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

 

Sale!

December 2nd - 31st - Sale! Sale! Sale!

Through the month of December all of our used & collectable hardcovers are on 10% off!

Had your eye on Dick Francis’s Odds Against, Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before The War or Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair? Well buy a great gift and save! The majority of our collectable books are listed on Biblio.com (search box is there on your right), for our regular used hardcovers stop by the shop and browse!


New Author Signings

Saturday January 17th at Noon – Pamela Christie signs Death And The Cyprian Society

3rd in the Regency series with courtesan Arabella Beaumont. She has plans to turn a hotel into a social club for her fellow courtesans. To make it happen she requires a friend to repay a sizable loan made some time ago. Should not be a problem except that this friend is being blackmailed by the footman with whom she’s been dallying. Arabella steps in to end the blackmail and thereby get her money, but things turn ugly.

Saturday January 24th at Noon - Tessa Arlen signs Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman

Debut by a local author set in 1912 London. The class system is rigid in Edwardian England but Lady Monfort needs the help of her trusted housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson. The Countess’s annual costume extravaganza is in danger due to scandal and crime. Her nephew – an embarrassment to the family, to be sure - has been murdered and suspicion has fallen on her own son. Preposterous! If the social event of the season is to be rescued, the two women must cross those sharp class lines and find the culprit.

Signed Copies Coming Soon!

Gigi Pandian - The Accidental Alchemist

Gigi Pandian will be dropping by on January 31st at some time to sign The Accidental Alchemist.
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!

Michael Sears - Long Way Down

He approached me in the street—bone-thin, gray-bearded, holding out a small envelope. “The man said you’d give me five bucks for it.” Inside was a one-word message: RUN.

Two years in a federal prison has changed Jason Stafford, is still changing him, but one thing it has taught him as a financial investigator is how to detect a lie. He doesn’t think Philip Haley is lying. An engineer on the verge of a biofuel breakthrough, Haley has been indicted for insider trading on his own company, and Stafford believes him when he says he’s been set up. Haley does indeed have enemies. He is not a nice man. Doesn’t make him a criminal.

It does make him dangerous to be around, though. The deeper Stafford investigates, the more secrets he starts to uncover, secrets people would kill for. And that’s exactly what happens. Soon, it is Stafford himself who is under attack and, worse, his family—his fiancée, his young son—and he is a fugitive, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of both the killers and the law.

What We've Been Reading

Stuart Neville - The Final Silence

Fran Recommends:

Stuart Neville does noir in a great way. His latest novel, The Final Silence is, to me, the epitome of the true heart that drives a bleak noir story. Jack Lennon is damaged, and in some ways may not recover, but he’s still got some fight left in him and his guilt will drive him on.

You see, Jack is contacted by an old flame who’s found a terrifying scrapbook in her late uncle’s house, and Rea wants Jack to find out if what’s pasted in there is real. If it is, it could mean the end to her father’s career, but Rea doesn’t care. She wants justice. But when Jack arrives to look at the book, it’s vanished. He’s not sure he believes Rea, and he’s got his own problems – a growing addiction to pain killers and complete denial about his ongoing PTSD, along with the fact that he’s at odds with his daughter’s other side of the family.

But then Rea is murdered, and Jack is the last person (aside from the killer) to see her alive. And he makes an excellent suspect. But to clear his name, he’s going to have to stay clear of the police force from which he’s been suspended, and he’s going to have to face his own demons.

I’ve loved Stuart Neville’s writing from the very beginning, and The Final Silence is just as breathtakingly gritty and powerfully dark as anything he’s ever written. It’s certainly not a book for the squeamish, and if you’re looking for a warm and cuddly protagonist, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But if you love a hard-hitting story about doing the right thing, about families and their secrets, about figuring out that some battles aren’t obvious and are often the hardest to win, then The Final Silence – or anything by Stuart Neville – should be right up your alley.

Agatha Christie - Mrs. McGinty’s Dead

Amber’s project for 2014: My 52 Weeks of Agatha Christie. Here’s her explanation.

