Diamond’s Back & Other Gems

Killing with Confetti is Lovesey’s latest Peter Diamond Investigation is on par with the best titles in this series. Diamond, the somewhat grumpy (albeit brilliant)  head of Bath’s CID, finds himself  a peg down from his usual murder investigations – assigned security detail  at the wedding of a notorious mobster’s daughter. And yes, Diamond isn’t looking forward to what would simply be a chore – that is, until the looming threat of the mobster’s assassination by a rival gang looks imminent.  Thus, there’s plenty of suspense amid the festivities and Lovesey’s skillful plotting keeps readers on their toes. Add a fair sprinkling of Lovesey’s wit which makes the  novel  a must-read for fans. 


A Spy to Die For…


Rosalie Knecht‘s exquisite prose rises above genre and climbs the literary ladder in this fresh, original novel. Set in the late 1960s, the story weaves back and forth between Vera’s coming of age as a teen in Maryland, and her deployment to Buenos Aires a few years later as a CIA plant in Buenos Aires. Rumors of a coup  are swirling and nothing is quite what it seems. Vera’s assumed identity becomes the  perfect metaphor for both a personal and political identity crisis, where being undercover blurs the line between friends and foes.   BUY ON AMAZON




If you thought  the Cold War ended when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, read  From Russia With Blood. It’s  a blast of cold air revealing  Putin’s ongoing plot to assassinate his  enemies on foreign soil. Heidi Blake‘s riveting  tale is a true crime masterpiece which reads like a spy novel. The characters are real — Russian emigres, ex-spies and oligarchs who fled  Russia for the imagined safety of Great Britain, only to discover that the Kremlin’s tentacles reach everywhere. Apart from the audacious and bizarre nature of the assassinations, Blake’s rich portraits of larger-than-life figures such as Boris Berezovsky and Alexander Litvinenko, make the book totally compelling.   



Here’s another nonfiction eye-opener which can safely be shelved in the true crime section:  Fentanyl, Inc. Thanks, in part, to rogue chemists operating in state-sponsored labs in China, this deadly drug has spread rapidly across America and—despite its lethality—is widely used for recreation today. Author Ben Westhoff  has investigated the dark corners where fentanyl addicts and pushers flourish, and even gained access to an illicit drug lab in China.  He traces the origins of the fentanyl epidemic and vividly recounts the human suffering it has caused.  He also covers some  gallant efforts to find a solutions to the addiction crisis. This book is an alarming wake-up call for the country.  BUY ON AMAZON



Shedding Light on the Subject

I sure could have used this gadget a few weeks ago. A violent lightning storm knocked out the power at 9PM and it didn’t come back on until noon the next day. Do yourself a favor and check out the ADVENTURE POWER LUMENS 10K LED LIGHT & POWER BANK from MyCharge.

2 USB ports for charging your devices / photo © zoom street

Perfect for camping or as an emergency light, this pocket-sized device can’t be beat. The LED has 4 brightness levels, offering 9 hours of illumination at its blindingly brightest and 40 hours on the lowest setting. It also has an SOS flash setting.

When you’re not basking in the light, you’ll want to put the power bank to work. With two built-in USB ports, I’ve charged my phone and an iPad simultaneously. Sweet!

If you want to pack a lot of power on your next adventure, grab this portable lantern & charger on Amazon HERE.

MyCharge Adventure Power Hard Stats

  • A powerful LED light and power bank in one
  • Perfect for camping, hiking, tailgating and so much more
  • Powerful 10,000mAh provides up to 5x extra battery and 41 hours of continuous light
  • Smart Sense technology – ensures complete device compatibility
  • Safe-cell – highest level of battery safety
  • Two built-in USB ports with 2.4A output
  • LED Light puts out up to 500 Lumens
  • LED light – SOS, LED and 4 Brightness levels
  • Anti-corrosive metal kickstand
  • Includes power bank recharging cable

Hong Kong Noir

photo: Sean Foley

As thousands protest in the streets of Hong Kong, it seems a fitting time to dive into Hong Kong Noir, edited by Jason Y. Ng & Susan Blumberg-Kason. This immersive anthology is part of the phenomenal “Noir Series” from Akashic Books which, by now, surely includes nearly every city on the planet.

Of course, you don’t need GPS to locate noir, it’s not a geographic hotspot, but a state of mind that’s everywhere. Indeed, as the world squirms in the grip of climate change, the angst at the heart of the genre is spreading like a black plague.

Hong Kong has historically existed in the dark shadows of foreign occupation, and today in the looming behemoth of the communist Mainland. To live there is to be wary, to look over your shoulder while surrounded by spirits and ghosts from the past. The city is a second skin that’s impossible to shed.

Hong Kong Noir offers 14 tales, set in the past and present, that are deeply darknoir at its most seductive and riveting. The writers you’ll discover inside will not be familiar, but they’ll mark you like a tattoo.


Cool Case. Case Closed.

Urban Armor Gear’s Metropolis Series iPad Pro case

Finally, a case that not only provides rugged protection for the iPad, but flexible enough to work in concert with a Smart Keyboard. For additional convenience, it has its own adjustable/detachable stand.

The case offers access to all the iPad’s ports, of course, and even includes a holder for the Apple Pencil.

Seems UAG didn’t miss a trick.

The tactile grip of the case pretty much guarantees it won’t slip out of your hand, but if does — don’t panic — the Metropolis series has been drop-tested and meets military standards. How’s that for tough.

Did I mention the case is a looker? Well there ya go.
Case closed.

For more information, visit Urban Armor Gear.

Rock Me!

You’ve surely seen some of Jim Marshall’s iconic rock photographs, but the sheer breadth of his work is pure “wow!”—and featured in JIM MARSHALL: SHOW ME THE PICTURE: IMAGES AND STORIES FROM A PHOTOGRAPHY LEGEND by Amelia Davis. This gorgeous boxed edition from Chronicle Books covers his early work in NYC’s black neighborhoods in the 1960s, through the blossoming California music scene; the historic festivals at Monterey and Woodstock. Marshall’s images capture the spirit of performance as well as intimate portraits of legends like Janis Joplin, Dylan, Hendrix, and Santana. A book to savor.

Excerpts below from:  Jim Marshall: Show Me the Picture by Amelia Davis, published by Chronicle Books 2019

CLICK HERE to order on Amazon


Our nonfiction fix for July:












With two novels as chasers:








Reviews to follow. Stay tuned.



THESE Hot titles have just come in the door…

Can’t wait to dive into the new Peter Diamond Investigation by Peter Lovesey. I’m also heading off to Iceland for a badly needed escape on THE ISLAND with Ragnar Jonasson. Then I’m off to the streets of Hong Kong  for a full dose of HONG KONG NOIR,  And I’m also determined to find out WHO IS VERA KELLY? with a little help from Rosalie Knecht.

But first I’d better take Riley Sager‘s advice and LOCK EVERY DOOR.

Reviews of all coming soon.







Since ZOOM STREET has been online for over a decade, there are countless reviews of “books & things” in our archive.  It’s easy to overlook the fact that we have a handy search box over in the righthand column. So if you’re looking for, say,  a cool tool review or a Noir mystery, just type a few keywords.

As an example, the partial screenshot below shows a search for the author “Lovesey” which results in links dating back to 2011.



















So if you don’t see what you’re seeking try the ZOOM search!


Here’s an update to my recent post “Yoink is Here to Stay“:

Just stumbled upon a cool feature on my iPad. You can drag and drop multiple email messages right into YOINK. In the screen-shot below you’ll see a stack with three messages.


Pretty awesome, eh?

Another good reason for you to test-drive this app.

Onward & upward!