My annual Christmas card of Florida native critters inside The Ivy House in Ocala, Florida. Used lots of reference for the interior of the 1890 house/restaurant and had to skew things a bit to make the image more readable. Also,used more reference than years past for the critters. I tried to limit the animals a bit so that the interior of the building could be better felt and understood. I finished inking this Monday.
The Dorris Bobber Memorial Palmetto Bug is hidden somewhere. You’d need to see the actual card to find him, though. This is the first year Swampy, Trilby and Zuber of Swampy’s Florida appear as part of the illustration.
The loudest kudos I can offer of this book are the location references. Some of Lifeguard takes place in Massachuets and I know nothing about that place. Florida, on the other hand, I very much do. Someone involved with the authoring of this book did a crackerjack job of checking locations to get this book set in the right palace. The Palm Beach County locations are right on. The Coleman Correction Center was also very good (though it’s a good 5 hours to get to Delray Beach from Coleman). It might have been fun to have the character have to be trying to put together the 32 dollars to pay for parking at The Breakers.
Humor is one thing missing from this book. There are some attempts at humor but otherwise this is just short of being a Matthew Reilly binge of action. There is plenty of character development, but when a book like this moves like it does – Who cares? Thus, I really didn’t care about any of the characters.
The story is intertwined with all kinds of switchbacks, but I was on to them at the start and, as always, HATE IT when I’m right and know the ending so soon.
The problem, to me, seems to be that there were three writers, at least, working on this book. I could tell tenor changes all over the book. Me reading this book was sometimes like roaring across an unpaved road. It also seemed to pave the way for an inevitable conclusion. Too many cooks have to be careful not to add to many ingredients to spoil the stew.
I sure had fun reading the book and I think anyone would. But it sure would be neat to have been crafted by a better writer like John D. MacDonald and see what the book could have been.
Here’s a book illustration of a lion I finished this past week. I’ve been real busy and have not been posting here recently. All kinds of projects have been coming in. Along the way I’ve been trying to get a Florida history book finished. When I planned to do the Florida history book, I didn’t plan on other artwork coming in. At first i was turning work down and then realized I was really risking my financial position turning everything down. So, I’ve been juggling it all. I’ll try to catch up and add some of the caricature and illustration work I’ve been doing!
This is a good detective novel that has an ending that is hard to figure out. This is another Lew Archer round by the author who calls himself “MacDonald” (I recently leaned that none of the names he is printed with is his actual name). It seemed to me MacDonald worked a little too hard with the complexity of the story and had trouble getting it all to flow together. I believe that is why I had a bit of trouble following just who all the characters are in the book. Maybe that was his intent to make solving the mystery by the reader hard to do. I would recommend this book to those looking to settle in for a good mystery.
This is my first Doc Savage novel. I read some of the comic books back in the 1970s. Those didn’t strike me even though I’m a fan of the main artist that drew it. This one also didn’t grab me. It is poorly plotted, written and, in general, conceived. It’s full of plot holes and bad literary devices. There is all kinds of nonsense where one minute Doc is thinking way ahead of everyone and then suddenly seems not to be able to think at all. The writer worked way to hard to keep the bad guy a mystery, though to me it was obvious what was going on. I hoped loose ends and needless action scenes added up to even a bad plot twist. Didn’t happen in that way. All of this is assembled to be one of the worst books I’ve read in many years.
However, two friends tell me not to give it up and track down the early adventures of the Doc. This I get. Sounds like a situation similar to the Mike Shayne series. It’s a powerful set of mysteries up until the original writer dropped it into the hands of a sea of freelancers brought in by Dell publishers. So I will wander back to the Doc Savage series as soon as I find one of the early parts of the series.
Two more Florida based mysteries read. One of Mignon Eberhart’s Tampa Bay novels and a later Miami-based Mike Shayne mystery. Eberhart writes of a fictious Florida County on the east coast with a pretty good understanding of the area. The Shayne novel is after the actual series by Dave Dresser. This one stays pretty true to the original series, just with curse words. I veered into one of Vince Flynn’s latest, ‘Protect and Defend’. Another good thriller.