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Messages - JRob

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What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: May 26, 2020, 10:54:31 am »
I've heard of Scalzi but never read any of his work. The book does sound interesting but I don't think I'll be able to pick it up with all the mystery stuff I've got backed up on me already.

Mystery Scene Magazine Issues / Re: Spring 2020 - Issue #164
« on: May 26, 2020, 09:45:08 am »
Strange that you didn't get your subscription copy and I got my copy by picking it up at the magazine shop that saves it for me.

Mystery Scene Magazine Issues / Summer 2020 - Issue #164
« on: May 26, 2020, 09:37:13 am »
Now that the new issue is out, what were your favorite parts of the magazine?

I have the issue but haven't read about it. Going by the cover, I'm looking forward to reading the articles on Maddie Day (naturally) and R.G. Belsky.

And I've got two reviews in the magazine as well.

I'm sure there will be a host of other pieces that will make me add more books to my never ending want list as well.

Mystery Scene Magazine Issues / Re: Winter 2020 Issue #163
« on: May 26, 2020, 09:34:18 am »

I've had FACETS OF DEATH in my waiting-to-be-read pile since February, but I finally read it yesterday and now I want MORE! I love Kubu, I love the setting (I've been fond of the literary Botswana ever since reading THE FIRST LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY books), and I was fascinated by the plot. A local thrift shop with a huge library of used books has just reopened - I might venture out with my mask in place and see if I can find more books in this series there.

I tried watching the TV series HBO did for The First Ladies Detective Agency but I couldn't get into it.

As for FACETS OF DEATH, I am glad that I read this book first because I likely would've skipped it had I been a reader of the series already. And that would've been my loss because I would've missed out on a great story.

What I'm Reading / Re: Just added to my waiting-to-be-read pile.
« on: May 26, 2020, 09:31:11 am »
Kate, that's great you have a curbside pick up option now.

I still have to wait on curbside unless I want to drive 45 minutes or so to the closest indie store. I'd rather just order from them over the phone though.

My local comic shop was allowed to offer curbside pickup starting last week. So I'll be able to get some new stuff from them this week. There's a noir-ish graphic novel coming out this week called BOG BODIES that caught my fancy so I'll going to grab that for sure.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: May 26, 2020, 09:28:13 am »
I finished reading the third book in Sheila Connolly's Orchard Mystery series. However, I didn't like it nearly as much as the first two books. I thought it gave short shrift to the actual murder mystery in all honesty. You can check out my thoughts HERE.

Okay, we're a long way from February (and in coronavirus time, it feels like about a million years ago), but this seemed like a good place to post about the cozy mystery I'm currently reading.

Ellery Adams' MURDER IN THE LOCKED LIBRARY is the 4th book in her Book Retreat mystery series. It's the first one I've read, but a back cover blurb that mentioned "the Agatha Christie tea room" made me buy the book. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it and I'm enjoying it. A little spoiler, it features a skeleton that was buried with a very vintage book.

I'm always drawn to books about books, and I've read other books by Ellery Adams that I liked, so I may go back and read the earlier books in the series. I'm sure more have been added since this one came out, too!

I haven't read any books by Ellery Adams yet but I believe I have the first book in this particular series in my TBR pile. I'll have to see and dig it out once I get the chance.

Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Say Hi and Introduce Yourself
« on: May 20, 2020, 11:15:23 am »
Hi all,

I just joined (and just subscribed to Mystery Scene Magazine) and figured that I'd go and introduce myself for what's it worth.

I'm more on the newbie side to mysteries (more of a SF&F person over the years) but I've always followed a bit.   Thanks to the Covidication of our lives I've been watching more especially since subscribing to Britbox where I roared through Vera and am working my way through Inspector Morse as well as Dalziel and Pascoe.  I've historically been a fan of shows like classic Columbo and the 1970s all too short Ellery Queen tv series.  And I have a lot of love for the classic Hollywood comedic mysteries like the Thin Man movies and ones that I'd be less brave enough to admit this early on!   ;D   Because of my interests in things French and Japanese - I do follow some mystery shows and books along there as well.

On the reading front I do things a bit less but it's slowly growing.  Generally I read in ebook form and/or get from the library then only buy the print version when I think I'll be wanting a more permanent copy (or find a good deal on something I want) since space is precious.  I started as a child with Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators (aka Jupiter Jones...) and over the years I've read Rabbi Small, Perry Mason, Ellery Queen, Charlie Chan, Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes, 'natch!  Probably the most recent one I've read and really liked was M.B. Shaw's Murder at the Mill.  I've periodically (pun so intended) read Ellery Queen's and Alfred Hitchcock's magazines (not currently subscribing since I'm way behind in my reading there.)  Recently I bought my first print mystery which I'll looking forward to sitting down with soon is the The First Rumpole Omnibus.

So that's medium of it (not short and not, hopefully, too long) of it.  So still very much on the newish side but hope to learn more!

Welcome aboard mwbworld!

One of my first mystery loves was The Three Investigators as well so you are in good company on that front. I'm also a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. I haven't read any of the Charlie Chan stories in print but grew up as a huge fan of the movies. I did buy a collection of the first year of the newspaper strips that were done featuring Chan though.

I read science fiction and fantasy when I was growing up as well. I don't read much at all in the fantasy genre anymore though. On occasion I read a Star Trek prose novel (and comics along with Star Wars comics too). The one "hard" science fiction series I've stuck with though is David Weber's Honor Harrington series.

I hope you find lots more mysteries to love by reading the board here and trying out different titles we talk about.

What I'm Reading / Re: Just added to my waiting-to-be-read pile.
« on: May 19, 2020, 08:04:14 pm »
No bookstores near me have opened back up to the public yet. They are either completely closed or doing curbside pickup or mail order.

I did just get the first novel by Mary Kellikoa called DERAILED in the mail today though.

I went through some boxes of old paperbacks and found Going for the Gold by Emma Lathen. I was nervous to read it again in case it felt really dated, but I still liked it. Of course there were no cell phones (not as we know them) when this was written in 1981, and being a travel agent was considered a nice, safe career in those pre-internet times but I still found it an entertaining read.

The book is about a couple mysteries at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York and the chaos that ensues when a massive blizzard engulfs the area in several feet of snow. We meet several of the Olympic athletes. The book mentions ski-jumps, luge, ice skating and a couple that I'm forgetting.

In addition to the Olympic games and the blizzard, there are all kinds of things going on, from murder to counterfeiting and bank fraud. I read this book when it first came out but I had forgotten who did it. I don't know if I have any other Emma Lathen books around, but now I'd like to reread some of her others.

I'm glad to see the book held up for you Hannah. Did the author mention the US Hockey Team in the book? It would seem strange that the biggest story to come out of that particular Olympiad didn't rate a mention.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: May 14, 2020, 07:41:52 am »

I'm almost finished with MURDER ON CAPE COD and I want to comment on one character in particular - Belle, the African Gray Parrot. I've never had a pet bird, but several years ago I read a fascinating book by an author I've met, Jenny Gardiner, called "Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me."  It's been re-released with the title "Bite Me: A parrot, a family, and a whole lot of flesh wounds." I'm curious about Bella, who is more entertaining than vicious, and I wonder who Edith/Maddie modeled her on.

Okay, got to go - I'm determined to finish this book tonight!

You could always go on Facebook and ask her. :D


I came across several books by John Feinstein while I was searching for sports-related mysteries. Have you reviewed any of his books?

No, I've never reviewed any of his books. He writes books about sports AND he wrote some fiction as well. So if you decide to check out anything be careful to get his fiction, not the non-fiction stuff. I did read a non-fiction book he wrote about tennis that was pretty good though.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: May 13, 2020, 07:49:31 am »

I hope all of you are managing to read and relax during this time of social distancing. I wonder how authors will work the pandemic into their mystery plots?

I kind of hope they don't. Or maybe mention it in passing as if it is already over in the fictional world.

Sportswriters Mike Lupica and John Feinstein have written  some pretty good sports books including some on basketball.

Lupica writes kid sports stories as well but the ones I mean are his "adult" mysteries.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: May 12, 2020, 09:39:12 am »

Thanks for the link to your review. I'm looking forward to reading this series now. I must admit, I go a little bananas when I find misused words in a book. I notice typos/misspellings but I hope those are printing errors rather than neglect on the part of the author or publisher.

I try to forget this type of error - if I dwell on it I know it will drive me up the wall. I occasionally receive Advance Reader Copies and I'm assuming you (as a reviewer) receive a lot more than I do. I've learned to be very forgiving of ARCs - often they will have a number of errors that are corrected by the official publishing date. I feel sorry for authors when there are errors not of their doing - that must be so frustrating!

The advance copies are always uncorrected so I expect mistakes there. I just thought it was perversely funny that a couple of wrong words made it through every stage of editing. I don't dwell on it when I'm reading the book, I just thought it would make a nice little sidenote in the review. It didn't affect whether or not I liked the story though.

Meanwhile, I might be going back to work starting Monday so I'm going to work on getting one more book read before the end of the week. Once I go back, my reading time will obviously be cut down.

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