Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"Cornelia Read's darkest, most passionate, and most poignant book yet."
-Tana French, New York Times Bestselling Author
The smart-mouthed but sensitive runaway socialite Madeline Dare is shocked when she discovers the skeleton of a brutalized three-year-old boy in her own weed-ridden family cemetery outside Manhattan. Determined to see that justice is served, she finds herself examining her own troubled personal history, and the sometimes hidden, sometimes all-too-public class and racial warfare that penetrates every level of society in the savage streets of New York City during the early 1990s.
Madeline is aided in her efforts by a colorful assemblage of friends, relatives, and new acquaintances, each one representing a separate strand of the patchwork mosaic city politicians like to brag about. The result is an unforgettable narrative that relates the causes and consequences of a vicious crime to the wider relationships that connect and divide us all.
From PW, "A battle between 13th-century religious factions forms the crux of this interesting departure for mystery novelist Perry (A Christmas Promise). Disguised as a eunuch, physician Anna Zarides arrives in Byzantium to learn why her brother has been accused of murdering Besarion Comnenos, a man with significant aristocratic and political ties. As she ministers to the emperor Michael Palaeologus, the Orthodox bishop Constantine,Â the Medea-like Zoe Chrysaphes as well as Arab, Jewish, Italian, and Greek tradespeople, she learns of the bitter divisions between Orthodoxy (whose followers do not believe in the Holy Spirit) and the Latin rite (whose followers do), as well as a power struggle among the emperor, the king of Naples and the Two Sicilies, and the pope. As the danger, betrayals, and dead bodies mount, Perry conveys an earnest message about obsession, sacrifice, and faith at a dazzling crossroads of East and West civilizations.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Walter Mosley and his new hero, Leonid McGill, are back in the new New York Times-bestselling mystery series that's already being hailed as a classic of contemporary noir.
Leonid McGill-the protagonist introduced in The Long Fall, the book that returned Walter Mosley to bestseller lists nationwide -is still fighting to stick to his reformed ways while the world around him pulls him in every other direction. He has split up with his girlfriend, Aura, because his new self won't let him leave his wife-but then Aura's new boyfriend starts angling to get Leonid kicked out of his prime, top-of-theskyscraper office space. Meanwhile, one of his sons seems to have found true love-but the girl has a shady past that's all of sudden threatening the whole McGill family-and his other son, the charming rogue Twilliam, is doing nothing but enabling the crisis.
Most ominously of all, Alfonse Rinaldo, the mysterious power-behind- the-throne at City Hall, the fixer who seems to control every little thing that happens in New York City, has a problem that even he can't fix- and he's come to Leonid for help. It seems a young woman has disappeared, leaving murder in her wake, and it means everything to Rinaldo to track her down. But he won't tell McGill his motives, which doesn't quite square with the new company policy- but turning down Rinaldo is almost impossible to even contemplate.
Known to Evil delivers on all the promise of the characters and story lines introduced in The Long Fall, and then some. It careens fast and deep into gritty, glittery contemporary Manhattan, making the city pulse in a whole new way, and it firmly establishes Leonid McGill as one of the mystery world's most iconic, charismatic leading men.
Nesbo, Jo. The Devil's Star($28) Signed
Starred Review from PW, "A serial killer taunts Harry Hole in Nesbø's searing third crime novel to feature the Oslo police detective to be made available in the U.S. (after Nemesis). Still suffering from alcohol-fueled demons and obsessed with hunting for evidence against a clearly dirty cop, Hole grudgingly agrees to help look into the murder of a woman whose finger has been amputated and a red diamond stuck under her eyelid. More bodies follow, with the murderer leaving identical five-pointed diamonds (the titular devil's star) at each crime scene. At first the killings appear to be random, but Hole soon discovers an ominous pattern. Nesbø brilliantly incorporates threads from earlier novels, including Hole's often tumultuous relationship with his lover, Rakel, without ever losing the current story's rhythm. Even with—or perhaps because of—his flaws, Hole is arguably one of today's most fascinating fictional detectives.
