I am beyond excited to announce a fabulous raffle my publisher is offering now until September 30th.
To celebrate the launch of novelist Charles Belfoure’s new book, House of Thieves, Sourcebooks has an exciting giveaway. The first place winner will receive a bareware set and all the ingredients to make a Manhattan cocktail. The second place winners will receive a set of cocktail glasses. And the third place winners a signed copy of his first novel, The Paris Architect (Sourcebooks, 2014), which is just as amazing as House of Thieves. All you need to do is enter here.
I just read House of Thieves and loved it for many reasons. Charles Belfoure, who taught historic preservation at my alma mater, Goucher College, was an architect before he became a writer. So like in The Paris Architect, his writing is full of amazing architectural details, which I just love.
The story is set in New York’s Gilded Age, around 1886, and centers around a society family named Cross. John and Helen Cross are relatives of the New York Astors and have three children: George, Julia, and Charlie. Although John’s job as an architect is prestigious (he designed many prominent buildings and residences in the book), he doesn’t have a large salary. No matter, because he and his wife come from money, ie, the right families.
But the children all have secret double lives that connect them with the underworld. When George accrues a heavy gambling debt, the owner of the casino/mob boss forces John Cross to help him rob banks and residences to pay back his son’s debts. With his intimate knowledge of these structures, Cross is a perfect accomplice.
On top of that, John’s estranged brother Robert reappears in the Cross family’s lives and is now a member of the esteemed Pinkerton security force. Little does Robert know that he’s hunting a criminal that’s none other than his brother.
There are other side stories involving George’s siblings and his grandmother (who takes up opium in the bowels of Manhattan). George’s sister’s debut also features prominently toward the end of the book and is great fun.
I really loved The Paris Architect and thought Belfoure did a great job with House of Thieves. Both are dark and humorous, but also intelligent. Even if you know little about architecture (as I do), you’ll come away from his novels feeling like you’ve been enlightened and entertained.
And don’t forget to enter the raffle by September 30th!