Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review - J.J. Murphy's You Might As Well Die

Your Might As Well Die: Algonquin Round Table Mystery 2 by J.J. Murphy
Published by: Signet
Book provided by the author
Publication Date: December 6th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
Challenge: Mystery and Suspense 2011
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
Ernie MacGuffin is a truly bad artist. No one likes his art and no one much likes him. He decides to end it all and gives his suicide note to Dorothy Parker figuring she'll understand. Yet Dorothy feels that something is not quite right when she sees the scene of the crime on the Brooklyn Bridge. Something doesn't add up, and to top it off, New York seems to be going cuckoo, now they all love MacGuffin and his work! The paintings values have skyrocketed. Ernie's ex mistress decides to make a little extra for herself claiming that she's a medium and starts holding seances to talk to the deceased Ernie. Parker has Benchley benched for most of her investigation because she has a real seance skeptic to aid her, none other than Harry Houdini! He would give anyone good money to prove that there was contact with the other side. And who's Dorothy to turn up her noise at good money when her credit is no longer good at the local speakeasy.

Detective work is hard, detective work while sober is even harder. Racing around the city trying to figure out all the crosses and double crosses, Dorothy feels like she's in Harpo and Woollcott's famous game of croquet, being played anywhere and everywhere, football fields to rooftops to theatres! While solving the mystery of what truly is going on with MacGuffin is well and good, getting enough money to pay off her bar tap is the final solution.

Again JJ Murphy has delighted me beyond measure. Witty banter, shenanigans, antics, croquet and the sheer joy of a 1920s or 1930s screwball comedy. With the addition of Houdini as a stronger foil than Faulkner in the first installment, the book just hummed along. Also, addressing, even in a sideways manner, Dorothy's struggle with depression and her several attempts at suicide was a nice nod to the fact that Dorothy's life was much more than it appeared on the surface. What really made the book work for me though was two things I have a very strong interest in: art and spiritualism. The whole idea of an artists work being more valuable after their death has led, I am sure, to many artists thinking of pretending to die, I know, I've thought of it, but then, creating a new identity and all that rigmarole, too much effort, especially if the market is soft at the time or if they don't go up in value till a significant time after your "death."

The spiritualism is what also gripped me. I find it interesting that the next book will have Arthur Conan Doyle as the literary guest star, who was a huge proponent of spiritualism, and who in fact was good friends with Houdini, until they clashed over the idea of life after death. Houdini wanted to believe, desperately, but as a showman, he could see through all the hoaxes and tricks better than anyone else. The whole history of this time period, the Cottingly Fairies, the unexplainable versus the people obviously tapping at tables just enthralls me. I went to an exhibit a few years ago at the MET where they showed all these original pictures as "proof" of spirits... while the pictures where interesting, much like Houdini, I think I need some more solid proof. I don't need more proof though as to how much I love this series. It's going to be a long hard wait for that next book, much like Dorothy waiting for a drink.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tuesday Tomorrow

The Retribution by Val McDermid
Published by: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Val McDermid is a world-class crime writer whose books have sold millions worldwide. Now joining the Atlantic Monthly Press list for the first time, she is back with a chilling, high-velocity thriller featuring her immensely popular creations, clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill and detective Carol Jordan.

Tony Hill has had a good run. He and detective Carol Jordan have put away scores of dangerous criminals at a rate that colleagues envy. But there is one serial killer who has shaped and defined their careers, and whose evil surpasses all others: Jacko Vance, ex-celebrity and sociopath whose brilliance and utter lack of remorse have never left Tony’s mind in the ten years since his imprisonment. Now Jacko has escaped from prison—even more twisted and cunning than before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony and Carol for his years spent in prison.

Tony and Carol don’t know when Jacko will strike, or where. All they know is that Jacko will cause them to feel fear like they’ve never known. A chilling, utterly gripping tour de force, The Retribution is the ideal introduction or re-introduction to the world of Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. It is an unforgettable read."

