Thursday, April 30, 2009

"In Mortal Hands"

New from Bloomsbury USA: In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age by Stephanie Cooke.

About the book, from the publisher:

This landmark history of nuclear power is perfectly timed for today, when Americans are gravely concerned with nuclear terrorism, and a nuclear renaissance is seen as a possible solution to global warming. Few have truly come to terms with the complexities of an issue which may determine the future of the planet. Nuclear weapons, it was once hoped, would bring wars to a close; instead, they spurred a massive arms race that has recently expanded to include North Korea and Iran. Once seen as a source of unlimited electricity, nuclear reactors breed contamination and have been used as covers for secret weapons programs from India and Pakistan to Iraq and Iran.

The evolving story of nuclear power, as told by industry insider Stephanie Cooke, reveals the gradual deepening of our understanding of the pros and cons of this controversial energy source. Drawing on her unprecedented access, Cooke shows us how, time and again, the stewards of the nuclear age-- the more-is-better military commanders and civilian nuclear boosters-- have fallen into the traps of their own hubris and wishful thinking as they tried to manage the unmanageable. Their mistakes are on the verge of being repeated again, which is why this book deserves especially close attention now.
Visit the In Mortal Hands website.

"Enemies & Allies"

New from William Morrow: Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson.

About the book, from the author's website:

In ENEMIES & ALLIES, as Sputnik silently circles the skies above the fabled cities of the United States – Metropolis, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Gotham City – danger lurks in the Earth's darkest corners. Evil genius Lex Luthor, Superman's arch–enemy, is leveraging international tensions to build a military–industrial empire, competing against his primary business rival Wayne Industries, run by Gotham City's enigmatic millionaire Bruce Wayne.

Meanwhile in Metropolis, Daily Planet reporters Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen are assigned to look into the crash of a supposed flying saucer. While Lois Lane pursues her own dangerous story, Clark is desperate to know if there may be other lost interplanetary visitors on Earth secretly living among us – – like himself.

In a time of fear and mistrust, as America and the USSR race to build bigger nuclear missiles aimed at each other's greatest cities, two extraordinary heroes – polar opposites in their attitude and actions – will come together to stop the bad guys and save the world.

Superman and Batman are polar opposites in their attitude and actions – – Superman is all about rescuing people while Batman gets the bad guys. ENEMIES & ALLIES promises to be a fun and exciting adventure novel and a fresh take on two iconic heroes.

ENEMIES & ALLIES is a unique chronicle of the first meeting between to pop culture icon – never before told in novel form.
Learn more about the author and his work at Kevin J. Anderson's website, WordFire.

The Page 69 Test: The Ashes of Worlds.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Bad Mother"

New from Doubleday: Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of recent hits like The Bitch in the House and Perfect Madness comes a hilarious and controversial book that every woman will have an opinion about, written by America’s most outrageous writer.

In our mothers’ day there were good mothers, neglectful mothers, and occasionally great mothers.

Today we have only Bad Mothers.

If you work, you’re neglectful; if you stay home, you’re smothering. If you discipline, you’re buying them a spot on the shrink’s couch; if you let them run wild, they will be into drugs by seventh grade. If you buy organic, you’re spending their college fund; if you don’t, you’re risking all sorts of allergies and illnesses.

Is it any wonder so many women refer to themselves at one time or another as “a bad mother”? Ayelet Waldman says it’s time for women to get over it and get on with it, in a book that is sure to spark the same level of controversy as her now legendary “Modern Love” piece, in which she confessed to loving her husband more than her children.

Covering topics as diverse as the hysteria of competitive parenting (Whose toddler can recite the planets in order from the sun?), the relentless pursuits of the Bad Mother police, balancing the work-family dynamic, and the bane of every mother’s existence (homework, that is), Bad Mother illuminates the anxieties that riddle motherhood today, while providing women with the encouragement they need to give themselves a break.
Learn more about the author and her work at Ayelet Waldman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Ayelet Waldman's Love and Other Impossible Pursuits.

"The World Beneath"

New from W.W. Norton: Aaron Gwyn's The World Beneath.

About the novel, from the publisher:

A mesmerizing literary novel that begins when a boy goes missing—and winds into an obsessive hunt with murderous results.

One cold November morning in Perser, Oklahoma, Sheriff Jerry Martin receives a disturbing call: a local fifteen-year-old has disappeared. The boy, J.T., who is half Mexican, half Chickasaw and has been raised by his grandmother, is known for starting trouble. Sheriff Martin sets out on a fevered search, determined to find J.T., even as the hunt reopens wounds from a traumatic event in his past. In a seemingly parallel but ultimately intersecting story, Hickson Crider, a veteran of the first Iraq war, discovers a mysterious crevice, perfectly round and seemingly bottomless, in his backyard. The hole becomes Hickson's obsession--and an ominous clue in Sheriff Martin's investigation.

Aaron Gwyn's perceptive, quietly beautiful prose is "reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor" (Kirkus Reviews), engaging us in a tale that is both savage and burning with heart, about the aftereffects of war, violence, faith, and random acts of devotion.
Visit Aaron Gwyn's website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"The Match King"

New from PublicAffairs: The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals by Frank Partnoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the height of the roaring '20s, Swedish émigré Ivar Kreuger made a fortune raising money in America and loaning it to Europe in exchange for matchstick monopolies His enterprise was a rare success story throughout the Great Depression.

Yet after Kreuger's suicide in 1932, the true nature of his empire emerged. Driven by success to adopt ever-more perilous practices, Kreuger had turned to shell companies in tax havens, fudged accounting figures, off-balance-sheet accounting, even forgery. He created a raft of innovative financial products— many of them precursors to instruments wreaking havoc in today's markets. When his Wall Street empire collapsed, millions went bankrupt.

Frank Partnoy, a frequent commentator on financial disaster for the Financial Times, New York Times, NPR, and CBS's "60 Minutes," recasts the life story of a remarkable yet forgotten genius in ways that force us to re-think our ideas about the wisdom of crowds, the invisible hand, and the free and unfettered market.
Visit Frank Partnoy's website.

"The Pilo Family Circus"

New in the US from Underland Press: The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Audition or die." Delivered by a trio of psychotic clowns, this ultimatum plunges Jamie into the horrible alternate universe that is the centuries-old Pilo Family Circus, a borderline world between hell and earth from which humankind's greatest tragedies have originated. Yet, in this place-peopled by the gruesome, grotesque, and monstrous-where violence and savagery are the norm, Jamie finds that his worst enemy is himself. When he applies the white face paint, he is transformed into JJ, the most vicious clown of all. And JJ wants Jamie dead...
Visit Will Elliott's website.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Annie's Ghosts"

New from Hyperion Books: Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Beth Luxenberg was an only child. Everyone knew it: her grown children, her friends, even people she’d only recently met. So when her secret emerged, her son Steve Luxenberg was bewildered. He was certain that his mother had no siblings, just as he knew that her name was Beth, and that she had raised her children, above all, to tell the truth.

