RARA-AVIS: My return to the list & call for recommendaitons

From: gogomasterj ( funkmasterj@runbox.com)
Date: 15 Apr 2006

I was on this list before (before it moved to Yahoo!), but left after I went back to school. Going back to school for a potential Masters in Folklore at the University of North Carolina meant I no longer had time to read for leisure. I finished my classwork in that program last year. That gave me more free time again, but reading has always taken a lot of focus and it took me a while to get back into reading for leisure. Last year, I watched the movie Written in Blood
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0316904/) where the killer left clues from Sherlock Holmes stories. After watching that, I pulled out a copy of the complete works of Sherlock Holmes that I had been given years ago, but had hardly read. I read it cover to cover. Now I had the ability and desire to read for leisure again.

I went on two separate tracks: I went to http://members.aol.com/funnybutfatal/mysteries.html and picked out authors of humorous mysteries: I really enjoyed Dave Barry's Big Trouble. I also have really enjoyed reading Donald Westlake, both his humorous and non-humorous mysteries
(although I prefer the humorous ones). I also really liked Carl Hiassen's Sky Dip. I also read some Simon Brett and Bill Crider, which I liked but not as much as the three above.

The other track is noir/hard boiled: I've pretty much read all the Dashiell Hammett I can find, he's my favorite noir writer. I am currently reading Raymond Chandler, I have read most of his stuff, but I am filling in the gaps. I am currently reading Killer in the Rain, a book of short stories, all reprinted for the first time since Chandler cannibalized all of them into his novels. While I have read all of the novels they come from previously, the short stories are interesting and also give insights into the process from the novels themselves. (I previously found interesting the change from the original, serialized, version of Hammett's Thin Man to the final version.)

I am hoping to find some recommendations for both of the categories above. With regard to noir, I particularly enjoy short stories. I am working full time now and spend most of my free time on week nights reading rather than watching TV. I also plan to read more Philip K Dick, but realize that's outside the scope of this list. I am open to offlist responses.



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