Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Frame Up"

New from Oceanview Publishing: Frame Up by John Dobbyn.

About the book, from the publisher:

After graduating from Harvard Law with his closest friend, John McKedrick, Michael Knight practices with the U.S. Attorney’s office and with a prestigious trial firm in Boston, then Michael and his mentor, the legendary trial attorney Lex Devlin, form Devlin & Knight to do criminal defense work, while John becomes sole associate of a notorious mob lawyer.

Michael never lost hope that John McKedrick would escape to “cleaner pastures”—until John is murdered in a car bombing bearing the signature of his questionable clientele. How could two friends who were so close have taken such wildly divergent paths? In the wake of McKedrick’s murder, three men who took their own deviating paths will meet for the first time in forty years.

Matt Ryan, a priest; Dominic Santangelo, a Mafia don; and Lex Devlin put the past aside to focus on a present concern: Dominic’s son has been charged with John McKedrick’s murder. At Lex’s urging, Michael Knight reluctantly agrees to represent the alleged bomber.

In building a defense, Michael is drawn into a high-stakes art fraud that leads him from the seediest parts of Boston to the sophisticated Amsterdam inner sanctum of international crime.
Visit John Dobbyn's website.

"Shadows in the Cave"

New from Tor Books: Shadows in the Cave by Caleb Fox.

About the book, from Publishers Weekly:

Fox weaves a colorful tale of ancient Cherokee legends, magic, and the beings known as the Immortals, the creators of the world. Years after the events of 2009's Zadayi Red, Shonan is chief of his people and refuses to allow his family to use magic, which he blames for a great loss. But his son, Aku, inherited his mother's shape-shifting ability and longs to use it. Just as he begins to learn his power, he encounters a violent tribe called the Brown Leaf People and is forced on a quest to the Darkening Land, the underworld, to save his sister and father with the help of his great-grandmother and unusual companions. Readers who like plenty of introspection to accompany their spell casting will enjoy this exploration of Cherokee lore combined with a classic coming-of-age narrative.
Learn more about the book and author at Caleb Fox's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Zadayi Red.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Walking to Gatlinburg"

New from Shaye Areheart Books: Walking to Gatlinburg by Howard Frank Mosher.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunning and lyrical Civil War thriller, Walking to Gatlinburg is a spellbinding story of survival, wilderness adventure, mystery, and love in the time of war.

Morgan Kinneson is both hunter and hunted. The sharp-shooting 17-year-old from Kingdom County, Vermont, is determined to track down his brother Pilgrim, a doctor who has gone missing from the Union Army. But first Morgan must elude a group of murderous escaped convicts in pursuit of a mysterious stone that has fallen into his possession.

It’s 1864, and the country is in the grip of the bloodiest war in American history. Meanwhile, the Kinneson family has been quietly conducting passengers on the Underground Railroad from Vermont to the Canadian border. One snowy afternoon Morgan leaves an elderly fugitive named Jesse Moses in a mountainside cabin for a few hours so that he can track a moose to feed his family. In his absence, Jesse is murdered, and thus begins Morgan’s unforgettable trek south through an apocalyptic landscape of war and mayhem.

Along the way, Morgan encounters a fantastical array of characters, including a weeping elephant, a pacifist gunsmith, a woman who lives in a tree, a blind cobbler, and a beautiful and intriguing slave girl named Slidell who is the key to unlocking the mystery of the secret stone. At the same time, he wrestles with the choices that will ultimately define him – how to reconcile the laws of nature with religious faith, how to temper justice with mercy. Magical and wonderfully strange, Walking to Gatlinburg is both a thriller of the highest order and a heartbreaking odyssey into the heart of American darkness.
Visit Howard Frank Mosher's website.

"Confession of a Buddhist Atheist"

New from Spiegel & Grau: Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Written with the same brilliance and boldness that made Buddhism Without Beliefs a classic in its field, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist is Stephen Batchelor’s account of his journey through Buddhism, which culminates in a groundbreaking new portrait of the historical Buddha.

Stephen Batchelor grew up outside London and came of age in the 1960s. Like other seekers of his time, instead of going to college he set off to explore the world. Settling in India, he eventually became a Buddhist monk in Dharamsala, the Tibetan capital-in-exile, and entered the inner circle of monks around the Dalai Lama. He later moved to a monastery in South Korea to pursue intensive training in Zen Buddhism. Yet the more Batchelor read about the Buddha, the more he came to believe that the way Buddhism was being taught and practiced was at odds with the actual teachings of the Buddha himself.

Charting his journey from hippie to monk to lay practitioner, teacher, and interpreter of Buddhist thought, Batchelor reconstructs the historical Buddha’s life, locating him within the social and political context of his world. In examining the ancient texts of the Pali Canon, the earliest record of the Buddha’s life and teachings, Batchelor argues that the Buddha was a man who looked at human life in a radically new way for his time, more interested in the question of how human beings should live in this world than in notions of karma and the afterlife. According to Batchelor, the outlook of the Buddha was far removed from the piety and religiosity that has come to define much of Buddhism as we know it today.

Both controversial and deeply personal, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist is a fascinating exploration of a religion that continues to engage the West. Batchelor’s insightful, deeply knowledgeable, and persuasive account will be an essential book for anyone interested in Buddhism.
Visit Stephen Batchelor's website.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Xombies: Apocalypticon"

New from Ace/Penguin: Xombies: Apocalypticon by Walter Greatshell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Survivors of a cataclysmic zombie-making plague leave a temporary safety of a refitted nuclear sub to scavenge for food and supplies on land. But they soon find themselves facing new terrors on the surface and mutiny below.
Learn more about the book and author at Walter Greatshell's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

"Naked Moon"

New from Minotaur Books: Naked Moon by Domenic Stansberry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in San Francisco in the crumbling vestiges of Italian North Beach, Domenic Stansberry’s latest novel plunges once again into the noir underworld of Dante Mancuso. This new installment of Stansberry’s critically acclaimed series, Naked Moon, unearths a past Mancuso had hoped to escape. Before becoming a private investigator, Dante worked for a secret corporate security firm---known simply as the company---that prized effectiveness over legality. When Dante left, it was not on good terms. So he made sure to take enough inside information to keep himself safe from reprisal.

Dante, however, has his own secrets; for example, he doesn’t ask his cousin Gary questions about how he keeps the family warehousing business---the one where Dante is a silent partner---in the black, while everyone else’s has failed. When SFPD Detective Leanora Chin starts asking questions, Gary turns to the company for help, which they’re willing to provide, so long as Dante agrees to settle his past debts by doing them one last favor: the type of favor that could drag him under for good.

