“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Monday Review

The late, lamented Siobhan Dowd may be gone but she is by no means forgotten. “Dowd’s prose is simple, yet masterful, and her sense of humour jumps off the page. The tension is kept high throughout the story and the reader is left guessing until the very last … A must-read for fans of the traditional mystery genre!” reckon the folks at the MS Readathon of The London Eye Mystery … “Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony is a good story. Artemis is redeemed, but still a saucy adolescent who is just feeling the effects of puberty. He’s also learning about senses of humour … I enjoyed the Lost Colony before bed, by the pool and on the bus,” says Miss Kate of Eoin Colfer’s latest … Yet more big-ups for Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant, this time from Joon Scribble at Live Journal: “The story breezes through and while danger is afoot, it’s never high enough to make you feel actually worried. But it’s a nice, fast read and I grew to like the characters enough so that even if I didn’t get too involved in their actual story, I did want to read about them.” … Delving into Crime Spree’s back issues, Judy Clemens is impressed by Andrew Nugent’s Second Burial, to wit:“(T)his beautifully written book … Nugent’s knowledge of the African community in Ireland is written into this book in an interesting and engrossing way, and by the end of the book I felt I learned something completely new … I am so glad to have discovered Nugent – to me a new author – and will certainly be looking up more of his work.” … The Irish Emigrant makes Ingrid Black’s The Judas Heart its Book of the Week, concluding: “As with all rewarding crime stories, this is a book that requires concentration to keep abreast of the twists and turns of the plot, twists and turns which reflect the distorted thinking of a number of the characters. The third in a series featuring agent Saxon, it manages to keep the suspense alive until the very last pages.” … The inevitable John Connolly review is a Crime Spree magazine double-whammy. In Issue 14, Ruth Jordan declares that, “The Book of Lost Things is a wonderful moment in literature. It’s not a mystery. It’s a fairytale for adults. And children. Every sentence wraps its heart around anyone who loves words. The protagonist himself loves words and therefore has an open imagination. The writer? He’s operating upon another level.” Pat Frovarp takes up the baton in Issue 15, to wit: “David’s experience in this monster-filled other-world is brought to life by Connolly’s unique imagination as it carries the reader along a wickedly clever path that will keep you turning the pages. The Book of Lost Things is certainly a departure for Mr. Connolly, but a story so entrancing that one ought not to pass it by.” We couldn’t agree more … “Christine Falls, despite an ultimately less-than-believable resolution, is a delight in itself, and it’s also a promising experiment. The book fuels the best kind of suspense, not just about Quirke’s future adventures but about the effects of the crafty Benjamin Black on John Banville’s art,” says Gideon Lewis-Kraus at The Slate … “I read until my eyes ached, rested a bit and went back to finish this amazing book. Michael Collins lays the American lifestyle out there for our examination in a “can’t put it down” tale that most of us can relate to,” says Nancy, via Powell’s Books, of Death of a Writer, aka The Secret Life of Robert E. Pendleton … Back to Crime Spree magazine, and a major hup-ya from Jon Jordan for Adrian McKinty in Issue 18, to wit: “Adrian McKinty has garnered nothing but praise for his first two books. This third in the trilogy, The Bloomsday Dead, should leave no doubt that he is a true star. Fast moving and highly engaging, this is a great book. McKinty just gets better and better, a true star of crime fiction.” Finally, a timely boost for Cora Harrison in the week in which My Lady Judge is published in the US, delivered by Dave Biemann of Mystery One Bookstore: “Cora Harrison writes with an easy grace. The relationships between her characters reminds one, very much, of Ellis Peters and her Brother Cadfael … Fans of the traditional mystery, Irish history, off-stage violence, subtle romance and a well paced and plotted read should thoroughly enjoy My Lady Judge.” The Judge judged, eh? Oooh, the humanity, etc.

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