Sunday, June 11, 2017

Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network. All have been translated into multiple languages.

Quinn and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson. A real classic of wartime literature: a squadron of RAF fighter pilots making their way first through the idyllic boredom of the "Phony War," and then being plunged headlong into the Battle of Britain. Tragedy and humor and spine-tingling action run side by side; Robinson pulls helpless laughter out of you with the high-jinks of his adrenaline-junkie young heroes, then turns the pace on a dime and has you mopping your eyes as the cruel odds of aerial battles against enemy Messerschmitts sends the irrepressible fliers you've come to love spiraling one by one to their deaths. Just a heart-breaker.

Portrait of a Conspiracy by Donna Russo Morin. My good friend Donna's first installment in the "Da Vinci's Disciples" series takes you on an irresistible headlong adventure: a ruthless assassination rocks Renaissance Florence to its core, and a secret sisterhood of women artists band together to save one of their own from the bloody reprisals. Illicit plots, mysterious paintings, and a young Leonardo da Vinci all have their part to play; it's a deliciously heart-pounding tale with plenty of painterly details for an art-loving reader. I'm rereading this with huge pleasure, as her second in the series (The Competition) was just released.

The Conclave by Robert Harris. A sensationally gripping book covering the tense few days between the death of one pope and the election of another. Who will it be? Harris makes these quiet scenes of old men casting ballots in a locked room unbearably tense, and his hero--a thoughtful Italian cardinal with no desire to be Pope--is a humble, lovable Everyman we can all root for. Definitely making my year-end top-ten list.
Learn more about the book and author at Kate Quinn's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Kate Quinn and Caesar.

The Page 69 Test: The Alice Network.

--Marshal Zeringue