Some Fine Literature to Peruse

Posted: 2002-05-16 in General
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Man do I bounce from extreme to extreme at work! Two weeks ago I was sitting at my desk, counting the seconds as they went by, wishing for anything to do that'd take up some of my attention, and now I'm so swamped that I wouldn't even have time to stop to pee if I was working the way my manager wants me to.

But I don't really want to write about work today, and I've been thinking about all the wonderful books I've been reading lately that I haven't written about, so I thought I'd do a mini book-review session for today's entry, filling in a couple of the gaps in my book-history over the past few weeks.

  • The Tenth Commandment by Lawrence Sanders – An excellent mystery story about a self-consciously short man (five feet, three and three-eighths inches, to be exact) and his first "real" case as the head investigator for a middle-sized law firm in NYC. As I've found with many of Lawrence Sanders' other mysteries, he spins a truly engaging story that seems to toss you into the lives of the characters and lose you in what's going on. The combination of characters and plot lets me award this book 9 out of 10 stars.
  • The Eighth Commandment by Lawrence Sanders – Not quite as good as the previous mystery, this one involves an exceptionally tall woman (seeing a trend here?) nicknamed "Dunk" and her investigation into the burglary of a valuable coin stolen from her workplace in an appraisal house. Although still a pretty good yarn, the story was a little predictable and left me feeling only so-so after the end. 6 out of 10 stars is the best I can do here.
  • Casual Rex by Eric Garcia – The second book by this young creative-writing major, Garcia brings the reader back to a world where dinosaurs still exist, and live amongst humanity in disguise. Vincent Rubio, a velociraptor making his way through life as a private investigator, finds himself drawn into an investigation about the murder of a member of an underground back-to-basics movement among dinosaurs while he searches for a missing Mussolini – a rare and priceless prosthetic penis treasured in the dinosaur community. This book is hilarious and intriguing at the same time – a good combination. 8 out of 10 stars makes this a worthwhile book to check out.
  • One for the Money by Janet Evanovich – The first of a group of action mysteries starring the vibrant, young, and sometimes naive Stephanie Plum, this book tells the story about how Stephanie takes on her job as a bounty hunter and relates her first big bail-bond capture. Although this was a pretty entertaining story, I liked the second book in the series better, so I'm giving this one 7 out of 10 stars.
  • Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card – This was simply a kick-ass book. It's not one you want to just pick up though….it's part of an 8-book series (The Ender's Game Series), split into two sets of 4 books, running parallel courses. This novel is the 2nd book in the 2nd course, following Ender's Shadow, and probably needs at least that one book as an introduction to the characters and the plot in order to make it so magical. If you haven't heard of it, or haven't ever tried reading 'em, I'd recommend picking up a copy of Ender's Game and flipping through it (don't worry, it's a real fast read) and then pick up some of the other books in the series from there. Hegemon deals with the battle-school cast and their experience returning to Earth after the war against the "Buggers". Filled with brilliant deductions and plot twists, this book left me turning page after page and I stayed up way too late for way too many nights in a row to finish it off. 10 out of 10 stars for this excellent read.
  • The Timothy Files by Lawrence Sanders – A completely different set of stories than the Commandment books, Sanders introduces Timothy Cone, a private dick for an financial investigation company. A little more gritty, a little more fast-paced, a little more intriguing, the stories of Timothy Cone grab your attention and don't let go. With three distinct mysteries in the same book, Sanders provides the reader with quick and dirty mysteries that appeal to the imagination and leave you wanting more. 9 out of 10 big ones for Cone.
  • Timothy's Game by Lawrence Sanders – Following The Timothy Files, this book contains another trio of mystery investigations by the rough and street-wise Timothy Cone. Although not quite as exciting as the original stories, this book really helps flush out some of the characters in Timothy's world and helps you view New York City in a new light. I'll give this one 8 out 10 stars, but it's inching towards 9.

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