Thursday, January 31, 2013

Booking Through Thursday: On Loan

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This week, BTT asks: "Do you lend your books? Are any out on loan right now? Do you have any that have been loaned to you? Do you put a time limit on these? Do you think people should make an effort to read the loaned book quickly?"
I rarely lend my books.  Mostly because few people in real life have the same reading tastes that I do.  Occasionally I find a book that I think someone I know might really enjoy and I do loan it out.  Currently, I have Helen Reilly's Compartment K out on loan to someone who was taking a train trip in Canada (just like in the book).  We were talking about her trip and I mentioned how I had just finished the Reilly book.  She thought it would be really cool to read the book with her partner while they were on the train. [And that reminds me....I need to see if they were able to finish it yet.]  

And, foolishly, I don't put a time limit on my loans.  Maybe I should.....I really do think that people should make the effort to read loaned books quickly.  I do whenever I borrow a book.  Again, that's rare....I have so many books on my own TBR mountain range that I really don't need to borrow books from anybody--not even the library.  But, again, occasionally one will be mentioned in conversation and I'll think, I'd like to read that....and so I borrow.  My most frequent lending librarian is my good friend Richard.  For the most part, he has saved me when I've managed to leave the house without a book in my purse (gasp!)...he's a professor in the English Department where I work, so I've raided his bookshelves a couple of times when I needed something to read on my lunch hour--'cuz the girl has to read whenever she has a chance.  Fortunately his mother was a reader of vintage mysteries (which he inherited) and he has a lovely shelf or two in his office from which I can choose.

Image found at Pretty Sinister Books

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Book Bingo: Square #7

Read 1 Book Released in 2013
1. India Black & the Shadows of Anarchy by Carol K. Carr [author copy--Feb 2013 release] (1/29/13) 

You can see all the books I've read for the Book Bingo Challenge by clicking on the Challenge link.  

Teaser Tuesdays

MizB of Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesdays. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:

*Grab your current read.*Open to a random page.
*Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
*BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! You don't want to ruin the book for others.
*Share the title and author too, so other TT participants can add it to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.

Here's mine from "Beyond the Aquila Rift" a short story by Alastair Reynolds in Zima Blue & Other Stories (p. 52):

I look at her and for a moment remember someone else, someone I haven't thought of in years. I almost remember her name, and then the moment passes.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Frustrating Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new top ten topic is posted for followers to write about. This week we are asked to list the Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters.  I'm not sure I'm going to get ten, but here goes....

1. Maurice in The Green Man by Kingsley Amis: Maurice is a self-absorbed, boozing womanizer who just happens to also be a hypochondriac who never learns anything from anything during the whole story.
2. Portnoy in Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth:  Portnoy goes on and on (and on and on and...) about growing up Jewish and what the pressures of his home life have done to him.  The reader is left feeling that Portnoy will never get beyond the furtive fumbling in the bathroom or the frantic wranglings in the bedroom.
3. Emma Woodhouse in Emma by Jane Austen:  It didn't help that I disliked Emma from the very first sentence: "Emma Woodhouse, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." How nice for her. How jolly to have everything going your own way. And, as we get to know Emma, how nice to be so assured of one's own interpretation of the world to be sure that one is always right and knows best for one's friends. And to somehow not learn anything for about 400 pages no matter how many times one is wrong.
4. Laurence "Tubby" Passmore in Therapy by David Lodge. Another self-absorbed male character.  This one seems to have it all. The good life. He may be almost bald and shaped like a pear, but he writes for a TV sitcom that keeps the money "rolling in like [he's] discovered oil in the backyard." He's got a beautiful house in Rummidge, the car of his dreams, a flat in London, a sexy wife with a healthy libido, and a platonic mistress with whom he can discuss anything and everything. So what's wrong? He Doesn't Know. (This becomes the little theme chant for the book.) And by the end of the book--We Don't Care.
5. Louis de Pointe du Lac in Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice:   Louis is a big whiny-pants--200 years worth. Geez. Get over the whole depression thing already. You're a vampire. Maybe you didn't wanna be, but you are. Suck it up (ha!) and get on with your non-life. 
 6. Tristram Shandy in Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:  Tristram cannot finish a thought to save his life.  He starts story after story after story and, yes, maybe finishes half a book or more later.  Sterne is the grand-daddy of all the stream of consciousness writers and I had a hard time wading through Tristram's stream....

