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Tue., Oct. 6
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Books of Local Interest


Kensington Publishing Corp. will release the novel “What She Left Behind” by Ellen Marie Wiseman of Three Mile Bay on Dec. 31.

Mrs. Wiseman’s debut novel, “The Plum Tree,” was published by Kensington last year. That book received five-star reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, the New York Journal of Books and Jewish Book World.

“What She Left Behind” concerns a daughter who visits a shuttered state hospital and finds artifacts left behind by patients who never checked out. Among those is a journal chronicling a young woman’s life, which causes her to rethink everything she has believed about herself. The story is set at Willard State Hospital in the Finger Lakes.

Mrs. Wiseman was inspired to write her new novel after reading the nonfiction book “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases From a State Hospital Attic” by Darby Penney and Peter Stastny.

“What She Left Behind” will be available at online bookstores at $15 for softcover and $9.39 for the e-book version.

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A Syracuse author has released a mystery novel as an e-book that includes scenes in Jefferson County, including a wintery car chase and an explosion at a summer cottage.

“Chasing Jenny: A Philatelic Mystery” by Jeff Stage fictionalizes a true-life theft of an iconic postage stamp and offers a twist on the hobby of stamp collecting.

The story centers on a stamp error of 1918 that shows an upside-down airplane on the nation’s first 24-cent airmail stamp. The stamp is known as an inverted Jenny. A block of four of the stamp was stolen in 1955 at a national stamp show in Norfolk, Va. No one knows who stole them, and two of the four stamps stolen remain missing.

“The book fictionalizes the theft, showing who stole the stamps and might even reveal where those missing stamps are,” said Mr. Stage, whose family had summer camps on Chaumont Bay that he would visit as a child.

“Chasing Jenny” sells for $3.99 at online retailers.

Mr. Stage worked for 35 years at The Post-Standard in Syracuse, where he was an award-winning reporter, columnist, production editor and copy editor.

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William D. Killen of Church Hill, Tenn., has self-published the second edition of “Firefighting With Henry’s Model T.”

Several Model T Ford fire trucks owned by fire departments in New York state are featured in the second edition, including one owned by the Henderson Volunteer Fire Department. The Henderson segment is two pages long and includes three photographs. It lists members of the Henderson Fire Department in 1921, when the department purchased the Model T Ford fire truck, which is now taken out on special occasions.

Proceeds from the book benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, National Fire Heritage Center, International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation, Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Model T Ford Club International Scholarship program and the Model T Ford Club of America Museum.

The book can be purchased by sending $35 plus $6 shipping to William Killen, 526 Whitetail Road, Church Hill, TN 37642.

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“Teacher, Scholar, Mentor: Dr. Harry Reiff of St. Lawrence University,” an illustrated biography of one of the north country’s most influential professors, has been authored and published by his son, Daniel D. Reiff.

The book, at 402 pages with 560 illustrations, includes Harry Reiff’s background in New York City, his travels, education, marriage and his first decade of teaching at St. Lawrence (1928-38). Mr. Reiff, a historian and political scientist, spoke widely in the region.

The book is based largely on extensive oral history recordings made by the author in the 1970s, as well as letters, diaries, interviews, newspaper accounts and family records dating back to 1916.

Harry Reiff, who died in 1983 at age 84, was an expert on international law and is considered one of the shapers of the United Nations and a creator of the Model U.N. program. He is commemorated at SLU by the Harry Reiff Scholarship; the Reiff College dormitory; a portrait in one of the Gunnison Memorial Chapel windows; the Dr. Henry Reiff Lounge in Hepburn Hall; an oil portrait (reproduced in color on the cover of the book) in the SLU Archives and the Dr. Henry Reiff Great Debate Fund.

The book costs $50 and can be ordered from the SLU bookstore at or by calling the bookstore at 229-5460.

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Suzanne E. Rothenberger, Black River, has self-published the historical fictional tale “Mattie.”

The book, designed for middle schoolers and young teens, concerns Mattie Brooks, 13, a likable young maid sent to work in the Paddock Mansion, home of one of the wealthiest and most respected families in Watertown, when her farm family falls on hard times. (The mansion, at 228 Washington St., is now the Jefferson County Historical Society.) “Mattie” paints a picture of how life might have been lived at the Paddock Mansion in the late 1800s.

Mrs. Rothenberger is a former teacher and retired program director for a child development center.

“Mattie” sells for $9.95 and $4.99 for an e-book. It can be purchased through Mrs. Rothenberger’s website at, where a list of local stores that sell the book can also be found.

Compiled by Times staff writer Chris Brock

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