How I've been missing Tony Hill! Not having Wire in the Blood anymore is painful, like the torture devised by one of Bradfield's sickest. At least I still have the books even if I don't have Robson Green...

Ghoul Interrupted by Victoria Laurie
Published by: Signet
Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"M.J. Holliday and her crew interrupt the frantic schedule of their reality TV show, Ghoul Getters, and hotfoot it to New Mexico, where a dreadful demon is waging tribal warfare. Same Whitefeather- M.J.'s spirit guide-urgently needs her help to stop this evil spirit from wiping out the descendants of his tribe. It doesn't take a psychic to predict that M.J.'s going to have a devil of a time making New Mexico a demon-free zone."

Yet another new book in the fun and frivolous Ghost Hunter series!

Knit One, Pearl One by Gil McNeil
Published by: Voice
Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 416 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"In this follow-up to Needles and Pearls, McNeil returns to Jo Mackenzie’s lively knitting store in Broadgate, England. Now a mother to three children (Archie, Jack, and toddler Pearl) with different fathers, Jo is pursuing a romancewith a local carpenter, Martin, but also carrying secrets: local superstar Grace is pregnant and Jo isn’t sure about her feelings for Martin. When Pearl’s father—dashing photographer Daniel—reappears, Jo allows herself and the kids to be whisked away on a vacation, and must decide what she really wants out of her relationships with each man. Readers curious about Jo’s antics since the last installment of the Beach Street series will find that McNeil hits the ground running. However, the ground merely focuses on the harried world of single parenthood and owning a business. The plot proceeds slowly, and little changes for Jo or the other characters. Readers who already have a relationship with the characters might not mind; new readers may feel underwhelmed. "

I've only recently picked up the first book in this series... but it looks like it might be a fun series for those of us who like to knit.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon
Published by: Braodway
Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 320 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Lady Fiona Carnarvon became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle - the setting of the hit series Downton Abbey - eight years ago. In that time she's become fascinated by the rich history of Highclere, and by the extraordinary people who lived there over the centuries.

One person particularly captured Fiona's imagination - Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.

Almina was the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. She was his only daughter and he doted on her. She married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at 19, with an enormous dowry.

At first, life at Highclere was a dizzying mix of sumptuous banquets for 500 and even the occasional royal visitor. Almina oversaw 80 members of staff - many of whom came from families who had worked at Highclere for generations.

But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever.

History intervened and Almina and the staff of Highclere were thrown into one of the most turbulent times of the last century. Almina was forced to draw on her deepest reserves of courage in order to ensure her family, the staff and the castle survived.

This is the remarkable story of a lost time. But Highclere remains and in this book, Fiona weaves Almina's journey and those of her family into the heritage and history of one of England's most exquisite Victorian castles."

Can't get enough Downton Abbey is what I say! Yeah Downton! Yeah Carnarvons! Yeah!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Give me your love, on this Christmas Day.
Give me your thoughts when the chimes are ringing.
Send me the happier along my way,
Deep in my soul let your words be singing.

Give me your wishes, as bells sound clear,
Charming the air with their golden measure.
Give me your hopes for the unborn year,
Fill up my heart with a secret treasure.

Give me the things that you long to say,
All of your tenderest dreams unfetter.
Give me your love, on this Christmas Day -
But, come across, please, when times get better.

Dorothy Parker, Christmas 1921,
from Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Review - J.J. Murphy's Hair of the Dog

Hair of the Dog: Algonquin Round Table Mystery by J.J. Murphy
Published by: Amazon
Publication Date: May 17th, 2011
Format: Kindle
Challenge: Mystery and Suspense 2011
Rating: ★★★
To Buy
Dorothy Parker just wants a quiet lunch, but the dining room at the Algonquin is anything but. There's a big brouhaha over some missing meat. With the owner steaming mad he points the finger at the likely suspects, the waiter, or Dorothy's dog. One being in the vicinity when the veal was purloined, the other being a dog. But in this day and age with liquor being illegal not slacking the thirst, there's more fluidity to crime and punishment. There's a give and a take. There's a barter system that might just be what's at work. This quick little story was not nearly enough to slack my thirst for this new series. Hair of the Dog was a quick little read that offered yet another glimpse into the bygone era Dorthy Parker lived in. Here instead of the publishing world we see more the lower classes and how, even in the darkest of times, there are ways to have a grand celebration, if you are willing to turn a blind eye.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review - J.J. Murphy's Murder Your Darlings

