Author Event

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
Email or call for price.
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
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780385539739
Availability: Special Order
Published: Nan A. Talese - April 7th, 2015

Author Discussion & Signing with Annie Hansen

Annie Hansen returns to Centuries & Sleuths with her second Kelly Clark Mystery  Bean in Love.

  Kelly Clark is making quite a comeback in her hometown of Geneva, IL after her divorce. She’s in love, her relationships are solid, and her finances are back on track due to her sister’s generous offer to live rent free in the apartment above Chocolate Love, a favorite hang-out in the Historic District. When Kelly’s sister, Nikki, decides to expand her Chocolate Love empire by opening a new coffee shop, Bean in Love, the Clark family pulls together to help.

As the local fall festivals kick into high gear, trouble comes blowing into town with rumors of a local ghost causing real trouble in town. When a beloved local dies at the Geneva History Center under suspicious circumstances, Kelly and Nikki are called on to figure out what happened. Could a ghost from the past really have a hand in the death? Things get complicated when the sisters face an unexpected pregnancy, a surprise proposal, and a possible foreclosure. All of the stress makes Kelly question if she is really moving on with her life or if she’s just fooling herself. After all, Kelly’s been in love and it ended horribly. Could it really be better for her this time around?

Bean In Love: A Kelly Clark Mystery Book Two Cover Image
ISBN: 9781502594273
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - October 16th, 2014

Give Me Chocolate: A Kelly Clark Mystery Book 1 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781502828415
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - November 3rd, 2014

Author Discussion & Signing with Patricia Skalka

Patricia Skalka returns to Centuries & Sleuths with her second Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery, Death at Gills Rock.

Dave Cubiak is back, and this time he’s the new sheriff in town

After tracking a clever killer in Death Stalks Door County, park ranger and former Chicago homicide detective Dave Cubiak is elected Door County sheriff. His newest challenge arrives as spring brings not new life but tragic death to the isolated fishing village of Gills Rock. Three prominent World War II veterans who are about to be honored for their military heroics die from carbon monoxide poisoning during a weekly card game. Blame falls to a faulty heater but Cubiak puzzles over details. When one of the widows receives a message claiming the men “got what they deserved,” he realizes that there may be more to the deaths than a simple accident.

Investigating, Cubiak discovers that the men’s veneer of success and respectability hides a trail of lies and betrayal that stems from a single, desperate act of treachery and eventually spreads a web of deceit across the peninsula. In a dark, moody tale that spans more than half a century, Cubiak encounters a host of suspects with motives for murder. Amid broken dreams, corruption, and loss, he sorts out the truth. Death at Gills Rock is the second book in Patricia Skalka’s Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series.



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


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