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We Only Carry Mysteries .... But We Can Order Almost Anything!

 

New Author Signings

Tuesday March 24th at Noon - Jacqueline Winspear signs A Dangerous Place

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability--and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England; her aging father Frankie Dobbs is not getting any younger.

But on a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn't ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, "You will be alone in a most dangerous place," she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.

Yet the danger is very real. Days after Maisie's arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar's Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on "the Rock"--arguably Britain's most important strategic territory--and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

Friday March 27th at Noon - J.A. Jance signs Cold Betrayal

Now happily married, Ali Reynolds is faced with two crises: her new daughter-in-law’s grandmother is being stalked and threatened by someone whose actions are increasingly dangerous; and her friend Sister Anselm is guarding a young runaway from a cult that refuses to allow members to leave.

Signed Copies Coming Soon!

Laurie R. King - Dreaming Spies

After a lengthy case that had the couple traipsing all over India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California to deal with some family business that Russell has been neglecting for far too long. Along the way, they plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. The cruising steamer Thomas Carlyle is leaving Bombay, bound for Kobe. Though they’re not the vacationing types, Russell is looking forward to a change of focus—not to mention a chance to travel to a location Holmes has not visited before. The idea of the pair being on equal footing is enticing to a woman who often must race to catch up with her older, highly skilled husband.

Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe, surprisingly fluent young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be.

Gigi Pandian - The Accidental Alchemist

Gigi Pandian will be dropping by on January 31st at some time to sign The Accidental Alchemist. So reserve your copy today!
Things don't go smoothly when Zoe Faust moves into her fixer-upper Portland home. While unpacking the crates she's had shipped from her storage in France, she discovers that she's picked up a hitchhiker, a French gargoyle named Dorian Robert-Houdin, who needs Zoe's help deciphering an ancient text, the one used to animate him. You see, there's an unexpected side effect to the spell, and Dorian needs a true alchemist like Zoe to counteract it. The problem is that Zoe stopped practicing alchemy centuries ago, so she's not sure she can help.
Fran loved this book!

What We've Been Reading

Thomas Perry - A String Of Beads

Fran Recommends:

Jane McKinnon (known to us as Jane Whitefield) is back in Thomas Perry's A String of Beads.  Jane's been enjoying simply being a doctor's wife. She's recovered from the events of her last adventure, mostly, and she'd be fine never going back to helping runners. But when all eight clan mothers approach her to ask for her help, there's no way Jane can refuse.

A childhood friend of Jane's has been accused of murder, and the clan mothers are certain he didn't do it. They also know that if Jimmy is caught and sent to jail to await trial, he would be killed while waiting. They want Jane to keep Jimmy hidden and figure out what's going on, and to clear his name. Not much to ask! Jane has always embraced her Seneca heritage, so there's no question that she'll do what she can, but first she has to convince her husband that what she's doing is something only she can do. Since Carey isn't Seneca, he doesn't understand her compulsion, but not many people can stand in Jane's way when she's determined.

Spending time with Jane Whitefield is like spending time with an old friend, and A String of Beads is classic Jane. There's enough action to keep things moving rapidly forward, but there's also enough personal interaction, change and growth to keep the story from being nothing but one chase after another. It's Thomas Perry's crafting of character that will keep you coming back.  If you haven't read any of the Jane Whitefield novels, this one stands on its own and is a great way to meet her, but as always, I'd say start with Vanishing Act. You won't be disappointed!

Yasmine Galenorn - Panther Prowling

Signed Copies Available After January 31st - Reserve Your Copy Today

Fran Recommends:

Things are getting a little out of hand at the D'Artigo residence with Yasmine Galenorn's latest installment in the "Otherworld" novels. In Panther Prowling, Delilah finds herself at the center of a couple of unsettling events.

