Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Murder in the Air ... Bills can’t lose this week ... Volvo it is ... Lombardi on Broadway ...


Murder in the Air, by Bill Crider … at first glance at the book cover and title, I thought Sheriff Dan Rhoades was taking a trip somewhere and somebody on the flight gets whacked (or was whacked). But the reasons for the title and how the book came to pass was discussed over at Ed Gorman’s blog. The Sheriff Dan Rhoades series is an ongoing winner for an author who has countless books to his name and this one, like all the others, is a very enjoyable read. The usual cast of Clearview’s characters keep Sheriff Rhoades on his toes as the always clever repartee will keep readers smiling from start to finish. Murder in the Air was such a welcome break after struggling through Les Miserables a 2nd time (there won’t be a third), I wound up finishing the read within two days of commuting.

The Sheriff Rhoades series features an easy going, common sensed, blessing of a sheriff who manages to keep his head amongst the day-to-day weirdness that law enforcement most often has to deal with (like somebody shooting arrows at car tires, buildings and the occasional Sheriff). Sheriff Rhoades has Ivy to keep him grounded and bounce theories off of, but he also has his many pets, his always amusing sidekicks in law and the diverse town folk of Clearview in Blacklin County to keep the reader engaged. Each new scene is like a skit we suspect we know the end of (and sometimes do) but that always leave us smiling when it comes. And there’s always something new … this time when I started reading the latest Sheriff Rhoades saga, I discovered something I’d watched on an ESPN special … “noodling” (no, not one of my bigoted crime characters having sex with a Chinese person). Noodling is fishing … sort of.

Say what?

When a very unpopular guy who owns a worse than smelly chicken farm (it is a health hazard as well) and who is known to noodle for pleasure is found drowned in a local noodling hot spot, Sheriff Rhoades is called on the job. But someone (nicknamed Robin Hood) is shooting arrows (and he’s no Cupid) willy-nilly and at one point at Rhoades himself … and then there’s all the usual suspects the author keeps the reader guessing at and before you know it, between the pleasurable dialogue and the quirky situations (noodling is just one), you’re way too engaged to take a break.

Crider has been at it a long time and for good reasons (he’s engaging and fun to read)… and this reader wants to issue his Sheriff Rhoades a challenge (unless it’s been done and it’s one I missed) … we propose having one of those sinister organized crime figures (eye-talian, Russian, Mexican Mafia, etc., author’s choice) who has been relocated to Blacklin County after making his (or her) deal with the devil (the U.S. Attorney’s Office) come to the good Sheriff’s attention after a body is found greased old school style (with a pair of .22 slugs behind an ear) … but if Italian, a mackerel will suffice (rather than one of those 65 lb. catfish) to send a Sicilian message (because nobody can sleep with a fish that big).

Like I said, amici, Murder in the Air was another pleasure to read. It does what reading is supposed to do, engage you, keep you interested, leave you smiling and wanting more.

My beloved New York State Buffalo Bills can’t lose this (bye) week ... which is a clear indication that things will change in the great state of New York (where a certifiable crazy man running for Governor doesn’t want a “gay agenda” taught to kids). My deceased sister, who was gay, has a library dedicated in her name at a high school in Manhattan. Adele taught English as a second language and I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with her (or any) “gay agenda” ... and as much as I have no use for either major political party, this is one time I’ll go ahead and give the nod to the Democratic candidate in New York for Governor. Whatever faults Mr. Cuomo (son of Mario) may have, I’m pretty sure being a bigoted asshole isn’t one of them.

I know, I know ... I’m not supposed to call politicians names anymore. Look for a future apology down the road ... in this case, very far down the road.

Shine up the Birkenstocks ... the stella famiglia went and purchased a Volvo after all (a 2003 S60, I think) ... this tank will feature America’s team (Buffalo Bills) logos on the front bumper and DW logos on the back bumper. How cool is that?

For the record, I'd focking kill myself before I wore sandals of any kind ... ever.

Lombardi on Broadway ... based on the book "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi" by David Maraniss ... the ugly one is going with his boys to see a Broadway show about one of his heroes (Lombardi is God in casa stella). Lombardi was the ultimate football coach; a man driven to success by angels and demons alike. While his many famous quotes are often taken out of context by self-loathers who hold athleticism against those who have it, those who understand the beauty of sport and what it takes to succeed on any level (the effort, always the effort), cherish the man and his words. His brother was gay and Lombardi didn’t tolerate locker room gay bashing jokes (imagine that in 1960 NFL locker rooms). The cynicism surrounding perhaps his most famous quote: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” ... comes from those who see what they want to see in the words and not anything near what Lombardi was actually saying to his players. He was also one of the most inspirational icons in American history. His success as a football coach (basketball, baseball or football) speaks for itself (talk about walking the walk). My favorite quote by Lombardi, for what it’s worth, remains: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

The Stella men are looking very forward to this show.