Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) – Shane Black

Excluding The Predator (what the hell was that?) Shane Black has been one of my favorite Hollywood writers, and I was super-excited when it was announced he was getting into the director’s chair for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Set, like most of Black’s tales, at Christmas, this one is a slice of modern noir. Robert…

The Hardy Boys: The Missing Chums (1928/1962) – Franklin W. Dixon

Frank and Joe Hardy are back in their fourth adventure, The Missing Chums. This quick-paced, fast read book sees the brothers asked by the local Bayport P.D. to help investigate a local shantytown, while their father, Fenton, the renowned detective is called in to investigate a series of national bank robberies… and then there’s one…

Whispers Under Ground (2012) – Ben Aaronovitch

The third book in what has become known as the Rivers of London series takes Peter Grant beneath London in the next volume of the urban fantasy series. Working a murder case, while still hunting down the Faceless Man and his students, Grant, alongside Lesley, who has now joined the Folly (where they work from)…

The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) – Agatha Christie

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to check in on the writings of Agatha Christie, so I settled in to play a bit of the armchair (or lawnchair) detective as I enjoyed the first novel to introduce the other famous detective Christie was responsible for introducing to the world, Ms. Jane Marple,…

The Last Boy Scout (1991) – Tony Scott

Director Tony Scott teamed up with writer Shane Black to deliver a classic action film of the early 90s, The Last Boy Scout, with Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans teaming up on screen as a ex-Secret Service agent turned private detective, Joe Hallenbeck, and a former NFL all star, Jimmy Dix. When a client (played…

Never Send Flowers (1993) – John Gardner

James Bond is back, and while I’ve enjoyed Gardner’s efforts with Ian Fleming’s 007, with the minor exception of The Man From Barbarossa, this entry, his thirteenth (of sixteen) feels like a real stumble. It seems to want to be more in line with the cinematic 007, but without a solid story, or set pieces…

The Big Four (1927) – Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot is reunited with his old friend Captain Hastings who comes to England to see his old friend, but the duo find themselves caught up in their biggest adventure yet. The Big Four moves the characters into some new territory, almost James Bondian in nature, as the pair encounter an international master criminal (well…

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) – Agatha Christie

This week’s Agatha Christie isn’t quite the romp of the previous entry, but like all her tales, is wonderfully engaging and entertaining as she weaves a tale of murder, secret marriages, servants, doctors, drugs, wayward sons, and hidden secrets and truths. And in the middle of it all, Hercule Poirot. This one is a bit…