Book Discussion Group

Author Discussion & Signing with William Kent Krueger (MWA "Edgar" Winner) and Libby Fischer Hellmann

William Kent Krueger after enjoying the laurels of winning MWA's coveted Edgar Award is not resting on them. Kent will be returning to Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore for a discussion & signing of his latest Cork O'Connor mystery Windigo Island set in northern Minnesota close to the Canadian border. You'll enjoy his talk and you will love his writing.

Also with Kent we will have Chicago's own Libby Fischer Hellmann for her Latest Georgia Davis mystery set in Chicago, Nobody's Child.  (A bloodstained note left for Chicago PI Georgia Davis reveals the shocking existence of a half-sister she never knew about. That sister, Savannah, is pregnant and begging for Georgia’s help.)

Determined to track her down, Georgia finds herself heading deep into the dangerous underworld of Chicago’s illegal sex trafficking business. She soon discovers that trafficking is just a small part of the horrifying and deadly situation in which her new sister is caught up.

Even worse, as Georgia tries to extricate Savannah, she comes up against an old enemy determined to make sure neither woman will escape alive.

In the fourth novel of the Georgia Davis series, she faces her toughest challenge yet—and one she might not survive.


 Cork O'Connor battles vicious villains, both mythical and modern, to rescue a young girl in the latest nail-biting mystery from "New York Times "bestselling author William Kent Krueger. 

When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don't solve the mystery of how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, Cork O'Connor, former sheriff turned private investigator, is soon on the case. 
But on the Bad Bluff reservation, nobody's talking. Still, Cork puts enough information together to find a possible trail. In Duluth, Minnesota, he learns from an Ojibwe social worker that both Duluth and the Twin Cities are among the most active areas in the US for sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom are young Native Americans. As the investigation deepens, so does the danger. Cork realizes he's not only up against those who control the lucrative sex enterprise--he must also battle government agencies more than willing to look the other way. 
Yet Cork holds tight to his purpose--Mariah, an innocent fifteen-year-old girl at the heart of this grotesque web, who is still missing and whose family is desperate to get her back. With only the barest hope of saving her, Cork prepares to battle men whose evil rivals that of the bloodthirsty Windigo and who are as powerful, elusive, and vengeful as the dark spirit Michi Peshu.

Windigo Island: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #14) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476749235
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Atria Books - August 19th, 2014

Ordinary Grace: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451645859
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - March 4th, 2014

Trickster's Point: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #12) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451645712
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - May 7th, 2013

Northwest Angle: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #11) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439153963
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - April 10th, 2012

Vermilion Drift: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #10) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439153871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - June 7th, 2011

Thunder Bay: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #7) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439157824
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - August 11th, 2009

Blood Hollow: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #4) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439157794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - July 21st, 2009

Iron Lake: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439157282
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Atria Books - June 9th, 2009

Boundary Waters: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439157770
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria Books - June 9th, 2009

Tamarack County: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series #13) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451645750
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Atria Books - August 20th, 2013

Author Discussion & Signing with Lori Rader-Day

Come to Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore for Lori Rader-Day's debut signing forThe Black Hour, the first in her series. Lori has received an excellent review inPublishers Weekly and a column author interview in the same magazine a week later.

You've git to come for this signing event and it's part of Summer Nights on Madison Street 




 For Chicago sociology professor Amelia Emmet, violence was a research topic--until a student she'd never met shot her. He also shot himself. Now he's dead and she's back on campus, trying to keep up with her class schedule, a growing problem with painkillers, and a question she can't let go: Why? All she wants is for life to get back to normal, but normal is looking hard to come by. She's thirty-eight and hobbles with a cane. Her first student interaction ends in tears (hers). Her fellow faculty members seem uncomfortable with her, and her ex--whom she may or may not still love--has moved on.

Enter Nathaniel Barber, a graduate student obsessed with Chicago's violent history. Nath is a serious scholar, but also a serious mess about his first heartbreak, his mother's death, and his father's disapproval.  Assigned as Amelia's teaching assistant, Nath also takes on the investigative legwork that Amelia can't do. And meanwhile, he's hoping she'll approve his dissertation topic, the reason he came to grad school in the first place: the student attack on Amelia Emmet. 

Together and at cross-purposes, Amelia and Nathaniel stumble toward a truth that will explain the attack and take them both through the darkest hours of their lives.

About the Author

Lori Rader-Day has published fiction in Good Housekeeping, where she won first place in the magazine's first short-story contest; The Madison Review, which awarded her the 2008 Chris O'Malley Prize in Fiction; TimeOut Chicago;Southern Indiana ReviewCrab Orchard Review; and other journals and magazines. She lives in Chicago, where she is active in the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter, Sisters in Crime Chicagoland Chapter, and International Thriller Writers. In addition, she is an instructor for Story Studio Chicago/North Shore, where she teaches mystery writing.

Praise for The Black Hour…

"An exceptional debut.... An irresistible combination of menace, betrayal, and self-discovery." 
—Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

"An unputdownable read."

“You know how wonderful it is to find a novel that you hate to put down? Lori Rader-Day’s debut was just such a book for me. From its breathtakingly beautiful prose to its artful, escalating suspense, The Black Hour kept pulling me back for just one more page, one more chapter.” 
JULIE HYZYNew York Times–bestselling author

“A terrific whydunnit! This dark page-turner of a puzzle—well-written, with bite and style and edge and simmering conflict—will keep you riveted from page one.”
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author

“A riveting, ingenious first novel. . . . The Black Hour will linger with you weeks after you’ve read it.” 
SCOTT BLACKWOOD, Whiting Award–winning author of See How Small

“Utterly compelling. The question at the heart of The Black Hour is original and engrossing, and I defy anyone not to devour the book to get to the answer. . . . A triumph.”
CATRIONA MCPHERSON, author of As She Left It 

The Black Hour is the rarest of mysteries: one that wants to keep you turning pages in a cold sweat, suspecting every character you meet of both the best and the worst motives; and also one that has something complicated and important to say about the forces that impel us toward death . . . and life. It’s an extraordinary debut, marking the arrival of a major new voice in literary suspense.”
CHRISTOPHER COAKE, PEN/Bingham Award–winning author of You Came Back

“Lori Rader-Day’s debut The Black Hour is the perfect thriller—smart, tense, and foreboding. Every page left me hungry for the next.” 
CLARE O’DONOHUE, author of Life without Parole

“In her debut psychological thriller Lori Rader-Day joins the ranks of Barbara Vine and Sophie Hannah. Examining the deep complexities of damaged people, she teases and tempts the reader as she leads to her harrowing conclusion.”
TERRY SHAMES, author of The Last Death of Jack Harbin
“So often, mysteries set in academe are populated by ivy-draped eccentrics with a terminal case of the cutes. Lori Rader-Day’s Rothbert U is anything but cute: The atmosphere, for faculty and students alike, is ruthlessly competitive and mistrustful. Her characters, beginning with Amelia Emmet, are complex, capable of surprising both themselves and us. Like Barbara Vine [Ruth Rendell], Rader-Day is as interested in the why of evil things as in the who.”
JINCY WILLETT, author of Amy Falls Down

"The Black Hour
 is a brilliant suspense debut, rich in psychological nuance and the cold, terrifying places where our worst fears—and darkest desires—reside. Let’s hope this is only the first of many from this talented newcomer.”
LYNNE RAIMONDO, author of Dante’s Poison
“Rader-Day captures the angst and envy lurking behind every campus doorway. . . . Most impressive about this suspense debut: the unfolding tale of how easily an individual can goad another into hatred, suicide, or murder.”
SUSAN FROETSCHEL, author of Fear of Beauty

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Black Hour Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616148850
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Seventh Street Books - July 8th, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with D.E. Ireland

 Author Discussion & Signing with
D.E. Ireland

  Title: Wouldn't
It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery (The First in the series.)

 Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball—where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess—Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s prime suspect. However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck’s pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turn up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor’s name is to discover which of Nepommuck’s many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.

Eliza and Higgins make a surprising and charming pair of detectives in D.E. Ireland's delightfully hilarious series debut, which transports readers to Edwardian London, from the aristocratic environs of Mayfair to the dangerous back alleys of the East End. Wouldn't It Be Deadly boasts a cunning mystery, no shortage of interesting suspects, and some of the most memorable characters of English literature.

About the Author

D.E. IRELAND is  a writing team of two authors who met as undergraduates in an anthropology class and have remained friends ever since. Both are married to computer geeks, and each has one beautiful and brilliant daughter. Lifelong book lovers and history buffs, they have authored several novels on their own. Ireland lives in Michigan.

Praise for Wouldn't It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery…

“In this exciting new novel, Eliza and Higgins are still nursing their grievances against each other when a murder forces them to work together. Join them in this delightful romp through early 20th century London as they try to find a killer and clear Higgins’ name.”—Victoria Thompson, national bestselling author of Murder in Chelsea

“The charming and feisty Eliza Doolittle, the masterful Henry Higgins, a Hungarian upstart, a Sanskrit scholar—all are brought together in an intriguing plot. D.E. Ireland gives us a fascinating look into a bygone world.”—Susan Wittig Albert, national bestselling author of The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star 

“When I first heard that D.E. Ireland was writing Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, a mystery featuring Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, I could have danced all night. We've only been waiting a century for another glimpse of this wonderful duo, and there is no better format than a juicy Edwardian murder. Higgins is his irascible, aristocratic self, while Eliza grows and evolves quickly in a world of society intrigue and danger. They make a wonderful pair of sleuths. Having now read Ireland's work I can safely say, ‘By George, I think she's got it!’"—Will Thomas, author of Fatal Enquiry

Wouldn't It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery (An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery #1) Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781250049353
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Minotaur Books - September 23rd, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with Michael Black

Michael Black comes to Centuries & Sleuths with his latest mystery, Chimes at Mid

 Years ago police detective Kevin McClain was captured and tortured when he was an airborne ranger in Somalia. Now, years later, the mutilation murder of a homeless man brings back a flood of unpleasant memories. At the same time, FBI agent Felicia Knight is busy tracking down a terrorist cell purportedly set to strike in our nation s capital on the eve of the presidential election. What neither McClain nor Knight realizes is the two cases are secretly connected by a sinister plot more diabolical and far reaching than either of them can imagine. As their investigations coalesce, they find themselves in a desperate race against the clock to try and prevent our nation s capital from being engulfed in a cloud of death and destruction.


About the AuthorMichael A. Black is the author of 19 books and over 100 short stories and articles. He has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University and a MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is an army veteran and was a police officer in the south suburbs of Chicago for over thirty years and worked in various capacities in police work including patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, and tactical operations supervisor. His Ron Shade series, featuring the Chicago-based kickboxing private eye, and his police procedural series won several awards. He has also written two novels with television star Richard Belzer. His most recent books are Sacrificial Offerings, Pope s Last Case and Other Stories, and Sleeping Dragons in the Donald Pendleton s Executioner series.night

Chimes at Midnight Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781432828011
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Five Star (ME) - June 18th, 2014

The Incredible Adventures of Doc Atlas Cover Image
ISBN: 9781610090254
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dark Oak Mysteries - October 15th, 2011

The Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine: The Way of No Way! Cover Image
By Andrew Vachss, Various (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781616550561
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Dark Horse Books - November 6th, 2012

To Hell in a Fast Car Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937051655
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dark Quest, LLC - January 11th, 2013

Sacrificial Offerings: A Leal and Hart Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781432826185
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Five Star (ME) - September 19th, 2012

Author Discussion & Signing with Diane Gilbert Madsen

Title: The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper


 The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack The Ripper

Diane Gilbert Madsen

“The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper,” uncovers clues
as to Why the Dog Did Not Bark in the Night.  Sherlock Holmes concluded
that it was because the intruder was known to the dog.  Madsen’s new
mystery questions whether the identity of one of the greatest criminals
of all time, Jack the Ripper, was deduced by Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle
was already famous with his popular Sherlock Holmes stories when Jack
the Ripper struck London in October 1888. Why was Conan Doyle silent
about this case?  Find out in “The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack
the Ripper.”  

Early review of book:

Diane Gilbert Madsen’s “The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper”

was the best book I’ve read in a long, long time. I was hooked by page six and couldn’t

stop reading. Spellbinding, intriguing and with a beguiling wit, Ms. Madsen delighted

me to no end.” -- Catherine Lanigan, author, Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile and LOVE SHADOWS.

A Cadger's Curse Cover Image
ISBN: 9780738718927
Availability: Special Order
Published: Midnight Ink - November 1st, 2009

Hunting for Hemingway Cover Image
ISBN: 9780738719535
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Midnight Ink - September 8th, 2010

Author Discussion & Signing with David Downing

David Downing's first signing in the United States. This is for his new series with Jack Mc Coll on the eve of the First World War, Jack of Spies. Many of you are familiar with six novel series about espionage with John Russell in Silesia, Potsdam, Stettin Lehrter, Masaryk, not to mention the Zoo.

Come to enjoy a delightful discussion. Find out where he gets his ideas from and where plans to take us with Jack Mc Coll in the future. 

Jack of Spies (A Jack McColl Novel #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616952686
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Soho Crime - May 13th, 2014

Zoo Station Cover Image
ISBN: 9781569479711
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Soho Crime - May 3rd, 2011

Silesian Station (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781569475737
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - May 1st, 2009

Potsdam Station (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller #4) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616950736
Availability: Backordered
Published: Soho Crime - January 10th, 2012

Stettin Station (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781569479193
Availability: Special Order
Published: Soho Crime - April 5th, 2011

Lehrter Station: A John Russell WWII Thriller (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller #5) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616952204
Availability: Special Order
Published: Soho Crime - March 5th, 2013

Masaryk Station (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller #6) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616953737
Availability: Special Order
Published: Soho Crime - April 1st, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with Helen Macie Osterman

