Starred Review

A Talent for Murder

by Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson, best known for his biographies of Patricia Highsmith (Beautiful Shadow) and Sylvia Plath (Mad Girl's Love Song), smoothly moves into mystery writing with the aptly titled A Talent for Murder. In it, he imagines Agatha Christie at the center of a diabolical cat-and-mouse battle with a deranged physician.

In 1926, after her sixth novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, brought her great acclaim, Christie disappeared from her home. Thousands of police and volunteers joined a 10-day manhunt before she

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Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult

by Bruce Handy

"It should go without saying that the best children's literature is every bit as rich and rewarding in its concerns, as honest and stylish in execution, as the best adult literature," Bruce Handy writes in the introduction to his debut, Wild Things. However, children's books, especially picture books, are often snubbed or dismissed by adult readers and critics, though they are "also as complicated, stubborn, contradictory, and mysterious" as any novel written with a grown-up audience in mind. In 

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A Properly Unhaunted Place

by William Alexander, illus. by Kelly Murphy

Rosa Ramona Diaz is not impressed when she and her mother move from the city to a basement apartment underneath the Ingot Public Library. Rosa's mom is the new library appeasement specialist, a job that involves calming down ghosts who get upset and keeping the really nasty ones distracted. But there are no ghosts in Ingot. In fact, it's "the only unhaunted place that Rosa had ever heard of," and nobody knows why. Which means that when Rosa goes out to explore, she leaves her "tool belt" behind.

While exploring,

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Shelf Discovery

The Lying Game

by Ruth Ware

In this suspenseful novel from the author of The Woman in Cabin 10, four friends must finally face horrible memories from their schooldays.

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Room of Shadows

by Ronald Kidd

Mixing literary history with haunted-house mystery, Room of Shadows reveals how an angry boy battles the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe and finally finds peace--for them both.

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The Goddesses

by Swan Huntley

This psychological thriller takes a pleasantly average woman to lovely Hawaii, where she is charmed, then devastated.

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Like a Fading Shadow

by Antonio Muñoz Molina, trans. by Camilo A. Ramirez

Like a Fading Shadow blurs the lines between reality and imagination by illuminating the unknown lives of men who wish to be more than they are, and who are not all that they seem.

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Vintage Books & Anchor Books: Reading Group Center Book Club Giveaway

Media Heat

Monday, August 21, 2017

Daily Show: Joshua Green, author of Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency (Penguin Press, $27, 9780735225022).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

KCRW's Bookworm: Ryan Gattis, author of Safe: A Novel (MCD, $26, 9780374253370).

CBS This Morning: Jean M. Twenge, author of iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us (Atria, $27, 9781501151989).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: John Dickerson, author of Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History (Twelve, $16.99, 9781455540471).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fresh Air: Max Brooks, author of Minecraft: The Island: The Novel (Del Rey, $17.99, 9780399181771).

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fresh Air: Molly McCully Brown, author of The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded: Poems (Persea, $15.95, 9780892554782).

Conan: Senator Al Franken, author of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate (Twelve, $28, 9781455540419).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

KCRW's Bookworm: Wallace Shawn, author of Night Thoughts (Haymarket, $14.95, 9781608468126).

Fresh Air: Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination (Picador, $22, 9781250060754).

Today Show: Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle: A Memoir (Scribner, $17, 9780743247542).
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