Spies, Thrills, Chills, And Beach Reads Begin Summer Reading

(BUZZ MAGAZINE) - June kicks off a summer-long season of interesting and entertaining new books with a smorgasbord of choices.

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Spy novels have long captured our attention with their stories of betrayal, loyalty, intrigue, and international politics. A master of the craft, Matthew Quirk, in Red Warning, puts CIA Officer Sam Hudson in a race against time to discover a Russian deep-cover operative loose in the USA and a mole in the agency before they can launch an attack in Washington, D.C. His previous books include The Night Agent and Hour of the Assassin. Filming starts soon on a Netflix TV series based on The Night Agent.

Summer is also the season for popular “beach reads.” And the queen of this genre, Elin Hilderbrand hopes to repeat her past success of number one debuts on the New York Times bestseller list with Hotel Nantucket. Lizbet Keaton is hoping for a second act when she becomes general manager at the Hotel Nantucket, a blissful paradise with a celebrity chef restaurant and an idyllic wellness center. But all is not as it seems when the ghost of a chambermaid killed in the hotel in 1922 haunts the halls.

Julie Clark knows how to make one’s spine tingle and raise your goosebumps. She did that with her novel The Last Flight. Now she returns with The Lies I Tell, a riveting tale of two women, multiple identities, and one last con. The con artist has returned, and a woman she victimized wants revenge. But as the two women grow closer, things get strange. This is a twisted domestic thriller that dives deeply into the psyches and motivations of two women and their unwavering quest to seek justice for the past and rewrite the future.

Antiques, dark family secrets, and con artists all greet Laurie Sassalyn when she returns to her Maine hometown to settle her great aunt’s estate in Linda Holmes’ Flying Solo. At the center of it all is a wooden duck she finds in a cedar chest along with a love letter to her great aunt. The duck has no financial value, but when it disappears under suspicious circumstances, Laurie feels compelled to find out why, and why her aunt kept it all these years. In the end, she must reckon with her own past if she wants to fly solo.

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A new jazz age mystery series begins with Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman, a former actor and political consultant living in the mountains of Virginia. New York, 1924, and Vivian Kelly lives with her sister in a tenement and sews at a dress shop by day. But at night she escapes to The Nightingale, an underground dance hall where illegal liquor flows and the band plays hot. It’s a place where she feels at home, with no one asking questions, and a bartender slipping her a glass of free champagne. When she finds a body behind the club, danger comes calling.

Two new books recount important events in African American history in the United States. Dan Abrams, chief legal affairs correspondent for ABC News and author of several books examining key court trials, and his writing partner David Fisher have teamed up with 93-year-old civil rights attorney Fred D. Gray in Alabama v. King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Criminal Trial That Launched the Civil Rights Movement. Many of us have heard about the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and Rosa Parks. Ninety-three people were jailed for breaking the city’s anti-boycott ordinance. But prosecutors decided to make an example of just one, trying a 27-year-old minister named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fred Gray, then a 24-year-old attorney, represented Dr. King in court. The book is filled with Gray’s own recollection and Dr. King’s vivid courtroom testimony. The book is an inside story of the beginnings of the civil rights movement. Abrams appeared on “The View” in May to discuss this book.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer presents a sweeping and foundational work in African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals. Fischer draws on extensive research to show how enslaved Africans and their descendants brought with them linguistic skills, novel techniques of animal husbandry and farming, and generations-old ethical principles, helping to shape our country in its early years and producing a new, distinctly American culture.

One of America’s most accomplished and celebrated Black authors, Andrea Davis Pinckney, authors a children’s picture book, Because of You, John Lewis, an inspiring story of a friendship between Congressman Lewis and 10-year-old Tybre Faw. When Faw learns of Lewis’ harrowing and heroic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the fight for the right to vote, he is determined to meet him. His two grandmothers take him on a seven-hour bus ride to Selma where Faw joins Lewis for his annual march across the bridge. At Lewis’s funeral, Tybre Faw is invited to read the late congressman’s favorite poem.

Two other popular and esteemed children’s book authors, Ian Falconer and Matthew Cordell, bring us new characters in June. Falconer, famous as the author and illustrator of the Olivia series, offers two new characters, a couple of Dachshunds named Perry and Augie, in Two Dogs. Both desperately want to get outside and have fun, but when they do manage to open the back door, mischievous adventures begin. This witty and utterly heartwarming story—-Falconer’s first picture book since the Olivia series—features his exquisite and bold illustrations. Cordell has also created a pair of friends in Cornbread & Poppy, but they are about as different as friends can be. Can they put aside their differences and come together before the first snowfall? Cordell’s pair will remind readers of Frog and Toad as well as George and Martha.

George Rishel is the owner of The Sly Fox Bookstore, located on the West Side Square in Virden, which has been in business for 23 years. George can be reached at slyfox@royell.net or 217-965-3641. Find The Sly Fox on Facebook or at www.slyfoxbookstore.com.


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