Monday, May 31, 2010

"The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"

New from Doubleday: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.

About the book, from the publisher:

The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender’s place as “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Learn more about the author and her work at Aimee Bender's website.

The Page 99 Test: Aimmee Bender's Willful Creatures.

"A Bad Day for Pretty"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: A Bad Day for Pretty by Sophie Littlefield.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stella Hardesty, avenger of wronged women, is getting cozy with Sheriff "Goat" Jones when a tornado blows none other than Goat’s scheming ex-wife, Brandy, through the front door. Adding to the chaos, the tornado destroys the snack shack at the demolition derby track, pulling up the concrete foundation and unearthing a woman's body. The main suspect in the woman’s murder is Neb Donovan---he laid the foundation, and there's some pretty hard evidence pointing to his guilt. Years ago, Neb's wife asked Stella for help getting him sober. Stella doesn't believe the gentle man could kill anyone, and she promises his frantic wife she'll look into it.

Former client Chrissy Shaw is now employed at Stella's sewing shop and she helps with the snooping as Stella negotiates the unpredictable Brandy and the dangerously magnetic sheriff.

This is the thrilling sequel to Sophie Littlefield’s debut, A Bad Day for Sorry, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Stella Hardesty is a heroine to watch---join her on this next adventure for as fiercely funny and riveting a story as there is to be found in crime fiction.
The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Sorry.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Dear Money"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Dear Money by Martha McPhee.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this Pygmalion tale of a novelist turned bond trader, Martha McPhee brings to life the greed and riotous wealth of New York during the heady days of the second gilded age. India Palmer, living the cash-strapped existence of the writer, is visiting wealthy friends in Maine when a yellow biplane swoops down from the clear blue sky to bring a stranger into her life, one who will change everything.The stranger isWin Johns, a swaggering and intellectually bored trader of mortgage- backed securities. Charmed by India’s intelligence, humor, and inquisitive nature—and aware of her near-desperate financial situation—Win poses a proposition: “Give me eighteen months and I’ll make you a world-class bond trader.” Shedding her artist’s life with surprising ease, India embarks on a raucous ride to the top of the income chain, leveraging herself with crumbling real estate, never once looking back ... Or does she?

With a light-handed irony that is by turns as measured as Claire Messud’s and as biting as Tom Wolfe’s, Martha McPhee tells the classic American story of people reinventing themselves, unaware of the price they must pay for their transformation.
Visit Martha McPhee's website.

"Grace under Pressure"

New from Berkley: Grace under Pressure: A Manor of Murder Mystery by Julie Hyzy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, but now it's up to new curator Grace Wheaton and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers to protect dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets -- and sour grapes out for revenge.
Learn more about the author and her work at Julie Hyzy's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: the White House Chef mysteries.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Justice in June"

New from Oceanview Publishing: Justice in June by Barbara Levenson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mary Magruder Katz is about to find herself in the eye of storm.

Miami in June: it’s raining, it’s pouring, but the life of criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz is anything but boring—especially when she gets caught up in a whirlwind of three different cases.

Judge Liz Maxwell’s job, sanity, and reputation are at stake, and she needs Mary to ferret out wrongdoing in Miami’s courts. Solving this case won’t just mean going out on a limb; it will mean risking life and limb.

Luis Corona, a family friend of Mary’s boyfriend, Carlos, needs help with a legal matter that, to Mary’s horror, turns out to be a terrorism charge. And this case will leave some catastrophic damage—and unwelcome notoriety—in its wake.

Just when Mary thought things couldn’t get worse, Carlos gets in his own nasty legal quandary—one that could cost him everything.

Three cases. One Mary. One torrential downpour of turmoil.

Can she weather the storm? Ride out the cold front that settles over her once-hot romance? Salvage what remains of her—and her clients’—reputations?

For Mary Magruder Katz, this month’s forecast calls for trouble.
Barbara Levenson is the author of Fatal February, the first novel in the Mary Magruder Katz mystery series. Justice in June is her latest novel.

Learn more about the books and author at Barbara Levenson's website.

My Book, The Movie: Fatal February.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Barbara Levenson & Mr. Magruder.

"The Go-Between"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Go-Between: A Novel of the Kennedy Years by Frederick Turner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A faded newspaperman downs a double Maker’s Mark and contemplates life as a “ham-and-egger,” a hack. Then one day he finds the scoop of a lifetime in a Chicago basement: diaries belonging to the infamous Judith Campbell Exner. Right, that Judy, the game girl who waltzed into the midst of America’s most powerful politicians, entertainers, and criminals as they conspired to rule America.

When Frank Sinatra flew Judy to Hawaii for a weekend of partying, she could hardly have imagined where it would lead her: straight to the White House and the waiting arms of Jack Kennedy. And then came the day that JFK and his brother Bobby asked her to carry a black bag to Chicago, where she was to hand it off to the boss of bosses, Sam Giancana. As our Narrator pieces the notebooks into a coherent story, he finds mob connections, rigged primaries, assassination plots, and trysts—and begins to see beyond the tabloid fare to a real woman, adrift and defenseless in a dangerous world where the fates of nations are at stake. As one by one the men Judy loved betrayed her and disappeared, and as the FBI pursued her into a living hell, her diary entries disintegrate along with the beautiful, tough, sweet woman the Narrator has come to know. Who was Exner, after all? Just a gangster’s moll? Or a bighearted woman who believed the sky-high promises of the New Frontier—and paid the price?
Visit Frederick Turner's website.

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Girl by the Road at Night"

New from Simon & Schuster: Girl by the Road at Night by David Rabe.

About the book, from the publisher:

David Rabe’s award-winning Vietnam plays have come to embody our collective fears, doubts, and tenuous grasp of a war that continues to haunt. Partially written upon his return from the war, Girl by the Road at Night is Rabe’s first work of fiction set in Vietnam—a spare and poetic narrative about a young soldier embarking on a tour of duty and the Vietnamese prostitute he meets in country.

Private Joseph Whitaker, with Vietnam deployment papers in hand, spends his last free weekend in Washington, DC, drinking, attending a peace rally, and visiting an old girlfriend, now married. He observes his surroundings closely, attempting to find reason in an atmosphere of hysteria and protest, heightened by his own anger. When he arrives in Vietnam, he happens upon Lan, a local girl who submits nightly to the American GIs with a heartbreaking combination of decency and guile. Her family dispersed and her father dead, she longs for a time when life meant riding in water buffalo carts through rice fields with her brother. Whitaker’s chance encounter with Lan sparks an unexpected, almost unrecognized, visceral longing between two people searching for companionship and tenderness amid the chaos around them.

