Paul's Corner: The Best Crime Fiction of the Season

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Patrick Irelan

For all you fans of crime fiction out there, this Christmas season brings us a new Michael Connelly novel which features both the depressed Harry Bosch and his brilliant half brother, defense attorney Micky Haller, also known as The Lincoln Lawyer for his unusual office hours. The new book is called The Crossing and it's thrilling.

The ever popular Robert Crais' new novel, Promise, featuring his two detective pals Viet Nam vet, Elvis Cole, and his partner Joe Pike is also top notch. His many fans have come to expect only the best and he is one of the crime novelists who we regularly sell in hard cover.

How many of you happen to know, either personally or by his excellent reputation, the wonderful, witty, Patrick Irelan? For years he's been writing mystery stories for the likes of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He's written a wonderfully funny new novel called The Big Drugstore, set in the Quad Cities. It's essentially a Quad Cities Noir, told through the eyes of detective Mike Scofield in a marvelous tongue in cheek. Pat's writing is dead pan all the way and his characters would be played by great character actors, when the inevitable Major Motion Picture is released. Scofield works in a drug store watching for petty thieves and someone of course gets killed.  

“’Let me see some identification,’ I said. She fished around in her purse, came up with a driver's license, and handed it over. Her name was Kathy Dove. She was twenty-one years old and lived at 528 Raven Street. I looked back at her and memorized her appearance. She was short, blond, and cute; but her most distinctive feature was the soft innocence of her face. The small birthmark on her right cheek added to this effect. If I hadn't seen her take the toothpaste, I wouldn't have thought her capable of it."  

What Irelan gives us is a small town, Raymond Chandler. Believe me when I tell you what a great idea this is. If you don't believe me, you'll miss out on more fun than you can imagine.