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Wednesday, September 22,2010

From deadlines to dead people

From deadlines to dead people Pulitzer-winning journalist becomes best-selling author

by Bill Castanier
Sandford is especially known for his 20 “Prey” novels featuring Minneapolis detective Lucas Davenport, but he is on the road promoting his relatively new series that features police detective Virgil Flowers. He has written four novels in that series, which grew out of the “Prey” franchise.
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Wednesday, September 15,2010

Tolerance test

’Zeitoun’ couple comes to troubled East Lansing

by Bill Castanier
“Zeitoun” follows the nightmarish experience of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian- American, who stayed in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Abdul, as he is called by friends and neighbors, became a hero, navigating the flood waters in a canoe to evacuate trapped residents and comfort others who stayed behind.
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Wednesday, September 8,2010

Through a child’s eyes

Booker Prize nominee Emma Donoghue tells a tale of terror from a 5-year-old’s viewpoint

by Bill Castanier
Canadian author Emma Donoghue has written one of the more unusual books you will ever read. A combination of sheer horror and a mother and son’s love, the book is written in the voice of 5-year old Jack, who has never known a world outside a locked shed where an abductor has held his “Ma” for seven years.
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Wednesday, September 1,2010

When a Haven is no safe haven

Dreams and reality clash in Kristina Riggle’s ’Life’

by Bill Castanier
In her first book, “Real Life Liars,” Riggle examined the members of a family as they approached various crossroads in their lives. This time, it’s four adult women, three of whom shared high school dreams together while the fourth is the mother of one of the women.
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Friday, August 27,2010

The case of the big cover-up

Eric Jerome Dickey is excited about his latest book — but not about how it's being promoted

by Bill Castanier
Author Eric Jerome Dickey begs you not to judge his new book, “Tempted By Trouble,” by its cover.The dust jacket of his newest book shows an attractive young woman in a seductive pose — typical cover art for a vast majority of his books.
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Wednesday, August 25,2010

Paging blues fans

New book captures music legends during two Ann Arbor festivals

by Bill Castanier
With an erudite and knowledgeable essay by music historian and archivist Michael Erlewine wrapped around stunning, never-before-seen black-and-white photographs by Stanley Livingston of virtually every major blues performer, the book is a one-of-kind tribute to a bygone era.
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Wednesday, August 11,2010

A 'Blessing' in disguise

Surviving a tough year inspired Katrina Kittle to think about animals

by Bill Castanier
Those experiences all come together in Kittle’s new book, “The Blessing of the Animals,” which explores loss, divorce and the institution of marriage. Kittle says she is a favorite of book clubs; one reason for that is she raises a lot of questions about social issues in her books.
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Wednesday, August 4,2010

Must be the season of the 'Witch'

Kelley Armstong casts a supernatural spell in a new mystery featuring a detective witch

by Bill Castanier
“Growing up, horror was something for guys,” she said. “I read Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, Stephen King.’’
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Wednesday, July 28,2010

North to Kalkaska

Bryan Gruley returns to his Michigan roots in ’The Hanging Tree’

by Bill Castanier
Gruley’s second book, “The Hanging Tree,” is a masterpiece of detective fiction, with the right amount of blind alleys that leave the outcome always in doubt. The author, who is the Chicago bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, has topped his first book while capturing the essence of a hockey-crazy Michigan small town.
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Wednesday, July 21,2010

A moo-ving tale

Former Lansing author works unusual twists into ’The Drifts’

by Bill Castanier
Some of the plotlines may be over the top, but Vernon uses them to convey the central themes of stereotyping, outsiders and survival. The book, set in rural Arkansas during a blizzard, finds the characters not only confronting their demons, but also committing acts of violence.
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