*Starred Review* from Booklist, "When we last saw Harry Hole, the Oslo police inspector was on the wagon and living with his lover, Rakel, and her young son, Oleg. A normal life seemed possible, at least if he could let go of his obsession with proving that fellow cop Tom Waaler was responsible for the death of Harry’s partner (Nemesis, 2009). He couldn’t let go, however, and by the time this third installment in Nesbø’s riveting series begins, Harry is living alone, back on the booze, and on the verge of being fired. Then, as happened in The Redbreast (2007), the first in the series, a new case brings the drunken detective out of the doldrums. This time it’s a serial killer who appears to be preying on random victims across the city. But are they random? Or do the pentagrams (the “devil’s star”) found at or near the crime sites somehow connect the victims? Nesbo’s plot this time, although multifaceted, is not as complex as in the earlier novels, lacking, in particular, the intricate linking of past to present that distinguished The Redbreast, but the tortured hero, fighting and mostly losing the battle with his personal demons, is even more richly developed, and the deadly pas de deux between Hole and Waaler plays itself out to a stunning conclusion. The similarity between Hole and Ian Rankin’s equally tormented John Rebus is ever present this time, but Hole may well be the more affecting character, alternately brilliant and deeply flawed, trapped between his obsessions and the seemingly impossible goal of protecting those he loves. Put Nesbø at the top of the Scandinavian crime-fiction ladder, right along with Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson.
Tallman, Shirley. Scandal on Rincon Hill ($27) Signed
“Bringing Victorian San Francisco to colorful life, Tallman offers an entertaining mystery…will appeal to fans of Anne Perry and Rhys Bowen.” —Library Journal A body is found just blocks from attorney Sarah Woolson’s home on Rincon Hill. Sarah is on the case, but 19th-century San Francisco is soon thrown into a state of panic as a gruesome crime spree begins to take hold of the city.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Page Murdock has been many things in his day: a cowhand, a saloonkeeper, a Comanche slave, and, lately, a deputy U.S. marshal. But the one thing the mean-faced, middle-aged gunman never expected to be was a man of the cloth.
Funny how things work out sometimes.
Posing as Brother Bernard Sebastian of the Church of Evangelical Truth, Murdock dons a clerical collar to worm his way into the good graces and confidences of the wary residents of Owen, Texas. Seems a gang of ruthless bandits is terrorizing the Texas panhandle, and all evidence points to the dusty cattle town as their base of operations. Murdock aims to unmask the gang, provided he can pass himself off as a preacher long enough to stay alive.
Imitating a minister troubles his conscience, almost driving him to the Good Book for comfort, and his prickly assignment grows even more complicated when he crosses paths with a shady lady from his past. With one hand on the Bible and the other on his revolver, Murdock navigates shoot-outs and Sunday sermons. He might not be well-versed in the Gospels, but one thing he knows for certain: avenging angels don’t get halos.
The Book of Murdock is an outstanding Western adventure by Page Murdock’s celebrated creator, Loren D. Estleman.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Daughters of the Witching Hill: In Search of the Pendle Witches
by Mary Sharratt
In 2002, I moved to the Pendle region in Lancashire, Northern England. It didn’t take long before the wild, brooding landscape cast its spell on me and inspired my new novel, Daughters of the Witching Hill.
Pendle Hill is famous throughout the world as the place where George Fox received the ecstatic vision that moved him to found the Quaker religion in 1652.
But this rugged countryside is also haunted by the legacy of the Pendle Witches.
In 1612, seven women and two men from Pendle Forest were executed for witchcraft, but the most notorious of the accused, Bess Southerns, aka Old Demdike, cheated the hangman by dying in prison.
Allow me to introduce you to a woman of power who changed my life forever. This is how Thomas Potts describes her in The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster:
She was a very old woman, about the age of Foure-score yeares, and had
been a Witch for fiftie yeares. Shee dwelt in the Forrest of Pendle, a vast
place, fitte for her profession: What shee committed in her time, no man
knowes. . . . Shee was a generall agent for the Devill in all these partes: no
man escaped her, or her Furies.
