Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Wake Up Dead"

New from Henry Holt: Wake Up Dead by Roger Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

An amphetamine-fueled thriller about a bombshell American widow on the run in Cape Town’s violent badlands—from a writer being compared to George Pelecanos and Richard Price

A split-second decision with no second chance: get it wrong and you wake up dead.

On a blowtorch-hot night in Cape Town, American ex-model Roxy Palmer and her gunrunner husband, Joe, are carjacked, leaving Joe lying in a pool of blood. As the carjackers make their getaway, Roxy makes a fateful choice that changes her life forever.

Disco and Godwynn, the ghetto gangbangers who sped away in Joe’s convertible, will stop at nothing to track her down. Billy Afrika, a mixed-race ex-cop turned mercenary, won’t let her out of his sight because Joe owed him a chunk of money. And remorselessly hunting them all is Piper, a love-crazed psychopath determined to renew his vows with his jailhouse “wife,” Disco.

As these desperate lives collide and old debts are settled in blood, Roxy is caught in a wave of escalating violence in the beautiful and brutal African seaport. With savage plotting and breakneck suspense that ends in a shattering cataclysm of violence, Wake Up Dead confirms Roger Smith as one of the world’s best new thriller writers.
Visit Roger Smith's website.

Roger Smith is an accomplished screenwriter, director, and producer.

Learn about Roger Smith's top 10 crime novels.

The Page 69 Test: Mixed Blood.


New from Spectra: Blackout by Connie Willis.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds—great and small—of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collide—and the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. And seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can “catch up” to her in age.

But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history—to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.

From the people sheltering in the tube stations of London to the retired sailors who set off across the Channel to rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, from shopgirls to ambulance drivers, from spies to hospital nurses to Shakespearean actors, Blackout reveals a side of World War II seldom seen before: a dangerous, desperate world in which there are no civilians and in which everybody—from the Queen down to the lowliest barmaid—is determined to do their bit to help a beleaguered nation survive.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"The Adamantine Palace"

New from Roc: The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas.

About the book, from the publisher:

The power of the Realms depends on its dragons. With their terrifying natures, they are ridden by the aristocracy and bred for hunting and war. But as dangerous political maneuverings threaten the complacency of the empire, a single dragon has gone missing. And even that one dragon-returned to its full intelligence and fury-could spell disaster for the Realms...
Read an essay by Stephen Deas on the "Memory of Flames" trilogy.

Visit the official Stephen Deas website.

"Rescuing Olivia"

New from Minotaur Books: Rescuing Olivia by Julie Compton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Anders Erickson has fallen for Olivia, who likes to live in the moment and doesn’t want to talk about her past. That’s fine with Anders—who has his own memories he’d like to forget—until a car runs their motorcycle off the road and causes an accident that puts Olivia in a coma.

Olivia’s estranged father blames Anders and denies his pleas to see her. When she mysteriously disappears from the hospital and Anders tries to learn what happened, her father stops at nothing to prevent him from discovering the truth.

But Anders refuses to accept that she’s gone for good. Determined to find answers, he sets out on a dangerous path that exposes Olivia’s traumatic past and places him squarely in the way of her father’s plans. When he discovers her very life is threatened, his search for answers becomes a race against time, and he is forced to finally confront his own past if he is to have any chance of rescuing Olivia from hers.

Pitched at the intersection of suspense and family drama, Rescuing Olivia is another gripping read from Julie Compton, a talented new author who never fails to mine the most compelling emotional terrain.
Visit Julie Compton's website and her blog.

The Page 69 Test: Tell No Lies.

My Book, The Movie: Tell No Lies.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Us: Americans Talk about Love"

New from Faber & Faber: Us: Americans Talk about Love by John Bowe.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the wards of New Orleans to the cornfields of Iowa to the slopes of Colorado, from the raves of Los Angeles to the hollows of Appalachia and the canyons of Wall Street, Americans talk about love. Tortured teenagers, free-spirited octogenarians, anxious Navy wives, blue-blooded bohemians, horny-but-chaste pastors, and multiply-partnered cosmopolitans tell extraordinary tales of broken hearts; sexual infidelities; improbable reconciliations; hidden, forbidden, preposterous love; and endurance against all odds. These are America’s real love stories—wise and foolish, comic and tragic, full of surprises and straight from the heart.
Visit the official website for Us: Americans Talk about Love.

"The Crossing Places"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths.

About the book, from the publisher:

When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea.

When a child's bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice.

The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her. As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory - and in serious danger.

THE CROSSING PLACES marks the beginning of a captivating new crime series featuring an irresistible heroine.
Visit Elly Griffiths' website.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"No Sleep till Wonderland"

New from Holt Paperbacks: No Sleep till Wonderland by Paul Tremblay.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mark Genevich, narcoleptic detective, is caught between friends and a police investigation in this wickedly riveting PI novel with a twist—a follow-up to The Little Sleep

Mark Genevich is stuck in a rut: his narcolepsy isn’t improving, his private-detective business is barely scraping by, and his landlord mother is forcing him to attend group therapy sessions. Desperate for companionship, Mark goes on a two-day bender with a new acquaintance, Gus, who is slick and charismatic—and someone Mark knows very little about. When Gus asks Mark to protect a friend who is being stalked, Mark inexplicably finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation and soon becomes the target of the police, a sue-happy lawyer, and a violent local bouncer. Will Mark learn to trust himself in time to solve the crime—and in time to escape with his life?

Written with the same “witty voice that doesn’t let go”* that has won Paul Tremblay so many fans, No Sleep Till Wonderland features a memorable detective whose only hope for reconciling with his difficult past is to keep moving—asleep or awake—toward an uncertain future.
The Page 69 Test: The Little Sleep.

"The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To"

New from Vintage: The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A wildly original and hilarious debut novel about the typical high school experience: the homework, the awkwardness, and the mutant creatures from another galaxy.

When Darren Bennett meets Eric Lederer, there's an instant connection. They share a love of drawing, the bottom rung on the cruel high school social ladder and a pathological fear of girls. Then Eric reveals a secret: He doesn’t sleep. Ever. When word leaks out about Eric's condition, he and Darren find themselves on the run. Is it the government trying to tap into Eric’s mind, or something far darker? It could be that not sleeping is only part of what Eric's capable of, and the truth is both better and worse than they could ever imagine.
Visit DC Pierson's website.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power"

New from Harper: Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power by James McGrath Morris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Like Alfred Nobel, Joseph Pulitzer is better known today for the prize that bears his name than for his contribution to history. Yet, in nineteenth-century industrial America, while Carnegie provided the steel, Rockefeller the oil, Morgan the money, and Vanderbilt the railroads, Pulitzer ushered in the modern mass media.

James McGrath Morris traces the epic story of this Jewish Hungarian immigrant's rise through American politics and into journalism where he accumulated immense power and wealth, only to fall blind and become a lonely, tormented recluse wandering the globe. But not before Pulitzer transformed American journalism into a medium of mass consumption and immense influence. As the first media baron to recognize the vast social changes of the industrial revolution, he harnessed all the converging elements of entertainment, technology, business, and demographics, and made the newspaper an essential feature of urban life. Pulitzer used his influence to advance a progressive political agenda and his power to fight those who opposed him. The course he followed led him to battle Theodore Roosevelt who, when President, tried to send Pulitzer to prison. The grueling legal battles Pulitzer endured for freedom of the press changed the landscape of American newspapers and politics.

Based on years of research and newly discovered documents, Pulitzer is a classic, magisterial biography and a gripping portrait of an American icon.
Visit the official James McGrath Morris website.

"City of Night"

New from DAW: City of Night: A Novel of The House War by Michelle West.

About the book, from the publisher:

Demonic activity has escalated in both the Undercity and the mortal surface level city as the worshipers and servants of the Lord of the Hells strive to complete the rituals that will return their god to the mortal realm. As Rath joins with mages and the Twin Kings' agents to wage a secret battle against this nearly unstoppable foe, he gives Jewel Markess and her den of orphans the opportunity to escape the chaos by providing them with a note of introduction to the head of House Terafin, where Jewel will discover her destiny.
Visit Michelle West's website.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"The Extra"

New from Tor Books: The Extra by Michael Shea.

About the book, from the publisher:

Books and films have skewered Hollywood's excesses, but none has ever portrayed one man's crazy vision of the future of big action/adventure films as The Extra does. As over-the-top as Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles, as savagely dark as Robert Altman's The Player, and more violent than Rollerball, this is the story of the ultimate, so-insane-it-could-only-happen-in-Hollywood formula for success, a brave new way to bring the ultimate in excitement to the silver screen. Producer Val Margolian has found the motherlode of box-office gold with his new "live-death" films whose villains are extremely sophisticated, electronically controlled mechanical monsters. To give these live-action disaster films greater realism, he employs huge casts of extras, in addition to the stars. The large number of extras is important, because very few of them will survive the shoot.

It's all perfectly legal, with training for the extras and long, detailed contracts indemnifying the film company against liability for the extras' injury or death. But why would anyone be crazy enough to risk his or her life to be an extra in such a potentially deadly situation?

The extras do it because if they survive they'll be paid handsomely, and they can make even more if they destroy any of the animatronic monsters trying to stomp, chew, fry, or otherwise kill them. If they earn enough, they can move out of the Zoo--the vast slum that most of L.A. has become. They're fighting for a chance at a reasonable life. But first, they have to survive...
Visit Michael Shea's website.

"The Hypochondriacs: Nine Tormented Lives"

New from Faber and Faber: The Hypochondriacs: Nine Tormented Lives by Brian Dillon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Charlotte Brontë found in her illnesses, real and imagined, an escape from familial and social duties, and the perfect conditions for writing. The German jurist Daniel Paul Schreber believed his body was being colonized and transformed at the hands of God and doctors alike. Andy Warhol was terrified by disease and by the idea of disease. Glenn Gould claimed a friendly pat on his shoulder had destroyed his ability to play piano. And we all know someone who has trawled the Internet in solitude, seeking to pinpoint the source of his or her fantastical symptoms.

The Hypochondriacs is a book about fear and hope, illness and imagination, despair and creativity. It explores, in the stories of nine individuals, the relationship between mind and body as it is mediated by the experience, or simply the terror, of being ill. And, in an intimate investigation of those lives, it shows how the mind can make a prison of the body by distorting our sense of ourselves as physical beings. Through witty, entertaining, and often moving examinations of the lives of these eminent hypochondriacs—James Boswell, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Alice James, Daniel Paul Schreber, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould, and Andy Warhol—Brian Dillon brilliantly unravels the tortuous connections between real and imagined illness, irrational fear and rational concern, the mind’s aches and the body’s ideas.
Read Brian Dillon's list of the five best books on hypochondria.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Except the Queen"

New from Roc: Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder.

About the book, from the publisher:

From award winning authors Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder comes a tale of two worlds-and one destiny...

Sisters Serena and Meteora were once proud members of the high court of the Fairy Queen- until they played a prank that angered her highness. Separated and banished to the mortal realm of Earth, they must find a way to survive in a strange world in which they have no power. But there is more to their new home than they first suspect...

A sympathetic Meteora bonds with a troubled young girl with an ornate tattoo on her neck. Meteora recognizes it as a magic symbol that will surely bring danger down on them all. Serena, meanwhile, takes in a tortured homeless boy whose mind is plagued by dark visions. The signs point to a rising power that threatens to tear asunder both fairy and human worlds.

