Friday, August 14, 2009

Throwback to the 80s

I received an e-mail this week regarding Tilly Bagshawe's latest, Mistress of the Game. PW described the book, in it's starred review, as "Gossip Girl meets Dynasty." I don't watch Gossip Girl and was much too young for Dynasty, but I have to admit that I was thoroughly intrigued. And even more so when I found out that Bagshawe was chosen to continue a tale begun by Sidney Sheldon.

Sheldon, creator of The Patty Duke Show and I Dream of Jeannie didn't begin writing novels until he was in his 50s -- and his books were hot. I mean really hot. His first, The Naked Face, was nominated for an Edgar for Best First Novel and his second book, The Other Side of Midnight, was just the first of what would be many NYT bestsellers. Master of the Game debuted at #1 if Wikipedia is to be trusted (I was 2 at the time so I wouldn't know first hand).

I've never read Sheldon. I do remember that many of his books were reprinted while I was still working at the bookstore. I also recall hearing about his death in 2007. And I know he was wildly popular because even years after his books debuted, customers were still raving to me about how they could never get enough.

So I thought if I could track down a copy of Master of the Game, that I would definitely be interested in giving it and Bagshawe's release a shot. Two days later, in possession of some coupons and gift certificates for one chain store, I found myself 15 minutes early for lunch with a friend, and right next to the other chain. Seriously, I kicked myself for not waiting, but it was totally spur of the moment meets fate. And it's not like I wouldn't find something else to use the coupons and gift certificates on (and I did later that weekend).

I thought I'd struck out and was lowering myself to asking at customer service when there it was. Right in front of me on a display (and shame on them for not following the rule of keeping at least one copy in the section for folks actually looking for the book).

I didn't have a chance to start the book until Wed, though, when I took it to the gym -- and found myself staying for over an hour and a half while I read the first 110 pages! It was addictive reading and I just wrapped it up (I read the rest of it today, again mostly at the gym).

Master of the Game begins with Kate Blackwell's 90th birthday. As she looks back on the history of her family, from the late 1800s to 1982, the reader follows along on a sordid tale of determination, revenge, greed, and obsessive love. From the diamond fields of South Africa to the heart of New York City, the family rises to heights most people only dream of.

But where does the saga go next? I will see very shortly. I have to tell you, this book was so completely gripping that I put it down and immediately snatched up Mistress. I'll keep you all posted, but if you're at all like me, you'll want to run out and grab Master so you can see what all the fuss is about.

Readers, it's time for a new generation to see what Sidney Sheldon is made of!


Icedream said...

I didn't know Mistress of the Game was a continuation of Sheldon's book. Now I was around and reading when many of Sheldon's books came out. I think I have read all of them. When they talk about "master storyteller" I think Sheldon falls in that category. He just knew how to hook a reader into a story. I look forward to your review of Mistress and hope you find more Sheldon to read in the future.

Lori said...

You have a award over at my blog!