Monthly Archives: December 2017

Out of Nowhere, by William Marshall

William Marshall’s Yellowthread Street mysteries are typically composed as multiple investigations happening in parallel, with one or two subplots being resolved in a way that is relevant to the main story thread. This in itself is nothing unusual, but the … Continue reading

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Road Show, by William Marshall

William Marshall’s Yellowthread Street mysteries are known for interleaving scenes of rather shocking violence with a fair amount of humorous exchanges among the detectives of the titular detective agency. I have found that the best parts often arise from the … Continue reading

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Brittle Innings, by Michael Bishop – part 2

I sat up. A pitchfork of lightning jabbed down on the house’s Alabama side. This post continues my overview of the 1994 Michael Bishop novel Brittle Innings. Since the novel features a significant reveal about one of its main characters … Continue reading

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Brittle Innings, by Michael Bishop – part 1

The novel-length science fiction of Michael Bishop tends to follow a pattern: a solitary, often rebellious, individual explores an alien culture and undergoes physical, emotional and intellectual transformations as a result. The process of making scientific breakthroughs – anthropology or … Continue reading

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Level 7, by Mordecai Roshwald

2017 marked the passing of a former officer of the Soviet Union Air Defense Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Y. Petrov. On September 26, 1983, the nuclear early-warning system reported the launch of a missile attack from the United States; years … Continue reading

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War Machine, by William Marshall

The Battle of Hong Kong (December 8-25, 1941) began only a few hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. To Americans, the colony’s fall on “Black Christmas” and subsequent occupation by the Japanese are obscure events compared to other battles … Continue reading

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The Rare Coin Score, by Donald Westlake (as Richard Stark)

The tightly-written, unforgiving heist novel is an enduring sub-genre of crime fiction, and Richard Stark’s Parker series just might be its most sustained multivolume representative. I would have to read the entire series to make that judgement. So far, all … Continue reading

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Sci Fi, by William Marshall

William Marshall’s Yellowthread Street series of detective novels are known for their humor, violence and nearly frenetic pace. Besides the debut Yellowthread Street, I thought The Hatchet Man delivered strongly on all three elements, while Skulduggery benefitted from a more … Continue reading

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When Gravity Fails, by George Alec Effinger

Science fiction and crime fiction are two genres with largely different traditional audiences, although there are many of examples of writers that have crossed the boundary between them. Asimov, Vance, Silverberg and Moorcock are all giants of SF who have … Continue reading

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The Crime at Black Dudley, by Margery Allingham

The rustic country mansion is a popular setting for murder mysteries – although I can only vaguely recall episodes of Murder She Wrote, the movie Clue, etc. Being na├»ve to this sub-genre of crime literature, I decided to pick up … Continue reading

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