Edgar Award winner Domenic Stansberry is one of the most talented crime novelists working today. His novels are dark, lyrical, and widely acclaimed, and Naked Moon is no exception as it captures the sense of dread, paranoia, and quiet despair that cling to a man and a part of a city living on borrowed time.
Visit Dominic Stansberry's website.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Whip Smart"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Whip Smart: A Memoir by Melissa Febos.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dark, wild, powerful memoir about a young woman’s transformation from college student to professional dominatrix
While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim. In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissa’s ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making. Rest assured; the reader will emerge from the journey more or less unscathed.
Visit the official Melissa Febos website.

"Broken Places"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Broken Places by Sandra Parshall.

About the book, from the publisher:

Summer is deadly in the mountain community of Mason County, Virginia. Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger and veterinarian Rachel Goddard are caught in a maelstrom of lies that stretch far into the past and suspicions that threaten the future. Cam and Meredith Taylor are murdered within hours of one another, and Rachel is dragged into the case because she heard ¬but didn't see¬ Cam's murder. The Taylors arrived in Mason County as volunteers in the 1960s War on Poverty, and they stayed on, making loyal friends and bitter enemies. The victims' daughter is Tom's former girlfriend, Leslie. She returns home to see justice done¬ and to win Tom back from Rachel. The prime suspect is newcomer Ben Hern, Rachel's childhood friend, and she is desperate to prove him innocent. Leslie pushes for Hern's arrest and launches a campaign of intimidation against Rachel. With the killer targeting Rachel and the community clamoring for an arrest, Tom and Rachel must decide who they can trust.
Learn more about the author and her writing at Sandra Parshall's website and at Poe's Deadly Daughters where she blogs on Wednesdays.

The Page 69 Test: Disturbing the Dead.

My Book, The Movie: Disturbing the Dead.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"The Dream of Perpetual Motion"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer.

About the book, from the publisher:

A debut so magical… so extraordinary… it has to be read to be believed….

Imprisoned for life aboard a zeppelin that floats high above a fantastic metropolis, the greeting-card writer Harold Winslow pens his memoirs. His only companions are the disembodied voice of Miranda Taligent, the only woman he has ever loved, and the cryogenically frozen body of her father Prospero, the genius and industrial magnate who drove her insane.

The tale of Harold’s life is also one of an alternate reality, a lucid waking dream in which the well-heeled have mechanical men for servants, where the realms of fairy tales can be built from scratch, where replicas of deserted islands exist within skyscrapers.. As Harold’s childhood infatuation with Miranda changes over twenty years to love and then to obsession, the visionary inventions of her father also change Harold’s entire world, transforming it from a place of music and miracles to one of machines and noise. And as Harold heads toward a last desperate confrontation with Prospero to save Miranda’s life, he finds himself an unwitting participant in the creation of the greatest invention of them all: the perpetual motion machine.

Beautifully written, stunningly imagined, and wickedly funny, The Dream of Perpetual Motion is a heartfelt meditation on the place of love in a world dominated by technology.
Visit Dexter Palmer's website.

"Chasing the White Dog"

New from Simon & Schuster: Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine by Max Watman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Chasing the White Dog, journalist Max Watman traces the historical roots and contemporary story of hooch. He takes us to the backwoods of Appalachia and the gritty nip joints of Philadelphia, from a federal courthouse to Pocono Speedway, profiling the colorful characters who make up white whiskey's lore. Along the way, Watman chronicles his hilarious attempts to distill his own moonshine -- the essential ingredients and the many ways it can all go wrong -- from his initial ill-fated batch to his first successful jar of 'shine.

It begins in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, where drunk and armed outlaws gathered in the summer of 1794. George Washington mustered 13,000 troops to quell the rebellion, but by the time they arrived, the rebels had vanished; America's first moonshiners had packed up their stills and moved on.

From these moonshiners who protested the Whiskey Tax of 1791, to the bathtub gin runners of the 1920s, to today's booming bootleg businessmen, white lightning has played a surprisingly large role in American history. It touched the election of Thomas Jefferson, the invention of the IRS, and the origins of NASCAR. It is a story of tommy guns, hot rods, and shot houses, and the story is far from over.

Infiltrating every aspect of small-scale distilling in America, from the backyard hobbyists to the growing popularity of microdistilleries, Chasing the White Dog provides a fascinating, centuries-long history of illicit booze from an unrepentant lover of moonshine.
Visit Max Watman's website.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Our Lady of Immaculate Deception"

New from Minotaur Books: Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Big truck, big dog, big hair. Bad attitude.

Roxy Abruzzo, bestseller Nancy Martin’s latest creation, is a loud-mouthed, sexy, independent-minded niece of a Pittsburgh Mafia boss trying to go (mostly) straight. She’d like to stay completely out of her uncle Carmine’s shady business dealings, though he's trying to reel her in. She'd like to concentrate on the architectural salvage business she runs mostly on the up and up for a tidy profit. She'd like to keep her rebellious teenage daughter on the straight and narrow. But Roxy knows where all the good intentions in the world usually lead, and when she can’t help herself from tucking away an ancient Greek statue that's not really hers, she pays for it by getting caught up in the chaos surrounding the sordid murder of the statue’s former owner, heir to a billion-dollar Pittsburgh steel fortune.

Of course, she has plenty of help getting in and out of trouble, including her sidekick “Nooch” Santonucci, too dumb to say no to whatever Roxy wants to do and strong enough to do it; her widowed aunt Loretta, a lawyer whose big hair and short skirts are as big a help to her in court as her brains; and Patrick Flynn, ex-marine, professional chef, and former high school flame, fresh from Afghanistan to torture Roxy, just like old times.

With her wicked sense of humor and a devilishly clever new series premise, author of the beloved Blackbird Sisters mysteries Nancy Martin has crafted another mystery destined to be a besteller.
Visit Nancy Martin's website.

"Major Pettigrew's Last Stand"

New from Random House: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson.

About the book, from the publisher:

You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart.

The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
Visit Helen Simonson's website.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"One Good Dog"

New from St. Martin's Press: One Good Dog by Susan Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Adam March is a self-made “Master of the Universe.” He has it all: the beautiful wife, the high-powered job, the glittering circle of friends. But there is a price to be paid for all these trappings, and the pressure is mounting—until the day Adam makes a fatal mistake. His assistant leaves him a message with three words: your sister called. What no one knows is that Adam’s sister has been missing for decades. That she represents the excruciatingly painful past he has left behind. And that her absence has secretly tormented him all these years. When his assistant brushes off his request for an explanation in favor of her more pressing personal call, Adam loses it. And all hell breaks loose.

Adam is escorted from the building. He loses his job. He loses his wife. He loses the life he’s worked so hard to achieve. He doesn’t believe it is possible to sink any lower when he is assigned to work in a soup kitchen as a form of community service. But unbeknownst to Adam, this is where his life will intersect with Chance.

Chance is a mixed breed Pit Bull. He’s been born and raised to fight and seldom leaves the dirty basement where he is kept between fights. But Chance is not a victim or a monster. It is Chance’s unique spirit that helps him escape and puts him in the path of Adam.

What transpires is the story of one man, one dog, and how they save each other—in ways they never could have expected.
Visit Susan Wilson's website.

"The Bad Kitty Lounge"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Bad Kitty Lounge by Michael Wiley.

About the book, from the publisher:

Michael Wiley’s first novel,The Last Striptease, was nominated for a Shamus Award and hailed as “riveting” (The Chicago Tribune), “delightful” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “hard-boiled fiction with tenderness and compassion” (New York Newsday). Now he offers another exciting, fast-paced page-turner with The Bad Kitty Lounge.

Greg Samuelson, an unassuming bookkeeper, has hired Joe Kozmarski to dig up dirt on his wife and her lover Eric Stone. But now Samuelson has taken matters into his own hands. It looks like he's torched Stone’s Mercedes, killed his boss, and then shot himself, all in the space of an hour.

The police think they know how to put together this ugly puzzle. But as Kozmarski discovers, nothing’s ever simple. Eric Stone wants to hire Kozmarski to clear Samuelson. Samuelson’s dead boss, known as the Virginity Nun, has a saintly reputation but a red-hot past. And a gang led by an aging 1960s radical shows up in Kozmarski’s office with a backpack full of payoff money, warning him to turn a blind eye to murder.

At the same time, Kozmarski is working things out with his ex-wife, Corrine, his new partner, Lucinda Juarez, and his live-in nephew, Jason. If the bad guys don't do Kozmarski in, his family might.
Learn more about the book and author at Michael Wiley's website.

Wiley’s The Last Striptease (St. Martin’s Press) received the Best First Novel award from the Private Eye Writers of American and St. Martin’s in 2007 as was nominated for a Shamus in the same category in 2008.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Striptease.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Striptease.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Werewolf Smackdown"

New from Eos: Werewolf Smackdown by Mario Acevedo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Felix Gomez, Latino vampire detective extraordinaire, tackles a dangerous werewolf cabal in the fifth installment in Mario Acevedo's satirical supernatural series

A sure-to-be-bloody civil war is brewing between rival werewolf factions, and P.I . Felix Gomez will do anything he can to make sure it doesn't explode into a vicious battle that engulfs all creatures, living and dead.

Between that, the sudden reappearance of an ex-girlfriend, and a gang of other vampires trying to take off his head, this is one rumble even a fanged detective extraordinaire may not be able to handle.
Learn more about the author and his work at Mario Acevedo's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats.

The Page 69 Test: The Undead Kama Sutra.

The Page 99 Test: Jailbait Zombie.

"Drink the Tea"

New from Minotaur Books: Drink the Tea by Thomas Kaufman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Willis Gidney is a born liar and rip-off artist, an expert at the scam. Growing up without parents or a home, by age twelve he is a successful young man, running his own small empire, until he meets Shadrack Davies. That’s Captain Shadrack Davies, of the D.C. Police. Davies wants to reform Gidney and becomes his foster father. Though he tries not to, Gidney learns a small amount of ethics from Shad---just enough to bother a kid from the streets for the rest of his life.

Now Gidney is a PI, walking those same streets. So it's no surprise that when his closest friend, jazz saxophonist Steps Jackson, asks Gidney to find his missing daughter, Gidney is compelled to say yes---even though she's been missing for twenty-five years. He finds a woman who may be the girl’s mother--and within hours she turns up dead. The police accuse Gidney of the murder and throw him in jail.

Maybe Gidney should quit while he’s behind. But when his investigation puts him up against a ruthless multinational corporation, a two-faced congressman, and a young woman desperate to conceal her past, Gidney has no time left for second thoughts. In fact, he may have no time left at all.

Thomas Kaufman is a winner of the PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Competition. His debut novel, Drink the Tea, which boasts an original PI and an engaging cast of characters, adds a fresh perspective to the genre.
Visit Thomas Kaufman's website and blog.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Pierce the Skin"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 1982-2007 by Henri Cole.

About the book, from the publisher:


Henri Cole has been described as a “fiercely somber, yet exuberant poet” by Harold Bloom, who identifies him as the central poet of his generation. Cole’s most recent poems have a daring sensitivity and imagistic beauty unlike anything on the American scene today. Whether they are exploring pleasure or pain, humor or sorrow, triumph or fear, they reach for an almost shocking intensity. Cole’s fourth book, Middle Earth, awakened his audience to him as a poet now writing the poems of his career.

Pierce the Skin brings together sixty-six poems from the past twenty-five years, including work from Cole’s early, closely observed, virtuosic books, long out of print, as well as his important more recent books, The Visible Man (1998), Middle Earth (2003), and Blackbird and Wolf (2007). The result is a collection reconsecrating Cole’s central themes: the desire for connection, the contingencies of selfhood and human love, the dissolution of the body, the sublime renewal found in nature, and the distance of language from experience. “I don’t want words to sever me from reality,” Cole says, striving in Pierce the Skin to break the barrier even between word and skin. Maureen N. McLane wrote in The New York Times Book Review that Cole is a poet of “self-overcoming, lusting, loathing and beautiful force.” This book will have a permanent place with other essential poems of our moment.
Visit Henri Cole's website.

Writers Read: Henri Cole.

"False Mermaid"

New from Scribner: False Mermaid by Erin Hart.

About the book, from the publisher:

American pathologist Nora Gavin fled to Ireland three years ago, hoping that distance from home would bring her peace. Though she threw herself into the study of bog bodies and the mysteries of their circumstances, she was ultimately led back to the one mystery she was unable to solve: the murder of her sister, Tríona. Nora can’t move forward until she goes back—back to her home, to the scene of the crime, to the source of her nightmares and her deepest regrets.

