Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Everything Asian"

New from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press: Everything Asian by Sung Woo.

About the book, from the publisher:

You're twelve years old. A month has passed since your Korean Air flight landed at lovely Newark Airport. Your fifteen-year-old sister is miserable. Your mother isn't exactly happy, either. You're seeing your father for the first time in five years, and although he's nice enough, he might be, well--how can you put this delicately?--a loser.

You can't speak English, but that doesn't stop you from working at East Meets West, your father's gift shop in a strip mall, where everything is new.

Welcome to the wonderful world of David Kim.
Visit Sung J. Woo's website.

"The Unknown Knowns"

New from Scribner: The Unknown Knowns by Jeffrey Rotter.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jim Rath's wife has grown tired of his hobbies: his immaculately maintained comics collection, his creepy underwater experiments, and his dreams of building a museum based on the Aquatic Ape Theory of Human Evolution. On the night that she leaves him, Jim thinks he has spotted an emissary from a lost aquatic race called the Nautikons. In truth, the man is a low-level agent of the Department of Homeland Security. What follows is a riveting story of two quixotic men who stalk each other toward a bloody showdown -- a spectacularly moronic act of terrorism at an aging water park.

The Unknown Knowns -- its title is a reference to a quote from former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- is a brilliant send-up of the insidious language and sometimes tragically comic focus of our country's Homeland Security Department. Combining the social satire of Kurt Vonnegut with the paranoid delusions of Thomas Pynchon, Rotter takes everyday domestic fixations and turns them into a hilarious assessment of the human condition. Fresh, imaginative, and deft, The Unknown Knowns marks the arrival of a unique new voice in literary fiction.
Learn more about Jeffrey Rotter at The Museum of the Aquatic Ape.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"The Better to Hold You"

New from Del Rey: The Better to Hold You by Alisa Sheckley.

About the book, from the publisher:

“The sort of book that makes you want to invest in silver bullets before meeting the author.”
–Neil Gaiman


Manhattan veterinarian Abra Barrow has more sense about animals than she has about men. So when her adored journalist husband returns from a research trip to Romania and starts pacing their apartment like a caged wolf, Abra agrees to move with him to a rural mansion upstate in order to save her marriage.

But while there are perks to her new life, particularly in the bedroom, Abra soon discovers that nothing in the bucolic town of Northside is what it seems. The local tavern serves a dangerous, predatory underworld. Her husband has developed feral new appetites and a roving eye, and his lack of humanity isn’t entirely emotional. As the moon waxes full, Abra must choose between trusting the man she married, taking a chance on a seductive stranger, or following her own animal instincts.
Read an excerpt from The Better to Hold You, and visit Alisa Sheckley's website.

"A Knife Edge"

New from Bantam: A Knife Edge by David Rollins.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this latest internationally bestselling thriller from David Rollins, author of The Death Trust, a bizarre murder leads an ex–Air Force special investigator into a shadow world of conspiracy, cover-up, and military secrecy where the difference between friend or foe is thin as…

A scientist meets a grisly end when he falls from a military research ship and is attacked by a two-ton white shark off the Japanese coast. By the time Special Investigator Vin Cooper reaches the scene, there’s literally very little left to prove that the death wasn’t an accident. But Cooper’s instincts tell him that he’s looking at murder and that in assigning him to this case someone might just as well have shoved him, too, into shark-infested waters.

What kind of top secret project could the military be engaged in that would require the services of a foremost marine biologist and a genetic researcher? The possibilities are ominous, but not as ominous as the truth. And then the unthinkable tragedy that everyone feared since 9/11 explodes with a terrifying sense of déjà vu—in San Francisco.

Suddenly, with a second scientist presumed dead, an unidentified charred body in the morgue, and the “accidental” parachute death of a friend in a Florida training field, Cooper is following a trail as narrow and as dangerous as a knife-edge—a trail that leads to what we all fear most: a secret “government” within our government whose sworn duty is to kill anyone who opposes them.
Visit David Rollins' website.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Breathers: A Zombie's Lament"

New from Broadway Books: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S. G. Browne.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide and zombie aficionados everywhere, a hilarious debut novel about life (and love) after death.

Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.

Darkly funny, surprisingly touching, and gory enough to satisfy even the most discerning reader, Breathers is a romantic zombie comedy (rom-zom-com, for short) that will leave you laughing, squirming, and clamoring for more.
Visit Undead Anonymous, the official website for Breathers: A Zombie's Lament.

"Night's Rose"

New from Tor Books: Night's Rose by Annaliese Evans.

About the book, from the publisher:

Beauty was not awakened by a kiss.

For nearly one hundred years, Rosemarie Edenberg has worked tirelessly to wipe the dreaded ogre tribe from the earth. Now the tribe has gathered in London to work a spell that will destroy the scourge of their kind, the woman they call the Briar Rose.

Two magnetic men will unite to aid Rose--her mysterious Fey advisor, Ambrose, and the vampire, Lord Shenley, an Earl of scandalous reputation and even more scandalous appetites. One will save her, one will betray her, and both will challenge her to face the past that haunts her.

Once upon a time, she was ensnared in the mists of enchantment, cursed to sleep one hundred years. But this beauty wasn’t awakened with a kiss, and has never known happily ever after.

With the help of her handsome allies, Rose may yet find it.
Read an excerpt from Night's Rose and visit Annaliese Evans's website.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Home Remedies"

New from Louisiana State University Press: Home Remedies: Poems by Sarah Kennedy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her powerful new collection, Sarah Kennedy draws on the historical record, as well her personal life, to explore relationships and bodies, both physical and textual. Kennedy underscores human frailty in poems that dramatize the lives of British women who kept recipe manuscripts containing both medicinal and culinary “receipts” during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These women often recorded their frustrations and triumphs as both doctors and household managers for their families, and their trials with illness, childbearing, and aging resonate with contemporary poems about the vulnerabilities of the body in our “enlightened” age of science.

Throughout, war looms at the margins, as the characters struggle to stay alive and stay together in troubled times. From the seventeenth-century Irish servant Mary Carryll to a contemporary care-giver for a cancer patient, these women leave traces of themselves in diaries, letters, and stories that mark their dedication to the healthy, working body and mind as a source of human dignity. They also share an impulse to find order and beauty in the physical and emotional “home remedies” of herbs, food, and love, even when larger forces work to break the generational cycle through which mothers teach their daughters. Exploring modern-day problems ranging from strained familial relationships to an individual’s struggle to find her place in the world, Kennedy’s powerful collection reveals our new century’s intricate connections to the past.

