Tough guys and gals in dark and sinister worlds, with bleak atmospheres and outlooks. Contains some of crime fictions strongest voices.

Don’t Know Tough

By |2022-05-05T20:37:10+00:00May 9th, 2022|Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Don’t Know Tough Mysterious Book Report No. 489 by John Dwaine McKenna Don’t Know Tough, (Soho Crime, $24.95, 336 pages, ISBN 978-1-64129-345-7), by Eli Cranor,  is the apex of Southern Noir.  Placed in Denton, Arkansas, it’s hard-boiled, gut-wrenching, poignant, gritty, emotional, brutal, savage, raw, and stunningly authentic.  It’s a novel  you’ll never forget, and it’s hard to believe that it’s Mr. Cranor’s debut.  He speaks with authority and his

The Yards

By |2022-04-25T19:35:03+00:00January 17th, 2022|Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

The Yards Mysterious Book Report No. 473 by John Dwaine McKenna Told from three alternating points of view, The Yards, (Mysterious Press, $25.95, 308 pages, ISBN 978-1-61316-235-4), by A.F. Carter, is hard-boiled crime fiction at it’s best.  It takes place in the imaginary mid-western city of Baxter, where the last of four meat-packing plants is on the skids and failing.  It’s closure will leave the already troubled area where

Razorblade Tears

By |2021-08-26T19:59:34+00:00August 30th, 2021|Crime Fiction, Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Razorblade Tears Mysterious Book Report No. 462 by John Dwaine McKenna There are legions of fiction writers in the world today, who toil diligently at their chosen craft and produce innumerable works that are exciting, memorable and entertaining.  They satisfy our need to educate ourselves and explore unfamiliar societies while experiencing another person’s world through their eyes—all from the comfort of our favorite reading nook.  But only a few—a

The Heathens

By |2021-08-19T19:33:59+00:00August 23rd, 2021|Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

The Heathens Mysterious Book Report No. 461 by John Dwaine McKenna The Heathens, (Putnam, $27.00, 400 pages, ISBN 978-0-593-32839-2) by Edgar finalist and NY Times  bestselling author  Ace Atkins, is  the eleventh  in his Quinn Colson series . . . and it’s easily the best one yet. Colson is an ex-army Ranger who’s come home to Mississippi, where he’s now the Tibbehah County Sheriff, elected on a vow to

City of Fallen Angels

By |2021-06-03T18:50:30+00:00June 7th, 2021|Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

City of Fallen Angels Mysterious Book Report No. 452 by John Dwaine McKenna City of Fallen Angels, (Legend Press, PB, $15.95, 222 pages, ISBN 978-1-78955-981-1), by Paul Buchanan, is a debut novel that announces in a loud and clear voice, the arrival of a first-rate new author, writing in a classic noir tradition. The novel opens in Los Angeles.  It’s August of 1962 and the city is sweltering in

Remember My Face

By |2020-11-24T21:13:32+00:00November 24th, 2020|Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report, Thriller|

Remember My Face Thanksgiving Day 2020 Extra by John Dwaine McKenna Our usual custom here at the Mysterious Book Report is to take some time off on turkey day, spending it with family and friends . . . eating, talking, watching football on TV . . . and giving thanks for the many freedoms and the bounty we all enjoy . . . and often take for granted.  But


By |2019-12-19T20:13:24+00:00January 20th, 2020|2019 Best Books of the Year, Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Cherry Mysterious Book Report No. 362 by John Dwaine McKenna Every person in America today who pays attention to the news and current events is aware that we’re dealing with an unprecedented drug and opioid crisis.  The numbers are staggering . . . and the statistics sobering . . . there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. during the year 2017, according to the latest

My Bad ; A mile high noir

By |2019-10-13T22:11:44+00:00October 25th, 2019|Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

My Bad, A Mile High Noir  Mysterious Book Report No. 264 by John Dwaine McKenna The word noir (pronounced NWAR) comes from the French. Its literal translation is black, but it can be interpreted as dark or wicked. As it applies to the Mysterious Book Report, it’s a type of crime fiction that’s characterized by cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity. The noir genre has become so popular over the

Potter’s Field

By |2019-10-18T18:06:08+00:00October 21st, 2019|Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Potter’s Field Mysterious Book Report No. 348 by John Dwaine McKenna Three years ago, a new writing talent appeared and lit up the hard-boiled crime scene like machine-gun fire on a moonless night.  The author’s name was Rob Hart, and his character, Ash McKenna, is a tough guy who—like Raymond Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe—gives bad-assiveness a good name.  Happily, he’s now back in his fifth adventure. Potter’s Field, (Polis Books,

Dancing With The Tiger

By |2019-12-12T21:03:19+00:00September 11th, 2019|2017 Best Books of the Year, Hard-boiled/Noir, Mysterious Book Report|

Dancing With The Tiger Mysterious Book Report 271 by John Dwaine McKenna Today, in nearly every corner of the world, works of art are being stolen, forged or destroyed by persons of the criminal classes. They are rapacious, greedy, ignorant and uncaring of the fact that their crimes are against all of humanity—for all time—because each piece of art is unique and cannot be replaced. And nowhere is this

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