When I read the previous book in Lawrence Block's Keller series, I thought that Block probably wouldn't be writing any more about his stamp-collecting hit man. Keller was, after all, settled in New Orleans with a wife, a child, and a booming business. His past is pretty much buried, as is the past of Dot, the woman who'd passed on his contracts. He could afford to indulge his stamp-collecting hobby, and there was no reason for him to go back to his old ways.
But I should've known better. Block found the perfect reason for Keller to take up his old trade again, and he does it in four more-or-less related novellas and a short story that are up to Block's usual standard of excellence. The first novella in the book is "Keller in Dallas," so he hooked me right off the bat with only the title. I can't resist a good Texas tale.
There's a lot about stamp collecting in these stories, but that didn't bother me at all. As a guy who has his own obsessions, I can easily identify with the obsessions of others. The plotting is slick, and the writing is smooth. It's all good. Each story can stand on its own, even if you've never read any of the other Keller books, though they'll mean more if you have. And if you have, you'll definitely want to read this one because you just can't resist. Check it out.