Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Short Story Wednesday: "Kill the Cat" Loren Estleman


Loren Estleman has written 90 novels and many short stories and essays. He is an old-school crime fiction writer, telling a story much like his contemporaries, Michael Connelly and Elmore Leonard, wrote. He even resembles writers of an earlier generation, such as Ross MacDonald and John D. Many of his stories are set in Detroit and many feature Amos Walker, P.I. The story in DETROIT NOIR, "Kill the Cat" is a fairly generic story, but it is well-written and certainly uses the city of Detroit as a character. This was pretty much the intention of the Noir series by Akashic Press.

Amos Walker is hired by the wealthy Childs' family to locate their missing son and notify the parents so they can have cops get him off the streets. Walker finds the kid too late. He and three other kids (all college students)are dead by the time he arrives. The rest of the story concerns Walker finding out what really happened. 

I have found many of the stories in this series to be uneven. Some of the writers are not fiction writers but journalists and their stories are rarely satisfying. Some also lean so heavily on the city they are set in, they don't tell much of a story. In this case, it is a story that is too familiar. Something you might see on the Rockford Files. Still you can see Estelman's skill. Detroit is not the same city it was in 2007. But as he notes in the story, Detroit has a way of reverting to a particular place. Hope that isn't true this time. 

Kevin Tipple


George Kelley 

Steve Lewis 

Todd Mason

Monday, March 28, 2022

Monday, Monday


I am pretty much settled in but the weather hasn't allowed much walking. I did walk to the movies and saw THE OUTFIT, which I liked. Also saw a great play called PASS OVER, by Antoinette Nwandu in Ann Arbor and went to an exhibit of nature photography at the Detroit Zoo. 

I am reading THE MARTIAN, which I liked a lot more as a movie. Too much technical stuff and not enough character development. Watching THE DROPOUT on Hulu, which is excellent. Still trying to navigate the new TV. I am used to closed captions and I haven't figured out how to get them on some of the streaming channels. 

This doesn't feel like home yet. The building is so very quiet and I seldom see anyone other than the management. Still I am near almost all of my friends so I don't have to make new ones but I would like to know someone in here at some point.

How about you?

Friday, March 25, 2022

Friday's Forgotten Books

(from the archives)
DRIVE EAST ON 66 -- Richard Wormser (reviewed by Bill Crider) 

Okay, as I said, it was inevitable that after seeing the title of James H. Cobb's West on 66, I was going to read it. Today's book is the reason why. I read it around 40 years ago, and I have to wonder if maybe Cobb's read it, too.

A cop named Andy Bastian is hired to drive a kid named Ralph from California to Kansas, where Ralph will be put into what's called, in the novel's 1961 way, an insane asylum. Ralph is brilliant, and his father's quite rich. Accompanying Ralph and Andy is Olga Beaumont, a psychologist who's along to care for Ralph. They don't get far before it's apparent they're being followed.

This isn't an adrenaline-fueled thriller like Cobb's book. The characters following along aren't hate-filled gangsters and hitmen. There are no heart-stopping car chases, hot sex, and shoot-outs. But that doesn't mean there's no suspense. It's just a quieter kind, and it's played out along a route that runs in the opposite direction, as the titles indicate.

James mentions that Cobb's book isn't quite a pitch-perfect recreation of a Gold Medal novel. Wormser's book is pitch-perfect, not as a re-creation but as an original. Read the first couple of pages, and you'll know what I mean, I think. Wormser's descriptions of the people, the landscape, and the seedy motels are on the money. I like all Wormser's GM books, including The Invader, which won an Edgar for best paperback. If you get a chance, give one a try and see what you think.


Tuesday, March 22, 2022



No Internet until yesterday, so I am a day late. I am almost entirely settled in.  My bed is together, my tv working, my computer on but I have had no chance to walk around and it looks like we have a lot of rain coming our way. 

Saw the doc shorts at the Detroit Art Institute and was not impressed. Maybe we see too many good docs on TV now. Or maybe forty minutes is an awkward length. The best one was about this sensational female basketball player from Delta State in the seventies. She was the only woman or first woman drafted by the NBA but declined. And instead raised a family. 

I am hoping to go to the library tomorrow and get a card so I can start reading again. I did get my books unpacked today. Despite giving away many, I still have too much for the three bookcases I brought. 

Anyway, what is up with you?

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monday, Monday


I've moved about 10 times as an adult but never alone. If I didn't have my cleaner to help me, I couldn't do it. Thank God she came back from Canada in time.  I would throw away everything if left alone, she would throw away nothing. So we balance each other.

I'm waiting still for my new mattress and hope that arrives in time. The new TV is here and the new counter stools will be delivered on the 23rd. I've not bought much else other than new sheets. That king bed was just too big.

Watching the Andy Warhol Diaries on Netflix. Also watched the Desi-Lucy bio on Amazon. Looking forward to the second installment of WINNING TIME tonight. 

Luke Kirby (Lenny Bruce) is stealing every scene in Mrs. Maisel.

I saw THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD and CYRANO this week at the movies and liked them both.  There will be no movies for adults soon if people don't get off of their sofa and go. Both theaters were empty although it was early in the day. Meanwhile kids steamed into THE BATMAN.

No reading but a lot of podcasts as I pack. Don't have the attention for any stories right now.

Can the world situation get any worse? Really was there even a week between crises? 

How about you?

Monday, March 07, 2022

Monday, Monday

Easter-maybe 1952. And I have to say that mirror comes up in my therapy sessions all the time.

Not much to report. Been watching THE TOURIST and this and that. I never even finished REACHER. Also not reading enough. Just packing boxes and lots of details to take care of. And a million pieces of pottery to get rid of. Phil and I had a lot of fun antiquing on weekends. And going to used bookstores. And now I am paying the price. What to do with it all.

What about you?

Saturday, March 05, 2022

Megan's Interview with the Coen Brothers

A New Leaf

EASTER, 1972

EASTER, 2022

The new address is

Patricia Abbott
555 South Woodward Avenue #802
Birmingham, MI 48009

Birmingham is very urban. Lots of shops, movie theaters, a great library, parks, a nice grocery store across the street, everything within a few blocks. A great place for a non-driver. I think I will be happier here, a fresh start. Huntington Woods was a great place to raise a family, and voted Democrat. But not a good fit for a non-driver. The two communities are only four miles apart. 

I move on the 17th. A million address changes and boxes to pack but I am getting there.