Agent in Place by Mark Greaney (Spy/Suspense Novel, February 2018). Court Gentry is a modern-day secret agent/assassin, often working for the CIA but sometimes (as in this case) more-or-less freelancing his services for a cause/mission he believes in. He’s known as the Gray Man for his shadowy and mysterious nature, and Greaney has been writing about […]Read more "REVIEWED: Agent in Place"
Rushing about for various tasks, so my account of Thursday’s coffeehouse at the Grand Midway is late getting posted. Today (in an hour or so) I’ll be back down there for the attempt to get another World Record (Most People Dressed As Wizards). Last year, we had the redcord for most people dressed as ghosts […]Read more "Coffeehouse Nights: June 14, 2018"
The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (Novel, 2018). Whether it’s the mood of the country/world, various authors responding to what’s in the news or just plain coinicidence, I’ve noted several recurrent themes in novels (and even nonfiction books) I’ve been reading. For one thing, I’ve been encountering plots involving women in either […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Map of Salt and Stars"
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (Historical Fantasy Novel, 2018). This is the second in a series of novels that capably blends Russian folklore/fairy tales and medieval history into spirited adventure fiction in an exotic wilderness. Arden’s first novel introduced readers to Vasya, a young noble woman with the gift of seeing supernatural creatures […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Girl in the Tower"
Things were hopping at last night’s coffeehouse at Windber, PA’s fabled haunted hotel! It was another open mic night. The funky local musical duo, The Birddogs, performed more of their eclectic covers and a young standup comic Edward Locker (spelling?) made his Grand Midway debut with a set that centered around growing up in the […]Read more "Coffeehouse Nights: June 7, 2018"
Queen Anne’s Lace by Susan Wittig Albert. (Cozy Mystery Novel, April 2018). In this, the latest in a long-running series of cozy mysteries centered around former lawyer turned professional herbialist and amateur mystery-solver China Bayles, the author deftly blends generations-spanning family secrets, an unthreatening yet persistent and ultimately helpful ghost, the lore concerning the title plant […]Read more "REVIEWED: Queen Anne’s Lace"
Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills (Socio-Economic History, 2018). This book tells of the only 6 black folks (4 women, 2 men) who were among the 4,047 millionaires in the United States in the first years after Emancipation. In the end, most of them lost much (sometimes all) of what their hard work, sheer nerve and intelligence […]Read more "REVIEWED: Black Fortunes"