Lyndsay Faye, author of the novel Jane Steele, is today’s guest at 12:30 p.m. CST on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin. The inspiration for Lyndsay Faye’s new novel Jane Steele, is the Classic 1847 English novel Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte. What makes Jane Steele so fascinating is her novels protagonist has read Jane Eyre and is inspired by it, but has lived a life in 1840s England that subverts the expectations of a gentile, woman protagonist.
As I have learned fro reading 3 previous Lyndsay Faye novels, bringing light to the history and social justice issues in the mid 1800s is in her wheelhouse, and with Jane Steele she does not disappoint. Whether she schools us on the Anglo-Sikk War in the late 1840s and the limited rights of women of the time, she makes learning history as entertaining as an HBO miniseries.
Lyndsay Faye is the author of four novels including the Timothy Wilde Trilogy, an actress, and a lover of all things Sherlocke Holmes.
Come join KAZI Book Review for the first Pflugerville Book Pfestival April 16-17 at the Pflugerville Public Library. Nineteen authors are confirmed to participate. Enclosed below is a list of the panels sponsored by KAZI Book Review:
Sisters in Crime: Texas Women Crime Fiction Writers Making a Mark
Moderator – Gale Albright
Authors – Alexandra Burt, Meg Gardiner, Janice Hamrick, Helen Currie Foster
Diverse Voices in Fiction and Nonfiction
Moderator – Hopeton Hay
Authors – Natalia Sylvester, Marrick Armstrong, Kali Nicole Gross, Fabienne Josaphat
A Study in Character: Creating Likable Protagonists With Questionable Morals
Moderator – Hopeton Hay
Authors – Minerva Koenig, Mark Pryor
Mystery in Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels
Moderator – Tim Chamberlain,
Authors – Amanda Downum, Susan Powell, Steve Winfrey
International Crime Fiction: A Skype Interview
Moderator – Molly Odintz
Author – TBD
The 100 Greatest Crime Fiction Novels
Moderators – Scott Montgomery
Authors/Panelists – Meg Gardiner, Hopeton Hay, Mark Pryor, Molly Odintz
Listen to Hofstra history professor Simon Doubleday tell the story of the 13th century monarch, King Alfonso of Castille(a kingdom in Spain), who ushered in an era of learning and enlightment, a virtual Renaissance in Spain.
By Tim Chamberlain
Knott has obviously become even more comfortable with marshals Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole in his fourth installment in the series, and he’s showing that as Appaloosa grows, so does the trouble that comes to town.
The novel starts with the incident that pulls in Hitch and Cole–a man is shot in front of the luxurious new casino that’s being built–but the mystery leads all the way back to Colorado.
The shooting that begins our adventure leaves a newcomer, Boston Bill Black, on the run along with his two gun hands. Black is a dashing raconteur with a reputation for being at ease with both gambling and women. But, as our heroes give chase, they begin to understand that the seemingly simple shooting they’re investigating is just one thread in a complicated series of events leading back to a dead woman in Denver.
As the town is growing, so are the types of trouble that they have to deal with–including big city lawmen. It’s a lot of fun watching Hitch and Cole deal with the “Denver contingent” that has come to town with very clear ideas about what they want to see happen to Boston Bill Black. It’s a classic big city/small town clash, and our men from Appaloosa are more than up for the challenge.
The cast of characters we’re getting to meet is expanding along with the town–we get to know a few of the deputies better, along with several key townspeople such as Appaloosa’s two lawyers. We spend several chapters in a series of courtroom scenes that, if simple by our TV courtroom-drama standards of today, are entertaining, both dramatic and comical at turns.
Another surprise that adds to the story is the introduction of a member of Virgil’s family. Virgil has never really been forthcoming about any of his family, so it’s quite a shock when a family member shows up. It’s another sign that Knott is making these characters his own and is willing to tell stories that help us understand how Virgil got to where he is today.
We’ve also got a new love interest for Hitch, the pretty bookkeeper for the new casino, the conveniently-named Daphne Angel. It seems like something that could work out for once for Hitch, but you’ll have to finish the book to see how it all plays out.
Fans of the series will not be disappointed. Blackjack is full of the terse but meaningful conversations Hitch and Cole are known for, and the action is both tense and realistic, though there isn’t as much gunplay as in some of the previous novels in the series.
Knott, as always, gives us a mystery that is hard to unravel, but actually has a relatively simple explanation. The growth of Appaloosa gives him the opportunity to explore new ways to send Hitch and Cole on adventures–it’s always interesting to see what he’ll take on next.
Tim Chamberlain is a contributor to KAZI Book Review. He recently interviewed Robert Knott and it airs Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CST on KAZI 88.7 FM.
My interview with Saadia Faruqi, author of the short story collection, BRICK WALLS: Tales of Hope & Courage From Pakistan, is now available as a podcast. BRICK WALLS is a heartwarming collection of short stories filled with larger-than-life characters and the seemingly impossible challenges they face. Through her short stories, she depicts everyday Pakistanis who struggle with poverty, violence, corruption and abuse, yet rise from the ashes stronger and more enduring.
Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American writer of fiction and nonfiction. She writes for a number of publications including Huffington Post and The Islamic Monthly about the global contemporary Muslim experience and about interfaith dialogue.