Saturday, June 30, 2012


New from Tor Books: Thieftaker by D. B. Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson's Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.

Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony. His adversary has already killed—and not for his own gain, but in the service of his powerful masters, people for whom others are mere pawns in a game of politics and power. Ethan is in way over his head, and he knows it. Already a man with a dark past, he can ill afford to fail, lest his livelihood be forfeit. But he can't stop now, for his magic has marked him, so he must fight the odds, even though he seems hopelessly overmatched, his doom seeming certain at the spectral hands of one he cannot even see.
Visit D. B. Jackson's website.

"Dream Team"

New from Ballantine Books: Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever by Jack McCallum.

About the book, from the publisher:

They were the Beatles of basketball, the Mercury Seven in sneakers.

In Dream Team, acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team that captivated the world, kindled the hoop dreams of countless children around the planet, and remade the NBA into a global sensation.

As a senior staff writer for Sports Illustrated, McCallum enjoyed a courtside seat for the most exciting basketball spectacle on earth, covering the Dream Team from its inception to the gold medal ceremony in Barcelona. For the duration of the Olympics, he lived with, golfed with, and—most important—drank with some of the greatest players of the NBA’s Golden Age: Magic Johnson, the ebullient showman who shrugged off his recent diagnosis of HIV to become the team’s unquestioned captain and leader; Michael Jordan, the transcendent talent at the height of his powers as a player—and a marketing juggernaut; and Charles Barkley, the outspoken iconoclast whose utterances on and off the court threatened to ignite an international incident. Presiding over the entire traveling circus was the Dream Team’s beloved coach, Chuck Daly, whose laissez-faire approach proved instrumental in getting the most out of such disparate personalities and superstars such as Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, and Scottie Pippen.

Drawing on fresh interviews with the players, McCallum provides the definitive account of the Dream Team phenomenon. He offers a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial selection process. He takes us inside the team’s Olympic suites for late-night card games and bull sessions where the players debate both the finer points of basketball and their respective places in the NBA pantheon. And he narrates a riveting possession-by-possession account of the legendary July 1992 intrasquad scrimmage that pitted the Dream Teamers against one another in what may have been the greatest pickup game—and the greatest exhibition of trash talk—in history.

In the twenty years since the Dream Team first captivated the world’s attention, its mystique has only grown—and so has its influence. The NBA is now flush with international stars, many of them inspired by the exuberant spirit of ’92. Dream Team vividly re-creates the moment when a once-in-a-millennium group of athletes came together, outperformed the hype, and changed the future of sports—one perfectly executed fast break at a time.
Visit Jack McCallum's website.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"This Bright River"

New from Little, Brown & Company: This Bright River: A Novel by Patrick Somerville.

About the book, from the publisher:

A compelling story of young love and old secrets

Lauren Sheehan's career in medicine came to a halt after a chain of violent events abroad. Now she's back in the safest place she knows-St. Helens, Wisconsin-cut off from career, friendship, and romance.

Ben Hanson's aimless young life has bottomed out after a series of bad decisions, but a surprising offer from his father draws him home for what looks like his final second chance. In Wisconsin, he finds his family fractured, still unable to face the truth behind his troubled cousin's death a decade earlier.

As Lauren cautiously expands her horizons and Ben wrestles with his regrets and mistakes, their paths intersect. Could each be exactly what the other needs? Or the last thing in the world either one can handle?

The weight of secrets, the price of success, and the cost of love all linger at the heart of this surprising, unsettling, deeply satisfying novel. Rich with the dark humor and piercing intelligence that made The Cradle so beloved, This Bright River confirms Somerville's status as one of the most engaging and daring young writers at work today.
Visit Patrick Somerville's website.

"The Sleeping and the Dead"

New from Minotaur Books: The Sleeping and the Dead by Jeff Crook.

About the book, from the publisher:

A new mystery series starring a Memphis crime scene photographer with ghostly assistance

Jackie Lyons is a former vice detective with the Memphis Police Department who is trying to put her life back together: her husband has sent divorce papers, she's broke, and needs a place to live. But a failed marriage, unemployment, and most recently a fire in her apartment aren’t her only problems: she also sees ghosts.

Since Jackie left the force, she’s been making ends meet by photographing crime scenes for her old friends on the force, and for the occasional collector. When she is called to the murder scene of the Playhouse Killer's latest victim, she starts seeing crime scenes from a different perspective-- her new camera captures images of ghosts. As her new camera brings her occasional ghostly visitors into sharper relief, it also points her toward clues the ex-detective in her won’t let go: did the man she has just started dating kill his wife? Is the Playhouse Killer someone she knows?

As Jackie works to separate natural from supernatural, friend from foe, and light from dark, the spirit world and her own difficult past become the only things she can depend on to solve the case.
Visit Jeff Crook's website.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"The Girl Is Trouble"

New from Roaring Brook Press: The Girl Is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines.

About the book, from the publisher:

Iris Anderson and her father have finally come to an understanding. Iris is allowed to help out at her Pop's detective agency as long as she follows his rules and learns from his technique. But when Iris uncovers details about her mother's supposed suicide, suddenly Iris is thrown headfirst into her most intense and personal case yet.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathryn Miller Haines's website and blog.

Writers Read: Kathryn Miller Haines.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Kathryn Miller Haines & Mr. Rizzo and Sadie.

"Some Kind of Fairy Tale"

New from Doubleday: Some Kind of Fairy Tale: A Novel by Graham Joyce.

About the book, from the publisher:

Acclaimed author Graham Joyce's mesmerizing new novel centers around the disappearance of a young girl from a small town in the heart of England. Her sudden return twenty years later, and the mind-bending tale of where she's been, will challenge our very perception of truth.

For twenty years after Tara Martin disappeared from her small English town, her parents and her brother, Peter, have lived in denial of the grim fact that she was gone for good. And then suddenly, on Christmas Day, the doorbell rings at her parents' home and there, disheveled and slightly peculiar looking, Tara stands. It's a miracle, but alarm bells are ringing for Peter. Tara's story just does not add up. And, incredibly, she barely looks a day older than when she vanished.

