Halloween! Crunchy leaves, dark windy and wet streets, spooky pumpkins, costumes, kids and candy – oh my!
Sunday there’s “trick or treating” for kids on the waterfront, then bring ‘em in to see Amber for a book er two.
Here’s good place for this link. On Wed. Nov 12, Fuminori Nakumura will be here to sign his third American release, Last Winter, We Parted. Adele is a HUGE fan of all three and says they’re all “CREEPY!” From the LA Times, a review that says “…it is dark and edgy, original and bold.” (It is not, we emphasise, for the squeamish.)
Rest In Peace
There isn’t much we can say about a man like Ben Bradlee that hasn’t been more eloquently stated elsewhere. And you might find it odd that we pay tribute to him now, here, in a space relegated to crime and mystery.
But we include him for his work managing the exposure of Nixon’s crimes and the stories that would group together to become known as the Watergate story. Back in the early days of hardboiled fiction, in addition to the private eyes and cops, there were lots of reporters and photographers as the heroes, and figures from the press were important characters, intrepidly investigating the high and low crimes in the world. It wasn’t really until Watergate that we once again got the image of investigative journalists as important sleuths in the world of true crime. And a large slice of that resurgeance is due to Mr. Bradlee’s influence.
Gift Certificates: They’re available in Whatever Denomination You Want; They Don’t Expire; You can Order Them by Phone, e-mail or through the Website, and we can Mail them directly to the Recipient if you’d like. Perfect for all sorts of occasIons.
Links of Interest:
A cold case from a firey crime: Northamtonshire 1930 ‘Blazing Car Murder: Nine Families Shortlisted
Forgive us if we’re repeating ourselves. We can’t recall if we’ve posted this in the past. If we have, it was long enough ago that it merits being included again: Chandler’s LA – the locations in the fiction
While we specialize in mystery and crime books, we can order virtually any new book that you might want, no matter what its topic.
New Signings (with authors who will be visiting the shop)
Sat, March 7, noon – C.S. Harris signs Who Buries the Dead (NAL hc, $24.95)
London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription King Charles, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim’s kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian’s powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends.
Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill to the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects who range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen. But as one brutal murder follows another, it is the connection between the victims and ruthless former army officer Sinclair, Lord Oliphant, which dramatically raises the stakes. Once, Oliphant nearly destroyed Sebastian in a horrific wartime act of carnage and betrayal. Now the vindictive former colonel might well pose a threat not only to Sebastian but to everything—and everyone—Sebastian holds most dear.
See the calendar of all currently-scheduled events on our website. The website calendar contains plot synopses. At the bottom of it is the updated, complete list of signed copies that we’ll be getting from other sources. Click Here.
John Connolly, Nov 10
Fuminori Nakamura, Nov 12
Maia Chance, Nov 15
Timothy Hallinan, Nov 18
F. Paul Wilson, Nov 19
Bernadette Pajer, Nov 29
Phillip Margolin, Dec 11
Jayne Ann Krentz, Jan 6
Tracy Weber & M.A. Lawson, Jan 10
Jeanne Matthews, Jan 14
Thomas Perry, Jan 16
Pamela Christie, Jan 17
Yasmine Galenorn, Jan 31
Burt Weissbourd, Jan 31 at 3:00pm
Glen Erik Hamilton, Mar 3
And there are always more on the way!
Remember, too, that while it is always fun to come in and meet the author in person, that isn’t always possible. So reserve a signed copy to be mailed to you or for you to pick up later. Those who reserve in advance get the copies in the best condition!
Our website has a Wish List capability. If folks want to know what you’d like for a given holiday or birthday, it is easy to point people to our website. Amber has put together a dandy blog post explaining it and how it works.
Word of the Week
creep (v.) Old English creopan "to creep" (class II strong verb; past tense creap, past participle cropen), from Proto-Germanic *kreupan (cognates: Old Frisian kriapa, Middle Dutch crupen, Old Norse krjupa "to creep"), perhaps from a Proto-Indo-European root *g(e)r- "crooked" [Watkins]. Related: Crept; creeping.
creep (n.) "a creeping motion," 1818, from creep (v.). Meaning "despicable person" is 1935, American English slang, perhaps from earlier sense of "sneak thief" (1914). Creeper "a gilded rascal" is recorded from c.1600, and the word also was used of certain classes of thieves, especially those who robbed customers in brothels. The creeps "a feeling of dread or revulsion" first attested 1849, in Dickens.
creepy (adj.) 1794, "characterized by creeping," from creep + -y (2). Meaning "having a creeping feeling in the flesh" is from 1831; that of producing such a feeling, the main modern sense, is from 1858. Creepy-crawly is from 1858. (thanks to etymonline.com)
You can browse our collectable and hard-to-find books, as well as signed copies from earlier author events, on Biblio.com. You do not have to place an order through them, especially if you’re a long-time customer and we have your ordering info. Just email us to order.
