Hiro Hattori has a problem: he needs to find the murderer of an important guest ASAP. But the suspects are all people he doesn’t want to give up. Like his mother. Or his ex-lover. As time runs out, what is he going to do? “Betrayal at Iga” is set in 16th-century Japan, and is full […]Read more "“Betrayal at Iga” by Susan Spann"
How does an illegitimate Venetian girl become the wife of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire? What was her life like? What kind of power does she wield, and how? “The Mapmaker’s Daughter,” a fictionalized memoir of Cecilia/Nurbanu, the real-life Venetian captive who became wife and then mother to Sultans, seeks to answer those questions. […]Read more "“The Mapmaker’s Daughter” by Katherine Nouri Hughes"
In “Wolf Hunt,” the threads of village passions come together as a group sets off on a wolf hunt that serves as a pretext for something even more murderous. Living side-by-side for decades, right through the upheavals of WWII and forced collectivization, has inflamed resentments rather than drawing people together, leading to a violent denouement. […]Read more "“Wolf Hunt” by Ivailo Petrov"
Kari’s just your typical teenage girl, dreaming of boys and being like Rita Hayworth…except that her country is currently occupied by Nazi Germany. When an American pilot crash-lands near her father’s farm, she sets off on a desperate adventure to smuggle him to Sweden. I always have my eye open for some good Nordic reading, […]Read more "“Land of Hidden Fires” by Kirk Kjeldsen"
Two brothers fall in love with the same woman. Instead of settling it sensibly, or at least by dueling, one of them climbs up an enormous ladder they’ve been constructing, and refuses to come down for years. And rather than just letting the ladder fall, the other props it up till he dies and is […]Read more "“Froelich’s Ladder” by Jamie Duclos-Yourdon"
Although serial killers are not normally my thing, I’ve been reading these illustrated novels based on the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper with interest. Rather than focus on the pathologies of Jack the Ripper’s mind, and the goriness of his methods, this books put the spotlight on how his victims lived, and […]Read more "“Apologies to the Cat’s Meat Man” by Alan M. Clark"
Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present A compelling survey of irregular warfare from the pre-Christian era to the present, “Invisible Armies” covers both guerrilla fighting, which Boot calls “the oldest form of warfare,” and terrorism, which he considers “strikingly modern.” While exhaustively researched, this is not a […]Read more "“Invisible Armies” by Max Boot"