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.
Give us a hand again, please? Since we started advertising on Facebook, our numbers havedropped. If you see a post of ours on Facebook, would you “like” and “share” again, as you did in the past? It does make a difference to our numbers, and we’d love to mess with their algorithms! Thanks!
There’s a new Jess Walter story in recent July 11th issue of Harper’s Magazine. It is called “To the Corner”. We don’t know if there are any good crime in it but we’re confident it will be beautifully written and worth the price of admission.
No, we cannot alter history, as much as we’d like to. We have changed around the historical mystery display. Because there are so many mysteries set in and around and between and during the World Wars (and because Amber was itching to ‘mess with things’), we’ve now gathered those all in one part of the historical display – Airth, Todd, Furst, MacNeal, Benn, Kerr, Cantrell and many others, both series and one-offs. Check it out!
Here’s a collection of Ama – er um – SPECTRE articles from the last month. Calls for investigations, announcments of investigations, denoucement of extorsion, reactions to proposals, gambits and counter-moves… the usual from around the planet.
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:
Newly released files reveal the Soviets thought the members of the Cambridge Five spy ring were hopeless drunks.
NPR’s Crime and the City travels to the Shetland Islands and the books of Ann Cleaves
J. A. Jance on her writing career: Thirty-three Very Good Years
While we specialize in mystery and crime books, we can order virtually any new book that you might want, no matter what its topic.
See the calendar ofall 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.
Emma Campion (Candace Robb), July 12
Jacqueline Winspear, July 16
Warren C. Easley, July 19
J.A. Jance, July 22
Greg Rucka, Aug 2
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
Pillage: From late 14th C., "act of plundering" (especially in war), from Old French pilage (14th C.) "plunder," from pillier "to plunder, loot, ill-treat," possibly from Vulgar Latin *piliare "to plunder," probably from a figurative use of Latinpilare "to strip of hair," perhaps also meaning "to skin" (compare figurative extension of verbs pluck, fleece), from pilus "a hair". (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: Cyphers and Sherlock Holmes
Connie Archer -A Roux of Revenge (Berkley mm, $7.99)
There is something delicious about reading books set in a completely different season than the one you are presently in. Especially when written in your favorite time of year (Autumn) and you read it during your least favorite (Summer)! I have been watching this series for a while now and I kept meaning to get to one of Archer’s books, but never quite managed to find the time, but whenA Roux Of Revenge was released, I decided to make time. I am glad I did.
The thing is while I love reading lighter mysteries I am hesitant about culinary mysteries; I have been burned more than once by them. I have read many overly sweet ones who focus more on the food than the mystery itself. I also worried this book would be a bit too soupy - as it is billed as “A Soup Lover’s Mystery”. Fortunately this was not the case, the book is set in a restaurant specializing in soups, which are mentioned but never steal center stage from the main plot lines of the book. Similar to the way Cleo Coyle sets her mysteries in a coffee house, the coffee is in and around the scenes but not the focus. There is soup in and about many scenes in Archer’s book, people gotta eat you know, but it never is the sole focus.
In this installment, we find Lucky Jamieson entangled in several mysteries, the first of which is who was the man killed in the van? And is there any connection to the armored car robbery several years back? And who is the man stalking her waitress at the Spoonful? And last but not least what on earth is going on with Elias (her boyfriend) and his new partner at the clinic? Sounds like a lot of questions but Archer manages to answer them all in a timely and relevant manner!
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a nice pleasant read! I really enjoyed it and will be going back to read the first two books in the series;A Spoonful of Murder andA Broth Of Betrayal!
On a complete side note there is a small reference to Poirot on page 191 which tickled me to read!
Rennie Airth isn't a book-a-year writer, which is frustrating for us, his fans, but the trade-off is that, when one arrives, you know you're in for a wonderful read, and his latest book, The Reckoning (Viking hc, $26.95, August 18th release) is just as good as you know it will be.
The year is 1947, John Madden is retired from the Yard and he's quietly content being a farmer and sometimes looking after retired Chief Inspector Angus Sinclair's roses while Sinclair's visiting his sister in Scotland. Then a man named Oswald Gibson is murdered, and among his papers is a letter to Scotland Yard, asking how to find John Madden. Despite Madden's phenomenal memory, he has no recollection of Gibson, and further investigation leads Madden to believe that what's happening now stems from something that happened in the Great War. With Billy Styles taking the lead, Madden is drawn into a race to catch what may be the most ruthless executioner they've ever tracked down.
Full disclosure here, I figured out whodunnit partway through. But the joy ofRennie Airth's writing is that, in a way, it took pressure off me and I could relax and enjoy the seamlessness of his writing, the beautifully crafted story that is compelling and human and a total joy to read. The Reckoning had the enviable and almost impossible to fill position of being an old friend I'd met for the first time.
If you haven't read the John Madden series, you really do need to read them in order. Begin withRiver of Darkness (Penguin, $16.00) and continue on throughThe Blood-Dimmed Tide (Penguin, $16.00) and The Dead of Winter (Penguin, $16.00) so that when The Reckoning comes out in August, you'll be ready to spend quality time with wonderful and complex people. I can't recommend this series highly enough!
