Wallis’s War: A Novel of Diplomacy and Intrigue by Kate Auspitz, a political historian who formerly taught at Harvard University and also writes mysteries as Sophie Belfort, is her standalone alternate history drama novel with satirical espionage thriller elements, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.
This is their featured Free Book of the Month for August.
The story is set during the 1930s and written in the form of a comedic faux-memoir by Wallis Warfield Simpson, the American divorcée who eventually married the abdicated British King Edward VIII and posits an alternative secret history in which she was an undercover agent tasked with removing the pro-German future monarch from the throne.
Offered worldwide through August, available directly from the University Press’ website.
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AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2017 promotion for young adults continues, which offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the [planned release schedule here][sync-list]).
This week’s two selected titles, available until 7am Eastern Time on July 6th, are as follows:
- American Night: The Ballad of Juan José by Richard Montoya, a satirical play about US history from the perspective of a Mexican immigrant cramming for his citizenship test; from L. A. Theatre Works, performed by a full cast
- My Name Is Not Easy by Debbie Dahl Edwardson, a National Book Award finalist YA historical drama novel about the experiences of Iñupiat Alaskan teens attending a Catholic-run residential boarding school during the 1960s, which attempts to sever their ties with their native Iñupiaq language and culture; from Brilliance Audio, read by Nick Podehl & Amy Rubinate
Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on July 6th, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).
The Hero of Saint Roger by the late Irish author Jerrard Tickell, whose WWII comedy novel Appointment with Venus has been twice adapted to film, is his vintage standalone literary fiction novel with satirical elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Odyssey imprint.
This was originally published in 1954 by Hodder & Stoughton.
The story is set several years after World War II, on a fictional Caribbean island which is a popular tourist destination which one day experiences a disaster which forces them to rebuild. With resources difficult to obtain, the islanders hatch a scheme to deceive the outside world into aiding them, which some islanders begin to have second thoughts about even as it gets underway, in a story that both explores and skewers life in both the wartime and postwar years.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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Born Bad by by Manchester-resident British author Marnie Riches, is her standalone noir crime thriller novel with satirical elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher HarperCollins’ Avon imprint.
This is apparently a darkly comedic gritty tale of (dis)organized crime set in Manchester, as a family-run criminal gang engages in a turf war after their leader is stabbed. NB: both the customer and editorial reviews tend to note that this is very violent, but also very funny. YMMV.
Offered in the UK and selected other countries (excluding North America), available at multiple retailers.
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A Footman for the Peacock by the late English author Rachel Ferguson, an early 20th century journalist and novelist whom Booker Prize-winning author A. S. Byatt cites as a literary influence, is her vintage literary fiction satire novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Dean Street Press.
This was originally published in 1940 by Jonathan Cape, and this new edition has a retrospective introductory foreword about the author’s works, by social historian Elizabeth Crawford, who has contributed to the official British government history blog. The story is a satirical class comedy depicting the foibles of an unpleasant upper-crust family dodging their responsibilities during WWII, centred around their absurd indulgence of a peacock on their estate which may not only be a reincarnation of a centuries-deceased servant, but possibly also aiding the Nazi cause.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
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Manhattan Loverboy by Armenian-American author Arthur Nersesian, a recipient of the Anahid Literary Prize for Armenian literature, is his standalone contemporary literary identity thriller satire novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Akashic Books.
This is a darkly comedic literary/weird fiction thriller novel which is grouped under Akashic’s multi-author Urban Surreal series. The story is a Kafka-esque paranoid social satire taking the standard journey of self-discovery, and applying it to an urban orphan from New York City who travels the world seeking answers to his true identity, eventually confronting the corporate executive who seems to be behind his myriad strange woes.
Offered DRM-free through midnight December 23rd, available worldwide directly from the publisher as the final offering in their generous holiday advent calendar promotion.
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Mesopotamia by Armenian-American author Arthur Nersesian, a recipient of the Anahid Literary Prize for Armenian literature, is his standalone contemporary literary mystery/thriller satire, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Akashic Books.
This is a satirical literary fiction novel which skewers the modern prediliction towards celebrity-oriented news media via a murder mystery thriller setup. The story stars a down-and-out journalist who takes a freelance assignment near her childhood small hometown in Tennessee, which in a roundabout way results in her amateur-sleuthing an impromptu investigation into the murders of Elvis impersonators at a local festival, in the process uncovering a fantastic story which she can never reveal.
Offered DRM-free through midnight December 15th, available worldwide directly from the publisher as part of their holiday advent calendar promotion.
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The Brothers’ Lot by Irish author Kevin Holohan is his standalone satirical literary comedy novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Akashic Books.
This was a semifinalist for the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. This is a darkly comedic literary fiction novel set during an unspecified mid-20th century period of Ireland, when religiously-run institutional education was still predominant, using the lens of satire to examine the foibles, excesses, and abuses perpetuated by the Catholic Church of the time.
Offered DRM-free through midnight December 12th, available worldwide directly from the publisher as part of their holiday advent calendar promotion.
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Don Dimaio of La Plata by Robert Arellano, an Edgar Award-nominated author, is is his standalone literary/weird fiction hybrid political satire novel, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Akashic Books.
This is a standalone story which is part of Akashic’s multi-author Urban Surreal series, and is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote, apparently based upon Arellano’s real life experience with city politics. The story is a darkly comedic zany romp through the civil bureaucracy of a dysfunctional mayoral stint and the shady underbelly of the city it serves.
Offered DRM-free through midnight December 7th, available worldwide directly from the publisher as part of their holiday advent calendar promotion.
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Tango for a Torturer by Cuba-resident Uruguayan author Daniel Chavarría is his standalone black comedy political suspense thriller, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Akashic Books.
This is an English-language translation of his Spanish-language novel El rojo en la pluma del loro, originally written in 2001, which was honoured with the Casas de las Américas and Premio de las Crítica literary prizes. This is a darkly comedic action thriller suspense novel with strong political elements set in Cuba and exploring the effects of Latin American dictatorships in a somewhat satirical manner. The story stars a former Argentine revolutionary who travels to Havana on vacation, where he finds out that his nemesis, a former Uruguayan military torturer, has been living under a false identity and promptly drops his holiday plans to go on the hunt for him.
Offered DRM-free through midnight December 6th, available worldwide directly from the publisher as part of their holiday advent calendar promotion.
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