Dolan, Harry. The Last Dead Girl.

NY: Putnam, 2014.

Dolan, who has written two first-rate murder mysteries featuring magazine editor David Loogan of Ann Arbor, has found a novel way to avoid (for now) simply turning out a third episode: He takes his protagonist back more than a decade, to 1998, when his name was still David Malone and he was living in Rome, New York. So Malone’s personality and ways of dealing with the world are pretty much the same, even though the setting is entirely different.



Lehane, Dennis. Moonlight Mile.

NY: Morrow, 2010.

Back in 1998, four-year-old Amanda McCready was kidnapped for her own good (really), and Boston private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro got her back and returned her to her waste-of-space mother. Or rather, Patrick did the right thing in terms of the law. Angie left him because he had also done the wrong thing, morally.


Published in: on 19 December 2012 at 6:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Abercrombie, Joe. The Blade Itself.

(The First Law, Book 1) Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2007.

It used to be, and not all that long ago, that “fantasy” meant Tolkien. And maybe C. S. Lewis. And then, around the late 1970s, a whole slew of new varieties of fantasy rather suddenly began to appear — darker, sometimes in an urban setting, featuring protagonists who weren’t especially high and noble, nor clothed in glittering raiment and carrying shining swords.


Fraser, George MacDonald. Flashman on the March.

NY: Knopf, 2005.

Generally speaking, I have quite enjoyed the dozen or so volumes of “The Flashman Papers.” Now and then, the plot or the action falls down a bit but Fraser usually maintains control of his narrative overall and creates fascinating characters, most of them based on real people. So I don’t know what is about this volume but it didn’t do a thing for me.


Sansom, C. J. Sovereign.

NY: Viking, 2006.

Matthew Shardlake, property lawyer in 16th century London, was once an avid Reformer but in the first two books in this excellent series, he got too close to Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, and the other powers in Henry VII’s government and now he has mostly lost what faith he had and is very tired of Tudor religious politics, not to mention the vicious venality practiced by those involved in it.