Award-winning author Graham Joyce is a master of exploring new realms of understanding that exist between dreams and reality, between the known and unknown. Some Kind of Fairy Tale is a unique journey every bit as magical as its title implies, and as real and unsentimental as the world around us.
Visit Graham Joyce's website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Invisible Country"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Invisible Country: A Mystery by Annamaria Alfieri.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of City of Silver, a beautifully rich and puzzling historical mystery set in Paraguay, 1868

A war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay has devastated Paraguay. Ninety percent of the males between the ages of eight and eighty have died in the conflict and food is scarce. In the small village of Santa Caterina, Padre Gregorio advises the women of his congregation to abandon the laws of the church and get pregnant by what men are available. As he leaves the pulpit, he discovers the murdered body of Ricardo Yotté, one of the most powerful men in the country, at the bottom of the belfry.

There are many suspects: Eliza Lynch, a former Parisian courtesan who is now the consort of the brutal dictator, Francisco Solano López, and who entrusted to Yotté the country’s treasury of gold and jewels; López himself, who may have suspected his ally Yotté of carrying on an affair with the beautiful Eliza; Comandante Luis Menenez, local representative of the dictator, who competed with Yotté for López’s favor, and a wounded Brazilian soldier who has secretly taken up with one of the village girls.

Lynch is desperate to recover the missing gold, and the comandante is desperate to prove his usefulness to López. To avoid having an innocent person dragged off to torture and death, a band of villagers undertake to solve the crime, including Padre Gregorio, the village midwife, her crippled husband returned from combat, their spirited daughter, and a war widow. Each carries secrets they seek to protect from the others, while they pursue their quest for the truth.

Lyrical, complex, and meticulously researched, Invisible Country is an ingenious cross between Isabel Allende and Agatha Christie.
Visit Annamaria Alfieri's website.

"The Singles"

New from Plume: The Singles by Meredith Goldstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bee wanted the perfect wedding; she got the “Singles.”

Back in her single days—before she met the man of her dreams—Beth “Bee” Evans hated being forced to attend weddings solo. Determined to spare her friends the same humiliation, she invites everyone on her list with a guest. Much to her chagrin, however, Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy insist upon attending Bee’s lavish Chesapeake Bay nuptials alone. The frustrated bride dubs them the “Minus-Ones” and their collective decision wreaks unintended havoc on her otherwise perfectly planned wedding weekend.

One of today’s most popular relationship columnists, Meredith Goldstein, has penned a sparkling debut novel that chronicles the promises and disappointments of love and friendship with humor, compassion, and wisdom.
Visit Meredith Goldstein's website and blog.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Tell the Wolves I'm Home"

New from The Dial Press: Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.
Visit Carol Rifka Brunt's website.

"Where We Belong"

New from St. Martin's Press: Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.
Visit Emily Giffin's website.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton (Laurence Bartram Series #2) by Elizabeth Speller.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Great War veteran Laurence Bartram arrives in Easton Deadall, he is struck by the beauty of the place: a crumbling manor, a venerable church, and a memorial to the village’s soldiers, almost all of whom died in one bloody battle.

Now peace prevails, and the rest of England is newly alight with hope, but Easton Deadall remains haunted by tragedy—as does the Easton family. In 1911, five-year-old Kitty disappeared from her bed and has not been seen in thirteen years; only her fragile mother still believes she is alive. While Laurence is a guest of the manor, a young maid vanishes in a sinister echo of Kitty’s disappearance. And when a body is discovered in the manor’s ancient church, Laurence is drawn into the grounds’ forgotten places, where deadly secrets lie in wait.

A gorgeous restoration of the manor-house mystery, The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is sure to entrance literary, historical, and crime fiction readers.
Visit Elizabeth Speller's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Elizabeth Speller and Erwin.

"Death and Transfiguration"

New from Minotaur Books: Death and Transfiguration (Daniel Jacobus Series #4) by Gerald Elias.

About the book, from the publisher:

The fourth book in the series featuring the irascible but loveable amateur sleuth Daniel Jacobus

Vaclav Herza, the last of a dying breed of great but tyrannical conductors, has been music director of Harmonium for forty years. The world famous touring orchestra was created for him when he fled Czechoslovakia for America during the political turmoil in Eastern Europe in 1956. It is the eve of the opening of a dramatic new concert hall designed by Herza himself. It is also the eleventh hour of intense contract negotiations with the musicians that have strained relations within the organization. When the acting concertmaster, Scheherazade O’Brien, is summarily dismissed by the despotic Herza for the permanent concertmaster position, an audition she was poised to win, O’Brien slits her wrists and the orchestra becomes convulsed. Now, blind, cantankerous violin teacher Daniel Jacobus, who had shunned O’Brien’s earlier plea for help against Herza’s relentless harassment, investigates Herza’s dark past not only in Prague, but in Tokyo and New York. With the help of his old friends Nathaniel Williams, Max Furukawa, and Martin Lilburn, he seeks not only revenge but redemption from the guilt of his own past.
Learn more about the book and author at Gerald Elias' website.

Interview: Gerald Elias (October 2009).

The Page 69 Test: Devil's Trill.

Writers Read: Gerald Elias.

The Page 69 Test: Danse Macabre.

My Book, The Movie: Devil's Trill and Danse Macabre.

The Page 69 Test: Death and the Maiden.

Interview: Gerald Elias (November 2011).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"The Orphanmaster"

New from Viking: The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a debut novelist, a gripping historical thriller and rousing love story set in seventeenth-century Manhattan

It’s 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine von Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.

Suspects abound, including the governor’s wealthy nephew, a green-eyed aristocrat with decadent tastes; an Algonquin trapper who may be possessed by a demon that turns people into cannibals; and the colony’s own corrupt and conflicted orphanmaster. Both the search for the killer and Edward and Blandine’s newfound romance are endangered, however, when Blandine is accused of being a witch and Edward is sentenced to hang for espionage. Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony.

Jean Zimmerman brings New Amsterdam and its surrounding wilderness alive for modern-day readers with exacting period detail. Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters, The Orphanmaster is a dramatic page-turner that will appeal to fans of Hilary Mantel and Geraldine Brooks.
Visit Jean Zimmerman's website and blog.

"Attention All Passengers"

New from Harper: Attention All Passengers: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent---and How to Reclaim Our Skies by William J. McGee.

About the book, from the publisher:

Award-winning journalist and leading consumer advocate William J. McGee offers a shocking, essential exposé that reveals the real state of the "friendly skies."

From outsourced call centers in India to the Alabama location where all lost baggage ends up, William J. McGee crisscrossed the country and traveled around the globe immersing himself deep into the world of commercial airlines. And what he found was shocking.

McGee interviewed countless industry insiders—pilots, TSA security screeners, FAA inspectors, legislators, the CEOs of the major carriers, and even Ralph Nader and Steven Slater, the disgruntled flight attendant who famously jettisoned a JetBlue flight. Here he reveals how airline executives are cutting costs in "a mad race to the bottom" by delegating flights to second-tier regional airlines and outsourcing critical aircraft maintenance and repairs to unlicensed "mechanics" in China, Singapore, Mexico, and El Salvador. And while the U.S. airlines have raked in tens of billions of dollars for checked baggage alone in recent years, our skies (and our airports) are not getting any safer. What's more, McGee explains how both political parties and all branches of the U.S. government have conspired to place corporate interests above the interests of consumers, workers, the nation's economy, and even the planet itself. Attention All Passengers will change the way you view the airline industry and make you think twice the next time you see the fasten seat belts sign.
Visit William J. McGee's website.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Wait: The Art and Science of Delay"

New from PublicAffairs: Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Warren Buffett compares stock trading to being at bat, except that you don't have to swing until there's a fat pitch. Great athletes agree, but with shorter time horizons. They excel, not because of fast neurological responses, but because of their ability to delay as long as possible before reacting, returning a serve or grabbing a rebound. Successful CEOs, fire fighters, and military officers all know how to manage delay.

In this provocative, entertaining book, Frank Partnoy provides a necessary rebuttal to the gurus of "go with your gut." He shows that decisions of all kinds, whether "snap" or long-term strategic, benefit from being made at the last possible moment. The art of knowing how long you can afford to delay before committing is at the heart of many a great decision—whether in a corporate takeover or a marriage proposal. Exploring decisions from those made in half a second to those that take months and years, Partnoy demonstrates that procrastination is often virtuous, that the ability to wait is the path to happiness, and that our gut instincts often betray us. We do not always make smart choices in the blink of an eye, as this eye-opening book reveals.
Read more about the book and author at Frank Partnoy's website.

The Page 99 Test: Frank Partnoy's The Match King.

"The Stolen Chalice"

New from Scribner: The Stolen Chalice by Kitty Pilgrim.

About the book, from the publisher:

CNN veteran Kitty Pilgrim returns with her second novel featuring the beautiful young oceanographer Cordelia Stapleton and the dashing, urbane archaeologist John Sinclair. Set in the international art world, The Stolen Chalice takes readers across the globe. Bombings, kidnappings, and Sinclair’s old love conspire against the couple as they search for valuable Egyptian art.

The black-tie gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art promises to be a star-studded evening. Cordelia Stapleton and John Sinclair have flown in from Alexandria, Egypt, to help celebrate ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian culture with New York’s elite. The influential crowd of artists, collectors, scientists, and New York society dine and dance at the museum’s historic Temple of Dendur, unaware that terrorists are planning to attack. Fortunately, museum security and police stop the terrorists, but the evening is a disaster.

The next morning, Cordelia and Sinclair learn that an art theft ring struck New York while they were at the museum. All over the city, pieces of Egyptian art have been stolen. Ted VerPlanck—a pillar of New York society whom Cordelia met the night before—discovers that his penthouse apartment was robbed and the legendary Sardonyx Cup, an ancient Egyptian chalice, is missing. Ted asks John Sinclair to help him recover his precious artifact.

Despite Cordelia’s objections, Sinclair calls on his old flame the Egyptologist Dr. Holly Graham to help find the chalice. They discover the stolen art is being sold on the black market to fund an international terrorist group. The group’s leader, a sinister Egyptian anarchist, and his aristocratic British partner, Lady Xandra Sommerset, are planning a biological-weapon attack to topple the major governments of the world.

Aided by British and American security forces, Sinclair sets out to find the missing art, which holds clues to where and when the attack will take place. Pieces of stolen art are scattered around the world. The action moves from a sprawling ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to a castle on Scotland’s rugged coastline, a beautiful two-hundred-foot yacht in the Mediterranean, the mysterious canals of Venice, the premier beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, and ultimately Cairo. Romance sizzles as Sinclair, Cordelia, and Holly Graham are caught in a love triangle, distracted by their emotions, and unknowingly moving closer to mortal danger.

Superstition and science meet head-on. And one question remains unanswered—does the Sardonyx Cup have special powers?
Visit Kitty Pilgrim's website.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"The Antidote"

New from Canongate:  The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman. The Antidote to be released in the US in November 2012 by Faber & Faber.

About the book, from the publisher:

If only we'd stop trying so hard to be happy, we'd have a pretty good time.

Self-help books don't seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth - even if you can get it - doesn't lead to happiness. Romance, family life and work often seem to bring stress as much as joy. We can't even agree on what 'happiness' means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way?

As he travels from Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico to a slum outside of Nairobi and to a meditation retreat deep in the Massachusetts woods, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists or terrorism experts, Buddhists or hard-headed business consultants, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative, 'negative path' to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity and uncertainty - the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid.

Thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.
Visit Oliver Burkeman's website.

"The Seven Wonders"

New from Minotaur Books: The Seven Wonders (Roma Sub Rosa Series) by Steven Saylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

The year is 92 B.C. Gordianus has just turned eighteen and is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime: a far-flung journey to see the Seven Wonders of the World. Gordianus is not yet called “the Finder”—but at each of the Seven Wonders, the wide-eyed young Roman encounters a mystery to challenge the powers of deduction.

Accompanying Gordianus on his travels is his tutor, Antipater of Sidon, the world’s most celebrated poet. But there is more to the apparently harmless old poet than meets the eye. Before they leave home, Antipater fakes his own death and travels under an assumed identity. Looming in the background are the first rumblings of a political upheaval that will shake the entire Roman world.

Teacher and pupil journey to the fabled cities of Greece and Asia Minor, and then to Babylon and Egypt. They attend the Olympic Games, take part in exotic festivals, and marvel at the most spectacular constructions ever devised by mankind. Along the way they encounter murder, witchcraft and ghostly hauntings. Traveling the world for the first time, Gordianus discovers that amorous exploration goes hand-in-hand with crime-solving. The mysteries of love are the true wonders of the world, and at the end of the journey, an Eighth Wonder awaits him in Alexandria. Her name is Bethesda.
Visit Steven Saylor's website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Steven Saylor (October 2010).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Never Tell"

New from Harper: Never Tell (Ellie Hatcher Series #4) by Alafair Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sixteen-year-old Julia Whitmire appeared to have everything: a famous father, a luxurious Manhattan town house, a coveted spot at the elite Casden prep school. When she is found dead in her bathtub, a handwritten suicide note left on her bed, her parents insist that their daughter would never take her own life.

But Julia's enviable world was more complicated than it seemed. The pressure to excel at Casden was enormous. Abuse of prescription antidepressants and ADHD medication ran rampant among students; an unlabeled bottle of pills in Julia's purse suggests she had succumbed to the trend. And a search of Julia's computer reveals that in the days leading up to her death she was engaged in a dangerous game of cyberbullying against an unlikely victim.

NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced the case is a suicide, but she knows from personal experience that a loving family can be the last to accept the truth. When the Whitmires use their power to force a criminal investigation, Ellie's resistance causes trouble for her both at work and in her personal life. As she is pressured to pursue a case she doesn't believe in, she is pulled into Julia's inner circle—an eclectic mix of overly precocious teenagers from Manhattan's most privileged families as well as street kids from Greenwich Village. But when the target of Julia's harassment continues to receive death threats, Ellie is forced to acknowledge that Julia may have learned the hard way that some secrets should never be told.
Learn more about the book and author at Alafair Burke's website and blog.

"Vanishing Girls"

New from Harper: Vanishing Girls by Katia Lief.

About the book, from the publisher:

For two years the "Working Girl Killer" hunted in Manhattan, brutally slaughtering nine city prostitutes.

And now the fiend has crossed the river.

Former cop-turned-p.i. Karin Schaeffer receives the call meant for her detective husband Mac on a Sunday night: two females found on a Brooklyn street. The first is an eleven-year-old girl, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run. But it's the second body that truly chills the blood—a young corpse bearing the grisly, unmistakable signature of a serial slayer who has eluded the NYPD for years.

But there's something frighteningly different about these latest atrocities—a kink that is leading Schaeffer's unofficial investigation down strange and twisting alleys where nothing is as it originally seems. And the haunted p.i., who once lost everything to a psychopath, is suddenly facing the darkness once again ... when the horror strikes too close to home and those she loves are in danger of vanishing forever.
Visit Katia Lief's website.

Writers Read: Katia Lief.

The Page 69 Test: Next Time You See Me.

My Book, The Movie: Next Time You See Me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


New from Atria: Gone: A Novel by Cathi Hanauer.

About the book, from the publisher:

For the past fourteen years, Eve Adams has worked part-time while raising her two children and emotionally supporting her sculptor husband, Eric, through his early fame and success. Now, at forty-two, she suddenly finds herself with a growing career of her own—a private nutritionist practice and a book deal—even as Eric’s career sinks deeper into the slump it slipped into a few years ago.

After a dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate Eve’s success, Eric drives the babysitter home and, simply, doesn’t come back. Eve must now shift the family in possibly irreparable ways, forcing her to realize that competence in one area of life doesn’t always keep things from unraveling in another.

Gone is an outstanding novel about change and about redefining, in middle age, everything from one’s marriage to one’s career to one’s role as a best friend, parent, and spouse. It is a novel about passion and forgiveness and knowing when to let something go and when to fight to hold on to it, about learning to say goodbye—but, if you’re lucky, not forever.
Visit Cathi Hanauer's website.

"Ransom River"

New from Dutton: Ransom River by Meg Gardiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunningly complex and atmospheric novel from Edgar Award–winning author Meg Gardiner, featuring a deeply flawed, compelling heroine, a murder trial, and the long-unsolved mystery it exposes.

Rory Mackenzie is juror number seven on a high-profile murder case in her hometown of Ransom River, California. It’s a place she vowed never to visit again, after leaving behind its surfeit of regret and misfortune and the specter of a troubled past that threatened to disturb the town’s peaceful façade.

Brilliant yet guarded, Rory has always felt like an outsider. She retreated into herself when both her career aspirations and her love affair with a childhood friend, undercover cop Seth Colder, were destroyed in a tragic accident.

While most of the town is focused on the tense and shocking circumstances of the trial, Rory’s return to Ransom River dredges up troubling memories from her childhood that she can no longer ignore. But in the wake of a desperate attack on the courthouse, Rory realizes that exposing these dark skeletons has connected her to an old case that was never solved, and bringing the truth to light just might destroy her.

Departing from her popular series novels, Meg Gardiner has gone deeper than ever into the utterly convincing lives and compelling pasts of her characters. Ransom River is an intimate crime thriller with a dark mystery at its heart—one that will keep readers breathless until the very last page.
Learn more about the author and her work at Meg Gardiner's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Dirty Secrets Club.

The Page 69 Test: The Memory Collector.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Evan Delaney series.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner (July 2010).

The Page 69 Test: The Liar's Lullaby.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Jo Beckett series.

The Page 69 Test: The Nightmare Thief.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"The Key"

New from William Morrow: The Key by Simon Toyne.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hunted. Hounded. Haunted.

She is the most important person in the world. She is The Key

Journalist Liv Adamsen has escaped from the highly secretive Citadel at the heart of the ancient city of Ruin and now lies in isolation, staring at hospital walls as blank as her memory. Despite her inability to recall her past, something strange is stirring within her. She feels possessed by a sen-sation she can't name and plagued by whispers only she can hear: "KuShiKaam," the key.

To others the meaning is clear. For a mercenary operating in the Syrian Desert, a man known only as "the Ghost," Liv may hold the key to one of history's most powerful secrets. For the brotherhood of monks in the Citadel—now cursed by a terrible plague—her return to Turkey may be the only way to ensure their survival. And for a powerful faction in Vatican City, her very existence threatens the success of a desperate plan to save the church from ruin.

At the center of events that defy explanation and hunted by someone she believes might be trying to kill her, Liv turns to the only person she can trust—a foundation worker named Gabriel Mann. Together they must elude capture and journey to the place where all life began. From New York to Rome to the deserts of the Middle East, worlds collide in a race to uncover a revelation dating from the creation of man in this electrifying follow-up to the international bestseller Sanctus.
Learn more about the book and author at Simon Toyne's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Sanctus.

Writers Read: Simon Toyne.

The Page 69 Test: Sanctus.

"The Wurst Is Yet to Come"

New from William Morrow: The Wurst Is Yet to Come: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery by Mary Daheim.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bed-and-breakfast owner and amateur sleuth Judith McMonigle Flynn can't escape murder, even when she's out of town doing a good deed for the inn-keeping profession. But—oh, for the love of lederhosen—it gets complicated when, once again, Judith encounters a corpse in this latest delightful entry to the beloved series by USA Today bestselling author Mary Daheim

The Wurst Is Yet to Come

With its cozy atmosphere, delicious fare, and gracious hostess, Hillside Manor is the perfect B&B for a few days of R&R. Okay, so it also features the occasional corpse or two. But is a small (if growing) body count any reason for the state to yank Judith McMonigle Flynn's innkeeper's license?

Exhausted from being hassled by the state B&B association's meddling critics, Judith warily accepts the assignment of manning a booth during Oktoberfest in the mountain aerie of Little Bavaria. With a reluctant cousin Renie in tow, she hopes to win some allies, solicit new guests, and keep her inn not only open, but prosperous. The last thing she needs is another homicide to sully her reputation.

But before the beer begins flowing, Judith finds a body—right in the middle of an oompah band and a herd of German polka dancers. Fleeing the scene before the cops arrive, she vows that this time she will not get involved. Alas, her reputation has preceded her to the ersatz Bavarian village. The local police chief begs her to help solve the death of the beloved town patron, nonagenarian Dietrich Wessler. And, if she has a spare moment between her B&B duties and keeping Renie from stirring up trouble, the bumbling cop asks her to finger whoever killed the pancake palace owner the previous summer.

Caught between a wurst and a hard place, Judith hits on a brilliant idea: Renie will pose as the sleuth. What could possibly go wrong?
Learn more about the book and author at Mary Daheim's website.

The Page 69 Test: Vi Agra Falls.

The Page 99 Test: The Alpine Uproar.

Writers Read: Mary Daheim.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"The Reckoning"

New from Gallery Books: The Reckoning by Alma Katsu.

About the book, from the publisher:

A love triangle spanning 200 years…Alma Katsu takes readers on a breathtaking journey through the landscape of the heart.

New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan) praises Alma Katsu’s The Taker as, “a centuries-spanning epic that will keep you turning pages all night. This marvelous debut is a thinking person’s guilty pleasure.” And Keith Donohue (The Stolen Child) says, “The Taker is a frighteningly compelling story about those most human monsters—desire and obsession. It will curl your hair and keep you up late at night.”

Now Alma Katsu delivers the highly anticipated follow-up to her haunting novel about an immortal woman learning firsthand that the heart wants what the heart wants…no matter how high the stakes. Fans of The Taker can finally indulge in their next juicy fix with the second book of the trilogy, The Reckoning. In this gripping, pulse-pounding supernatural sequel, discover what happens to Lanny, Luke, Adair—and Jonathan. The Reckoning picks up where The Taker leaves off, following Lanny on her path to redemption—and creating a whole new level of suspense.
Learn more about the book and author at Alma Katsu's website and blog.

Writers Read: Alma Katsu.

The Page 69 Test: The Taker.


New from Poisoned Pen Press: Endangered: A Zoo Mystery by Ann Littlewood.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zoo keeper Iris Oakley is sent to a remote farm in Washington State to rescue exotic animals after a drug bust. Instead of pets, she finds smuggled parrots and tortoises destined for sale to unscrupulous or unsuspecting collectors. The zoo’s facilities are full, and she ends up with two macaws shrieking in her basement. The marijuana grow operation and the meth lab are the cops’ problem. The smuggling side-line is hers. An outraged Iris is determined to break the criminal pipeline that snatches rare animals from the wild and leaves them neglected in old barns.

Then she discovers a woman who escaped the bust—dead. Iris has stumbled onto a violent crime, something far too dangerous for a widow with a young son. But it’s too late to untangle herself. Brothers from the farm, both murder suspects, invade her home, demanding information she doesn’t have.

Iris flees with her child, but soon her only option is to go on the offensive. People she counts on are not who they claim to be. A friend is shot during a break-in at the zoo and may not survive.

Hunting for the brothers, Iris sorts through baffling clues and trips over secrets old and new. Why steal an ordinary drinking glass? Why do the brothers think she knows where their father’s fortune is hidden? Could the noisy parrots be hiding crucial information in plain sight? She realizes a key piece is missing, but finding it means confronting a determined killer.
Learn more about the book and author at Ann Littlewood's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Ann Littlewood and Murphy.

The Page 69 Test: Did Not Survive.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"This Is Not a Test"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
Learn more about the author and her work at Courtney Summers' website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Cracked Up to Be.

The Page 69 Test: Some Girls Are.

"The 13th Target"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: The 13th Target by Mark de Castrique.

About the book, from the publisher:

Russell Mullins has left intelligence work. When his wife dies of ovarian cancer, Rusty quits the Secret Service to repurpose his life. He joins a Washington D.C. private protection company and is assigned to guard Paul Luguire, a Federal Reserve executive and chief liaison with the U.S. Treasury.

Mullins and Luguire form a strong friendship. So when a police detective calls in the middle of the night with word of Luguire’s suicide, Mullins doesn’t buy it. His doubts are reinforced by Amanda Church, a former Secret Service colleague now in the Federal Reserve’s cyber-security unit. She uncovered a suspicious financial transaction initiated by Luguire only days before his death. He authorized unrequested funds to be transferred from the Federal Reserve to a regional bank.

Even stranger, after Luguire’s suicide, Amanda finds the transaction has been erased from Federal Reserve records. The regional bank now shows the money wired from an offshore account in the name of Russell Mullins. Someone is setting Rusty up. And when the bank president is murdered, Mullins rockets to the top of the suspect list.

In an age of Wall Street meltdowns and downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, the secretive Federal Reserve is compromised. Mullins and Church don’t know whom to trust. Evidence points to an external terrorist attack, but the web of deceit appears woven from within, a web that threatens to destroy the heart of America’s financial system.

Twelve targets are known. The clock is ticking. What, or who, is the thirteenth?
Learn more about the book and author at Mark de Castrique's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Sandburg Connection.

Writers Read: Mark de Castrique.

Coffee with a Canine: Mark de Castrique & Gracie.

My Book, The Movie: The Sandburg Connection.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"The World Without You"

New from Pantheon: The World Without You: A Novel by Joshua Henkin.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s July 4, 2005, and the Frankel family is descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. But this is no ordinary holiday. The family has gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings, an intrepid journalist and adventurer who was killed on that day in 2004, while on assignment in Iraq.

The parents, Marilyn and David, are adrift in grief. Their forty-year marriage is falling apart. Clarissa, the eldest sibling and a former cello prodigy, has settled into an ambivalent domesticity and is struggling at age thirty-nine to become pregnant. Lily, a fiery-tempered lawyer and the family contrarian, is angry at everyone. And Noelle, whose teenage years were shadowed by promiscuity and school expulsions, has moved to Jerusalem and become a born-again Orthodox Jew. The last person to see Leo alive, Noelle has flown back for the memorial with her husband and four children, but she feels entirely out of place. And Thisbe —Leo’s widow and mother of their three-year-old son—has come from California bearing her own secret.

Set against the backdrop of Independence Day and the Iraq War, The World Without You is a novel about sibling rivalries and marital feuds, about volatile women and silent men, and, ultimately, about the true meaning of family.
Learn more about the novel and its author at Joshua Henkin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Matrimony.

Writers Read: Joshua Henkin.


New from Poisoned Pen Press: Burrows: A Red Rock Mystery by Reavis Z. Wortham.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lyndon B. Johnson is President, Beatlemania is in overdrive and gasoline costs 30 cents a gallon when Ned Parker retires as constable in Center Springs, Texas. But his plan to live a quiet life as a cotton farmer is torpedoed. A phone call leads Ned to a body in the Red River and into the urgent investigation headed by his nephew, the newly elected constable Cody Parker. Together they work to head off a multi-state killing spree that sets northeast Texas on fire.

As the weeks pass, Ned’s grandchildren, ten-year-old Top and his tomboy cousin Pepper, struggle with personal issues resulting from their traumatic experiences at the Rock Hole only months before. They now find themselves in the middle of a nightmare for which no one can prepare.

Cody and Deputy John Washington, the law south of the tracks, follow a lead from their small community to the long abandoned Cotton Exchange warehouse in Chisum. Stunned, they find the Exchange packed full of the town’s cast off garbage and riddled with booby-trapped passageways and dark burrows. Despite Ned’s warnings, Cody enters the building and finds himself relying on his recent military experiences to save both himself and Big John. Unfortunately, the trail doesn’t end there and the killing spree continues…
Learn more about the book and author at Reavis Z. Wortham's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Rock Hole.

My Book, The Movie: The Rock Hole.

Writers Read: Reavis Z. Wortham.

Friday, June 15, 2012

"My Life in Black and White"

New from Viking Children's: My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.
Learn more about the book and author at Natasha Friend's official Facebook page and website.

My Book, The Movie: For Keeps.

"A Bad Day for Mercy"

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

About the book, from the publisher:

A call from Stella’s little sister brings the news that Stella’s step-nephew, Chip, has been threatened with serious bodily harm if he doesn’t settle his unpaid gambling debts. Stella makes the drive to Chip’s home in Wisconsin, only to walk in on a wee-hours dismemberment. Chip and his Russian girlfriend, Natalya, insist the man was left, already dead, on their porch. Suspicious but compelled to help family, Stella tracks down other suspects, including the deceased’s business partner, a purveyor of black-market Botox, and a jilted violist. Matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of BJ Broderson, who has picked the worst possible time to pursue his amorous intentions toward Stella. Meanwhile, thoughts of Sheriff “Goat” Jones make Stella blush and wonder where, and with whom, she will spend her fifty-first birthday.

A Bad Day for Mercy is a terrific addition to this incredibly original and entertaining series. For those who haven’t yet discovered the wonder of Sophie Littlefield, it’s high time to join the fun!
Learn more about the book and author at Sophie Littlefield's website and blog.

Littlefield's crime novels include A Bad Day for Sorry and A Bad Day for Pretty.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Sorry.

Writers Read: Sophie Littlefield.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Pretty.

My Book, The Movie: A Bad Day for Pretty.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Monarch Beach"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Anita Hughes' Monarch Beach is an absorbing debut novel about one woman’s journey back to happiness after an affair splinters her perfect marriage and life—what it means to be loved, betrayed and to love again.

When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kindhearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous-chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuild it. The opportunity falls into her lap when her (very lovable) mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max, spend the summer with her at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. With the waves right outside her windows and nothing more to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life—and escaping the drama. But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention… and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple. This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about the mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turned upside down.
Visit Anita Hughes's website.

"The Year of the Gadfly"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Do you know what it took for Socrates’ enemies to make him stop pursuing the truth?”


Storied, fiercely competitive Mariana Academy was founded with a serious honor code; its reputation has been unsullied for decades. Now a long-dormant secret society, Prisom's Party, threatens its placid halls with vigilante justice, exposing students and teachers alike for even the most minor infraction.

Iris Dupont, a budding journalist whose only confidant is the chain-smoking specter of Edward R. Murrow, feels sure she can break into the ranks of The Devil’s Advocate, the Party’s underground newspaper, and there uncover the source of its blackmail schemes and vilifying rumors. Some involve the school’s new science teacher, who also seems to be investigating the Party. Others point to an albino student who left school abruptly ten years before, never to return. And everything connects to a rare book called Marvelous Species. But the truth comes with its own dangers, and Iris is torn between her allegiances, her reporter's instinct, and her own troubled past.

The Year of the Gadfly is an exhilarating journey of double-crosses, deeply buried secrets, and the lifelong reverberations of losing someone you love. Following in the tradition of classic school novels such as A Separate Peace, Prep, and The Secret History, it reminds us how these years haunt our lives forever.
Visit Jennifer Miller's website.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"The Hour Between Dog and Wolf"

New from Penguin: The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust by John Coates.

