Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

Archive for the ‘Noir’ Category

WHERE IT HURTS by Reed Farrel Coleman

July 31, 2016

I hadn’t read Reed Farrel Coleman before, although I was aware of his Moe Prager books and the fact that he is currently continuing Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone novels. However, I was given a copy of Where It Hurts, his first Gus Murphy novel, and I opened it up, feeling immediately as though I’d […]

CHARCOAL JOE by Walter Mosley

July 31, 2016

I love Walter Mosley’s characters and stories. I remember when he was going to quit writing the Easy Rawlins books and I was disappointed. Thankfully, that didn’t happen and Easy’s uneasy journey continues in the restless 1960s of Los Angeles. Charcoal Joe is an interesting book. According to the cover copy, Easy is supposed to […]

QUARRY’S CHOICE by Max Allan Collins

January 20, 2015

I have a lot of memories of the late 1960s and 1970s, and most of those memories are tied to books I read in those years. I discovered Tarzan of the Apes, Doc Savage, the Shadow, and others. Those books became the building blocks of my own writing career. I learned a lot about plot […]

THE BLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT by Francesco Francavilla

January 3, 2014

Buy At Amazon: The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out Author/artist Francesco Francavilla has been on my radar for some time now. I just didn’t know it. I loved his covers for the Shadow, Batman, and various other comics titles, but I’d just never bothered to check for his name. It’s a shame, but […]

NEGATIVE OF A NUDE by Charles Fritch

December 21, 2013

I grew up on the of Gold Medal writers. I discovered John D. MacDonald and Donald Hamilton there, Dan J. Marlowe, a host of other writers, and plots filled with thieves, actions, and femme fatales created a world that I grew up loving. Some of the bestsellers of today aren’t far removed from these old […]

KAFKA by Steven T. Seagle & Stefano Gaudino

July 30, 2013

Comics writer Steven T. Seagle has a wide range of stories and genres he works in, as well as doing regular superhero comics. He’s also part of the group of writers that has given viewers Ben 10, Generator Rex, and – one of my current favorites – Ultimate Spider-Man. He also had a great run […]

STUMPTOWN Volume 1 by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth

July 24, 2013

Greg Rucka’s work in comics and in the novel field owes a lot to crime/detective fiction and he makes no bones about it. In his first Stumptown graphic novel, he adds Dex Parios to the canon of fictional detectives that readers of the genre should get to know. As Rucka admits in his afterwords, he […]


July 23, 2013

I’m going to put this right up front so everyone know: You have to read The Last Kind Words before you read this book! Tom Piccirilli’s current work reads more like one long novel chopped into pieces. There is no easy access except at the beginning of the books. The Last Whisper In The Dark […]

THE SHADOW: THE FIRE OF CREATION by Garth Ennis & Aaron Campbell

July 19, 2013

Garth Ennis loves violence and war themes in the comics he writes. Still, until Dynamite Comics tapped him to be the debut author for their new Shadow comics, I hadn’t thought about him writing the character. When I did hear about it, and after I saw the fabulous cover art for the first issue, I […]

THIEF OF THIEVES: I QUIT by Robert Kirkman, Nick Spencer, Shawn Martinbrough

July 7, 2013

Robert Kirkman’s series Thief of Thieves reminds me a lot of the TNT television show Leverage and the BBC’s Hustle. Everything spins around the thief/thieves and the con job/robbery. I don’t know why Kirkman shared the writing chores with Nick Spencer for this first arc of this new strip, but the story is crisp, sharp, […]