Sunday, December 05, 2021

Pg. 69: Meghan Holloway's "Hiding Place"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Hiding Place by Meghan Holloway.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hector Lewis is obsessed with uncovering the truth of what happened to his wife and daughter fifteen years ago. The man he believed responsible for their disappearance is dead, and the trail has once again grown cold. Until he finds a long-hidden message from the past. Unraveling the clues his wife left behind leads Hector deep into the wild borderlands of Yellowstone National Park and into the dark labyrinth of his own obsession with finding his missing girls.

Faye Anders is in hiding. The remote town of Raven’s Gap, Montana, has been the perfect refuge. Until her young son goes missing on a school field trip. Desperation forces her to make a choice that will shatter the illusion of safety she has carefully built and bring the powerful man she fled five years ago straight to her doorstep.

Hector is a man chasing answers. Faye is a woman willing to do whatever it takes to keep her son safe. Caught in the crosshairs of a man who is determined to silence them both, they discover some men will kill to keep their secrets buried. But when the past comes knocking, there is no place to hide.
Visit Meghan Holloway's website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

My Book, The Movie: Once More Unto the Breach.

The Page 69 Test: Once More Unto the Breach.

Writers Read: Meghan Holloway (May 2019).

Q&A with Meghan Holloway.

The Page 69 Test: Hunting Ground.

My Book, The Movie: Hunting Ground.

The Page 69 Test: Hiding Place.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books that expose the closed world of espionage

Luke Harding is a journalist, writer, and awardwinning correspondent with the Guardian. He has reported from Delhi, Berlin, and Moscow, and covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Between 2007 and 2011, he was the Guardian’s Moscow bureau chief. In February 2011, the Kremlin deported him from the country in the first case of its kind since the Cold War. He is the author of several books, including Shadow State: Murder, Mayhem, and Russia's Remaking of the West and Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.

In 2018 he tagged five "books [that] take you inside the closed world of espionage," including:
Putin spent the late 1980s in the GDR in Dresden. His more talented foreign intelligence co-worker, Yuri Shvets, was sent to the US. Shvets’s memoir, Washington Station, is a disillusioning account of his life as a KGB spy abroad and his attempts to recruit a US mole. His cover job as a correspondent for the Russian news agency Tass is more enjoyable than his espionage work. Meanwhile, his bosses back home are gerontocratic fools. Recalled to Moscow, Shvets visits the KGB’s legendary poisons factory, from where novichok, the deadly nerve agent used on Skripal, may have come. Tellingly, the KGB plotters who tried to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991 met in the secret lab.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Pg. 99: Dan Cassino & Yasemin Besen-Cassino's "Gender Threat"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Gender Threat: American Masculinity in the Face of Change by Dan Cassino and Yasemin Besen-Cassino.

About the book, from the publisher:
Against all evidence to the contrary, American men have come to believe that the world is tilted – economically, socially, politically – against them. A majority of men across the political spectrum feel that they face some amount of discrimination because of their sex. The authors of Gender Threat look at what reasoning lies behind their belief and how they respond to it. Many feel that there is a limited set of socially accepted ways for men to express their gender identity, and when circumstances make it difficult or impossible for them to do so, they search for another outlet to compensate. Sometimes these behaviors are socially positive, such as placing a greater emphasis on fatherhood, but other times they can be maladaptive, as in the case of increased sexual harassment at work. These trends have emerged, notably, since the Great Recession of 2008-09. Drawing on multiple data sources, the authors find that the specter of threats to their gender identity has important implications for men's behavior. Importantly, younger men are more likely to turn to nontraditional compensatory behaviors, such as increased involvement in cooking, parenting, and community leadership, suggesting that the conception of masculinity is likely to change in the decades to come.
Learn more about Gender Threat at the Stanford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Gender Threat.

--Marshal Zeringue

Four top books about Colonial-era history beyond the Founding Fathers

At the Christian Science Monitor Barbara Spindel tagged four intriguing books about Colonial-era history beyond the Founding Fathers, including:
Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution by Woody Holton

Woody Holton has produced this season’s most ambitious Revolutionary War history with “Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution.” Beginning with the French and Indian War and concluding after the ratification of the Constitution, the book integrates the stories of marginalized people into familiar historical events; Holton argues that “much can be gained from bringing all Americans of the founding era into the same timeline.” In doing so, Holton creates a fuller and richer account of events.

The author’s intention is clear from the outset. He notes that Native Americans “remain invisible in most accounts of the origins” of the Revolution. But he begins his narrative with the French and Indian War, observing that in the wake of Britain’s defeat at the hands of the French and their Indian allies in the Battle of the Monongahela in 1755, the British realized the need to mollify Native American tribes. To do so, they promised to keep Colonial settlers off tribal land. Britain, he writes, “somewhat succeeded at placating the Native Americans – but at the same time infuriated a significant portion of its own colonists: those who had hoped to make or improve their fortunes selling Native American land.” Forgotten conflicts like these, Holton argues, “set the stage for the American Revolution.”

Throughout the book, Holton adds fresh dimensions to history. For instance, he integrates women’s previously unheralded roles in the Revolution into the narrative, describing those who initiated boycotts of British goods before the war and those who accompanied their husbands into battle after its onset. Telling these less well-known stories enriches the ones we already know.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 03, 2021

Melissa Payne's "The Night of Many Endings," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Night of Many Endings: A Novel by Melissa Payne.

The entry begins:
The Night of Many Endings is told from the perspectives of three characters. There’s Nora, the librarian, who is consumed by her brother’s addiction. Her life revolves around his ups and downs, his successes and failures. Marlene, an elderly woman who makes assumptions about people she doesn’t know and uses her sharp words to push people away. And Lewis, a man experiencing homelessness and addiction, who believes that everyone he loves is better off without him. I loved the challenge of writing all three of these characters, even if at times I struggled to relate to a decision they made or how they treated one another. But it reminded me of what their journeys were all about. We can’t truly understand another person until we learn their story first. The storm, the dark, and being stranded forces each of them to listen and learn from each other. But when the storm ends, will their lives have changed?

Sometimes when I write, I automatically have a picture in my head of who would play a character. After all, while I’m writing, my characters are as real to me as my family and friends. This book was no different and it was fun to pair a famous face with the characters. So here goes. For Nora, I’d cast America Ferrera. I adored her in Ugly Betty and think she would bring the right balance of fierce devotion, internal grief, and loving care for others. For Marlene, I think...[read on]
Visit Melissa Payne's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Melissa Payne & Max.

My Book, The Movie: The Secrets of Lost Stones.

The Page 69 Test: The Secrets of Lost Stones.

Q&A with Melissa Payne.

The Page 69 Test: The Night of Many Endings.

My Book, The Movie: The Night of Many Endings.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Daniel Robert McClure's "Winter in America"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Winter in America: A Cultural History of Neoliberalism, from the Sixties to the Reagan Revolution by Daniel Robert McClure.

About the book, from the publisher:
Neoliberalism took shape in the 1930s and 1940s as a transnational political philosophy and system of economic, political, and cultural relations. Resting on the fundamental premise that the free market should be unfettered by government intrusion, neoliberal policies have primarily redirected the state’s prerogatives away from the postwar Keynesian welfare system and toward the insulation of finance and corporate America from democratic pressure. As neoliberal ideas gained political currency in the 1960s and 1970s, a reactionary cultural turn catalyzed their ascension. The cinema, music, magazine culture, and current events discourse of the 1970s provided the space of negotiation permitting these ideas to take hold and be challenged.

Daniel Robert McClure’s book follows the interaction between culture and economics during the transition from Keynesianism in the mid-1960s to the triumph of neoliberalism at the dawn of the 1980s. From the 1965 debate between William F. Buckley and James Baldwin, through the pages of BusinessWeek and Playboy, to the rise of exploitation cinema in the 1970s, McClure tracks the increasingly shared perception by white males that they had “lost” their long-standing rights and that a great neoliberal reckoning might restore America’s repressive racial, sexual, gendered, and classed foundations in the wake of the 1960s.
Learn more about Winter in America at the University of North Carolina Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Winter in America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven top novels with ominous beach settings

Sarah Strohmeyer is a bestselling and award-winning novelist whose books include The Secrets of Lily Graves, How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, Smart Girls Get What They Want, The Cinderella Pact (which became the Lifetime Original Movie Lying to Be Perfect), The Sleeping Beauty Proposal, The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, Sweet Love, and the Bubbles mystery series.

Her latest book is Do I Know You?.

[The Page 69 Test: This Is My Brain on BoysMy Book, The Movie: This Is My Brain on BoysWriters Read: Sarah Strohmeyer (May 2016).]

At CrimeReads Strohmeyer tagged seven novels set in ominous salt-water locales, including:
The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

The sea giveth and the sea taketh away, but, mostly, in Emma Stonex’s spectacular literary suspense novel, it taketh away. Men, children, joy, none is spared from the ocean’s capricious wrath as it torments the inhabitants of yet another rocky island. This time the setting is south of Cornwall, England, where a lighthouse—The Maiden—stands surrounded by the small cottages of the lamplighters’ families—women and children who daily slog through the monotony of confined living and the petty tensions of close quarters while keeping an eye on the fickle sea.

Based on the true story of missing lamplighters from a lighthouse in the Hebrides at the turn of the last century, Stonex has moved the men’s disappearance to the 1970s so women left behind can be interviewed twenty years later. What happened to the three men? Why were the clocks stopped, the tables set and the lighthouse locked? These questions drive the plot, but Stonex’s lyrical prose which summons the brininess of the sea and crashing waves, will linger long after the mystery is solved.
Read about another entry on the list.

Q&A with Emma Stonex.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Pg. 69: Darcie Wilde's "A Counterfeit Suitor"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: A Counterfeit Suitor by Darcie Wilde.

About the book, from the publisher:
Among the ton of Regency London, one breath of scandal can be disastrous. Enter Rosalind Thorne, a young woman adept at helping ladies of quality navigate the most delicate problems—in this charming mystery series inspired by the novels of Jane Austen...

It is every mama’s dearest wish that her daughter marries well. But how to ensure that a seemingly earnest suitor is not merely a fortune hunter? Rosalind is involved in just such a case, discreetly investigating a client’s prospective son-in-law, when she is drawn into another predicament shockingly close to home.

Rosalind’s estranged father, Sir Reginald Thorne—a drunkard and forger—has fallen into the hands of the vicious scoundrel Russell Fullerton. Angered by her interference in his blackmail schemes, Fullerton intends to unleash Sir Reginald on society and ruin Rosalind. Before Rosalind’s enemy can act, Sir Reginald is found murdered—and Fullerton is arrested for the crime. He protests his innocence, and Rosalind reluctantly agrees to uncover the truth, suspecting that this mystery may be linked to her other, ongoing cases.

Aided by her sister, Charlotte, and sundry friends and associates—including handsome Bow Street Runner Adam Harkness—Rosalind sets to work. But with political espionage and Napoleon loyalists in the mix, there may be more sinister motives, and far higher stakes, than she ever imagined...
Visit Darcie Wilde's website.

My Book, The Movie: And Dangerous to Know.

The Page 69 Test: And Dangerous to Know.

The Page 69 Test: A Lady Compromised.

Q&A with Darcie Wilde.

The Page 69 Test: A Counterfeit Suitor.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Melissa Fuster's "Caribeños at the Table"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Caribeños at the Table: How Migration, Health, and Race Intersect in New York City by Melissa Fuster.

About the book, from the publisher:
Melissa Fuster thinks expansively about the multiple meanings of comida, food, from something as simple as a meal to something as complex as one’s identity. She listens intently to the voices of New York City residents with Cuban, Dominican, or Puerto Rican backgrounds, as well as to those of the nutritionists and health professionals who serve them. She argues with sensitivity that the migrants’ health depends not only on food culture but also on important structural factors that underlie their access to food, employment, and high-quality healthcare.

People in Hispanic Caribbean communities in the United States present high rates of obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases, conditions painfully highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both eaters and dietitians may blame these diseases on the shedding of traditional diets in favor of highly processed foods. Or, conversely, they may blame these on the traditional diets of fatty meat, starchy root vegetables, and rice. Applying a much needed intersectional approach, Fuster shows that nutritionists and eaters often misrepresent, and even racialize or pathologize, a cuisine’s healthfulness or unhealthfulness if they overlook the kinds of economic and racial inequities that exist within the global migration experience.
Visit Melissa Fuster's website.

The Page 99 Test: Caribeños at the Table.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten novels about novelists

Louise Dean is the author of four novels and has been published globally by Penguin and Simon & Schuster amongst others.

[The Page 69 Test: The Old RomanticWriters Read: Louise Dean (March 2011)My Book, The Movie: The Old Romantic]

Dean has won The Betty Trask Prize and Le Prince Maurice Prize, been nominated for The Guardian First Book Prize, and longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award and The Booker Prize. Her books have been deemed the top books of their year by The Guardian, The Observer and Publishers Weekly. A finalist for the Costa Coffee 2020 Short Story Award.

In 2017 Dean founded of The Novelry. It provides courses and advice to writers of any moral condition, with or without novels in progress.

At the Guardian the author tagged ten top novels about novelists, including:
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

As creative writing professor at an undistinguished liberal arts college, Jason Fitger is frequently asked to pen letters of recommendation for his students and assorted colleagues. A year’s worth of such letters makes for an epistolary novel that gives a brilliantly comic insight into the politics, frustrations and occasional joys of academia, as well as a teasing study of a man on the ropes. His sign-off to the very first letter captures the tone of a novel that manages to be uplifting, despite the disappointments that its hero faces: “In sadness but looking to the future.”
Read about another entry on the list.

Dear Committee Members is among Emily Temple's fifteen great campus novels published in the last decade, Jenn Ashworth and Richard V. Hirst's ten top modern epistolary novels, Maureen Corrigan's top 12 books of 2014, Kate DiCamillo's 3 favorite books of 2014, and Ellen Wehle's four top novels "in which teachers and students run just a little bit off the rails."

The Page 69 Test: Dear Committee Members.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Q&A with Gail Schimmel

From my Q&A with Gail Schimmel, author of Never Tell A Lie:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Never Tell A Lie is undoubtedly a book about lies, and the harm that can occur when you’re known to be a liar. I think it is great as a title in that it sets out one of the major themes of the story. But – it wasn’t my working title, it was chosen by the publisher. My title for the book was The Friendship, because for me this book (and really, most of my writing) is about the complexity of women’s friendships – how important they are, and how dangerous they are when they go bad. I suppose, in an ideal world, the title should be some sort of mash-up of the two ideas. But “Never Tell A Lie in Your Friendship” just isn’t that catchy...

What's in a name?

Names are such a thing for me! Firstly, I need the character to have a name that fits them. If I name them wrong, then they might not work. A lot of people have asked me about the name “Django” in this book – the main character’s son. People think...[read on]
Visit Gail Schimmel's website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Q&A with Gail Schimmel.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Erich Hatala Matthes's "Drawing the Line"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Drawing the Line: What to Do with the Work of Immoral Artists from Museums to the Movies by Erich Hatala Matthes.

About the book, from the publisher:
Can we still watch Woody Allen's movies? Can we still laugh at Bill Cosby's jokes?

Woody Allen, Kevin Spacey, Dave Chappelle, Louis C. K., J.K. Rowling, Michael Jackson, Roseanne Barr. Recent years have proven rife with revelations about the misdeeds, objectional views, and, in some instances, crimes of popular artists. Spurred in part by the #metoo movement, and given more access than ever thanks to social media and the internet in general, the public has turned an alert and critical eye upon the once-hidden lives of previously cherished entertainers. But what should we members of the public do, think, and feel in response to these artists' actions or statements? It's a predicament that many of us face: whether it's possible to disentangle the deeply unsettled feelings we have toward an artist from how we respond to the art they produced. As consumers of art, and especially as fans, we have a host of tricky moral question to navigate: do the moral lives of artists affect the aesthetic quality of their work? Is it morally permissible for us to engage with or enjoy that work? Should immoral artists and their work be "canceled"? Most of all, can we separate an artist from their art?

In Drawing the Line, Erich Hatala Matthes employs the tools of philosophy to offer insight and clarity to the ethical questions that dog us. He argues that it doesn't matter whether we can separate the art from the artist, because we shouldn't. While some dismiss the lives of artists as if they are irrelevant to the artist's work, and others instrumentalize artwork, treating it as nothing more than a political tool, Matthes argues both that the lives of artists can play an important role in shaping our moral and aesthetic relationship to the artworks that we love and that these same artworks offer us powerful resources for grappling with the immorality of their creators. Rather than shunning art made by those who have been canceled, shamed, called out, or even arrested, we should engage with it all the more thoughtfully and learn from the complexity it forces us to confront. Recognizing the moral and aesthetic relationships between art and artist is crucial to determining when and where we should draw the line when good artists do bad things.
Follow Erich Hatala Matthes on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Drawing the Line.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven top books for World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day, an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.

In 2020 Laura Sackton tagged seven titles to help you brush up on your World AIDS Day history, books that are "full of inspiring stories about the bravery and determination of ordinary citizens in the face of a terrifying crisis," including:
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

If reading a sweeping history feels too daunting, you might want to pick up The Great Believers instead. In this beautiful novel, Rebecca Makkai tells a story about the AIDS crisis through the intimate stories of one group of friends. In 1985, Yale, a young man working for a Chicago art gallery, tries to keep his life together as he watches his friends die. In 2015, Fiona, the sister of one of Yale's deceased friends, travels to Paris, searching for her missing daughter. Makai masterfully weaves these two stories together, exploring how pain of the AIDS crisis continues to reverberate today.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Great Believers is among Joanna Hershon's seven darkly fascinating books about cults.

My Book, The Movie: The Great Believers.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Pg. 69: Joy Castro's "Flight Risk

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Flight Risk: A Novel by Joy Castro.

About the book, from the publisher:
A woman is forced to face her past in a heartbreaking and triumphant novel of old wounds and family secrets by award-winning author Joy Castro.

Isabel Morales is a successful Chicago sculptor hiding a brutal family history―one not even her husband knows. After decades of turning her back on her past, she’s forced to return to Appalachia when she receives news of her estranged mother’s death.

But going back means revisiting the traumatic childhood she escaped―and the family that cast her out when she needed them most. Back on the land she has inherited, she’s flooded with memories of the forest where she once roamed free, of her beloved lost brother, and of the old house in the West Virginia hills where she grew up. Her mother has left her another legacy, too, which reveals secrets that Isabel is only beginning to understand.

As forces bear down and threaten to take what she has left, it’s time for Isabel to step into her power, reclaim her roots, and finally confront the painful memories that have kept her from the life she truly wants.
Visit Joy Castro’s website and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: Hell or High Water.

Writers Read: Joy Castro (July 2012).

Writers Read: Joy Castro (July 2013).

The Page 69 Test: Nearer Home.

Q&A with Joy Castro.

My Book, The Movie: Flight Risk.

The Page 69 Test: Flight Risk.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Lonán Ó Briain's "Voices of Vietnam"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Voices of Vietnam: A Century of Radio, Red Music, and Revolution by Lonán Ó Briain.

About the book, from the publisher:
On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh read out the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence over a makeshift wired loudspeaker system to thousands of listeners in Hanoi. Five days later, Ho's Viet Minh forces set up a clandestine radio station using equipment brought to Southeast Asia by colonial traders. The revolutionaries garnered support for their coalition on air by interspersing political narratives with red music (nhạc đỏ). Voice of Vietnam Radio (VOV) grew from these communist and colonial foundations to become one of the largest producers of music in contemporary Vietnam.

In this first comprehensive English-language study on the history of radio music in mainland Southeast Asia, Lonán Ó Briain examines the broadcast voices that reconfigured Vietnam's cultural, social, and political landscape over a century. Ó Briain draws on a year of ethnographic fieldwork at the VOV studios (2016-17), interviews with radio employees and listeners, historical recordings and broadcasts, and archival research in Vietnam, France, and the United States. From the Indochinese radio clubs of the 1920s to the 75th anniversary celebrations of the VOV in 2020, Voices of Vietnam: A Century of Radio, Red Music, and Revolution offers a fresh perspective on this turbulent period by demonstrating how music production and sound reproduction are integral to the unyielding process of state formation.
Learn more about Voices of Vietnam at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Voices of Vietnam.

--Marshal Zeringue

Twenty-five top recent vampire books

At Bustle, K.W. Colyard tagged twenty-five of the best recent vampire books, including:
Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

In a city still abuzz with talk of Bram Stoker’s must-read novel, a vampiric serial killer lurks in the shadows. When her sister turns up exsanguinated, bearing the mark of a vampire’s kiss on her neck, bookish Tillie Pembroke will stop at nothing to catch the perpetrator. But will Tillie’s newfound dependence on laudanum prevent her from bringing the murderer to justice?
Read about another book on the list.

Opium and Absinthe is among Martha Hall Kelly's nine immersive historical novels.

The Page 69 Test: Opium and Absinthe.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, November 29, 2021

What is Darcie Wilde reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Darcie Wilde, author of A Counterfeit Suitor.

Her entry begins:
As I’m writing this, fall is turning to winter, a time of year that’s about burrowing under covers and being cozy, and for me, about reading favorites, whether that’s favorite authors, or favorite themes.

