Friday, August 08, 2008

Forgotten Books: STONE ANGEL -- Marvin H. Albert

I'm a longtime fan of the work of Marvin H. Albert under all his many names. He wrote westerns (many of them filmed), crime novels, p.i. series, and movie novelizations. Any one of his books would be an interesting topic for discussion. For an earlier post on Albert's work, click here.

Today, I thought it would be fun to talk about the Stone Angel series, which I think consists of ten books, all of them first-person private-eye novels set in France, all of them recommended. The narrator of these cases is Pete Sawyer, whose French mother, a hero of the Resistance in WWII, sent her son to live with his American grandparents after the death of Sawyer's father. Sawyer grew up in Chicago but spent his summers in France, where he now lives. Albert also lived in France, and the local color in this series is really well done. Not quite as good as being there, but the next best thing.

Stone Angel introduces Sawyer as he tackles a wandering daughter job that turns out to be a lot more complicated than expected. The girl is involved with a terrorist cell, and she's in more trouble than she realizes. Sawyer deals with cops, criminals, and the very rich as he follows her trail.

Albert was a real pro. His writing style is smooth as cream, and there's plenty of action mixed in with the travelogue and dialog. The same is true of any book in the series. Try one. You might like it.

13 comments:

bish8 said...

I have this whole series. I was disappointed when it came to an end as I thought it was a very different take on the PI genre. Good stuff!

Brian said...

Hi Bill -- thanks for participating.

Anonymous said...

I got the first 3 after you touted them last time but I still haven't read them. Maybe soon.

Jeff

Juri said...

I've read four or five books in the series and liked them all.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Bill,

Pete Sawyer has an interesting background which, I bet, makes him an interesting character. I'll have to look for these books.

Terrie

Bill Crider said...

I think they're fun, but then I have pretty odd tastes.

Anonymous said...

There are nine books in the Stone Angel series which I liked a lot. I have enjoyed many of Albert's books and still have many sitting on my shelves that I need to get to. I think the last book I read by Albert was Operation Lila, a World War II historical novel. I am glad to see that there are others out there that like him. And your taste isn't always odd.

Danny

Bill Crider said...

Have you tried his dandy historical mystery written as J. D. Christilian?

Anonymous said...

I have his J.D. Christilian book, but haven't read it yet. It is in my very large stack of to-be-read books.

Danny

Karin M said...

I wonder if Albert was a Margaret Laurence fan, or was she an Albert fan?

Bill Crider said...

Well, we can't ask Albert.

Anonymous said...

I discovered the Stone Angel series at my local library when I was in my early teens and loved it. Years later, now living in Portland, I was able to track down the whole series through Powell's and our own Murder by the Book. For those who haven't read them, they are definitely worth it!

-Jennifer

Bill Crider said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I'm glad to see so many people have read and enjoyed the series.