Considered the 1st - & by many the best – detective novel ever written, this book debuted originally in serialized form in 1868. I mention this because it should not be thought of as historical fiction: its depiction of the crime & its resolution are not quaint but contemporary. The myriad scientific advantages that present day crime solvers (both real & fictional) have were not even dreamt of when this was written & that just makes this book even more enjoyable. The crime & its unraveling are told by many voices over a year’s time, & proves, among other things, that great mysteries do not have to a) have bodies strewn all over the place; b) have a detective in constant peril of being beaten to a pulp – or worse – and c) do not need to be solved overnight. A delight from beginning to end.
Americans eat more bananas than apples & oranges combined, and in some cultures, it acts as a primary food source; yet not much is known about this baffling fruit. Even more mysterious is whether it will survive. Koeppel takes readers into an oftentimes tragic and hilarious banana sub-culture (yes, one does exist) of this seedless fruit, combining science, pop culture and business into a fascinating expos