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Down These Streets a Mean Bear Must Go

Amberville is a hard-boiled noir with a difference: Its world is entirely populated by stuffed animals. HarperCollins editor Jeanette Perez inherited the novel after the acquiring editor moved to another publishing company, and she’s already signed up three sequels, each of which is planned to be written in a different style. The next book, for example, is “a bit more literary,” and if Amberville is about what it means to be evil, the next book will probe the nature of goodness. “The stuffed animals don’t make it any less weighty,” she told us; she’s particularly delighted with the English translation of Amberville, which was commissioned by the author, Tim Davys, who felt the story would have a decent shot with American and British audiences if it was told just right.

Beyond that, Davys is shrouded in mystery. “None of us knows who he is,” Perez insisted, “only that he’s Swedish.” Ahhh, but Davys is a man, we prodded, because the author bio on the novel’s cover is deliberately ambiguous on even that front. “I probably shouldn’t have said it, but he is,” she admitted. “I’ve talked to him on the phone a few times.”

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