February Reads – 1995 – Bill Pronzini and more!

Shackles Bill Pronzini

Novels from Bill Pronzini, Frank McConnell and Vince Kohler….


Tonight I started thinking about books that I’ve read, and decided to look at my Goodreads Bookshelf to see what books I finished in February of 1995, 20 years ago,yeah right!  On February 04, 1995, I finished Liar’s Poker:A Harry Garnish Mystery from Frank McConnell, the 21st I finished Vince Kohler’s  Banjo Boy and on the 25th, I finished Shackles a Nameless Detective Mystery by Bill Pronzini. Of the three Shackles was my probably my favorite. While I don’t remember all of the details I do remember that it was a great read! In fact the book was nominated for an Anthony Award for Best Novel (It lost to Thomas Harris; Silence of the Lambs, tough competition!

About Shackles from Goodreads…..

Who is the slightly overweight, Italian-American private investigator who never reveals his name? He is the “Nameless Detective”. This time the San Francisco Bay area’s hottest sleuth finds himself the victim of a ruthless, fiendish, and unknown enemy’s revenge. Martin’s.

That revenge involved shackling Nameless in a remote mountain cabin!! I just remember that it was a page turner that i finished in 4 days!

Bill Pronzini;s Nameless detective series was a staple of my reading in the 90s. Quicksilver, the 11th book in the series was the first Nameless Detective book I read. I read it in 1990, by the year 2000, I had read 11 more.books including:

Deadfall (Nameless Detective, #15)
Jackpot (Nameless Detective, #17)
Hoodwink (Nameless Detective, #7)
Breakdown (Nameless Detective, #18)
Quarry (Nameless Detective, #19)
Epitaphs (Nameless Detective, #20)
Demons (Nameless Detective, #21)
Shackles (Nameless Detective, #16)
Sentinels (Nameless Detective, #23)
Boobytrap (Nameless Detective, #25)
Illusions (Nameless Detective, #24)

In the 2000s I read two more Nameless novels Crazybone (Nameless Detective, #26) and Nightcrawlers (Nameless Detective, #30). As I look over the Nameless Series at Goodreads, I see that June 23rd is the anticipated release date for book number 39 in the series Vixen!

Maybe I can get back into reading the series again by then…..I just found the book Mourners (the book that follows Nghtcrawlers) on my TBR bookshelf, I guess I should start there, or maybe I should start with Book 1 The Snatch!! What d you think??

The  Frank McConnell book that I read Liar’s Poker was the 4th and final book in the Harry Garnish series. The series featured Sister Bridget O’Toole, a nun who inherited her father’s investigative agency, and Henry Garnish, her chain-smoking, hard-drinking, salty-mouthed assistant and they were great, really funny, as well as, exciting. I always wished that McConnell had written more, for years if I was at the library and was looking for a good book I’d remember these books, and go and look to see if there was anything new.. Just tonight I found out why there were no more books,. Mr McConnell died in 1999. You can read more about Frank McConnell here. Seems like he was a terrific teacher and writer!

Finally, Banjo Boy by Vince Kohler….Banjo Boy was the third book in Vince Kohler’s series featuring Eldon Larkin. From Mystery File:

Vince Kohler wrote four books, Rainy North Woods (1990), Rising Dog (1992), Banjo Boy (1994), and Raven’s Widow (1997). All four featured journalist Eldon Larkin who worked as reporter/photographer for the South Coast Sun, the local newspaper for small town Port Jerome, Oregon. Educated, he reads French classic literature in the original language, but proving how useful his education is, Eldon is a loser when it comes to the important things in life — women, cars, and career. He left Berkeley California and an ex-wife behind, and now dreams of the big story that will get him a job with a big city newspaper. Continue Reading

I have read three out of the four Eldon Larkin books with Raven’s Widow being the one I missed, maybe I should go back and read it!! like the other two series I remember enjoying the series.

Anyway, if you pick up any of the books by Bill Pronzini, Frank McConnell or Vince Kohler, I don’t think you’d be disappointed!! So check them out!!