Re: RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard and Laurie R. King

From: Karin Montin (
Date: 10 Jun 2004

Brian, If you like Elmore Leonard you can't really lose. Even his not so hot efforts are pretty good. I enjoyed Riding the Rap, but the plot was quite a lot simpler than many of his others.

I'll let you know what I think of the ending of A Grave Talent in a few days.

Karin At 06:14 AM 10/06/2004 -0700, Brian Thornton wrote:
>Hi Karin-
>> Even more recently, I whipped through Elmore Leonard's Riding the Rap
>(1995), a fairly typical one of his in which a U.S. marshall outwits some
>none-too-swift miscreants. He's a good character, and so is the psychic who
>helps the bad guys, but it wasn't spectacular.
>I just finished CUBA LIBRE (also a historical) by him not too long ago.
>Loved it. Would you recommend RIDING THE RAP? I've already read both GET
>the TBR pile.
>> Right now I'm getting to the end of a Kate Martinelli mystery, the first,
>by Laurie R. King: A Grave Talent (1993). Kate is a detective in the San
>Jose police department trying to track down a serial killer of six-year-old
>girls. She's a lesbian who thinks coming out of the closet will damage her
>career, so her private life, while closely guarded from other officers, is
>another story element. This isn't strictly speaking a police procedural--a
>lot of technical details are glossed over--but the case is being solved by
>good solid police work: lots of interviews, timing tests and logic. I have
>to force myself to put it down after lunch and get back to work. I've got
>another Martinelli waiting. I read a much more recent one last year, Night
>Work, that was very good. King also writes a series featuring Mary Russell
>and her mentor, Sherlock Holmes, which I have been avoiding, but which get
>good reviews from those who like that sort of thing.
>I read A GRAVE TALENT a few years back, and thought the writing was very
>good, but the dead children aspect of it left me pretty cold (I teach middle
>school, so call it an occupational hazard, I suppose). I also found the end
>less than satisfying. Would like your take on it once you're finished,
>don't want to spoil it for you, though!;)
>I haven't read the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes "collaborations," even
>though I went through an avid Holmes phase as a teenager.

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