Saturday, October 2, 2010

Books Sept 2010

Another month down and a this time I managed to get through 5 books....

Lady Killer by Ed McBain
Lady Killer is the 7th of the 87th Precinct novels. It's a classic set up for a cop drama, early in the day a note is delivered to the front desk saying that someone is going to kill a lady at 8pm. The cast of
87th Precinct detectives have until 8pm to track down a killer, a lady and figure out what's going on-- or if the whole thing is a hoax. It might seem like a cliche today and it might have even been when the book was published in 1958, but McBain knows just how to play it. As with all of the early 87th Precinct books, it's also a hoot to see how limited and different the world of big city policing was over 50 years ago, and strange to realize how similar it is to what we have today.

33 1/3: Big Star Radio City by Bruce Eaton
The 33 1/3 books are a neat idea, slim volumes about 100 pages long about a single album. I have read a couple and they have all been enjoyable. This one covers the history and recording of the second album by the 70s Power Pop band Big Star. I don't know that I took away any insights about the album or band, but I understand the context of the events aroundthe album better now. I picked the book up becaue Big Star has long been one of those cult bands who I like a song here and there by, but overall they tend to not leave an impression on me. I was also looking for something more about the evolution of the Power Pop sound and movement (was there even one?). Over all another excellent
entry in the 33 1/3 collection. Now if I could just get my motivation up to write my 33 1/3 style book on the Screaming Trees album Dust.

Burglars can't be choosers by Lawrence Block
This was the first of the Bernie Rhodenbarr books. I had read a couple of the books in the series when I was in high school and college but have managed to collect most of the Rhodenbarr books in the last couple of years. The set up of this one is pretty straight forward. Bernie is hired to retrieve a a blue box from an upscale apartment, only to run into the police and a dead body... in that order. Bernie finds himself needing to figure out who killed the victim to keep himself out of the clink for murder. I liked it a lot, and hope to read the next book in the sequence soon.

Blackmailer by George Axelrod
This was my Hard Case Crime book for the month, and honestly it was ok. That's it, just ok. I enjoyed it enough to keep reading, but it felt a little lite and a little---- just there. The plot involves well, Blackmail, and the last book written by a well respect literary author who has died recently.

On the Run by John D MacDonald
From 1963-- On the Run is the story of... can you guess? Yeah a guy who has been on the run. His grandfather is dying and wants to see him and his brother one last time. I liked the travel stuff, and the set up of the crime elements, but the psychological and psycho-sexual stuff were fairly boring. It's been noted that the MacDonald view of women is archaic at best.

Thoughts, Comments, recommendations?


Cullen Gallagher said...

I've wanted to read Lady Killer for a while. I started going through the 87th Precinct series in order and really liked the first few. I'm not sure what interrupted me, but now I'm motivated to pick up where I left off.

Do you have any favorites from the series?

Iren said...


I've been reading them in order, and so far they have all been good. I did read Tricks back in the late 80s or 90s and liked it a lot.

I think there is a value in reading them in order, and I wish that someone would start issuing them in a Starkhouse like format with 2 or three in a volume.