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Downton Abbey

Stuart Turton’s Intricate Plot Bends Minds and Genres

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This may very well be the twistiest, most intricate crime novel you’ll read this year. A tall order, I know, given the competition, but trust me on this. The author, Stuart Turton, calls it “an Agatha Christie mystery in a Groundhog Day loop, with a bit of Quantum Leap.” Others have invoked Gosford Park, Inception, and “Downton Abbey with a body count.” They are all correct. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Sourcebooks Landmark) opens with the narrator waking up in a remote forest, wearing someone else’s dinner jacket and, he realizes, someone else’s body. Making his way to a large country house, he discovers a party in full swing, and a masked figure who informs him that a murder…

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Debut Novel by Catherine Steadman is Bombshell Thriller

in Thrillers by

Psychological thrillers have been all the rage recently, beloved for their ability to grab your attention from the very first pages, pull you in, and become so intertwined and twisted that you’re forced to second-guess yourself… and Downton Abbey actress Catherine Steadman has done just that in her fast-moving, debut novel Something in the Water. Erin, a filmmaker in the middle of making a documentary of people in prison – which has the potential to be her professional breakthrough moment – and Mark, a good-looking investment banker with big plans for the future, are traveling in the beautiful and exotic Bora Bora for their dream honeymoon. Passionately in love, they can imagine nothing better than the sun, sand, and each other. But one…

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Devastating TV Deaths: How ‘The 100’ Cut Open Old Wounds

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Warning – Major The 100 Spoilers Ahead! Last week, The CW’s post-apocalyptic teen show, The 100, delivered a pretty shocking death. That’s really saying something, as fans of the show are used to characters dying in horrific ways. But when Lexa, fan-favorite and badass Grounder Commander, took a stray bullet and died in Clarke’s arms, I gasped out loud and then cried a bucket of tears. Look, I get it, The 100 doesn’t pull any punches. Based on a series of YA novels by Kass Morgan, the show has veered wildly from the original source material, killing characters with abandon. No one is safe, including main characters (like when Clarke stabbed her lover Finn in the heart to prevent his torture at…

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Books for Downton Abbey fans

in Fiction by

SPOILER ALERT! (You have been warned.) And so, Sons of Anarchy ends, with Jax, having lead a life seething with violence and torment, finally deciding to— Ah, who am I kidding? Did you see the Season Four finale of Downton Abbey? Carson and Mrs. Hughes were HOLDING HANDS while walking barefoot in the ocean! DID YOU SEE THAT? This is incredible! Are Carson and Mrs. Hughes finally falling for each other? And for that matter, how will Edith be involved in raising her baby, after giving her up to the Drews? What’s up with Bates and the death of Lord Gillingham’s valet? And who will win Lady Mary’s hand—Tony or Charles? TELL ME—I MUST KNOW! Whew—I’m glad I got that…

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Dear readers: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

in Non-Fiction by

For Christmas this year I received one of the best presents ever: a Pride and Prejudice scarf. Yes, some enterprising Etsy artist figured out a way to print pages from my favorite book onto an infinity scarf. I. Am. Obsessed. Amazing, right? Because I love books so much—and television, let’s be honest—I started thinking about other accessories inspired by my favorite novels or TV shows. Here are some of the best I’ve found so far: Sherlock Holmes Necklace A-plus for presentation when it comes to this minimalist quote-based necklace. I love the way it plays with colors…plus it would be an honor to wear something that constantly reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch. “How I Met Your Mother” Necklace  Another quote-inspired piece…

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When Downton Abbey meets things that (might) go bump in the night

in Fiction by

If gothic suspense—“one part mystery, one part ghost story, one part love story and one part thriller”—is your cup of tea, you won’t want to miss this latest tale from the practiced pen of Wendy Webb. A Midwest indie bookstore darling, Webb’s previous two books, The Fate of Mercy Alban and The Tale of Halcyon Crane, were both chosen as IndieNext and Midwest Connection picks. Her third novel, The Vanishing (published this January by Hyperion), offers readers a chance to go from the normal to the paranormal via a mansion in the Minnesota wilderness that might contain much more than drafty halls, with a heroine who might be getting glimpses into the past, and twists and turns that will keep readers guessing…

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I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Or was it Miss Havisham’s house?

in Fiction by

The time is ripe for backstories and sequels. We can’t get enough of extending a beloved story as far as possible. No, not the latest Hobbit movie, or the long-heralded return of the Star Wars saga in 2015; I’m talking about the perennial draw of literary updates. There are many fraught questions to consider when modernizing a classic: how true will this be to the original when it comes to chronology, voice, incident, and character? Will it be history, future story (sequel), or deeper, contemporaneous story? How much is invented, and are any additions warranted? Is the new interpretation relevant, contemporary, and believable? In sum, is this new version necessary? In my view, it must either add something to the…

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