Book Review for The Margaret Ellen, A Karen Cobia Mystery by RC Burdick
I've discovered a new favorite author, and his name is RC Burdick.
The Margaret Ellen is an ocean-drenched mystery, filled with vibrant characters, palpable sea breezes, and spine-tingling suspense. It's a story that lingers in the reader's mind for days, conjuring up images of blustery sky and sea, saltwater-dampened hair, and personalities that spring to life from the rapidly turned pages. Like a great film, it's over far too soon.
Karen "Seaweed" Cobia is in a dilemma. Treading water in unsatisfactory relationships, Seaweed knows something has to change. As the charming, boyish charter boat captain sets out to right the wrongs in her life, she finds herself smack dab in the middle of a juicy murder investigation.
Seaweed and soon-to-be-ex boyfriend, Angus Loman, discover a body bobbing in the surf off Hangman's Key, an island on the west coast of Florida. Eva Park, local well-known philanthropist, is found face down in the surf with her hands and feet bound and a bullet in her forehead. Because Seaweed was raised by her sea-loving father, owner of Cobia's Bait, Tackle, and Charter Service, her resultant marine expertise aids in the murder investigation. The crusty local detective, Myers, begrudgingly accepts her assistance. Nicknamed "Grim Lips," Myers continues to seek out Karen's help as his regard for her skill intensifies.
As the mystery unfolds, a peculiar woman approaches Seaweed for help, embroiling her more deeply in the intrigue. Seaweed tries to balance the life she craves on the ocean with the promise to help the young woman, but instead is catapulted toward a dangerous liaison with the devious culprit who wants her dead.
Mr. Burdick's first mystery is a masterpiece - the sense of place is alive and tantalizing; the scenes are vibrant and tangible. I still taste the salt from the onion rings; feel the condensation on the café tabletop; and sense the rolling of The Margaret Ellen as it moves through the swells. Burdick's knowledge of boats, waterways, fishing, and life on the Florida coast is dazzling, and lends credibility to the work.
The Margaret Ellen is reminiscent of John D MacDonald's Travis Magee series. As much as I love Travis Magee, I must say that I felt closer to Burdick's characters and more securely at the helm of The Margaret Ellen than I did with Magee's houseboat, The Busted Flush. Is that a travesty?
The natural dialogue is brilliantly set to the rustling of sea oats and whistling Austrian pines. The interplay between Seaweed and her father is priceless, emotive, and genuine. Evocative of real life, it brings to mind my own precious relationships with my three daughters. When I finished The Margaret Ellen, I was left with the paradox of deep satisfaction coupled with a strong yearning for more. I cared about these characters, and want to know what happens next. Mr. Burdick has hinted at a sequel and will undoubtedly have a long line of readers anxiously awaiting its release!
Aaron Paul Lazar resides in Upstate New York with his wife, three daughters, two grandsons, mother-in- law, two dogs, and three cats. After writing in the early morning hours, he works as an electrophotographic engineer at NexPress Solutions Inc., part of Kodak's Graphic Communications Group, in Rochester, New York. Additional passions include vegetable, fruit, and flower gardening; preparing large family feasts; photographing his family, gardens, and the breathtakingly beautiful Genesee Valley; cross-country skiing across the rolling hills; playing a distinctly amateur level of piano, and spending "time" with the French Impressionists whenever possible.
Although he adored raising his three delightful daughters, Mr. Lazar finds grandfathering his "two little buddies" to be one of the finest experiences of his life. Double Forte', the first in the series, was published in January 2005. Upstaged, number two, is in production. With eight books under his belt, Mr. Lazar is currently working on the ninth, which features Gus LeGarde and his family. www.legardemysteries.com">http://www.legardemysteries.com
Amazon Crossing, Amazon's publishing imprint focused on literary translation, was first announced in May 2010 and published its first book, The King of Kahel by Guinean author Tierno Monenembo, that November. Since the release of that first title, the imprint has published more than 400 books, from 42 countries and in 26 languages, and become the most prolific publisher of translated literature in the U.S.
