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“Who Could That Be At This Hour?”

who could“Who Could That Be At This Hour?”

All the Wrong Questions: Book #1

By Lemony Snicket

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Mysteries, Personal Development: Character Development, Personal Development: Friendship

Grades: 3 & up

 

[button link=”http://www.lemonysnicketlibrary.com/”]Visit Website[/button][button link=”http://media.hdp.hbgusa.com/titles/assets/reading_group_guide/9780316123082/EG_9780316123082.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button][button link=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/PR4129-Who-Could-That-Be-At-This-Hour-Common-Core-Guide.pdf”]Common Core Guide[/button]

In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn’t be read. This is the first volume.

 

 

 

PRAISE

 

★ “[With] gothic wackiness, linguistic play and literary allusions….Fans of the Series of Unfortunate Events will be in heaven picking out tidbit references to the tridecalogy, but readers who’ve yet to delve into that well of sadness will have no problem enjoying this weird and witty yarn.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

★ “Full of Snicket’s trademark droll humor and maddeningly open-ended, this will have readers clamoring for volume two.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

★ “Will thrill fans of the author’s earlier works and have even reluctant readers turning pages with the fervor of seasoned bookworms. A must-have.” – School Library Journal, starred review

 

★ “Full of Snicket’s characteristic wit and word play . . . this book belongs in all collections.” – Voices of Youth Advocates, starred review

“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?”

ATWQ4_cover“Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?”

All the Wrong Questions: Book #4

By Lemony Snicket

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Mysteries, Personal Development: Character Development, Personal Development: Friendship

Grades: 3 & up

 

[button link=”http://www.lemonysnicketlibrary.com/”]Visit Website[/button][button link=”https://www.scribd.com/doc/277569013/Common-Core-Guide-Why-is-This-Night-Different-from-All-Other-Nights”]Educator Guide[/button]

Train travel! Murder! Librarians! A Series Finale!

 

On all other nights, the train departs from Stain’d Station and travels to the city without stopping. But not tonight. You might ask, why is this night different from all other nights? But that’s the wrong question. Instead ask, where is this all heading? And what happens at the end of the line? The final book in Lemony Snicket’s bestselling series, All The Wrong Questions.

Woundabout

WoundaboutWoundabout

By Lev Rosen

Illustrated by Ellis Rosen

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: General, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grades: 3-7

 

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Welcome to Woundabout, where routine rules and change is feared. But transformation is in the wind….

 

In the wake of tragedy, siblings Connor and Cordelia and their pet capybara are sent to the precariously perched town of Woundabout to live with their eccentric aunt. Woundabout is a place where the mayor has declared that routine rules above all, and no one is allowed to as questions–because they should already know the answers.

 

But Connor and Cordelia can’t help their curiosity when they discover a mysterious crank that fits into certain parts of the town, and by winding the crank, places are transformed into something beautiful. When the townspeople see this transformation, they don’t see beauty–they only see change. And change, the mayor says, is something to fear. With the mayor hot on their trail, can Connor and Cordelia find a way to wind Woundabout back to life?

 

PRAISE & ACCOLADES

 

“This light mystery keeps itself on the right side of quirkiness, giving off a cozy charm.” – Booklist

 

“Lev Rosen sensitively addresses change, growth, and painful emotions like grief, while Ellis Rosen’s b&w illustrations are alternately haunting, comedic, and poignant, in keeping with the overall tone of the story.”– Publishers Weekly

 

“Original…  This is a touching story about the importance of change despite the hardships of life.” – School Library Journal

Scarlett Undercover

ScarlettScarlett Undercover

By Jennifer Latham

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: General, Personal Development: Character Development, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality

Grades: 7 & up

 

[button link=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/274414264/Scarlett-Undercover”]Educator Guide[/button]

Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic fifteen-year-old, ready to take on crime in her hometown. When Scarlett agrees to investigate a local boy’s suicide, she figures she’s in for an easy case and a quick buck. But it doesn’t take long for suicide to start looking a lot like murder.

 

As Scarlett finds herself deep in a world of cults, curses, and the seemingly supernatural, she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks…and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.

 

Jennifer Latham delivers a compelling story and a character to remember in this one-of-a-kind debut novel.

