Author Event

Author Discussion & Signing with Kate Hannigan

Kate Hanningan's first signing at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore for her historical mystery for young adults, The Detective's Assistant

Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless.

Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Aunt Kate is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.

Based on the extraordinary true story of Kate Warne, this fast-paced adventure recounts feats of daring and danger...including saving the life of Abraham Lincoln!

Kate Hannigan, a former journalist with the" San Francisco Chronicle" and the "Dallas Morning News", works as an online editor and writer in Chicago, where she lives with her husband and three children. An active blogger and dangerous home cook, Kate enjoys carefree Michigan summers, riding bikes, picking blueberries, and chasing fireflies.

The Detective's Assistant Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316403511
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 7th, 2015

Author Discussion & Signing with Michael Black

When an American operative is jailed, Mack Bolan must finish the agent's mission to smuggle a Chinese activist and his family out of the country. But getting the dissident away alive becomes a logistical nightmare for Bolan and the two inexperienced CIA agents assisting him. Not only are the Chinese authorities on their tail, but the activist insists on retrieving a stolen flash drive in Shanghai.
The memory key contains sensitive information belonging to a renegade general. As determined to recover the data as the dissident is, the general has hired a legendary assassin famous for eliminating anyone who gets in his way. In a battle where only one champion can survive, Bolan may have met his match. But the Executioner is used to fighting against overwhelming odds and has something much more important on his side--justice.

Dragon Key Cover Image
ISBN: 9780373644353
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Gold Eagle - February 3rd, 2015

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Sleeping Dragons Cover Image
ISBN: 9780373644193
Availability: Special Order
Published: Gold Eagle - October 1st, 2013

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Deadly Salvage Cover Image
ISBN: 9780373644308
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Gold Eagle - September 2nd, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with A. Brad Schwartz

5/10        SUN       2:00 PM: Author Discussion & Signing wth A. Brad Schwartz

                                Title: Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds

                                         and the Art of Fake News

The enthralling and never-told story of the "War of the Worlds" radio drama and its true aftermath 
On October 30, 1938, families across the country were gathered around their radios when their regular programming was interrupted by an announcer delivering news of a meteor strike in New Jersey. With increasing intensity, the announcer read bulletins describing terrifying war machines moving toward New York City. As the invading force approached, some listeners sat transfixed before their radios, while others ran to alert neighbors or call the police. Some even fled their homes in panic. But the broadcast was not breaking news--it was Orson Welles's adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic "The""War of the Worlds."
In "Broadcast Hysteria," A. Brad Schwartz examines the history behind the infamous radio play. Did it really spawn a wave of mass hysteria? Schwartz is the first to examine the hundreds of letters sent directly to Welles after the broadcast. He draws upon them, and hundreds more sent to the FCC, to recapture the roiling emotions of a bygone era, and his findings challenge conventional wisdom. Relatively few listeners believed an actual attack was under way. But even so, Schwartz shows that Welles's broadcast prompted a different kind of "mass panic" as Americans debated the bewitching power of the radio and the country's vulnerability in a time of crisis. Schwartz's original research, gifted storytelling, and thoughtful analysis make "Broadcast Hysteria" a groundbreaking work of media history.


Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780809031610
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Hill and Wang - May 5th, 2015

Author Discussion & Signing with Local Author Jane Morocco

Jane Morocco will discuss & sign her book, Trailside Museum: The Legend of Virginia Moe. Many of you have grown up in the near western suburbs and visited the Trailside Museum with your parents, and when you got older, you road your bike there on your own or with friends. You have delightful memories of this local animal and nature preserve. Jane's book recalls those memories in words and photographs. Come join us the afternoon of Sunday, March 22, 2015 to listen to Jane talk about how and why she puts this book together. Then purchase your own signed copy.


Trailside Museum: The Legend of Virginia Moe (Paperback)

By Jane Morocco, Paul Harvey Jr (Foreword by)
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now


On October 8, 1930, Charles "Cap" Sauers, general superintendent of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, wrote a letter to Alfred M. Bailey, president of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, about an idea he had. He proposed developing several nature study museums with the support of Bailey and the Academy of Sciences. Bailey eagerly wrote to Sauers that he had the Academy's full cooperation. By 1932, the Trailside Museum of Natural History was opened in River Forest, Illinois, the first of its kind in the Midwest. Several curators would come and go, but one in particular, Virginia Moe, dedicated more than 50 years of her life to the museum, animals, and people of Cook County. This is truly her story.

