06 September 2010


When I had read the available books from West Yellowstone, I was back in Northfield heading for the public (socialist) library. The librarians have a rolling cart positioned just in front of the main desk where recently-returned books are placed before they are reshelved. I always look at the contents of that cart.

The look paid off the last time I was there, and I went no further. I plucked a new Dana Stabenow mystery and Thomas Perry's Strip from the cart, went to the automatic check out machine with my library card, and left the library. I doubt I was there more than four minutes and walked away with several hours of good reading. I'll write about the Stabenow book later, but here's to Thomas Perry.

If many mystery writers are producing episodes of TV series featuring a few main characters and a few settings, Perry is producing movies set in a variety of places and populated with characters unseen elsewhere in the world of fiction. The dust jacket informations says that Perry "is the author of the Jane Whitefield series..." Well, I might have to go look for one of those. But for now, there is a long list of non-series Thomas Perry books that I look forward to.

Strip, like Metzger's Dog and Death Benefits, is a well-told entertaining tale.

A hapless mook lucked out when robbing a strip club owner who was trying to deposit the nightly receipts from his three gentlemen's clubs. A hapless LA newcomer, who has been spening his retirmement savings trying to impress girls, gets fingered for the robbery. A hapless police lieutenant, who has simultaneous twenty-year marriages and a kid from each who is about to enroll in an expensive university, is assigned to investigate the robbery. The mook gets a girl friend/accomplice for the next late night robbery, and she excitedly shoots someone. The newcomer proves that he's not hapless. The lieutenant stumbles along trying to figure out who is doing what to whom and where will the tuition money come from. Then, a Mexican drug boss and his bodyguards are murdered.

Details? You'll have to read Strip. It's a great and complicated tale with an ending befitting O. Henry.

Have you, too, read Strip? What did you think? Write and tell this bit of the world what you think.


Anonymous said...

I'm happy to see an incoming link from your blog, especially in a post about Thomas Perry. That guy is so reliably readable! The books are always exciting yet the characters remain likable and human. Have you tried Craig Johnson yet? Sherriff Walter Longmire is a more folksy version of a Perry protagonist.
Carol Wallace
"Book Group of One"

Ken Wedding said...

I've commented on two of Johnson's books:

Another Man's Moccasins


Death without Company