Cornwell, Bernard. Warriors of the Storm.

NY: HarperCollins, 2016.

Cornwell has been following known history pretty closely in his excellent series about the gradual making of England in the 8th century, but there are lots of natural gaps and lulls in that history, so this ninth installment is almost entirely fictional for a change.


Griffith, Nicola. Stay.

NY: Random House, 2002.

This is the second novel about Aud Torvingen, six-foot-tall Atlanta ex-cop, private investigator, self-defense and martial arts expert, new multimillionaire by inheritance, Lesbian, and experienced killer (“violence is a tool like any other”), whom we first met in The Blue Place. And it’s a doozie.


Published in: on 22 August 2016 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Edmondson, Elizabeth. A Question of Inheritance.

Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2015.

This is the second in the author’s “Very English Mystery” series, set in the early 1950s in Britain and featuring semi-retired Secret Service agent Hugo Hawksworth, his adolescent sister, and Frey Wryton, all of them residents of Selchester Castle, a huge old place with a medieval core, but still in very good condition.


Appel, Allen. Till the End of Time.

NY: Doubleday, 1990.

The third book of this excellent time-travel trilogy — which turned out not be the last in what became a series, though it certainly felt like it at the time — puts Alex Balfour in the thick of World War II in the Pacific, beginning with Pearl Harbor and ending with ground zero at Hiroshima.


Crais, Robert. Stalking the Angel.

NY: Bantam Books, 1989.

The Elvis Cole/Joe Pike private eye novels have been called “smart guy noir” and that’s certainly the case in this second installment in the series. Elvis is definitely an oddball, with an office that sports a Mickey Mouse phone, a Pinocchio wall clock (the eyes move; “You go to the Pinkertons, they don’t have a clock like that”), a figurine of Jiminy Cricket, and a Spiderman coffee mug.


Edmondson, Elizabeth. A Man of Some Repute.

Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2015.

It’s always nice to discover a new mystery author and a new set of interesting characters living in a new setting. Edmondson has produced eight previous novels but this appears to be her first sort-of detective story, set in the early days of the Cold War.

So it’s 1953 in darkest England and Hugo Hawksworth is reporting for duty to the secret government department for which he works in a small town four hours from London.


Crais, Robert. The Monkey’s Raincoat.

NY: Bantam Books, 1987.

This is the first of the long-running Elvis Cole/Joe Pike detective stories and it’s a good starting place, too. Cole is a thirty-five-year-old Vietnam vet with a strong background in martial arts, a quirky personality, a taste for kitsch, and a sometimes peculiar sense of humor. He’s been a PI for eight years in partnership with Joe Pike, a highly laconic and extremely dangerous mercenary soldier.


King, Stephen. Mr. Mercedes.

NY: Scribner, 2014.

King has written a huge number of novels over the years, and while many of them are first-rate writing, most of them also are simply not to my taste. I don’t do horror, really, or stories about the supernatural. But this one is a considerable departure in that regard — except for the horror that people in the real world visit upon one other.


Published in: on 7 August 2016 at 3:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Appel, Allen. Twice Upon a Time.

NY: Carrol & Graf, 1988.

This is the second book of a very above-average time travel series, featuring New York history professor Alex Balfour, who can’t control when he will be yanked back to an earlier time or when he will return. But he has come to look forward, rather guiltily, to the alive-ness he feels adventuring in the past. There’s also the matter of his girlfriend, Molly, a New York Times reporter, with whom he has reestablished a relationship after a ten-year gap.


Russell, Alan. Guardians of the Night.

Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2014.

This is the second novel about Detective Michael Gideon, ex-K9 cop with the LAPD and now a “special cases” investigator, and his four-legged partner, Sirius. As with the previous volume, Gideon has two cases to deal with, the first involving the supposed murder of an “angel” as reported by a homeless man in Venice Beach.



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