 

PRAISE

★ “This whip-smart, determined, black Muslim heroine brings a fresh hard-boiled tone to the field of teen mysteries.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

“Sarcastic yet sensitive, Scarlett’s voice is what drives this narrative, which is one part snarky Veronica Mars in its noir-meets-adolescence setup and one part levelheaded Da Vinci Code with its religious symbolism–tinged quest… A fast read that includes all the familiar, expected trappings mystery and adventure fans love dressed up with fresh, diverse characters and settings.” — The Horn Book

The Book that Proves Time Travel Happens

The Book that Proves Time Travel Happens

By Henry Clark

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Science Fiction, Personal Development: Diversity, Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grade: 3-7

 

[button link=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/274420871/The-Book-That-Proves-Time-Travel-Happens”]Educator Guide[/button]

This never-before-seen twist on time travel adventure explores the theme of accepting those who are different–and having the courage to join them. The moment Ambrose Brody steps into a fortune-teller’s tent, he is whisked into a quest that spans millennia with his best friend, an enigmatic carnival girl, and an unusual family heirloom that drops them into the middle of the nineteenth century!

 

The year 1852 is a dangerous time for three non-white children, and they must work together to dodge slave-catchers and save ancestors from certain death–all while figuring out how to get back to the future. Fortunately, they have a guide in the helpful hints embedded in an ancient Chinese text called the I-Ching, which they interpret using Morse Code. But how can a three-thousand-year-old book be sending messages into the future through a code developed in the 1830s? Find out in this mind-bending, time-bending adventure!

 

PRAISE

“Where time travel, historical fiction and nonfiction, ancient Chinese design and Morse code collide—keep up, or risk being left in the past…or the future.  [This book] will extend readers’ knowledge of history and expand their concept of ‘diversity.’” — Kirkus Reviews

 

“Zany, clever, endlessly inventive and genuinely one-of-a-kind.” — Trenton Lee Stewart, author of The Mysterious Benedict Society

 

VIDEO

 

“When Did You See Her Last?”

when did you see her last“When Did You See Her Last?”

All the Wrong Questions: Book #2

By Lemony Snicket

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Mysteries, Personal Development: Character Development, Personal Development: Friendship

Grades: 3 & up

 

[button link=”http://www.lemonysnicketlibrary.com/”]Visit Website[/button][button link=”http://media.hdp.hbgusa.com/titles/assets/reading_group_guide/9780316123051/EG_9780316123051.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button]

 

In the fading town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, young apprentice Lemony Snicket has a new case to solve when he and his chaperone are hired to find a missing girl. Is the girl a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? Was she seen last at the grocery store? Or could she have stopped at the diner? Is it really any of your business? These are All The Wrong Questions.

 

 

 

PRAISE

 

“Snicket introduces a sometimes charming, more often alarming cast of characters-all whom keep pages turning.” – Booklist

 

“Reading this second adventure is like playing a combination of Clue and a children’s literature version of Trivial Pursuit.” – The Horn Book

 

“Chock-full of linguistic play and literary allusions to children’s and classic literature, this is adventure mystery for young readers who like to think as they read.” – Kirkus Reviews

 

“The author’s trademark wit and talent for sustaining suspense make this fast-paced, noir mystery a fun choice for kids who enjoy a good whodunit.”– School Library Journal

The Prince of Venice Beach

The Prince of Venice Beach

By Blake Nelson

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Mysteries, Personal Development: Responsibility, Teen Life: Personal Development

Grade: 6 & up

 

Robert “‘Cali” Callahan is a teen runaway, living on the streets of Venice Beach, California. He’s got a pretty sweet life: a treehouse to sleep in, a gang of surf bros, a regular basketball game…even a girl who’s maybe-sorta interested in him.
What he doesn’t have is a plan.

 

All that changes when a local cop refers Cali to a private investigator who is lookingfor a missing teenager.

 

After all, Cali knows everyone in Venice. But the streets are filled with people who don’t want to be found, and when he’s hired to find the beautiful Reese Abernathy, who would do anything to stay hidden, Cali must decide where his loyalties truly lie.

