Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Three-Day Town"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Three-Day Town (Deborah Knott Series #17) by Margaret Maron.

About the book, from the publisher:

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are on a train to New York, finally on a honeymoon after a year of marriage. January in New York might not be the perfect time to visit, but they'll take it. The trip is a Christmas present from Dwight's sister-in-law, who arranged for them to stay in an Upper West Side apartment for one week. While in New York, Deborah has been asked to deliver a package to Lt. Sigrid Harald of the NYPD. Sigrid offers to swing by the apartment to pick up the box, but when they reach the apartment, they discover that it is missing and the doorman has been murdered. Despite their best efforts to enjoy a blissful getaway, Deborah and Dwight soon find that they've teamed up with Sigrid and her team to catch the killer before he strikes again.
Visit Margaret Maron's website.

"City of the Lost"

New from DAW: City of the Lost by Stephen Blackmoore.

About the book, from the publisher:

Joe Sunday has been a Los Angeles low-life for years, but his life gets a whole lot lower when he is killed by the rival of his crime boss-only to return as a zombie. His only hope is to find and steal a talisman that he learns can grant immortality. But, unfortunately for Joe, every other undead thug and crime boss in Los Angeles is looking for the same thing.
Visit Stephen Blackmoore's website.

Friday, December 30, 2011

"Acts of God and Man"

New from Columbia University Press: Acts of God and Man: Ruminations on Risk and Insurance by Michael Powers.

About the book, from the publisher:

Much has been written about the ups and downs of financial markets, from the lure of prosperity to the despair of crises. Yet a more fundamental and pernicious source of uncertainty exists in today's world: the traditional “insurance” risks of earthquakes, storms, terrorist attacks, and other disasters. Insightfully exploring these "acts of God and man," Michael R. Powers guides readers through the methods available for identifying and measuring such risks, financing their consequences, and forecasting their future behavior within the limits of science.

A distinctive characteristic of earthquakes, hurricanes, bombings, and other insurance risks is that they impact the values of stocks, bonds, commodities, and other market-based financial products, while remaining largely unaffected by or “aloof” from the behavior of markets. Quantifying such risks given limited data is difficult yet crucial for achieving the financing objectives of insurance. Powers begins with a discussion of how risk impacts our lives, health, and possessions and proceeds to introduce the statistical techniques necessary for analyzing these uncertainties. He then considers the experience of risk from the perspectives of both policyholders and insurance companies, and compares their respective responses.

The risks inherent in the private insurance industry lead naturally to a discussion of the government's role as both market regulator and potential "insurer of last resort." Following a thoughtful and balanced analysis of these issues, Powers concludes with an interdisciplinary investigation into the nature of uncertainty, incorporating ideas from physics, philosophy, and game theory to assess science's limitations in predicting the ramifications of risk.

"The Orphan Master's Son"

New from Random House: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”

Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master’s Sonushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today’s greatest writers.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"An Appetite For Murder"

New from Penguin/ Obsidian: An Appetite For Murder by Lucy Burdette.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hayley Snow’s life always revolved around food. But when she applies to be a food critic for a Key West style magazine, she discovers that her new boss would be Kristen Faulkner—the woman Hayley caught in bed with her boyfriend! Hayley thinks things are as bad as they can get—until the police pull her in as a suspect in Kristen’s murder. Kristen was killed by a poisoned key lime pie. Now Hayley must find out who used meringue to murder before she takes all the blame.
Visit Lucy Burdette's website and blog.

"The Fallback Plan"

New from Melville House: The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein.

About the book, from the publisher:

“In June, the monsoons hit Bangladesh. Chinese police discovered slaves in a brickwork factory who couldn’t be sent home because they were too traumatized to remember anything but their own names, and Dr. Kevorkian was released from prison.

In other news, I moved in with my parents.”

What to do when you’ve just graduated from college and your plans conflict with those of your parents? That is, when your plans to hang out on the couch, re-read your favorite children’s books, and take old prescription tranquilizers, conflict with your parents plans that you, well, get a job?

Without a fallback plan, Eshter Kohler decides she has no choice but to take the job her mother has lined up for her: babysitting for their neighbors, the Browns.