7. Henry Cavendish in The School of Night by Louis Bayard: Cavendish is a bit of a loser.  And he didn't win me over as the underdog who will make good--the man down-on-his-luck who deserves better, so cheer him on!  I really didn't care if he and his friends decoded the map and found the treasure or not.  And....when they finally do decode the map...well, let me just say that it's all a bit of a let-down. 

That's it for characters I came up with on my own.  Have to say I agree whole-heartedly with the frustrations voiced by Lindsey over at Babies, Books & Beyond with Scarlett O'Hara and her unreasonable attachment to Ashley and inability to recognize that Rhett is the man for her.  And also Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.  Yes, yes. And, again, yes.

India Black & the Shadows of Anarchy: Review

Chalk up another winner for Carol K. Carr and her fabulous Madame of Espionage, India Black!  In India Black & the Shadows of Anarchy Carol has once again provided an excellent Victorian-era adventure--this time taking us among the spies and anarchists intent on over-throwing (if not eradicating) the privileged establishment. 

India's partner in the spying business, French, has disappeared on a top-secret mission for Dizzy, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and it's up to India to find a way to infiltrate the Dark Legion--the latest anarchist cell to spring up in London's underbelly of spies, malcontents, and Russian/French/German ex-patriots who are seeking a way to vent their spleen on the heartless rich who keep the common man under their boot heels.  It's time for the workers and the poor to throw off their shackles, blow up a few government buildings, assassinate one or two peers of the realm, and generally create chaos & make mayhem. Dizzy and Inspector Stoke recruit India to make contact with the Dark Legion and to find a way to capture the elusive leader, Grigori.  Her first order of business is to steal a strumpet from Mother Edding's establishment...for rumor has it that Martine, the "lady" in question has connections to the anarchists.

Soon India finds herself committed to blowing up a bandstand full of London dignitaries and making preparations for an even more daring scheme.  Before the dust settles, she and French will face an old enemy and death--all in the name of queen and country.  Along the way, India takes time to follow up clues that will tell her more about her past and her mother and she continues her quest to find out French's first name and any other tidbits about his life beyond the world of espionage.

India is her usual sharp-witted, cheeky, brazen self.  She easily matches wits with foreign spies, home-grown anarchists, and hired ruffians out to end her career.  She holds her own in a fight, shows she can handle her Bulldog, and takes care of the wayward girls in her house that get out of line.  But then she can also charm the secrets out of an unsuspecting engineer and dazzle a few guards along the way.  

This story has everything from explosions and roughhouse fighting to clandestine meetings and hidden bombs.  There are assassination attempts and near-drownings.   We learn some of India's secrets and also a few of French's....and there's even a hint of romance in the air.  And it's all told with Carr's marvelous gift for witty dialogue and incredible characters.  Four and a half stars!

[My thanks to Carol K. Carr for sending me this copy before India hits the shelves.  As always, I have received no payment of any kind for my review--and this post represents my honest review of the book.]

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a bookish meme hosted by Book Journey. It's where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It's a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. So hop on over via the link above and join in...and leave a comment here so I can check out what you are reading.
Well...GoodReads now says I'm only one books behind...almost caught up!
Books Read (click on titles for review): 
The Web Between the Worlds 
Four Lost Ladies by Stuart Palmer
The Case of the Negligent Nymph by Erle Stanley Gardner 
Murder at Markham by Patricia Sprinkle  
Veiled Murder by Alice Campbell 
Currently Reading: 
India Black & the Shadows of Anarchy by Carol K. Carr: India Black, full-time madam and occasional secret agent, is feeling restless, when one of Disraeli's men calls on her to meet the prime minister--alone. Even though all her previous meetings have been organized by the rakishly handsome spy French, it's been decided this is a mission India must attempt on her own.

