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The Measure Of Malice: Scientific Detection Stories
Martin Edwards
Progress: 34/321 pages
El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America
Carrie Gibson
Progress: 287/560 pages
The Cask
Freeman Wills Crofts

Reading progress update: I've read 34 out of 321 pages.

The Measure Of Malice: Scientific Detection Stories - Martin Edwards

so I'm off the launchpad with this, having read the Introduction, and then the first story - 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery'. in other words, Holmes and Watson on a case - case solved by Holmes, not Lestrade, by the end. it was a good one; I liked it. Holmes did throw some science around, to make it fit the theme of the book, while Watson didn't really contribute much - even accidentally - but he's a fine fellow anyway, to have along for company and he does take direction well from Holmes, when it's "shut up and let me think" time. I only recently read A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, and was blown away, despite any warty-ness lurking in the actual plot ideas or characterizations, so this story could not compete with those longer works - but I was certainly happy to get back to Watson and that other guy so soon!


next up is something called 'The Horror of Studley Grange' by Meade (woman) and Halifax (man) (both pseudonyms). of course, Mystery stories with the word 'Horror' in the title are always very appealing.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 354 pages.

The Cask - Freeman Wills Crofts

sigh. no, I can’t explain to you why I have decided to read this Freeman Wills Crofts novel, instead of the other Freeman Wills Crofts novel I’ve been saying I was going to read next. I only know that it’s happening. maybe because it’s from 1920, and we are in 2020; of course, I could leave it until later this year - but I’m gonna read it now. get it done!

Reading progress update: I've read 378 out of 378 pages.

The Street: A Novel - Ann Petry, Tayari Jones

oh my.


I have to tell you, it’s depressing as hell. but it’s also friggin’ amazing, perfect, I would read anything else by her. I would think of certain Fredric Brown novels, as I went along, but also Cornell Woolrich, and to have elements of those two sharpened up and applied to this kind of novel...it was brilliant.

How My 'Italy In February' Project Has Been Going

First of all, I started reading for it in January. Next, I am glad I committed to all these Italian Crime novels, because it has been a very rewarding trip.


A 5-Star trip, in this case:


Also quite good, was my first Conor Fitzgerald novel:


I was hoping for more when it came to the next two, and I almost gave Temporary Perfections 4 Stars, but it needed something else to get it there - while I'm Not Scared seemed to get a bit predictable, maybe simple, in the story-telling, but got points for having a kid as the one processing and dealing with the evil that adults do; this was a no-nonsense book:


finally, The Bishop's Bedroom, which was short and readable and dark, but didn't say much to me:


Sadly, I think I will fit in only one more Italy-related novel, when it comes to February, but there's the rest of the year for occasionally making a quick trip again!

Reading progress update: I've read 219 out of 378 pages.

The Street: A Novel - Ann Petry, Tayari Jones

Mrs. Hedges - a survivor - recalls the night of the fire, and other things that put her where she is.


coming off a cold but feeling better today, I should be able to get a lot of this read tonight, before conking out. yesterday, I wasn't able to read the way I wanted, after work.

Reading progress update: I've read 158 out of 378 pages.

The Street: A Novel - Ann Petry, Tayari Jones

Lutie jumps at a marvellous offer that would mean a better future for her and Bub, but she knows there are strings attached.


this book is a pleasure to read.

TBR Next


did you know that the Freeman Wills Crofts novel has to do with an airplane departure time - Croydon Aerodrome and all that sort of thing - not a train departure? I didn't really know that, till...recently. and, for that matter, Strange Police deals with the Elgin Marbles...which is to do with Lord Elgin, and the Marbles, Greece wanting them back, and there's a whole big story to it and so forth, but I only just learned about all that at the same time as I learned that there's a Croydon Aerodrome (planes, not trains or buses, the major factor to keep in mind about the Croydon Train Sta--uh, the Croydon Aerodrome).


on an unrelated note, many thanks to BrokenTune for having read The Day of the Owl already; your review is helpful, BT!


the Greg Iles book will likely be my last book tied to Black History Month (cuz it's so long!).

Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 378 pages.

