Friday, May 06, 2011

The Hard Stuff

I ordered three books from Amazon yesterday, not a one of them fantasy, SF, or sword & sorcery. No, this was kind of a throw back to my older reading habits, the twenty or so year period when I read virtually nothing but hard boiled crime fiction. Happened like this. I was browsing at Amazon and I spotted a new Mickey Spillane/Max Allan Collins Mike Hammer novel, Kiss Her Goodbye. I've been reading the new Hammer books and enjoying them tremendously, (Not sure why I haven't reviewed them. Probably got pushed out by some Conan related rant.) so I ordered that one on the spot.
Then I remembered that Sixkill, the new and presumably final Spenser novel completed by Robert B. Parker was out this week, so I added that to my order. Now if you shop much at Amazon you know that as you browse, the webpage begins to make recommendations based on what you looked at and what you've ordered in the past. Sometimes annoying. Sometimes handy. This time, Amazon recommended a new Matt Scudder book by Lawrence Block.
Back in April of 2008 I blogged about how Block had once been at the top of my reading list but how I'd been increasingly disappointed by the Scudder books, not finishing two and finally not buying the last, 2005's All the Flowers Are Dying. I figured Scudder and me were through. However, when I read the book description for A Drop of the Hard Stuff, which is a flashback book, taking place in the days when Scudder was an alcoholic ex-cop looking for some sort of redemption on the mean streets, I decided to give it a shot. I still would put the Scudder novel Eight Million Ways to Die on my top ten Private Eye books of all time. Just stay away from the movie made from it. I'll let you know what I think of the new one.
So that was my order. Three doses of Hardboiled fiction. Feels like old home week. And yes, now I'm thinking about my list of top ten Private Eye novels of all time...

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