Reading the trial transcripts against the grain, I was amazed at how Bess’s strength of character blazed forth in the document written to vilify her. Bess freely admitted to being a healer and a cunning woman. She lived as a matriarch with her family at Malkin Tower and instructed her daughter and granddaughter in the ways of magic. Her neighbours called on her to cure their children and their cattle. What fascinated me was not that Bess was arrested on witchcraft charges but that the authorities turned on her only near the end of her long, productive career. She practiced her craft for decades before anybody dared to interfere with her.
Cunning craft—the art of using charms to heal both humans and livestock—was Bess’s family trade. Their spells, recorded in A Wonderfull Discoverie, were Roman Catholic prayer charms—the kind of folk magic that would have flourished before the Reformation. Yet she also drew on an even older source of power: Tibb, her familiar spirit, who appeared to her in the guise of a beautiful young man.
Other books have been written about the Pendle Witches—both nuanced and lurid. Mine is the first to tell the tale from Bess’s point of view. I longed to give Bess Southerns what her world denied her—her own voice.
History is a fluid thing that continually shapes the present. As a writer, I am obsessed with how the true stories of our ancestors haunt the landscape. No one in Pendle can remain untouched by the witches’ legacy. As contemporary British storyteller, Hugh Lupton, has said, if you go deep enough into the old tales and can present them in a meaningful way to a modern audience, you become the living voice in an ancient tradition. Bess Southerns’s voice deserves to be heard.
Long after their demise, Bess and her fellow witches endure, their spirit woven into the land, its weft and warp, like the stones and the streams that cut across the moors. This is their home, their seat of power, and they shall never be banished. By learning their story, I have become an adopted daughter of their living landscape, one of many tellers who spin their unending tale.
Mary Sharratt’s acclaimed new novel, DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL, is published April 7 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Visit her website: www.marysharratt.com and join her on her virtual tour: http://booktour.com/author/mary_sharratt#new-event
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
WE just received our signed copies of Eight for Eternity by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer Signed ($24.95) Signed
PW gave this title a starred Review, "Reed and Mayer's excellent eighth John the Chamberlain mystery (after 2008's Seven for a Secret) centers on the real-life Nika riots, which nearly destroyed Constantinople in A.D. 532. When two prisoners escape police custody, each a member of the two main factions who supported the opposing chariot teams at the races in the Hippodrome, Emperor Justinian sends John, his trusted chamberlain, to investigate. John soon finds the young men's bodies in the chilly waters of a cistern. Meanwhile, two nephews of a former ruler may provide a rallying point for General Belisarius should he opt to stage a coup as rival political factions wreak havoc throughout the city. Subtle, well-drawn characters, from the ascetic John to the capricious and enigmatic Justinian; deft descriptive detail revealing life in the late Roman Empire; and sharp dialogue make this another winner in this outstanding historical series.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Meet Radar Hoverlander, a witty, gifted con artist with the mind of David Mamet, the voice of Tom Robbins, and the morals of a sailor on shore leave.
What do the Merlin Game, the Penny Skim, the Doolally Snadoodle, and the Afterparty Snuke have in common? They’re all the work of world-class con artist and master bafflegabber Radar Hoverlander. Radar’s been “on the snuke” since childhood, but he’s still looking for his California Roll, the one big scam that’ll set him up in sushi for life.
Trouble arrives in the stunning, sassy package of Allie Quinn—either the last true innocent or a con artist so slick she makes Radar look like a Quaker. Radar’s hapless sidekick, Vic Mirplo, a lovable loser who couldn’t con a kid out of a candy cane, thinks Radar’s being played. But if love is blind, it’s also deaf, dumb and stupid, and before Radar knows it, he’s sucked into a vortex of double-, triple-, quadruple-crosses that’ll either net him his precious California Roll or put him in a hole in the ground.
