Thursday, September 30, 2010

"The Gardens of Kyoto"

New from Scribner: The Gardens of Kyoto by Kate Walbert.

About the book, from the publisher:

I had a cousin, Randall, killed on Iwo Jima. Have I told you?

So begins Kate Walbert's beautiful and heartbreaking novel about a young woman, Ellen, coming of age in the long shadow of World War II. Forty years later she relates the events of this period, beginning with the death of her favorite cousin, Randall, with whom she had shared Easter Sundays, secrets, and, perhaps, love. In an isolated, aging Maryland farmhouse that once was a stop on the Underground Railroad, Randall had grown up among ghosts: his father, present only in body; his mother, dead at a young age; and the apparitions of a slave family. When Ellen receives a package after Randall's death, containing his diary and a book called The Gardens of Kyoto, her bond to him is cemented, and the mysteries of his short life start to unravel.

With lyrical, seductive prose, Walbert spins several parallel stories of the emotional damage done by war. Like the mysterious arrangements of the intricate sand, rock, and gravel gardens of Kyoto, they gracefully assemble into a single, rich mosaic.

Based on a Pushcart and O. Henry prizewinning story, this masterful first novel established Walbert as a writer of astonishing elegance and power. In its review, USA Today declared, "Readers in love with language will adore this book."
See Kate Walbert's best books.

"Unholy Awakening"

New from Minotaur: Unholy Awakening by Michael Gregorio.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of a well. The death wounds are startling: two small, round punctures to the jugular vein....

Vampire fever is spreading throughout the countryside, and suspicions soon fall on the recently arrived Emma Rimmele. Investigator Hanno Stiffeniis must do everything he can to find the true culprit before the mob’s hysteria reaches its breaking point and turns violent.

Set in a nineteenth-century world where people truly believed in vampires, Unholy Awakening pits rational, scientific detection against unhindered, violent superstition.
Visit Michael Gregorio's website and blog.

Read Michael Gregorio's Q & A with R.N. Morris at The Rap Sheet.

The Page 69 Test: A Visible Darkness.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"To Fetch a Thief"

New from Atria: To Fetch a Thief by Spencer Quinn.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the third book in the brilliant New York Times bestselling series featuring a lovable and wise dog narrator, Chet and Bernie go under the big top to solve the most unlikely missing persons (and animals!) case ever.

We were outnumbered, some big number against two. When it comes to numbers, two is as far as I go, but it's enough, in my opinion....

"Sit," Bernie said.

I sat. Bernie would think of something—he always did. That was one of the things that made the Little Detective Agency such a success, except for the finances part...

Chet has smelled a lot of unusual things in his years as trusted companion and partner to P.I. Bernie Little, but nothing has prepared him for the exotic scents he encounters when an old-fashioned traveling circus comes to town. Bernie scores tickets to this less-than-greatest- show-on-earth because his son Charlie is crazy about elephants. The only problem is that Peanut, the headlining pachyderm of this particular one-ring circus, has gone missing—along with her trainer, Uri DeLeath. Stranger still, no one saw them leave. How does an elephant vanish without a trace?

At first there's nothing Bernie and Chet can do— it's a police matter and they have no standing in the case. But then they're hired by Popo the Clown, who has his own reasons for wanting to find out what has become of the mysteriously missing duo. After Chet takes a few sniffs in Peanut's trailer and picks up her one-of-a-kind scent, he and Bernie are in hot pursuit, heading far away from the bright lights of the traveling show and into the dark desert night.

Some very dangerous people would prefer that Chet and Bernie disappear for good and will go to any lengths to make that happen. Across the border in Mexico and separated from Bernie, Chet must use all his natural strength and doggy smarts to try to save himself—not to mention Bernie and a decidedly uncooperative Peanut, too.

To Fetch a Thief shows why readers everywhere have fallen head-over-paws in love with the Chet and Bernie mystery series. Top-notch suspense, humor, and insight into the ways our canine companions think and behave make this the most entertaining and irresistible book in the series yet.
The Page 69 Test: Dog on It by Spencer Quinn.


New from Forge Books: Beat by Stephen Jay Schwartz.

About the book, from the publisher:

LAPD Robbery-Homicide Detective Hayden Glass has always had trouble controlling his urges. No longer trolling the streets looking for working girls, he has a new obsession--the Internet. Infatuated with a woman he finds on a website, Hayden Glass's sex addiction drags him to San Francisco and into a web of corruption and crime.

Glass’s search for this woman leads him to a massive sex slave trade, run by the Russian mafia and protected by a group of powerful and corrupt San Francisco cops. Glass gets co-opted by the FBI to aid in their investigation...but his presence is doing much more harm than good.
Learn more about the author and his work at Stephen Jay Schwartz's website.

The Page 69 Test: Boulevard.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"When Oil Peaked"

New from Hill and Wang: When Oil Peaked by Kenneth S. Deffeyes.

About the book, from the publisher:

In two earlier books, Hubbert’s Peak (2001) and Beyond Oil (2005), the geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes laid out his rationale for concluding that world oil production would continue to follow a bell-shaped curve, with the smoothed-out peak somewhere in the middle of the first decade of this millennium—in keeping with the projections of his former colleague, the pioneering petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert.

Deffeyes sees no reason to deviate from that prediction, despite the ensuing global recession and the extreme volatility in oil prices associated with it. In his view, the continued depletion of existing oil fields, compounded by shortsighted cutbacks in many exploration-and-development projects, virtually assures that the mid-decade peak in global oil production will never be surpassed.

In When Oil Peaked, he revisits his original forecasts, examines the arguments that were made both for and against them, adds some new supporting material to his overall case, and applies the same mode of analysis to a number of other finite gifts from the Earth: mineral resources that may be also in shorter supply than “flat-Earth” prognosticators would have us believe.
Visit Kenneth S. Deffeyes' website.

"On Target"

New from Jove Books: On Target by Mark Greaney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Four years ago, assassin Court Gentry was betrayed by his handlers in the CIA. Now, an old comrade returns to haunt him-and to force him on a mission against his will.