Revolt has spread across Europe and reached the shores of England--anarchists have begun assassinating lords and earls, one by one. Now India must infiltrate the ranks of the underground group responsible for those attacks, the sinister Dark Legion. To stop their dread plot, India will go from the murkiest slums of London to the highest levels of society, uncovering secrets that threaten her very existence...
[I do love India Black!  And am very grateful to Carol for this early peek at India's latest escapades.]
Books that spark my interest:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Zima Blue & Other Stories by Alastair Reynolds
Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide

Veiled Murder: Review

Veiled Murder by Alice Campbell: Andrea Wraybourne's husband is supposed to be Britain's finest--from an old titled family and an up-and-coming war hero.  Nobody tells Andy that he's also mean, nasty, and out to make her life miserable once they're married.  Rex Wraybourne manages to kill one of Andy's childhood friends (one of two brothers that she's always considered her brothers--though not related) and then convinces her that in the interest of the inlaws she's come to know and, well not love, but pity--and for whom she wants to provide out of an inheritance that she's got coming her way--that she should help him cover it up as an accident, a shooting of a man he mistook for a German spy.  

She's then taken and buried (not literally) in rural England in a household full of eerie atmosphere and the lovely family and hangers-on (one drug addict, one kind of crazy cousin, and a spinster who's devoted to the family). Two more murders occur--one the sadist husband (hurrah!) but Andy is attacked and threatened and there is even an attempt to frame her for murder.  Fortunately, the family lawyer appears to be on her side and helps her to get to the bottom of the whole ghastly mess.

And a ghastly mess it is, too.  Not the best written vintage mystery I've come across.  Lots of atmosphere, but very little in the riveting details and interesting mystery department.  Lots of overwraught dramatics on the part of various females, but very little golden age detecting going on.  It starts out promising enough with a very nice opening scene in London, but as the pages turn it loses momentum.  And there are a couple of purple prose final paragraphs to round everything up:

She was crying, despicably, on a chest that provided a buttress, no more. Her counsel was giving her no aid. She felt the bleakness of the eyes far above her. The arms that might have gone around her hung down at his sides--hewn stone. She groped upward, drew down the mistrustful head. The lips her own timorous pair touched were suspicious, cold.

Cold? The fire that leaped from [name withheld--I'd hate to spoil the ending]'s mouth was fiercely frightening. So was the sudden bruising pressure of his revitalized arms Foundations rocked, thought was suspended. Was this all she had wanted? flashed on her mazed vision. So simple...

The tumult was her heart.  

Seriously? Vintage mystery or raging romance novel?  Hmmm.  Needless to say, not highly recommended.  And I don't believe I'll be picking up another Alice Campbell book unless, like here, she's part of a three-in-one Detective Book Club offering.  1 1/2 stars.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Bingo: Square #6

Snagged the Free Square! (Thanks, Erin!)

Free Square Murder at Markham by Patricia Sprinkle [author suggested by a book listed by Erin at The Paperback Stash: Who Invited the Dead Man? by Sprinkle--my library didn't have Dead Man]

You can see all the books I've read for the Book Bingo Challenge by clicking on the Challenge link.  

Murder at Markham: Review

Murder at Markham is Patricia Sprinkle's debut mystery novel.  It features Sheila Travis, the recently widowed wife of a diplomat.  Sheila has just returned to the States from Japan and is looking for a job--not out of financial necessity, but as a way of keeping occupied while she sorts out her life.  She lands a job as administrative assistant to John Dehaviland, the extremely pompous president of the Markham Institute. Markham is a very old and respected training ground for up-and-coming graduate students in the world of diplomatic affairs.  Sheila barely has time to settle into her new job before a young woman is found dead in one of the icy cold storage rooms in the Institute's basement.  The freezer-like conditions have kept the body from being discovered even though the murder happened nearly a month ago at the beginning of the Christmas break.

Rumors of Sheila's involvement in a few similar incidents in Japan reach Mike Flanagan, the investigating officer, and he gives her strict instructions to keep her nose out of his case.  But Sheila's Aunt Mary arrives and uses her Southern charm to win over Flanagan so he will keep the ladies informed on the progress of the investigation.  Nick Capeletti, Markham's business manager, is shoved down the stairs and the former administrative secretary is murdered as well.  Flanagan's investigation makes him single out Quint Barringer, the former lover of the first victim, as the killer.  But Sheila and her aunt are convinced that Flanagan has blinders on and isn't seeing the whole picture.  They start asking questions on their own and soon Sheila's life is in danger too.  A final showdown in Markham's lounge is needed to bring the culprit out in the open.

