Friday, September 11, 2020

Bookshelf Traveling For Insane Times No. 20

I am participating in the Bookshelf Traveling For Insane Times meme. It was originated by Judith at Reader in the Wilderness, but Katrina at Pining for the West is now gathering the blogposts.

So now I have some new photos of bookshelves to share, and I will start with this one...


If you right click on the image of the shelf, and open the link in a new tab, you will be able to read more of the titles.

On the left side are six hardcover books. Except for Field Gray by Philip Kerr, those are all newly acquired books that I want to read soonish. 

Escape Velocity is the second book by Susan Wolfe. Her first book was The Last Billable Hour, published in 1989. Howard Rickover is an inexperienced lawyer who works for a Silicon Valley law firm filled with sleazy and / or very ambitious lawyers, Tweedmore and Slyde. He has only been there for a few months when one of the founders, Leo Slyde, is killed.  I enjoyed that book a lot and wished there were more by the same author. However, it wasn't until 2016 that the author published her second novel, Escape Velocity.

Two reviews for Escape Velocity are at Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan and at Clothes in Books.


To the right of those books is a stack of more of my Soho Crime books. The top book on that stack is Murder in the Off Season by Francine Mathews. It is set on the island of Nantucket. That book was originally published in 1994, but substantially revised before republication in 2016. I had not heard of an author taking that approach before. Read about that book at Reader in the Wilderness and at Caroline Bookbinder.


Further on the right are three books by J. Robert Janes, a Canadian author. The books are Mannequin, Sandman, and Stonekiller. The series is set in Occupied France, in 1942 and 1943. It is the story of two men who are on opposite sides but must work together. Gestapo Haupsturmführer Hermann Kohler and  his partner, Sûreté Chief Inspector Jean-Louis St-Cyr have been thrown together by circumstances to investigate crimes.  They have developed a trusting relationship, but know that due to the realities of war, it will probably not end well. One side or the other will be the victor, and then where will their loyalties lie?

I have read the first four books in the series. See my reviews for Kaleidoscope and Salamander. And at Kirkus, see J. Kingston Pierce's interview with J. Robert Janes from 2012.


On the shelf above those books, you can see Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen and The Dive from Claussen's Pier by Ann Packer. I have had both of those books for years and years. So long that I don't have a record of when I got them or where. And also two books about tap dancing. I love tap dancing in films and have at least a couple of other books related to that subject.



Have you read any of these books? What is your opinion?


18 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I read THE BIG SKY by Atkinson, my least favorite of the Jackson Brodie books. Felt like she wrote it just to please his fans. Also started the Janes series and then my library at the time skuttled it. Read Outside in Amsterdam. I liked his series a lot.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, I've been wanting to read both The Last Billable Hour and Escape Velocity, Tracy. I'm so glad you reminded me of them.

TracyK said...

Patti, the same thing happened when Olen Steinhauer wrote the 4th book in the Tourist series. It was good enough but lacked a lot of the oomph of the first three books. But it did tie up loose ends.

I really need to read that Amsterdam series. I have eight books in the series already. And I would like to watch the new TV series based on those books.

TracyK said...

Margot, I can only speak for The Last Billable Hour, and I loved that book. Both Bill and Moira liked Escape Velocity, so I am looking forward to reading it.

Cath said...

The only one I've read on your shelf is Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie King, which I liked very much. Must stir myself and get back to the series.

Katrina said...

I haven't read any of those books but I really like the sound of the J Robert Janes series.

CLM said...

Those SoHo editions are so beautiful! I have read some of these - Big Sky because I love Jackson Brodie but agree with Pattinase that it is not her best, plus annoyed me because she ignored the ringing phone at the end of the previous book.

I was not a fan of Francine Mathews under her other name, and am always surprised she has gone on being published. However, maybe I started with a weak one.

I really liked The Last Billable Hour. I held onto it for so many years that I actually went to law school in the middle and probably appreciated it more for reading it after I had actually worked at a couple firms. I didn't know there was a sequel. I do like Laurie King but didn't feel the need to read any of the Sherlock books after the first one (I felt I got the concept).

I must have read your review of Kaleidoscope because the story sounds very familiar; I think I would like these. I had marked the first Kelley Armstrong as something I wanted to read (Minotaur is fairly reliable) but hadn't actually done so.

Back to my homework - due at midnight on a Saturday night but it's not as if one can go out any more...

TracyK said...

Cath, I thought the same thing when I saw Monstrous Regiment of Women on this shelf. Why haven't I continued the series? I read most of one of Laurie King's other series, starring Kate Martinelli.

TracyK said...

Katrina, the J. Robert Janes series is very good, but the stories are dark and gritty, reflecting what war and occupation by the Germans would be like, I suppose. Sometimes I found the story hard to follow. But for me those annoyances were worth it.

TracyK said...

Constance, I don't think that Susan Wolfe's second book is a sequel to The Last Billable Hour, unfortunately. But I do think it is related to law, in this case the legalities of software. (I always try to avoid learning about a story before I read it.)


Re Francine Mathews, I have read two of her Jane Austen novels written as Stephanie Barron, but stopped when they started seeming to have a formula. That was a while back. I now I have three different books under Francine Mathews: the Merry Bolger one, Jack 1939, and The Cutout (which is part of an espionage series, I think. Haven't read any of them yet.

I really liked the first Kelley Armstrong Rockton novel and hope I like the second one as well. I do love the Soho books because of their design. I am a sucker for book covers. Sorry that you have to get back to homework but I am sure it is for a good cause.

Bill Selnes said...

TracyK: I think you will enjoy Escape Velocity. When you are done, if you have not read it already, I would suggest you read the post on my blog where I exchanged emails with Susan Wolfe. She is an interesting person.

TracyK said...

I think I have read the post, Bill, but I will come back and read all related posts after I read Escape Velocity. I hope to do that soon, but I do have at least two books scheduled that I have to read soon. I look forward to reading the book and your posts.

Nan said...

Very interesting about the Francine Mathews book. I read it - who knows when but a long time ago, and maybe a couple of the sequels. I remember liking it very much. I have never heard of an author doing such a thing. Fascinating. She also wrote Jack 1939, one of the very few historical novels featuring a real person that I have read. It was very good.

TracyK said...

Thanks for those comments, Nan. Glad you liked Jack 1939. I have that book and I should read it. One of the changes she made (I think) was to insert current technology, so she could continue the series in a current timeline. Since I like series set back when there was less technology, I am not sure that is a good change but I am willing to try it and see.

Carl V. Anderson said...

A very nice entry into bookshelf traveling for insane times. Lots of good looking books there. Don't see any that I've read.

TracyK said...

Thanks, Carl. The problem with doing this type of post is I keep finding books I want to read soon. But I cannot read all of them.

Clothes in Books said...

Those Soho editions are very elegant.

I am sure you will enjoy Escape Velocity, sometimes I worry about recommendations, but I think this time Bill and I are right, I hope it will be your kind of book.

TracyK said...

Moira, I love the Soho editions. Now if I would just read more of them.

I worry about recommending books, too, because everyone likes different things in books. But I think you are right, I will enjoy Escape Velocity.