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

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Vintage Paperback: Stories by the Man Nobody Knows

B. Traven Stories by the Man Nobody Knows

This collectible vintage 1961 paperback of Stories by the Man Nobody Knows: Nine Tales by B. Traven is currently in stock. B. Traven is a pen name and to this day, he remains the man nobody knows. From the lengthy Wikipedia page:

B. Traven (Bruno Traven in some accounts) was the pen name of a presumably German novelist, whose real name, nationality, date and place of birth and details of biography are all subject to dispute. One of the few certainties about Traven’s life is that he lived for years in Mexico, where the majority of his fiction is also set—including The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927), which was adapted for the Academy Award winning film of the same name in 1948.

Virtually every detail of Traven’s life has been disputed and hotly debated. There were many hypotheses on the true identity of B. Traven, some of them wildly fantastic.

A couple of my favorite “wildly fantastic” theories on B. Traven’s identity:

B. Traven was the American writer Jack London, who faked his death and then moved to Mexico and continued writing his books;

B. Traven was the pseudonym of the American writer Ambrose Bierce, who went to Mexico in 1913 to take part in the Mexican Revolution where he disappeared without a trace.

…And these aren’t even the most hard-to-believe ideas that have appeared since the mid 1920s on this mysterious writer’s identity!

This paperback is in very good condition. Find it in our Rare/Collectible section – our price is $25.00.

–Sharon

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

 

Vintage Paperback: Junkie

In stock now is a vintage 1953 paperback of Junkie by William Burroughs.

From the back of the book:

First and foremost among the “Beat Generation” writers is the name of William Burroughs, mentor and friend of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Holmes. Now catching the attention of the literary world with his novel NAKED LUNCH, Burroughs’ most significant work is his unforgettable autobiographical book JUNKIE.

Our price is $10. You can browse our selection of Burroughs and other Beat Generation writers in-store or online.

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.

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