Title: Danger by Design, a Net Petrone Mystery

Staff Pick Badge
Locked Within Cover Image
ISBN: 9781610090445
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dark Oak Mysteries - January 21st, 2014

Notes in a Mirror Cover Image
ISBN: 9780982487617
Availability: Special Order
Published: Weaving Dreams Publishing - November 1st, 2009

Staff Pick Badge
Emma Winberry and the Evil Eye: A Prequel. Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937148140
Availability: Special Order
Published: Weaving Dreams Publishing - September 1st, 2012

Author Discussion & Signing with Patricia Skalka

Title: Death Stalks Door County 
: A Dave Cubiak Mystery 

(You might want to read this before you make your summer plans.)



Death Stalks Door County
A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery
Patricia Skalka

Introducing The Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries: smart, hard-edged detective fiction on a popular vacation peninsula, a scenic wonderland surrounded by the pristine waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan

Six deaths mar the holiday mood as summer vacationers enjoy Wisconsin’s beautiful Door County peninsula. Murders, or bizarre accidents? Newly hired park ranger Dave Cubiak, a former Chicago homicide detective, assumes the worst but refuses to get involved. Grief-stricken and guilt-ridden over the loss of his wife and daughter, he’s had enough of death.

Forced to confront the past, the morose Cubiak moves beyond his own heartache and starts investigating, even as a popular festival draws more people into possible danger. In a desperate search for clues, Cubiak uncovers a tangled web of greed, betrayal, bitter rivalries, and lost love beneath the peninsula’s travel-brochure veneer. Befriended by several locals but unsure whom to trust or to suspect of murder, the one-time cop tracks a clever killer.

In a setting of stunning natural beauty and picturesque waterfront villages, Death Stalks Door County introduces a new detective series, “The Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries.”


Patricia Skalka is a former freelance staff writer for Reader’s Digest specializing in medical and human interest stories. She has worked as a magazine editor, ghost writer, and writing instructor. A native of Chicago, she lives in the city and takes time off at her cottage in Door County, Wisconsin.





 Review in Publishers Weekly 3/17/14


Death Stalks Door County: A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery

Patricia Skalka. Univ. of Wisconsin/Terrace, $26.95 cloth (254p) ISBN 978-0-299-29940-8


The wilderness of Door County, Wis., “the Midwest’s magnificent answer to Cape Cod,” provides the backdrop for Skalka’s tight, lyrical first novel. Homicide detective Dave Cubiak, in drunken despair after the accidental deaths of his wife and daughter, flees Chicago for Door County, where he becomes a park ranger. Just before the Fourth of July Festival, six people die in quick succession. J. Dugan Beck, head of the Peninsula State Park citizens advisory board, is bent on keeping things quiet so as not to jeopardize the summer tourist trade; he pressures the reluctant Cubiak to dig into the deep-seated personal enmities that seethe beneath the surface of the long-standing debate between those who favor conservation and those who prefer development. To the author’s credit, Skalka matches the untamed nature of the peninsula to the roughness of its inhabitants rather than contrasting its natural beauty to human violence. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/17/2014 
Release date: 05/01/2014





Death Stalks Door County (A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780299299408
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Wisconsin Press - May 19th, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with Matthew Drew

Title: Shadows of Chicago: The True Story of Three Men & the Crimes that Shocked America


 Shadows of Chicago is the extraordinary true story of three childhood friends and witnesses to the Great Chicago Fire who became early-twentieth century celebrities, only to have their lives end tragically. Shadows of Chicago exposes shocking facts that prove each of the three men were entangled in the most notorious crimes in the nation's history. The most famous of the three friends, Charles "The Old Roman" Comiskey, was the craftiest player/manager in professional baseball history and the true founder of the American League. His life spiraled out of control when he became wrapped up in the infamous Black Sox Scandal. The second, James "Big Jim" Horan, rises to the rank of First Fire Marshal of Chicago and establishes himself as the most influential trailblazer in American firefighting. His great deeds are cut short when he, along with twenty-two other firefighters, became involved in the most tragic fire in American history. The third, Fred Busse, ascends to Postmaster under President Theodore Roosevelt, and then due to a bizarre accident, becomes Mayor of Chicago. As mayor, after he crumbles the most notorious vice district in America's history, the Levee, his life takes a turn for the worse. A portion of the proceeds from each copy will go towards the Ende, Menzer, Walsh & Quinn Retirees Widows and Children's Assistance Fund to help the widows and orphans of Chicago.

Shadows of Chicago: The True Story of Three Men and the Crimes That Shocked America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781618760180
Availability: Special Order
Published: Black Oak Media, Inc. - July 15th, 2013


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