Zoom Event Tomorrow, ( Tuesday, August 11 ) Presenting Lucy Burdette

Cathy, Lucy Burdette, Serena, and Jean

I love this photo taken in spring of 2019 when Lucy Burdette visited Copperfish and told us all about her Key West Food Critic Mystery novels. We all looked happy because we were!

The day I discovered Lucy’s series of books set in Key West was a lightbulb moment for me. I had no idea she would continue this amazing series or, that I would get to know her. Let alone having the privilege of having her appear at Copperfish Books and tell her story to our beloved customers and her many readers. Over the years I’ve sold many dozens of Lucy’s books. They are all super and perfect for vacationers as well as those of us who live in the hot spot of Florida. What a treat to hear her talk about her characters and  energize the audience.

Lucy showing off Key Lime Crime

Lucy Burdette is a pen name. Roberta Isleib is Lucy’s real name. You can follow her on Facebook from here.   You’ll get to meet her now famous kitty Mr T-bone and her brand new cute as can be puppy Lottie. I melt each time I see them getting to know each other better.

Key Lime Pie

I don’t know about you folks but I love a good slice of key lime pie. When I found out Lucy’s next book in the series would feature my favorite pie I knew there would be plenty of sweet stuff. And there is. I even asked Lucy who has the best key lime pie. She laughed and said she would have to “kill” me if she told me. 🙀 That was before the book came out.

I read THE KEY LIME CRIME as a digital review copy on my ipad a couple months ago, but was so humbled and happy to see that Lucy had mentioned me and Copperfish in the back of the book.

author’s note

She’s a very generous author and you are going to love hearing all about her new book. I hope you’ll join us tomorrow night through zoom.  Just click here and it will take you to the page on our website where you can sign up. Don’t forget that the event is free and a good time is guaranteed. Please come.

Copperfish Book Art

We, at Copperfish Books, will have copies of all of Lucy’s Food Critic’s books and they will be available for purchase through mail or in store. The new book will include this shout out for me and to Copperfish in the back of the book. If you’d like to begin with the first in the series  start with AN APPETITE FOR MURDER

An Appetite For Murder

which is number one. You’re going to love them all and they each stand alone.

I want to thank Lucy’s publisher Crooked Lane Books for all the work they’ve done. We want this wonderful series to continue forever!!

Universe of Two by Stephen P. Kiernan

Universe of Two

UNIVERSE OF TWO is a novel based on the life of one of the brilliant young physicists who designed and built the atomic bomb, Charlie Fisk. Since this week marks the 75th  anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and then ending WW11 by dropping  a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki on the 9th, I think the pub date is pretty important. But, this novel was due out in May. Pushed back to August by the pandemic, sometimes things are just meant to be.

Hiroshima

Stephen P. Kiernan is the author of four novels. I was first introduced to him with THE BAKER’S SECRET. I ve since gone on to sell dozens of copies of that book.

Charlie Fish meets Brenda who will become his wife one day when he wanders into her family’s organ shop. Brenda is a very accomplished organist with a promising career.  It’s not love at first sight, though.  However…..

When Charlie is whisked off to Los Alamos, New Mexico to work on a top secret affair, their relationship becomes more concrete.  Charlie doesn’t know he’s being injected into The Manhattan Project. He stays  very unknowing almost until the end.  With Brenda’s urging, Charlie becomes the “trigger” man for the project. Brenda has no idea what Charlie’s working on, she just knows he needs to be a man and get this project over with.   She has no idea….

The scenes at The Hill where Charlie works on the “gadget” seem quite authentic. The black kitty named Midnight who favored Charlie and slept on his bed worried me.  And when Midnight’s lovely black fur began changing color I became almost sick. It made this project very real. I even wonder now how many of the people who worked on this project actually perished later in life because of all that they were subjected to up so close.  The reality of this project gleams through in the telling.

Jenna Blum, NYT bestselling of THOSE WHO SAVE US says: ” Stephen Kiernan has pulled off the nearly impossible, reminding us by wrapping a war story in a love story that although we hold the power for our own extinction, we also have the power to redeem, heal, and save.  The most tender, terrifying, relevant book you’ll read this year.”

