Tag Archives: Bloomsbury

Petrucelli Picks: 2018 Gift Guide: Last-Minute Presents With Presence, Part Two. Santa, Take Note.

The ultimate and timeless Christmas story, with cuddly guinea pigs in the starring roles. Miserable to the core and wholly unwilling to extend a paw to help those in desperate need, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge says “Bah, Humbug!” to the festive season. But one night he is visited by three Christmas Spirits who take him on a journey through time, so he can see the error of his ways and learn the true meaning of Christmas.

A Guinea Pig Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’s joyful Christmas tale, retold in an entirely new way.


In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just 19 and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former First Lady Jackie Kennedy. The next 13 years of her life were spent in Jackie’s service, during which Kathy not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John Jr., but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events.

Kathy called Jackie “Madam,” she considered her employer more like a big sister who, in many ways, mentored her on how to be a lady. Kathy was there during Jackie and Aristotle Onassis’s courtship and marriage and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, dutifully supporting Jackie and the children during these tumultuous times in history.|

McKeon’s Jackie’s Girl (Gallery Books, $16) is a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.


When Tony Kushner’s Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, launched a score of major careers and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture.

Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois offer The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America (Bloomsbury, $30), the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, the vibrant conversation and debate of actors, directors, producers, crew and Kushner himself. Their intimate storytelling reveals the on- and offstage turmoil of the play’s birth–a hard-won miracle beset by artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative.


Everyone [well, almost everyone] is just wild about Harry. Prince Henry of Wales has made headlines all over the world with his unruly antics [think Nazi], but instead of being sidelined as the House of Windsor’s biggest liability,  Harry has emerged as the jewel in the crown of the modern British Monarchy.

Prince Harry: The Inside Story by [Larcombe, Duncan]

Prince Harry: The Inside Story (Harper360, $16.99), Duncan Larcombe’s insightful and entertaining biography of the rebellious royal, recalls Harry’s Eton exploits, his military career and his tempestuous love life, as well as revisiting some events that the prince would probably prefer to forget, such as his notorious Nazi fancy dress which landed him in a global storm of criticism. But despite a string of incidents that would normally destroy the career of any aspiring public figure, Harry has a mysterious gift. The more scrapes Harry gets in, the more the public seem to love him.


Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in Hope never Dies (Quirk Books, $14.99),  high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes.

Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.


Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die (Workman, $35) ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, ‘You have to read this’. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.


In Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood (Metropolitan Books, $30), Rose George takes us from ancient practices of bloodletting to the breakthough of the “liquid biopsy,” which promises to diagnose cancer and other diseases with a simple blood test. She introduces Janet Vaughan, who set up the world’s first system of mass blood donation during the Blitz, and Arunachalam Muruganantham, known as “Menstrual Man” for his work on sanitary pads for developing countries. She probes the lucrative business of plasma transfusions, in which the US is known as the “OPEC of plasma.” And she looks to the future, as researchers Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents (Little, Brown & Company, $30) seek to bring synthetic blood to a hospital near you.

Spanning science and politics, stories and global epidemics, Nine Pints reveals our life’s blood in an entirely new light.


As Chief Official White House Photographer, Pete Souza spent more time alongside President Barack Obama than almost anyone else. His years photographing the President gave him an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the unique gravity of the Office of the Presidency–and the tremendous responsibility that comes with it.

Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents by [Souza, Pete]Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents (Little, Brown & Company, $30) is a portrait in Presidential contrasts, telling the tale of the Obama and Trump administrations through a series of visual juxtapositions. Here, more than one hundred of Souza’s unforgettable images of Obama deliver new power and meaning when framed by the tweets, news headlines, and quotes that defined the first 500 days of the Trump White House. In Shade, Souza’s photographs are more than a rejoinder to the chaos, abuses of power, and destructive policies that now define our nation’s highest office. They are a reminder of a President we could believe in, and a courageous defense of American values.


Drawing on extensive research and reporting, Heidi Waleson, one of the foremost American opera critics, recounts the history of this scrappy company and reveals how, from the beginning, it precariously balanced an ambitious artistic program on fragile financial supports. Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America by [Waleson, Heidi]

Above all, Mad Scenes and Exit Arias (Metropolitan Books, $30) is a story of money, ego, changes in institutional identity, competing forces of populism and elitism, and the ongoing debate about the role of the arts in society. It serves as a detailed case study not only for an American arts organization, but also for the sustainability and management of nonprofit organizations across the country.


