At the end of Frank, Saint Francis was released from his centuries-long emissary duty to marry Elaine Azerian, a small-town veterinarian. In The Shining Man’s Wife, the saint is recalled to... More > “active duty,” and is sent west on a mission to a national park where a startling chain of events unfolds. A local TV station films Frank and Elaine’s dramatic rescue of a bison herd, and “Ride through Fire” goes nationwide. Elaine appears on Larry King and Oprah, and Ms. Winfrey inspires her to start up a foundation to help the underfunded national parks.
Frank and Elaine soon attract the attention of a secretive philanthropic organization called Filiae Mundi (Daughters of the World). The Daughters ask them to solve an environmental problem at their remote mountain headquarters. In between helping the Park Service and Filiae Mundi, Frank and Elaine discover that their godson has a strange healing power and they must protect him from unwanted attention.< Less
Senior citizen Jordan Smith loses his wife to cancer. Devastated and angry, he hunts down the HMO executive who denied their medical claims, but then progresses from revenge to political... More > assassination. Michael Demidov and Simone Fitzhugh, the county detectives assigned to the initial murder, are hard pressed to keep up with the enterprising Mr. Smith. Smith's latest job causes a massive and hilarious political furor in Washington. Predictably, the FBI hijacks the case from the county detectives, but mutual blackmail provides an unexpected resolution.< Less
County detective Simone Fitzhugh discovers a series of seemingly unrelated deaths that look like heart attacks but are found to be murders. Her husband, retired detective Michael Demidov, realizes... More > the murders are related and suggests that Simone go to the FBI. Past history with the Feds (The Unlikely Assassin) makes Simone wary, but the FBI surprisingly enlists their help. Demidov’s innovative interrogation techniques help unravel a tangled web of illegal drugs, a gunrunning militia, and a sinister terrorist plot to bring down the US government, all hatched by a shadowy figure called The Spider. The detectives’ lives are further complicated when Demidov’s Russian mafia family tries to draw the estranged son back into the fold. With Simone’s help, Demidov manages to extricate himself from the clutches of his family, but the consequences prove to be both a great boon and a heavy burden.< Less
Newspaper columnist, author, blogger, cabinetmaker, home inspector, and Certified Old Guy Stephen Elder holds forth on a wide range of topics: education in America, worries about English, rants on... More > Congress, why young women talk funny, myth correction, and string theory.
Elder calls ‘em as he sees ‘em. Written under the influence (i.e. of Mark Twain and Dave Barry with an occasional dark detour into Ambrose Bierce), there is plenty of food for thought. Though his dry wit may be an acquired taste, it is also addictive.
One critic has praised Elder’s essays as “full of enlightened observations” about the past, the present, and the future. Another has maligned them as “suppurating with snarkiness, but sometimes justifiably so.” The author recommends that you show initiative. Buy a copy and judge for yourself.< Less