Details about where Austin's own writin' reverend Charles Meyer will be reading from his new murder mystery about a serial murderer, as well as the Austin connection to British journalist Clare de Vries' I & Claudius: Travels With My Cat

Reverend to Read

Austin's own writin' reverend, Charles Meyer, will be at Borders Books & Music in North Austin (10225 Research) on Thursday, December 9, at 7pm to read from his new murder mystery, Deathangel, in which Episcopal priest Joseph McCaslin hears a confession in a foreign language from a mysterious supplicant who then tries to kill him. But the words used in the confession, despite being foreign and unintelligible to McCaslin, seem similar to the language used by a serial murderer imprisoned 10 years earlier and dubbed the "Deathangel" for his (or her) habit of leaving little hand-carved wooden angels at the scene of the crime. Meyer, also the author of The Saints of God Murders, Blessed Are the Merciless, and The Eighth Day as well as eight books of nonfiction, has dedicated Deathangel to "prisoners of evil, and their liberators," a nice touch... David Lindsey, whose The Color of Night came out earlier this year, will be at Congress Avenue Booksellers on Wednesday, December 8, from 11:30am-1pm. Lunch will be provided.

Bats & Cats

I & Claudius: Travels With My Cat (BloomsburyUSA, 312 pp., $23.95) is Brit Clare de Vries' travelogue across America, and in it, she records, in her somewhat frenetic way, her rendezvous with the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge: "The bridge was built with inch rivulets underneath, which are perfect for bats to nest in. Millions have gathered there over the last few years, all leaving every night at dusk to forage for insects. There is quite a gathering under the bridge as they are something of a tourist and kiddy attraction. A girl wearing a T-shirt that says 'Ask Me About Bats' enthusiastically hands out leaflets, educating us as to the real nature of these flying mammals. The leaflet features Batricia Highflier, which elicits a little margarita-soaked guffaw from me. They are not the spooky things vampires would have us believe. They are great pest controllers, eating their body weight in pests every night. A fat woman with a little-girl voice asks the volunteer:

'Did they build the bridge specially for the bats?'

'Yes dear,' she replies. 'The city legislators thought the bats needed somewhere to live and spent millions constructing this bridge which cleverly doubles up as a means for cars to get across the river as well.'

'Oh! You're kidding, right?'


A Passion for Books

Buy the book-lover on your Christmas list A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Lore, and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books (Times Books, 360 pp., 27.50), edited by Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan. The subtitle's plenitude doesn't indicate the fascinating historical range of the collection. From "How to Get Started in the Book Business" by Stuart Brent to "The Commerce of Reading" by Montaigne to "My Friends" by Petrarch, A Passion for Books seems to say it all.

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More Postscripts
The last time we heard about Karla Faye Tucker, she was being executed; now, almost four years later, there's a new novel about her. Or about someone very like her. And Beverly Lowry's classic Crossed Over, a memoir about getting to know Karla Faye Tucker, gets a reissue.

Clay Smith, Jan. 18, 2002

Not one day back from vacation and the growing list of noble souls who need to be congratulated is making Books Editor Clay Smith uneasy.

Clay Smith, Jan. 11, 2002


Deathangel, Charles Meyer, A Passion for Books, I & Claudius: Travels With My Cat, Clare de Vries

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