PaperBackSwap Blog


Mystery Monday – The Hanging Captain

August 18th, 2014

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The Hanging Captain by Henry Wade

 

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

In this classic English detective story from 1932, an unlikable captain is found hanging in his library. The Chief Constable dubs it suicide in order to make the affair go away. But a professorial  outsider proves the captain was murdered. The two local detectives brought in on the case are the impetuous veteran Detective-Inspector Herbert Lott and his rival to the promotion of Chief Inspector, the dully logical plodding Poole.

There are numerous suspects, as becomes a Golden Age mystery. Thus, a plethora of alibies must be checked, intricate time tables constructed, and lor’ love a duck, there’s even a floor plan of the country house. What distinguishes this from the comfy atmosphere of Sayers and Allingham is the possible motives for the murder are quite bold, adult and shocking enough that I can’t in good conscience give them away in a review. Wade is less warm and bleaker than most Golden Age writers.

Wade wrote as many as 22 detective novels or story collections between 1926 and 1957. This one and Mist on the Saltings were published by Harper Perennial in a series of great re-issues in the Eighties. In their reference book Catalogue of Crime, Barzun and Taylor said about Wade: “Though insufficiently known in the US, Wade is one of the great figures of the classical period. He was not only very productive bit also varied in genre. His plots, characters, situations, and means rank with the best, while his prose has elegance and force.”

 

Mystery Monday – A Touch of Death

August 11th, 2014

A Touch of Death by Charles Williams

 

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

An knee injury kept college football star Lee Scarborough from going pro. At the beginning of this superb noir mystery, he’s on his uppers and ripe for trouble. It finds him in the guise of two beauties. Diana James recruits him to break and enter the house of Madelon Butler who may or may not be sitting on $120,000 that her missing husband embezzled from his employer. Outstanding is the scene in which Lee breaks into the darkened house only to find an utterly plastered Madelon. When she wakes up the next day, Lee finds out she one of the toughest, shrewdest femme fatales a reader has ever met in fiction.

Pulp expert Woody Haut calls Williams the “foremost practitioner” of hard-boiled suspense that sold in the thousands from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s: “So prolific and accomplished a writer was Charles Williams that he single-handedly made many subsequent pulp culture novels seem like little more than parodies.”Williams was from Texas so he was skillful with the homey, apt metaphor: “I drove as if the car was held together with paper clips.” Another fantastic set piece is when Lee and Madelon are trapped in a hunting cabin by unseen sniper skulking in the woods. Williams weaves narrative magic when Lee and Madelon are fleeing the bad guys and the cops, while driving on Florida back-country roads and small towns in darkness black as pitch.

Finally, it’s not just action. Williams has Lee oh-so-gradually go off the rails, from a struggling guy to a thug that beats cops over the head. And for what, as Frances McDormands’ character asked in Fargo, “For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know.”

 

 

 

 

 

Free Book Friday Winner!

August 10th, 2014

 

The winner of the brand-new copy of Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara is:

 

Riley G. (rileygoldstein)

 
 

 

Congratulations, your book is on the way to you!

 

 

Thank you to everyone who commented!

 

 

 

Free Book Friday!

August 8th, 2014

 

This week’s Free Book Friday prize is:

Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara

It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. — In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she’d been given began to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters.…

So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris — disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin is about to be traveling with…

ISBN 9780373803507, Trade Size Paperback

There are currently 59 members wishing for this book. 1 lucky member will win a brand-new copy.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member to win.

We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

You have until Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 12 noon EDT, to leave a comment.

Good Luck to everyone!

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

 

 

 

 

Free Book Friday Winner!

August 5th, 2014

 

The Winner of this week’s Free Book Friday Contest is:

Amanda C. (ghostlysun)

Congratulations! Your prize will be on the way to you shortly!

 

Thank you to everyone who commented!

Winner of Jeri Westerson’s book, Cup of Blood

August 4th, 2014

 

The Winner of the brand-new copy of Jeri Westerson’s brand-new book is:

 

 Colleen C. 

 

Congratulations! You book will be on its way to you shortly!

Thank You Ms. Westerson for generously offering a copy of your book as a prize to one of our members!

And thank you to everyone who commented!

 

Free Book Friday!

August 1st, 2014

 

This week’s Free Book Friday prize is:

Wool by Hugh Howey

This omnibus edition contains the Silo series: Wool, books 1-5: Holston / Proper Gauge / Casting Off / The Unraveling / The Stranded. — The story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep.  The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.  In a society full of regulations meant to protect the community, Sheriff Holston, unexpectedly, breaks the greatest taboo of all: he asks to go outside. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken …

ISBN 9781476733951, Trade Size Paperback

There are currently 161 members wishing for this book. 1 lucky member will win a brand-new copy.

 

To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member to win.

 

We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

 

You have until Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 12 noon EDT, to leave a comment.

 

 

Good Luck to everyone!

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!