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October 16, 2018

Lucia and Mapp, Two Stories: “Lucia and the Eighth Commandment” and “Humble Soup”

“Lucia and the Eighth Commandment”: Peacetime it may be, but not in England’s quaint town of Tilling, whose residents can count on the ongoing and quite entertaining battle for social ascendancy between Elizabeth Mapp-Flint and Lucia Pillson. When at his wife’s request, Lucia’s husband Georgie borrows Elizabeth’s purportedly valuable and possibly signed edition of The Poetical Works of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, he counts on the bibulous Major Benjy to relay the message to his wife. Benjy’s failure to carry out his mission sets off the Great Burglary Scare, sparking more excitement than Tilling has seen in some time.

“Humble Soup”: What has dampened the fighting spirit of Elizabeth Mapp-Flint, inexplicably cowed by her rival, Lucia Pillson? Fellow Tillingites are horrified when Lucia proposes raising funds for a new Church Hall roof by staging a series of tableaux vivants. Their entire social circle has been impressed into service. Elizabeth has always been counted on to keep Lucia’s worst instincts in check, yet this time that august lady is mum. Now Elizabeth is grimly practicing her choreography and her husband the Major has been compelled to don a frighteningly lifelike donkey’s head. How will the balance of power be restored?

Author Tom Holt is the only novelist sanctioned by the estate of E.F. Benson to write the further adventures of Lucia and Mapp.

 


November 1, 2018

How We Survive Here, by Claire Gebben

As far back as Claire Gebben can remember, her grandmother wrote letters to the “relatives in Freinsheim,” relatives living in a rural wine-making town in Germany. After her grandmother died, Claire’s father and family kept the tradition alive, writing letters and emails, and also visiting the relatives in person. Then in 2008, when Claire’s relative Angela Weber travels from Germany to visit her in the Pacific Northwest, Angela brings along a surprise–over a dozen 19th-century letters found in an attic in Freinsheim written by their common ancestors.

As the two set out to translate the Old German Script, Claire and Angela become captivated by the stories, and the immigrants’ impressions of the New World. That same fall, Claire enters a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and chooses to write about the people of the letters for her graduate thesis. Her decision sparks a journey both challenging and inspiring, a research adventure including four days of intensive blacksmithing and a month-long stay in the German Rhineland-Palatinate.

Even as Claire wrestles to bring her ancestors to life on the page, she suffers through loss in her own life and finds strength through new family connections. Via 19th-century correspondence, 21st-century emails, and present-day relationships and encounters, How We Survive Here: Families Across Time weaves together a story of how we must strive to survive, amid experiences past and present, and within the broader sweep of history.

How We Survive Here includes over two dozen authentic 19th-century letters written by German immigrant blacksmiths and wagon-makers to Cleveland, Ohio.

 


November 13, 2018

Martini Shot, by Clive Rosengren

Eddie Collins, private eye and part-time Hollywood actor, is hired by ageing actor, Sam Roth, to locate his disowned son, Jack Callahan. Roth hopes to reconcile their relationship before his “Martini Shot” last scene of the day, as he is in his 90s.

While working the Roth case, Eddie receives a letter from his daughter’s adoptive parents, that she would like to meet him and find out more about her mom. In spite of his uncertainty, Eddie agrees to meet her. What will this relationship lead to in the future and what will all parties make of it? Only time will tell.

Eddie locates Callahan, leading to a father and son meeting. However, he later gets a call from Roth, informing him that his son has been found, bludgeoned to death. Sam asks Eddie to find out what has happened to Jack. Eddie investigates Jack’s life, hoping to find clues to the murder. Little does he know that upon discovering the murderer, his own life will hang in the balance.

Book 4 of the Eddie Collins Mystery Series.

 

 

January 15, 2019

Sword of Tecumseh, by M.D. Carrol

When a professor of history obsessed with finding a sword belonging to the famous Shawnee war chief Tecumseh vanishes from the small community of Prarie Stop, Indiana, Logan Wells must find a connection between events of the distant and recent past to track down what happened to the missing man.