No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes.
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Kate Beaton is the author/illustrator of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Hark! A Vagrant! Now she is also a picture book author and illustrator with the recent release of The Princess and the Pony. Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A big horse. A strong horse. A horse fit for a warrior princess! But when the day arrives, she doesn't quite get the horse of her dreams. “Where else can readers find hipster warriors, anime influences, perfectly placed fart jokes, a hidden ugly-sweater contest, and a skirmish packed with delightful nonsense (llamas! knights! hot dogs! turtle costumes!)—and have it all make such wonderful sense?” writes our reviewer in a starred review. “Instead of breaking bones, this warrior princess breaks the mold—and Beaton is in a class of her own.”
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