Besides visting us – top of any weekend’s To Do List, naturally! – there’s a bazillion events going on in Seattle. Mariners’ games, the Pioneer Square Fire Festival, Saturday evening’s Torchlight Parade, the Bellevue Arts Fair, the Capitol Hill Blockparty… whew! But be sure to allow time to come down and bug Adele and Fran on Saturday, and Adele on Sunday.
Birthday Sale - One Week Left!:
Due to POPULAR DEMAND, our Birthday Sale has been extended to run through the entire month of July! Until August 1st, all used hardcovers will be 25% off.
Rest In Peace
You undoubtely know that James Garner died last Saturday. A few years ago, we had a new autobiography by him displayed on the front counter. Someone came in and questioned why we had that book in a mystery bookshop. We looked at them as if they were from the other side of the Neutral Zone and replied “Rockford”.
“Ohhhhhhhh……” was the reply.
But “The Rockford Files” was so small a slice of his work. He was a fine Philip Marlowe in the film adaptation of Chandler’s The Little Sister (Bruce Lee’s first US movie appearance), Marlowe. He played the smitten if confused gangster King Marchand in the wonderful Victor Victoria. He played Wyatt Earp twice (Hour of the Gun (1967), and Sunset (1988). He starred in Support Your Local Sheriff and Support Your Local Gunfighter. He played a small town sheriff in the contemporary They Only Kill Their Masters. He played an LA cop in the adaptation of Wambaugh’s The Glitter Dome.
Even when he played a bad guy he was the good guy.
James Scott Bumgarner was born in Norman, OK, on April 7, 1928. He dropped out of school at 16 and joined the Merchant Marines. During the Korean War he earned two purple hearts.He began acting in the early 50s after the war and never really stopped.
He was married to Lois Fleishman Clarke for 57 years. He was known to be a very private man. He was 86 when he died on July 19th in LA.
Garner anchored whatever ‘show’ he was in without flash or ego and perhaps that’s why he was so likeable and durable and irreplaceable.
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 occassions.
Links of Interest:
For this Sunday’s New York Times’ By the Book, Dean Koontz Answers questions
The Cornish beaches where Lego keeps washing up- not a mystery but still pretty funny!
Finally, for fans of James Lee Burke:
Had a woman stop in a few days ago who has a travel website, Next Exit Travel. We somehow got onto the subject of Burke and she confessed that she’d recently gone to New Iberia, the settings for the Robicheaux series while in New Orleans for a conference. In fact, she went to the conference just so she could take a side trip east to Burke Country. She put up a report of that trip, along with photos, on the site. If you’d like to see it, go here.
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., Sept. 20, noon - Neil Low signs Theater of The Crime (Sept., Tigress tpo, $15.95). A fire at a historic Seattle theater leaves behind smoldering clues and bodies. Detectives Alan Stewart and Vera Deward once again find themselves in the midst of an international mystery. They’re frustrated by a troupe of Russian Émigrés, magicians, and dancers who may know more than they are willing to say. As the murders continue, the partners employ hard-knock detective techniques, psychic predictions, potions, and good old fashioned sleuthing to find that in the world of magic, sleight-of-hand and treachery can reach beyond the stage.
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.
Greg Rucka, Aug 2 [see Adele’s review below!]
Kat Richardson, Aug 9
Mary Daheim, Aug 14
Martin Limón, Aug 19
Chelsea Cain, Aug 20
Jayne Castle, Aug 26
Yasmine Galenorn, Oct 4
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Oct 10
Urban Waite, Oct 21
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
missile (n.) A "thing thrown or discharged as a weapon," is 1650s, from missile (adj.), 1610s, "capable of being thrown," chiefly in phrase missile weapon, from French missile and directly from Latin missilis "that may be thrown or hurled" (also, in plural, as a noun, "weapons that can be thrown, darts, javelins"), from missus "a throwing, hurling," past participle of mittere "to send" (see mission). Sense of "self-propelled rocket or bomb" is first recorded 1738; the modern remote guidance projectile so called from 1945. (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: Christie, Dickens and Cheese
Jean-Pierre Alaux & Noel Balen - Treachery In Bordeaux (Le French Books, TP, $12.95)
Where to begin with this review….The uncertainty does not stem from poor quality, just the opposite in fact. This is an excellent book, one which if you like wine, science or France, I think you will enjoy.
The thing is that the book appears at first glance to be your generic themed cozy….It is anything but! Camouflaged under the name The Winemaker Detective Series is a far more interesting and complicated detective novel. Within the cozy tradition, it would be placed at the Hazel Holt end of the scale - in other words there is nothing cutesy or cloying. Benjamin Cooker is a man passionate about his calling - he writes about wine, makes it, helps suss out problems other winemakers encounter and is just a general expert in his field. And, as with any man who has a passion, it creeps into all aspects of his life and this is where we find Benjamin Cooker at the beginning of the book, a man about to turn fifty who hires himself an assistant to do the heavy lifting (i.e. very long hours and literally to lift heavy things) so he can accomplish everything he needs to.
