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Beware the Solitary Drinker
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About the Author

Cornelius Lehane is a writer and editor for the United States' largest teachers union, the National Education Association. In other incarnations, he's been a college professor, a union organizer, and, yes, for more than a decade, a bartender. After spending most of his life in and around New York City, he now lives in a close-in suburb of Washington, DC with his wife, two sons, and an assortment of pets. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing from Columbia University School of the Arts. A slightly different version of "Beware the Solitary Drinker" was published in France by Rivages/Noir this past spring. "

Reviews

At his New York apartment, bartender Brian McNulty shelters Angelina, a young woman he meets at work. They don't have sex but become good friends, despite her subsequent frequent changes of lovers. Angelina enlivens his bar, befriending everyone until she's found murdered in the park. Her sister then arrives, looking for the murderer and asking for Brian's help. The resultant sleuthing uncovers more than a few surprises about Angelina's life, including experiences with women and porn. Brian's bar-focused outlook (the author was a former bartender), the bar "family," and an abundance of booze, drugs, and sex make for colorful reading. For larger collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Brian s bar-focused outlook (the author was a former bartender), the bar family, and an abundance of booze, drugs, and sex make for colorful reading." -- "Library Journal" " Set in 1983 but timeless in its depiction of men and women struggling to cope with whatever demons beset them, Lehane's assured debut merits a warm welcome from readers who prize originality and insight." --" Publisher's Weekly" "Lehane s narrative vividly evokes a melancholy city in decline, and a sullen man who, when forced to act, rises above the alcoholic despair that surrounds him." -- "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine" "Any New Yorker will realize that the story line is an actual portrayal of life in the Big Apple (at least the Manhattan borough). BEWARE THE SOLITARY DRINKER has much to recommend it." -- "Midwestern Book Review "" "Brian's bar-focused outlook (the author was a former bartender), the bar "family," and an abundance of booze, drugs, and sex make for colorful reading." -- "Library Journal" " Set in 1983 but timeless in its depiction of men and women struggling to cope with whatever demons beset them, Lehane's assured debut merits a warm welcome from readers who prize originality and insight." --" Publisher's Weekly" "Lehane's narrative vividly evokes a melancholy city in decline, and a sullen man who, when forced to act, rises above the alcoholic despair that surrounds him." -- "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine" "Any New Yorker will realize that the story line is an actual portrayal of life in the Big Apple (at least the Manhattan borough). BEWARE THE SOLITARY DRINKER has much to recommend it." -- "Midwestern Book Review " "Brian's bar-focused outlook (the author was a former bartender), the bar "family," and an abundance of booze, drugs, and sex make for colorful reading." -- "Library Journal" " Set in 1983 but timeless in its depiction of men and women struggling to cope with whatever demons beset them, Lehane's assured debut merits a warm welcome from readers who prize originality and insight." --" Publisher's Weekly" "Lehane's narrative vividly evokes a melancholy city in decline, and a sullen man who, when forced to act, rises above the alcoholic despair that surrounds him." -- "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine" "Any New Yorker will realize that the story line is an actual portrayal of life in the Big Apple (at least the Manhattan borough). BEWARE THE SOLITARY DRINKER has much to recommend it." -- "Midwestern Book Review "

The characters who inhabit Oscar's bar on New York's Upper West Side are serious drinkers with more than their share of quirks, shames, secrets and strengths. In this strong debut novel, Lehane exhibits a sensitive empathy for those who find solace in drink and drugs and the ambience at Oscar's, where one can be solitary but not alone. Mostly older, mostly men, Oscar's patrons are captivated by Angelina, an alluring, available young woman, who begins to frequent their bar. Even bartender Brian McNulty, a participant/observer-presiding, absorbing, but never probing-is drawn into her orbit. But when the beautiful, troubled Angelina is murdered and Brian's customers and friends become suspects, he reluctantly abandons his bartender's code: "I enter my friend's house deaf; I leave dumb." Instead, prodded by the arrival of Angelina's sister, Janet, from their hometown of Springfield, Mass., Brian begins to learn more than he wants about Angelina's past. Brian is a wonderfully complex character, and Lehane reveals him to the reader with exquisite skill. Brian takes shape, developing substance and form, just as his stumbling investigation does. Set in 1983 but timeless in its depiction of men and women struggling to cope with whatever demons beset them, Lehane's assured debut merits a warm welcome from readers who prize originality and insight. (Nov.) Forecast: Regional author appearances, targeted advertising and good word of mouth-not to mention a last name with resonance in the thriller field-could send this one into extra printings. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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