An Hour of Military Fiction

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen recently welcomed two authors who are writing military fiction set in another author’s universe. Marc Cameron takes Jack Ryan into Tom Clancy Red Winter. Peter Kirsanov’s novel is W.E.B. Griffin The Devil’s Weapons. You can order copies of both books through the Web Store.

Here’s the description of Tom Clancy Red Winter.

In this previously untold adventure, a young Jack Ryan goes behind the Iron Curtain to seek the truth about a potential Soviet defector in the most shocking entry in Tom Clancy’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.


A top secret F117 aircraft crashes into the Nevada desert. The Nighthawk is the most advanced fighting machine in the world and the Soviets will do anything to get their hands on its secrets.

In East Berlin, a mysterious figure contacts the CIA with an incredible offer—invaluable details of his government’s espionage plans in return for asylum.

It’s an offer they can’t pass up…if it’s genuine, but the risks are too great to blindly stumble into a deal. With the East German secret police closing in, someone will have to go to behind the Berlin Wall to investigate the potential defector. It’s a job Deputy Director James Greer can only trust to one man–Jack Ryan.

Ryan is a former Marine and a brilliant CIA analyst who’s been the architect of some of the CIA’s biggest coups but this time he’s in enemy territory with a professional assassin on his tail. Can he get the right answers before the Cold War turns into a Red Winter?

A little more than thirty years ago, Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October, sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013.

A native of Texas, Marc Cameron spent almost thirty years in law enforcement. He served as a uniformed police officer, mounted (horse patrol) officer, SWAT officer, and a U.S. Marshal. Cameron is conversant in Japanese, and travels extensively researching his New York Times-bestselling Jericho Quinn novels. Cameron’s books have been nominated for both the Barry Award and the Thriller Award.

Here’s W.E.B. Griffin The Devil’s Weapons.

Dick Canidy and the agents of the OSS scour war torn Poland looking for a rocket scientist who holds the secrets to the Nazis most dangerous weapon in this new entry in W.E.B. Griffin’s New York Times bestselling Men at War series.

April 1940. By terms of the Soviet Nazi Nonaggression pact, the two dictatorships divided the helpless nation of Poland. Now, the Russians are rounding up enemies of the state in their occupation zone, but one essential target slips away. Dr. Sebastian Kapsky had spent years working with Walter Riedel and Werner von Braun in the early days of rocket science, but as a man with a conscience he refused to continue when he saw the perversion of their work by the Nazis. That makes him the most knowledgeable person about German superweapons outside of Germany. 

The Germans want him. The Soviets are desperate to grab him, but Wild Bill Donovan knows there’s only one man who can find him in the middle of a war zone and get him out—Dick Canidy. 

W. E. B. Griffin was the author of seven bestselling series: The Corps, Brotherhood of War, Badge of Honor, Men at War, Honor Bound, Presidential Agent, and Clandestine Operations. He passed away in February 2019.
Peter Kirsanow practices and teaches law and is an official of a federal agency. He is a former member of the National Labor Relations Board and has testified before Congress on a variety of matters, including the confirmations of five Supreme Court justices. He contributes regularly to  National Review, and his op-eds have appeared in newspapers ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The Washington Times. The author of Target Omega and Second Strike, he lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Enjoy the conversation about the past and military fiction.

In Conversation with Hannah Morrissey

The Widowmaker is Hannah Morrissey’s second novel set in Black Harbor, but she hadn’t appeared for The Poisoned Pen with her previous book, Hello, Transcriber. Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, discussed Black Harbor with Morrissey. There are signed copies in the Web Store of The Widowmaker.

Here’s the description of The Widowmaker.

A wealthy family shrouded in scandal; a detective tasked with solving an impossible cold case; and a woman with a dark past collide in Hannah Morrissey’s stunning new Black Harbor mystery, The Widowmaker.

Ever since business mogul Clive Reynolds disappeared twenty years ago, the name “Reynolds” has become synonymous with “murder” and “mystery.” And now, lured by a cryptic note, down-on-her-luck photographer Morgan Mori returns home to Black Harbor and into the web of their family secrets and double lives. The same night she photographs the Reynolds holiday get-together, Morgan becomes witness to a homicide of a cop that triggers the discovery of a long-buried clue.

