The Night and The Music by Lawrence Block
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For the first time ever, all the short stories featuring Matthew Scudder are collected between two covers.
Matthew Scudder has been my favorite detective for a few years now and I'm always ready for more of his stories. The Night and the Music is all I could hope for and more. From the touching intro by Brian Koppelman to Lawrence Block's notes at the end, I was once again entranced.
The stories presented are from various points in Matthew Scudder's career. It could easily serve as either a jumping on point for new readers or a nice summation of the series. You've got Matt solving staged suicides, setups, and mysterious deaths. There are stories of Matt during his seldom talked about days on the police force and even one of his jobs with Reliable, rounding up bootleg Batman merchandise. The later stories are my favorite. As Matt enters the later years of his life, he spends more time thinking about the old days. He and Elaine run into someone he arrested years before while vacationing in Italy. Mick Ballou and Matt talk about death and Mick asks Matt to be his best man.
The final story in the collection threatened to yank silent tears from my manly ducts. Mick has closed Grogan's and he, Matt, Elaine, and Kristin gather for one last night of stories. As Mick and Matt reminisced about the earlier times in that fabled bar, I remembered experiencing the same moments with them in the early books. If Lawrence Block never writes another Matthew Scudder book, One Last Night at Grogan's would be a beautiful way to end the series.
I can't recommend the Matthew Scudder series enough and The Night and The Music is no exception!
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