Sunday, January 16, 2022

LEFT INSIDE: Ukrainian Politician Patronages the CPL (not!)

Usually this feature is about items I find in books from my personal collection.  This one, however, was discovered in a library book in the Chicago Public Library (CPL).  I thought it was so bizarre I had to share it.


For those of you unfamiliar with the patron who supposedly too out this book here is a reminder from the omniscient source of all internet knowledge —Wikipedia. I'm simply cutting and pasting it with one bit of editing for clarification: 

 "Lutsenko is a former Minister of Internal Affairs [of the Ukraine]. He occupied this post in the two cabinets of Yulia Tymoshenko and in cabinets of Yuriy Yekhanurov, and Viktor Yanukovych. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is the Ukrainian police authority, and Lutsenko became the first civilian minister in February 2005."

Lutsenko was also imprisoned for abuse of powers. Many nations objected to0 this calling it wrongful imprisonment and as just one more sign of the actual abuse of power by Ukrainian Prime Minister Yanukovych. You can read about it all for yourself on various websites using the names of the men as serach terms. Knock yourself out.

Anyway, made me laugh to think some oddball in Chicago thought it funny to make it appear that Lutsenko was a fan of obscure murder mysteries just as all of us are. The addition of the wishing future readers enjoyment of the book was doubly amusing.  The significance of the date eludes me. Any guesses?

For the record, I didn't enjoy the book.. I stopped after 25 pages and returned it to the library. It put me to sleep. Literally. I was probably just exhausted that evening from my day job which is draining me on a daily basis these days.

More on Roy Fuller, the author of the book Lutsenko supposedly took out and read, and his side career as a mystery writer next week.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

2021 Catch-up and Sneak Peak at 2022 Projects

Last year is a week over and I hesitate to do all the "Best Books" kinds of lists.  Instead I thought I'd explain my absence from frequent blogging towards the end of last year as well as a brief outline of how I plan to return to the blog for this year. So here goes...

  • The Moonstone Press project devoted to reprinting Bruce Graeme's detective novel series with Theodore Terhune wrapped up in November. You'll see the final two books soon. Speaking of which -- The box of my copies of Ten Trails to Tyburn (Terhune book #5) which was released as a digital book back in October finally arrived.  The postmark on the battered box was October 27!  Two months and two weeks is a new record for extremely slow service from the Chicago Postal service. I told you it was nightmare living here and dealing with the mail. I'm still waiting for two books to turn up that were mailed to me in March 2021.  I may never see those.
  • I read close to two dozen "new" books last year (classified, for me, as books published between 2019 and 2021). Only those that I deemed exemplary were reviewed on the blog. You will see a few more posts on the cream of the crop of new books that I read that capture the spirit of traditional detective novels or are retro-noir coming later this month and in February.
  • "Left Inside" posts will return every Sunday for 2022!  Huzzah, huzzah! (I hear a handful of you crying)  This used to be a regular feature about pieces of paper and other objects I find in books that I've purchased. When I ran out of items in a  the box of ephemera I've amassed over 20 years of collecting books the feature disappeared.  But I've got a lot more stuff that turned up over the past year and a half.
  • More "Moonlighters" will be featured at least once a month if all goes as planned. There were many that I composed last year and left in my Drafts folder for one reason or another.  I'll take a look at those essays again, polish them up, and post them throughout the year.
  • If all goes well there will be some exciting reprint editions to consider for "ROY 2022."  I have received emails about one title in particular that I can't mention yet, but I am very excited about its being reissued. It may prove to be the hit of 2022 if I am allowed to play at being a seer. Other reissued book possibilities include long out-of-print and extremely hard to find titles from Edna Sherry, Reginald Davis,  S. H. Courtier, Libbie Block and Christopher Hale.
  • I think I will retire from writing forewords in 2022. I don't seek out these jobs; they have always come to me. But in the future I will probably decline.  I prefer suggesting titles and helping seek out rights to the actual writing of introductory material. Besides, there are other experts out there who do it much better than I do.
  • Good news for those who like free stuff -- the giveaway contests for the remaining three Terhune books will continue as the copies trickle in. Ten Trails... giveaway is coming next week. Additional good news -- I'll open the contests to everyone no matter where you live. Woo-hoo!
  • My big goal is to have several short stories published in 2022. It has taken half a lifetime to get the courage up to return to a childhood dream that I had since I was 15 years old --  to be a published mystery writer. Wish me luck!
A very happy 2022 to all of you.  May we all get what we hope for this year!