The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler

Isaac Bell is the main character in a series of Clive Cussler branded books. Co-written with Jason Scott, the series features the adventures of detectives with the Van Dorn Detective agency, modeled after the Pinkertons. The Pinkertons always got their man, the Van Dorns never give up. Mid 19th century high technology always plays a big part in the Isaac Bell novels – steam trains, the telegraph, flying machines and radio all come into play.

The premise of this tale is that London’s Jack the Ripper did not die as claimed by Scotland Yard, but rather found his or her way to the good old USA where he/she continued slashing throats. Taking advantage of the Van Dorn Agencies broad reach in the USA, Isaac Bell uncovers a pattern in the murders of young woman across the country. He appeals to his boss to let him travel to England to pursue further leads and concludes that the location of certain US murders corresponds to the path taken by a theater production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as it tours the US by rail.

Undercover, Bell arranges to become an ‘angel’ offering to fund the production of a film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as it wraps ups it’s cross country tour in L.A. Bell’s sweetie Marion is a budding film producer with some creds, so she and Bell hitch the Van Dorn luxury rail car to the Jekyll and Hyde production train and work to suss out who the evil doer is. The dramatic conclusion takes place on the movie set with Bell and the evil doer locked in a deadly saber duel.

Of all the Clive Cussler / Isaac Bell series I have read (and I’ve read them all), this one appealed to me least. Perhaps it was the emphasis on ‘theater’, or the paucity of venues, or character development that didn’t really work for me, or the fact the Jack the Ripper has been done to tatters, but I was disappointed. I mean to say the train visited a lot of cities, but then straight to the theater or back to the train, so not much attendant travel log or interesting local color. Did I want to keep reading? I read two other books in the middle of reading this one, so not so much.

Dave

Jack Webb Books

Among our recent arrivals are several books on and by the actor, producer, and screenwriter Jack Webb. Webb is best known for his role as Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet, and he’s also the creator of Dragnet.

The Badge: True and terrifying crime stories that could not be presented on TV by Jack Webb (vintage 1959) – $5.00

Just the Facts Ma’am: The Authorized Biography of Jack Webb by Daniel Moyer & Eugene Alvarez – $8.95

My Name’s Friday: The Unauthorized but True Story of Dragnet and the Films of Jack Webb by Michael J. Hayde – $9.50

 

John Sanford: Escape Clause

John Sanford’s latest thriller is a Virgil Flowers novel. Virgil Flowers works for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, employed as a detective working out of Mankato. We often find him towing his boat behind his pickup with Lindy rigs in the tackle box, ready to take on the wily walleye whenever one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes is between where he is and where he’s headed. Flowers works Southwest Minnesota for BCA so we know his turf pretty well.

This time, the crime is the theft of two Amur tigers from the Minnesota state zoo. The evil doers plan the heist with inside help and execute very well. The Amurs are rare and beloved creatures to many so there is much consternation around this theft and Flowers is put on the case full time. Through Flowers investigative efforts, we learn the bad guys intend to butcher animals for their “medicinal” value in the Asian marketplace and have a standing offer of $250,000 for the processed animals. Bit by bit, Flowers unwinds the puzzle and locates the bad guys who are more than a little wacked out having murdered three folks who get in their way.

Sanford nearly always has at least one female bad guy in his stories and Escape Clause is no exception. This particular lady stands up in her sunroof and shoots up the vehicle of one of Flowers suspects. Other side plots involve Virgil’s girlfriend getting beaten up and his neighbor being firebombed (they got the wrong house in the dark). A family of six Iranian brothers show up to avenge the death of a seventh brother and continue to pop up in their RV from time to time. So lots of action, much of it bizarre in classic Sanford fashion.

Does John Sanford’s Escape Clause survive my acid test for a good read? You bet. As always, Sandford’s work is a real page turner and it’s hard to beat a book title that is a pun.

 

Vocabulary of the Vietnam War

Two reference books about the language and words of the Vietnam War have just arrived:

Words of the Vietnam War by Gregory R. Clark – $28.95

In the Field: The Language of the Vietnam War by Linda Reinberg – $38.75

Both books are packed with definitions and explanations of acronyms, nicknames, brand names, technical terms, and slang from the Vietnam War. You can browse through these at our store or purchase online.

Vintage Carnegie Classics

Vintage Dale Carnegie

We see Dale Carnegie‘s perennially popular self-improvement books come and go here all the time, but it’s a bit more unusual to see the vintage paperbacks in such nice condition! How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job are $5.00 each, while they last.

From the Girls Just Want to have Fun Collection…

Sparkly is a core value in the Girls Just Want to have Fun section here at Gifty Things Vintage. We have fun finding items for you and you’ll have fun matching outfits and finding one-of-a-kind bargains from among our selection of jools. Lots of beady bags too. Schedule about 20 minutes to see everything.

