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The unlikely spy

Amazon.com Review

In this debut novel, veteran journalist Silva mines the reliable territory of World War II espionage to produce a gripping, historically detailed thriller. In early 1944 the Allies were preparing their invasion of Normandy; critical to the invasion’s success was an elaborate set of deceptions–from phony radio signals to bogus airfields and barracks–intended to keep Hitler in the dark about when and where the Allied troops would arrive. Catherine Blake is the beautiful, ruthless spy who could bring the whole charade crashing down; Alfred Vicary is the brilliant but bumbling professor Churchill has tapped to protect the operation. Along with a teeming cast of other characters, real and fictional, they bring the chase to a furious and satisfying climax.

From Publishers Weekly

Will Nazi spies escape from Britain with Allied plans for the imminent invasion of Normandy? As history tells us, obviously not?so the challenge for veteran journalist and CNN producer Silva in his first novel is to brew up enough intrigue and tension to make readers forget the obvious. While Silva employs multiple characters and settings, his key players are an English counterintelligence officer and a beautiful Nazi spy. Alfred Vicary is an academic recruited to work for MI5. The intelligence reports he fabricates and sends to Germany are designed to persuade the Nazis that their utterly compromised spy network, the Abwehr, is still fully operational. MI5 learns, however, that the Abwehr has been keeping a few sleeper operatives under deep cover throughout the war. Now they pose a serious threat to the invasion plans. One of these operatives is Catherine Blake, a ruthless assassin and spy. Her assignment is to become romantically involved with Peter Jordan, an American engineer working on a top-secret D-Day project. Will Vicary be able to stop her? Silva’s characters are strong; but, despite occasional bursts of high suspense and a body count to remember, his overall pacing is uneven, and most readers won’t forget that D-Day succeeded. The final plot twist, moreover, while unpredictable, seems more logical than shocking. Silva’s debut will find an audience among devoted readers of WWII thrillers, and deservedly so, but he’s not yet on a par with such masters of the genre as Ken Follett, Robert Harris and Jack Higgins. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate selection; Reader’s Digest Condensed Book selection; simultaneous BDD audio; foreign rights to 16 countries; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones

SUMMARY: The witty and utterly delightful follow up to the national bestsellerThe World According to Bertie, this fifth instalment of the 44 Scotland Street series, McCall Smith once again brings us an absorbing and entertaining tale of some of Scotland’s most quirky and beloved characters – all set in the beautiful, stoic city of Edinburgh. The Unbearable Lightness of Sconesfinds Bertie, the precocious six-year-old, still troubled by his rather overbearing mother, Irene, but seeking his escape in the Cub Scouts. Matthew is rising to the challenge of married life with newfound strength and resolve, while Domenica epitomizes the loneliness of the long distance intellectual. Cyril, the gold-toothed star of the whole show, succumbs to the kind of romantic temptation that no dog can resist and creates a small problem, or rather six of them, for his friend and owner Angus Lordie.

The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty

SUMMARY: For the first time in decades, here, in a single volume, is a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty, comprising some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country. Acclaimed historian G. J. Meyer reveals the flesh-and-bone reality in all its wild excess.In 1485, young Henry Tudor, whose claim to the throne was so weak as to be almost laughable, crossed the English Channel from France at the head of a ragtag little army and took the crown from the family that had ruled England for almost four hundred years. Half a century later his son, Henry VIII, desperate to rid himself of his first wife in order to marry a second, launched a reign of terror aimed at taking powers no previous monarch had even dreamed of possessing. In the process he plunged his kingdom into generations of division and disorder, creating a legacy of blood and betrayal that would blight the lives of his children and the destiny of his country.The boy king Edward VI, a fervent believer in reforming the English church, died before bringing to fruition his dream of a second English Reformation. Mary I, the disgraced daughter of Catherine of Aragon, tried and failed to reestablish the Catholic Church and produce an heir. And finally came Elizabeth I, who devoted her life to creating an image of herself as Gloriana the Virgin Queen but, behind that mask, sacrificed all chance of personal happiness in order to survive. The Tudors weaves together all the sinners and saints, the tragedies and triumphs, the high dreams and dark crimes, that reveal the Tudor era to be, in its enthralling, notorious truth, as momentous and as fascinating as the fictions audiences have come to love.

The Truth-Teller’s Lie

EDITORIAL REVIEW: **”A superbly creepy, twisty thriller about obsessive love, psychological torture, and the darkest chambers of the human heart.” -*The Times* (UK) ** Naomi Jenkins knows all about secrets: three years ago something so terrible happened to her that she’s never told anyone about it. Now, Naomi has another secret: her relationship with the unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without explanation, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert’s wife insists he is not missing. In desperation, Naomi decides that if she can’t persuade the detectives that Robert is in danger, she’ll convince them that he is a danger to others. Naomi knows how to describe the actions of a psychopath; all she needs to do is dig up her own traumatic past.

