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Murder Ballad Paperback – July 27, 2012
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
About the Author
Elizabeth K. Wadsworth is a writer and puppeteer who makes her home in rural Connecticut. When not working on her next novel featuring Malloy and Russell, she can be found gardening, listening to jazz and blues music, sewing miniature haute couture for fashion dolls, and hanging out with her partner-in-crime, Al. A confirmed procrastinator, she spends far more time on the Internet than she ought to.
Top customer reviews
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Turns out this was one of the best bucks that I can remember spending! This book gripped me from the very first sentence and didn't let go for one moment. The characters are all fascinating and well drawn, with lots of excellent dialogue...the kind that you can really imagine real characters saying. The plot is twisty to the extreme, with surprises around every corner and plenty of "well, I didn't see that coming!" moments. I get up at 5AM for work but I can tell you that I was hard pressed to turn off the e-reader at a reasonable hour. This exciting and entertaining mystery doesn't leave with a cliffhanger, but it does end with some enticing possibilities for future novels. I hope that there are a lot more to come. I've already splurged my second dollar on the sequel, Crooks Behaving Badly.
I made you wait, and I apologize for the delay. I wanted to make sure that I was able to coherently express how I feel about the story you have written, and I hope this message conveys the expression of my innermost perception.
Do remember the time when we once lived in the log cabin in that small town called Lebanon? There was one moment there that burns in my memory. Our father called us into the bedroom and asked us a very important question: how did we feel about you? I remember my brother and myself unable to articulate an answer, and I was in anguish that I could not answer a proper thoughtful response. In the end, what I remember most of all, father tacked on the concept of all artists. He said, “This is what songwriters and artist do. They express their most private feelings for others.”
That quote has been a bit embellished seeing as how I was only a child as the time, and it was so long ago. However, it never stopped me thinking the same thing. How could I express how I feel? And worse, how can I express them clearly to the people I care about most? I hope you know me well enough that I still have a very difficult time at expressing such emotions so freely, but this is my attempt; for you, for your book, and for other aspiring artists in the world.
The first and primary feeling I have about this book and for you is pride. I am exceptionally proud of you for displaying your imagination in literary form. You have done what so few people were able to accomplish. The imagery of your storytelling is colorful and realistic. It was very easy to follow, even though there were some twists and turns. It was as though you had transported us into a maze that which you had the map for. Even though getting lost is half the fun, I had so much enjoyment in reading your tale. I also noticed you took much time in proper research for this particular time period, and it was careful. This made me very pleased in your craft, and I found it exceptional.
However, as I am sure many might have pointed out, there were some errors, more so in the mid sections of the story. I am not sure how your process of editing developed, but as a suggestion, I recommend a second and a third pair of eyes you trust. I felt the errors that were made were due to perhaps by your solidarity work (this I can completely understand most as I prefer to work alone even in a group project). Of course there were indentation issues, and that could come from transferring the story from one form of technological device into another (or even a third!). I have come across this a few times myself for essays. I had to do another process of editing as well as some test printing. I am sure there are programs for authors who can avoid this issue altogether, but alas I am not familiar with them either.
Here is my verdict: you have the potential of going far. Would you like to know how I know? It is the simple fact that you did it. You put yourself out there. Raw, naked, and yet I understand you are starting a new story. I am very excited, and though I may not show it well, I am bubbling with anticipation. I cannot wait to see the worlds you mold together, but remember this well: cherish this first little novel most of all. The first is often our best, even if it isn’t our best work. I declare this first your best not because I’ve known you for so long, but as an artist (or for anyone), the first is your first. It is the doorway, your doorknob even, to your second and third and fourth. Your first is, though filled with mistakes and wobbly, your foundation for your craft. Do you remember the first dress I ever made? The seams are so uneven, the hem is unbalanced, and the fit for my friend was tight. However, it still hangs in the closet of the room I once resided. It started with your help, my conviction in completing it, and I found myself tuning this new skill into something special. That dress is my doorway. This book is yours.
I hope you love it and accept it entirely. I am so proud of your work that I often found myself asking, “If she can do this, then so can I.” And so, with my own raw and nakedness, I display how I feel towards you and your stories for the world to bear witness. As my mother, I watched you blossom into a wonderful and talented person. I learned from you, and sought to emulate your way of living.
Seek in simple pleasures, and know happiness in the efforts you wield. I look forward to read your next adventure as your stories grow with you.
Within the deepest parts of my heart,
Your ‘ever-respectful reader,
This historical mystery fiction seems to be better Chandler than Chandler. But unlike the famous mystery writer, Wadsworth centers her narrative on Allison Malloy, a wisecracking secretary and PI-wannabee. We are able to see the world of criminals and cops, heiresses and working women from the perspective of a woman who is not just another pretty face. This is not feminist literature by any means, though. Tough-guy perspective is found in the bar fights, the shootings, and the threats, both veiled and obvious, made to both the PI and his secretary. The plot has plenty of twists and turns, and yet holds together. It also has some great humor sprinkled throughout.
The best part of the novel is that it reads like a film. Chandler would be proud.