Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's on Tap - January 2012

I’ve decided to start a new monthly series called “What’s on Tap,” where I outline the upcoming reviews for the next month.  They could be books I’ve already read or am planning to read, or any other miscellaneous posts I happen to be planning.  It’s unabashed filler, I know, but what’re you gonna do? 

Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Murder After Hours (or The Hollow) by Agatha Christie – It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but this is my very first Agatha Christie book.  And true to my usual form, I’ve come in waaaaaay late in the series.  Murder After Hours is number 22 in the Hercule Poirot line of books, though it didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the book.  Something else did that—though more on that something later.

Murder and the Married Virgin by Brett Halliday – This is the tenth installment of the Michael Shayne series of hardboiled detective novels.  It was originally published in 1944.  I snagged a copy from the 60s in one of my raids on the Chamblin Bookmine in Jacksonville, FL, and it was well worth the $3 I paid for it.  I can devour these old mysteries quicker than a Krispy Kreme donut.  Maybe the forthcoming review will inspire a similar appetite in some of you.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré – This one I got from netgalley (who doesn’t love netgalley?), and as a long-time fan of le Carré and his George Smiley character, I was quite excited to receive it.  The book was originally published in the 70s, but Penguin is re-releasing it as a movie tie-in to coincide with the new movie that’s coming out.  It tells the story of a covert search for a mole within British intelligence as only le Carré can tell it.  He’s a masterful storyteller (and a very English one at that), and I know I won’t be disappointed.  I’m already halfway through the book and totally digging it.

Hell Swamp by Susan Whitfield – Susan is a blogger friend of mine who has five published books to her credit.  One is a cookbook, and four are mystery novels centering around her character Logan Hunter, an investigator with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  Hell swamp is the third book in the series and the next on my to-read list.  Along with the review I’ll also be posting an author interview with Susan discussing her work.

Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith - Martin Cruz Smith has written seven novels in the Akadi Renko series of detective novels.  This one happens to be his sixth, and I happen to be listening to it as an audiobook.  The story is set Moscow, with the titular detective investigating a series of sightings of Stalin in the subway.  It quickly becomes evident that there is a political agenda to the Stalin sightings, and Renko is pulled deeper into a web of police corruption.

All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley – Received from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer’s program, this book is #4 in the Leonid McGill mystery series.  I haven’t read any of the other McGill novels, nor have I read any of Mosley’s other works, but I’ve wanted to for a while now.  I always hear good things about him and his hardboiled mysteries, so I’m excited to give this one a shot.

Shangri-la Trailer Park by John Zunksi – John is an indie author with two works to his credit so far.  He contacted me and asked me if I’d like to review one of them.  Of course I agreed, picking Shangri-la Trailer Park for the review.  I’m told that it’s a dark comedy sort of tale, which I love.  I’m excited to get into it and see what it’s about.  When I post my review I’ll also post an accompanying interview with John, so be on the lookout for that as well.

The Moving Target by Ross MacDonald – Have I mentioned that I love hardboiled/noir mysteries?  Yeah, I think I did.  The Moving Target is MacDonald’s first Lew Archer series (quite a change for me—coming in on the beginning of the series instead of the end), a much-praised line of vintage mystery novels.  It was originally published in 1949 and followed up with a second novel you might have heard of called The Drowning Pool.  So do you think I am chomping at the bit for this one?  You betcha.

I think that’s enough for now.  I’m not that fast of a reader anyway, so it’s anyone’s guess if I’ll be able to get to all of those within the month of January.  I’m sure going to give it the old college try, though.


  1. I love Agatha Christie novels. I've been reading them since I was a child. It doesn't matter that you start with the 22nd, you can read them in any order.
    Your post reminded me that I started one Agatha Christie book months ago but never finished it.

    Good luck reading everything in one month!

  2. @Hellen

    Thanks, I'm going to need it!

    I've never read an Agatha Christie novel before, but I have to think that Murder After Hours is one of the more mediocre ones. But then again, mediocre for a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America is still pretty darn good.

  3. Looks like a great lineup.
    I have about 100 or so posts which I leave on the back burner but I do need to do something like you where I'm not in a rush every week.

  4. @Man of la Book

    Thank you kindly, sir. Yeah, never seems like you have all the time you need, does it? Especially when you've got a family. But you still manage to keep up a pretty darn good output despite it all. Better than me, for sure. :)

  5. Jonathan

    Sounds like you have a mysterious month coming up! I thought about doing theme months, but I am such a 'mood' reader. Good luck with your list. I will check back in to see how you do!

    Dorothy - The Alaskan Bookie
    Blog ~
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  6. @Squeak Torres

    Thanks, Squeak. Actually, this is probably a good representation of my usual reading lineup. I tend to read more mysteries (and especially vintage mysteries) than anything else. I stray into other genres, as you've no doubt seen already, but Mysteries are always at the core.

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