"A Visible Darkness"

New from Minotaur Books: A Visible Darkness by Michael Gregorio.

About the book, from the publisher:

Prussia has been overrun by Napoleon’s forces, and the Emperor’s troops have discovered a new source of funds there: enough amber to finance France’s wars. But their plans stall when the girls who collect the stones begin to disappear, only to be found gruesomely disfigured by an unknown killer. The French call upon Prussian investigator Hanno Stiffeniis, who must seek out the culprit knowing hat his own success may doom his country’s future. Dark, intelligent, and vividly written, A Visible Darkness continues a masterful series of historical mysteries that portray a past torn between nationalism and humanism, superstition and science.
Visit Michael Gregorio's website.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Crazy Love"

New from St. Martin's Press: Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

At 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: a Harvard diploma, a glamorous job at Seventeen magazine, a downtown New York City apartment. Plus a handsome, funny, street-smart boyfriend who adored her. But behind her façade of success, this golden girl hid a dark secret. She’d made a mistake shared by millions: she fell in love with the wrong person.

At first Leslie and Conor seemed as perfect together as their fairy-tale wedding. Then came the fights she tried to ignore: he pushed her down the stairs of the house they bought together, poured coffee grinds over her hair as she dressed for a critical job interview, choked her during an argument, and threatened her with a gun. Several times, he came close to making good on his threat to kill her. With each attack, Leslie lost another piece of herself.

Gripping and utterly compelling, Crazy Love takes you inside the violent, devastating world of abusive love. Conor said he’d been abused since he was a young boy, and love and rage danced intimately together in his psyche. Why didn’t Leslie leave? She stayed because she loved him. Find out for yourself if she had fallen truly in love – or into a psychological trap. Crazy Love will draw you in -- and never let go.
Visit Leslie Morgan Steiner's website.

"The Rose of Sebastopol"

New from Putnam: The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon.

About the book, from the publisher:

The #1 UK bestseller comes to America— a sweeping historical novel about love, war, betrayal, and discovery.

In 1854, beautiful, adventurous Rosa Barr travels to the Crimean battlefield with Florence Nightingale’s nursing corps. A headstrong idealist, longing to break out of the rigid confines of life as a young lady, Rosa is determined to make a difference in the world.

For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa’s cousin, the war is contained within the pages of her scrapbook, in her London sewing circle, and in the letters she receives from her fiancé, Henry—a celebrated surgeon who has also volunteered to work within the shadow of the guns. When Henry falls ill and is sent to recuperate in Italy, Mariella impulsively decides she must go to him. But upon her arrival at his lodgings, she makes a heartbreaking discovery: Rosa has disappeared without a trace. Following the trail of her elusive cousin, Mariella’s epic journey takes her from the domestic restraint of Victorian London to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol, where she encounters Rosa’s dashing stepbrother, a reckless cavalry officer whose complex past —and future—is inextricably bound up with her own. As Mariella’s quest leads her deeper into the dark heart of the conflict, her ordered world begins to crumble and she finds she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness, and love.
Visit Katharine McMahon's website.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Confessions of an Alien Hunter"

New from National Geographic: Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by Seth Shostak.

About the book, from the publisher:

Aliens are big in America. Whether they’ve arrived via rocket, flying saucer, or plain old teleportation, they’ve been invading, infiltrating, or inspiring us for decades, and they’ve fascinated moviegoers and television watchers for more than fifty years. About half of us believe that aliens really exist, and millions are convinced they’ve visited Earth.

For twenty-five years, SETI has been looking for the proof, and as the program’s senior astronomer, Seth Shostak explains in this engrossing book, it’s entirely possible that before long conclusive evidence will be found.

His informative, entertaining report offers an insider’s view of what we might realistically expect to discover light-years away among the stars. Neither humanoids nor monsters, says Shostak; in fact, biological intelligence is probably just a precursor to machine beings, enormously advanced artificial sentients whose capabilities and accomplishments may have developed over billions of years and far exceed our own.

As he explores what, if anything, they would tell us and what their existence would portend for humankind and the cosmos, he introduces a colorful cast of characters and provides a vivid, state-of-the-art account of the past, present, and future of our search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Read an excerpt from Confessions of an Alien Hunter.

"Mother of the Believers"

New from Washington Square Press: Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of Islam by Kamran Pasha.

About the book, from the publisher:

Deep in the heart of seventh-century Arabia, a new prophet named Muhammad has arisen. As his message of enlightenment sweeps through Arabia and unifies the warring tribes, his young wife Aisha recounts Muhammad's astonishing transformation from prophet to warrior to statesman. But just after the moment of her husband's greatest triumph -- the conquest of the holy city of Mecca -- Muhammad falls ill and dies in Aisha's arms. A young widow, Aisha finds herself at the center of the new Muslim empire and becomes by turns a teacher, political leader, and warrior.

Written in beautiful prose and meticulously researched, Mother of the Believers is the story of an extraordinary woman who was destined to help usher Islam into the world.
Visit Kamran Pasha's website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"The Warded Man"

New from Del Rey Books: The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett.

About the book, from the publisher:

The time has come to stand against the night.

As darkness falls each night, the corelings rise–demons who well up from the ground like hellish steam, taking on fearsome form and substance. Sand demons. Wood demons. Wind demons. Flame demons. And gigantic rock demons, the deadliest of all. They possess supernatural strength and powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards–symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and mystery, and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile.

It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms. Once, under the leadership of the legendary Deliverer, and armed with powerful wards that were not merely shields but weapons, they took the battle to the demons ... and stopped their advance.

But those days are gone. The fighting wards are lost. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault.

Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past.

Arlen will pay any price, embrace any sacrifice, for freedom. His grim journey will take him beyond the bounds of human power.

Crippled by the demons that killed his parents, Rojer seeks solace in music–only to discover that music can be a weapon as well as a refuge.

Beautiful Leesha, who has suffered at the hands of men as well as demons, becomes an expert healer. But what cures can also harm....

Together, they will stand against the night.
Visit Peter V. Brett's website.

"The Means of Reproduction"

New from The Penguin Press: The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World by Michelle Goldberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism by the author of the New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming, Michelle Goldberg exposes the global war on women’s reproductive rights and its disastrous and unreported consequences for the future of global development

Women’s rights are often treated as mere appendages to great questions of war, peace, poverty, and economic development. But as networks of religious fundamentalists, feminists, and bureaucrats struggle to remake sexual and childbearing norms worldwide, the battle to control women’s bodies has become a high-stakes enterprise, with the United States often supporting the most reactionary forces.

