To Account for Murder by William C. Whitbeck

If Permanent Press had a prestige novel, To Account for Murder by William C. Whitbeck would it.  The novel presents a fictionalized version of real life events that happened in Michigan.  In 1945, Senator Warren G. Hooper was murdered in a gangland-style slaying.  To this day, the murder case has never been solved.  William C. Whitbeck, the author of the novel, also works as Chief Judge of the Michigan Court.  He presents us with the tale of one Charlie Cahill, a disabled vet, prosecutor, and son of an Irish bootlegger. Set in Lansing during 1945 and into 1946, Whitbeck paints … Continue reading To Account for Murder by William C. Whitbeck

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The Beloved @ Joe Bob Briggs

There’s something rotten in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It corrupts relationships, threatens children, drives people to murder, and leaves a wake of destruction wherever it appears.  It would be one thing if it were a hideous monster or some crazy murderer on the loose. What if it was your boyfriend or girlfriend?  The Beloved tells the tale of Ronnie Baker and Diana Marshfield, a new couple facing resistance from Ronnie’s family.  Ronnie, a recovering drug abuser recently divorced from Cindy, met Diana online.  Now Diana has agreed to move in with Ronnie, despite never having met his family.  Once the family meets … Continue reading The Beloved @ Joe Bob Briggs

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The Dissemblers by Liza Campbell

The Dissemblers is a story about creativity, betrayal, art, crime, and jealousy.  Ivy Wilkes has recently graduated from art school and has moved to New Mexico to work in the Georgie O’Keeffee Museum.  She works as a cashier, but hopes being close to where O’Keeffe created her work will inspire her to do the same.  Ivy lives below a couple of musicians, Jake and Maya.  When not playing with the orchestra, Jake works as a guard at the museum.  Ivy eventually becomes romantically involved with Omar, café owner and Jake’s brother. As an artist, Ivy is remarkably perceptive.  She narrates … Continue reading The Dissemblers by Liza Campbell

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Critical Appraisal: The Landscape of Hell

The representation of Hell as a cartographic region has its origins in Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Dante adapted the imagery already present in medieval painting and sculpture to comment on his political situation and his own scientific and theological beliefs.  He populated it with real people, including political heroes and villains, good popes and bad popes, adulterous princesses, and monsters human and mythological.  On Dante’s spiritual journey, he traveled with the Roman poet Vergil down the various circles of Hell and then up Mount Purgatory.  Finally, led by his beloved Beatrice, he journeyed through the heavenly spheres until he was in … Continue reading Critical Appraisal: The Landscape of Hell

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