Mysterious Book Report No. 63

A few weeks ago, I made some lists, based on preliminary reviews from publishers and booksellers for summer reading fun.  One of the books on the list was Harbor Nocturne, (Mysterious Press, $27.00, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-8021-2610-8) by Joseph Wambaugh.  He’s a retired LAPD detective with twenty-some-odd books to his credit, all revolving around the Los Angeles Police Department.  I consider them to be among the best of a sub-genre in crime fiction known as police procedurals.  The term means exactly what it says; they’re written about cops and detail their procedures.  Wambaugh’s are cream of the crop because they’re exact, based on his personal experience; he’s a master of the language; his cops and his criminals dialogue is spot-on; and last he’s got a funny side . . . excelling in the type of gallows humor that cops are famous for.

Wambaugh reprises two of his most loved and funny characters in this one: a pair of surfer-dude cops nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam.  Jetsam, who has a prosthetic foot due to an on duty shoot-out, is tasked with an undercover job because of his amputation.  At the same time, back in San Pedro, the southernmost district of Los Angeles, a romance is developing between an unlikely pair of lovers: Dinko Babich, a young longshoreman and Lita Medina, a not-so-innocent teenage Mexican stripper and topless dancer.  When the two lovers are caught in the middle between a criminal sex-trade-human-smuggling ring and the cops who are chasing them, lives hang in the balance as the star-crossed lovers try to hide from the warring fractions . . . all set against a background of the Los Angeles San Pedro District Harbor.

This one is pure escapist fun.  Your summer afternoon spent reading it will fly by faster than the Saturday matinee at the movies when you were a kid.  Another great one from a master of the genre.

All the masters, of all the genres, can be found at your local library.  You already know that, don’t you?  And, you know that there are charming, attractive and smart-as-a-whip librarians there to assist you?  Check it out for yourself.  You’ll see.  And you’ll be glad you did, because you, like the librarians and me, will become helluo librorum.

Advance reviews are starting to come in for Rhyolite’s newest publication, The Whim-Wham Man and it’s plain to see that they’re excellent.  “It’s a helluva yarn,” said one.  “Took my breathe away it’s so intense,” was another, and “I can’t stop thinking about The Whim-Wham Man.  He’s unforgettable.”  Order your copy now!  All orders before August 30th are discounted to $14.50 for the book and the postage.  You’ll save $5.50, but only before August 30, at or Rhyolite Press, P.O. Box 2406 Colorado Springs, CO  80901.  For credit card orders, call 719-203-5265.

Signed first editions of The Neversink Chronicles are available at Cannie D’s in Neversink, the Time and the Valley Museum Store in Grahamsville, The Little Store in Roscoe, and now available at Peters Market in Napanoch, where they’re flying off the shelves.

You can make your mark in cyberspace at my website,

It’s where you’ll find hundreds of reading suggestions, a free story, information about Rhyolite Press and their publications,  it’s where you can comment, suggest, ask questions, gripe or just leave greetings.  We’d love to hear from you.  And as always you can do it the traditional way at P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO 80901,

Something to think about . . .

It’s impossible to get in trouble while reading a book.