Murder Your Darlings: Algonquin Round Table Mystery by J.J. Murphy
Published by: Signet
Publication Date: January 4th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
Challenge: Mystery and Suspense 2011
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
"In all reverence I say Heaven bless the Who-dunit, the soothing balm on the wound, the cooling hand on the brow, the opiate of the people." - Dorthy Parker

Dorthy Parker may be at the center of a vicious circle of writers in New York, in fact, THE Vicious Circle... that still doesn't mean that any of them are responsible for the appearance of a corpse under their celebrated round table at the Algonquin. But, as any good writer knows, that doesn't eliminate them from the suspect pool. The fact that the corpse is a reviewer that one or more of them has wished dead doesn't help matters. Once the press gets a hold of the story and starts to sensationalize the scenario, things are libel to get out of hand. Dorthy and her fellow writer, Robert Benchley, decide to solve the case on their own without the cops, who seem to be questioning all the wrong people. Not to mention the cops seem obsessed with the young wannabe writer Billy Faulkner, who Dorothy just knows couldn't have done it. She must make sure that Billy is safe and not prime suspect number one! With her dog's lead in one hand, a cup of tea filled with anything but in the other, and a heart longing for the married Benchley, Dorothy will solve this crime if she has to go to every illegal gin joint, speakeasy and bad play that stands in her way.

The unwieldy cast coupled with the plethora of puns does take awhile to adjust to. But once you grasp who everyone is and what they're notorious for, the story fully captures you. I wouldn't say that it's one of those books you just start and plow through cover to cover, with it's wonderfully short chapters and it's witty dialogue, it's a book you can pick up and set down like a nice snack. You get a little bit of refreshment and go on with your day, mulling over the wonderful little world you've been reading about. It's a nice leisurely stroll to the conclusion, which, when reached, makes you wish that you had a few more hours to bask in the time period. I was left with a happy glow that I still look back on fondly and look forward to having again when the next book comes out. Perhaps this time a who's who and maybe a map would improve the reading experience. Or little bios of everyone... because this wonderful world is made that much more interesting when you know the history. Thanks Wikipedia!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tuesday Tomorrow

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Published by: Mira
Publication Date: December 20th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...."

The first in a new series by Maria V. Snyder, who has perviously had the succesful Magic Studies series, as well as the Glass series.

Arrested Development and Philosophy
Published by: Wiley
Publication Date: December 20th, 2011
Format: Paperback, 272 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A smart philosophical look at the cult hit television show, Arrested Development
Arrested Development earned six Emmy awards, a Golden Globe award, critical acclaim, and a loyal cult following—and then it was canceled. Fortunately, this book steps into the void left by the show's premature demise by exploring the fascinating philosophical issues at the heart of the quirky Bluths and their comic exploits. Whether it's reflecting on Gob's self-deception or digging into Tobias's double entendres, you'll watch your favorite scenes and episodes of the show in a whole new way.

Takes an entertaining look at the philosophical ideas and tensions in the show's plots and themes
Gives you new insights about the Bluth family and other characters: Is George Michael's crush on his cousin unnatural? Is it immoral for Lindsay to lie about stealing clothes to hide the fact that she has a job? Are the pictures really of bunkers or balls?
Lets you sound super-smart as you rattle off the names of great philosophers like Sartre and Aristotle to explain key characters and episodes of the show. Packed with thought-provoking insights, Arrested Development and Philosophy is essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about their late, lamented TV show. And it'll keep you entertained until the long-awaited Arrested Development movie finally comes out. (Whenever that is.)"