PETRUCELLI’S PICKS: 2018 GIFT GUIDE: THE YEAR’S BEST CELEBRITY (AUTO)BIOGRAPHIES, PART FOUR

She was black and a woman and a prosecutor, a graduate of Smith College and the granddaughter of slaves, as dazzlingly unlikely a combination as one could imagine in New York of the 1930s―and without the strategy she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful Mafia boss in history, would never have been convicted. When special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey selected 20 lawyers to help him clean up the city’s underworld, she was the only member of his team who was not a white male.

Her name was Eunice Hunton Carter, the author  Stephen Carter’s grandmother. Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster (Henry Holt, $30) is moving, haunting and as fast-paced as a novel, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson’s remarkable book, her long forgotten story is once again visible.


Literary icon Edmund White made his name through his writing but remembers his life through the books he has read. For White, each momentous occasion came with a book to match: Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, which opened up the seemingly closed world of homosexuality while he was at boarding school in Michigan; the Ezra Pound poems adored by a lover he followed to New York; the biography of Stephen Crane that inspired one of White’s novels. But it wasn’t until heart surgery in 2014, when he temporarily lost his desire to read, that White realized the key role that reading played in his life: forming his tastes, shaping his memories, and amusing him through the best and worst life had to offer.

Blending memoir and literary criticism, The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading (Bloomsbury, $28) is a compendium of all the ways reading has shaped White’s life and work. His larger-than-life presence on the literary scene lends itself to fascinating, intimate insights into the lives of some of the world’s best-loved cultural figures. With characteristic wit and candor, he recalls reading Henry James to Peggy Guggenheim in her private gondola in Venice and phone calls at eight o’clock in the morning to Vladimir Nabokov–who once said that White was his favorite American writer.


From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.

But as Dave Itzkoff shows in his revelatory biography, Robin (Henry Holt, $30), Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt. Itzkoff shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression—topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews—-and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.


Though best known for the fictional cases of his creation Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was involved in dozens of real life cases, solving many, and zealously campaigning for justice in all. In The Man Who Would Be Sherlock: The Real-Life Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle (Thomas Dunne Books, $28.99), author Christopher thoroughly and convincingly makes the case that the details of the many events Doyle was involved in, and caricatures of those involved, would provide Conan Doyle the fodder for many of the adventures of the violin-playing detective. A great read, elementary my dear!


Hunter S. Thompson is often misremembered as a wise-cracking, drug-addled cartoon character. Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism (PublicAffairs, $28) reclaims him for what he truly was: a fearless opponent of corruption and fascism, one who sacrificed his future well-being to fight against it, rewriting the rules of journalism and political satire in the process.

This skillfully told and dramatic story shows how Thompson saw through Richard Nixon’s treacherous populism and embarked on a life-defining campaign to stop it. In his fevered effort to expose institutional injustice, Thompson pushed himself far beyond his natural limits, sustained by drugs, mania, and little else. For 10 years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history.


Who knew? Across almost 50 years, Winston Churchill produced more than 500 paintings. His subjects included his family homes at Blenheim and Chartwell, evocative coastal scenes on the French Riviera, and many sun-drenched depictions of Marrakesh in Morocco, as well as still life pictures and an extraordinarily revealing self-portrait, painted during a particularly troubled time in his life. 

In his introduction to Churchill: The Statesman as Artist (Bloomsbury, $30), David Cannadine provides the most important account yet of Churchill’s life in art, which was not just a private hobby, but also, from 1945 onwards, an essential element of his public fame. The first part of this book brings together for the first time all of Churchill’s writings and speeches on art, not only “Painting as a Pastime,” but his addresses to the Royal Academy, his reviews of two of the Academy’s summer exhibitions, and an important speech he delivered about art and freedom in 1937.

Churchill, The Life (Firefly Books, $29.95) uses his words, personal documents and photographs as well as private and public memorabilia to commemorate the private, military and political man who many consider “the greatest Briton of all time” and the best friend the United States ever had. Many of the items are published here for the first time.


Publishers continue to fill the air (and book shelves) with must-read, must-have books about singers, composers, legends and legacies. Some that hit all the right notes:
The Cake and the Rain: A Memoir (St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.99)
Jimmy Webb’s words have been sung to his music by a roster of pop artists, including Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt. He’s the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration, and his chart-topping career has, so far, lasted 50 years, most recently with a Kanye West rap hit and a new classical nocturne. Here, Webb delivers a snapshot of his life from 1955 to 1970, from the proverbial humble beginnings into a moneyed and manic international world of beautiful women, drugs, cars and planes. One question remains: What was that cake doing in the rain?

Did you ever wonder what goes into the creation of some of the best music ever recorded? And how someone becomes an iconic music professional who is universally admired? Al Schmitt on the Record: The Magic Behind the Music reveals answers to these questions and more. In this memoir of one of the most respected engineers of all time, you’ll discover how a very young boy mentored by his uncle Harry progressed through the recording world in its infancy and, under the tutelage of legendary engineer and producer Tom Dowd in his heyday, became one of the all-time great recording engineers.

Michael Jackson All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track (Cassell, $50) is the only book that tells the story behind every single song that the King of Pop ever released – from his formative years with the Jackson Five to his incredible and much-loved output as a solo artist. More than 200 songs, videos and revolutionary dance moves are analyzed, uncovering the fascinating stories around their creation and allowing fans the chance to truly understand the artistry behind them.

This is Morrissey as you’ve never seen him before. Featuring many previously unpublished photographs, Morrissey: Alone and Palely Loitering (Cassell, $39.99) is a portrait of Morrissey at his creative peak. Journey through hundreds of Kevin Cummins’ renowned, era-defining images, taken over a ten-year period in locations all over the world, accompanied by recollections from the author on his time with Morrissey and the artistic process of collaborating with him. Intimate, creative and surprising, this is a document of an artist at the height of his powers.

Funny, revealing, self-aware, and deeply moving, Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen (Da Capo Press, $27) is an insightful memoir about Eric Lerner’s relationship with his friend, whose idiosyncratic style and dignified life was deeply informed by his spiritual practices.

Lerner invites readers to step into the room with them and listen in on a lifetime’s ongoing dialogue, considerations of matters of vital interest, spiritual, mundane, and profane. In telling their story, Lerner depicts Leonard Cohen as a captivating persona, the likes of which we may never see again.

Queen in 3-D (Shelter Harbor Press, $45) is the first book ever to be published about legendary rock band Queen by a member of the band. And certainly the first book of its kind in the world. It s a unique collection of original, highly personal snapshots of Queen in Three Dimensions, from the band s inception in the early ’70s right up to the present day, accompanied by the exclusive recollections of founding member and lead guitarist, Brian May.

The book is illustrated with more than 300 photographs; these shots of Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian himself, on and off stage all round the world, spring into life when viewed with Brian’s patent OWL viewer (supplied free with the book). Through the eyes of Brian s camera you are transported back in time to experience Queen’s miraculous 46-year journey as if you were actually there . . . whether in a dressing room, in a car, on a plane, or on stage at Madison Square Garden.

More Queenmania can be found in the rock journalist Martin Popoff’s Queen: Album By Album (Voyageur Pres, $30). He convenes a cast of 19 Queen experts and superfans to discuss all 15 of the band’s studio albums (including their soundtrack for the 1980 film Flash Gordon). Panelists include Queen experts, rock journalists, musicians and record industry figures. The results are freewheeling discussions delving into the individual songs, the circumstances that surrounded the recording of each album, the band and contemporary rock contexts into which they were released, and more.

Petrucelli Picks: 2018 Gift Guide: The Best Food & Cookbooks of the Year

Nothing is tastier than serving up out picks for the best books of all things food.

We tasted several tomes from Kyle Books. What wonders!
In Five Seasons of Jam ($24.99) Lillie O’Brien proves why jam cannot be rushed. Five Seasons of Jam by [O'Brien, Lillie]These preserving recipes may be short on the page, but they’re designed to stretch time, from when you first find and organize the ingredients, to when you stir the pot slowly and lovingly, then spread it on toast, and take the first magical bite.

Sudie Pigott’s Flipping Good Pancakes: Pancakes From Around the World ($16.99) proves that you don’t have to wait till the weekend to enjoy pancakes. Taking inspiration from countries all over the world, this dynamic collection of recipes shows how versatile and easy pancakes can be.  Chinese Rice Flour Pancakes with Shitake and Sugar Snap Peas anyone?

With step-by-step photography, detailed instructions, specialist advice and Vanessa Kimbell’s indispensable encouragement, The Sourdough School: The Ground-Breaking Guide to Making Gut-Friendly Bread ($24.99) celebrates the timeless craft of artisan baking. Pass the butter. Please.

The Goodness of Honey: 40 Healthy Sweet and Savory Recipes ($12.99) offers vibrant recipes packed full of goodness. From Baked Energy Bars to Honeyed Carrot Cupcakes, and from Foolproof Root Vegetables to a Fig, Nectarine, Burrata & Prosciutto salad, these delicious recipes will allow you to embrace your love for honey without the guilt.