The Street: A Novel - Ann Petry, Tayari Jones

Min, out of sorts, consults Mrs. Hedges about the Mrs. Johnson situation. Mrs. Hedges puts Min on to David, the root doctor.


it caught me by surprise when the narrative shifted away from Lutie - but it actually works well, as the other characters become more relatable. it's an intriguing collection of people, along the street.

Reading progress update: I've read 95 out of 378 pages.

The Street: A Novel - Ann Petry

I’m coming off of a Patricia Highsmith novel...and it was kind of cool that the Introduction to The Street, by Tayari Jones, made a quick mention/comparison of Highsmith and Ann Petry. I’d say, yes, The Street is reminding me of Found in the Street; in fact, I was almost tempted to put a book in between the Highsmith and the Petry, because both books do take me to the streets of New York. this was before Tayari Jones made a direct comparison between the two authors - I just had a sense the books might need to be split up, by me reading a Maigret in between, or something.


but I didn’t do that, I read the Street Intro which tied Highsmith and Petry together on a few points, and now...I don’t care that the books have a slight samey-ness. because it is slight; the books are spiritual sisters, but I’m not dealing with ‘twins’, not by a long shot.


as for The Street itself - I love this novel, so far. style, characters, plot, 1940s Harlem, Lutie and her son trying to have a life and ambitions, the troubling stuff and people around her that could tear things down...


the book is riveting.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 378 pages.

The Street: A Novel - Ann Petry

Black History Month continues!

Reading progress update: I've read 103 out of 276 pages.

Found In The Street - Patricia Highsmith

so is Jack going to end up wishing he’d never met Linderman? or Elsie? or both? and now Natalia has been dragged into it. 

Linderman is a very strange man - stubborn and righteous. but, is he dangerous?

Reading progress update: I've read 61 out of 276 pages.

Found In The Street - Patricia Highsmith

I like it.


it looks like I might have a similar experience with this book that I had with Helen MacInnes’s final novel: reviews put me off a bit, but when all is said and done, the author is so reliable - at least for me - that even late, “underwhelming” novels have something to offer...and aren’t so bad as all that!


everything seems calm in this story, so far - but it’s a Highsmith; Jack seems a little too interested in 20-year-old Elsie, considering he’s with Natalia. plus, Jack is unusually jealous of Natalia’s friend of 30 years - Louis - even though Louis is gay, and comes across as a fine friend for Natalia. as for Ralph - who found Jack’s wallet - he seemed weird at first, but a nice guy. well, a few chapters later, and a look inside his head...and he’s not such a nice guy. not with everybody.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 321 pages.

The Measure Of Malice: Scientific Detection Stories - Martin Edwards

this is now the short story collection I will be dipping into, between novels. hopefully, the Science-y explanations for the murders, and the clues which point to culprits, will not be so scientific that I don’t understand what just got explained!

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 276 pages.

Found In The Street - Patricia Highsmith

so...I’ve decided to read Found in the Street just before reading The Street.

Reading progress update: I've read 257 out of 381 pages.

Everyone in Their Place: The Summer of Commissario Ricciardi - Maurizio de Giovanni

it’s all been so very impressive. it wants 5 stars, and is working hard for them.

"Along the short stretch of road from police headquarters to Via Santa Brigida, where they had an appointment to meet Doctor Modo, Maione and Ricciardi encountered only a few living souls and one dead one. The living ones were boisterous young boys on their way back from the beach, their clothing wrapped in dripping bundles, barefoot and wet-haired, who were filling the air with loud laughter and rude bantering. The dead man, whom only Ricciardi could see, of course, was dissolving slowly in the massive heat with his heavy jacket, dating back to the end of winter.

He was a construction worker who’d fallen off the roof of a palazzo, where he’d been repairing a rain gutter. With a back curved right round like an umbrella handle and with blood gushing from his mouth, he kept saying:

*”It’ll hold me, the cornice will hold me.”*

Famous last words, thought Ricciardi, as he did every time he passed him, averting his gaze."

Everyone In Their Place, by Maurizio De Giovanni, translated by Antony Shugaar (copyright 2009; quote is from pages 96-97 of the Europa Editions paperback edition, third printing, 2016).