Author Archive: Gary Niebuhr

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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What Was Lost
By January 27, 2014 1 Comments Read More →

What Was Lost

Our winter crime fiction book discussion kicked off the New Year by reading What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn.  This novel is O’Flynn’s first and it is quite the ambitious effort for a fledgling novelist. The story is told in three parts.  The first part takes place in 1984.  Here we have the actions and […]

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Goat Mountain
By December 12, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Goat Mountain

 If you are looking for a cheerful holiday read, look away real fast. David Vann’s Goat Mountain (2013) is a book populated with brutal characters.  They are not going to do one nice thing in the entire book.  Not one. Perhaps your big clue is on page 16 when the eleven year old son shoots […]

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Little Bird of Heaven
By November 29, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Little Bird of Heaven

This year’s overall arc to our crime book discussion at my library is “duck and cover.”  My idea was that we would read novels wherein the characters would be better served to avoid plunging into a crime investigation rather than what occurs in a typical mystery where we expect the protagonist to jump in feet […]

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Shanghai Girls
By November 22, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Shanghai Girls

The fall Greendale Reads title we selected was Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.  Years ago every book club seemed to be reading See’s earlier novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005).  Shanghai Girls, published in 2009, was popular but did not garner the attention that Snow Flower did.  I am not sure why,  as the […]

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The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
By November 5, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

For October, our monthly crime fiction book discussion group read The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley.  While I still feel satisfied to list this novel as a work of crime fiction, it is so much more.  Ptolemy Grey is a 91-year-old man living in Los Angeles in squalor, suffering the early effects […]

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I’d Know You Anywhere
By October 19, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

I’d Know You Anywhere

The crime fiction book discussion at my library had Laura Lippman’s stand alone novel, I’d Know You Anywhere, as its monthly selection.  Lippman is one of our group’s favorite contemporary crime novelist and we find her works are always discussable.  This proved true for this novel which was published in 2010. The basic storyline of […]

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Redshirts

Redshirts

Would you be surprised if the best work of science fiction in 2012, according to the Hugo and Locus Award voters and the reviewers at Romantic Times, was a comedy? Don’t be.  The recognitions went to John Scalzi’s Redshirts (2012).  Scalzi is a novelist from Ohio who also has written many nonfiction books and articles […]

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Jack Glass:  the Story of a Murderer
By September 23, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Jack Glass: the Story of a Murderer

Adam Roberts’s new book, Jack Glass:  the Story of a Murderer, is a book that attempts to link the classic mystery pattern of the locked room puzzle with a space adventure with political overtones.  While science fiction is not normally what I read anymore, I was attracted to this title by the idea of, not […]

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Defending Jacob
By September 3, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Defending Jacob

Stand up and be manipulated. In William Landay’s book Defending Jacob, there is a competition to see who is manipulated more:  the characters in the book or the reader who is viewing them.  If it is a race, the two participants tie at the finish line because this book has a dramatic punch on the last page that […]

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What a Crime It Is to Read Joyce Carol Oates

What a Crime It Is to Read Joyce Carol Oates

We have spent the last 120 days remodeling my library and because of that I sort of fell off the face of the Earth.  And missed Mystery Month on Book Group Buzz.  Now, there is some irony. However, the emotionally draining workload of a remodel meant I also found it hard to concentrate on reading.  […]

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