What We’ve Been Reading
Amber’s project for 2014: My 52 Weeks of Agatha Christie. Here’s her explanation.
This Week: Alice, Arsenic and Alliteration
Urban Waite’s Sometimes The Wolf (Morrow hc, $26.99, signed copies available) is the follow-up to Urban’s critically acclaimed debut, The Terror of Living (Hachette, $14.99, signed copies in soon, we promise!), but you don’t have to have read The Terror of Living first; Sometimes the Wolf stands on its own. Still, reading them in order is what I’d recommend!
Bobby Drake has lived under the shadow of his father, Patrick’s, conviction for smuggling drugs out of Canada. The fact that Bobby’s dad was sheriff, as Bobby himself is now, adds to the sting, and in a small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business, so there’s no hiding from his family’s history. Now, after twelve years, Patrick is out on parole, which means that Bobby has to confront his own feelings since his dad is going to stay with them – Bobby and his wife, Sheri – until Patrick can get his feet under him.
But to survive in prison, Patrick had to make some unpleasant alliances, and two of them are coming after him. In addition, FBI Agent Driscoll is certain that Patrick was involved in other crimes besides smuggling drugs, and Driscoll is determined to bust Patrick for those past deeds.
Bobby doesn’t know who to trust, and when his dad runs, everything falls apart, and Bobby has to figure out what is going on, and what he really believes.
I fell for the characters in The Terror of Living, and it’s great to be back with them in Sometimes the Wolf. Getting to know Patrick, to see more of Driscoll and Sheri, to meet the other new characters in this second book, well, it’s coming back to see old friends and meet the new people in their lives. Granted, some of these people are pretty unpleasant, but that’s what makes it interesting.
It’s a tribute to Urban Waite’s talent for storytelling that I can say that his writing style drives the English teacher in me crazy. He uses incomplete sentences with wild abandon, and the staccato style, the short, choppy phrases do, at times, pop me out of the story. But I love the characters he’s created and the events in their lives so much that I can shake it off and dive back in. And I can’t deny that Urban’s style does raise the tension level in the book to incredible heights without sacrificing imagery. If anything, he’s found a way to make the images more vivid.
And one of the reasons I love this taste of Cascade Noir is the fact that everyone, good guys and bad guys alike, are nuanced. Okay, one bad guy is just out-and-out nasty, but everyone else has moments of strength and weaknesses that keep them from being cariactures and land solidly in the realm of real people. It’s one of Urban Waite’s absolute strengths, and why I always look forward to reading his work, choppy sentences and all.
We have three Tumblr blogs, in addition to our regular shop blog:
Books and Decay, maintained by Amber – interesting photos with literary quotes to match
Hardboiled, maintained by JB – pulp covers, film noir and other images of crime and mystery, and
On This Date
Oct 25, 1879 – birth of “Fritz” Haarman, German serial killer known as both the ‘Vampire of Hanover’ and the ‘Butcher of Hanover’
Oct 25, 1886 – Leo G. Carroll was born. Mr. Waverly on “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and The Professor in North by Northwest
Oct 25, 1921 – Bat Masterson, former frontier lawman-turned sportswriter, died in NYC (Wyatt Earp outlived him by 8 years)
Oct 25, 1957 - button-man Albert ‘the Executioner’ Anastasia was himself rubbed out
Oct 26, 1881 – cops and bad guys shoot it out at the OK Corral
Oct 26, 1886 – Canadian scholar and Sherlockian specialist Vincent Starrett was born
Oct 26, 1912 – future movie director Don Siegel was born in Chicago
Oct 26, 1928 – Victorian mystery writer Ray Harrison was born in Lancashire
Oct 26, 1942 – the gruff but endearing Bob Hoskins was born in Suffolk
Oct 26, 1947 – future Angel, Jaclyn Smith was born in Houston
Oct 26, 1949 – birth of Robert William “Willie” Pickton, future British Columbian pig farmer and serial killer
Oct 26, 1960 – Italian crime writer Carlo Lucarelli was born
Oct 26, 1969 – Malaysian mystery writer Shamini Flint was born in Kuala Lampur
