For those who enjoy detective work, ABEbooks-
Of course, this is a dangerous place to hang out if you're a book junkie.
You read any of Tony Hillerman's stuff?
Only a couple- I've been hooked recently on Robert Parker's Spenser. Hillerman's on my 'to read' list.
I picked up a Spenser years ago and enjoyed it, but I got the feeling I was coming in in the middle of something. Like I had read it out of sequence. I did enjoy all of the literary references. I think I caught most of them. Made me feel smarter than I know I am. I'll have to try again from the beginning.
I have been working my way through Dean Koontz lately. Weird stuff. I couldn't get into Hillerman despite his works being required reading in New Mexico.
Hugh, my wife would agree with you.....she read Koontz while I was away on the road and it gave her the Willies AND the Nellies !
If you're deciding whether to read Hillerman, note:
--British TV is about to film one of his books!
--Tony is a wonderful guy. My office was near his at the University of New Mexico and he is liked and admired by students and colleagues alike. (He teaches journalism.)
hooked recently on Robert Parker's Spenser
Thanks, I got (my first) one of his from the library and read it yesterday. He is easy to read, and I got through it quickly. Prolly good fare to take on an airplane ride. Amusingly self-deprecating, Spenser seems a competent bloke and reminds me of John D. MacDonald's Travis Magee a bit.
Funny, I don't remember his first name. Mebbe another Lt. Columbo or DI Morse? My wife says she knows Inspector Morse's first name, but won't tell me, grrr!
I also know what Morse's first name is, do you want to know?
I think we should all keep Hugh guessing. No doubt, it will inspire him to create an appropriate limerick or double dactyl.....perhaps, one of each!
Hawk is just Hawk, in the Spenser tales, for whatever that's worth. For a change of pace from Parker, Hillerman and Koonce, try James Lee Burke, whose main guy does have a first name: Dave. The setting is Louisiana. Some of the characters in these novels are really spooky! How come Southern writers can do this? Maybe it's the bayous and swamps, heat and humidity.
It's the grits.
We'll wait and see what endevours he makes in that direction.
it is too good to resist, isn't it ?
playing detective ?
I have not read Burke, either, so I will give him a shot this week. I tried another Spenser, but I am a little worried about the bloke's logic. I don't recall him getting paid in the first one I read (Hummer Bummer), and in fact he does an 'extra' assignment in that one where he purposely violates the instructions of the person who hired him, to do something nice for someone else at no charge.
In Potshot (shades of the movie Chinatown), his client turns out to be the murderer, so he doesn't get paid again, and he turns down an offer from a Mafia dude to get bucks for doing the same job, despite having personally committed to paying 6 other high-priced thugs to help him out!
V. S. Naipaul (of all people!) summed up in the shortest space the uniquely Southern relationship of death & tobacco, honour & violence.
Spenser seems to live very well without getting paid. (Now, laid- that's another story!) I don't think a first name is ever mentioned in the books. If you find one, let me know.
I also don't remember a name (other than Mrs. DeWinter) for the narrator character in Rebecca.
Pam, if this website can be believed he does indeed have a first name:
Linda, don't tell anyone Morse's first name! It is revealed in the last or next-to-last filmed episode and that's the best way to find out. (As you say: WAIT AND SEE...)
The narrator of REBECCA is never named. Her employer calls her "you stupid girl." Maxim calls her "Darling" and "You silly girl." The servants call her "Mrs. DeWinter."
A friend of mine plotted (briefly) to turn REBECCA into a stage musical and he planned to give the girl a name. I told him that if he did that, he didn't DESERVE to stage a successful musical.
Closer to home (for me, anyway), the name of Chris Noth's character in SEX & THE CITY wasn't revealed until the last episode. He was first called "a Mr. Big" and then referred to as "Big" for the entire series. Only in the last scene of the very last episode did his actual name appear -- and then it was only on Carrie's pager (not spoken).
J.P. Beaumont (the detective in the J.A. Jance novels) is "Jean Paul." Too obvious to bother posting, probably.
Does anyone remember the agony Hawkeye went through on MAS*H, trying to find out what BJ's real name was?
Marian, do you want me to erase the link above?
No, but thanks for asking.
Yes Marian I remember that, and also that Columbo's first name is Lieutenant. His wife's first name is Mrs.
(Captain Janeway notwithstanding)
I watched all the Morse as it was first broadcast and think it is the final episode (or was announced as such) It would be like telling who-dun-it in The Mousetrap.
What- it wasn't obvious who did it?
Actually, it was Spenser's first name that I was referring to.
Miss Silver's first name is Maud.
For another Southern mystery writer with even spookier characters, try James W. Hall. "Mean High Tide" is one that comes immediately to mind, the one with the talapia fish. Yikes! In fact, I was actually thinking of Hall when I mentioned Burke.
What do you make of this then Pam?
Many years ago I went to a movie theatre to see a Beatles double bill and most of the people in line were wearing Beatles shirts and buttons and some of them were quizzing each other out of Beatles trivia books.
I got a few questions right so one girl thought she could stump me with this question:
WHAT IS PAUL McCARTNEY'S MIDDLE NAME?
I had never known (or even wondered) what Paul's middle name was, but from question itself, I guessed that it must be "Paul." I further guessed that he was named after his father and was called by his middle name to avoid confusion.
(Paul's full name is JAMES PAUL McCARTNEY, Junior.)
The girl didn't believe me when I said it was a GUESS, but it was! I swear on my honor as a know-it-all!
The funnest Beatles trivia question I've ever heard is:
Q: Who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show right before the Beatles first appearance?
A: Ed Sullivan
I know where it is on the shelf- I'll have to check it out.
And while you're looking things up: What was the name of the little guy in "Rumpelstiltskin"? The one who makes the girl try to guess his name?
I think his name was "Humpagherkin"
No, I think Humpagherkin is the name of the narrator in REBECCA.
I thought it was some Japanese guy Noname or something
I reread God Save the Child twice last night- I think this guy is wrong! There are two places where Spenser is asked his name. Once (p. 56) he replies 'Nick Charles,' and once (p152, he replies 'Bulldog Turner.'
The nearest that I can come to the suggestion that "The book contains the one scene where someone says his first name and isnít later contradicted" is the scene where a friend of Spenser's says "What can I do for you, Chickie?" Since the friend is a rather flamboyantly gay man called 'Race Witherspoon,' I tend to think that Chickie isn't a name, but is rather an equivalent to 'Honey', Sweetie,' or in a more modern sense- 'Duuude.'
Been away a while. Good conversation.
I read three or four of the Koontz before I noticed a definite formula.
There always seemed to be a clever, but submissive man, a ballsy pushy don't-take-no-crap gorgeous woman, and some sort of 'damaged' character.
After the formula popped up it was too distracting to continue. I put down several of them two chapters in before giving up on him.
This may sound provincial, but nobody here has mentioned Elmore Leonard yet. BEST dialog (dialogue) in the biz. And no slouch at plot-story.
Just to add to that provincial thing, another Detroit based writer, try Loren Estleman. His Amos Walker books are CLASSIC hard-boiled crime novels.
B.J. (MASH) was named after his mother (Bea) and his father (Jay).
Rosebud was the SLED!
Pam, I bet you're right. If I had read a scene where Spenser said his name was "Nick Charles" -- if I read it before I knew that Nick and Nora Charles were the detectives in the THIN MAN series -- I would probably assume that those were Spenser's first/middle names. You can't read the same book twice!
Re "Chickie" -- there are those who say that the name of the Lady in the Scottish Play is CHARLES, for a similar (but sillier) reason.