The actual murder mystery takes second place to Scudder's struggle with the bottle in 8 Million Ways to Die
. When I realized that I was 60 pages in and the murder hadn't been committed yet I knew I was going to like this book. I look forward to reading the earlier books in the series to get more of Matthew Scudder's back story, but I enjoyed the way Lawrence Block lets us truly get inside his character's head, and live his problems along with him. If you like your mysteries with lots of characterization and good dialogue, then the Matthew Scudder series is for you. It's not lighthearted by any means, but it's a poetic darkness.