Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, May 29, 2017


  • Larry Beinhart, How to Write a Mystery.  Nonfiction.  'drawing on advice and examples from a host of the best names in mystery writing -- from Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane to Scott Turow and Thomas Harris -- plus some of his own prime plots, Larry Beinhart introduces you to your most indispensable partners in crime:  Character, plot, and procedure..."  I have not read any of Beinhart's work but I do have some of his books buried somewhere.  Books on writing by genre authors are always fun to read.  This one is from 1996.
  • James P. Blaylock, The Aylesford Skull .  A Langdon St. Ives steampunk fantasy.  "It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives, brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer, is at home in Aylesford with his family.  A few miles to the north a steam launch has been taken by pirates above Egypt Bay, the crew murdered and pitched overboard.  In Aylesford itself a grave is opened and possibly robbed of the skull.  The suspected grave robber, the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, is an old nemesis of Langdon St. Ives.  When Dr. Narbondo returns to kidnap his four-year-old son Eddie and the vanishes into the night, St. Ives and his factotum Hasbro race into London in pursuit..."
  • Harlan Coben, Fool Me Once.  Thriller.  "Former special-ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work:  her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya's husband, Joe -- who was brutally murdered two weeks earlier.  the provocative question at the heart of the mystery:  Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to?  To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about ther husband -- and herself."
  • Andre Norton, Steel Magic.  YA fantasy.  "Sara, Greg, and Eric Lowry are exploring the woods near their uncle's Hudson Valley estate when they are magically transported to the land of Avalon.  there they meet Huon, Warden of the West.  When he tells them that the forces of darkness have stolen the three talismans that protect Avalon -- King Arthur's sword; Merlin's ring; and Huon's horn -- the children set off on a quest to find the three tokens of power.  For Avalon stands as a wall between the Dark and the mortal world.  and if Avalon falls, so does Earth..."  Norton's "Magic" are an interesting series of seven standalone fantasties (this was the first) with only the titles to link them.   I don't know if there is any relation between this book and Norton's 1951 novel Huon of the Horn.
  • Stephen Payne, Teen-Age Stories of the West.  Collection of fourteen western stories from various sources, 1927 to 1946.  From the introduction by Leo Margulies:  "...[O]ut of the marvelous well of his memories and the inspiration of the mountains come stories that are so real.  They are more than entertainment.  They are a little bit of the real story of our country...This volume contains the best of all the stories Steve Payne has written."
  • Robert B. Parker, Now & Then and School Days.  Spenser mysteries.  In the first, Spenser investigates a cheating wife, and "a couple of days later all hell breaks loose and three people are dead."  It turns out that the wife's former lover is the leader of a group that funds terrorists and, when Spenser starts stirring the hornet's nest, he decides to get to Spenser through Susan.  big mistake.  In the second, a Massachusetts boy is accused of mass murder, his socially prominent grandmother, who hires Spenser to investigate, is convinced of his innocence.  But Spenser isn't convinced of anything -- except that there's trouble ahead."   
  • R. L. Stine, editor, Fear.  YA anthology with "13 stories of suspense and horror" from Heather Graham, F. Paul Wilson, Walter Sorrells, James Rollins, and others.  This one was evidently a project from The International Thriller Writers. who donated 50% of the royalties to Reading Is Fundamental.
  • Minette Walters, The Devil's Feather.  Thriller.  'Foreign correspondent Connie Burns is hunting a British mercenary that she believes is responsible for the rape and murder of five women in Sierre Leone in 2002.  Two years later she finds him training Iraqi police in Baghdad.  Connie is determined to expose her crimes, but then she is kidnapped and released after three days of unspeakable torture.  Silently, she returns to London and attempts to isolate herself, but it soon becomes apparent that the horrors of the world and her own nightmarish past aren't so easy to escape."  Walters is always a great read.
  • Elizabeth Warren, This Fight is Our Fight:  The Battle to Save America's Middle Class.  What can I say about Senator Elizabeth Warren, the scrappy, outspoken, rational champion of working families and the middle class?  Just that she still is continuing to persist.  This one was a gift from our friends Beverly and her daughter Wynter.  Beverly is one of the country's premier close captioners and is based outside of D.C.  She has done captioning for President Obama and a host of political names, as well as for some of the leading scientific and professional societies throughout America and often captions for the Kennedy Center.  She recently captioned for Senator Warren and had this book signed for us.  Wynter is a genius with language, a seasoned traveler, and an aspiring writer.  They are both very special to us and this book is also very special to us -- not the least reason being that Kitty wants to be Elizabeth Warren when she grows up.

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