Recently Read - 12th May 2008

Here's a list of the books I've recently read, with an Amazon-style star rating and a few comments.

  • Florentine Finish - Cornelius Hirschberg

    Won the Edgar for best first mystery in 1964

  • The Drowning Pool - Ross Macdonald

    The second Lew Archer novel from 1950. Another hard-boiled P.I. story.

  • Ripley's Curioddities - Ripley Publishing

    See a previous post on this one.

  • Shake Hands For Ever - Ruth Rendell
  • Speaker of Mandarin - Ruth Rendell
  • A Guilty Thing Surprised - Ruth Rendell

    Three more Inspector Wexford novels. I'm usually pretty good at following all the clues and having a fair idea who the villain is by the end of the book, but I totally missed the ending for Shake Hands For Ever.

  • The Atlantic Abomination - John Brunner
  • Entry To Elsewhen - John Brunner

    Two minor works by John Brunner.

  • Playback - Raymond Chandler
  • The High Window - Raymond Chandler

    Two more novels by Chandler. I just have one left to read now. Playback was his last (if you don't count Poodle Springs that Parker finished). Both Marlowe and Chandler were just going through the paces at the end. Weary. Burned out.

  • Dead Famous - Ben Elton

    "One house, ten contestants, thirty cameras, forty microphones, one murder...and no evidence."

    This was a real page-turner. I lost a lot of sleep on it. If you can get past the continual swearing and the too-hip language then you are going to love the classic murder mystery "you're probably wondering why I invited you all here" ending.

  • The Full Catastrophe - David Carkeet

    What happens when a linguist moved in with a married couple to help them with their troubled marriage. Very funny at times and unerringly accurate.

  • Rumpole of the Bailey - John Mortimer

    You've probably heard of the Six Degrees of Separation. Well there are only two degrees between me and this author. My step-mother's first husband taught art to the daughter of John Mortimer. How about that! Almost like family.

    I loved the old TV series with Leo McKern. Time to read the books as well.

  • Armageddon In Retrospect - Kurt Vonnegut

    I see the Vonnegut Estate has swung into action and released a thin expensive hardcover of some of Kurt Vonnegut's previously unpublished work. These are stories about war and peace and are mostly fiction.

  • Down And Out In The Year 2000 - Kim Stanley Robinson

    I find Robinson hard to read. There's no doubt he's an excellent writer (and some of the stories in this collection, like The Blind Geometer really show that), but because I struggle with him, I still haven't read his Mars trilogy. I was hoping that I could ease myself back into his style with this book. It didn't work. Red Mars has been shelved again.

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