Monday, January 25, 2010

Celebrating "Cold Winter Nights" by Anne White

Cold Winter Nights my sound like just another weather forecast to my friends in NY's Adirondack Mountains. For author Anne White of Glens Falls, however, it is the new winning title in her Lake George Mystery series. My review below, written for, will warm you just enough to send you scurrying to Red Fox Books or Dog Ate My Homework (for those of you in the Glens Falls area) or Borders in Saratoga Springs to buy a copy. Also available on Amazon, it's a great book to snuggle down under the covers with on, um, cold winter nights. Read on, please.

Cold Winter Nights, A Lake George Mystery
by Anne White

The serene backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains’ pristine Lake George seems an unlikely place to find the ugly snarl of infidelity, deception and murder, but mystery writer Anne White offers just that in Cold Winter Nights, the fifth in her Lake George Mystery series. We willingly follow White’s deft transformation of that idyllic northern New York setting into center stage for the killer’s desperate attempt to silence the too-perceptive (and delightful) Emerald Point mayor, Loren Graham.

It all begins at a holiday concert featuring a solo by the teenaged daughter of Graham’s good friend, Kate Donohue. Sheriff’s deputy Jim Thompson pulls the mayor out of the concert to tell her that Denise McNaughton, a respected RN from the area, has been murdered. It doesn’t take long before the small town is abuzz with gossip and theories about who might have killed McNaughton, and why. While Thompson and other law enforcement officials methodically investigate, Graham can’t help evaluating the evidence herself. Was it the Adirondack hermit, who reportedly had broken into cottages near McNaughton’s home? Could it have been Kate’s ex-husband, said to have been “involved” with the murdered nurse?

As the tale progresses, the reader is transported to various sites in the Adirondacks – from the New Year’s Day festive Polar Bear Plunge in the icy waters of Lake George to the snowy slopes of Gore Mountain Ski Resort, as Graham spends time with friends, conducts her official duties and does a bit of sleuthing. Throughout the fast-moving plot we meet more and more characters from the Lake George area – Don Morrison, Loren Graham’s fiancĂ©; Dr. Kennison, the philandering physician; Teddie Murray, the incorrigible gossip; radio announcer Billie Jorgensen; newspaper reporter Stephanie Colvin; and Lucas Prendergast/AKA Luke Prenders, called by many “the Woodsman.”

Anne White weaves these characters and their motives so skillfully into the fabric of the story that we are at a loss to know just where to point the finger of guilt. As the plot reaches its apex, we find ourselves shivering on the shore of Lake George, trying to enjoy a skating party, but feeling the ominous approach of what we know to be the efforts of a killer to silence Loren Graham. The arctic-like waters kept unfrozen by ice-eaters just beyond the skating area threaten death as the killer makes the fatal move.

This reviewer predicts you’ll find a stack of White’s novels as irresistable as a high-carb snack; nobody can read just one. I’m already waiting for the next.

Fiction: Mystery
Publisher: Hilliard and Harris
ISBN: 1-59133-298-2, 978-1-59133-298-5.

Other Lake George Mysteries by Anne White include:
An Affinity for Murder, 2001, Oak Tree Publishing
Beneath the Surface
, 2005, Hilliard and Harris
Best Laid Plans, 2006, Hilliard and Harris
Secrets Dark and Deep, 2007, Hilliard and Harris

Persis Granger, a reviewer for Book, authored of two works of historical fiction, Adirondack Gold and A Summer of Strangers. She edited and coauthored Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimer’s: Writing a Path to Peace, and also edits Adirondack Guest Informer, a travel magazine, and the John Thurman Historical Society Quarterly, as well as organizing and hosting events for writers.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tooting the (Tin) Horn for Paul Pines

One of the great pleasures of becoming acquainted with others in the writing field is hearing and celebrating their good news. Many of the Willows Bistro gang were on hand for the SRO reading by author/poet Paul Pines. Paul shared some wonderful news with me last week, and I want to share it with you here. His book "Last Call at the Tin Palace" was selected by Bob Holman as one of the "Best Books of 2009." See below (and linked below) some of the kudos for Paul's book. Find the book in Glens Falls at Red Fox. It may also be ordered on Amazon. To read more about Paul, see his bio below the press release here.

