Sunday, May 31, 2015

"The Story of Alice"

New from Belknap Press: The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst.

About the book, from the publisher:

Following his acclaimed life of Dickens, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst illuminates the tangled history of two lives and two books. Drawing on numerous unpublished sources, he examines in detail the peculiar friendship between the Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he invented the Alice stories, and analyzes how this relationship stirred Carroll’s imagination and influenced the creation of Wonderland. It also explains why Alice in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass (1871), took on an unstoppable cultural momentum in the Victorian era and why, a century and a half later, they continue to enthrall and delight readers of all ages.

The Story of Alice reveals Carroll as both an innovator and a stodgy traditionalist, entrenched in habits and routines. He had a keen double interest in keeping things moving and keeping them just as they are. (In Looking-Glass Land, Alice must run faster and faster just to stay in one place.) Tracing the development of the Alice books from their inception in 1862 to Liddell’s death in 1934, Douglas-Fairhurst also provides a keyhole through which to observe a larger, shifting cultural landscape: the birth of photography, changing definitions of childhood, murky questions about sex and sexuality, and the relationship between Carroll’s books and other works of Victorian literature.

In the stormy transition from the Victorian to the modern era, Douglas-Fairhurst shows, Wonderland became a sheltered world apart, where the line between the actual and the possible was continually blurred.
My Book, The Movie: Becoming Dickens.

The Page 99 Test: Becoming Dickens.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Unfortunates"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus.

About the book, from the publisher:

The riveting, hilarious, and epic story of a prominent American family on the cusp of ruin

This extraordinary debut novel by Sophie McManus is a contemporary American tragedy of breathtaking scope: a dramatic story of pharmaceutical drug trials and Wall Street corruption; of pride and prejudice; of paranoia and office politics; of inheritance, influence, class, and power.

Cecilia Somner's fate hangs in the balance. A larger-than-life heiress to a robber baron's fortune, once known for her cruel wit as much as for her tremendous generosity, CeCe is now in opulent decline. Afflicted with a rare disease and touched by mortality for the first time, her gilded, bygone values collide with an unforgiving present. Along with her troubled son, George, and his outsider wife, Iris, CeCe must face the Somners' dark legacy and the corrupting nature of wealth. As the Somner family struggles to find a solution to its troubles, the secrets and lies between CeCe, George, and Iris grow entangled. CeCe's world topples, culminating in a crime as unforgettable as it is unexpected.

While no riches can put things right for the unfortunate Somners, when all is lost, they learn what life beyond the long, shimmering shadow cast by the Somner dynasty may become. The Unfortunates, hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, is most of all a meditation on love: as delusional obsession, as transformation, and ultimately as a coming to grace.
Visit Sophie McManus's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"High Country Nocturne"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: High Country Nocturne: A David Mapstone Mystery by Jon Talton.

About the book, from the publisher:

A cache of diamonds is stolen in Phoenix. The prime suspect is former Maricopa County Sheriff Mike Peralta, now a private investigator. Disappearing into Arizona’s mountainous High Country, Peralta leaves his business partner and longtime friend David Mapstone with a stark choice. He can cooperate with the FBI, or strike out on his own to find Peralta and what really happened.

Mapstone knows he can count on his wife Lindsey, one of the top “good hackers” in law enforcement. But what if they’ve both been betrayed? Mapstone is tested further when the new sheriff wants him back as a deputy, putting to use his historian’s expertise to solve a very special cold case. The stakes turn deadly when David and Lindsey are stalked by a trained killer whose specialty is “suiciding” her targets.

In depressed, post-recession Phoenix, every certainty has become scrambled, from the short hustle of the powerful real-estate industry to the loyalties Mapstone once took for granted. Could Peralta really be a jewel thief or worse? The deeper Mapstone digs into the world of sun-baked hustlers, corrupt cops, moneyed retirees, and mobsters, the more things are not what they seem. Ultimately, Mapstone must risk everything to find the truth.

High Country Nocturne is an ambitious, searing, and gritty novel, with a fast-paced story as hard-edged as the stolen diamonds themselves.
Learn more about the book and author at Jon Talton's website.

The Page 69 Test: South Phoenix Rules.

My Book, The Movie: Jon Talton's David Mapstone mysteries.

The Page 69 Test: Powers of Arrest.

My Book, The Movie: Powers of Arrest.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Buckley and Mailer"

New from W.W. Norton: Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties by Kevin M. Schultz.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lively chronicle of the 1960s through the surprisingly close and incredibly contentious friendship of its two most colorful characters.

William F. Buckley, Jr., and Norman Mailer were the two towering intellectual figures of the 1960s, and they lived remarkably parallel lives. Both became best-selling authors in their twenties (with God and Man at Yale and The Naked and the Dead); both started hugely influential papers (National Review and the Village Voice); both ran for mayor of New York City; both were noted for their exceptional wit and venom; and both became the figurehead of their respective social movements (Buckley on the right, Mailer on the left). Indeed, Buckley and Mailer argued vociferously and publicly about every major issue of their time: civil rights, feminism, the counterculture, Vietnam, the Cold War. But behind the scenes, the two were close friends and trusted confidantes. In Buckley and Mailer, historian Kevin M. Schultz delves into their personal archives to tell the rich story of their friendship, their arguments, and the tumultuous decade they did so much to shape.

Here is the entertaining and deeply American story of what Mailer himself called a "difficult friendship": from their debate before the Floyd Patterson–Sonny Liston heavyweight fight in 1962 to their failed mayoral campaigns, to their confrontation at Truman Capote’s Black-and-White Ball, to their starring roles in the central events of the ’60s, including the giant antiwar rally in Berkeley, the March on the Pentagon, and the national political conventions in Miami and Chicago. Through it all, Schultz charts their friendship, whether sailing together off the coast of Connecticut, celebrating rave reviews and grousing about lousy ones, and defending each other's decisions privately even as they attack each other’s positions publicly.

Brimming with Buckley and Mailer's own thoughts from their personal diaries and letters, Buckley and Mailer also features cameos by other leading figures of the time, including James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Barry Goldwater, Robert F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gloria Steinem, and Gore Vidal. Schultz delivers a fresh chronicle of the '60s and its long aftermath as well as an enormously engaging work of narrative history that explores these extraordinary figures' contrasting visions of what America was and what it could be.
Kevin M. Schultz is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of Tri-Faith America: How Postwar Catholics and Jews Held America to its Protestant Promise.

