Walter Mosley - Rose Gold
Signed Copies Available Now!
In this new mystery set in the Patty Hearst era of radical black
nationalism and political abductions, a black ex-boxer self-named Uhuru
Nolica, the leader of a revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth, has
kidnapped Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a weapons manufacturer,
from her dorm at UC Santa Barbara. If they don't receive the money,
weapons, and apology they demand, "Rose Gold" will die—horribly and
publicly. So the FBI, the State Department, and the LAPD turn to Easy
Rawlins, the one man who can cross the necessary borders to resolve this
dangerous standoff. With twelve previous adventures since 1990, Easy
Rawlins is one of the small handful of private eyes in contemporary
crime fiction who can be called immortal.
Tuesday January 6th at Noon - Jayne Ann Krentz signs Trust No One
For Grace Elland, finding a vodka bottle next to the lifeless body of her boss, motivational speaker Sprague Witherspoon, is a deliberately terrifying reminder of the horrors of her past. It’s no coincidence, either. Retreating to her hometown, she tries to put everything she’s learned about positive thinking to use, a plan that’s tested by the world’s worst blind date with venture-capitalist Julius Arkwright. She shares nothing with this man who lives to make money, but the intense ex-Marine does have some useful skills—and he’s ideal help when it becomes clear trouble has followed her home.
||Friday October 10th at Noon - Hank Phillippi Ryan signs Truth Be Told
Truth Be Told is part of the bestselling Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan series.
It begins with tragedy: a
middle-class family evicted from their suburban home. In digging up the
facts on this heartbreaking story—and on other foreclosures— reporter
Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the
surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep
their goal a secret. Turns out, there’s more than one way to rob a bank.
Boston police detective Jake Brogan has a liar on his hands. A man has
just confessed to the famous twenty-year-old Lilac Sunday killing, and
while Jake’s colleagues take him at his word, Jake is not so sure. But
he has personal reasons for hoping they’ve finally solved the cold case.
Preston & Child - Blue Labyrinth
A long-buried family secret resurfaces when one of Aloysius Pendergast's
most implacable enemies shows up on his doorstep as a murdered corpse.
The mystery has all the hallmarks of the perfect murder, save for an
enigmatic clue: a piece of turquoise lodged in the stomach of the
deceased. The gem leads Pendergast to an abandoned mine on the shore of
California's desolate Salton Sea, which in turn propels him on a journey
of discovery deep into his family's sinister past. But Pendergast
learns there is more at work than a ghastly episode of family history:
he is soon stalked by a subtle killer bent on vengeance over an ancient
transgression. In short order, Pendergast is caught in a wickedly clever
plot, which will leave him stricken in mind and body...and may well end
with his death.
Patricia Cornwell - Flesh And Blood
It's Dr. Kay Scarpetta's birthday, and she's about to head to Miami for a
vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices
seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids'
game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could
be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells
her there's been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music
teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries
from his car. No one has heard or seen a thing.In this 22nd Scarpetta
novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the unsettling
pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except
fragments of copper. The shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect
they cause instant death. The victims appear to have had nothing in
common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike
next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths
off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta investigates a
shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze.
And it is there that she comes face to face with shocking evidence that
implicates her techo genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta's own flesh and
Peter May - The Lewis Man
A Few Signed Copies Still Available
Peter May is the first author I’d ever met who came to a signing in a kilt. He’s a tall Scotsman, but his first series was set in China and his second was set in France. I nagged him (as did other folks) to write about Scotland, and he has. When he drops by I’ll be able to thank him.
The first in the “Lewis” trilogy is The Blackhouse, where we meet Fin Macleod, a detective inspector sent to his home island of Lewis in the outer Hebrides to investigate a murder that seems suspiciously like one that has happened in Edinburgh, where he’s living now. Still reeling from the death of his son, Fin isn’t sure he’s up to the task, especially since his memories of his time in Crobost. But it gets him out of the house and away from his wife, so he goes. The man who has been murdered was a bully back when Fin was in school, and he’s not entirely surprised Angel’s come to a bad end, but the more he investigates, the stranger things appear.
