Jul 282014
by Marv Lachman

MICHAEL INNES – A Night of Errors. Dodd Mead, US, hardcover, 1947. US paperback reprints include: Berkley F833, 1963; Penguin, 1966; Perennial Library, 1989 (shown). First UK edition: Gollancz, hardcover, 1948.

   In A Night of Errors by Michael lanes, the inspector who asks Sir John Appleby’s assistance says, “The whole thing is a nightmare. Three identical brothers creeping around the place with each other’s dead bodies! It’s like a drunken hallucination.”

   It’s certainly a hilarious farce, one which owes more than its similarity of title to Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors. One character is Romeo Dromio. There is also a thieving butler named Swindle, and Grubb, the gardener who “had long schooled himself in the prime duty of being disgruntled

   Besides the civilized dialogue and literary allusions we have come to expect from Innes, there are many plot surprises, as well as a fair and ingenious, if scarcely believable, solution.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 11, No. 3, Summer 1989.

 Posted by at 6:23 pm
Jul 282014
The next stop on the 2014 USA Fiction Challenge is the state of Louisiana.

New Orleans Mourning
by Julie Smith

When the smiling King of Carnival is killed at Mardi Gras, policewoman Skip Langdon is on the case. She knows the upper-crust family of the victim and that it hides more than its share of glittering skeletons. .......

It's Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and civic leader and socialite Chauncy St. Amant has been crowned Rex, King of Carnival. But his day of glory comes to an abrupt and bloody end when a parade-goer dressed as Dolly Parton guns him down. Is the killer his aimless, promiscuous daughter Marcelle? Homosexual, mistreated son Henry? Helpless, alcoholic wife Bitty? Or some unknown player? Turns out the king had enemies...

Enter resourceful heroine Skip Langdon, a rookie police officer and former debutante turned cynic of the Uptown crowd. Scouring the streets for clues, interviewing revelers and street people with names like Jo Jo, Hinky, and Cookie, and using her white glove contacts, the post-deb rebel cop encounters a tangled web of brooding clues and ancient secrets that could mean danger for her, and doom for the St. Amants. 

 Printing History 
Written by Julie Smith (1944- )

St. Martin's Press
February 1990
ISBN 312 03892

 Posted by at 5:02 pm
Jul 282014

On Goodreads, you can enter to win a copy of A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES. Read it now before the movie comes out on September 19!

(In case you haven’t yet seen it, the movie trailer is below.)


Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Walk Among the Tombstones (Matthew Scudder) by Lawrence Block

A Walk Among the Tombstones (Matthew Scudder)

by Lawrence Block

Giveaway ends August 02, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win



Jul 282014
I am happy to announce this year's ReadWest Awards for Literary Excellence. Each year, the ReadWest Foundation, Inc., chooses three award recipients for "Excellence in Western Literature," and a Presidents Award for a "Significant Career Contribution to Western Literature." In the past ReadWest has honored best-selling authors such as Stephen Harrigan, Thomas Cobb, Kat Martin, and Craig Johnson.
Jul 282014
The Revenger #2: Fire In The Streets, by Jon Messmann June, 1974  Signet Books A year after the events of The Revenger, mule-headed hero Ben Martin now lives as “Ben Markham” in Chicago, denying himself memories of his former life and just trying to earn a living as a manager at a meat-processing factory. Soon enough though he’s once again going up against the Mafia, in a novel that almost
Jul 282014

The problem was that nothing about the murder made sense to Inspector Maigret. Monsieur Gallet had been shot, the bullet clearly fired from outside his window. But he died of stab wounds. He died in Sancerre, but he had just sent a postcard to his family from Rouen, some 200 miles away. He seemed to be nearly penniless, but he had provided an insurance policy that would pay his wife 300 thousand francs.

There was quite clearly a great deal that Maigret didn't know about The Late Monsieur Gallet, which was the name of Georges Simenon's second (or perhaps third) book about Inspector Jules Maigret. Originally published in 1931, it has been reissued by Penguin, which is republishing all of Simenon's Maigret novels. The publisher provided a copy for this review. The full review can be heard on today's Classic Mysteries podcast, and you can listen to it by clicking here.

Maigret found the case of the murder of Monsieur Gallet to be difficult. Every time he thought he was making some progress, some other odd facet of the case would turn up, and Maigret would find himself having to begin all over again. That oddity, that wrongness about the case, will eventualy prove the key to the whole mystery.

This is early Maigret, and the overall tone is quite dark. There's not much in the way of happy endings available here. The new translation by Anthea Bell sometimes seems a bit awkward to me - it sounds like a translation rather than more colloquial English, but it's quite serviceable and transmits the events and characters quite well. It's a pretty short book, and I think it's worth your reading time.

Thanks to Sally Powers and the I Love a Mystery newsletter, where a version of this review first appeared, for allowing me to use it here as well.

The Challenge

As part of my continuing commitment to the Vintage Mystery Bingo Reading Challenge under way at the My Reader's Block blog, I am submitting this to cover the Bingo square calling for one translated work. For details about the challenge, and what I'm doing for it, please click here!

Jul 282014
I've been vaguely aware of Brad R. Torgersen's name for several years now and knew he's a science fiction writer, but I'd never read any of his work because I just don't read much modern SF. I'm trying to change that, so I picked up LIGHTS IN THE DEEP, the first collection of Torgerson's stories, including two that are nominated for the Hugo Award this year and one that was nominated for the

Eerie final footage of The Last Tiger

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Jul 282014

:: For a limited time only, THE LAST TIGER, is available as part of Amazon's Summer Sale at the low price of £0.99.

"The Last Tiger presents the reader with a unique storyline that takes historical fiction to a new dimension."
                                 -Col Bailey, author of Shadow of the Thylacine