Sunday, May 9, 2021

Out of the Shadows by Emily Midorikawa

Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice by Emily Midorikawa
Queen Victoria’s reign was an era of breathtaking social change, but it did little to create a platform for women to express themselves. Not so within the social sphere of the séance – a mysterious, lamp-lit world on both sides of the Atlantic, in which women who craved a public voice could hold their own.

Out of the Shadows tells the stories of the enterprising women whose supposedly clairvoyant gifts granted them fame, fortune, and, most important, influence, as they crossed rigid boundaries of gender and class as easily as they passed between the realms of the living and the dead. The Fox sisters inspired some of the era’s best-known political activists and set off a transatlantic séance craze. While in the throes of a trance, Emma Hardinge Britten delivered powerful speeches to crowds of thousands. Victoria Woodhull claimed guidance from the spirit world as she took on the millionaires of Wall Street before becoming America’s first female presidential candidate. And Georgina Weldon narrowly escaped the asylum before becoming a celebrity campaigner against archaic lunacy laws.

Drawing on diaries, letters, rarely seen memoirs and texts, Emily Midorikawa illuminates a radical history of female influence that has been confined to the dark until now.

“Midorikawa breathes life into these long-ago women in ways that make them feel contemporary despite their extraordinary circumstances and distance in time . . . By the book’s end, it no longer matters whether you believe these six remarkable spirit mediums were hoaxes or not; you’ll certainly believe in them. —BookPage (starred review)

Join Emily Midorikawa on 5/16 for the virtual launch reading at Brookline Booksmith

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Arrowood Series by Mick Finlay

If you have not already invested in this series, I suggest that you do so in order to catch up with all things Arrowood before the release of the latest ....

More for Mick Finlay on his blog >>> here

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Too Secret Too Long by Chapman Pincher

Chapman Pincher, the Cold War and the spy scandals which shocked the nation.

Chapman Pincher, the “lone wolf of Fleet Street”, is now regarded as the godfather of investigative journalism. During the Cold War era he became notorious as a relentless investigator of spies, uncovering the shocking extent of Soviet infiltration of the British Secret Services – and the collusion and incompetence at the heart of the British Establishment.

Pincher’s Their Trade is Treachery, published in 1981, became an instant classic. While helping to unmask the Cambridge five, the conclusion he drew was that there must be someone right at the heart of the Secret Services who allowed these men to go undetected. And he concluded that it could be none other than Roger Hollis, then head of MI5 (as did Peter Wright in his autobiography, Spy Catcher).

In this sequel he presents a compelling case against Hollis, with a torrent of new disclosures about the appalling extent to which the British secret services had been penetrated and manipulated by Soviet agents. Pincher builds evidence that Hollis, the man he calls ‘Spy of the Century’, must have colluded. Working with him was a woman, Moscow trained, of such dedication and courage that she qualifies to be regarded as the most successful female spy ever.

Too Secret Too Long paints a riveting picture of Cold War espionage, of corruption within the British Secret Service and the cover-ups by successive governments.

By My Sword Alone by David Black

The Battle of Glenshiel, 1719. Thirteen-year-old James Lindsay watches the action unfold as the Jacobite forces supported by his family are defeated. For the rebels, it is the beginning of the end. But for James, forever marked by the battle, it is truly just the beginning.

Later, forced to flee Scotland, James finds himself on the European mainland and eventually in the Roman palace of his own ‘king’. There, he experiences all kinds of adventure, from the romantic to the brutal. Chastened by time and experience, he gradually loses the naivety of youth and takes a more mercenary approach as the great events of history unfold.

Yet all the while, he is aware of developing philosophies and how they are extending, slowly, into the lives of men and women – and monarchs. On he battles, through the Age of Enlightenment – until he meets a woman who challenges everything …

By My Sword Alone is a striking blend of historical novel and psychological profile that immerses readers in the thought, politics and bloodshed of eighteenth-century Europe. It will please David Black’s many fans and likely win him many more.

Why Librarians Are Natural Born Detectives

Many a mystery novel featuring an amateur sleuth places a librarian in that role. With good reason—outside of law enforcement, no profession lends itself to the role of detective more readily.

Librarianship requires a combination of temperament and education that produces a professional with a powerful curiosity and the skill set to satisfy it, no matter how obscure the fact we seek. Though often written off as unassuming, cardigan-wearing bookworms, our jobs require traits more often associated with our hard-boiled colleagues in the investigation business.

read more from author M.E. Hilliard

Saturday, April 24, 2021

New Steve Cavanagh Book Announced!

If you haven't already discovered author Steve Cavanagh, where have you been. Visit his author website to discover some amazing titles in the Eddie Flynn series whilst awaiting the next offering!

Steve's website >>>> HERE!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Review: Untouchable by Michael J Martineck

Synopsis: FBI Special Agent Leah Capello knew the art world had a dark side, but kidnapping is a whole new hue. To save a young child she accepts the help of Joshua Fawls, who claims to be an art expert, seems a little psychic and is probably, more than likely, a delightfully skilled conman. Together they bend conventions, break rules, and learn that the artist Edgar Degas was right: Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Just like the perfect crime.

This is a tale about the murky underworld of black market art sales and the lengths that some may go to in order to gain the piece that they so desperately want.

Add an FBI agent with a dash of naive notoriety and a man who is a "... fine looking, erudite, scam artist, art maven with a smile that makes you gushy ..." - and you have a narrative that could quite easily have been written with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in mind.

Quite an entertaining caper!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Irish Detective Series by Scott Hunter

From the author's website:
Moran is a loner ... with a taste for Italian wine and quality scotch whisky; he is an appalling gardener and (like the author himself), the owner of hyperactive cocker spaniel named Archie.

Born and raised initially near Cork and later in Co. Kerry after his parents moved away during his teens, Moran was left in the care of the Hannigan family where he met and fell in love with Janice, the Hannigans’ eldest daughter.

They were engaged to be married, but Janice was tragically killed in a car bomb incident in the late 1970’s. The bomb had been meant for Moran ... he has never forgiven himself for Janice’ death, nor has he been able to settle into a relationship since.

Moving to England in the early nineteen-eighties, he joined the Thames Valley Police and rose through the ranks on merit. He has experienced various setbacks in his career .... he was almost killed in a car accident .... and also injured during the course of an investigation ....  also has an acute knack of being able to figure people out.

Black December
DCI Brendan Moran, world-weary veteran of 1970s Ireland, is recuperating from a near fatal car crash when a murder is reported at Charnford Abbey.

The abbot and his monks are strangely uncooperative, but when a visitor from the Vatican arrives and an ancient relic goes missing the truth behind Charnford's pact of silence threatens to expose not only the abbey's haunted secrets but also the spirits of Moran's own troubled past  . . .

Creatures of Dust
An unusual crime requires an unusual detective ... An undercover officer goes missing and the body of a young man is found mutilated in a shop doorway. Is there a connection? Returning to work after a short convalescence, DCI Brendan Moran's suspicions are aroused when a senior officer insists on freezing Moran out and handling the investigation himself.

A second murder convinces Moran that a serial killer is on the loose but with only a few days to prove his point the disgruntled DCI can't afford to waste time.

As temperatures hit the high twenties, tempers fray, and the investigation founders Moran finds himself coming back to the same question again and again: can he still trust his own judgement, or is he leading his team up a blind alley?

Death Walks Behind You
DCI Brendan Moran's last minute break in the West Country proves anything but restful as he becomes embroiled in the mysterious disappearance of an American tourist.

Does the village harbour some dark and dreadful secret? The brooding presence of the old manor house and the dysfunctional de Courcy family may hold the answer but Moran soon finds that the residents of Cernham have a rather unorthodox approach to the problem of dealing with outsiders.

As Moran is drawn deeper into Cernham's mysterious past a cold-blooded execution in Berkshire plunges deputising DI Charlie Pepper into a maelstrom of murder, double cross and treachery ...

A Crime for all Seasons
From the midwinter snowdrifts of an ancient Roman villa to a summer stakeout at an exclusive art gallery, join DCI Brendan Moran and his team for the first volume of criminally cunning short stories in which the world-weary yet engaging Irish detective reaffirms that there is indeed a crime for all seasons . . .

Silent as the Dead
A call from an old friend whose wife has vanished from their home in Co.Kerry prompts DCI Brendan Moran to return to his Irish roots. The Gardai have drawn a blank; can Moran succeed where they have failed?

Moran's investigation leads him to a loner known locally as the Islander, who reveals that the woman's disappearance is connected to a diehard paramilitary with plans to hit a high profile target in the UK.

Time is running out. Can Moran enlist the Islander's help, or does he have to face his deadliest foe alone?

Gone Too Soon
Moran is called to a burial in a local cemetery. But this is no ordinary interment; the body of a young woman, Michelle LaCroix, a rising star in the music world, is still warm, the grave unmarked. A recording reveals the reason for her suicide. Or does it?

Why would a young, successful singer take her own life? To unlock the answer, Moran must steer a course through his darkest investigation yet, as the clues lead to one shocking discovery after another . . .

The Enemy Inside
Whoever said 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer' was right. But maybe not this close ...

DCI Brendan Moran's morning is interrupted when a suicidal ex-soldier threatens to jump from a multi-storey car park ...

Moran soon regrets getting involved when an unexpected visitor turns up on his doorstep to confront him with what appears to be damning evidence of past misconduct.

Can the Irish Detective clear his name, or must he come clean and face the consequences? One thing seems certain: by the time the night is over, his reputation may not be the only casualty ...

When Stars Grow Dark
A fatal road traffic collision uncovers a bizarre murder when it transpires that an elderly passenger in one of the vehicles was dead before the accident. All indications point to the work of a serial killer - but with little forensic evidence, how can DCI Brendan Moran and his team run the killer to ground?

To add to Moran's problems, an unexpected discovery prompts the Irish Detective to undertake a dangerous and unscheduled journey to Rotterdam where he believes his former friend and MI5 agent, Samantha Grant, is being held. Can Moran succeed in his rescue mission whilst juggling the heavy demands of his most perplexing murder investigation to date? 

Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean, 1291-1352 by Mike Carr

The period from the fall of Acre until the end of the Crusade of Smyrna signified a dramatic shift in crusade impetus, as expeditions to liberate the Holy Land were superseded by those aimed at reducing the maritime power of the Turks in the Aegean. With this shift came a change in participation, as the members of the merchant republics of Venice and Genoa, together with the Frankish states in the Aegean, began slowly to replace the chivalry of western Europe as the most suitable leaders of a crusade. This resulted in a subtle alteration in how the papacy aimed to justify a crusade and encourage involvement from the merchant crusaders who were vital for its success.

Drawing on a wealth of previously unexplored sources, including those related to crusading and also those recording trade between Christians and Muslims in the eastern Mediterranean, this book analyses the changing Latin perceptions of the Greeks and Turks during the period, the nature of the military response to the threat posed by the Turks in the Aegean and the relationship between the papacy and the merchant crusaders. In its investigation of the complex interplay between mercantile objectives and crusading ideals, it sheds revealing insights into the complexities of crusading in the later Middle Ages.