December Missed

Woops! December left us without me writing about the reading. Not sure how that happened (other than to say “life”), but anyway – here’s what was accomplished for December:

  • Beth Shaw’s Yoga Fit by Beth Shaw (an Early Review book for LibraryThing)
  • Cod by Mark Kurlansky
  • Flashman and the Angel of the Lord by George MacDonald Fraser
  • How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
  • The Man Who Was Taller Than God by Harold Adams
  • Ringed Castle by Dorothy Dunnett

Here’s a belated look at January 2016 (already started, as you will see):

  1. Flashman and the Tiger by George MacDonald Fraser (the LAST book in the series on my list)
  2. Always a Body to Trade by K.C. Constantine (already read in honor of January being National Mystery month. Read this in a day)
  3. Blue Light by Walter Mosley (already read in honor of Mosley’s birth month. Another quick read)
  4. Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett (the LAST book in the Lymond Series). It bears noting I am also consulting The Prophecies by Nostradamus (translated by Richard Sieburth) while reading Checkmate.
  5. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (an audio book in honor of New Mexico becoming a state in January)
  6. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (in honor of Nabokov’s wife, Vera. Pale Fire is dedicated to her and her birthday is in January)
  7. Up, into the Singing Mountain by Richard Llewellyn (to continue the series started last month).

I have been chosen to review a book about the photography of Dickey Chapelle but since it hasn’t arrived yet I can’t put it on the list. I was also chosen to review Liar by Rob Roberge, but I don’t expect that one until February.

On a personal note: December ended with writing to 12 complete strangers. I am really hoping one or two of them become pen pals.


Man Who Was Taller Than God

Adams, Harold. The Man Who Was Taller Than God. New York: Walker and Company, 1992.

Reason read: to “finish” the series started with Hatchet Job in November (in honor of South Dakota becoming a state). Yes, I am reading them backwards.

This won’t take you anytime at all to read. Barely 156 pages it is a quick one. You could read it in one sitting, for sure. Anyway, the plot:
It’s the first murder the town of “hopeless” Hope, South Dakota has ever seen. Felton Edwards, a tall, womanizing, good for nothing and better-off-dead man, is found face down in a gravel pit. Some shot to death this tall drink of water and like Hatchet Job there is no shortage of suspects because everyone had a beef with Mr. Edwards. Never mind the fact he hasn’t been in Hope for the last 15 years. Enter Carl Wilcox, our hero. As a retired police officer he has been called back into service by Hope’s mayor, Christian Frykman. Frykman can’t bear the thought of a murder happening in his little town. Wilcox may have an unorthodox way of solving crimes (he makes more dates with single women than finding clues), but he always gets the job done.

Quotes I liked: “A man who talks as much as he does is bound to strike truth now and then” (said by Christian Frykman on page 20) and “It was enough to make my tired ache” (said by Carl Wilcox on page 136).

Book trivia: …Talller Than God is actually book number nine in the series. The title of the books comes from the fact that the dead man was “long enough to be taller than god”. Whatever that means.

Author fact: the inspiration for the Wilcox series is Adams’s own uncle, Sidney Dickey. I wonder if Mr. Dickey smoked like a chimney, had a sarcastic wit and a way with the ladies?

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “The Great Plains: Dakotas” (p 106).


Hatchet Job

Adams, Harold. Hatchet Job. New York: Walker and Company, 1996.

Reason read: South Dakota became a state in November.

Hatchet Job is such a short book (barely over 150 pages) that it can be read in one sitting and because it is so short it ends almost before it really begins. Here are a couple of other things you need to know about Hatchet Job: it’s the thirteenth book in the Carl Wilcox series but you do not need to have read the other twelve before enjoying Hatchet. Also, even though Hatchet Job was published in 1996 it takes place at least fifty years earlier. Details like Wilcox driving a Model T, women wearing or not wearing girdles, and lots of references to the Great War helped set the time frame.
Now for the plot: someone has murdered the town cop of Mustard with four chops with an ax or hatchet. The blows are precise and predictable. No one is shocked Lou Dupree is dead and if the town could cheer about such a demise, they would and loudly. Our hero, Carl Wilcox, is called in to solve the mystery and stand in as Mustard’s law enforcement until they can find a replacement. When Carl isn’t asking a million questions he’s trying seduce all the single ladies, but he has an eye for the married ones as well. It’s just a matter of time before Carl solves the case and gets a date. The real question is, which will happen first?

Author fact: in 1996 Harold Adams was the retired director of the Minnesota Charities Review Council.

Book trivia: Hatchet Job is part of the Carl Wilcox series.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “The Great Plains: the Dakotas” (p 106).