My adventures promoting my books on the streets of Brooklyn, and my thoughts on books, film and current events.
Among Joanne's vast book donation to me were several by Joanne Fluke, who, like Diane Mott Davidson, specializes in culinary mysteries. Her heroine, Hannah Swenson, runs a cookie shop in a small Minnesota town, and solves murders on the side. It's silly, of course, but it's meant to be fun, not high art. I just finished the twelfth in the series, The Apple Turnover Murder (2010). She has written 15, as well as 30 other books. This one tried my patience. It concentrated much more on domestic issues and recipes than mystery. It was too light for my taste. She must have a solid fan base, given the amount of books she has written. I was unable to find any sales figures, so I assume she doesn't crack the best sellers list frequently. The characters consumed a lot of coffee and sweets. There was also a fondness for cats and dogs. The prose and dialogue were so-so. Of the 290 pages, I'd guess 50 were dedicated to recipes. That fact keeps me from ranking it as low as Stuart Woods' Worst Fears Realized. On a scale of five, I rate The Apple Turnover Murder one-and-half. Tami Hoag's A Thin, Dark Line remains the best mystery I've sampled. Joy Fielding and Daniel Silva are the smoothest writers.
I watched about another hour of the 25th Anniversary Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concert. Metallica served as the house band for an extended set, doing two of their own songs, as well as hosting Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Davies of the Kinks, and Lou Reed, who the crowd regaled with: "Louuuuuu!" My buddy Bags remarked, in the phrase made famous by long-time Mets announcer the late Bob Murphy: "They're not booing...." The highlight of this particular hour was U2 doing the Stones' Gimme Shelter, on which they were accompanied by Mick Jagger and Fergie. I don't know anything about Fergie's music, but I thought she stole the show this time. "Rape - murder - it's just a shot away." Here's the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nU4aiqvyt4&feature=watch_response
I set up shop outside the Chase Bank on Bay Parkway and had great luck. Jack, an employee, gave me a bag full of thrillers, several of which I'd sold him, and bought four I had on display, refusing to take them as a fair exchange. And Sue, a local realtor and cousin of my old work buddy Joe Piss (frequent bathroom breaks), purchased a copy of Killing. Thanks, folks.
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