Showing posts with label Sue Grafton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sue Grafton. Show all posts

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Linda Barnes, Stand Up Detective

Sue Grafton is not only one of my top three favorite authors, but she is my top favorite mystery author. The contemporary female private eye is my favorite sub-genre within the mystery field, and Grafton’s famous investigator, Kinsey Millhone, is easily my favorite mystery protagonist. I just simply identified with Millhone. Millhone was forward. She also had a loner-type personality, independence, and the matter-of-factness that I identified with from the first book, A is for Alibi. Nevertheless, as well all know, Grafton died four years ago as of my writing this. And with Grafton’s death went the last book in her Kinsey Millhone series, which would have been titled “Z is for…” presumably “Zero” (actually I think Grafton confirmed that “Zero” in an interview). Grafton’s death was a blow in all matters of mystery and literature in general. But, especially, to her fans.

But I am going to stop here, as after her death I decided to concentrate seriously on reading her peers. 2018 saw me smash through Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone series. 2019 saw me do the same with Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski series. Earlier this year I nailed Maxine O’Callaghan’s Deliah West series and finally finished P. D. James' second (and final) Cordelia Grey mystery. 2022 I have plans for reading another British author, Liza Cody. Cody's British private eye, Anna Lee, was making waves overseas during the beginning of Grafton, Warshawski, and O'Callaghan's stories. Nevertheless, there is one other Western author I had on my list to at least start in 2022. That is Linda Barnes and her Carlotta Carlyle female investigator (Barnes has an earlier series featuring a male investigator).

Honestly, it took me a while to find a quality copy of the first book, A Trouble of Fools. Finally, I did. Barnes' Carlotta Carlyle came out in 1987, five years after Grafton and Paretsky made waves. Therefore, Barnes/Carlotta definitely counts as a pioneer contemporary female investigator.

Thus, my journey to take on these ladies and their stories continue. Happily.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

NEW RELEASE ~ Borrowed Time by Tracy Clark (Spotlight on Sisters in Crime)


Gurllllll, Mrs. Clark got me getting off my tail to make (errr, upload) a video.  Anyway, we're back with Clark's former cop turned PI Chicago-based crime fighter, Cassandra (Cass) Raines in Borrowed Time.  Good times, baby.  Good.  TIMES!  Welcome to a second book, Mrs. Clark.  We're rooting for a 3rd.  4th.  5th.  6th.  7th.  Hell, all the way up to 82!

Tracy Clark's Cass Raines Chicago Mystery Series on Amazon 

Mini Amazon synopsis...

"Sitting in cold cars for hours, serving lowlifes with summonses . . . being a P.I. means riding out a lot of slow patches. But sometimes the most familiar paths can lead straight to danger—like at Cass’s go-to diner, where new delivery guy Jung Byson wants to enlist her expertise. Jung’s friend, Tim Ayers, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, has been found dead, floating in Lake Michigan near his luxury boat. And Jung is convinced there’s a murderer on the loose . . . "

What have I been up to lately on my blog Comic Towel?  Check these links out!

1.  GUEST POST: How to Always be on the Lookout for New Inspiration by Kelvyn Fernandes

2. CHOP IT UP: Call Numbers by Syntell Smith 

3.  David Weber's Honor Harrington Series HYPE (Yeah, a Book Haul of Sorts)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

OUT TUESDAY (5/28/2019)! Tracy Clark's New Release TIME (Sisters in Crime)


"In Tracy Clark’s electrifying new mystery featuring Cassandra Raines, the former Chicago cop turned private investigator looks into a suspicious death as a favor to a friend—and makes some powerful enemies . . .
Sitting in cold cars for hours, serving lowlifes with summonses . . . being a P.I. means riding out a lot of slow patches. But sometimes the most familiar paths can lead straight to danger—like at Cass’s go-to diner, where new delivery guy Jung Byson wants to enlist her expertise. Jung’s friend, Tim Ayers, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, has been found dead, floating in Lake Michigan near his luxury boat. And Jung is convinced there’s a murderer on the loose . . . 
Cass reluctantly begins digging only to discover that Jung neglected to mention one crucial fact: Tim Ayers was terminally ill. Given the large quantities of alcohol and drugs found in his body, Ayers’ death appears to be either an accident or suicide. Yet as much as Cass would like to dismiss Jung’s suspicions, there are too many unanswered questions and unexplained coincidences.   
Why would anyone kill a dying man? Working her connections on both sides of the law, Cass tries to point the police in the right direction. But violence is escalating around her, and Cass’s persistence has already attracted unwanted attention, uncovering sinister secrets that Cass may end up taking to her grave."

