Ellery Queen takes a trip

The sleuth leaves the city behind to tackle a small-town family’s misery in ‘calamity town’ My mom had the Wrightsville Murders omnibus pictured at left on our bookshelves when I was growing up. It was a big heavy hardcover book containing three full-length Ellery Queen novels — Calamity Town, Crazy Like a Fox, and TenContinue reading “Ellery Queen takes a trip”

Illusions of safety and danger

Dennis Lehane dives deep in ‘Since We Fell’ Rachel Childs is a television journalist in Boston whose career is on a steep upward trajectory until she is sent to Haiti on assignment after the devastating 2010 earthquake. The horror she sees and experiences there leave her with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder thatContinue reading “Illusions of safety and danger”

The Irish Book of Job

John Boyne puts his hero through some heavy trials in ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ So many friends on LibraryThing have recommended John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies (Hogarth, 2017) to me, and one went so far as to send me a copy of the trade paperback (thanks, Amber!) It took me entirely too long toContinue reading “The Irish Book of Job”

‘Yells for Ourselves’ gets up close and personal with the NY Mets

Sports stories — and especially baseball stories — are written at certain altitudes, as it were. Some are written from 30,000 feet, taking a wide overview of what’s happening across a broad span of time. Some cruise along at a lower altitude, focusing on a particular team or player but still encompassing a number ofContinue reading “‘Yells for Ourselves’ gets up close and personal with the NY Mets”

Viral video opens old wounds in ‘The Hidden Things’

With The Hidden Things (Gallery Books, 2019) Jamie Mason has crafted a solid suspense thriller that is firmly rooted in contemporary culture. It all begins when 14-year-old Carly fends off a would-be attacker who follows her home from school. Their encounter in the front hallway of her family’s home is captured by the surveillance camerasContinue reading “Viral video opens old wounds in ‘The Hidden Things’”

Up in the air

Only Dick Francis could combine horses and air travel in such a fascinating way The most amazing thing about Rat Race, a 1970 mystery written by Dick Francis, is that it isn’t the only horse-racing mystery that Francis set in the world of aviation. Flying Finish, published four years earlier, delved into the world ofContinue reading “Up in the air”

You could look it up

Kory Stamper Shares Her Love For Language in the Delightful ‘Word by Word’ Every last syllable of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (Pantheon Books, 2017) is utterly delightful. You should seek it out and read it immediately. The End. OK, that’s not much of a review. Let’s try again. Kory Stamper is a lexicographerContinue reading “You could look it up”

Currently Reading, 8 July 2019

Something Old, Something New I start this post-holiday week with three books on the go: Rat Race by Dick Francis (originally published 1971 but I’m reading a brand-new ebook edition just published by Canelo) is a re-read for me. We’ve got a little group read going on over at LibraryThing where we will read oneContinue reading “Currently Reading, 8 July 2019”

Literary links

It’s a hot summer holiday weekend, and for me that usually means curling up in an air-conditioned safe space with a book. Maybe you prefer to turn the pages while lounging poolside or at a cabin by the lake. Wherever you’re going to be this weekend, here are some reading-related articles that caught my eye.Continue reading “Literary links”

Big things come in small packages

a family tragedy of the american west Montana 1948 (Milkweek, 2007) is a story of sibling rivalry, the malleability of the criminal justice system when it’s applied to people of color, the internal struggles that we all experience when it feels like the only way to do the right thing is by doing the wrongContinue reading “Big things come in small packages”