Small-town politics and big family drama drive crime thriller

“Where the Dead Sleep” begins pleasantly enough: Detective Ben Packard is back, becoming more comfortable with Sandy Lake, making his rounds as acting sheriff at the

‘The Art Thief’ is an astonishing story that capitalizes on our love of true crime

The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession” by Michael Finkel (Alfred A. Knopf) What is it about stories of

Lisa See’s ‘Lady Tan’s Circle of Women’ celebrates a Ming Dynasty physician

Little did the prolific, 68-year-old author realize that would lead directly to one of her most meticulously researched, fascinating and ultimately enjoyable works, “Lady Tan’s Circle

Tom Hanks’ novel shares inside look at moviemaking

There may be no one better suited to tell the tale of how a movie gets made than Hollywood icon and master of the motion picture Tom

Lovano’s trio is post-free jazz in a chamber setting

The latest album from saxophonist Joe Lovano’s Trio Tapestry has almost no pulse but plenty of heart and soul. “Our Daily Bread,” released Friday, is post-free

‘Pathogenesis’ offers different lens on history

Great historical changes are often conceived of as being brought about by the genius and tenacity of great men, or occasionally women, but Jonathan Kennedy argues

A harrowing shipwreck and mutiny in ‘The Wager’

The Wager, a British war ship, crashed onto rocks amid stormy seas off the coast of Patagonia in 1741. Sailors on a secret wartime mission had already

‘The Peking Express’ raises niche historical event

A little-known piece of history is resurfacing 100 years after the luxurious Peking Express train was attacked by bandits in the middle of the night and hundreds

Vietnam vets try to help nation they once attacked

In the U.S., we’ve mostly moved on from our military engagements in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the American way — not dwelling on our mistakes

Reporter’s murder shows cost of pursuing the truth

The confluence of corrupt governance, poverty, drug trafficking and reporters who can be bought is a dangerous place for reporters and democracy. Accomplished Mexican investigative

WWII novel sets high bar for historical fiction

Gundi, Irma and Hilde all find themselves at a Lebensborn Society house for future mothers who are deemed to be racially fit. Each woman is there

History of movie academy favors facts over melodrama

Film historians and others digging for a deeper vein of Oscar knowledge than mere trivia will turn up many nuggets in “The Academy and the Award,” which

‘Proving Ground’ profiles first women programmers

When the world’s first general-purpose, programmable, electronic computer, known as ENIAC, debuted in 1946, great fanfare was given to the men who created it, John Mauchly

Bourland autopsies the princess myth with precision

It's about time someone took the princess story that’s normalized to girls and autopsy it with absolute precision.  “The Force of Such Beauty” opens

‘Mermaid of Black Conch’ melds history and magic

David is a fisherman and Aycayia is a mermaid. It’s pretty obvious where the story goes from here: David falls for Aycayia. But author Monique Roffey

An Irish hitman juggles murder with parenthood

Patrick Callen, a Dublin, Ireland hitman with a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, stays organized by making lists. On his first day in Keith Bruton’s debut

A slice-of-life novel both meaningless and profound

As a freshman, Nina has a crush on her English teacher.  That’s how “The Most Precious Substance on Earth” begins. Author Shashi Bhat wastes

‘The Lies I Tell’ is a hard to put down thriller

Clear your schedule to read “The Lies I Tell” because this book is nearly impossible to put down from the first page. It begins from

Birdsong offers three powerful portraits of womanhood

Destiny O. Birdsong’s “Nobody’s Magic” tells three separate stories, each centering on a Black albino woman living in Shreveport, Louisiana.  First, we meet 20-year-old Suzette,

Book It | Allende’s ‘Violeta,’ an epic South American tale

Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s latest novel is “Violeta,” an epic tale that transports readers across a century of South American history, through economic collapse, dictatorship and

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