Alibi V.13 No.10 • March 4-10, 2004 

Speed Reader

The Confessions of Max Tivoli

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Max Tivoli pops out of the womb looking like a 70-year-old man and grows backward from that point onward. Such is the weird premise of this well-crafted romantic novel set in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century.

The Lady and the Unicorn

E.P. Dutton

Loosely based on a historical event, Chevalier transports her readers back in time to examine the circumstances surrounding the creation of a famous set of tapestries currently housed in the Cluny Museum in Paris. With each chapter narrated by a different character, the novel has been called (yeah, yeah—pun intended) a magnificent tapestry of words.

Bluffing Mr. Churchill

Atlantic Monthly Press

Set in London during the bloody mess of World War II, Lawton's latest spy novel is a prequel to his popular books starring the inimitable Inspector Troy. This time out Troy must track down an American spy operating undercover as an SS officer. Advance readers have said the book provides a spectacular literary recreation of London under siege.

Something Rising (Light and Swift)

Free Press

In Kimmel's second novel, she gives us a slow-paced but well-crafted coming-of-age story about Cassie Claiborne, a young girl who learns to hustle in pool halls from the father who abandoned her and eventually grows into a tough and tameless young woman.