Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fifty Shades of Fedora (Anthology) by Robert J. Randisi

One of the most important reasons I developed the Shamus Sampler series of anthologies was that the Private Eye Writers of America didn't seem to put out theirs anymore. Lucky for me, they're back with this one, as always expertly edited by Robert J. Randisi. I'm sorry he didn't do introductions for each tale, used to love those.
The running theme, as can be guessed a bit by the title is sex. Some graphic and kinky, some more implied. Some tales didn't really seem to be real PI tales to me, but of course that wasn't advertised either. A LOT of them are, I'm happy to say, though.
Among the writers are Carolina Garcia-Aquilera, Justin Scott, Gary Phillips, Jerry Kennealy, Michael Bracken, Christine Matthews, Robert J. Randisi, Warren Murphy, Ted Fitzgerald, Dick Lochte, and John Lutz. I loved seeing Max Allan Collins with a Nate Heller story and Jerry Kennealy put in a short and sweet Nick Polo tale. The fact there's a VI Warshawski tale in it should sell some extra copies. Some tales are a bit raunchier than others, Bracken's probably the more hardcore one. If you don't like that kind of stuff, don't worry, it is at the beginning but  not indicative to the rest.
Special mention should go to Ted Fitzgerald's Tex Texeira who is a PI that does background checks for a nudie magazine. I thought that idea was very original and the tale very enjoyable. @Ted: if you are reading this, be sure to contact me for an interview.

Storme Warning 0Wyatt Storme) by W.L. Ripley

Man, as much as I love Ace Atkins writing Spenser, here's a guy that would be able to continue that series really well. This is totally new book featuring Wyatt Storme that will have me pick up the reprints coming soon as well for sure.
Wyatt Storme is an ex-football player and Vietnam veteran who is visited by his old pal and psycho sidekick, the ex-CIA agent Chick Easton. Chick asks him for help protecting a bad boy movie-star during the shoot of a Western movie. There's also an old enemy of Storme lurking around.
Storme is a really cool guy, a real John Wayne kind of guy. Tall, honest, kind to women and a bit of a loner. He also gets in quite a few witty lines in the Spenser veign. Chick is an almost superhuman sidekick, where there's of course some comparisons to Hawk
The story is paced well with enough twists and action and a shift to the POV of Storme's old enemy that nevers confuses or annoys.
Great, old-fashioned PI writing and a MUST for fans of Spenser, Elvis Cole or my own Noah Milano.
One of my favorite books of the year so far.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Night Tremors (Rick Cahill) by Matt Coyle

Every time I seem to think I am tiring of the PI genre maybe another novel like this one pops up and affirms my love of the genre.
I loved the first one in this series so I was excited to read this one and it didn't disappoint. In fact, I loved it even more than the first book. The story flows better and faster, the prose is even tighter and the mystery more interesting.
Haunted by the memories of the man he killed and the death of his wife Rick Cahill now works as a PI for a larger firm, snapping pictures of cheating husbands and wives. When a lawyer (great, fun character) asks him to prove a young man did not murder his family he gets involved with a dangerous group of bikers.
As he investigates the case gets more and more personal and in the end Cahill is forced to face his demons and embrace his dark side. The ending might really surprise you and had me anxiously awaiting book 3.
This is shaping up to be one of my favorite new series.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

VOTE FOR MY NEXT STORY

I'm going to try something with you all on my blog. You can help me choose what my next short story will be about and which hardboiled detective it will star. I will use polls here and on Facebook to ask you what you want to see. First we choose the basics of the detective, next poll we will go into further detail.
So, all of you... Please vote and ask your friends to vote as well. Just have a look at the poll at the right frame...

Windy City Blues (Jules Landau) by Mark Krulewitch

I pretty much enjoyed the first one in this series so I was eager enough to read this one.
When a parking cop is killed Jules Landau is hired to find out who did it. Jules is still pretty new at this game, but he's got a good mentor who is unfortunately very old so might not be around for long.
His investigation takes him into Chicago corruption and has him falling for a beautiful Georgian baker while he is forced to take on the Georgian Mob as well.
It's all pretty standard modern day PI stuff but written with heart and I fell in love with the Georgian baker a bit. I have to admit I didn't enjoy it as much as the first novel which had that special first novel energy this one lacks.
Still, if you want a solid PI series that ticks all the necessary boxes of the genre you will like this one.