Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday's Forgotten Books, January 19, 2018

Les Blatt, THE SUNKEN SAILOR, Patricia Moyes
Brian Busby, The Work of Richard Rohmer
Martin Edwards, CLOSE QUARTERS, Michael Gilbert
Richard Horton, THE WINDS OF GATH, E.C. Tubb, CRISIS ON CHEVRON, Juanita Coulson
Jerry House, THE BEETLE HORDE, Victor Rousseau
George Kelley, THE AMERICAN FANTASY TRADITION, ed. Brian M. Thomsen
B.V. Lawson, A GENTLEMAN CALLED, Dorothy Salisbury Davis
Evan Lewis, NEVER SAY NO TO A KILLER, Clifton Adams
Steve Lewis, OF ALL SAD WORDS, Bill Crider
Todd Mason, HEAVEN AND HELL edited by Joan D. Berbrich, SUPERFICTION, OR THE AMERICAN STORY TRANSFORMED edited by Joe David Bellamy 
J.F. Norris, HEART TO HEART, Boileau and Narcejac
Matt Paust, WITHOUT A WORD, Carol Lea Benjamin
Reactions to Reading, WHEN TIME RUNS OUT, Elina Hiroven
James Reasoner, THE DEAD STAND-IN, Frank Kane
TomCat, The Roger Scarlett Mysteries, THE MAN IN THE MOONLIGHT, Helen McCloy
TracyK, GREY MASK, Patricia Wentworth

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Things are going to be wonky on here because we forgot the stuff to hook up my computer and this is Phil's.

Anyway we watched this on TCM and I have to say it was not as good as I remembered. Harrison leaves me cold. Why waste your whole life waiting to be reunited with him?.

A very depressing movie about a widow( who didn't even much love her husband) who takes up residence in the house of a dead sea captain and becomes infatuated with him (or his ghost) to the point, she has no life. This must have been a cheap movie to film because she rarely leaves the room with his telescope poised toward the sea.

Their reunion after death did not make things right.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Things That Are Making Me Happy

A book I will talk about later called THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL MAN by Gary Reilly
That our condo is better than expected
That Phil survived an escalator mishap I have been dreading all my life.
And what about you?

Friday, January 12, 2018


So many of the bloggers/friends who helped me publicize my first two books are gone now for one reason or another. So very sad that its only been 2 1/2 years. So if anyone who comes along and reads this has a blog where I can talk about the book I would really appreciate it. A review, an interview, whatever makes sense and you are comfortable with. The book comes out in early March. 


"Patricia Abbott's collection of stories are just electric and utterly amazing. The short story form is perhaps the most difficult to achieve artistry in, and in I BRING SORROW, Patricia Abbott joins the very select few like, Frank O Connor, Raymond Carver, De Maupassant, and Dahl who have not only mastered this art but brought something entirely new to the genre. A dark, captivating collection.”
―Ken Bruen, author of the Jack Taylor series

"Patricia Abbott shows a rare and quiet mastery of the form. Any one of the stories in I BRING SORROW is worth the price of admission.”
―Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of WHAT YOU BREAK

Friday's Forgotten Books, January 12, 2018

Please check with Todd Mason for today's links.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What Book Cried Out for a Movie and Nothing Has Happened so far?

When I read DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY I expected to see the screen version within a year or two. And yet, so far, none. I know Scorcese and DiCaprio are supposedly working on a script, but I am not holding my breath. What book did you expect to turn up at your local cinema and it hasn't? Some books get turned into movies multiple times and others, just as good, not at all.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


David Lean used his wife, Ann Todd,
to great affect in this romance. The passion of Mary's life is Stephen (Trevor Howard) but she marries Howard (Claude Rains), a wealthy businessman who meets some of her needs. Their marriage is more of a contract than a union but both are satisfied until Stephen comes on the scene again. And then again.
It is hard to say why this movie works so well because little happens. It's success is shared by the acting of the three principals. The original novel was by H.G. Wells, hard to imagine that. I thought it was very good if you are in the mood for repressed and expressed longing and not much action.The ending works particularly well.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Things That Are Making Me Happy

Really happy this cold snap, record-breaking for the number of days when it didn't exceed 20 degrees) is coming to an end. I am not the kind of person that likes to hunker down. Phil even less so.

We got to spend a day with Kevin this week because of the cold. So funny to watch he and and a friend plays games through Facetime online. They each has a computer and a phone to make this happen. They were 15 miles apart but it didn't matter. What a world.

PRAIRIE FIRES about Laura Ingalls Wilder is so interesting. Aside from the stuff you can find in the Little House books, it is interesting to see how both she and her daughter, Rose, forged careers somewhat based on Fake News. Highly recommend it although it is a pretty sad story for most of the book.

I, TONYA was better than I expected chiefly due to a knockout performance by Margot Robbie. I found the mix of humor and serious wife battering a little disconcerting though.

Phil enjoyed LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, about the death of Lincoln's son.

Great to see a huge turnout at the Detroit Institute of Arts to see BOMBHSELL, the story of Hedy Lamarr .

What about you?

Friday, January 05, 2018

Friday Forgotten Books, January 5, 2018

                                   Todd Mason will host FFB next Friday. 

