Thursday, September 13, 2007


(Lovesey, listed below)

Featured Selections:

ARNOTT, JAKE >> HE KILLS COPPERS >> $6; from Sceptre and a master of the form, a return to the world of 1960s gangsters, this time focusing on the cops as well as the thieves and taking us effortlessly from the 1966 World Cup to the 1980s and Thatcherism.

LOVESEY, PETER >> THE LAST DETECTIVE >> $6; from Soho Crime, a Peter Diamond mystery. Diamond is among my favorite detectives, and this is a classic by any meaning of the term. I'd tell you more, but my butt is beginning to hurt, sitting here typing up info on all of these books. Trade paperback.

Mystery HC/TP//Mass Market (all in very good or excellent shape unless noted; also, you may find mysteries or thrillers in other sections, like Oddities-Rarities)

Mystery Fiction Hardcovers (all with dust jackets in excellent condition unless otherwise noted)

FAHERTY, TERENCE >> DIE DREAMING >> $5; new from St. Martin's Press, in pristine condition, first edition, first printing, 1994: Faherty's "metaphysical" detective series, in which Our Hero goes to his high school reunion and a whole butt-load of weird stuff happens. Recommended.

IZZI, EUGENE >> THE CRIMINALIST >> $8; new from Avon, in pristine condition, first edition, first printing: "An unrivaled craftsman and brilliant chronicler of life in the urban darkness has created an unforgettable novel of men who break the law, men who are broken by it, and those who have to pick up the pieces. 'Everyone is guilty of something.' That's the unspoken credo of the Chicago Police Department. Innocence is something that must always be proven. And even then it is suspect."

KEATING, H.R.F. >> DEAD ON TIME >> $5; new from Mysterious Press, in pristine condition, first edition, first printing: a classic from the writer who focused on India as a setting. In this one, Keating's ingenious detective doubts a confession. Exotic and lively writing. Recommended.

KEATING, H.R.F. >> INSPECTOR GHOTE GOES BY TRAIN >> $3; from The Thriller Book Club: a classic from the writer who focused on India as a setting. Recommended.

RICKMAN, PHIL >> THE SMILE OF A GHOST >> $9; new from Macmillan, in pristine condition, 2005: the horror writer turned to mysteries. A Merrily Watkins mystery set in a small town with three murders for Watkins to solve. A good writer, a good, entertaining read.

SMITH, ALEXANDER MCCALL >> IN THE COMPANY OF CHEERFUL LADIES >> $10; new from Pantheon, in pristine condition, first edition, first printing, 2004: In the newest addition to the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the charming and ever-resourceful Precious Ramotswe finds herself overly beset by problems. She is already busier than usual at the detective agency when added to her concerns are a strange intruder in her house on Zebra Drive and the baffling appearance of a pumpkin. And then there is Mma Makutsi, who decides to treat herself to dance lessons, only to be partnered with a man who seems to have two left feet. Nor are things running quite as smoothly as they usually do at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. Mma Ramotswe's husband, the estimable Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is overburdened with work even before one of his apprentices runs off with a wealthy woman. But what finally rattles Mma Ramotswe's normally unshakable composure is a visitor who forces her to confront a secret from her past.

Mystery Fiction Trade Paperbacks

BLACK, CARA >> MURDER IN THE MARAIS >> $4; from Soho Crime, the adventures of a half-French, half-American detective in Paris, who is approached by a rabbi to decipher a 50-year-old encrypted photograph. She has a partner who is a "dwarf with extraordinary computer skills," which always helps.

BONFIGLIOLI, KYRIL >> THE MORTDECAI TRILOGY >> $2; from Black Spring, a trilogy of funny crime novels from a master stylists. This copy is a bit beat up, but, hey, it's still three novels in one. Blurbed by Stephen Fry.

HANSEN, JOSEPH >> THREE DAVE BRANDSTETTER MYSTERIES >> $6; from Quality Paperback Book Club, you get three in one (Skinflick, Gravedigger, and Nightwork), all featuring Brandstetter, an insurance investigator, in a series that has achieved classic status

KOPPERUD, GUNNAR >> THE BACKPACKER'S FATHER >> $4; Bloomsbury, with a few dog-eared pages, a brooding novel about a man trying to find his daughter on a remote island in the middle of political repression. Very odd, sometimes surreal. Worth checking out.

LIMON, MARTIN >> SLICKY BOYS >> $5; from Soho Crime, what's worse than a rogue army cop--try two rogue army cops, in this mid-1970s Korean crime thriller...

SMITH, ALEXANDER MCCALL >> THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY >> $4; from Anchor Books, the first of the beloved mystery series. (If you want to buy all three together, we'll knock it down to $10.)

SMITH, ALEXANDER MCCALL >> TEARS OF THE GIRAFFE >> $4; from Anchor Books, the third of the beloved mystery series.

SMITH, ALEXANDER MCCALL >> MORALITY FOR BEAUTIFUL GIRLS >> $4; from Anchor Books, the third of the beloved mystery series.

