Mysterious Book Report No. 70

It’s looking a lot like fall in Colorado.  From my perch up here on the mesa, I’m seeing a lot of yellow among the green  of the urban forest and the leaves are rapidly falling away up in the high country; those elevations just above Colorado Springs at seven to eleven thousand feet, where the air is too thin and the sun too bright for them to grow.  Pikes Peak, at just over fourteen thousand feet is wearing a crown of snow and my joints are already telegraphing me that winter is just around the next page of the calendar.  But, ha-ha Jack Frost, I’m fully prepared for cold weather with a well-stocked pantry, plenty of firewood  and a library of books to read and review.  Books which will transport all of us through time and space; books that know no borders, no limits and allow the reader to peek over the shoulder and into the lives of all the characters the world has to offer.  Take this week’s MBR No. 70 for example . . .

Wolves Eat Dogs, (Simon & Schuster, 2004, $25.95, 337 pages, ISBN 0-684-87254-4) by Martin Cruz Smith is a crime-fiction mystery that begins in Moscow with the death of Pasha Ivanov, a billionaire and oligarch of the ‘New Russia’ . . . a society fueled by corruption, secrecy and organized crime, much the same as the old USSR . . . who either jumped or was thrown from the 10th floor balcony of his luxury penthouse.  A sour, disillusioned and ‘slightly subversive’ detective and Senior Investigator named Arkady Renko is at the scene as the opening page begins, trying to determine if Ivanov jumped, or was pushed.  All the obvious signs point to suicide, but Renko, cynical, analytical and prone to depression, isn’t so sure; one of the only clues in this locked room mystery is salt . . . it’s found on the windowsill Ivanov went out of, under his body, and forty pounds of it are poured on the floor of his walk-in closet.  Renko gets drawn ever deeper into the world of super-rich billionaires as he tries to unravel a case that takes him from Moscow to the ghostly Zone of Exclusion: the contaminated radioactive area around Chernobyl, where the world’s worst nuclear disaster took place in April, 1986.  There, amid the toxic and abandoned ruins, inhabited by the daring, the foolhardy and the criminal classes, as well as some militia sent to impose marital law, Renko will try to sift through the debris and overcome criminal sabotage in order to solve the case before the toxicity of the environment does irreparable damage to his health.  It’s an intense, page-turning marvel from one of the masters of the detective and mystery genre.  If you’re a crime-fiction junkie, you’ll do well to read Wolves Eat Dogs!  Enjoy.

Others by Martin Cruz Smith that I highly recommend are: Gorky Park, and Polar Star, both of which can be found at your local library.  That’s where the lights are bright, the books are free and the possibilities are endless.

There’s endless things to see and do on my website:

It’s where you can find the BS & Donkey Dust Blog, all of the Mysterious Book Reports, and hundreds of reading suggestions.  You can leave comments, ask questions, make suggestions or recommendations of your own and leave your personal mark in cyberspace.  The Neversink Chronicles are available while they last at Cannie D’s, the Time and the Valleys Museum Store and now at Peter’s Market in Napanoch.  My latest book The Whim-Wham Man a coming of age and murder mystery, is just out and signed copies are available by sending $15.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling to:


Rhyolite Press

P.O. Box 2406

Colorado Springs, Co  80901

Credit card orders call 719-203-5265 or go to  The Whim-Wham Man and Rhyolite’s newest thriller, The Drift, by Bert Entwistle are available at bookstores everywhere, as well as, Amazon, Kindle or Apple iTunes.

Thanks for reading the Mysterious Book Report and have a pleasant week reading.  We’ll see you next week with a brand-new one.