Blood from a Stone

I recommend Blood from a Stone, by Donna Leon. If you look at the photo on the opening screen of her website, you’ll immediately see what I liked most about this novel: it makes the reader feel that s/he’s in… Read More ›

Prince of Thieves

I just finished listening to the audiobook version of Prince of Thieves, a crime thriller written by Chuck Hogan and read by Dorchester’s own Donnie Wahlberg. The action takes place in Charlestown, and the sense of place is definitely the… Read More ›

The Coffee Trader

I recently finished reading a fascinating historical novel by David Liss, The Coffee Trader. Now maybe you’re not interested in the formation of the coffee trade in Europe in the 17th Century — though I can’t imagine why not —… Read More ›

Unlucky in Law

I have a mixed reaction to Unlucky in Law, by Perri O’Shaughnessy. It’s a decent enough legal mystery, more-or-less in the John Grisham or Scott Turow vein. And it has an undeniably interesting plot, involving the Russian-American community in Monterey…. Read More ›

St. Alban's Fire

Archer Mayor’s well-crafted series of police procedurals has a highly deserved reputation for strong and careful plotting. As a Vermonter, Mayor writes in a style that convincingly evokes the state of Vermont — as much so as Lawrence Block evokes… Read More ›

A Stab in the Dark

Lawrence Block’s 1981 Matthew Scudder mystery, A Stab in the Dark, has recently been reissued in audiobook format. If you’ve only read some of the recent Scudder novels, where he’s a non-drinking alcoholic, you’ll find that A Stab in the… Read More ›

Watch Your Back!

I recently read another funny novel by Donald Westlake, Watch Your Back!, and I can recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor. Though nominally in the thriller genre, this entrant in the Dortmunder series manages to combine convincing… Read More ›


If you have any interest at all in crossword puzzles, you will definitely enjoy Cruciverbalism: A Crossword Fanatic’s Guide to Life in the Grid, a small but well-written book by Stanley Newman and Mark Lasswell. Fascinating, amusing, and full of… Read More ›