February Mystery Favs

Charlie Hood is once more the focal point of T. Jefferson Parker’s latest police procedural, The Renegades. When his partner is brutally murdered, Hood is drawn into the investigation and, through the ongoing probe, the ugly underbelly of police corruption, Mexican drug cartels and the darkest depths of the human soul are plumbed in this is non-stop blasting ride of a thriller — one that only a deft storyteller like Parker could provide. – Barbara Hoagland

Poor young filing clerk Henry Lamb has no choice in the matter — he becomes part of a vast conspiracy which began with Queen Victoria selling her soul and the city of London and ends with the young Prince Arthur in the 21st century. The house of Windsor is now in trouble as the debt becomes due. Henry Lamb unwillingly becomes part of the battle to save London from the grotesque creature now released into the world to claim its prize. Freakish characters spring up around Henry including his own grandfather and two men dressed as schoolboys whose ideas of innocent pranks include blood and torture. Jonathan Barnes’ The Domino Men combines conspiracy thriller with fantasy and a touch of dark humour thrown in for good measure. – Wendy Foster-Leigh

Joe Gores has channeled Hammett and his time period in Spade & Archer — a must-read for those who enjoyed either the book or movie, The Maltese Falcon.  In this novel, Sam Spade is a combination of Hammett, himself, plus his various literary characters. Archer dies early in the movie; however, in Spade & Archer he is portrayed as an avaricious and greedy “gumshoe”. Gores’ use of the language of the period appeals to the “campy” side of the reader but does not become a parody of the original. The Hammett family requested that Gores write this book because of his previous novel, Hammett. The book is a fine addition to the literature of the “hard-boiled Dick.” – Wendy Foster-Leigh

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