About the book, from the publisher:

A successful Wall Street trader turned Cambridge neuroscientist reveals the biology of boom and bust and how risk taking transforms our body chemistry, driving us to extremes of euphoria and risky behavior or stress and depression

The laws of financial boom and bust, it turns out, have more than a little to do with male hormones. In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Dr. John Coates identified a feedback loop between testosterone and success that dramatically lowers the fear of risk in men, especially younger men—significantly, the fear of risk is not reduced in women. Similarly, intense failure leads to a rise in levels of cortisol, the antitestosterone hormone that lowers the appetite for risk across an entire spectrum of decisions.

Coates had set out to prove what was already a strong intuition from his previous life: Before he became a world-class neuroscientist, Coates ran a derivatives desk in New York. As a successful trader on Wall Street, "the hour between dog and wolf" was the moment traders transformed-they would become revved up, exuberant risk takers, when flying high, or tentative, risk-averse creatures, when cowering from their losses. Coates understood instinctively that these dispositions were driven by body chemistry-and then he proved it.

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf expands on Coates's own research to offer lessons from the entire exploding new field-the biology of risk. Risk concentrates the mind-and the body-like nothing else, altering our physiology in ways that have profound and lasting effects. What's more, biology shifts investors' risk preferences across the business cycle and can precipitate great change in the marketplace.

Though Coates's research concentrates on traders, his conclusions shed light on all types of high-pressure decision making-from the sports field to the battlefield. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf leaves us with a powerful recognition: To handle risk in a "highly evolved" way isn't a matter of mind over body; it's a matter of mind and body working together. We all have it in us to be transformed from dog into wolf; the only question is whether we can understand the causes and the consequences.
Visit John Coates's website.

"The Bellwether Revivals"

New from Viking: The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood.

About the book, from the publisher:

A sophisticated debut novel about a group of friends whose devotion to one among them leads to unimaginable consequences

An assistant at a nursing home, twenty-year-old Oscar Lowe has made a life for himself amid the colleges and spires of Cambridge and yet is a world apart from the privileged students who roam its grounds and study in the hallowed halls. By chance, he meets the wealthy, charismatic Bellwether siblings, Iris and Eden, after the otherworldly sounds of an organ entice him inside the chapel at King’s College.

Oscar falls in love with beautiful, quirky Iris, a medical student, and is drawn into her opulent world. He soon becomes entangled in the strange obsessions of her brilliant but emotionally troubled brother, Eden, who believes he can heal people with his music—and who will stop at nothing to prove himself right. Oscar and Iris devise a plan to determine just how dangerous Eden really is, but it might already be too late to keep him from his next treacherous move.

A masterful work of psychological suspense and emotional resonance sure to appeal to fans of Donna Tartt and Marisha Pessl, The Bellwether Revivals will hold readers spellbound until its breathtaking conclusion.
Visit Benjamin Wood's website.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"The Conviction"

New from Touchstone: The Conviction by Robert Dugoni.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this gripping, high-octane thriller by critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni, a father takes the law into his own hands to save his son, trapped in a juvenile detention center from hell.

Lawyer David Sloane is desperate to get through to his troubled teenage son Jake. Still reeling from the devastating loss of his mother in a brutal murder, Jake has spiraled out of control and Sloane has barely been able to keep him out of jail. So when his old friend, detective Tom Molia, suggests that they take their sons on a guys-only camping trip, Sloane gratefully accepts.

What Sloane imagines will be the perfect excursion turns into a horrifying nightmare when the boys are arrested for vandalizing a general store late at night while their fathers are asleep. The next morning, before Sloane and Molia even realize they’re gone, their sons are tried, convicted, and sentenced by the presiding judge to six months in the county wilderness detention camp, Fresh Start. For the teenagers, a grueling physical and psychological ordeal begins.

As Sloane fights the conviction against the boys, he discovers that local judge Earl Boykin’s authority seems to extend far beyond the confines of his courtroom. Meanwhile, on the inside, Jake is forced to grow up quickly and soon learns the hard way that this detention center has a very different purpose than rehabilitating troubled youths.

With their legal options exhausted, Sloane and Molia will do anything to save their sons—even mount a daring rescue operation that could win the boys their freedom ... or cost all of them their lives.
Learn more about the book and author at Robert Dugoni's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Wrongful Death.

Writers Read: Robert Dugoni (May 2010).

The Page 69 Test: Bodily Harm.

My Book, The Movie: Bodily Harm.

The Page 69 Test: Murder One.

My Book, The Movie: Murder One.

Writers Read: Robert Dugoni.

"The Hypnotist's Love Story"

New from Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam: The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of critically acclaimed What Alice Forgot comes a wonderfully fun, insightful novel about the crazy things we do for love.

Ellen O’Farrell is a bit unusual. She’s a hypnotherapist. She’s never met her father. And she can’t seem to keep a relationship going (okay, that’s more normal that we want to admit). When Ellen meets Patrick, she’s hopeful nevertheless. But when he says he needs to tell her something, she fears the worst. However, when Patrick reveals that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen thinks, Is that all? Actually, that’s kind of neat. She’s more intrigued than frightened. What makes a supposedly smart, professional woman behave this way? She’d love to meet her. What she doesn’t know is that she already has.
Learn more about the book and author at Liane Moriarty's website.

The Page 69 Test: What Alice Forgot.

Writers Read: Liane Moriarty.

My Book, The Movie: What Alice Forgot.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Sin: The Early History of an Idea"

New from Princeton University Press: Sin: The Early History of an Idea by Paula Fredriksen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ancient Christians invoked sin to account for an astonishing range of things, from the death of God's son to the politics of the Roman Empire that worshipped him. In this book, award-winning historian of religion Paula Fredriksen tells the surprising story of early Christian concepts of sin, exploring the ways that sin came to shape ideas about God no less than about humanity.

Long before Christianity, of course, cultures had articulated the idea that human wrongdoing violated relations with the divine. But Sin tells how, in the fevered atmosphere of the four centuries between Jesus and Augustine, singular new Christian ideas about sin emerged in rapid and vigorous variety, including the momentous shift from the belief that sin is something one does to something that one is born into. As the original defining circumstances of their movement quickly collapsed, early Christians were left to debate the causes, manifestations, and remedies of sin. This is a powerful and original account of the early history of an idea that has centrally shaped Christianity and left a deep impression on the secular world as well.


New from Simon Pulse: Crazy by Amy Reed.

About the book, from the publisher:

He’s falling in love—and she’s falling over the edge of sanity. From the author of Beautiful and Clean, a heartwrenching exploration of a romance marred by mental illness.

Connor knows that Izzy will never fall in love with him the way he’s fallen for her. But somehow he’s been let into her crazy, exhilarating world and become her closest confidante. But the closer they get, the more Connor realizes that Izzy’s highs are too high and her lows are too low. And the frenetic energy that makes her shine is starting to push her into a much darker place.

As Izzy’s behavior gets increasingly erratic and self-destructive, Connor gets increasingly desperate to stop her from plummeting. He knows he can’t save her from her pain...but what if no one else can?
Learn more about the book and author at Amy Reed's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Amy Reed (October 2009).

Writers Read: Amy Reed (August 2011).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"She Hath Been Reading"

New from Cornell University Press: She Hath Been Reading: Women and Shakespeare Clubs in America by Katherine West Scheil.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the late nineteenth century hundreds of clubs formed across the United States devoted to the reading of Shakespeare. From Pasadena, California, to the seaside town of Camden, Maine; from the isolated farm town of Ottumwa, Iowa, to Mobile, Alabama, on the Gulf coast, Americans were reading Shakespeare in astonishing numbers and in surprising places. Composed mainly of women, these clubs offered the opportunity for members not only to read and study Shakespeare but also to participate in public and civic activities outside the home. In She Hath Been Reading, Katherine West Scheil uncovers this hidden layer of intellectual activity that flourished in American society well into the twentieth century.

Shakespeare clubs were crucial for women's intellectual development because they provided a consistent intellectual stimulus (more so than was the case with most general women's clubs) and because women discovered a world of possibilities, both public and private, inspired by their reading of Shakespeare. Indeed, gathering to read and discuss Shakespeare often led women to actively improve their lot in life and make their society a better place. Many clubs took action on larger social issues such as women’s suffrage, philanthropy, and civil rights. At the same time, these efforts served to embed Shakespeare into American culture as a marker for learning, self-improvement, civilization, and entertainment for a broad array of populations, varying in age, race, location, and social standing.

Based on extensive research in the archives of the Folger Shakespeare Library and in dozens of local archives and private collections across America, She Hath Been Reading shows the important role that literature can play in the lives of ordinary people. As testament to this fact, the book includes an appendix listing more than five hundred Shakespeare clubs across America.

"Spy Mom"

New from Hyperion: Spy Mom by Beth McMullen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Meet Sally Sin. Wife. Mother. Retired Spy. Or so she thinks. After nine years with the USAWMD (United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction)—where she desperately tried to stay one step ahead of her dashing nemesis, Ian Blackford—Sally has become Lucy Hamilton, stay-at-home mom to Theo and wife to adoring husband, Will, who knows nothing of her covert past. But now, instead of chasing bad guys through perilous jungles, she builds giant Lego towers, reads Green Eggs and Ham, and crafts exceptional forts from couch cushions and blankets.

Just when she’s starting to settle into retirement, Sally’s old Agency boss, Simon Still, shows up to recruit her for one more job, involving the illegal arms dealer, Blackford, who is on the move again. Original Sin features Sally’s great chase to thwart Blackford, who, conveniently, no one besides her seems to be able to stop. But can she make it to preschool pickup, get dinner on the table, and foil Blackford’s nefarious plot?

And just when you think the thrills are over, you’ll be ready To Sin Again.

When the Agency Director is taken hostage, Sally is once again called into action. A rescue operation? Easy. That is, until Sally learns of a connection between the kidnapping and her own mysterious childhood, which complicates everything, even Theo’s kindergarten applications. Being a mom is hard enough, without having to save the world.

Funny, fast-paced, and compulsively readable, Spy Mom offers two action-packed adventures for mothers and spies, and anyone who has ever dreamed about being either.
Beth McMullen's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Original Sin.

Writers Read: Beth McMullen.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"The Queen's Vow"

New from Ballantine Books: The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile by C. W. Gortner.

About the book, from the publisher:

No one believed I was destined for greatness.

So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.

As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.

From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.
Learn more about the book and author at C. W. Gortner's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Queen.

"The Lost Bank"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual-The Biggest Bank Failure in American History by Kirsten Grind.

About the book, from the publisher:

During the most dizzying days of the financial crisis, Washington Mutual, a bank with hundreds of billions of dollars in its coffers, suffered a crippling bank run. The story of its final, brutal collapse in the autumn of 2008, and its controversial sale to JPMorgan Chase, is an astonishing account of how one bank lost itself to greed and mismanagement, and how the entire financial industry—and even the entire country— lost its way as well.

Kirsten Grind’s The Lost Bank is a magisterial and gripping account of these events, tracing the cultural shifts, the cockamamie financial engineering, and the hubris and avarice that made this incredible story possible. The men and women who become the central players in this tragedy— the regulators and the bankers, the home buyers and the lenders, the number crunchers and the shareholders—are heroes and villains, perpetrators and victims, often switching roles with one another as the drama unfolds.

As a reporter at the time for the Puget Sound Business Journal, Grind covered a story set far from the epicenters of finance and media. It happened largely in places such as the suburban homes of central California and the office buildings of Seattle, but Grind covered the story from the beginning, and the clarity and persistence of her reporting earned her many awards, including being named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Award. She takes readers into boardrooms and bedrooms, revealing the power struggles that pitted regulators at the Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC against one another and the predatory negotiations of investment bankers and lawyers who enriched themselves during the bank’s rise and then devoured the decimated bank in its final days.

Written as compellingly as the finest fiction, The Lost Bank makes it clear that the collapse of Washington Mutual was not just the largest bank failure in American history. It is a story of talismanic qualities, reflecting the incredible rise and the precipitous collapse of not only an institution but of trust, fortunes, and the marketplaces for risk across the world.
Visit Kirsten Grind's website.