Interview

One century ago, during the final week of March 1913, severe weather caused death and destruction across a wide swath of the Midwest. In Omaha a tornado outbreak wrecked thousands of buildings and claimed many lives. The bad weather was headed east.

Rising waters from heavy rains caused severe flooding. In places like Indianapolis, Columbus, Portsmouth, Middletown, and hundreds of other towns the floodwaters breached levees, swept away buildings, and left thousands homeless.

“My One Square Inch of Alaska” is set near Dayton in the fictional town of Groverton. It takes place during autumn. The year is 1953.

During the late 1970's Manchester, England was a hotbed of musical activity. One of the bands that burst forth from that scene was Joy Division. They were not together very long. Joy Division ended when Ian
Curtis, their lead singer, took his own life as the band was preparing to embark on their first tour of the United States. A tour that never happened.

Hildy Good has done well for herself. She has been a successful real estate agent in a picturesque coastal town in Massachusetts for years. Hildy grew up there. She knows everybody in town. Whenever a local resident is preparing to sell a valuable property Hildy will want to be involved in listing it. Sadly, an out of town buyer will probably just tear down the venerable old house and erect another Mcmansion. Aye, there's the rub.

Some novelists have decided to end a successful series of books by killing off their main characters. Other novelists have kept their main characters alive forever by never allowing them to age. This becomes even more preposterous when a writer passes on to that great library in the sky and their literary endeavors are imitated by others. One case in point; we keep seeing new books featuring that intrepid detective Sherlock Holmes. And I say balderdash!

After Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1861 he took a long, circuitous train trip from his home in Springfield, Illinois to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration. Along the way Lincoln made frequent stops. He got off the train and made speeches. Meanwhile, further down the line, in Baltimore, Maryland, plotters were hoping to do great harm to Mr. Lincoln when his train passed through the city.

Robert Crais has spent the past 25 years crafting his best-selling series of crime novels featuring the private detective Elvis Cole and his brooding sidekick Joe Pike. Now and then Crais will take a break from the series to publish a stand alone novel that isn't connected to Elvis or Joe. Of course he still chooses to set these stories in that beautiful desert city on the ocean, Los Angeles.

Nick Turse was working on a project researching the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in US veterans of the Vietnam War. He wasn't having much luck. Then one day he was given access to the archives of the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group. Turse was stunned by what was contained in these US Government files.

This noir page turner is set in the early 1940's during the terrifying German bombing raids known as the London blitz. A mole within Great Britain's security services has been directed by his Nazi keepers to assassinate Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Of course we know that this never happened but it doesn't make this compelling thriller any less thrilling to read.

Joe Queenan loves books. He spends at least four hours each day reading them. Queenan can't have a conversation without talking about books. The man is crazy about them. Good books, that is. And he'll tell you which ones are good and which ones are in his opinion, trash.

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