The Page 99 Test: Tri-Faith America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 29, 2015

"Hover"

New from Forge Books: Hover by Anne A. Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Helicopter pilot Lt. Sara Denning joins a navy battle group with little fanfare--and that's just the way she likes it. After her brother Ian's tragic death, her career path seemed obvious: step into his shoes and enter the Naval Academy, despite her fear of water. Sara's philosophy is simple--blend in, be competent, and above all, never do anything to stand out as a woman in a man's world.

Somewhere along the way, Sara lost herself--her feminine, easygoing soul is now buried under so many defensive layers, she can't reach it anymore.

When she meets strong, self-assured Lt. Eric Marxen, her defenses start to falter. Eric coordinates flight operations for a Navy SEAL team that requests Sara as the exclusive pilot. This blatant show of favoritism causes conflict with the other pilots; Sara's sexist boss seems intent on making her life miserable, and her roommate and best friend, the only other woman on the ship, is avoiding her. It doesn't help that her interactions with Eric leave her reeling.

The endgame of the SEALs' mission is so secret, even Sara doesn't know the reason behind her mandated participation. Soon, though, the training missions become real, and Sara must overcome her fears before they plunge her into danger. When Sara's life is on the line, can she find her true self again and follow the orders of her heart before it is too late?

Anne A. Wilson's Hover is a thrilling, emotional women's journey written by a groundbreaking former navy pilot.
Visit Anne A. Wilson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Stay"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Stay: A Novel by Victor Gischler.

About the book, from the publisher:

Victor Gischler's STAY, in which a stay-at-home dad with a secret past is forced to take pre-emptive action when his family is threatened by a crime lord, with TV rights sold.

David Sparrow is an awesome stay-at-home dad. He gets his kids ready for school while his wife, Amy, commutes to New York City, where she is an Assistant District Attorney. She just inherited a major case: prosecuting crime lord Dante Payne. Meanwhile, David is content chatting with the moms at school drop-off, and doing housework.

One night, David is awoken by a sound downstairs, and discovers a man in Amy's office, going through her work documents. Instinctively, David confronts the man and a fight begins. But not a fight between a stay-at-home dad and a common burglar. No, this is a fight out of a Bourne movie and it is intense. David wins, but barely. He tries to explain to the cops that this guy was no ordinary burglar but they mostly ignore him, especially when they find out what he does for a "living."

We now discover that David is a former Solo Ops officer, a soldier who was routinely dropped in war zones with a specific mission. If he was caught, the US government would disavow all knowledge of him. David was honorably discharged after too many missions and was excited for a quiet, normal life.

However, with Dante Payne now targeting Amy and her family, David decides to reactivate himself and take the fight to the vicious criminal lord. And Dante Payne has no idea who he's just crossed.
Visit Victor Gischler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Enchanted August"

New from Pamela Dorman Books: Enchanted August: A Novel by Brenda Bowen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set on a picture-perfect island in Maine, a sparkling summer debut that offers readers a universal fantasy: one glorious month away from it all

On a dreary spring day in Brooklyn, Lottie Wilkinson and Rose Arbuthnot spot an ad on their children’s preschool bulletin board:

Hopewell Cottage
Little Lost Island, Maine.
Old, pretty cottage to rent on a small island.
Springwater, blueberries, sea glass.
August.


Neither can afford it, but they are smitten—Lottie could use a break from her overbearing husband and Rose from her relentless twins. On impulse, they decide to take the place and attract two others to share the steep rent: Caroline Dester, an indie movie star who’s getting over a very public humiliation, and elderly Beverly Fisher, who’s recovering from heartbreaking loss. If it’s not a perfect quartet, surely it will be fine for a month in the country.

When they arrive on the island, they are transformed by the salt air; the breathtaking views; the long, lazy days; and the happy routine of lobster, corn, and cocktails on the wraparound porch. By the time of the late-August blue moon, real life and its complications have finally fallen far, far away. For on this idyllic island they gradually begin to open up: to one another and to the possibilities of lives quite different from the ones they’ve been leading. Change can’t be that hard, can it?

With a cast of endearingly imperfect characters and set against the beauty of a gorgeous New England summer, Enchanted August brilliantly updates the beloved classic The Enchanted April in a novel of love and reawakening that is simply irresistible.
Visit Brenda Bowen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Notorious Pagan Jones"

New from Harlequin Teen: The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family. Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk. Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guilt—not to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones.

But all of that is about to change. Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer. Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts a juicy role in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler. The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days. If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fast—and she has to agree to a court-appointed "guardian," the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth and too sophisticated to be some studio flack.

The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about her—there's definitely something fishy going on. But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones. What could go wrong?
Visit Nina Berry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"The Cherry Harvest"

New from William Morrow: The Cherry Harvest: A Novel by Lucy Sanna.

About the book, from the publisher:

A memorable coming-of-age story and love story, laced with suspense, which explores a hidden side of the home front during World War II, when German POWs were put to work in a Wisconsin farm community . . . with dark and unexpected consequences.

The war has taken a toll on the Christiansen family. With food rationed and money scarce, Charlotte struggles to keep her family well fed. Her teenage daughter, Kate, raises rabbits to earn money for college and dreams of becoming a writer. Her husband, Thomas, struggles to keep the farm going while their son, and most of the other local men, are fighting in Europe.

When their upcoming cherry harvest is threatened, strong-willed Charlotte helps persuade local authorities to allow German war prisoners from a nearby camp to pick the fruit.

But when Thomas befriends one of the prisoners, a teacher named Karl, and invites him to tutor Kate, the implications of Charlotte’s decision become apparent—especially when she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Karl. So busy are they with the prisoners that Charlotte and Thomas fail to see that Kate is becoming a young woman, with dreams and temptations of her own—including a secret romance with the son of a wealthy, war-profiteering senator. And when their beloved Ben returns home, bitter and injured, bearing an intense hatred of Germans, Charlotte’s secrets threaten to explode their world.
Visit Lucy Sanna's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sweet Forgiveness"

New from Plume: Sweet Forgiveness: A Novel by Lori Nelson Spielman.