If this was written just to cash in on the news of the new series or movie or just to celebrate the awesomest of tv shows, who cares? It's Arrested Development!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Algonquin Who's Who: Not the Main Two

January 19 15, 1887-January 23, 1943

Drama critic for the New York Times and New York World and commentator for The New Yorker magazine, CBS radio star as the Town Crier, model for the character of Sheridan Whiteside in Kaufman and Hart’s "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and for the far less likable character Waldo Lydecker in the 1944 film Laura. He claimed to be the inspiration for Rex Stout's brilliant detective Nero Wolfe, but Stout, although he was friendly to Woollcott, said there was nothing to that idea.

November 23, 1888-September 28, 1964

An American comedian, musician, card player and film star. He was the second oldest of the Marx Brothers. His comic style was influenced by clown and pantomime traditions. He wore a curly reddish wig, and never spoke during performances (he blew a horn or whistled to communicate). Marx frequently used props such as a walking stick with a built-in bulb horn, and he played the harp in most of his films.

November 15, 1881-March 23, 1960

Columnist at the New York Tribune, the New York World, and the New York Evening Post; wrote the "Always in Good Humor" and "The Conning Tower" columns. Always known by his initials FPA and his wit. A prolific writer of light verse.

December 7, 1888-December 18, 1939

American journalist. He worked as a sportswriter, newspaper columnist, and editor in New York City for such papers and the New York Tribune and New York World. He founded the American Newspaper Guild, now known as The Newspaper Guild. He is best remembered for his writing on social issues and his championing of the underdog. He believed that journalists could help right wrongs, especially social ills.

December 13, 1890-December 21, 1980

Newspaperman turned playwright, director, producer, performer, and lyricist; co wrote plays with George S. Kaufman. Won Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1930 for the play The Green Pastures.

1887-September 18, 1934

Broadway press agent and  a freelance writer who worked for women's rights in New York City, USA, during the era before and after World War I and helped pass Nineteenth Amendment for women’s rights, married Heywood Broun. Hale's cause led her to fight for women to be able to legally preserve their maiden name after marriage. She challenged in the courts any government edict that would not recognize a married woman by the name she chose to use.

November 16, 1889-June 2, 1961

Playwright, New York Times drama editor, drama critic, producer, director, actor and humorist. In addition to comedies and political satire, he wrote several musicals, notably for the Marx Brothers. One play and one musical that he wrote won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama: You Can't Take It With You (1937, with Moss Hart), and Of Thee I Sing (1932, with Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin). He also won the Tony Award as a Director, for the musical Guys and Dolls. Wrote forty-five plays (twenty-six hits).

November 6, 1892-December 6, 1951

Founded The New Yorker with his wife, Jane Grant, which he edited from the magazine's inception in 1925 to his death. In World War I, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Eighteenth Engineers Railway Regiment. In France, he edited the regimental journal and went to Paris to work for the Stars and Stripes, serving from February 1918 to April 1919. On the Stars and Stripes, he met Alexander Woollcott, Cyrus Baldridge, Franklin Pierce Adams, and Jane Grant.

April 4, 1896-November 4, 1955

Vanity Fair drama editor, Life editor, author, playwright who won four Pulitzer Prizes. Won Oscar for writing The Best Years of Our Lives.

August 15, 1885-April 16, 1968

An American novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her novels were especially popular and included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big (1924), Show Boat (1926; made into the celebrated 1927 musical), and Giant (1952; made into the 1956 Hollywood movie). Cowrote plays with George S. Kaufman, including Dinner at Eight. Ferber and another member of the Round Table, Alexander Woollcott, were long-time enemies, their antipathy lasting until Woollcott's death in 1943. In July 1904, Edna Ferber encountered Harry Houdini in a drugstore on College Avenue. Ferber, just 19 years old, was the first female reporter for the Appleton Crescent. She took the occasion to interview the famous entertainer, and her account of the meeting was published in the Crescent on July 23, 1904.

Side note, people from Wisconsin rock, not that I'm biased or anything...