This is a decent story for a first novel.  There are characters with some flair and some very good descriptions of the Markham Institute and Chicago.  I like the Chicago setting very much--which goes a long way considering I'm more of a British mystery kind of girl.  The mystery is fairly clued--perhaps too much so because I spotted the important ones right away.  I didn't get quite all the right answers in the right order, but near enough to spot the killer long before the denouement.  I am grateful to Erin at The Paperback Stash--she mentions a Patricia Sprinkle mystery (from a later series) on her blog.  As part of the 2013 Book Bingo Challenge we're supposed to take a suggestion from another participant to read for our Free Space.  I wasn't able to find Who Invited the Dead Man? at my library, but it did lead me to Murder at Markham--a new academic setting to fit into my love for academic mysteries.  Three stars for a decent read.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Case of the Negligent Nymph:Review

In The Case of the Negligent Nymph Perry Mason is floating in a canoe while keeping a pair of binoculars trained on the island hide-away home of George Alder.  Mason is looking for a chink in the businessman's armor--a chink that will help his clients manage a claim for drilling rights.  He's not sure what he expects to see...but he's certain that he didn't expect to see a woman swim up to the sandspit beach, climb nude out of the water, don a summer evening gown, and sneak up to the house where a party is going on.  The woman isn't gone long before she racing back to the water with a rather ferocious guard dog on her heels.  Mason decides to play gallant hero and helps the woman escape her pursuers.  What begins as a gallant act turns into a case when the girl is identified by the police and accused of robbing Alder of $50,000 worth of jewelry.  Mason gets set to defend the girl on the robbery charge (and to try and keep his identity as the "mystery man in the canoe" a secret) only to have the scene change again.  This time to murder.  Alder is found shot in his own home and the guard dog apparently went berserk in his closet in an effort get free and help his master.  The local sheriff puts two and two together and decides that the thief has turned murderer.  It's up to Mason to reveal the true killer without admitting his habit of canoeing in the evening.

This is a very solid installment in the Perry Mason series.  Not quite enough Della Street for my tastes.  I really enjoy her interactions with Perry (something that was very prominent in my first Erle Stanley Gardner read--The Case of the Grinning Gorilla last year) and would have liked to have had more of them here.  But the ending is terrific--watching Perry twist the Prosecuting Attorney and the Sheriff into knots of contradiction is worth the price of admission. A nice three-star read.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Bingo: Square Number Five

I'm working hard on that Books in a Series Row!  Only nine more books to go.....

Read 2 Books That Are Part of a Series
1. The Puzzle of the Silver Persian by Stuart Palmer [Miss Withers #5] (1/15/13)
2. Four Lost Ladies by Stuart Palmer [Miss Withers #11] (1/23/13)


Four Lost Ladies: Review

Four Lost Ladies is Stuart Palmer's 11th mystery starring Miss Hildegarde Withers, the school teacher who is also an amateur sleuth. In this particular story, Miss Withers becomes concerned when a woman who used to live in the same apartment building doesn't send her usual Christmas card.  The women were never the closest of friends, but Alice Davidson was faithful about remembering her former neighbor at the holidays.  Soon Miss Withers learns that not only has Alice disappeared, but so have three other women.....all after staying at the same hotel.  It also looks like each of the women came into a nice sum of money shortly before they disappeared.  Oscar Piper, the detective Miss Withers normally turns to for help, is facing problems of his own and is reluctant to get involved in her (so he says) wild goose chase.  The intrepid school teacher believes that a Bluebeard has been wooing the women, wrangling their money away from them, and then disposing of the unfortunate ladies--permanently.  She teams up with Alice's niece, Jeeps (aka Alice as well), and installs herself in the hotel amid rumors of a sudden windfall in the hopes of luring Bluebeard from his den.  It begins to look like a wild goose chase after all when letters and telegrams arrive signed by the ladies in question....but Miss Withers spots the clues that indicate that someone is pulling a fast one.  She takes a quick cross-country journey to prove her point and delivers the culprit into Piper's hands--just in the nick of time.