About the book, from the publisher:

#1 international bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman follows The Life List with Sweet Forgiveness, in which a woman’s receipt of two “forgiveness stones” sends her searching for atonement

The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation—instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans’ favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn’t biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years—and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals on air details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.

Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever.
Learn more about the book and author at Lori Nelson Spielman's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Life List.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Nearly Found"

New from Kathy Dawson Books: Nearly Found by Elle Cosimano.

About the book, from the publisher:

The sequel to the highly praised and intricately plotted Nearly Gone–a YA urban mystery that’s perfect for fans of Bones, Numbers, and The Body Finder

After Nearly Boswell starts working as an intern at a crime lab, a girl from her trailer park turns up dead. Then the corpse of a missing person is discovered, buried on a golf course, with a message for Nearly etched into the bones. When Nearly finds out the corpse is the father of Eric, a classmate of hers, she starts to worry that the body is connected to her father’s disappearance five years ago. Nearly, Reece, and Nearly’s classmates–Vince, Jeremy, and Eric–start a dangerous investigation into their fathers’ pasts that threatens Nearly’s fragile romance with Reece, and puts all them in the killer’s path.
Visit Elle Cosimano's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Fold"

New from Crown: The Fold: A Novel by Peter Clines.

About the book, from the publisher:

STEP INTO THE FOLD.
IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE.


The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. And that’s exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he’s chosen isn’t much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he’s content with his quiet and peaceful existence.

That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step.

The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe.

Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.

As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there’s only one answer that makes sense. And if he’s right, it may only be a matter of time before the project destroys…everything.

A cunningly inventive mystery featuring a hero worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a terrifying final twist you’ll never see coming, The Fold is that rarest of things: a genuinely page-turning science-fiction thriller. Step inside its pages and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans.
Visit Peter Clines's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 25, 2015

"The Cage"

New from Balzer + Bray: The Cage by Megan Shepherd.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?
Visit Megan Shepherd's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Her Dark Curiosity.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Zodiac Station"

New from Harper Paperbacks: Zodiac Station: A Novel by Tom Harper.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton—an eerie, evocative thriller set in the unforgiving Arctic from the author of The Orpheus Descent.

Deep in the Arctic, the US Coast Guard icebreaker Terra Nova batters its way through the frozen sea. A gaunt figure skis out of the fog on the pack ice. He says his name is Thomas Anderson, and that he’s the lone survivors of a terrible accident at the research outpost Zodiac Station, located on the ice-bound island of Utgard.

Ten days earlier, he’d arrived at Zodiac Station looking to resurrect a career destroyed by scientific scandal. But things quickly went wrong when the man who hired him, brilliant biochemist Martin Hagger, turned up dead, at the bottom of a crevasse. The base commander insisted he fell. But footprints in the snow told a much different story. As Anderson tells a tale of sabotage, suspicion, and paranoia, the mystery only deepens.

When other survivors are discovered and their stories cast doubt on Anderson’s reliability, it seems the grim fate of the scientists at Zodiac Station may involve human greed, jealousy, oil company trickery, Russian espionage, genetic experimentation, and global warming. But the truth is something no one on the Terra Nova could have imagined.

A fast-paced, gripping thriller that marries science and adventure, Zodiac Station is as chilling and unpredictable as the fierce Arctic landscape.
Visit Tom Harper's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Primates of Park Avenue"

New from Simon & Schuster: Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe.

After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place. She understood the other mothers’ snobbiness at school drop-off when she compared them to olive baboons. Her obsessional quest for a Hermes Birkin handbag made sense when she realized other females wielded them to establish dominance in their troop. And so she analyzed tribal migration patterns; display rituals; physical adornment, mutilation, and mating practices; extra-pair copulation; and more. Her conclusions are smart, thought-provoking, and hilariously unexpected.

Every city has its Upper East Side, and in Wednesday’s memoir, readers everywhere will recognize the strange cultural codes of powerful social hierarchies and the compelling desire to climb them. They will also see that Upper East Side mothers want the same things for their children that all mothers want—safety, happiness, and success—and not even sky-high penthouses and chauffeured SUVs can protect this ecologically released tribe from the universal experiences of anxiety and loss. When Wednesday’s life turns upside down, she learns how deep the bonds of female friendship really are.

Intelligent, funny, and heartfelt, Primates of Park Avenue lifts a veil on a secret, elite world within a world—the exotic, fascinating, and strangely familiar culture of privileged Manhattan motherhood.
Learn more about the book and author at Wednesday Martin's website.

The Page 99 Test: Stepmonster.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot"

New from Knopf: Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker.

About the book, from the publisher:

A poetic and nuanced exploration of the human experience of flight that reminds us of the full imaginative weight of our most ordinary journeys—and reawakens our capacity to be amazed.

The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight—a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity—to the realm of the mundane. Mark Vanhoenacker, a 747 pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we—both as pilots and as passengers—are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery. In a seamless fusion of history, politics, geography, meteorology, ecology, family, and physics, Vanhoenacker vaults across geographical and cultural boundaries; above mountains, oceans, and deserts; through snow, wind, and rain, renewing a simultaneously humbling and almost superhuman activity that affords us unparalleled perspectives on the planet we inhabit and the communities we form.
Visit Mark Vanhoenacker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Kissing in America"

New from HarperCollins: Kissing in America by Margo Rabb.

About the book, from the publisher:

Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb's Kissing in America is "a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls," raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that's still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who understands Eva's grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head over heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the West Coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls "gorgeous, funny, and joyous," readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all its forms.
Visit Margo Rabb's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hotel Moscow"

New from William Morrow: Hotel Moscow: A Novel by Talia Carner.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.

Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.

Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed—and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.

A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage.
Visit Talia Carner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 22, 2015

"Inherit the Holy Mountain"

New from Oxford University Press: Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism by Mark Stoll.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Inherit the Holy Mountain, historian Mark Stoll introduces us to the religious roots of the American environmental movement. Religion, he shows, provided environmentalists both with deeply-embedded moral and cultural ways of viewing the world and with content, direction, and tone for the causes they espoused.

