P.D. James, New Adventures, and a Likable Thief

August 12, 2009

Adam Dagliesh (P.D. James) is my favorite male protagonist, even surpassing my beloved Hercule Poirot, Hamish MacBeth, and Albert Campion.  When I settle in with these characters, I feel safe and comfortable.  I know without a doubt it will be an enjoyable read, and high on my life experiences scale.

But an author I’ve never read, a protagonist I’ve never heard from, now that’s an adventure!  Every new book I open is with the expectation I’m about to experience a great discovery.  Sometimes, I’m disappointed.  Sometimes, it’s a wonderful ride.

J. Michael Orenduff’s “The Pot Thief” was a wonderful ride.

Let me first confess my initial biases.  Having met the most likable Mike and his wife Lai at the latest PSWA Conference, I was expecting a protagonist I would like.  Also, I’m fond of New Mexico and Albuquerque, pottery and potters (I dabble myself), and tales with a strong sense of place.

Mike had some big expectations to surmount.  And he didn’t disappoint.

First off, I loved our hero’s name from the start—Hubert “Hubie” Schuze!  But there’s more to Hubie than a not-to-be-forgotten name.  Mike gives us a protagonist who’s witty, marches to his own conscience, is a good thief (you’ll have to read the book to figure that out), and is a kind person without being a sap.

Then there’s the snappy and intelligent repartee between Hubie and his friends—Susannah in particular.  What I found most refreshing was Mike’s ability to use vocabulary a-cut-above, and still weave a nicely paced story with twists and turns.

Indeed, what I love about P.D. James is that she never writes-down.  While reading “The Pot Thief” I enjoyed the refreshing note of not being written-down-to—yet no reader stops were required to pull out the dictionary.  It was wonderful reading a good story, with a hero I dearly liked, written with intelligence and skill.

And then there’s the fact New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson recommended “The Pot Thief.”  Who am I to disagree with a Governor for goodness sake?!  (I know, I know…  Never use a question mark and apostrophe together.  Or sneak in ellipses.)

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2 Responses to “P.D. James, New Adventures, and a Likable Thief”

  1. Thanks for the recommendation of “The Pot Thief,” it sounds like fun.
    Hope your summer’s going well!
    Best,
    Kathy

  2. Thank you! I was looking for a new author to read, and since your favorites are so in line with mine, I’m going to try “The Pot Thief”.

    Jackie Vick

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