First up, MY LIFE WITH THE LINCOLNS by Gayle Brandeis. This wasn’t on my reading list for this month, but the premise so captured my imagination, I bumped it up. The story is set in the summer of 1966 amid Martin Luther King’s Chicago Freedom Movement and the Vietnam War. The narrator and protagonist, twelve-year-old Mina Edelman, is convinced her family is the reincarnation of the Lincolns (yes those Lincolns) and it is her duty to save them from their tragic fate. Mina’s voice is sure and compelling. Aimed at an MG audience, but a terrific read for adults as well, MY LIFE WITH THE LINCOLNS is a funny, touching, poignant look back at a pivotal time in US history. This is a strong endorsement coming from me. US history is one of my least favorite subjects (except when it involves travel, love visiting historical sights).

Onward. MOTH by James Sallis is the second in his series featuring former New Orleans PI, now university instructor and author, Lew Griffin. Not sure what to say about MOTH other than to repeat what I said last month about Sallis’s THE LONG-LEGGED FLY. Sallis is a poet. His mastery of language matched with an ability to create living breathing flawed characters on the page is awe inspiring. This novel is part crime, part literary fiction. If you believe references to Proust, Queneau and Robbe-Grillet have no place in detective fiction, then these books are not for you. If your taste in crime fiction runs to Janet Evanovich, these books are probably not for you. But if you bow to the mastery of George Pelecanos, James Lee Burke and Walter Moseley and haven’t yet read Sallis, you must.

 

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