Stoll discovers that specific denominational origins corresponded with characteristic sets of ideas about nature and the environment as well as distinctive aesthetic reactions to nature, as can be seen in key works of art analyzed throughout the book.

Stoll also provides insight into the possible future of environmentalism in the United States, concluding with an examination of the current religious scene and what it portends for the future. By debunking the supposed divide between religion and American environmentalism, Inherit the Holy Mountain opens up a fundamentally new narrative in environmental studies.
--Marshal Zeringue

"After Perfect: A Daughter's Memoir"

New from Gallery Books: After Perfect: A Daughter's Memoir by Christina McDowell.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of New York Times bestsellers What Remains by Carole Radziwill and Oh the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey, Christina McDowell’s unflinching memoir is a brutally honest, cautionary tale about one family’s destruction in the wake of the Wall Street implosion.

Christina McDowell was born Christina Prousalis. She had to change her name to be legally extricated from the trail of chaos her father, Tom Prousalis, left in the wake of his arrest and subsequent imprisonment as one of the guilty players sucked into the collateral fallout of Jordan Belfort (the “Wolf of Wall Street”). Christina worshipped her father and the seemingly perfect life they lived…a life she finds out was built on lies. Christina’s family, as is typically the case, had no idea what was going on. Nineteen-year-old Christina drove her father to jail while her mother dissolved in denial.

Since then, Christina’s life has been decimated. As her family floundered in rehab, depression, homelessness, and loss, Christina succumbed to the grip of alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity before finding catharsis in the most unlikely of places. From the bucolic affluence of suburban Washington, DC, to the A-list clubs and seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, this provocative memoir unflinchingly describes the harsh realities of a fall from grace. Full of nineties nostalgia and access to the inner circles of the Washingtonian societal elite, Christina McDowell’s beautiful memoir is a Blue Jasmine story from a daughter’s perspective.
Visit Christina McDowell's Facebook page and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Fat-Talk Nation"

New from Cornell University Press: Fat-Talk Nation: The Human Costs of America's War on Fat by Susan Greenhalgh.

About the book, from the publisher:

In recent decades, America has been waging a veritable war on fat in which not just public health authorities, but every sector of society is engaged in constant “fat talk” aimed at educating, badgering, and ridiculing heavy people into shedding pounds. We hear a great deal about the dangers of fatness to the nation, but little about the dangers of today’s epidemic of fat talk to individuals and society at large. The human trauma caused by the war on fat is disturbing—and it is virtually unknown. How do those who do not fit the “ideal” body type feel being the object of abuse, discrimination, and even revulsion? How do people feel being told they are a burden on the healthcare system for having a BMI outside what is deemed—with little solid scientific evidence—“healthy”? How do young people, already prone to self-doubt about their bodies, withstand the daily assault on their body type and sense of self-worth? In Fat-Talk Nation, Susan Greenhalgh tells the story of today’s fight against excess pounds by giving young people, the campaign’s main target, an opportunity to speak about experiences that have long lain hidden in silence and shame.

Featuring forty-five autobiographical narratives of personal struggles with diet, weight, “bad BMIs,” and eating disorders, Fat-Talk Nation shows how the war on fat has produced a generation of young people who are obsessed with their bodies and whose most fundamental sense of self comes from their size. It reveals that regardless of their weight, many people feel miserable about their bodies, and almost no one is able to lose weight and keep it off. Greenhalgh argues that attempts to rescue America from obesity-induced national decline are damaging the bodily and emotional health of young people and disrupting families and intimate relationships.

Fatness today is not primarily about health, Greenhalgh asserts; more fundamentally, it is about morality and political inclusion/exclusion or citizenship. To unpack the complexity of fat politics today, Greenhalgh introduces a cluster of terms—biocitizen, biomyth, biopedagogy, bioabuse, biocop, and fat personhood—and shows how they work together to produce such deep investments in the attainment of the thin, fit body. These concepts, which constitute a theory of the workings of our biocitizenship culture, offer powerful tools for understanding how obesity has come to remake who we are as a nation, and how we might work to reverse course for the next generation.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Devices of Curiosity"

New from Oxford University Press: Devices of Curiosity: Early Cinema and Popular Science by Oliver Gaycken.

About the book, from the publisher:

Devices of Curiosity excavates a largely unknown genre of early cinema, the popular-science film. Primarily a work of cinema history, it also draws on the insights of the history of science. Beginning around 1903, a variety of producers made films about scientific topics for general audiences, inspired by a vision of cinema as an educational medium. This book traces the development of popular-science films over the first half of the silent era, from its beginnings in England to its flourishing in France around 1910.

Devices of Curiosity also considers how popular-science films exemplify the circulation of knowledge. These films initially relied upon previous traditions such as the magic-lantern lecture for their representational strategies, and they continually had recourse to established visual iconography, but they also created novel visual paradigms and led to the creation of ambitious new film collections. Finally, the book discerns a transit between nonfictional and fictional modes, seeing affinities between popular-science films and certain aspects of fiction films, particularly Louis Feuillade's crime melodramas. This kind of circulation is important for an understanding of the wider relevance of early popular-science films, which impacted the formation of the documentary, educational, and avant-garde cinemas.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Eight Hundred Grapes"

New from Simon & Schuster: Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel by Laura Dave.

About the book, from the publisher:

A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she's describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…

Bestselling author Laura Dave has been dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA TODAY), a “decadent storyteller” (Marie Claire), and “compulsively readable” (Woman’s Day). Set in the lush backdrop of Sonoma’s wine country, Eight Hundred Grapes is a heartbreaking, funny, and deeply evocative novel about love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect.
Visit Laura Dave's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Great Detective"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes by Zach Dundas.

About the book, from the publisher:

A wickedly smart and rollicking journey through the birth, life, and afterlives of popular culture's most beloved sleuth

Today he is the inspiration for fiction adaptations, blockbuster movies, hit television shows, raucous Twitter banter, and thriving subcultures. More than a century after Sherlock Holmes first capered into our world, what is it about Arthur Conan Doyle’s peculiar creation that continues to fascinate us? Journalist and lifelong Sherlock fan Zach Dundas set out to find the answer.

The result is The Great Detective: a history of an idea, a biography of someone who never lived, a tour of the borderland between reality and fiction, and a joyful romp through the world Conan Doyle bequeathed us.

Through sparkling new readings of the original stories, Dundas unearths the inspirations behind Holmes and his indispensable companion, Dr. John Watson, and reveals how Conan Doyle's tales laid the groundwork for an infinitely remixable myth, kept alive over the decades by writers, actors, and readers. This investigation leads Dundas on travels into the heart of the Holmesian universe. The Great Detective transports us from New York City's Fifth Avenue and the boozy annual gathering of one of the world's oldest and most exclusive Sherlock Holmes fan societies; to a freezing Devon heath out of The Hound of the Baskervilles; to sunny Pasadena, where Dundas chats with the creators of the smash BBC series Sherlock and even finagles a cameo appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch himself. Along the way, Dundas discovers and celebrates the ingredients that have made Holmes go viral — then, now, and as long as the game’s afoot.
Visit Zach Dundas's Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Bye, Bye Love"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Bye, Bye Love: A Cat DeLuca Mystery by K. J. Larsen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Chicago’s Pants On Fire Detective Agency targets liars and cheats. But PI Cat DeLuca is once again up to her smokin’ skinny jeans in murder.

Cat is out running in a neighborhood park when she crashes over the faceless body of Bernie Love. Bernie was the finance guy to the scary Provenza family, with whom he grew up. And friend to Cat’s shady, Ferrari-wheeling-cop Uncle Joey. As she hauls out her phone, Cat is assaulted by someone with a Rolex, stun gun, and wheelbarrow. When the cops show up, the killer is gone. And so is the body.

Captain Bob, a stickler for habeas corpus, blows off Cat’s story. Stung by a chorus of snickers from the Ninth Precinct, home base for DeLuca men, Cat vows to make her case and goes after Rolex man. The murderer, desperate to silence the only person who can place him at the park, comes after Cat. She’s quickly on a collision course with the deadliest adversary she’s ever encountered—but she has the help of her beagle partner, her gun-happy assistant, an ex-spy (or two), and her outrageous, interfering Italian family. Meanwhile her hot, FBI-boyfriend seems sidelined in Vegas.

In Bye, Bye, Love, K.J. Larsen delivers another nail-biting tale rife with unexpected plot twists, zany characters, fabulous food, and laugh-out-loud humor.
Visit K. J. Larsen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Defiant"

New from Talos: Defiant: Towers Trilogy Book Two by Karina Sumner-Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

Once, Xhea’s wants were simple: enough to eat, safety in the underground, and the hit of bright payment to transform her gray-cast world into color. But in the aftermath of her rescue of the Radiant ghost Shai, the life she knew is gone forever.

Since her fall from the City, Xhea has hidden in skyscraper Edren, attempting to heal. But soon even she must face the troubling truth that she might never walk again. Shai, ever faithful, has stayed by her side – but the ghost’s very presence has sent untold fortunes into Edren’s coffers, and dangerously unbalanced the Lower City’s political balance.

War is brewing. Beyond Edren’s walls, the other skyscrapers have heard tell of the Radiant ghost and the power she holds. But Shai’s magic is not the only prize – nor the only power that could change everything. At last, Xhea begins to learn of her strange dark magic, and why even whispers of its presence are enough to make the Lower City elite tremble in fear.

Together, Xhea and Shai may have the power to stop a war – or become a weapon great enough to bring the City to its knees. That is, if the magic doesn’t destroy them first.
Visit Karina Sumner-Smith's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Vanished"

New from Katherine Tegen Books: Vanished by E. E. Cooper.

About the book, from the publisher:

Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in the first book of this fast-paced psychological thriller series full of delicious twists and turns.

Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.

Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn't stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.

Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth's best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn't even tell Kalah good-bye.

One of the rumors links Beth to Britney's boyfriend, and Kalah doesn't want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it—and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit's suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she's swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah's caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth.
Learn more about Vanished. at E.E. Cooper's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dead Girl Walking"

New from Atlantic Monthly Press: Dead Girl Walking by Christopher Brookmyre.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dead Girl Walking is the latest thrilling novel from one of Scotland’s most treasured crime writers, as well known in his native country as Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, and Denise Mina. In his latest novel, he has written his most accessible book yet—a thrilling story of sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and murder.

Life is dangerous when you have everything to lose. Famous, beautiful, and talented, Heike Gunn has the world at her feet. Then, one day, she simply vanishes. Meanwhile, journalist Jack Parlabane has lost everything: his career, his marriage, his self-respect. A call for help from an old friend offers a chance for redemption—but only if he can find out what happened to Heike. Pursued by those who would punish him for past crimes, Parlabane enters the secret-filled world of Heike’s band, Savage Earth Heart, a group at the breaking point. Each of its members seems to be hiding something, not least its newest recruit Monica Halcrow, whose alleged relationship with Heike has become a public obsession. Monica’s own story, however, reveals a far darker truth. Fixated on Heike from day one, she has been engulfed by paranoia, jealousy, and fear as she discovers the hidden price of fame. From Berlin to Barcelona, from the streets of Milan to remote Scottish islands, Parlabane must dredge up old secrets to find Heike before it’s too late.
Visit Christopher Brookmyre's website.

The Page 69 Test: Bred in the Bone.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 17, 2015

"The Power of Ideals"

New from Oxford University Press: The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice by William Damon and Anne Colby.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cynicism often seems a smarter choice than idealism. There are reasons for this. Politicians have disappointed us time and again; trusted institutions have proven to be self-serving and corrupt; hopes for lasting world peace repeatedly have been dashed; and social inequities persist and increase, unabated by even the grandest of charitable efforts. It is now considered foolish to think that people can be counted on to rise above their narrow self-interests to serve the broader good, or to tell the truth if it does not reflect well on the self. Supporting this bleak view of the human condition is a moral psychology that has taken increasingly cynical turns in recent years. Famous studies have shown that we have an almost unlimited potential for cruelty when placed in the wrong situations.