First Published: Serialized 1st in the Chicago Tribune in October 1951
Series: Poirot
Summary: Superintendent Spence is a worried man. When Mrs. McGinty was murdered, he followed all the leads, evidence and suspects he could and they all led back to one man, James Bentley. While a jury found Bentley guilty, Superintendent Spence is not so sure...So he calls upon his old friend Poirot to look into the matter, since he looks at things from a different angle and may be able to find the real killer. And no pressure here, but justice moves swiftly and Poirot has about a week to find a killer and keep Bentley from swinging!
Review: I cannot say what a breath of fresh air this particular novel was after reading two disappointing novels in succession! What I didn’t know about this installment before I started it, is the fact it is essentially a Marple style mystery. A murder set against the backdrop of a quaint cozy village with a definite pecking order and members who are very interested in being well thought of by the other members (and the occasional Belgian) with Poirot wandering about the village to converse with the inhabitants in order to ferret out our murderer. One interesting piece of trivia pointed out to me in John Curran’s book, Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, is that this is only the second time Poirot ventures out among the working-class people to investigate a rather unglamorous murder, which perhaps is why I enjoyed it as well as I did, I can see myself among the villagers, shop girls and the general working class far more readily than among the estate owners, gentry or the titled. Because isn't that the thing about great stories? You imagine yourself standing at the sleeve of the detective helping him solve the case? But I digress...
Another pleasing feature of this mystery was the addition of Ariadne Oliver which allowed the book to take a slight comedic turn, especially upon their first meeting where she accidentally pelts him with an apple core! I really enjoyed reading this particular mystery! It was exactly what I needed to read after wading through the last 532 pages contained in the last two books. It reminded me of eating a piece of cake you’ve saved until you finished all the chores on your self appointed task list; it tastes that much better with the feeling of satisfied accomplishment.
As the vast majority of Christie fans know, Ariadne Oliver contains quite a dash of Christie’s own personality and foibles. Christie often used Mrs. Oliver to voice vexing problems she faced as a world famous writer, allowing Christie to poke good naturedly at her fans and herself. While it is very funny to read, I do wonder how exasperated Christie became over time to actually incorporate veiled references to these issues into her prose. The one I found most entertaining concerned her gaffe in Death in the Clouds, “...that’s where I made a blowpipe a foot long and it's really six feet. Ridiculous that a blowpipe should be that size, but someone wrote from a museum to tell me so.” (pg. 124). It was not the only error she made in her books, but evidently it seems to be the one she’s been repeatedly lampooned over. What’s funny, even knowing the error it doesn’t really affect my enjoyment of the book, since in the end Christie did get the method of murder correct (*spoilers* the blow pipe was a red herring, so it didn’t really need to be the real thing, just enough to obscure the true murder method).
Christie is not the first nor the last author who will make a factual gaffe while writing a book. Shocking, I know! J.K. Rowling on the twenty-seventh page of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone makes a tiny blunder, “The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry’s. It winked.”. (This is kinda of like Where’s Waldo fiction style...) Spot the problem? Snakes don’t have eyelids, so they really can’t wink properly. I suppose one could argue that since Harry is a Parselmouth with an affinity for snakes he could perceive when a snake was trying to wink...But science may find this a bit of a stretch. In either case it still does not lessen my enjoyment of the story, it just gives me a “Fun Fact” to recite when we are watching the movie!
Now if you want to see a really virulent fact checking, look up Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, there are web pages full of details which the book fudged up. The problem is Brown lost all of his wiggle room when he claimed (pretty much on the first page) every detail in his book was factual. It is impressive how he’s followed this party line, repeating it like a mantra in nearly every interview ever since. Which is either a clever marketing strategy, since hey it’s eleven years later and someone is referencing it (and even better - for Brown, certainly! - people are still buying it). Or alternatively he realized he’d messed up his fact checking and didn’t want to lose face by admitting it when he was confronted by people with advanced degrees waving copies covered in red ink pointing out his mistakes. Despite all the controversy out there, there are large swaths of people who enjoyed the book, mistakes and all.
Simple blunders can be fixed in subsequent editions, things like spelling, punctuation or minor inconsistancies - J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Orson Scott Card and plenty of others have. However there are times when a bungled fact is woven so tightly into the narrative fabric that correcting it is impractical. But perhaps it is their imperfections which make them perfect - these errant details give the haters something to hate, experts something to overlook, fans something to smile indulgently over and fandoms details to debate endlessly.
But mistakes in first editions will alway plague an author, because a reader will always believe they are the first to spot an error...but there can only be one and usually you can bet after ten years, you are not the first.
Cheating: Holding on by the skin of my teeth! Only a week and a half to go! Now to think of what New Years Resolution I want to take up for next year....... hhhmmmm...... Tricky, very tricky!
My 52 Weeks With Christie: A.Miner©2014 

Holiday Mysteries!