In transformative prose, Rabe has created an atmosphere charged with exquisite poignancy and recreated the surreal netherworld of Vietnam in wartime with unforgettable urgency and grace. Girl by the Road at Night is a brilliant meditation on disillusionment, sexuality, and masculinity, and one of Rabe’s finest works to date.

"The Faculty Club"

New from Atria: The Faculty Club by Danny Tobey.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the world’s most exclusive law school, there’s a secret society rumored to catapult its members to fame and fortune. Everyone is dying to get in...

Jeremy Davis is the rising star of his first-year class. He’s got a plum job with the best professor on campus. He’s caught the eye of a dazzling Rhodes scholar named Daphne. But something dark is stirring behind the ivy. When a mysterious club promises success beyond his wildest dreams, Jeremy uncovers a macabre secret older than the university itself. In a race against time, Jeremy must stop an ancient ritual that will sacrifice the lives of those he loves most and blur the lines between good and evil.

In this extraordinary debut thriller, Danny Tobey offers a fascinating glimpse into the rarefied world of an elite New England school and the unthinkable dangers that lie within its gates. He deftly weaves a tale of primeval secrets and betrayal into an ingenious brain teaser that will keep readers up late into the night.

Packed with enigmatic professors, secret codes, hidden tunnels, and sinister villains, The Faculty Club establishes Danny Tobey as this season’s most thrilling new author.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"The Madonnas of Echo Park"

New from Free Press: The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse.

About the book, from the publisher:

We slipped into this country like thieves, onto the land that once was ours.

With these words, spoken by an illegal Mexican day laborer, The Madonnas of Echo Park takes us into the unseen world of Los Angeles, following the men and women who cook the meals, clean the homes, and struggle to lose their ethnic identity in the pursuit of the American dream.

When a dozen or so girls and mothers gather on an Echo Park street corner to act out a scene from a Madonna music video, they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. In the aftermath, Aurora Esperanza grows distant from her mother, Felicia, who as a housekeeper in the Hollywood Hills establishes a unique relationship with a detached housewife.

The Esperanzas’ shifting lives connect with those of various members of their neighborhood. A day laborer trolls the streets for work with men half his age and witnesses a murder that pits his morality against his illegal status; a religious hypocrite gets her comeuppance when she meets the Virgin Mary at a bus stop on Sunset Boulevard; a typical bus route turns violent when cultures and egos collide in the night, with devastating results; and Aurora goes on a journey through her gentrified childhood neighborhood in a quest to discover her own history and her place in the land that all Mexican Americans dream of, "the land that belongs to us again."

Like the Academy Award–winning film Crash, The Madonnas of Echo Park follows the intersections of its characters and cultures in Los Angeles. In the footsteps of Junot Díaz and Sherman Alexie, Brando Skyhorse in his debut novel gives voice to one neighborhood in Los Angeles with an astonishing— and unforgettable—lyrical power.
Visit Brando Skyhorse's website.

"City of Fear"

New from Delacorte Press: City of Fear by David Hewson.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s the height of the tourist season in Rome, and security is tight as world leaders gather for a G8 summit. While politicians bicker behind the walls of the illustrious Palazzo del Quirinale, a terrible threat is lurking outside—a threat that’s been dormant for a long time but is now very much awake. In David Hewson’s powerful new thriller, Detective Nic Costa and the men and women of the Questura must work in secret to thwart a conspiracy that reaches higher than any of them could have imagined.

In the early hours of a sultry summer evening, a government car comes under fire along the narrow Via delle Quattro Fontane. When the shots die away, one person lies dead and another—Ministry of Interior official Giovanni Batisti—has been abducted.

The terrible fate of the missing bureaucrat is soon revealed—leaving all of Italy in shock. Who would do such a thing? And why? All signs point to a mysterious terrorist group that calls itself the Blue Demon, an organization whose last campaign of violence ended two decades ago.

For Detective Nic Costa, solving this case is an all-consuming obsession. But as he and his team begin their investigation, they find themselves reduced to expensive bodyguards—and their hands tied with red tape—until tragedy strikes and claims one of their own.

Hampered at every turn by the Ministry of Interior’s meddling security chief and a cagey and powerful prime minister, Costa and the members of his team are determined to pursue their quest for justice. As one terror attack after another sends the Eternal City spiraling into panic, Nic Costa vows that nothing will stop him from catching a vengeful madman bent on tearing apart his city, its people, and its very history.
Learn more about the author and his work at David Hewson's website and blog.

Hewson is the author of the Nic Costa series of novels set primarily in contemporary Rome. A former journalist with the London Times and Sunday Times, his work has been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Thai ... and Italian.

The Page 69 Test: The Seventh Sacrament.

The Page 99 Test: The Garden of Evil.

My Book, The Movie: Dante's Numbers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Anthropology of an American Girl"

New from Spiegel & Grau: Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel by Hilary Thayer Hamann.

About the book, from the publisher:

Self-published in 2003, Hilary Thayer Hamann’s Anthropology of an American Girl touched a nerve among readers, who identified with the sexual and intellectual awakening of its heroine, a young woman on the brink of adulthood. A moving depiction of the transformative power of first love, Hamann’s first novel follows Eveline Auerbach from her high school years in East Hampton, New York, in the 1970s through her early adulthood in the moneyed, high-pressured Manhattan of the 1980s.

Centering on Evie’s fragile relationship with her family and her thwarted love affair with Harrison Rourke, a professional boxer, the novel is both a love story and an exploration of the difficulty of finding one’s place in the world. As Evie surrenders to the dazzling emotional highs of love and the crippling loneliness of heartbreak, she strives to reconcile her identity with the constraints that all relationships—whether those familial or romantic, uplifting to the spirit or quietly detrimental—inherently place on us. Though she stumbles and strains against social conventions, Evie remains a strong yet sensitive observer of the world around her, often finding beauty and meaning in unexpected places.

Newly edited and revised since its original publication, Anthropology of an American Girl is an extraordinary piece of writing, original in its vision and thrilling in its execution.
Visit Hilary Thayer Hamann's website.

"The Whole World"

New from Delacorte Press: The Whole World by Emily Winslow.

About the book, from the publisher:

At once a sensual and irresistible mystery and a haunting work of psychological insight and emotional depth, The Whole World marks the beginning of a brilliant literary career for Emily Winslow, a superb, limitlessly gifted author.

Set in the richly evoked pathways and environs of Cambridge, England, The Whole World unearths the desperate secrets kept by its many complex characters—students, professors, detectives, husbands, mothers—secrets that lead to explosive consequences.

