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Zorro, a Novel

By Isabel Allende

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"Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega's father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here, during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.

"At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.

"Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves."

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The Pelican Brief

By John Grisham

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In suburban Georgetown a killer's Reeboks whisper on the front floor of a posh home... In a seedy D.C. porno house a patron is swiftly garroted to death... The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief...

To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it was political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder -- a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds there is only one person she can trust -- an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate -- to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House's inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby's brief. Someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.

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The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith

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"Since his debut in 1955, Tom Ripley has evolved into the ultimate bad boy sociopath, influencing countless novelists and filmmakers. In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a 'sissy' by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal but grows enraged by Dickie's ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante."

Sequels include Ripley Under Ground and Ripley's Game. All three are available in one volume.

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The Da Vinci Code

By Dan Brown

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Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and French cryptologist Sophie Neveu work to solve the murder of an elderly curator of the Louvre, a case which leads to clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci and a centuries-old secret society.

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The Bone Collector

By Jeffery Deaver

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Once the nation's foremost criminologist and the ex-head of NYPD forensics, quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme abandons his forced retirement and joins forces with rookie cop Amelia Sachs to track down a vicious serial killer.

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Evil Under the Sun

By Agatha Christie

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An exclusive hotel on a tiny picturesque island seems to be the ideal retreat for Hercule Poirot from the stresses of criminal detection. But with the appearance of the beautiful Arlena Stuart, the quiet and peaceful atmosphere becomes charged with an indefinable erotic tension. And when she is found viciously strangled in a secluded cove, there are few, especially among the women, who seem to feel either surprise or regret. As Poirot follows a twisting path of bizarre and bewildering clues, his only certainties are that the solution lies within Arlena herself, and that there is evil under the sun.

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Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa: Stories

By W.P. Kinsella

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Ray Kinsella hears a voice, followed by a brief vision of a baseball field. He believes that if he builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield, Shoeless Joe Jackson from the infamous 1919 Chicago "Black" Sox will return to play baseball. By being willing to take a chance, Ray gets a second time up at bat in life. Basis of the film, Field of Dreams.

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The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant

By Douglass Wallop

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Decades before Field of Dreams there was The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, the classic baseball fable that became the hit movie and musical Damn Yankees. Now a new generation is ready to discover this delightful book, restored to its original title, with a new introduction by baseball writer Bill James. Baseball lovers everywhere can identify with Joe Boyd, a die-hard Washington Senators fan who puts his soul in hock to help them wrest the pennant away from the hated, all-conquering Yankees. Transformed by the sulfurous Mr. Applegate's satanic magic into twenty-two-year-old phenom Joe Hardy, he leads the hapless Senators in a torrid late-season pursuit of the men in pinstripes. Joe has until September 21st before the deal becomes final...and eternal....

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The Jewel in the Crown

By Paul Scott

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The first volume in Paul Scott's historical tour-de-force, the Raj Quartet, opens in 1942 as the British fear both Japanese invasion and Indian demands for self-rule. In the Mayapore gardens, Daphne Manners, daughter of the provincial governor, leaves her Indian lover, who will soon be arrested for her alleged rape.
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Black Narcissus

By Rumer Godden

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"In this 1939 psychological drama, English and Irish nuns work to establish a convent in a unused palace, high in the Himalayas. The nuns are to doomed to failure because their own repressed memories and desires make them unable to connect with the Indian people and their culture. They seem to be overwhelmed by the sensuality of their surroundings. The novel was made into an excellent film in 1947 starring Deborah Kerr as the Mother Superior. The nuns leaving the mountaintop palace seemed to many film-goers of the time to be an allegory for the failure of the British Raj."

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