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Old 08-26-2010, 10:42 AM   #1
Grand Sorcerer
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September 2010 Mobile Read Book Club Vote

Help up choose a book as the September 2010 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. We will start the discussion thread for this book on September 20th. Select from the following books.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Harry T says: "The Moonstone", published in 1868, is widely regarded as the precursor of the modern mystery and suspense novels. T. S. Eliot called it "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels"...A fabulous story. Both a classic and fun to read...

Killing Floor by Lee Child
Amazon Review
When Jack Reacher suddenly decides to ask a Greyhound bus driver to let him off near the town of Margrave, Georgia, he thinks it's because his brother once mentioned that the famed blues guitarist Blind Blake died there. But it doesn't take long for the footloose ex-military policeman to discover that there are plenty of strange--and very dangerous--things going on behind Margrave's manicured lawns and clean streets that demand his attention. This first thriller by a former television writer features some of the best-written scenes of action in recent memory, a crash course in currency and counterfeiting, and a hero who is just begging to be called on for an encore.

Boston Blackie by Jack Boyle
I always enjoyed the radio series about the jewel thief turned detective, and listening to his run-ins with the police who are never fully persuaded his reform is genuine. This book contains 28 chapters, and not having yet read it, I don't know if they're stand-alone short stories or an actual novel. Wikipedia says "Boyle's stories were collected in the book Boston Blackie (1919), which was reprinted in 1979 by Gregg Press," so I am assuming this 2008 Pulpville Press reprint is actually a collection of short stories. At any rate, it should be fun. Boston Blackie was one of the greats.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Horning
Just in case anyone isn't familiar with it, Raffles is a "gentleman thief", who commits daring robberies (mainly jewel robberies) in upper-class Victorian society, while at the same time maintaining his outward persona as a respectable gentleman and England cricketer. He is accompanied in his adventures by his faithful sidekick Harry "Bunny" Manders.

Hornung was Arthur Conan Doyle's brother-in-law (and the book is dedicated "To A.C.D.") and Raffles was deliberately created as a mirror image to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

The book contains eight separate short stories, but they form an on-going story and should be read in order.

Hornung died in 1921, and the book is in the public domain everywhere. It can be downloaded here at MR, eg as the first book in my "Raffles Omnibus" (which contains all of the "Raffles" stories: three books of short stories and a novel).

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman
Description: Vibrant with the spirit of the Navajo people of the Southwest, Hillerman's new story is a spellbinder, like his Edgar Winner Dance Hall of the Dead and other praised novels. Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the tribal police work together here, trying to solve crimes that resist logic. There are no clues to three homicides or to the attempted murder of Chee. Leaphorn thinks a "skinwalker," or witch, could have attacked the victims, all adherents of shamanism, as they are otherwise unrelated. The skinwalkers represent a schism between witchcraft and the traditional Navajo Way. A second attempt on Chee bolsters Leaphorn's suspicion since Chee is an aspiring shaman. The story gathers momentum and tension as the partners get closer to the moment when the murderer comes into the open, and the tragic reason for the crimes becomes painfully clear.

Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout
As any herpetologist will tell you, the fer-de-lance is among the most dreaded snakes known to man. When someone makes a present of one to Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin knows he's getting dreadully close to solving the devilishly clever murders of an immigrant and a college president. As for Wolfe, he's playing snake charmer in a case with more twists than an anaconda -- whistling a seductive tune he hopes will catch a killer who's still got poison in his heart.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a ""baby farmer,"" who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves fingersmiths for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home. One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, then they will all share in Maud s vast inheritance. Once the inheritance is secured, Maud will be disposed of passed off as mad, and made to live out the rest of her days in a lunatic asylum. With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to pity her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in unexpected ways...But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals. The New York Times Book Review has called Sarah Waters a writer of ""startling power"" and The Seattle Times has praised her work as ""gripping, astute fiction that feeds the mind and the senses."" Fingersmith marks a major leap forward in this young and brilliant career.

White Seed: The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke by MR member Paul Clayton
From Publishers Weekly: White Seed…hews closely to the record of Sir Walter Raleigh's second doomed attempt to plant the British flag in Virginia… The depiction of the colony's physical and moral disintegration between 1587 and 1590 -- as drunken, cannibalistic soldiers mutiny and brutalize the settlers they were meant to protect, and as colonists confront disease, starvation and madness -- evokes a harrowing sense of human fallibility. Readers…will find this saga, which…soon achieves page-turner velocity, to be both a dandy diversion and an entertaining education.

The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke
The pain, dismay and anger brought on by the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina explodes from the pages of this new Dave Robicheaux novel. For nearly a quarter of a century, Burke has used this series, despite their dark subject matter, to show his obvious love of the land, the people and the cultures of the South and specifically New Orleans. There is a mystery for … more »Robicheaux to solve, but it's the destruction of Burke's beloved New Orleans that resonates like thunder throughout the book. Will Patton, who has come to embody the heart and soul of Burke's weary, Southern knight, matches the author's prose in all its intensity and pain. Adept as he is at portraying the eccentric, the evil and the endearing characters found in Burke's books, it is the actor's reading of Burke's descriptive passages, whether it be a storm forming off the Louisiana coast or the shock of blood escaping from a gunshot wound, that creates a fully realized world for the listener. Patton's insightful interpretation of Burke's darkly expressive imagery makes for a rich literary experience rarely achieved in crime fiction today. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Ever since Hurricane Katrina ravaged southern Louisiana in August 2005, James Lee Burke's fans have been waiting for this book, and Burke does not disappoint. Outraged and eloquent, the two-time Edgar Award-winner delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal of the storm's ferocity and devastating aftermath, venting through Robicheaux his frustration at the human incompetence and greed that magnified nature's destructive fury. His evocative, heartfelt prose, sympathetic characters, and intricately interwoven plotlines grip the reader from the first page. Burke's admirers will savor this latest installment, while those not yet acquainted with Robicheaux can start here, thanks to the comprehensive background information Burke provides in what critics call his best book yet.
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