RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard and Laurie R. King

From: Brian Thornton ( tieresias@worldnet.att.net)
Date: 10 Jun 2004

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 SHORTY and MAXIMUM BOB. Got TISHOMINGO BLUES, PRONTO, and THE BIG BOUNCE in 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.

All the Best-

Brian Thornton

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