The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Brimming with charm, sparkling prose and undeniably unique characters, this hilarious novel set in the Tower of London has the transportive qualities and delightful magic of the contemporary classics *Chocolat* and *Amelie*.Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his pet, the oldest living tortoise, for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater. It’s no easy job navigating the trials and tribulations that come with living and working in the largest tourist attraction in London. The once white-hot flame of Hebe and Balthazar’s love has been snuffed in the few years since their son Milo died, a death for which Balthazar blames himself.When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen by foreign dignitaries, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, a bearded pig goes missing, giraffes are stolen, the komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives, and canaries suffer fainting fits. As he attempts to cope with this four-legged invasion and his marriage continues to crumble, Balthazar must confront the secret he has been harbouring about his son’s death, if he wants to save his marriage and his sanity.**CAST OF CHARACTERS****Balthazar Jones**: Beefeater, overseer of the Tower’s royal menagerie, father to Milo, and collector of rain **Hebe Jones**: Balthazar’s wife who works at London Underground’s Lost Property Office **Mrs. Cook:** Balthazar and Hebe’s 180 + year-old tortoise – the oldest tortoise in the world **Arthur Catnip**: London Underground ticket inspector of limited height **Rev. Septimus Drew**: Tower chaplain who writes forbidden prose and pines for one of the residents **Ruby Dore**: Barmaid at the Tower’s Rack & Ruin pub who has a secret **Valerie Jennings**: Hebe’s eccentric colleague who falls for someone of limited height **The Ravenmaster**: Philandering Beefeater who looks after the Tower’s ravens **Sir Walter Raleigh**: Former Tower prisoner and its most troublesome ghost **Chief Yeoman Warder**: Suspicious head Beefeater **Oswin Fielding**: Equerry to The Queen **Samuel Crapper**: Lost Property Office’s most frequent customer **Yeoman Gaoler**: Deputy to the Chief Yeoman Warder who is terrorized by ghostly poetry at night

The Toss of a Lemon

SUMMARY: Sivakami was married at ten, widowed at eighteen, and left with two children. According to the dictates of her caste, her head is shaved and she puts on widow’s whites. From dawn to dusk, she is not allowed to contaminate herself with human touch, not even to comfort her small children. Sivakami dutifully follows custom, except for one defiant act: She moves back to her dead husband’s house to raise her children. There, her servant Muchami, a closeted gay man who is bound by a different caste’s rules, becomes her public face. Their singular relationship holds three generations of the family together through the turbulent first half of the twentieth century, as India endures great social and political change. But as time passes, the family changes, too; Sivakami’s son will question the strictures of the very beliefs that his mother has scrupulously upheld.  The Toss of a Lemon is heartbreaking and exhilarating, profoundly exotic yet utterly recognizable in evoking the tensions that change brings to every family.

The Tomorrow Code

SUMMARY: THE END OF THE WORLD started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards. . . .Tane and Rebecca aren’t sure what to make of it—a sequence of 1s and 0s, the message looks like nothing more than a random collection of alternating digits. Working to decode it, however, Tane and Rebecca discover that the message contains lottery numbers . . . lottery numbers that win the next random draw! Suddenly Tane and Rebecca are rich, but who sent the numbers? And why? More messages follow, and slowly it becomes clear—the messages are being sent back in time from Tane and Rebecca’s future. Something there has gone horribly wrong, and it’s up to them to prevent it from happening. As they follow the messages’ cryptic instructions, Tane and Rebecca begin to suspect the worst—that the very survival of the human race may be at stake.

