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April 08, 2008

A mystery lesson

Kareem_obstfeld I love mysteries.  I’m a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as hard-boiled writers like Chester Himes, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett.  Desperate criminals chased down mean streets by world-weary detectives, now that’s entertainment.  That’s why I’m especially excited that Raymond Obstfeld, my friend and co-writer of "On the Shoulders of Giants," has just published a suspense thriller that’s set in Southern California.  This book is the first in a series about Stevie Croft, an assistant district attorney with a remarkable ability: she possesses hyper-memory, the uncanny ability to remember everything she’s ever seen or heard or read.  As she discovers, the ability is more of a burden than a blessing.  She’s kept this ability a secret, until a clever and demented serial killer threatens to reveal it. Unless she uses her power to catch him.  The problem is, Stevie’s hyper-memory is starting to fail, and in her pursuit of the killer, other dark family secrets are exposed.  Great concept for a movie or television series!

Because Raymond and I are friends, I don’t think it’s appropriate that I review the book, but I will quote Shirley Johnson, the reviewer from MidWest Book Review:

"I have to tell you I absolutely loved this book.  The characters were so well developed that I thought of them as people I had known all my life. The story took me down alleys, into close spaces, and had me racing for my life just like the characters in the book. Talk about drawing a person into the action, this book certainly does that. I was caught up in their traumas, their emotions, and every aspect of their lives.  Good job! The kicker here, however, is the conclusion.  I was shocked, beyond shock.  I would have never guessed what was coming in a million years, and I'm pretty good at figuring mysteries out.  What a twist!"         

All I can say is hold onto your hat when you're reading this book.  It's going to have you speeding down the road at a one fast clip.  You will not be bored, that much I guarantee, as your mind  is racing trying to figure out the next move of the killer, what is going on in Stevie's personal life, and how all the other characters are involved. I don't know when I have enjoyed reading a book as much as I have this one.

Exceptional! Highly recommended!!


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Very interesting. I am wondering about the conclusion....


Is this book Obstfeld's skyhook???

Marco Miller

Hi Kareem!

How long did you take to read this book?

Marco Miller

Now I noticed the faces on the background... creepy



I enjoy well written mysteries as well. I was wondering if you've read and are a fan of the Ezekiel Rawlins series by Walter Mosley or the Alex Cross series by James Patterson.

Abogada Adelante

Hope to read this soon. My favorite prosecutor is the Shark. I hope to see new episodes soon.

Jim Murray

Hello Kareem,

Happy Birthday to you belatedly and good luck in having your wishes come to fruition!

If you enjoy Chandler and this book by Ostfeld I think you would also enjoy Michael Connely's books, which for the most part also are set in LA. His first was the Black Echo, creating the unique detective presence of Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch, an interior reference to a 15th century artist known for capturing the depravity in human behavior.

Some of my personal favorites are Angel's Flight, A Darkness More Than Night and the Poet which is one of the best mysteries I've ever read.


I will read this mystery novel. I take your advice when you recommend books. Happy belated birthday wishes Kareem.

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

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