With his ruthless employers on one side, his former friends on the other and a doomed mission ahead, Court Gentry would kill to get out of this one alive.
Read an excerpt from On Target, and learn more about the book and author at Mark Greaney's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Mark Greaney's The Gray Man.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost"

New from W.W. Norton: All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang.

About the book, from the publisher:

A haunting story of art, ambition, love, and friendship by a writer of elegant, exacting prose.

At the renowned writing school in Bonneville, every student is simultaneously terrified of and attracted to the charismatic and mysterious poet and professor Miranda Sturgis, whose high standards for art are both intimidating and inspiring. As two students, Roman and Bernard, strive to win her admiration, the lines between mentorship, friendship, and love are blurred.

Roman's star rises early, and his first book wins a prestigious prize. Meanwhile, Bernard labors for years over a single poem. Secrets of the past begin to surface, friendships are broken, and Miranda continues to cast a shadow over their lives. What is the hidden burden of early promise? What are the personal costs of a life devoted to the pursuit of art? All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost is a brilliant evocation of the demands of ambition and vocation, personal loyalty and poetic truth.

"Poisoning the Press"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture by Mark Feldstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

It is March 1972, and the Nixon White House wants Jack Anderson dead.

The syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, the most famous and feared investigative reporter in the nation, has exposed yet another of the President’s dirty secrets. Nixon’s operatives are ordered to “stop Anderson at all costs”—permanently. Across the street from the White House, they huddle in a hotel basement to conspire. Should they try “Aspirin Roulette” and break into Anderson’s home to plant a poisoned pill in one of his medicine bottles? Could they smear LSD on the journalist’s steering wheel, so that he would absorb it through his skin, lose control of his car, and crash? Or stage a routine-looking mugging, making Anderson appear to be one more fatal victim of Washington’s notorious street crime?

Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture recounts not only the disturbing story of an unprecedented White House conspiracy to assassinate a journalist, but also the larger tale of the bitter quarter-century battle between the postwar era’s most embattled politician and its most reviled newsman. The struggle between Nixon and Anderson included bribery, blackmail, forgery, spying, and burglary as well as the White House murder plot. Their vendetta symbolized and accelerated the growing conflict between the government and the press, a clash that would long outlive both men.

Mark Feldstein traces the arc of this confrontation between a vindictive president and a flamboyant, crusading muckraker who rifled through garbage and swiped classified papers in pursuit of his prey—stoking the paranoia in Nixon that would ultimately lead to his ruin. The White House plot to poison Anderson, Feldstein argues, is a metaphor for the poisoned political atmosphere that would follow, and the toxic sensationalism that contaminates contemporary media discourse.

Melding history and biography, Poisoning the Press unearths significant new information from more than two hundred interviews and thousands of declassified documents and tapes. This is a chronicle of political intrigue and the true price of power for politicians and journalists alike. The result—Washington’s modern scandal culture—was Richard Nixon’s ultimate revenge.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Skating Around the Law"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Skating Around the Law by Joelle Charbonneau.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rebecca Robbins is a woman on a mission---to sell the roller rink she inherited from her mother and get back to Chicago. Fast. However, when she discovers the dead body of the town’s handyman headfirst in a rink toilet, potential buyers are scared off. Now Rebecca is stuck in a small town where her former neighbors think she doesn’t belong, living with her scarily frisky grandfather, Pop, and relying on a police department that’s better at gardening than solving crimes.

Eager to move forward with her life, Rebecca begins investigating the murder herself, reluctantly accepting help from Pop and his extensive social network, which includes a handsome veterinarian and a former circus camel named Elwood. Nevertheless, someone isn’t happy she’s looking into the case, and their threats will have her questioning whether playing sleuth was such a good idea after all.

Joelle Charbonneau’s debut is a sheer delight---a laugh-out-loud mystery with plenty of heart.
Visit Joelle Charbonneau's website.


New from Ten Speen Press: Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits by Jason Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

While some may wonder, “Does the world really need another flavored vodka?” no one answers this question quite so memorably as spirits writer and raconteur Jason Wilson does in Boozehound. (By the way, the short answer is no.) A unique blend of travelogue, spirits history, and recipe collection, Boozehound explores the origins of what we drink and the often surprising reasons behind our choices.

In lieu of odorless, colorless, tasteless spirits, Wilson champions Old World liquors with hard-to-define flavors—a bitter and complex Italian amari, or the ancient, aromatic herbs of Chartreuse, as well as distinctive New World offerings like lively Peruvian pisco. With an eye for adventure, Wilson seeks out visceral experiences at the source of production—visiting fields of spiky agave in Jalisco, entering the heavily and reverently-guarded Jägermeister herb room in Wolfenbüttel, and journeying to the French Alps to determine if mustachioed men in berets really handpick blossoms to make elderflower liqueur.

In addition, Boozehound offers more than fifty drink recipes, from three riffs on the Manhattan to cocktail-geek favorites like the Aviation and the Last Word. These recipes are presented alongside a host of opinionated essays that cherish the rare, uncover the obscure, dethrone the overrated, and unravel the mysteries of taste, trends, and terroir. Through his far-flung, intrepid traveling and tasting, Wilson shows us that perhaps nothing else as entwined with the history of human culture is quite as much fun as booze.
Visit Jason Wilson's website.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"The Damage Done"

New from Forge Books: The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lily Moore, a successful travel writer, fled to Spain to get away from her troubled, drug-addicted younger sister, Claudia. But when Claudia is found dead in a bathtub on the anniversary of their mother’s suicide, Lily must return to New York to deal with the aftermath.

The situation shifts from tragic to baffling when the body at the morgue turns out to be a stranger’s. The dead woman had been using Claudia’s identity for months. The real Claudia had vanished, reappearing briefly on the day her impostor died. As Claudia transforms from victim to suspect in the eyes of the police, Lily becomes determined to find her before they do.

Is Claudia actually missing, or is she playing an elaborate con game? And who’s responsible for the body that was found in the bathtub? An obsessive ex-lover? An emotionally disturbed young man with a rich and powerful father? Or Lily’s own former fiancé, who turns out to be more deeply involved with Claudia than he admits?