In this first book we are introduced to Benjamin, his wife, his assistant and various friends all of whom I am sure we will see repeatedly through the 22 book series. In this first installment, Benjamin and Virgile must figure out if the contamination of some wine in a friend’s cellars was due to mismanagement or sabotage.
Sounds pretty straightforward right? Well…..that is where my uncertainty in this review comes in. This first book really is an introduction to our principal characters, wine and France. It is simply wonderful and like a wine, subtle and complex (sorry couldn’t resist the reference). The authors take their time in getting to the heart of the mystery; the crumbs were there for the audience to put it together, but the authors didn’t spell out what was happening until about halfway through the book - when the book shifts from being about the people to the mystery. It is like driving on Highway 101 - it takes you a bit longer to get where you are going but the scenery is far more interesting than if you simply took the interstate. I stuck with it because Benjamin, his apprentice, the wine and his interests are a fascinating read. What was not obvious until the end of the book is what you thought was completely irrelevant details camouflaged the motive for the crime.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a new British cozy style of mystery to read. While wine is the main focus of the mystery you don’t need to know a bunch about it to read this book, nor is the theme over done; it is worked seamlessly into the mystery. Four books have been translated so far in this series and I am looking forward to reading them all!
BTW there is a very popular TV series in France based on these books!
Greg Rucka's second book in the Jad Bell series, Bravo (Mulholland Books hc, $26.00, signing Sat. Aug. 2 at noon) begins two days after the attack at the theme park that nearly cost him his ex-wife and his daughter – that’s in Alpha, the first Bell book. He's still recovering and is on the hunt for the principal organizer of the attack, ‘the Uzbek’. He and his team are tasked with bringing in the Uzbek but he's just the tip of the iceberg. Jad learns that another attack is going to be launched and he is off to find the mastermind of that attack know only as The Architect.
There are two beautiful women who feature into this hunt. One is in the U.S. to aid in dispatching this new attack, and the other he captures while chasing the Uzbek. Can he trust either one?
Bravo is a fast paced ride from beginning to end. If you haven't read Alpha (available now, Mulholland pb, $8.00), start with it before reading Bravo. This is a great book for lovers of a racing suspense story such as the likes of Lee Child, David Baldacci, and Vince Flynn. I loved it but then again, I've loved everything I have read of Greg Rucka's.
Come meet him next Saturday, he's a really GREAT guy.
When Yasmine Galenorn began the "Indigo Court" series, she planned for it to end in five volumes, and that fifth and final book, Night's End (Bantam, $7.99, signed copies available) completes the story nicely.
Cicely is now the Queen of Snow and Ice, counterpoint to her cousin Rhiannon, who is Queen of Rivers and Rushes, winter and summer balanced together. But both Queendoms are in peril while Myst is still on the prowl, trying to take over and turn both lands into her own personal hunting ground.
Cicely learns that there is a spy in her midst, and she must learn what it means to be Queen, the decisions and choices that must be made to save her people, even if it costs her friendship and love. In the final battle against Myst, Cicely will have to choose between what she holds most dear and what she has to do to protect those entrusted to her. And if she can't, Myst will surely win.
One of the great things about this series, and in fact about all of Yasmine Galenorn's writing, is that she has no problems turning things around, making hard choices and dealing out surprises. If you've been reading this series (and you have, haven't you?), then I don't want to say too much because things are wrapped up. There are losses along the way, and some of the people you've come to know and love - and loathe - will have things happen that are both sad and gratifying. I know, that's cryptic, but really, once you've read it, you'll see what I mean.
While she's left the door open to revisit this world later, the series winds up in ways that are wonderful and satisfying, and it's been a fun read. I suspect now that it's completed, I'll want to sit down and read the entire series through, beginning to end, just to embrace the entire saga. But then, that's the fun of a great series, right?
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
On This Date
July 26, 1764 – after the French and Indian War, during Pontiac’s Rebellion, four Delaware warriors enter a country schoolhouse and killed the schoolmaster and ten children
July 26, 1883 – Edwin Balmer, future journalist and novelist was born. Along with fellow Chicago Tribune reporter William MacHarg he writes a series of mystery/adventure stories that use psychology as an integral element of detection
July 26, 1902 – Albert Anastasia was born in Tropea, Italy. Can’t really say when Murder Inc was started but he was a feared Mob enforcer
July 26, 1922 – William Blake Crump was born in Tulsa. He’d later make his way to Hollywood and create some of the finest and funniest characters in crime and mystery movies as Blake Edwards
July 26, 1924 – James McCord, Jr – future Lieutenant Colnel in the Air Force Reserves, future FBI agent, future CIA agent, and future Watergate burglar – was born in Waurika, OK
July 26, 1928 – writer and director Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, NYC
July 26, 1940 – Mary Jo Kopechne was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA
July 26, 1943 – movie director Peter Hyams was born in NYC
July 26, 1945 – the divine and daring Helen Mirren was born in London as Helen Lydia Mironoff
July 26, 1959 – Kevin Spacey was born in West Orange, NJ
July 27, 1902 - birthday of Daniel Mainwaring (1902, Oakland) who wrote Build My Gallows High (published in 1946) which was adapted by Jacques Tourner’s sublime and arguably the best film noir Out of the Past in ’47
July 27, 1922 – Italian actor Adolfo Celi was born. Just over 40 years later, he’ll touch immortality as Emilio Largo, SPECTRE #2, in Thunderball
July 27, 1929 – ‘Jack Higgins’ was born, but the thriller master was named Harry Patterson at birth in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
July 27, 1940 – early Happy Birthday to Big Jim M over there in Spokane!