By then, Beth was nearly eighty, and in fragile health. While seeing a new doctor, she had casually mentioned a disabled sister, sent away at age two. For what reason? Was she physically disabled? Mentally ill? The questions were dizzying, the answers out of reach. Beth had said she knew nothing of her sister’s fate.

Six months after Beth’s death in 1999, the secret surfaced once more. This time, it had a name: Annie.

Steve Luxenberg began digging. As he dug, he uncovered more and more. His mother’s name wasn’t Beth. His aunt hadn’t been two when she’d been hospitalized. She’d been twenty-one; his mother had been twenty-three. The sisters had grown up together. Annie had spent the rest of her life in a mental institution, while Beth had set out to hide her sister’s existence. Why?

Employing his skills as a journalist while struggling to maintain his empathy as a son, Luxenberg pieces together the story of his mother’s motivations, his aunt’s unknown life, and the times in which they lived. His search takes him to imperial Russia and Depression-era Detroit, through the Holocaust in Ukraine and the Philippine war zone, and back to the hospitals where Annie and many others were lost to memory.

Combining the power of reportage with the intrigue of mystery, Annie’s Ghosts explores the nature of self-deception and self-preservation. The result is equal parts memoir, social history, and riveting detective story.
Visit Steve Luxenberg's website and blog.

"Water, Stone, Heart"

New from Shaye Areheart Books: Water, Stone, Heart by Will North.

About the book, from the publisher:

Newly divorced, Andrew Stratton lives in his head and not with his heart. He teaches architectural theory but has never built a building. He writes about “The Anatomy of Livable Places”– communities where form and material are in harmony–but has no sense of where he belongs. He is capable of deep, tender emotions but is unable to express them. When his wife leaves him for another man and excoriates his cautious nature in the process, Andrew is like a house shaken off a faulty foundation. Sifting through the rubble, he must figure out what should be salvaged and what should be scrapped.

Escaping from the predictable routine of his university life in Philadelphia, Andrew travels to England and channels his pain into a weeklong course on building stone walls. In the village of Boscastle, he discovers a magical landscape of dizzying cliffs, jagged coastline, lush valleys, and hills lined with stone hedges that have stood the test of time. At the Stone Academy, Andrew immerses himself in the grueling task of piecing together rock into intricate walls. Under the tutelage of his weathered instructor, he learns there is more to laying stone than hard labor. And he soon falls under the spell of Boscastle’s rhythms and quirks, which include a weekly sing-along, a museum devoted to witchcraft, and a colorful group of residents ranging from a precocious nine-year-old girl who communes with nature to an offbeat reverend who has been known to give referrals to the town witch.

Moved by the warmth and connectedness of the village, Andrew begins to shed his sheltered self. But his willingness to open his heart is tested when he falls for Nicola Rhys-Jones, an American expatriate seeking to escape a history of abuse. Thorny, sarcastic, and sexy, Nicola is an artist who paints tranquility panels for hospitals. But her life before Boscastle has been anything but peaceful. As their verbal sparring veers into darker territory, Andrew grapples with his status in Boscastle. Is he just a tourist on holiday or does he now have a stake in the village that has welcomed him?

Readers new to Will North’s work as well as fans of The Long Walk Home will be swept away by this bittersweet novel about love, loss, and the power of nature to alter our lives.
Visit Will North's website.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"How to Sell"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: How to Sell by Clancy Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bobby Clark is just sixteen when he drops out of school to follow his big brother, Jim, into the jewelry business. Bobby idolizes Jim and is in awe of Jim’s girlfriend, Lisa, the best saleswoman at the Fort Worth Deluxe Diamond Exchange.

What follows is the story of a young man’s education in two of the oldest human passions, love and money. Through a dark, sharp lens, Clancy Martin captures the luxury business in all its exquisite vulgarity and outrageous fraud, finding in the diamond-and-watch trade a metaphor for the American soul at work.

"Running from the Devil"

New from William Morrow: Running from the Devil by Jamie Freveletti.

About the novel, from the publisher:

A race against evil . . .

Emma Caldridge, a chemist for a cosmetics company, is en route from Miami to Bogotá when her plane is hijacked and spins out of control into the mountains near the Venezuelan border. Thrown unhurt from the wreckage, she can do nothing but watch as guerrillas take the other passengers hostage.

An endurance marathon runner, Emma silently trails the guerrillas and their captives, using her athletic prowess and scientific knowledge to stay alive. Those skills become essential when she discovers an injured passenger, secret government agent Cameron Sumner, separated from the group. Together they follow the hostages, staying one step ahead by staying one step behind.

Meanwhile, as news of the hijacking breaks in Washington, the Department of Defense turns to Edward Banner, former military officer and current CEO of a security consulting firm, for help. Banner quickly sends a special task force to the crash site, intent on locating the survivors before it’s too late.

But finding Emma and Sumner is only the beginning, as Banner starts to realize that Emma was on a personal mission when the plane went down. There is more to the beautiful, talented biochemist than anyone ever imagined, for in her possession is a volatile biological weapon in an ingenious disguise, one that her enemies have set for auction to the highest bidder.

Combining the action-packed plotting of Lee Child and Daniel Silva, and the rich scientific detail of Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerritsen, Running from the Devil is a breathtaking debut from a bold and daring new author.
Visit Jamie Freveletti's website and blog.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Broken: A Love Story"

New from Scribner: Broken: A Love Story by Lisa Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

Writer Lisa Jones went to Wyoming for a four-day magazine assignment and came home four years later with a new life.

At a dusty corral on the Wind River Indian Reservation, she met Stanford Addison, a Northern Arapaho who seemed to transform everything around him. He gentled horses rather than breaking them by force. It was said that he could heal people of everything from cancer toÊbipolar disorder. He did all this from a wheelchair; he had been a quadriplegic for more than twenty years.

Intrigued, Lisa sat at Stanford's kitchen table and watched. She saw neighbors from the reservation and visitors from as far away as Holland bump up the dirt road to his battered modular home, seeking guidance and healing for what had broken in their lives. She followed him into the sweat lodge -- a framework of willow limbs covered with quilts -- where he used prayer and heat to shrink tumors and soothe agitated souls. Standing on his sun-blasted porch, pit bulls padding past her, she felt the vibration from thundering bands of Arabian horses that Stanford's young nephews brought to the ring to train.

