Friday, October 19, 2012

Desert Isle Addendum

A fingerpost in Great Britain

Yesterday I posted about the "Crime on Desert Island" essay by Bill Ott in the mystery and crime issue of Booklist, the book review magazine published by the American Library Association.

I was so busy thinking about which mysteries I would want with me if stranded on a desert isle that I didn't let you in on the books Mr. Ott chose. He decided to focus on style not suspense. So here goes. 

1.  The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler - Mr. Ott felt that the titles of Chandler's other mysteries - The Long Goodbye, The Big Sleep, and  Farewell, My Lovely - were not words that someone stranded on an island would want to see.

2.  The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett - Another classic. He is entranced by Kasper Gurman's line: "I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

3.  Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell - The story of a woman longing to escape from a place she no longer wants to be. "Woodrell writes some of the funniest, most musical, most double-edged prose being written by anyone in any genre."

4.  Out on the Rim by Ross Thomas - This book stars characters Artie Wu and Quincy Durant. "Thomas's plots are like cathedrals, masterworks of architectonic design and things of beauty in themselves."

5.  An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears - This is a historical mystery set in Restoration England and offers "a mix of politics and passion, sex and science, revenge and religion."

High praise for all.

Now of course I have heard of Chandler and Hammett and I believe that at one time I owned a copy of Chinaman's Chance, the first Artie Wu/Quincy Durant mystery by Thomas. But Mr. Woodrell and Mr. Pears are totally unknown to me and their books sound intriguing. 

I will put these on my TBR list and maybe one of them will make the cut on my own Desert Isle List.  

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