As Lily searches for answers, a shadowy figure stalks her and the danger to her grows. Determined to learn the truth at any cost, she is unprepared for the terrible toll it will take on her and those she loves.
Visit Hilary Davidson's website and blog.

"City of Tranquil Light"

New from Henry Holt and Co.: City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?

Told through Will and Katherine's alternating viewpoints—and inspired by the lives of the author's maternal grandparents—City of Tranquil Light is a tender and elegiac portrait of a young marriage set against the backdrop of the shifting face of a beautiful but torn nation. A deeply spiritual book, it shows how those who work to teach others often have the most to learn, and is further evidence that Bo Caldwell writes "vividly and with great historical perspective" (San Jose Mercury News).

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Too Many Clients"

New from Severn House: Too Many Clients by David J. Walker.

About the book, from the publisher:

The new novel in the acclaimed ‘Wild Onion Ltd.’ mystery series

Private eye Kirsten and her lawyer husband Dugan have a problem. A tarnished Chicago cop has been murdered, and Dugan’s foolish flouting of certain rules has ensured his place on the list of suspects. Kirsten knows it’s unwise to have her own husband as a client, but doesn’t trust his freedom with anyone else. Soon, though, she has two more clients, who both want her to find the real killer – or at least they say they do...
Visit David J. Walker's website.

"The Ayatollahs' Democracy"

New from W.W. Norton: The Ayatollahs' Democracy: An Iranian Challenge by Hooman Majd.

About the book, from the publisher:

A New York Times best-selling author offers a personal, candid tour of the political and social landscape in Iran.

Hooman Majd offers a dramatic perspective on a country with global ambitions, an elaborate political culture, and enormous implications for world peace. Drawing on privileged access to the Iranian power elite, Majd argues that despite the violence of the disputed 2009 elections, a group of influential ayatollahs—including a liberal, almost-secular opposition—still believes in the Iranian republic; for them, “green” represents not a revolution but a civil rights movement, pushing the country inexorably toward democracy, albeit a particular brand of “Islamic democracy.” With witty, candid, and stylishly intelligent reporting, Majd, himself the grandson of an esteemed ayatollah, introduces top-level politicians and clerics as well as ordinary people (even Jewish community leaders), all expressing pride for their ancient heritage and fierce independence from the West. In the tradition of Jon Lee Anderson’s The Fall of Baghdad, The Ayatollahs’ Democracy is a powerful dispatch from a country at a historic turning point.
Hooman Majd is also the author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran.

Watch Jon Stewart's interview with Hooman Majd on The Daily Show.

The Page 69 Test: The Ayatollah Begs to Differ.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Mariposa Road"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year by Robert Michael Pyle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Part road-trip tale, part travelogue of lost and found landscapes, all good-natured natural history, Mariposa Road tracks Bob Pyle’s journey across the United States as he races against the calendar
in his search for as many of the 800 American butterflies as he can find.

Like Pyle’s classic Chasing Monarchs, Mariposa Road recounts his adventures, high and low, in tracking down butterflies in his own low-tech, individual way. Accompanied by Marsha, his cottonwood-limb butterfly net; Powdermilk, his 1982 Honda Civic with 345,000 miles on the odometer; and the small Leitz binoculars he has carried for more than thirty years, Bob ventured out in a series of remarkable trips from his Northwest home.

From the California coastline in company with overwintering monarchs to the Far Northern tundra in pursuit of mysterious sulphurs and arctics; from the zebras and daggerwings of the Everglades to the leafwings, bluewings, and border rarities of the lower Rio Grande; from Graceland to ranchland and Kauai to Key West, these intimate encounters with the land, its people, and its fading fauna are wholly original. At turns whimsical, witty, informative, and inspirational, Mariposa Road is an extraordinary journey of discovery that leads the reader ever farther into butterfly country and deeper into the heart of the naturalist.

"Blue Lightning"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Blue Lightning (Volume 4 of the Shetland Island Quartet) by Ann Cleeves.

About the book, from the publisher:

Inspector Jimmy Perez takes his fiancé home to Fair Isle, the tiny island he comes from, to meet his parents. The island is a magnet for bird watchers, who congregate at the local inn and lighthouse. When a local married celebrity, who had an eye for the lads, is murdered, Perez discovers that the suspects are very close to him indeed. With a sensational ending destined to create much buzz in the mystery world, Blue Lightning will thrill suspense fans everywhere.
Learn more about the novel and author at Ann Cleeves's website and online diary.

The Page 99 Test: Raven Black.

The Page 99 Test: White Nights.

The Page 99 Test: Red Bones.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Family of Shadows"

New from Harper: Family of Shadows: A Century of Murder, Memory, and the Armenian American Dream by Garin K. Hovannisian.

About the book, from the publisher:

As a world war rages through Europe in 1915, Ottoman authorities commence the systematic slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians—the first genocide of modern history. A teenage boy named Kaspar Hovannisian is among the surviving generation of Armenians who escape the ruins of their ancestral homeland and build communities around the world. Kaspar follows the American dream to the San Joaquin Valley of California, where he cultivates a small farm and begins investing in real estate. But memories of Armenia burn strong—a legacy of love, anguish, and faith in a national rebirth.

Kaspar's son Richard leaves the family farm, ready to defend the history of a lost nation against the forces of time and denial. He helps pioneer the field of Armenian studies in the United States and becomes a worldwide authority on genocide. Richard's son Raffi is also haunted—and inspired—by the past. In 1989 he leaves his law firm in Los Angeles to stage the original act of repatriation to Soviet Armenia, where he goes on to play a historic role in the creation of a new and independent republic. Now, in a moving book that is part investigative memoir and part history of the Armenian people, Raffi's son, Garin Hovannisian, tells his family's story—a tale of tragedy, memory, and redemption that illuminates the long shadows that history casts on the lives of men.
Visit Garin K. Hovannisian's website.

"Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self"

New from Riverhead: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans.

About the book, from the publisher:

Introducing a new star of her generation, an electric debut story collection about young African-American and mixed-race teens, women, and men struggling to find a place in their families and communities.

