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Extended Audio Sample A Drop of the Hard Stuff: A Matthew Scudder Novel, by Lawrence Block Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,315 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lawrence Block Narrator: Tom Stechschult Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Matthew Scudder Series Release Date:
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Lawrence Block, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author, has been named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. A Drop of the Hard Stuff continues Block’s popular series starring New York private detective and recovering alcoholic Matthew Scudder.

Facing his demons in his first year of sobriety, Matthew Scudder finds himself on the trail of a killer. When Scudder’s childhood friend Jack Ellery is murdered, presumably while attempting to atone for past sins, Scudder reluctantly begins his own investigation with just one lead: Ellery’s Alcoholics Anonymous list of people he wronged. One of them may be a killer—but that’s not necessarily Scudder’s greatest danger. Immersing himself in Ellery’s world may lead him right back to the bar stool.

In a novel widely celebrated by critics and readers, Lawrence Block circles back to how it all began, re-establishing the Matthew Scudder series as one of the pinnacles of American detective fiction.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A Drop of the Hard Stuff is a wise and fascinating addition to the Matthew Scudder canon. It could not be more welcome, nor could it have been written with more understated craftsmanship. The dialogue sounds exactly like things people say to each other, but it isn’t. It’s better, quicker, smarter. Read this book attentively. It’s much more fun than taking lessons.”

    Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Mesmerizing…A lament for all the old familiar things that are now almost lost, almost forgotten.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Totally gripping…A great American crime novel.” 


  • “Block has so perfected a pared-down, hard-boiled style that this story—about good intentions that backfire, fatally—seems to tell itself.” 

    Washington Post

  • “Right up there with Mr. Block’s best…A Drop of the Hard Stuff keeps us guessing.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • A 2011 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, May 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tyler | 2/17/2014

    " it was a good ending.. very AA based.. and made me want coffee real bad "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 2/15/2014

    " A melancholy but moving mystery, a tale full of loss and sadness and aching, empty hearts. Masterfully told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Miriam | 2/9/2014

    " Matthew Scudder is such a great character and it's always fun to go back to a seminal moment in a character's life to see where it all came from. That is what A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF is. Set in the early 80's, right after Scudder became sober, he is on the hunt for the killer of a long-lost friend who Scudder suspects was killed because he was following the rules of AA to the letter. What's also fun about this story is its setting--no cell phones, no computers, no Metro Cards--I felt nostalgic but also glad that my pockets aren't laden down with quarters and tokens. Block is a great writer and this is really a stellar piece of his work. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Squeaky | 1/30/2014

    " Lawrence Block is such an excellent writer! I enjoyed this Matthew Scudder story very much. His books are among the first I listed in my Books Read list, way back in 1998. "

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