Two Americans studying at Cambridge University, Polly and Liv, both strangers to their new home, both survivors of past mistakes, become quick friends. They find a common interest in Nick, a handsome, charming, seemingly guileless graduate student. For a time, the three engage in harmless flirtation, growing closer while doing research for professor Gretchen Paul, the blind daughter of a famed novelist. But a betrayal, followed by Nick’s inexplicable disappearance, brings long-buried histories to the surface.

The investigation raises countless questions, and the newspapers report all the most salacious details—from the crime that scars Polly’s past to the searing truths concealed in photographs Gretchen cannot see. Soon the three young lovers will discover how little they know about one another, and how devastating the ripples of long-ago actions can be.
Visit Emily Winslow's website.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"The Terrorist"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Terrorist by Peter Steiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Long ago, after a brief and catastrophic career as a CIA operative in the Middle East, Louis Morgon went to live in the French countryside. He just wanted to be left alone in his little corner of paradise, to garden and to paint and to have long, lazy dinners with his friends.

But an old enemy with a lingering grudge has organized a conspiracy that will use the full force of the American government to destroy Louis. At first Louis is oblivious to what is going on, and even when he has an inkling, he is slow getting started. By all rights he shouldn’t have a chance. And he wouldn’t, except for his quirky intelligence and his odd and wonderful friends--Solesme, his lover; Renard, the village policeman; and Zaharia, an Algerian boy.

This is a vivid and colorful novel with a cast of vibrant and amusing characters. It takes the reader from the beaches of Brittany to the halls of official Washington to old Algiers and back again along a route so twisty that it would make you dizzy if it weren’t so much fun.
Visit Peter Steiner's website.

"Never Wave Goodbye"

New from Touchstone: Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee.

About the book, from the publisher:

An innocent rite of passage turns into a nightmare for four couples, exposing their secrets and risking the lives of their children.

After passing the bittersweet parental milestone of putting her daughter, Sarah on the bus to sleep-away camp for the first time, Lena Trainor plans to spend the next two weeks fixing all the problems in her marriage. But when a second bus arrives to pick up Sarah for camp, no one seems to know anything about the first bus or its driver.

Sarah and three other children have been kidnapped, and within hours of the crime the parents receive an email demanding $1,000,000. When the specifics of the delivery terms throw suspicion on the parents of two of the abducted children, some of the parents begin to turn on each other, exposing fault lines in already strained marriages and forging new alliances. While the kidnapped children are living their parents' worst nightmare, the police are trying to sort the lies from the truth in conflicting stories and alibis that seem to be constantly changing.

Deftly weaving the emotional story that pits the parents of the missing campers against the police—and each other—with the fate of the kidnapped children hanging in the balance, Never Wave Goodbye will keep readers holding their breath until the last page.
Visit Doug Magee's website.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Leaving Rock Harbor"

New from Scribner: Leaving Rock Harbor by Rebecca Chace.

About the book, from the publisher:

An unforgettable coming-of-age story and a luminous portrayal of a dramatic era of American history, Rebecca Chace’s Leaving Rock Harbor takes readers into the heart of a New England mill town in the early twentieth century.

On the eve of World War I, fourteen-year-old Frankie Ross and her parents leave their simple life in Poughkeepsie to seek a new beginning in the booming city of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts. Frankie’s father finds work in a bustling cotton mill, but erupting labor strikes threaten to dismantle the town’s socioeconomic structure. Frankie soon befriends two charismatic young men—Winslow Curtis, privileged son of the town’s most powerful politician, and Joe Barros, a Portuguese mill worker who becomes a union organizer—forming a tender yet bittersweet love triangle that will have an impact on all three throughout their lives.

Inspired in part by Chace’s family history, Frankie’s journey to adulthood takes us through the First World War and into the Jazz Age, followed by the Great Depression—from rags to riches and back again. Her life parallels the evolution of the mill town itself, and the lost promise of a boomtown that everyone thought would last forever.

Of her acclaimed novel Capture the Flag, the Los Angeles Times said, "Chace’s writing resembles a generation of New York writers heavily influenced by John Updike: Rick Moody, A. M. Homes, Susan Minot, and, more recently, Melissa Bank." With its lyrical prose and compelling style, Leaving Rock Harbor further establishes Chace’s position in that literary tradition.
Visit Rebecca Chace's website and blog.

"Summer Shift"

New from Touchstone: Summer Shift by Lynn Kiele Bonasia.

About the book, from the publisher:

Forty-four-year-old Cape Cod clam bar owner Mary Hopkins is stuck in the cycle of her seasonal business; overwhelmed by the relentless influx of new names and fresh young faces, she feels as if life is passing her by.

In the first days of the summer season, a young waitress’s tragic accident stirs up unresolved pain from Mary’s past, leaving her longing for connection. At the same time, Mary’s life is further upended as she begins to suspect her beloved great-aunt, the one person in the world who loves her unconditionally, is descending into Alzheimer’s disease. Then, in walks Dan, a lost love—perhaps the greatest of her life— returning to the Cape after disappearing years before without an explanation. As Mary faces these challenges and losses, it’s her rekindled romance with Dan and her burgeoning unlikely friendships with a warm, eccentric collection of local characters that keep her afloat.

Set against the backdrop of Cape Cod sand, sun, and seafood, Summer Shift is the story of a woman’s struggle to find the peace, love, and human connection that have eluded her for decades.
Visit Lynn Kiele Bonasia's website and blog.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"The Rebellion of Jane Clarke"

New from William Morrow: The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning.

About the book, from the publisher:

On the eve of the Revolutionary War, a young woman is caught between tradition and independence, family and conscience, loyalty and love, in this spellbinding novel from the author of The Widow's War and Bound

Jane Clarke leads a simple yet rich life in the small village of Satucket on Cape Cod. The vibrant scent of the ocean breeze, the stark beauty of the dunes, the stillness of the millpond are among the daily joys she treasures. Her days are full attending to her father's needs, minding her younger siblings, working with the local midwife. But at twenty-two, Jane knows things will change. Someday, perhaps soon, she will be expected to move out of her father's home and start a household of her own.

Yet some things—including the bitter feud between her father and a fellow miller named Winslow—appear likely to remain the same. When the dispute erupts into a shocking act of violence, Jane's lifelong trust in her father is shaken. Adding to her unease is Phinnie Paine, the young man Jane's father has picked out as son-in-law as well as business partner. When Jane defies her father and refuses to accept Phinnie's marriage proposal, she is sent away to Boston to make her living as she can.

Arriving in this strange, bustling city awash with red coats and rebellious fervor, Jane plunges into new conflicts and carries with her old ones she'd hoped to leave behind. Father against daughter, Clarke against Winslow, loyalist against rebel, command against free will—the battles are complicated when her growing attachment to her frail aunt, her friendship with the bookseller Henry Knox, and the unexpected kindness of the British soldiers pit her against the townspeople who taunt them and her own beloved brother, Nate, a law clerk working for John Adams.