The second in the trilogy is The Lewis Man. Fin is now living on the island, rebuilding his parents’ home, when a body is discovered in the peat. At first it’s believed to be an ancient mummy, but closer examination reveals a tattoo of Elvis on the arm, so obviously the body’s been in there a much shorter time than originally believed. Fin becomes drawn into the investigation when it turns out that the dead body is related to his old flame’s father.
The third one in the series, The Chess Men, won’t be out until at least next year and I am wildly curious to see what happens there. This is a beautifully dark series, and the people are shaped by their culture and the unrelenting weather. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the wind itself is a character in the books, and Peter May’s writing makes me want to visit these harsh and unforgiving islands in the worst way. Despite the bleakness of the countryside and the resigned acceptance of so many people making what they can of their lives, there’s a fierce independence and resolute strength that just shines through, and I fiind that I truly care what happens to Fin and Marsaili and George and young Fionnlagh.
It’s interesting to note that, in The Blackhouse, the book is written in third person for modern events, but when seeing what happened in the past, we’re viewing it through young Fin’s eyes in the first person. In The Lewis Man, the same is true except our portal into the past is from Marsaili’s father’s point of view. It shouldn’t work, it should be choppy and disruptive, but Peter May is such a skilled storyteller that it flows beautifully and smoothly. And even when things are darkest – and they are, frequently – there’s that thread of strength and hope and determination, regardless of the time frame, that makes these books incredibly powerful.
I can’t wait to read The Chess Men. And I can’t help wondering if Peter will show up in a kilt. Probably not, because it is only a stock signing (so you will reserve your books, right?), but hey, I gotta have dreams, right?
||Agatha Christie - Appointment With Death
Amber’s project for 2014: My 52
Weeks of Agatha Christie. Here’s her explanation.
again Poirot is trying to take a vacation, this time to Jordan, when a
body crops up. In this case the murder victim, Mrs. Boynton, was a
villain in her own right, but Poirot never backs away from the truth and
sets out to find the solution. The tiny wrinkle here? He has
twenty-four hours to get his man before the suspects scatter in the
roast, definitely pot roast level for this installment. Very good but
not my favorite, I had a problem with a singular detail in the big
reveal (No, I can’t tell you. Spoilers. But if you send me a message, I
will tell you). As I read the forums and such, I seem to be alone in my
issue but that’s okay; no book is ever read and interpreted the same way
twice. In any case, this was a nice solid outing which showed Poirot’s
resolve to find justice for every victim (even for those who many feel
don’t deserve it), “The victim may be one of the good God’s saints - or,
on the contrary - a monster of infamy. It moves me not. The fact is the
same. A life-taken!” (pg. 125).
From the first page, the location of the murder - Petra, Jordan -
completely distracted me! Well, at least until I focused on the
mystery.... Why you ask? Having grown up during the 80’s, I watched
Harrison Ford play Indiana Jones in a bunch of movies. Now if you
possess certain deductive powers, read this blog regularly and have
knowledge of movie trivia then you might guess why Petra would be
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade was one of the first
movies I went and saw by myself that wasn’t G rated (Hey no laughing,
the bump to PG-13 was exciting! I got carded! A lot! Now I enjoy being
carded for a much different reason...). A portion of The Last Crusade
was filmed on location at The Rose City, aka Petra. From those few
first glimpses the city caught my imagination (my day dreams were really
good that year, foreign lands and being an archeologist was my goal
until age 14 when I wanted to be a writer) and I still think it is one
of the most beautiful man-made creations I have ever seen - and I have
only seen pictures! Can you imagine it’s beauty in real life?
Splice the location together with the snake on the cover of the
edition I was reading and for the first few chapters all I could think
about was The Last Crusade. Rather distracting, but
that really isn’t Christie’s fault. I had hoped a snake would be
featured in the narrative, but alas I was doomed to disappointment.