When Danielle Evans's short story "Virgins" was published in The Paris Review in late 2007, it announced the arrival of a bold new voice. Written when she was only twenty-three, Evans's story of two black, blue-collar fifteen-year-old girls' flirtation with adulthood for one night was startling in its pitch-perfect examination of race, class, and the shifting terrain of adolescence.

Now this debut collection delivers on the promise of that early story. In "Harvest," a college student's unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront her own feelings of inadequacy in comparison to her white classmates. In "Jellyfish," a father's misguided attempt to rescue a gift for his grown daughter from an apartment collapse magnifies all he doesn't know about her. And in "Snakes," the mixed-race daughter of intellectuals recounts the disastrous summer she spent with her white grandmother and cousin, a summer that has unforeseen repercussions in the present.

Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self are based in a world where inequality is reality but where the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood, and the tensions within family and the community, are sometimes the biggest complicating forces in one's sense of identity and the choices one makes.
Visit Danielle Evans' website.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Bury Your Dead"

New from Minotaur Books: Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny.

About the book, from the publisher:

It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache hascome not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society— where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. “It doesn't make sense,” Olivier’s partner writes every day. “He didn't do it, you know.” As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.
Learn more about the book and author at Louise Penny's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Louise Penny & Trudy.

The Page 69 Test: Still Life.

My Book, The Movie: A Fatal Grace.

The Page 99 Test: The Cruelest Month.

The Page 99 Test: A Rule Against Murder.

The Page 69 Test: The Brutal Telling.

My Book, The Movie: The Brutal Telling.

"Penelope's Daughter"

New from Berkley: Penelope's Daughter by Laurel Corona.

About the book, from the publisher:

The award-winning author of The Four Seasons retells The Odyssey from the point of view of Odysseus and Penelope's daughter.

With her father Odysseus gone for twenty years, Xanthe barricades herself in her royal chambers to escape the rapacious suitors who would abduct her to gain the throne. Xanthe turns to her loom to weave the adventures of her life, from her upbringing among servants and slaves, to the years spent in hiding with her mother's cousin, Helen of Troy, to the passion of her sexual awakening in the arms of the man she loves.

And when a stranger dressed as a beggar appears at the palace, Xanthe wonders who will be the one to decide her future-a suitor she loathes, a brother she cannot respect, or a father who doesn't know she exists...
Learn more about the book and author at Laurel Corona's website and diary.

The Page 69 Test: The Four Seasons.

My Book, The Movie: The Four Seasons.

Monday, September 20, 2010


New from St. Martin's Press: Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome by Steven Saylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Continuing the saga begun in his New York Times bestselling novel Roma, Steven Saylor charts the destinies of the aristocratic Pinarius family, from the reign of Augustus to height of Rome’s empire. The Pinarii, generation after generation, are witness to greatest empire in the ancient world and of the emperors that ruled it—from the machinations of Tiberius and the madness of Caligula, to the decadence of Nero and the golden age of Trajan and Hadrian and more.

Empire is filled with the dramatic, defining moments of the age, including the Great Fire, the persecution of the Christians, and the astounding opening games of the Colosseum. But at the novel’s heart are the choices and temptations faced by each generation of the Pinarii.

Steven Saylor once again brings the ancient world to vivid life in a novel that tells the story of a city and a people that has endured in the world’s imagination like no other.
Visit Steven Saylor's website.

"Half a Life"

New from McSweeney's: Half a Life by Darin Strauss.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Half my life ago, I killed a girl."

So begins Darin Strauss' Half a Life, the true story of how one outing in his father's Oldsmobile resulted in the death of a classmate and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. We follow Strauss as he explores his startling past—collision, funeral, the queasy drama of a high-stakes court case—and what starts as a personal tale of a tragic event opens into the story of how to live with a very hard fact: we can try our human best in the crucial moment, and it might not be good enough. Half a Life is a nakedly honest, ultimately hopeful examination of guilt, responsibility, and living with the past.
Visit Darin Strauss's website.

Writers Read: Darin Strauss.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Heaven's Fury"

New from Atria: Heaven's Fury by Stephen Frey.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Stephen Frey thrills readers with the mesmerizing tale of a small-town sheriff who must confront the worst violence that man and nature possess.

Bruner, Wisconsin, is really two different towns. On one side are the magnificent summer estates of wealthy families who value their privacy and privilege above all else. A few miles away, but a world apart, are the homes of the working men and women who cook, clean, and tend to the needs of the summer visitors. It's a place of staggering natural beauty, but where death can come unexpectedly and with no regard for a person's bank account or family tree. A place of steadfast loyalties and friendships, but where the long and brutal winter can make even the most intimate friends turn on each other with frightening intensity.

This is the place where Sheriff Paul Summers finds himself grasping for answers when the wild, unpredictable woman who captured his heart years ago is discovered brutally and spectacularly murdered inside her family's snowbound estate. As the last person to see her alive, and given his complicated history with the victim, Paul is not only lead investigator on the case but, in the eyes of many in Bruner, the prime suspect in her killing. Battling rumors of an evil cult's being formed just outside of town, the disappearance of another citizen, and a wife whose grasp of reality is quickly slipping away, Paul must race to find the true guilty party before a massive winter storm leaves them all cut off from the outside world and at the mercy of a remorseless killer.

As the approaching storm gathers in intensity, so do the twists and turns that bring Paul ever closer to unraveling the big secrets that haunt this small town. In a stunning conclusion, Paul witnesses firsthand the startling power and beauty of heaven's fury.
Visit Stephen Frey's website.

"I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works"

New from Crown Business: I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Are we driving off a digital cliff and heading for disaster, unable to focus, maintain concentration, or form the human bonds that make life worth living? Are media and business doomed and about to be replaced by amateur hour?

The world, as Nick Bilton—with tongue-in-cheek—shows, has been going to hell for a long, long time, and what we are experiencing is the twenty-first-century version of the fear that always takes hold as new technology replaces the old. In fact, as Bilton shows, the digital era we are part of is, in all its creative and disruptive forms, the foundation for exciting and engaging experiences not only for business but society as well.

