There is a character in Louise Erdrich’s latest novel who keeps two stacks of books by her bed. One heap is called the “Hard Stack” and the other is called the “Lazy Stack”. The Hard Stack contains books on species loss, antibiotic resistance and viruses. The Lazy Stack contains Gothic novels.
I was sick last week (nothing serious!), and my attention was reduced to a piece of bacon. When I’m not trying to remember how much Ibuprofen can be consumed without risking liver damage, I’ve been working through my own version of Lazy Stack, which is another spelling of “Things I Saved save for emergencies”.
Someone should open an investigation into why “Rhode Island Red” wasn’t adapted into a mini-series. Components present: dialogue of lemon acidity; a protagonist has depth and height; a premise that draws you in like one of those Dyson vacuums looks like a Pixar character.
“Rhode Island Red” is the first installment in a crime series featuring Nanette, a former child prodigy, now looking for what she can earn playing saxophone with mediocre ability on the streets of New York. Nanette was a death bell for Grace Jones and holds a French degree with a minor in music from Wellesley College; she was a woman with a refined taste and a creepy sense of humour, who ended up with a dead undercover cop and $60,000 in her apartment. And that’s on Page 18! At one point while solving a crime, she goes to a cafe to eat a muffin and thinks “dark thoughts”. Can’t connect with anyone?
Read if you like: Richard Price, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, wondering if you can take off your leather jacket, TV show “I May Destroy You”
Available from: Penguin Random House
I never judge a book by its cover, except when there’s an illustration of a manicured hand surrounded by a creepy reel – and then I MUST judge, and judge. Mine was: “This must be great!” Such was the case with “Dupe,” a crime novel in which Anna Lee, a former British police officer turned private investigator, examines the case of a young woman who died in a car accident. Car accidents seem random. Except that the place of the accident had a strange chemical smell, and the body had distinctive markings, and maybe it wasn’t an accident…
The young girl’s death turns out to be related to film piracy – a surprisingly contemporary subject for a novel published more than 40 years ago! Anna Lee, like any good detective, is pragmatic and has a strong plan. More importantly, she solved the crime before I did. There’s nothing worse than getting caught up in a mystery only to find yourself 10 steps ahead of the killer.
One of the great things about buying used books is the ability to uncover a hint of text. My copy of “Dupe” is scribbled like this: To my debut mystery lover – Merry Christmas ’81.
Read if you like: Choose British foods like “narky” or “bickies” or “squiffy”, Kate Atkinson, Jane Gardam, drink tea strong enough to make your stomach spasm
Available from: Test Abebooks, eBay or your local library
Why do not you…
Time travel to 2001 with this amazing Michael Lewis file of a child who has been subjected to the wrath of the SEC by a professional STOCK MARKET GAMES?
Drop your precious organization MINERALS AND RUBIES for a second to absorb this fun Consideration of Fabergé eggs – “Toys that children cannot play with, purely surreal objects that must be treated with great seriousness, embarrassingly outrageous trifles for the unintelligible”?
Eavesdropping in middle age Hedge fund manager who has 99 problems, one of them is ATTITUDE?
Read 80’s Surfing Thrillers that inspiration “POINT BREAK” Keanu Reeves’ classic movie?
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/29/books/laziness-sleuthing-and-surfing.html Lazy, Surfing and Surfing – The New York Times