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    Friday, August 19, 2022

    Tipping Point: Our picks and pans (Miranda Lambert, 'Bosch: Legacy,' 'Friend of the Devil')

    TV tip

    Bosch: Legacy

    Amazon Prime

    I'm not suggesting we were eagerly anticipating this new show, which is a spinoff of the mondo-popular, multi-season "Bosch," which in turn spun off from the numerous excellent crime novels by Michael Connelly. BUT ... when "Bosch: Legacy" premiered a few weeks back, my wife and I watched all 10 episodes in FAST FORWARD because we were so excited. Other than Harry Bosch (still wonderfully portrayed by Titus Welliver) sounding like one of Alvin's chipmonks, it's all a fan could hope for. Bosch is now retired from the L.A. police department and is a private investigator. Carrying over from the original series are Bosch's daugter Maddie (Madison Lintz, slowly becoming a more natural performer) and sometimes adversary/sometimes colleague Honey Chandler (the marvelous Mimi Rogers). New cast member Stephen A. Chang, as Bosch's go-to gadget expert, is a tremendous addition. Multiple clever plot lines sizzle engagingly, and only the appearance of a cornily ridiculous female ninja/assassin is a weak spot.

    — Rick Koster  

    CD tip

    Palomino

    Miranda Lambert

    Miranda Lambert is one of the most consistently excellent recording artists out there — not just in country music, but in ALL music. Her latest CD, “Palomino,” is another jewel. This release for the most part leaves behind the cheeky pop sensibility of her albums like “Wildcard” and goes for arrangements that call to mind dusty desert expanses and rebel loners. The sound tends to be sparer, as on “Actin’ Up,” which eventually erupts into growling guitars. Lambert’s lyrics remain full of evocative lines and sly humor. Lambert has had some unexpected collaborators in the past, but here's a real surprise: she is joined on the earworm “Music City Queen” by, believe it or not, The B-52s. It all seems like harmony-drenched trad country … until the unmistakable Fred Schneider jumps in on backup.

    — Kristina Dorsey

    Book tip

    Friend of the Devil

    Stephen Lloyd

    Lloyd, already successful as a writer and producer behind TV shows like "How I Met Your Mother" and "Modern Family," turns to fiction for this clever take on supernatural noir. Lloyd approaches the novel almost like a challenge: Is it possible to turn cliches like a world-weary, substance-abusing PI, elite private school setting/folks-trapped-in-isolation-while-(possibly-supernatural)-murderer stalks, and the too-clever-for-her-own-good reporter into something fun and fresh? The answer is decidely Yes. "Friend of the Devil" is a great and quick read with plenty of creepy splashes, genuine wit, and an alluring hero in war vet Sam Gregory, whose detective work and cache of pills are all that keep his PTSD under control. Oh, and did I mention the GOTCHA! finale?

    — Rick Koster

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