January 24, 1888-May 12th, 1949

Popular magazine cover illustrator, painter. From 1923 through 1937, McMein created all of McCall's covers. She also supplied work to McClure's, Liberty, Woman's Home Companion, Collier's, Photoplay, and other magazines. She created advertising graphics for such accounts as Palmolive soap and Lucky Strike cigarettes. General Mills's Marjorie C. Husted commissioned her to create the image of "Betty Crocker", a fictional housewife whose brand name was intended to be a seal of solid middle-class domestic values.

In each of J.J. Murphy's Algonquin Round Table Mysteries we have had a literary icon or popular culture icon of the day stop by to either help with the sleuthing, or be a suspect in the crime. Here's who's popped by so far... who knows which literary lion will be next?

September 25, 1897-July 6, 1962

An American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career. He is primarily known and acclaimed for his novels and short stories, many of which are set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, a setting Faulkner created based on Lafayette County, where he spent most of his childhood.

Faulkner is considered one of the most important writers of the Southern literature of the United States. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature.Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), both won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

In Murder Your Darlings:
William Faulkner visits New York City as an unknown writer to stumble upon a murder and the Vicious Circle, becoming a suspect, whom Dorothy just wants to protect. Interestingly, "Billy" did indeed visit New York City as an unknown writer in the early 1920s- although there is no reason to believe he met anyone from the Round Table at this time, or that he was a suspect in a murder. He finally met Dorothy and the other member of the Round Table in 1930 when the table was coming to an end and he was a great literary success... and Dottie did feel a need to mother him.

March 24, 1874-October 31, 1926

Born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss, a.k.a. Harry Weiss was a Hungarian-born American magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film producer noted for his sensational escape acts. He was also a skeptic who set out to expose frauds purporting to be supernatural phenomena which led to a falling out with Arthur Conan Doyle.

In You Might as Well Die: Houdini's show at the Hippodrome is reviewed by Dorothy for Vanity Fair, but she also lures Houdini into the mystery of Ernie MacGuffin's death with the promise to expose some fraudulent spiritualists. While it's unknown if they actually met, he did have a long run of shows opposite the Algonquin when Dorothy was living there, as for the spiritualists, he'd take ever chance he could to catch them in fraudulent activity.

May 22, 1859-July 7, 1930

A Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, historical novels and humours.

Following the death of his wife Louisa in 1906, the death of his son Kingsley just before the end of World War I,  Conan Doyle sank into depression. He found solace supporting spiritualism and its attempts to find proof of existence beyond the grave. Doyle's book The Coming of the Fairies (1921) shows he was apparently convinced of the veracity of the five Cottingley Fairies photographs (which decades later were exposed as a hoax). He reproduced them in the book, together with theories about the nature and existence of fairies and spirits.

Conan Doyle was friends for a time with Harry Houdini, the American magician who himself became a prominent opponent of the Spiritualist movement in the 1920s following the death of his beloved mother. Although Houdini insisted that Spiritualist mediums employed trickery (and consistently exposed them as frauds), Conan Doyle became convinced that Houdini himself possessed supernatural powers—a view expressed in Conan Doyle's The Edge of the Unknown. Houdini was apparently unable to convince Conan Doyle that his feats were simply illusions, leading to a bitter public falling out between the two.

In A Friendly Game of Murder:
We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Algonquin Who's Who

August 22, 1893-June 7, 1967

Short Bio:
Vanity Fair drama critic, New Yorker critic. Celebrated poet, short-story writer, playwright. Wrote Hollywood screenplays. Champion for social justice.

Longer Bio:
Dorothy Parker—one of the 20th century's most clever, caustic, witty writers—held her own as one of the few women at a table of (almost) equally smart and wisecracking men.

She married stockbroker Edwin Parker when she was in her early 20s. But he was sent immediately to Europe in World War I. By the time he came back, they had grown apart, and Dorothy's career had taken off. As a member of the Algonquin Round Table, she became famous as much for her biting remarks as for her brilliant writing.

