Nightlife by Thomas Perry read by Shelley Frasier

When a computer salesman comes home she greets him with a smile which denies the need to talk about the bill, all the bills, for things he wants to deny her. Later, in the bath, she shoots him. His name is Dennis Poole. He is the kind of man who tips exactly 15% and not a penny more and is proud because it shows he can figure it out in his head. He is a man with a soft belly and thinning hair who sells equipment to other men like himself and he is the cousin of a Los Angeles hood who hires Joe Pitt to find out who killed him.

Dennis Poole is introduced on page 2, killed on page 4, but we have a clear and exact idea of him. Enough to groan a little when his blood drains into the bath. Just enough of a character to make us curious.

There are more clear and distinct ideas, probable, precise images of characters, types, and encounters. The character of the murderess, amateurish, superficial, but conniving, good at imitating emotions but unempathetic, is a live sketch of a psychopath.

The dialogues are witty and fun.

” ..I just sell sound-imaging machines to doctors and hospitals…I’m Brian Corey.” “Pleased to meet you. I’m Marsha.” “No last name?” “Corey. I’m going to be Marsha Corey, right?”

“The life she had constructed for herself was good. But this evening with Joe Pitt was better.”

Joe Pitt is cool, a private detective, hired to find a murderess who is getting better and better and a good match for the serious homicide detective on the case, Catherine Hobbes.

A smart, well crafted and engaging crime novel.

David Ignatius, Bloodmoney, read by Firdous Bamji

At what point are you willing to pay for an audiobook?

  1. When you encounter a quote by Kipling that you have never heard before, and you want to memorize it …
  2. When the reader has such a faraway voice, with a thousand ligatures, selective, discretionary accents, which gives a d that extra bit of blow, can do Urdu as well as Pashto, in a tribal croak and a traitor’s castrato…
  3. When the author has such impressive inner knowledge based not on the ‘facts’ that he could have google-plagiarized in 2 minutes, but on what are not and will never be facts, on things people know that it is not necessary to say, on what would once have been called ‘common sense’ or ‘local knowledge’ … Not to mention that the author has an international, jocular sensibility  about governmental organizations, Yale, and truth.
  4. When you’ve already gobbled up another, later book, which was slicker, better or more brutally edited, and gobbling it down only made you hungrier for more…
  5. When you start to remember your fifth grade teacher pulling down the oil-skin map from its rolled up position over the green blackboard, before picking up her long wooden pointer and positioning it over some small bright orange blob on the bottom right third of the map… which was perhaps the last time you were curious about the geography of Pakistan ….

The Day the Rabbi Resigned by Harry Kemelman read by George Guidall

The last of the Rabbi Small series narrated with an annoying over-aggressive punkishness by Guidall — to intimate, perhaps, the intellectual aggression of Rabbi Small, the clever not-to-be socialized puzzle solver and prayer leader of the Conservative Jews of Barnard’s Crossing Massachusetts. The characters are at least as alive as the Jews next door and just as argumentative and recognizable and relevant. Best read from the book, but worth hearing too.