Wednesday, February 05, 2014



The (new) Big Four plus the Gorey

1. Heaven's Prisoners - James Lee Burke
Still number one, and with good reason. There are just too many gaps in my JLB collection for comfort. I am hoping to to pick this up at the big California Antiquarian Book Fair this week in Pasadena. If I can grab this book the fair will be a success for me.

With recent purchases I was able to pick off A Firing Offense and Nick's Trip, two picks that will now never make this list. Let's see how long this book last on the list. I am a big advocate for buying something just so that I can stop thinking about it. This does not cover all occasions hence the reason why I do not have a Xbox.

3. The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King
I am somewhat pinning my hopes on the Long Beach Bouchercon to pull the trigger on this book. The dealer room should have a few to choose from and if past BCons have proven anything most people are not looking to buy expensive books in that room.

4. A Morning for Flamingos - James Lee Burke
After much consternation I went with A Morning for Flamingos in the four spot. For a good deal of time I had a Craig Johnson book in here and then briefly flirted with The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer. Flamingos makes the cut because after Heaven's Prisoners it is oldest book on the list. Playing off what I said about that book above, I think most of the year is going to spent on filling those gaps.

The Loathsome Couple - Edward Gorey
In the months since turning some of my collecting attention to Edward Gorey I have seen exactly zero books by the author. Sure there have been a few recent reprints, but for the time being that falls out of my current purview. I fear I would have better luck on the East Coast finding Mr. Gorey's canon. Time will tell.

Monday, January 20, 2014

This Bit of Business...

(Photo above is definition of awesomeness, also
I stole the image form the Polis Books website)
The return of 'Awesome' Dave White! The Return of Jackson Donne! Read. This. Guy. Hurry February. Hurry....

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Recent Purchases

(Photo above is evidence of corrected behavior)
Dear Adrien McKinty -- I could use the excuse that gutless American publishers have kept me from purchasing your books over the last few years. They did not. Amazon UK is both a blessing and a curse in this case. I could tell you that I have experienced an ennui about Crime Fiction over the last three years. I could also tell you an equally convoluted story about priorities and lessons of adulthood that are still mysterious even at the age of 42. I'll spare you as I am certain that it would bore you as quickly as it does me at this point.
So, let me write that I recently bought three of your books, and that I think of DEAD I MAY WELL BE so often.

All my very best to you in the New Year,

The Hungry Detective

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Good Mail Day...

A good mail day that should be classified as great. These three book are big for me. I stared at them so often only to put them back on shelves and walk away. I no longer have to do that. I own them. They belong to me. They are a completion of a thought that began long ago with the words "One day I will..."

Today is that day.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recent Purchase

Alan Furst
Night Soldiers
Dark Star
The World at Night
Red Gold
Spies of Balkan
Mission to Paris

Alan Furst is a tough get. Only occasionally do his books show up in stores or shows. When they do it's the early work from the late 70's early 80's or The Polish Officer. My guess is The Polish Officer was the publishers push to put Mr. Furst in the same public consciousness as John Le Carre. Anyway Red Gold was mercifully priced at $25. I would have paid double, but I would not have been happy about it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Big Four and the Gorey

Here is my Top Five list. This is not a hard and fast list. The full list is 30 books, and of those these are the ones I would be the most excited to acquire.

1. Heaven's Prisoners - James Lee Burke
Second Dave Robicheaux book and surprisingly not that bad of a movie. I picked up Neon Rain a long time ago and have failed on many occasions to pull the trigger on this one. This all comes down to cost and availability. The book has always been around $175-$200 for as long as I can remember. Secondarily the book is usually a pretty easy find at a show, because the modern fiction dealer will usually carry it as their nod to the genre. Still I need to do this soon. The cheaper price point means I'll probably pick this up before Lullaby Town.

 2. Lullaby Town - Robert Crais
'Scarce third novel by author' is the phrase most associated with this novel. Something about libraries buying up much of the first edition. I want to say I used to know. It is far and away the most expensive book in his canon. His first two don't even come close. Luckily its a great book. Where I am kind of lukewarm on his first two Lullaby Town killed. Until recently I saw this book going for over $500. Maybe I get lucky, but probably gonna pay $450-550.

3. The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King
Second book for the author and first in the Mary Russell series. I recall this book being quite expensive at one point. Only recently have I hunted down a price and found to be in the $175-$200 range which is great. Perhaps I am confusing this with her first, A Grave Talent, a book which is dauntingly priced near $500. The book pops up on occasion, especially at Bouchercon where Ms. King is frequent attendant.  

This is a monolithic book for me. It is in my personal top 5. With A Firing Offense and Nick's Trip I could recognize the greatness of the author. Richly detailed with depressingly wonderful prose, but I failed to connect with either book on an emotional level. This book gutted me. I think it of it so often. I see this book infrequently, so this book maybe on the list for awhile. In fact I can see a time where this list is comprised solely of books by Mr. Pelecanos.

The Loathsome Couple - Edward Gorey
There are a bunch of important Gorey's to me, too many to name. So picking The Loathsome Couple is really no more than a place holder. I don't mean to damn it with faint praise. It is described as macabre even by Edward Gorey standards, so it is not without merit. Probably not the next Gorey I will get but maybe the next Gorey I will be the most excited to acquire.