And the sisters realize that perhaps the queen cast them from their homes not out of anger or spite- but because they were the only ones who could do what must be done...
Visit Jane Yolen's website and journal.

"The Girl in Alfred Hitchock's Shower"

New from Berkley: The Girl in Alfred Hitchock's Shower by Robert Graysmith.

About the book, from the publisher:

The New York Times bestselling author who investigated the Zodiac case now uncovers a real-life mystery of murder, body doubles, and obsession

Marli Renfro was a model who played a part in one of the most iconic scenes in American movies- as Janet Leigh's nude body double in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho-only to fade into obscurity, a footnote in Hollywood history. It wasn't until 1988 that Marli Renfro made news again-raped and murdered by a serial killer with a fetish for the classic Hitchcock shocker. But as Graysmith investigated Marli's story, a nagging doubt entered his mind. What if Marli was still alive? What if another woman had been murdered in her place? And if Marli was still alive, would he ever find her?

The line between art and reality is blurred in this astonishing coda to one of the most memorable screen murders of all time, and to a real- life crime that one man was determined to solve.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"A Good Talk"

New from Twelve: A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation by Daniel Menaker.

About the book, from the publisher:

A GOOD TALK is an analysis of and guide to that most exclusively human of all activities-- conversation.

Drawing on over forty years of experience in American letters, Menaker pinpoints the factors that drive and enliven every good conversation: the vagaries (and joys) of subtext; the deeper structure and meaning of conversational flow; the subliminal signals that guide our disclosures and confessions; and the countless other hurdles we must clear along the way. Moving beyond self-help musings and "how to" advice, he has created a stylish, funny, and surprising book: a celebration of "the most excusively human of all activities."

In a time when conversation remains deeply important-- for building relationships, for relaxing, even for figuring out who we are-- and also increasingly imperiled (with Blackberries and texting increasingly in vogue), A GOOD TALK is a refreshing celebration of the subtle adventures of a good conversation.
Visit Daniel Menaker's website.

"Boca Mournings"

New from Forge Books: Boca Mournings by Steve Forman.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Part Robert Parker, part Carl Hiaasen, Eddie Perlmutter is a high testosterone, no-nonsense detective with a tender core, and makes turning sixty a carnal, tropical ride." --Andrew Gross, bestselling author of The Blue Zone, on Boca Knights

Since he arrived in sunny Florida, Eddie has survived a run-in with the Russian mafia and tangled with Boca’s own family of neo-Nazis. But crime and punishment in the land of the Early Bird Special is complicated. The Russians have fled ... but their evil lingers on; and though the neo-Nazis’ junior thug is guilty, punishing him is a lot more complicated than Eddie thought it would be when he caught the little creep harassing decent folks in the name of white supremacy. And that’s just Eddie’s unfinished business. Helped by a reformed computer conman, he’s busier with new cases than he was in Boston, ranging from a mysteriously haunted elevator to a double kidnapping. He’s got cases with trails as far as Russia and Israel. Retirement, my foot.

Good thing he didn’t retire from matters of the heart ... because the women won’t let him. Between his amorous adventures and his burgeoning sleuth business, the twists and turns of Eddie’s life make this an edge-of-your-seat, uproariously funny thriller...
Learn more about the book and author at Steven M. Forman's website and MySpace page.

Forman divides his time between Massachusetts and Boca Raton, Florida. Boca Knights is his first novel.

The Page 69 Test: Boca Knights.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Black Rain"

New from Dell: Black Rain by Graham Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:

Covert government operative Danielle Laidlaw leads an expedition into the deepest reaches of the Amazon in search of a legendary Mayan city. Assisted by a renowned university professor and protected by a mercenary named Hawker, her team journeys into the tangled rain forest—unaware that they are replacements for a group that vanished weeks before, and that the treasure they are seeking is no mere artifact but a breakthrough discovery that could transform the world.

Shadowed by a ruthless billionaire, threatened by a violent indigenous tribe, and stalked by an unseen enemy that leaves battered corpses in its wake, the group desperately seeks the connection between the deadly reality of the Mayan legend, the nomadic tribe that haunts them, and the chilling secret buried beneath the ancient ruins.
Visit Graham Brown's website and blog.

"Ordinary Thunderstorms"

New from Harper: Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd.

About the book, from the publisher:

One May evening in London, Adam Kindred, a young climatologist in town for a job interview, is feeling good about the future as he sits down for a meal at a little Italian bistro. He strikes up a conversation with a solitary diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterward. With horrifying speed, this chance encounter leads to a series of malign accidents, through which Adam loses everything—home, family, friends, job, reputation, passport, credit cards, cell phone—never to get them back.

The police are searching for him. There is a reward for his capture. A hired killer is stalking him. He is alone and anonymous in a huge, pitiless modern city. Adam has nowhere to go but down—underground. He decides to join that vast army of the disappeared and the missing who throng London’s lowest levels as he tries to figure out what to do with his life and struggles to understand the forces that have made it unravel so spectacularly. Adam's quest will take him all along the river Thames, from affluent Chelsea to the gritty East End, and on the way he will encounter all manner of London's denizens—aristocrats, prostitutes, evangelists, and policewomen—and version after new version of himself.

Ordinary Thunderstorms, William Boyd's electric follow-up to his award-winning Restless, is a profound and gripping novel about the fragility of social identity, the corruption at the heart of big business, and the secrets that lie hidden in the filthy underbelly of every city.
Read about William Boyd's thoughts on the perfect setting for writing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Just Kids"

New from Ecco: Just Kids by Patti Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation.

Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years.

Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

"The Murderer's Daughters"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers.