This installment in the Withers is very uneven.  It starts out nicely and the interaction between Miss Withers and Jeeps is fun and an added bonus. I really like how Jeeps manages to keep working things so she can stay in the investigation. The story lags after Miss Withers's installment in the hotel until the messages which are intended to throw the police off the scent--picking up again only in the mad-dash, cross-country trip that Miss Withers takes show the police what really happened.  Unfortunately the puzzle, usually a strong point with Palmer, is not as well-crafted or well-clued as others I have read.  There are not really any good pointers to the villain....and no good reason why it couldn't be someone else.  Not Palmer's best showing.  Two stars--primarily for the conversations and action involving Miss Withers and Jeeps.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Bingo: Square Number Four!

I managed to cross off another space on my Book Bingo Card. 

Read 2 Books From Your TBR Pile (complete 1/21/13)
1. Slippage by Harlan Ellison (1/19/13)
2. The Web Between the Worlds by Charles Sheffield (1/21/13)

The Web Between the Worlds: Review

The Web Between the Worlds by Charles Sheffield tells the story of Rob Merlin (misspelled as Merlyn on the back of the book).  Merlin is the best engineer who has ever lived.  He has designed a machine, called the "Spider," that can extrude graphite cables which enable him to build incredibly long bridges of great strength.  His work comes to the attention of "The King of Heaven"--a man by the name of Darius Regulo who nearly owns the space mining business.  Regulo doesn't like rockets.  He doesn't like the energy wasted in getting them out of Earth's atmosphere and he envisions a space elevator (or "Beanstalk") that will reach from Earth to a synchronous orbit in space.  A bridge to the stars that will allow materials to be transported to and from Earth without the expense of rocket launches.  He wants Merlin to adapt his Spiders for work in space and to extrude silicon cables which will be much stronger than the graphite used on Earth.

Merlin is intrigued and agrees.  While working on the project, he meets several people who make him think about his past.  Merlin is an orphan.  Both of his parents were scientists and they each died in accidents--his father in a lab fire and his mother in a plane crash--within a day of each other.  The more contact Merlin has with the people connected to Regulo, the more convinced he becomes that his parents were murdered.  But why? And who was responsible?

A reviewer on GoodReads has compared Sheffield to Robert Forward because of the amount of technical detail and hard science involved.  I a point.  It's been a long time since I read Forward's books, but I don't remember the scientific details boring me quite the way the space elevator details do in The Web Between the Worlds.  I found myself zoning out for several paragraphs in various portions of the book while Merlin and Regulo hashed out the details of the Beanstalk.  I just really didn't need to know all the ins and outs of cable strength and velocity and mass and whatnot.  Really.  I suppose it's because Sheffield was a physicist first (chief scientist of Earth Satellite Corporation for many years) and a story-teller second.  Unfortunately, it shows.  

The story is interesting enough and he sold me on the space elevator idea fairly quickly--but the characters could use a bit more fleshing out and the secondary story-line (the murder of Merlin's parents) would have benefited from more detail and direct action.  Most of what we learn about their deaths comes from research reports from Howard Anson, a man who runs an information service and tracks the answers down for Merlin. Three stars for a solid science fiction read.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a bookish meme hosted by Book Journey. It's where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It's a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. So hop on over via the link above and join in...and leave a comment here so I can check out what you are reading.
GoodReads says I'm behind three books...better pick up the pace!
Books Read (click on titles for review): 
The Puzzle of the Silver Persian by Stuart Palmer
Slippage by Harlan Ellison
Currently Reading: 
The Web Between the Worlds by Charles Sheffield: Rob Merlin was the best engineer who had ever lived. That was why "The King of Space" had to have him for the most spectacular construction project ever -- even though Rob was a potentially fatal threat to his power...

Thus begins a breakthrough novel by the former President of the American Astronautical Society, about an idea whose time has come: a shimmering bridge between Earth and space that mankind will climb to the stars. Sound like fantasy? The concept had been in the literature of physics for over three decades, but only a writer with the scientific background of a Sheffield or a Clarke could bring the idea to life.
Books that spark my interest:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Four Lost Ladies by Stuart Palmer
Zima Blue & Other Stories by Alastair Reynolds
Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide

500 Follower Give-Away Winners!

Well, the strobe lights are dimmed, the music is muted, the last dancer has waltzed off the floor....and off in the corner, the Custom Random Number Generator has bleeped and blinked and cranked out our winning numbers:

Prize #1: $25.00 gift card from Amazon (or $25 from the Book Depository--if that works better) goes to Link Number 8--Landslide@ Tantos Livros Tão Pouco Tempo!!!!
Prize #2: $20.00 gift card from Amazon goes to Link Number 18--Lea!!!!