As timeless as a perpetual-motion machine, as timely as a Madoff arraignment, The California Roll brings you deep inside the world of con artistry, where every fact is fiction and the second liar never has a chance.
Monday, March 22, 2010
From Publishers Weekly, "In McEvoy's fine fourth horse racing mystery (after 2008's Close Call), FBI agents persuade reluctant sleuth Jack Doyle to work undercover for a Chicago trainer to discover the culprits fixing races by sponging the favorite, an ugly practice that deprives the horse of enough oxygen to race effectively. Interwoven is the feel-good story of the Significant Seven—seven middle-aged friends who parlayed a huge pari-mutuel win into a small but successful racing syndicate thanks to the racing and stud career of a horse named the Badger Express. Seven years after their initial win, a pair of trained killers, both ex-navy SEALs, begin systematically eliminating the syndicate members. When Jack becomes suspicious about their deaths, he also becomes a target. McEvoy is a racing expert whose knowledge permeates the pages, and, like any good tout, he's full of amusing stories about horses, bettors, and trackmen."
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Whether you're looking for a fascinating gift for the person who has everything, or simply in search of a way to test and tantalize your own brain, the new line of Pocket Posh puzzle books from The Puzzle Society™ and Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC are just what you need! The Puzzle Society™ is the premier source for challenging, professionally constructed puzzles and games, providing puzzles to over 50 nationally syndicated papers including the Washington Post Crossword, L.A. Times Crossword, Universal Jigsaw, and Daily Jumble. The Puzzle Society's Pocket Posh line offers a sophisticated and stylish way to stretch your mind; with these sleek and chic books, puzzle solving just became ultra-fashionable. These irresistible books include convenient sizes and stylish features such as bright, fun covers, glitter, and other fashionable embellishments. With such flawless form and stylish design, the Pocket Posh line is the ultimate blend of entertainment and fashion.
Pocket Posh Hangman $7.99
Pocket Posh Hangman offers a sleek, elegant twist to an old favorite. In a trim 4 x 6 size, perfect to take along in a purse, Pocket Posh Hangman is a great way to exercise the brain, increase vocabulary, and test your knowledge of pop culture. You have a small hint to help you start out, and then you're on your own in the race to solve the puzzle before your hangman is hanged! The unique scratch-off feature to reveal clues and answers offers endless interactive entertainment. With 120 puzzles, the fun will never end, so let the games begin!
Pocket Posh WORDScrimmage $7.99
As convenient as it is stylish and as enjoyable as it is fashionable, the Pocket Posh Word Scrimmage puzzle book features a cover with a contemporary tactile design and comes in a handy 4" x 6" size, making it a smart, sophisticated accessory that goes with anything. It also fits nicely into a purse or pocket. The Pocket Posh Word Scrimmage puzzle book is a great way to exercise your mind—and look great while doing it!
Pocket Posh logic $7.99
This little book has 100 fun puzzles. The cover features an irresistibly tactile design. It is the perfect accessories and go with everything.
Pocket Posh Suduko $7.99
The unique and innovative number game known as Sudoku has swept the nation in recent years, and this little book offers an elegant and portable way to enjoy this mind-boggling pastime. The slim 4 x 8 size and stylish design makes this volume a must-have and with 100 puzzles and three difficulty levels, Pocket Posh Sudoku 2 is perfect for both the beginner and the aficionado! $7.99
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
There once was a girl who liked to pretend she was lost. . . .
Meg Rosenthal is driving toward the next chapter in her life. Winding along a wooded roadway, her car moves through a dense forest setting not unlike one in the bedtime stories Meg used to read to her daughter, Sally. But the girl riding beside Meg is a teenager now, and has exchanged the land of make-believe for an iPod and some personal space. Too much space, it seems, as the chasm between them has grown since the sudden, unexpected death of Meg’s husband.
