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Time to Murder and Create


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About the Author

Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association--only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.


This is the third of Block's superb Matt Scudder series to appear (it was first issued by Dell in paperback back in 1977), and its return now in hardcover from Dark Harvest (which did the first, Sins of the Fathers , last year) is great news for admirers. The story is swift, complicated and elegant, and Kellerman gets it right when he says that the Scudder novels ``are the best New York crime novels ever written.'' In this one Scudder, still in his drinking days, is paid by ``Spinner'' Jablon, a small-time hood, to hold an envelope for him, with instructions to open it only when he dies, and then do what's necessary. What's necessary turns out to be determining which of Jablon's three eminent blackmail victims did the little man in. One is a wealthy businessman who's been covering up for his teenage daughter, whose car killed a child; there's a society wife with a past in porn movies and prostitution; another is a candidate for governor with a taste for hurting small boys in sadistic sex. How Scudder finds out who had Jablon killed, and the sometimes tragic consequences of his investigation, provide the meat of this outstanding thriller, which moves effortlessly through sleazy bars, skyscraper suites and luxury hotels. The dialogue is, as always, dead on and rivetingly entertaining, and the atmosphere--Kellerman has it right again--is ``wonderfully morose.'' Not to be missed. (Oct.)

Named after a line from Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock , this 1976 novel features Block's popular detective Matt Scudder. The plot finds Scudder investigating the death of a small-time hood who, knowing he was marked for death, paid Scudder in advance to solve his murder. All libraries where Block is popular will want to have this first hardcover edition, which also contains an introduction by fellow mystery writer Jonathan Kellerman.

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