The Time Machine and the Invisible Man

EDITORIAL REVIEW: *The Time Machine and The Invisible Man*, by **H. G. Wells**, is part of the **Barnes & Noble Classics* *series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of *Barnes & Noble Classics*: New introductions commissioned from today’s top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader’s viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. *Barnes & Noble Classics *pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader’s understanding of these enduring works.** *The Time Machine*, **H. G. Wells**’s first novel, is a tale of Darwinian evolution taken to its extreme. Its hero, a young scientist, travels 800,000 years into the future and discovers a dying earth populated by two strange humanoid species: the brutal Morlocks and the gentle but nearly helpless Eloi.*The Invisible Man* mixes chilling terror, suspense, and acute psychological understanding into a tale of an equally adventurous scientist who discovers the formula for invisibility—a secret that drives him mad.Immensely popular during his lifetime, H. G. Wells, along with Jules Verne, is credited with inventing science fiction. This new volume offers two of Wells’s best-loved and most critically acclaimed “scientific romances.” In each, the author grounds his fantastical imagination in scientific fact and conjecture while lacing his narrative with vibrant action, not merely to tell a “ripping yarn,” but to offer a biting critique on the world around him. “The strength of Mr. Wells,” wrote Arnold Bennett, “lies in the fact that he is not only a scientist, but a most talented student of character, especially quaint character. He will not only ingeniously describe for you a scientific miracle, but he will set down that miracle in the midst of a country village, sketching with excellent humour the inn-landlady, the blacksmith, the chemist’s apprentice, the doctor, and all the other persons whom the miracle affects.” **Alfred Mac Adam**** teaches literature at Barnard College-Columbia University. He is a translator and art critic.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Set in atmospheric coastal Japan, this epic story centers on an earnest young clerk, Jacob de Zoet, who arrives in the summer of 1799 to make his fortune and return to Holland to wed his fiancée. But Jacob’s plans are shaken when he meets the daughter of a Samurai. Imagine an empire that has shut out the world for a century and a half. No one can leave, foreigners are excluded, their religions banned and their ideas deeply mistrusted. Yet a narrow window onto this nation-fortress still exists: an artificial walled island connected to a mainland port, and manned by a handful of European traders. And locked as the land-gate may be, it cannot prevent the meeting of minds ‘ or hearts. The nation was Japan, the port was Nagasaki and the island was Dejima, to where David Mitchell’s panoramic novel transports us in the year 1799. For one Dutch clerk, Jacob de Zoet, a dark adventure of duplicity, love, guilt, faith and murder is about to begin ‘ and all the while, unbeknownst to him and his feuding compatriots, the axis of global power is turning… SUMMARY: The author ofCloud Atlas’s most ambitious novel yet, for the readers of Ishiguro, Murakami, and, of course, David Mitchell. The year is 1799, the place Dejima, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window to the world. It is also the farthest-flung outpost of the powerful Dutch East Indies Company. To this place of superstition and swamp fever, crocodiles and courtesans, earthquakes and typhoons, comes Jacob de Zoet. The young, devout and ambitious clerk must spend five years in the East to earn enough money to deserve the hand of his wealthy fianceacute;e. But Jacob’s intentions are shifted, his character shaken and his soul stirred when he meets Orito Aibagawa, the beautiful and scarred daughter of a Samurai, midwife to the island’s powerful magistrate. In this world where East and West are linked by one bridge, Jacob sees the gaps shrink between pleasure and piety, propriety and profit. Magnificently written, a superb mix of historical research and heedless imagination,The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoetis a big and unforgettable book that will be read for years to come. SUMMARY: The author ofCloud Atlas’s most ambitious novel yet, for the readers of Ishiguro, Murakami, and, of course, David Mitchell. The year is 1799, the place Dejima, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window to the world. It is also the farthest-flung outpost of the powerful Dutch East Indies Company. To this place of superstition and swamp fever, crocodiles and courtesans, earthquakes and typhoons, comes Jacob de Zoet. The young, devout and ambitious clerk must spend five years in the East to earn enough money to deserve the hand of his wealthy fianceacute;e. But Jacob’s intentions are shifted, his character shaken and his soul stirred when he meets Orito Aibagawa, the beautiful and scarred daughter of a Samurai, midwife to the island’s powerful magistrate. In this world where East and West are linked by one bridge, Jacob sees the gaps shrink between pleasure and piety, propriety and profit. Magnificently written, a superb mix of historical research and heedless imagination,The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoetis a big and unforgettable book that will be read for years to come.

The Terror of St Trinian’s and Other Drawings

SUMMARY: Ronald Searle takes us back to the world of the Gothic Public School in The Terror of St Trinian’s . In this gloriously anarchic academy for young ladies we witness shootings, knifings, torture and witchcraft, as well as many maidenly arts. The subject of many evergreen films, St Trinian’s is synonymous with the sort of outrageous behaviour that would make a convict blench. This book also contains a selection of Ronald Searle’s work from the non-school books, including The Rake’s Progress, Souls in Torment and Merry England, etc . and their publication in one volumes stakes Searle’s claim to be the greatest and most influential English satirist since the war.

