Thursday, October 20, 2005

"School Days" by Robert B. Parker

"I'm learning more and more about less and less. Pretty soon, I'll know everything about nothing." So says Spenser about midway through “School Days” by Roberts B. Parker.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable entry in the prolific Mr. Parker’s long running series featuring the wisecracking, sardonic and resourceful Boston PI.

The tedious, whiney, monotonous Susan is away at a shrink confab at Duke, so we are spared her overbearing, insufferable scenes.
Hawk is also missing, so Spenser is flying solo when he is hired by the wealthy grandmother of one of two accused private school student shooters.

The crime left seven dead and others wounded.

Spenser feels something is amiss when it seems everyone from the boy’s parents, the local cops, the school officials to the kid’s lawyer all want to rubber stamp the allegations and see the boy (Jared Clark) behind bars. It appears someone wants something hidden.

The more they stonewall him the more he snoops around.

He upsets a myriad of people as he endeavors to learn how two seventeen year kids could acquire four new semiautomatic pistols and learn to shoot so efficiently.

The journey to find the cause and those responsible for igniting the teens to such violence is imaginative and always interesting.

Spenser’s laconic banter is always dry and filled with irony…and the New England atmosphere comes electrically to life.

This one is lotsa fun.

Curmudgeon in the Wry 308

Thursday, October 20, 2005---538 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 42 seconds (time well spent)
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Rave: Michael Tomlinson
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Rant: You could stop illegal immigration with one law. Make it a federal offense to provide housing to anyone without a Social Security number or green card.
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Rave: Rod Stewart IV. What a thirteen song treat. The duet with Chaka Kahn on “You Send Me” is out of this world.
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Rant: The slogan for the 2005 World Series should be “bunter up.”
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Rant: Has anybody ever had a loaner car that smelled good?
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Hmmm: Four out of three people have trouble with fractions.
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Bumper sticker winner: “Gun’s don’t kill people, drivers using cell phones do.”
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"I'm learning more and more about less and less. Pretty soon, I'll know everything about nothing." So says Spenser about midway through “School Days” by Roberts B. Parker.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable entry in the prolific Mr. Parker’s long running series featuring the wisecracking, sardonic and resourceful Boston PI.
The tedious, whiney, monotonous Susan is away at a shrink confab at Duke, so we are spared her overbearing, insufferable scenes.
Hawk is also missing, so Spenser is flying solo when he is hired by the wealthy grandmother of one of two accused private school student shooters.
The crime left seven dead and others wounded.
Spenser feels something is amiss when it seems everyone from the boy’s parents, the local cops, the school officials to the kid’s lawyer all want to rubber stamp the allegations and see the boy (Jared Clark) behind bars. It appears someone wants something hidden. The more they stonewall him the more he snoops around.
He upsets a myriad of people as he endeavors to learn how two seventeen year kids could acquire four new semiautomatic pistols and learn to shoot so efficiently.
The journey to find the cause and those responsible for igniting the teens to such violence is imaginative and always interesting.
Spenser’s laconic banter is always dry and filled with irony…and the New England atmosphere comes electrically to life.
This one is lotsa fun.
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Bumper sticker I want to see: “Welcome to America…now speak English.”
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Contrarian view: I see nothing wrong with iceberg lettuce
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Hmmm: Raise your hand if you when Arbor day is. And how come we don’t get the day off?
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Rant: Being forced to listen to so many rude cell phone user’s phone call it appears that they say “goodbye” about a dozen times before actually ending the damn call.
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Didjaknow: A submarine is called a “boat”---unless it is a nuclear submarine, in which case it is called a “ship.”
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Helpful hint: If you are looking for a new car, but have no idea what you want, just go to any shopping center and drive around the parking lot to see all the makes and models.
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Huh?: Not a single SI swimsuit edition in the Top 40. Were the judges blind?
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Admit it: You get aggravated when you cannot pay at the pump.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

"The Linclon Lawyer" by Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” has rekindled my interest in the legal thriller. He may or may not have reinvented the genre…but he certainly has refreshed it to an amazing degree and sets a new standard for the category.

The Lincoln lawyer of the title is Mickey Haller…so named because his office is his Lincoln Towncar tricked out with fax, phone, internet, folding desk and files. Chauffeured by a former client working off his fee, Mickey does business while commuting between the numerous court houses in Los Angeles.

