Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Binge reading matters

Binge reading is something I have been wallowing in since the beginning of May when I belatedly discovered the  Spenser series by the late Robert  M. Parker.

Before I finally delve into the latest volume of the Outlander series by Diana Gabeldon I must re-define the 'binge'. The first book of hers I read in the first half of the nineties, hence the enjoyment of book eight counts not as a binge indulgence... it is merely fidelity. The true binge is to download an author's titles one after the other and read them without interruption. Kerry Wilkinson.makes it very easy with his DS Jessica Daniel procedurals, with three books at a time as a single Kindle click purchase. It's an enjoyable series and I have another three on my device before I return to Outlander. Time spent with the characters invented by  Peter May and by G.M.Ford, Enzo MacLeod and Leo Waterman was by no means wasted. In  each case there were about half a dozen stories. The chronology was (as usual) hard to figure out on Amazon, the pricing policy sometimes bizarre and there was an unaccountable gap in the Ford books with the penultimate volume not offered in Kindle format even if the more recent  title could be had.
Peter May's Enzo Files, stories areset in France and are centred on the work of half-Italian, half-Scottish Enzo Macleod. This former forensic scientist, now working as a biology professor at a French university becomes involved in applying the latest scientific methods to solve cold cases.
May continues ensures authenticity in the details of his books by researching tirelessly. When writing The Critic... which involves the wine industry and is set in Gaillac, France...  May took a course in wine-tasting, picked grapes by hand, and was invited by the winemakers of the region to be inducted as a Chevalier de la Dive Bouteille de Gaillac in December 2007

Ford's first book, Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca? was published in 1995. As well as being Ford's début novel, this book was also the first in a series of seven books based on the character Leo Waterman, a detective working in Seattle, Washington.

Says Ford… “Notice a pattern here?  Seems like I lose interest in a character about six books into the series.  By that time, I’ve shot him, stabbed him, thrown him off bridges and tried to drown him in the river, and am starting to feel sorry for the guy, so I move on to something else.”

Wilkinson's Detective Sergeant is such a well-written female protagonist that Kerry (sort of a gender-agnostic first name) is often obliged to remind us that he is indeed a man! 

And one who writes good stories.

No comments: