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Rainy City Mass Market Paperback – Apr 28 1997

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reissue edition (April 28 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345414055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345414052
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.8 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 154 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,164,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Publisher

Earl Emerson's acclaimed series about Seattle private investigator Thomas Black is much beloved by readers and critics. And with justification. (These novels, running the gamut from THE RAINY CITY to the just-issued CATFISH CAF, are among my all-time favorite detective tales, and I'm not just saying that because I'm Earl's editor.) But I don't know any other crime novelist who amasses such fervent praise from his peers. It would be a crime to call Earl Emerson merely a "writer's writer." But there sure are a lot of talented authors who revere him. To wit . . .

Aaron Elkins: "In every book he tries something new, and he always comes up a winner. In the best tradition of American crime fiction, Emerson is a master of witty dialogue; clever, complex plotting; and lucid, meaty prose."

Robert Crais: "Earl Emerson writes with the richness and grace of a poet, evincing a quality of phrase and nuance that elevates the genre."

Ann Rule: "Earl Emerson and Thomas Black only get better and better! Earl Emerson has taken his place in the rarefied air of the best of the best!"

'Nuff said.

--Joe Blades, Associate Publisher

About the Author

Earl Emerson is a lieutenant in the Seattle Fire Department. He is the Shamus Award-winning author of the Thomas Black detective series, which includes The Rainy City, Poverty Bay, Nervous Laughter, Fat Tuesday, Deviant Behavior, Yellow Dog Party, The Portland Laugher, The Vanishing Smile, and The Million-Dollar Tattoo. He has also written four books featuring ex-fire chief and acting sheriff Mac Fontana: Black Hearts and Slow Dancing, Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred, Morons and Madmen, and Going Crazy in Public.

Earl Emerson lives in North Bend, Washington.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Feb. 1 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are all great BUT, up until Thomas Black finally marries Kathy, he is overly obsessed with women (including Kathy). You know what I mean. Every time a woman (kathy included) appears (not just in her initial introduction but EVERY time she steps on the page) Emerson drools over how perfectly gorgeous, sexy etc. etc. her eyes are and her hair is and her legs are. Over and over. Hey I don't need to be told over and over the color of someones eyes, hair, skin. I mean what is this? Emerson trying to fill-up the pages or is he just a shallow sexist jerk. And naturally most all the women in his books are stunning beauties all hot to trot or they are sick pathetic gutter dogs. The men are usually ugly, potbellied freaks.
Out side of that, Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are superior to most of what's out there. Full of fun and wit. Interesting plots that have depth and breadth. Highly recommended.
Now, his Mac Fontana Mysteries are not very good. In fact it's hard to believe Emerson wrote them.
Thomas Black Mysteries: in order, first to last The Rainy City, Poverty Bay, Nervous Laughter, Fat Tuesday, Deviant Behavior Yellow Dog Party, The Portland Laugher, The Vanishing Smile, The Million-Dollar Tattoo, Catfish Café.
Mac Fontana Mysteries: in order, first to last Black Hearts and Slow Dancing, Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred, Morons and Madmen, Going Crazy in Public, The Dead Horse Paint Company
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Thomas Black mystery I read. The book is well plotted and reads fast. The action scenes are hardboiled. I almost gave this four stars but I didn't really like any of the characters. Would it have killed the author to put in at least one normal character and some normal human emotions. Perhaps Seattle has an unusually high percentage of mentally ill and/or deranged people but I doubt it. On page 1 Black's dog is killed. Black doesn't shed a tear but rather he gives us a gardening tip--plant roses over a dog's grave--what's with that?
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By A Customer on Oct. 29 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Rainy City" is the debut novel from Earl Emerson and his character, private eye, Thomas Black. The atmosphere is very realistic; the series is set in Seattle. Black and his friend (in this book), Kathy Birchfield are entertaining and totally believable. The plot is good, and for anyone contemplating reading the entire series, this is the one to begin the journey. The character development throughout the entire series (the last being "Catfish Cafe") is excellent and a lot of fun to watch.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superior to most Feb. 1 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are all great BUT, up until Thomas Black finally marries Kathy, he is overly obsessed with women (including Kathy). You know what I mean. Every time a woman (kathy included) appears (not just in her initial introduction but EVERY time she steps on the page) Emerson drools over how perfectly gorgeous, sexy etc. etc. her eyes are and her hair is and her legs are. Over and over. Hey I don't need to be told over and over the color of someones eyes, hair, skin. I mean what is this? Emerson trying to fill-up the pages or is he just a shallow sexist jerk. And naturally most all the women in his books are stunning beauties all hot to trot or they are sick pathetic gutter dogs. The men are usually ugly, potbellied freaks.
Out side of that, Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are superior to most of what's out there. Full of fun and wit. Interesting plots that have depth and breadth. Highly recommended.
Now, his Mac Fontana Mysteries are not very good. In fact it's hard to believe Emerson wrote them.
Thomas Black Mysteries: in order, first to last The Rainy City, Poverty Bay, Nervous Laughter, Fat Tuesday, Deviant Behavior Yellow Dog Party, The Portland Laugher, The Vanishing Smile, The Million-Dollar Tattoo, Catfish Café.
Mac Fontana Mysteries: in order, first to last Black Hearts and Slow Dancing, Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred, Morons and Madmen, Going Crazy in Public, The Dead Horse Paint Company
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A hard boiled well plotted mystery with unlikable characters March 7 2000
By Mitchell Ayer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Thomas Black mystery I read. The book is well plotted and reads fast. The action scenes are hardboiled. I almost gave this four stars but I didn't really like any of the characters. Would it have killed the author to put in at least one normal character and some normal human emotions. Perhaps Seattle has an unusually high percentage of mentally ill and/or deranged people but I doubt it. On page 1 Black's dog is killed. Black doesn't shed a tear but rather he gives us a gardening tip--plant roses over a dog's grave--what's with that?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An 80's PI Story Set in Seattle Oct. 17 2015
By Dave Wilde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Emerson's Thomas Black series, published mainly in the late 80's and throughout the 90's, sets a slightly quirky private eye in Seattle and nearby environs. This is the first book in a series of about a dozen or more books. It is well-written and engaging. One of the refreshing things about this book is that Emerson doesn't simply attempt to retell a classic fifties PI story. It is a more modern take on the theme.