The Power of Ideals presents a different vision, supported by a different kind of evidence. It examines the lives and work of six 20th century moral leaders who pursued moral causes ranging from world peace to social justice and human rights. Using these six cases to illustrate how people can make choices guided by their moral convictions, rather than by base emotion or social pressures, authors William Damon and Anne Colby explore the workings of three virtues: inner truthfulness, humility, and faith. Through their portrayal of the noble lives of moral leaders, the authors argue that all of us--with ordinary lives--can exercise control over important life decisions and pursue ideals that we believe in.
--Marshal Zeringue

"What Lies Behind"

New from Mira: What Lies Behind (Samantha Owens Series #4) by J. T. Ellison.

About the book, from the publisher:

Waking to sirens in the night is hardly unusual for Samantha Owens. No longer a medical examiner, she doesn't lose sleep over them, but a routine police investigation in her neighborhood has her curious. When her homicide detective friend, Darren Fletcher, invites her to look over the evidence, she jumps at the chance and immediately realizes the crime scene has been staged. What seems to be a clear case of murder/suicide—a crime of passion—is anything but. The discovery of toxic substances in hidden vials indicates that something much more sinister is at play…

As Fletch and Sam try to understand what and who they are dealing with, they are summoned to a meeting at the State Department. High-level officials are interested in what they know and seem to be keeping secrets of their own. It's up to Sam and Fletch to uncover what lies behind the deception as the threat of bioterrorism is exposed, and her boyfriend, Xander Whitfield, may be in the line of fire.

Unsure who to trust, Sam and Fletch find themselves up against very powerful people at every stage in the investigation. No one is who they appear to be and with every minute that passes, the danger escalates. It's Sam's most complex case yet and the terrifying reality is beyond anything she could have imagined.
Visit J.T. Ellison's website, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

The Page 69 Test: Edge of Black.

The Page 69 Test: When Shadows Fall.

My Book, The Movie: When Shadows Fall.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 16, 2015

"A Matter of Heart"

New from Delacorte Press: A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Readers will happily sink into this emotionally grounded, contemporary young adult novel about the sudden end of one girl’s Olympic swimming dreams and the struggles she endures before realizing there are many things that define who we are.

Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition. Now Abby is forced to discover who she is without the one thing that’s defined her entire life.
Visit Amy Fellner Dominy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Life and Death of Sophie Stark"

New from Blue Rider Press: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North.

About the book, from the publisher:

Gripping and provocative, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a haunting story of fame, love, and legacy told through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist. Sophie Stark begins her filmmaking career by creating a documentary about her obsession, Daniel, a college basketball star. But when she becomes too invasive, she finds herself the victim of a cruel retribution. The humiliation doesn’t stop her. Visionary and unapologetic, Sophie begins to use stories from the lives of those around her to create movies, and as she gains critical recognition and acclaim, she risks betraying the one she loves most.

Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew Sophie best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art. It is “not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story” (Emma Donoghue).
Learn more about the book and author at Anna North's website.

Writers Read: Anna North (July 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 15, 2015

"Café Europa"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Café Europa: An Edna Ferber Mystery by Ed Ifkovic.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1914, as rumors of war float across Europe, Edna Ferber travels to Budapest with Winifred Moss, a famous London suffragette, to visit the homeland of her dead father and to see the sights. Author Edna is fascinated by ancient Emperor Franz Joseph and by the faltering Austro-Hungarian Empire, its pomp and circumstance so removed from the daily life of the people she meets. Sitting daily in the Café Europa at her hotel, she listens to unfettered Hearst reporter Harold Gibbon as he predicts the coming war and the end of feudalistic life in Europe while patrons chatter.

Then a shocking murder in a midnight garden changes everything.

Headstrong Cassandra Blaine is supposed to marry into the Austrian nobility in one of those arranged matches like Consuela Vanderbilt’s still popular with wealthy American parents eager for titles and impoverished European nobility who have them to offer. But Cassandra is murdered, and her former lover, the dashing Hungarian Endre Molnár, is the prime suspect. Taken with the young man and convinced of his innocence, Edna begins investigating with the help of Winifred and two avant-garde Hungarian artists. Meanwhile possible war with Serbia is the topic of the day as Archduke Franz Ferdinand prepares to head to Sarajevo. While the world braces for disaster, Edna uncovers the truth –and it scares her.
Visit Ed Ifkovic's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Far End of Happy"

New from Sourcebooks: The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ronnie’s husband is supposed to move out today. But when Jeff pulls into the driveway drunk, with a shotgun in the front seat, she realizes nothing about the day will go as planned.

The next few hours spiral down in a flash, unlike the slow disintegration of their marriage—and whatever part of that painful unraveling is Ronnie’s fault, not much else matters now but these moments. Her family’s lives depend on the choices she will make—but is what’s best for her best for everyone?

Based on a real event from the author’s life, The Far End of Happy is a chilling story of one troubled man, the family that loves him, and the suicide standoff that will change all of them forever.
Nose in a book: Kathryn Craft (March 2014).

Visit Kathryn Craft's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Jonas Salk: A Life"

New from Oxford University Press: Jonas Salk: A Life by Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a waiting world learned on April 12, 1955, that Jonas Salk had successfully created a vaccine to prevent poliomyelitis, he became a hero overnight. Born in a New York tenement, humble in manner, Salk had all the makings of a twentieth-century icon-a knight in a white coat. In the wake of his achievement, he received a staggering number of awards and honors; for years his name ranked with Gandhi and Churchill on lists of the most revered people. And yet the one group whose adulation he craved--the scientific community--remained ominously silent. "The worst tragedy that could have befallen me was my success," Salk later said. "I knew right away that I was through-cast out."

In the first complete biography of Jonas Salk, Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs unravels Salk's story to reveal an unconventional scientist and a misunderstood and vulnerable man. Despite his incredible success in developing the polio vaccine, Salk was ostracized by his fellow scientists, who accused him of failing to give proper credit to other researchers and scorned his taste for media attention. Even before success catapulted him into the limelight, Salk was an inscrutable man disliked by many of his peers. Driven by an intense desire to aid mankind, he was initially oblivious and eventually resigned to the personal cost--as well as the costs suffered by his family and friends. And yet Salk remained, in the eyes of the public, an adored hero.

