Thursday, March 4, 2010

Falling behind

February being the shortest month really plays hell with ones reading schedule. I just finished a book I started in Feb yesterday so I still got 3 done if I go with the NPR pledge model of "if you initiate the call" it still counts in the time frame.

I waxed on about how much I loved The Real Cool Killers in a Friday's Forgotten Books post below so that is covered. I also finished:

A Shot In The Dark
by Richard Powell

I was a huge fan of Powell's Hard case Crime reissue Say It with Bullets so I jumped at the Stark House version of this and Shell Game. I chose the original cover over the boring Stark House version although I love that imprint for releasing all these great vintage pulps in double features. 
A Shot In The Dark was good, not great. It reminded me a little of the movie A Lady Without Passport in that it deals with immigration issues and is set in the deep south and Cuba. Powell's work is stripped down and simple but with some great great lines sprinkled in. I'll get to Shell Game soon but other books called.

I also detailed by frustrations at starting a book that didn't hold me so I quit it. That also threw a wrench in to my Feb reading. But then:

City of Dragons
by Kelli Stanley

I couldn't make it to the actual event when she did a signing here recently but I have a signed book anyway and I will get to meet Kelli when we are on a panel discussing Pulp Fiction at the Left Coast Crime convention next week.
This book is getting some great buzz and her style is right up my alley. It is a dense 1940s set P.I. story which isn't always my cup of tea but it had been a while so I was into it. Her main character is such a nice change from the norm too that it kept it fresh. No more so than her writing style.
Stanley has a way with Noir inspired descriptions and a real flare for putting you at the scene. Meticulously researched she sets the stage very well. I'm one for get on with it, let's start the story but every time I started to drift at the lengthy descriptions she would spice them with such great language that it held me and really set a mood. I can see why she is getting so much attention for this book. I'm sure it is going to be a series and I'm really excited to meet Kelli on our panel.

I'm only 35 pages in to The Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston and I already love it, but that's for next month. Let's hope I catch up. Time to reach for short books off the 'ol pile. I did just set myself back by ordering new books after I discovered a few gems in the Bargain Books section of Amazon. two Marcus Sakey's, a Steve Brewer, Anthony Neil Smith and Declan Burke. All for $26, the price of one hardcover. Too good to resist.

No comments: