Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

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*No Major Spoilers*

The Thin Man introduces Nick and Nora Charles, New York’s coolest crime-solving couple. Nick retired from detecting after his wife inherited a tidy sum, but six years later a pretty blonde spies him at a speakeasy and asks for his help finding her father, an eccentric inventor who was once Nick’s client. Nick can no more resist the case than a morning cocktail or a good fight, and soon he and Nora are caught in a complicated web of confused identities and cold-blooded murder.

I am a huge fan of crime noir, and this story takes place on the tail end of Prohibition. So if you love your mysteries with lots of illicit booze and over-dramatic women, then I would recommend The Thin Man for your reading list.

I enjoyed the first half of this mystery novel. The mystery was intriguing and I was trying to solve the puzzle along with Nick and Nora. There’s quite the cast of characters that would make any Agatha Christie fan enjoy this novel.

However, the drama with the suspect’s family got to be too much for me and I just stopped caring. Nick had already reached the conclusion that the ex-wife’s new husband had something to do with the murder and once the police were on the look for him and the ex-husband the family drama kept going and I mentally checked out until the end of the story.

The ending would’ve been a nice twist and a surprising ending. To see Nick explain in full detail to Nora about how the bad guy(s) committed the crime and almost got away with multiple cold-blooded murders was interesting. However, I feel like I was over this novel once the initial hunch was made clear and the family drama kept dragging on.

This is a quick read or listen depending on your preferred medium. I got through about half of the audiobook in one night, so if you’re looking for a crime noir to whet your appetite then check out The Thin Man.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Baccano! Vol. 1 by Ryohgo Narita

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*No Major Spoilers*

New York, 1927.

In a corrupt city where crime rules the streets, Firo Prochainezo is Camorra, an Italian criminal syndicate distinct from the mafia. A member of the relatively small Martillo family, Firo nevertheless got big ambitions and is determined to make his mark. But while the Martillos may not be the biggest bad guys on the block, they’ve got some distinct advantages working in their favor. Does Firo have what it takes to become a made man?

Let the crazy ruckus begin!

I was really excited about this manga when I saw this at my library. I enjoy 1920’s era stories as well as Mafia/the Mob stories. Sadly, this one disappointed me.

The characters were generic, I had a difficult time telling them apart. Generic mobsters all fighting for control. For example Similar hairstyles and hair colors between each one it was a bit of a headache trying to distinguish them apart

The storyline only got interesting when I was more than half-way into it. At that point I had lost my enthusiasm for the rest of the story. I did finish the story though. When I finished it things started finally making sense, but up until that point, it was like going to a family reunion and seeing most of the people you’ve never met.  Kind of like when Aunt May comes up to you and squeezes your cheeks and says “OH I REMEMBER YOU WHEN YOU WERE JUST A BABY!!” And you’re standing there like “Mom, why is this strange woman pinching my cheeks?”

I did like when the plot fully came together and started to make more sense. I would be willing to read the next book in the series to give it a second chance.

I would recommend this to people who are more into 1920’s era New York and a bit of the Noir theme.

Buy it here on Amazon!