Digitalis, not snake venom, was used to do in our victim. Curiously
enough, snake venom is used only once in the Christie cannon, in Death In The Air
where Boomslang venom was administered to an unsuspecting victim. So I
couldn’t use the quote, “Snakes, why’d it have to be snakes?” in my blog
this week but there’s still hope I suppose (hehehe!).
Western archeologists, real and fictional, have flocked to Petra over
the last two hundred years, including Christie’s husband Max Mallowan.
Christie herself accompanied her husband on his digs throughout this
region, thus setting a mystery in Petra was rather natural (Christie is
said to have stayed in the caves she described in the mystery - if you
travel there now you must stay in a hotel loosely adjacent to the site,
*sigh*). Interestingly enough, Petra was built around the 6th century
BC, but remained virtually unknown to the west until 1812. Since then,
the Rose City provides scientists and historians with excellent examples
of ancient water engineering and management, mines, tombs (ordinary and
royal), churches, temples, and the sheer artistic beauty of the
rock-cut city. By a crazy random happenstance the legendary Dr. Jones
(father and son) travelled to Petra in 1938 in search of the Holy Grail,
the very same year Appointment was first published as a full
length novel! (but I suppose crazy links can be found almost anywhere
and that’s the reason why we have the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,
btw I am at 3)
So whether you are a fictional archeologist, mystery novelist or a tourist it seems Petra holds a bit of something for everyone!
“...Americans are disposed to be a friendly race. They have not the uneasy suspicion of the traveling Briton.” (pg. 29)
“That old woman ought to be murdered! Arsenic in her early morning tea would be my prescription.” (pg. 43)
Interesting Facts: Sadism and Agatha Christie, not two things you would normally put together, but in Appointment With Death
that changes. Our murder victim, Mrs. Boynton, enjoyed inflicting pain
on those around her and the investigators labeled her as a sadist. Mrs.
Boynton controlled her family through subtle threats, emotional
manipulation, and money. (I am not giving anything away here, you read
this and figure out she isn’t very nice pretty early on). She was a
former prison warden, a position she relished and never really gave up,
even when it meant treating her family like prisoners. She seems to have
a bit of the "Mommy Dearest" quality to her....
Haven’t heard of Mommy Dearest? Well depending on who we
believe - Joan Crawford (a legend of the silver screens during
Hollywood’s golden age) bears a striking resemblance to Mrs. Boynton.
Joan Crawford’s need for control and her alcoholism fueled her explosive
sadistic behavior which focused on her two eldest children. After
Joan’s death, Christina exposed the horrors of her childhood in the book
Mommie Dearest, where Christina alleges Joan tried to kill
her, beat her and had one very odd encounter with a wire hanger. While
her younger brother supports the claims made by Christina in her book,
her two youngest siblings categorically deny the events in the book took
place (it seems family tensions were strained even before Joan’s death
as she cut Christina and her brother out of her Will). Famous friends
and former employees fall on both sides of the fence in this particular
controversy. The book has gone in and out of print over the years and
was turned into a so-bad-its-good movie starring Faye Dunaway;
seriously, it is awful.
The legacy of Mommie Dearest the first
celebrity-child-tell-all, was that there were several similar books
published harpooning the memory of a celebrity/parent. Children of Bette
Davis and Bing Crosby penned similar tales to Mommie Dearest
alleging abuse at the hand of their famous parent. Bing Crosby’s eldest
son’s book seems to have created the most ripples, accusing Bing of
being physically and mentally abusive. Two of Bing’s sons quietly
supported his claims while the youngest vehemently denied the claims.
Christie is fortunately clear of basing her character Mrs. Boynton on
either star as the tell-alls were written years after this installment
(unlike using an event in Gene Tierney’s life as a basis for The Mirror Crack’d).
She does a great job of showing the insidiousness of the sadistic
behavior of Mrs. Boynton while not being gratuitous about it. While Mommie Dearest
was well after this installment Christie’s writing is comprehensive
enough we can recognize the sadistic qualities in a completely unrelated
novel - and that is nothing to sneeze at!
