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Elmore Leonard: Pronto

Good solid Elmore Leonard. Not quite up there with Out of Sight or Mr. Majestyk, but a good deal better than Tishomingo Blues or Cuba Libre. A Miami bookie and a U.S. Marshal are unlikely allies against the FBI and the Mob, as classic Leonard dialogue and attention to situational detail take us from Florida to Italy and back. Reread for the nth time, July 11-12, 2004.

Patricia Cornwell: Portrait of a Killer

Mystery author turns her hand to solving the case of Jack the Ripper. Partway through, she writes that she is really not enjoying the nonfiction writing process, but feels compelled to reveal what she has discovered. I guess that explains why I really didn't enjoy reading page after page of forensic descriptions of gory murders. Read a copy that mysteriously showed up in my bathroom, July 10-11, 2004.

Lynne Truss: Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Hilarious rant about sloppy punctuation, interspersed with punctuation history and politely activist personal philosophy. Read Kristen's copy, while sick on holiday at the Albany Scrabble Tournament July 2-5, 2004.

Ian Rankin: Black and Blue

An 1997 Inspector Rebus novel about a fictitious contemporary serial killer imitating an earlier true life serial killer, reminded me of the rewritten history of American Tabloid but in a more classic noir style, a birthday gift from Andy Beaton and family, it makes me want to read more Ian Rankin. Read it twice, while sick on holiday at the Albany Scrabble Tournament July 2-5, 2004.