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About Simon Bruni
Simon's many published translations include novels, short stories, video games, and nonfiction publications, and he is the winner of three John Dryden awards: in 2017 and 2015 for Paul Pen's short stories "Cinnamon" and "The Porcelain Boy," and in 2011 for Francisco Pérez Gandul's novel Cell 211. His translations of Paul Pen's The Light of the Fireflies and Sofía Segovia's The Murmur of Bees have both become international bestsellers.
For more information, please visit www.simonbruni.com.
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From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel—her first to be translated into English—about a mysterious child with the power to change a family’s history in a country on the verge of revolution.
From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can—visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats—both human and those of nature—Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.
Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.
A strange pattern of death emerges in a small Spanish town in this novel of twisting suspense by international bestselling author Paul Pen.
I don’t wish to frighten you, reads the anonymous note introverted and bullied eight-year-old Leo Cruz finds in his backpack. All the sender asks is that he avoid a certain spot on a certain day, or he’ll die. Leo has reason to be afraid. The warning hearkens back to nearly a decade ago—to the same site, where a murder has become local folklore and a favorite campfire tale reinvented year after year by the kids of Arenas, a small Spanish town.
Leo’s parents initially suspect the lonely boy’s cruel classmates. The perfect joke to terrorize an impressionable victim. Unless, as they come to believe, it’s Leo himself who is the author of the warning.
Is Leo being lured to an unavoidable fate? Is someone taking bullying to a dangerous new level? Or is there something else at work in Arenas, a town with intersecting destinies and a century of secrets?
From bestselling Spanish author Paul Pen comes a haunting and hopeful tale of discovering light in even the darkest of places.
For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.
He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone’s been acting very strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they’re shut away.
A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. His grandma said, There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn’t know how to get out…
Rose and Elmer have created an idyllic sanctuary for themselves and their five daughters in Mexico’s Baja California desert. Out there in the middle of nowhere, blissfully cut off from the burdens of modern society, they’re free to raise their beautiful family…and preserve its secret.
And they’re never giving it up.
Then a young hiker named Rick comes looking for a place to stay. It’s just for the night, he says—but long enough for Rose and Elmer to fear they’ve made a horrible mistake. As the stranger grows more intrusive and more suspicious, the couple know they must do what they can to protect themselves. What they don’t know is that Rick has a secret, too. Soon, home and family will prove to be as cold and dark as the desert nights. And even with so many places to run, there’s still no escape from the past that binds them.
What does the perfect family have to fear most? The perfect stranger.
From the outside, Frank and Grace seem to have the perfect family. He’s a loving husband, she’s a devoted wife, and together they have two happy children. But appearances can be deceiving. A strange series of misfortunes has left them reeling: an unexplained break-in, a catastrophic accident, and a bizarre poisoning that’s left Grace feeling especially unnerved. Packing up their RV for a move across the country, they’re ready for a fresh start, expecting to leave all their problems safely behind.
Then one night on the road to their new home, the figure of a young woman emerges from the darkness, causing them to swerve off the road. The injured stranger says her name is Mara. Miles from help, they invite her to stay. But Mara is hiding a secret. And she is not the only one.
Was it all just another inexplicable accident? Or have they opened the door to an escalating family nightmare designed to tear their perfect world apart?
From a bestselling author in Mexico comes her English-language debut—an enthralling historical novel about the tragic reign of Empress Carlota of Mexico.
It’s 1863. Napoleon III has installed a foreign monarch in Mexico to squash the current regime. Maximilian von Habsburg of Austria accepts the emperor’s crown. But it is his wife, the brilliant and ambitious Princess Charlotte, who throws herself passionately into the role. Known to the people as Empress Carlota, she rules deftly from behind the scenes while her husband contents himself with philandering and decorating the palace.
But Carlota bears a guilty secret. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she’s thrown herself into a reckless affair. Desire has blinded Carlota to its consequences, for it has left her vulnerable to her sole trusted confidante. Carlota’s devious lady-in-waiting has political beliefs of her own—and they are strong enough to cause her to betray the empress and join a plot to depose her from the throne. As Carlota grows increasingly, maddeningly defenseless, both her own fate and that of the empire are at stake.
A sweeping historical novel of forbidden love, dangerous secrets, courtly intrigue, and treachery, The Empress passionately reimagines the tragic romance and ill-fated reign of the most unforgettable royal couple of nineteenth-century Europe during the last throes of the Second Empire.
Jack Beilis once lived the American dream: custom suits, new cars, and the best clubs. But by 1931, he has sunk so low he cannot feed himself or his ailing father. Now he barely has time to wipe the blood from his hands before he finds himself on a ship from New York to Moscow, running from a crime he never intended.
Desperate for an escape route, Jack wants to believe stories of a worker’s paradise in the Soviet Union. Maybe the distance between Ellis Island and Red Square will let him leave poverty—and his pursuers—far behind. Jack accepts an opportunity at the Gorky Ford Factory and embarks on a new life.