Based on hundreds of personal interviews and unprecedented access to Salk's sealed archives, Jacobs' biography offers the most complete picture of this complicated figure. Salk's story has never been fully told; until now, his role in preventing polio has overshadowed his part in co-developing the first influenza vaccine, his effort to meld the sciences and humanities in the magnificent Salk Institute, and his pioneering work on AIDS. A vivid and intimate portrait, this will become the standard work on the remarkable life of Jonas Salk.
Visit Charlotte Jacobs's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Anything Could Happen"

New from Scholastic: Anything Could Happen by Will Walton.

About the book, from the publisher:

A phenomenal debut about a gay Southern boy in love with his straight best friend.

Tretch Farm lives in a very small town where everybody's in everybody else's business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his best friend, Matt Gooby. Matt has two gay dads, but isn't all that gay himself . . . which doesn't stop Tretch from loving him anyway. Things get even more complicated when a girl falls for Tretch, and Tretch doesn't know how to put her off without revealing everything to everyone. Meanwhile, his family is facing some challenges of its own, and it's going to take Tretch coming out and coming to peace with his situation for his life to move forward.

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again.
Visit Will Walton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Death Ex Machina"

New from Soho Crime: Death Ex Machina by Gary Corby.

About the book, from the publisher:

A theatrical murder sends classical Athens into uproar

It’s the time of the Great Dionysia, the largest arts festival of the ancient world, held each year in honor of Dionysos, the god of wine. But there’s a problem: A ghost is haunting Athens’s grand theater.

Nicolaos and his clever partner in sleuthing (and now in matrimony), the priestess Diotima, are hired to rid the theater of the ghost so that the festival can begin. With the help of Theokritos, the High Priest of Dionysos, they exorcise the ghost publicly, while secretly suspecting that a human saboteur is the actual culprit.

Their efforts to protect the theater fall short when one of the actors is found hanged from the machine used to carry actors through the air when they play the part of gods. It’s quite a theatrical murder.

As Nico and Diotima dig into the actor’s past, they discover all was not as it seemed. There are enough suspects to fill a theater. As the festival approaches and pressure mounts on all sides, can they hunt down the killer in time? Or will they simply have to hope for a deus ex machina?
Visit Gary Corby's blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Pericles Commission.

My Book, The Movie: The Pericles Commission.

My Book, The Movie: The Ionia Sanction.

The Page 69 Test: The Ionia Sanction.

The Page 69 Test: Sacred Games.

My Book, The Movie: Sacred Games.

Writers Read: Gary Corby (June 2014).

The Page 69 Test: The Marathon Conspiracy.

My Book, The Movie: The Marathon Conspiracy.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Romantic Outlaws"

New from Random House: Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:

This groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she never knew. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley have each been the subject of numerous biographies, yet no one has ever examined their lives in one book—until now. In Romantic Outlaws, Charlotte Gordon reunites the trailblazing author who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the Romantic visionary who gave the world Frankenstein—two courageous women who should have shared their lives, but instead shared a powerful literary and feminist legacy.

In 1797, less than two weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft died, and a remarkable life spent pushing against the boundaries of society’s expectations for women came to an end. But another was just beginning. Wollstonecraft’s daughter Mary was to follow a similarly audacious path. Both women had passionate relationships with several men, bore children out of wedlock, and chose to live in exile outside their native country. Each in her own time fought against the injustices women faced and wrote books that changed literary history.

The private lives of both Marys were nothing less than the stuff of great Romantic drama, providing fabulous material for Charlotte Gordon, an accomplished historian and a gifted storyteller. Taking readers on a vivid journey across revolutionary France and Victorian England, she seamlessly interweaves the lives of her two protagonists in alternating chapters, creating a book that reads like a richly textured historical novel. Gordon also paints unforgettable portraits of the men in their lives, including the mercurial genius Percy Shelley, the unbridled libertine Lord Byron, and the brilliant radical William Godwin.

“Brave, passionate, and visionary, they broke almost every rule there was to break,” Gordon writes of Wollstonecraft and Shelley. A truly revelatory biography, Romantic Outlaws reveals the defiant, creative lives of this daring mother-daughter pair who refused to be confined by the rigid conventions of their era.
Visit Charlotte Gordon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"The Secrets of Attraction"

New from Balzer + Bray: The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.
Visit Robin Constantine's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"French Coast"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: French Coast by Anita Hughes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Serena has the job she's always dreamed of and Chase, the man her heart never dared to. As a new editor at Vogue, she bags the biggest interview of the year with Yvette Renault, the infamous former editor of French Vogue, in The Carlton-InterContinental Hotel during the Cannes Film Festival. She eagerly jets off to France while Chase stays home, working with her father, a former senator, on his upcoming mayoral campaign. Everything feels unbelievably perfect...until it doesn't. The hotel loses her reservation hours before her big interview. Serena fears that she'll have to go home without her story, but then she meets Zoe, a quirky young woman staying in the suite below Yvette's who invites Serena to stay with her. Serena is grateful for her mysterious roommate's generosity, but it seems that there's more to her story than meets the eye. To make matters worse, soon after arriving in Cannes, Serena learns a shocking secret about her parents' marriage, and it isn't long before she begins to question her own relationship. With her deadline looming and pressure mounting, Serena will have to use her investigative journalism skills, new friendships, and a little luck to get her life and love back on track. Fast paced and impeccably written, French Coast will draw readers in to the intoxicating world of the Cote D'Azur. Hughes' beautiful prose and sense imagery bring the food, fashion, and feel of the ocean to life in this audacious new novel.
Learn more about the book and author at Anita Hughes's website.

My Book, The Movie: Market Street.

My Book, The Movie: Lake Como.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Burnt River"

New from Minotaur Books: Burnt River by Karin Salvalaggio.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Detective Macy Greeley is called to Wilmington Creek, a sleepy ranching community in northern Montana, she expects an open-and-shut, if high-profile, murder case. What greets her is anything but. John Dalton, a soldier returned home from serving in Afghanistan, has been shot dead in an alleyway outside a local bar. Macy can't see any obvious motive for the attack, but John's closest friends and his twin sister, Jessie, have been keeping secrets.With a series of wildfires pushing the area's resources to the limit and Darby Lake's water level dropping to a record low, Jessie is becoming increasingly anxious about what may be uncovered if the rains don't return to the valley soon. Haunted by what's hidden beneath the still waters, she doesn't know whether to help or hinder Macy's investigation. And Macy herself is increasingly uneasy about what she discovers as she navigates the politics of a small town and the Dalton family clan, as well as her own complicated relationship with the father of her young son. Macy Greeley returns in another taut and intimate mystery from acclaimed Bone Dust White author Karin Salvalaggio.
Visit Karin Salvalaggio's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Great Fire"

New from Ecco: The Great Fire: One American's Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century's First Genocide by Lou Ureneck.

