A fiercely intelligent crime drama as emotionally sharp as it is historically inventive.

READ REVIEW

THE CAMEL DRIVER

From the A Harry Przewalski Novel series , Vol. 3

In Krishtalka’s (Death Spoke, 2019, etc.) third mystery-series installment, a private detective and former paleontologist investigates a bizarre incident with a complex historical pedigree. 

At Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum, a well-known historical diorama—Arab Courier Attacked by Lions, “one of America’s cultural treasures”—has been torn apart by someone who also attacked the exhibit’s guard. The assailant then sliced open the belly of the taxidermic camel and took something that, upon inspection, appears to have been the mummified remains of a small, female child. Without any clear suspect or motive for the crime, the police call in Harry Przewalski, a private investigator who once worked at the museum as a paleontologist; after a series of personal misfortunes, he’d joined the military and “fled to the violent solitude of a desert war.” Liza Kole, another paleontologist and who has also been Harry’s romantic partner in the past, informs him that the art installation was created, to great fanfare, 150 years ago by Jules Verreaux; he was known as the “finest taxidermist in France”—one with the skills to “give immortality” to the dead. Anna Storck, the museum’s physical anthropologist, commits suicide only two days after the vandalism, and police believe that the two events are unconnected. But Harry, in his inimitable style, is skeptical: “Yeah, well, in our business coincidence could be a fact just waiting for an equation.” He soon finds that Verreaux had seduced and impregnated a Elisabeth Greef, Dutch woman, in Capetown, South Africa, and when he abandoned her, she “sued him for betrayal.” The child inside the camel could have been hers—and the vandalism, an act of revenge.  Over the course of this novel, Krishtalka artfully conjures the grim life of the prodigiously talented Verreaux. The taxidermist is such a sordid character that there were indeed multiple reasons why someone one would want to take revenge upon him—even a century and a half after he’d created his diorama. Throughout, the author presents the evidence with great skill: Verreaux’s journals, the letters between him and Elisabeth, and detailed accounts of the trial in which she sued him for breach of contract are all revealed to connect to the modern-day mystery. Krishtalka’s prose is powerfully versatile, alternating between the sort of terse, unsentimental phrasing that one would expect from a detective story and poetical elegance. At one point, for example, when Harry sees a pencil sketch of Elisabeth, he finds himself swept away: “For a moment, Harry was lost in the damp heat of her bed, that angular face fierce in love or revenge, the full lips primed to kiss or slay, the wild hair on the pillow exploding in fervor or fury, the bare back arched in rapture or revolt, the long legs in ecstasy or constriction.” Harry’s own life also poignantly reveals duality, but his is a tug of war between painful memories and a longing to rejoin the land of the living. 

A fiercely intelligent crime drama as emotionally sharp as it is historically inventive. 

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-941237-32-8

Page Count: 279

Publisher: Anamcara Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

GHOSTED

In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE STARLESS SEA

A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more