Clifford Browder


Bill Hope: His Story: ($20: Softcover: 6X9”, 158pp: 978-1-68114-305-7; $35: Hardcover: 978-1-68114-306-4; $2.99: EBook: 978-1-68114-307-1; LCCN: 2017933794; Historical Fiction; May 17, 2017; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): is the second novel in the Metropolis series. New York City, 1870s: From his cell in the gloomy prison known as the Tombs, young Bill Hope spills out in a torrent of words the story of his career as a pickpocket and shoplifter; his scorn for snitches and bullies; his brutal treatment at Sing Sing and escape from another prison in a coffin; his forays into brownstones and polite society; his brief career on the stage playing himself; his loyalty to a man who has befriended him but may be trying to kill him; and his sojourn among the “loonies” in a madhouse, from which he emerges to face betrayal and death threats, and possible involvement in a murder. In the course of his adventures he learns how slight the difference is between criminal and law-abiding, insane and sane, vice and virtue—a lesson that reinforces what he learned on the streets. Driving him throughout is a fierce desire for better, a yearning to leave the crooked life behind, and a persistent and undying hope.

“This book is a really good yarn of a story.  Bill Hope is a sweet rascal of a character who doesn’t give up on people once he’s invested in them.  Trouble still manages to always find Bill, though and it’s great fun to read about how he gets out of it.  I can’t recommend this book enough. *****” —Nicole Brown BlogSpot

Browder - Cover - 9781681143675-Perfect - 2

Dark Knowledge (Softcover: $20, 234pp, 6X9”: 978-1-68114-367-5; Hardcover: $35: 978-1-68114-368-2; EBook: $2.99: 978-1-68114-369-9; LCCN: 2017911487; Historical Novel; Release: January 5, 2018; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): New York City, late 1860s. When young Chris Harmony learns that members of his family may have been involved in the illegal pre-Civil War slave trade, taking slaves from Africa to Cuba, he is appalled. Determined to learn the truth, he begins an investigation that takes him into a dingy waterfront saloon, musty old maritime records that yield startling secrets, and elegant brownstone parlors that may have been furnished by the trade. Since those once involved dread exposure, he meets denials and evasions, then threats, and a key witness is murdered. Chris has vivid fantasies of the suffering slaves on the ships and their savage revolts. How could seemingly respectable people be involved in so abhorrent a trade, and how did they avoid exposure? And what price must Chris pay to learn the painful truth and proclaim it?

“The author’s series is well-researched and full of likable, interesting characters, and this latest novel is no exception. Harmony’s quest for truth and his moral absolutism are admirable, in part because he is a young, somewhat naïve man. Browder cleverly pits young Harmony against older characters as a device to show differing viewpoints and approaches to the world and all its glories and sins… Browder does a commendable job by balancing out the characters’ different opinions about the former slave trade, and the book never reads as apologetic literature. [It] may inspire readers to do some research on their own.” —The US Review of Books, Gabriella Tutino

“This was an excellent book. I really enjoyed reading about the history of the American illegal slave trade. I learned quite a bit about that horrid practice right along with the characters of the book. Chris is quite innocent and a bit of a babe in the woods, but he is not a complete fool as he does not completely trust his cousin or uncle. His sister Sal is a delight to read as she is smart, fresh, sassy, and progressive for her times like taking up shooting lessons. Cousin Rick was another delightful character. He would breeze in shake things up and then sweep back out to sea again. Overall this novel is worth reading and I highly recommend it.” —Nicole Williamson, April 11, 2018, Midwest Book Review

“It’s a historical mystery, with a lot of family dynamics happening, and with a bit of a love story, too… Browder has done a lot of research into what trade and shipping was like back then. 4*” –Laurie Brown, Book Worm Is My Totem, September 20, 2017

Clifford Browder is a writer living in New York. He has published a critical study of the Surrealist author André Breton, and biographies of the Wall Street financier Daniel Drew and the notorious abortionist Madame Restell. His novel The Pleasuring of Men (Gival Press, 2011) is the first in his Metropolis series of historical novels set in nineteenth-century New York. A collection of posts from his blog, No Place for Normal: New York/ Stories from the Most Exciting City in the World (Mill City Press, 2015), won first place in the Travel category of the 2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards; the Tenth Annual National Indie Excellence Award for Regional Non-Fiction; and Honorable Mention in the Culture category of the Eric Hoffer Book Awards for 2016. His poetry has appeared in various reviews, both online and in print.


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