Amy, who is your father? Nero Wolfe is on the case

I recently picked this up in an ebook sale, and while I have read it before it happens to be one I did not own in paperback so I’ve probably only read it once, many years ago. It’s a fine later (1968) entry in the series. The client is a young woman whose mother diedContinue reading “Amy, who is your father? Nero Wolfe is on the case”

Drowning in a ‘Long Bright River’ of addiction

Long Bright River by Liz Moore is an unflinching look at the opioid crisis through a dark lens. None of the characters conform to the usual stereotypes. Cops aren’t always heroes (or villains); addicts aren’t always dangerous or hopeless. Everyone has secrets and people are seldom what they appear to be at first glance. In that way,Continue reading “Drowning in a ‘Long Bright River’ of addiction”

‘A Fatal Lie’ untangles a family puzzle

As A Fatal Lie (2021) opens, it’s three years after the end of World War I and Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is again in the proverbial doghouse of his Superintendent, Markham. The antagonism between the two men once again sees Rutledge sent to a remote corner of the United Kingdom to investigate an unidentified body found floating in the RiverContinue reading “‘A Fatal Lie’ untangles a family puzzle”

‘The Marrow Thieves’ explores a dystopian indigenous world

What happens when we stop dreaming? And what if we could steal the dreams of someone else and take them for our own? Would we do it, even if it meant the destruction of the people we’re stealing from? That question is at the heart of The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (2017). This Young AdultContinue reading “‘The Marrow Thieves’ explores a dystopian indigenous world”

The ambiguities of race resonate in ‘Passing’

I wanted to read a classic of African-American literature during February and the solution was found when the New York Times Style Magazine’s T Book Club chose Passing (1929) by Nella Larsen as its monthly selection. The slim novel — really more of a novella — is set in the 1920s and explores the practicalContinue reading “The ambiguities of race resonate in ‘Passing’”

Mina Baites plays a bittersweet tune in ‘The Silver Music Box’

Johann Blumenthal is a German silversmith, a talented silversmith who counts both Gentiles and his fellow Jews among his regular customers in The Silver Music Box (2017) by Mina Baites. Filled with love for a homeland that doesn’t always love him back, he enlists in the German Army to fight in World War I. BeforeContinue reading “Mina Baites plays a bittersweet tune in ‘The Silver Music Box’”

Andy Weir’s Madcap Misadventures and Math on Mars

The Martian (2012) is the story of an astronaut on a manned mission to Mars who gets left for dead when his crewmates evacuate in a crisis. It has a lot of the elements that made me think I didn’t like science fiction for so long. Primarily, it has techno-babble. Lots and lots of techno-babble.Continue reading “Andy Weir’s Madcap Misadventures and Math on Mars”

Currently Reading, 8 March 2021

I generally stick to reading one book at a time, but this week I’ve got a couple on the go. One of them, Long Bright River by Liz Moore, is a 2020 novel exploring the ravages of addiction in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood, from the perspective of female police officer Michaela Fitzpatrick. Mickey, as she isContinue reading “Currently Reading, 8 March 2021”

The Three Investigators get their start in this children’s classic

With a reluctant helping hand from film director Alfred Hitchcock, no less The Secret of Terror Castle is the first case for the Three Investigators — aka Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews, teenage boys living in Southern California circa 1964. Mastermind Jupiter has recently won a contest that earned him 30 days ofContinue reading “The Three Investigators get their start in this children’s classic”