And she listened to his story. Stanford spent his teenage years busting broncs, seducing girls, and dealing drugs. At twenty, he left the house for another night of partying. By morning, a violent accident had robbed him of his physical prowess and left in its place unwelcome spiritual powers -- an exchange so shocking that Stanford spent several years trying to kill himself. But eventually he surrendered to his new life and mysterious gifts.

Over the years Lisa was a frequent visitor to Stanford's place, the reservation and its people worked on her, exposing and healing the places where she, too, was broken.

Broken entwines her story with Stanford's, exploring powerful spirits, material poverty, spiritual wealth, friendship, violence, confusion, death, and above all else,"a love that comes before and after and above and below romantic love."
Visit Lisa Jones' website.


New from William Morrow: Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life by Todd Kashdan, PhD.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dead cats. That's the image many people conjure up when you mention curiosity. An image perpetuated by a dusty old proverb that has long represented the extent of our understanding of the term. This book might not put the proverb to rest, but it will flip it upside down: far from killing anything, curiosity breathes new life into almost everything it touches.

In Curious? Dr. Todd Kashdan offers a profound new message missing from so many books on happiness: the greatest opportunities for joy, purpose, and personal growth don't, in fact, happen when we're searching for happiness. They happen when we are mindful, when we explore what's novel, and when we live in the moment and embrace uncertainty. Positive events last longer and we can extract more pleasure and meaning from them when we are open to new experiences and relish the unknown.

Dr. Kashdan uses science, story, and practical exercises to show you how to become what he calls a curious explorer—a person who's comfortable with risk and challenge and who functions optimally in an unstable, unpredictable world. Here's a blueprint for building lasting, meaningful relationships, improving health, increasing creativity, and boosting productivity. Aren't you curious to know more?
Browse inside Curious?.

Friday, April 24, 2009


New from Tor Books: Imager (The First Book of the Imager Portfolio) by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

Imager is the beginning of a whole new fantasy in a whole new magical world from the bestselling creator of Recluce. Although Rhennthyl is the son of a leading wool merchant in L’Excelsis, the capital of Solidar, the most powerful nation on Terahnar, he has spent years becoming a journeyman artist and is skilled and diligent enough to be considered for the status of master artisan—in another two years. Then, in a single moment, his entire life is transformed when his master patron is killed in a flash fire, and Rhenn discovers he is an imager—one of the few in the entire world of Terahnar who can visualize things and make them real.

He must leave his family and join the Collegium of Imagisle. Imagers live separately from the rest of society because of their abilities (they can do accidental magic even while asleep), and because they are both feared and vulnerable. In this new life, Rhenn discovers that all too many of the “truths” he knew were nothing of the sort. Every day brings a new threat to his life. He makes a powerful enemy while righting a wrong, and begins to learn to do magic in secret. Imager is the innovative and enchanting opening of an involving new fantasy story.
Learn more about the author and his many books at L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s website and his blog.

"How the World Makes Love"

New from St. Martin's Press: How the World Makes Love: ... And What It Taught a Jilted Groom by Franz Wisner.

About the book, from the publisher:

The bestselling author of Honeymoon with My Brother hits the road again to learn about love and finally finds it closer to home

When you’ve been jilted at the altar and forced to take your pre-paid honeymoon with your brother, it’s fair to say you could learn a thing or two about love. And that’s what Franz Wisner sets out to do—traveling the globe with a mission: to discover the planet’s most important love lessons and see if they can rescue him from the ruins of his own love life. Even after months on the road, he’s still not sure he’s found the secret. But a disastrous date with a Los Angeles actress and single mom keeps popping into Franz’s head. While researching ideal love, could he have missed a bigger truth: that something unplanned and implausible could actually make him happy?

Uproarious, tender, and studded with eye-opening insights on love, How the World Makes Love is the story of one average man’s search for happiness—a search that turns into an improbable love story in the author’s own backyard.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund"

New from Dutton Books: The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund by Jill Kargman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In The Right Address, Jill Kargman went behind the doors of New York’s most prestigious building. In Wolves in Chic Clothing, the junior jet set took center stage. In Momzillas, it was hyper-competitive Upper East Side mothers. And now, in The Ex- Mrs. Hedgefund, Kargman creates a hilarious, deliciously scathing send-up of the ultra-rich, ultra-ambitious hedge fund set.

Seemingly sheltered from the threats of economic collapse and the risk of downsizing from new Roger Viviers to consignment Manolos, the Hedge Fund men and their wives occupy a world of boundless excess and secluded luxury, a step above the already outrageous wealth of the Upper East Side.

Married to the founder of Comet Capital, Holly Talbott is slowing becoming a reluctant Mrs. Hedgefund. Sure, it’s great to be a stay-at-home mom to her son Miles and to have a rolodex of eager donors when she is fundraising for the local hospital. But, the lunches are called luncheons because they take eons, even botox can’t stop her mother-in-law’s withering stares, and her husband, Tim, is away so often it feels like she’s single again.

When an adventure in trendy Williamsburg leads to a shocking discovery, Holly soon learns that not all of Tim’s trips have been for business. Forced to choose between living honestly and being a Mrs. Hedgefund, Holly begins to navigate a new New York existence and finds that sometimes exes have all the fun, and in the most unexpected places...
Visit Jill Kargman's website.

"The Center of the Universe"

New from Knopf: The Center of the Universe by Nancy Bachrach.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nancy Bachrach is living in Paris, selling deodorant to the French, when a freak accident kills her father aboard his cabin cruiser, the aptly dubbed Mr. Fix It, in her incongruously named hometown of Providence. Her mother, Lola, the self-proclaimed “center of the universe,” whose medical history reads like the chapter headings of a psychiatric manual, lies in a coma “on death’s waiting list.” Nancy rushes home and sits by her mother’s ventilator—thinking about Sunny von Bülow and eyeing the plug. Thus begins a family reunion with her brother, Ben (a piano prodigy and eventual surgeon who was born with three thumbs), and sister, Helen (the wild child, now an “abnormal psychologist”).

This is a dark, hilarious tale of genius, madness, ineptitude, collateral damage, and hope—with an ending that’s improbable, as only the truth can be. Aching and tender, unflinching and wry, The Center of the Universe is a multi generational mother-daughter story—a splendid, funny, lyrical book about family, truth, memory, and the resilience of love.
Visit Nancy Bachrach's website.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


New from Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: Woodsburner by John Pipkin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Woodsburner springs from a little-known event in the life of one of America’s most iconic figures, Henry David Thoreau. On April 30, 1844, a year before he built his cabin on Walden Pond, Thoreau accidentally started a forest fire that destroyed three hundred acres of the Concord woods—an event that altered the landscape of American thought in a single day.