This could finally be the thing to crack open the chilling cold case, and Investigator Ryan Hudson has a chance to prove himself as lead detective. If only he could stop letting his need to solve his partner’s recent murder distract him. But as Morgan exposes her own dark demons, could her sordid history be the key to unlocking more than one mystery?

HANNAH MORRISSEY studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her first novel, Hello, Transcriber, was inspired by her experience as a police transcriber. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two pugs.

Enjoy the conversation with Barbara Peters and Hannah Morrissey.

Peter Lovesey’s 21st Peter Diamond Novel

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, suggested to Peter Lovesey that they must treasure each appearance together since they are both aging. But, Showstopper is the 21st Peter Diamond novel. And, you can buy a copy through the Web Store.

Here’s the summary of Showstopper.

The cast and crew of a hit British TV show are rumored to be cursed—but are these spooky deaths coincidences or murder? It’s up to Bath detective Peter Diamond to find out.

In the six years since the start of the hit British TV show Swift, its cast and crew have been plagued by misfortune, beginning with the star actress’s pulling out of the show before it began. By now there have been multiple injuries by fall, fire, or drowning; two deaths; and two missing persons cases.

The media quickly decides it’s a curse, but who’s to say there isn’t a criminal conspiracy afoot? Now that the filming has moved to Bath, Peter Diamond, Chief of the Avon and Somerset Murder Squad, is on the case. While the investigation into one fatal accident is underway, a cameraman goes missing, challenging even the most credulous to wonder if he might have been the victim of foul play rather than a jinx. How can so many things go wrong on one set in such a short time?

Complicating already complex matters is the fact that Diamond’s boss is trying her best to get him out of her hair; he may be forced to retire if he can’t solve the case. Will this be the end for Peter Diamond?

Peter Lovesey is the author of more than thirty highly praised mystery novels. He has been named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and has been awarded the CWA Gold and Silver Daggers, the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the Strand Magazine Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards, and many other honors. He lives in Shrewsbury, England.

Lovesey talks about the first book in the Peter Diamond series, and the characters. Enjoy the conversation!

Claire Booth’s COVID Reading

Claire Booth, author of the Sheriff Hank Worth mysteries set in Branson, Missouri, is guest author today. She agreed to discuss the books she read during COVID, but first, let me introduce her, and remind you that her books, and the books she recommends, can be found in the Web Store.

Claire Booth is a former journalist who has reported on high-profile stories all over the country, including that of a California cult leader who became the subject of her nonfiction book The False Prophet. After spending so much time covering crimes so strange and convoluted they seemed more fiction than reality, she had enough of the real world and decided to write novels instead. Her Sheriff Hank Worth mysteries take place in Branson, Missouri, where small-town Ozark politics and big-city country music tourism clash in – yes – strange and convoluted ways.

Thank you, Claire.

When life gets rough, I’ve always been able to retreat into books. Never has that been more true than during Covid. I read a ton, and it helped keep me sane. These were the a few of the books that have stayed with me the longest.

The Postscript Murders, by Elly Griffiths

My favorite thing about Elly Griffiths’ Edgar-winning The Stranger Diaries was Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur. So when Griffiths brought her back in The Postscript Murders, I was delighted. It came out almost exactly one year into the lockdown and I was able to retreat into it as the world stood in line for vaccines. As with all of Griffiths’ books (don’t get me started on the Ruth Galloway series—I’ll sing its praises all day long), there’s a cast of real, fully drawn characters. Harbinder Kaur is especially a treat. A Sikh and a lesbian, she’s making her way in a profession that often isn’t kind to either. And she’s back again—I’m excited to curl up over the holidays and read the brand-new entry in the series, Bleeding Heart Yard.

Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace, by Carl Safina.

I discovered Carl Safina during the lockdown and his books literally took me away from the world—the human one—at a time when I very much needed that. Becoming Wild examines the cultures of three different animals, the sperm whale, scarlet macaw, and chimpanzee. And I’m using “culture” in the human sense: social learning and group interactions. Safina has the ability to translate, in beautiful language, how those cultures work. Sperm whales use language to communicate what family groups they belong to and babysit calves while moms go deep diving for food. Macaws pair off and even go through the bird equivalent of divorce. And chimpanzees, well, let’s just say that a wise chimp never wants to encroach on someone else’s territory.