On the surface Mickey appears to be the stereotypical sleazy defense attorney. His two ex-wives and young daughter are still fond of him (wife number two is his case manager)…he does his share of pro bono work…and is fiercely honorable in his own way. So beneath the surface of the lawyer with bus bench advertising, whose clientele are hookers, drug dealers, scam artists and assorted LA lowlifes is a flawed and complex character.

This practice provides a decent living (he has a home “with a million dollar view and a million one mortgage”), but not what the esteemed law firm pull down.

His chance at the brass ring (the franchise client) turns up when a rich Beverly Hills real estate broker is pinched for attempted rape and murder.

Mickey feels this may be an unusual client for him---an accused who is actually innocent. The fee is huge and the checks do not bounce.

Naturally the case swerves in different directions and Mickey is compelled to reevaluate the veracity of his profession and the viable aspects of the law itself.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” has plenty of deduction and suspense, compelling ethical dilemmas, characters with depth and texture and razor sharp dialogue.

Mr. Connelly draws precise portraits of the individuals and their motivations. Mickey’s audacious scheme drives a slide rule perfect plot that leads to a turbulent climactic encounter followed by a stupefying revelation.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” proves that crime novels can be art. It deserves the careful reading its plot demands.

Curmudgeon in the Wry 307

Saturday, October 08, 2005---633 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 12 seconds (time well spent)
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Rave: Becky Quick
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Hmmm: Why do the bartenders in a cowboy movie never give change?
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Rave: Elizabeth Taylor was never more beautiful than she was as Rebecca in 1952’s “Ivanhoe.”
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Quote: “A bore is a person who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”---John D. MacDonald in “The Turquoise Lament.”
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Rant: Did Ray Nagin have any comment about the pictures of school buses being used to evacuate people from Galveston?
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Hmmm: Before Albert Einstein’s time who did we reference complete imbeciles against?
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Rave: Michael Connelly’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” has rekindled my interest in the legal thriller. He may or may not have reinvented the genre…but he certainly has refreshed it to an amazing degree and sets a new standard for the category.
The Lincoln lawyer of the title is Mickey Haller…so named because his office is his Lincoln Towncar tricked out with fax, phone, internet, folding desk and files. Chauffeured by a former client working off his fee, Mickey does business while commuting between the numerous court houses in Los Angeles.
On the surface Mickey appears to be the stereotypical sleazy defense attorney. His two ex-wives and young daughter are still fond of him (wife number two is his case manager)…he does his share of pro bono work…and is fiercely honorable in his own way. So beneath the surface of the lawyer with bus bench advertising, whose clientele are hookers, drug dealers, scam artists and assorted LA lowlifes is a flawed and complex character.
This practice provides a decent living (he has a home “with a million dollar view and a million one mortgage”), but not what the esteemed law firm pull down.
His chance at the brass ring (the franchise client) turns up when a rich Beverly Hills real estate broker is pinched for attempted rape and murder. Mickey feels this may be an unusual client for him---an accused who is actually innocent. The fee is huge and the checks do not bounce.
Naturally the case swerves in different directions and Mickey is compelled to reevaluate the veracity of his profession and the viable aspects of the law itself.
“The Lincoln Lawyer” has plenty of deduction and suspense, compelling ethical dilemmas, characters with depth and texture and razor sharp dialogue.
Mr. Connelly draws precise portraits of the individuals and their motivations. Mickey’s audacious scheme drives a slide rule perfect plot that leads to a turbulent climactic encounter followed by a stupefying revelation.
“The Lincoln Lawyer” proves that crime novels can be art. It deserves the careful reading its plot demands.
+++++++
Didjaknow: Jayne Mansfield had a 160 IQ and played the violin.
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Idle thought: In case you were wondering, no, I am not particularly interested in how your Fantasy League team is doing.
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Truism: The farther you go, the more likely it is you left the coffee maker on.
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Truism II: People will collect anything.
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Truism III: A lot of people who have tattoos today will regret them tomorrow.
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Quote: “An alcoholic is someone who drinks as we do, and we don’t like him.”---Lawrence Block.
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Hmmm: Whatever happened to all those Rubic’s Cubes?
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Ever wonder: Whatever happened to Pong?
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Didjaknow: William Shakespeare coined the phrases: “Foregone conclusion” (“Othello”) and “Off with his head” from Richard III.
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Good advice: Never trust a man who owns his own pool cue or a woman who says she never wore a scrunchy.
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Hmmm: How come you never see anyone looting Barnes and Noble?
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.