Category Archives: Books



Luna Luna

I don’t read a lot of children’s books, although they have certain similarities with comics. I found Luna Luna, though, refreshing and relaxing. Sam Ryan wrote and Hazel Mitchell illustrated this Zen-influenced fable about a little boy trying to capture the “misty summer moon, streaked with green and red and yellow and purple” he sees out his window. Each page spread consists of an illustration, full color with a predominant use of blues and purples, faced with several sentences of […]

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Murder Is Bad Manners

Murder Is Bad Manners is a wonderful read for anyone who likes English boarding school stories or classic mysteries. Although put out by a young adult imprint, and thus marketed for kids, I also enjoyed reading it. Robin Stevens has captured the antique flavor of a residence for proper young ladies during the 1930s, but with a modern attitude. Our narrator is Hazel Wong, who’s come to the school from Hong Kong, and the Brit girls aren’t above the occasional […]

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Batman: Murder at Wayne Manor

I finally got a chance to sample Batman: Murder at Wayne Manor, one of Quirk Books’ interactive mysteries that feature replica artifacts. It’s written by Duane Swierczynski, as was The Crimes of Dr. Watson, but as suits the main character, there are also comic-style illustrations by David Lapham. The plot here seems the best integrated with the licensed property of the three books in the series. (Along with the Holmes one, there’s also Dracula’s Heir, by another author.) Bruce Wayne […]

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More Than Comics: A Comic-Con Romance Novel

I have read an honest-to-goodness romance novel set at the San Diego Comic-Con. More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs is the love story of Tara McFadden, a young woman just out of college who’s been writing Misfit Squad, a successful graphic novel for Black Hat Comics, “the third largest comic book publisher” in this universe. That’s not the only discrepancy. She’s meeting her artist, Hector Fernandez, for the first time in person at the con, and he turns out to […]

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The Final Reveille

Since I enjoyed the Chloe Ellefson series of mysteries set at a variety of living history museums, I thought I’d try another one from the same publisher, Midnight Ink. In The Final Reveille by Amanda Flower, out next month, the murder takes place during a Civil War reenactment at a living history farm in Ohio. Kelsey Cambridge has been showing the wealthy donor Cynthia Cherry around for the special weekend events. Cynthia’s unpleasant nephew and heir Maxwell is threatening to […]

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Murder With a Twist

If you miss William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man movies, have I got a new mystery novel for you! Out in early May is Murder With a Twist by Tracy Kiely, a modern, gender-flipped version of that premise. Nic (Nicole) Martini used to be a New York City police detective (until she was shot and went on disability leave). Nigel is her flippant husband, with plenty of inherited money and a crazy family. They’re back in the […]

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Marvel: The Avengers Vault

Between the years of 2007 and 2011, a publisher named Running Press issued a series of beautifully written and produced Vault books on the histories of comics’ biggest companies (Marvel and DC Comics — both previously reviewed by me, here at CWR) and their top characters (Batman and Spider-Man). Despite the similar title, this new 2015 Avengers Vault book, from a different publisher, Thunder Bay Press, is not like those books. In fact, I think the best thing I can […]

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Win a Copy of Stan Lee’s New Book, The Zodiac Legacy

Stan Lee has leant his name to a new series project. This time it’s prose, co-written with (former Helix editor) Stuart Moore. The Zodiac Legacy is a new young adult novel, intended to start a series, about Steven Lee, a young man who stumbles into a mystical ceremony. A powerful man, full of hubris, is trying to take all the powers of the Chinese Zodiac into himself, but Steven winds up with the Tiger power, based on his birth sign. […]

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