Put-in-Bay novelist Bob Adamov returns with “White Spider Night”

The Russian drug cartel took Emerson Moore to Detroit and Key West in “Sunset Blues,” 14th in Wooster author Bob Adamov’s series about a Put-in-Bay-based reporter. “White Spider Night”, 15th in the series, keeps the action close to home, with a local bed-and-breakfast as the setting.

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In “Sunset Blues”, Moore’s aunt was kidnapped and her house blown up; Moore assembled a crew to save her. He probably has one of the highest body counts in the series. Here, Moore and Aunt Anne return to South Bass Island, where Anne plans to meet with an architect to rebuild her house. She’ll be staying at a friend’s bed and breakfast, and Moore will be sleeping with a friend in exchange for some light yard work.

Anne’s friend Ada runs the Doorbell Inn. She’s kind and generous but an incurable gossip, and tells Anne all the drama next door at Spider’s Web B&B. It is owned by gorgeous blonde Elke White; like Ada, she is kind and generous, loved by all, but her husband Spider is violent and controlling. Tourists flock to Ada for her warm hospitality and avoid the spider’s web, where Spider constantly berates and sometimes hits his wife. Ada’s sheepish husband looks for ways to spy on Elke as she sunbathes topless.

The police chief asked Moore to serve as a reserve officer, working “on cases that come up from time to time.” As an investigative reporter, Moore knows how to ask questions. He is, however, caught off guard by his first assignment: installing radar for golf carts as the members leave the meeting of the Old Women’s Literary Society. He is paired with the nephew of Chief AC, whose personal importance is matched only by his incompetence.

After a particularly vicious fight, Elka runs at Spider and does not return. Moore follows the gossip, interviewing Spider, her neighbors, the bartenders, and a homeless man to help figure out what might have happened to Elka — along with several others whose disappearances follow.

In contrast to most of Adamov’s ultra-violent action-adventures, “White Spider Nights” takes the form of a detective story. “White Spider Night” (200 pages, hardcover) is $28 from Adamov Packard Island Edition.

“No one knows this country better”

In 2019, in “The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the Ideal American West,” David McCullough wrote about little-known Manesseh Cutler, a member of the Ohio Company, Northwest Territories organizers. McCullough, who died August 7, credits Cutler with banning slavery in Ohio.

Another little-known figure is John Gibson, whose life is explored in Gary S. Williams’ “No Man Knows This Country Better: The Frontier Life of John Gibson.”


Gibson was born in 1840 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In his late teens he was an officer at the new Fort Pitt, his progress advancing through his knowledge of Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca; he later learned about Miami. At only twenty years of age he became Deputy Commissioner of Indians and in 1763 was captured by Lenape, with whom he lived for several years.

The book follows Gibson’s life in Ohio, where he served as commander of Fort Laurens in Bolivar during the Revolutionary War. Williams reports that Gibson “developed such a reputation for honesty that tribes demanded to deal with him.” He is best remembered for translating a famous speech by Chief Mingo Logan.

The title of the book comes from a statement by General William Irvine, commander of the Western Department of the Continental Army.

“No Man Knows This Country Better” (222 pages, hardcover) costs $59.95 from University of Akron Press. Gary Williams grew up in Dover and lives in Steubenville. He received an MLS from Kent State University and is the author of “Hiking Ohio” and several other books on Ohio history.

He will speak about “No Man Knows This Country Better” from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Dover Public Library, 525 N. Walnut St. Register for doverlibrary.org.


There are major book events coming up in the coming weeks. literary clevelandit is Inkubator Writing Conference begins with online panels Sept. 6-8, then in-person events Sept. 9-10 to coincide with the start of Cleveland Book Week, spanning 10 days Sept. 9-18. Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize will take place from September 14 to 16, the ceremony will be held on September 15. The last event will be Great Lakes African American Writers’ Conference September 17, with Walter Mosley as keynote speaker. Barberton Public Library expects a dozen authors at its authors’ fair on September 10.

Books by the fire (29 N. Franklin St., Chagrin Falls): Brandy Gleason will sign “100 Things to Do in Amish Country Before You Die” from 1-3 p.m. Sunday.

Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library: Michele Harper talks about “The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir,” about her experiences as a black female emergency physician, in a virtual presentation at 9 p.m. Monday. Register on smpl.org.

Hudson Library and Historical Society: Linda Castillo, author of the Holmes County Kate Burkholder series about a police chief in a small town with a large Amish population, will talk about “The Hidden One,” featured on Book Talk on July 10, during a virtual event at 7 p.m. Tuesday. On Thursday at 7 p.m., CNN host Chris Wallace will discuss “Countdown Bin Laden: The Untold Story of the 247-Day Hunt to Bring the 9/11 Mastermind to Justice.” This event has been postponed from an earlier date. Register on hudsonlibrary.org.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood Branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.): Ann and Jane Esselstyn talk about their cookbook, “Be a Plant-Based Woman Warrior,” 7-8 p.m. Tuesday. Register on cuyahogalibrary.org.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma-Snow Branch, 2121 Snow Road): Sandra Brown talks about her thriller “Overkill,” about a former NFL star whose ex-wife is on life support, 7-8 p.m. Tuesday. Register on cuyahogalibrary.org.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Bay Village Branch, 27400 Wolf Road): Terry Pluto talks about Cleveland sports and signs his many books, including “Vintage Browns,” 7-8 p.m. Tuesday. From 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Deanna Adams gives an interactive presentation based on “Cleveland’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Venues.” Register on cuyahogalibrary.org.

Loganberry books: Eric Garcia joins the Peculiar Book Club to talk about “We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation” during a virtual appearance at 7 p.m. Thursday. Register on loganberrybooks.com.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch, 1876 South Green Road, South Euclid): Karin Slaughter talks about her thriller “Girl, Forgotten,” about a U.S. Marshall trying to solve a cold case, 7-8 p.m. Thursday. Register on cuyahogalibrary.org.

Bookstore of the learned owl (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Janice Litterst signs “Free That Butterfly: Transform Your Relationship with Energy, Money, and Life,” Saturday 1-3 p.m.

Email information about local books and notices of events at least two weeks in advance to [email protected] and [email protected]. Barbara McIntyre tweets at @BarbaraMcI.

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