And Thereby Hangs a Tale

Jeffrey Archer, Author
Jeffrey Archer, St. Martin's, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-53953-5
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-330-52545-9
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-8417-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-1028-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-312-53954-2
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-230-74641-1
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-230-53145-1
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-230-71122-8
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Bestseller Archer assembles 15 more of the clever stories for which he is known. They are split between tales of trickery, as with "Stuck on You," where an eager young man is played by a diamond thief, and decidedly sentimental stories, such as "Members Only," about a man who wants nothing more than to join a private country club. Archer marks with an asterisk stories that are based on true incidents (10 in this collection), and whether it is the weight of credibility these stories' genesis lends or if the author works better with some starting material, the entirely imagined stories are also the weakest. "Politically Correct" never gets out of the shallows in its attempt to be provocative, and "Better the Devil You Know," with its evil executive making a deal with the devil (aka Mr. De Ath), is silly even for this author, who usually writes with a winningly light touch. Still, Archer's writing exudes a certain charm and is mostly satisfying. His trademark twists—sometimes a surprise to the reader, sometimes not—and genial tone will endear these mostly cozy stories to his many fans. (Sept.)
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