Articles tagged "Michael Sims"

New York Times Summer Reading Recommendations

The gray lady recently revealed several Summer 2017 reading lists in mystery, horror, graphic novels, and more, including these 10 Macmillan titles:
True Crime (full list)

In his lively literary biography ARTHUR AND SHERLOCK: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, Michael Sims traces the real-life inspiration for the first “scientific detective” to the renowned Dr. Joseph Bell, a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh celebrated for his uncanny diagnostic observational skills. His methods were “quite easy, gentlemen,” Dr. Bell would assure his students. “If you will only observe and put two and two together,” you, too, could deduce a man’s profession, family history and social status from the way he buttons his waistcoat.

Grace Humiston was an advocate for an earlier generation of lost and forgotten women, and her inspiring story demands a hearing. In MRS. SHERLOCK HOLMES: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation, Brad Ricca makes a heroic case for Humiston, a lawyer and United States district attorney who forged a career of defending powerless women and immigrants. For her dogged work on the 1917 case of a missing girl that the police had given up on, the newspapers called her “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.”

Authors of true crime books have made a cottage industry out of analyzing what makes killers tick. Michael Cannell gives credit where credit is due in INCENDIARY: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling by profiling one of the pioneers, Dr. James A. Brussel, a New York psychiatrist who specialized in the criminal mind. After 28 attacks, Dr. Brussel, a Freudian psychiatrist who ministered to patients at Creedmoor state mental hospital, used “reverse psychology,” a precursor of criminal profiling, to identify features of the bomber — his “sexuality, race, appearance, work history and personality type.” Aside from an unseemly fight over the $26,000 reward money, the case was a genuine groundbreaker in criminal forensics.

Horror (full list)

Some horror novels, though, feel timeless whenever you happen to read them, and Kit Reed’s wondrous new ghost story MORMAMA seems to me one of those. It’s a haunted-house tale, set in Jacksonville, Fla., in which three elderly sisters, a young single mother, her 12-year-old son and an amnesiac drifter who might be related to them all, attempt to fend off the uneasy spirits also resident in the crumbling mansion they live in. Reed, who has been writing fiction of all kinds for nearly 60 years, certainly knows how to construct a traditional spooky tale, and she does that expertly in MORMAMA, alternating different voices (some living, some not), laying out complex family relationships over several generations, managing a complicated plot and then drawing everything together in a spectacular, and unexpectedly moving, conclusion.

Graphic Novels (full list)

Most of Guy Delisle’s longer graphic novels to date, like PYONGYANG and BURMA CHRONICLES, have been memoirs of his travels. HOSTAGE is neither about the Canadian cartoonist’s own experiences nor grounded in his canny observations of place: It’s the story of Christophe André, who spent almost four months in 1997 as a hostage. Kidnapped from a Doctors Without Borders office in Nazran, Ingushetia, a Russian republic near Chechnya, where he was an administrator, he was taken to Grozny and handcuffed to a radiator next to a mattress in a darkened room. That was all André knew. He didn’t speak his captors’ language, got almost no information of any kind from them, and had no way of knowing when or how he might be freed.

It’s usually a slight to argue that an artist “hasn’t found their voice yet”; in the case of the restlessly versatile Jillian Tamaki, it’s an endorsement. BOUNDLESS collects short stories that are so far apart from one another in tone and technique that they could almost pass for the work of entirely different artists. If Tamaki (the illustrator of the Book Review’s By the Book feature) has a favorite storytelling strategy, it seems to be dreaming up some kind of odd artifact of mass culture and then examining the way people react to it. readmoreremove

Thriller Thursday (6/8/17 Edition)

Happy #ThrillerThursday! First, big congrats to our nominees on the 2017 CWA Dagger longlists:

The CWA Gold Dagger
THE DRY by Jane Harper

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
MOSKVA by Jack Grimwood
THE ONE MAN by Andrew Gross
REDEMPTION ROAD by John Hart

The John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger
WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW by JoAnn Chaney
GOOD ME BAD ME by Ali Land

The Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction
ARTHUR AND SHERLOCK: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes by Michael Sims

The CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger
BY GASLIGHT by Steven Price

Now on to this week’s new books!

