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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Multitude of Mysteries

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This week, mystery lingers in the air like the teasing portents of spring. A host of well established writers stop at Mystery One Bookstore to sign and read excerpts from their newest works. Chicago writer Steven Sidor has authored a new thriller, titled The Mirror’s Edge, that follows a journalist’s obsessive course to track the abductor of a pair of toddler twins.

The investigation leads to the world of the supernatural and occult, taking sharp and grisly turns and artfully setting a terrifying mood that’s earned him the title of “master of the unsettling.” Richard Katz, owner of Mystery One, says that Sidor has deservedly won cultstatus among readers. He comes to Mystery One on Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m.

The following day, April 5, at 10 a.m., not one but two mystery mavens swoop down on Milwaukee: Libby Fischer Hellman and Cara Black. Fischer Hellman’s new book, Easy Innocence, departs from stock suspense topics to visit suburban prostitution in the wealthy suburbs of Chicago, where the writer resides. Inspired by a hazing incident at a local school, as well as troubling statistics on suburban teen prostitution, it’s a disconcerting exploration of the degree to which some children will succumb to peer pressure.

Meanwhile, Black’s Murder in the Rue De Paradis is, like all of her works featuring the spiky-haired detective Aimee Leduc, set in Paris; this time in the multiethnic 10th arondissement on the Right Bank. It takes place in the anxious aftermath of the 1995 bombing at the St.-Michel station in the city’s Latin quarter, and weaves themes of nationalism and religious fanaticism into the mysterious death of the protagonist’s boyfriend.

Also contributing to the recent trend of mysteries set in foreign lands, South African writers Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip (together known as Michael Stanley) write their first collaborative work, a thriller set in modern-day Botswana. When a decomposed body is found in the Kalahari Desert, the crime trail leads to wealthy and affluent members of Botswanan society. Katz describes it as “an outstanding traditional mystery,” adding, “This was one of the finest first crime novels I have read recently.” Sears and Trollip come to Mystery One on Saturday, April 12, at 11 a.m.
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