Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Between the pages, Past
A Mystery Column
By Dennis Collins

Reading and writing

      I read books and then write about them for I tell you what my thoughts are and what I liked about the book. Because many of the books I read are uncorrected proof copies, I stay away from picking them apart on technicalities. It wouldn’t be fair because it’s not the finished product. But the story is there and that’s what we all care about anyway.

    The people at Myshelf send me many review copies but sometimes I choose a book that I just want to review. I get a wide assortment of novels from a wide assortment of authors and a wide assortment of writing styles. And some of them stay in my memory for a long time.

     This year I had the chance to read a lot of fairly new authors and it’s downright encouraging to see the talent that’s out there. There were veterans in the group too like Walter Mosely whose The Man in My Basement is an absolute masterpiece that leaves the reader questioning civilized morality.

    Michael Allen Dymmoch can hardly be considered a new author but her White Tiger just might make her a household name. She just gets better with every book.

    Nancy Mehl’s Malevolence could easily be her breakout novel. The pace is perfect, the characters intriguing, and the plot extremely provocative. And I might add that the writing is absolutely top notch.

   I’m going to reach back a year for this one. The Butterfly Game by Gloria Davidson Marlowe is a gripping story told by a natural story teller. It’s been over a year since I read this book and I can remember almost every detail. That should tell you something right there. As murder mysteries go, it’s somewhat low keyed but there’s just something about the way it’s presented that screams “Perfect!”

   Bullets by Steve Brewer offered a light hearted change of pace in a story where it seemed everybody was trying to kill everybody and most succeeded. “Some people are ridiculously easy to kill.” has to be the best opening line I’ve read in decades.

    Another name to watch for is Peter Pavia. I read his Dutch Uncle and it has that staccato tempo of a Mickey Spillane and the gruff resolute tone of an Elmore Leonard. Great book.

    All in all it’s been a fun year of reading and writing and I’m hoping for many more.

2006 Past Columns

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