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Detective fiction is a branch of crime fiction that centers upon the investigation of a crime, usually murder, by a detective, either professional or amateur. Detective fiction is the most popular form of both mystery fiction and hardboiled crime fiction. A common feature of detective fiction is an investigator who is unmarried, with some source of income other than a regular job, and who generally has some pleasing eccentricities or striking characteristics. He or she frequently has a less intelligent assistant, or foil, who is asked to make apparently irrelevant inquiries and acts as an audience surrogate for the explanation of the mystery at the end of the story.

Book review: The Texas Twist by John Vorhaus


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Radar Hoverlander is back in a fast paced, hilarious tale of double-triple-crosses, big cons, and just trying to get along with as much money as possible.

Book review: Messenger by Craig Johnson


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A little taster of Walt Longmire that's been released to whet potential readers appetites' for the new full length novel... and whet it does indeed!

Book review: Green To Go by John H Cunningham


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Buck Reilly is back! In a fast paced romp across continents, joined by his long suffering mechanic and the faithful Betty, Buck is fighting for his reputation and his life with his quirky charm and a whole lot of luck. But will his luck run out when he is stranded in the last place in the world he wants to be?

Book review: Johnny Passe by Scott Fivelson and Tim Cleavenger


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”I'm Passe. Johnny Passe.” In the big city where everyone scurries onto the next big trend, and the classics fall by the wayside, it's easy to become passe. Unless you're noir by Fivelson and Cleavenger. In this case, Passe is enduring.

Book review: Red Right Return: A Buck Reilly Adventure by John H Cunningham


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When Jimmy Buffet sang “Son of a son of a sailor”, he could have been singing about this particular Buck Reilly Adventure.

Play review: Dial L for Latch-Key by Scott Fivelson


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You'll wish you could see Dial L for Latch-Key in a theatre near you immediately after reading this little gem, because then you'd be sitting in a theatre laughing with other people, as opposed to snickering quietly to yourself alone.

Book Review: A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami



Y'know how all my book reviews start with "y'know how?" Y'know how I recently accused Chuck Pahlaniuk of writing a novel that oversold its blurb.. y'know?

Book review: The Witness For The Prosecution And Other Stories by Agatha Christie



Far more satisfying than my last Agatha Christie experience; this collection of short stories, originally published in 1948 (obviously seven years did wonders for her), delves into the supernatural, the mysterious, the psychological, the criminal, and the downright strange.

Book review: The Sign Of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



The second of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novellas, The Sign Of Four (originally published in 1890), is less with the long-winded-Sherlock-Holmes-single-minded-genius and more with the getting-to-know-the-many-facets-of-Sherlock-Holmes, beginning with his penchant for injecting cocaine to relieve boredom and smattered with his airy ability to quote philosophers in a multitude of languages (happily ignoring the fact that in the previous story, Holmes had no interest in philosophy). The new Sherlock Holmes is certainly an improvement, though.

Book review: A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was originally published in 1887, and it's still around, reprinted as recently as 2004. Sherlock Holmes sure has stood the test of time, and A Study In Scarlet is one of his most well known stories - probably because it's the world's introduction to the illustrious Sherlock Holmes, and documents his meeting with Watson and their first mystery together, and also because it's a bit longer and more detailed than Doyle's later stories.

Book review: The Return Of The Dancing Master by Henning Mankell



I was pleasantly surprised by The Return Of The Dancing Master. I guess from the cover I was expecting a pulp thriller of the most noxious and basic kind, with a name selected for whimsy and to sucker in people like me. What I DIDN’T look at was the author’s name... Henning Mankell. Turns out he’s Swedish. Who knew? Anyway, more to the point, the book was actually originally written in Swedish, and then translated into English. Which gives the whole experience less of a thriller feeling and more of a smugly-reading-foreign-text feeling. Which was nice.

Book review: Bad Boy Brawly Brown by Walter Mosley



When a man has lived the way Easy Rawlins has—flirting with the wrong side of the law his whole life (or at least in the six previous Easy Rawlins books)—it’s time for him to settle down. He has responsibilities: Bonnie, his beautiful girlfriend. Jesus and Feather, his adopted kids. Even Frenchie, Feather’s little yellow dog who hates him, is a kind of responsibility. He has a good job and a good home and his best friend’s death on his conscience. And... Walter Mosley’s done it again.

Book review: Just A Corpse At Twilight by Janwillem van de Wetering



Apparently this little gem is the twelfth book in the Grijpstra and DeGrier Mystery series (I can just manage to pronounce DeGrier, but I can’t even begin to vocalise Grijpstra), which follows two Dutch detectives going about their business in a manner that is extremely read-worthy. Just A Corpse At Twilight is well written with a decent plot and manages to convey the constant message that it isn’t just another murder mystery police novel. And if all this hasn’t convinced you, the back flap of the book jacket contains a photo of the writer, and one look at him should convince you that this will be an interesting read indeed.

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