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November 11, 2005 Edition
Raymond White’s got everything going for him: the right job, the right woman, the right life – but the wrong friends. Framed for murder, this modern day Count of Monte Cristo serves twenty years before escaping prison, assuming a new identity, and beginning a carefully planned program of revenge.
In this, his last adventure, Kinky Friedman the private investigator is depressed and considering suicide after the loss of his cat. Convincing him that he needs to have a vacation before he does anything rash, his friends pack him off to his Texas ranch where he begins to recover his trademark wit until he finds himself implicated in a series of murders in Manhattan. Back he goes, at police request, to submit to interviews and begin his own investigation. Will it be enough to keep him alive, sane, and out of prison?
Call it the DaVinci code for history buffs, this features fictional historian R Taylor who specializes in the life of Benjamin Franklin. His mentor has recently passed away, leaving a letter for R that contains a secret about Franklin that could change the way future generations think of him. But legions of Franklin fans will do what they can to keep the secret buried.
One of the themes of this masterful novel is the idea that characters know things without being told, which Ishiguro extends to readers. It is our job to put the pieces together: when Kathy remembers her childhood in an elite private school, we must read between the lines, interpreting “donations,” “guardians,” and “carers” for ourselves. And in the end, we are rewarded with a genteel, reserved horror story.
When Bailey Wiggins finds the murdered body of her editor at Buzz magazine, she is plunged into a mystery that may hit close to home. Mona’s reputation for ruling with an iron fist has earned her lots of enemies, including Bailey’s good friend Robby, a senior editor at the magazine. Bailey knows magazines have a cut-throat reputation, but this is ridiculous!
Taking the character of the absent Peter March from Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” Brooks bridges the gap between the life the idealistic clergyman describes in his letters to his family and the reality of the battlefields of the Civil War. For, as Peter says, he promised to write, but he didn’t promise the truth. He keeps from them a number of things, including the treatment freed slaves receive from the soldiers who fought to free them and his own reacquaintance with a former slave.
Sibling rivalry, mysterious illnesses and deaths, and a little romance mix it up in this novel of a small town trying to keep its secrets. When Annie returns to Middle River for a month after her mother’s death, all the things she hated about the small town while growing up resurface. The town seethes with gossip, exposing secrets some would rather have kept. And many people think Annie, a novelist, is there to write it all down, when in fact, she only wants to know more about her mother’s life and death.