Poetry Picks — The Best Books of 2009
Selected by Bob Holman
By Bob Holman & Margery Snyder, Guide

In the Spotlight

More of the Best Books of 2009

The 2009 poetry harvest was bountiful, and Poetry Guide Bob Holman is still sifting through his shelves to present the best of the year for your library. This week we've added notes on books by Ed Sanders, Craig Arnold, Breyten Breytenbach, Mahmoud Darwish, Rodrigo Toscano, Wednesday Kennedy, Elena Georgiou, Gil Fagiani, Robert Polito, Norma Cole, Paul Pines, Ed McClanahan, Edwin Torres, and the Belladonna Elders Series--and there are still more to come next week. Our list is the best place to find the new poetry book that suits your fancy!

"Last Call at the Tin Palace," by Paul Pines

(Marsh Hawk Press, 2009) Back in the day, 1970 say, Paul Pines, bartender/poet, decided that the thing to do was open a jazz/poetry club, genius, and for the next 18 years or so the Tin Palace was a beacon on the Bowery. If you were there, you knew. And if you weren’t, well, you can feel it in Last Call at the Tin Palace, poems that are stories that are jazz that are memories that are everlasting imprints of music on retinas and the truth from the other side of the bar. Some crazy surrealist collages and all—a gift. - Marsh Hawk Website


About Paul Pines
Paul Pines grew up in Brooklyn around the corner from Ebbet’s Field and passed the early sixties on the Lower East Side of New York. He shipped out as a merchant seaman, spending 1965-66 in Vietnam, after which he drove a taxi and tended bar until he opened The Tin Palace in 1970, the setting for his novel, The Tin Angel (Wm Morrow, 1983). Redemption (Editions du Rocher, 1997), a second novel, is set against the genocide of Guatemalan Mayans. My Brother’s Madness (Curbstone, 2007) a memoir, has recently enjoyed wide critical acclaim. Pines has also published seven volumes of poetry: Onion, Hotel Madden Poems, Pines Songs, Breath, Adrift on Blinding Light, Taxidancing and Last call at the Tin Palace—selections set by composer Daniel Asia appear on the Summit label and in his 5th Symphony commissioned by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He lives in Glens Falls, New York, where he practices as a psychotherapist and hosts the Lake George Jazz Weekend. High praise for Pines’s work include: The Tin Angel, “Superb” (The Washington Post); My Brother’s Madness, “great writing, no doubt about it” (NPR commentator Andre Codrescu); Hotel Madden Poems, “brilliant and compelling…” (American Book Review); Breath, “…instantaneous travel along our internal galaxies” (American Book Review); and, Adrift on Blinding Light “[that] navigates the conscious and subconscious worlds with fluid, imaginative, and fascinating energy” (Multicultural Review).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Willows Bistro - January 14th, 2 p.m.

The Bistro Readers are at it again!

Thursday, January 14th Debbie Swan will again welcome the Second Thursday Readings at her cozy cafe, Willows Bistro, 3749 Main Street, Warrensburg, NY. These readings have been running since June of 2009, and the number of participating writers has grown from eight to thirty. Over the half year we've enjoyed hearing short selections from most of these writers, and are looking forward to hearing from the rest in coming months. We've heard fiction, memoir, humor, and poetry, though these genres often overlap. Some of the writers have published works, while others are working toward publication. Willows Bistro is a friendly and supportive setting for all of us as we test-drive our material with the public (always invited--no admission charged) and fellow writers.

Starting out the new year of readings will be Susan Jefts, Doug Deneen, Pat Leonard and Jessica Kane. The event begins at two p.m. and runs until about four. Come early for lunch, then stay to enjoy the program. This month's art exhibit showcases the photography of Herb Dieck. Those interested in reading at a future program should leave contact information with Debbie Swan. We set up the schedule several weeks before the reading dates, in order to be able to publicize names of readers.

The Bistro Readers are grateful to Debbie for providing such a wonderful spot for the readings and for always having such delectable treats available. I was delighted to notice on her website the option of voting for Willows Bistro on "Urban Spoon". Urban Spoon's website offers the chance to leave a review of the restaurant, so if you have time, visit Urban Spoon, click the voting button (see what it looks like below) and then leave feedback.