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While the Grey family is visiting the battlefields of France, their mother becomes seriously ill. Their father is far away, busy with his work as an explorer. So thirteen-year-old Cecil is left virtually alone with her brothers and sisters in a French chateau-hotel, owned by Mademoiselle Zizi. While Cecil watches from the sidelines, her beautiful older sister Joss falls in love with Eliot, the charming English gentleman who appoints himself the family's guardian. And while the greengages grow ripe and sweet in the sun, the sense of danger and mystery increases.


From Publishers Weekly Stross's lively third volume in his Merchant Princes SF series (after 2005's The Hidden Family) finds 33-year-old Boston journalist Miriam Beckstein still caught in a "barely post-feudal" alternate world where she's part of a mafiosa-like family called "the Clan." The Clan is holding Miriam's mother hostage in an effort to force the reluctant, thoroughly modern Miriam to make a politically advantageous marriage. Also dragged into deadly Clan politics is Miriam's ex-boyfriend, Mike Fleming, a DEA agent who has infiltrated Miriam's world on the orders of Homeland Security. Miriam's foolish, headstrong decisions help propel the fast-paced plot. Mike's discovery that the Clan may have planted nuclear weapons on our world raises the ante. While Miriam can be frustratingly dense, playing right into her captors' hands, the book gallops along to a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers eagerly awaiting future installments. (May) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From In the third volume (after The Family Trade, 2004, and The Hidden Family, 2005) of The Merchant Princes, Miriam Beckstein's situation continues to resemble an alternate-worlds version of The Perils of Pauline. Having escaped immediate reduction to the status of breeding stock for her Mafia-like kinsmen, she lands in a third world, one in which, unfortunately, the local king has no brains. No heir, either. Ulp! Miriam suspects she has jumped from the frying pan into the fire, and also that her relatives may still be pursuing her to a probably gruesome death for defying their will. Persons in our world discovering that they have ties to others is a classic sf and fantasy theme; just see Roger Zelazny's two Chronicles of Amber series. Stross and his feisty heroine are currently about the best practitioner and heroine the old motif boasts, and many are and will be the readers hoping for more than the three volumes they've given us so far. Roland Green Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Stross's disorganized fifth Merchant Princes story (after 2007's The Merchants' War) continues the adventures of hapless Boston journalist Miriam Beckstein. Newly free of political imprisonment, pregnant and on the lam, she finds herself at the center of a desperate power grab as political instability rocks the mafia-like Clan Corporate, who are magically able to cross between parallel worlds. When world-walkers steal nukes from a U.S. installation, it's a race against time to find out who has them, and why, before they can be deployed. The U.S. is also close to discovering a technological method of world-walking, rendering the clan both vulnerable and obsolete. Stross pays heartfelt homage to Roger Zelazny and Lois McMaster Bujold, but with too many characters and too little focus, this novel fails to match their achievements.


Product Description Alex Lonsdale was one of the most popular kids in La Paloma, California.  Until the horrifying car accident.  Until a brilliant doctor's medical miracle brought him back from the brink of death.  Now, Alex seems the same.  but in his eyes there is a blankness.  In his hear there is coldness.  If his parents, his friends, his girlfriend could see inside his brain, inside his dreams, they would be terrified.  One hundred years ago in La Paloma, a terrible deed was done.  A cry for vengeance pierced the night.  That evil still lives.  That vengeance still waits.  Waits for Alex Lonsdale.  Waits for the..._Brainchild_. From the Publisher Alex Lonsdale was one of the most popular kids in La Paloma, California. Until the horrifying car accident. Until a brilliant doctor's medical miracle brought him back from the brink of death. Now, Alex seems the same. but in his eyes there is a blankness. In his hear there is coldness. If his parents, his friends, his girlfriend could see inside his brain, inside his dreams, they would be terrified. One hundred years ago in La Paloma, a terrible deed was done. A cry for vengeance pierced the night. That evil still lives. That vengeance still waits. Waits for Alex Lonsdale. Waits for the..._Brainchild_.


Miriam Beckstein is a young, hip business journalist in Boston. But her very well-connected family comes from an alternate reality, where they are a little too much like the mafia for comfort. Having escaped to yet anther world, Miriam remains in hiding from both her Clan and their opponents. With a nasty shooting war going on in Gruinmarkt, the world of the Clan, Miriam is shielded from danger, but also from information.  And there’s a secret yet for Miriam to discover; something that she's really going to hate--if she lives long enough to find out. Review “For sheer inventiveness and energy, this cliffhanger-riddled serial remains difficult to top.” --*Publishers Weekly “The world-building in this series is simply superb, in other words—it is engaging, crystal-clear and disturbingly real….. The Merchants' War* is fast-paced and engrossing and will leave readers ravenous for the next installment.” "Charlie Stross' latest is a brilliant, amusing, and challenging piece of mestizo fiction -- recklessly cross-breeding fantasy and SF tropes, and using the resulting bonfire to say interesting things about culture, economics, politics, and really cool battles with chain-mail and MP5's and horses  and hang-gliders.  Very real people with very different backgrounds meet and collide and strike lovely sparks. This series is great and getting better all the time!" --S.M. Stirling “The action shifts rapidly among the three worlds in the fourth successive thriller in a fantastically thrilling series.” --Booklist


