Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Signed Books at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore

Suzanne Arruda. Treasure of the Golden Cheetah ($25) Signed and stamped

Jade del Cameron, guarded by her cheetah called Biscuit and Jelani, a young Kikuyu, heads up Mount Kilimanjaro on a film company’s trek. The move plot: to discover the ancient grave of King Menelik (Solomon), buried with his gold and slaves and concubines atop the mountain which will empower a modern Menelik. The novel’s plot begins with the murder of the movie’s producer outside Nairobi’s Muthaiga Club by a native who then commits suicide. As Jade and Harry guide the safari, Jade’s American suitor Sam attacks the investigation from the Nairobi end…. Bonus: the special landscape of the sacred mountain and the clash of cultures: African, European, and American (OK, Hollywood).

David Ellis. The Hidden Man ($26) Signed

This wonderful mystery earned a starred review from pw, "Edgar-winner Ellis (Line of Vision) is off to an exhilarating start with this first in a series set in an unnamed Midwestern city featuring grief-stricken attorney Jason Kolarich, who blames himself for his wife and child's death in a car accident. Jason is shaken out of his emotional coma when a stranger called Mr. Smith hires him to defend an old friend, Sammy Cutler. About 26 years earlier, Sammy's two-year-old sister was kidnapped from her bedroom during the night. Suspicion centered on Griffin Perlini, a convicted sex offender who lived a few blocks away, but police could never prove that he took the child. Now Sammy is accused of killing Griffin, who he believes murdered his sister. Mr. Smith demands Jason get an acquittal for Sammy, conveniently supplying witnesses and a scapegoat for the case. Ellis avoids clichés in a multilayered legal thriller that depends on precise character studies, an original plot and a surprising but logical twist at the end.

Diana Evans. The Wonder ($32 Chatto & Windus) Signed

As a child Lucas assumed that all children who'd lost their parents lived on water. Now a restless young man, and still sharing the West London narrowboat with his down-to-earth sister Denise, he secretly investigates the contents of an old wardrobe, in which he finds relics from the Midnight Ballet, an influential dance company of the 1960s founded by his Jamaican father, the charismatic Antoney Matheus. In his search to unravel the legacy of the Midnight Ballet, Lucas comes into contact with people who were drawn towards Antoney's bright and dangerous star. He hears of hothouse rehearsals in an abandoned Notting Hill church, of artistic battles and personal betrayals, and a whirlwind European tour. Most importantly, Lucas learns about Antoney's passionate and tumultuous relationship with Carla, Lucas' mother, and the events that led to his father's final disappearance. Vividly conjuring the world of 1950s Kingston, Jamaica, the Blues parties and early carnivals of Ladbroke Grove, the flower stalls and vinyl riflers of modern-day Portobello Road, and the famous leap and fall of Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, Diana Evans creates a haunting and visceral family mystery about absence and inheritance, the battle between love and creativity, and what drives a young man to take flight.

Aaron Elkins. Skull Duggery ($25) Signed

Julie Oliver is spending some vacation with expatriate family, helping to run their guest ranch near the charming village of Teotitlán. The grumpy cook Dorotea is legendary, so Gideon agrees to some R&R. They are barely settled at the inn when the local police chief appears with a problem. Joy, it's a mummy—not a skeleton, but close enough. Gideon, enchanted, examines the body and finds an unusual cause of death. Now, what about the body that was found a year earlier? Surprise, it's not a girl but a young woman (a fabulous clue here!). How likely is it that two unidentified bodies would turn up near such a tiny village? No wait… there's yet a third.

This is a delightful book, amusing, ultimately tragic, and laced with fabulous food—plus you meet the delightful Mayan cop from Curses, Marmolejo, now a Colonel in Oaxaca

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