AUTHOR’S BIO

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of fourteen novels, including Darkness, My Old Friend, Fragile, Die For You, Black Out, Sliver of Truth, Beautiful Lies, also her latest thriller Ink and Bone.

Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Walmart Book Club, Target, Harper’s Bazaar, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Publishers Weekly, Washington Life, New York Daily News, Entertainment Weekly, Sun Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Suspense Magazine, Amazon and Independent Booksellers.

She has been a finalist in or winner of numerous literary awards including the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Book, International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel, Silver Falchion Award for Best Book, Florida Book Award, France’s Prix Polar International Best Book and Bookspan’s International Book of the Month. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine.

Lisa Unger currently lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.

KIRKUS REVIEW

A girl with the gift of seeing the spirit world tries to harness her ability while working with a private detective who isn’t a believer.

The Hollows is a world unto itself, as different from the rest of New York as the name implies. Everyone in The Hollows appears to be there for a definite reason. For Finley Montgomery, that reason is her grandmother Eloise. Finley relies on Eloise to help her cope with the world around her—more specifically, the spirits each of them sees. Eloise has taught Finley how to stay in the present and cope with her double-edged gift. Manhattanite mother Merri Gleason drives to The Hollows wishing she had some kind of connection to the spirit world. Ever since her young daughter was kidnapped on a family vacation to The Hollows, Merri’s been obsessed with figuring out whether she’s still alive. Merri’s made an appointment with private detective Jones Cooper, but he’s not optimistic. His only hope is that Eloise, his sometime collaborator, will have some inkling about what’s going on. But it turns out that Finley’s the one tuned in to the case. The story of the haphazard collaboration is interspersed with chapters of a young girl’s struggle with people who seem like kidnappers. Is this the child everyone’s looking for?

Unger’s beloved characters (Crazy Love You, 2015, etc.) continue a deftly balanced story that’s supernatural without a creepy aftertaste.

THE AUDIOBOOK

The audio book is well read by Molly Pope, it is 11 hrs and 49 mins long.

Watch an ABC YouTube interview About Writing Ink and Bone YouTube.










AUTHOR’S BIO
Laurie was born in Oakland, California, earned a degree in comparative religion from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1977 and a masters in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in 1984, where her thesis was on “Feminine Aspects of Yahweh”. She later received an honorary doctorate from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

Among King’s books are the Mary Russell series of historical mysteries, featuring Sherlock Holmes as her mentor and later partner, and a series featuring Kate Martinelli, a fictional lesbian police officer in San Francisco, California. Using the pseudonym “Leigh Richards”, she has published a futuristic novel, Califia’s Daughters (2004).

King’s first book, A Grave Talent (1993), received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and a 1995 John Creasey Memorial Award. This was followed by the 1996 Nero Award, for A Monstrous Regiment of Women, the 2002 Macavity Award for Best Novel, for Folly, and the 2007 Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, for The Art of Detection. She has also been nominated for an Agatha, two Anthonys, a Barry, two additional Edgars, another Macavity, an Orange Prize, and four RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

She lives in Watsonville, California, in the hills above Monterey Bay, southeast of Santa Cruz, California. From 1977 until his death in early 2009, she was married to the historian Noel Quinton King. They are the parents of two children, Zoe and Nathan.

KIRKUS REVIEW

King forswears the foreign intrigue that’s increasingly dominated her Sherlock-ian pastiches (Dreaming Spies, 2015, etc.) to return to the great man’s roots, which are surprisingly intertwined with those of his longtime landlady.

An apparently innocent knock at the door of the retired Holmes’ farmhouse brings his wife, Mary Russell, face to face with a rough-hewn Australian who announces himself as Samuel Hudson, the long-unacknowledged son of Holmes’ housekeeper, and then pulls a gun. While Russell awaits her chance for the counterattack she knows will be necessary to save her life, King flashes back a generation, using a few suggestions from the Conan Doyle story “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott” to spin out the adventures of Sam’s mother, Clarissa Hudson. Beginning even before her birth, the story follows the romance of Clarissa’s parents, an Edinburgh governess and a London thief; the girl’s early years in Australia as her father’s trained accomplice in a series of increasingly lucrative “Cheats”; her repeated attempts to make something of herself, usually by trading on her improbable gifts for assuming different personalities; and the fateful moment when her path crosses that of the young Sherlock Holmes, who transforms her into Clara Hudson and sets her life along a profoundly different path. When the story finally returns to the present, both Holmes and Russell will have a chance to shine; in fact, the case achieves a rare balance between Holmes, Russell, and the mystery they’ve been set. The real star, however, is Clarissa Hudson, whose touching, remarkable, and wholly absorbing life story offers not only a high point in King’s long-running series, but a compelling demonstration of the ways inventive writers can continue to breathe new life into the Holmes-ian mythology.

Canny readers will know not to take the come-on of King’s teasing title at face value; the unwary deserve all the additional shocks they’ll get.

THE AUDIOBOOK

The audio book is read by Jenny Sterlin and Susan Lyons, it is 13 hrs and 25 mins long.

