"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking." Jerry Seinfeld


Evidence 005: Heist Society by Ally Carter

In a nutshell, Ocean's 11 The Prequel. Which is exactly why I loved Heist Society (besides the fact that Ally Carter is a YA genius).

Katarina Bishop comes from a long line of thieves and, at a very young age, follows their footsteps in the art heist world. She decides enough is enough and relishes a "real teenage life" in the hallowed halls of Colgan School. Her reprieve is short-lived; Kat is framed for a prank-beyond-all-pranks that thrusts her back into the world she longed to escape. When W.W. Hale, a rival-turned-accomplice, arrives to bring her back to the family business, Kat questions whether she should have left at all.

Kat's father has been accused of stealing priceless works of art from Arturo Taccone, a notorious mastermind Hale calls "evil" and who proudly lives up to the moniker. Taccone gives Kat two weeks to save his paintings and her father. Kat's loyalty to her family trumps her loyalty to the business and she gathers a multi-talented, dysfunctional crew reminiscent of Danny Ocean's. A worldwide wild goose chase leads Kat and her crew down dead ends, riddling conundrums, and into the lair of Visily Romani, the most notorious of thieves. Taccone's constant surveillance and her father's fate weigh heavy on Kat and keep the story moving at a quick pace. There are many hold-your-breath moments and the final heist is full of action, suspense, and humor. The underlying flirtation between Hale, Kat, and crew member Nick isn't a distraction - something so rare in suspense novels.

I will read anything Ally Carter writes - I'm chomping at the bit for Gallagher Girls #4, and now I'm eagerly awaiting Heist Society #2. Carter has a knack for dialogue and plotting that moves the story along at a page-turning pace. She's a perfect author for a reader looking for good story, light romance, and lots of humor.


I've done what I swore I'd never do...

I broke my schedule. Stopped escaping into the office with a mug of tea to write, research, edit, and read for the blog. I let Shelf Awareness back up, tossed publisher pick newsletters aside, let the to-do box overwhelm the completed box. I kick myself every night when I crawl into bed without accomplishing something in the book world other than what I get done at the store.

The first three months of the new year suck at a bookstore. Sales are down, customers aren't spending, exciting new releases are minimal, and (when you live in my neck of the woods) the temperatures are just as miserable as the economic climate. It's hard to motivate myself to write about books when I spend all day moving them around to kill some time.

So, I need to get myself remotivated, back on track. I've been reading a lot more (something I didn't do for the six weeks of holiday season) so I'll start posting reviews. I have to go through my publisher catalogs -- I owe some reps some lists. I need to respond to the latest #amazonfail, even if it's late. I need to vent about the new Kindle users who hide upstairs to tap into our wi-fi and leave their coffee cups all over our tables, the customers who are irritated because their kid's teacher didn't call the bookstore to tell us the class of 30 kids needs Macbeth for tomorrow (we've got a plan in place - it's brilliant), and how the very liberal community where we are located has gone all conservative in the last two months and thrown all of my ordering out of whack.

I need to tell you about how good Heist Society by Ally Carter is, how effective the Penguin Classics Deluxe editions are in driving fiction sales, and why in the world we are up double-digits in sales year-over-year. I need to tell you about New Orleans nite in the Bistro, the bookseller's Anti-Valentine's Day party, and how simply putting Michael Jackson's greatest hits on the overhead changes the demeanor of both customer and bookseller.

I'm starting to get a little mojo back. I think it's time to start writing again.