About the book, from the publisher:

A beautifully written, compulsively readable debut that deals with the aftermath of a shocking act of violence that leaves two young sisters with nothing but each other—in the tradition of White Oleander, this haunting novel is a testament to the power of family and the ties that bind us together, even as they threaten to tear us apart

Mama was “no macaroni-necklace-wearing kind of mother.” She was a lipstick and perfume-wearing mother, a flirt whose estranged husband still hungered for her. After Mama threw him out, she warned the girls to never let Daddy in the house, an admonition that tears at ten-year-old Lulu whenever she thinks about the day she opened the door for her drunken father, and watched as he killed her mother, stabbed her five-year-old sister Merry and tried to take his own life.

Effectively orphaned by their mother’s death and father’s imprisonment, Lulu and Merry, unwanted by family members and abandoned to a terrifying group home, spend their young lives carrying more than just the visible scars from the tragedy. Even as their plan to be taken in by a well-to-do foster family succeeds, they come to learn they’ll never really belong anywhere or to anyone—that all they have to hold onto is each other.

As they grow into women, Lulu holds fast to her anger, denies her father’s existence and forces Merry into a web of lies about his death that eventually ensnares her own husband and daughters. Merry, certain their safety rests on placating her needy father, dutifully visits him, seeking his approval and love at the expense of her own relationships. As they strive to carve lives of their own, the specter of their father, unrepentant and manipulative even from behind bars, haunts them. And when they learn he’s about to be paroled, the house of cards they’ve built their lives on teeters on the brink of collapse.
Visit Randy Susan Meyers' website and blog.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"City of Dragons"

New from Minotaur Books: City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley.

About the book, from the publisher:

February, 1940. In San Francisco's Chinatown, fireworks explode as the city celebrates Chinese New Year with a Rice Bowl Party, a three day-and-night carnival designed to raise money and support for China war relief. Miranda Corbie is a 33-year-old private investigator who stumbles upon the fatally shot body of Eddie Takahashi. The Chamber of Commerce wants it covered up. The cops acquiesce. All Miranda wants is justice--whatever it costs. From Chinatown tenements, to a tattered tailor's shop in Little Osaka, to a high-class bordello draped in Southern Gothic, she shakes down the city--her city--seeking the truth. An outstanding series debut.
Learn more about the novel and author at Kelli Stanley's website and her blog.

Read January Magazine's Author Snapshot: Kelli Stanley.

My Book, The Movie: Nox Dormienda.

"The Three Weissmanns of Westport"

New from Sarah Crichton Books: The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jane Austen’s beloved Sense and Sensibility has moved to Westport, Connecticut, in this enchanting modern-day homage to the classic novel.

When Joseph Weissmann divorced his wife, he was seventy eight years old and she was seventy-five ... He said the words “Irreconcilable differences,” and saw real confusion in his wife’s eyes. “Irreconcilable differences?” she said. “Of course there are irreconcilable differences. What on earth does that have to do with divorce?”

Thus begins The Three Weissmanns of Westport, a sparkling contemporary adaptation of Sense and Sensibility from the always winning Cathleen Schine, who has already been crowned “a modern-day Jewish Jane Austen” by People’s Leah Rozen.

In Schine’s story, sisters Miranda, an impulsive but successful literary agent, and Annie, a pragmatic library director, quite unexpectedly find themselves the middle-aged products of a broken home. Dumped by her husband of nearly fifty years and then exiled from their elegant New York apartment by his mistress, Betty is forced to move to a small, run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage. Joining her are Miranda and Annie, who dutifully comes along to keep an eye on her capricious mother and sister. As the sisters mingle with the suburban aristocracy, love starts to blossom for both of them, and they find themselves struggling with the dueling demands of reason and romance.
Visit Cathleen Schine's website and blog.

Learn about the influence of Sense and Sensibility on The Three Weissmanns of Westport.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs"

New from Counterpoint: For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs by Kathleen Rooney.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this collection about life as a twentysomething in the twenty-first century, Kathleen Rooney writes with the finesse of someone well beyond her years, but with fresh insights that reveal a girl still making discoveries at every turn. Varied and original, the tales in For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs recount the perils of falling in love with the unlikeliest of people, of visiting the New York apartments of a vanished poet, and of touring an animal retirement home with her parents. Of getting a Brazilian wax, and of chauffeuring a U.S. senator around town. Of saying good-bye to a cousin who’s joining a convent, and of trying to convince herself that she's not wasting her life. This is a book about love and longing, poetry and plagiarism, death and democracy, mountain floods and Midwestern cicadas. Here is a young woman struggling to find her place as an adult and a citizen in an America that rarely manages to live up to Whitman’s dream of it. With this book, Rooney sings—yes, in fact, she trills—loud and clear.
Kathleen Rooney is the author of Live Nude Girl, Reading with Oprah: The Book Club that Changed America, now in its second edition, as well as the poetry collections Oneiromance (An Epithalamion), Something Really Wonderful, and That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness, the latter two written collaboratively with Elisa Gabbert.

Visit Kathleen Rooney's website.

The Page 99 Test: Live Nude Girl.

"The Fourth Assassin"

New from Soho Crime: The Fourth Assassin by Matt Beynon Rees.

About the book, from the publisher:

Arriving to visit his son in a heavily Palestinian area of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Omar Yussef discovers the beheaded body of one of the boy's roommates. When his son is arrested as a suspect, Omar Yussef must prove his innocence.
Watch Matt Beynon Rees read the first chapter of The Fourth Assassin.

Rees has lived in Jerusalem since 1996. He covered the Middle East for over a decade for the Scotsman, then Newsweek, and from 2000 until 2006 as Time magazine's Jerusalem bureau chief. He published his first novel featuring Palestinian detective Omar Yussef, The Collaborator of Bethlehem, in 2007, which won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger award. A Grave in Gaza and The Samaritan's Secret followed in 2008 and 2009.

Read--Matt Rees's top 10 novels set in the Arab world.

Visit Matt Beynon Rees' website and blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Gator A-Go-Go"

New from William Morrow: Gator A-Go-Go by Tim Dorsey.