Determined to put her sister’s case to rest and anxious about her eleven-year-old niece, Elizabeth, Nora returns to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to find that her brother-in-law, Peter Hallett, is about to remarry and has plans to leave the country with his new bride. Nora has long suspected Hallett in Tríona’s murder, though there has never been any proof of his involvement, and now she believes that his new wife and Elizabeth may both be in danger. Time is short, and as Nora begins reinvestigating her sister’s death, missed clues and ever-more disturbing details come to light. What is the significance of the "false mermaid" seeds found on Tríona’s body? Why was her behavior so erratic in the days before her murder?

Is there a link between Tríona’s death and that of another young woman?

Nora’s search for answers takes her from the banks of the Mississippi to the cliffs of Ireland, where the eerie story of a fisherman’s wife who vanished more than a century ago offers up uncanny parallels. As painful secrets come to light, Nora is drawn deeper into a past that still threatens to engulf her and must determine how much she is prepared to sacrifice to put one tragedy to rest ... and to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
Visit Erin Hart's website.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Animal Factory"

New from St. Martin's Press: Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment by David Kirby.

About the book, from the publisher:

Swine flu. Bird flu. Unusual concentrations of cancer and other diseases. Massive fish kills from flesh-eating parasites. Recalls of meats, vegetables, and fruits because of deadly E-coli bacterial contamination.

Recent public health crises raise urgent questions about how our animal-derived food is raised and brought to market. In Animal Factory, bestselling investigative journalist David Kirby exposes the powerful business and political interests behind large-scale factory farms, and tracks the far-reaching fallout that contaminates our air, land, water, and food.

In this thoroughly-researched book, Kirby follows three families and communities whose lives are utterly changed by immense neighboring animal farms. These farms (known as “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations,” or CAFOs), confine thousands of pigs, dairy cattle, and poultry in small spaces, often under horrifying conditions, and generate enormous volumes of fecal and biological waste as well as other toxins. Weaving science, politics, law, big business, and everyday life, Kirby accompanies these families in their struggles against animal factories. A North Carolina fisherman takes on pig farms upstream to preserve his river, his family’s life, and his home. A mother in a small Illinois town pushes back against an outsized dairy farm and its devastating impact. And, a Washington state grandmother becomes an unlikely activist when her home is covered with soot and her water supply is compromised by runoff from leaking lagoons of cattle waste.

Animal Factory is an important book about our American food system gone terribly wrong—and the people who are fighting to restore sustainable farming practices and save our limited natural resources.
Visit David Kirby's website.

"In the Land of Believers"

New from Metropolitan Books: In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church by Gina Welch.

About the book, from the publisher:

An undercover exploration of the world of evangelicals, offering an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the faithful

Ever since evangelical Christians rose to national prominence, mainstream America has tracked their every move with a nervous eye. But in spite of this vigilance, our understanding hasn’t gone beyond the caricatures. Who are evangelicals, really? What are they like in private, and what do they want? Is it possible that beneath the differences in culture and language, church and party, we might share with them some common purpose?

To find out, Gina Welch, a young secular Jew from Berkeley, joined Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church. Over the course of nearly two years, Welch immersed herself in the life and language of the devout: she learned to interpret the world like an evangelical, weathered the death of Falwell, and embarked on a mission trip to Alaska intended to save one hundred souls. Alive to the meaning behind the music and the mind behind the slogans, Welch recognized the allure of evangelicalism, even for the godless, realizing that the congregation met needs and answered questions she didn’t know she had.

What emerges is a riveting account of a skeptic’s transformation from uninformed cynicism to compassionate understanding, and a rare view of how evangelicals see themselves. Revealing their generosity and hopefulness, as well as their prejudice and exceptionalism, In the Land of Believers is a call for comprehending, rather than dismissing, the impassioned believers who have become so central a force in American life.
Visit Gina Welch's website and blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Blood Vines"

New from St. Martin's Press: Blood Vines by Erica Spindler.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this bare-knuckled adrenaline ride from New York Times bestselling author Erica Spindler, Alex Clarkson’s worst nightmares are about to come true…

A sinister, hooded figure…

When Alexandra Clarkson starts having terrifying visions filled with blood and ceremonial images, she tries to find a rational explanation – maybe her mind is playing tricks on her, resurrecting creepy tableaux from her research on religious ceremonies and sects. But when Alex’s mother, Patsy, commits suicide without leaving behind any information, Alex is left wondering: could she be haunted by something from the childhood she doesn’t remember?

Naked, writhing bodies…

Detective Daniel Reed was the last person to speak to Patsy. What he reveals to Alex is shocking. Twenty-five years earlier, Patsy was married to Harlan Sommer, one of Sonoma County’s most prominent vintners, when their infant son disappeared without a trace. The loss destroyed the Sommers’ marriage, causing Patsy to leave and take Alex with her.

A dead child…

Called on to investigate the identity of a baby’s remains unearthed in a Sonoma vineyard, Reed had picked up a trail that led him to Patsy in San Francisco. Now Reed and Alex both wonder if the cold bones could be her baby brother Dylan, and Alex decides to accompany Reed back to Sonoma for the investigation. No sooner does she arrive, however, than she is drawn deep into the search for a twisted killer…
Learn more about the book and author at Erica Spindler's website and blog.

Also see: My Book, The Movie: Erica Spindler's Breakneck.

"Long for This World"

New from Scribner: Long for This World by Sonya Chung.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sonya Chung's astonishing first novel tells the story of a family divided between contemporary America and a small Korean town. Long for This World is about loss and renewal and what it means to go home.

In 1953, on a remote island in South Korea, a young boy stows away on the ferry that is carrying his older brother and sister-in-law to the mainland. Fifty-two years later, Han Hyun-kyu is on a plane back to Korea, leaving behind his wife and grown children in America. It is his daughter, Jane -- a war photographer recently injured in a bombing in Baghdad and forced to return to New York -- who journeys to find him in the South Korean town where his brothers have settled. Here, father and daughter take refuge from their demons, unearth passions, and, in the wake of tragedy, each discover something deeper and more enduring than they'd imagined possible.

Long for This World is a pointillist triumph -- depicting whole worlds through the details of a carefully prepared meal or a dark childhood memory. But Chung is also working on a massive scale, effortlessly moving between domestic intimacies and the global stage -- Iraq, Paris, Darfur, Syria -- to illuminate the relationship between troubled world affairs and personal devastation. The result is a profound portrayal of the human experience -- both large and small. Long for This World establishes Sonya Chung as a thrilling new voice in fiction.
Visit Sonya Chung's website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Hester: The Missing Years of the The Scarlet Letter"

New from St. Martin's Press: Hester: The Missing Years of the The Scarlet Letter: A Novel by Paula Reed.

