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Stevens County Library Blog

Newsletter – October 23, 2014

Newsletter 10/16/14

Circle Time Halloween Special Event
Circle Time Halloween Special Event, for ages 0-5 with an adult Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 10:30am Costumes are welcome!

Booklist Review of the Day

The Empire of Night.

Butler, Robert Olen (author).
Oct. 2014. 416p. Mysterious, hardcover, $26 (9780802123237); Mysterious, e-book (9780802191892).
REVIEW. First published October 15, 2014 (Booklist). “When a son replies to his mother with the exclamation, ‘Fuck me,’ she is faced with several interpretations, none of them pleasant.” That sentence may strike one as shocking, obscene, or witty (or possibly all three), but in the context of Butler’s third Christopher (“Kit”) Marlowe Cobb novel, it suggests all that and quite a bit more. Cobb, once a journalist moonlighting as a spy, is now a full-time spy working undercover as a journalist. It’s 1915, and as Woodrow Wilson dithers over U.S. involvement in WWI, Cobb is assigned to track the doings of a British citizen of German heritage, Albert Stockman, also a spy, but for the kaiser. Cobb utters the obscene exclamation above when he learns that he will be joined on his mission by another spy, a woman whose task is to get close to Stockman, to seduce him if necessary, in an effort to learn more about the secret weapon the Germans are devising. That woman, Isabel Cobb, is Kit’s mother. Adding one more level of sexual confusion and mother-son ambiguity, Isabel, a celebrated actress, is in rehearsal for her gender-bending starring role in Hamlet, a production that will be opening in Berlin. As he has in the first two volumes in this series, Butler combines fascinating historical detail about the pre-WWI period with genuine suspense and a tongue-in-cheek wit that gives the whole a uniquely tart flavor. The multilayered, adversarial relationship between Kit and Isabel grows more fascinating with each installment and will leave readers eager to learn more.— Bill Ott