Watch a YouTube video discussion The Murder of Mary RussellYouTube.






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AUTHOR’S BIO
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature.

After university and before his success with his Rebus novels, Ian had a number of jobs including working as a grape-picker, a swineherd, a journalist for a hi-fi magazine, and a taxman. Following his marriage in 1986, he lived briefly in London where he worked at the National Folktale Centre, followed by a short time living in France, before returning to Edinburgh.

Ian’s first novel Summer Rites remains in his bottom drawer, but his second novel, The Flood, was published in 1986, while his first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. The Rebus series is now translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents. In addition to his Rebus and Malcolm Fox novels, he has also written standalone novels including Doors Open, which was televised in 2012, short stories, a graphic novel – Dark Entries, and a play (with Mark Thomson, the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s Artistic Director) Dark Road, which premiered at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in September 2013. There are also a number of novels under the pseudonym ‘Jack Harvey’ and in 2005 he collaborated with singer Jackie Leven on a CD. His non-fiction book Rebus’s Scotland was published in 2005.

Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America’s celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Germany’s Deutscher Krimipreis.

Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Hull, Abertay, St Andrews and Edinburgh as well as The Open University.

A regular contributor to BBC2’s Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin’s Evil Thoughts on Channel 4 in 2002 and Rankin on the Staircase for BBC Four in 2005. In 2007, Rankin appeared in Ian Rankin’s Hidden Edinburgh and Ian Rankin Investigates Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde also for BBC Four. Ian has been the subject of ITV’s South Bank Show and BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs where his choice of music included Joy Division, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison.

Ian has received an OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

KIRKUS REVIEW

Veteran cop John Rebus emerges from retirement to look into a pair of parallel cases of revenge.

When David Menzies Minton, former Lord Advocate of Scotland, is bludgeoned to death in his Edinburgh home, DI Siobhan Clarke shares one crime-scene detail she shouldn’t with her friend DI Malcolm Fox: a note saying, “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID.” After someone shoots at crime lord Big Ger Cafferty, she also rousts John Rebus, a month into his retirement, from his usual station at the Oxford Bar. As a detective, Rebus had developed an odd working relationship with Cafferty. So now he agrees to be a consultant, especially after Cafferty gets the same death-threat note as Minton. There’s no obvious link between Minton’s murder and the attempted hit on Cafferty, however, and even less connection with a past break-in and the murder of a lottery winner. Meanwhile, Fox reluctantly becomes his boss’ spy for a surveillance team that hopes to take down a Glaswegian gangster and his heir apparent, who’ve come to Edinburgh on the trail of a man who betrayed them. It’s not easy for a man widely regarded as an internal snitch to win the team’s confidence. Fox even has to take a beating from the man he suspects is the team’s undercover member. But he takes a cue from Rebus, who was notorious for going his own way when he was a cop and is even more inclined to do so as a civilian. It pays off when Rebus uses his connections and know-how to help Clarke and Fox find the key they’ve been looking for, a terrible secret that spills into the turf war among criminal factions and exposes the past lives of those supposedly on the right side of the law.

Rankin (The Beat Goes On, 2015, etc.) takes his time setting up all these plots. But it’s well worth the wait to see how the latest entry in this celebrated series fits all the pieces together.

THE AUDIOBOOK

The audio book is read by James Macpherson with an authentic Scottish accent and is 11 hrs and 10 mins long.

Watch a YouTube video of Ian Rankin discussing Even Dogs in the WildYouTube.






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AUTHOR’S BIO

Kate Morton is the eldest of three sisters. She was born in South Australia and moved with her family numerous times before settling, finally, on Tamborine Mountain. There she attended a tiny country school and spent much of her childhood inventing and playing games of make-believe with her sisters.

Kate fell avidly in love with books very early. Her favorites were those by Enid Blyton, and Kate escaped many times up the Faraway Tree or with the Famous Five into smugglers’ cove. It was a love deeply felt, for it is still mysteries and secrets that dance around the edges of Kate’s mind, keeping her awake deep into the night, turning or typing pages.

When she finished school, Kate studied and earned a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London. After an ill-fated attempt to ‘do something sensible’ and obtain an Arts/Law degree, she went on to complete a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and for sometime believed her future lay in theatre. Until one day, quite simply and clearly, she realized that it wasn’t performing she was in love with. It was words.

Although she’d read and scribbled from before she could remember, it hadn’t occurred to Kate, until that time, that real books were written by real people. She began writing in earnest and completed two full length manuscripts (which lie deep and determinedly within a bottom drawer) before settling finally into the story that would become The Shifting Fog (The House at Riverton), which has been published in 26 countries to date.

Concurrently, Kate enrolled in a degree in English Literature at the University of Queensland, graduating with First Class Honors. On that basis she won a scholarship and proceeded to complete a Masters degree focusing on tragedy in Victorian literature.

Kate is married to Davin, a composer, and they have two young sons. All four live together in a nineteenth-century home replete with its own ghosts and secrets. Kate’s second novel, The Forgotten Garden was published in 2008. Her third novel, The Distant Hours, was published in 2010, The Secret Keeper was published in 2012.

