Wednesday, August 31, 2016
During the long , hot summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers that her very English mother sally is really Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigre and one-time spy.
This is a very good thriller told from 1976 in flashback form until its climax in 1976 London.
This has been made into a TV serial evidently, I won't bother because I enjoyed this too much.
Solid and very well written.
Wolfe is offered $10,000 to send Archie Goodwin "undercover" into a family situation to prove the wife of the client is being duplicitous.
The family concerned are totally dysfunctional, very wealthy and people start dying.
A good yarn.
Archie is having trouble solving a murder in the wilds of Montana where a friend has been charged and appears 100 % guilty.
This situation necessitates Wolfe leaving New York and travelling into the wilderness to assist.
Stout didn't write any bad books.
Monday, August 15, 2016
The genius known as Anthony Burgess turns his hand to a spy thriller and what great fun.
Denis Hillier went to get a defecting scientist back from Russia. He didn't realise he wasn't supposed to come back himself"
Burgess has a great crack at Le Carre, Fleming and Nabokov as well as writing a story with a decent plot. Its funny, tense and a wee bit disturbing with some of our hero's behaviour but worth finding and reading.
The books of Burgess's I can read, and that not all of them ,I love, this goes very close to the re-read category. Great stuff
I've been lucky enough to find a pile of Stout's at a second hand book I haunt and I'm picking these up for $5.00 per time. Extremely good value!
Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin must help a rich old woman whose husband is getting money in a most mysterious way. But when the case leads Wolfe to the most dangerous man in the United States, he knows that if he wants to live, he will have to do the one thing that he has never even contemplated- run and hide.
This is a good one, the perfect Sunday afternoon couch read.
"Here is the adventure of Eugene Debs Hartke. He's a Vietnam veteran, a jazz pianist, a college professor, and a prognosticator of the apocalypse ( and other things Earth-shattering). But that's neither here nor there. Because at Tarkington College-where he teaches-the excrement is about to hit the air conditioning. And its all Eugene's fault."
Normal Vonnegut - funny, very funny, gut wrenchingly sad and a wonderful read.
The latest "Bernie Gunther" We find him working as a hotel concierge on Nice when a former Nazi SS Captain known to Bernie walks into the hotel.
This Nazi is now operating as a blackmailer and his target is Somerset Maugham. There is a photograph in his possession showing several men in compromising positions at Maugham's house including Guy Burgess.
Bernie gets involved as he normally does and we have a solid thriller. I've been with the series since day one and they are solid. Brag time, I've met Mr Kerr and I was one of those boring buggers who wanted a photograph, for which he obliged.
A good read and a good series to read.
Basil Seal needs a war. Seal is a 'scoundrel" and what would probably be called a "waster" in these enlightened times. World War II breaks out and he needs a job, no one wants him, he's generally no good and too old, but eventually opportunities arise.
This is an account of his adventures during the "phoney war" period which leads into the heavy fighting and tragedy that is to follow.
Great satire, but again like Sword of Honour this shows the senselessness and sadness of it all.
I re-read these constantly, you can't go wrong reading anything Waugh has written.