Mr. Kill and Officer Oh and — gulp–Dr. Bam are all back.

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The twelfth in Martin Limón’s Sueño and Bascom series, featuring two CID agents in South Korea in the early 80s, and I think his best by far. Three GI’s have gone missing, all of whom have abused Korean women, and Command sends Sueño and Bascom to find them. It’s a solid whodunnit, a window into Korean culture, a sly step into the women’s rights movement, a great villain, and some excellent insights into our heroes’ characters. FYI, Ernie’s the brawn

I’d never known anyone who cared less about the opinions of others. Ernie claimed it hit him during his second tour in Vietnam. “I thought I was dead,” he’d told me. “A load of high-explosive ammo in my truck, the VC closing in. Instead of praying to God to save me, I promised that if I survived, I’d never deny myself anything again. I’d do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and I wouldn’t give a dman what anyone else thought.”
As far as I could tell, he’d stuck religiously to that pledge.

and George is the brain.

“What the hell’s wrong with you, Sueño?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re too
freaking polite.”
“Spanish manners.”
Riley didn’t reply, but gave me a hard stare. Finally, he said, “You don’t belong here, Sueño.”
“What do you mean?’
“I mean you don’t belong in the army. You should be doing something else. Like something at a university, maybe. Or something artistic.”
“Thanks.”
Riley grimaced. “Don’t think that’s a compliment.”

And Mr. Kill and Officer Oh and — gulp–Dr. Bam are all back, too. Need a binge read? Here you go.

This is why you need the large suitcase when you come to the Poisoned Pen Conference.

And then I had to buy a third copy of

because I loaned out the first two copies and they never came back. So the author, Stephanie Barron, aka Francine Mathews, was pleased to inscribe my new copy thusly: