THE MARK TWAIN MURDERS

Narrated by a 15-year-old San Francisco urchin who likes to believe that his real father was an English lord and he himself is the Duke of Baywater, this tells of a two-day 1864 adventure shared by the alleged Duke and the young reporter Mark Twain, who sets out to investigate the murder of the Duke's low-life stepfather and ends up—with the army, navy, and police as well as the Duke at his side—chasing Confederate mint robbers as they attempt to escape by sea. At one point Mark and the Duke are kidnapped and ordered killed, at another they are chased by the armed robbers they are chasing, and there is much shooting and more gun waving throughout. Mark's increasingly important news story involves more murders, disappearing corpses, multiple identities, and a plot which, if successful, could defeat Lincoln in the national election. But because of his reputation for hoaxes in previous newspaper jobs, neither the local police nor his editor at the Call will believe Mark's reports or take his warnings seriously. When at last they do take notice (Mark gets a little help from the respectable Bret Harte), Mark's story is squelched for reasons of national security. Despite some bits about the Duke admonishing Twain to take himself seriously, this isn't one of those famous-person novels that offers an interesting interpretation of the historic character. In fact, the major problem is that it doesn't half live up to Twain's own statements or colorful image. Rather, Yep uses San Francisco and Mark Twain for color much as Robert Newman uses Sherlock Holmes and Victorian London in his Baker Street Irregular series. This doesn't sparkle like the Baker Street books, but its plainer setting is evoked in enveloping detail, which gives the adventure a measure of tangible charm.

Pub Date: April 1, 1982

ISBN: 0590078240

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Four Winds/MacMillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1982

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
  • SPONSORED PLACEMENT

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more