In a work of incisive cultural analysis and deep reporting, Michelle Goldberg shows how the emancipation of women has become the key human rights struggle of the twenty-first century. The Means of Reproduction travels through four continents, examining issues such as abortion, female circumcision, and Asia’s missing girls to show how the battle over women’s bodies has been globalized and how, too often, the United States has joined sworn enemies such as Iran and Sudan in an axis of repression. Reporting with unique insight from both the rarefied realm of international policy and from individual women’s lives, Goldberg elucidates the economic, demographic, and health consequences of women’s oppression, which affect more than half the world’s population.

As The Means of Reproduction reveals, the conflict between self-determination and patriarchal tradition has come to define pressing questions of global development. Empowering women is the key to retarding the progress of AIDS, curbing overpopulation, and helping the third world climb out of poverty, but attempts to improve women’s status elicit fierce opposition from conservatives who see women’s submission as key to their own national or religious identity.

From the anticommunist genesis of America’s attempts to stem population growth in poor countries to the current worldwide attack on women’s rights as a decadent Western imposition, Goldberg explores the interplay between the great issues of our time and the politics of sex and childbearing. Finally, The Means of Reproduction shows how women, strengthened by a solidarity that transcends borders, are fighting for freedom.
Visit Michelle Goldberg's website.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"The Wikipedia Revolution"

New from Hyperion: The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.”
--Jimmy Wales

With more than 2,000,000 individual articles on everything from Aa! (a Japanese pop group) to Zzyzx, California, written by an army of volunteer contributors, Wikipedia is the #8 site on the World Wide Web. Created (and corrected) by anyone with access to a computer, this impressive assemblage of knowledge is growing at an astonishing rate of more than 30,000,000 words a month. Now for the first time, a Wikipedia insider tells the story of how it all happened—from the first glimmer of an idea to the global phenomenon it’s become.

Andrew Lih has been an administrator (a trusted user who is granted access to technical features) at Wikipedia for more than four years, as well as a regular host of the weekly Wikipedia podcast. In The Wikipedia Revolution, he details the site’s inception in 2001, its evolution, and its remarkable growth, while also explaining its larger cultural repercussions. Wikipedia is not just a website; it’s a global community of contributors who have banded together out of a shared passion for making knowledge free.

Featuring a Foreword by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and an Afterword that is itself a Wikipedia creation.
Visit Andrew Lih's website.

"Night Navigation"

New from Houghton Mifflin: Night Navigation by Ginnah Howard.

About the book, from the publisher:

Night Navigation opens on a freezing-rain night in upstate New York: the kindling gone, the fire in the woodstove out. Del’s thirty-seven-year-old manic-depressive son needs a ride, but she’s afraid to make the long drive north to the only detox that has a bed.

Through the four seasons, Night Navigation takes us into the deranged, darkly humorous world of the addict—from break-your-arm dealers, to boot-camp rehabs, to Rumi-quoting NA sponsors. Al-Anon tells Del to “let go”; NAMI tells her to “hang on.” Mark cannot find a way to live in this world. Del cannot stop trying to rescue him. And yet, during this long year’s night, through relapse and despair, they see flare-ups of hope as Mark and Del fitfully, painfully try to steer toward the light.

Told in the alternating voices of an addict and his mother, this riveting novel adds new depths to our understanding and our literature of parents and their troubled children.
Visit Ginnah Howard's website.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"In the Dark"

New from Minotaur Books: Brian Freeman's In the Dark.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two young lovers. A sultry summer night. One brutal, cold-blooded murder. In this stunning, atmospheric thriller, Brian Freeman takes you deep into Detective Jonathan Stride’s complicated past.

It’s the case that has haunted Stride for thirty years. During the summer after his junior year of high school, he fell in love with beautiful Cindy Starr, the girl who would become his wife. But on the Fourth of July, the same night that Jonny and Cindy cemented their love, Cindy’s older sister Laura was savagely murdered. The police suspected a vagrant of committing the crime, but no one was ever arrested, and the case was closed.

Now, Laura’s best friend Tish Verdure has returned to Duluth to write a book about Laura’s death. Tish knows secrets that a lot of people would like to keep hidden, including information about Cindy that leave Stride questioning his entire past. When a young girl is found drowned in the St. Louis River and a witness to the original murder attempts suicide, Stride realizes that the violence of the past is spilling over into the present.

As he unearths the explosive events that led to Laura’s murder, Stride discovers that the ripples of her death changed everyone’s lives, including his own. Can Stride put to rest the ghosts of his past, or will they devour him whole?
Learn more about the book and author at Brian Freeman's website and his blog.

The Page 69 Test: Stripped.

My Book, The Movie: Stripped.

The Page 69 Test: Stalked.

"The Unlikely Disciple"

New from Grand Central Publishing: The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose.

About the book, from the publisher:

No drinking.
No smoking.
No cursing.
No dancing.
No R-rated movies.

Kevin Roose wasn't used to rules like these. As a sophomore at Brown University, he spent his days drinking fair-trade coffee, singing in an a cappella group, and fitting right in with Brown's free-spirited, ultra-liberal student body. But when Roose leaves his Ivy League confines to spend a semester at Liberty University, a conservative Baptist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, obedience is no longer optional.

Liberty is the late Reverend Jerry Falwell's "Bible Boot Camp" for young evangelicals, his training ground for the next generation of America's Religious Right. Liberty's ten thousand undergraduates take courses like Evangelism 101, hear from guest speakers like Sean Hannity and Karl Rove, and follow a forty-six-page code of conduct that regulates every aspect of their social lives. Hoping to connect with his evangelical peers, Roose decides to enroll at Liberty as a new transfer student, leaping across the God Divide and chronicling his adventures in this daring report from the front lines of America's culture war.

His journey takes him from an evangelical hip-hop concert to choir practice at Falwell's legendary Thomas Road Baptist Church. He experiments with prayer, participates in a spring break mission trip to Daytona Beach (where he learns to preach the gospel to partying coeds), and pays a visit to Every Man's Battle, an on-campus support group for chronic masturbators. He meets pastors' kids, closet doubters, Christian rebels, and conducts what would be the last print interview of Rev. Falwell's life.

Hilarious and heartwarming, respectful and thought-provoking, THE UNLIKELY DISCIPLE will inspire and entertain believers and nonbelievers alike.
Visit Kevin Roose's blog.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


New from Tor Books: Lamentation by Ken Scholes.

About the book, from the publisher:

An ancient weapon has completely destroyed the city of Windwir. From many miles away, Rudolfo, Lord of the Nine Forest Houses, sees the horrifying column of smoke rising. He knows that war is coming to the Named Lands.

Nearer to the Devastation, a young apprentice is the only survivor of the city – he sat waiting for his father outside the walls, and was transformed as he watched everyone he knew die in an instant.

Soon all the Kingdoms of the Named Lands will be at each others' throats, as alliances are challenged and hidden plots are uncovered.

This remarkable first novel from an award-winning short fiction writer will take readers away to a new world – an Earth so far in the distant future that our time is not even a memory; a world where magick is commonplace and great areas of the planet are impassable wastes. But human nature hasn’t changed through the ages: War and faith and love still move princes and nations.
Visit Ken Scholes' website and blog.

"Bridge of Sand"

New from Houghton Mifflin: Bridge of Sand by Janet Burroway.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this beautifully written novel, Burroway uses a woman’s personal loss, coincident with 9/11, to explore race, territory, and renewal.

Dana, the widow of a Pennsylvania senator, buries her husband the morning of 9/11, only miles from the United 93 crash. After months of paralysis, she sells her house and heads south in an effort to pick up the lost strands of her youth.

Finding that her grandmother’s house is now gone, replaced by a strip mall, she phones an old acquaintance. Cassius Huston is black, separated from a harridan of a wife, and devoted to his three-year-old daughter.Much to their surprise, Cassius and Dana fall in love. But when Dana is threatened by Cassius’s family, she flees to the Gulf Coast, where she finally finds herself, and her life, in a place and culture she never could have anticipated.

Set amid the blur of 9/11, this wise, beautifully written novel of love, race, territory, and renewal explores the issues that challenge us all.
Visit Janet Burroway's website.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"A Tight Lie"

New from Minotaur Books: A Tight Lie by Don Dahler.

About the book, from the publisher:

Huck Doyle is a professional golfer, a PGA “middler” who just manages to hold onto his tour card as he plays the small tournaments on the circuit. He also happens to be the son of a disgraced LAPD cop, a law school grad without a license to practice, and a registered private investigator. When Joniel Baker, a high profile baseball player, claims that he’s been wrongly accused of murder, he asks his friend Doyle to get involved, to fly under the radar and find out things that the police can’t—or won’t.

Though everything about Joniel and his whereabouts on the night of the murder points to his guilt, Huck decides to take on the case, “because he finds murder investigations a nice distraction from the violent and depressing world of the PGA.”

With the speed of Tiger Wood’s swing, Don Dahler has joined the ranks of Tim Green and Mike Lupica in writing riveting mysteries with a dash of sports. Perfect for thriller readers and golf fans, A Tight Lie.
Visit Don Dahler's website.

"Darling Jim"

New from Henry Holt and Company: Darling Jim by Christian Moerk.

About the book, from the publisher:

A modern gothic novel of suspense that reveals, through their diaries, the story of sisters who fall in love with a beguiling stranger, and of the town that turns a blind eye to his murderous ways

When two sisters and their aunt are found dead in their suburban Dublin home, it seems that the secret behind their untimely demise will never be known. But then Niall, a young mailman, finds a mysterious diary in the post office’s dead-letter bin. From beyond the grave, Fiona Walsh shares the most tragic love story he’s ever heard—and her tale has only just begun.

Niall soon becomes enveloped by the mystery surrounding itinerant storyteller Jim, who traveled through Ireland enrapturing audiences and wooing women with his macabre mythic narratives. Captivated by Jim, townspeople across Ireland thought it must be a sad coincidence that horrific murders trailed him wherever he went—and they failed to connect that the young female victims, who were smitten by the newest bad boy in town, bore an all too frightening similarity to the victims in Jim’s own fictional plots.

The Walsh sisters, fiercely loyal to one another, were not immune to “darling” Jim’s powers of seduction, but found themselves in harm’s way when they began to uncover his treacherous past. Niall must now continue his dangerous hunt for the truth—and for the vanished third sister—while there’s still time. And in the woods, the wolves from Jim’s stories begin to gather.
Visit Christian Moerk's website and the Darling Jim Facebook group.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Manna from Hades"

New from Minotaur Books: Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eleanor Trewynn is a widow of some years living in Port Mabyn, a small fishing village in Cornwall, England. In her younger days, she traveled the exotic parts of the world with her husband. These days, she’s retired and founded the local charity shop. Her niece, Megan Pencarrow, transferred nearby, and was recently promoted to the rank of Detective Sargent. Perhaps the only downside is that she is now working for a DI who doesn’t approve of women on the police force and who really doesn’t much approve of Megan’s aunt Eleanor, as she is something of a thorn in his rather substantial side.

All of these factors collide when, the day after collecting donations, Eleanor and the vicar’s wife find the dead body of a longhaired, scruffy-looking youth hidden in the stockroom of the charity shop. Then they discover that some donated jewelry thought to be fake is actually very real, very expensive, and the haul from a violent robbery in London. Making matters more complex, the corpse found in the storeroom is apparently not one of the robbers. Manna from Hades is a confounding case of daring theft, doublecross, and a wily older woman confronted by a case of murder most foul.
Visit Carola Dunn's website and her group blog, The Lady Killers.

"Figures in Silk"

New from William Morrow: Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two sisters discover passion during the War of the Roses—one in the arms of the king, the other in the world of silk

From the author of the acclaimed novel Portrait of an Unknown Woman comes an epic tale of love and intrigue. The year is 1471. Edward IV, who won the throne with the help of his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is restoring law and order after years of war. Under Edward IV, life in England begins to improve. Business is booming once more and the printing and silk industries prosper in London.

When silk merchant John Lambert marries off his two beautiful daughters, their fortunes are forever changed. Elder daughter Jane Shore begins a notorious liaison with the king while industrious and clever Isabel finds herself married into the house of Claver, a wealthy silk dynasty. Fate delivers Isabel a challenge when her new husband is killed and she is forced into apprenticeship to her mother-in-law, Alice Claver.

It is from Alice Claver that Isabel learns to love silk and the exotic and passionate fabrics from Italy, Persia, Spain, Tunisia, and beyond. Isabel learns to make her way in this new world of silk—to find friends and enemies—and she strikes an alliance with her sister's lover, King Edward IV, that will bring the secrets of silk-making to London. As Isabel grows in power and her plan for a silk industry run by Englishwomen is set into motion, the political landscape shifts in dangerous ways. One sister will fall as the other rises and choices must be made that will change their lives forever.
Visit Vanora Bennett's website.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Stealing MySpace"

New from Random House: Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America by Julia Angwin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A few years ago, MySpace.com was just an idea kicking around a Southern California spam mill. Scroll down to the present day and MySpace is one of the most visited Internet destinations in America, displaying more than 40 billion webpage views per month and generating nearly $1 billion annually for Rupert Murdoch’s online empire. Even by the standards of the Internet age, the MySpace saga is an astounding growth story, which climaxed with the site’s acquisition by Murdoch’s News Corporation in 2005 for a sum approaching one billion dollars. But more than that, it may be the defining drama of the digital era.