About the book, from the publisher:

The harrowing story of a Methodist Minister and a principled American naval officer who helped rescue more than 250,000 refugees during the genocide of Armenian and Greek Christians—a tale of bravery, morality, and politics, published to coincide with the genocide’s centennial.

The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Several hundred miles to the east in Turkey’s interior, tensions between Greeks and Turks had boiled over into deadly violence. Mustapha Kemal, now known as Ataturk, and his Muslim army soon advanced into Smyrna, a Christian city, where a half a million terrified Greek and Armenian refugees had fled in a desperate attempt to escape his troops. Turkish soldiers proceeded to burn the city and rape and kill countless Christian refugees. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians and determined to get Armenians and Greeks out of the doomed city, Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of people gathered at the city’s Quay.

With the help of the brilliant naval officer and Kentucky gentleman Halsey Powell, and a handful of others, Jennings commandeered a fleet of unoccupied Greek ships and was able to evacuate a quarter million innocent people—an amazing humanitarian act that has been lost to history, until now. Before the horrible events in Turkey were complete, Jennings had helped rescue a million people.

By turns harrowing and inspiring, The Great Fire uses eyewitness accounts, documents, and survivor narratives to bring this episode—extraordinary for its brutality as well as its heroism—to life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"The Anchoress"

New from Sarah Crichton Books: The Anchoress: A Novel by Robyn Cadwallader.

About the book, from the publisher:

England, 1255. What could drive a girl on the cusp of womanhood to lock herself away from the world forever? Sarah is just seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a cell that measures only seven by nine paces, at the side of the village church. Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister in childbirth as well as pressure to marry the local lord's son, she decides to renounce the world--with all its dangers, desires, and temptations--and commit herself to a life of prayer.But it soon becomes clear that the thick, unforgiving walls of Sarah's cell cannot protect her as well as she had thought. With the outside world clamoring to get in and the intensity of her isolation driving her toward drastic actions, even madness, her body and soul are still in grave danger. When she starts hearing the voice of the previous anchoress whispering to her from the walls, Sarah finds herself questioning what she thought she knew about the anchorhold, and about the village itself.With the lyricism of Nicola Griffith's Hild and the vivid historical setting of Hannah Kent's Burial Rites, Robyn Cadwallader's powerful debut novel tells an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear, and the very human need for connection and touch. Compelling, evocative, and haunting, The Anchoress is both quietly heartbreaking and thrillingly unpredictable.
Visit Robyn Cadwallader's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Good Killing"

New from Touchstone: A Good Killing: A Novel by Allison Leotta.

About the book, from the publisher:

Former federal prosecutor and critically acclaimed author Allison Leotta’s spellbinding thriller follows prosecutor Anna Curtis as she heads home to Michigan to defend her sister in a case that will bring her to her knees.

Newly single after calling off her wedding, sex-crimes prosecutor Anna Curtis is summoned home to Michigan when her old high school coach—a hometown hero—is killed in a fiery car crash. But Anna isn’t there to prosecute a crime, she’s home to support her innocent sister, Jody, who has been wrongfully accused of the coach’s murder.

But maybe Jody isn’t so innocent after all? The police are convinced that Jody was having an affair with the married coach and killed him out of jealousy. As Anna investigates with the help of her childhood friend Cooper Bolden—an Afghan War veteran with a secret of his own—she slowly peels back the facade of her all-American hometown and discovers that no one is telling the truth about the coach, not even the people she thought she knew best.

When the town rallies against them, threatening not just Jody’s liberty but both sisters’ lives, Anna resolves to do everything she can to save her sister and defend the only family she has left.

In her best book yet, Leotta, “a highly entertaining storyteller” (George Pelecanos), explores the limits of vigilante justice, the bonds of sisterhood, and the value of the truth.
Learn more about the book and author at Allison Leotta's website and blog.

Writers Read: Allison Leotta (December 2010).

My Book, The Movie: Law of Attraction.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 9, 2015

"The Brontë Cabinet"

New from W.W. Norton: The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz.

About the book, from the publisher:

An intimate portrait of the lives and writings of the Brontë sisters, drawn from the objects they possessed.

In this unique and lovingly detailed biography of a literary family that has enthralled readers for nearly two centuries, Victorian literature scholar Deborah Lutz illuminates the complex and fascinating lives of the Brontës through the things they wore, stitched, wrote on, and inscribed. By unfolding the histories of the meaningful objects in their family home in Haworth, Lutz immerses readers in a nuanced re-creation of the sisters' daily lives while moving us chronologically forward through the major biographical events: the death of their mother and two sisters, the imaginary kingdoms of their childhood writing, their time as governesses, and their determined efforts to make a mark on the literary world.

From the miniature books they made as children to the blackthorn walking sticks they carried on solitary hikes on the moors, each personal possession opens a window onto the sisters' world, their beloved fiction, and the Victorian era. A description of the brass collar worn by Emily’s bull mastiff, Keeper, leads to a series of entertaining anecdotes about the influence of the family’s dogs on their writing and about the relationship of Victorians to their pets in general. The sisters' portable writing desks prove to have played a crucial role in their writing lives: it was Charlotte's snooping in Emily’s desk that led to the sisters' first publication in print, followed later by the publication of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

Charlotte's letters provide insight into her relationships, both innocent and illicit, including her relationship with the older professor to whom she wrote passionately. And the bracelet Charlotte had made of Anne and Emily's intertwined hair bears witness to her profound grief after their deaths.

Lutz captivatingly shows the Brontës anew by bringing us deep inside the physical world in which they lived and from which their writings took inspiration.
Visit Deborah Lutz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue