A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome back, Mal

Finally back in print, and also now available on Kindle, Max Allan Collins' five-book mystery series featuring Vietnam Vet and fledging mystery writer Mallory is good, non-demanding fun, but with occasional depth that still resonates.

The war veteran and mystery writer angles don't really have much to do with Mallory in the series' initial adventure, The Baby Blue Rip-Off. Here he's basically just a decent young guy who starts looking into a rash of local burglaries aimed at senior citizens. One of the burglaries, you see, had resulted in the death of an old woman Mallory had befriended while doing some volunteer work, priming Mallory's interest in bringing the burglars (and now killers) to justice.

In my re-visit to the book, it was interesting to now notice that themes and interests that figure strongly into Collins' later work initially poked their heads up in small ways in this early series. For example, the world of the small-town antiques and collectibles business- the prime element of Collins and his wife's later Trash 'N Treasures mystery series- is a modest but crucial element of The Baby Blue Rip-Off. The title- at least in part- refers to some valuable collectible plates.

Anyway, this quick, entertaining read doesn't need a long review, so I'll just finish by saying that the book presents familiar mystery-novel elements (the gruff cop who doesn't want the brash young guy to get involved, the pretty blonde who maybe shouldn't be completely trusted, etc.) in fresh, involving ways. I really enjoyed reading this book again after many years and will continue right into the next four installments.

"The Baby Blue Rip-Off" is available on Kindle for $4.99, or free to borrow on the device if you're an Amazon Prime member (I did the latter).  The title is also available in brand spanking new print and audio editions.  The "Mallory" series is back with a vengeance, it seems! 

1 comment:

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