It’s a tricky job, though. Six months earlier, the Browns’ youngest child died. Still, as Esther finds herself falling in love with their surviving daughter May, and distracted by a confusing romance with one of her friends, she doesn’t notice quite how tricky the job is … until she finds herself assuming the role of confidante to May’s mother Amy, and partner in crime to Amy’s husband Nate. Trapped in conflicting roles doomed to collide, Esther is forced to come up with a better idea of who she really is.

Both hilarious and heartbreaking, The Fallback Plan is a beautifully written and moving story of what we must leave behind, and what we manage to hold on to, as we navigate the treacherous terrain between youth and adulthood.
Visit Leigh Stein's blog.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"The Darkening Field"

New from Minotaur Books: The Darkening Field by William Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dedicated policeman caught in terrifying circumstances, Captain Alexei Korolev of Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia may be unwavering in his outward party loyalty but he is forever conflicted about what he must do to maintain that good standing.

It is 1937, and Korolev finds himself on an airplane bound for Odessa after the suspicious suicide of Maria Alexandrovna Lenskaya, a loyal young party member who supposedly had an illicit intimate relationship with the party director. His instructions are to determine if her suicide was actually a cover-up for murder, and if so, to find her killer, but under no circumstances reveal her close ties to the director.

Maria was working on the set of a movie subsidized by the state, and between everyone involved in the production, her journalist boyfriend, and countless nosy locals, the pool of possible suspects is large and daunting. Korolev finds help from several quarters that are every bit as ominous as they are useful, but none of them can make up for the one important fact of his case which he cannot discuss.

Moral, loyal, and also committed to justice, Captain Alexei Korolev is trapped between the demands of the party and those of the truth. As a result he is one of the most intriguing figures in crime fiction, and he makes The Darkening Field another shocking and devastatingly true-to-history thriller from William Ryan.
Visit William Ryan's website.

"Treasure Island!!!"

New from Europa Editions: Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a college graduate with a history of hapless jobs (ice cream scooper; gift wrapper; laziest ever part-time clerk at The Pet Library) reads Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, she is dumbstruck by the timid design of her life. When had she ever dreamed a scheme? When had she ever done a foolish, over-bold act? When had she ever, like Jim Hawkins, broke from her friends, raced for the beach, stolen a boat, killed a man, and eliminated an obstacle that stood in the way of her getting a hunk of gold? Convinced that Stevenson’s book is cosmically intended for her, she redesigns her life according to its Core Values: boldness, resolution, independence and horn-blowing. Accompanied by her mother, her sister, and a hostile Amazon parrot that refuses to follow the script, our heroine embarks on a domestic adventure more frightening than anything she’d originally planned.

Treasure Island!!! is the story of a ferocious obsession, told by an new and utterly original voice. It is intelligent, perverse, funny, relentlessly self-extricating, and merciless in its vivisection of family dynamics in today’s America.
Visit Sara Levine's website.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"The Cat Sitter's Pajamas"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Cat Sitter's Pajamas: Dixie Hemingway Mysteries (Volume 7) by Blaize Clement.

About the book, from the publisher:

Author Blaize Clement has thrilled readers everywhere with the first six books in her pet-sitting mystery series. Now Blaize’s beloved heroine Dixie Hemingway is back for another adventure, and she has her hands full when the worlds of celebrity hijinks, counterfeit fashion, and naughty cats collide.

Dixie Hemingway, no relation to you-know-who, accepts a job taking care of famous linebacker Cupcake Trillin’s cats, Elvis and Lucy, while he’s away. But what seems like an easy job turns scary when Dixie finds a celebrity fashion model in Cupcake’s house. The woman refuses to leave AND she also claims to be Cupcake’s wife. But Dixie has met Cupcake’s wife, and this woman certainly isn’t her.

Soon, Dixie is spun into the world of counterfeit high fashion. When a valuable list of fake merchandise sellers goes missing, the criminals go after Dixie. Once again, what started as a simple cat-sitting job has turned into a mess that only Dixie can solve.
Visit Blaize Clement's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues.

The Page 99 Test: Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof.

The Page 69 Test: Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs.

Writers Read: Blaize Clement.

"The Exterminators"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: The Exterminators: An Assassin Bug Thriller by Bill Fitzhugh.