KIRKUS REVIEW

A suspected kidnapping, a once-proud manor house, and a disgraced police officer all figure in Morton’s latest multigenerational Cornish saga.

In 2003, Sadie is put on administrative leave from her post with the London police force for getting too involved in a child-abandonment case. She retreats to her grandfather’s house in Cornwall, and there, while jogging, she happens upon the ruin of what locals inform her is Loeanneth, the ancestral lakeside manse of the deShiel family. The story ricochets among 2003, 1911, and 1933 as we learn that Eleanor deShiel, who inspired a children’s book reminiscent of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, became the chatelaine of Loeanneth thanks to a Downton Abbey–esque plot twist in which, due to the Titanic disaster, new husband Anthony Edevane inherits enough money to reclaim her birthright from creditors. But when Anthony goes to war, he returns shell-shocked and prone to unpredictable outbursts. Meanwhile, their children, Deborah, Alice and Clemmie, frolic on the grounds, oblivious to their parents’ difficulties. Alice, 16, is a budding mystery writer (whose future fame will equal Agatha Christie’s), but in 1933 she’s nursing a teenage crush on Ben, an impecunious gardener. As a lark, she concocts a hypothetical scenario which might have prompted Ben to kidnap Theo, her baby brother. Flashbacks reveal that Deborah and Clemmie also have reason to blame themselves for Theo’s disappearance during an all-night Midsummer’s Eve party—he was never found and his fate remains unknown. At loose ends, Sadie investigates this cold case, developing several theories. As the various skeins intersect, the story becomes unwieldy; using multiple narrators, Morton can believably withhold information to build suspense, but when such selective nondisclosure is carried to extremes, frustrated readers may be tempted to practice their skimming.

An atmospheric but overlong history of family secrets and their tormented gatekeepers.

THE AUDIOBOOK

The audio book is read by James Macpherson authentically with a Scottish accent and is 11 hrs and 10 mins long.

Watch a YouTube video of Kate Morton introducing The Lake House YouTube.






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AUTHOR’S BIO

Elena Ferrante (a pseudonym) was born in Naples and is is one of Italy’s most famous but least-known contemporary writers. She is the author of The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. Her Neapolitan novels include My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stayand The Story of the Lost Child, the fourth and final volume in the series.

REVIEW BY ROSEANN LLOYD Special to the Star Tribune

Elena Ferrante’s rich, sprawling quartet that concludes with this new book, “The Story of the Lost Child,” centers on two lifelong friends, Lenú (Elena Greco) and Lila (Raffaella Cerullo). The first volume begins with a classic murder mystery scene: Lenú receives a phone call in the night that her friend has disappeared. Lenú decides to write everything she can remember about her friend, and so becomes the narrator.

Fiction like this is not often written: the friendship of two girls becoming women in the context of their culture, a poverty-stricken neighborhood of Naples in postwar Italy, with all its superstitions, politics, corruption, sexism and violence. Of special note is Ferrante’s detailed and dramatic descriptions of the struggle girls must make to advance in school.

Now the fourth book, “The Story of the Lost Child,” finds the women in the 1970s, middle-aged workers and mothers, somewhat estranged. Lila, the defiant and creative one, who has become a computer whiz and entrepreneur over the years, lives with her husband in Naples. Lenú’s cautious trajectory led her out of Naples to complete her education. In Florence, she publishes her writing but struggles with isolation, child care, work deadlines, marital difficulties. A love affair presents a solution and leads her back to Naples in 1979.

The two friends come together and help each other with their mutual concerns: child care, aging parents, work, reassessment of men and their childhood neighbors. They look after the children with loving joy and competition. As in the previous books, they are each other’s alter ego, critic and sometimes confidante. “Her approval gave me confidence,” writes Lenú.

Lila, on the other hand, speaks of dissolving boundaries, scientific knowledge and snap judgments of people. Together, they plot and carry out an exposé of local corruption, among other adventures.

One ordinary Sunday afternoon, in the midst of a happy crowd, a child goes missing. People rush to search. “A rumor took hold that later prevailed. The child had left the sidewalk to chase a blue ball. But just at that moment a truck was passing.”

The last hundred pages of the book reverberate with the story of the lost child, which connects to other losses in the community. The ’60s leftist friend, still underground. Lila’s brother, Gino, a heroin addict. Lenú’s older children in the U.S. Alfonso, a transvestite, beaten to death by thugs. Lila’s loss of hope for a revival for Naples. Lenú’s loss of youthful energy.

Inevitably, as the author promised, the end is a return to the beginning. Lila is gone. Ferrante gives us a brilliant, ambivalent ending, open to interpretation. Yet the ending gives a magical benediction to the lifelong friendship of Lila and Lenú. The last sentence haunts me: “I must resign myself to not seeing her anymore.”

THE AUDIOBOOK

The audio book is read perfectly by Hillary Huber who has narrated all of the Neapolitan novels and is 18 hrs and 27 mins long.

Watch YouTube video A Brief Guide to Elena Ferrante with Joanna Walsh. YouTube.






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