 

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PRAISE:

 

“Nelson’s spare style and nuanced portrayal of street kids is strongly reminiscent of the classic work of S.E. Hinton. The gritty beach setting, compelling cast of sensitively drawn secondary characters and spot-on dialogue elevate the story beyond that of a typical genre mystery.” —Kirkus

 

“Readers will anxiously follow Robert’s adolescent journey of growth in this coming-of-age novel filled with exhilarating chases and heart pounding moments.” –SLJ
“Nelson vividly captures the energy of the beach community, both in his depiction of the physical setting and his creation of the eclectic cast of characters that populates it. ” —The Horn Book

 

 

Start Reading Darwin’s Blade

This week, Mulholland is proud to introduce our second reissue of a classic Dan Simmons suspense novel, DARWIN’S BLADE. Hailed upon publication by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as “a literary thriller like no other;” by the Denver Post as what might have happened “if Donald Westlake, John Irving, and Robert Parker had sat down to collaborate on a novel,” and by the Houston Chronicle as “an exciting novel full of shoot-outs, computer-aided investigations, duplicity and humor,” DARWIN’S BLADE is classic Dan Simmons in top form, now available in trade paperback for the first time ever. Start reading it right here! Then head out to your favorite bookseller or e-tailer for a copy of your own.

1

“A Is for Hole”

The phone rang a few minutes after four in the morning. “You like accidents, Dar. You owe it to yourself to come see this one.”

“I don’t like accidents,” said Dar. He did not ask who was calling. He recognized Paul Cameron’s voice even though he and Cameron had not been in touch for over a year. Cameron was a CHP officer working out of Palm Springs.

“All right, then,” said Cameron, “you like puzzles.”

Dar swiveled to read his clock. “Not at four-oh-eight a.m.,” he said.

“This one’s worth it.” The connection sounded hollow, as if it were a radio patch or a cell phone.

“Where?”

“Montezuma Valley Road,” said Cameron. “Just a mile inside the canyon, where S22 comes out of the hills into the desert.”

“Jesus Christ,” muttered Dar. “You’re talking Borrego Springs. It would take me more than ninety minutes to get there.”

“Not if you drive your black car,” said Cameron, his chuckle blending with the rasp and static of the poor connection.

“What kind of accident would bring me almost all the way to Borrego Springs before breakfast?” said Dar, sitting up now. “Multiple vehicle?”

“We don’t know,” said Officer Cameron. His voice still sounded amused.

“What do you mean you don’t know? Don’t you have anyone at the scene yet?”

“I’m calling from the scene,” said Cameron through the static.

“And you can’t tell how many vehicles were involved?” Dar found himself wishing that he had a cigarette in the drawer of his bedside table. He had given up smoking ten years earlier, just after the death of his wife, but he still got the craving at odd times.

“We can’t even ascertain beyond a reasonable doubt what kind of vehicle or vehicles was or were involved,” said Cameron, his voice taking on that official, strained-syntax, preliterate lilt that cops used when speaking in their official capacity.

“You mean what make?” said Dar. He rubbed his chin, heard the sandpaper scratch there, and shook his head. He had seen plenty of high-speed vehicular accidents where the make and model of the car were not immediately apparent. Especially at night.

“I mean we don’t know if this is a car, more than one car, a plane, or a fucking UFO crash,” said Cameron. “If you don’t see this one, Darwin, you’ll regret it for the rest of your days.”

“What do you…” Dar began, and stopped. Cameron had broken the connection. Dar swung his legs over the edge of the bed, looked out at the dark beyond the glass of his tall condo windows, muttered, “Shit,” and got up to take a fast shower. Continue reading “Start Reading Darwin’s Blade”

The Lineup: You by Austin Grossman Edition

Austin Grossman has been all over the ‘net this past week to celebrate the publication of YOU, his new novel of mystery, videogames, and the people who create them.

Check out Austin’s photo essay “Seven Myths about Videogames and the Seven Games that Prove them Wrong” on Huffington Post for Austin’s picks on some of the most influential video game narratives of the past twenty years. Austin also has an interview up with Kotaku’s Evan Narcisse about YOU, his work as a game design consultant, and more.

For a sneak peek at the world of YOU, there’s Austin’s essay up on Kotaku re: the classic games that inspired the canon (fictional!) mid-90’s game studio Black Arts. More at Black Art’s (quite real!) website.