Against the background of Thoreau’s fire, Pipkin’s ambitious debut penetrates the mind of the young philosopher while also painting a panorama of the young nation at a formative moment. Pipkin’s Thoreau is a lost soul, plagued by indecision, resigned to a career designing pencils for his father’s factory while dreaming of better things. On the day of the fire, his path will intersect with three very different local citizens, each of whom also harbors a secret dream. Oddmund Hus, a lovable Norwegian farmhand, pines for the wife of his brutal employer. Elliott Calvert, a prosperous bookseller, is also a hilariously inept aspiring playwright. And Caleb Dowdy preaches fire and brimstone to his congregation through an opium haze. Each of their lives, like Thoreau’s, is changed forever by the fire.

Like Geraldine Brooks’s March and Colm Tóibín’s The Master, Woodsburner illuminates America’s literary and cultural past with insight, wit, and deep affection for its unforgettable characters, as it brings to vivid life the complex man whose writings have inspired generations.
Visit John Pipkin's website.

"The Unincorporated Man"

New from Tor Books: The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Unincorporated Man is a provocative social/political/economic novel that takes place in the future, after civilization has fallen into complete economic collapse. This reborn civilization is one in which every individual is incorporated at birth, and spends many years trying to attain control over his or her own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares. Life extension has made life very long indeed.

Now the incredible has happened: a billionaire businessman from our time, frozen in secret in the early twenty-first century, is discovered and resurrected, given health and a vigorous younger body. Justin Cord is the only unincorporated man in the world, a true stranger in this strange land. Justin survived because he is tough and smart. He cannot accept only part ownership of himself, even if that places him in conflict with a civilization that extends outside the solar system to the Oort Cloud. People will be arguing about this novel and this world for decades.
Visit The Unincorporated Man website and blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Dust and Shadow"

New from Simon & Schuster: Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the gritty streets of nineteenth century London, the loyal and courageous Dr. Watson offers a tale unearthed after generations of lore: the harrowing story of Sherlock Holmes's attempt to hunt down Jack the Ripper.

As England's greatest specialist in criminal detection, Sherlock Holmes is unwavering in his quest to capture the killer responsible for terrifying London's East End. He hires an "unfortunate" known as Mary Ann Monk, the friend of a fellow streetwalker who was one of the Ripper's earliest victims; and he relies heavily on the steadfast and devoted Dr. John H. Watson. When Holmes himself is wounded in Whitechapel during an attempt to catch the savage monster, the popular press launches an investigation of its own, questioning the great detective's role in the very crimes he is so fervently struggling to prevent. Stripped of his credibility, Holmes is left with no choice but to break every rule in the desperate race to find the madman known as "the Knife" before it is too late.

A masterly re-creation of history's most diabolical villain, Lyndsay Faye's debut brings unparalleled authenticity to the atmosphere of Whitechapel and London in the fledgling days of tabloid journalism and recalls the ideals evinced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most beloved and world-renowned characters. Jack the Ripper's identity, still hotly debated around the world more than a century after his crimes were committed, remains a mystery ripe for speculation. Dust and Shadow explores the terrifying prospect of tracking a serial killer without the advantage of modern forensics, and the result is a lightning-paced novel brimming with historical detail that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Visit Lyndsay Faye's website.

"Mating Season"

New from Minotaur Books: Mating Season by Jon Loomis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jon Loomis’s sharp and witty debut, High Season, starring Detective Frank Coffin, a onetime Baltimore homicide detective who came back to his hometown after one too many grisly crime scenes started to take their toll, was one of The Washington Post’s best mysteries of the year and an editor’s choice title for The New York Times Book Review. Coffin had hoped that the move to Provincetown, Massachusetts, would put an end to his panic attacks, but so far, the quirky Cape Cod tourist town has been every bit as brutal as the big city. Now in Loomis’s winning follow-up, Coffin has to get a grip in order to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most “popular” women.

Beautiful and the heir to a tremendous fortune, Kenji Sole had an active love life---a very active love life. When she’s found stabbed to death on the floor of her bedroom dressed only in a negligee, it’s clear someone very close to her is probably responsible. Since she didn’t care about her many lovers’ marital status, Frank and his partner Officer Lola Winters have their work cut out for them interviewing all of her lovers---not to mention their jealous wives---to find out who killed the much-sought-after Ms. Sole.

With Mating Season, another wry and wickedly suspenseful mystery, Loomis continues to be one of crime fiction’s most promising stars.
Visit Jon Loomis' blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"War of Words"

New from Union Square Press: War of Words: A True Tale of Newsprint and Murder by Simon Read.

About the book, from the publisher:

War of Words tells the shocking story of the birth of the San Francisco Chronicle, a paper founded in a time when the news business was literally a matter of life and death.

In San Francisco of the Old West, bad news was considered the best news and the term “circulation war” was literal. In this midst, Charles de Young—cofounder of the San Francisco Chronicle—launched his fledgling paper in 1865. With a nose for news and an ear for gossip, he promoted politicians he favored and lambasted those he scorned. His weapon of choice for ridding San Francisco of corruption was not sword or pistol, but pen.

De Young’s verbal venom targeted Isaac Kalloch, a golden-tongued preacher with a tainted past. Kalloch’s run for mayor infuriated de Young. Insults volleyed back and forth until the verbal blows erupted into explosive violence on the streets of San Francisco.

Using newspaper accounts, diaries, and letters, Simon Read reaches back in time to reconstruct a news story that captivated the nation, granting modern newshounds in-the-moment access to the shocking events that led to the start of one of America’s greatest newspapers.
Visit Simon Read's website.

"When I Forgot"

New from Tin House Books: When I Forgot by Elina Hirvonen.

About the book, from the publisher:

An astonishingly assured and compelling debut, When I Forgot explores the relationship between a sister and her brother, the past that they share, and the painful memories that shape their lives forever.

Anna is on her way to the hospital where her brother has been institutionalized when she falters, and in that pause her world splinters in a blazing display of memory and madness, of childhood security treasured and shattered, and of families blighted by psychological trauma—her brother's and that of her boyfriend's father, a Vietnam vet. September 11 serves as a backdrop for the story, and the Finnish perspective on America and its politics is as uncomfortable as it is compelling. In Elina Hirvonen's skillful hands, the grimness is illuminated by firecracker insight and surprising beauty. And, above all, there is hope.

When I Forgot is Elina Hirvonen's first novel.
Read an excerpt from When I Forgot.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Dope Thief"

New from Minotaur Books: Dope Thief by Dennis Tafoya.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ray and his best friend, Manny, close ever since they met in juvie almost twenty years ago, have a great scam going: With a couple of fake badges and some DEA windbreakers they found at a secondhand store, they pose as federal agents and rip off small-time drug dealers, taking their money and drugs and disappearing before anyone is the wiser. It’s the perfect sting: the dealers they target are too small to look for revenge and too guilty to call the police, nobody has to die, nobody innocent gets hurt, and Ray and Manny score plenty.

