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    UNSIGNED by Julie Kaewert


    Bantam, January 2001

    Publisher Alex Plumtree is in a quandry. Someone has killed McKinley Montague to increase his book sales. Or maybe he died in an accident. Or is he dead at all? Whatever McKinley's problems, A very real bullet barely misses Alex and a mysterious woman who looks and moves exactly like his lost fiancee, Sarah, is haunting him. Then there are the three publishers trying to buy him out for far more money than his company is worth. Something is very wrong with the state of British publishing and Alex intends to find out what--or die in the attempt.

    Author Julie Kaewert has taken the world of publishing and added a James Bond spin--and a fascinating look into medieval Anglo Saxon literature at the same time. The thread that ties together all of the mysteries appears to center around the oldest surviving copy of the Old English epic poem Beowulf. Still, this only increases the mystery. The ancient copy of Beowulf, bound together with one of the oldest surviving copies of the Biblical book of Judith, hardly seems important enough to drive murder and the reshaping of the entire publishing industry. Something else is going on, but Alex increasingly has to wonder whether he can trust anyone.

    UNSIGNED is enjoyable light reading. Alex pinballs from disaster to disaster, somehow managing to land on his feet only long enough to plunge into the next danger. The historical notes and literary references are enjoyable and well integrated into the plot. Kaewert makes publishing seem exciting and relevant indeed. It is occasionally hard to keep up with all of the intrigue and the eventual motivations may appear a little weak for murder, but you'll enjoy the process of getting there.

    Four Stars

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