A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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REVIEW: The Woman They Could Not Silence

Being restrained and told you are insane, when you are perfectly well, is one of the more terrifying fears. Dozens of movies and novels use this premise as their kernel of horror. For some, the terror is real. In 1860, Elizabeth Packard was institutionalized against her will. Her logical intelligence and extreme perseverance were her only tools. She used her time effectively.
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REVIEW: A Surprise for Christmas

Whoever says crime and Christmas don't go together is just wrong. Editor Martin Edwards has put together a delightful selection of Yuletide crime stories, cheerful enough to put any reader into the holiday spirit. 
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REVIEW: The Corpse in the Waxworks

Carr's writing shines brightest when he's describing the seedy underground of Paris in the 1930s. Dark cobblestone alleys, worn doors with skeleton keys, smoky jazz clubs, mansions from a past age.
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Books for November

Here are some new and forthcoming books to look for, with a preview of some full reviews to come from me later in the month.
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REVIEW: The Summoning

A grief vampire. A hoaxer. A snake oil salesman. People claiming to be mediums have a number of epithets, especially ones who target the mourning. But then she begins to notice some of her readings are frighteningly accurate.
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Books for Late Summer

A collection of new, recent, and upcoming books that didn't wow me enough to write full reviews, but were still interesting enough to share with other readers.
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REVIEW: Maiden Voyages

In this historic nonfiction, Siân Evans highlights the role of women on the transatlantic ships, particularly in the years between the wars. Evans chooses a few specific figures to represent the various job that made travel by ship possible for women. 
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REVIEW: The Dead Letter

With mistaken identities, missing inheritances, mysterious disappearances, I cannot get enough of Victorian sensation novels. The Dead Letter can be counted as the first American detective novel.
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REVIEW: Couple Found Slain

Mikita Brottman's deep dive into this suburban true crime goes beyond the 'whodunit', and even the 'whydunit' aspect. Instead, she focuses on the aftermath from the point of view of the murderer. 
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REVIEW: The Reason for the Darkness of the Night

The book is primarily a biography, but views its subject through the lens of science and writing efforts. Clear lines are drawn between Poe's life events, the scientific community's academic conversation, and Poe's literary output. From "Sonnet-To Science" to this cosmological treatise Eureka, Poe diligently worked to bring the ethereal nature of poetry and the tangible study of sciences.
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REVIEW: The Madhouse at the End of the Earth

In 1897, Belgian explorer Adrian de Gerlache set out to map the the vast expanse of the mysterious continent of Antarctica. Their mission becomes one of merely surviving the long unforgiving months of Antarctic night.
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Books for June

There seem to be a bumper crop of true crime primers and guides this summer. Grab these for some edifying and informative reads. Crack open one of these on the beach and it might even convince people to leave you alone...
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REVIEW: The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley

As far as I am concerned, Natasha Pulley can do no wrong. I have loved every one of her books and this is no exception. She has an ability to make the fantastical seem not only realistic, but casually so. In her world, time travel and parallel universes are perfectly reasonable.
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REVIEW: The Artful Dickens

Literary critic John Mullan investigates and analyzes the writing tricks of Dickens through a series of essays in The Artful Dickens. The essays are a fresh take on beloved writings and bring new enjoyment to old favorites.
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REVIEW: The Crown Agent

There's a reason why this novel was shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year​. A few reasons, really. It hits on just about every classic Scottish mystery element readers know and love. 
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