But it can’t last forever. Eventually, they choose the wrong mark and walk out with hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a heavy hitter, who is more than willing to kill to get his money back, is coming after them. Now Ray couldn’t care less about the score. He wants out---out of the scam, out of a life he feels like he never chose. Whether the victim of his latest job---not to mention his partner---will let him is another question entirely.

Dennis Tafoya brings a rich, passionate, and accomplished new voice to the explosive story of a small-time crook with everything to lose in Dope Thief, his outstanding hardboiled debut.
Visit Dennis Tafoya's website.

"Slang: The People's Poetry"

New from Oxford University Press: Slang: The People's Poetry by Michael Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:

Slang, writes Michael Adams, is poetry on the down low, and sometimes lowdown poetry on the down low, but rarely, if ever, merely lowdown. It is the poetry of everyday speech, the people's poetry, and it deserves attention as language playing on the cusp of art.

In Slang: The People's Poetry, Adams covers this perennially interesting subject in a serious but highly engaging way, illuminating the fundamental question "What is Slang" and defending slang--and all forms of nonstandard English--as integral parts of the American language. Why is an expression like "bed head" lost in a lexical limbo, found neither in slang nor standard dictionaries? Why are snow-boarding terms such as "fakie," "goofy foot," "ollie" and "nollie" not considered slang? As he addresses these and other lexical curiosities, Adams reveals that slang is used in part to define groups, distinguishing those who are "down with it" from those who are "out of it." Slang is also a rebellion against the mainstream. It often irritates those who color within the lines--indeed, slang is meant to irritate, sometimes even to shock. But slang is also inventive language, both fun to make and fun to use. Rather than complain about slang as "bad" language, Adams urges us to celebrate slang's playful resistance to the commonplace and to see it as the expression of an innate human capacity, not only for language, but for poetry.

A passionate defense of slang, jargon, argot and other forms of nonstandard English, this marvelous volume is full of amusing and even astonishing examples of all sorts of slang. It will be a must for students of language and a joy for word lovers everywhere.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"In the Shadow of Gotham"

New from Minotaur Books: In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dobson, New York, 1905.

Detective Simon Ziele lost his fiancée in the General Slocum ferry disaster—a thousand perished on that summer day in 1904 when an onboard fire burned the boat down in the waters of the East River. Still reeling from the tragedy, Ziele transferred to a police department north of New York, to escape the city and all the memories it conjured.

But only a few months into his new life in a quiet country town, he’s faced with the most shocking homicide of his career to date: Young Sarah Wingate has been brutally murdered in her own bedroom in the middle of an otherwise calm and quiet winter afternoon. After just one day of investigation, Simon’s contacted by Columbia University’s noted criminologist Alistair Sinclair, who offers a startling claim about one of his patients, Michael Fromley—that the facts of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to Fromley’s deranged mutterings.

But what would have led Fromley, with his history of violent behavior and brutal fantasies, to seek out Sarah, a notable mathematics student and a proper young lady who has little in common with his previous targets? Is Fromley really a murderer, or is someone mimicking him?

This is what Simon Ziele must find out, with the help of the brilliant but self-interested Alistair Sinclair—before the killer strikes again.

With this taut, atmospheric, and original story of a haunted man who must search for a killer while on the run from his own demons, Stefanie Pintoff’s In the Shadow of Gotham marks the debut of an outstanding new talent, the inaugural winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel Competition.
Visit Stefanie Pintoff's website.

The Page 69 Test: In the Shadow of Gotham.

"The Age of the Unthinkable"

New from Little, Brown: The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do about It by Joshua Cooper Ramo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Today the very ideas that made America great imperil its future. Our plans go awry and policies fail. History's grandest war against terrorism creates more terrorists. Global capitalism, intended to improve lives, increases the gap between rich and poor. Decisions made to stem a financial crisis guarantee its worsening. Environmental strategies to protect species lead to their extinction.

The traditional physics of power has been replaced by something radically different. In The Age of the Unthinkable, Joshua Cooper Ramo puts forth a revelatory new model for understanding our dangerously unpredictable world. Drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, psychology, immunology, and the science of networks, he describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability--and remarkable, wonderful possibility.
Visit Joshua Cooper Ramo's website.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Vanished Smile"

New from Knopf: Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Paris at the start of a radically new century, the most famous face in the history of art stepped out of her frame and into a sensational mystery.

On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened—Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than twenty-four hours passed before museum officials realized she was gone. The prime suspects were as shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young provocateurs of a new art. As French detectives using the latest methods of criminology, including fingerprinting, tried to trace the thieves, a burgeoning international media hyped news of the heist.

No story captured the imagination of the world quite like this one. Thousands flocked to the Louvre to see the empty space where the painting had hung. They mourned as if Mona Lisa were a lost loved one, left flowers and notes, and set new attendance records. For more than two years, Mona Lisa’s absence haunted the art world, provoking the question: Was she lost forever? A century later, questions still linger.

Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and perplexing art theft ever committed. R. A. Scotti’s riveting, ingeniously realized account is itself a masterly portrait of a world in transition. Combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, Scotti turns the tantalizing clues into a story of the painting’s transformation into the most familiar and lasting icon of all time.
Visit R.A. Scotti's website.

"Neptune Avenue"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Neptune Avenue by Gabriel Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:

“If we took it all personally,” Brooklyn South homicide detective Jack Leightner tells his rookie NYPD partner, “there’s no way we could do the job.”

Very soon, though, that notion gets shot to hell, as the deeply principled cop hears about the murder of an old Russian friend on Neptune Avenue---and then is disturbed to find himself increasingly drawn to the man’s stunning widow, Eugenia. She informs Jack of her husband’s troubles with Semyon Balakutis, a local nightclub operator and extortionist. Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger in central Brooklyn is killing young women and posing them as suicides.

From the Russian emigré community of Brighton Beach to the racially charged neighborhood of Crown Heights, from the crimes of World War II to the harshness of his own father, Jack’s latest cases plunge him deep into the roots of why men act in anger---and into the eternal mystery of love.

Gabriel Cohen stuns in this riveting third addition to the Brooklyn-set series.
The Page 69 Test: The Graving Dock.

My Book, The Movie: Red Hook.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Everything Hurts"

New from Simon & Schuster: Everything Hurts by Bill Scheft.

About the book, from the publisher:

Phil Camp has a problem. Not the fact that he wrote a parody of a self-helpbook (Where Can I Stow My Baggage?) that the world took seriously and that became an international bestseller, or that he wrote the book under a phony name, Marty Fleck, and the phony name became a self-help guru overnight. Phil cannot be Marty Fleck. He can barely be himself.

No, Phil's problem is that he has been walking with a limp for nine months. Phil is in constant pain, yet there is nothing physically wrong with his body that would cause such agony. This problem leads him to the controversial Dr. Samuel Abrun, a real doctor who wrote a real self-help book (The Power of "Ow!") that made thousands of people pain-free.

So what happens when the self-help fraud meets the genuine item? Does he get better? Can he hobble out of his own way to help himself? Most important, can the reader make it through fifty pages without thinking, Wait a minute. Is that a twinge I feel in my lower back or just gas?

Phil embraces Abrun's unorthodox psychogenic theories passionately but manages to save some passion for Abrun's daughter, Janet, herself a doctor who has her own theories about, and remedies for, chronic pain. If all this weren't enough, Phil tries to delve further into his past with his unconventional psychotherapist, the Irish Shrink, even if it means revealing dark secrets he never remembered telling him the first two or three times. To top it all off, Phil confronts his alter ego's nemesis, right-wing radio blowhard Jim McManus, only to find out they share a common enemy -- the same family.

Like Carl Hiassen and Larry David, author Bill Scheft understands that the best humor is always excruciating. That fits the story of Everything Hurts and its lesson: Pain is the ultimate teacher. By the end, Phil Camp, the self-proclaimed "self-help fraud," turns out to be the real thing. And the real thing turns out to be flawed and confused, but hopeful. In other words, human.
Visit Bill Scheft's website.

"Water Ghosts"

New from The Penguin Press: Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A mesmerizing story of a community of Chinese immigrants in a small California town in 1928, weaving history and mythology around the lives of the townspeople and the ghosts who haunt them

Locke, CA, 1928— Three bedraggled Chinese women suddenly appear out of the mist one afternoon in a small Chinese farming town on the Sacramento River, and their arrival throws the community into confusion. Two of the women are unknown to the townspeople, while the third is the long-lost wife of Richard Fong, the handsome manager of the local gambling parlor, who had left her behind in China many years earlier and had not yet returned for her.

Richard’s wife’s unexpected arrival complicates his life in no small way—not least with two prostitutes at the local brothel he frequents. One, the beautiful young Chloe, depends on him but has eyes for someone else, someone even more forbidden—the local preacher’s daughter. The other, Poppy, the psychic madam of the brothel, is desperately in love with him, and she begins to sink into despair as he grows further and further away from her.

As the lives of the townspeople become inextricably intertwined with the newly arrived women, Poppy’s premonitions begin to foretell a deep unhappiness for all involved. And when a flood threatens the livelihood of the entire town, the frightening power of these mysterious women who arrived in the mist will be revealed.

Shawna Yang Ryan’s melodic first novel is a passionate, sophisticated intertwining of fact and fiction that examines mingling cultures, modern myths, and forgotten history. Water Ghosts beautifully chronicles separation and betrayal, loneliness and longing, and what happens when a Chinese ghost story begins to come true.
Visit Shawna Yang Ryan's website and blog.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"A Forthcoming Wizard"

New from Tor Books: A Forthcoming Wizard by Jody Lynn Nye.

About the book, from the publisher:

Halfling Tildi Summerbee led a typical, unexciting life, tending the house for her brothers while they managed the family farm...until she was forced to assume the identity of her recently deceased brother and accept his position as apprentice to a great wizard.

Now she is on an important quest where the lessons of her apprenticeship pale in comparison to those learned in life-or-death situations. She has become the guardian of a very special book that can alter everything in existence… a race of centaurs gone with an editor’s pen, a mountain range flattened with a revised rune, and life as Tildi has known it changed in the blink of an eye.

Gone are her preconceptions of society and order.

Gone are her trusting ways and belief in her superiors’ honesty.

But also gone is the shrinking violet smallfolk who masqueraded as a boy to secure an apprenticeship.

Tildi has changed too, and she realizes that the fate of the world rests in her hands.
Visit Jody Lynn Nye's homepage.

"Fifty Grand"

New from Henry Holt and Company: Fifty Grand by Adrian McKinty.

About the book, from the publisher:

This knockout punch of a thriller from a critically acclaimed author follows a young Cuban detective’s quest for vengeance against her father’s killer in a Colorado mountain town

A man is killed in a hit-and-run on a frozen mountain road in the town of Fairview, Colorado. He is an illegal immigrant in a rich Hollywood resort community not unlike Telluride. No one is prosecuted for his death and his case is quietly forgotten.

Six months later another illegal makes a treacherous run across the border. Barely escaping with her life and sanity intact, she finds work as a maid with one of the employment agencies in Fairview. Secretly, she begins to investigate the shadowy collision that left her father dead.

The maid isn’t a maid. And she’s not Mexican, either. She’s Detective Mercado, a police officer from Havana, and she’s looking for answers: Who killed her father? Was it one of the smooth- talking Hollywood types? Was it a minion of the terrifying county sheriff? And why was her father, a celebrated defector to the United States, hiding in Colorado as the town ratcatcher?

Adrian McKinty’s live-wire prose crackles with intensity as we follow Mercado through the swells of emotion and violence that lead up to a final shocking confrontation.
Visit Adrian McKinty's blog.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Plan Bee"

New from Perigee Books: Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on the Planet by Susan Brackney.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fascinating guided tour through the history, folklore, and function of the endangered honeybee.

Featured recently in major national news stories because they are disappearing at an alarming rate, bees are the unsung—and absolutely essential— heroes of the food chain. Now they get their due in this delightfully illustrated, fact-filled book, courtesy of a professional beekeeper and nature writer who explores:

• Why honey bees are disappearing—and what we can do about it
• Who’s who in the hive—the queen bee, the workers, and the drones
• The role of bees in our food system
• Swarming behavior—what it is, what it means, and how it’s controlled
• Bees by the numbers—number of bees per hive, number of wing beats per second, and other fascinating facts
• Bees in folklore, literature, and pop culture
• And much more
Visit the Plan Bee website.

"The Ramen King and I"

New from Gotham Books: The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life by Andy Raskin.

About the book, from the publisher:

For three days in January 2007, the most-emailed article in The New York Times was “Appreciations: Mr. Noodle,” an editorial noting the passing, at age 96, of billionaire Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen. The very existence of the noodle inventor came as a shock to many, but not to Andy Raskin, who had spent nearly three years trying to meet Ando. Why?

To fix the problems that plagued his love life.

The Ramen King and I is Raskin’s memoir about how despair—and a series of bizarre adventures at Japanese restaurants—led him to confront the truth of his romantic past, and how Ando became his unlikely spiritual guide. Through letters ostensibly penned to the culinary sage, Raskin reveals a relationship history plagued by infidelity, jealousy, and betrayal. After devouring Ando’s essays (with titles such as “Peace Follows from a Full Stomach” and “Mankind is Noodlekind”), he sets out to meet the food pioneer—and to discover the secret to a committed relationship.
Visit Andy Raskin's website.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"A Fortunate Age"

New from Scribner: A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Like The Group, Mary McCarthy's classic tale about coming of age in New York, Joanna Smith Rakoff 's richly drawn and immensely satisfying first novel details the lives of a group of Oberlin graduates whose ambitions and friendships threaten to unravel as they chase their dreams, shed their youth, and build their lives in Brooklyn during the late 1990s and the turn of the twenty-first century.

There's Lil, a would-be scholar whose marriage to an egotistical writer initially brings the group back together (and ultimately drives it apart); Beth, who struggles to let go of her old beau Dave, a onetime piano prodigy trapped by his own insecurity; Emily, an actor perpetually on the verge of success -- and starvation -- who grapples with her jealousy of Tal, whose acting career has taken off. At the center of their orbit is wry, charismatic Sadie Peregrine, who coolly observes her friends' mistakes but can't quite manage to avoid making her own. As they begin their careers, marry, and have children, they must navigate the shifting dynamics of their friendships and of the world around them.

Set against the backdrop of the vast economic and political changes of the era -- from the decadent age of dot-com millionaires to the sobering post-September 2001 landscape -- Smith Rakoff's deeply affecting characters and incisive social commentary are reminiscent of the great Victorian novels. This brilliant and ambitious debut captures a generation and heralds the arrival of a bold and important new writer.
Read an excerpt from A Fortunate Age.

"The Brother Gardeners"

New from Knopf: The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession by Andrea Wulf.

About the book, from the publisher:

This is the fascinating story of a small group of eighteenth-century naturalists who made Britain a nation of gardeners and the epicenter of horticultural and botanical expertise. It’s the story of a garden revolution that began in America.

In 1733, the American farmer John Bartram dispatched two boxes of plants and seeds from the American colonies, addressed to the London cloth merchant Peter Collinson. Most of these plants had never before been grown in British soil, but in time the magnificent and colorful American trees, evergreens, and shrubs would transform the English landscape and garden forever. During the next forty years, Collinson and a handful of botany enthusiasts cultivated hundreds of American species. The Brother Gardeners follows the lives of six of these men, whose shared passion for plants gave rise to the English love affair with gardens. In addition to Collinson and Bartram, who forged an extraordinary friendship, here are Philip Miller, author of the best-selling Gardeners Dictionary; the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, whose standardized nomenclature helped bring botany to the middle classes; and Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, who explored the strange flora of Brazil, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia on the greatest voyage of discovery of their time, aboard Captain Cook’s Endeavour.

From the exotic blooms in Botany Bay to the royal gardens at Kew, from the streets of London to the vistas of the Appalachian Mountains, The Brother Gardeners paints a vivid portrait of an emerging world of knowledge and of gardening as we know it today. It is a delightful and beautifully told narrative history.
Visit Andrea Wulf's website.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


New from Atlantic Monthly Press: Ultimatum by Matthew Glass.

About the book, from the publisher:

November 2032. Joe Benton has just been elected the forty-eighth president of the United States. Only days after winning, Benton learns from his predecessor that previous estimates regarding the effect of global warming on rising sea levels have been grossly underestimated. For the United States, a leading carbon emitter for decades, the prospects are devastating: thirty million coastal-dwelling citizens will need to be relocated; Miami will be washed into the ocean and southern California will waste away to desert; the relocation process will cost trillions of dollars. With the world frighteningly close to catastrophe, Benton opts to abandon multilateral negotiations in the Kyoto 4 summit and resumes secret bilateral negotiations with the Chinese—the world’s worst polluter. As the two superpowers lock horns, the ensuing battle of wits becomes a race against time.

Ultimatum is a prophetic thriller that explores the most pressing issue of the twenty-first century—the future of our planet—and boldly predicts the way the world will be in twenty-five years. It is a brilliant character study of U.S. President Joe Benton and his key aides, including Larry Olsen, his secretary of state, and Alan Ball, his national security advisor. In an amazingly convincing and compelling narrative that moves seamlessly from top secret meetings inside the Oval Office to clandestine emissions talks in Norway and tense negotiations in Beijing, Matthew Glass ratchets up the suspense as the story builds to a devastating climax. Ultimatum is a visionary and deeply unsettling thriller that steers us into the dark heart of political intrigue and a future that is all too believable.

"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie"

New from Delacorte Press: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950—and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections. Soon her father, a man raising his three daughters alone, is seized, accused of murder. And in a police cell, during a violent thunderstorm, Colonel de Luce tells his daughter an astounding story—of a schoolboy friendship turned ugly, of a priceless object that vanished in a bizarre and brazen act of thievery, of a Latin teacher who flung himself to his death from the school’s tower thirty years before. Now Flavia is armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together, to examine new suspects, and begin a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself. Of this much the girl is sure: her father is innocent of murder—but protecting her and her sisters from something even worse….

An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told tale of deceptions—and a rich literary delight.
Visit Alan Bradley's website.

Read Alan Bradley's Author Snapshot at January Magazine.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Secret Son"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: Secret Son by Laila Lalami.

About the book, from the publisher:

Youssef el-Mekki, a young man of nineteen, is living with his mother in the slums of Casablanca when he discovers that the father he believed to be dead is, in fact, alive and eager to befriend and support him. Leaving his mother behind, Youssef assumes a life he could only dream of: a famous and influential father, his own penthouse apartment, and all the luxuries associated with his new status. His future appears assured until an abrupt reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends, where a fringe Islamic group, known simply as the Party, has set up its headquarters.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami's powerful first novel explores the struggle for identity, the need for family, and the desperation that overtakes ordinary lives in a country divided by class, politics, and religion.
Visit Laila Lalami's website and blog.

"Bad Girls Don't Die"

New from Disney-Hyperion Books: Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender.

About the book, from the publisher:

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.

When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior.

Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in. Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president.

Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?
Visit Katie Alender's website.

Friday, April 10, 2009

"Notoriously Neat"

New from Berkley Prime Crime: Notoriously Neat by Suzanne Price.

About the book, from the publisher:

Murder is so unsanitary...