Yes, this is a love story, and at times it seemed almost old fashioned. But that goes with the times, I think. It’s also a story of conscience and redemption.  With that being said, I think for a lot of people, this story might make some of this clearer.  It’s very timely.

I thank William Morris of Harper Collins for supplying my review copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s a good one to add to your bookclub pile.

Copies of UNIVERSE OF TWO will be available soon at Copperfish books. They’ll be discounted 20%.

 

The Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette

The Key Lime Crime

THE KEY LIME CRIME is the tenth in Lucy Burdette’s  Key West Food Critic Mystery series.  I’ve been a fan since reading AN APPETITE FOR MURDER which was the first in this series.  This is what they call a cozy mystery and it’s set entirely in one of my favorite locales: Key West, Florida.  These books are filled with great food, atmospheric pages and all the crazy-wonderful spots  you love in this amazing old city. And there are cats. And the main characters live on houseboats. How cool is that!

In this newest installment we find Hayley Snow up to her last nerve dealing with work angst and personal stress. You see, her new husband Nathan who is a police detective,  has just announced a big surprise. His mother who was not able to attend their recent wedding, is coming for a visit. Could the timing be worse? Probably not. Key West the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is exploding with snowbirds and tourists.  Plus, Haley works for Key Zest magazine and will be covering a big bash:a key lime pie baking contest that all the pastry chefs on the island are wild about. And there are a lot of them.

Key West Houseboats

Haley and Nathan live on a houseboat that they share with an elderly housemate of Hayleys. They’re in the midst of renovating their own boat but it’s far from ready.  So they set Helen, Nathan’s mom, up with Hayley’s mom and dad not far from old town.  I have long been intrigued with the houseboats of Key West and so I thoroughly enjoy this aspect of the stories.  Throw in Hayley’s housemate Miss Gloria who is somewhere in her eighties and I am all in.

The Conch Train is a great way to see the island  especially when all the holiday lights are offering such a show. It’s during one of these island tours one evening that Miss Gloria spots something awry on one of the conch cottage porches and so she returns to the cottage after the train tour with Haylee and Helen to do some sleuthing.

T-bone

And low and behold while she’s sniffing out an orange tabby kitten under the house, Helen unearths a dead body dressed in a Santa costume on the porch. Let the mystery begin.

I’ve loved Key West since my first visit thirty some years ago. I love its quirkiness, it’s be-who-you-are atmosphere, and all the  food. And the cats.

Haylee begins to see her mother-in-law is a very curious woman.  Helen is all over this murder. Why?  And we find that the murdered woman is a very high profile  pastry chef who has already caused plenty of trouble surrounding this pie contest. But why would anyone want to kill her?

I started reading this novel jonesing for key lime pie. My hunger for it just kept getting crazier. But, to tell you the truth, by the end of the story I was sick to death of it. Yes, more than enough pastry shops offer amazing key lime confections. They are ubiquitous in Key West.  I remember the mile high meringue on the Blue Heaven creation.  Love Blue Heaven. Have enjoyed many a breakfast outside with the chickens pecking around my feet.

We at Copperfish were lucky enough to have Lucy Burdette

Lucy Burdette signing books at Copperfish Books (2019)

speak and sign her books last spring as she traveled back north to her summertime home. She was delightful and everyone fell in love with her. It’s then that she told us about adopting T-Bone, her orange tabby kitten. And she’s incorporated him perfectly in this new crime caper. She also mentions Evinrude who is another Key West kitty. Love it.

I loved disappearing into this novel. I was hunkered down in the Key West I know and love. Back walking the atmospheric tucked away streets, eating in my favorite restaurants, and enjoying everything the island on the rock offers. If you haven’t been to Key West you have no idea what you are missing. And did I  even mention the sunset events?

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

As I was enjoying reading the acknowledgements at the end of the book I was thrilled to see Lucy had mentioned me and Copperfish Books. How cool is that!

THE KEY LIME CRIME will be published in hard cover on Tuesday, August 11 by Crooked Lane Books.  Cathy and I will be hosting the virtual book launch at 5 o’clock on the 11th. You can sign up through eventbrite on the Copperfish website. The event is free. Just click on eventbrite above and follow the directions. We sure hope you’ll be able to join us for what is sure to be a fun time for us all. After all, we’ll be talking about Key West and asking Lucy to tell us about her writing process. And since it’s 5 o’clock, maybe we’ll have a happy hour cocktail 😽

You’ll be able to purchase copies of THE KEY LIME CRIME on Tuesday, August 11. We will be discounting them 20%. All the paperbacks will also be available. When you spend $35 the shipping fee is free. A good choice would be the new book plus at least one of the paperbacks. They are all delightful! And Lucy’s sending signed book plates to go with…. Thanks Lucy.

 

 

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Good Morning America has already chosen THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Fiona Davis as their book of the month for August. How smart is that! I loved this novel and just know it’s going to be on every book lovers list for reading this year. And rightly so. After all, it takes place mostly in The New York Public Library.

Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis has done her homework. She’s managed to bring us a marvelous novel that’s rife with great behind the scenes information about one of the most iconic buildings in our country. She also ties in big women’s issues and adds a complicated plot.  And along with this she’s filled the story with strong women and a mystery that promises to keep you up at night.

The story begins in 1913 with the superintendent of The New York Public Library and his wife and their two children moving into an apartment within the stacks of the actual library. My thoughts upon first reading this were that surely this was not true. After all, this is a novel. However, there really was an apartment deep within the library and the superintendent lived there. Boom! Laura, Lyons, the wife, seems to have a perfect life. But, she’s discontent and as her husband spends all his spare time writing his novel, Laura wants to also pursue her career. And so she returns to school: Columbia School of Journalism, no less. There she realizes that she is meant for far more than being a wife and mother. And you begin to see where this is going. When Laura hooks up with a radical group of women in Greenwich Village, she asks herself who she really is. And then the books begin mysteriously disappearing from the library…..

Eighty years later, we meet Sadie Donovan, who is Laura’s grandmother.  We find that Laura became an award winning essayist but her life was filled with drama and complications. Sadie is working at the same library and is a curator. And then, once again, books and manuscripts begin disappearing.

NIC Public Library Lions Masked

I couldn’t help myself. I had to post this photo of one of the actual lions outside the New York Public Library with his mask on.

So, this novel is perfect for book lovers. Perfect for readers who love great historical fiction. It’s brilliant.

I loved reading more about the apartments within the libraries. You will too. Just google them and up will pop lots of info.

About ten years ago my daughter and I went to NYC for a week to a conference for bloggers. One of the things on our to-see list was a visit to The New York Public Library, the very one this book is about. It’s quite daunting. Silly me, I kept looking for the fiction stacks. But discovered that this library is a research library and not a library like we have here at home. It’s huge and quiet and wonderful. And very, very beautiful.

If you belong to a book club you have to know this amazing book should be on your list for this season. I know I’ll be talking about it for a long time to come. My review copy was provided digitally through Netgalley by Penguin Random House. It was a joy to be able to be a first reader. Loved it!

Fiona Davis is the internationally best selling author of several books  set in famous buildings in NYC. You’re also going to want to read CHELSEA GIRLS and THE DOLLHOUSE.  And there’s even more….

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We have copies of THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE at Copperfish Books right now. They are discounted 20%. Run, do not walk, to get your copy now. Or, order online from us. Still discounted. If you’re a big reader you are going to want this book. Just get it! Tell them Maurice made you do it 😺

 

The Dog Days Of August Are Upon Us

Charcuterie Board

To celebrate the first day of August we decided to enjoy a charcuterie and cheese   plate from My Sweet Art,  a very authentic little French Cafe here on the Cape.  I ordered it a day in advance and Jack picked it up yesterday, along with two bowls of their amazing French onion soup. We added a couple of glasses of red wine and the plate came with a lovely baguette.  It was way more food than we needed and so we now have leftovers for another day. All good.

As I’m writing  this post we’re breathing a sigh of relief that Hurricane Isaias has decided to spare  us and has moved on to other pastures. We are all grateful here and pray that this storm causes no big trouble anywhere it lands. We do know, however, that this is only the beginning. We have a lot of praying to go.