At Camille's birthday party, the sisters' cousin, Daniel, makes a spectacular entrance when he's thrown into the party by a Viking ghost. Turns out Daniel's acquired a sword, and it seems to have it's own inhabitant, a bloody king who's desperate to be released. But then there are the three other ghosts that attend the sword, and while they don't seem to be hostile, they're obviously not just for show either.

But all the ghosts in the world may be easier to deal with than some of the personal things that Delilah has to face among her close friends and even her own sisters! And it's possible her own relationship is about to undergo a massive change. It's no wonder that she contemplates retreating into her Tabby form!

One of the things that makes this series so great is that Yasmine Galenorn is not afraid of shaking things up among the characters. In the past - without giving anything away - she's damaged some main folks, transformed several, put the sisters through violent and brutal assaults, and has even killed off people we've come to care about. And she has a gift for making us care. If you read the previous book, Priestess Dreaming (Signed Copies Available), you know how Morgaine has changed, and how important Tenne has become. That was one of her most powerful books, I think.

But Panther Prowling brings a new depth of character as well as nuance and subtlety to the relationships that, to my mind, makes this one of the richest of the entire series. Things blow up, true - the house is definitely going to need a new coat of paint! - and there's plenty of action, but the true heart of this installment is, in my opinion, the growth and challenges we see among our intrepid crew. I just loved it.

Coming Soon In International Mysteries!

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Collectible Corner

Robert Crais - The Monkey's Raincoat

Book Condition - Very Good

New York: Bantam Books, 1987. First printing. Paperback.
True first, paperback original, debut novel, signed on title page, some wear around spine, slight lean, in plastic protective envelope.

Robert Crais - Stalking The Angel

Book Condition - Fine / DJ Condition - Fine

New York: Bantam Books, 1989. First printing. Hardcover.
2nd in the Elvis Cole series, 1st offical hardcover in series, signed on title page, in protective mylar dj cover

YA Mysteries!

Susan Dennard - Strange And Ever After

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Sharon Gosling - The Ruby Airship

Trapeze-artist Remy has left the circus and her life as a jewel thief behind, but doubts that young detective Thaddeus Rec will ever truly trust her. Torn between her new life and her old, her mind is made up when Yannick, a fellow circus-performer from Remy's past, arrives in London. Remy decides it's time to go with him to France, and rejoin her best friend Claudette and the circus. But Thaddeus is sure that Yannick is up to no good. He's determined to track them down and win Remy back, even if he has to embark on a perilous journey by airship to do so.

Fran's 2014 YA & Mass Market Favorites!

Holly Black - The Darkest Part Of The Forest

Fran Recommends:

One of the best things about Young Adult writing today is how very intelligent it is. Punches aren't pulled, bad things happen, and it's not sugar-coated or incredibly sweet. Well, certainly not the best YA writing - you know, the kinds of books that kids actually read, not what their parents think they're reading.

Holly Black's upcoming YA book, The Darkest Part of the Forest takes on all kinds of powerful issues facing teenagers today: racism, isolation, gender identity, parental neglect - and she does it in a compelling, easily readable, highly relateable way.

Teenage siblings, Hazel and her brother, Benjamin, have lived in Fairfold most of their lives. Fairfold is a unique small town in that all the residents, child and adult alike, are aware that the fae are real. There have been fae folk around, well, since Fairfold was established, and there's an unspoken agreement: the fae will leave Fairfold's citizens alone (tourists are fair game) and Fairfold's people will respect the fae, leaving gifts and respecting the fae's rules.

But the prince in the coffin isn't the only fae they know. Ben's best friend, Jack, is a changeling. He was left in place of a baby named Carter, and when Carter's mother noticed the switch (which was pretty much immediately), she did what was necessary to get Carter back. But instead of returning Jack to his fae mother, Carter's mom defiantly kept both boys, raising them as brothers.

At the heart of the town's tourism trade is a crystal coffin in the woods. Inside is a young man, with ears as pointed as knives and horns curling gently out of his head and curving down behind those pointy ears. He's been there for as long as people can remember. There have been numerous attempts to break the crystal, but all have failed, and the more serious attempts have left those humans who have tried badly injured. Hazel and Ben both love the boy in the coffin, whom they call "their prince".

When the crystal coffin is shattered and the horned boy vanishes, everything changes.

Holly Black's books are not for people, young or old alike, who are not willing to look at the darkness that exists in everyone. She understands that everyone has secrets, some more dangerous than others, and that some of the most awful lies are the ones we tell ourselves. When I was a teacher, I often saw the disparity between what parents thought their kids were up to and what said kids actually did; it wasn't always pretty. Holly Black lets us see some of the bleaker sides of being a teenager, and how an inability to communicate easily can make a situation tumble from bad to worse in a heartbeat.

She also challenges her readers to accept situations they may not be comfortable with. Hazel's defiance of gender stereotyping by her need to be the knight, Ben's gayness, Jack's "otherness" that sets him apart, Hazel and Ben's parents' bohemian lifestyle that sounds like fun but had very dark repercussions, and all the messy relationships that happen simply because people are people, these are all the things that Ms. Black handles deftly and compassionately without being condescending or preachy, both of which are unfortunately easy to do.

Last year, Amber and Yasmine Galenorn both insisted that I read Holly Black's book The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and that got me hooked. Holly Black tells one heck of a good story, and The Darkest Part of the Forest is every bit as good. I know I didn't want it to end!

Anne Bishop - Written In Red

Fran Recommends:

It takes me a while sometimes, but I do learn. When Amber strongly recommends I read something, she knows I'm going to like it. Ernest Cline's Ready Player One? Favorite for that year. Jasper Fforde's The Last Dragonslayer? Read it in one sitting. Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown? Absolutely brilliant.

So when she started vibrating about Anne Bishop's Written in Red, I didn't even fight it. I waited until I had a plane trip ahead of me and snagged it. And again, she was absolutely right.

The land is nominally the United States, an alternate universe perhaps. And in this land, humans are simply clever meat to the were-creatures, vampires and Others that control the land. But it's by being clever that humans have survived and have established cities, trading goods and innovative creations for a chance to live. But make no mistake, humans are still food, and in the Courtyard, where the Others and humans interact, if a rule is broken by a human, the penalty is swift, permanent and without recourse. In the cities, human law prevails (mostly, and at the whim of the Others), but in the Courtyard and away from human cities? Humans are prey.

Meg Corbyn stumbles into the Lakeside Courtyard one winter evening, fighting her way through a blizzard looking for shelter. Werewolf and leader of the Courtyard, Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to take her in, but he's intrigued. She doesn't smell like prey; in fact, she seems to decidedly be "not-prey" even though she’s human, and he's puzzled. Besides, the Courtyard needs a human liaison, so he hires her, figuring to sniff out her secrets in time.

But Meg's no ordinary human, and the people she's running from are powerful. You see, Meg's a "cassandra sangue", a blood prophet. When her skin is cut, she can prophesy the future, and Meg's one of the best. She's managed to escape from her Controller and the compound where the blood prophets are kept "for their own good", and they want her back. And they're willing to challenge the Others for her, no matter what the cost.

This is the first in a series, and it's fantastic. Anne Bishop manages to capture how truly different the Others are, how completely alien their thought processes can be while still making them sympathetic and relatable, which is no small feat. The vampires, the shapeshifters (not just wolves but all kinds of creatures), the Elementals, all the other types of Creatures - and I suspect there are many yet to meet - are fascinating in their own rights. The relationships Bishop has created between the Others and humans is intricate, a political dance on a knife's edge, and is complex and fascinating.

I can't wait to read more in this series, and once again, Amber has suckered me into a new author whom I love!

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More Fran Favorites!

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We Can Order All Most Anything! For Example:



Sarah Addison Allen - First Frost

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly.  As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies.  Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.
 
Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.
Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before.  And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.