BOOK & BLOG
June 14, 2009
Books of the Week:
Skin Trade is a wonderful action-packed book that has a lot of answers for questions about the previous books. And there are some surprising character developments: Anita is somewhat more at peace with her involuntary servitude to the ardeur, while the practical Jean-Claude is becoming more than a little jealous. I know a million other people have posted reviews of this latest Anita Blake, so I won’t go into more detail.
Mike Carey’s books are always interesting, and Thicker Than Water continues this trend. It’s another book about Felix Castor, freelance exorcist, who lives in London and has learned from his past grievous mistakes. In this Felix book, a slum housing development becomes inhabited by evil. Felix not only has to combat that horror, but he has to try to stay on the good side of the Anathemata, an excommunicated Catholic group that’s sort of like holy commandos. As always in Carey books, bad things happen to both evil and good people, so if you’re a happily-ever-after kind of reader, Carey may not be for you.
On July 21, you’ll be able to buy Sandman Slim, a wonderful hard-boiled supernatural detective book by Richard Kadrey. This book is what an episode of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” would be like if Simon R. Green wrote the script. An editor at Harper Collins sent me an advance copy, just as a “happy.” I loved it.
Since I hadn’t read it in years, I bought another copy of Lucius Shepard’s vampire novel, The Golden. Told in a lush Victorian style, Shepard’s book about a former policeman who’s now a vampire and his assignment to find the murderer of a specially bred sacrificial victim is not like anything you’ve ever read. His conception of the huge, strange castle at which the vampires of Europe have clustered for this special occasion is so amazing that though the characters themselves don’t grab me like they once did, I’m enchanted all over with Shephard’s creation.
Tonight’s the big night! I hope a lot of you are planning some kind of party, even if it’s a party of one. At my place, our guests will be the friends who were here for the first season premiere night. Though HBO said they were sending me the first four episodes, they must be coming by camel, because I haven’t received them. Truthfully, at this point that’s okay. I’ll be surprised just like everyone else.
I had a great time yesterday in Shreveport at the Author! Author! Event, held at the Municipal Memorial Auditorium. Let me tell you about the auditorium. When Paula and I pulled up, I wondered if it was an old jail. Then I realized I’d never seen a building quite like it. I’m not sure how old the auditorium is, but it’s pretty darn old. Let me tell you whose dressing room I had: Elvis Presley’s. The auditorium used to be host to the Louisiana Hayride, and many of the great country music stars performed on that scarred wooden stage. Also, it’s haunted. What more could you ask?
But there IS more. As Paula will agree, we were treated like royalty, which is always pleasant. Not only were we escorted into the building, but we got a gift bag, flowers, and cookies by Pat’s Chunky Chunk Gourmet Cookies, the last word in delicious. I’ll try to find the name of the business and post it. Author! Author! features regional writers, and the event could not have been more smoothly (or more graciously) run.
And security was great! Two police officers (whose names I won’t mention because I might embarrass them) were there, and not only were they fun to talk to and very careful about making sure we had peace of mind, thank God they didn’t have any problems to solve! All my readers were the great crowd they always have been. To add to the cumulative happiness of the day, I saw some sorority sisters from the one year I belonged to a sorority, a friend from my home town (John Pritchard, a noted writer), and some writers I hadn’t met before but I hope to meet again.
This was the first signing I’d had in months; and I’ve got to say, it was one of the best signings I’ve ever had. It would be great if more writers became interested in attending this event. It was well worth doing.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris