For his eighth adventure, Dortmunder finds himself both underwhelmed and overmatched in short order. Instead of a job that seems easy from the start, which then turns impossible, this time around he gets a job that looks impossible from the get-go, which turns out to be surprisingly easy, and quickly degenerates into a tangled mess. […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Don’t Ask"
According to the author’s opening acknowledgements, Humans came about as a kind of challenge posed to author Donald E. Westlake to write something different. The original challenge came from mystery novelist Evan Hunter (best known to the world as the bestselling creator of police procedurals, Ed McBain), and was later aided and abetted by numerous […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: HUMANS"
After a satiric horror story as well as a quartet of sleuth stories featuring actor turned detective Sam Holt, Westlake returned to Dortmunder and his string of pals for one big mess of a caper in one big book. Well, the caper is messy; the novel itself is exquisite. The spine of the story involves […]Read more "Considering Westlake: Drowned Hopes"
Although it would be the concluding volume of the Sam Holt series, the novel THE FOURTH DIMENSION IS DEATH was originally conceived as the kickoff of another trio in the series. When the publisher’s sales team messed up and revealed Westlake as the author behind the pseudonym on publication of the first book, “Samuel Holt […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: THE FOURTH DIMENSION IS DEATH"
Where do I go from here? That seems to be a driving question behind some of Westlake’s novels. I wonder if that was the very thing he asked himself before sitting down to a new standalone project. It certainly fits with SACRED MONSTER, which blends a few of the themes and topics he had been […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: SACRED MONSTER"
Following the first three volumes of a new mystery/suspense series under the Sam Holt name, Westlake decided to try something different under his own name. He wrote a strong, sassy female tabloid reporter as the protagonist for a novel about truth, lies, and the gray spaces between in TRUST ME ON THIS. When Sara Joslyn […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: TRUST ME ON THIS"
Hot on the heels of the first two volumes in Donald E. Westlake’s Sam Holt series comes the third work, a mystery that plays with the sorts of expectations readers might have for cozy mysteries, those that bring an amateur sleuth to a remote locale and then poses seemingly impossible crimes for them to solve […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: WHAT I TELL YOU THREE TIMES IS FALSE"