Dire financial straits and a desire for a fresh start take Meg and Sally from a comfortable life on Long Island to a tucked-away hamlet in upstate New York: Arcadia Falls, where Meg has accepted a teaching position at a boarding school. The creaky, neglected cottage Meg and Sally are to call home feels like an ill portent of things to come, but Meg is determined to make the best of it—and to make a good impression on the school’s dean, the diminutive, elegant Ivy St. Clare.
St. Claire, however, is distracted by a shocking crisis: During Arcadia’s First Night bonfire, one of Meg’s folklore students, Isabel Cheney, plunges to her death in a campus gorge. Sheriff Callum Reade finds Isabel’s death suspicious, but then, he is a man with secrets and a dark past himself.
Meg is unnerved by Reade’s interest in the girl’s death, and as long-buried secrets emerge, she must face down her own demons and the danger threatening to envelop Sally. As the past clings tight to the present, the shadows, as if in a terrifying fairy tale, grow longer and deadlier.
In Arcadia Falls, award-winning author Carol Goodman deftly weaves a mesmerizing narrative of passion: for revenge, for art, for love.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Alan Bradley The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie ($15)
s with a dead snipe (with a rare stamp embedded on its beak) found on the back doorstep. This is followed by a dead human body in the garden and, later, by a poisonous custard pie. Revelations about the mysterious past of Colonel de Luce complicate matters. Others supporting players include the housekeeper, Mrs. Mullet, and the gardener, Dogger, who suffers from shell shock. When Colonel de Luce is arrested for murder, it’s up to Flavia to solve the mystery. The 11-year-old claims she is not afraid because “this was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.” Only those who dislike precocious young heroines with extraordinary vocabulary and audacious courage can fail to like this amazingly entertaining book. Expect more from the talented Bradley."
Mr. Bradley will be at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore to sign the sequel, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Bantam $24) on April 1st 7 pm
Monday, March 15, 2010
We are now doing Sue Grafton's web fulfillment and she has signed A, B and now the third in her quirky series...
C is for Corpse $30
He was young-maybe twenty or so-and he must once have been a good-looking kid. Kinsey could see that. But now his body was covered in scars, his face half-collapsed. It saddened Kinsey and made her curious. She could see he was in a lot of pain. But for three weeks, as Kinsey'd watched him him doggedly working out at the local gym, putting himself through a grueling exercise routine, he never spoke.
Then one Monday morning when there was no one else in the gym, Bobby Callahan approached her. His story was hard to credit: a murderous assault by a tailgating car on a lonely rural road, a roadside smash into a canyon 400 feet below, his Porsche a bare ruin, his best friend dead. The doctors had managed to put his body back together again-sort of. His mother's money had seen to that. What they couldn't fix was his mind, couldn't restore the huge chunks of memory wiped out by the crash. Bobby knew someone had tried to kill him, but he didn't know why. He knew he had the key to something that made him dangerous to the killer, but he didn't know what it was. And he sensed that someone was still out there, ready to pounce at the first sign his memory was coming back. He'd been to the cops, but they'd shrugged off his story. His family thought he had a screw loose. But he was scared-scared to death. He wanted to hire Kinsey.
His case didn't have a whole lot going for it, but he was hard to resist: young, brave, hurt. She took him on. And three days later, Bobby Callahan was dead.
Kinsey Millhone never welshed a deal. She'd been hired to stop a killing. Now she'd find the killer.
