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The Ocean of Stephen Booth

I have gotten back into reading Stephen Booth after a prolonged absence of five or six years. An absence that was due to the loss of a US publisher for his books and not picking them up once he found a new one. Last summer, I purchased all of the missing books in UK editions. Condition is lacking in most, but seeing as I got the five of them for about fifty dollars I'm not that concerned. Mr. Booth is one of the reasons I am embarking on the this project. As it turned out, I had more unread then read books by Mr. Booth. With that in mind, at the end of last year, I picked up where I had left off with THE KILL CALL (Yay!) and LOST RIVER (Eh...).
I find Mr. Booth to be a super reliable author. His best books are very good, and his lesser efforts are only minor dips in the road. If I had any trepidation in reading 2011's THE DEVIL'S EDGE it is that THE LOST RIVER was one of those dips in the road. Long story short the plot just never came together for me. Also giving me p…
Recent posts

Buying things will make this harder....

A post about recent purchases.
POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON'T LOOK FRIENDLY - Adrian McKinty My favorite series, and current working author. You should read all the Sean Duffy books. Probably should also read everything in the expanded Duffyverse... McKintyverse... as well.
BLIND TO SIN - Dave White One of the lost Hungry Detective posts deals with the return of Dave White and Jackson Donne after an extended hiatus. I have a long list of authors I have had to pour one out for because of the once a decade cull of mid-list crime fiction authors. I still lament a handful of authors who disappeared in the mid 90's! 
[Editor's Note: Sandra West Prowell anyone? She wrote only three books and they are all fantastic. WHEN WALLFLOWERS DIE is...well...I still think of it 25 years later.]
Anyway this is Mr. White's third book since his return and sixth overall.
CALL FOR THE DEAD - John Le Carre First George Smiley book. On top of the fact that I am aiming to read down my to b…

One Less than Before.

An extended flight delay two Sundays ago meant I had plenty of time to read Allen Eskens's third book THE HEAVENS MAY FALL. It is the inaugural book in my To Be Read Project.
Back at the Long Beach Bouchercon I got up exceedingly early on Sunday morning to attend a panel with a few first time authors. I was there to hear another writer, but was prompted at the end of the panel to walk straight into the book room to find a copy of Mr. Eskens's first book, WHAT LIES BENEATH. It is a winner, one that I would recommend to people looking for a new voice in crime fiction. It is a haunting story full of finely drawn characters. It is without doubt the best first mystery I have read in a very long time. I have almost zero memory of his second book except that I was disappointed. My high expectations probably damned the book from the outset.
THE HEAVENS MAY FALL will not suffer that same fate as this was the most enjoyable work I have read in some time. The book has a nice set up and …

The To Be Read Project

[Editor's Note: It has been a minute. I realize. When last we spoke I had several posts planned, even written. All I needed to do was push the publish button and there would have been fresh content to keep the blog... relevant....maybe too strong a word, but still. Anyway time passed, maybe one day I can salvage some of it. Today, however, forward]
At the height I had no idea how many books I needed to read. There was a sinking feeling that I would never read most of them. I entertained notions that in the next house the spare room would become a library, but the next house turned into a one bedroom apartment. Putting them in storage probably meant a future of water damage from all and mold for most.
The decision making process was ruthless. Things I never read and who didn't belong to an author I was not currently reading went. Aborted series, disappointing stand-alones, and flyers taken on overstock tables at booksellers all went out the door and into the local library.

Live By Night: First Image

First image from Live By Night the latest Dennis Lehane novel to be directed by Ben Affleck has appeared. Here is the accompanying article from Indiewire.
What can you say about one singular image from a film that will include a hundred thousand or so? It looks good. I'm a sucker for big fields of grass, what can I say? I have enjoyed all of Ben Affleck's directing efforts to date, even if I wasn't wowed by any of them. I don't mean to damn him with faint praise. He is a solid, unpretentious director of capital m 'Movies'. And even if he wasn't making the best thing Dennis Lehane has written in the last ten years I would still go see his next effort.
The movie is slated for a 2017 release which I'm not certain should be believed. In spite of the film already vacating a Fall 2016 date, if the movie is even kind of  good, dollars to donuts it sneaks into a late 2016 release for Award show consideration. A 2017 release date seems more accurate, if early t…

The Gorey.

In June I bought a collection of Edward Gorey books via an auction, but lets go back a minute.
In the Summer of 2014 an Edward Gorey site I frequent mentioned an auction of a significant Gorey Collection. A majority of the the books on offer were limited numbered editions, and at the time most were out of my league. I did have my eye on a few things, but the day of the auction all but one spiraled out of responsible financial reach. The one book I did get, The Silent Film, I was the sole bidder.
There was a companion auction that fall. I scanned and passed on all of the Gorey titles. A few books, a lot of paper. None of the books sparked with me. Of course it turns out that a book, The Dripping Faucet was picked up for $250 plus buyer's premium. Flash forward to February of this year. I went to a book show in Pasadena. I chatted with a book seller about his Gorey's for sale. Now I don't think he had a copy of  The Dripping Faucet, but he did explained the uniqueness and r…

West Side!

Not at Bouchercon this year and it is a bummer. There was a long layoff between my attendance at Indianapolis in 2009 and Long Beach last year. Of course being there reminded me of all things I love about Crime Fiction and Bouchercon. It is a great place to be among something I dearly love.
What is troubling as I look over Bouchercon past, present, and future is the startlingly few West coast B'Cons. Before Long Beach last year the last West coast B'Con was San Francisco in 2010. 
After Raleigh this year we are looking at New Orleans, Toronto, and St. Petersburg. After that there is a bid for Dallas in 2019, before we get a to possible Sacramento B'Con in 2020. 
Dating back to 2000 West Coast Bouchercons are a bit of rare bird. Long Beach in 2014, SF in 2010, Las Vegas in 2003. Thats it. Add Sacramento in 2020 and that is four Bouchercons in 20 years. Maybe that's just the way it shakes out. The very early years of B'Con are on the West Coast, so this is just the …