The Devil’s Disciple by Shiro Hamao

Two very entertaining thriller/mysteries by an author you’ve probably never heard of translated here by J. Keith Vincent. Both stories, “The Devil’s Disciple” and the novella length “Did He Kill Them” are really psychological studies as much as noir detective thrillers. In both, the “killer” has already been caught so there’s not that much of investigating to be done.  However, in each the confession is … Continue reading The Devil’s Disciple by Shiro Hamao

Maigret in New York by Georges Simenon

The trouble with Maigret in New York is clearly stated in the title. Inspector Maigret should stay in France, preferable in Paris.  I suppose over the course of 75 novels Maigret was bound to leave the country at least once, but I much prefer him when he is at home. Certain books are associated with certain places–that becomes part of the fun, maybe part of the … Continue reading Maigret in New York by Georges Simenon

The Highwayman by Craig Johnson

I admit it. I have a thing for Netflix’s Walt Longmire. The strong, silent type–wounded by a tragic past–handsome in a casually masculine way suiting his late middle age.  He’s a sexier John Wayne without the political baggage. I cancelled Netflix after season three thinking that was all the episodes we were going to get only to find out last week that season four has … Continue reading The Highwayman by Craig Johnson

Roseanna by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

The fourth word in Roseanna by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo is “corpse.” There will be no beating around the bush in this mystery novel.  A victim, a detective and a suspect.  What more do you need?  No quirky characters.  No digressions about dog show politics or the history of Irish pub goers.  Just a crime and a detective trying to solve it.  If you … Continue reading Roseanna by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

Suspicion by Friedrich Durrnematt

Suspicion is the second of two novels featured in The Inspector Barlach Mysteries by Friedrich Durrenmatt published by The University of Chicago Press.  Getting your hands on a copy probably won’t be easy, but it will be worth the effort.  Both feature cynical, ailing Inspector Barlach, diagnosed with a terminal illness in The Judge and His Hangman, with just a few months left to live … Continue reading Suspicion by Friedrich Durrnematt

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon

I’m starting to re-think this thing. When Penguin announced they would publish all 75 of Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels in order, one per month over six years, I took on the challenge of buying and reading them all.  I’m a fan of Simenon and Inspector Maigret, the covers are really cool, each book is about 120 pages long which is just two days reading … Continue reading The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon

Bleedout by Joan Brady

Joan Brady, the only American author to ever win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, wrote one of my all-time favorite novels Theory of War. I had the good fortune to stumble upon Theory of War on the remainder table at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco well over 20 years ago, long before there were such things as book blogs. … Continue reading Bleedout by Joan Brady

P is for Peril by Sue Grafton

P is for Peril by Sue Grafton comes rather late in the author’s alphabet series.  Her detective Kinsey Milhone is well established by now, almost as comfortable a figure as Hercule Poirot, though much more hard-boiled.  I can’t say that there is anything new in P is for Peril.  Kinsey seems much like she’s always been, single, without a decent client, in between office locations, … Continue reading P is for Peril by Sue Grafton

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

How do you review a book that’s really just fun? I don’t mean to dismiss either fun or the book, but what do you do  when all you really have to say about a book is that you had a good time reading it? I had a very good time reading The Last Policeman, but I just don’t really have much to say beyond that. … Continue reading The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black is the debut crime novel by acclaimed Booker Prize winning author John Banville. Mr. Banville uses a pen-name here, but Christine Falls is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Christine Falls is a tightly written psychological mystery/thriller equal to the best of them. Benjamin Black may be the heir apparent to P.D. James’ throne. The story here concerns Quirke Griffin, … Continue reading Christine Falls by Benjamin Black