Prize #3: $15.00 gift card from Amazon goes to Link Number 19--Yvette!!!!

Prize #4: Your choice from my prize vault of gently used books and a My Reader's Block t-shirt goes to Link Number 15--Michelle!!!!

Congratulations to all the winners!  I will be sending you an email to confirm your prize.  Winners have 48 hours to confirm with me.

And thanks so much to all of you for supporting what I do here at My Reader's Block.  I appreciate everyone who stops by--whether it's for a quick peek or stop and chat for awhile.  Here's to another three years (and more) of blogging.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Binge Report 2013

Image Credit
So....2013 has barely begun and I've already gone on a couple of book binges.  I think I have a "little" problem.  Maybe.  The weekend of January 7th I went back to my hometown to help my parents settle into their new house and I couldn't resist the chance to stop by The Reading Room.  The Reading Room came into being when my favorite used bookman of all-time sold Mason's Rare & Books to some of his employees.  It's not quite as good as when Mr. Mason had the store, but it will do.  That weekend I brought home:

The Street of Seven Stars by Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Breaking Point by Rinehart (1st Edition)
A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh (Tower Edition w/dust jacket)
The Corbin Necklace by Henry Kitchell Webster (1st Edition)
The Mystery Woman by John Ulrich Gisey (1st Edition)
The Black Stage by Anthony Gilbert (1st American Edition w/dust jacket)
The Clock Ticks On by Valentine Willaims (1st American Edition)
The Clue of the Leather Noose by Donald Bayne Hobart (1st Edition)
The Missing Widow/The Scarlet Feather/I Want to Go Home by Anthony Gilbert/Frank Gruber/Frances & Richard Lockridge (3-in-1 Detective Book Club Edition)
Outrageous Exposures by John Penn (library edition)
Man Dead by Selwyn Jepson (Crime Club edition)
Dread Journey by Dorothy B. Hughes (Tower Edition w/dust jacket)
The Man in Shadow/Vanish in an Instant/Something to Hide by Rae Foley/Margaret Millar/Philip MacDonald (3-in-1 Detective Book Club Edition)
The Missing Link by Carolyn Wells (Triangle Books, w/dust jacket)
More Lives Than One by Wells (1st Edition)
Supertales of Modern Mystery: House of Intrigue by Arthur Stringer (1918)
Then, my good friend John over at Pretty Sinister Books sent me my prizes for winning his Vintage Mystery Trivia Contest:
Death at Swaythling Court by J. J. Connington (reprint, VG)
The Ticker Tape Murder by Milton Proper (reprint, VG)
About the Murder of Geraldine Foster by Anthony Abbot (2nd Printing--and a book that had been on my TBF, To Be Found, List forever)
PLUS Through a Glass, Darkly & The Deadly Truth (2 Map Backs) by Helen McCloy
[Don't you all wish you'd played the trivia game this year? If John is generous enough to sponsor this again next year, y'all better jump in.  He gives great prizes!!]

Next--some Friends of the Library Bookstore finds:
Death on the Agenda by Patricia Moyes
The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
A couple of impulse Amazon buys (both Rue Morgue Press reprints):
The Youth Hostel Murders by Glyn Carr
The Far Traveller by Manning Coles 

And finally--a trip to a couple of bookstores near Indianapolis:
Ellery Queen's 20th Anniversary Annual by Ellery Queen (1st Dell pocket size edition)
Murder for the Asking by George Harmon Coxe (Dell Map Back)
Giant's Bread by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott (Dell pocket size edition)
The Seeds of Murder by Michael Underwood
Outsider in Amsterdam by Janwillem van de Wetering (reprint)

Um.  That makes for 30 new books in the new year.  And I've managed to knock off four books from the TBR pile.  That would seem to be negative progress so far.......