In Stealing MySpace, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Angwin chronicles the rise of this Internet powerhouse. With an unerring eye, Angwin details how MySpace took the Internet by storm by grabbing the best ideas from around the Web, encouraging pinup stars such as Tila Tequila to make their home on its pages and giving everyone freedom to experiment with online identities–including using somebody else’s identity.

Stealing MySpace introduces us to the site’s founders, Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, who dabbled in computer hacking, online pornography, spam, and spyware before starting MySpace. Although their street savvy, doggedness, and clubbing skills far eclipsed their tech prowess, they stumbled their way to success and soon found themselves at ground zero of a high-stakes war that pitted Rupert Murdoch against his frequent nemesis, the combative Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone. Angwin sheds light on the dizzying backroom deals that allowed Murdoch to snatch MySpace from Viacom’s grasp even as the MySpace founders remained in the dark about their own fate. Then she takes us inside the Murdoch empire as DeWolfe and Anderson lobby furiously to regain control of their creation.

Venturing beyond the business aspects of the story, Angwin also explores the Internet culture, a voyeuristic world in which MySpace must stay one step ahead of amateur pornographers, sexual predators, and “spoofers” who set up fake profiles (Rupert Murdoch himself tolerates dozens of phony “Ruperts” on the site) and cope with the general excesses and sometimes illegal acts of a community of account holders equal in number to the population of Japan.

In Stealing MySpace, Julia Angwin dishes on the epic real-world battle for control of a virtual empire. In a savvy, smart, fast-paced narrative reminiscent of Bryan Burrough and John Helyar’s Barbarians at the Gate and Michael Lewis’s The New New Thing, Stealing MySpace tells is the whole gripping story behind a breakout cultural phenomenon.
Visit Julia Angwin's website and blog.

"The Local News"

New from Spiegel & Grau: The Local News by Miriam Gershow.

About the book, from the publisher:

A deeply moving story of the complicated bond between brother and sister

“Going missing was the only interesting thing my brother had ever done.”
Even a decade later, the memories of the year Lydia Pasternak turned sixteen continue to haunt her. As a teenager, Lydia lived in her older brother’s shadow. While Danny’s athletic skills and good looks established his place with the popular set at school, Lydia’s smarts relegated her to the sidelines, where she rolled her eyes at her brother and his meathead friends and suffered his casual cruelty with resigned bewilderment. Though a part of her secretly wished for a return of the easy friendship she and Danny shared as children, another part of her wished Danny would just vanish. And then, one night, he did.

In the year following Danny Pasternak’s disappearance, his parents go off the rails, his town buzzes with self-indulgent mourning, and his little sister Lydia finds herself thrust into unwanted celebrity, forced to negotiate her ambivalent—often grudging—grief for a brother she did not particularly like. Suddenly embraced by Danny’s old crowd, forgotten by her parents, and drawn into the missing person investigation by her family’s intriguing private eye, Lydia both blossoms and struggles to find herself during Danny’s absence. But when a trail of clues leads to a shocking outcome in her brother’s case, the teenaged Lydia and the adult she will become are irrevocably changed, even now as she reluctantly prepares to return to her hometown.

Relentlessly gripping, often funny, and profoundly moving, The Local News is a powerful exploration of the fraught relationship between a brother and sister and how our siblings define who we are.
Visit Miriam Gershow's website.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Hounding the Pavement"

New from Signet/NAL: Hounding the Pavement by Judi McCoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Meet Ellie Engleman, psychic dog-walker

The newest dog-walker on Manhattan's Upper East Side has a talent—she can hear what her canine clientele is thinking. So when a dog's owner turns up dead, Ellie must bone up on her sleuthing—and perk up her ears to find a killer.
Read an excerpt from Hounding the Pavement.

Visit Judi McCoy's website and MySpace page.

"All Other Nights"

New from W. W. Norton & Company: All Other Nights by Dara Horn.

About the book, from the publisher:

A gripping epic about the great moral struggles of the Civil War.

How is tonight different from all other nights? For Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army, it is a question his commanders have answered for him: on Passover in 1862 he is ordered to murder his own uncle, who is plotting to assassinate President Lincoln.

After that night, will Jacob ever speak for himself? The answer comes when his commanders send him on another mission—this time not to murder a spy but to marry one.

A page-turner rich with romance and the history of America (North and South), this is a book only Dara Horn could have written. Full of in-sight and surprise, layered with meaning, it is a brilliant parable of the moral divide that still haunts us: between those who value family first and those dedicated, at any cost, to social and racial justice for all.
Read the first chapter of All Other Nights.

Visit Dara Horn's website.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Down at the Docks"

New from Pantheon: Down at the Docks by Rory Nugent.

About the book, from the publisher:

“No writer I can think of, unless it is Sebastian Junger, might have written this obsessed, intrepid, and intelligent book.”
—Alec Wilkinson

“‘Nowhere in all America,’ wrote Herman Melville in Moby-Dick, ‘will you find more patrician-like houses, parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford.’ Not any- more. Down at the Docks is about the lives of New Bedford fishermen–man against the sea, and all that–but it is much more; it is a hard, unvarnished look at New Bedford today, where the relic commercial fishing industry is only one of the components, and where the old ways run smack into modern problems like drug-smuggling, illegal immigration, organized crime, disorganized crime, and suffocating government regulations. Melville would have been shocked to see what has become of what he called ‘the dearest place to live in, in all of New England.’ Rory Nugent tells the fascinating story of New Bedford the way it really is, not the way wistful romantics would like to remember it.”
—Richard Ellis, author of Men and Whales
Visit Rory Nugent's website.

"Through Black Spruce"

New from Viking Penguin: Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden.

