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Messages - JRob

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I haven't yet gotten to reading the latest issue, but I keep a pen and paper next to me when I read each issue to write down books to add to my list or publisher's websites to look up. One of my various want lists is dedicated to just books I've found an interest in from seeing them in Mystery Scene.

I can say that the very first author that I was turned onto in the first issue that I ever read was C.J. Box. Oline Cogdill had an interview with him and it sounded great. I bought the first book but didn't finish it before I went out and bought as many as I could find on the shelves because the first one was so amazing.


It's so funny how that works. I once got into a conversation with a woman at a bookstore. She saw me browsing through mysteries and went on a rant about how over-rated Agatha Christie is. I knew it would be a waste of time and energy defending one of my favorite authors when I was pretty sure she'd never even read one.

I'm not always in the mood for cozies, just like I'm not always in the mood for noir or thrillers. And I must admit, when I first started reading Sherlock Holmes stories, I enjoyed the plots but thought Holmes was an annoying know-it-all. Reading the Mary Russell books humanized Holmes for me, and watching Elementary made him more likable to me, too.

I've had people ask me for recommendations every so often so I give them suggestions. Some take them, others don't but the ones who do have generally liked the books I've recommended.

Right from the start, I've loved everything about Sherlock Holmes. The know-it-all aspect actually appealed to me so obviously there must be something wrong with me. Ha!

I read all sorts of homages to the Holmes canon or non-canonical Holmes stories that get published. The library's Mystery Book Club just read the first book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany which I love, but it was funny that one member just hated everything about the main character. She printed out everything that she didn't like and when someone asked me what I thought about what she said, my response was "Everything she hated is what made me like the character and book."

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: January 14, 2020, 03:45:17 pm »

You handled that well. It's tricky figuring out which response will defuse the situation and which will trigger a full-on nuclear reaction!

The only problem for other people having a nuclear reaction is that I have a pretty volcanic temper when I get roused so it would be worse for them. This is why I try to have as little damage to my calm  as possible.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: January 14, 2020, 03:52:13 am »

Wow, I'm really surprised that your accuser would pick up on "spook" as racist. Even Urban Dictionary identifies it more as a slang word related to government agents and espionage. Since the cover of the book shows a copy of "Sleepy Hollow" as well as pumpkins, a cat and a lighthouse, I think the combination of the title and the cover point to the book being about spooky ghosts.

Was your accuser confrontational or did he/she just toss that comment out there and leave it at that?

A good book and Dunkin Donuts certainly would take some of the pain out of doing laundry!

She struck me as one of those fake "woke" people who find offense wherever they can regardless of reality. Like you said, the book has Sleepy Hollow and pumpkins on the cover, it is pretty clear what the book would be about. I just looked at her and said, "It's a book about Halloween" and turned away from her. She wisely let it go at that.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: January 13, 2020, 04:14:32 pm »
I finished catching up on the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates.

I read THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS (which got me accused of reading a book with an oddly racist title at the Dunkin Donuts next to the laundromat where I do my clothes washing), SOMETHING READ, SOMETHING DEAD and READ AND BURIED.

I don't care who writes a book. It is more important that the book they write be something I actually want to read.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: January 13, 2020, 04:03:38 am »
I'm not into gothic stories or a whole lot of psychological suspense either.

I generally read stories that fall under the "Blood, Bodies and Bullets" banner or cozies.

I finished the Eva Gates "Lighthouse Library" series book SOMETHING READ, SOMETHING DEAD over the weekend.

What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: January 10, 2020, 03:45:03 am »
By the way, here's what I chose for my ten favorite books of 2019. When I posted the link, I heard from every author on the list, some even shared the link on their social media. Oh and Edith Maxwell shared the link in her monthly newsletter so that was cool.

I agree that ELEMENTARY, despite its many changes to the original story, really captured the spirit of Sherlock Holmes. Jonny Lee Miller was excellent and I also liked Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson. The episodes on addiction were particularly good, I thought.


I know the ratings for the show were low but I still wish they were making new episodes. It just hit the right notes in how everything was portrayed.

Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Best Mysteries of the Decade
« on: January 08, 2020, 03:57:01 am »

For the 1990s I would say Michael Connelly's The Black Echo as that really got me into reviewing and Val McDermid's A Place of Execution, 1999...2 books that began and ended the 1990s

I've read Michael Connelly's The Black Echo (though I read it AFTER discovering the next book in the series first) but I haven't read any of Val McDermid's books. I keep meaning to but just never seem to find the time.


I agree with you. I saw the Downey/Holmes movie and while I didn't dislike it, I had a hard time accepting Downey as Holmes. I like Brett, Rathbone, and Cumberbatch, and I like Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes in the TV show ELEMENTARY.

I would say that Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes in the ELEMENTARY series would be my 2nd favorite portrayal because I loved that show. I watched every episode and I'm planning on buying the series DVD set as soon as I can.

What I'm Reading / Re: What I am Reading
« on: January 08, 2020, 03:52:44 am »
While I have heard of the author and seen coverage of her work, I've yet to actually read Mindy Mejia's work. But if you are recommending her Oline, I'll have to add her to my list.

I've only seen the first Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock movie. It was fine but it felt more like the actor PLAYING a caricature of Holmes than actually playing Holmes.

Nothing beats Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes.

I've seen some of the black and white movies with Basil Rathbone, but it was so long ago that I really don't remember them all that well.

What I'm Reading / Re: Just added to my waiting-to-be-read pile.
« on: January 07, 2020, 03:48:53 am »
Yes I would recommend it. I'm going to be getting the 3rd and 4th books through my library.

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