Razorblade Tears, by S.A. Cosby

Anything I could say about this book wouldn’t do it justice. I could talk about the astonishing writing or the gutting plot about two fathers—one Black, one white—out to avenge the death of their sons, who were married to each other. I could tell you that neither character is comfortable with homosexuality and they each let their son know it, attitudes they now bitterly regret. I could mention that Razorblade Tears is a thriller that confronts deep societal issues. But mostly, I want to say just three words. Read this book.

The Fireballer, by Mark Stevens

This is the book that literally got me through Covid, as I lay ill in bed with the virus in September. It comes out in January 2023, but I was lucky enough to get a hold of an advance copy and I devoured it during my week of involuntary quarantine. It’s the story of a baseball pitching phenom with a tragedy in his past that everyone wants to talk about but him. Young pitcher Frank Ryder has to try to deal with its effect on him in the middle of a race for the pennant. But it’s not just a baseball book. It’s a beautifully written coming-of-age story.

As for me, I released two books during the pandemic: Fatal Divisions in 2021 and Dangerous Consequences in May 2022. They’re books four and five in my series featuring Branson County Sheriff Hank Worth. Being able to enter Hank’s world has always been precious to me, and never more so than during the Covid lockdown. I’m so grateful to all the bookstores and libraries that pivoted to online events and allowed us authors to keep connecting with readers. They also kept us readers able to access books, and the sanity they bring. I wouldn’t have survived without them.

Here’s the description of Fatal Divisions.

Family secrets and internal police politics cause trouble for Sheriff Hank Worth and his Chief Deputy Sheila Turley in this compelling mystery.

Hank Worth has always been committed to his job as Branson sheriff, so getting him to take a break is difficult. But to everyone’s surprise he agrees to take time off after a grueling case and visit a friend in Columbia, Missouri, leaving Chief Deputy Sheila Turley in charge. She quickly launches reforms that create an uproar, and things deteriorate even further when an elderly man is found brutally murdered in his home.

As Sheila struggles for control of the investigation and her insubordinate deputies, Hank is not relaxing as promised. His Aunt Fin is worried her husband is responsible for the disappearance of one of his employees, and Hank agrees to investigate.

The search for the missing woman leads to a tangle of deceit that Hank is determined to unravel . . . no matter the impact on his family.

Here’s Dangerous Consequences.

Sheriff Hank Worth struggles to keep his team together and solve a brutal murder of a former antagonist in this captivating mystery.

Balances well-developed characters and dry humor with a solid police procedural”- Library Journal Starred Review

Elderly tourists visiting Branson, Missouri for a fun time are instead becoming so sick and disoriented they end up in the ER with Dr Maggie McCleary. She asks the sheriff to investigate and, because he happens to be her husband, Hank Worth readily agrees.

When the tour operator denies responsibility, Hank digs deeper leaving Chief Deputy Sheila Turley to handle a simmering revolt within the ranks. Their policy to eliminate overtime pay has infuriated many long-time deputies. Those fired for insubordination have filed a lawsuit, while those still there sabotage Sheila at every turn.

With pressure mounting, they’re called to a hit-and-run accident. But the victim’s injuries haven’t been caused by a car . . . she’s been beaten to death and dumped by the side of the road. And she was someone they knew.

Will the victim’s aggressive business dealings come to haunt them all? And can Hank and Sheila save their department from destruction?

Richard Paul Evans’ A Christmas Memory

How much of Richard Paul Evans’ novel A Christmas Memory is autobiographical? We won’t know, but Evans talks about the past with Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen. Signed copies of A Christmas Memory might make excellent gifts for the holiday. And, when you hear Evans talk about the cost of the book itself, you might be even more interested in buying copies.

Here’s the description of A Christmas Memory.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and the Noel Collection comes A Christmas Memory, a poignant, deeply felt novel about loss, grief, the healing power of forgiveness, and the true meaning of the holiday season.

It’s 1967, and for young Richard it’s a time of heartbreak and turmoil. Over the span of a few months, his brother, Mark, is killed in Vietnam; his father loses his job and moves the family from California to his grandmother’s abandoned home in Utah; and his parents make the painful decision to separate.

With uncertainty rattling every corner of his life, Richard does his best to remain strong—but when he’s run down by bullies at his new school, he meets Mr. Foster, an elderly neighbor who chases off the bullies and invites Richard in for a cup of cocoa. Richard becomes fast friends with the wise, solitary man who inspires Richard’s love for books and whose dog, Gollum, becomes his closest companion.

