Books for Dudes 2: The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley.

Welcome to the second edition of books for dudes. Ladies, you are by no means excluded from reading these either. If you guys recall the first edition of Books for Dudes I recommended City of Thieves by David BenioffThat was historical fiction, this time we delve into the world of the hard-boiled private-eye. With James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss.

You guys know I’m a sucker for a great opening…The Last Good Kiss has a fantastic first sentence:

When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.

I mean that’s great writing. That’s how you open a detective novel.

Trahearne had been on this wandering binge for nearly three weeks, and the big man, dressed in rumpled khakis, looked like an old soldier after a long campaign, sipping slow beers to wash the taste of death out of his mouth. The dog slumped on the stool beside him like a tired little buddy, only raising his head occasionally for a taste of beer from a dirty ashtray set on the bar.

Look you’re either onboard with a book that opens with a bulldog sitting at a bar drinking beer or you’re not. I say give this book a shot, it is only 244 pages what have you got to lose.

You follow C.W. Sugrue a Montana Investigator, who kills time working at a topless bar. Hired to track down a derelict author he ends up on the trail of a girl missing in Haight-Ashbury for a decade.

I can’t really say anything about this book that’s not written on the cover in terms of praising it. I will just tell you that I have also read this book and I also think that it’s:

“A novel of detection, one so rich in detail, with character and plot so well developed, that it works on many more levels than just storytelling.” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“Marvelously constructed and jolting with surprises” – Publisher’s Weekley.

This gets an A-Train stamp of approval. If you’re in the mood for an unorthodox type mystery give The Last Good Kiss a shot. I’d love to see this made into a movie perhaps starring Clooney or Brad Pitt as Sugrue. Maybe Wayne Knight as the bulldog.

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