Now, I have a confession. I have a deep and abiding love for “deal with the devil” stories. I don’t know why, but it’s been a life-long fascination. So, I was delighted to find two new books that take the deal as the premise, and both of them excellent.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab begins with the classic premise that you should be very, very careful what you wish for. Addie wishes for time, and gets it, but it comes in the form of a highly problematic immortality. She also, like the clever peasant in the fairy tale, thinks she can outsmart the darkness she’s tied herself to. And maybe she...[read on]
About Darcie Wilde's A Counterfeit Suitor, from the publisher:
Among the ton of Regency London, one breath of scandal can be disastrous. Enter Rosalind Thorne, a young woman adept at helping ladies of quality navigate the most delicate problems—in this charming mystery series inspired by the novels of Jane Austen...

It is every mama’s dearest wish that her daughter marries well. But how to ensure that a seemingly earnest suitor is not merely a fortune hunter? Rosalind is involved in just such a case, discreetly investigating a client’s prospective son-in-law, when she is drawn into another predicament shockingly close to home.

Rosalind’s estranged father, Sir Reginald Thorne—a drunkard and forger—has fallen into the hands of the vicious scoundrel Russell Fullerton. Angered by her interference in his blackmail schemes, Fullerton intends to unleash Sir Reginald on society and ruin Rosalind. Before Rosalind’s enemy can act, Sir Reginald is found murdered—and Fullerton is arrested for the crime. He protests his innocence, and Rosalind reluctantly agrees to uncover the truth, suspecting that this mystery may be linked to her other, ongoing cases.

Aided by her sister, Charlotte, and sundry friends and associates—including handsome Bow Street Runner Adam Harkness—Rosalind sets to work. But with political espionage and Napoleon loyalists in the mix, there may be more sinister motives, and far higher stakes, than she ever imagined...
Visit Darcie Wilde's website.

My Book, The Movie: And Dangerous to Know.

The Page 69 Test: And Dangerous to Know.

The Page 69 Test: A Lady Compromised.

Q&A with Darcie Wilde.

Writers Read: Darcie Wilde.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Hannah Farber's "Underwriters of the United States"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Underwriters of the United States: How Insurance Shaped the American Founding by Hannah Farber.

About the book, from the publisher:
Unassuming but formidable, American maritime insurers used their position at the pinnacle of global trade to shape the new nation. The international information they gathered and the capital they generated enabled them to play central roles in state building and economic development. During the Revolution, they helped the U.S. negotiate foreign loans, sell state debts, and establish a single national bank. Afterward, they increased their influence by lending money to the federal government and to its citizens. Even as federal and state governments began to encroach on their domain, maritime insurers adapted, preserving their autonomy and authority through extensive involvement in the formation of commercial law. Leveraging their claims to unmatched expertise, they operated free from government interference while simultaneously embedding themselves into the nation’s institutional fabric. By the early nineteenth century, insurers were no longer just risk assessors. They were nation builders and market makers.

Deeply and imaginatively researched, Underwriters of the United States uses marine insurers to reveal a startlingly original story of risk, money, and power in the founding era.
Learn more about Underwriters of the United States at the University of North Carolina Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Underwriters of the United States.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five of the best science fiction books by autistic authors

Ada Hoffmann is the author of the space opera novel The Outside, the collection Monsters in My Mind, and over 60 published speculative short stories and poems.

[The Page 69 Test: The Outside]

Hoffmann was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the age of 13, and is passionate about autistic self-advocacy. Her Autistic Book Party review series is devoted to in-depth discussions of autism representation in speculative fiction. Much of her own work also features autistic characters.

At Shepherd Hoffmann tagged five of the best science fiction books by autistic authors, including:
Ninefox Gambit, 1 by Yoon Ha Lee

Disgraced general Kel Cheris must work with the undead, unstable genius Shuos Jedao to defeat a fortress of calendrical heretics. Lee's fantastically inventive worldbuilding supports some of the most surreal, creative battle scenes anywhere in science fiction; the tension between Cheris and Jedao, not to mention between Cheris's loyalty to the galaxy-ruling hexarchate and its vicious, tyrannical means of maintaining control, propel this multi-award-nominated space opera forward quickly.
Read about another entry on the list.

Yoon Ha Lee's Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series is among Jenn Lyons's five villains who see themselves as heroes, Jeff Somers's fifty greatest debut sci-fi and fantasy novels ever written, and T.W. O'Brien's five recent books that explore the secret lives of robots.

My Book, The Movie: Ninefox Gambit.

--Marshal Zeringue