Bob Duffy

Bob Duffy

Former academic Bob Duffy is a Maryland author and brand consultant. His writing credits range from scholarly articles about literary history and film to commentaries on business strategy and emerging online technologies. As an ad agency vice president, Bob founded and led a national research and strategy practice serving large organizations He has spoken and led workshops on digital branding throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Far East, and his articles have appeared in Social Media Today, Literature-Film Quarterly, Government Executive, and Public Relations Quarterly, among many other periodicals. He also makes occasional forays into short fiction, with half-a-dozen stories appearing or forthcoming online or in print.


101 entries by Bob Duffy

Book Review

Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne

An affectionate look at a complex renaissance man.

Book Review

Matrix

By Lauren Groff

Matrix

Banished to a nunnery, a headstrong 12th-century girl discovers her strength.

Book Review

The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators

Whodunit fans should dive into this broad, if not deep, informative pool.

Book Review

Dream Girl

By Laura Lippman

Dream Girl

This subversively witty tale starts off as a mystery in search of a crime.

Book Review

Book Review

Ethel Rosenberg

By Anne Sebba

Ethel Rosenberg

This riveting biography of the infamous “spy” makes a persuasive case for its subject’s innocence.

Book Review

City on Fire: A Novel

By Don Winslow

City on Fire: A Novel

This piercing tale’s emotional precision distinguishes it from its author’s recent bestsellers.

Book Review

The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies

It’s this book’s account of history, not homicide, that’s truly riveting.

Book Review

Red Widow

By Alma Katsu

Red Widow

This gripping, authentic spy procedural is made even stronger by its mostly female cast of characters.

Book Review

Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life

An exquisitely produced ode to a long-ago comic genius.

Book Review

Book Review

Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler

A riveting look at some of the men who did — or didn’t — sound the alarm.

Book Review

The Gilded Page: The Secret Lives of Medieval Manuscripts

An illuminating examination of enduring, aged texts.

Book Review

Anvils, Mallets & Dynamite: The Unauthorized Biography of Looney Tunes

An affectionate, erudite look back at Bugs and Daffy’s reign.

Book Review

Matrix: A Novel

By Lauren Groff

Matrix: A Novel

Banished to a nunnery, a headstrong 12th-century girl discovers her strength.

Book Review

The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge, and the Phoenix Park Murders that Stunned Victorian England

A superb true-crime narrative set in fulsome historical context.

Book Review

Dream Girl: A Novel

By Laura Lippman

Dream Girl: A Novel

This subversively witty tale starts off as a mystery in search of a crime.

Book Review

Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy

This riveting biography of the infamous “spy” makes a persuasive case for its subject’s innocence.

Book Review

Red Widow: A Novel

By Alma Katsu

Red Widow: A Novel

This gripping, authentic spy procedural is made even stronger by its mostly female cast of characters.

Book Review

The Falcon Thief

By Joshua Hammer

The Falcon Thief

A wild tale of crime and punishment amid the world of raptors and rapscallions.

Book Review

Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith

Though ably capturing his subject’s life, this biographer seems dismissive of her work.

Book Review

Snow: A Novel

By John Banville

Snow: A Novel

The traditional manor-house mystery is turned on its head in this cheeky whodunit set in mid-20th-century Ireland.

Book Review

Richard III

By Michael Hicks

Richard III

Was the notorious stage villain really such a bad guy?

Book Review

The Talented Miss Farwell: A Novel

By Emily Gray Tedrowe

The Talented Miss Farwell: A Novel

A hardworking, filial young woman in small-town Illinois isn't quite what she seems...

Book Review

A Castle in Wartime

By Catherine Bailey

A Castle in Wartime

A captive German mother’s tribulations amid the final throes of the Reich.

Book Review

A Private Cathedral: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

The latest installment in the entertaining series takes an unexpected — and not entirely successful — turn toward the supernatural.

Book Review

The Rise of the G.I. Army, 1940-1941: The Forgotten Story of How America Forged a Powerful Army Before Pearl Harbor

A detail-rich, engaging account of the United States’ WWII preparations.

Book Review

Caligula

By Stephen Dando-Collins

Caligula

An entertaining, modern-day look at a notorious long-ago ruler.

Book Review

In West Mills

By De’Shawn Charles Winslow

In West Mills

This debut brings rural American culture into vibrant, emotion-grabbing focus.

Book Review

The Deep: A Novel

By Alma Katsu

The Deep: A Novel

A survivor of the Titanic tempts fate and faces down her ghosts.

Book Review

Ten Caesars

By Barry Strauss

Ten Caesars

A wild, thoroughly enjoyable ride through four centuries of imperial rule.

