On February 16th, The House of Crime & Mystery was scheduled to host Matthew Pearl's blog tour with a review of his upcoming novel THE TECHNOLOGISTS (pub date February 21st). Unfortunately, I will be unable to do so. A friend of mine has lost his life in a car accident earlier today (Wednesday).

I will post the review of Matthew Pearl's book as soon as possible. I can assure you that it is a great book, his best one yet.
I will also soon announce the winner of a copy of Elly Griffiths's book A Room Full of Bones. Thank you to everyone who participated, and thanks for your patience.

February 15, 2012

"Un ami qui meurt c'est quelque chose de vous qui meurt"  --Gustave Flaubert
 (A friend who dies, it's something of you who dies)


(a shorter version of this review has been published at the Crime Fiction Lover website) 

On a rainy afternoon, Nick Stefanos and Derek Strange are having drinks at Leo’s, content enough to just be sitting down with each other. When The Dramatics’s In The Rain, plays on the bar’s jukebox, it ignites in them reminiscences about 1972, the year of that song’s release. For Stefanos, it was “The summer that Watergate broke.” But for Strange, it was an entirely different time. It was “…the summer that Red went off. (…) Some called him Red Fury. (…) on account of his light skin and the tint of his hair. Fury was the car his woman drove.”
We got all afternoon,” said Stefanos.
Then let me tell it,” replied Strange. And so he does.  

Strange’s narration starts with the murder of Bobby Odum and with a stolen ring, “probably a fake piece”. Funkadelic’s I Wanna Know If It’s Good To You (Eddie Hazel on guitar) played on the victim’s turntable, and parked outside was “a Plymouth Fury, the GT Sport, a two-door 440 V-8 with hidden headlamps and a four-barrel carb.” Vanity plates: “Coco” –as in brothel-owner Coco Watkins, Robert Lee Jones’s woman. More blood will soon flow as scores are settled.

Strange, who at the time was a private detective –four years after the events from “Hard Revolution” when he was a rookie cop— is hired by Maybelline Walker, Odum’s friend, to recover her stolen ring. Meanwhile, detective Frank Vaughn, Strange’s former partner in the DC police, tries to catch ‘Red Fury’ and put an end to his murderous rampage. Vaughn and Strange will team up together once again, although unofficially this time.

One of Pelecanos’s brilliant ideas is to use the seemingly unimportant ring throughout the story, as it will change hands a few more times before it ends up in its rightful owner’s possession, all the while connecting different plot lines together and serving as a thread between some characters, and helping others who follow its trail.  

New Giveaway: Elly Griffiths's A Room Full of Bones

UPDATE: We have a winner and it is Olga Petrik, of Guelp (Ontario, Canada). This was our most popular giveaway so far, even more than the Stephen King one last fall. Thank you to everyone who participated, thank you to McClelland & Stewart for the book, and stay tuned for another giveaway very soon. --JF February 18th
Open to residents of Canada and the US, aged 18 and over. A Room Full of Bones is Elly Griffiths's new book, her fourth crime novel. She lives near Brighton, UK. Elly has received high praises on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean but she's only been seriously noticed in North America since last year's The House at Sea's End. Don't miss out on one of the best young crime writers. Just send me your name and address at housecrimyst@gmail.com for a chance to win a copy of A Room Full of Bones. You have until Wednesday, February 15th, at noon Eastern Time. Bonne chance!
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