Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Monday, 30 December 2013
Old Fashioned Detective Work by Devon Ellington
One of a supernatural detective series, written with a sure touch. Jain Lazarus is a hexbreaker. This is a sequel to Hexbreaker. Blurb: Detective Wyatt East finds himself the primary suspect when hex breaker Jain Lazarus disappears after their romantic weekend in Vermont. In spite of these suspicions, Jain's boss, Maitland Stiles, hires Wyatt to track her down, forcing him to face aspects of his own painful past and revealing more about hers.
Lenin’s Harem by William Burton McCormick
Mcormick has produced a book of vast scope yet deep intimacy. His feeling for the period, the country and the Latvians and Russians shines through on every page of this first person narrative… A book of betrayal, survival, brotherhood, identity and love that will linger in the mind after the last page has been turned.
Bond on Bond by Roger Moore
Lavishly illustrated reminiscences and coverage of the Bond movies, with Moore’s usual tongue-in-cheek delivery. Amusing and interesting!
Roman Dalton by Paul Brazil
A collection of six short stories about a werewolf private detective in a nameless city, this is bound to appeal to a wide modern audience. It’s surreal, sleazy, dark, humorous, and a quick read, laced with music riffs. Brazil has a good ear for the amusing phrase, in the wisecracking private eye manner.
Holt County Law by Richard Prosch
Holt County has the potential to be a long-running series. As one dying man says, ‘Holt County’s a good place. There’s good people here. Don’t let a few bad apples (spoil it).’ The western will never die, because writers like Richard Prosch are able to enthral us with new stories about the Old West.Taggart by Louis L’Amour
Adam Stark’s found gold. But it’s in Apache country… On the run, Taggart stumbles upon Stark, his wife and sister and tensions mount between them all… with gold in the mix,
Sunday, 29 December 2013
SEPTEMBER WIND by Kathleen Janz-Anderson
Ron Ely, one of the many screen Tarzans, provides a Foreword in which he rightly states that he believes most of the films and TV productions misplaced the ape-man by putting him into contemporary society when the basic allure is the period he was created, the 1920s, an age when communication and travel were protracted and challenging; though the film Greystoke came close. It’s about time this great character was restored to his former glory, not as an adventurer in children’s fiction but as an exciting pulse-pounding adult hero, which was the original creation. Scott Tracy Griffin, a foremost expert on Edgar Rice Burroughs, has amassed a wealth of information about the ape man and his creator and provides insight into the creation of the novels.
This is a book to enjoy and treasure, a slice of cultural history. The full review can be read here
Saturday, 28 December 2013
Thursday, 26 December 2013
I continued to read Dennis Wheatley’s books, notably his Gregory Sallust adventures. He was a fictional spy even before James Bond came on the scene. The Scarlet Imposter (took place in August-November 1939, and was published in 1940), Faked Passports, The Black Baronness, V for Vengeance, and Come into my Parlour. I also read his Richleau novel set in WWII, Codeword Golden Fleece and his extraordinary Ka of Gifford Hillary.
At this time, some Edgar Rice Burroughs manuscripts were being released in paperback apparently for the first time, so I grabbed them from WH Smith’s at Waterloo Station on the way home on leave - Tarzan and the Madman, Tarzan and the Castaways and The Chessmen of Mars.
My Bones and My Flute (1955) is a haunting ghost story by Edgar Mittelholzer, an author I discovered with the book Kaywana Stock and others in the plantation series, which are sadly hard to get hold of these days...
The Ginger Man, J.P. Donleavy’s 1955 novel (once banned in Ireland and the USA for obscenity).
The year is 1930 and New York is a city on the edge. The Roaring '20s ended with the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression is only beginning. Banks are failing. Companies are closing their doors. Breadlines grow longer by the day. The only market making money is the black market: racketeering, rum running, and speakeasies. But when even those vices begin to weaken, the most powerful gangster on the Eastern Sea-board, Archie Doyle, sees the writing on the wall. He launches a bold scheme that, if successful, will secure his empire’s future beyond Prohibition. Beyond even the Great Depression.
But when a mysterious rival attempts to kill Doyle’s right hand man, a dangerous turf war begins to brew. With his empire under attack, Doyle turns to his best gun, former boxer Terry Quinn, for answers. Quinn must use his brains as well as his brawn to uncover who is behind the violence and why before Doyle’s empire comes crashing down.
Terrence McCauley whips up a fast paced pulp thriller ripe with Tommy-gun blasting hoods, corrupt cops and deadly dames in this original novel reminiscent of the classic gangster movies of old. Brilliantly illustrated by Rob Moran with designs by Rob Davis, PROHIBITION is a tough-guy blow to the literary gut readers will not soon forget. You can get this here
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
4, 14 and 25 December
News from the New World had to rely on sailing vessels and was slow until the telegraph was invented and laid across the Atlantic; but if you think that’s an amazing accomplishment, consider the Pacific Ocean – it’s enormous – yet the first telegraph cable was laid (14) across this vast expanse in 1902. Another method of passing messages over great distances was the semaphore, invented by Claude Chappe who was born on Christmas Day, 1763.
And on the same day in 1872 the crewless ship Marie Celeste was found, like something out of a science fiction movie; it was discovered relatively undamaged, having been abandoned for nine days.