by Robert C. Hahn
Just before this issue went to print, we learned the sad news that Robert C. Hahn had passed away at home in Ohio. The former Cincinnati Post book editor and head librarian helmed this column regularly beginning with the July/August 2004 issue. Those familiar with the column or with Mr. Hahn knew of his avid approach to book coverage. Some fans may remember Hahn’s House of Mystery, a mail-order business that he operated for almost eight years; he also reviewed mysteries for Publishers Weekly. In fact, Robert C. Hahn reviewed mysteries for over thirty years, and several years before his passing tallied that he had reviewed more than 2,350 titles. He brought to these pages his lifelong love of books and enthusiasm for the genre. At AHMM, we’ll miss him.
* * *
This issue we’re going to offer attention to the three books Mr. Hahn—or Bob, as we knew him—had lined up for the column.
* * *
Body and Soul (Pegasus) is the final book in John Harvey’s Frank Elder series and also, reportedly, the author’s last book after a forty-year career publishing the Frank Elder and Charlie Resnick series. Frank Elder first appeared in 2004’s Flesh and Blood. The now former police detective is enjoying retirement in Cornwall when his estranged and perpetually troubled daughter shows up in a moment of crisis. Things get worse when her ex-lover, a controversial artist, is found murdered. Elder tries to protect his daughter—and himself—while proving her innocence in what Guardian Books of the Month called “an expertly plotted and moving final act for an old-school investigator of the best sort, from a true master of the genre.”
* * *
Wendy Hornsby is the Edgar-winning author of the Kate Teague and Maggie MacGowen mysteries, the latter to which Number 7, Rue Jacob (Perseverance Press) belongs. American filmmaker Maggie MacGowen first appeared in Telling Lies (1993), and in her eleventh, newest outing she arrives at a Paris flat bequeathed to her by her mother, whom she never knew. She arrives to some surprises, but before she can settle in her mysterious French fiancé summons her urgently to Venice. When she’s instructed to use only untraceable technology she realizes there’s more to his “businessman” occupation than she imagined. Shadowy pursuers relentlessly stalk the pair throughout Europe in this technological thriller.
* * *
Back in print for the first time after nearly sixty years, noted Western author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Oakley Hall’s So Many Doors (Hard Case Crime) is a tale of obsession and corruption circling the life and death of one woman, known to those in her orbit as V. Told from multiple viewpoints and set mainly in the aftermath of the Great Depression, the book begins after V’s murder and the confession of one man to having killed an unnamed woman. Framing the drama of V and her relationships is the world of struggling ranchers and quarrelsome land excavators in 1940s-50s Southern California. The novel also features a new cover painting by Robert McGinnis in his first collaboration with Robert Maguire (whose reference photos were used).