The Bourbon Thief: A southern gothic novel

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Betrayal, revenge and a family scandal that bore a 150–year–old mystery

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it's to discover he's been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it's property of the Maddox family who owned and operated the Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War, until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.
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Additional Information

Publisher
MIRA
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Published on
Jun 28, 2016
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781459293991
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Catherine Lowell’s smart and original debut novel—“an enjoyable academic romp that successfully combines romance and intrigue” (Publishers Weekly)—the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary treasure hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using only the clues her father left behind and the Brontës’ own novels.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. Since her eccentric father’s untimely death, she is the presumed heir to a long-rumored trove of diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts passed down from the Brontë family—a hidden fortune never revealed to anyone outside of the family, but endlessly speculated about by Brontë scholars and fanatics. Samantha, however, has never seen this alleged estate and for all she knows, it’s just as fictional as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and long lost objects from the past begin rematerializing in her life, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. With the help of a handsome but inscrutable professor, Samantha plunges into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontës’ own works.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, The Madwoman Upstairs is a smart and original novel and a moving exploration of what happens when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY
Slate • Daily Candy • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Guardian (U.K.)

“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about Sisterland is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood.”—Maggie Shipstead, The Washington Post
 
“Psychologically vivid . . . Sisterland is a testament to [Curtis Sittenfeld’s] growing depth and assurance as a writer.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“[Sittenfeld’s] gifts are in full effect with this novel, and she uses them to create a genuinely engrossing sense of uncertainty and suspense.”—Sloane Crosley, NPR’s All Things Considered

Curtis Sittenfeld, author of American Wife and Prep, returns with a mesmerizing novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief.
 
From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.
 
Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.
 
Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.

Praise for Sisterland
 
“What’s most captivating about Sisterland is the intimate, intense portrayal of identical twin sisters. . . . [The novel] unfolds like a good prophecy—inevitable and shocking.”—San Francisco Chronicle

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“Wise and often wickedly entertaining . . . Readers who have siblings—especially women with sisters—will likely come away feeling as if the author really is psychic.”—USA Today
WHEN EVERYTHING WAS FALLING APART, SOMEONE FELL INTO PLACE... 

Suburban housewife Harriet spends her days doing what she’s worst at. Formerly a local radio host, now she grocery shops for her family who has too much to eat, parents a son who refuses to communicate with her, and tries to be a wife to a man who hasn’t embraced her in years. But what starts out as a mundane trip to the supermarket turns her world upside down when a mysterious man named Yacub falls out of the sky from the landing gear of an airplane and lands on her car in the parking lot—and survives. He’s starving and he’s freezing cold. What can she do but bring him home to her family? 

Suddenly her son has stepped away from the video games and her husband is looking at her once again—even if it’s because they think she’s crazy for taking in a complete stranger stinking of petrol. And who is Yacub, this young man who escaped from a Dubai labor camp and stowed away in the belly of the plane to travel around the world? And is it a coincidence that he’s dropped into Harriet’s life just at the moment when a long-buried secret from her past threatens to come to light? 

Inspired by real-life accounts of airplane stowaways, Landing Gear is a highly imaginative story of colliding worlds and extraordinary connections in an age where we may have the world at the touch of a screen, but might need some help seeing what’s right in front of us. 

PRAISE FOR LANDING GEAR: 

"An extraordinary idea, brilliantly executed" Viv Groskop, Red Magazine 

“Landing Gear is a beautiful and profound story about finding love, peace and meaning in a too-busy world.” Quill and Quire (starred review) 

"Pullinger's empathy for the characters makes them hugely likable, even the truculent streak of adolescence that is Jack" Alfred Hickling, Guardian

"A portrait of a modern nuclear family - explosive, searing - Landing Gear is truly a novel for our brave new world" Merilyn Simonds, author of Convict Lover 

"A wonderful novel, a novel of secrets - each carefully and cleverly revealed, all abetting a propulsive storyline that offers up starting revelations to the very end. This is the work of a writer at the top of her game, and I absolutely loved it." Craig Davidson, author of Cataract City 

"Innovative, enthralling, kinetic and often subversively funny. Alongside Landing Gear's stowaway, Yacub, we freefall and rip a hole right through modern society's illusions of any shared comfort zone. I loved the headlong rush, the imperiled tenderness" Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel 

"A turbulent and exhilarating ride through modern family relationships, our cultural divide and the unexpected things that come crashing into our lives" Brian Francis, author of Natural Order 

"Pulliinger's exquisite writing draws us into a world in which character negotiate between the probable and the all-but-impossible. 'How can they survive this?' we ask ourselves, and then it hits us: we all do." Wayne Grady, author of Emancipation Day

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.
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