Author Event

Authors Discussion & Signing with Michael Stanley

Death in the Family: The Fifth Botswana Mystery with Detective Kubu


The continent of Africa has been carved up by many talented mystery writers, as we shall see in future posts. Botswana has been laid claim to by Michael Stanley–the writing team of  Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both are retired professors who have worked in academia and business. Sears is a mathematician, specializing in geological remote sensing. Trollip is an educational psychologist, specializing in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and a pilot. They were both born in South Africa.

They have been on a number of flying safaris to Botswana and Zimbabwe, where they have had many adventures, including tracking lions at night, fighting bush fires on the Savuti plains in northern Botswana, being charged by an elephant, and having their plane’s door pop open over the Kalahari, scattering navigation maps over the desert. These trips have fed their love both for the bush, and for Botswana.

It was on one of these trips that the idea surfaced for a novel set in Botswana. The first book in the series, featuring Detective David “Kubu” Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, A Carrion Death, was set in the deserts of Botswana, where the world’s richest diamond mines are located. The story dealt with greed, power, lust, and the conflict between modern views and traditional values. Booklist compared this book to The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agencyseries, and recommended it to “Henning Mankell fans, who will respond to the complex plots and palpable sense of place.” A New York Times Book Review contributor noted of this book, “Kubu is … hugely appealing – big and solid and smart enough to grasp all angles of this mystery… Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty.” And Kirkus Reviews found it a “stately debut.”

The second book, The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu (USA) or A Deadly Trade(elsewhere), is set in the very north of Botswana, which contrasts vividly with the dry rest of the country.

Death of the Mantis, the third book in the series, was shortlisted for the Anthony and Edgar awards and won the Barry Award for best paperback original mystery.

Deadly Harvest, the fourth mystery in the beloved and critically acclaimed Detective Kubu series tracks a series of murders and the mysterious witch doctor whose nefarious potions might hold the key to a web of missing persons. A young girl goes missing after getting into a car with a mysterious man. Soon after, a second girl disappears, and her devastated father, Witness, sets out to seek revenge.

A Death in the Family is the fifth book in this exceptional series and begins with a bang when Kubu's elderly father is murdered. Kubu is ordered away from the case, but as usual, he has trouble following orders. Meanwhile, in the small town of Shoshong, the local Chinese-owned mine wants to take over part of the village. A week later, a senior official in the Department of Mines is found dead. Kubu becomes convinced that the official was murdered. As always, Michael Stanley creates a seamless and complex mystery with a fascinating look at modern-day Africa.

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A Death in the Family: A Detective Kubu Mystery Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250070890
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Minotaur Books - October 27th, 2015

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A Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu (Detective Kubu Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061252419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 31st, 2009

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The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061252501
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - June 1st, 2010

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Death of the Mantis: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062000378
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 6th, 2011

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Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu Series #4) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062221520
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - April 30th, 2013

Author Discussion & Signing with Elizabeth Perone [CHANGE]

Spend the afternoon with two authors, maybe three, that are well known. Julie Hyzy's Grace series and White House Chef series are the talk of the town. You'll be surprised when you meet Elizabeth Perone too. A great way to spend a hot summer afternoon in Chicago area.

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Murder on the Bucket List (Bucket List Mystery #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780738745091
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Midnight Ink - July 8th, 2015

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Murder on the Bucket List (Paperback)

Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now


The septuagenarian women of the Summer Ridge Bridge Club have gathered in secret late one July night to check skinny dipping off their bucket list. But as Francine observes, the jittery members seem more obsessed with body issues and elaborate preparations than actually stripping down and getting in the pool. A pungent smell emanating from the pool shed provides a perfect distraction. When a dead body flops out, it's an answered prayer for Charlotte, since the first item on her list is to solve a murder.

Unfortunately for Charlotte and Francine, before they can discover who really killed the man, they must negotiate neighborhood tours of the crime scene, press coverage of their skinny dipping, an angry Homeowner's Association, a disastrous appearance on Good Morning America, media offers sought by a hungry publicist, and a clever killer.


"Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to Elizabeth Perona's charming debut, Murder on the Bucket List. This warm and witty caper features delightful characters, hilarious antics, and a celebration of friendship . . . Don't miss it "--JULIE HYZY, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE WHITE HOUSE CHEF MYSTERIES AND THE MANOR HOUSE MYSTERIES

"Elizabeth Perona mixes murder, mystery and a charming cast of characters to concoct an engaging and fun read. High on ingenuity and imagination, low on gore, Murder on the Bucket List keeps the reader guessing."--MARY JANE CLARK, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE WEDDING CAKE MYSTERIES AND THE KEY NEWS THRIILLERS

"Murder on the Bucket List is the best kind of cozy mystery--inviting, engaging, intelligent, warm, and witty. Elizabeth Perona's ensemble cast of senior sleuths puts out a welcome mat I couldn't refuse, and you shouldn't either."--MOLLY MACRAE, NATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE HAUNTED YARN SHOP MYSTERIES

"Elizabeth Perona has created a wonderfully light read, with a fun combo of race cars, suburban life, adventurous seniors, and a killer I did not see coming. Can't wait for the next adventure of the Summer Ridge Bridge Club "--CLARE O'DONOHUE, AUTHOR OF THE SOMEDAY QUILTS MYSTERIES.

About the Author

Elizabeth Perona (Plainfield, Indiana) is the father/daughter writing team of Tony Perona and Elizabeth Dombrosky.    

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
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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.


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