About the book, from the publisher:

That's right: Serge and Coleman do spring break!

It's been a long time coming, but they're at the party now—and you'll never look at a Frisbee the same way again.

One spring break location obviously isn't enough for Serge, so he must hit them all, traveling through various historic locales, spewing nuggets of history at anyone who won't run away and dispensing his own signature brand of Sunshine State justice.

Along the way he and his sidekick, Coleman, attract a growing following of the nation's top college students ... and a mysterious gang that leaves a trail of young bodies in their wake.

Are the kids safer under Serge's protection? Or does being with him put them in more peril? The classroom and the pot brownies never prepared them for this.

Which raises more questions: Who's the guy studying satellite photos? Where did the protected witness go? When did Coleman get all those trophies? Why are the Feds hot on everyone's trail? How did the burnt corpse end up by the pool? What's the best way to keep beer cool on the beach?

Then there are the coke smugglers gone legit and a pair of the most dangerously sexy bartenders to ever mix a rum runner. Throw in some dirty dancing contests, illicit drugs, rockin' tunes, screamin' sports cars, bungee rides, pawned class rings, and church breakfasts, and you've got a potent concoction that keeps the hotel's concierge up all night stopping people from falling off the balconies.

Want even more? Serge says, "You got it!"

After years of quiet, a legendary Miami kingpin from the anything-goes eighties is suddenly back in the news ... along with one of the state's most psychotic homicidal monsters, every bit as criminally insane as Serge—except without the morals.

The mysteries continue to mount: How did Coleman end up with even more disciples than Serge? Can kids successfully climb fences while carrying pizzas? Will Serge survive the carnage, armed with a GPS and a kiddie pool?

All will soon be answered—and of course every last moment is caught on tape as Serge creates his most excellent documentary ever, the making of Gator A-Go-Go.

Pack the cooler, load the car, and head to where the water is warm for a spring vacation you won't soon forget—no matter how much you might try!
Visit Tim Dorsey's website.

The Page 69 Test: Atomic Lobster.

"Doors Open"

New from Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown: Doors Open by Ian Rankin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Three friends, sharing a bond of passion for art and collecting, conspire together to pull off a heist of several paintings from the National Gallery in Edinburgh. With the help of hired muscle and a forger to replace the stolen paintings, they are successful—and then learn that the aftermath is more complicated and treacherous than the crime.
Read about Rankin's six best books list for the Daily Express.

Also see Rankin's six best books list for The Week magazine.

Learn about the best selling book Rankin wishes he'd written.

Monday, January 18, 2010


New from Knopf: Bloodroot by Amy Greene.

About the book, from the publisher:

Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.

The novel is told in a kaleidoscope of seamlessly woven voices and centers around an incendiary romance that consumes everyone in its path: Myra Lamb, a wild young girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain; her grandmother Byrdie Lamb, who protects Myra fiercely and passes down “the touch” that bewitches people and animals alike; the neighbor boy who longs for Myra yet is destined never to have her; the twin children Myra is forced to abandon but who never forget their mother’s deep love; and John Odom, the man who tries to tame Myra and meets with shocking, violent disaster. Against the backdrop of a beautiful but often unforgiving country, these lives come together—only to be torn apart—as a dark, riveting mystery unfolds.

With grace and unflinching verisimilitude, Amy Greene brings her native Appalachia—and the faith and fury of its people—to rich and vivid life. Here is a spellbinding tour de force that announces a dazzlingly fresh, natural-born storyteller in our midst.
Visit Amy Greene's website.

"Death by the Book"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Death by the Book by Lenny Bartulin.

About the book, from Publishers Weekly:

Bartulin introduces irrepressible Sydney, Australia, used-book dealer Jack Susko in this tight hard-boiled whodunit, the first of what one hopes will be a long series. Susko's business is slow until he gets an odd request from a well-to-do businessman, Hammond Kasprowicz, who offers him $50 for every copy he can locate of the works of an obscure poet, Edward Kass. Needing the cash, Susko suppresses his curiosity about the motive behind his client's request. As he begins to track down copies of Kass's books, Susko is unable to avoid getting emotionally entangled with Kasprowicz's daughter, Annabelle. After a few dead bodies crop up, the bibliophile becomes the object of unwelcome suspicion by a shady cop who knows about Susko's unsavory background. While the story twists won't shock genre fans, most readers will find the smart-aleck amateur detective a winning lead character.
Read an excerpt from Death by the Book.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Marriage and Other Acts of Charity"

New from Little, Brown: Marriage and Other Acts of Charity: A Memoir by Kate Braestrup.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her award-winning memoir Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup inspired readers with her deeply moving and deftly humorous stories of faith, hope, and family. As a minister, she regularly performs weddings. She’s been married twice and widowed once, and accordingly has much to say about life after the ceremony. In Marriage and Other Acts of Charity she turns her attention to the subjects of love and commitment. Part observation of modern marriage, and part meditation on how God and love figure in all our relationships, the book proves yet again why Braestrup’s writing is “inspirational in the best sense” (New York Daily News).
Visit Kate Braestrup's website.

"All Unquiet Things"

New from Delacorte Books for Young Readers: All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab.

About the book, from the publisher:

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.
Visit Anna Jarzab's website and blog.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


New from Ballantine Books: Sleepless by Charlie Huston.

About the book, from the publisher:

From bestselling author Charlie Huston comes a novel about the fears that find us all during dark times and the courage and sacrifice that can save us in the face of unimaginable odds. Gripping, unnerving, exhilarating, and haunting, Sleepless is well worth staying up for.

What former philosophy student Parker Hass wanted was a better world. A world both just and safe for his wife and infant daughter. So he joined the LAPD and tried to make it that way. But the world changed. Struck by waves of chaos carried in on a tide of insomnia. A plague of sleeplessness.