About the book, from the publisher:

A haunting novel about identity, love, and loss by the author of Three Day Road

Will Bird is a legendary Cree bush pilot, now lying in a coma in a hospital in his hometown of Moose Factory, Ontario. His niece Annie Bird, beautiful and self-reliant, has returned from her own perilous journey to sit beside his bed. Broken in different ways, the two take silent communion in their unspoken kinship, and the story that unfolds is rife with heartbreak, fierce love, ancient blood feuds, mysterious disappearances, fires, plane crashes, murders, and the bonds that hold a family, and a people, together. As Will and Annie reveal their secrets—the tragic betrayal that cost Will his family, Annie’s desperate search for her missing sister, the famous model Suzanne—a remarkable saga of resilience and destiny takes shape. From the dangerous bush country of upper Canada to the drug-fueled glamour of the Manhattan club scene, Joseph Boyden tracks his characters with a keen eye for the telling detail and a rare empathy for the empty places concealed within the heart. Sure to appeal to readers of Louise Erdrich and Jim Harrison, Through Black Spruce establishes Boyden as a writer of startling originality and uncommon power.
Read Ray Taras' review of Through Black Spruce.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Sima's Undergarments for Women"

New from Overlook Press: Sima's Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross.

About the book, from the publisher:

There are some life-long quests that all women have in common--meaningful work, true love, and a bra that doesn't leave red marks on your skin. With a gracefulness evocative of Amy Bloom and Alice McDermott, prizewinning writer Ilana Stanger-Ross has created a secret underground New York sisterhood where women of every shape and creed can come to share their milestones, laughter, loves, and losses against a backdrop of discount lingerie.

In the comfort of her Brooklyn basement bra shop, Sima Goldner teaches other women to appreciate their bodies, but feels betrayed by her own. Shamed by her infertility and a secret from her youth, she has given up on happiness and surrendered to a bitter marriage. But then Timna, a young Israeli with enviable cleavage, becomes the shop seamstress. As the two serve the colorful customers of the orthodox Jewish neighborhood, Sima finds herself awakened to adventure and romance. Years after giving up on their marriage, Sima and her husband, Lev, must decide if what they have is worth saving.
Visit Ilana Stanger-Ross's website.


New from Random House: Shannon by Frank Delaney.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the summer of 1922, Robert Shannon, a young American hero of the Great War, lands in Ireland. A Marine chaplain, he was present at the frightful Battle of Belleau Wood, and he still suffers from shell shock. His mentor hopes that a journey Robert had always wanted to make–to find his family roots–will restore his equilibrium and his vocation. Unbeknownst to Robert, a safety net has been spread beneath him: All along the banks of the river that bears his family name, a chain of support has been put into place–to guide him, nurture him, and protect him. But there is more to the story: On his return from the war, Robert Shannon witnessed startling and lethal corruption in the Archdiocese of Boston. As a consequence, he has also been sent to Ireland to secure his silence–permanently.

At dawn one morning, Robert steps ashore from a freighter in the river’s estuary and is thrust headlong into the maelstrom of Irish politics, with the country now roiling from the civil war that followed the 1921 Treaty with Britain. While Robert faces the dangers of a strife-torn nation and is pursued by the venom of true evil, Ireland’s myths and people, its beliefs and traditions, its humor and wit, unfurl healingly before his feet every step of the way. And the River Shannon, her beauty, her legends, and her lore, give comfort to the young man, who is inspired by the words of his mentor: “Find your soul and you’ll live.”

Driven by his eloquent passion for his country and its spirit, Frank Delaney, the acclaimed author of Ireland and Tipperary, returns once more to his home terrain with a beautifully written, meticulously researched, and expertly paced novel. Shannon is a timeless and unforgettable account of salvation, belief, duty–and the healing power of discovering one’s roots. In these pages, faith, commitment, the benign quirks of Irish myth, and the menace of Irish history all coalesce into an epic narrative of one young American’s travels to his family’s beginning and through a hopeful nation rushing to the future.
Read an excerpt from Shannon.

Read about Frank Delaney's top ten Irish novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Dante's Numbers"

New from Delacorte Press: Dante's Numbers by David Hewson.

About the book, from the publisher:

It was a warm, golden evening in Rome—a night filled with anticipation. A legendary director was premiering his new film version of Dante’s Inferno. From around the world, celebrities gathered at the Villa Borghese as the paparazzi thronged among them. But within moments the event was in chaos. A man was dead. The film’s star was missing—and a priceless relic had vanished. In David Hewson’s masterful new novel of suspense, Detective Nic Costa, numb from the recent death of his wife, finds himself and his fellow detectives drawn into a strange and terrifying limbo—the first of Dante’s nine circles of Hell.

While Dante had Beatrice as his guide, Nic Costa has an enigmatic beauty of his own: a bored American film actress named Maggie Flavier who decides that Costa, and no one else, is suited for the job of protecting her from the danger surrounding the film. As the premiere shifts locations—from Rome to San Francisco—Costa leaves Europe for the first time in his life, and is pulled from his grief and ambivalence by Maggie Flavier and the city by the bay. Fortunately his fellow detectives are under no such spell. Charged with protecting a trove of rare Italian artworks and artifacts, they are also joining the hunt for a killer who has struck twice again, leaving behind a tableau of clues that range from Dante’s deadly cycle of numbers to the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

Now, with Maggie herself in danger, Nic must throw off the fog of wonder and infatuation he feels in the presence of this beautiful woman in all her guises. But it may already be too late. As evidence points to connections deep within the Italian Mafia, and the Roman policemen do battle with a celluloid culture they cannot quite comprehend, a killer’s chilling plot is closing in around them—guided by a poet’s medieval vision of sin and punishment, planned with a modern genius for revenge….
Learn more about the author and his work at David Hewson's website and blog.

"Shut Up, You’re Fine!"

New from Overlook Press: Shut Up, You’re Fine!: Instructive Poetry for Very, Very Bad Children.

About the book, from the publisher:

Andrew Hudgins, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-nominated author of the critically acclaimed Ecstatic in the Poison, brings us this new collection of laugh-out-loud tongue-in-cheek nursery rhymes that do for poetry what Edward Gorey did for cartooning. Illustrated by the distinguished artist and graphic designer Barry Moser, Shut Up, You’re Fine! includes such heart-warming titles as “Playing Houth,” “The Thumping of the Bed,” “Two Starving Kids in Africa,” and “Daddy, Are We Meat?”
The first two stanzas of “Had it Coming:”
Hush now -- don’t cry, my wayward son.
You couldn’t see you were becoming
someone who’d study “Manual Arts” --
rough carpentry, not even plumbing.

Mother smelled, and Father too,
the cigarettes you’ve been bumming.
We searched beneath your bed and found
the dirty books you’ve been thumbing.
--quoted in David Middleton's January Magazine review.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa by Michael L. Burgoyne and Albert J. Marckwardt, with E. D. Swinton's The Defence of Duffer's Drift.

About the book, from the publisher:

Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the U.S. military found itself in a battle with a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally were ambiguous at best, and working with the local population was essential for day-to-day survival. From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans have penned The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, an instructional parable of counterinsurgency that addresses the myriad of difficulties associated with war in the postmodern era.

