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Showing posts from December, 2009

Happy New Year...

The Hungry Detective wants to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. I'll have my best of 2009 post up on Saturday. Unfortunately, the holiday has meant that I will not be posting The Very Best of Robert Crais. I just did not have the time to invest while I was back in Janesville. I have rescheduled it for March 31. Stay safe everyone. See you in a couple days, and Happy New Year!!!

Winter Burr-view 2009-10 Edition

The Winter Preview shows up about a week late. I had an ambitious publishing schedule and it looks like I am going to keep to precious little of it. This Preview is fairly strong this year. Past Winter releases have struck me as a bit weak. Lots to look forward to here. I am super excited for Mr. Crais's latest, but also have strong interest in Ms. Armstrong's and Mr. Huston's books. If you have any Crime Fiction you are excited for do not hesitate to leave a comment. The Hungry Detective lays awake at night in utter terror of missing something good.

THE LOCK ARTIST - Steve Hamilton - January 5
If I had to choose a life of crime it would be as as a safe cracker. A highly skilled professional. No emotional entanglements. Steve McQueen cool. I'm guessing THE LOCK ARTIST will be a little more messy.

THE FIRST RULE - Robert Crais - January 12
The 2nd official Joe Pike book. I just called THE WATCHMAN the 10th best book of the decade so there is little doubt that is one of the …

Blood's A Rover - Review

I had decided not to write a review of BLOOD'S A ROVER. Why? In one word; Joan. Joan is also the one word that Mr. Ellroy has used to describe this book. She is the siren. Joan is the Helen of Troy or the Phyllis Dietrichson depending on your mood. The men of BLOOD'S ROVER are enraptured by her and struck dumb by her presence. And from this reader's prospective Joan is the character I could not discern from the two other poorly written female characters. Joan is the women all of your friends find fabulously attractive, smart, funny and that you find dull, arrogant, and a bore. I just don't see the attraction, and because her character is driving the action of most of the other characters, BLOOD'S A ROVER does not shine as brightly as it could or should.

However, books like this don't come around often. Typing out some number of words is required here. And while I have my problems with Chapter Two and Three in the Underworld series, the LA Quartet is a shinning …

Is it 'Aughts' or 'Oughts' - The Best of the Decade Pt. II

Better late than what quite possibly could have been never. I found the whole task of formulating and compiling this list to be not very enjoyable. Ugh. Not sure why this list proved laborious to produce. Holidays are not a good time for anything except opening gifts... like a 47" LG LCD television.

Let's quit with the complaining and finish the list. If you started here you should go back to the beginning.

5. DIRT - Sean Doolittle (2001)
This was a real toss up for me. I could just as easily gone with the funny and brutal THE CLEAN UP. DIRT gets it by a nose because a lot of what I enjoy about Crime Fiction is discovery. THE CLEAN UP is a great book, one that you should read, but I knew it was going to be good going in. Mr. Doolittle is a terrific writer of human frailty. DIRT contains one of the great truisms of human behavior that we frantically keep secrets from our closest friends and family while just as equally hoping these secrets will be discovered and accepted. I think…

Is it 'Aughts' or 'Oughts' - The Best of the Decade Pt. I

I know, I know. I have left a ton of things off the list. In ten years I'm guessing I have read around 300 books and that is not a lot. Many of the great books of the 'aughts' were sadly un-read by The Hungry Detective. Biggest regrets are that I only read one Laura Lippman and not enough Pelecanos. But, I shouldn't regret what I don't know. What I do know is I have had the opportunity to experience some really wonderful crime fiction. This list, in two parts, is only a small part of it.

10. THE WATCHMAN - Robert Crais (2007)
Balls out the decades best opening 25 pages. I don't buy hyperbole like 'pulse pounding excitement' or 'a nerve jangling thrill ride, but all of those adjectives apply to this book. The 'first' Joe Pike did not disappoint. THE WATCHMAN accomplishes the difficult balancing act of letting us in to Joe Pike's world without him losing any of his mystery or menace. Mr. Crais has been writing at such a high level for such…

The Long Division - Review

World-wide corporate headquarters for The Hungry Detective is located in Rochester New York. If you know Rochester, and the surrounding Syracuse and Buffalo area it would not surprise you that few author make use of the barren rust belt landscapes of Western New York. That is unless you are a practitioner of the neo-noir from the last half of this decade. When the occasional book does come across the transom it is always exciting to reading about the region of your home.

Mr. Nikitas's Edgar nominated first book, PYRES,  was set in his home town of Rochester. This peaked my interest immensely, but my discovery of Mr. Nikitas's origin was only after I had picked up his second, THE LONG DIVISION. Acquiring a copy of PYRES without the involvement of satellite libraries in the Monroe County Library system, proved difficult. PYRES will have to wait. THE LONG DIVISION will suffice even though the setting for this book has moved to the Southern Tier of New York. Trust me it is all stil…

He said, She said, We said, What Up with That?

As The Hungry Detective begins to look forward to the end of year I have planned a somewhat busy slate of offerings. I will have a small handful of reviews, and  the Winter '09-'10 book preview to deliver. I am also working on another 'The Very Best of' list this time featuring Robert Crais. But the biggest news is that December means it is a time to readdress the year. I will provide not only a 'Best of 2009' list but a 'Best of the Decade' list. And yes, I realize the decade ends next year, but last time I checked this was a Crime Fiction blog, not a calendar blog.

The 'Best of the Decade' list will be 10 books delivered in two posts. Six through ten and then One through five a few days after that. I am 99% sure of what number one is going to be and if you have paid attention at all to this blog I really don't think it is that hard to figure out . In fact, I may have referred to this book as the best book of decade already. Maybe I should …

Book Giveaway - Ian Vasquez

Some very nice people have asked me to pass along the opportunity to win a couple books from writer Ian Vasquez. You might recall that Mr. Vasquez was the winner of the Shamus Award for his first novel, IN THE HEAT, at the Indy B'Con. Well, you can win signed copies of this book and his latest, LONESOME POINT.  Read the details below. And I wish you good luck.


To celebrate Ian Vasquez's "Best First P.I. Novel" Shamus Award, Regal Literary is giving away five signed copies of both the winning novel, In the Heat, and Lonesome Point, Ian's latest novel.

All you have to do to enter the contest is join Ian's Facebook page and send an email to vasquez@regal-literary.com with the subject line "I'm a Facebook Fan!" by December 31.

Ian's Facebook Page - Ian's Homepage - Lonesome Point Video