A prolific poet and critic, Dorothy published more than 300 poems in the 1920s. The collection of her writing, The Portable Dorothy Parker, has never gone out of print.

In the 1920s and afterward, Dorothy Parker contributed to The New Yorker and Esquire, and even earned two Academy Award screenplay nominations. She took up pet political causes—and numerous pets—and eventually bequeathed her literary estate to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After his assassination, her estate passed to the NAACP. For her tombstone epitaph, she suggested “Excuse My Dust.”

September 15, 1889-November 21, 1945

Short Bio:Vanity Fair managing editor, Life drama editor, humorist and actor in short films.

Longer Bio:
Robert Charles Benchley was an American humorist best known for his work as a newspaper columnist and film actor. From his beginnings at the Harvard Lampoon while attending Harvard University, through his many years writing essays and articles for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and his acclaimed short films, Benchley's style of humor brought him respect and success during his life, from New York City and his peers at the Algonquin Round Table to contemporaries in the burgeoning film industry.

Benchley is best remembered for his contributions to The New Yorker, where his essays, whether topical or absurdist, influenced many modern humorists. He also made a name for himself in Hollywood, when his short film How to Sleep was a popular success and won Best Short Subject at the 1935 Academy Awards, and his many memorable appearances in films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent and a dramatic turn in Nice Girl?. His legacy includes written work and numerous short film appearances.

Where they ever really an item? Parker was unhappily married, while Benchley was married, whether unhappily or not is unknown. While J.J. Murphy hints at Parker's feelings for Benchley, and rumors have run for years that they had an affair that might have resulted in one of Parker's pregnancies, nothing can be said for sure. As J.J. says in the afterward of Murder Your Darlings: "Although much is known about these famous figures in the public eye, we can only speculate about some aspects of their private lives. Nevertheless, by all accounts, Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker did not have a romantic relationship, though their close friendship is legendary." So why have an unrequited love story? The feeling of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday? Because it's fiction and we love it! As Parker herself said: " I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tuesday Tomorrow

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
Published by: Knopf
Publication Date: December 13th, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 528 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
" “With Henning Mankell having written his last Wallander novel and Stieg Larsson no longer with us, I have had to make the decision on whom to confer the title of best current Nordic writer of crime fiction . . . Jo Nesbø wins.”
Two young women are found murdered in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches fever pitch: Could this be the work of a serial killer?

The crime scenes offer no coherent clues, the police investigation is stalled, and the one man who might be able to help doesn’t want to be found. Traumatized by his last case, Inspector Harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong’s opium dens. Yet when he is compelled, at last, to return to Norway—his father is dying—Harry’s buried instincts begin to take over. After a female MP is discovered brutally murdered, nothing can keep him from the investigation.

There is little to go on: a piece of rope, a scrap of wool, a bit of gravel, an unexpected connection between the victims. And Harry will soon come to understand that he is dealing with a psychopath for whom “insanity is a vital retreat,” someone who will put him to the test—in both his professional and personal lives—as never before.

Ruthlessly intelligent and suspenseful, The Leopard is Jo Nesbø’s most electrifying novel yet—absolutely gripping from first to last."

Need for some Scandinavian mystery? Look no further. My mom loves these, and she's a mystery guru.

Angel The End
Published by: IDW
Publication Date: December 13th, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 464 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"This is the end, beautiful friend! After years of fighting to protect his friends and the citizens of Los Angeles from the demonic hordes which populate this and other dimensions, Angel must say goodbye. Elaborate plans and selfless acts have come and gone, and now IDW presents the hardcover collection of Angel''s final three volumes: Immortality for Dummies, The Crown Prince Syndrom, and The Wolf, The Ram, and The Heart into one glorious collection, including the never-before-collected Angel Yearbook."

Kind of sad that this is the end of IDW's Angel. Yeah, I know Angel is going over to Dark Horse, but IDW did such a wonderful job with Angel season 6, while Dark Horse did such a shit job with Buffy season 8... at least the new Faith and Angel series is off to a good start, I don't want them destroying any more of my favorite shows!

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