Lawrence Block's 17 Matthew Scudder novels have won the hearts of readers throughout the world - along with a bevy of awards including the Edgar, the Shamus, the Philip Marlowe (Germany), and the Maltese Falcon (Japan). But Scudder has starred in short fiction as well, and it's all here, from a pair of late-'70s novelettes ("Out the Window" and "A Candle for the Bag Lady") through "By the Dawn's Early Light" (Edgar) and "The Merciful Angel of Death" (Shamus), all the way to "One Last Night at Grogan's", a moving and elegiac story never before published.
"Stories are clever if you can get past his voice."
The hooker was young, pretty...and dead, butchered in a Greenwich Village apartment. The prime suspect, a minister's son, was also dead, the victim of a jailhouse suicide. The case is closed, as far as the NYPD is concerned. Now the murdered prostitute's father wants it opened again--that's where Matthew Scudder comes in.
"Good introduction to a popular series"
In this brand-new novella, Keller, everyone's favorite assassin for hire, is Chicago-bound on Amtrak's City of New Orleans, ready to do what he does best. But it's complicated. Usually there's someone ready to point him toward the target. Or he'll have a photo, say. Or, bare minimum, a name and address. Not this time. When he gets to Baker's Bluff, Illinois, he'll have to play private detective before he can get down to business. Well, okay. He knows how it works. So before he even packs his suitcase, Keller buys a fedora.
"Great Fun on Many Levels"
The city caught its collective breath when upscale couple Byrne and Susan Hollander were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Now, a few days later, the killers themselves have turned up dead behind the locked door of a Brooklyn hellhole - one apparently slain by his partner in crime, who then took his own life. There's something drawing Matthew Scudder to this case that the cops have quickly and eagerly closed.
"Block's prose is as smooth as aged whiskey..."
Keller is a regular guy. He goes to the movies, works on his stamp collection. Call him for jury duty and he serves without complaint. Then every so often he gets a phone call from White Plains that sends him flying off somewhere to kill a perfect stranger. Keller is a pro and very good at what he does. But the jobs have started to go wrong. The realization is slow coming, yet when it arrives, it is irrefutable: Someone out there is trying to hit the hit man. Keller, God help him, has found his way onto somebody else's hit list.
"Gallows humour at its best"
For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch - hero, maverick, nighthawk - the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal. The dead man, Billy Meadows, was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who fought side by side with him in a nightmare underground war that brought them to the depths of hell.
"What a Terrific Book"
Lawrence Block is a best-selling author of popular mystery fiction. With over 30 of his works in print, he is as prolific as he is skilled. This collection of essays and articlesfrom his Writer’s Digest columns has been in print for over 20 years. Here he provides invaluable advice to the aspiring writer and the established author. Featuring a witty and honest narration from the author himself, Block presents an illuminating look into the world of the professional writer.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it's Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies - before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
In this first in a series of wickedly funny mysteries, best-selling author Lawrence Block introduces Bernie Rhodenbarr, sometimes burglar, sometimes sleuth. Pulling only an occasional, very discreet job, Bernie manages to maintain his comfortable New York City apartment and keep his unorthodox vocation a closely-guarded secret. Every burglar knows never to trust anonymous phone calls. But when the caller offers easy money for an hour's work, Bernie can't ignore the job.
"Wonderful Wise-Ass Humour"
Martin H. Ehrengraf, dapper and diabolical, may be Lawrence Block's darkest creation. He's the defense attorney who never sees the inside of a courtroom, because all his clients are innocent - no matter how guilty they may seem. Some even believe themselves to be guilty: They remember pulling the trigger, or wiring the dynamite to their spouse's car, or holding the bloody blade. But things have a way of working out when Martin Ehrengraf is on the case.
"Guilty as sin"
Dr. Morton Handler practiced a strange brand of psychiatry. Among his specialties were fraud, extortion, and sexual manipulation. Handler paid for his sins when he was brutally murdered in his luxurious Pacific Palisades apartment. The police have no leads, but they do have one possible witness: seven-year-old Melody Quinn.
"3 ½ stars. Slightly above average."
Keller possesses all the qualities of a professional killer. He's cool, confident, reclusive, icy, and ruthlessly efficient. But this seasoned hit man is also prone to self-doubt as he finds himself caught in the clutches of a mid-life crisis.
Matthew Scudder and his wife Elaine visit their good friend, Mick Ballou, at his bar, Grogan’s, where Mick muses on about the final scene of the Sopranos.
©2011 Lawrence Block; 2012 AudioGO
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