-Dave

Beautiful Books by Greenwich House and Peerage Books

Looking for stunning leather look volumes to enhance your decor? Love the classics? Two birds, one stone. These beautiful volumes in faux leather by Greenwich House and Peerage Books feature gilt pages and fancy end papers. The books are tight and in excellent condition.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; A Small Town in Germany, The Looking Glass War: John le Carre – $10

Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man: Dashell Hammett – $10

The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Invisible Man, War of the Worlds, The First Men in the Moon, The Food of the Gods: H. G. Wells – $10

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; A Small Town in Germany, The Looking Glass War: John le Carre – $10

Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities: Charles Dickens – $10

Library of World Poetry: E.D. William Cullen Bryant – $10

The Mirror Crack’d, Caribbean Mystery, Nemesis, What Mrs, McGillicuddy Saw!, The Body in the Library: Agatha Christie – $10

The Complete Short Stories; De Profundis; Poems; The Importance of Being Earnest & Other Play: Oscar Wilde – $10

-Dave

 

Vintage Treasure Trove: Robert E. Howard

New to arrive in our vintage goodies this week is an impressive collection of Robert E. Howard publications: books, chapbooks, zines, fanzines, and more.

Robert E. Howard was an American pulp fiction author best known for creating the character Conan the Barbarian. In fact, he is widely regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery fantasy subgenre.

From the Robert E. Howard Wikipedia page:

In the pages of the Depression-era pulp magazine Weird Tales, Howard created Conan the Barbarian, a character whose cultural impact has been compared to such icons as Batman, Count Dracula, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Tarzan. With Conan and his other heroes, Howard created the genre now known as sword and sorcery, spawning many imitators and giving him a large influence in the fantasy field. Howard remains a highly read author, with his best works still reprinted.

Stop in and browse this selection while it lasts! You can also browse and buy at our online shop.

 

What’s on the Spinner?

This old Danner revolving bookcase has been a fixture in the Book Shop for years. We keep it full of the coolest books – the ones that catch your eye, or are just really different. So what’s on the spinner?

Crimson Shore: Preston Child – $9.45

Where They Stand: Robert Merry – $9.80

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry – $7.45

The Monster of Florence: Douglas Preston – $9.45

The Empire of Deception: Dean Jobb – $9.45

River of Doubt: Candice Millard – $7.50

Bartender’s Best Friend: Mardee Regan – $7.00

Even Dogs in the Wild: Ian Rankin – $7.80

The Spinner (revolving oak bookcase)! – $1595.00

-Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pirate: Clive Cussler & Robin Burcell

Pirate is Clive Cussler’s latest, a Sam and Remi Fargo adventure, co-authored by Robin Burcell. As Cussler fans know, Mr. Cussler is lead writer of many of his books, Cusslerizing the writing of others well know for works of their own. Grant Blackwood, Russell Blake, Robin Burcell, and Thomas Perry have all co-authored one or more of the Fargo’s adventures.

Pirate is a treasure hunting tale featuring the Fargos, a wealthy husband and wife team with a knack for research and the discovery of long lost treasures. Funds are never a problem for the globetrotting Fargos.  Back at the ranch in La Jolla, they employ a research team with access to fabulous resources, with Selma Wondrash as the lead researcher, booker of travel arraignments and general go-to person who lubes the way for the Fargo’s success. Fargo adventures share a sense of light banter and by-play between the Fargos that makes the stories a bit softer than other Cussler series books.

The tale opens with a version of the story of the loss of King John’s treasure, a vast fortune in valuables, coins and crown jewels. This sets the stage for the hunt. We meet the Fargos in San Francisco’s China Town where they are searching for a copy of Pyrates and Privateers at Pickering’s Used and Rare Books. Immediately, they are confronted by a minion of Charles Avery, a corporate raider, salvage expert and all-around bad guy who also is searching for King Johns treasure.

As is typical in the Fargo adventures, Sam and Remi bounce from one spot on the globe to another running down clues at the sharp end of the stick, feeding Selma info she synthesizes into practical next steps. In Pirate, they hit Jamaica, Oak Island off of Halifax, Snake Island off Brazil, and Great Britain in their search for King John’s treasure. The Fargos find themselves one step behind Charles Avery most of the time.

The exciting conclusion occurs underground (as is often the case in Clive Cussler’s stories), this time in caves under the city of London. There they fight a final battle with the evil Charles Avery and his troops and of course, find the treasure.

Another in the long series (17 to be precise) of Clive Cussler’s New York Times best sellers, this is an action packed adventure studded with bits of history, geography and light romance between the Fargos. Did I want to keep reading? Yes!

Pirate by Clive Cussler at Book Shop

Clive Cussler at Book Shop

Mystery Adventure Fiction at Book Shop