Park can sleep, but he is wide awake. And as much as he wishes he was dreaming, his eyes are open. He has no choice but to see it all. That's his job. Working undercover as a drug dealer in a Los Angeles ruled in equal parts by martial law and insurgency, he's tasked with cutting off illegal trade in Dreamer, the only drug that can give the infected what they most crave: sleep.

After a year of lost leads and false trails, Park stumbles into the perilous shadows cast by the pharmaceuticals giant behind Dreamer. Somewhere in those shadows, at the nexus of disease and drugs and money, a secret is hiding. Drawn into the inner circle of a tech guru with a warped agenda and a special use for the sleepless themselves, Park thinks he knows what that secret might be.

To know for certain, he will have to go deeper into the restless world. His wife has become sleepless, and their daughter may soon share the same fate. For them, he will risk what they need most from him: his belief that justice
must be served. Unknown to him, his choice ties all of their futures to the singularly deadly nature of an aging mercenary who stalks Park.

The deeper Park stumbles through the dark, the more he is convinced that it is obscuring the real world. Bring enough light and the shadows will retreat. Bring enough light and everyone will see themselves again. Bring enough light and he will find his way to the safe corner, the harbor he's promised his family. Whatever the cost to himself.

It is July 2010.

The future is coming.

Open your eyes.
Learn more about the book and author at Charlie Huston's website.

"Small Wars"

New from Harper: Small Wars by Sadie Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

The prizewinning author of The Outcast delivers the emotionally searing story of a marriage in crisis, an unflinching look at lives irrevocably altered by one of history's "small wars."

Hal Treherne is a major in the British Army, a young and dedicated soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. When he is transferred to the British colony of Cyprus in 1956, Hal is joined by Clara, his beautiful and supportive wife, and their baby daughters. The Trehernes quickly learn that the Mediterranean is no "sunshine posting," however, and soon Hal is caught up in the battle to defend the island against Cypriots seeking enosis, union with Greece.

Leading his men in difficult and bloody skirmishes, after years of peaceful service, Hal at last tastes triumph. But his confidence and pride quickly fade: traumatized by the brutality he witnesses—and thwarted again in his attempts to do the right thing—Hal finds himself well trained in duty but ill equipped for moral battle.

A seasoned army wife, Clara shares her husband's sense of obligation. She knows to settle in quickly, make no fuss, smile. But as she struggles to trust her own maternal instincts and resist the anxiety that surges with Hal's frequent absences, Clara grows fearful of her increasingly distant husband. When she needs him most, Clara finds the once-tender Hal a changed man—a betrayal that is only part of the shocking personal crisis to come.

What place is there for honor amid cruelty, and what becomes of intimacy in the grinding gears of empire? A passionate and brilliantly researched novel about the effects of war on the men who wage it and the families they leave behind, Small Wars raises important questions that resonate for our own time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto"

New from Knopf: You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the 1980s, was among the first to predict the revolutionary changes the World Wide Web would bring to commerce and culture. Now, in his first book, written more than two decades after the web was created, Lanier offers this provocative and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better and for worse.

The current design and function of the web have become so familiar that it is easy to forget that they grew out of programming decisions made decades ago. The web’s first designers made crucial choices (such as making one’s presence anonymous) that have had enormous—and often unintended—consequences. What’s more, these designs quickly became “locked in,” a permanent part of the web’s very structure.

Lanier discusses the technical and cultural problems that can grow out of poorly considered digital design and warns that our financial markets and sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter are elevating the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and judgment of individuals.

Lanier also shows:
How 1960s antigovernment paranoia influenced the design of the online world and enabled trolling and trivialization in online discourse
How file sharing is killing the artistic middle class;
How a belief in a technological “rapture” motivates some of the most influential technologists
Why a new humanistic technology is necessary.

Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadget is a deeply felt defense of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.
Visit Jaron Lanier's website.

"Virtually Dead"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Virtually Dead by Peter May.

About the book, from the publisher:

Crime-scene photographer Michael Kapinsky is a man whose first life is in a mess. But his second life is about to get a whole lot messier. Staggering under the financial burden left by his recently deceased wife, Michael struggles to come to terms with her death - until his psychologist persuades him to enter a virtual world called Second Life to participate in a new kind of group therapy. Once there, his persona, Chas Chesnokov, discovers that victims whose crime scenes Michael has attended in the wealthy Southern California resort of Newport Beach have had their avatars clinically executed in the virtual world. Co-opted into the Twist of Fate Detective Agency, Chas embarks on an investigation with an exotic dancer and escort girl. They uncover a series of killings and a financial scam that is netting the murderer millions of dollars. And when Michael is tempted by money that mysteriously appears in Chas's Second Life account, both his real and his virtual lives are in danger.
Visit Peter May's website.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"They Never Came Back"

New from Delacorte Books for Young Readers: They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a busy school cafeteria, a teenage girl is confronted by a classmate who questions her identity. He explains to the students who have crowded around that the girl bears an uncanny resemblance to his cousin, who was taken away by social services five years ago. Her parents abandoned her, fleeing the country after being accused of embezzling millions of dollars. The students are intrigued, but the girl shrugs off the attention as a case of mistaken identity.

As the days pass, however, the boy refuses to relent and even brings his parents in to back him up. But they are not the only adults involved. An FBI agent who has been working the case these past five years believes that whoever this girl is, she can serve as bait to help the FBI capture the fugitives. In this powerful novel that explores the possibility of mistaken identity, the evils of money and greed, and the heartfelt obligations of family and loyalty, Caroline B. Cooney has once again crafted a page-turner that will resonate with readers.
Visit Caroline B. Cooney's website.