As the holidays approach, the joy and light of Christmas seem unlikely to permeate the Evans home as things take a grim turn for the worse. And just when it seems like he has nothing left to lose, Richard is confronted by a startling revelation. But with Mr. Foster’s wisdom and kindness, he learns for the first time what truly matters about the spirit of the season: that forgiveness can heal even the deepest wounds, and love endures long after the pain of loss subsides.

In A Christmas Memory, Richard Paul Evans (#1 New York Times bestselling author and the “King of Christmas fiction”) delves deep into his childhood memories to take readers back to an age when his world felt like it was falling apart, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, the light of hope can still shine.

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than forty novels. There are currently more than thirty-five million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated into more than twenty-four languages. Richard is the recipient of numerous awards, including two first place Storytelling World Awards, the Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, and is a five-time recipient of the Religion Communicators Council’s Wilbur Awards. Seven of Richard’s books have been produced as television movies. His first feature film, The Noel Diary, starring Justin Hartley (This Is Us) and acclaimed film director, Charles Shyer (Private Benjamin, Father of the Bride), will debut in 2022. In 2011 Richard began writing Michael Vey, a #1 New York Times bestselling young adult series which has won more than a dozen awards. Richard is the founder of The Christmas Box International, an organization devoted to maintaining emergency children’s shelters and providing services and resources for abused, neglected, or homeless children and young adults. To date, more than 125,000 youths have been helped by the charity. For his humanitarian work, Richard has received the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award. Richard lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children and two grandchildren. You can learn more about Richard on his website

Richard Paul Evans provides the background for A Christmas Memory in his conversation with Barbara Peters.

Con Lehane’s Pandemic Books

Let me introduce you to Con Lehane.

Con Lehane is a mystery writer, living in Washington, DC. He is the author of the 42nd Street Library mysteries, featuring Raymond Ambler, curator of the library’s (fictional) crime fiction collection. He’s also the author of three mysteries featuring New York City bartender Brian McNulty, and has published short stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Over the years, he has been a college professor, union organizer and labor journalist, and has tended bar at two-dozen or so drinking establishments. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing from Columbia University School of the Arts and teaches writing at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Today, he’s going to talk a little bit about his reading during the pandemic. Thank you, Con.

Here are some of my pandemic books. It was a strange time for me as well as everyone else, though in some ways – what I did most days – not so different from more normal life these past few years. A good deal of my reading during the period was background research for a book project that’s not part of my 42nd Street Library Mystery series (newspapers, magazines, film as well as books). This meant I read a number of books that had to do with the witch hunt, red scare days, specifically for my project the summer of 1950.

My favorite of these books was Inside Out: A Memoir of the Blacklist by Walter Bernstein. Bernstein, a screen and television writer (Fail-Safe, Semi-Tough), who also wrote for The New Yorker, wrote the screenplay for the Woody Allen film The Front. I also really liked a fairly obscure book A Dancer in the Revolution by Howard Eugene (Stretch) Johnson with his daughter Wendy Johnson, a different sort of memoir of coming go age in Harlem in the 1930s, first as a dancer with the Duke Ellington jazz band (and others) and later as an organizer and leader of the Communist Party in Harlem. I read a couple of anti-Communist books also, Red Masquerade was one, by Angela Calomiris, an FBI informer, who joined the CP at the behest of the FBI and testified at the Smith Act trials, in which the CPUSA leadership was convicted (questionably) of plotting the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.

As for mysteries, I read a few by Rex Stout that were set during that period, The Second Confession (which featured sinister Communists), In the Best of Families, and a couple of others. I also read  Colin Dexter’s first (Last Bus to Woodstock) and last (The Remorseful Day) Inspector Morse books, and will most likely read the ones in the middle now. I also read Peter Lovesey’s first book,Wobble to Death, a Sergeant Cribb’s Investigation,  though I’ve read a bunch of his Peter Diamond books. One book published during the pandemic I read and liked was Open for Murder by Mary Angela. I also wanted to mention Adam Oyebanji’s A Quiet Teacher. In a starred review, Booklist said of A Quiet Teacher, “Imagine John le Carré attempting an Agatha Christie mystery. Or the other way around. In any case, that mix is at the heart of this stunning novel.” I read a few other mysteries during the pandemic but either didn’t like them much or don’t remember them at the moment (which doesn’t mean I didn’t like them.)