About the book, from the publisher:

Upon the death of her demonic husband, Hester Prynne is left a widow, and her daughter Pearl, a wealthy heiress. Hester takes her daughter to live a quiet life in England--only to find herself drawn into the circle of the most powerful Puritan of all time, Oliver Cromwell.

From the moment Hester donned the famous scarlet letter, it instilled in her the power to see the sins and hypocrisy of others, an ability not lost on the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. To Cromwell, Hester’s sight is either a sign of sorcery or a divine gift that Hester must use to assist the divinely chosen in his scheming to control England. Since sorcery carries a death sentence, Hester is compelled against her will to use her sight to assist Cromwell. She soon finds herself entangled in a web of political intrigue, espionage, and forbidden love.

Hester will carry readers away to seventeenth century England with a deeply human story of family, love, history, desire, weakness, and the human ideal.
Visit Paula Reed's website.

Find out what inspired Reed to write a companion novel to The Scarlet Letter.

"The Devil and Mr. Casement"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Devil and Mr. Casement: One Man's Battle for Human Rights in South America's Heart of Darkness by Jordan Goodman.

About the book, from the publisher:


In September 1910, the activist Roger Casement arrived in the Amazon jungle on a mission for the British government: to investigate reports of widespread human-rights abuses in the forests along the Putumayo River. Accusations against the Peruvian rubber baron Julio César Arana had been making their way back to London, and the rumors were on everybody’s lips: Arana was enslaving, torturing, and murdering the local Indians. Arana’s Peruvian Amazon Company, with its headquarters in London’s financial heart, was responsible.

Casement was outraged by what he uncovered: nearly 30,000 Indians had died to produce 4,000 tons of rubber. When Casement’s 700-page report of the violence was published in London in 1912, it set off reverberations throughout the world. People were appalled that murderous acts were being carried out under the cloak of British respectability. The Peruvian Amazon Company was forced into liquidation, and its board of directors was publicly shamed.

From the Amazonian rain forests to the streets of London and Washington, D.C., Jordan Goodman recounts a tragedy whose exposure in 1912 drew back the curtain on exploitation and the wholesale abuse of human rights. Drawing on a wealth of original research, The Devil and Mr. Casement is a haunting story of modern capitalism with enormous contemporary political resonance.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Winterland by Alan Glynn.

About the book, from the publisher:

Winterland is a blistering unputdownable novel about power, lies and the corrupting influence of money. It is the first in a series on the dark and clandestine underside of globalization and announces a compelling new voice in contemporary crime writing.

The worlds of business, politics and crime collide when two men with the same name, from the same family, die on the same night—one death is a gangland murder, the other, apparently, a road accident. Was it a coincidence? That’s the official version of events. But when a family member, Gina Rafferty, starts asking questions, this notion quickly unravels.

Devastated by her loss, Gina’s grief is tempered, and increasingly fuelled, by anger—because the more she’s told that it was all a coincidence, that gangland violence is commonplace, that people die on our roads every day of the week, the less she’s prepared to accept it. Told repeatedly that she should stop asking questions, Gina becomes more determined than ever to find out the truth, to establish a connection between the two deaths—but in doing so she embarks on a path that will push certain powerful people to their limits...

"The Ruling Sea"

New from Del Ray: The Ruling Sea by Robert V. S. Redick.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his acclaimed first novel, The Red Wolf Conspiracy, Robert V. S. Redick launched the gargantuan ship Chathrand and its motley crew of misfits, murderers, and monsters toward a landfall that may exist only in legend. Now Redick masterfully ratchets up the suspense with deep intrigue, ancient powers, and shocking new revelations.

Though the immediate plans of the dark sorcerer Arunis have been thwarted, the battle for control of the Chathrand, on which the fate of empires hinges, is far from over. On board, a small band of allies bound together less by trust than by desperate need scrambles for a means to defeat the conspiracy, while the nobleborn Thasha Isiq and the lowly deckhand Pazel Pathkendle find themselves unwillingly drawn inward to the plot’s core—and into a deadly game that will force them to make hard sacrifices.

The wizard Ramachni has left the travelers and retreated to his own world to nurse his battle wounds, but Arunis remains at large—weakened, yet still a terrifying foe. More pressing is the conspiracy of the Arquali Emperor, his chief assassin, Sandor Ott, and the Chathrand’s notorious captain, Nilus Rose, to use the dawn wedding of Thasha and a Mzithrin prince as a signal to launch a war.

With every move they make, Thasha and her compatriots find that they have more to lose—especially the deposed ixchel queen, Diadrelu, and the woken rat, Felthrup, who each harbor terrible secrets they dare not reveal.

Worst of all is a hidden, festering horror lurking in the hold of the Chathrand. A danger that not even Ramachni could have foreseen, it is the twisted product of a malevolent power determined to pull down the pillars of the world.

Now, as the Chathrand sets course through the uncharted waters of the vast and mysterious Ruling Sea, the fragile bonds of trust and love beginning to form between the unlikely allies will be tested to the breaking point—by unspeakable terrors, magical wonders, and shattering betrayals that dwarf anything that has come before.
Visit Robert V. S. Redick's website.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"World of Warcraft: Stormrage"

New from Pocket Books: World of Warcraft: Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak.

About the book, from the publisher:

When the world of Azeroth was young, the god-like titans brought order to it by reshaping its lands and seas. Throughout their great work, they followed a magnificent design for what they envisioned Azeroth would become. Although the titans departed Azeroth long ago, that design endures to this day. It is known as the Emerald Dream, a lush and savagely primal version of the...


Many are the mysteries surrounding the Emerald Dream and its reclusive guardians, the green dragonflight. In times past, druids have entered the Dream to monitor the ebb and flow of life on Azeroth in their never-ending quest to maintain the delicate balance of nature.

However, not all dreams are pleasant ones. Recently the Emerald Nightmare, an area of corruption within the Emerald Dream, began growing in size, transforming the Dream into a realm of unimaginable horror. Green dragons have been unexpectedly caught up in the Nightmare, emerging from it with shattered minds and twisted bodies. Druids who have entered the darkening Dream lately have found it difficult -- sometimes even impossible -- to escape.

Nor are these the Nightmare's only victims: more and more people are being affected. Even Malfurion Stormrage, first and foremost of the druids on Azeroth, may have fallen victim to this growing threat. As uncontrollable nightmares spread across the world, a desperate quest begins to find and free the archdruid.

Soon nature's enemies will learn the true meaning of the name

Visit Richard A. Knaak's website and blog.


New from Doubleday: Heresy by S. J. Parris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Masterfully blending true events with fiction, this blockbuster historical thriller delivers a page-turning murder mystery set on the sixteenth-century Oxford University campus.

Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic.

In S. J. Parris's gripping novel, Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen.

His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman. As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings, he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be. Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy.

Like The Dante Club and The Alienist, this clever, sophisticated, exceptionally enjoyable novel is written with the unstoppable narrative propulsion and stylistic flair of the very best historical thrillers.
Visit the official Heresy website.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"The Postmistress"

New from Putnam: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake.

About the book, from the publisher:

Those who carry the truth sometimes bear a terrible burden...

Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.

On the eve of the United States's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter.

In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.

The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen.

The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during war­time, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.
Visit Sarah Blake's website.

"The Cold Room"

New from Mira Books: The Cold Room by J.T. Ellison.

About the book:

Homicide Detective Taylor Jackson thinks she's seen it all in Nashville—from the Southern Strangler to the Snow White Killer. But she's never seen anything as perverse as the Conductor. Once his victim is captured, he contains her in a glass coffin, slowly starving her to death. Only then does he give in to his attraction.

When he's finished, he creatively disposes of the body by reenacting scenes from famous paintings. And it seems similar macabre works are being displayed in Europe. Taylor teams up with her fiancé, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, and a New Scotland Yard detective named James "Memphis" Highsmythe, a haunted man who only has eyes for Taylor, to put an end to the Conductor's art collection.

Has the killer gone international with his craft? Or are there dueling artists, competing to create the ultimate masterpiece?
Learn more about the book and author at J.T. Ellison's website.

The Page 69 Test: All the Pretty Girls.

The Page 99 Test: 14.

The Page 69 Test: 14.

The Page 99 Test: Judas Kiss.

My Book, The Movie: the Taylor Jackson series.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"The Gin Closet"

New from Free Press: The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a bold, sensitive, and shrewd young writer: a hotly anticipated debut novel, about flesh, fear, poverty, privilege, and the sheer and inescapable brutality of love.

In the beginning, there was Tilly: fabulous and free, outrageous and untamable, vulnerable and terrified. Was it the Sixties that did her wrong, or the drugs, or the men, or was it the middle-class upbringing she couldn't abide? As a young woman, she flees home for the hollow neon underworld of Nevada, looking for pure souls and finding nothing but bad habits. She stays away for decades, working the streets and worse, eventually drinking herself to the brink of death in the middle of the desert. One day, after Tilly has spent nearly thirty years without a family, her niece shows up on the doorstep of her dusty trailer.

Stella has been leading her own life of empty promise in New York City. She makes her living booking Botox appointments and national-media appearances for a famous (and famously neurotic) "inspirational" writer by day; she complains about her job at warehouse parties in remote boroughs by night; she waits for her married lover to make time in his schedule to screw her over, softly; and she takes care of her ailing grandmother in Connecticut. Before Stella's grandmother dies, she tells Stella the truth about Tilly, her runaway daughter, and Stella decides to give up the vast and penetrating loneliness of the city to find this lost woman the family had never mentioned.

The Gin Closet unravels the strange and powerful intimacy that forms between Tilly and Stella as they move to San Francisco to make a home with Abe, Tilly's overworked and elusive son. Shifting between the perspectives of both women, the narrative documents the construction of a fragile triangle that eventually breaks under its own weight.

With an uncanny ear for dialogue and a witty, unflinching candor about sex, love, and power, Leslie Jamison reminds us that no matter how unexpected its turns are, this life we're given is all we have: the cruelties that unhinge us, the beauties that clarify us, the addictions that deform us, those fleeting possibilities of grace that fade as quickly as they come. In the words of writer Charles D'Ambrosio, this extraordinary novel teaches us that "history has its way, the body has its way, and the rebellions we believe in leave behind a bleak wisdom, if we're lucky -- and defeat, if we're not." The Gin Closet marks the debut of a stunning new talent in fiction.
Visit Leslie Jamison's website.

"This Time Tomorrow"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: This Time Tomorrow by Michael Jaime-Becerra.

About the book, from the publisher:

Gilbert Gaeta, a forklift operator in a dairy, can barely make payments on the house where he lives with his thirteen-year-old daughter, Ana. When a month of overtime shifts comes his way, he begins to envision a new life, one in which he can save enough money for an engagement ring and finally propose to his girlfriend, Joyce. He works the night shift, exhausted but making good money, and it’s looking like his plan will work. Then Ana is chased home from the Laundromat by bullies, and she begins pushing him to buy a washer and dryer. Gilbert tries to stay firm, but when Ana’s trouble follows her to school, the pressure mounts to put her first, and delay his future with Joyce.

Joyce, who at thirty-six has never lived on her own, can’t move out of her father’s traditional Mexican house until she is married. Feeling her life with Gilbert slipping away, she starts to despair. And then one day, standing before her impressive collection of vintage purses, she sees a way to take control of her future. But it won’t be easy.

Writing from three distinct and equally moving perspectives, award-winning author Michael Jaime-Becerra tells a story about the painful balance between love and responsibility. An intimate and poignant first novel, This Time Tomorrow casts a new light on Southern California’s working class and its struggles for happiness.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Something Is Out There"

New from Knopf: Something Is Out There: Stories by Richard Bausch.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the prizewinning novelist and world-renowned short-story writer, the author of 2008’s universally acclaimed novel Peace (“A brilliant one-act drama depicting the futility and moral complexity of combat” —The New York Times), eleven indelible new tales that showcase the electrifying artistry of a master.

A husband confronts the power of youth and the inexorable truths of old age. A son sits by his mother’s bedside determined to give her what she needs in her final days, even though doing so means breaking his own heart. A brief adulterous tryst illuminates the fragility of our most intimate relations. A young man returns in the face of crisis to the parents he once rejected. A divorced young woman dealing with slowly increasing despair develops an obsession about a note that fell from the pocket of a man who came to eat in the café where she works. A wife whose husband has been shot must weather a terrible snowstorm with her two sons, as well as a storm of doubt about the extent of his involvement in a crime.

Richard Bausch’s stories contend with transfixing themes: marital and familial estrangement, ways of trespass, the intractable mysteries and frights of daily life in these times, the uncertainty of knowledge and truth, the gulfs between friends and lovers, the frailty of even the most abiding love—while underlining throughout the persistence of love, the obdurate forces that connect us. His consummate skill, penetrating wit, and unfailing emotional generosity are on glorious display in this fine new collection.
Visit Richard Bausch's website.

"Union Atlantic"

New from Nan A. Talese: Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett.

