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Books

This book cover image released by Putnam shows "The Lost Key," by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison. (AP Photo/Putnam)

Review: ‘The Lost Key’ is compelling thriller

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A sub that disappeared near the end of World War I plays a key role in a modern-day murder in Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison’s The Lost Key. Nicholas Drummond has left his job with British intelligence and is now an FBI agent. He’s teamed with female agent Mike Caine, and they are summoned to the scene of a murder on Wall Street. The victim is a bookstore owner who specialized in rare books, but as Drummond and Caine dig deeper, they learn he had a secret identity and was known in some circles as The Messenger. They stumble on the perpetrator, and during the …

w: The sources of our political distempers

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why have millions of Americans turned their backs on civic affairs, trashed elected officials and come to distrust the federal government? What are the sources of our political distempers? Such questions occupy the center of Jonathan Darman’s Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America, and his answers are …

‘Build a Girl’ a tale of survival

Sunday, October 19, 2014

In the author’s note to her rambunctious novel How to Build a Girl, Caitlin Moran insists that her teenage protagonist, Johanna Morrigan, is not herself, and that her story is fiction. But the plot mirrors Moran’s own unlikely leap onto the masthead of a storied music paper by the age of 16, as …

‘Laughter in Ancient Rome’ is like a great piece of archaeology

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Once there was a king who had a reputation as a ladies’ man, and after he died, his heir’s first duties included a tour of the provinces. In one town he …

‘The Human Age’ says there’s hope of saving the world

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In Paris, flowers, butterflies and birds live on the exterior of the Quai Branly Museum, a cultural destination that doubles as a natural ecosystem. A garden stuffed with breathing plants in the thousands, and soon to house frogs …

Women in politics: Gillibrand and Davis release memoirs

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Two prominent women in politics, New Yorker Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who shot to fame in pink sneakers with an abortion-rights filibuster, are out this month …

17th-century Amsterdam reimagined

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jessie Burton’s accomplished first novel, The Miniaturist, is many things – a deftly plotted mystery, a feminist coming-of-age drama and a probing investigation of marriage. Burton evokes the sights, sounds and smells of 17th-century Amsterdam as she brings …

A tale of a dangerous double life

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A gent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA reads like a screenplay for a James Bond movie written by Joel and Ethan Coen. An unlikely double agent from Denmark infiltrates al-Qaida. His managers, the clandestine …

‘Epilogue’ lacks shape, movement, humor, appeal

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Now in his mid-30s, Will Boast has not had an easy life. When he was a boy, his parents uprooted him from his native England and moved to Wisconsin, where his father had found work as a “project …

Miranda Corbie confronts her own ‘City of Ghosts’

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A love of San Francisco – its flaws, strengths and eccentricities – permeates Kelli Stanley’s intriguing novels about private detective Miranda Corbie. Stanley’s novels capture San Francisco – and the United States – in the years just before …

‘Politics is a Joke!’ highlights importance of late-night TV for candidates

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In September 2008, as the economy was imploding, John McCain suspended his campaign for the presidency and canceled a guest spot on David Letterman’s late-night TV show. “I’m more than a little disappointed by this behavior,” fumed the …

On My Nightstand: ‘Pliney Fiske’

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pliney Fiske, a young Concord man, stayed home to care for his ailing father, the local druggist. But now that the Civil War is over, those returning soldiers resent his nonparticipation and nickname him “Mama Fiske,” insinuating he …

The haunting of failures past

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Make no mistake. Empire of Mud, J.D. Dickey’s history of early Washington, is a bracing and graceful read, but upon finishing its calamity-laden pages, you may conclude that a lot of people had a lot of years to …