I’m surrounded with good and great books to read right now. Some digital and some physical. It is truly overwhelming. I’m wading through them all, figuring out which will make the cut. Which will be read? Which will be discarded? What to read right now?

Universe of Two

THE UNIVERSE OF TWO  by Stephen P. Kiernan.  I’m always looking for good books by male authors. Kiernan wrote THE ‘S BAKER’S  SECRET a few years ago and I was so pleasantly surprised. What a nice treat. Now he’s back with another historical novel, this one a love story during WW11 that’s based on the life of a mathematician who worked on the atom bomb. No, he was not aware that was what he was doing at the time. I look forward to posting my review soon.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Pub date is August 4 for THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Fiona Davis. I loved it! Review coming this week.

The Key Lime Crime

Finally, after the pub date was moved back, THE KEY LIIME CRIME by Lucy Burdette will be available for all you readers. On August 11 Copperfish Books will be introducing Lucy Burdette’s wonderful new novel at a virtual book launch. At 5 PM  on Tuesday, August 11 Cathy and I will be hosting an event with Lucy through zoom. You can sign up for what we know is going to be such a fun event through Eventbrite. You can link from here. I hope you can join us.  What’s more fun than Key West? During these challenging times we need diversion. We promise to provide that.

Kiki and mouse

If you look closely you’ll see a beat up stuffed mousey in the middle of the rug. Kiki, the sweetest cat , brings me these all the time. Her way of showing she needs attention. She’s scowling because she doesn’t like her picture taken. Couldn’t  resist sharing this one.

I  had the most wonderful email this week from one of the readers from the Tea Time book club in Bonita Springs. She wanted to let me know how much she has appreciated my recommendations for great books  especially during these last several months. She’s been reading so much. And so have many of her reader friends. This is music to my ears. I would love to hear from more of you who have been reading  more than ever.

If you follow Elaine Newton’s Critic’s Choice then you already know she’s been zooming. Our Elaine is now zooming. You can catch her mini reviews that’s she recorded from her kitchen in Toronto where she’s been held hostage during the pandemic.  She recently did an entire lecture of NORMAL PEOPLE and you can watch it  now. We don’t know when live entertainment will be available again from the Philharmonic and are grateful for these teasers. Thank you Elaine and Artis-Naples.

Copperfish Books continues to be open for appointment shopping or, you can shop in groups of no more than four at a time without an appointment, if there are openings.  Don’t forget you can shop online, too. And take a look at our upcoming zoom events. A great way to meet some of your favorite authors, virtually.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We’ll soon be falling into fall. And with it, tons of great new books are coming down the book pike. Cheers!

Death On The Menu by Lucy Burdette

Death On The Menu

 

Welcome to the exciting and fun world of Haylee Snow, food critic for Key Zest Magazine in breezy Key West, Florida.  If this is your first time reading the series,  settle yourself in for a treat. If you’re already a fan, get ready to enjoy DEATH ON THE MENU which is number eight in the Key West Food Critic’s Mystery Series.

I fell head over heels  years ago when I read the first of the series,  AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. You see, I’ve loved Key West for thirty years. Visited every chance I could get. When I discovered Lucy Burdette,

Lucy Burdette

I knew I had hit on something big.  Each book returns to the island with a new adventure filled with great food, atmospheric restaurants, sunset pier, Houseboat Row, Miss Gloria, the cats, and all the colorful characters I’ve come to love. Oh yeah, and  there’s always a murder.

DEATH ON THE  MENU begins with Miss Gloria and Haylee reading  over the Key West Citizen and speculating about the upcoming event of the season. Haylee will be helping her mom who is just getting her fledgling catering business off the ground. They’ve gotten a big gig and will be doing all the food for a three day affair at Harry Truman’s Little Whitehouse. There’s lots of chatter as to who will be showing up. Could even be Jimmy Buffett or President Obama. It’s going to be that big of a deal.  But when Haylee’s boyfriend Nathan who’s a detective with the Key West Police Department shows up to warn Haylee of expected trouble at the event, they start getting a premonition.

Haylee doesn’t scare off easily. Off she goes in the morning, just as planned, to help mom.  Celebrities do show up. Even Diana Nyad gives a speech, Obama says a little something, and Jimmy Buffett sings some tunes and strums his guitar and adds a lot of color. And then the trouble comes along.  Along with a murder. And the theft of  rErnest Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA that was stolen right from its case in the museum.

Let the crime solving begin. Lots of amazing food shows up in this novel. And Burdette very generously shares eight recipes at the back of the book. Very cool.  I am so impressed that I’ve decided to try my hand at the black bean soup later this week. It looks like the most authentic black bean soup I’ve seen and I can’t wait to try it.

I never get tired of hearing about the tucked away side streets of Key West.  Just the thought of the bakeries and restaurants make my mouth water . And the Cuban  coffee.

Haylee Snow lives on a houseboat with Miss Gloria, a very feisty octogenarian.  She might be a senior citizen but she’s no slouch. Sharp as a whistle and quick on her feet, she also loves animals. That totally endears me to her.   Evinrude and Sparky are wonderful editions to the cast of characters in that they are both cats and live on the boat. I have always been fond of the eclectic  houseboats of Key West.

Key West Houseboats

Haylee seems to have a dream job. After all, who wouldn’t want to review restaurants for a living in Key West? But you have to know there are trials and tribulations a plenty.

This is a colorful series full of “take me away from it all” scenarios. Just what we all need right now.  There are nine books in the series and one coming in a couple weeks. So you have plenty of back stock to keep you reading . DEATH ON THE  MENU  came out last spring in hardcover and is now available in mass market paperback. You can get your copy at

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

Copperfish Books. Word on the street is they have them in stock right now. But, don’t wait. These puppies disappear quickly. Oh, and before I forget, we’ll be doing a zoom event with Lucy Burdette  on August 11, the pub date for THE KEY LIME CRIME. More on that later this week!

Book Of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

The Book of Lost Names

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek , it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small  town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

*****************************************

The above synopsis of THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES is taken from Goodreads and does a great job of introducing this amazing novel based on real historic events during WW11. Those of you who follow my blog already know I’m a big fan of Kristin Harmel. I’ve been reading her wonderful historical novels for years and love them all. Kristin puts her heart and soul into each book. She also is the queen of research. THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES  is no  exception.

There really is an old religious text called Epities et Evangiles that Kristin used as the basis for THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES.  It does not include code like she used in  THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES, though. Kristin has a copy of this 1732 text. She was kind enough to show it  to me through the magic of the internet. Kristin also has a copy of the Journal Officiel from 1944 which is in THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES.  Great inspiration.

I’ve read a lot of fiction set during WW11. I still love reading about it. And I especially love finding new stuff.  I love that this book is based on a true story. That enhances the experience for me. It’s continual learning.  And I’m finding that I am even more of a sponge now than ever.  I learned an awful lot about the intricacy of forgery in this new novel. At times, when Eva was working on a document, knowing how critical it was for it to be perfect, I could actually hear my own heart pounding in my chest.

This novel of courage, survival, and endurance is such an inspiration to all women everywhere.  The sense of place is superb. The roundups in Paris were very real. The losses were profound. The scenes in the tiny town of Aurigon in the safe zone way atop the mountains were breathtaking and perfectly set the tone for the story. I still close my eyes and see the inside of the book room within the church . And I can almost hear the voice of the priest as he’s going about the business of safekeeping.

Raves from PW

My review copy of THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES came from Gallery Books  in exchange for an honest review. Yes, Yes, I loved it!

Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel is the internationally bestselling of WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, and most recently THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, as well as other novels.  She lives in Florida with her husband and young son. We’ve been so fortunate to have her visit Copperfish Books and sign her books in years past. I can tell you firsthand that Kristin Harmel is an absolute delight!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

You can purchase copies of THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES at Copperfish Books on July 21. They will be discounted 20%. Don’t miss out on this amazing book. And, you can sign up for a virtual event with Kristin tomorrow from our website. How cool is this.

 

Maurice’s Mid-Summer Musings For July

I just couldn’t resist posting this recent photo of the NYC Public Library Lions, masked. It speaks volumes about the atmosphere of our country during these challenging times.