From the archives of Ron Scheer

Kent Meyers, The Work of Wolves 

A slender plot-line for its 400+ pages, this novel set in the reservation and ranchland of central South Dakota glows with intensity at each turn. While your desire to know what happens next presses you onward, you pause along with the author to reflect on the thoughts and feelings of the characters who are pulled into the flow of events that begins with the purchase of a horse and leads inevitably to the burning of a house.

There are humor, suspense, family drama, surprises, ironies of all kinds, a smoldering romance, conflicts, animosity, suspense, farce, triumphs and sorrows in Meyers' novel. And all is woven around a continuing meditation on moral complexity and finally the great difficulty of doing the right thing when there are deep emotions, conflicting points of view, and only degrees of violence and loss to choose from.

The four young men at the center of this story, two Indians, a cowboy, and a German exchange student, each bears a legacy of history that pulls them together in the single effort to rescue three horses. Meyers makes them come to life vividly through action, thought, and dialogue. Around them is another dozen or so characters, just as carefully drawn and revealed through illuminating flashes of incident. And as in the author's other work (Light in the Crossing, The River Warren), there is the continuing presence of the landscape and the seasons, as summer turns to autumn and snow-driven winter.

Especially interesting is the characterization of the young cowboy, whose ancestry in American literature dates back to Owen Wister's Virginian. Here is that same set of values, courage, pure-heartedness, and self-containment, 100 years later, set in conflict with a cunning villain. It is moving to learn what has become of him.

Yvette Banek, Year End Reading Roundup
Les Blatt, THE CASE OF THE LATE PIG, Margery Allingham
Elgin Bleecker, ACT OF FEAR, Michael Collins
David Cranmer, A IS FOR ALIBI, Sue Grafton
Martin Edwards, DEATH AT BREAKFAST, John Rhode
Richard Horton, THE SOCIAL SECRETARY, David Graham Philips
Jerry House, DALLAS, Will F. Jenkins
George Kelley, SLAYERS AND VAMPIRES,  Edward Gross and Mark A Altman
Margot Kinberg, THE RIGHT SIDE, Spencer Quinn
B.V. Lawson, UNCLE ABNER, MASTER OF MYSTERIES, Melville Davisson Post
Evan Lewis, Forgotten Books and Stories of 2017
Steve Lewis, THE BODY LOOKS FAMILIAR, Richard Wormser
Brian Lindenmuth, Remembering Jack Schaefer
James Reasoner, AVALANCHE, E.S.  Dellinger
Gerard Saylor, STAR WARS: THE PERFECT WEAPON, Delilah Dawson
Kerrie Smith, IN THE DARK, Chris Patchell
Kevin Tipple,  Strange World: A Biff Bam Pop Short Story Anthology
TomCat, THE IRON CHARIOT, Stein Riverton

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Normandy Gold

First Wednesday Book Review Club: SILENCE OF THE GRAVE, Arnaldur Indridason

Silence of the Grave

This is the kind of book I used to read all the time twenty years ago, and now I remember why. Indridason is a master at plot, creating memorable characters, and evoking Iceland both during World War II and today. His detective has a compelling personal life, is likeable, and gets the job done. Indridason balances POVs masterfully-there's never a moment when you wish the writer would get back to solving the mystery.
I can't think of anything that didn't work in this book and this is from someone who is often impatient. This novel dates from 2001 (following JAR CITY) and he has gone on to write several more. Time to catch up.

Check out other First Wednesday reviews at Barrie Summy's fabulous blog. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Forgotten Movies: ROOM AT THE TOP

I am a sucker for these old British movies from the fifties and sixties. This reminds me a bit of AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY except it's a British one.
A young man gets a good job in a mill town after completing his WW 2 service. Two women enter his life. One is the daughter of a town bigwig, who sees little to like in the young man. The other is an older woman, married, with a brute of a husband. Harvey is perfect in the role and Signoret won an Oscar for her part. She is sad and seductive. Quite a good movie if a hair long. And it is hard to see why Harvey, even initially, was so seduced by the younger woman. She is ordinariness personified but maybe that's what he needs. 

Monday, January 01, 2018


Things that are Making Me Happy This Week.

Today I turn 70. Am I freaked out? No. After the year we've been through still being here has its pluses. Today I am missing Randy Johnson, Ed Gorman, Ron Scheer, Joe Barone and a few others who have disappeared from view. Funny how online friends become just as important as ones down the street.

What is making me happy this week? I am happy to be going to Florida in 12 days. This cold is unbearable. I am happy to have found my way back into writing short stories in the last six weeks. I forgot how to do it. I am happy for THE CROWN, which I though had a second season more brilliant than its first. What a sad woman Queen Elizabeth is if the show is to be believed. But it ended on a good note. Happy to be reading the excellent PRAIRIE FIRES about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Happy for PEAKY BLINDERS although the violence is appalling. I will say this though six episode seasons are too little. Twenty is too much. I vote for 12, just enough to plant it in my head. By the time MRS. MAISEL comes back I will have forgotten her as I forgot MOZART IN THE JUNGLE and RECTIFY.

What about you? What is making you happy?