Some books I’ve read recently

Some books I’ve read lately, in approximate reverse chronological order:

Starlet, Robert B. Parker – 4 out of 5 stars My favorite Spenser novel so far. Again, a slow start builds to a thrilling, surprising, and organic conclusion. The fun of Spenser, combined with the constant literarly jabs, plus a usable plot make this an outstanding read. I’m reading two more Spenser books right now.

The Widening Gyre, Robert B. Parker 3 1/2 out of 5 stars A short Spenser novel, but a good one. Like the Flynn series, Parker seems to trust the reader enough to not focus obsessively on giant plot/set pieces- instead, we get to keep our focus on Spenser, which can be most enjoyable, if at times static.

Thin Air, Robert B. Parker – 3 1/2 out of 5 stars My first introduction to the Spenser series of mystery novels and my first experience with Parker. At first I started off groaning at the dialog but once it got going- and it took a bit- I was captivated by the thorough investment in the character and enjoyed the contrast of the apparent cliche of the character with the countless clever references. By the end, I had lodged several similarities between Parker and McDonald, though Parker’s Spenser and McDonald’s Flynn are nearly polar opposites.

Flynn’s In, Gregory McDonald 3 1/2 out of 5 stars The original Flynn book. A midly interesting plot, but Flynn and his pal Cokie shine as uniques in a world of corruption. Worth the read, for sure.

Flynn’s World, Gregory McDonald 3 1/2 out of 5 stars A newer Flynn book- and a good one. Once again, the character crackles while the story feels limp and almost pointless. Still though- great character.

Digital Fortress, Dan Brown – 3 out of 5 stars Slightly better than Deception Point, but still long and exhausting near the end, this book foreshadowed Brown’s action+conspiracy+gadget template but didn’t reach the heights of DaVinci.

Confess, Fletch, Gregory McDonald 4 1/2 out of 5 stars A most unknown and underrated Fletch book- my favorite of the series.

Fletch, Gregory McDonald 4 out of 5 stars An unmissable classic of the detective genre. Harder, sharper, and much more dramatic than the (classic) movie, this is how it’s done.

Deception Point, Dan Brown 2 1/2 out of 5 stars Brown’s most movie-like, least interesting book.