I love the idea of Doc Savage.A man trained from birth to build his mind and body to perfection, in order to pursue a life of adventure and righting wrongs. A man surrounded by top minds in numerous fields, each an expert in one or more areas of science or engineering or some other useful … Continue reading “The Man of Bronze,” by Lester Dent, or How in the Bloody Hell Did This Series Sell So Well?
Take Ed McBain's 87th Precinct thrillers. Add first-person narrative from a smart, and funny, lead detective. Mix in a few large vodka gimlets and dark stouts, then set it all down in Ireland in 1981, when hunger strikes and protests lit a spark on the unrest fueled by political militias, gang violence and terrorism. All … Continue reading “The Cold Cold Ground,” by Adrian McKinty
So ... while working on the Spider John historical mysteries, I have been working on another potential series as well -- a modern-day crime series set in a fictional Ohio county. And I had a title for the work in progress on that second series. I was going to call it "Powder Keg," as the … Continue reading How Pirate Batman rescued me from a book title problem
I like a good spy novel, so when I found this book at a used-book store for a couple of bucks, I took a shot. I am glad I did. Set in the Soviet Union in the days of glasnost, the plot pits cold warriors in the United States and Russia against one another because, … Continue reading “An Agent in Place,” by Robert Littell, or Another Spy Writer for Me to Track
It is 1907 Los Angeles, and someone is killing prostitutes. It is not a series of crimes anyone seems eager to acknowledge, let alone solve. Everyone seems happy to suppose the deaths are all suicides. No, if anyone is going to get to the bottom of this case, it will be Anna Blanc, a ravishing … Continue reading “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc,” by Jennifer Kincheloe
In the 4th century B.C., a few moments of violence set two young men on a collision course with one another. One, a Helot slave with much to avenge, escapes to join the Thebans who would throw off Spartan rule. The other, a Spartan, will move up in the ranks of diplomacy while seeking to … Continue reading “The Spartan Dagger,” terrific historical fiction by Nicholas Guild
At once an old-fashioned demonic possession story and a highly modern disruption of the genre, this book started off as a slow build and ramped up to a real page-turner. The characters seem very, very real, and the plot kept me wondering what was really, really happening all the while. I love the way the … Continue reading “A Head Full of Ghosts,” by Paul Tremblay