The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

I finished half the book.

Perhaps 3 1/4 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

It might be a great read. It’s won a number of awards.

Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day.

For me there were too many characters. The plot was too confusing to easily follow.


Ruler of the Night by David Morrell


Just as good as the previous two.

He published this in 2016 and since seems to be back working on his Rambo character.

The notorious Opium-Eater returns in the sensational climax to David Morrell’s acclaimed Victorian mystery series.

Like Morrell’s two previous De Quincey novels, Ruler of the Night blends fact and fiction to an exceptional degree, this time focusing on an actual Victorian murder so startling that it changed the culture—in this case, the first murder on an English train, its brutality stoking fears that the newly invented railway would, as one newspaper predicted, “annihilate time and space.” …

The other novels in David’s acclaimed Victorian mystery/thriller series also feature a real-life 1800s crime that paralyzed London and all of England. Murder As a Fine Art has a backdrop of the first publicized mass murders in English history, the Radcliffe Highway killings. Inspector of the Dead features the numerous attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Michael Connelly – The Poet

I finally got around to one of Connelly’s most famous books. My Mom read it after me.

The Poet from 1996.

A sequel, The Narrows, was published in 2004.

It’s the one where journalist Jack McEvoy meets FBI agent Rachel Walling. No

It’s excellent. And a good first Michael Connelly book, if you haven’t read him.

Jack McEvoy is a Denver crime reporter with the stickiest assignment of his career. His twin brother, homicide detective Sean McEvoy, was found dead in his car from a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head–an Edgar Allen Poe quote smeared on the windshield. Jack is going to write the story. The problem is that Jack doesn’t believe that his brother killed himself, and the more information he uncovers, the more it looks like Sean’s death was the work of a serial killer.

Career of Evil by JK Rowling

Book #3 in her excellent Cormoran Strike series. Rowling writes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Unlike most books I read, in this one are only two important characters: Robin Ellacott and her boss Cormoran Strike.

Both are damaged individuals. Both are flawed. Both are complex.

The relationship between the two drives the plotline.

In this one a killer (who loves Blue Öyster Cult) stalks Robin, whom he sees as part of his plan to exact revenge against private investigator Cormoran Strike.


In the BBC TV series Tom Burke plays Strike. And seems to have one leg missing, as does Strike in the book.




Dune: books 1-3

If you claim Dune is the greatest Science Fiction novel of all time, I’d not argue.

Recently I reread the first 3 books in the series.

Written 1965, it’s superb. Not at all dated.

Dune was rejected by more than 20 publishers—before being published by Chilton Books, a little-known printing house best known for its auto repair manuals.

Frank Herbert wrote 6 books before his death. As I recall from past readings each sequel was less compelling.

Book 2 is Dune Messiah 1969. I again found it slow, dark and overly philosophical.

Book 3 is Children of Dune 1976. Better than Messiah, but still too slow paced. In fact hardly anything happens in books 2 and 3. It’s mostly interpersonal intrigue.

When his son took over for the 7th book they got even worse.

I actually found things to like about both the 1984 film and the 2000 TV miniseries. Sting was excellent, for example.

Still … it’s time for another version of Dune. Happily we can look forward to that December, 2020. Jason Momoa plays Duncan Idaho.

Liet Kynes will be played by a woman.

Click PLAY or watch a teaser on YouTube.

In June 2019 it was announced that Legendary Television will be producing a spin-off television series, Dune: The Sisterhood, for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max. The series will focus on the Bene Gesserit and serve as a prequel to the 2020 film.

Michael Connelly – Dark Sacred Night

LAPD Detective Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch in the new thriller from author Michael Connelly.

Connelly’s 2018 book finds Bosch much limited due to old age — knee pain.

Harry refuses to get replacement surgery as it would take him off the job too long.

Connelly seems to want to replace Bosch with a younger character, Renee Ballard. She’s cool, but not as engaging as Harry Bosch.

Connelly is my favourite currant author, but I found this plot less engaging than usual.


Secret Adversary (1922) by Agatha Christie

I’d not read Agatha Christie for decades. And Then There Were None was a favourite of mine as a teenager.

Secret Adversary is a surprisingly sophisticated and complicated murder mystery … done in a very lighthearted way.

Very easy to read.

The book introduces the characters of Tommy and Tuppence who feature in three other Christie novels and one collection of short stories …

The Secret Adversary was the second Christie work to be turned into a film. …

The novel was adapted twice for television, in 1983 and in 2014 …