Book Review

The Triumph of Christianity

By Bart D. Ehrman

The Triumph of Christianity

From Paul to Constantine, a modest faith’s stunning rise to prominence.

Book Review

No Beast So Fierce

By Dane Huckelbridge

No Beast So Fierce

The thrilling clash of man versus monster, told in evenhanded detail.

Book Review

Deacon King Kong: A Novel

By James McBride

Deacon King Kong: A Novel

A National Book Award winner’s uplifting tale of life, death, and redemption in the Brooklyn projects.

Book Review

The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird

A wild tale of crime and punishment amid the world of raptors and rapscallions.

Book Review

The Truants: A Novel

By Kate Weinberg

The Truants: A Novel

This beguiling homage to Dame Agatha Christie plays out in a proper British university.

Book Review

Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin

A haunting, dystopian tale of the Third Reich.

Book Review

Richard III: The Self-Made King

Was the notorious stage villain really such a bad guy?

Book Review

All That’s Bright and Gone: A Novel

Her family fractured, a 6-year-old detective searches for answers surrounding her brother’s disappearance.

Book Review

A Castle in Wartime: One Family, Their Missing Sons, and the Fight to Defeat the Nazis

A captive German mother’s tribulations amid the final throes of the Reich.

Book Review

Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War’s Most Audacious Espionage Operation

A dazzling, true-life saga of the spy-versus-spy underpinnings of the Cold War.

Book Review

War at Sea: A Shipwrecked History from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century

A sprawling chronicle of ocean-going warfare from a scholar and hands-on explorer.

Book Review

French Exit

By Patrick DeWitt

French Exit

A witty (and somewhat soulless) postmodernist comedy of arch understatement.

Book Review

We, the Survivors: A Novel

A third-world tale starkly relevant to our own plight today.

Book Review

Caligula: The Mad Emperor of Rome

By Stephen Dando-Collins

Caligula: The Mad Emperor of Rome

An entertaining, modern-day look at a notorious long-ago ruler.

Book Review

Barnum: An American Life

By Robert Wilson

Barnum: An American Life

A clear-eyed new look at the 19th-century huckster.

Book Review

Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime

A befuddling, fragmentary plunge into the realm of computer criminals.

Book Review

In West Mills: A Novel

By De’Shawn Charles Winslow

In West Mills: A Novel

This debut brings rural American culture into vibrant, emotion-grabbing focus.

Book Review

Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine

A wild, thoroughly enjoyable ride through four centuries of imperial rule.

Book Review

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

An engrossing, even spectacular, true story that reads like a thriller.

Book Review

Richard III

By Chris Skidmore

Richard III

Misunderstood? Maligned? Maybe so…but still as ruthless as the age in which he lived.

Book Review

No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Man-Eater in History

The thrilling clash of man versus monster, told in evenhanded detail.

Book Review

Blood Orange: A Novel

By Harriet Tyce

Blood Orange: A Novel

A bad-girl barrister tries to find justice before it’s too late in this formulaic thriller.

Book Review

El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America

Chronicling the ebb and flow of Latin culture over half a millennium.

Book Review

The Current: A Novel

By Tim Johnston

The Current: A Novel

A fatal road trip dredges up a small town’s memories of a decade-old murder.

Book Review

The Day the Sun Died: A Novel

By Yan Lianke; translated by Carlos Rojas

The Day the Sun Died: A Novel

From today’s China, a sardonic fable about social conformity and the impulses it suppresses.

Book Review

Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce

A revealing, maybe shocking, consideration of three Irish literary patriarchs.

Book Review

Everything Under: A Novel

By Daisy Johnson

Everything Under: A Novel

This Man Booker-nominated retelling of the Oedipus tale brings a wrenching, transcendent relevance to the myth.

Book Review

Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life

By Diarmaid MacCulloch

Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life

Everything you wanted to know about Henry VIII’s trusted fixer.

Book Review

The Burning Time

By Virginia Rounding

The Burning Time

An authoritative chronicle of the gruesome era when religious dissenters met their end at the stake.

Book Review

French Exit: A Novel

By Patrick DeWitt

French Exit: A Novel

A witty (and somewhat soulless) postmodernist comedy of arch understatement.

Book Review

Dinner with Darwin

By Jonathan Silvertown

Dinner with Darwin

A fascinating discussion of the science and anthropology behind today’s human diet.

Book Review

Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago

A deep and detailed dive into a staple of American popular mythology.

Feature

The Dragon: Fear and Power, and Fairies: A Dangerous History

Two familiar critters from folklore have their day in these cultural histories.

Book Review

Rome Resurgent: War and Empire in the Age of Justinian

A scholarly overview of the once-mighty realm’s last hurrah in the West.

Book Review

Since We Fell

By Dennis Lehane

Since We Fell

A compulsively readable — if formulaic — thriller from a master of the genre.