But when Jane witnesses British soldiers killing five colonists on a cold March evening in 1770, an event now dubbed "the Boston Massacre," she must question seeming truths and face one of the most difficult choices of her life, alone except for the two people who continue to stand by her—her grandparents Lyddie and Eben Freeman.

Grippingly rendered, filled with some of the lesser known but most influential figures of America's struggle for independence—John and Samuel Adams, Henry Knox, James Otis—The Rebellion of Jane Clarke is a compelling story of one woman's struggle to find her own place and leave her own mark on a new country as it is born.
Learn more about the author and her work at Sally Gunning's website.

The Page 69 Test: Bound.

"The House on Oyster Creek"

New from NAL: The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sensitive but practical, Charlotte Tradescome has come to accept the reticence of her older, work-obsessed husband Henry. Still, she hopes to create a life for their three-year-old daughter. So when Henry inherits a home on Cape Cod, she, Henry, and little Fiona move from their Manhattan apartment to this seaside community. Charlotte sells off part of Tradescome Point, inadvertently fueling the conflict between newcomers and locals. Many townspeople easily dismiss Charlotte as a "washashore." A rare exception is Darryl Stead, an oyster farmer with modest dreams and an open heart, with whom Charlotte feels the connection she's been missing. Ultimately he transforms the way she sees herself, the town, and the people she loves...
Visit Heidi Jon Schmidt's website.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Deadliest Sea"

New from William Morrow: Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History by Kalee Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Soon after 2:00 A.M. on Easter morning, March 23, 2008, the fishing trawler Alaska Ranger began taking on water in the middle of the frigid Bering Sea. While the first mate broadcast Mayday calls to a remote Coast Guard station more than eight hundred miles away, the men on the ship's icy deck scrambled to inflate life rafts and activate the beacon lights, which would guide rescuers to them in the water. By 4:30 A.M., the wheelhouse of the Ranger was just barely visible above the sea's surface, and most of the forty-seven crew members were in the water, wearing the red survival suits—a number of them torn or inadequately sized—that were supposed to keep them from freezing to death. Every minute in the twenty-foot swells was a fight for survival. Many knew that if they weren't rescued soon, they would drown or freeze to death.

Two Coast Guard helicopter rescue teams were woken up in the middle of the night to save the crew of the Alaska Ranger. Many of the men thought the mission would be routine. They were wrong. The helicopter teams battled snow squalls, enormous swells, and gale-force winds as they tried to fulfill one guiding principle: save as many as they could. Again and again, the helicopters lowered a rescue swimmer to the ocean's surface to bring the shipwrecked men, some delirious with hypothermia, some almost frozen to death, back to the helicopter and to safety. Before the break of dawn, the Coast Guard had lifted more than twenty men from the freezing waves—more than any other cold-water Coast Guard rescue in history.

Deadliest Sea is a daring and mesmerizing adventure tale that chronicles the power of nature against man, and explores the essence of the fear each man and woman must face when confronted with catastrophe. It also investigates the shocking negligence that leads to the sinking of dozens of ships each year, which could be prevented and makes commercial fishing one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.

With deft writing and technical knowledge, veteran journalist Kalee Thompson recounts the harrowing stories of both the rescuers and the rescued who survived the deadly ordeal in the Bering Sea. Along the way, she pays tribute to the courage, tenacity, and skill of dedicated service people who risk their own lives for the lives of others.
Visit Kalee Thompson's website.


New from Scribner: Starfishing by Nicola Monaghan.

About the book, from the publisher:

LONDON, LATE 1990s. Frankie Cavanagh has just started working as a trader and is determined to beat the men she works with at their own game. The dizzying surge of adrenaline that comes with the chaos, the speed, the rush of the day, is only amplified when she begins an affair with her charismatic American boss. Powered by clubs, cocktails, and cocaine, their thrill-seeking relationship quickly spirals out of control, bringing Frankie to a point of reckoning.

This electrifying novel from the “awe-inspiring” (Birmingham Post, UK), award-winning author of The Killing Jar lays bare the landscape of London’s trading room floor—its fierce customs, furious pace, and insatiable greed. Nicola Monaghan depicts the high-stakes reality of the burgeoning global economy in the 1990s and reinvents the classic tale of ambition and power with a gritty, fearless heroine. Crackling with energy and intensity, Monaghan’s powerful and seductive prose plunges readers into a whirlpool of hubris and betrayal, capturing the fragile nature of morality and confirming her reputation as an exhilarating young talent.
Visit Nicola Monaghan's website and blog.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"The Summer We Read Gatsby"

New from Viking: The Summer We Read Gatsby: A Novel by Danielle Ganek.

About the book, from the publisher:

A delightful comedy of manners about two sisters who must set aside their differences when they inherit a house in the Hamptons

Half-sisters Cassie and Peck could not be more different. Cassie is a newly divorced journalist with her feet firmly planted on the ground; Peck is a vintage-obsessed actress with her head in the clouds. In fact, the only thing they seem to have in common is their inheritance of Fool's House, a rundown cottage left to them by their beloved Aunt Lydia. But Cassie and Peck can't afford the house, and they can't agree on anything, much less what to do with the place. Plus, along with the house, they've inherited an artist-in-residence and self-proclaimed genius named Biggsy who seems to bring suspiciously bad luck wherever he goes. As these two likable sisters try to understand their aunt's puzzling instructions to "seek a thing of utmost value" from within the house, they're both distracted by romantic entanglements with men from their pasts. The Summer We Read Gatsby, set in the end-of-an-era summer of 2008, is filled with fabulous parties, eccentric characters, and insider society details that showcase Ganek's pitch-perfect sense of style and wit.
Visit Danielle Ganek's website.

"The Ninth Step"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Ninth Step: A Jack Leightner Crime Novel by Gabriel Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Brooklyn South homicide detective Jack Leightner is at home enjoying a quiet day off when a stranger appears at his door and completely overturns his understanding of his own past. The following day, what looks like a mundane killing in a Brooklyn deli takes a bizarre turn when a crew of Homeland Security agents suddenly show up wearing anti-radiation gear. Soon Jack is embroiled in two dangerous and far-reaching investigations: a hunt for the Pakistani-American deli killer, who may be a member of a terrorist cell planning a new attack on New York, and an inquiry into his own family’s history on the Mafia-dominated waterfront of Red Hook in the 1960s.

At the same time, Jack is trying to figure out if he can forgive his former love Michelle. Throw in a couple of incredible (and true stories) that transport the reader to the Gulf of Aden in the age of modern pirates and to New York Harbor back in 1943, and you have the ingredients for a fascinating and thrilling new crime novel from Edgar Award finalist Gabriel Cohen.
Learn more about the author and his work at Gabriel Cohen's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Graving Dock.

My Book, The Movie: Red Hook.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Junkyard Dogs"

New from Penguin: Junkyard Dogs: A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A missing thumb and dead developers are only the beginning for Sheriff Walt Longmire

It's a volatile new economy in Durant, Wyoming, where the owners of a multi-million dollar development of ranchettes want to get rid of the adjacent junk-yard. When a severed thumb is discovered in the yard, conflicts erupt, and Walt Longmire, his trusty companion Dog, life-long friend Henry Standing Bear, and deputies Santiago Saizarbitoria and Victoria Moretti find themselves in a small town that feels more and more like a high plains pressure cooker.

Craig Johnson's award-winning Walt Longmire mysteries continue to find new fans, and Junkyard Dogs is sure to create many more devotees. The sixth book in the series is filled with Johnson's signature blend of wisecracks, Western justice, and page-turning plot twists, as the beloved sheriff finds himself star-deep in the darker aspects of human nature, in a story of love, laughs, death, and derelict automobiles.
Learn more about the author and his work at Craig Johnson's website.

The Page 69 Test: Kindness Goes Unpunished.

My Book, The Movie: The Cold Dish.

The Page 69 Test: The Dark Horse.

"Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping Addict"

New from Little, Brown: Spent: Memoirs of a Shopping Addict by Avis Cardella.

About the book, from the publisher:

As a child, Avis Cardella devoured the glamorous images in her mother's fashion magazines. She grew up to be one of the people in them, living a life that seemed to be filled with labels and luxury. But shopping had become a dangerous addiction. She forwent food for Prada. Credit card debt blossomed like the ever-increasing pile of unworn shoes and clothing in the back of her closet. She defined herself by the things she owned and also lost herself in the mad hunt for the perfect pair of pants or purse that might make her feel whole.

Spent is Avis Cardella's timely, deeply personal, and shockingly dramatic exploration of our cultural need to spend, and of what happens when someone is consumed by the desire to consume.
Visit Avis Cardella's website.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


New from The Permanent Press: Elysiana by Chris Knopf.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

"Elysiana is a departure for Knopf, whose Sam Acquillo mysteries have won reviewers’ raves, but he nails it. The seemingly shambling plot proves ultimately to be sly, and Knopf’s sweet-spirited style recalls memories spurred by faded home movies of long-ago vacations. His bio says that he was a New Jersey lifeguard back in the day, and he captures the zeitgeist of the Shore perfectly. Every “shoobie” on the beach who eschews MTV’s odious Jersey Shore should be reading Elysiana this season."

"Smart dialogue and sharp social observations distinguish this stand-alone thriller from Knopf (Short Squeeze and four other Hamptons mysteries). In the summer of 1969, life on the sunny New Jersey resort island of Elysiana simmers as town cops feud with the beach patrol, fed-up wives elude their slimy husbands, local politicians double-cross each other, lots of dope flows everywhere, and various needy, wounded people—such as a brain-damaged lifeguard, a young woman from Chicago who fled her lecherous dad, and a smalltime criminal who's also a maniac surfer—look for reasons to go on. Knopf sets up a lot of competing characters capable of semi-clever scheming to get what they want, then shows a massive hurricane ripping their plans and their island apart. Like John D. Macdonald or Charles Willeford in a lighter mood, he's unsentimentally fond of his characters and tentatively hopeful about their ability to salvage something from the wreckage around them."
Publishers Weekly

"It’s not every blood-and-guts action romp filled with hippie dropouts and degenerate misfits, many of them high on hallucinogens and low in heeding the law, that can reference The Bernouilli effect, Jean Paul Sartre and Anais Nin. But Chris Knopf delivers, with ease, wit and humor, never letting arcana interfere with suspense. The result is Elysiana, named for a fictional South Jersey barrier island. It’s Knopf’s sixth novel and a breakaway from his award-winning Sam Acquillo murder mysteries, featuring the hard-headed, tough-talking, soft-hearted Southampton-based protagonist, though traces of Sam’s character can be detected in one or two of the odd balls who make their home on this stretch of land, at once savagely beautiful off shore and often savage inland."
—Joan Baum for NPR and The Independent
Visit Chris Knopf's website.

Coffee with a canine: Chris Knopf & Sam.

My Book, The Movie: Two Time.

The Page 99 Test: Hard Stop.

Writers Read: Chris Knopf.

My Book, The Movie: Short Squeeze.

"Bodily Harm"

New from Touchstone: Bodily Harm by Robert Dugoni.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bodily Harm opens with a big win for David Sloane and his new partner, Tom Pendergrass, in a malpractice case centered on the death of a young child. But on the heels of this seeming victory, an unlikely character—toy designer Kyle Horgan— comes forward to tell Sloane that he’s gotten it all wrong: Horgan’s the one who’s truly responsible for the little boy’s death and possibly others—not the pediatrician Sloane has just proven guilty.

Ordinarily, Sloane might have dismissed such a person as a crackpot, but something about this case has always troubled him—something that he couldn’t quite pinpoint. When Sloane tries to follow up with Horgan, he finds the man’s apartment a shambles— ransacked by unknown perpetrators. Horgan has vanished without a trace. Together with his longtime investigative partner Charles Jenkins, Sloane reexamines his clients’ son’s death and digs deeper into Horgan’s claims, forcing him to enter the billion-dollar, cutthroat toy industry. As Sloane gets closer to the truth, he trips a wire that leads to a shocking chain of events that nearly destroys him.

To get to the bottom of it all and find justice for the families harmed, Sloane must keep in check his overwhelming desire for revenge. Full of nail-bitingly tense action scenes as well as edge-of-your-seat courtroom drama, Bodily Harm finds Robert Dugoni at the very top of his game.
Learn more about the book and author at Robert Dugoni's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Wrongful Death.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Death Watch"

New from Minotaur Books: Death Watch by Jim Kelly.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Ever since the days of Agatha Christie, the great divide in the British detective story has been between plot and character…The novels of Jim Kelly are... a find.”
The New York Times Book Review

Rookie detective Peter Shaw teams up with his father’s tough expartner to investigate both a gruesome series of present-day murders and some unfinished business from the past.
Visit Jim Kelly's website and blog.

"Sylvan Street"

New from Plume: Sylvan Street by Deborah Schupack.

About the book, from the author:

Nine neighbors; two ominous outsiders; one suitcase containing a million dollars

Deborah Schupack tells a provocative and suspenseful tale about what happens when cold, hard cash moves in next door. With page-turning storytelling, graceful prose and deep, true emotion, Sylvan Street explores the ultimate power-and limitations-of money. What these friendly suburban residents do with their newfound money, and what the money does with them, builds toward a revelatory conclusion: how the tensions between benevolence and greed, duty and desire, inform our every action and interaction. Readers of thrillers and character- driven dramas alike will find a sweet payoff in these pages.s
Read an excerpt from Sylvan Street.

Visit Deborah Schupack's website.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"My Name Is Mary Sutter"

New from Viking: My Name Is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.

About the book, from the publisher:

An enthralling historical novel about a young woman's struggle to become a doctor during the Civil War

In this stunning first novel, Mary Sutter is a brilliant, head­strong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine-and eager to run away from her recent heartbreak- Mary leaves home and travels to Washington, D.C. to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded. Under the guidance of William Stipp and James Blevens-two surgeons who fall unwittingly in love with Mary's courage, will, and stubbornness in the face of suffering-and resisting her mother's pleas to return home to help with the birth of her twin sister's baby, Mary pursues her medical career in the desperately overwhelmed hospitals of the capital.

Like Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain and Robert Hicks's The Widow of the South, My Name Is Mary Sutter powerfully evokes the atmosphere of the period. Rich with historical detail (including marvelous depictions of Lincoln, Dorothea Dix, General McClellan, and John Hay among others), and full of the tragedies and challenges of wartime, My Name Is Mary Sutter is an exceptional novel. And in Mary herself, Robin Oliveira has created a truly unforgettable heroine whose unwavering determination and vulnerability will resonate with readers everywhere.
Visit Robin Oliveira's website.

"The Rehearsal"

New from Hachette Book Group: The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton.

About the book, from the publisher:

A teacher's affair with his underage student jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own power. Their nascent desires surprise even themselves as they find the practice room where they rehearse with their saxophone teacher is the safe place where they can test out their abilities to attract and manipulate. It seems their every act is a performance, every platform a stage.

But when the local drama school turns the story into their year-end show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet. With the dates of the performances--the musicians' and the acting students'--approaching, the dramas, real and staged, begin to resemble each other, until they merge in a climax worthy of both life and art.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The House on Salt Hay Road"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The House on Salt Hay Road by Carin Clevidence.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fireworks factory explodes in a quiet seaside town. In the house on Salt Hay Road, Clay Poole is thrilled by the hole it’s blown in everyday life. His older sister, Nancy, is more interested in the striking stranger who appears, dusted with ashes, in the explosion’s aftermath. The Pooles—taken in as orphans by their mother’s family—can’t yet know how the bonds of their makeshift household will be tested and frayed. As their aunt searches for signs from God and their uncle begins an offbeat courtship, they are pulled toward two greater cataclysms: the legendary hurricane of 1938 and the encroaching war.

The House on Salt Hay Road is suffused with a haunting sense of place: salt marshes in the summer, ice boats on the frozen Great South Bay, Fire Island at the height of a storm. A vivid and emotionally resonant debut, it captures the golden light of a vanished time, and the hold that home has on us long after we leave it.

"Beach Week"

New from Sarah Crichton Books: Beach Week by Susan Coll.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ah, “beach week”: a time-honored tradition in which the D.C. suburbs’ latest herd of high school grads flocks to Chelsea Beach for seven whole days of debauched celebration. In this dark comedy, ten teenage girls plan an unhinged blowout the likes of which their young lives have never seen. They smuggle vodka in water bottles and horde prescription drugs by the dozen. Meanwhile, their misguided, affluent parents are too busy worrying about legal liabilities to fret over some missing pills or random hookups.

For Jordan Adler and her family, though, this rite of passage threatens to become more than just frivolous fun. The teen’s parents, Leah and Charles, might not let their only child go at all. Their marriage is in shambles, their old house is languishing on the market, and the bills are stacking up. With all that stress, it soon seems they’re behaving as irresponsibly as their daughter and her friends.

With the wit of Nora Ephron and the insight of Tom Perrotta, Susan Coll satirizes a new teenage rite of passage, in the process dismantling the lives of families in transition. Beach Week is a hilarious, well-observed look at the end of childhood and the human need to commemorate it—expensively.
Visit Susan Coll's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Acceptance.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Storm Prey"

New from Putnam: Storm Prey by John Sandford.

About the book, from the publisher:

The brilliant new Lucas Davenport thriller from the #1 New York Times best-selling author.

"Sandford's track record as a best-selling author is amazing, but it's not an accident," wrote Booklist of Wicked Prey. "His plotting is sharp, his villains are extraordinarily layered, and his good guys are always evolving.

And this time, there's a storm brewing... Very early, 4:45, on a bitterly cold Minnesota morning, three big men burst through the door of a hospital pharmacy, duct-tape the hands, feet, mouth, and eyes of two pharmacy workers, and clean the place out. But then things swiftly go bad, one of the workers dies, and the robbers hustle out to their truck-and find themselves for just one second face-to-face with a blond woman in the garage: Weather Karkinnen, surgeon, wife of an investigator named Lucas Davenport.

Did she see enough? Can she identify them? Gnawing it over later, it seems to them there is only one thing they can do: Find out who she is, and eliminate the only possible witness...

"Nancy's Theory of Style"

New from Simon & Schuster: Nancy's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lively young socialite Nancy Carrington-Chambers has always believed an excellent sense of style and strict attention to detail are what it takes to succeed, but her own husband Todd is showing symptoms of incurable tackiness, so Nancy flees their McMansion for her posh San Francisco apartment. She knows her event planning company, Froth, is a real winner, but she must prove herself by reinventing the turgid Barbary Coast Historical Museum fundraiser. Luckily, Nancy now has the perfect assistant. Derek Cathcart is British, impeccably dressed, gorgeous, and clearly gay—so why does Nancy find him so attractive?

Before Nancy can unravel her feelings, her irresponsible cousin Birdie abandons her little daughter with Nancy and takes off. Nancy, Derek, and Eugenia make an unlikely “family,” but strangely it seems incredibly right. Now Nancy’s parents are pressuring her to return to Todd, and she still has to pull off a spectacular party. For someone who’s always known exactly where she’s going, Nancy is in dangerously uncharted waters.

Irresistibly funny and romantic, Nancy’s Theory of Style shows that happiness and
love — just like fashion — aren’t about playing it safe.
Visit Grace Coopersmith's website and blog.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Wanna Get Lucky?"

New from Forge Books: Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts.

About the book, from the publisher:

A young woman plunges from a Las Vegas sightseeing helicopter, landing in the Pirate’s lagoon in front of the Treasure Island Hotel in the middle of the 8:30 Pirate Show. Almost everyone writes her off as another Vegas victim.

But Lucky O’Toole smells a rat. She’s head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, the newest, most opulent mega-casino and resort on the Strip, so she’s got a lot on her plate: the Adult Film industry’s annual awards banquet, a spouse-swapping convention, sex toy purveyors preying on the pocket-protector crowd attending ElectroniCon…. Still, Lucky can’t resist turning over a few stones.

When a former flame is one of the snakes she uncovers, Lucky’s certain she’s no longer dealing with an anonymous Sin City suicide. To top it all off, Lucky’s best friend Teddie—Las Vegas’ finest female impersonator—presses to take their relationship to the next level. Leave it to Lucky to attract a man who looks better in a dress than she does.

Lucky must manage the Babylon’s onslaught of outrageous festivities, solve a murder, and struggle to keep her life and libido from spinning out of control… not to mention keep her balance in six inch heels.
Visit the official Deborah Coonts website.

"Five Odd Honors"

New from Tor Books: Five Odd Honors by Jane Lindskold.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Thirteen Orphans and their allies have opened the ninth gate into the Lands Born from Smoke and Sacrifice ... and discover that the Lands have been altered almost beyond recognition, transformed by magic into an apparently uninhabited world where land shifts beneath one’s feet and fire burns blue. Investigating, the Orphans learn that the Center of the world is sealed behind nearly-impassable barriers composed of each of the five elements of Chinese myth. Combining ancient and modern magics, a scouting party penetrates the barriers, only to be captured and given over to tortures designed to separate the Orphans from their magical abilities.

On Earth, Pearl Bright, the Tiger, is attacked—is this treachery by our world’s magical traditions or has one of the Orphans betrayed her? Brenda Morris learns of the Orphans’ dangers when it is nearly too late—but along with the sidhe, who are drawn to her Irish heritage, Brenda risks her life to help rescue those trapped in the Lands.

A story of betrayal and redemption, of bravery in the face of terror, and of loyalty and hatred that reach beyond the grave, Five Odd Honors continues Jane Lindskold’s stunning Breaking the Wall series.
Visit Jane Lindskold's website.

The Page 69 Test: Thirteen Orphans.

Writers Read: Jane Lindskold.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"City of Dreams"

New from Forge Books: City of Dreams by William Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Can I interest you in saving America?”

That’s the text message Peter Fallon receives from a Wall Street bigwig. It’s not a challenge he can turn down, especially since the country is in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Hidden somewhere in New York City is a box of 1780 bonds with a face value of ten thousand dollars. The Supreme Court is about to decide if these bonds still have value. If the decision is yes, those ten thousand dollars, at five percent interest, will be worth a very pretty penny...

Peter Fallon and his girlfriend, Evangeline Carrington, must find the box—and fast. Suddenly, their race against time becomes a race through time as Peter and Evangeline track the stories of New Yorkers whose lives have been changed by the bonds… and all the while they’ll unravel the thrilling and inspiring origins of the City of Dreams.
Visit William Martin's website.

"The Poacher's Son"

New from Minotaur Books: The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive---his own father.

Game warden Mike Bowditch returns home one evening to find an alarming voice from the past on his answering machine: his father, Jack, a hard-drinking womanizer who makes his living poaching illegal game. An even more frightening call comes the next morning from the police: They are searching for the man who killed a beloved local cop the night before---and his father is their prime suspect. Jack has escaped from police custody, and only Mike believes that his tormented father might not be guilty.

Now, alienated from the woman he loves, shunned by colleagues who have no sympathy for the suspected cop killer, Mike must come to terms with his haunted past. He knows firsthand Jack’s brutality, but is the man capable of murder? Desperate and alone, Mike strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive. There they meet a beautiful woman who claims to be Jack’s mistress but who seems to be guarding a more dangerous secret. The only way for Mike to save his father now is to find the real killer---which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.

The Poacher’s Son is a sterling debut of literary suspense. Taut and engrossing, it represents the first in a series featuring Mike Bowditch.
Visit Paul Doiron's website.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Rolling Thunder"

New from Pegasus Books: Rolling Thunder by Chris Grabenstein.

About the book, from the author's website:

A prominent citizen dies on a brand new boardwalk roller coaster's first trip around the tracks. Was it a heart attack or did it just look like one? Then, one week later, a curvy beach babe is gruesomely murdered. Are the two incidents connected? And why is Ceepak's skeevy father back in Sea Haven? Hang on for an adrenaline pumping read!
Read an excerpt from Rolling Thunder.

Learn more about the author and his work at Chris Grabenstein's website.

The Page 69 Test: Hell Hole.

The Page 99 Test: Mind Scrambler.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Chris Grabenstein & Fred.

"Dead in the Water"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Dead in the Water by Meredith Cole.

About the book, from the publisher:

Photographer Lydia McKenzie is taking portraits of prostitutes on the waterfront of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when her art project takes a deadly turn. She discovers the body of Glenda, the star of her series, floating in the East River.

Lydia’s new boyfriend doesn’t want her to get involved in the investigation, and neither does NYPD detective Daniel Romero. But Glenda’s grieving mother begs her for help. So when the D’Angelo brothers, her bosses at the detective agency where she works as an administrative assistant, send Lydia out to the Williamsburg waterfront to catch their cousin’s cheating husband and bring back photos as evidence, she starts to do some sleuthing on the side.

When more hookers are murdered, Lydia teams up with a volunteer organization whose mission is to help women find a way off the streets. As she becomes more involved with the group, Lydia ends up questioning her choices, her relationships, her art, and her identity---all while she runs for her life from a killer who isn’t finished with a deadly rampage.

Meredith Cole’s second novel is a thrilling adventure, boasting memorable characters and a vivid setting.
Learn more about the book and author at Meredith Cole's website.

The Page 69 Test: Posed for Murder.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"The Finger"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Finger: A Handbook by Angus Trumble.

About the book, from the publisher:


In this collision between art and science, history and pop culture, the acclaimed art historian Angus Trumble examines the finger from every possible angle. His inquiries into its representation in art take us from Buddhist statues in Kyoto to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, from cave art to Picasso’s Guernica, from Van Dyck’s and Rubens’s winning ways with gloves to the longstanding French taste for tapering digits. But Trumble also asks intriguing questions about the finger in general: How do fingers work, and why do most of us have five on each hand? Why do we bite our nails?

This witty, odd, and fascinating book is filled with diverse anecdotes about the silent language of gesture, the game of love, the spinning of balls, superstitions relating to the severed fingers of thieves, and systems of computation that were used on wharves and in shops, markets, granaries, and warehouses throughout the ancient Roman world. Side by side with historical discussions of rings and gloves and nail polish are meditations on the finger’s essential role in writing, speech, sports, crime, law, sex, worhsip, memory, scratching politely at eighteenth-century French doors (instead of crudely knocking), or merely satisfying an itch—and, of course, in the eponymous show of contempt.