And for those of you who were worried I couldn't work a Star Trek
reference into this week's post - did you know Denise Crosby who played
"Tasha Yar" on Star Trek: The Next Generation is the
grand-daughter of Bing Crosby? Tasha Yar was chief of security, friends
with Data and died in the line of duty - and she is said to have
provided bedrock for the character of Kara Thrace or Starbuck on the new
version of Battlestar Galactica.
Cheating: Did you know Appointment was first published in a serialized format in 1937? The same year The Hobbit was
published by Tolkien! So with this knowledge, here is my answer on if I
cheated this week or not, the translation into the script created by
Tolkien is provided by Online Tengwar Transcriber.
Jasper Fforde - The Eyre Affair
Book Condition - Fine / Dust Jacket - Fine
London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2001. First
UK edition. Hardcover.
1st UK HC- One of only 2,200 copies
printed. One tiny dent to bottom of three pages, and one tiny dent to
the top of one page. Signed “JASPER.” in all caps and underlined on the
title page. Dust jacket in protective mylar cover.
B&W postcard “ChronoGuard Billboard” #78 of 100. Code: TEA 021 photo
by Jasper Fforde.
- B&W postcard “Home Cloning Kit” #53 of 200.
Code: TEA 017 photo by Jasper Fforde.
- Color postcard “Thursday with
car” hand-numbered #122 of 500. Code: TEA 027 photo by Jasper Fforde.
Label “Goliath Grand Piano” hand-numbered #71 of 100. Code: TNU 004,
printed on self adhesive paper by a color inkjet printer.
“Goliath Orange Jam” hand-numbered #76 of 100. Code: TNU 001, printed on
self adhesive paper by a color inkjet printer.
- One promotional book
mark laid in for the US release of The Eyre Affair on one side and Lost
in a Good Book on the other.
The Eyre Affair: UK trade paperback
reissue, 1st print, VG (the front cover is faintly scuffed but the
silver gilt on the dodo is still very shiny, the silver gilt around the
dodo on the spine is fine, one small chip to the lower left corner of
the spine, the left tail edge of the cover is slightly jammed, one tiny
dent to top of three pages slight shelf wear to edged of the cover).
Embossed letters on front cover, advert sticker present. Signed,
underlined and dated “JASPER 7.9.’85” on the title page.
-- Sold Only As
||Ronald Dahl - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Nobody outfoxes Fantastic Mr. Fox! Someone's been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and
they know the identity of the thief—it's Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working
alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and
skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family
surrounded. What they don't know is that they're not dealing with just
any fox—Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic
plan can save him now.
||Ronald Dahl - The Witches
This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most
dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so
much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get
rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories—but
nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand
High Witch herself!
Christopher Fowler - Nyctophobia
Newly-married architect Callie and her wealthy husband Mateo move to
Hyperion House, a grand old home in southern Spain. It's an eccentric
place built in front of a cliff: serene and beautiful, but eerily
symmetrical, and cunningly styled so that half the house is flooded with
light, and half – locked up and neglected – is shrouded in darkness.
Unemployed and feeling isolated in a foreign country, Callie determines
to research the history of the curious building.
But the past
is sometimes best left alone. Uncovering the folklore of the house's
strange history, Callie is drawn into darkness and delusion. As a
teenager Callie was afraid of the dark, and now with her adolescent
nyctophobia returning she becomes convinced there's someone in the
darkened rooms. Somewhere in the darkness lies the truth about Hyperion
House. But some doors should never be opened.
Jonathan Howard - The Brothers Cabal
Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable
vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult
conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan:
to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees
the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they
cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really
needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer. As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.
More Mysteries Coming This Fall!
We Can Order All Most Anything! For Example:
Kim Harrison - A Witch With No Name
Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the klutzy runner fleeing a bad
job. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and
soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted
her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and
family, and an old enemy has become something much more.
But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now. To
save her best friend Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to
keep the demonic ever-after and our own world from utter destruction at
the hands of fanatics, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.