Michael Eury Explores the Camp History of Comics

I don’t know why I didn’t know about this until now, but friend of the blog Michael Eury has a book coming out in April that explores the camp comics of fifty years ago. Hero-A-Go-Go: Campy Comic Books, Crimefighters, & Culture of the Swinging Sixties pretty much lays out its premise in its lengthy title. The book … celebrates the camp craze of the Swinging Sixties, when just about everyone –the teens of Riverdale, an ant and a squirrel, even […]

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The Last of August

Charlotte Holmes is back! In the sequel to A Study in Charlotte, this generation’s Sherlock descendent and her best friend Jamie Watson are spending the holidays together in England. The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro takes the two to Holmes’ house in Sussex over winter break. They’re uncomfortable together, after all that happened in the last book, including explosions and Watson almost dying. He thinks he loves her, but there’s trauma between them, and she’s a rape survivor, and […]

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Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery

R.A. Spratt’s Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery is third in the series featuring the girl detective at a modern-day boarding school. It’s a terrific blend of humor, mystery, and adventure, particularly since this volume starts with more about Friday’s family. Her parents and four older siblings are all academics, theoretical professors, and their love of detachment from everyday life is astounding. That’s a complicating factor when the book opens, as it seems that Friday’s mother has been kidnapped. Yet […]

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The Big Rewind

I absolutely adored The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore. It’s a wonderful blend of murder mystery, satiric portrait of hipster life, quarter-century nostalgia (silly as that is), awkward burgeoning romance, and love for music, with the right song capturing the perfect memory or even changing your life. Jett lives in her grandmother’s apartment in Brooklyn. She wants to be a music journalist, but as we all know, print is dead, so she temps where she can and glides through life, […]

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Crosstalk

A new Connie Willis novel is a terrific gift, and Crosstalk does not disappoint. It’s a romantic comedy (similar to her early story “Blued Moon”) with a setting focused on a hot cultural topic (which reminded me of Bellwether) and a whole flock of female Irish family members. Briddey works at a cellphone company eager to develop the next communication breakthrough. She’s dating a promising young executive there, and he’s just proposed to her that they get the new operation […]

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DC: The Big Book of Girl Power and The Big Book of Superpowers

Want to indoctrinate your favorite child into superheroes? Get them one or both of these large children’s picture books aimed at ages 3 and up. For a focus on powerful women, you want The Big Book of Girl Power, emphasizing how “DC’s super heroines… have the courage to fight for peace and justice.” Each character (with three exceptions) gets a two-page spread with an image (many drawn by Scott Kolins) and a brief explanation of her origin and abilities. The […]

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A Front Page Affair

While hoping for another Lady Frances Ffolkes mystery, I stumbled across this similar series. A Front Page Affair, by Radha Vatsal, is the first Kitty Weeks mystery. Kitty (short for “Capability”) is a fish out of water no matter where she goes in 1915 New York City. Her father is her only relative, and he’s mysterious about his business. She’s got enough money to hang with her high society friend, but not the family background, particularly since she was born […]

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A Memory of Muskets

The latest Chloe Ellefson mystery, following Death on the Prairie, is A Memory of Muskets, and it’s the best one yet. Part of that is due to the connection to author Kathleen Ernst’s own experience. The mysteries are set at Old World Wisconsin in the 1980s, which is when Ernst worked there. This particular mystery involves the murder of a Civil War reenactor, an activity Ernst also participated in (along with her husband). As a result, she does an excellent […]

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