"The Nearest Exit"

New from Minotaur Books: The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Milo Weaver has nowhere to turn but back to the CIA in Olen Steinhauer’s brilliant follow-up to the New York Times bestselling espionage novel The Tourist

The Tourist, Steinhauer’s first contemporary novel after his awardwinning historical series, was a runaway hit, spending three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and garnering rave reviews from critics.

Now faced with the end of his quiet, settled life, reluctant spy Milo Weaver has no choice but to turn back to his old job as a “tourist.” Before he can get back to the CIA’s dirty work, he has to prove his loyalty to his new bosses, who know little of Milo’s background and less about who is really pulling the strings in the government above the Department of Tourism—or in the outside world, which is beginning to believe the legend of its existence. Milo is suddenly in a dangerous position, between right and wrong, between powerful self-interested men, between patriots and traitors—especially as a man who has nothing left to lose.
Read Olen Steinhauer's essay, "The Origins of The Tourist."

Visit Olen Steinhauer's website.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Through the Cracks"

New from Minotaur Books: Through the Cracks by Barbara Fister.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Chicago private investigator Anni Koskinen takes on a new client, she finds herself working on an impossible case. After spending twenty years in prison, a black man convicted in a notorious rape case has had his sentence overturned. The victim wants to know who was really responsible for the crime that scarred her life. But even if Anni can find out who committed the brutal crime decades ago, a conviction will be impossible--unless the rapist has struck again.

The resourceful victim has uncovered evidence indicating that a serial rapist may still be at work, attacking women with ferocious anger. But as Anni digs deeper, the politically ambitious state’s attorney who prosecuted the original rape case insists that the conviction was solid. He believes there was no miscarriage of justice--other than that a violent felon has been released on a technicality.

As Anni’s cold case heats up, her friend Dugan, a CPD detective, is involved in a heater case of his own. An undocumented Mexican gang member has been arrested for the murder of a missing woman, and his uncertain fate has gripped the city and fueled anti-immigrant sentiment.

As both investigations unfold, the impact of racial prejudice radiates cracks through the criminal justice system, and it is through those cracks that Anni must try to glimpse the truth.
Learn more about the author and her work at Barbara Fister's website and her blog.

The Page 99 Test: In the Wind.

"A Curtain Falls"

New from Minotaur Books: A Curtain Falls by Stefanie Pintoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

The careers of New York City detective Simon Ziele and his former partner Captain Declan Mulvaney went in remarkably different directions after the tragic death of Ziele’s fiancée in the 1904 General Slocum ferry disaster. Although both men were earmarked for much bigger things, Ziele moved to Dobson, a small town north of the city, to escape the violence, and Mulvaney buried himself even deeper, agreeing to head up the precinct in the most crime-ridden area in the city.

Yet with all of the detectives and resources at Mulvaney’s disposal, a particularly puzzling crime compels him to look for someone he can trust absolutely. When a chorus girl is found dead on a Broadway stage dressed in the leading lady’s costume, there are no signs of violence, no cuts, no bruises—no marks at all. If pressed, the coroner would call it a suicide, but then that would make her the second girl to turn up dead in such a manner in the last few weeks. And the news of a possible serial killer would be potentially disastrous to the burgeoning theater world, not to mention the citizens of New York.

Following on the heels of Stefanie Pintoff’s acclaimed and award-winning debut, A Curtain Falls is a moody and evocative tale that follows Ziele and his partners as they scour the dark streets of early-twentieth-century New York in search of a true fiend.
Learn more about the book and author at Stefanie Pintoff's website.

Stefanie Pintoff is the winner of the first Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel Competition. A graduate of Columbia University Law School, she also has a Ph.D. in literature from New York University.

The Page 69 Test: In the Shadow of Gotham.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


New from Thomas Dunne Books: Instinct by Jeremy Robinson.

About the book, from the publisher:

The high adventure of James Rollins combines with the gripping suspense of Scott Sigler in this second installment in the Chess Team Series

A genetic disease known as Brugada Syndrome kills its victims without warning, without symptom. When the President of the United States falls victim to a weaponized and contagious strain of the disease, the Chess Team—King, Queen, Rook, Knight and Bishop—are assigned to protect Sara Fogg, a CDC detective, as she journeys to the source of the new strain: the Annamite Mountains in Vietnam. Surrounded by Vietnam War era landmines, harsh terrain and more than one military force not happy about the return of American boots to the Ho Chi Minh trail, the fight for survival becomes a grueling battle in the humid jungle.

Pursued by VPLA Death Volunteers, Vietnam’s Special Forces unit, the team’s flight through a maze of archaic ruins reveals an ancient secret...a primal secret that may stop the disease from sweeping the globe—even as it threatens both the mission and their lives.
Visit Jeremy Robinson's website.

"Wide Awake"

New from Spiegel & Grau: Wide Awake: A Memoir of Insomnia by Patricia Morrisroe.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fourth-generation insomniac, Patricia Morrisroe decided that the only way she’d ever conquer her lifelong sleep disorder was by becoming an expert on the subject. So, armed with half a century of personal experience and a journalist’s curiosity, she set off to explore one of life’s greatest mysteries: sleep. Wide Awake is the eye-opening account of Morrisroe’s quest—a compelling memoir that blends science, culture, and business to tell the story of why she—and forty million other Americans—can’t sleep at night.

Over the course of three years of research and reporting, Morrisroe talks to sleep doctors, drug makers, psychiatrists, anthropologists, hypnotherapists, “wake experts,” mattress salesmen, a magician, an astronaut, and even a reindeer herder. She spends an uncomfortable night wired up in a sleep lab. She tries “sleep restriction” and “brain music therapy.” She buys a high-end sound machine, custom-made ear plugs, and a “quiet” house in the country to escape her noisy neighbors in the city. She attends a continuing medical education course in Las Vegas, where she discovers that doctors are among the most sleep-deprived people in the country. She travels to Sonoma, California, where she attends a Dream Ball costumed as her “dream self.” To fulfill a childhood fantasy, she celebrates Christmas Eve two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, in the famed Icehotel tossing and turning on an ice bed. Finally, after traveling the globe, she finds the answer to her insomnia right around the corner from her apartment in New York City.

A mesmerizing mix of personal insight, science and social observation, Wide Awake examines the role of sleep in our increasingly hyperactive culture. For the millions who suffer from sleepless nights and hazy caffeine-filled days, this humorous, thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful book is an essential bedtime companion. It does, however, come with a warning: Reading it will promote wakefulness.
Visit Patricia Morrisroe's website.