Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mysteries, Quick Notes: Steve Oliver's Moody, and Christopher Fowler's "Peculiar Crimes Unit"

The only way I'm ever going to get out of the backlog of books-read-but-not-yet-reviewed is to say something brief about some, then check them off the list. So here's my two cents worth:

I picked up a paperback copy of Steve Oliver's 1996 mystery MOODY GETS THE BLUES, the first in a series -- Scott Moody is a 'Nam vet, with a lot still wrong in his head, but a brand new private investigator's license and a knack for stumbling into deadly situations in 1978's West Coast (Spokane). You know the bit about not judging a book by its cover? This one has a Michael Connelly blurb on the front, which is why I grabbed it. And I laughed, groaned, and laughed more, all the way through it. It was fun. Ya know, I needed that. I'll read another by Steve Oliver any time.

Christopher Fowler's series featuring London detectives Arthur Bryant and John May ranges in time from World War I to the 1950s -- and more so in the present (see Author's Comment!). Bryant and May have completely different ideas about investigation: Bryant's tendency to rely on psychics, networks of witches, and other unusual experts gives him a leg up in the Peculiar Crimes Unit, but May doesn't always want to follow those odd pathways. Again in paperback mode, maybe because I've been on the road so much this past winter, I picked up WHITE CORRIDOR. Dave can vouch for the fact that about once per chapter in the first half of the book, I said something like, "This is so preposterous that I'm not going to finish it." But after that halfway point, you couldn't even have distracted me from the book with chocolate. I'm looking forward to some snowstorm next winter, when I'll grab it and enjoy it all over again.

1 comment:

christopher said...

Just to let you know that the Bryant & May series is actually set in the present day, with two exceptions in part of the first and the third volumes. Expect many more preposterous situations! (Actually not so preposterous when you consider that they're factually accurate)...