About the book, from the publisher:

The eagerly anticipated debut novel from the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist You Are Not a Stranger Here: a deeply affecting portrait of the modern gilded age, the first decade of the twenty-first century.

At the heart of Union Atlantic lies a test of wills between a young banker, Doug Fanning, and a retired schoolteacher, Charlotte Graves, whose two dogs have begun to speak to her. When Doug builds an ostentatious mansion on land that Charlotte's grandfather donated to the town of Finden, Massachusetts, she determines to oust him in court. As a senior manager of Union Atlantic bank, a major financial conglomerate, Doug is embroiled in the company's struggle to remain afloat. It is Charlotte's brother, Henry Graves, the president of the New York Federal Reserve, who must keep a watchful eye on Union Atlantic and the entire financial system. Drawn into Doug and Charlotte's intensifying conflict is Nate Fuller, a troubled high-school senior who unwittingly stirs powerful emotions in each of them.

Irresistibly complex, imaginative, and witty, Union Atlantic is a singular work of fiction that is sure to be read and reread long after it causes a sensation this spring.
Visit Adam Haslett's website.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"The 188th Crybaby Brigade"

New from Free Press: The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah--A Memoir by Joel Chasnoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Look at me. Do you see me? Do you see me in my olive-green uniform, beret, and shiny black boots? Do you see the assault rifle slung across my chest? Finally! I am the badass Israeli soldier at the side of the road, in sunglasses, forearms like bricks. And honestly -- have you ever seen anything quite like me?

Joel Chasnoff is twenty-four years old, an American, and the graduate of an Ivy League university. But when his career as a stand-up comic fails to get off the ground, Chasnoff decides it's time for a serious change of pace. Leaving behind his amenity-laden Brooklyn apartment for a plane ticket to Israel, Joel trades in the comforts of being a stereotypical American Jewish male for an Uzi, dog tags (with his name misspelled), and serious mental and physical abuse at the hands of the Israeli Army.

The 188th Crybaby Brigade is a hilarious and poignant account of Chasnoff's year in the Israel Defense Forces -- a year that he volunteered for, and that he'll never get back. As a member of the 188th Armored Brigade, a unit trained on the Merkava tanks that make up the backbone of Israeli ground forces, Chasnoff finds himself caught in a twilight zone-like world of mandatory snack breaks, battalion sing-alongs, and eighteen-year-old Israeli mama's boys who feign injuries to get out of guard duty and claim diarrhea to avoid kitchen work. More time is spent arguing over how to roll a sleeve cuff than studying the mechanics of the Merkava tanks. The platoon sergeants are barely older than the soldiers and are younger than Chasnoff himself. By the time he's sent to Lebanon for a tour of duty against Hezbollah, Chasnoff knows everything about why snot dries out in the desert, yet has never been trained in firing the MAG. And all this while his relationship with his tough-as-nails Israeli girlfriend (herself a former drill sergeant) crumbles before his very eyes.

The lone American in a platoon of eighteen-year-old Israelis, Chasnoff takes readers into the barracks; over, under, and through political fences; and face-to-face with the absurd reality of life in the Israeli Army. It is a brash and gritty depiction of combat, rife with ego clashes, breakdowns in morale, training mishaps that almost cost lives, and the barely containable sexual urges of a group of teenagers. What's more, it's an on-the-ground account of life in one of the most em-battled armies on earth -- an occupying force in a hostile land, surrounded by enemy governments and terrorists, reviled by much of the world. With equal parts irreverence and vulnerability, irony and intimacy, Chasnoff narrates a new kind of coming-of-age story -- one that teaches us, moves us, and makes us laugh.
Visit Joel Chasnoff's website and blog.

"Let It Ride"

New from Minotaur/ Thomas Dunne Books: Let It Ride by John McFetridge.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of two critically acclaimed Canadian crime novels, with Let It Ride John McFetridge takes us deep inside the gray zone that exists between the Canadian/American border, delivering all the up to the minute twists and edgy action of an episode of The Wire.

Vernard ‘Get’ McGetty is back from serving in Afghanistan, back dealing drugs in Detroit and looking to move up with his buddy JT, a guy he met in Kandahar who also happens to be the leader of the Saints of Hell—a notorious Ontario biker gang currently in the process of taking over all North of the border drug traffic. Commuting weekly across the line into the center of JT’s high flying empire, Get hooks up with Sunitha, a decidedly independent woman who’s gone from working seedy massage parlors to robbing them at gunpoint—and has dreams of a much bigger score: taking the Saints for the millions they have stashed in gold bars. Meanwhile, the Toronto cops have the Saints under a microscope. Detectives Price and McKeon are getting nowhere with a double drive-by killing on the Gardiner Expressway—a husband and wife returning from a swingers party—and the investigation keeps leading back to the Saints…
Learn more about the author and his work at John McFetridge's website and his blog.

See McFetridge's Author Snapshot at January Magazine.

The Page 69 Test: Dirty Sweet.

The Page 69 Test: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Approaching Ice"

New from Persea Books: Approaching Ice: Poems by Elizabeth Bradfield.

About the book, from the publisher:

Finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets

This collection portrays the gripping history of polar exploration by channeling its most notable figures — Symmes, Mawson, Scott, Cherry-Garrard, Byrd, and Shackleton among them. From their perspectives and her own, Elizabeth Bradfield relays the wonders and dangers, physical and mental, encountered while endeavoring to reach the earth's least-hospitable regions.
Visit Elizabeth Bradfield's website.

"Print the Legend"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Print the Legend by Craig McDonald.

About the book, from the publisher:

Craig McDonald's debut, Head Games, a relentlessly slick and action packed literary caper novel, was shortlisted for the Edgar, Anthony, Crimespress and Gumshoe awards for Best First Novel. Now, with Print the Legend, McDonald exceeds the extraordinary promise of his debut, delivering a consummate mystery about a conspiracy gone wrong, and the outer edges of creative jealousy and obsessive revenge.

It was the shot heard around the world: On July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway died from a shotgun blast to the head... 4 years later, two men have come to Idaho to confront the widow Hemingway—men who have doubts about the circumstances of Hemingway's death. One is crime novelist Hector Lassiter, the oldest and best of Hem's friends...the last man standing of the Lost Generation. Hector has heard rumors of some surviving Hemingway manuscripts: a "lost" chapter of A Moveable Feast and a full-length novel written by a deluded Hemingway that Hector fears might compromise his own reputation. The other man is professor Richard Paulson, who along with his pregnant wife Hannah, herself an aspiring writer, is bent on proving that Mary Hemingway murdered Papa. As Hector digs into the mystery of Hemingway's lost writings, he uncovers an audacious, decades-long conspiracy tied to the emergent art movements of 1920's Paris, the most duplicitous of Cold War espionage tactics, and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI...
Learn more about the author and his work at Craig McDonald's website, blog, and Crimespace page.