July 27, 1996 – Eric Robert Randolph sets off a homemade bomb at the Atlanta Summer Olympics
July 28, 1841- the body of Mary Rogers, ‘the Beautiful Cigar Girl’, is found floating in the Hudson River. The crime is a sensation and infatuates everyone, including Edgar Allan Poe. He believes he can solve the case and turns the case into the 3rd work of mystery fiction ever written, The Murder of Marie Roget
July 28, 1959 – North by Northwest premiered
July 28, 1902 – Kenneth Fearing was born in Oak Park, IL. The Big Clock – classic book, classic movie – would be published in 1946
July 28, 1941 – Bill Crider was born in Mexia, TX
July 29, 1852 – future Old West lawman and gunfighter Commodore Perry Owens was born in Hawkins County, TN
July 29, 1864 – Confederate spy Belle Boyd was arrested by Union troops
July 29, 1892 – the urbane and amusing William Powell was born in Pittsburgh
July 29, 1900 - Italian King Umberto was assassinated by an anachist
July 29, 1909 – pioneer African-American crime writer Chester Himes was born Jefferson City, MO
July 29, 1933 – Buck Barrow died of wounds received after being with his brother and Bonnie for only 4 months
July 29, 1941 – all-around wonderful actor David Warner was born in Manchester (yes, he’s usually playing a villain but he’s always wonderful)
July 29, 1976 – 1st ‘Son of Sam’ attack, and LA gangster Mickey Cohen died
July 29, 1984 – Claudio Stefanacci and Pia Gilda Rontini became the 13th and 14th victims of the Monster of Florence
July 30, 1933 – Edward Byrne Breitenberger was born. Using his stage name, Edd Byrnes, he played Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III on “77 Sunset Strip”, one of the first private eye TV series. Kookie was a hipster and unofficial PI who helped licensed investigators Roger Smith and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. The show debuted on Oct 10th, 1958
July 30, 1945 – L.A. Morse was born in Fort Wayne. He won the 1981 Edgar Best Paperback Original for The Old Dick
July 30 – a few from Hollywood: Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947, Tai, Austria), Juan Moreno y Hererara-Jimenez (aka Jean Reno, 1948, Casablanca), Ken Olin (1954, Chicago), Laurence Fishburne (1961, Augusta, GA), Vivica Fox (1964, South Bend, IN), Simon Baker (1969 Launceston, Australia), director Christopher Nolan (1970, London), Hilary Swank (1974, Bellingham, WA)
July 30, 1950 - Archer Mayor was born in Mout Kisco, NY
July 30, 1975 – Jimmy Hoffa is last seen – as far as anyone admits – in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, MI
July 31, 1837 – future psychopathic killer and guerilla leader William Quantrill was born in Louisville
July 31, 1904 – Davis Dresser was born in Chicago. He wrote under at least nine names, the most well known was Brett Halliday
July 31, 1930 – ‘The Shadow’ premiered as a radio drama
July 31 – from Hollywood: character actor Geoffrey Lewis (1935, San Diego), action actors Michael Biehn (1956, Anniston, AL) and Wesley Snipes (1962, Orlando), TV Superman Dean Cain (1966, Mount Clemens, MI)
July 31, 1952 - Faye Kellerman was born in St. Louis
July 31, 19XX – the delightful and talented Louise Ure was born
July 31, 1965 – J.K. Rowling was born in Yate, England
July 31, 1974 – Steampunk writer Cherie Priest was born in Florida (We still haven’t forgiven her completely for deserting us here in Seattle, but we love her books!)
July 31, 1977 – 8th and last of the Son of Sam shooting attacks
Aug 1, 1914 - William John Burley ("W.J." on the title page) was born in Cornwall
Aug 1, 1925 – Alan Geoffrey Yates, born on this day in London, will write HUNDREDS of ‘spicy’ paperback originals as Carter Brown
Aug 1, 1935 – US premiere of Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps
Aug 1, 1942 – Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini was born
Aug 1, 1947 – I, the Jury, the first Mike Hammer novel by Mickey Spillane, was published
Aug 1, 1953 – Edgar-winner Jan Burke was born in Houston
Aug 1, 1954 – Rear Window premiered
Aug 1, 1966 – Charles Whitman was shot dead after his sniper attack from the Tower at the University of Texas – he killed 16, including his wife and mother murdered before he got to the tower
And Have a Relaxing and Book-Filled Weekend!