Both visionary and practical, I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works captures the zeitgeist of an emerging age, providing the understanding of how a radically changed media world is influencing human behavior:

• With a walk on the wild side—through the porn industry—we see how this business model is leading the way, adapting product to consumer needs and preferences and beating piracy.
• By understanding how the Internet is creating a new type of consumer, the “consumnivore,” living in a world where immediacy trumps quality and quantity, we see who is dictating the type of content being created.
• Through exploring the way our brains are adapting, we gain a new understanding of the positive effect of new media narratives on thinking and action. One fascinating study, for example, shows that surgeons who play video games are more skillful than their nonplaying counterparts.
• Why social networks, the openness of the Internet, and handy new gadgets are not just vehicles for telling the world what you had for breakfast but are becoming the foundation for “anchoring communities” that tame information overload and help determine what news and information to trust and consume and what to ignore.
• Why the map of tomorrow is centered on “Me,” and why that simple fact means a totally new approach to the way media companies shape content.
• Why people pay for experiences, not content; and why great storytelling and extended relationships will prevail and enable businesses to engage with customers in new ways that go beyond merely selling information, instead creating unique and meaningful experiences.

I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works walks its own talk by creating a unique reader experience: Semacodes embedded in both print and eBook versions will take readers directly to Bilton’s website (, where they can access videos of the author further developing his point of view and also delve into the research that was key to shaping the central ideas of the book. The website will also offer links to related content and the ability to comment on a chapter, allowing the reader to join the conversation.
Visit Nick Bilton's website.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia"

New from W.W. Norton: The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak.

About the book, from the publisher:

A big-hearted story of a Depression-era small town turned upside down by a worldly teacher.

Narrator Gladys Cailiff is eleven years old in 1938 when a new, well-traveled young schoolteacher turns a small Georgia town upside down. Miss Grace Spivey believes in field trips, Arabian costumes, and reading aloud from her ten-volume set of The Thousand Nights and a Night. The real trouble begins when she decides to revive the annual town festival as an exotic Baghdad bazaar. Miss Spivey transforms the lives of everyone around her: Gladys's older brother Force (with his movie-star looks), her pregnant sister May (a gifted storyteller herself), and especially the Cailiffs' African American neighbor, young Theo Boykin, whose creative genius becomes the key to a colorful, hidden history of the South.

Populated by unforgettable characters—including three impressive camels—The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia rides a magic carpet from a segregated schoolroom in Georgia to the banks of the Tigris (and back again) in an entrancing feat of storytelling.
Visit Mary Helen Stefaniak's website and blog.

"A Curable Romantic"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell.

About the book, from the publisher:

As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed—all by the tender age of twelve— he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history—pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife.

Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud’s most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loë Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven.

A Curable Romantic is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat —a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously told, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.
Visit Joseph Skibell's website.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Salvation City"

New from Riverhead: Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the critically acclaimed author of The Last of Her Kind, a breakout novel that imagines the aftermath of pandemic flu, as seen through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy uncertain of his destiny.

His family's sole survivor after a flu pandemic has killed large numbers of people worldwide, Cole Vining is lucky to have found refuge with the evangelical Pastor Wyatt and his wife in a small town in southern Indiana. As the world outside has grown increasingly anarchic, Salvation City has been spared much of the devastation, and its residents have renewed their preparations for the Rapture.

Grateful for the shelter and love of his foster family (and relieved to have been saved from the horrid, overrun orphanages that have sprung up around the country), Cole begins to form relationships within the larger community. But despite his affection for this place, he struggles with memories of the very different world in which he was reared. Is there room to love both Wyatt and his parents? Are they still his parents if they are no longer there? As others around him grow increasingly fixated on the hope of salvation and the new life to come through the imminent Rapture, Cole begins to conceive of a different future for himself, one in which his own dreams of heroism seem within reach.

Written in Sigrid Nunez's deceptively simple style, Salvation City is a story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, weaving the deeply affecting story of a young boy's transformation with a profound meditation on the meaning of belief and heroism.
The Page 69 Test: The Last of Her Kind.

"Bleed a River Deep"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Bleed a River Deep by Brian McGilloway.

About the book, from the publisher:

The third book in the internationally acclaimed Inspector Devlin series

When a U. S. diplomat is attacked during the opening of a Donegal gold mine, Inspector Benedict Devlin is disciplined for the lapse in security. The gunman turns out to be an environmentalist who is the brother of an old friend of Devlin’s. Then the shooter is found dead near the mine and Devlin begins to suspect that the business is a front for something far more sinister.
Visit Brian McGilloway's website.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


New from Tor Books: Esperanza by Trish J. MacGregor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tess Livingston met Ian Ritter at a roadside stop high in the Andes, waiting for a bus to the mysterious town of Esperanza.

Tess is an FBI agent who remembers being on the track of a group of international counterfeiters. But she doesn’t remember booking a trip to Esperanza. Ian is a journalist who was planning to vacation to the Galapagos Islands. He, too, isn’t quite sure why he has a ticket to Esperanza.

Their meeting will change their lives forever. For they have been brought together because they hold the key in a mystical war between the kind spirits of the dead who guard humanity, and the hungry ghosts who exist only to possess living human bodies, and return however briefly to life.

In the midst of this war, Tess and Ian will find a love that can transcend time, and a cause that not even death will overcome.
Visit Trish J. MacGregor's website.

"The Bells"

New from Crown: The Bells by Richard Harvell.

About the book, from the publisher:

I grew up as the son of a man who could not possibly have been my father. Though there was never any doubt that my seed had come from another man, Moses Froben, Lo Svizzero, called me “son.” And I called him “father.” On the rare occasions when someone dared to ask for clarification, he simply laughed as though the questioner were obtuse. “Of course he’s not my son!” he would say. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

But whenever I myself gained the courage to ask him further of our past, he just looked sadly at me. “Please, Nicolai,” he would say after a moment, as though we had made a pact I had forgotten. With time, I came to understand I would never know the secrets of my birth, for my father was the only one who knew these secrets, and he would take them to his grave.

The celebrated opera singer Lo Svizzero was born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps where his mother served as the keeper of the loudest and most beautiful bells in the land. Shaped by the bells’ glorious music, as a boy he possessed an extraordinary gift for sound. But when his preternatural hearing was discovered—along with its power to expose the sins of the church—young Moses Froben was cast out of his village with only his ears to guide him in a world fraught with danger.

Rescued from certain death by two traveling monks, he finds refuge at the vast and powerful Abbey of St. Gall. There, his ears lead him through the ancient stone hallways and past the monks’ cells into the choir, where he aches to join the singers in their strange and enchanting song. Suddenly Moses knows his true gift, his purpose. Like his mother’s bells, he rings with sound and soon, he becomes the protégé of the Abbey’s brilliant yet repulsive choirmaster, Ulrich.

But it is this gift that will cause Moses’ greatest misfortune: determined to preserve his brilliant pupil’s voice, Ulrich has Moses castrated. Now a young man, he will forever sing with the exquisite voice of an angel—a musico—yet castration is an abomination in the Swiss Confederation, and so he must hide his shameful condition from his friends and even from the girl he has come to love. When his saviors are exiled and his beloved leaves St. Gall for an arranged marriage in Vienna, he decides he can deny the truth no longer and he follows her—to sumptuous Vienna, to the former monks who saved his life, to an apprenticeship at one of Europe’s greatest theaters, and to the premiere of one of history’s most beloved operas.

In this confessional letter to his son, Moses recounts how his gift for sound led him on an astonishing journey to Europe’s celebrated opera houses and reveals the secret that has long shadowed his fame: How did Moses Froben, world renowned musico, come to raise a son who by all rights he never could have sired?

Like the voice of Lo Svizzero, The Bells is a sublime debut novel that rings with passion, courage, and beauty.
Visit Richard Harvell's website.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"The Detroit Electric Scheme"

New from Minotaur Books: The Detroit Electric Scheme by D. E. Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Will Anderson is a drunk, heartbroken over the breakup with his fiancée, Elizabeth. He’s barely kept his job at his father’s company---Detroit Electric, 1910’s leading electric automobile manufacturer. Late one night, Elizabeth’s new fiancé and Will’s one-time friend, John Cooper, asks Will to meet him at the car factory. He finds Cooper dead, crushed in a huge hydraulic roof press. Surprised by the police, Will panics and runs, leaving behind his cap and automobile, and buries his blood-spattered clothing in a garbage can.

What follows is a fast-paced, detail-filled ride through early-1900s Detroit, involving murder, blackmail, organized crime, the development of a wonderful friendship, and the inside story on early electric automobiles. Through it all, Will learns that clearing himself of the crime he was framed for is only the beginning. To survive, and for his loved ones to survive, he must also become a man.

The Detroit Electric Scheme is populated with fascinating characters, both real and fictional, from a then-flourishing Detroit: The Dodge brothers and Edsel Ford come to life, interacting with denizens of the sordid underbelly of the Motor City, such as Vito Adamo, Detroit’s first Mob boss, and Big Boy, the bouncer at a saloon so notorious the newspapers called it “The Bucket of Blood.” This expertly plotted debut delivers with great research, wonderfully flawed yet likable characters, and a shattering climax.
Visit D. E. Johnson's website.

"My Lost Daughter"

New from Forge Books: My Lost Daughter by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Following her success with The Cheater, Nancy Taylor Rosenberg returns to her most memorable character, Lily Forrester. Lily is a tough judge in Ventura County, California, who has overcome adversity and heartache to achieve a position of power to help those who can’t help themselves. Like the current case before her, the sensational murder trial of a woman who tortured and killed her beautiful two-year old son. Lily is determined to see justice done but she’s thrown for a loop when she receives word that her own daughter, Shana, months away from graduating from Stanford Law School, is on the verge of dropping out. Lily rushes north and what she discovers causes her to fear for her daughter’s mental state. She must get back to the trial and decides that she will take Shana to a facility where they can evaluate her and if needed give her some counseling or medication.

Which is when things go horribly awry. For the institution that Lily has chosen is far less interested in treating patients than it is with bilking the insurance companies out of extravagant fees…and they are less than scrupulous about patient’s rights. Discovering the awful truth, Lily will have to summon all her intelligence and street smarts to find a way to free Shana. She will have to work fast however, for there is someone at the facility who seems to have his own agenda separate from the institution. And Lily’s daughter may not only be in danger of losing her sanity but her life.
Visit Nancy Taylor Rosenberg's website and blog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Dark Moon of Avalon"

New from Touchstone Books: Dark Moon of Avalon by Anna Elliott.

About the book, from the publisher:

She is a healer, a storyteller, and a warrior. She has fought to preserve Britain's throne. Now she faces her greatest challenge in turning bitter enemies into allies, saving the life of the man she loves ... and mending her own wounded heart.

The young former High Queen, Isolde, and her friend and protector, Trystan, are reunited in a new and dangerous quest to keep the usurper, Lord Marche, and his Saxon allies from the throne of Britain. Using Isolde's cunning wit and talent for healing and Trystan's strength and bravery, they must act as diplomats, persuading the rulers of the smaller kingdoms, from Ireland to Cornwall, that their allegiance to the High King is needed to keep Britain from a despot's hands.

Their admissions of love hang in the air, but neither wants to put the other at risk by openly declaring a deeper alliance. When their situation is at its most desperate, Trystan and Isolde must finally confront their true feelings toward each other, in time for a battle that will test the strength of their will and their love.

Steeped in the magic and lore of Arthurian legend, Elliott paints a moving portrait of a timeless romance, fraught with danger, yet with the power to inspire heroism and transcend even the darkest age.
Visit Anna Elliott's website and blog.

"A Secret Kept"

New from St. Martin's Press: A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay.

About the book, from the publisher:

This stunning new novel from Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present.

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island—over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way. By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.
Visit Tatiana de Rosnay's blog.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Almost Chimpanzee"

New from Times Books: Almost Chimpanzee: Searching for What Makes Us Human, in Rainforests, Labs, Sanctuaries, and Zoos by Jon Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The captivating story of how a band of scientists has redrawn the genetic and behavioral lines that separate humans from our nearest cousins

In the fall of 2005, a band of researchers cracked the code of the chimpanzee genome and provided a startling new window into the differences between humans and our closest primate cousins. For the past several years, acclaimed Science reporter Jon Cohen has been following the DNA hunt, as well as eye-opening new studies in ape communication, human evolution, disease, diet, and more.

In Almost Chimpanzee, Cohen invites us on a captivating scientific journey, taking us behind the scenes in cutting-edge genetics labs, rain forests in Uganda, sanctuaries in Iowa, experimental enclaves in Japan, even the Detroit Zoo. Along the way, he ferries fresh chimp sperm for a time-sensitive analysis, gets greeted by pant-hoots and chimp feces, and investigates an audacious attempt to breed a humanzee. Cohen offers a fresh and often frankly humorous insider's tour of the latest research, which promises to lead to everything from insights about the unique ways our bodies work to shedding light on stubborn human-only problems, ranging from infertility and asthma to speech disorders.

And in the end, Cohen explains why it's time to move on from Jane Goodall's plea that we focus on how the two species are alike and turns to examining why our differences matter in vital ways—for understanding humans and for increasing the chances to save the endangered chimpanzee.
Visit Jon Cohen's website.


New from Tor Books: Antiphon by Ken Scholes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nothing is as it seems to be.

The ancient past is not dead. The hand of the Wizard Kings still reaches out to challenge the Androfrancine Order, to control the magick and technology that they sought to understand and claim for their own.

Nebios, the boy who watched the destruction of the city of Windwir, now runs the vast deserts of the world, far from his beloved Marsh Queen. He is being hunted by strange women warriors, while his dreams are invaded by warnings from his dead father.

Jin Li Tam, queen of the Ninefold Forest, guards her son as best she can against both murderous threats, and the usurper queen and her evangelists. They bring a message: Jakob is the child of promise of their Gospel, and the Crimson Empress is on her way.

And in hidden places, the remnants of the Androfrancine order formulate their response to the song pouring out of a silver crescent that was found in the wastes.
Learn more about the author and his work at Ken Scholes's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Lamentation.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Man in the Woods"

New from Ecco: Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of the most acclaimed modern American novelists, Scott Spencer captures the intensity of human passion—and its capacity to both destroy and redeem—with unparalleled precision and insight. Now, in his most stunning novel yet, this wry, witty, and deeply sensitive writer returns to the territory of his New York Times bestseller A Ship Made of Paper, in a gripping and provocative psychological thriller of morality and manhood, choice and fate.

Paul has been on his own since he was a teenager, leading a life of freedom and independence, beholden to no one and nothing. Fearless, resolute, and guided by his own private moral code, he has hunted for food in Alaska, fought forest fires, and been deputized in a manhunt for a kidnapper in South Dakota. Once he thought his life would have no particular rhyme or reason, touched only by transient strangers. Then he meets the beautiful, intelligent, loving Kate Ellis and her daughter, Ruby, who offer order and constancy. But Paul is a man of deep convictions, and the compromises we all make to get along in the world elude him.

On his way home after rejecting a job remodeling a luxurious Manhattan apartment, Paul stops to gather his thoughts at a state park just off the highway. Instead of peace, he finds a man savagely beating a dog, and in a few fateful moments Paul is plunged into a world of violence and onto a tumultuous journey of self-knowledge, guilt, and redemption.

With the psychological acuity and razor-sharp prose for which he has been celebrated, award-winning, bestselling novelist Scott Spencer once again takes us on an unforgettable journey of manhood lost and found.

"The Last Page"

New from Tor Books: The Last Page by Anthony Huso.

About the book, from the publisher:

The city of Isca is set like a dark jewel in the crown of the Duchy of Stonehold. In this sprawling landscape, the monsters one sees are nothing compared to what’s living in the city’s sewers.

Twenty-three-year-old Caliph Howl is Stonehold’s reluctant High King. Thrust onto the throne, Caliph has inherited Stonehold’s dirtiest court secrets. He also faces a brewing civil war that he is unprepared to fight. After months alone amid a swirl of gossip and political machinations, the sudden reappearance of his old lover, Sena, is a welcome bit of relief. But Sena has her own legacy to claim: she has been trained from birth by the Shradnae witchocracy—adept in espionage and the art of magical equations writ in blood—and she has been sent to spy on the High King.

Yet there are magics that demand a higher price than blood. Sena secretly plots to unlock the Cisrym Ta, an arcane text whose pages contain the power to destroy worlds. The key to opening the book lies in Caliph’s veins, forcing Sena to decide if her obsession for power is greater than her love for Caliph.

Meanwhile, a fleet of airships creeps ever closer to Isca. As the final battle in a devastating civil war looms and the last page of the Cisrym Ta waits to be read, Caliph and Sena must face the deadly consequences of their decisions. And the blood of these conflicts will stain this and other worlds forever.
Visit Anthony Huso's website.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"The Unbelievers"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Unbelievers by Alastair Sim.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brooding, Victorian murder mystery set in the Scottish Highlands and featuring Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray

Scotland’s richest man has been shot dead and dumped down a well. Was the Duke of Dornoch murdered by one of the miners whose wages he cut because of “market forces”? Was he killed in return for his part in clearing the Highlands of their people? Did a discarded lover take their final revenge?

Inspector Allerdyce and Sergeant McGillivray VC must find out before the killer strikes again. But their search, from the material heights of Victorian society to its moral dregs, threatens to overturn everything Allerdyce believes and loves.

In the tradition of Charles Finch and The Somnambulist, Alastair Sim has crafted a memorable, atmospheric novel that covers new ground in the world of Victorian mysteries.

"Wicked Appetite"

New from St. Martin's Press: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich.

About the book, from the publisher:

Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.
Read an excerpt from Wicked Appetite.

Friday, September 10, 2010


New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason.

About the book, from the publisher:

Arnaldur Indridason has already established himself as one of the most accomplished of the Nordic crime writers, and he’s in top form in Hypothermia.

Inspector Erlunder has spent his entire career struggling to evade the ghosts of his past. But ghosts are visiting him, both in the form of a séance attended by a dead woman and also in the reemerging puzzle of two young people who went missing 30 years ago. And there’s the ghost of the detective’s disastrous marriage, which, despite the pleas of his drug-addled daughter, he is unwilling to confront. In addition, he’s still obsessed with the disappearance of his brother, who vanished without a trace when they were boys.

He can only run from his ghosts for so long, and, when they finally catch up with him, Erlunder is forced to face the heart shattering truth of his past.

One of the most haunting crime novels readers are likely to encounter this year or any other, this is classic story that belongs on the shelf of every serious reader of suspense fiction. Hypothermia will chill you to the bone.

"The Mistaken Wife"

New from Touchstone Books: The Mistaken Wife by Rose Melikan.

About the book, from the publisher:

It is the autumn of 1797. The war between the British and the French is being fought not just openly but also in secret by a network of spies. Reluctant heiress Mary Finch is no stranger to adventure, but even she hesitates before accepting this assignment: to travel secretly to Paris and disrupt vital Franco-American negotiations. She must rely wholly upon a stranger while deceiving her "dearest friend," Captain Robert Holland. Once in France, Mary's safety rests on a knife-edge, and her colleague has secrets of his own. Undaunted, she sets about her task with wit, stealth, and determination. But she is not the only spy in Paris, and there is more than one British life in jeopardy if she fails. As implacable enemies join forces against her, Mary may lose everything.
Visit Rose Melikan's website.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"The Vaults"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Vaults by Toby Ball.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a dystopian 1930s America, a chilling series of events leads three men down a path to uncover their city's darkest secret.

At the height of the most corrupt administration in the City’s history, a mysterious duplicate file is discovered deep within the Vaults---a cavernous hall containing all of the municipal criminal justice records of the last seventy years. From here, the story follows: Arthur Puskis, the Vault’s sole, hermit-like archivist with an almost mystical faith in a system to which he has devoted his life; Frank Frings, a high-profile investigative journalist with a self-medicating reefer habit; and Ethan Poole, a socialist private eye with a penchant for blackmail.

All three men will undertake their own investigations into the dark past and uncertain future of the City---calling into question whether their most basic beliefs can be maintained in a climate of overwhelming corruption and conspiracy.
Visit Toby Ball's website and blog.

"Crystal Death"

New from Scribner: Crystal Death by Charles Kipps.

About the book, from the publisher:

Conor Bard—the fortysomething-year-old homicide detective who doesn't always play by the rules—is working on the streets of New York City's Diamond District when he becomes involved in a deadly game of international intrigue.

Crystal Death begins as Detective Conor Bard is called off the stage of the Rhythm Bar, where his rock band is performing, to investigate the murder of a beautiful young Israeli diamond dealer in midtown Manhattan. Bard quickly learns that a priceless red diamond (yes, there are red diamonds) is missing and that the South African government is determined to find it.

The list of murder suspects grows quickly as Conor Bard and his new partner, Rosita Rubio, struggle to unravel the conflicting information they uncover.

Could the cold, calculating inspector from Johannesburg actually be the killer? Is he inserting himself into the investigation to cover his tracks? Or perhaps the lovesick jeweler, whose persistent advances were met with indifference by the victim, faced one rejection too many? Other suspects include an Indian diamond cutter who may or may not be linked to the red diamond; a billionaire collector from Abu Dhabi who will go to any lengths to own rare gems; a ruthless international smuggler; and a stunning Indian businesswoman whom Conor Bard falls for, of course.

Crystal Death gives readers a look inside the international diamond trade and paints an unsentimental, accurate picture of the life of a New York City detective. Fans of Hell's Kitchen Homicide will welcome this second installment in the Conor Bard mystery series. The characters are genuine, the streets are real, and Kipps's TV pedigree is evident once again in the fast pace and gritty reality of the story.
Learn more about the book and author at Charles Kipps's website.

The Page 69 Test: Hell’s Kitchen Homicide.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


New from Little, Brown: Room by Emma Donoghue.

About the book, from the publisher:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
Visit Emma Donoghue's website.

"Rag and Bone"

New from Soho Press: Rag and Bone by James R. Benn.

About the book, from the publisher:

Billy is sent to London in the midst of a Luftwaffe bombing offensive to investigate the murder of a Soviet official. There's reason to believe that the crime could be connected to the recent discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest, where thousands of Polish officers were executed. If a killer is out there, targeting Soviet officials in revenge for the Katyn Massacre, the diplomatic stakes couldn't be higher with the uneasy alliance against Germany between the Soviets and the other allied powers in the balance. Further complicating matters, Scotland Yard names Billy's friend Kaz, now working for the Polish government in exile, as the prime suspect. Billy must track the killer through London's criminal underworld and save his friend.
Learn more about the Billy Boyle WWII Mystery Series at James R. Benn's website.

The Billy Boyle World War II historical mystery series began with Billy Boyle, which takes place in England and Norway in 1942. The second, The First Wave, carries on a few months later during the Allied invasion of French Northwest Africa. The third volume, Blood Alone, continues the story through the Allied invasion of Sicily; and Evil for Evil, the fourth volume, follows Billy Boyle to Northern Ireland where he is sent at the request of the British government to investigate links between the Irish Republican Army and the Germans.

The Page 99 Test: The First Wave.

The Page 69 Test: Evil for Evil.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Out of the Shadows"

New from NAL/Penguin: Out of the Shadows by Joanne Rendell.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman's unexpected connection to a nineteenth-century writer changes her life in the new novel from the author of Crossing Washington Square

Clara Fitzgerald's recent losses have set her adrift, personally and professionally. Remembering the stories her mother used to tell her, Clara decides to research her ancestry-only to uncover an extraordinary link to Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. With her sister in tow and the help of Kay, a retired Shelley scholar, Clara embarks on a search for the author's long lost journals and letters. As a bond among the three women grows, and as the profound connection between the past and present deepens, Clara comes closer to realizing where her heart truly belongs.
Learn more about the book and author at Joanne Rendell's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Professors' Wives' Club.

The Page 99 Test: Crossing Washington Square.