The Page 69 Test: Toros & Torsos.

The Page 69 Test: Head Games.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"A Night Too Dark"

New from Minotaur Books: A Night Too Dark by Dana Stabenow.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Night Too Dark is New York Times bestselling writer Dana Stabenow’s latest, the seventeenth in a series chronicling life, death, love, tragedy, mischief, controversy, nature, and survival in Alaska, America’s last real frontier.

In Alaska, people disappear every day. In Aleut detective Kate Shugak’s Park, they’ve been disappearing a lot lately. Hikers head into the wilderness unprepared and get lost. Miners quit without notice at the busy Suulutaq Mine. Suicides leave farewell notes and vanish.

Not only are Park rats disappearing at an alarming rate, but so is life in the Park as Kate knows it. Alaska state trooper Jim Chopin’s workload has increased to where he doesn’t make it home three nights out of four, the controversial mine has seduced Johnny and his classmates with summer jobs and divided the Niniltna Native Association—the aunties are to a woman selling out—and a hostile environmental activist organization has embraced the Suulutaq Mine as their reason for being.

It’s almost a relief when Kate finds a body. This she can handle.

Until the identity of the body vanishes, too.

In this latest Kate Shugak novel, the smart, sexy PI, her wolf/husky hybrid Mutt, and Chopper Jim are only just beginning to realize the fallout from the discovery of the world’s second-largest gold mine in their backyard. “Mine change everything,” Auntie Vi said in Whisper to the Blood (the previous book in the series and the first to hit the New York Times bestseller list).

And it’s only just beginning.
Visit Stabenow's official website.

The Page 69 Test: A Deeper Sleep.

Writers Read: Dana Stabenow.

“Slow Fire”

New from Minotaur Books: Slow Fire by Ken Mercer.

About the book, from the publisher:

One morning, Will Magowan opens his mail and finds a mysterious job offer to become the police chief of Haydenville, a tiny town in rural Northern California.

Once a highly decorated LAPD narcotics detective, Will was terminated after a devastating personal tragedy drove him to become addicted to the heroin he was charged with keeping off the streets. Fresh out of rehab but jobless and estranged from his wife, Will now lives alone in an old Airstream trailer on the fringes of L.A.

Out of options, Will accepts the job. After moving to Haydenville, he discovers that the once postcard-perfect town is being corrupted by a criminal influence that threatens to destroy it.

Haydenville’s normally law-abiding citizens begin to erupt in acts of unspeakable violence. Pets are going missing at an alarming rate. Stately Victorian homes are falling into disrepair.

With only a rookie officer at his disposal, Will risks everything in his quest to save Haydenville—entering a labyrinth of dark secrets that have remained buried for almost 40 years.

An emotionally complex and literate page-turner, Slow Fire marks the electrifying debut of a new series featuring Will Magowan.
Visit Ken Mercer's website.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"O, Juliet"

New from NAL/Penguin: O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

"One of the queens of historical fiction" offers a new take on the mesmerizing young woman and poetess who inspired Shakespeare's most famous female character.

Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage into the Medici dynasty, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that takes flight in the privacy of her bedchamber and on her garden balcony.

Her life and destiny are forever changed when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars.
Visit Robin Maxwell's website and blog.

"The Dark-Eyes' War"

New from Tor Books: The Dark-Eyes' War by David B. Coe.

About the book, from the publisher:

A bitter old woman’s curse has set in motion events that have felled innocent lives across an already war-weary land. She has paid the ultimate price, and an end to the curse is at hand, but her evil has created chaos and destruction.

Qirsi all across the Southlands are dying from a plague that turns their own magic against them, allowing an Eandi army from Stelpana to boldly march into their territory. But magic has many faces, and the Qirsi aren’t the only ones cursed; even as Stelpana’s force wins battles, an insidious magic has corrupted the spells of their sorcerers, and what began as a military triumph is suddenly jeopardized. The future of the Southlands hangs in the balance, as the deeds of previous generations wreak terrible consequences on both sides in this misbegotten war.
Visit David B. Coe's website and blog.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"As It Was Written"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: As It Was Written by Sujatha Hampton.

About the book, from the publisher:

The epic journey of an Indian-American family which unfolds when men and women, Hindus and Catholics, histories and curses, collide

In McLean, Virginia, Dr. Raman Nair lives a life of abounding satisfaction with his tiny wife, Jaya, and his harem of enormous and beautiful daughters. He has been away from his native Kerala, India for so long that he has happily forgotten the ancient Brahmin curse that follows his family like a black cloud, killing one girl for love in every generation. But his wife hasn’t forgotten, nor has his baby sister, Gita. Suddenly his daughters are up to no good and Dr. Raman Nair doesn’t know which way to turn.

As It Was Written marks the arrival of a wonderful new voice in fiction, and a storyteller of the highest order.
Visit Sujatha Hampton's blog.

"Model Home"

New from Scribner: Model Home by Eric Puchner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Warren Ziller moved his family to California in search of a charmed life, and to all appearances, he found it: a gated community not far from the beach, amid the affluent splendor of Southern California in the 1980s. But his American dream has been rudely interrupted. Despite their affection for one another -- the "slow, jokey, unrehearsed vaudeville" they share at home -- Warren; his wife, Camille; and their three children have veered into separate lives, as distant as satellites. Worst of all, Warren has squandered the family's money on a failing real estate venture.

As Warren desperately tries to conceal his mistake, his family begins to sow deceptions of their own. Camille attributes Warren's erratic behavior toan affair and plots her secret revenge; seventeen-year-old Dustin falls for his girlfriend's troubled younger sister; teen misanthrope Lyle begins sleeping with a security guard who works at the gatehouse; and eleven-year-old Jonas becomes strangely obsessed with a kidnapped girl.

When tragedy strikes, the Zillers are forced to move into one of the houses in Warren's abandoned development in the middle of the desert. Marooned in a less-than-model home, each must reckon with what's led them there and who's to blame -- and whether they can summon the forgiveness needed to hold the family together. Subtly ambitious, brimming with the humor and unpredictability of life, Model Home delivers penetrating insights into the American family and into the imperfect ways we try to connect, from a writer "uncannily in tune with the heartbreak and absurdity of domestic life" (Los Angeles Times).
Visit Eric Puchner's website.