"Breaking Out of Bedlam"

New from Shaye Areheart Books: Breaking Out of Bedlam by Leslie Larson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cora Sledge is horrified when her children, who doubt her ability to take care of herself, plot to remove her from her home. So what if her house is a shambles? Who cares when she last changed her clothes? If an eighty-two-year-old widow wants to live on junk food, pills, and cigarettes, hasn’t she earned the right? When her kids force her into The Palisades, an assisted living facility, Cora takes to her bed, planning to die as soon as possible. But life isn’t finished with her yet, not by a long shot.

Deciding that truth is the best revenge, Cora begins to write a tell-all journal that reveals once and for all the secret she has guarded since she was a young woman. In entries that are profane, profound, and gossipy, she chronicles her childhood in rural Missouri, her shotgun wedding, and the terrible event that changed the course of her life. Intermingled with her reminiscences is an account of the day-to-day dramas at The Palisades—her budding romance with a suave new resident, feuds with her tablemates, her rollicking camaraderie with the man who oversees her health care, and the sinister cloud of suspicion that descends as a series of petty crimes sets everyone on edge. The story builds to a powerful climax as Cora’s revelations about her past mesh with the unraveling intrigue in the present.

Cora is by turns outrageous, irreverent, and wickedly funny. Despite a life with more than its share of disappointment and struggle, she refuses to go gently into her twilight years, remaining intensely curious, disinclined to play it safe, and willing to start over. Breaking Out of Bedlam captures the loneliness and secrets that lurk within families, the hardscrabble reality facing women with limited resources, and the resilience of a woman who survives, despite all the odds, through an unlikely combination of passion, humor, and faith.
Visit Leslie Larson's website.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs by Blaize Clement.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this fifth installment of the wildly popular Dixie Hemingway mystery series, a mysterious young girl is missing. Lieutenant Guidry, the hunky homicide detective with whom Dixie has an on-again, off-again relationship, is trying to find the girl because she may be a material witness to a murder. Finally Dixie must go it alone to confront criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Visit Blaize Clement's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues.

The Page 99 Test: Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof.


New from Grand Central Publishing: Roses by Leila Meacham.

About the book, from the publisher:

Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town's founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been--not just for themselves but for their children, and children's children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.
Read an excerpt from Roses.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"The Bricklayer"

New from William Morrow: The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd.

About the book, from the publisher:

Someone gives you a dangerous puzzle to solve, one that may kill you or someone else, and you're about to fail.... And there is no other option. No one who can help. No one but the Bricklayer.

The Bricklayer is the pulse-pounding novel introducing Steve Vail, one of the most charismatic new heroes to come along in thriller fiction in many years. He's an ex–FBI agent who's been fired for insubordination but is lured back to the Bureau to work a case that has become more unsolvable—and more deadly—by the hour.

A woman steps out of the shower in her Los Angeles home and is startled by an intruder sitting calmly in her bedroom holding a gun. But she is frozen with fear by what he has to say about the FBI—and what he says he must do....

A young agent slips into the night water off a rocky beach. He's been instructed to swim to a nearby island to deposit a million dollars demanded by a blackmailer. But his mission is riddled with hazardous tests, as if someone wanted to destroy him rather than collect the money....

Vail has resigned himself to his dismissal and is content with his life as a bricklayer. But the FBI, especially Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon, needs help with a shadowy group that has initiated a brilliant extortion plot. The group will keep killing their targets until the agency pays them off, the amount and number of bodies escalating each time the FBI fails. One thing is clear: someone who knows a little too much about the inner workings of the Bureau is very clever —and very angry—and will kill and kill again if it means he can disgrace the FBI.

Steve Vail's options —and his time to find answers—are swiftly running out.

Noah Boyd's The Bricklayer is written with the bracing authenticity only someone who has been a crack FBI investigator can provide. And in this masterful debut Boyd has created a mind-bending maze of clues and traps inside a nonstop thrill ride that is sure to leave readers exhilarated and enthralled.
Read Dick Adler's brief take on The Bricklayer at The Rap Sheet.

"The Godfather of Kathmandu"

New from Knopf: The Godfather of Kathmandu by John Burdett.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sonchai Jitpleecheep—John Burdett’s inimitable Royal Thai Police detective with the hard-bitten demeanor and the Buddhist soul—is summoned to the most shocking and intriguing crime scene of his career. Solving the murder could mean a promotion, but Sonchai, reeling from a personal tragedy, is more interested in Tietsin, an exiled Tibetan lama based in Kathmandu who has become his guru.

There are, however, obstacles in Sonchai’s path to nirvana. Police Colonel Vikorn has just named Sonchai his consigliere (he’s been studying The Godfather on DVD): to troubleshoot, babysit, defuse, procure, reconnoiter—do whatever needs to be done in Vikorn’s ongoing battle with Army General Zinna for control of Bangkok’s network of illegal enterprises. And though Tietsin is enlightened and (eerily) charismatic, he also has forty million dollars’ worth of heroin for sale. If Sonchai truly wants to be an initiate into Tietsin’s “apocalyptic Buddhism,” he has to pull off a deal that will bring Vikorn and Zinna to the same side of the table. Further complicating the challenge is Tara: a Tantric practitioner who captivates Sonchai with her remarkable otherworldly techniques.

Here is Sonchai put to the extreme test—as a cop, as a Buddhist, as an impossibly earthbound man—in John Burdett’s most wildly inventive, darkly comic, and wickedly entertaining novel yet.
Visit John Burdett's website.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Over Here!"

New from Smithsonian: Over Here!: New York City During World War II by Lorraine B. Diehl.

About the book, from the publisher:

A wonderfully nostalgic and inspiring look at the center of the home front during World War II—New York City

More than any other place, New York was the center of action on the home front during World War II. As Hitler came to power in Germany, American Nazis goose-stepped in Yorkville on the Upper East Side, while recently arrived Jewish émigrés found refuge on the Upper West Side. When America joined the fight, enlisted men heading for battle in Europe or the Pacific streamed through Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station. The Brooklyn Navy Yard refitted ships, and Times Square overflowed with soldiers and sailors enjoying some much-needed R & R. German U-boats attacked convoys leaving New York Harbor. Silhouetted against the gleaming skyline, ships were easy prey—debris and even bodies washed up on Long Island beaches—until the city rallied under a stringently imposed dim-out.

