Friday, June 30, 2006

The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block



Well, it was no Thomas Crown Affair. It was overly complicated and not really that satisfying. Plus the planting evidence and framing suspects was especially pronounced here. Nonetheless, a bad Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery is still more enjoyable to read than the best efforts of lesser detective series. And now I have read all of the books in the series (well until he writes a new one) so that is, in itself, satisfying. If only I had read them in order...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block



Not the best in the series, a little dated and a little racist. But it did introduce Carolyn and the bookstore (although it didn't show Bernie meeting Carolyn or acquiring the bookstore. That had already happened by the start of the book.) I wonder if the elusive Kipling book mentioned throughout is a real text. The Deliverance of Fort Bucklow. I must look that up.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block



I feel bad for the characters at the end of these Bernie Rhodenbarr books because they're always getting framed for murder. I mean, they're guilty and all, but it is a distinct characteristic of the series that Bernie will always plant evidence to support his case. And he never gets charged with the burglary he inevitably does. But the idea of the cop on the take is brilliant for explaining that.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Funny Thing Is..., by Ellen Degeneres



The followup to My Point...and I do Have One, this book contains a lot of material from her HBO special The Beginning and, I hate to say, it's not as funny. I'm glad I read it and it is funny but I can't imagine re-reading it a dozen times like the first book, or re-watching it like the HBO special. But I am an Ellen fan so I enjoyed it. I do like the fact that it's copyrighted to "Crazy Monkey Inc." Tee hee. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Burglars Can't Be Choosers: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block


This was the first Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery, written the year I was born. Boy, both the character and the author have really evolved since then! It's good, but it's full of popular 1970's words, like "mufti." At least I assume that's a '70's word. Maybe Block just likes to be obscure. Hmm...that does sound like him.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Burglar on the Prowl: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block



Even though the writing is snappy enough to be genuinely engaging and fun to read (that's why I do) this one had a convoluted plot that I didn't really care about enough to try to keep things straight.

Plus, and this is especially disturbing, the element of rape is showcased fairly prominently, which I find horrifying. It was treated flippantly, even by the female characters (even the victim!!). The opening chapter is

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Burglar in the Closet: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block



Two dentist-related murder mysteries in a row! How strange. This was interesting, because it was before Bernie Rhodenbarr had fully evolved (only the second in the series)--he's not even a bookseller yet. Makes me want to read the whole series.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Death of an Addict, by M.C. Beaton



Always a fan of the Hamish Macbeth series. This one had a strange, muddled ending, with a side story romance. Strange. Not bad, but not as compelling, plot-wise, as some of the others.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The Burglar Who Thought He was Bogart: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block



I think what I like most in a good, fun mystery novel is that there are inevitably characters in it who are readers of good, fun mystery novels themselves. And those characters are always intelligent, witty and amply rewarded for all their hobby reading by being well-equipped to solve the real-life crimes in front of them.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Burglar in the Library: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block



I am officially a fan of this series--fun, well-written, enjoyable to read. The ending was a bit disappointing, like the other Block read, but by the ending I had had so much fun reading it that I didn't care.