These compelling profiles transcend sports

I started thinking seriously about journalism as a career in eighth grade. Specifically sportswriting, thanks to a discounted subscription to Sports Illustrated courtesy of the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. I always read it from cover to cover, even the articles about sports I didn’t care about or people I didn’t know. That was how I learnedContinue reading “These compelling profiles transcend sports”

A lot of hits and few errors in ‘The Cactus League’

Spring training is a time of hope and renewal in baseball, when fans of even the most inept teams allow themselves to dream that this might, at long last, be The Year. It’s no less so for the players themselves, and the other people whose lives revolve in and around the game. Emily Nemens’ TheContinue reading “A lot of hits and few errors in ‘The Cactus League’”

The magic’s in the fine print in ‘Ink & Sigil’

Aloysius MacBharrais has a problem. Every apprentice he’s taken on to learn his job as a sigil agent — essentially a human who “writes and enforces magical contracts using sigils, which are symbols infused with power that do some remarkable stuff” — has died in one type of accident or another. Seven of them, inContinue reading “The magic’s in the fine print in ‘Ink & Sigil’”

Nero and Archie are bullish on catching a murderer in ‘Some Buried Caesar’

It’s the late 1930s and the normally agoraphobic Wolfe has ventured out of his beloved New York City brownstone to upstate New York, where a feud with a fellow amateur orchid grower has provoked him to exhibit his prized albino hybrids at a county agricultural exhibition. He’s not looking for work, but when the scionContinue reading “Nero and Archie are bullish on catching a murderer in ‘Some Buried Caesar’”

Cold case heats up in ‘This Is How I Lied’

Eve Knox disappeared just before Christmas from her small town in Iowa. She was a high school sophomore, and her body was found later that night in a cave outside of town. Despite a number of suspects, including an abusive high-school boyfriend, the killer was never found. Now it’s 25 years later, and Eve’s bestContinue reading “Cold case heats up in ‘This Is How I Lied’”

They’re all good dogs in ‘Olive, Mabel & Me’

I really needed this book. It’s a gentle, often humorous and occasionally profound story of a man and his dogs, and a fair bit of mountain walking thrown in. If you were hanging around on Twitter last March, you may have come across a cute little video tweet featuring two dogs having an eating contest,Continue reading “They’re all good dogs in ‘Olive, Mabel & Me’”

Greed turns deadly in ‘The Benevent Treasure’

Candida Sayle and Stephen Eversley “meet cute,” as the kids say, when Candida gets stranded on an English beach as the high tide rolls in and threatens to drown her. At that exact moment, Stephen happens to be out birdwatching in a rowboat, as one does, and finds his damsel in distress clinging to aContinue reading “Greed turns deadly in ‘The Benevent Treasure’”

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”