First-timer Andrews, a former journalist and once an antiques “picker” herself, offers deft plotting, sly humor, and...

SAVANNAH BLUES

Sassy gal hunts for antiques in Savannah’s street junk—and tracks down a killer.

Eloise Foley (“Weezie” to her devoted friends) has been forced to move out of the 1858 townhouse she shared with her obnoxious ex-husband, Talmadge Evans III, the blue-blooded heir to an old southern name and fortune. He got the townhouse, where he now lives with his new flame, Caroline DeSantos, and Weezie got the charming carriage house just behind it, big enough for her and her mutt Jethro, who always pees on Caroline’s camellias. Weezie’s mother frets about Weezie having no job, husband, or prospects—and then BeBe Loudermilk, Weezie’s best bud, introduces her to the sexy new chef at the restaurant she owns. Dan Stipanek is ruggedly handsome—and wouldn’t you know it, Weezie knew him way back when they used to make out under the stars at Beaulieu, an antebellum house once owned by the Mullinaxes, the last of whom recently died at 97, without an heir, so that an estate sale has been planned. Weezie sneaks into the house in the dead of night to get a better look before any choice items are snapped up by dealers, and she spots a unique corner cabinet of burled elm that may have been carved by a master carpenter, once a slave. If she could buy and resell it, she’d have enough money to open her own shop. Weezie continues to prowl through the old manse, opens a closet door—and out tumbles the body of Caroline DeSantos! For the police, Weezie’s the number one suspect, but they don’t have evidence to arrest her. Meanwhile, she keeps looking for the corner cabinet, which has disappeared. Could wicked antiques-dealer Lewis Hargeaves be mixed up in all this?

First-timer Andrews, a former journalist and once an antiques “picker” herself, offers deft plotting, sly humor, and appealing characters: pure fun.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-06-019958-X

Page Count: 416

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2001

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ANIMAL FARM

A FAIRY STORY

A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

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Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

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ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect.

In August 1944, Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind 16-year-old living in the walled port city of Saint-Malo in Brittany and hoping to escape the effects of Allied bombing. D-Day took place two months earlier, and Cherbourg, Caen and Rennes have already been liberated. She’s taken refuge in this city with her great-uncle Etienne, at first a fairly frightening figure to her. Marie-Laure’s father was a locksmith and craftsman who made scale models of cities that Marie-Laure studied so she could travel around on her own. He also crafted clever and intricate boxes, within which treasures could be hidden. Parallel to the story of Marie-Laure we meet Werner and Jutta Pfennig, a brother and sister, both orphans who have been raised in the Children’s House outside Essen, in Germany. Through flashbacks we learn that Werner had been a curious and bright child who developed an obsession with radio transmitters and receivers, both in their infancies during this period. Eventually, Werner goes to a select technical school and then, at 18, into the Wehrmacht, where his technical aptitudes are recognized and he’s put on a team trying to track down illegal radio transmissions. Etienne and Marie-Laure are responsible for some of these transmissions, but Werner is intrigued since what she’s broadcasting is innocent—she shares her passion for Jules Verne by reading aloud 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A further subplot involves Marie-Laure’s father’s having hidden a valuable diamond, one being tracked down by Reinhold von Rumpel, a relentless German sergeant-major.

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-4658-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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