Friday, March 12, 2010
The contest between good and evil is waged not in the heavens but here on Earth, between warring factions of biblical scholars and heavenly hosts. The unusual central character is Sister Evangeline, a 23-year-old nun at St. Rose Convent outside New York City. In the course of her work, she stumbles across a mislaid correspondence between philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller and the convent's founding abbess concerning an astonishing 1943 discovery in the mountains of Greece. Simultaneously, the book introduces Percival Grigori, a critically ill, once-winged member of one of the most powerful families in an ancient race of beings born of a union between fallen angels and human beings: the Nephilim. These parasitic creatures, the "giants" referred to in the sixth chapter of Genesis, have engaged in spiritual warfare for generations with the Society of Angelologists, a group that included Evangeline's parents. "It has been one continuous struggle from the very beginning," says one of Evangeline's comrades- in-arms. "St. Thomas Aquinas believed that the dark angels fell within twenty seconds of creation-their evil nature cracked the perfection of the universe almost instantly, leaving a terrible fissure between good and evil." As Evangeline and Grigori are drawn into conflict over control of a powerful artifact, the lyre of the mythical Orpheus, Trussoni constructs a marathon narrative arc, ending the volume with a satisfying, if startling, transformation. A film adaptation and a sequel are already waiting in the wings.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
"I have a new book coming out next week, only 96 pages, what they call a single-sitting read. According to O Mag, it's bighearted. According to Anne Lamott, it's rich and intimate. According to my mother, it's better than The Middle Place."
We have copies of Lift the new book by Kelly Corrigan
Don't miss the chance to hear Kelly talk and get a signed copy of her book!
Kelly Corrigan is the author of The Middle Place, a New York Times bestseller. She is a YouTube sensation whose beloved “Transcending” video was sent woman-to-woman to more than 4 million viewers. She is also a contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine and Good Housekeeping, and is the founder of circusofcancer.org. She lives outside San Francisco with her husband and children.
Don't miss her:
Thursday, March 25 at 7pm
Xavier Piper Center
4710 N. 5th Str.
Call for tickets
For signed copies of Lift or The Middle Place call 888 560 9919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Mason, Zachary. Lost Books of the Odyssey ($26) Signed
Starred Review PW, "Mason's fantastic first novel, a deft reimagining of Homer's Odyssey, begins with the story as we know it before altering the perspective or fate of the characters in subsequent short story–like chapters. Legendary moments of myth are played differently throughout, as when Odysseus forgoes the Trojan horse, or when the Cyclops—here a gentle farmer—is blinded by Odysseus while he burgles the Cyclops's cave. Mason's other life—as a computer scientist—informs some chapters, such as The Long Way Back in which Daedalus's labyrinth ensnares Theseus in a much different way. Part of what makes this so enjoyable is the firm grasp Mason has on the source material; the footnotes double as humorous asides while reminding readers who aren't familiar with the original that, for instance, Eumaios is the swineherd who sheltered Odysseus when he first returned to Ithaca and later helped him kill the suitors. This original work consistently surprises and delights."
Pepper, Andrew. The Detective Branch ($43) Signed
Drury Lane, 1844. A robbery has been committed at a pawnbroker's, leaving three people dead. The man called in to investigate is Pyke, head of the Metropolitan Police's newly formed Detective Branch at Scotland Yard.Pyke must find the culprit and quickly, especially as the identity of one of the victims threatens to expose his own criminal past. A valuable religious artefact appears to have motivated the robbery but when the main suspect commits suicide in police custody, the investigation falters. Then the rector of a wealthy parish is brutally murdered and Pyke spots a connection. His suspicions lead him to a dissolute former Catholic priest, rumours of devil worship, and an old case that no one wants him to investigate. With time running out and the murderer threatening to kill again, Pyke must face up to forces within the police and the church who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain buried forever.
Tyler, Anne. Noah's Compass ($26) Signed tippened
Starred Review PW, " Like Tyler's previous protagonists, Liam Pennywell is a man of unexceptional talents, plain demeanor, modest means and curtailed ambition. At age 60, he's been fired from his teaching job at a second-rate private boys' school in Baltimore, a job below his academic training and original expectations. An unsentimental, noncontemplative survivor of two failed marriages and the emotionally detached father of three grown daughters, Liam is jolted into alarm after he's attacked in his apartment and loses all memory of the experience. His search to recover those lost hours leads him into an uneasy exploration of his disappointing life and into an unlikely new relationship with Eunice, a socially inept walking fashion disaster who is half his age. She is also spontaneous and enthusiastic, and Liam longs to cast off his inertia and embrace the joyous recklessness that he feels in her company. Tyler's gift is to make the reader empathize with this flawed but decent man, and to marvel at how this determinedly low-key, plainspoken novelist achieves miracles of insight and understanding."
