Mysterious Book Report No 53

This week’s MBR is a special one for me as it marks my second year of writing them at one per week for every issue of The Townsman without missing a single issue.  Wow . . . I can hardly believe it, but it is a fact, so this one’s sorta special to me.  It’s also going to be noteworthy for a couple of other reasons, one celebratory and other arcane.  The arcane, or mysterious reason is because it coincides with the Bloomsday celebration in Ireland on June 16th.  That’s the day revelers and fans of James Joyce’s infamous novel Ulysses show up in Dublin dressed in period clothes to celebrate the day that Leopold Bloom, the main character spent walking around Dublin doing nothing: June 16th, 1904.  Why so many celebrate a novel so few have actually read is a mystery to me.  But it is a fact; and so it is special.  The celebratory reason is because there’s going to be a celebrity in town, doing a book-signing at the Daniel Pierce Library on the 15th; two-time Edgar Award winner, Steve Hamilton.  This is a special event all by itself, and I hope all of you turn out in support of him, your gorgeous new library and you’re beautiful community.  We reviewed Mr. Hamilton’s most recent Edgar Winner The Lock Artist last week, and this week we’ll review his newest work, Die A Stranger, (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 278 pages, ISBN 978-0-312-64021-7) the latest, in his acclaimed Alex McKnight series.  It takes place in northern Michigan, where McKnight is living a quiet life, making his living renting cabins to tourists.  As the book begins, a small airplane is landing on a remote rural airstrip on the dead of night, delivering a load of Canadian Marijuana.  What was supposed to be just another routine, albeit clandestine, dope-drop turns into a blood-bath

. . . that leaves five dead bodies, enough blood to launch a canoe, an abandoned  Canadian aircraft with a dead pilot on board, a growing mystery, and a missing person: Vinnie LeBlanc, an Ojibwa Indian and Alex’s best friend and neighbor, who appears to be implicated in the affair.  When a mysterious, sinister stranger comes to town looking for him . . . Alex gets involved in what turns into a race against time when a doomsday clock with Vinnie and Alex’s name on it ticks relentlessly down to zero.  It’s a thrill ride at high speed on bald tires as Alex and the unlikeliest of allies team up to stop an unstoppable clock.  Written by the hand of a master, Die A Stranger is as smooth, mellow and warm as fifteen year-old single malt scotch.  It’s a series I personally was unaware of . . . an oversight I’m already correcting.  They’re too good to miss, and Hamilton will be a companion of mine as I read the rest of his work sometime in the next few weeks, we’ll review A Cold Day In Paradise, his first novel, also an Edgar winner.

Okay folks, this is it.  I hope ‘alla’ yez’ find some time to stop by the Daniel Pierce library in Grahamsville in support of Steve Hamilton, an awesome award-winning writer and really nice guy.  It’s your chance to meet a real celebrity, right in your hometown.

Have you visited my website yet?  It’s at:

johndwainemckenna.com

where you’ll find an ever-expanding cyberspace universe for you to explore and answer some of your most pressing and perplexing questions, such as what’s a good book for our group to read?  There’s a growing list, over 250 and counting, complied by a group of professional women and university librarians, my personal list of best books of the year, every single one of the Mysterious Book Reports, there’s news, blogs, links, biographies of yours truly and Bert Entwistle, the newest writer-member of our Rhyolite Press Posse, photos and even a CONTACT bar that gives you a chance to say what is on your mind, or offer a question, comment, critique or just go wild on the computer keyboard.  We’d love to hear from you.  The Neversink Chronicles are available at Cannie D’s in Neversink, The little Store in Roscoe, the Time and the Valleys Museum in Grahamsville from Rhyolite Press at P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO  80901, on the web at Amazon, Kindle, Apple iPad, or by asking for it at your favorite bookstore.  But for gosh sakes, get a copy right away.  I’m trying to catch up with Steve Hamilton and he’s got a major head-start on me!  Yeah, right.  But, like Ma always said, “Ya gotta start somewhere . . . ”  I’m gonna go start another MBR before I get laughed out of town.  See you next week with another suggestion for a great read.

                                                                                    –JDM