In this tactical primer based on the military classic The Defence of Duffer’s Drift, a young officer deployed for the first time in Iraq receives ground-level lessons about urban combat, communications technology, and high-powered weaponry in an environment where policy meets reality. Over the course of six dreams, the inexperienced soldier fights the same battle again and again, learning each time—the hard way—which false assumptions and misconceptions he needs to discard in order to help his men avoid being killed or captured. As the protagonist struggles with his missions and grapples with the consequences of his mistakes, he develops a keen understanding of counterinsurgency fundamentals and the potential pitfalls of working with the native population.

Accompanied here by the original novella that inspired it, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa offers an invaluable resource for cadets and junior military leaders seeking to master counterinsurgency warfare—as well as general readers seeking a deeper understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as its predecessor has been a hallmark of military instruction, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa will draw the road map for counterinsurgency in the postmodern world.
Read an excerpt from The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, and visit the authors' website.

"A Saint on Death Row"

New from Nan A. Talese/Random House: A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green by Thomas Cahill.

About the book, from the publisher:

On October 26, 2004, Dominique Green, thirty, was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas. Arrested at the age of eighteen in the fatal shooting of a man during a robbery outside a Houston convenience store, Green may have taken part in the robbery but always insisted that he did not pull the trigger. The jury, which had no African Americans on it, sentenced him to death. Despite obvious errors in the legal procedures and the protests of the victim’s family, he spent the last twelve years of his life on Death Row.

When Cahill found himself in Texas in December 2003, he visited Dominique at the request of Judge Sheila Murphy, who was working on the appeal of the case. In Dominique, he encountered a level of goodness, peace, and enlightenment that few human beings ever attain. Cahill joined the fierce fight for Dominique’s life, even enlisting Dominique’s hero, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to make an historic visit to Dominique and to plead publicly for mercy. Cahill was so profoundly moved by Dominique’s extraordinary life that he was compelled to tell the tragic story of his unjust death at the hands of the state.

A Saint on Death Row will introduce you to a young man whose history, innate goodness, and final days you will never forget. It also shines a necessary light on America’s racist and deeply flawed legal system. A Saint on Death Row is an absorbing, sobering, and deeply spiritual story that illuminates the moral imperatives too often ignored in the headlong quest for justice.
Read Cahill's list of six great works about justice and injustice.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"The Missing"

New from Knopf: The Missing by Tim Gautreaux.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of The Clearing (“the finest American novel in a long, long time”—Annie Proulx) now surpasses himself with a story whose range and cast of characters is even broader, with the fate of a stolen child looming throughout.

Sam Simoneaux’s troopship docked in France just as World War I came to an end. Still, what he saw of the devastation there sent him back to New Orleans eager for a normal life and a job as a floorwalker in the city’s biggest department store, and to start anew with his wife years after losing a son to illness. But when a little girl disappears from the store on his shift, he loses his job and soon joins her parents working on a steamboat plying the Mississippi and providing musical entertainment en route. Sam comes to suspect that on the downriver journey someone had seen this magical child and arranged to steal her away, and this quest leads him not only into this raucous new life on the river and in the towns along its banks but also on a journey deep into the Arkansas wilderness. Here he begins to piece together what had happened to the girl—a discovery that endangers everyone involved and sheds new light on the massacre of his own family decades before.

Tim Gautreaux brings to vivid life the exotic world of steamboats and shifting currents and rough crowds, of the music of the twenties, of a nation lurching away from war into an uneasy peace at a time when civilization was only beginning to penetrate a hinterlands in which law was often an unknown force. The Missing is the story of a man fighting to redeem himself, of parents coping with horrific loss with only a whisper of hope to sustain them, of others for whom kidnapping is either only a job or a dream come true. The suspense—and the complicated web of violence that eventually links Sam to complete strangers—is relentless, urgently engaging and, ultimately, profoundly moving, the finest demonstration yet of Gautreaux’s understanding of landscape, history, human travail, and hope.
Read an excerpt from The Missing.

"The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club"

New from Hyperion Books: The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil.

About the book, from the publisher:

For every woman who has ever dreamed of starting over, or being a better mother, or just knitting a really nice scarf . . .

When her husband dies in a car crash—not long after announcing he wants a divorce—Jo Mackenzie packs up her two rowdy boys and moves from London to a dilapidated villa in her seaside hometown. There, she takes over her beloved Gran’s knitting shop—a quaint but out-of-date store in desperate need of a facelift. After a rough beginning, Jo soon finds comfort in a “Stitch and Bitch” group; a collection of quirky, lively women who share their stories, and their addiction to cake, with warmth and humor.

As Jo starts to get the hang of single-parent life in a small town, she relies on her knitting group for support. The women meet every week at the shop on Beach Street and trade gossip and advice as freely as they do a new stitch. But when a new man enters Jo’s life, and an A-list actress moves into the local mansion, the knitting club has even more trouble confining the conversation to knit one, purl two.

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club is an uplifting, winning tale about the healing power of friendship and new beginnings. It’s a charming novel that will delight all passionate knitters—and win over befuddled, would-be knitters, too.
Visit Gil McNeil's website.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


New from Grand Central Publishing: Afraid by Jack Kilborn.

About the book, from the publisher:


Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now...

A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. Terrorize. Annihilate. As residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence, Safe Haven's only chance for survival will rest with an aging county sheriff, a firefighter, and a single mom. And each will have this harrowing thought: Maybe death hasn't come to their town by accident...
Follow the AFRAID Blog Tour: March 1st - 31st.

Visit JackKilborn.com.

"Revenge of the Spellmans"

New from Simon & Schuster: Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz.

About the book, from the publisher:


Private investigator Isabel Spellman is back on the case and back on the couch -- in court-ordered therapy after getting a little too close to her previous subject.

As the book opens, Izzy is on hiatus from Spellman Inc. But when her boss, Milo, simultaneously cuts her bartending hours and introduces her to a "friend" looking for a private eye, Izzy reluctantly finds herself with a new client. She assures herself that the case -- a suspicious husband who wants his wife tailed -- will be short and sweet, and will involve nothing more than the most boring of PI rituals: surveillance. But with each passing hour, Izzy finds herself with more questions than hard evidence.

Meanwhile, Spellmania continues. Izzy's brother, David, the family's most upright member, has adopted an uncharacteristically unkempt appearance and attitude toward work, life, and Izzy. And their wayward youngest sister, Rae, a historic academic underachiever, aces the PSATs and subsequently offends her study partner and object of obsession, Detective Henry Stone, to the point of excommunication. The only unsurprising behavior comes from her parents, whose visits to Milo's bar amount to thinly veiled surveillance and artful attempts (read: blackmail) at getting Izzy to return to the Spellman Inc. fold.

