Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh, for the love of weekends and bookstores. I sometimes feel like a lil old school marm when I think and write about my Saturdays (at least Saturday mornings) at bookstores. I've been good lately. I've been trading in books as much as I've been buying them. This past Saturday I traded in about six or seven books, Michael Cox'sThe Meaning of Night, was one of them, but I came out of Hand-It-Back Bookstore, I had some great buys. Jacqueline Winspear's Pardonable Lies, Michael Dibdin'sBlood Rain, Robert Wilson's Blind Man of Seville, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent and a great Modern Library paperback of Vanity Fair and an older, but perfect Penguin paperback of Middlemarch.

I've been on a mystery kick these past 12 months that started with Andrea Camilieri's Inspector Montalbano series. Now all I want to buy, touch, look at, think about are mysteries. Historical mysteries especially, but really anything will quench my thirst. In less than 24 hours I finished Dibdin's Blood Rain. It was my first Aurielo Zen mystery and I loved it. The ending blew me away and I had never read anything of his before. And though it's a series, I've never been one that cared enough, or felt the need to, begin a series with the first installment. Now I'm going to read all of Dibdin's Zen novels. They're quite similar to Camilieri's Montalbano series, but without the sense of humor, but that's not a bad thing. Dibdin was able to articulate the intricate workings and mechanisms of the Sicilian mafias. Crime families paying each other back with atrocious murders, cops getting killed by explosives and detectives risking their lives to get at the truth...whatever that is. And, the language is brisk, brusk and perfectly noir.

"Outside, the sky was falling. As yet it was just a light dust which appeared on Zen's coat like mist. It seemed to be pink. He walked back along the bridge, pausing at the same spot as before to light a cigarette. A gentle aerosol, soft yet solid, had soaked the night, thickening it and covering every surface with a patina of reddish dust."

Now reading:
Jacqueline Winspear Pardonable Lies
William Makepeace Thackery Vanity Fair

On deck:
Robert Wilson The Blind Man of Seville


Iliana said...

I'm a big fan of mysteries and historical ones are high up on my list as well. I've not read the Camilieri books but am going to try read one for one of my challenges. You make them sound great so I look forward to it. If you've not read the Maureen Jenning's mysteries, I highly recommend them. They are set in Toronto in the late 1800s.

M. Barresi said...

Iliana - every so often a reader comes across a book or author that changes their way of reading. Camilieri did that to me. It sounds a little heavy handed, but before I began reading Camilieri, I never paid attention to mystery writers. I was a snob. Now I know that some of the best writing is found in mystery writers (other than Chandler and Hammett.) I wasted a lot of time and have a lot of catching up to do!

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