We have two 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 12, 1912 – Shelley Smith (born Nancy Hermione Courlander Bodington) was born in Richmond, Surrey
July 12, 1916 – Gil North – pen name for Geoffrey Horne – was born in Skipton
July 12, 1927 – birth of half of the team that wrote as Emma Lathen and R.B. Dominic, Mary J. Latsis was born in Forest Park, IL [we cannot find a birthdate for her writing partner, Martha Henissart]
July 12, 1933 – birthday of Brooklynite Donald E. Westlake, the late, great creator of Dortmunder and Parker, of comedic crime and serious heists
July 12, 1937 – actor, comedian and humanitarian Bill Cosby was born. First African-American to co-star in a network TV Show (‘I Spy’). And don’t forgetHickey and Boggs, either
July 12, 1979 – former mafia underboss Carmine Galante was gunned down at Joe & Mary’s Italian restaurant in Brooklyn
July 12, 1987 – the Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery, as thieves crack into safe deposit boxes and made off with an estimated £60 million
July 12, 2002 – “Monk” premiered
July 13, 1893 – Dorothy L. Sayers was born in Oxford. Lord Peter Wimsey was born in 1923 inWhose Body? (in case you need to win a trivia contest, the L stands for Leigh)
July 13 – actors Robert Forster (1941, Rochester, NY) and Harrison Ford (1942, Chicago)
July 13, 1951 - Orania Papazoglou was born in Bethel, CT and publishes, mostly, as Jane Haddam
July 13, 1973 –Cleopatra Jones premiered
July 14, 1798 – ‘The Sedition Act’ is passed into law, making it a federal crime to write, publish or make false or malicious statements about the US Government. And somehow that doesn’t conflict with the Bill of Rights
July 14, 1814 – what would become the Italian national police for both the military and civilian population, the Carabinieri, was founded as the original police force for the Kingdom of Sardinia by King Victor Emmanuel I of Savoy
July 14, 1854 – birth of future outlaw Dave Rudabaugh, born in Fulton County, IL. He is said to be the only figure in the Old West to have crossed paths with Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. He was the guy who taught Holliday how to handle a pistol and Doc taught him how to gamble
July 14, 1881 – Pat Garrett shot Billy the Kid
July 14, 1908 – Chaim Raphael was born in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire and will write a series about Oxford don Ambrose Usher under the pen name Jocelyn Davey
July 14, 1923 – Raymond Harold Sawkins was born in London. He would gain great success writing thrillers under the name Colin Forbes
July 14, 1966 – Hitchock’sTorn Curtain premiered in Boston
July 14, 2003 – someone commits treason by giving the name of an undercover CIA agent to a journalist who then publishes it: Valerie Plame outted by Robert Novak in his column
July 15, 1905 – gentleman thief and detective Arsene Lupin makes his first appearance, in the magazine ‘Je Sais Tout’. Maurice Leblanc would go on to write 21 novels or collections of short stories about Lupin
July 15- Hammond Innes, writer of adventure thrillers, was born in Horsham, England (1913), and contemporary writer of modern thrillers Clive Cussler (1931, Aurora, IL)
July 15, 1988 –Die Hard premiered (yipi-ki-yay)
July 16, 1907, Ruby Stevens was born in Brooklyn. As Barbara Stanwyck, she’d star in many mystery and crime films, most notablyDouble Indemnity, screenplay by Raymond Chandler
July 16, 1927 – Theodore Shackley, Jr. - better known as Ted Shackley, black ops chief in the 60s and 70s – was born in Florida
July 16, 1929 – born in Colorado, Sheri Tepper would go on to write science fiction, horror and mysteries – those under the names A.J. Orde and B.J. Oliphant
July 16, 1940 - William G. Tapply was born in Waltham, MA
July 16, 1948 –Key Largo, directed by John Huston and staring Bogart and Bacall, premiered
July 16, 1973 – Presidential assistant Alexander Butterfield, in answer to a question posed by Watergate Hearings Chief Minority Counsel Fred Thompson (yes, future actor and Senator), revealed that Nixon had a recording system in the Oval Office, which led to the fight over access to the tapes and Nixon’s resignation
July 16, 1976 – over the long Bastille Day weekend, a gang of thieves tunneled into the Société Générale bank in Nice and raided the safe deposit boxes to steal an estimated 60 million francs worth of money, securities and valuables
July 17, 1889 – one of the most prolific and bestselling mystery writers of all time, Erle Stanley Gardner, was born in Malden, MA. In fact, it is a great day for mystery writers, as Caroline Graham was born on this date in 1913 (Nuneaton, England) and jack-of-all-trades-writer Michael Gilbert was born in 1929 in Billinghay, Lincolnshire. He wrote novels of all sorts of crime and mystery stories. He was by day a London solicitor (Chandler was one of his clients) and would be named Grand Master of Mysteries by MWA in 1987
July 17, 1899 – James Cagney, one of the greatest of tough-guy actors, was born in NYC. Hellova hoofer, too
July 17, 1935 – Donald McNicol Sutherland was born, and in addition to a long and distinguished career in movies, he’s also given us his son, Kiefer William Fredrick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland
July 17, 1942 - Stephen Greenleaf was born in DC
July 17, 1959 – Hitchcock’s North by Northwest premiers
July 18, 1888 – early prolific thriller writer Sidney Horler was born in Essex
July 18, 1895 – George Barnes was born in Memphis. Doesn’t ring a bell? You know him as “Machine Gun Kelly”
July 18, 1901 - Shakespearean scholar Alfred Bennett Harbage - who wrote a series of tough mysteries in the 1940s under the name Thomas Kyd - was born in Philadelphia
July 18, 1937 – multi-talented Les Roberts was born in Chicago
July 18, 1967 – Mark Sinclair Vincent was born in NYC – we know him as Hollywood tough-guy Vin Diesel
July 18 –Happy Early Birthday to Carrie, who keeps us stocked with bookmarks and newsletters!
And Have a Relaxing and Book-Filled Weekend!