As the case of the wayward wife continues to vex her, Izzy's personal life -- and mental health -- seem to be disintegrating. Facing a housing crisis, she can't sleep, she can't remember where she parked her car, and, despite her shrinks' persistence, she can't seem to break through in her appointments. She certainly can't explain why she forgets dates with her lawyer's grandson, or fails to interpret the come-ons issued in an Irish brogue by Milo's new bartender. Nor can she explain exactly how she feels about Detective Henry Stone and his plans to move in with his new Assistant DA girlfriend...

Filled with the signature side-splitting Spellman antics, Revenge of the Spellmans is an ingenious, hilarious, and disarmingly tender installment in the Spellman series.
The Page 99 Test: The Spellman Files.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"The Last Dickens"

New from Random House: The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his most enthralling novel yet, the critically acclaimed author Matthew Pearl reopens one of literary history’s greatest mysteries. The Last Dickens is a tale filled with the dazzling twists and turns, the unerring period details, and the meticulous research that thrilled readers of the bestsellers The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow.

Boston, 1870. When news of Charles Dickens’s untimely death reaches the office of his struggling American publisher, Fields & Osgood, partner James Osgood sends his trusted clerk Daniel Sand to await the arrival of Dickens’s unfinished novel. But when Daniel’s body is discovered by the docks and the manuscript is nowhere to be found, Osgood must embark on a transatlantic quest to unearth the novel that he hopes will save his venerable business and reveal Daniel’s killer.

Danger and intrigue abound on the journey to England, for which Osgood has chosen Rebecca Sand, Daniel’s older sister, to assist him. As they attempt to uncover Dickens’s final mystery, Osgood and Rebecca find themselves racing the clock through a dangerous web of literary lions and drug dealers, sadistic thugs and blue bloods, and competing members of Dickens’s inner circle. They soon realize that understanding Dickens’s lost ending is a matter of life and death, and the hidden key to stopping a murderous mastermind.
Visit Matthew Pearl's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Poe Shadow.

"Trust Me"

New this month from Minotaur Books: Trust Me by Peter Leonard.

About the book, from the publisher:

Peter Leonard showed remarkable maturity for a first-time novelist in his debut novel Quiver. In Trust Me, he reaches for new heights as he crafts a classic noir thriller loaded with double- and triple-crosses.

The first mistake Karen Delaney made was entrusting $300,000 to her boyfriend, Samir, the head of an illegal bookmaking operation. The second was breaking up with him---because Samir holds a $300,000 grudge. A few months later, Karen sees a way to get her money back when two thieves break into her house in the middle of the night. She proposes a scheme to steal Samir’s safe, but Karen soon realizes she’s in way over her head as things begin to spin out of control.

Trust Me moves at breakneck speed through the affluent suburbs of Detroit and Chicago as Karen is pursued by O’Clair, an ex-con/ex-cop who works for Samir and wants the money for his own retirement; by Ricky, Samir’s nephew, who sees the money as a way to pay off his own escalating gambling debts; by the thieves who’ve been double-crossed; and by two ruthless hit men who view the money as their stake in the American dream.

With relentless suspense, striking characters, and plot twists that will leave you white-knuckled, Trust Me marks the continuation of a powerful new voice in crime fiction and more than delivers on the promise of Peter Leonard’s talent.
Visit Peter Leonard's website.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Life Sentences"

New from William Morrow: Life Sentences by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Author Cassandra Fallows has achieved remarkable success by baring her life on the page. Her two widely popular memoirs continue to sell briskly, acclaimed for their brutal, unexpurgated candor about friends, family, lovers—and herself. But now, after a singularly unsuccessful stab at fiction, Cassandra believes she may have found the story that will enable her triumphant return to nonfiction.

When Cassandra was a girl, growing up in a racially diverse middle-class neighborhood in Baltimore, her best friends were all black: elegant, privileged Donna; sharp, shrewd Tisha; wild and worldly Fatima. A fifth girl orbited their world—a shy, quiet, unobtrusive child named Calliope Jenkins—who, years later, would be accused of killing her infant son. Yet the boy's body was never found and Calliope's unrelenting silence on the subject forced a judge to jail her for contempt. For seven years, Calliope refused to speak and the court was finally forced to let her go. Cassandra believes this still unsolved real-life mystery, largely unknown outside Baltimore, could be her next bestseller.

But her homecoming and latest journey into the past will not be welcomed by everyone, especially by her former friends, who are unimpressed with Cassandra's success—and are insistent on their own version of their shared history. And by delving too deeply into Calliope's dark secrets, Cassandra may inadvertently unearth a few of her own—forcing her to reexamine the memories she holds most precious, as the stark light of truth illuminates a mother's pain, a father's betrayal ... and what really transpired on a terrible day that changed not only a family but an entire country.
Browse inside Life Sentences and visit Laura Lippman's website.


New from Crown: Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore by Wendy Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

With the death of her fabulously wealthy coal magnate father when she was just eleven, Mary Eleanor Bowes became the richest heiress in Britain. An ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II, Mary grew to be a highly educated young woman, winning acclaim as a playwright and botanist. Courted by a bevy of eager suitors, at eighteen she married the handsome but aloof ninth Earl of Strathmore in a celebrated, if ultimately troubled, match that forged the Bowes Lyon name. Yet she stumbled headlong into scandal when, following her husband’s early death, a charming young army hero flattered his way into the merry widow’s bed.

Captain Andrew Robinson Stoney insisted on defending her honor in a duel, and Mary was convinced she had found true love. Judged by doctors to have been mortally wounded in the melee, Stoney persuaded Mary to grant his dying wish; four days later they were married.

Sadly, the “captain” was not what he seemed. Staging a sudden and remarkable recovery, Stoney was revealed as a debt-ridden lieutenant, a fraudster, and a bully. Immediately taking control of Mary’s vast fortune, he squandered her wealth and embarked on a campaign of appalling violence and cruelty against his new bride. Finally, fearing for her life, Mary masterminded an audacious escape and challenged social conventions of the day by launching a suit for divorce. The English public was horrified–and enthralled. But Mary’s troubles were far from over . . .

Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray was inspired by Stoney’s villainy to write The Luck of Barry Lyndon, which Stanley Kubrick turned into an Oscar-winning film. Based on exhaustive archival research, Wedlock is a thrilling and cinematic true story, ripped from the headlines of eighteenth-century England.
Visit Wendy Moore's website.