On a 10-year journey to seek the origins of wine,  Kevin Begos unearths a whole world of forgotten grapes, each with distinctive tastes and aromas, as well as the archaeologists, geneticists, chemists—even a paleobotanist—who are deciphering wine down to molecules of flavor.

In Tasting the Past: The Science of Flavor and the Search for the Origins of Wine ( Algonquin Books, $26.95), we meet a young scientist who sets out to decode the DNA of every single wine grape in the world; a researcher who seeks to discover the wines that Caesar and Cleopatra drank; and an academic who has spent decades analyzing wine remains to pinpoint ancient vineyards. Science illuminates wine in ways no critic can, and it has demolished some of the most sacred dogmas of the industry: for example, well-known French grapes aren’t especially noble.

Begos offers readers drinking suggestions that go far beyond the endless bottles of Chardonnay and Merlot found in most stores and restaurants.


Think outside the crust: Slab pie is just like regular pie . . . only better and bigger! Instead of crimping and meticulously rolling out a round crust, slab pies are an unfussy twist that are perfect for a potluck or dinner party or just a family dinner.

Baked on sheet pans, slab pies can easily serve a crowd of people dinner or dessert. Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies (Grand Central Life & Style, $28) includes 75 foolproof recipes, along with inventive decoration tips that will appeal to baking nerds and occasional bakers alike. And this fresh, uncomplicated take on pie will surely pique the interest of those who have previously been reluctant to take out their rolling pin.


Just when you thought you knew everything about a cup o’ Joe… The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing — Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed (Firefly Books, $35)  takes readers on a global tour of coffee-growing countries, presenting the bean in full-color photographs and concise, informative text.

It covers where coffee is grown, the people who grow it and the cultures in which it is a way of life. It also covers the world of consumption—processing, grades, the consumer and the modern culture of coffee. Organized by continent and then country or region, The World Atlas of Coffee presents the world’s favorite brew in color spreads packed with information.


The first official cookbook from the beloved world of Margaritaville features laid-back favorites like the explosively good Volcano Nachos and the heaven-on-earth-with-an-onion-slice Cheeseburger in Paradise, alongside more sophisticated options that will wow your guests. With its combination of recipes, stories, and gorgeous full color food and lifestyle photographs throughout, it is sure to put you in a Margaritaville state of mind!

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and no vacation is complete without a cocktail―preferably a margarita, of course! Margaritaville: The Cookbook: Relaxed Recipes For a Taste of Paradise (St. Martin’s Press, $32.50) is loaded with drink recipes to inspire your blissful island cocktail hour―from Jimmy’s Perfect Margarita and Paradise Palomas to Cajun Bloody Mary’s and the quintessential Key West Coconut and Lime Frozen Margarita.


With detailed explanations of Middle Eastern foods, and suggestions on the best way to build up a home pantry of staples, you’ll discover a world of flavor. Once you begin cooking from Tahini & Turmeric: 101 Middle Eastern Classics Made Irresistibly Vegan (Da Capo Lifelong Books , $24.99), you’ll find yourself experimenting with pistachios and pomegranate syrup–and, of course, tahini and turmeric.


For this sumptuous cookbook, restaurateur Yann de Rochefort and Executive Chef Marc Vidal tell the story of Boqueria, which has now spread to four New York City locations as well as to Washington, D.C. While the recipes-all deeply rooted in Barcelona’s culinary culture-take center stage with phenomenal food photography, Boqueria: A Cookbook, from Barcelona to New York (Bloomsbury, $35) also swings open the kitchen doors to reveal the bustling life of the restaurant, and offers exciting glimpses of the locales that inspire it: the bars, markets and cervezerias of Barcelona. 

Boqueria’s recipes are delectable variations on authentic Barcelona fare, but more than that; along with their origin stories, these recipes inspire a bit of the Boqueria experience-the cooking, the conversations, and the connections-in your own home.


Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg shocked the baking world when they proved that homemade yeast dough could be stored in the refrigerator to use whenever you need it. Now, they’ve done it again with Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for Every Occasion (St. Martin’s Press, $35), a cookbook with savory, sweet, healthy and decadent recipes for every occasion.

In 100 clear and concise recipes that build on the successful formula of their bestselling series, Holiday and Celebration Bread will adapt their ingenious approach for high-moisture stored dough to a collection of breads from the four corners of the globe.


In Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking (Da Capo Lifelong Books, $30) , Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau share 150 recipes that pay homage to the meals and market produce that have been farmed, sold, and prepared by Caribbean people–particularly the women–for centuries. Caribbean food is often thought of as rustic and unrefined, but these vibrant vegetarian dishes will change the way we think about this diverse, exciting, and nourishing cuisine. The pages are spiced with the sisters’ fond food memories and fascinating glimpses of the islands’ histories, bringing the region’s culinary past together with creative recipes that represent the best of Caribbean food today.


Derived from the Turkish word “keif” meaning “feeling good,” kefir is a tart, tangy cultured milk, low in sugar and lactose free, and an excellent source of protein, calcium, and B vitamins. Originating from a grain that dates back two thousand years to the Caucasus Mountains of Europe, it is also one of the healthiest natural foods available—scientifically shown to help boost immunity, improve gut health, build bone density, fight allergies, and aid the body’s natural detoxification.

The Kefir Cookbook: An Ancient Healing Superfood for Modern Life, Recipes from My Family Table and Around the World (HarperOne, $29.99) offers more than 100 globally-inspired sweet and savory recipes, as well as unique spins on classic recipes, while introducing contemporary flavors and textures to inspire you in the kitchen every day.


We always savor the cookbooks published by Robert Rose.

Since Santa already brought us an Instant Pot, we sampled two delicious treats: The Complete Indiana Instant Pot Cookbook: 130 Traditional & Modern Recipes ($24.95) and 5-Ingredient Instant Pot Cookbook: 150 Easy, Quick & Delicious Recipes ($19.95).

The recipes are as easy as A-B-C, the photos are glorious and, well, we’re getting hungry for another Ham and Cheddar Egg Muffin . . .

“The Wonderful Mr. Willughby: The First True Ornithologist” soars

From the acclaimed author of Bird Sense and The Most Perfect Thing, Tim Birkhead, flies high with his The Wonderful Mr. Willughby: The First True Ornithologist (Bloomsbury, $27 hardcover), a biography of the man who pulled the study of birds out of the dark ages and formed the foundations of modern ornithology.

For the first time, Willughby’s story and genius are given
the attention they deserve. He lived during the rapidly accelerating scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, at a time when scholars’ conceptions of science and nature were drastically shifting
and previous conceptions were being critically scrutinized. Studying at Cambridge, Willughby was invigorated by this revolution, and after graduation he devoted his time to his particular fascination with birds, carefully differentiating them through identification of their distinguishing features.

Soon he set off on the Grand Tour in Europe with his Cambridge tutor John Ray, making stops to examine native species
and view prominent specimen collections. It was on this trip that the two men were inspired to embark on an overhaul of the whole of natural history, in an attempt to impose order on its messiness and complexity. But before their first book, Ornithology, could be completed, Willughby died. In the centuries since, Ray’s reputation has grown, obscuring that of his collaborator.

In his too-short life, Willughby helped found the Royal Society of London, and made discoveries and asked questions that were, in some cases, centuries ahead of their time. His findings and his approach to his work continue to be relevant—and revelatory—today.  Birkhead describes and celebrates how Willughby’s endeavors set a standard for the way birds—and indeed the whole of natural history—should be studied.

Clue for a great 2017 read: “Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes”

Want to start the New Year off with an exciting new chapter in your reading? It’s elementary dear readers.

In Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes (Bloomsbury, $27), acclaimed author Michael Sims traces Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s circuitous path to becoming the father of the modern mystery. Follow Doyle’s early days in Edinburgh surrounded by poverty and violence, through his escape to university to study medicine, his first several years of limited success in both medicine and writing, and finally, the emergence of the character of Sherlock Holmes, in Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet.

Sims deftly shows Holmes to be a product of Doyle’s varied adventures in his personal and professional life, as well as built out of the traditions of writers Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Émile Gaboriau and (one of our faves, and still so underrated!) Wilkie Collins—not just a skillful translator of clues, but a veritable superhero of the mind, reminiscent of Doyle’s esteemed teacher, Dr. Joseph Bell.

Sir Arthur . . . penning another Sherlock saga?

As a young medical student, Doyle studied under Dr. Bell, a veritable diagnostic genius and Doyle’s favorite professor. Bell could often identify a patient’s occupation, hometown, and ailments from the smallest details of dress, gait, and speech. Although Doyle was training to be a surgeon, he was impressed and inspired by Bell’s detective-like abilities, which laid the groundwork for Doyle’s creation of Holmes several years later. Filled with details that will surprise even the most knowledgeable Sherlockian, Arthur and Sherlock is a literary genesis story for detective fans everywhere.