The Tenth Chamber

SUMMARY: Abbey of Ruac, rural France: A medieval script is discovered hidden behind an antique bookcase. Badly damaged, it is sent to Paris for restoration, and there literary historian Hugo Pineau begins to read the startling fourteenth-century text. Within its pages lies a fanciful tale of a painted cave and the secrets it contains and a rudimentary map showing its position close to the abbey. Intrigued, Hugo enlists the help of archaeologist Luc Simard and the two men go exploring.When they discover a vast network of prehistoric caves, buried deep within the cliffs, they realise that theyve stumbled across something extraordinary. And at the very core of the labyrinth lies the most astonishing chamber of all, just as the manuscript chronicled. Aware of the significance of their discovery, they set up camp with a team of experts, determined to bring their find to the world. But as they begin to unlock the ancient secrets the cavern holds, they find themselves at the centre of a dangerous game. One accidental death leads to another.And it seems that someone will stop at nothing to protect the enigma of the tenth chamber

The Swordbearer

SUMMARY: A young boy’s dreams of glory and war turn into a bitter nightmare as his father’s kingdom is overrun by an invading army. Lost and alone in the woods, he finds an ancient sword that promises him the ability to claim his vengeance. As he begins to take that vengeance, he comes to realize the price that the sword will demand of him. Enemies soon become allies and strange bedfellows abound as the prophesies of an age swirl into chaos.

The Swap

SUMMARY: Ever have a moment you wish you could undo? A wickedly brilliant tale of revenge, mystery, and fate, Antony Moore’s The Swap is at once a gripping thriller and a hilarious black comedy—a book for anyone who’s ever wondered what could have been. . . .Harvey Briscow—smoker, drinker, comic-shop owner—is facing another school reunion back in Cornwall. Having spent the last two decades second-guessing himself, Harvey isn’t thrilled at the prospect of showing his classmates the mess he’s made of his life. But this is Harvey’s twentieth reunion, a milestone that all but guarantees that Charles “Bleeder” Odd—the freakish reject who made off with Harvey’s now-priceless Superman One comic in a school-yard swap—will be in attendance. But when Harvey returns to Cornwall, hoping to retrieve his comic, he’s met with more than a few surprises. . . . Bleeder is now dazzlingly successful—and quite content to watch Harvey squirm, refusing to acknowledge their long-ago trade. And Harvey—fueled by drink and the promise of a beautiful woman—soon makes a fateful choice, one he instantly wishes he could undo. A dead body and an enraged husband further complicate matters . . . but there’s a silver lining in this strange chain of events: suddenly one bad swap is the least of Harvey’s regrets. . . .

The Sun Over Breda

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Acclaimed author Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s internationally bestselling series, the saga of the swordsman-for-hire Captain Alatriste, continues in *The Sun Over Breda*. Fifteen-year-old Iñigo Balboa enlists to serve as his master’s aide, and narrates their further adventures of swordplay and skirmishes, mutiny and wartime honor, as Captain Alatriste rejoins his Cartagena regiment to take part in the battles and siege of Breda. In Spain, Alatriste’s nemesis, Luis de Alquézar, grows more powerful, as Iñigo’s mysterious friend Angélica hints at some plans upon his return. Once again the exploits of the seventeenth-century mercenary will thrill and delight the legions of readers eager to cheer a hero for the ages.

The summer tree

SUMMARY: Five university students–Kimberly, Dave, Jennifer, Kevin, and Paul–meet a wizard who takes them to the heart of all worlds, Fionavar, where they discover who they were truly meant to be. Reprint.

The Summer of Riley

From Publishers Weekly

“Bunting’s straightforward story about an Oregon boy who learns to accept the loss of loved ones, including a dog, is heartwarming despite some heavy touches,” said PW. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-With the recent death of his grandfather and his parents’ decision to separate, 11-year-old William struggles with his grief and anger until an abandoned Lab comes into his life. Boy and dog bond immediately, but then William takes him to visit a neighbor. Without warning, Riley breaks away and begins to chase Peachie’s old racehorse, causing injury to him. When the dog runs over to her farm again, she calls the animal-control officers and they take Riley away. Determined to save his pet from a possible death sentence, William begins a publicity campaign to vie for the townspeople’s sympathies. Riley is saved when a man offers to take him and train him to keep an airport runway clear of birds. Although William loses the dog he loves, he realizes that he has done his best and begins to accept the changes that are taking place in his life. The interactions among various characters are well developed. This is a thought-provoking story but the resolution, though believable, is not totally satisfying since it gets everyone off the hook without any real change taking place concerning the law or people’s attitudes. It is disturbing how quickly everyone except William gives up on Riley. Everything is great when he appears to be “the perfect dog,” but one flaw and immediately he becomes a “throwaway” once again. Bunting has really captured the dilemma of our contemporary society, which wants simple solutions to complex situations, often demands perfection, and rejects anything less.
Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.