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Collectible Corner - On Sale!

Ellis Peters - The Confession Of Brother Haluim

On Sale! 10% Off! - Save $10

Book Condition - Very Good / DJ Condition - Very Good

New York: Mysterious Press, 1988. First American edition. Hard Cover. 
Signed on title page. Slight shelf wear to bottom edges of book and jacket. 15th in the Brother Cadfael series. In mylar dj protector.

Ellis Peters - The Potter's Field

On Sale! 10% Off! - Save $10

Book Condition - Very Good / DJ Condition - Very Good

New York: Mysterious Press, 1990. First American edition. Hard Cover.
Signed on title page. minor shelf wear, otherwise clean, bright and square. 17th in the Brother Cadfael series. In mylar dj protector.

YA Mysteries!

 

Josh Lieb - Ratscalibur

When Joey is bitten by an elderly rat, he goes from aspiring seventh-grader to three-inch tall rodent.

At first, Joey is amazed by his new rat self. The city streets call to him at night. Smells that would have repelled him before are suddenly tantalizing. (A chicken bone? Yes! A squashed cockroach? Like perfume!) And wow, the freedom! But when a bout of hunger leads Joey to pull the spork from the scone, he finds himself at the center of a longtime rat prophecy.

Joey has unwittingly unlocked the sword Ratscalibur; and now, it is up to him to protect his new rat friends from the evil crows who seek to destroy their peaceful kingdom. But what does an eleven-year-old know about actual swordplay? And what happens when Joey no longer wants to be a rat?

 

D.D. Everest - Archie Greene And The Magician's Secret

On his twelfth birthday, Archie Greene receives a mysterious package containing an ancient book in a language he doesn't recognize. The gift leads him to a family he didn't know he had and a world he never knew existed.

With the help of his cousins, Bramble and Thistle, Archie tries to unravel the mystery behind his book, but he begins to realize that his gift is something more powerful than he could have imagined. And the only thing more perilous than its contents is being its owner. The book waited four hundred years for Archie Greene. Now Archie must discover why.

Coming Soon in Historical!

Rhys Bowen - Malice At The Palace

Lady Georgiana Rannoch won’t deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn’t one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.
While my beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen—especially one that includes lodging. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace.
My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George’s libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn’t so simple. George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when I search the Palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George’s mistresses.
Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds—and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.

Alan Bradley - As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust

Banished!
This is how twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce laments her predicament, when her father and Aunt Felicity ship her off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet. Flavia being Flavia, a budding chemist and sleuth, that gift is a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Now, while attending classes, making friends (and enemies), and assessing the school’s stern headmistress and faculty (one of whom is an acquitted murderess), Flavia is on the hunt for the victim’s identity and time of death, as well as suspects, motives, and means. Rumors swirl that Miss Bodycote’s is haunted, and that several girls have disappeared without a trace. When it comes to solving multiple mysteries, Flavia is up to the task—but her true destiny has yet to be revealed.

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More To Come in Historical!

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Gaiman & McKean - Dust Covers

An amazing collection of dark and arresting imagery, THE SANDMAN DUST COVERS: THE COLLECTED SANDMAN COVERS presents the haunting artwork of this critically acclaimed and award-winning epic. Through these dynamic pieces, Dave McKean reflected the mesmerizing mythology, adult nature, and imaginative storytelling that made the story of Morpheus, the King of Dreams, such a groundbreaking series. Featuring an exclusive THE SANDMAN tale, this collection also includes insightful and revealing cover commentaries by author Neil Gaiman.