Archive for April 26, 2009


Posted: April 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

When I am sent or beg a book via Karen of Euro Crime I usually try to say nothing about the book until the review appears on Euro Crime. 

But on this occasion I am reading a book which is such a masterpiece that I can’t resist quoting one passage which so brilliantly expresses the banality of everyday life during the war, and is in stark contrast to the atmosphere of fear that pervades the rest of the narrative.  

Then he was standing in front of the shop and peering in through the shiny silver bars of the birdcages-yes there was Hetty. She was waiting on customers; four or five people were in the shop. He joined them and watched with pride and trembling heart how skilfully she served them, how polite she was with them. 

“We no longer carry Indian millet, madam. India is part of the British Empire. But I have Bulgarian millet which is much better.”  

The Saturday quote about fraternization came from one of the classic Lew Archer series The Zebra -Striped Hearse by Ross MacDonald published in 1962. 

In this novel Lew Archer starts out by looking for dirt on Colonel Blackwell’s prospective son- in- law and as with all this California based series he is soon following a trail of corpses. His books are usually of a manageable length which was convenient because I read them for the first time when I was supposed to be reading textbooks.
This is a great series of detective books with some wonderfully evocative descriptions of California and California people, almost as good as Chandler.