SJOWALL, MAJ AND WAHLOO, PER >> ROSEANNA >> $2; from Vintage, a classic Martin Beck mystery, one of my favorites series. Alas, someone has scrawled a line in magic marker across the front; otherwise, fine.

STEINHAUER, OLEN >> THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS >> $5; from Random House UK, set in an anonymous totalitarian country, with a detective being undermined by his fellows and set up for a fall in a case involving a famous person; creepy and atmospheric

TEMPLE, PETER >> BLACK TIDE >> $4; from Text Publishing, a Jack Irish thriller, a distinctly urban Australian series that rips, crackles, and snorts with a delicious pace, according to Age, although I wasn't sure if they meant the book or a combination of a roasting pig and a galloping horse. Still, I like Temple. You should give him a try.

VAN DE WETERING, JANWILLEM >> TUMBLEWEED >> $5; from Soho Crime, another of the classic Grijpsira and DeGier mysteries, set in Holland

VAN DE WETERING, JANWILLEM >> THE CORPSE ON THE DIKE >> $5; from Soho Crime, another of the classic Grijpsira and DeGier mysteries, set in Holland, this time with a corpse--found on the dike!

Mystery Fiction Mass Market Paperbacks

CHESBRO, GEORGE C. >> CITY OF WHISPERING STONE >> $3; from Dell, a classic Mongo the dwarf mystery. Chesbro is not the best stylist, but these are strange, great mysteries and you should try them. I gobbled them all up when I first encountered them.

CONNELLY, MICHAEL >> THE CONCRETE BLONDE >> $4; from St. Martin's, another of the Harry Bosch mysteries, this time about a serial killer named The Dollmaker. In perfect condition. I love this series.

CONNELLY, MICHAEL >> THE BLACK ICE >> $3; from St. Martin's, a Harry Bosch mystery in which he must investigate an apparent suicide by a homicide detective that leads to a bloody string of murders. Great series.

CONNELLY, MICHAEL >> THE LAST COYOTE >> $3; from St. Martin's, a Harry Bosch mystery in which he's on the edge and might just go over it, trying to solve an unsolved crime from 1961.

CONNELLY, MICHAEL >> ANGELS FLIGHT >> $3; from Warner, yet another satisfying Harry Bosch mystery, this time about a murdered activist attorney, which Bosch takes on just as his marriage is unraveling. Connelly always delivers the goods.

DUNNING, JOHN >> BOOKED TO DIE >> $2; from Avon, another of the Cliff Janeway mysteries. Janeway is a bookman and most of the mysteries focus on some aspect of books. If you haven't checked them out yet, here's a good place to start at low risk. Ann and I really like this series.

HART, ERIN >> HAUNTED GROUND >> $3; from Pocket, a refreshing change of pace, in which a pathologist and archaeologist team up to solve a murder in the Irish peat bog.

KEATING, H.R.F. >> THE BAD DETECTIVE >> $2; from Pan Macmillan, the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award Winner starring Jack Stallworthy as a corrupt detective who is offered a deal he can't refuse in return for stealing a file, which only gets him deeper and deeper in trouble. A careful and dangerous character study.

LIPMANN, LAURA >> THE LAST PLACE >> $3; from Avon, another entertaining mystery-thriller from the bestselling author, featuring Tess Monaghan on the trail of a psychopath in Baltimore.

LIPMANN, LAURA >> BUTCHER'S HILL >> $2; from Avon, with Tess Monaghan having left the newspaper and become a private eye. She takes on the case of a former vigilante just in time for the former witnesses to start dying. And that's just the start of a complex Baltimore mystery.

LIPPMAN, LAURA >> IN BIG TROUBLE >> $3; from Avon, a Tess Monaghan mystery set in the streets of Baltimore, a big favorite of Ann's.

LIPPMAN, LAURA >> CHARM CITY >> $3; from Avon (and in pristine condition), it's another Monaghan mystery, this time revolving around the death of a business tycoon.

MCCLURE >> THE GOOSEBERRY FOOL >> $2; from Pantheon, a mystery featuring Tromp Kramer and his Bantu assistant Mickey Zondi. Set in Africa, great stuff about the murder of a civil servant.

PARKER, T. JEFFERSON PARKER >> BLACK WATER >> $2; from Hyperion Books, featuring the return of detective Merci Rayborn, a complex and interesting cop, in a manhunt that leads many questioning her abilities. I like Parker a lot. Came to him late but have read a lot now.

SJOWALL, MAJ AND WAHLOO, PER >> COP KILLER >> $3; from Vintage, the classic Martin Beck police mystery set in Sweden. These mysteries are so evocative of Sweden and such great stories--among my favorites of all time. Check it out if you haven't read Beck before.

SLAUGHTER, KARIN >> A FAINT COLD FEAR >> $3; from Harper, a big, thick mystery-thriller from the bestselling author, featuring medical examiner Sara Linton. A satisfying read set in a small town, concerning a horribly mutilated corpse and some supposed suicides.