Short Takes: July 2017 | Books & Authors | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Short Takes: July 2017

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Learn about New York’s history and scandalous Prohibition-age murders while lounging by the pool with this month’s selection of titles.

Hudson Valley Murder & Mayhem
Andrew K. Amelinckx
The History Press, 2017, $21.99
This short book explores the gory side of the Hudson Valley, examining some of the region's most notorious crimes. Separated into three sections, 11 stories of murder and deception in the Capitol Region, Mid-Hudson Valley, and the Lower Hudson Valley are featured. Opening with the gruesome account of Albert Devine killing his wife and hiding her under his front porch, only to beg his son to keep his secret, a whirlwind of Prohibition-era characters are finally given the chance to plead their cases from the grave.

The Best of New York Archives: Selections from the Magazine, 2001-2011
Excelsior Editions, 2017, $60
A compilation of some of the most popular articles by Pulitzer Prize winners and bestselling authors found in the New York Archives magazine, the Empire state's vast history is explored within this collection. Articles profiled include writings on New York's first constitution, slavery, women's suffrage, and much more—pieces in this 506-page book cover research from the 1600s to the 1900s. Thirty-seven color and 79 black and white archival photographs are included as well.

Exit Strategy
Steve Hamilton
Putnam, 2017, $26
Cottekill-based author Steve Hamilton's second entry in his new series chronicles protagonist Nick Mason in prison. Mason succumbs to criminal mastermind Darius Cole in order to expedite his release and is forced to fill whatever role Cole asks of him—be it assassin or thief—in order to win his freedom. Tasked with the job of locating the men responsible for placing Cole behind bars, Nick must infiltrate the federal witness protection program to murder Cole's enemies. This thriller follows Mason from a highly guarded military institution in the Appalachian Mountains to an underground bunker beneath New York City as he attempts to win his freedom—and stay alive.

Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal
Jack Kelly
St. Martin's Griffin, 2017, $17.99
In 1805, fugitive Jesse Hawley began envisioning a way to connect Lake Erie to the Hudson river. While many believed it impossible to construct such a transport system, in 1817 individuals began building the 360-mile Erie Canal by hand. Hudson Valley-based author Jack Kelly explores the excitement and drama that came along with the opening of one of the most important historical catalysts. From the birth of Mormonism to the economic advantages the canal offered New York, this historical read brings 19th-century zealots and their tribulations to life.

Slavery and Freedom in the Mid-Hudson Valley
Michael E. Groth
SUNY Press, 2017, $29.95
Wells College History Professor Michael Groth examines slavery in the Mid-Hudson Valley in his latest book. With a focus on Dutchess County's African American population prior to the Civil War, the oppressions of the black community, and their struggle for freedom are highlighted in this short historical read. Groth shows the beginning of the struggles slaves faced from the Revolution to Antebellum, exemplifying little-known tidbits about Hudson Valley heritage.

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