NIC Public Library Lions Masked

I can hardly believe it’s July. June blew through our neighborhood at Surfside like a tornado.  It certainly was the quickest month of the quarantine for me.

Afternoon tea party

We had a careful visit from our Asheville family in the middle of June. They drove down and rented a big house with a pool where we all could congregate. We vacillated between our house and theirs for a week. It was an amazing visit for which we are grateful. The kids are growing in leaps and bounds. Emerson is eleven and has turned into a lovely young lady. Liam is so tall I now have to put my head back to look way up to him.  It had been way too long since we had seen them. We even had an appointment at Copperfish Books so they could all see the store and we all happily brought new books home. We were the only visitors in the store and felt very safe. That’s so important these days. You, too, can book private appointments to shop at Copperfish.

Me & Emerson, matching shirts

I’ve been reading. Imagine that. I have stepped it up and have begun reading more literary books. I’m even reading some great non-fiction. And, I read a LOL novel by Carl Hiaasen called SQUEEZE ME that will

Squeeze Me

be available for sale in August.  My copy was a digital review copy.

I’ve been doing some baking and have enjoyed scouring my cookbooks for appealing recipes. I even have begun dabbling with making bread. This is something I used to really enjoy doing when the kids were small.

Homemade bread

My ipad is groaning with many digital review copies of upcoming books.  One I recently read and enjoyed is THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Fiona Davis.  You’ll be happy to know it will be available for sale in August. I predict it will be a real force and I know you are every one going to want to read it.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

I have discovered digital jigsaw puzzles. Never thought this would be my cup of tea. I so love doing actual jigsaw puzzles but, our kitties enjoy doing them even more than we do…. You can only imagine missing puzzle pieces found later in unlikely kitty-cat hidey-holes.

Backyard mangoes

Just look at these  beauties!  Our neighbor has two gigantic mango trees in her backyard. She is allergic to them. But I am not. Many of the limbs hang over into our yard. Neruko has kindly given us permission to help ourselves. Those of you who know of mango trees know that they can bear tons of fruit. That is exactly what we are finding out.  Frozen mango smoothies in summer are amazing. Healthy and delicious.

This is the month to play catch up with yearly Dr. appointments. I have lined up all the important ones and now will not have to worry about trying to get squeezed in during the winter months. Is good. Eyes, skin, knees, and breasts😎

My husband is bringing home empanadas from the Cafe tonight for dinner. I’m making a tomato and mozzarella  salad with some of our fresh basil to go with. We’re looking forward to cooking ribs on the grill and enjoying some good corn on the cob on the 4th. We won’t be going anywhere but have decided to catch up on some movies and books. We will relax.  I hope you have a good book to read over the holiday. My daughter will be enjoying 28 SUMMERS by Elin Hilderbrand.

Me with 28 Summers at Copperfish.

She is so in for a treat!!! This is one of the books of summer I plan on rereading and that’s not I do very often. Yes, it’s that good. And I may even try to watch the movie that was Elin’s inspiration: This Time Next Year.

The Book of Lost Names

I’m so looking forward to the release date of THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES by Kristin Harmel. The pub date is July 21. This is an amazing novel of WW11 based on real history. As always, we can count on Kristin to do her research. You are going to adore this book.

Here in Florida, the news is not good about the virus. Too many people are not taking precautions; not social distancing, not protecting others by wearing masks, and just not being careful. After this upcoming holiday weekend, I fear the numbers will be even higher. As I write, the Cape Coral City Council is meeting to decide on a big announcement.  Might be mandatory masks for all in public. I do wish everyone a good, safe, holiday. We can still have fun, we just don’t have to be on top of each other. Cheers!🙀

A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet

A Children’s Bible

A CHILDREN’S BIBLE, by Lydia Millet, is a smart, new literary novel about environmental issues.  The narrator is a teenaged girl named Evie.  Evie is spending the summer in a large rental mansion, lakeside. She’s not alone. There are several families sharing this experience.  Lots of kids and a bunch of parents who seem to care only for their own pleasure. We quickly learn that the kids are truly left  hanging out to dry. Evie has completely taken over the care of her little brother Jack who is toting around a new book one of the “mothers” has given  him.  It’s a children’s bible and filled with pictures taken from The Good Book including many animals.