Professional cleaner Sky Taylor and her potential new beau—the town's police chief—are on their first dinner date when they're interrupted by a stampede of household pets running through the restaurant. Someone's murdered Dr. Gail Pilsner, Pigeon Cove's hugely popular veterinarian, releasing all the critters boarded at her clinic.

Then when one of the singers in a vocal group, the La Dee Das, is murdered, Sky must uncover the link between the veterinarian and the songbirds—before a killer finishes cleaning house.

"Hypersonic Thunder"

New from Forge: Hypersonic Thunder: A Novel of the Jet Age by Walter J. Boyne.

About the book, from the publisher:

The jet age began in 1939 with the brief hop of a secret German airplane. Seventy years later, the entire world depends upon the jet engine in every sphere - political, military, economic, and social. In Hypersonic Thunder, Walter Boyne weaves an intricate story of how the jet engine changed aeronautics and astronautics, pushing the frontiers of flight forward and permitting humankind to enter the space age.

Drawing on his knowledge of the period, Boyne paints a gripping picture of jet aviation from the brilliant supersonic Concorde to the coming challenges of hypersonic flight. Using the fictional Shannons as a vehicle, the author ranges the world of aviation, combining the triumphs and tragedies of great aviation companies with the familiar conflicts of family life. All of the great names of aeronautics and astronautics appear here as they did on the historic scene, including such luminaries as Howard Hughes, Kelly Johnson, Burt Rutan, and Steve Fossett.

The book thunders with the clash of combat, ranging from the courageous fights of the Israeli Air Force down through the raid on Libya, Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, and, most important the ongoing war on terror. And space is not neglected, as Boyne covers everything from Skylab and the Space Shuttle, with its great achievements and terrible tragedies, to the International Space Station.
Visit Walter J. Boyne's website.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Lake Overturn"

New from Harper: Lake Overturn by Vestal McIntyre.

About the novel, from the publisher:

Eula, Idaho, is a cluster of steeples, oak trees, and boxlike homes sandwiched between golden fields and a wide-open sky. It freezes in the winter and bakes in the summer, but the air is so dry that neither extreme gets under your skin. It has never seen a battle, or an earthquake, or a Democrat in City Hall.

Still, life in Eula is anything but simple.

Lina and Connie are single mothers, neighbors in Eula's trailer park. Lina, the daughter of migrant Mexican farm workers, is trying to cope with her angry teenage son Jesús, newly returned after living with wealthy white foster parents. Connie, long abandoned, struggles with her literal reading of Old Testament laws against remarriage, especially when a handsome missionary visits her congregation. The women's younger sons, Enrique and Gene, are misfits whose mutual love of science offers stability and respite from schoolyard cruelties.

Determined to win the statewide science fair, Enrique and Gene devise an experiment involving "lake overturn," a real scientific phenomenon in which deadly gases collect and eventually erupt from a lake's depths. In their quest to discover if Eula could suffer from such an event, the boys come into contact with an odd assortment of locals, including the frail-hearted school principal with grand ambitions, a rich but lonely lawyer who finds love outside his marriage just as his wife is succumbing to cancer, and a woman tortured by a past of abuse and addiction who decides to turn things around by offering herself as a surrogate mother.

With sweeping perspective and a Victorian wealth of character, Lake Overturn exposes small-town America in all its beauty and treachery, sunshine and secrets.
Visit Vestal McIntyre's website.

"Yes, My Darling Daughter"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy.

About the book, from the publisher:

What’s the matter with Sylvie?

Such a pretty girl. Four years old; well-loved by her young mother, Grace. But there’s something… off about the child. Her deathly fear of water; her night terrors; most of all, her fixation with a photo of an Irish fishing village called Coldharbour.

“Sylvie, tell me about your picture. Why’s it so special, sweetheart?” My heart is racing, but I try to make my voice quite calm.

“That’s my seaside, Grace.” Very matter-of-fact, as though this should be obvious. “I lived there, Grace. Before.”

I sit very still for a long slow moment. Cold moves over my skin.

“I don’t know about it,” I say.

“Don’t you, Grace?” She seems surprised.

Every once in a blue moon, a masterful writer dives into Gothic waters and emerges with a novel that—like Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, or, more recently, Patrick McGrath’s Asylum—simultaneously celebrates and transcends the genre. Welcome Margaret Leroy to the clan.

Haunted and haunting, Yes, My Darling Daughter is a wonderfully original, deliciously suspenseful mystery. Impossible though it may seem, Grace has to face the fact that her daughter may be remembering a past life. And not only that: the danger haunting Sylvie from her past life is still very much a threat to her in this one.
Visit Margaret Leroy's website.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Finished Off"

New from Berkley Prime Crime: Finished Off by Rebecca Kent.

About the book, from the publisher:

A little girl ghost wants to be reunited with her family. Pained, Headmistress Meredith Llewellyn investigates the child's parents' deaths, but she soon grows wary of snooping. For a lady never goes anywhere uninvited.
Finished Off is the second Bellehaven House Mystery. It follows High Marks for Murder, which introduces "Headmistress—and sometime sleuth—Meredith Llewellyn of Bellehaven House, a finishing school for girls. It's the height of elegance, the seat of sophistication, the scene of...murder?"

Visit Rebecca Kent's website.

"The Trail of the Wild Rose"

New from Minotaur Books: The Trail of the Wild Rose by Anthony Eglin.

About the book, from the publisher:

The hunt for an ancient Chinese rose turns deadly in this latest English Garden Mystery featuring Dr. Lawrence Kingston.

A plant-hunting expedition haunted by tragedy leads to a perilous trail of greed, larceny, and deceit. Has Peter Mayhew, the man who plunged to his death on a mountain in China, come back to life? Which of the expedition members is hiding an explosive secret? Why are some being targeted for murder?

Once again, Dr. Lawrence Kingston—retired professor of botany and reluctant sleuth—finds himself at the center of a baffling case like none he has ever encountered. Following an ambiguous trail with only scant clues, he must find the hidden meaning dormant in a cache of valuable Chinese antiquities, shadow a ruthless assailant through London’s teeming Underground, and travel the length and breadth of Britain, from a hospital ward in Oxford and an anonymous rendezvous in a Hampshire garden, to a remote farm in Dorset and the mystical Cornish coast—even to the mountains of Wales—in his search for the truth. Even the most likely suspects are becoming victims themselves, and the stakes rise exponentially as each lead comes to a dead end...literally.

Racing to save the lives of the remaining plant hunters and not become a victim himself, Kingston discovers the extreme lengths to which desperate men will go for riches, recognition, and the thrill of the hunt. Clever and chilling, The Trail of the Wild Rose effortlessly combines Anthony Eglin’s horticultural knowledge and literary skills to create an innovative and riveting new mystery.
Visit Anthony Eglin's website.