From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: John H. Watson
Title: Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula : or, The adventure of the sanguinary count
Sherlock Holmes is an enduring character in my literary world. He is a tall, gaunt man, famous for stating “How often have I said to you (Watson) that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” In Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula or the Adventure of the Sanguinary Count by John H. Watson, M.D. as edited by Loren D. Estleman, Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of that most imfamous vampire, Count Dracula of Transylvania. The Count has decided to relocate his base of operations, little realizing the formidable opponent he will face upon England’s shores. Holmes solicits the assistance of his erstwhile and forever faithful companion, John Watson in fighting this villain. There are some hairy moments when the fate of these two men seems to hang in the balance.
From Ginny Pisciotta
Author: Diane Teitel Rubins
Title: Art masterpiece mysteries. Book 1. Spot the differences.
This is a spot the differences book with a twist. The pictures are all famous paintings. 25 great works of art are included such as The Dance Class by Edgar Degas, Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet, and Girls at the Piano by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Facts about each painting and its artist are included. Sharpen your observational skills while building your cultural I.Q. with this fun book.
From Eileen Effrat
Author: R.N. Morris
Title: A razor wrapped in silk : a St. Petersburg mystery
This is the third in Morris’s historical crime mysteries featuring Porfiry Petrovich, the detective from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Two murders at opposite end of Russia’s social stratum —-an orphaned child laborer and an aristocratic beauty—-test the deductive and intuitive skills of St. Petersburg’s premier detective. Are the two murders linked? Is this political provocation by revolutionaries? As the investigation proceeds, Petrovich’s life is threatened by those inside the Tsarist government and by those revolutionaries seeking social change. For an authentic portrayal of St. Petersburg in 1870,this is right on the mark. You can feel the political and social tensions of Tsarist Russia on the verge of revolution, as Morris describes the working conditions in factories and the luxurious living of the Russian nobility. Although each novel can stand alone, I would suggest beginning with A Gentle Axe, and then A Vengeful Longing to get a strong feel for the main character, Petrovich.
From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Visions of blood! Opium induced dreams of doom! Nineteenth century London is gripped by fear, as Jack the Ripper and the Torso Killer are leaving mutilated corpses throughout the city. Scotland Yard and police surgeon, Dr. Thomas Bond, are hunting these illusive killers. A mysterious Jesuit priest is also searching for the Torso Killer, but his theories about this monster are much darker and unnatural. Definitely not for the squeamish, this macabre suspense will haunt you.
From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Dakota Cassidy
Title: The accidental werewolf
I am all over the map in my reading tastes. I will read almost anything, bearing in mind one teacher’s admonition to read at least 50 pages before casting the work aside. I will sometimes return to a cast-aside work later in the month and/or year and find that it now captures my imagination. This rule of 50 pages is one I instituted with my father,also, since I am the one who carts home the books he reads. But all digressions aside, I recently started reading the Accidental series by Dakota Cassidy. The book which kicks off the series, Accidental werewolf, should be thankful for the 50 page rule. Somehow, even though I enjoy paranormal creatures, this book was slow to capture my full attention but once it did, I could not let go. After the first fifty pages, the story and the characters really caught and retained my attention. The main characters are Marty Andrews, Nina Blackman, and Wanda Schwartz. Marty Andrews is a Bobbie-Sue cosmetics consultant. Nina and Wanda become friends with Marty through her recruitment efforts.They each have their own story in the Accidental series of how they come to be paranormal and their individual road to acceptance because who really wants to outlive their friends and lovers or give up Oreos or survive on a liquid diet? Accidental werewolf is followed by Accidentally dead, Accidentally human, Accidentally demonic, Accidentally catty, Accidentally dead again and Accidentally genie. I am halfway through the series and cannot wait to find out how their friendship survives these paranormal changes.
From Eileen Effrat
Author: Brian Kilmeade
Title: George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution
George Washington was astute enough to realize he could not beat the British with manpower and arms. Following his experiences in the French & Indian Wars, Washington decided to set up a network of spies to provide timely information in anticipation of British military moves. This covert group of 6 agents displayed fearlessness and leadership. They risked their lives for a cause they believed in. The Culper Spy ring included-
*Robert Townsend—-Quaker merchant
*Austin Roe—-tavern keeper
*Caleb Brewster—-longshoreman who ferried between Long Island and Connecticut
*Abraham Woodhull—Long Island businessman with connections to Manhattan
*James Rivington—-Manhattan coffeehouse owner and print shop owner
*Agent 355—- a female socialite whose identity remains unknown.
Kilmeade, in his research, demonstrates how the Culper Ring was VERY instrumental in preventing Benedict Arnold from handing over West Point to the British. I think a comment from a British intelligence officier sums up the importance of the Culper Spy Ring best—-“Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!”.
From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Kathy Hogan Trocheck
Title: Every Crooked Nanny
I was tracking down a book for a patron and came across the words a Callahan Garrity novel. I can’t say exactly why this combination of names intrigued me so much but I put a reserve on the first in the series and could not put it down. Julia Callahan Garrity was an Atlanta police officer at one time but left the force and bought a housecleaning business. House Mouse was the name of the business and it included a van already emblazoned with the name House Mouse. Money was tight for Callahan Garrity and so the name stayed on the van even though she would have preferred a different appellation. Callahan Garrity’s sideline is investigative work and corralling her mother in addition to riding herd on her house mice. She has a love/hate relationship with her mother but the love portion wins out more often than not which is beneficial since they share one abode. I am on the third book of the series and am curious about what lies ahead for Callahan Garrity. Will she marry? Will the cancer recur? Will she rejoin the police force? Join me in reading about Callahan Garrity and her exploits in riding herd on her friends/employees and her investigative forays. This series, originally published under the name Kathy Hogan Trocheck, is being reissued under the author’s true name Mary Kay Andrews.