HE SAID/SHE SAID by Erin Kelly
Two starred reviews! On the eve of a solar eclipse, a couple forced into hiding discovers that they can no longer run from their past in this taut psychological suspense novel. “HE SAID/SHE SAID is a thriller to savor, and should be one of the highlights of the summer.” — Associated Press

WOLF ON A STRING by Benjamin Black
Bestselling author Black turns his eye to sixteenth century Prague and a story of murder, magic and the dark art of wielding extraordinary power. “Black displays his mastery of yet another mystery subgenre in this brooding, atmospheric whodunit set in 16th-century Prague. Superior prose complements the intricate plot.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

YOU BELONG TO ME by Colin Harrison
An elite immigration attorney and obsessive collector of antique New York City maps is drawn into a swiftly escalating series of murders in Harrison’s latest whodunit. “In his latest New York-centered crime thriller, Harrison spins a tightly wound tale of obsession and betrayal. The narrative is as impressively constructed as the maps in Paul’s collection: each section laid out in seamless order to allow for a satisfyingly neat conclusion.” — Publishers Weekly readmoreremove

Friday Reads: Sherlock!

Oh, Sherlock! For fans already mourning the end of the newest TV season, we’ve got two books to satisfy your withdrawal pains:

ARTHUR & SHERLOCK: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes by Michael Sims
From the acclaimed author of THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE’S WEB, the rich, true tale tracing the young Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation of Sherlock Holmes and the modern detective story. “Sims makes this carefully researched book approachable as well as scholarly. Recommended for readers interested in Doyle and the genesis of the detective novel, as well as those seeking informative, entertaining reading.” — Library Journal

sherlockMRS. SHERLOCK HOLMES: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation by Brad Ricca
“The author of SUPER BOYS: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster—The Creators of Superman returns with the astonishing story of the first female U.S. district attorney. Rapid, compelling storytelling informed by rigorous research and enlivened by fecund imagination.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib. Happy weekend!

Happy #BookBday (8/26/14 Edition)

Happy #BookBday to these fabulous new titles:

LOCK IN by John Scalzi
Scalzi’s near-future thriller landed on the August 2014 LibraryReads list and received three starred pre-publication reviews, like this one from Kirkus: “This SF thriller provides yet more evidence that Scalzi is a master at creating appealing commercial fiction.”

FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES by Michael Pitre
Early buzz has been building for Pitre’s incredible debut novel (it’s a B&N Discover New Writers pick, a Library Journal Best Summer Debut, a September 2014 Indie Next selection, a “Summer/Fall Indies Introduce Promotion” selection, and a featured Maximum Shelf Awareness title) and now major media is ramping up. Pitre will be interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” (air date TBD), and reviews are coming in from USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, which called FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES, “an unblinking, razor-edged portrait of the war.”

THE FURIES by Natalie Haynes
Another Library Journal Best Summer Debut selection is Haynes’s “accomplished psychological mystery” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) about a drama teacher whose students react to Greek tragedies in dark and surprising ways. “Fans of suspense fiction with depth will especially enjoy this read.” — Library Journal

THE PHANTOM COACH: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories by Michael Sims
Sims’s collection of “delightfully creepy”* Victorian ghost stories from famous writers such as Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, and Arthur Conan Doyle is “a great collection for literature fans who enjoy lesser-known stories by famous novelists.” — *Booklist

Spiders and Pigs: The Life of E.B. White

In THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE'S WEB, Michael Sims tells the charming story of E.B. White, the man who created Wilbur, Charlotte, Fern, and, of course, everyone's favorite self-proclaimed glutton Templeton

Library Journal says, "Sims successfully argues that CHARLOTTE'S WEB unintentionally became a 'summary of what it felt like to be E.B. White.' [...] Scholars of children’s literature as well as fans—child and grown-up alike—of either White generally or Charlotte’s Web in particular will enjoy this biblio-biography."

And Kirkus Reviews says it's, "Packed with the same kind of sensory detail its subject reveled in, this account is an honorable addition to the literature of letters."

This is the type of biography that is so rich with detail and driven with purpose it reads like a novel.*

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