From Rockefeller Center's Victory Gardens and Manhattan's swanky nightclubs to metal-scrap drives and carless streets, Over Here! captures the excitement, trepidation, and bustle of this legendary city during wartime. Filled with the reminiscences of ordinary and famous New Yorkers, including Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, and Angela Lansbury, and rich in surprising detail—from Macy's blackout boutique to Mickey Mouse gas masks for kids—this engaging look back is an illuminating tour of New York on the front lines of the home front.
Visit Lorraine B. Diehl's website.

"Alice I Have Been"

New from Delacorte Press: Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.
Visit Melanie Benjamin's website.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Snow Angels"

New from Putnam: Snow Angels by James Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first thriller in a new series featuring Inspector Kari Vaara: the haunted, hardened detective who must delve into Finland's dark and violent underbelly.

Kaamos: Just before Christmas, the bleakest time of the year in Lapland. The unrelenting darkness and extreme cold above the Arctic Circle drive everyone just a little insane ... perhaps enough to kill.

A beautiful Somali immigrant is found dead in a snowfield, her body gruesomely mutilated, a racial slur carved into her chest. Heading the murder investigation is Inspector Kari Vaara, the lead detective of the small-town police force. The vicious killing may have been a hate crime, a sex crime-or one and the same. Vaara knows he must keep this potentially ex­plosive case out of the national headlines or else it will send shock waves across Finland, an insular nation afraid to face its own xenophobia.

The demands of the investigation begin to take their toll on Vaara and his marriage. His young American wife, Kate, newly pregnant with their first child, is struggling to adapt to both the unforgiving Arctic climate and the Finnish culture of silence and isolation. Meanwhile Vaara himself, haunted by his rough childhood and failed first marriage, discovers that the past keeps biting at his heels: He suspects that the rich man for whom his ex-wife left him years ago may be the killer.

Endless night can drive anyone to murder.
Visit Jim Thompson's website.

"The Parisian Prodigal"

New from Minotaur Books: The Parisian Prodigal by Alan Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Only a fool would pass this one up.” —Laurie R. King

In 1205, Theophilos—a fool by trade, a family man by choice, and a spy by design—belongs, along with his family, to the Fools’ Guild, a group that secretly maintains the fragile order of society. In Toulouse, that order is threatened when, unexpectedly, a man claiming to be a full brother of the ruling count is found one morning in a local bordello next to a dead whore, killed with his own sword. Now, Theophilos and his family must uncover the truth.
The Parisian Prodigal is volume 8 of the Fools' Guild Mysteries.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood"

New from Simon Pulse: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook.

About the book, from the publisher:

Popularity is the best revenge.

In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn’t dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.
Visit Eileen Cook's website.

"Baja Florida"

New from Minotaur Books: Baja Florida by Bob Morris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zack Chasteen’s old friend Mickey Ryser pays a surprise visit to deliver some bad news: doctors tell him he has only a few weeks to live and he plans to spend it on his private-island hideaway in the Bahamas. But Ryser has a favor to ask. He needs Zack to find his estranged daughter, Jen, whom Ryser hasn’t seen in more than twenty years. He wants to make amends and spend what little time he has left with her.

When last heard from, Jen had bought a big sailboat and was bound for the Bahamas with some college friends. A private detective hired by Ryser to track her down has gone MIA. One of Jen’s friends has jumped ship, under curious conditions. And there’s the specter of an international piracy ring, known to hijack and plunder private yachts passing through island waters.

With little to go on, Zack embarks on a mission that will take him from one end of the Bahamas to the other. It’s home to all sorts of rogues and rascals, with plenty of places to hide--a wonderment of islands that Zack calls Baja Florida.
Visit Bob Morris' blog.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Murder in Mykonos"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Murder in Mykonos by Jeffrey Siger.

About the book, from the publisher:

When politically incorrect, hot-shot detective Andreas Kaldis is promoted out of Athens to serve as police chief for Mykonos, he's certain his homicide days are over. Murders shouldn't happen in tourist heaven, but soon he is staring at the remains of a young woman found ritually bound and buried on a pile of human bones inside a remote mountain church. Teamed with the canny, nearly-retired local homicide chief, Andreas tries to find the killer before the media destroys the island's fabled reputation with a barrage of world-wide attention. Just when it seems things can't get any worse, another young woman disappears. With the investigation now a rescue operation, Andreas plunges into ancient myths and forgotten places, racing against a killer intent on claiming a new victim who is herself determined to outstep him.
Visit Jeffrey Siger's website.

"Death Without Tenure"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Death Without Tenure by Joanne Dobson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Professor Karen Pelletier is about to realize her dream; after six years in the English Department at New England's exclusive Enfield College, she is up for tenure. Then Professor Joseph Lone Wolf, her rival for the one tenured spot in the department, whose ethnicity gives him minority-preference status, is found dead from an overdose of Peyote buttons. First on the list of suspects, Karen is harassed by a homicide cop with a grudge against his colleague, the love of Karen's life, Lieutenant Charlie Piotrowski. On campus, political passions rage. Two of Karen's favorite students, Khalida Ahmed, a hijab-wearing Muslim, and Hank Brody, a coal-miner's son on full scholarship, are caught up in the furor. Without the presence of her beloved Charlie, now serving a tour of duty with the National Guard in Iraq, will Karen be able to survive the investigation, protect her students, and find a permanent niche in the world of academe? And what if the killer feels the need to strike again?
Visit Joanne Dobson's website.