In order to deal with congestion issues at its warehouses, Amazon has been cutting book orders to publishers over the last several weeks. It isn't clear how widespread the reduction in orders is, but several independent publishers contacted by PW reported cuts in their weekly orders since late October. One publisher reported that an order placed last week was about 75% lower than an order placed last year at this time. "It's a nightmare," the head of one independent publisher said.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho — From her office next to the public computer terminals, Bette Ammon finds herself peering through a window to watch patrons moving through the Coeur d'Alene library's nonfiction stacks.
Someone has been hiding books lately — specifically, those that explore politics through a progressive lens, or criticize President Trump. They wind up misfiled in out-of-the-way corners where readers will be sure not to find them.
Voting for the annual Diagram Prize is now open. The tongue in cheek prize goes to "the oddest title of the year, not necessarily the funniest, particularly not one that is intentionally funny."
This year's contenders are:
- The Dirt Hole and its Variations
- Ending the War on Artisan Cheese
- Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich
- How to Drink Without Drinking
- Noah Gets Naked: Bible Stories They Didn't Teach You at Sunday School
- Viking Encounters: Proceedings of the 18th Viking Congress
An ongoing study based on eight public libraries around the USA, titled "Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with their Communities" highlights how public librarians are saving lives. For example, some libraries are stocking naloxone and providing training in how to administer it to reverse an opioid overdose. Some are leading discussions about opioid misuse and mental health; and raising awareness about the danger of unused medications. Many work to reduce the stigma of mental illness and addiction, helping to connect patrons to social services, and provide life-skills classes.
Speaking with Ron Charles at the Washington Post, Kendra Morgan, the project director for the study, says, "I cannot speak highly enough of all of these individuals who are really looking at trying to meet a local need. That's the short story: They see a need in their community, and they are asking how they can help."
On Dec 3, the The Washington Post will publish a graphic version of "The Mueller Report," and the first section of a six-part digital series.
According to the Post, the book is written and designed by The Washington Post and illustrated by artist Jan Feindt, and brings to life the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in an engaging and illuminating presentation.
In a meeting with state librarians, Macmillan CEO John Sargent expressed confidence that delaying access to new release e-books in libraries would boost the publisher's revenues, despite a growing list of libraries pledging to spend their money elsewhere.
Penguin Young Readers is acquiring Eric Carle LLC, the asset holder of the IP rights for beloved picture-book creator Eric Carle, whose books have sold more than 145 million copies worldwide.
The deal—which includes the global publishing rights to Carle's more than 70 children's books, along with the substantial Eric Carle licensing business—is expected to close on January 1, 2020. The news was announced today by Madeline McIntosh, CEO of Penguin Random House U.S., who made the acquisition with Jen Loja, president of PRH's Penguin Young Readers division.
The jailed Turkish author Ahmet Altan, whose detention was condemned by 38 Nobel laureates, has been released from prison after more than three years behind bars.
The 69-year-old was arrested in 2016 with his brother, the economist and journalist Mehmet Altan, on allegations of spreading "subliminal messages announcing a military coup" on television. Alongside journalist Nazli Ilicak, the Altan brothers were charged with attempting to overthrow constitutional order, interfering with the work of the national assembly and the government.
All three received life sentences in 2018, though Mehmet was released after four months, pending his appeal.
Altan and Ilicak were subsequently retried on terrorism charges, and convicted. However, the court ruled on Monday to immediately release the two writers based on the time they had already served. Mehmet was acquitted due to lack of evidence.
"While PEN could not be happier that Altan and Ilicak get to go home to their loved ones - in today's Turkey this is good news - we mustn't forget the sham trial and trumped-up charges they and countless other have been subjected to, simply for their critical or dissenting views," said Sahar Halaimzai, PEN International campaigns and communications manager. "It's time for the courts to turn their attention to the many others still detained for simply exercising their free expression rights."
A list of the most inspiring novels chosen by a panel of experts has been revealed by BBC Arts.
Modern works such as Bridget Jones's Diary and His Dark Materials made the cut along with classics like Pride & Prejudice and Middlemarch.
Writers, curators and critics, including Mariella Frostrup, selected the "100 English Language Novels That Shaped Our World."
The list also includes Jilly Cooper's Riders and Zadie Smith's White Teeth.