From The latest Merchant Princes novel shows trouble intensifying in all three alternate universes accessible to the worldwalking Clan. A dissident Clan faction has nuked Washington, killing the president, and plans on exterminating the rest of the Clan. Moreover, a dissident U.S. government faction hopes to use the disaster to seize power and destroy the Clan’s world, Gruinmarkt, with more powerful nukes. The few with any sense, including Miriam, who is bearing the heir to Gruinmarkt’s throne, seek refuge in the third world, just finished with a nasty war. With lots of action in a very grim plot, this should please Stross fans and anyone else interested in Dr. Strangelove scenarios. --Frieda Murray Review Praise for the novels of The Merchant Princes: “[These books] are, first and foremost, great fun.” --Paul Krugman, New York Times bestselling author of _The Great Unraveling _“If imagination is the key to success for a writer, Charles Stross has it in spades.” --The Times (London) “A good deal of fun.  Fans of this series should find this conclusion satisfying and chilling.” --_RT Book Reviews_ on _Trade of Queens _“Stross effectively builds tension as the clock ticks down toward a hopeless confrontation between the Clan and its superpower opponent. . . The conclusion brings events in these three universes together successfully. . . This all makes for a more than satisfactory close to [the] series.” _--Strange Horizons _"The world-building in this series is simply superb, in other words—it is engaging, crystal-clear and disturbingly real. . . .  The Merchants' War is fast-paced and engrossing and will leave readers ravenous for the next installment.” _--SciFi Weekly _"These books are immense fun, a sort of 21st-century version of the solid, thought-out costume sword-and-spaceship fiction that provided the enduring spine of science fiction entertainment .” --Locus on The Hidden Family


A bold fantasy in the tradition of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, The Merchant Princes is a sweeping new series from the hottest new writer in science fiction! Miriam Beckstein is happy in her life. She's a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine in Boston, making good money doing what she loves. When her researcher brings her iron-clad evidence of a money-laundering scheme, Miriam thinks she's found the story of the year. But when she takes it to her editor, she's fired on the spot and gets a death threat from the criminals she has uncovered. Before the day is over, she's received a locket left by the mother she never knew—the mother who was murdered when she was an infant. Within is a knotwork pattern, which has a hypnotic effect on her. Before she knows it, she's transported herself to a parallel Earth, a world where knights on horseback chase their prey with automatic weapons, and where world-skipping assassins lurk just on the other side of reality—a world where her true family runs things. The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between the worlds makes them rich in both. Braids of family loyalty and intermarriage provide a fragile guarantee of peace, but a recently-ended civil war has left the families shaken and suspicious. Taken in by her mother's people, she becomes the star of the story of the century—as Cinderella without a fairy godmother. As her mother's heir, Miriam is hailed as the prodigal countess Helge Thorold-Hjorth, and feted and feasted. Caught up in schemes and plots centuries in the making, Miriam is surrounded by unlikely allies, forbidden loves, lethal contraband, and, most dangerous of all, her family. Her unexpected return will supercede the claims of other clan members to her mother's fortune and power, and whoever killed her mother will be happy to see her dead, too. Behind all this lie deeper secrets still, which threaten everyone and everything she has ever known. Patterns of deception and interlocking lies, as intricate as the knotwork between the universes. But Miriam is no one's pawn, and is determined to conquer her new home on her own terms. Blending the creativity and humor of Roger Zelazny, the adventure of H. Beam Piper and Philip Jose Farmer, and the rigor and scope of a science-fiction writer on the grandest scale, Charles Stross has set a new standard for fantasy epics.


In the tradition of Roger Zelazny’s classic Amber novels, the second volume of Charles Stross’s thrill-a-minute saga of multiple worlds. Miriam, a hip tech journalist from Boston, discovered her alternate world relatives in The Family Trade , and with them an elite identity she didn’t know was hers. Now, in order to avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam, known as Lady Helge to the Family, starts applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade dominated by mercantilists — with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family. Charles Stross is one of the big new SF writers of the 21st century, and the saga of The Merchant Princes is his most ambitious work yet.


SUMMARY: Gary Goodhew is intelligent, intuitive, and the youngest detective at Cambridge's Parkside Station. When Gary discovers the first body in a series of murders involving an eccentric Cambridge family, he gets his chance to work on a homicide investigation. He must use his own initiative to flush out the killer, even though it means risking his job and discovering the truth about the one person he hopes is innocent.Alison Bruce was born in Surrey, United Kingdom, and now lives in Cambridge. She is the author of two previous nonfiction books, "Cambridgeshire Murders" and "The Billingtons, Death in the Family."

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