Just finished Lawrence Block’s Girl with the Long Green Heart. LB is one of those writers I have a personal connection with (Tim Dorsey, Rick Bragg, and Ace Atkins, being the others I am on a first name basis with), and like the others, with the exception of Rick, it is a complicated relationship. I met LB when I interviewed him for a feature in my long defunct newspaper, Abundance. In advance, I had read his latest Bernie novel, I hated it. but in the course of the interview he suggested I might like his more hard boiled series. The first such book of his I read was When the Old Ginmill Closes. he was right, I liked it much better. I did not find him a very interesting interviewee, but have enjoyed a few of his books along the way. Girl with the Long Green Heart is a fun Grift with a Twist from the 1960s (by the way, I think he and Dick Francis both did some of their best work back then).
Now I am on to another book with two strikes against it. Robert B Parker was one of my favorite non literary writers, He passed away recently and I was sad to think I would never have the pleasure of a romp down Boylston Street. Another writer that I interviewed for his debut novel, Ace Atkins (Cross Road Blues was a kinda fun, set in the Delta and New Orleans, think Carl Hiaasen meets James Lee Burke), Sadly, I tried to read more of his work and found it to be too much Hiaasen and not enough Burke. I gave up on him after Leaving Trunk Blue and Dark End of the Street. Someone here mentioned that Ace was now doing those horrible continuation novels for Parker, and he wasn’t bad. As it turns out, I like Ace better as Parker than himself! Maybe not better than Parker, but Parker being dead isn’t much of a writer anymore. Halfway thru Wonderland and enjoying it! have another Ace on the floor of my car, waiting to finish Wonderland.
I am thinking Iraq may have completely fallen into the hands of Iraqis by the time I finish.
Now, for a little silliness. A few years ago, our wonderful group, Batter than Starbucks composed a faux novel, a thriller about coffee, believe it or not!