The Black Dahlia Review

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet #1)

TITLE: The Black Dahlia

AUTHOR: James Ellroy

GENRE: Mystery/Crime

PAGES: 364

This is the first book in James Ellroy’s “L.A. Quartet” series. Set in the 1940’s, The Black Dahlia is set around the now infamous murder of Elizabeth Short, a prostitute that was brutally murdered and dumped in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.

It is told from the point of view of Dwight “Bucky” Bleichert, a L.A. cop who, along with his partner Lee Blanchard, gets caught up in the investigation of the murder of Elizabeth Short. This case takes over their lives, and becomes an obsession with both men. It is an obsession that will destroy marriages and careers.

At the beginning, I found this book compelling and hard to put down, but toward the end I just wanted it to end. The writing style is sharp, and it pulls the story along, but then as you go, it dulls and becomes more of the same. I was left wondering if I had read certain parts earlier in the novel. As I got closer to the end, i could not wait to finish it, just so I could move on to my next read.

3 out of 5 Bookmarks.

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Ninetoes Book of the Week 06/24-29/2019

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Pat Conroy’s novel, The Prince of Tides, is my pick for book of the week, especially since it is one of my best friends favorite novels. To be honest, it ranks right up in my top ten for literature. I read this book close to thirty years ago, and it stuck with me since. Pat Conroy has a way with descriptive visuals that linger in the mind long after the book is finished.

It is the story of Tom Wingo and his tormented talented twin sister Savannah, and the dark legacy that follows them. It brings the low country of South Carolina to vivid life, as well as the glitz and glamour of New York City. As the story unfolds, you are drawn into their lives and loves and you will not want to put it down until the very last word is read! This is a reading experience that is an excellent example of what a great American novel is.

Your Friday Fun Read 06/21/2019

The High Tide Club: A Novel

Your Friday Fun Read recommendation comes courtesy of Mrs. Ninetoes. She finished reading this the night before last with a very contented sigh. I asked her if she liked it, and she said “Very Much! I had a couple of nice twists towards the end.”

Eccentric heiress Josephine Warrick is a notorious recluse – reigning over a crumbling pink mansion on a private island, she is rarely seen but often whispered about. So when Brooke Trappnell, a struggling young lawyer, is summoned to the island, she has no idea what’s in store. As she listens to Josephine recount a story of old friendship, dark secrets, and a mysterious murder, it becomes clear that Brooke is there for two reasons: to help protect Josephine’s beloved island, and to make amends with her old friends, the skinny-dipping, secret-keeping girls of the The High Tide Club.

To fulfill a dying woman’s last wish, Brooke must track down the descendants of Josephine’s closest friends and bring them together for a reunion of women who’ve never actually met. But in doing so, Brooke uncovers a scandal that could make someone rich beyond their wildest dreams…or cause them to be in the crosshairs of a murderer.

 

Summertime Nostalgia

I want to take a trip with you, back to the summer of 1977. Yes, I am old enough to remember that summer, I was twelve then, and to save you the math, I am 54 now. The summer of 1977 gave us Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Fleetwood Mac gave us “Dreams”, Rita Coolidge told us “We’re All Alone”, and Thin Lizzy was “Dancin’ in the Moonlight.”

For me, the summer of 1977 will be remembered as the “Summer of Reading”. Sure, I read for summers before this time, for some reason 1977 sticks out in my mind the most. This was the summer I delved into more adult themed books, not just the sci-fi/fantasy I was normally reading. Here is a short list of what I read that summer:

The Great Train Robbery

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Jaws

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A Bridge Too Far

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Murder On The Orient Express

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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Death on the Nile

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So, for those of you who are math geniuses, you know how old I was in 1977. For those who are not, I was….wait a minute…..carry the one….add three….multiply by….oh yeah, I was twelve. Some may think that these were heavy books for a twelve year old, but it was the summer, no homework to get in the way, and I was armed with a dictionary.

I did most of my reading in my backyard, where we had a pool, a mulberry tree, and a patio. On the patio was a picnic table, two benches and aluminum lawn furniture. I have to set this next part up for you, bear with me. We had a short hair St. Bernard named Heidi who was as big as a house and weighed quite a bit. I went to one of the lawn chairs, set down my drink, picked up my book and Heidi came over for some petting. When I stopped, she decided to get in touch with her inner lap dog, climbed up in my lap and the chair collapsed under our combined weight. Mom poked her head out the back door to see what the noise was all about, saw the dog laying on me, licking my face, and broke out into gales of laughter. AND this, dear reader, is the stuff that great reading memories are made of!

Relics Review/Your Friday Fun Read 06/14/2019

Relics

TITLE: Relics

AUTHOR: Tim Lebbon

GENRE: Urban Fantasy/Horror

PAGES: 287

I was in the mood for something different, and happened upon Tim Lebbon’s Relics. I’ve read his work before and I can say I am somewhat of a fan of his work. After reading the teaser, I decided to jump in.

This book needs to come with a warning label: CAUTION: DO NOT START IF YOU HAVE OTHER THINGS PLANNED! I was grabbed by the throat from the first word and was not let go until the last.

Set in contemporary London, England, Relics takes what you know about our world, and adds a twist…mythological creatures are real, and there is an underground that deals in relics of these dead creatures. Vince, the hero, has a knack for finding these relics. He works for a gangster who collects the relics, but it is a chance encounter with a nymph puts him on a collision course with a rival gang boss, an angry satyr, and creatures that on one side want to remain hidden, and on the other want to rise and take over.

This book is a white knuckle thrill ride that will keep you guessing if the good guys will prevail, if mythological creatures are indeed real, and where you can meet a nymph. Yes, I said it, where you can meet a nymph!

There are two more books in this series and you can be sure I will lay hands on those as well!

5+ bookmarks out of 5!

Exit Wounds Review/Ninetoes Book of the Week 06/10-16/2019

TITLE: Exit Wounds: Nineteen Tales of Mystery from the Modern Masters of Crime

AUTHOR(S): Paul B. Kane and Marie O’Regan editors

GENRE: Mystery/Crime

Pages: 384

Ninetoes Rule of Reading #4. If you are in between books and do not know what you are in the mood for, pick up an anthology.

The above rule is one I stand by. Here’s the thing, not only do you keep reading, but in many cases you read an author you may not be aware of, and you have more books to look for.

With Exit Wounds, Paul B. Kane and Marie O’Regan did just that. Not only are the stories entertaining, compelling and provocative, but I encountered a few authors I was not aware of. Now, some of the stories were a bit predictable, but all in all entertaining. Each one was a knife in the heart…or a bullet in the back, and fulfilled a quick read need.

This is a book to be enjoyed by mystery aficionados as well as newcomers. The best part for me was that it evoked memories of summers when I was a kid, getting my hands on a new copy of “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine” or even better, “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine”. They are THAT good!

Bravo Mr. Kane and Ms. O’Regan!

5+ out of 5 bookmarks! (P.S. dear reader, do not pass this one by!)

Your Friday Fun Read 06/07/2019

The One Man

Okay, I will be the first to admit that the overall tone of this book is heavy, but it is also a thriller that moves with the speed of a bullet train. Here is the base premise: a lot of people looked for a way to break out of the concentration camp Auschwitz, but who would want to break in and why? If that question intrigues you, then this is most definitely the book for you.

Andrew gross has written a slew of thrillers in his career, but in my opinion, he really hit his stride when he turned his talented eye towards historical thrillers. The One Man is the perfect book to kick off your summer reading season!