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The Berry Memorial Book Group reads Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
About The Governor's Wife:
"In the latest installment in Michael Harvey’s beloved Michael Kelly series, Chicago’s favorite Ovid-reading, gun-toting private investigator takes on Illinois’s first family in a blistering thriller that charts the border where ambition ends and evil begins.
It’s been two years since disgraced Illinois governor Ray Perry disappeared from a federal courthouse in Chicago moments after being sentenced to thirty-seven years in prison on corruption charges. P.I. Michael Kelly is sitting in his office when he gets an anonymous e-mail offering to pay him nearly a quarter of a million dollars if he will find Perry, no questions asked. Kelly’s investigation begins with the woman Ray Perry left behind—his wife, Marie. Ostracized by her former friends and hounded by the feds, Marie tells Kelly she has no idea where her husband is. Like everyone else, Kelly doesn’t believe her. As he hunts for her husband, Kelly begins to unwind Marie Perry’s past. What he finds is a woman who turns out to be even more intriguing than her husband, with her own deeply complicated reasons for standing by him. Everyone in Chicago has secrets, including the governor’s wife. Some of them she shared with her husband. Some of them she kept to herself. And some of them could get Michael Kelly killed.
The Governor’s Wife is a hard-eyed look at the intersection of the political and the personal, at the perils of trusting even those closest to us, and the collateral damage of our highest aspirations. Stylish, knock-out suspense from a modern master."
About Michael Harvey
Michael Harvey is the author of The Chicago Way, The Fifth Floor, The Third Rail, We All Fall Down, and The Innocence Game, as well as a journalist and documentary producer. His work has won numerous national and international awards, including multiple news Emmys, two Primetime Emmy nominations, and an Academy Award nomination. He holds a law degree with honors from Duke University, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in classical languages from Holy Cross College. He lives, of course, in Chicago.
The Book Cellar Book Group will meet at an outside location for their July gathering.
The book this month is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Come see Barbara Gregorich, Guide to Writing the Mystery Novel, in discussion with Lori Rader-Day, Little Pretty Things, Susanna Calkins, Masque of a Murderer, and Sharon Fiffer, Lucky Stuff!
Learn about the process of writing for mystery and hear from authors during a 45-minute panel with Q&A to follow!
About Barbara Gregorich:
From an early age, Barbara Gregorich determined to be either a baseball player or a writer. She never thought her either-or belief would lead her to write She's on First, a novel about the first woman to play in the major leagues. Nor did she think that from fiction she would migrate to fact and write the award-winning Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball. Even though she loved detective fiction from an early age, Barbara never aspired to be a private eye. Instead, she wrote Dirty Proof and Sound Proof, novels featuring Chicago private eye Frank Dragovic. She is the author of many children's and adult novels, including: Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke and Waltur Paints Himself into a Corner. She also has works in free verse and other poetic forms.
About Guide to Writing the Mystery Novel: Lots of Examples, Plus Dead Bodies:
For those contemplating writing a mystery novel and those who have written one or more but are looking for fresh and invigorating insights into the approach, Guide to Writing the Mystery Novel provides an overall view of how to think like a writer in general and a mystery writer in particular. Covered are topics such as: What are the possible patterns of suspicion when the villain is a major character? What changes when the villain is a minor character? How many subplots work best, and in what order can they be introduced? How can a writer throw suspicion on innocent characters while at the same time providing clues that point to the guilty one? These topics and many more are examined and analyzed in this solid how-to book which is rich with examples and suggestions.
About Lori Rader-Day:
Lori Rader-Day is the author of the mystery The Black Hour (Seventh Street Books, 2014). Born and raised in central Indiana, she now lives with her husband and dog in Chicago. Her fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, The Madison Review, and others. Best-selling author Jodi Picoult chose one of Lori's short stories for the grand prize in Good Housekeeping's first fiction contest. Lori is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Visit her at LoriRaderDay.com or on Twitter at @LoriRaderDay.
About Pretty Little Things:
Juliet Townsend is used to losing. Back in high school, she lost every track team race to her best friend, Madeleine Bell. Ten years later, she’s still running behind, stuck in a dead-end job cleaning rooms at the Mid-Night Inn, a one-star motel that attracts only the cheap or the desperate. But what life won’t provide, Juliet takes. Then one night, Maddy checks in. Well-dressed, flashing a huge diamond ring, and as beautiful as ever, Maddy has it all. By the next morning, though, Juliet is no longer jealous of Maddy—she’s the chief suspect in her murder. To protect herself, Juliet investigates the circumstances of her friend’s death. But what she learns about Maddy’s life might cost Juliet everything she didn’t realize she had.
About Susanna Calkins:
Susanna Calkins became fascinated with seventeenth-century England while pursuing her doctorate in British history. A former pirate, she once served on the Golden Hinde--a museum replica of Sir Frances Drake's ship--now dry docked in the Thames. Originally from Philadelphia, Calkins now lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two sons. The Murder at Rosamund's Gate, featuring Lucy Campion, is her first novel.
About Masque of a Murderer:
Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies' maid in the local magistrate's household, has now found gainful employment as a printer's apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate's daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man's last utterances, but she's unprepared for what he reveals to her--that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered. Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate's son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man's background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined. In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read.
About Sharon Fiffer:
Before finding her inner Nancy Drew,Fiffer co-edited three collections of literary memoirs: Home, Family, and Body. Editing the memoirs of others prompted her to write about her own childhood--growing up in the EZ Way Inn, her parents' tavern in Kankakee, Illinois. When she began creating the character of antiques picker and scavenger, Jane Wheel, she decided to merge her own memories with those of her fictional heroine, giving Jane a giant helping of her Kankakee childhood. Sharon Fiffer admits to having a few collections of her own, but is happy to work out any obsessions with Bakelite buttons, crocheted potholders and vintage sterling silver charm bracelets on the pages of her novels.
About Lucky Stuff:
Officially divorced, antiques picker and private investigator Jane Wheel finally faces the reality that she needs to sell her house, which means clearing out her extensive--and beloved--antique collection. While it's a daunting task, the preemptive move proves worthwhile when her house sells in one day. Finding herself suddenly homeless, Jane heads to her hometown, Kankakee, Illinois, to find that it, too, has been turned upside down. Lucky Miller, a little-known comedian, is staging what he calls a comeback. It's all part of his plan to break into showbiz by making it seem like he's always been a big name. Suspicious of what Lucky's trying to prove and why he's chosen to prove it in Kankakee, Jane's mother, Nellie, hires Jane to investigate. But why does Nellie care? Lucky would sure like to know, so he, too, calls on Jane to find out. Still, Nellie may be the least of his problems when a driver on his crew turns up dead hours after claiming that Lucky tried to kill him. With the charming and dogged Jane Wheel at the center of another clever puzzle, Lucky Stuff is an outstanding addition to Sharon Fiffer's popular series.
Children's authors Audrey Vernick and Matthew Cordell joins our storybook reader, Nili, to share their first book, First Grade Dropout
About Audrey Vernick:
Audrey grew up in Whitestone, New York, where she lived with her parents and two sisters and a not very bright small white dog. In addition to writing for children, Audrey has published more than a dozen short stories for adults in magazines and literary journals. She received an mfa from Sarah Lawrence College and has been honored with two fiction fellowships from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. She lives near the ocean in New Jersey with one husband, two children, and two semi-smart medium-sized dogs.
About Matthew Cordell:
Matthew Cordell is an illustrator and author of books for children. He dwells in a home in suburban Chicago with his talented wife, picture book author and YA novelist, Julie Halpern, their lovely daughter Romy, and a very solid siamese cat named Tobin. Other books include "Bat and Rat", "hello! hello!" and "If You Were a Chocolate Mustache".
About First Grade Dropout:
The first grade narrator of this book has been lots of things: Hungry. Four years old. Crazy bored. Soaking wet. Pretty regular kid . . . until he makes a mistake so big that he’s sure he will never be able to go back to Lakeview Elementary School. All readers, even those not in first grade, will find the narrator’s feelings familiar, and discover that even though embarrassing things happen, they’re usually not as bad as they seem. And sometimes they’re even funny!