The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by historian Joel F. Harrington brings an executioner to life.
In The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War (Minotaur Books), historian Daniel Stashower tells how Lincoln was saved.
Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own (W. W. Norton) by David Toomey examines possible organisms we may meet someday.
Storm Kings: The Untold Story of America's First Tornado Chasers (Pantheon Books) by Lee Sandlin tells an story of eventual scientific enlightenment.
The Devil Within: Possession & Exorcism in the Christian West (Yale University Press) by Brian P. Levack has a new explanation for possessions and exorcism.
And Man Created God: A History of the World at the Time of Jesus (St. Martin's Press) by Selina O'Grady examines how religions jostle for position within empires.
The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think (Dutton) by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods examines the intelligence that makes dogs our friends.
The Mummy's Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy (Oxford University Press) by Roger Luckhurst gives the background to the spooky mummy tradition.
Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary (Bloomsbury) by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen tells a paradoxical life story.
Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed (Naval Institute Press) by Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille is an insders' account of a famous case.
3. They Were All Very Merry at Pfaff's BOOK REVIEWS