Dec 19, 2014

Book Beginning: Last Words by Rick Zahradnik

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader.
Last Words: A Coleridge Taylor Mystery by Rich Zahradnik
Published October 1, 2014; Camel Press

Book beginning:
The dead sitting on his desk could wait.
Instead of going back to the office, Coleridge Taylor stopped at the newsstand on 23rd Street and looked at the front page of the daily news. MAYHEM IN QUEENS spelled out in two-in ch type. Another story that should have been his. The Times led with a dull speech by President Ford. It made him mix Nixon. Nothing like a crook in the White House to sell papers. He spent a nickel on a pack of Teaberry gum, folded a stick into his mouth, pulled his field jacket tight against the wind, and turned east toward Bellevue. 
page 56:
"Does he fight with your husband a lot?"
"He fights with everyone a lot. Me. Con. His teachers. He's smart. Too smart for his own damn good....
Book description:
"In March of 1975, as New York City hurtles toward bankruptcy and the Bronx burns, newsman Coleridge Taylor  is looking for the story that will deliver him from obits, his place of exile at the Messenger-Telegram. Ever since he was demoted from the police beat for inventing sources, the 34-year-old has been a lost soul.

A break comes at Bellevue, where Taylor views the body of a homeless teen picked up in the Meatpacking District. Taylor smells a rat: the dead boy looks too clean, and he's wearing a distinctive Army field jacket. A little digging reveals that the jacket belonged to a hobo named Mark Voichek and that the teen was a spoiled society kid up to no good, the son of a city official.

Taylor's efforts to protect Voichek put him on the hit list of three goons who are willing to kill any number of street people to cover tracks that just might lead to City Hall. Taylor has only one ally in the newsroom, young and lovely reporter Laura Wheeler.  If he doesn't wrap this story up soon, he'll be back on the obits page--as a headline, not a byline. 

Last Words is the first book in the Coleridge Taylor mystery series."

What do you think? Is this a mystery novel you would read?


  1. Harvee, I'd read more. The "56" , the opening, and the description of the book are all quite riveting.

  2. Oh, I do love the sound of this one, and mysteries that take place "in the past" are especially interesting to me, as the detectives have to rely on their own legwork and cleverness instead of technology. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “THE LIFE YOU’VE IMAGINED”

  3. This sounds like a great mystery series with an interesting main character. The opening sentence puzzled me -- the dead on his desk? -- until I read the synopsis and learned that he's an obit writer. I'd definitely keep reading.
    My Friday post features VIDAL’S HONOR.

  4. This sounds interesting and this is a mystery author I'm unfamiliar with. I'll have to look for your thoughts on the book but I'm definitely intrigued!

  5. Great descriptive lines.

    I do like the premise. Great post and you get me interested. :)

    Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  6. Thanks for sharing. I've never heard of this author before, but now I'm interested. :D

  7. Love the winter cover!
    You had me with the first line though.
    Happy weekend!

  8. The dead sitting on his desk can wait? How many dead are there? Why are they dead? Gah! Great post! I'm curious! This one definitely sounds like a deeply entertaining and engrossing novel XD

    Sparrow's Friday 56

  9. I could read this one easily. Both the 56 and Beginning are good.

  10. This one has definitely caught my attention and is going on my wish list. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I really like the beginning. I am interested in both politics and recent history that that grabs me. It also seems well written.


I appreciate your comments and thoughts...