What he finds, though, is a surveillance society, empty store shelves, and a dangerous network of black markets. There seems to be no way out, until Jack meets Dr. Natasha Lobanova. Could this Russian beauty be his deliverance? When Natasha’s own dark history surfaces, Jack’s fate is threatened. With betrayals and secrets everywhere, Jack struggles to trust anyone or anything…even his own heart.
The year is 799, and King Charlemagne awaits coronation as the Holy Roman emperor. But in the town of Würzburg, the young, willful Theresa dreams only of following in the footsteps of her scholarly father—a quiet man who taught her the forbidden pleasures of reading and writing. Though it was unthinkable for a medieval woman to pursue a career as a craftsperson, headstrong Theresa convinces the parchment-makers’ guild to test her. If she passes, it means access to her beloved manuscripts and nothing less than true independence. But as she treats the skins before an audience of jeering workmen, unimaginable tragedy strikes—tearing apart Theresa’s family and setting in motion a cascade of mysteries that Theresa must solve if she hopes to stay alive and save her family.
A fugitive in the wilderness, Theresa is forced to rely on her bravery, her uncommon education, and the compassion of strangers. When she encounters Alcuin of York, a wise and influential monk with close ties to Charlemagne, she believes her luck might have finally changed. But the biggest secret lies between Charlemagne and her father. Theresa moves ever closer to the truth, bent on reuniting with her beloved father, only to discover that her family’s troubles are inextricably entwined with nothing less than the fate of an empire.
When Leopold Sinclair returned from a long overseas business trip, the last thing he expected to find was a sexy new tenant in the apartment next door. Catalina Stapleton, the beautiful, recently arrived neighbor, is the type of person who just can’t help adopting every poor stray she comes across. After a brief exchange with her uptight and work-obsessed neighbor, she decides that Leopold is an unhappy man who needs to be saved from himself.
Yet soon, what started as her friendly project turns personal. After a red-hot kiss inflames their attraction, Leopold knows he must keep wild Cat at a distance or risk bringing down the barriers he’s worked so hard to maintain. Determined to protect their blossoming friendship, each hides their growing romantic feelings—and nearly overwhelming desires. But how long will they be able to keep up the façade?
In At the Even Hour words are tiny shards of a mirror; which when read reflect back to us. That is why, when Tito tosses his brush into the air, we are not surprised to see a Montevideo of the past, and that the Angenscheidt department store is open and a young man, dangling from a stairway, is starting to dress the shop windows and dream of far-off places.
In these mirror-paragraphs there are surprises at every turn: a knife fight in a frontier town; a beautiful woman, an expert in cabbala, escaping across Hampstead Heath; a man’s desperate flight in the darkness of a graveyard; the thrill of a head-to-head at the Maroñas racecourse. And Rick Blaine, saying goodbye to Ilsa Lund in that hangar in Casablanca . . .
Anything can happen in this book by Julio Figueredo, an entrepreneur-author, who from Camden Town and, sometimes, from his Uruguayan refuge in Las Grutas, Punta Ballena, has prepared this feast of intimate stories with the patience of a great chef.
The time has come to knock on the legendary door of the most famous detective in the world.
This very night. At the even hour.
Julio Figueredo was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1944. He was a window dresser at the Angenscheidt department store, a money broker in La Ciudad Vieja, a basketball player for Club Goes, a lover of the arts and a supporter of the Lista 99. In 1967 he emigrated to Europe and became a citizen of the world. He has lived in many countries, working in all manner of trades. He was a model and acted in film and television. In London he married Karen Doherty, with whom he founded the now legendary restaurant, The Camden Brasserie. He currently lives in Punta Ballena, Uruguay, and Camden Town. He has always written. At the Even Hour is his first book.
When the daughter of a prominent politician and her boyfriend disappear, officials suspect foul play. Seasoned inspector Francisco Bermejo and rookie brainiac Pablo Roncero team up to investigate, but their hope for an open-and-shut case quickly crumbles. They are on the trail of a serial killer—one whose motivations are as mysterious as the horrific, elaborate tableaus he leaves behind as clues. Bermejo and Roncero must overcome their differences, a byzantine bureaucracy, and the distraction of a beautiful journalist as they race across Spain in pursuit of the murderer. They can only guess where he will strike next—and with the gruesome game the killer's playing, guesswork is not nearly good enough.
Spanish journalist and art historian Jaime Azcárate has always been a magnet for trouble. So when the authorities call on him to help investigate a museum heist while he’s enjoying a rare vacation, he is more annoyed than surprised. Jaime brushes off the detectives’ pleas to find a missing and reportedly cursed Medusa sculpture, until an attempt on his life pulls him into the investigation.
With nowhere else to turn, Jaime reaches out to the only person in the world who can help: Paloma Blasco, the ex-girlfriend with whom he authored an article on the priceless statue. The pair must put their differences aside as they travel from Greece to Sardinia to find the Medusa—before the curse claims another victim.