Book Review

Rome: A History in Seven Sackings

This accessible chronicle of the Eternal City is ideal for lay readers.

Book Review

Richard III: England’s Most Controversial King

Misunderstood? Maligned? Maybe so…but still as ruthless as the age in which he lived.

Book Review

Four Princes

By John Julius Norwich

Four Princes

A famed historian offers a fascinating look at the intersecting reigns of several powerful rulers.

Book Review

The Plague of War

By Jennifer T. Roberts

The Plague of War

An erudite retelling of the brutal long-ago clashes.

Book Review

Chicago

By David Mamet

Chicago

A premier American dramatist tackles the whodunit…after his fashion.

Book Review

The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

From Paul to Constantine, a modest faith’s stunning rise to prominence.

Book Review

How America Lost Its Secrets

By Edward Jay Epstein

How America Lost Its Secrets

Is the infamous leaker a patriot or pariah? A veteran author tries to untangle the truth.

Book Review

Release Your Inner Roman

By Jerry Toner

Release Your Inner Roman

A Cambridge don serves up a tongue-in-cheek guide to classical etiquette.

Book Review

It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America

It’s not just our president, it’s the “termites” he’s unleashed to undermine the Executive Branch.

Book Review

Haunted

By Leo Braudy

Haunted

A scholarly yet readable treatise on things that go bump in the night.

Book Review

The Immortalists: A Novel

By Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists: A Novel

Does knowing the date of your death make a difference in how you live?

Book Review

Game of Queens: The Women Who Made 16th-Century Europe

A detail-rich chronicle of the Continent’s most formidable — if often unsung — monarchs.

Book Review

The Woman in the Window: A Novel

Formula fiction, yes, but an incendiary, flawlessly crafted thriller nonetheless.

Book Review

Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization

A distinguished observer navigates an ocean of piscine-related facts.

Book Review

Leonardo Da Vinci

By Walter Isaacson

Leonardo Da Vinci

A captivating study of the towering Renaissance innovator and genius.

Book Review

Future Home of the Living God: A Novel

A dystopian (yet moving) meditation on motherhood and politics

Book Review

The Safe House: A Novel

By Christophe Boltanski; translated by Laura Marris

The Safe House: A Novel

A Parisian manse becomes a metaphorical frame for a century of memories.

Book Review

The Burning Time: Henry VIII, Bloody Mary and the Protestant Martyrs of London

An authoritative chronicle of the gruesome era when religious dissenters met their end at the stake.

Book Review

Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire

A 16th-century Christian concubine captures the heart of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.

Book Review

Dinner with Darwin: Food, Drink, and Evolution

A fascinating discussion of the science and anthropology behind today’s human diet.

Book Review

Beyond Snowden: Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Struggle to Reform the NSA

An expert — and laser-focused — discussion of electronic intelligence-gathering in the aftermath of an epic security breach.

Book Review

MatchUp

Edited by Lee Child

MatchUp

Pop-fiction powerhouses pair off by gender to take down short-story miscreants.

Book Review

Since We Fell: A Novel

By Dennis Lehane

Since We Fell: A Novel

A compulsively readable — if formulaic — new thriller from a master of the genre.

Book Review

By John Julius Norwich

Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent, and the Obsessions that Fo

A famed historian offers a fascinating look at the intersecting reigns of several powerful rulers.

Book Review

The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece

An erudite retelling of the brutal long-ago clashes.

Book Review

How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft

Is the infamous leaker a patriot or pariah? A veteran author tries to untangle the truth.

Book Review

Release Your Inner Roman: A Treatise by Nobleman Marcus Sidonius Falx

A Cambridge don serves up a tongue-in-cheek guide to classical etiquette.

Book Review

Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe

A detail-rich chronicle of the Continent’s most formidable — if often unsung — monarchs.

Book Review

By Leo Braudy

Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural W

A scholarly yet readable treatise on things that go bump in the night.

Book Review

By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’

The incredible tale of a learning-challenged turncoat pilfering intel for Libya.

Book Review

Cannibals in Love: A Novel

By Mike Roberts

Cannibals in Love: A Novel

Whether it’s really a novel or a collection of short stories, this work serves up insight, wit, and a sympathetic rendering of the millennial tribe.

Book Review

Cousin Joseph: A Graphic Novel

This funny, masterly prequel to 2014’s Kill My Mother mines noir gold.

Book Review

The World According to Star Wars

By Cass R. Sunstein

The World According to Star Wars

A prominent legal scholar and social commentator attempts to interpret the blockbuster franchise

Book Review

The Last Mile

By David Baldacci

The Last Mile

P.I. Amos Decker is back in this latest thriller from the bestselling author