“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work. Blogs may be about new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read. Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things. Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too. No matter the source, good reads are featured here.
The Hemingway Thief by Shaun Harris
I am a fan of ‘hard-boiled’ crime novels, such as Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, and I just read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, on which this novel is dependent. So, there is no question why I enjoyed Shaun Harris’ The Hemingway Thief. I laughed aloud at John Grisham’s expense, thoroughly enjoyed all of the literary references and got caught up in the rollicking adventure. If you don’t mind the foul language and violence that goes along with the hard-boiled characters, then try out this buddy caper. Reading A Moveable Feast first would help, but is not required.
This summary from the publisher will give you a taste of the style:
“Novelist Henry “Coop” Cooper is contemplating a new book between sipping rum and lounging on a Baja beach with hotel owner Grady Doyle. When Grady tries to save a drunk from two thugs, Coop tags along for the sake of a good story. The drunk is Ebbie Milch, a small-time thief on the run in Mexico because he has stolen the never-before-seen first draft of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast from a wealthy rare book dealer. The stolen manuscript is more than just a rare piece of literary history. It reveals clues to an even bigger prize: the location of a suitcase the young, unpublished Hemingway lost in Paris in 1922. A year’s worth of his stories had vanished, never to be seen again. Until now. But Coop and Grady aren’t the only ones with their eyes on this elusive literary prize, and what starts as a hunt for a legendary writer’s lost works becomes a deadly adventure. For Coop this story could become the book of a lifetime . . . if he lives long enough to write it.”