gun street girl
I’ve read Adian McKinty’s “Troubles” trilogy: The Cold Cold Ground, I Hear the Sirens in the Street, and In the Morning I’ll Be Gone. You can read my reviews here and here. Now, the trilogy has been expanded to a fourth book, Gun Street Girl.

First there was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, then Gone Girl and The Girl On the Train, and now Adrian McGinty gives us another story of Ireland in the 1980s where his hero, Sean Duffy, has to check his car for bombs before he can drive anywhere. Belfast in 1985 is a cauldron of politics, spies, and murders. Duffy investigates the double-murder of two millionaires and the subsequent “suicide” of their son. None of it adds up for Duffy. Then there’s the case of the missing missiles. Duffy is drawn into the mysterious disappearance of military missiles from a local munitions plant. Gun Street Girl is based on actual events that were going on in Ireland at the time. My only quibble is why don’t the Bad Guys just kill Duffy and end his investigations. But, of course, that would end the Duffy series. GRADE: A-

LIVE IN DUBLIN By Daryl Hall & John Oates [Blu-ray]

I’m a Hall & Oates fan so of course this concert Blu-ray was a must-buy. I enjoyed the concert footage. Most of their hits are here. There’s also a 2-CD/DVD box set of this concert available. I sent the box set to my sister in Florida who has seen Hall & Oates in concert twice and is a bigger fan of H&O than I am. If you’re looking for an entertaining concert video, you’ll find it here. GRADE: A
1. Maneater
2. Out of Touch
3. Say It Isn’t So
4. Family Man
5. It’s Uncanny
6. Back Together Again
7. Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)
8. She’s Gone
9. Sara Smile
10. Do What You Want, Be What You Are
11. I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)
12. Rich Girl
13. You Make My Dreams
Encore 2:
14. Kiss on My List
15. Private Eyes


duke vs. wisconsin
The last time Wisconsin has been in this position–playing for the Men’s Basketball NCAA Championship–it was 1941. I picked Kentucky to go all the way, but Wisconsin pulled the upset. The WALL STREET JOURNAL about a month ago, had a story with the headline DON’T PICK KENTUCKY about the statistical unlikelihood of Kentucky going 40-0. They were right. So tonight, I’m picking my alma mater, Wisconsin, to defeat the talented Duke team. Who do you think will win tonight?


NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Wisconsin vs Kentucky
It pains me to go against one of my alma maters, but I’m picking Kentucky over Wisconsin. Although I respect Michigan State, Duke has too many good players. I expect Kentucky to face Duke on Monday night. Who do you think will win tonight?


Subterranean Press just published this Fifth Volume in the “Early Jack Vance” series. The Repparee was originally published at “The Five Gold Bands” in Startling Stories in November 1950. An expanded version was published by Toby Press in 1953 as The Space Pirate: A Science Fiction Novel. It was reprinted as half of ACE Double F-185 (with The Dragon Masters (1963) on the other side). “Crusade to Maxus” was published as “Overlords of Maxus” in Thrilling Wonder Stories in February 1951. Gold and Iron was published as “Planet of the Damned” in Space Stories in Spring 1952. Houses of Iszm first appeared in Startling Stories in Spring 1954 and an expanded version was published as half of ACE Double F-265 (with Son of the Tree in 1964). Space Opera was published by Pyramid Books in February 1965. I loved all these stories when I first read them back in the Sixties. I loved them when I reread them this week!
◦ Introduction
◦ The Rapparee
◦ Crusade to Maxus
◦ Gold and Iron
◦ The Houses of Iszm
◦ Space Opera


my weekly reader
If you enjoy covers of Sixties songs, you’ll enjoy Nellie McKay’s My Weekly Reader. I found Nellie McKay’s mix of songs eclectic. When’s the last time you heard someone sing “Itchycoo Park”? Some of the songs are obscure like “Murder In My Heart For the Judge” (first done by Moby Grape, then Three Dog Night). You can get a couple extra songs if you buy the Barnes & Noble “Exclusive” edition. I found My Weekly Reader a fun retro CD. GRADE: B+
1 Sunny Afternoon
2 Quicksilver Girl
3 Poor People/Justice
4 Murder In My Heart For the Judge
5 Bold Marauder
6 Itchycoo Park
7 Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter
8 Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
9 If I Fell
10 Red Rubber Ball
11 Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying
12 Hungry Freaks, Daddy
13 Wooden Ships
14 If I Needed Someone (B&N Exclusive)
15 Yellow Submarine (B&N Exclusive)


This DC animated movie is based on the graphic novel Batman and Son. As you might suspect, the traditional DC Universe has been “modified” for this story. Without revealing any of the plot twists, I can safely say Batman fans will enjoy Son of Batman. The DVD comes with a “Special Feature” which is a sneak peek at the next DC Universe animated movie, Batman: Assault on Arkham. I’ll be watching Batman: Assault on Arkham next. GRADE: B+


wolf hall
PBS will start broadcasting Wolf Hall on Easter Sunday. To get up to speed, I’m rereading the Booker Prize winners, Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012) which chronicle the life of Thomas Cromwell in treacherous Tudor England. Cromwell has to deal with the duplicitous King Henry VIII. This six-part mini-series covers the events in both Wolf Hall (Cromwell’s early life) and Bring Up the Bodies with the murderous consequences of King Henry’s rule. I enjoyed both books the first time I read them, but there are scenes of gruesome violence. The machinations of the Royal Court are wicked. Hilary Mantel delivers the Real Deal of Thomas Cromwell’s life without any sugar coating. Do not expect a Barbara Cartland England in these books. You can find Wolf Hall April 5-May 10, 2015 at 10pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS. Check your local listings for broadcast times where you reside.