This is a special edition of Friday Notes. I was planning one this month, just not necessarily today. But I want to share a story about doing my taxes. In particular, as a dedicated misanthropic curmudgeon, it’s rare that I get the chance to be positive about something besides the occasional good book or movie.
I also have a lot of notes that accumulated in my Apple Notes app over the years. For years I’ve meant to publish them here so I could delete them from that app.
Better late than never!
17 Comments | tags: Jack Reacher, Minnesota, money | posted in Friday Notes
The last three Mystery Monday posts have all mentioned the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child. I’ve really taken to the character and his stories since I met him in the first Tom Cruise movie. (Which is actually the second-worst way to meet Reacher. The worst is the second movie, and even that’s not awful.)
Last week I stumbled across the Mysterious Profiles series published by Mysterious Press (founded by Otto Penzler, owner of The Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan). Each volume is a short essay by a mystery author. Based on the titles and the one I read, they’re about how the author conceived and built their series character.
The one I read was by Lee Child about Jack Reacher.
20 Comments | tags: Jack Reacher, John D. MacDonald, Lee Child, Mysterious Press | posted in Books, Mystery Monday
Last post I mentioned my third reading axis, the murder mystery, detective, crime, thriller axis. The interest, inherited from my dad, goes back almost as far as the science fiction axis. It started, very early, with Sherlock Holmes, which led to the Agatha Christie version, Hercule Poirot.
Dad introduced me to Parker and Spenser. That led to Chandler, Hammett, Stout, Paretsky, Grafton, and so many others. Some seeds planted in childhood flourish to become large trees, others never even sprout (I tried and rather quickly abandoned stamp, coin, and rock collecting.)
For Mystery Monday, here’s a brief update from the third axis.
3 Comments | tags: Elmore Leonard, Harry Kemelman, Jack Reacher, Lee Child, Lovejoy | posted in Books, Mystery Monday
Back in 2020, I posted about my surprise rediscovery of Agatha Christie. The initial discovery is lost in memory, a hand-me-down from my dad. I favored heroic action figures back then, Superman, Sherlock Holmes, Clint Eastwood. I enjoyed Christie’s Hercule Poirot but filed the rest of her work under ‘dowdy British library murder mystery’ and ignored it.
A mistake. My surprise discovery of 2020 was that Agatha Christie was a fascinating genius who rightfully earned the title Queen of Mystery.
Last week I watched a recent adaptation of Death on the Nile (1937), one of the more well-known Hercule Poirot novels. I had high hopes, but I can only give it a weak Eh! rating.
8 Comments | tags: Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, Jack Reacher, Kenneth Branagh, Lee Child, Tom Cruise | posted in Books, Movies, Mystery Monday
It started when I watched Jack Reacher (2012), starring Tom Cruise. It was pretty good, and it’s as much fun seeing Robert Duvall in something as it is Christopher Walken. Plus, the bad guy is Werner Herzog! As it turns out, casting Cruise as Reacher is… interesting, but I’ll come back to that.
The movie is an adaptation of the 2005 Lee Child novel, One Shot, the ninth book in his Jack Reacher series. I enjoyed the movie enough that I thought I’d check out the book — my library had it (as well as the others in the series).
I’ve been binging on them ever since. To the point I’ve now read 16 of the 24 Lee Child Jack Reacher novels.
19 Comments | tags: Jack Reacher, Lee Child, Tom Cruise | posted in Books, Mystery Monday, TV