Wednesday, September 24, 2014


To play along, just answer the following three questions ...

• What are you currently reading? The Patriarch by David Nasaw. I'm barely a quarter of the way through, Joseph Kennedy (JFK's father) is not yet 45, and he's already been bank president, stockbroker and head of a movie studio. Now he's trying to get into the Roosevelt administration. I'm really enjoying this part because I watched the documentary series on PBS about the Roosevelts. It seems that in FDR, Mr. Kennedy has finally met someone who is more charming, more manipulative and cagier than he is.

• What did you recently finish reading? Gambit by Rex Stout. A Nero Wolfe mystery. I started but never finished it about 8 years ago, where it's been languishing on my shelf. Then last weekend I found it again and simply devoured it. I wonder why it didn't hold my interest before and this time it kept me riveted. Anyway, the title is a chess term but the mystery is only peripherally about chess. It's about mothers and daughters and fathers and daughters and lust and love and jealousy and betrayal. And, of course, murder. I figured out whodunnit at about the same moment the intrepid Archie Goodwin did. What made this book so interesting is that while it was pretty easy to deduce the killer, the hard part was coming up with proof. "I feel it in my bones," will not stand up in court. It was great fun to see how Archie and Wolfe would prove their brilliant deduction.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I've got Webb Hubbell's first novel, When Men Betray. It's a political mystery set in Little Rock. As a former aide to Bill Clinton and Mayor of Little Rock, he's well qualified to tackle this terrain.

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