Black is an ex police officer with some issues about firing his gun. A good shooting with bad consequences can do that to you. He rents his lower basement flat to a young law student, Kathy, who frequently pops in just when it would be uncomfortable for Black. She is not just a hit dame though. She is his close confidante and Pancho to his Cisco Kid or June to his Wally. Sometimes Black bikes to witness interviews.

Missing heiresses, angry industrialists, hookers, strippers, psychologists, and aunts with secrets people this book along with people popping up in clown suits. And, here, Thomas is plagued by dog-murderers, burglars, and a tail he can't shake.

There is a sort of quirkiness to some of the characters and you get the feeling reading this that it might develop more of a cult following than a wide readership. Nevertheless, I certainly enjoyed it enough to look for the rest of this series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Thomas Black Mystery May 17 2013
By Chuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This series is finally out in Kindle. Black has a style which is enthralling. His wry humor keeps the reader laughing at times and captivated by the story all of the time. On of our great authors. Might be even be better than Block.
3.0 out of 5 stars Another series to read, but nothing super special about this first book Jan. 9 2012
By Booker G - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Rainy City" by Earl Emerson is the first book in the Thomas Black mystery series. The series is set in Seattle, and the author's writing aptly evokes that city's locale and atmosphere. Naturally, the author introduces us to the characters in this book: Thomas Black, 30-something former cop who is now a private detective, and his basement tenet and friend Kathy, a law student who performs as a clown as her part-time work. Thomas left the police force after a self-defense shooting of a young man who was engaged in a criminal activity, and now he does not carry a gun unless he is willing to use it. Emerson creates Thomas as a clever-tongued and mostly nice-guy sort.

In this book, Kathy ropes Thomas into searching for her missing friend. Kathy has "intuitions" that make her fear her friend is in trouble. Black finds a complex marital situation, a dysfunctional family situation, some very creepy characters, and major business fraud as he delves into the case. Overall, the plot is an engrossing one, and the characters are generally worth spending time with.

Emerson's writing feels a little forced as one might expect from a first book. The relationship between Thomas and Kathy is also somewhat forced in that the dialogue is off at times and Kathy's pushiness is too much.

Check out my website describing and reviewing mystery series (see my Amazon profile for the URL) for more series that may entertain you.

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