I wrote a draft of one book (the one set in 1950 that isn’t finished yet) and the fourth book in the 42nd Street Library mystery series, Murder by Definition,(pub date December 6) featuring Raymond Ambler, curator of crime fiction at the library, fellow-librarian Adele Morgan, bartender Brian McNulty, and homicide detective Mike Cosgrove, as well as a collection of victims and suspects. Ambler takes on the papers of once critically acclaimed but of late dissolute and almost forgotten hard-boiled mystery writer Will Ford. The controversial Ford is handful to deal with in real life, but creates infinitely more problems when Ambler discovers an unpublished short story in the collection that points to the possible cover up of a police murder years in the past by some of Mike Cosgrove’s fellow workers at the NYPD.

Here’s the description of Con Lehane’s Murder By Definition, due out Dec. 6. You can order a copy through the Web Store.

Crime-fiction librarian Ray Ambler gets more than he bargained for when he acquires the archives of a controversial hardboiled crime author in this contemporary twisty mystery set in New York City.

Hardboiled crime writer Will Ford might be critically acclaimed, but he’s every bit as debauched and disreputable as the ne’er-do-well private eye in his novels. So when Ford offers Raymond Ambler – crime-fiction curator at New York City’s prestigious 42nd Street Library – a collection of his papers, Ambler wonders if the project will be more trouble than it’s worth. Still, the disgraced author is an important talent, and Ambler’s never been afraid of a fight.

Ambler’s ready for the controversy that greets news of the acquisition. He’s not ready, however, for what he finds when he finally receives the papers: a gripping unpublished short story apparently based on a real case, with an explosive author’s note. If it’s true, there’s been a shocking coverup at the heart of the NYPD – and a cop has got away with murder.

If it’s true. Ford’s not talking, and Ambler’s good friend Mike Cosgrove, a veteran NYPD homicide detective, is beyond skeptical. But as the pair investigate, they’re drawn into the sordid underbelly of 1990s New York, packed with renegade cops, thugs and mobsters . . . and they’ll be lucky to come back out alive.

Gritty and fast-paced, this story of police corruption, murder and mayhem is a great choice for fans of traditional mysteries with complex plotting, atmospheric settings and red herrings a plenty!

Ann Williams, Editor, National Geographic

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, welcomed back Ann Williams, the editor of National Geographic.She came back to discuss Treasures of Egypt, a book that Peters is recommending for Christmas. You’ll want to order a copy as soon as possible to ensure it gets there by Christmas. Here’s the link to the Web Store.

Here’s the description of Treasures of Egypt.

Drawing from National Geographic’s unparalleled photo archive, the images in this breathtaking volume celebrate the vibrant beauty and rich cultural heritage of Egypt on the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

Egypt’s rich history astonishes us again and again with priceless treasures, exquisite craftsmanship, and a bounty of artifacts that enables us to envision the past with extraordinary detail. It is an epic saga 5,000 years in the making, and one that National Geographic has covered for more than a century.

This magnificent book, published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, portrays the hallowed country’s most remarkable achievements, viewed through decades of discovery chronicled in National Geographic magazine. From the breathless opening of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 to the astonishing find of perfectly preserved boats, entombed for eternity near Giza’s pyramids, here is the story of a proud and dynamic empire that changed the world; its colossal architecture and imposing statues force us to re-think the engineering limitations of the world before modern tools were available.

Documenting a series of incredible discoveries—including a complex of royal graves filled with dazzling gold artifacts at the ancient city of Tanis, intriguing clues to the life and times of Cleopatra, and newly uncovered traces of Alexandria, Abydos, and other fabled sites—Treasures of Egypt embodies the culture’s most fascinating historical milestones. Filled with vivid photographs, revealing time lines, and profiles of major explorers in the field, this exquisite book will inform and inspire.

General Editor ANN R. WILLIAMS specializes in writing about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. As a writer for three decades at National Geographic magazine and digital news, she reported on new discoveries and the latest research in archaeology around the world. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

If you’re interested in Egyptian culture or King Tut, you’ll want to watch this discussion.

Rae Meadows Discusses Winterland

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, recently welcomed Rae Meadows to discuss her novel, Winterland. Winterland was the bookstore’s Notable New Fiction Book of the Month for December. You can order copies through the Web Store.