About the Author

Jane Morocco's personal connection to Trailside began as a child in the 1950s, when her mother, a field biologist, took her on weekly visits to see the animals. After volunteering for 10 years with Virginia Moe, Morocco became a licensed wildlife rehabilitator by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Images gathered for this project are from the Cook County Forest Preserve archives, as well as from private collections.

Author Discussion & Signing with Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy, author of Ashes Under Water: The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck that Shook America will discuss & sign his book at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore. This is part of the 100th Anniversary Commemoration of the 844 victims that lost their lives in the Chicago River in the summer of 1915. 


It was the summer that broke America's heart. In 1915, Chicago commuters were horrified to see the SS Eastland, a massive LakeMichigan steamship, flip over while tied to its dock. More than eight hundred poorfactory workers and their children drowned. Twenty-two whole families perished. Thenation cried out for justice. Drawing on previously unpublished evidence from theNational Archives, Ashes Under Water is the untold story of a mysterious industrialatrocity and how the prosperous, guilty Eastland owners tried to shift the blame to thewhistleblower and one true hero on the ship, Engineer Joseph Erickson, a workingclass immigrant. Against all odds, an attorney down on his luck at the time thenstepped in to save him: Clarence Darrow, the future legal star. A national tragedy, Chicago politics, corrupt businessmen, a courtroom drama all woven into one spellbinding narrative. Author Michael McCarthy takes us back one hundred years to one of the most shocking accidents in American history. But the aftermath and the cover-up just may have been worse."

ISBN-13: 9780762793280
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Globe Pequot Press, 10/2014 

Author Discussion & Signing with Lou Ureneck

Author Lou Ureneck will discuss & sign his book, The Great Fire: One American's Missions to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century's First Genocide at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore.

The harrowing story of a Methodist Minister and a principled American naval officer who helped rescue more than 250,000 refugees during the genocide of Armenian and Greek Christians--a tale of bravery, morality, and politics, published to coincide with the genocide's centennial.

The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Several hundred miles to the east in Turkey's interior, tensions between Greeks and Turks had boiled over into deadly violence. Mustapha Kemal, now known as Ataturk, and his Muslim army soon advanced into Smyrna, a Christian city, where a half a million terrified Greek and Armenian refugees had fled in a desperate attempt to escape his troops. Turkish soldiers proceeded to burn the city and rape and kill countless Christian refugees. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians and determined to get Armenians and Greeks out of the doomed city, Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of people gathered at the city's Quay.

With the help of the brilliant naval officer and Kentucky gentleman Halsey Powell, and a handful of others, Jennings commandeered a fleet of unoccupied Greek ships and was able to evacuate a quarter million innocent people--an amazing humanitarian act that has been lost to history, until now. Before the horrible events in Turkey were complete, Jennings had helped rescue a million people.

By turns harrowing and inspiring, The Great Fire uses eyewitness accounts, documents, and survivor narratives to bring this episode--extraordinary for its brutality as well as its heroism--to life.

About the Author

LOU URENECK is an outdoorsman, professor and father. In his 20 years at the "Portland"" (""Maine"") Press Herald," where he rose from reporter to editor, Lou crusaded to protect the state's environment against clear-cutting and commercial over-fishing. He was an editor-in-residence at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and page-one editor of "The Philadelphia Inquirer," He is now chairman of the Department of Journalism at Boston University. His work has been published in The "New York Times, ""Boston"" Globe" and "Field & Stream," He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

ISBN-13: 9780062259882
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Ecco Press, 5/2015 

Authors Discussion & Signing with Adam Selzer & Michael Glover Smit

Authors, Adam Selzer and Michael Glover Smith will discuss and sign their latest book, Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry. This is the latest and most extensive volume on the almost forgotten history of movie making in Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It will be enlightening and entertaining with new stories and photos you may have not seen before. Come with questions about the early days film production in Chicago and those stories your older or deceased relatives told you about seeing Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson and the Gish sisters on the sidewalks of Chicago.

Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry tells the fascinating but too little known story of how Chicago served as the unlikely capital of film production in America in the years prior to the rise of Hollywood (1907-1913). As entertaining as it is informative, the book straddles the worlds of academia and popular non-fiction alike in its vivid illustration of the rise and fall of the major Chicago movie studios in the mid-silent era (principally Essanay and Selig Polyscope). Colorful, larger-than-life historical figures like Thomas Edison, Charlie Chaplin, Oscar Micheaux and Orson Welles are major players in Flickering Empire - in addition to important but forgotten industry giants like 'Colonel' William Selig, George Spoor and Gilbert 'Broncho Billy' Anderson.


Michael Glover Smith is an independent filmmaker who teaches film history at several Chicago-area colleges. Adam Selzer is a tour guide, and the author of several books on Chicago history and folklore.

Author Discussion & Signing with Judy Lee Burke

First time author & new member of The Mystery Writers of America, Judy Lee Burkewill be visiting Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore to discuss her first novel, BLACKROCKset in Michigan and Ireland.

 Laine Sullivan, a former NOVAS undercover operative and internationally known architectural designer, comes out of retirement to take an assignment in Ireland riddled with secrets-money laundering, murder, hidden agendas, and false identities. Laine takes action when she accepts Miles Bourke’s invitation to design a party room in his lighthouse tower on Blackrock Island. As she embarks on a promising new relationship with Bourke, her new boss, she struggles with her past-and her quest for the truth in a covert world of espionage. Burke’s “Blackrock” is a masterful work of psychological intricacy bringing to life a modern heroine who is thwarted by people who are prepared to kill, and kill again. Readers will not forget a memorable character enmeshed in a world of power, greed, and passion. The unexpected complication echoes suspense in this gripping thriller.

Blackrock Cover Image
ISBN: 9780990820918
Availability: Special Order
Published: Barringer Publishing/Schlesinger Advertising - November 11th, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with Mary Morris

Mary Morris's The Jazz Palace is a Historical Novel set in Chicago in the early 20th Century. In the first chapter it has description of the sinking of the SS Eastland in the Chicago River killing more passengers than the HMS Titanic. The timing for this novel is perfect since July 25, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Eastland off Wacker Drive on the Chicago River. There will be at least three events in Forest Park (IL) commemorating this event sponsored by the Historical Society of Forest Park (IL). (You may wish to read Jean Lotus' article in the Forest Park Review on February 4, 2015 on pages 1 and 6, Remebering 844.)

  Acclaimed author Mary Morris returns to her Chicago roots in this sweeping novel that brilliantly captures the dynamic atmosphere and the dazzling music of the Jazz Age.

     In the midst of boomtown Chicago, two Jewish families have suffered terrible blows. The Lehrmans, who run a small hat factory, lost their beloved son Harold in a blizzard. The Chimbrovas, who run a saloon, lost three of their boys on the SS Eastland when it sank in 1915. Each family holds out hope that one of their remaining children will rise to carry on the family business. But Benny Lehrman has no interest in making hats. His true passion is piano—especially jazz.
At night he sneaks down to the South Side, slipping into predominantly black clubs to hear jazz groups play. One night he is called out and asked to "sit in" on a group. His playing is first-rate, and the other musicians are impressed. One of them, the trumpeter, a black man named Napoleon, becomes Benny's close friend and musical collaborator, and their adventures together take Benny far from the life he knew as a delivery boy. Pearl Chimbrova recognizes their talent and invites them to start playing at her family's saloon, which Napoleon dubs "The Jazz Palace."
But Napoleon's main gig is at a mob establishment, which doesn't take too kindly to freelancing. And as the '20s come to a close and the bubble of prosperity collapses, Benny, Napoleon, and Pearl must all make hard choices between financial survival and the music they love.

About the Author

Mary Morris's novels include RevengeActs of GodHouse ArrestThe Night Sky, and The Waiting Room. She has also authored two collections of short stories and written extensively on travel, including four memoirs of her solo journey. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and daughter and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

The Jazz Palace Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385539739
Availability: Special Order
Published: Nan A. Talese - April 7th, 2015


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