Monday, March 25, 2019

Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski Ebay Lot Sale Unboxing

So I'm suiting up for my 2019 Sara Paretsky V.I. Warshawski project.  Which, I guess I'll simply name, my 2019 Paretsky Project (mainly because those two P's sound so sweet together).  

Anyway, I made this purchase off Ebay–just as I did for my 2018 Marcia Muller Sharon McCone Project.  And just as with that one, I'm reading the entirety of the fictional female private-eye (Chicago-based) detective work of V.I. Warshawki this year.  

Have begun the project with book #9, I'm currently almost through book #11, Blacklist.  This leaves me with 9 entries (only pillar release and no short stories) left. But I'm taking them on a book-by-book bases; breaking whenever I need to.  So long as I get them all done before the end of 2019 to fulfill my project–I'm good.  Nevertheless, I'm doing so happily because I love challenging myself as an endurance reader.  And like with my reading of McCone, I'm taking on Warshawski in honor of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone.  These are her peers, after all.

Okay, done babbling.

BOOK 10.  Total Recall (2001)
BOOK 11.  Blacklist (2003)
BOOK 12.  Fire Sale (2005)
BOOK 13.  Hardball (2009)
BOOK 14.  Body Work (2010)
BOOK 15.  Breakdown (2012)
BOOK 16.  Critical Mass (2013)
BOOK 17.  Brush Back (2015)
BOOK 18.  Fallout (2017)

Random BOOK - Nightseer by Laurell K. Hamilton

Thursday, March 29, 2018

3 Female Sleuth Debuts | #MarchMysteryMadness


3 Female Sleuth Debuts (Well, technically 2).

Amazon Affiliate Links:

1.  Contents Under Pressure by Edna Buchanan: https://amzn.to/2IfoEXQ

With a police cover-up and citywide outrage brewing in the wake of a black football star's suspicious death while under police custody, Cuban-American crime reporter Britt Montero steps in to uncover the truth. Tour.

2.  The Silent Dead by Tetsuya Honda: https://amzn.to/2GlBYh6

When a body wrapped in a blue plastic tarp and tied up with twine is discovered near the bushes near a quiet suburban Tokyo neighborhood, Lt. Reiko Himekawa and her squad take the case. The victim was slaughtered brutally---his wounds are bizarre, and no one can figure out the "what" or the "why" of this crime.

3.  Blue Moon by Walter Wager: https://amzn.to/2J4NLxZ

Alison B. Gordon finds herself aiding a Mafia ganglord whose Las Vegas interests are threatened by an international terrorist group that will destroy the city's casinos and hotels if its demand for five million dollars is not met. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

#MarchMysteryMadness | My 6 Eye-Burner Mystery Reads


Hi, guys.  Here are 6 mystery books within any given series that has caused my eyes to burn (more so than glisten) with tears.

All links are Amazon affiliate (the books' descriptions are from Amazon as well)...

1.  Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell: https://amzn.to/2IZC0Zt

A reclusive author, Beryl Madison finds no safe haven from months of menacing phone calls—or the tormented feeling that her every move is being watched. When the writer is found slain in her own home, Kay Scarpetta pieces together the intricate forensic evidence—while unwittingly edging closer to a killer waiting in the shadows.

2.  Promises in Death by J. D. Robb: https://amzn.to/2Ia4YER

Amaryllis Coltraine may have recently transferred to the New York City police force from Atlanta, but she’s been a cop long enough to know how to defend herself against an assailant. When she’s taken down just steps away from her apartment, killed with her own weapon, for Eve the victim isn’t just “one of us.” 

Eve starts questioning everyone while her husband, Roarke, digs into computer data on the dead woman’s life back in Atlanta. To their shock, they discover a connection between this case and their own painful, shadowy pasts. The truth will need to be uncovered one layer at a time, starting with the box that arrives at Cop Central addressed to Eve, containing Coltraine’s guns, badge, and a note from her killer: “You can have them back. Maybe someday soon, I’ll be sending yours to somebody else.” 

But Eve Dallas doesn’t take too kindly to personal threats, and she is going to break this case, whatever it takes. And that’s a promise.  

3. O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton: https://amzn.to/2GdorUv

O is for once upon a time. . .
Let’s talk about Kinsey’s past. We know of the aunt who raised her, the second husband who left her, and her long-lost family up the California coast. But what about Kinsey’s husband number one? He was always a blip on the radar―until now.

4.  The Lily Bard Series by Charlaine Harris: https://amzn.to/2IVnemu

While trying to prove her innocence in the murder of her landlord, Lily Bard, karate student and cleaning service proprietor, finds plenty of skeletons in the closets of Shakespeare, Arkansas.

5.  When Death Comes Stealing by Valerie Wilson Wesley: https://amzn.to/2DZaiIQ

Struggling as a single mother to make ends meet on the mean streets of Newark, New Jersey, ex-cop-turned-PI Tamara Hayle races against time to find a murderer when someone begins killing her ex-husband's sons--and her own son might be next.

6.  Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon#6) by Nevada Barr: https://amzn.to/2GivefX

When a fellow ranger is injured in a caving accident, Anna swallows her paralyzing fear of small spaces and descends into Lechuguilla to help a friend in need. Worse than the claustrophobia that haunts her are the signs-some natural, and some, more ominously, man-made-that not everyone is destined to emerge from this wondrous living tomb. All the skills Anna has honed in the terrestrial world are called into play on precipitous climbs, exhausting treks, and descents into canyons that have never seen the sun. The terrain is alien and hostile, the greed and destructive powers of mankind all too familiar. In this place of internal terrors, Anna must learn whom she can trust, and, in the end, decide who is to live and who is to die.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Up Date: "Y is For..." by Sue Grafton

Amazon finally gave us a summary of Sue Grafton's next-to-final Kinsey Millhone book, Y is for...

"The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack.  Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.
Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find… "

OUT AUGUST 22, 2017!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sue Grafton's NEXT Kinsey Millhone Books, "Y is for..." (Apparently NOTHING!)

It's finally been announced!  The next-to-final Kinsey Millhone Alphabetta series installment, Y is for... will be released on August 22, 2017!  Who else is dying to get it, while apprehensive of the fact that this decades running series is slowly coming to an end?

I have no idea what it's about yet (no synopsis up on Amazon or Goodreads), but what the hell does it matter?  Give it to us!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wittig's Witches!

Okay.  So in China’s second investigation, Witches' Bane, rumors of witches and devil worshipers have taken over the small town of Pecan Springs, Texas.  These rumors are exacerbated by the suicide of a local teenager and homeless individual.  So the townsfolk are on edge and, most sincerely, this includes a local religious group led by Reverend Billy Lee Harbuck.  Harbuck has taken it upon himself to put an end to the madness, beginning with rounding up his followers to picket the local metaphysical gift shop propertied by China Bayles’ best friend, Ruby Wilcox.  The hitch is that the gift shop and China’s herb shop are connected.  Thus, of course, infecting both Ruby and China's businesses.  The situation and local stirrings get worse when a wealthy socialite named Sybil Rand is found murdered in her home.  The catch, one of Ruby’s athame blades are stuck in her body.  Further investigation uncovers the Death tarot card and a voodoo doll in Sybil’s possession.  With the walls closing in on Ruby, China, alongside her ex-cop boyfriend Mike McQuaid, set out to prove Ruby’s innocence.  Particularly before the whole town loses its damned mind!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Now I Know Where Kinsey GETS It | Marcia Muller Pushes Through! PART TWO

So let’s get into those quotes/passages I mentioned in my previous post on Marcia Muller’s Edwin of the Iron Shoes.  But if you haven’t followed me to this post, these are the stand-out lines I loved.  They're the lines where I received a flood of realization on how Muller’s protagonist, Sharon McCone, gave roots to women investigators in hard-boiled in crime fiction.  Particularly roots for Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski characters.  For more information, please refer to the previous post.  I’m going to have to try to reduce this down to a few, though.  If not, I’d probably serve up the entire book.
So let’s go!
“He was pushing too hard.  I kept my voice level.  ‘I’m not on my own; I’m an employee of All Souls.  I joined them after the detective agency fired me for refusing to jump at a special assignment that would have humiliated me and set up an innocent man for a very messy and expensive divorce.  And I don’t know about being what you call a “super-sleuth.”  I’m competent.  I’d say my strong point is knowing how to ask the right questions.  Without trying to cram my words into other people’s mouths.’”
Four chapters in and I already love McCone.  She has morals.  She has limits.  She has genuine concern for the individuals involved in her profession.  Most of all, she’s humble.  Yet brassy in a subtle way.
“On my way out of the kitchen, I grabbed a handful of cookies from the big jar that was always full of chocolate chips.  They would be my dinner.  Hank grinned and led me down the central hall to the second office on the right.”
This screamed Kinsey Millhone to me.  Anyone familiar with the character knows she’s obsessed with cheese/peanut butter and pickled sandwiches.  As well as Quarter Pounders.  (For a good while, I actually ate a few myself.  Didn't like them, but since Kinsey did....)  However, just the fluidity of McCone’s voice and actions in this scene stole me.  

I would say between the three, Warshawski has the best appetite.  Though she drinks too much.

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