Austin joined the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, presented by Wired.com, to discuss YOU, his first novel SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE, Dr. Horrible envy, Looking Glass Studios, and more. Finally, there’s Austin’s Polygon essay on learning to write through his career as a game designer.

Still craving more? Did you get a chance to read the Boston Globe review, the Harper’s magazine review by Tom Bissell,  the raves by  i09 and Boing Boing, not to mention bloggers including Bookgasm and The Review Broads? Or go pick up YOU from your favorite bookstore or e-tailer! Stay tuned–we’ll be back with an excerpt of YOU for Mulholland readers next week.

What Is a Mystery?

fascination*Every once in awhile, when my (ahem) amazing job comes up in conversation, someone will ask me, if not: “What is a mystery?” outright, another question along similar lines. Could be someone curious how the category has evolved in the years since Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Dupin and Hercule Poirot. Or it could be an avid reader just discovering a love of suspense, yet finding themselves somewhat flummoxed by all the subcategorization—with police procedurals, cozies, psychological thrillers, and so many more, the permutations can at times seem endless.

So what is a mystery? I’m sure for Mulholland Books readers, the answer comes easy. A mystery involves a crime, and centers around the investigations of a protagonist who endeavors to bring justice to its perpetrators. We often refer to this as the “solution” to the mystery, despite the fact that the crime most commonly depicted—murder—is irrevocable and, thus, unsolvable. (See: Detective Ramone’s penultimate speech in Pelecanos’s The Night Gardener.)

The other, slightly more slippery version of this prompt: What’s the difference between a mystery and a thriller?

Conversationally, readers often use the terms interchangeably to discuss any novel that engages the tropes of the crime fiction genre, or operates within the suspense paradigm. But the terms aren’t actually as exchangeable as we make them out to be. The answer has a lot to do with Hitchcock’s famous speech on the art of creating suspense—the bomb under the table, a very neat example from a master storyteller and a useful example for also highlighting the differences in the genres:

We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let’s suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, “Boom!” There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!”

Hitchcock’s version of events is a classic thriller premise—a crime is about to be committed, one which readers have been alerted to. But begin this story fifteen minutes later, just as the bomb explodes, and you have yourself a crime and mystery—the identity of the perpetrator—in need of a solving.  It’s all in the timing—start in one place, and you have a novel centered around anticipation, a thriller. Start later and you’ll find yourself in classic mystery territory.

Does this mean a mystery can’t be suspenseful? Certainly not—the path to each mystery’s solution is often littered with mid-novel scenes just like the thriller premise that Hitchcock describes, in which our protagonist’s life has been placed in danger and the survival, or successful unveiling of the truth itself, has been placed in suspense. Which is where the term mystery/thriller comes in handy, and why the two categories have become more and more confused in the past few years. Many of our most successful crime novelists have become masters at blending the categories so that suspense is as much the name of the game as the investigation at hand.

Take, say, Lee Child’s Reacher series. Most if not all of his novels are actually mysteries, despite Child’s reputation as one of our best thriller writers around. The Affair finds Reacher wrapped up in an unsolved murder case that will change the course of his life—and readers don’t discover the identity of the murderer until the novel’s climactic scenes. The Hard Way finds Reacher in New York City, investigating the kidnapping of a wealthy paramilitary figure’s wife–and we as readers won’t find out why or how she was taken until very late in the game. We often talk about these stories as thrillers, and quite understandably—they both certainly thrill—but given the unsolved crimes at their center, both are actually mysteries, strictly speaking. If Reacher were just a six-and-a-half-foot-tall, gorilla-faced guy who happens to be an ace in a fight, would readers really care for him in quite the same way? I doubt it—he’d still be in Carter Crossing, Mississippi, interviewing murder suspects, having never quite resolved the events of The Affair in the first place!

All of which begs the question, Mulholland Books reader: How do you prefer your bombs? Still ticking? Or already gone off?

Wes Miller is Mulholland Books’ Associate Editor and Marketing Associate. If Mulholland were a crime novel instead of an imprint that publishes them, Wes would be its PI—the stalwart presence resolving its issues, making sure at the end of the day, justice gets served and good prevails—at least until tomorrow comes. Reach him through the Mulholland Books twitter account (@mulhollandbooks), on Tumblr (mulhollandbooks.tumblr.com) or right here on the Mulholland Books website.