare. That puts you in an enviable position since, unlike Mrs. AHC, you needn’t deal with the stacks of unfinished tomes Continue reading

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Not the Man I Used to Be

The Talented Mr. Ripley
(Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s, A Library of America Volume)
Patricia Highsmith

Among my less pleasant quirks is an inability to get unstuck. Sometimes I seize on something about a book or movie that is inconsequential, yet I can’t get past it. All forward motion ceases and the sane among you, which Continue reading

The Foul Evil Deed I Had Done

The Killer Inside Me
(Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s, A Library of America Volume)
Jim Thompson

I know when to say “Uncle.” The Library of America (LOA) has beaten me.

Not in any serious way, mind you. But a bruised ego is still a bruised ego and I don’t acknowledge failure easily. Who’d have thought that the Continue reading

She’s Just a Crazy Mixed Up Kid

Top Secret Twenty-One
Janet Evanovich

It strikes me as odd that I’ve not picked up one of these silly New Jersey-based crime stories in more than a decade. Time was, reading a volume in this series served as, for me, the print equivalent of reruns on Channel 11. But the tape doesn’t lie and I must have given up Continue reading

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Six Easy Pieces
Walter Mosley

Academia and I have a rocky relationship that’s a bit one-sided. I see great potential, often squandered; they don’t pay me much heed at all.

So it should come as no surprise that my academic colleagues look askance at ‘binary thinking.’  I’m a Continue reading

I Sailed Away to Treasure Island

Caribbean Rim
Randy Wayne White

The idea of a remote location with no electronic tethers, megaphones or anchors has never seemed more appealing. Times being what they are that’s not likely to happen, so I’ll have to settle for the next best thing.

That would be a chair at the town pool and a Doc Ford adventure. You remember Doc, we’ve met him before. He’s the onetime black op turned marine biologist who’s Continue reading

Living Through Another Cuba

The Cuban Affair
Nelson DeMille

While I’m fighting the urge to begin with a lament, I might be better off with a trite observation: there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.

I may, in fact, have established that I should limit myself Continue reading