Kirkus says,” A group of children are forced to fend for themselves in the face of rising sea levels, worsening storms, and willfully ignorant parents.”  That could pretty much sum it up in a nutshell. But there’s so much more. 

I see this novel as a modern-day LORD OF THE FLIES with climate change. The kids are stars of the story. The parents are living in a hedonistic mess.  The kids are figuring out the world while the parents are busy taking ecstasy and guzzling alcohol. Who’s making sure the kids are fed? Who’s keeping the kids safe? No one. During an unexpected but horrific storm the kids decide to escape with a caretaker to a nearby farm where they discover enough food to sustain them and some semblance of what seems like safety.  Jack brings along a host of animals he’s “saving” from the flood. He’s still busy with his bible.

What happens next definitely steps the tension up even more. And this is where Millet truly begins to show us where she’s going with this novel. Climate change is very real. It’s being written about an awful lot lately. So Millet has decided to show us that the next generation will have to clean up the mess the past generations have made. Her message is harsh, but the consequences are, too.

So, what did I think of this book? This is one of the first literary novels I’ve read since the pandemic came along and changed our world. I’ve been mostly reading light stories. Well-written, but light. This is as far from light as you can get. And it’s not for all my readers. But I found myself totally enmeshed in this story. I was  rooting for the kids and  it made me think. It’s extremely literary and the story packs a powerful punch. Read it if you dare! I think this novel is going to be up for many awards this year.

Lydia Millet

Lydia Millet has written many award winning literary novels. Her short story collection, LOVE IN INFANT MONKEYS was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Yes, she’s that good.

My beautiful finished copy of A CHILDREN’S BIBLE by Lydia Millet came from the very generous publishing company of Norton. I can’t thank them enough. It’s a real winner!

You can order copies of A CHILDREN’S BIBLE from Copperfish Books but they do not have them on the shelf at this time.

The Last Train To Key West by Chanel Cleeton

The Last Train To Key West

I’ve loved Cleeton’s first two novels: WHEN WE LEFT CUBA and NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA.  Really got excited when I heard the title of this new one. Key West, one of my favorite places and a great place to set this novel.

Years ago Wes Standiford wrote a non fiction book called THE LAST TRAIN TO PARADISE.  ( we have copies on our shelves right now at Copperfish)He told the story of the making of the overseas railroad that traveled through the Keys into Key West. He also told the horrific story of the unknown storm of 1935 that tore down the railroad and slaughtered hundreds of souls.

Now, Cleeton brings us a novel that encapsulates this and she brings this amazing historical event to life through the lives of three women from totally different walks of life.

THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST is a  very quick read.  Cleeton’s fictional characters are so alive they practically leap from the page. Part romance, part  suspense, THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST introduces you to three courageous women who have survival skills galore.  Helen is nine months pregnant and running away from an abusive husband. Elizabeth is a socialite escaping from , looking for her brother and wondering if she really should marry the man she’s engaged to. Mirta is a newly wed from Havana and on her honeymoon. Will her arranged marriage survive?

The ticking time bomb of eminent terror reaches hair-raising levels as the hurricane takes over the islands. Honestly, I could almost hear the clock ticking as the storm took over.

Next Year in Havana

Chanel Cleeton

Cleeton has certainly done her research but it takes a great storyteller to be able to move people as she does in this novel.  At least 400 people were lost in this devastating storm that was never even named. Civilians as well as WW1 vets who were building the railroad were all killed.  We know now it was a 5 hurricane and we now have the technology to evacuate when a storm of this magnitude is upon us. Thank God.

What begins as a pretty light story quickly becomes a tightly written novel of survival and courage. Not to be missed.

I was lucky enough to read a review copy of THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST provided by Berkley an imprint of Penguin Random publishing.  I loved it!

You can pick up your copy of THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST  from Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida. They are currently having an amazing sale through the weekend and this trade paperback book will be 30% off as will most of their inventory. I know I love a great sale and I bet you do too!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books