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    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict, notable author of previous historical fiction such as The Other Einstein and Lady Clementine, earned an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from our First Impressions reviewers.

    What the book is about:

    This cleverly structured, well-researched, ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Agatha Christie's First Marriage

    In The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, Marie Benedict explores mystery writer Agatha Christie's marriage to Archibald Christie through the lens of Agatha's mysterious temporary disappearance in 1926. Many different theories have been proposed as to the exact details regarding how and why the famous ...

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    To Be a Man

    While, as its title hints, To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss is concerned with masculinity, it renders a variety of characters — heroic and otherwise. Throughout the book, Krauss weaves present-time situations with emotional, ancestral echoes of destruction and deep, unburied grief. The past ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Megiddo

    In To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss, a character in the story 'End Days' is an archaeologist working at Tel Megiddo, the site of the ancient Palestinian city of Megiddo, which is situated near present-day Haifa, Israel. 'Tel' refers to the 'mound' on the site in which excavations have uncovered 26 ...

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    Review

    The Office of Historical Corrections

    In The Office of Historical Corrections, the second story collection from Danielle Evans, readers are given a revelatory look at injustice, forgiveness, identity and history. With each story, Evans reveals the realities of present-day America, focusing in particular on the experiences of Black women...

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    Beyond the Book

    Ovarian Cancer

    In Danielle Evans' collection The Office of Historical Corrections, the short story 'Happily Ever After' centers around Lyssa, who at 30 years old is navigating life after her mother's death from ovarian cancer and has been advised to have her own ovaries removed as soon as possible. Ovarian ...

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    Review

    The Dutch House

    The Dutch House is my introduction to Ann Patchett, which, after reading it, surprises me. I had only heard of her in passing, while always on the way to another author, another novel, never really turning her way. Why did it take me so long to discover her? As I see it now, Patchett is one of those...

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    Beyond the Book

    The Stories That Houses Can Hold

    Having moved 17 times in the wake of my late father being transferred at his job, I don't have a nostalgic connection to anywhere I've lived. The connection many people feel in their bones, heart and soul to a specific home is a mere curiosity to me—an interest in what people remember, how ...

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    Nights When Nothing Happened

    A quiet atmosphere of dread permeates Simon Han's subdued debut novel Nights When Nothing Happened. It begins with an anxiety inducing premise — 11-year-old Jack Cheng has discovered that his five-year-old sister Annabel is sleepwalking at night, once even strolling out the front door of their...

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    Beyond the Book

    East Asian Populations in Plano, Texas

    Simon Han's debut novel Nights When Nothing Happened is set in Plano, Texas, located about 20 miles north of Dallas and 50 miles northeast of Fort Worth. The Chengs, who are Chinese American, have chosen to live in Plano because it is a safe community with good schools, but what's not stated overtly...

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    Review

    Take It Back

    In Kia Abdullah's novel Take It Back, sexual violence advisor Zara Kaleel becomes involved in a case where 16-year-old Jodie Wolfe is accusing four classmates of rape. Jodie has long been ostracized for having severe facial deformities resulting from a genetic condition, and she fears her claim will...

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    Beyond the Book

    DNA Profiling

    In Kia Abdullah's courtroom drama Take It Back, the prosecution relies on a forensic technique called DNA profiling. Also known as genetic fingerprinting, the process can be used to match bodily material found at a crime scene to a suspect, to identify a person's relatives, to determine one's ...

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