Friday, February 01, 2008


Some time ago January magazine discussed an Essential Mystery Library and of course the list started with the works of Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. But the list was a long one and I purchased some of the other essential authors works someof whom I had read before and some whose names were completely new to me, such as K.C. Constantine.

I shall be delving into these books from time to time, and last week I finished Looking for Rachel Wallace by Robert B. Parker. I had read some Spenser novels before but this one was new to me, and reminded me why I like crime fiction.
It was fast paced easy to read with crackling dialogue, a good but simple plot, and it dealt with discrimination against gay women in the workplace at a time when it was not being discussed. The clash between militant lesbian feminism and extremist right wing groups, and gender stereotyping are the book's other themes.
The fact that it was written way back in 1980 is a tribute to the ability of the crime novel to tackle subjects that are considered controversial.
But it is the sharp dialogue that gripped me in this PI novel.

"What did you think of it?"
"I thought Simone de Beauvoir already said most of it."
"Have you read The Second Sex?"
"Don't tell the guys down the gym," I said.........

"I also have an active sex life. Not only active but often diverse. You'll have to be prepared for that, and you'll have to conceal whatever hostility you may feel toward me or the women I sleep with."
"Do I get fired if I blush?"

"And she hasn't read the book."
Linda smiled and shook her head."Almost none of them ever do.You can't blame them. Sometimes you get several authors a week plus all the other stuff."
The pressure must be fearful," I said. "To spend your working life never knowing what you're talking about."

"I had always thought," she said, her face still pressed in my shoulder,"that men of your years had problems of sexual dysfunction."
"Oh, we do," I said. "I used to be twice as randy twenty years ago."

Full list of the Essential Mystery Library at:


Blogger Lisa said...

Hello Uriah,

I like Parker, too. In fact I did a meal from his Spenser novel God Save the Child for our last Novel Food event. I've also really enjoyed Parker's non-crime fiction, notably Doubleplay and Appaloosa.

Also: Someone just left me a comment on my 'ncasciata post with a link to a post he did about the same dish. His version actually puts mine to shame! Thought you might also enjoy drooling over it:



12:51 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Lisa I will have a look at that post.

I have just finished eating a home made bouillabase, and should have taken a photo of it before it disappeared.
As my older son Ben was home for a few days we went to the Fish Shed near Topsham on the River Exe for lunch, grilled pollock and grilled vegetables for me on a diet to lose 10kg. Ben had Thai fish cakes with chilli sauce and chips, as he is fit.
Two lots of fish in one day lovely.
I must take some photos next time.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Wow, thanks very much for that link Lisa.
What food and what photography, it was lucky I was full or I would have eaten my computer screen.
Best wishes

1:07 PM  

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