Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday's Forgotten Books, Friday, September 13, 2013

      B.V. Lawson will have the links next week. Two weeks from today: Patricia Highsmith. 

Ed Gorman's newest novel is FLASHPOINT, A Dev Conrad mystery

Conan Doyle: Detective by Peter Costello

I always thought that Arthur Conan Doyle was a pretty cool guy. When I was young I was all caught up in almost otherworldly portrait he gave us of Victorian London and environs. The fog, the hansom cabs, the echoing footsteps down the dark alleys, the pitiful ones of Whitechapel, the self-indulgent ones of the aristocracy. And then when I got older and had more appreciation of what it was like for a father to lose a son, the way Doyle turned to mentalism of various sorts...

The one aspect of the Doyle story I'd never paid much attention to was his very real interest in true crime cases. As Erle Stanley Gardner woukd do several decades later, Doyle helped clear innocents and thus help them escape the gallows. And he worked with police from a variety of cities, towns and even other countries when they asked his opinion or advice on matters concerning open cases.

All this is documented in a fine new book Conan Doyle: Detective by Peter Costello (Carroll & Graf, $15.95) that moves as swiftly as a Doyle story while offering us a look at a Doyle most of us have ever encountered, even in some of the better Doyle biographies.

There are chapters on six of the UK's most famous cases including Crippen, Jack The Ripper and the Irish Crown Jewels. Even when Doyle was wrong in his conjectures, his process of deduction is fascinating to follow. Likewise, even in cases of lesser fame, Costello sets all the crimes in a context that helps give us a vivid sense of the era.

A real treat for several audiences--those who love Holmes, those fascinated with Doyle himself, those interested in the formation of modern crime solving techniques, and those (and there seem to be many) who wished they'd lived in the time of Queen Victoria.

TRAP FOR CINDERELLA, Sebastien Japrisot (Patti Abbott)

This is one of those books that depends on taking you by surprise and it is difficult to review it without divulging details that will detract from that pleasure. A girl wakes up in a hospital. She has just undergone plastic surgery to fix the burns she sustained in a fire at her house in a French resort. Her friend has died in the blaze. Or is she the friend? She can't remember much, including who she is. A third woman seems to play a role in both scenarios.

The book plays with this idea--who died and who survived. It is a moody, atmospheric
book--reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith. The book won France's most prestigious fiction award. It is short and dark. Read it when you are fully awake and not drowsing in bed or you won't know who is who either.

Sergio Angelini, THE FOUR JUST MEN, Edgar Wallace
Brian Busby, FOR MAIMIE'S SAKE, Grant Allen
Bill Crider, WILD, WILD, WESTERNERS, Tom Weaver
Scott Cupp, THE SUPERHUGOS, Isaac Asimov
Martin Edwards, BODY IN THE BECK, Joanna Cannan
Curt Evans, MISCHIEF IN THE OFFING, Clifford Witting
Jeff Flugel. A GENT FROM BEAR CREEK, Robert E. Howard
Ray Garraty, CROSSROAD BLUES, Ace Atkins
Jerry House, THE BEYONDERS, Manley Wade Wellman
Randy Johnson, TROUBLE IS MY NAME, Stephen Marlowe
Nick Jones, A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, Anthony Powell
George Kelley, THE KING OF SATAN'S EYES, Geoffrey Marsh
Margot Kinberg, DEATH IN THE KINGDOM, Andrew Grant
Rob Kitchin, THE GOOD GERMAN, Joseph Kanon
B.V. Lawson, THE CRIMSON BLIND, Frerick Merrick White
Evan Lewis, "Anyone's Corpse" Carroll John Daly
Steve Lewis/Dan Stumpf, THE WAY TO ELDORADO, Hollister Noble
Todd Mason, F&SF: A 30 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE and other choices
James Reasoner, RUSTLER'S MOON, L.P. Holmes
Richard Robinson, THE FLOATING ADMIRAL, by members of the Detection Club
Gerard Saylor, REFRESH, REFRESH,, multiple writers
Ron Scheer, THIS OLD BILL, Loren D. Estleman
Kerrie Smith, DEADLY SCORE, Paul Myers
Kevin Tipple, Barry Ergang, THE LORD OF MISRULE, Paul Halter
Prashant Trikannad, BATMAN AND SPIDERMAN
Yvette, MIDNIGHT IS A PLACE, Joan Aiken
Zybahn, FLOATING DRAGON, Peter Straub


Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Thanks for reminding me of the Japrisot - Patti I dimly remember a movie version too ...

pattinase (abbott) said...

A strange book and it looks like the movie was not very successful.

Casual Debris said...

Can you please include my review of Floating Dragon? Thanks, Frank

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Patti, I'm sorry for the delay. I have just posted a brief review of a comic-book. Thank you.

Jeff Flugel said...

Hi Patti! I'd appreciate it if you could add my post to the list:

Thank you!

Kelly Robinson said...

I had a post partially ready, but I've been waylaid with a horrible flu. I hate to think what I would write in this half-dead state.

I'll gladly (if feverishly) read what everyone else has, and finish it for next week. If anyone wants to drop by my forgotten film post from Tuesday, it could use some action:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sure, Jeff. Get well, Kelly. I was already there on Tuesday.

Erik Donald France said...

Excellent -- thanks for the reviews. Cheers on Fri. XIII.

Yvette said...

Patti, I have a forgotten book listed today. I know I'm being haphazard about all this, but it's my way. It's up to you if you feel like linking or not. Not to worry.

For me, the Conan Doyle books sounds a real treat. Thanks to Ed Gorman for the heads up.

I have a book to recommend to you, Patti. One of the very few 'dark' stories I've read over the years. As you know I'm not a big fan of this stuff. :) But this one is a gem.


Yvette said...

I've just looked up the Peter Costello book on my library website and it is possible that this title is an updated version of a book Costello wrote in 1991. The Real World of Sherlock Holmes: The True Crimes Investigated by Arthur Conan Doyle. At any rate, we'll find out in a few days.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I will look for it Yvette and you shouldn't feel guilty about sending me a link anytime you do one. I am so happy to have you whenever.

Rick Robinson said...

I've put a Highsmith book on hold from the library. If it comes and I read it in time, I'll join in on that day two weeks hence.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wow. I am surprised they weren't right on the shelf. Portland must have great readers.

Charles Gramlich said...

Don't really know much about Doyle. I was more a fan of his lost world than his Holmes stuff.

Anonymous said...

Patti - As always, I really appreciate your including my post.