Blog Posts by Ultra Violet

blogger photoUltra Violet is an artist, but not the one who hung out with Warhol at the Factory. She is also the only library staff member who was a Shakespearean research scholar and a member of the Meat Cutters' Union in the same year.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke

cover image
I read this dark, atmospheric tale of the Napoleonic wars and faeries some time ago and loved it. I just found out that a movie is in the works. The New York Times has some information about it.

by David Albahari

cover image
Translated from Serbian, and set in 1990s Serbia, a journalist is caught up in a suspenseful situation when he follows a mysterious woman. As he reports on the things he finds, the plot intensifies. I enjoyed the look into modern Serbia.

The gun seller
by Hugh Laurie

cover image
Hugh Laurie is best known for starring in the TV series, House, or for his role in the popular BBC series, Jeeves and Wooster, but not many people think of him as an author. The gun seller is a witty, gritty espionage thriller packed with black humor. Under-employed ex-Scot's Guard, Thomas Lang, is offered a substantial sum of money to kill a wealthy American businessman. Lang, being and all-round good egg, not only refuses, but tries to warn Wolf, the American he is supposed to kill. He ends up getting involved in an international affair that is much more than he bargained for. He can't get out, or the gun sellers will kill Wolf's daughter. The first half of this book is very funny and ironic, while the second half gets down to the serious action, but I found both parts thoroughly enjoyable.

The Tragedy of Arthur
by Arthur Phillips

cover image
No novel involving art forgery escapes my notice... add in Shakespeare, and I am even more intrigued. Here is a thoroughly contemporary novel with enough delicious ambiguity to make it an excellent choice for a book club. NPR featured this novel with an interview with the author, click here to listen.

A Trail of Ink
by Mel Starr

cover image
A light mystery set in 14th Century England. The sleuth is a surgeon at Oxford and bailiff of Bampton Castle. A great read for history buffs and anglophiles.

Miss me when I'm gone
by Philip Stephens

cover image
A folk singer returning to his small Missouri town to be with his mother finds uncomfortable changes. Written in a musical, ballad fashion, this book is nostalgic and melancholy in a very touching way.

The Eden Hunter
by Skip Horack

cover image
Kau is a fierce pygmy warrior. His family and his entire village have been destroyed by the Ota tribesman. Five years after Kau is enslaved and sent to America, he escapes and embarks on a journey through the unspoiled lands of early nineteenth century Florida.

by Julia Holmes

cover image
Weird, funny, unsettling, and intense. Meeks is a post-modern fairy tale filled with unreasonable laws, bizarre characters and the feeling that there is something deeply true nestled in the surreal landscape Julia Holmes has painted. A great companion read to one of my former blog-posts, Light Boxes.

The Orange Eats Creeps
by Grace Krilanovich

cover image
Teen vampires on meth wander the backroads and railyards of the Pacific Northwest in this intense, original story. The author was a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and this book proves that she is an artist. This is raw, real, surreal, psychological fiction that stays with you long after you read it.

The Detroit Electric Scheme
by D.E. Johnson

cover image
On a cold November night in 1910, Will Anderson is summoned to a meeting with John Cooper, a man who was once his close friend, but is now his romantic rival. Cooper has told Will that he needs to meet him at Detroit Electric, the automotive company owned by Will's father. Cooper says that Elizabeth Hume is in great danger. Elizabeth was Will's fiancee and now is engaged to Cooper. When Will goes to the automotive works late at night to meet with John Cooper, he finds the man brutally crushed beneath the steel stamping machinery. When Will hears footsteps and voices he runs. Fleeing the scene of the murder for which he has such a strong motive puts Will in a pretty tough spot. Things go from bad to worse as more bodies show up and more evidence piles up against Will.
Detroit Electric Scheme is a fun, suspenseful mystery, but it is also a well-researched historical novel that sets the reader firmly in early 20th Century Detroit. Two of the main characters are struggling with addiction problems. This is also a story of redemption and overcoming oneself in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.