Friday, March 5, 2010
Sue Grafton graciously joined up with The Poisoned Pen to offer our customers signed copies of her first novels.
" Signed hardback copies of 'A' IS FOR ALIBI and 'B' IS FOR BURGLAR
are available in very limited quantities from the Poisoned Pen Bookstore
in Phoenix AZ. These are NOT first editions. They are printed from the
original plates...a 14th and 15th respectively.
The price is $32.00 each with an additional shipping cost of $7.00.
There's no sales tax on out of state orders.
For those of you interested in completing your set of hardbacks to date, this may be a chance to round out your collection. These are not book club editions.
To order, contact: email@example.com.
More copies will be offered if there's a demand."
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."
"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.
Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.
When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation..
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Blake, Sara. The Postmistress ($26)
Those who carry the truth sometimes bear a terrible weight...
It is 1940. France has fallen. Bombs are dropping on London. And President Roosevelt is promising he won't send our boys to fight in "foreign wars."
But American radio gal Frankie Bard, the first woman to report from the Blitz in London, wants nothing more than to bring the war home. Frankie's radio dispatches crackle across the Atlantic ocean, imploring listeners to pay attention--as the Nazis bomb London nightly, and Jewish refugees stream across Europe. Frankie is convinced that if she can just get the right story, it will wake Americans to action and they will join the fight.
Meanwhile, in Franklin, Massachusetts, a small town on Cape Cod, Iris James hears Frankie's broadcasts and knows that it is only a matter of time before the war arrives on Franklin's shores. In charge of the town's mail, Iris believes that her job is to deliver and keep people's secrets, passing along the news that letters carry. And one secret she keeps are her feelings for Harry Vale, the town mechanic, who inspects the ocean daily, searching in vain for German U-boats he is certain will come. Two single people in midlife, Iris and Harry long ago gave up hope of ever being in love, yet they find themselves unexpectedly drawn toward each other.
Listening to Frankie as well are Will and Emma Fitch, the town's doctor and his new wife, both trying to escape a fragile childhood and forge a brighter future. When Will follow's Frankie's siren call into the war, Emma's worst fears are realized. Promising to return in six months, Will goes to London to offer his help, and the lives of the three women entwine.
Alternating between an America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to hear it.
Sarah Blake's The Postmistress shows how we bear the fact that war goes on around us while ordinary lives continue. Filled with stunning parallels to today, it is a remarkable novel.
Knopf, Chris. Short Squeeze ($27)
Mankell, Henning. The Man from Beijing ($26) us
One cold January day the police are called to a sleepy little hamlet in the north of Sweden where they discover a savagely murdered man lying in the snow. As they begin their investigation they notice that the village seems eerily quiet and deserted. Going from house to house, looking for witnesses, they uncover a crime unprecedented in Swedish history. When Judge Birgitta Roslin reads about the massacre, she realises that she has a family connection to one of the couples involved and decides to investigate. A nineteenth-century diary and a red silk ribbon found in the forest nearby are the only clues. What Birgitta eventually uncovers leads her into an international web of corruption and a story of vengeance that stretches back over a hundred years, linking China and the USA of the 1860s with modern-day Beijing, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and coming to a shocking climax in London's Chinatown. "The Man from Beijing" is both a gripping and perceptive political thriller and a compelling detective story. It shows Henning Mankell at the height of his powers, handling a broad historical canvas and pressing international issues with his exceptional gifts for insight and chilling suspense.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. And seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can “catch up” to her in age.
But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history—to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.
From the people sheltering in the tube stations of London to the retired sailors who set off across the Channel to rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, from shopgirls to ambulance drivers, from spies to hospital nurses to Shakespearean actors, Blackout reveals a side of World War II seldom seen before: a dangerous, desperate world in which there are no civilians and in which everybody—from the Queen down to the lowliest barmaid—is determined to do their bit to help a beleaguered nation survive.