Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Bookman's Wake

I'm actually posting about a book that I haven't read--I got an audiobook of John Dunning's The Bookman's Wake to listen to in the car when I was going to take a long trip. I have now read most of the other books in the series, because I liked Wake so much. The reading, by the way, was OK--I didn't like how the male reader did the female character's voices.

It's hard to find a book-themed mystery series that isn't a "cozy." The Bookman series, with its detective Cliff Janeway, accomplishes the unusual--a hard-boiled, book-themed series. Janeway is a former homicide cop who leaves the force to set up shop as a used-book dealer. The series (and Bookman's Wake in particular) includes some fascinating detail about publishing quirks and oddities, and some insights on how the visual aspect of books influence our reading of them. This is the sort of thing I've had to deal with in my professional work with regard to early modern texts, but it's interesting to see it discussed in modern printing.

Dunning leaves some loose ends in the early books, and I'd like to see them addressed at some point in the series. The settings are well done, particularly Wake, which takes place in Seattle, and Dunning's sense of place adds to the artistry of the series nicely. If you like books, and hard-boiled, first-person detective novels, try the Bookman series.

What to do with leftover turkey? How about Mexican-inspired food? If you don't have turkey, roasted deli chicken will work.

1 cup chopped onions
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
8 flour tortillas, torn into quarters
1 big can red or green enchillada sauce
1 lb cheddar cheese
1/2-3/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

Layer in a 9 x 13 casserole. Pour enough enchillada sauce in the bottom to cover the pan, then place half of the tortilla quarters over it. Layer half of the turkey, half of the onions, and spread half of the yogurt over the top. sprinkle half of the cheese over the casserole. Repeat the layers: sauce, tortillas, turkey, onion, yogurt, cheese. Finish by topping with the last of the enchillada sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes; let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Anonymous Eadwacer said...

If you like book-related detectoring, might I recommend Jaspar Fforde's fantasy detective Thursday Next series -- The Ayere Affair, Lost in a Good Book, Well of Lost Plots, and Something Rotten. Thursday is an operative for Jurisfiction, charged with fighting internovel crime and keeping literature literate (for example, see the discussion of the had had and that that problem: ).
Also, I'd recommend serving some of the yoghurt alongside the main dish, to cool the effect of the sauce.

1:32 PM  
Blogger brackman1066 said...

I agree! Fforde is wonderful--the Eyre Affair is worth reading just for the Richard horror picture show alone.

I was a little disappointed with The Big Over-Easy, though, his other series.

I only use Anglo-safe (aka "for wimps") mild enchillada sauce, so cooling down isn't too necessary.

8:52 AM  

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