Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Store Hat Trick

We were in New York City earlier this week and I visited three of my favorite bookstores -- The Strand Book Store, Partners & Crime, and The Mysterious Bookshop. The Strand and Partners & Crime are about 15 minutes apart (walking). The Mysterious Bookshop is only one subway stop away meaning you can hit all three without much effort.

As I browsed, I noticed that I had Kindle availability in mind when assessing whether or not to purchase an item. I put one book back because there is a Kindle edition only to discover later that it isn't available to U.S. Kindle users. As a criterion, this has its limitations.

The Strand
The crime and thriller section is small but I grabbed several desirable titles.

Nunn, Malla -- A Beautiful Place to Die and Let the Dead Lie. South Africa. I grabbed these for my Africa shelf. Malla's Emmanuel Cooper books are set in South Africa shortly after apartheid went into effect.

Upfield, Arthur W. -- Man of Two Tribes. Australia. Upfield's Napoleon Bonaparte books are difficult to find much less in hardback.

Partners & Crime
This is a wonderful book store, nicely organized for browsing, with a friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Harvey, John -- Rough Treatment. Britain.This is the second in the Detective Inspector Resnick series. I already had the first, Lonely Hearts, and like to have more than one in hand before I start a series.

Izzo, Jean-Claude --  Total Chaos. France. Translated. This was an impulse buy and recommended by the staff. It is set in Marseilles. The cover says it is book one in the Marseilles Trilogy. Hardboiled.

Kirino, Natsuo -- Out. Japan. Translated. I haven't read any Japanese novels and this came highly recommended by the staff and another shopper

Raymond, Derek (real name Robin Cook) -- He Died with His Eyes Open, The Devil's Home on Leave, and How the Dead Live. Britain. These are the first three books in Raymond's Factory series narrated in first person by an unnamed detective in the Department of Unexplained Deaths. Raymond is one of the earliest British writers of hardboiled/noir stories. I read the fourth book, I Was Dora Suarez, first, I knew I had to have them for my British hardboiled section.

Simenon, Georges -- The Yellow Dog. Belgium. Translated. I've never read any Inspector Maigret stories and thought it is high time I did.

The Mysterious Bookshop
It helps to know what you are looking for when visiting this store since the shelves must tower at least twenty feet above the floor. Not conducive to scanning. The legendary Otto Penzler is the owner. The entire back wall is devoted to Sherlockiana which caused me no end of pain because of what I couldn't buy.

Baring-Gould, William S. -- Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: The Life of The World's First Consulting Detective. This is a "biography" of Sherlock Holmes incorporating the authenticated facts about the life of the Great Detective.

Dahlinger, S.E. and Leslie S. Klinger -- Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle & The Bookman. US. The Bookman was an illustrated literary journal published between 1895 and 1933. I have access to the originals but this volume collects everything about Doyle and Holmes. I became interested in The Bookman when I learned that they advanced the theory that Doyle might not have written The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is an interesting look at how Doyle and his creations were viewed through articles, commentaries, parodies, pastiches, and letters.

Daly, Carroll John -- The Snarl of the Beast. US. Daly may be the first author to use the term hardboiled (1927).  The story is OK and I picked it up for historical reasons since the history of the hardboiled detective interests me.

McClure, James -- The Gooseberry Fool. South Africa. This is the third of McClure's Kramer and Zondi stories set in apartheid South Africa. Soho Press is reintroducing the series but I couldn't wait.