Mike Shea

Articles by Mike Shea

The Whiskey Rebels

Sep 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

San Antonio resident David Liss dives headlong into the capital of post-Revolutionary America—Philadelphia circa 1792—and emerges with a pearl of a thriller in The Whiskey Rebels. It’s a two-headed narrative told by Ethan Saunders, an ex-spy who has become a drunkard after being cashiered for allegedly passing secrets…

Darlene Harbour Unrue

Sep 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

The professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has written and edited several books about the work and life of Texas literary talent Katherine Anne Porter, who died in 1980. Unrue just edited Porter: Collected Stories and Other Writings, an augmented reprint of the landmark volume that…

Nine Kinds of Naked

Sep 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

One can almost smell the patchouli wafting off the pages of Nine Kinds of Naked, a neopsychedelic satire from recently transplanted Austinite Tony Vigorito. Channeling the spirited humor of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Vigorito suspends the rules of time and space to create…

Curtis Sittenfeld

Aug 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

The New York Times named the author’s first novel, Prep, one of 2005’s ten best books; its successor, The Man of My Dreams, was a national best-seller. Her newest, American Wife, draws inspiration from the life of Laura Bush, though the author asserts that Wisconsinite Alice Blackwell is not a…

Bob Schieffer’s America

Aug 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

Longtime followers of Bob Schieffer, the chief Washington correspondent for CBS, will hear his silky rasp echo in their heads as they thumb through Bob Schieffer’s America, a compilation of 171 commentaries from his Sunday Face the Nation broadcasts. Always the plainspoken Texan, the veteran newsman weighs in,…

The Heretic’s Daughter

Aug 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

In 1692 Martha Carrier was arrested, tried, and hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, for having committed “sundry acts of witchcraft.” Ten generations on, her Dallas-based descendant Kathleen Kent has produced The Heretic’s Daughter, a sure-footed first novel that draws from Martha’s tribulations to evoke the short-lived witch hysteria in…

Curtis Sittenfeld

Aug 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

The New York Times named the author’s first novel, Prep, one of 2005’s ten best books; its successor, The Man of My Dreams, was a national best-seller. Her newest, American Wife, draws inspiration from the life of Laura Bush, though the author asserts that Wisconsinite Alice Blackwell is not a…

Leather Maiden

Jul 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

Life is kicking Pulitzer-nominated journalist Cason Statler squarely in the pants at the outset of Joe R. Lansdale’s potent seriocomic thriller Leather Maiden. Fired by his editor at a Houston paper for personal reasons (“I was banging his wife. And his stepdaughter”), Statler retreats to his hometown of…