Friday, February 27, 2009

New Signed Books from the Poisoned Pen

New Signed US:
The Women by TC Boyle ($28)
A dazzling novel of Frank Lloyd Wright, told from the point of view of the women in his lifeHaving brought to life eccentric cereal king John Harvey Kellogg in The Road to Wellville and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in The Inner Circle, T.C. Boyle now turns his fictional sights on an even more colorful and outlandish character: Frank Lloyd Wright. Boyle’s account of Wright’s life, as told through the experiences of the four women who loved him, blazes with his trademark wit and invention. Wright’s life was one long howling struggle against the bonds of convention, whether aesthetic, social, moral, or romantic. He never did what was expected and despite the overblown scandals surrounding his amours and very public divorces and the financial disarray that dogged him throughout his career, he never let anything get in the way of his larger-than-life appetites and visions. Wright’s triumphs and defeats were always tied to the women he loved: the Montenegrin beauty Olgivanna Milanoff; the passionate Southern belle Maud Miriam Noel; the spirited Mamah Cheney, tragically killed; and his young first wife, Kitty Tobin. In The Women, T.C. Boyle’s protean voice captures these very different women and, in doing so, creates a masterful ode to the creative life in all its complexity and grandeur.

It's a lush, dense, and hyperliterate book, in other words, vintage Boyle. --Publishers Weekly

Blood and Bone by William Lashner ($27)
Lashner goes standalone with amiable and handsome star athlete Kyle Byrne who blew his future by flunking out of college. He's leading a fairly sweet life, mostly in Philly bars, drifting. Then his dad's former law partner is murdered and the cops see Kyle as a suspect—plus they ask uncomfortable questions about dad's death 12 years ago. Answers, perhaps found in a missing file Kyle must trace, will either complete Kyle—or kill him. Lashner's a really lovely stylist with a fondness for sleaze.

Hollywood Buzz
Margit Liesche (Poisoned Pen $25 Signed).
reviews: Liesche's engaging second Pucci Lewis mystery after 2007's Lipstick and Lies ($15) takes the WWII WASP (Women Air Force Service pilot) to Hollywood, where one of her sister pilots, Frankie Beall, has crashed under suspicious circumstances while shooting an important training film. As the injured Beall's replacement, Lewis must complete the film and quietly investigate the crash. Trained by the OSS, Lewis is no stranger to undercover work and relishes the opportunity to rub shoulders with Hollywood's rich and famous. On her arrival at the Beverly Hills mansion of friends of her WASP commander, she meets legendary scare-meister Bela Lugosi, a young starlet-wannabe and a number of other folks who could be friend or foe. The murder of a celebrated director raises the stakes. Liesche provides plenty of interesting WASP lore while deftly mixing the real and imagined." I like the mix of wartime, Hollywood support and politics, and Hungarian elements and thus this is our February History/Mystery Pick.

New signed UK:
Whispers of the Dead by Simon Beckett ($32)
Dr. David Hunter learned his trade as a forensic anthropologist at Tennessee's Body Farm. He returns to Knoxville from his British village to hone his skills and is in on a grisly discovery made in a holiday cabin in the hills. The body is found bound and tortured, and decomposed beyond recognition. Fingerprints found at the scene seem to identify the killer, but it soon becomes clear that nothing about this case is quite as it seems—and that Hunter's presence is resented. Hunter's village mystery Chemistry of Death and his foray onto a remote Scottish island in Written in Bone ($6.99 each) are among our most popular paperbacks.
Alexandria by Lidsey Davis ($45)

Davis, Lindsey. Alexandria (Century $45 Signed).
Marcus Didius Falco and his family - a pregnant Helena Justina, two already hatched - arrive in the fabled Egyptian port where our informer Falco has an assignment from Emperor Vespasian. And before he can dig into it, there is a dinner which includes the library's director. And the very next day, Falco confronts...a body in the library. A tweak to the classic crime concept written with the verse and historical excell
ence you expect from Britain's Davis who comes to visit us on May 16.

The Other Half Lives by Sophia Hannah ($32)
Ruth Busssey knows what it is to be wrong—and in the wrong. She's
trying to rebuild her life and set both the deed and the excess punishment aside when she falls in love. But Aidan Seed confesses to her that he's killed a woman called Mary Trelease. Through her shock, Ruth recognizes the name and realizes that the Mary Trelease she knows is very much alive…. "A terrific page-turner, one of those really creepy suspense novels with so many twists that it is impossible to guess the ending." – Bookseller.

Dead Line by Stella Rimington ($42)
Undeniably pacey - Guardian. A wealth of persuasive detail, obviously drawn from first hand experience - Marie Claire. A tense terrifying read we couldn't put down - Cosmopolitan. This book has one of those marvellous opening chapters that mean once started you cannot put it down - Stella keeps me guessing until the end - I love that. There are many different strands to the story, all of which do make sense eventually, and are cleverly pulled together, but not before one's heart has been in one's mouth - Mystery Woman Magazine.

Cast Not the Day by Paul Waters ($41)
By the middle of fourth century AD, Britain and the Roman Empire had been ruled for a generation by Christian emperors. Now, at last, with the force of the state behind it, the Church was strong enough to suppress all opposition to its power. But in Britain there was still resistance...Seen through the eyes of Drusus, a young British Roman, and set against the backdrop of imperial civil war and the growing threat from Rome's enemies beyond its frontiers, the followers of faith and reason clash and the old values of classical enlightenment are called into question. And it is Drusus who is there to witness the cracks as they begin to split the great monumental edifice of the Roman Empire...

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