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Farewell, My Lovely - Raymond Chandler Farewell, My Lovely - Raymond Chandler

Moose Malloy. The second Philip Marlowe book. It became Murder, My Sweet the movie. Good movie. Another movie in the 70s with Robert Mitchum. I even listened to the radio eps that were good too. Never read the book and found my vintage paperback in poor condition.

Greeks Bearing Gifts - Philip Kerr Greeks Bearing Gifts - Philip Kerr

I had no idea that Mr. Kerr had died in March. He was 62. This library book is the 2018 Bernie Gunther. I still have several of the earlier ones after Berlin Noir that I haven’t read. Good series.

Bad News by Donald Westlake and The Sun Chemist by Lionel Davidson Bad News by Donald Westlake and The Sun Chemist by Lionel Davidson

A couple of library books I grabbed the other day. Dortmunder and pals do a little grave robbing in Bad News from 2001. One of only three in the series I haven’t read. And Lionel Davidson is one of my favorite unknown and underrated quirky thriller writers. This has a lot of chemistry about a secret process to convert…

Seveneves - Neal Stephenson Seveneves - Neal Stephenson

Library book from early in the week lasted two days (240 p.), so I went looking for something with a little more heft. Originally I was trying to find Colleen McCullough Rome series but they had none. I knew Neal Stephenson wouldn’t let me down on the page count. 861 pages. I made a substantial dent on day one with…

Three Stations - Martin Cruz Smith Three Stations - Martin Cruz Smith

When I returned the movies to the library today I went and found the only Arkady Renko book I haven’t read, Three Stations. The last two are the only two I don’t have copies of. Tatiana I also read from the library. A suspicious death that only Arkady finds suspicious.

Books Set on Trains Books Set on Trains

Nearly finished with Breakheart Pass, which is only 178 pages long. The best thing about it is the mountain train setting. The Paul Theroux train books are favorites, The Old Patagonian Express, The Great Railway Bazaar. And Kahawa by Donald Westlake. Stealing a trainload of coffee from Idi Amin.

Breakheart Pass (1975) Breakheart Pass (1975)

I picked up the Alistair MacLean book again the other night. Later period MacLean gets a little shaky but this was still in a good period. I like when he lays everything out in a diagram, it takes place on a train, so he shows who or what is supposed to be where. The movie is a little underrated and forgotten. Great…

Havana Bay - Martin Cruz Smith Havana Bay - Martin Cruz Smith

The fourth Arkady Renko novel (1999). Trade paperback from Barnes & Noble. I’ve only read this one once. I read Stalin’s Ghost again a couple of months ago. Renko is more depressed than usual while in Cuba. In fact, suicidal. I am a fan of this series that began with Gorky Park.

Latter Year Dortmunder by Donald E. Westlake Latter Year Dortmunder by Donald E. Westlake

John Dortmunder. Watch Your Back!, The Road to Ruin, and now, What’s So Funny?. Impromptu Dortmunder kick of the later years. Very funny. The O.J. Bar & Grill makes me smile every time Dortmunder walks into it. For new people that is where all the jobs are planned, and in Watch Your Back! the mob has taken over the…

Cat Chaser - Elmore Leonard Cat Chaser - Elmore Leonard

I was looking for something by Leonard that I had not reread in a while. From 1982. Miami owner of the Coconut Palms Resort Apartments gets involved with a dangerous woman. 1989 movie directed by Abel Ferrara. Never seen it. I thought it was the one with David Caruso but that is Gold Coast, 1997 TV movie.

Background to Danger - Eric Ambler Background to Danger - Eric Ambler

AKA Uncommon Danger. 1937. I reread a couple of the older Amblers a year or two ago but I don’t think this was one of them. Also made into a movie with Sydney Greenstreet/Peter Lorre in 1943. Warner was trying to repeat the success of Casablanca.

A Coffin for Dimitrios - Eric Ambler A Coffin for Dimitrios - Eric Ambler

AKA The Mask of Dimitrios. A reread of the classic. Ambler perfected the thriller with his tales of intrigue. Trade paperback I got used at B & N for $4. The movie from 1944 has Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet.

A Man Without Breath - Philip Kerr A Man Without Breath - Philip Kerr

Finished The Long Goodbye. Already 300 pages into this one. From 2013. Hardcover bargain table find at B & N with the gift card. Bernie Gunther and the Katyn Forest massacre. Good, as usual. I have been reading the newer books in haphazard order.

The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler

And we’re back. No phone/internet since Sunday. Philip Marlowe from 1953. I have a beat up Ballantine paperback with a stamp in the back cover from BOOKS R US, New and Used Books, Mandeville, La. Not where I purchased it. The Altman movie has some detractors among Chandler fans and crime fiction buffs who think…

The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler

I have the ugly 1978 movie tie-in paperback with Mitchum. 50 cents. Never read it. It’s funny. Chandler’s language is a little more colorful than Hammett. Certain things in the plot didn’t make it into the movie version, or were obscured, b/c of the moral code. There is an ether scene for one thing. I did have a…

Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett

The Hammett kick continues. His first book and based on his own experiences as a Pinkerton operative. God damn Pinkertons. Murdering scum is what they were. Hired thugs. Hammett was offered cash to kill a guy. The movie title Blood Simple is a quote from the book, “This damned burg’s getting me. If I don’t get…

The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett

I’ve never read it. The Glass Key was great. I have two copies of The Maltese Falcon. The omnibus edition and a hardcover from Knopf, 1966, that was part of a set. I found The Big Sleep and The 39 Steps with it. Just looked it up and it’s worth about $20 because it’s nice. A first edition of Maltese Falcon is…

Master and Commander - Patrick O'Brian Master and Commander - Patrick O'Brian

First in a long series of beloved sea tales. I only have the one. Trade paperback from a book fair. Fans are rabid about this series. Made into a decent movie with Crowe but those rabid fans are not satisfied. I spent some time on Wiki just reading about the sails and rigging. Lots of nautical terms.

The Glass Key - Dashiell Hammett The Glass Key - Dashiell Hammett

Hammett omnibus Book Club edition from the 60s. The Glass Key was published in Black Mask (four parts) in 1930. I could only find part two online and it was priced over $1000. Don’t throw out those old magazines.

Solo - William Boyd Solo - William Boyd

Bond is back. 007. 2013 version by William Boyd. I am a fan of some of his earlier work (An Ice-Cream War). Partially set in Africa and Boyd lived there and has used the setting before. It’s pretty good. Reviews were mixed. Not whiz bang like the movies so I wonder if people were expecting more action.

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