Books

Nancy Drew’s newest competition

When Alan Bradley set out to write his first detective novel he had no idea it would lead to the character of Flavia de Luce, or to a series about the young sleuth, in which The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag is the second novel. “I was writing another detective novel that I thought I had plotted very carefully for story and characters, then Flavia just materialized in it,” Bradley says.

The Canadian War on Queers tells personal accounts of prejudice

Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile’s The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation discusses the under-the-radar – and sometimes officially sanctioned – targeting of gays and lesbians as security threats from the 1950s to the 1990s. Written from – and told through – a series of first-hand accounts combined with documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, Kinsman and Gentile discuss the history of queer Canadians in a way that is passionate and personal.

Sex, violence, and more violence

Joy Fielding’s The Wild Zone begins when a personal trainer, a dishonourably discharged Afghanistan war veteran, and a Princeton philosophy Ph.D. walk into a bar and make a bet over who can sleep with the pretty, quiet girl alone with her martini. Suzy Bigelow, naturally, has secrets and an agenda of her own, and she leads them all on a wild and deadly ride which, though two-dimensional, is remarkably compelling.