A Drop of the Hard Stuff: Book summary and reviews of A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block

A Drop of the Hard Stuff

by Lawrence Block

A Drop of the Hard Stuff
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  • Published in USA  May 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

Matthew Scudder is finally on the straight and narrow when he runs into "High-Low" Jack Ellery, a childhood friend from the Bronx. In Scudder, Jack sees the moral man he might have become. In Jack, Scudder sees the hard-won sobriety he hopes to achieve.

Then Ellery, following to the letter the dictates of Alcoholics Anonymous's infamous twelve steps, is shot down while attempting to atone for past sins, and Scudder is drawn into a murder investigation that threatens to upset his path toward recovery - and get him killed in the process.

Exploring themes of loss, nostalgia, and redemption, for Lawrence Block, A Drop of the Hard Stuff circles back to how it all began, reestablishing why the Matthew Scudder series is widely regarded as one of the pinnacles of American detective fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Fans will certainly appreciate this entry, which recaptures the feel of the best Scudder mysteries of the 1980s and fills in part of the series chronology. That said, it will also likely work well as an introduction to the detective for new readers." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Block's pitch-perfect prose bolsters the elegiac plot. Accessible to first-timers, this book should add many more fans to the author's considerable following." - Publishers Weekly

"Sure, Block's written stronger mysteries. But this lonesome, wintry, compassionate tale is guaranteed to get under your skin, and make you thirsty to boot." - Kirkus Reviews

"Scudder fans, and there are many, will enjoy both the mystery and the history, glimpsing characters who did (and didn't) make it into the later story line. And the prose, as always, is like the club soda Scudder sips in the opening pages: cool, fizzy, and completely refreshing." - BookList

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Author Information

Lawrence Block Author Biography

Photo credit: Athena Gassoumis

A Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Lawrence Block is a four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writer's Association - only the third American writer to do so. The author of more than fifty books and numerous short stories, he is a devout New Yorker who spends much of his time traveling.

Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for more than half a century. He has published in excess of 100 books, and no end of short stories.

He is best known for two long-running New York-set series, about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, respectively.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., LB ...

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