The Last Coin (Review)

James Blaylock’s The Last Coin is a bit of a divisive book, with opinions running the gamut from awful to fantastic to boring. One thing everyone seems to agree on: it’s unique. Jules Pennyman is an ambiguously evil, dapper ghoul of a person who is attempting to collect the 30 silver coins that were paid…

Lord Edgeware Dies (Review)

Lots about Lord Edgeware Dies feels like a do-over for Peril at End House (reviewed here). While it’s not unusual for Christie to recycle ideas between books, the fact that these two are separated in publication by only a year and a half means the similarities must’ve been striking even to contemporary readers. Poirot and…

Hell is Other People

"Hell is other people" – the most famous thing Jean-Paul Sartre "never said." That’s in shock quotes because one of his characters says it, and that character just happens to be most probably a bit of self-satire on Sartre’s part. So, did Sartre really never say it? I think what’s fair to say is that…

Peril at End House (Review)

Peril at End House is the book Agatha Christie claims she can’t even remember writing. At least, that’s a rumor I’ve heard repeated a number of places. It rings a bit true: the machinery is a little more visible in this book than most. You’re rarely presented with a clue unaccompanied by instructions on how…

Star Wars no es Una

In the mid-1990s, one of those deep-dial networks – I wanna say it was USA? – used to play the Star Wars Trilogy (back then that’s all there was) one per night around holidays. I believe it was around Christmas, but it might’ve been Thanksgiving or even both. My roomates and I and other people…

Love Like Monkeys (Review)

To judge by some – OK one – of her essays, romance, and feeling alienated from it, is something of a theme with Jess Zimmerman. To judge by the story of hers I just read – Love Like Monkeys – it might even be her version of that thing that a lot of good artists…

Trespassing in an Alternate World

Sometimes the more interesting essays are the ones that you feel don’t get it quite right – the ones that have an intriguing premise but ultimately don’t pan out. That’s because these are the essays that help you step outside your worldview and think a bit in real time. An essay that’s dead wrong is…

The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side (Review)

Moonlight Detective has an interesting roundup post of ruined detective stories: novels or stories that had the potential to be genre classics but failed to seal the deal. It caught my eye because Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side was mentioned prominently. This one’s been sitting on my shelf unread for well…

The Black Echo (Review)

Michael Connelly is well-regarded among a subset of mystery fans, so I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about – and I started at the begining. The Black Echo is the book that introduced the world to Heironymous "Harry" Bosch in 1992. And I did see what all the fuss is about ……

After Atlas (review)

There’s little doubt that Emma Newman’s After Atlas will be topping many "best of" lists in the coming year. Sometimes, when you’re reading a book, you just know. And yeah, this is one of those. It’ll be talked about. Just how one knows this is an open question – but one thing I keep wondering…