Oct 26, 1971 – Urban Fantasy writer Jim Butcher was born in Independence, MO
Oct 26, 2008 – Tony Hillerman died
Oct 27, 1890 – Golden Age mystery mistress Frances Crane was born in Lawrenceville, IL
Oct 27 – British mystery writer Elizabeth Lemarchand was born in Devonshire (1906) and American crime writer Michael Avallone was born in NYC (1924)
Oct 27, 1940 – the future ‘dapper don’, John Gotti, was born in da Bronx
Oct 27, 19-- - future mega-seller and all-around great dame J.A. Jance was born in Watertown, SD
Oct 27, 1939 - birthday of John Cleese, writer of A Fish Called Wanda (didn’t he do some TV as well at some point?), born in Somerset
Oct 27, 1975 – the darkest of days: Rex Stout died
Oct 27, 1977 – James M. Cain died
Oct 28, 1917 – the droll and amusing Jack Soo was born Goro Suzuki aboard a ship sailing toward Japan. Reared in Oakland, he and his family spent WWII in a Utah internment camp. We recognize him for “Barney Miller”. He was a singer signed to Motown (!) and was the first to record “For Once In My Life”. The recording was never released and Little Stevie Wonder’s later version became a hit
Oct 28, 1919 – Congress passed the Volstead Act over President Wilson’s veto, setting Prohibition is motion
Oct 28th is the birthday of Dennis Franz (1944, Maywood, IL), from ‘Hill Street Blues’ and ‘NYPD Blues’, and Julia Roberts (1967, Atlanta)
Oct 28 – a big day for mystery birthdays: Virginia Lanier (1930, Madison County, FL), Anne Perry (1938, Blackheath, London), Simon Brett (1945, Surrey) and Joe R. Lansdale (1951, Gladewater, TX)
Oct 28, 1953 – Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution” opens on a London stage
Oct 28, 2010 – James MacArthur died
Oct 29, 1886 – Gabrielle Margaret Vere Campbell was born on Hayling Island, Hampshire. She’s remembered for her mysteries based on historical crimes published under the name Joseph Shearing
Oct 29, 1901 – Presidential assassin Leon Czolgosz was executed less than two months after shooting William McKinley
Oct 29, 1905 – Frank “Bomp” Bompensiero, future syndicate hitman and LA family caporegime, was born in Milwaukie
Oct 29, 1906 – future Edgar-winner Fredric Brown was born in Cincinnati. His first mystery, The Fabulous Clipjoint, won the 1948 Best Novel. Also the birthdays of Desmond Bagley (1923 Kendal, Westmoreland) and Dominick Dunne (1925, Hartford, CT)
Oct 29, 1943 – film producer Don Simpson (Beverly Hills Cop and The Rock) was born in Seattle
Oct 29, 1948 – younger by one year and three days, future Angel Kate Jackson was born
Oct 29, 1964 – the ‘Star of India’ is stolen from the Museum of National History in NYC by a group of thieves lead by “Murph the Surf”
Oct 29, 1969 – ARPANET, the first computer-to-computer connection, goes live, setting the state for e-mails like this. What was the first message? “Watson, come quick, we’ve got SPAM!”
Oct 29, 1980 – actor Ben Foster was born in Boston
Oct 29, 2008 – London premiere of Quantum of Solace
Oct 30, 1891 – Col. Calvin Hooker Goddard was born in Baltimore. He laid the scientific foundations of forensic ballistics (and coined the term and set up the first ever lab to conduct examinations in NYC in1925. He was an expert witness after the St. Valentine’s Massacre
Oct 30, 1940 – the wonderful character actor Ed Lauter was born in Long Beach. Harry Hamlin (“LA Law”) was born in 1951, and a couple of other great character actors, Charles Martin Smith in Van Nuys in 1953 and, in 1957, Kevin Pollak was born in San Francisco
Oct 30, 1946 – Edgar-winner Teri White was born in Topeka
Oct 30, 1975 – first murder in the series that became known as The Yorkshire Ripper case
Oct 31, 1920 – TV producer Leonard Freeman was born. We have him to thank for “Hawaii 5-0”
Oct 31, 1922 – spook and propagandist master David Atlee Phillips was born in Fort Worth
Oct 31 – names of note in the mystery world: Dick Francis (1920, Tenby, Pembrokeshire), H.R.F. Keating (1926, Sussex), Parnell Hall (1944, Culver City, CA), Janet Dawson (1949), Don Winslow (1953, NYC) and Mari Jungstedt (1962, Stockholm)
Oct 31, 1926 – Houdini died
Oct 31, 1945 – Hitchcock’s Spellbound premiered
Oct 31, 1984 - former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated
And Have a Relaxing and Book-Filled Weekend!