Here is the description of Winterland.

Perfection has a cost . . . With transporting prose and meticulous detail, set in an era that remains shockingly relevant today, Winterland tells a story of glory, loss, hope, and determination, and of finding light where none exists.

Soviet Union, 1973: There is perhaps no greater honor for a young girl than to be chosen for the famed USSR gymnastics program. When eight-year-old Anya is selected, her family is thrilled. What is left of her family, that is. Years ago, her mother disappeared without a trace, leaving Anya’s father devastated and their lives dark and quiet in the bitter cold of Siberia. Anya’s only confidant is her neighbor, an older woman who survived unspeakable horrors during her ten years imprisoned in a Gulag camp—and who, unbeknownst to Anya, was also her mother’s confidant and might hold the key to her disappearance.

As Anya rises through the ranks of competitive gymnastics, and as other girls fall from grace, she soon comes to realize that there is very little margin of error for anyone and so much to lose.

Rae Meadows is the author of four novels, including I Will Send Rain. She grew up admiring the Soviet gymnasts of the 1970s, and in her forties decided to go back to the thing she loved as a child. She now practices regularly and can be found doing back handsprings. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.

Barbara and Rae Meadows have a fascinating discussion of books about Russian sports. Enjoy!

Steven Hartov & his World War II Thriller

Steven Hartov was the subject of a recent article in the Books section of the Daily Independent. His new book is a World War II thriller, The Last of the Seven, and he’ll be at The Poisoned Pen on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 PM to discuss and sign his book. You can order signed copies of the book through the Web Store.

The newspaper article says, ““The Last of the Seven” is a novel about World War II based on the little-known history of the X Troop — a team of European Jews who escaped the continent only to join the British Army and return home to exact their revenge on Adolf Hitler’s military.

“The book has received positive reviews from book critics like Bill Ott, Publisher of Booklist, The Historical Novel Society and Kirkus Reviews. It was also listed as one of the “Most Anticipated Summer 2022 Historical Fiction Books” by BiblioLifestyle.

“I was raised on the great wartime novels and movies of World War II, a time when my father, uncles and all their mates were veterans of that great struggle for global liberation,” Hartov said in a press release. “But it took many years of my own adventures before I felt that I’d seen almost enough, tasted both victory and defeat, served at sea and in combat, trekked through deserts and parachuted from military aircraft, that I thought I might be getting close to telling this tale. And of course, to write the sort of love story that’s at the heart of ‘The Last of the Seven,’ you have to have loved and lost as well. So, this is a story that encompasses all those things, while harkening back to a time of idealistic purity, when right and wrong seemed clear and bold. I think I captured it, but I’ll let you be the judge.”

“Hartov debuted on the New York Times bestseller list back in 2003 with “In the Company of Heroes.” He is also the author of the non-fiction bestsellers “The Night Stalkers,” “Afghanistan on the Bounce,” the espionage thriller trilogy, “The Heat of Ramadan,” “The Nylon Hand Of God,” “The Devil’s Shepherd,” and the WWII thriller and prequel to his current release, “The Soul of a Thief.”

“For six years he served as editor-in-chief of Special Operations Report. He is a former merchant marine sailor, Israel Defense Forces paratrooper and special operator, and task force commander in the New York Guard.”

Here’s the summary of The Last of the Seven.

A spellbinding novel of World War II based on the little-known history of the X Troopa team of European Jews who escaped the Continent only to join the British Army and return home to exact their revenge on Hitlers military.

A lone soldier wearing a German uniform stumbles into a British military camp in the North African desert with an incredible story to tell. He is the only survivor of an undercover operation meant to infiltrate a Nazi base, trading on the soldiers’ perfect fluency in German. However, this man is not British-born but instead a German Jew seeking revenge for the deaths of his family back home in Berlin.

As the Allies advance into Europe, the young lieutenant is brought to recover in Sicily. There he is recruited by a British major to join the newly formed X Troop, a commando unit composed of German and Austrian Jews training for a top secret mission at a nearby camp in the Sicilian hills. They are all “lost boys,” driven not by patriotism but by vengeance.

Drawing on meticulous research into this unique group of soldiers, The Last of the Seven is a lyrical, propulsive historical novel perfect for readers of Mark Sullivan, Robert Harris and Alan Furst.