About the book, from the publisher:

All Bob Dillon ever wanted was a truck with a big fiberglass bug on the roof. All he had to do was survive a half dozen assassination attempts, pull a ten million dollar con on a Bolivian drug lord, and then fall off the face of the earth with his family and his new best friend, Klaus. Six years later, in The Exterminators, they surface in Oregon where they continue Bob’s work creating an all natural means of pest control. But now, instead of cross breeding different strains of assassin bugs, they’re using advanced gene sequencers to consolidate the perfect insect killing traits into one deadly bug. Only one problem: all this serious DNA tampering is expensive and they’re running low on funds. The venture capital outfit that wants to invest turns out to be a front for DARPA (the Department of Defense agency charged with R&D for exotic weapons). It seems the U.S. Government wants to enlist Bob, Klaus, and the bugs in the War on Terror. Oh, and did we mention unlimited funding? An offer too good to refuse, they move to Los Angeles and get to work. Things go swimmingly until that Bolivian drug lord discovers he was conned out of his ten million. Vowing revenge, he offers twenty million to whoever kills Bob and Klaus. Some of the world’s best assassins descend on Hollywood and, before you can say “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” the weirdness level reaches apocalyptic levels. It’s a battle pitting the far right against the far left with Bob stuck in the middle and subjected to some serious post 9/11 thinking.
Visit Bill Fitzhugh's website.

Monday, December 26, 2011

"Mercury's Rise"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Mercury's Rise (Silver Rush Mystery Series #4) by Ann Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:

In summer 1880, many come to the fast-rising health resort of Manitou, Colorado, at the foot of Pike’s Peak to “chase the cure” for tuberculosis.

But Inez Stannert, part-owner of the Silver Queen Saloon in Leadville, travels for a different reason. After a long separation, she’s reuniting with her young son, William, and her beloved sister, Harmony. However, the stagecoach journey to Manitou turns lethal when East Coast businessman Edward Pace mysteriously dies under the horrified gaze of Inez and Pace’s wife and children. After they arrive at the hotel, Pace’s widow begs Inez to make inquires into her husband’s untimely death. As Inez digs deeper, she uncovers shady business dealings by those hoping to profit from the coming bonanza in medicinal waters and miracle remedies, medical practitioners who kindle false hopes in the desperate and the dying, and deception that predates the Civil War. Then Inez’s husband, Mark Stannert, reappears after a year-and-a-half unexplained absence.
Visit Ann Parker's website and blog.

"True Shot"

New from Berkley: True Shot by Joyce Lamb.

About the book, from the publisher:

Special FBI operative Samantha Trudeau's unique psychic abilities help her catch the most elusive criminals. They also put her in the path of a sadistic adversary when she discovers she's actually working for a rogue cell-and into the confidence of a handsome journalist with his own potentially dangerous secrets.
Visit Joyce Lamb's website and blog.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"You Will See Fire"

New from W.W. Norton: You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya by Christopher Goffard.

About the book, from the publisher:

A nonfiction mystery dwelling on timeless themes: an individual's stand against corruption, the complexity of the human heart.

Whether gunning down a warthog, raising the beams he'd hewn himself for a new church, or standing up for landless refugees and abused girls, Father John Kaiser was a figure larger than life. He was fierce in his commitments, devoted to the poor and displaced, and fearless-what some would call reckless-in the pursuit of justice. For this he was beloved by his parishioners, seen as a loose cannon by his superiors in the church, and despised by Kenya's strongmen under the tyrannical leadership of Daniel arap Moi. When Kaiser was discovered dead on a remote roadside in the bush, the FBI ruled it a suicide. Kenyans were sure he'd been murdered.

In a new Kenya, post-Moi, it would fall to Charles Mbuthi Gathenji, a prominent dissident and the son of a man himself murdered for his beliefs, to find out what really happened to Father John Kaiser.
The Page 99 Test: Christopher Goffard's Snitch Jacket.

Writers Read: Christopher Goffard.

Author Interviews: Christopher Goffard.


New from Harcourt Children's Books: Flyaway by Helen Landalf.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stevie Calhoun knows how to take care of herself. It’s not like her mom hasn’t disappeared before. So why is Aunt Mindy making such a big deal of it now? It’s not like Mom’s really doing meth. Stevie makes sure of that. Whatever. She’ll go home with Aunt Mindy if it will keep her from calling Child Protective Services—but it doesn’t mean she’ll stay. Mom will come back. Mom always comes back. And Stevie will be there when she does.

But when Stevie meets Alan—frustrating and fascinating and so-different-from-everyone-she-knows Alan—and she starts helping out at the bird rehab center, things begin to look different. Even the tutoring and the ridiculous outfits Aunt Mindy’s forcing her into might not be so bad. Not that Stevie would say it out loud. She can’t. Because how can anything be good if it doesn’t include Mom?
Visit Helen Landalf's website and blog.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Conqueror: A Novel of Kublai Khan"

New from Delacorte Press: Conqueror: A Novel of Kublai Khan by Conn Iggulden.

About the book, from the publisher:

Intrigue and treachery roil the vast Mongol nation as the heirs of Genghis Khan fight for control of his unprecedented empire—and of his mighty armies. History will turn on the outcome of their struggle. But only one man, dismissed by all the others, will boldly rise to the challenge with the courage and vision to forge the future, and with the strength to be called...


The novels of Conn Iggulden bring the past to thrilling life, from ancient Rome to thirteenth-century Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Now he delivers the spectacular story of the rise of Genghis Khan’s grandson, a man destined to become one of the most remarkable rulers who ever lived—the legendary Kublai Khan.

A succession of ruthless leaders has seized power in the wake of the great Khan’s death—all descendants of Genghis, but none with the indomitable character that led a people to triumph. One grandson, Guyuk, decadent and vicious, seeks to consolidate his position through bribery and murder, pitting powerful factions against one another and straining the loyalties of the tribes to the breaking point.

Next comes his cousin, Mongke, who eliminates all possible opposition with breathtaking brutality and dispatches his younger brothers Kublai and Hulegu to far-flung territories, to test their mettle and their allegiance.

Hulegu displays his barbarity with the savage destruction of Baghdad and his clash with the Khan’s age-old enemies, the cult of assassins, who will strike deep into the heart of the nation. But it is Kublai—refined and scholarly, always considered too thoughtful to take power—who will devise new ways of warfare and conquest as he builds the dream city of Xanadu and pursues the ultimate prize: the ancient empire of Sung China. His gifts will serve him well when an epic civil war breaks out among brothers, the outcome of which will literally change the world.

Brilliantly researched and imagined, unforgettably told, Conqueror is a magnificent achievement from an enthralling writer at the peak of his powers, a must read for all lovers of history and storytelling on the grand scale.
Learn about the book that changed Conn Iggulden's life and read about his top 10 books about tiny people.

"The Jester and the Sages"

New from the University of Missouri Press: The Jester and the Sages: Mark Twain in Conversation with Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx by Forrest Robinson, Gabriel Noah Brahm, Jr., and Catherine Carlstroem.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Jester and the Sages approaches the life and work of Mark Twain by placing him in conversation with three eminent philosophers of his time—Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Karl Marx. Unprecedented in Twain scholarship, this interdisciplinary analysis by Forrest G. Robinson, Gabriel Noah Brahm Jr., and Catherine Carlstroem rescues the American genius from his role as funny-man by exploring how his reflections on religion, politics, philosophy, morality, and social issues overlap the philosophers’ developed thoughts on these subjects. Remarkably, they had much in common.

During their lifetimes, Twain, Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx witnessed massive upheavals in Western constructions of religion, morality, history, political economy, and human nature. The foundations of reality had been shaken, and one did not need to be a philosopher—nor did one even need to read philosophy—to weigh in on what this all might mean. Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary materials, the authors show that Twain was well attuned to debates of the time. Unlike his Continental contemporaries, however, he was not as systematic in developing his views.

Brahm and Robinson’s chapter on Nietzsche and Twain reveals their subjects’ common defiance of the moral and religious truisms of their time. Both desired freedom, resented the constraints of Christian civilization, and saw punishing guilt as the disease of modern man. Pervasive moral evasion and bland conformity were the principal end result, they believed.

In addition to a continuing focus on guilt, Robinson discovers in his chapter on Freud and Twain that the two men shared a lifelong fascination with the mysteries of the human mind. From the formative influence of childhood and repression, to dreams and the unconscious, the mind could free people or keep them in perpetual chains. The realm of the unconscious was of special interest to both men as it pertained to the creation of art.

In the final chapter, Carlstroem and Robinson explain that, despite significant differences in their views of human nature, history, and progress, Twain and Marx were both profoundly disturbed by economic and social injustice in the world. Of particular concern was the gulf that industrial capitalism opened between the privileged elite property owners and the vast class of property-less workers. Moralists impatient with conventional morality, Twain and Marx wanted to free ordinary people from the illusions that enslaved them.

Twain did not know the work's of Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx well, yet many of his thoughts cross those of his philosophical contemporaries. By focusing on the deeper aspects of Twain’s intellectual makeup, Robinson, Brahm, and Carlstroem supplement the traditional appreciation of the forces that drove Twain’s creativity and the dynamics of his humor.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"The Very Hungry City"

New from Yale University Press: The Very Hungry City: Urban Energy Efficiency and the Economic Fate of Cities by Austin Troy.

About the book, from the publisher:

As global demand for energy grows and prices rise, a city's energy consumption becomes increasingly tied to its economic viability, warns the author of The Very Hungry City. Austin Troy, a seasoned expert in urban environmental management, explains for general readers how a city with a high "urban energy metabolism"—that is, a city that needs large amounts of energy in order to function—will be at a competitive disadvantage in the future. He explores why cities have different energy metabolisms and discusses an array of innovative approaches to the problems of expensive energy consumption.

Troy looks at dozens of cities and suburbs in Europe and the United States—from Los Angeles to Copenhagen, Denver to the Swedish urban redevelopment project Hammarby Sjöstad—to understand the diverse factors that affect their energy use: behavior, climate, water supply, building quality, transportation, and others. He then assesses some of the most imaginative solutions that cities have proposed, among them green building, energy-efficient neighborhoods, symbiotic infrastructure, congestion pricing, transit-oriented development, and water conservation. To conclude, the author addresses planning and policy approaches that can bring about change and transform the best ideas into real solutions.

"The Unexpected Miss Bennet"

New from Berkley: The Unexpected Miss Bennet by Patrice Sarath.

About the book, from the publisher:

Pride and Prejudice's Mary Bennet gets her own story...

The third of five daughters, Miss Mary Bennet is a rather unremarkable girl. With her countenance being somewhere between plain and pretty and in possession of no great accomplishments, few expect the third Bennet daughter to attract a respectable man. But although she is shy and would much prefer to keep her nose stuck in a book, Mary is uncertain she wants to meekly follow the path to spinsterhood set before her.

Determined that Mary should have a chance at happiness, the elder Bennet sisters concoct a plan. Lizzy invites Mary to visit at Pemberley, hoping to give her sister a place to grow and make new acquaintances. But it is only when Mary strikes out independently that she can attempt to become accomplished in her own right. And in a family renowned for its remarkable Misses, Mary Bennet may turn out to be the most wholly unexpected of them all...
Visit Patrice Sarath's website and blog.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Lost Kingdom"

New from Grove/Atlantic: Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Adventure by Julia Flynn Siler.

About the book, from the publisher:

Around 200 A.D., intrepid Polynesians paddled thousands of miles across the Pacific and arrived at an undisturbed archipelago. For centuries, their descendants lived with almost no contact from the Western world but in 1778 their profound isolation was shattered with the arrival of Captain Cook. Deftly weaving together a memorable cast of characters, Lost Kingdom brings to life the ensuing clash between the vulnerable Polynesian people and the relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. Portraits of royalty, rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries combine into a sweeping tale of the Hawaiian kingdom’s rise and fall.

At the center of the story is Lili‘uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii. Born in 1838, she lived through the nearly complete economic transformation of the islands. Lucrative sugar plantations owned almost exclusively by white planters, dubbed the “Sugar Kings,” gradually subsumed the majority of the land. Hawaii became a prize in the contest between America, Britain, and France, each of whom were seeking to expand their military and commercial influence in the Pacific.

Lost Kingdom is the tragic story of Lili‘uokalani’s family and their fortunes. The monarchy had become a figurehead, victim to manipulation from the wealthy sugar-plantation owners. Upon ascending to the throne, Lili‘uokalani was determined to enact a constitution reinstating the monarchy’s power but she was outmaneuvered and, in January 1893, U.S. Marines from the USS Boston marched through the streets of Honolulu to the palace. The annexation of Hawaii had begun, ushering in a new century of American imperialism.
Visit Julia Flynn Siler's website.

"One Hundred and One Nights"

New from Back Bay Books: One Hundred and One Nights: A Novel by Benjamin Buchholz.

About the book, from the publisher:

After 13 years in America, Abu Saheeh has returned to his native Iraq, a nation transformed by the American military presence. Alone in a new city, he has exactly what he wants: freedom from his past. Then he meets Layla, a whimsical fourteen-year-old girl who enchants him with her love of American pop culture. Enchanted by Layla's stories and her company, Abu Saheeh settles into the city's rhythm and begins rebuilding his life. But two sudden developments--his alliance with a powerful merchant and his employment of a hot-headed young assistant--reawaken painful memories, and not even Layla may be able to save Abu Saheeh from careening out of control and endangering all around them.

A breathtaking tale of friendship, love, and betrayal, One Hundred and One Nights is an unforgettable novel about the struggle for salvation and the power of family.
Visit Benjamin Buchholz's website.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"The Boy Who Shoots Crows"

New from Berkley: The Boy Who Shoots Crows by Randall Silvis.

About the book, from the publisher:

A riveting new psychological thriller from a "a masterful storyteller" (New York Times Book Review).

Yesterday, a local boy went missing in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Transplanted painter Charlotte Dunleavy was used to seeing him go into the woods, rifle in hand, to shoot at crows. Suffering from the debilitating aftereffects of a migraine, Charlotte is shrouded in a fog of pain and barely remembers the details of the day, just splinters of memory, as if they were a dream-but nothing concrete enough to help the local sheriff in his search.

Outside of Charlotte's windows, the woods are peaceful, the play of light and dark among the leaves offering her inspiration for her art. But the truth can penetrate even the deepest shadows of a forest-and a killer's mind...
Visit Randall Silvis's website.

"Point, Click, Love"

New from Ballantine Books: Point, Click, Love: A Novel by Molly Shapiro.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Molly Shapiro’s fun and sexy debut novel, four women try to sort through the wild and complicated world of text messaging, status updates, and other high-speed connections.

Best friends and fellow midwesterners Katie, Annie, Maxine, and Claudia are no strangers to dealing with love and relationships, but with online dating and social networking now in the mix, they all have the feeling they’re not in Kansas anymore. Katie, a divorced mother of two, secretly seeks companionship through the Internet only to discover that the rules of the dating game have drastically changed. Annie, a high-powered East Coast transplant, longs for a baby, yet her online search for a sperm donor is not as easy—or anonymous—as she anticipates. Maxine, a successful artist with a seemingly perfect husband, turns to celebrity gossip sites to distract herself from her less-than-ideal marriage. And Claudia, tired of her husband’s obsession with Facebook, finds herself irresistibly drawn to a handsome co-worker. As these women navigate the new highs and lows of the digital age, they each find that their wrong turns lead surprisingly to the right click and, ultimately, the connection they were seeking.
Visit Molly Shapiro's website.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Agent 6"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:



Tom Rob Smith's debut, Child 44, was an immediate publishing sensation and marked the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction. Named one of top 100 thrillers of all time by NPR, it hit bestseller lists around the world, won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and the ITW Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

In this spellbinding new novel, Tom Rob Smith probes the tenuous border between love and obsession as Leo Demidov struggles to untangle the threads of a devastating conspiracy that shatters everything he holds dear. Deftly capturing the claustrophobic intensity of the Cold War-era Soviet Union, it's at once a heart-pounding thriller and a richly atmospheric novel of extraordinary depth....


Leo Demidov is no longer a member of Moscow's secret police. But when his wife, Raisa, and daughters Zoya and Elena are invited on a "Peace Tour" to New York City, he is immediately suspicious.

Forbidden to travel with his family and trapped on the other side of the world, Leo watches helplessly as events in New York unfold and those closest to his heart are pulled into a web of political conspiracy and betrayal-one that will end in tragedy.

In the horrible aftermath, Leo demands only one thing: to investigate the killer who destroyed his family. His request is summarily denied. Crippled by grief and haunted by the need to find out exactly what happened on that night in New York, Leo takes matters into his own hands. It is a quest that will span decades, and take Leo around the world-from Moscow, to the mountains of Soviet-controlled Afghanistan, to the backstreets of New York-in pursuit of the one man who knows the truth: Agent 6.
The Page 69 Test: Tom Rob Smith's Child 44.

"Girl Reading"

New from Scribner: Girl Reading by Katie Ward.

About the book, from the publisher:

Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading.

A young orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena. An artist's servant girl in seventeenth-century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles. An eighteenth century female painter completes a portrait of a deceased poetess for her lover. A Victorian medium poses with a book in one of the first photographic studios. A girl suffering her first heartbreak witnesses intellectual and sexual awakening during the Great War. A young woman reading in a bar catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture. And in the not-so-distant future a woman navigates the rapidly developing cyber-reality that has radically altered the way people experience art and the way they live.

Each chapter of Katie Ward’s kaleidoscopic novel takes us into a perfectly imagined tale of how each portrait came to be, and as the connections accumulate, the narrative leads us into the present and beyond. In gorgeous prose Ward explores our points of connection, our relationship to art, the history of women, and the importance of reading. This dazzlingly inventive novel that surprises and satisfies announces the career of a brilliant new writer.
Visit Katie Ward's website.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Playing Along"

New from Oxford University Press: Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance by Kiri Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why don't Guitar Hero players just pick up real guitars? What happens when millions of people play the role of a young black gang member in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? How are YouTube-based music lessons changing the nature of amateur musicianship? This book is about play, performance, and participatory culture in the digital age. Miller shows how video games and social media are bridging virtual and visceral experience, creating dispersed communities who forge meaningful connections by "playing along" with popular culture. Playing Along reveals how digital media are brought to bear in the transmission of embodied knowledge: how a Grand Theft Auto player uses a virtual radio to hear with her avatar's ears; how a Guitar Hero player channels the experience of a live rock performer; and how a beginning guitar student translates a two-dimensional, pre-recorded online music lesson into three-dimensional physical practice and an intimate relationship with a distant teacher. Through a series of engaging ethnographic case studies, Miller demonstrates that our everyday experiences with interactive digital media are gradually transforming our understanding of musicality, creativity, play, and participation.

"A Walk Across the Sun"

New from SilverOak: A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a tsunami rages through their coastal town in India, 17-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister Sita are left orphaned and homeless. As they struggle to reach the safe haven of the convent where they attend school, they are abducted by human traffickers and thrust into a hidden world of sexual violence and illicit commerce, where the most valuable prize is the innocence of a child.

Halfway across the world, in Washington, D.C., attorney Thomas Clarke faces his own personal and professional crises. Haunted by the tragic death of his infant daughter and estranged from his wife, he makes the fateful decision to pursue a pro bono sabbatical in India with an NGO that prosecutes the subcontinent's human traffickers. In Mumbai, his conscience awakens as he sees firsthand the horrors of the sex trade and the corrupt judicial system that fosters it. When he learns the fate of Ahalya and Sita, Clarke makes it his personal mission to rescue them, setting the stage for a deadly showdown with an international network of ruthless criminals.

Spanning three continents and two cultures, A Walk Across the Sun chronicles an unforgettable journey through the underworld of modern slavery and into the darkest-and most resilient-corners of the human heart.
Visit Corban Addison's website.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Brothers (and Me)"

New from Little, Brown: Brothers (and Me): A Memoir of Loving and Giving by Donna Britt.

About the book, from the publisher:

Donna Britt has always been surrounded by men-her father, three brothers, two husbands, three sons, countless friends. She learned to give to them at an early age. But after her beloved brother Darrell's senseless killing by police 30 years ago, she began giving more, unconsciously seeking to help other men the way she couldn't help Darrell. BROTHERS (AND ME) navigates Britt's life through her relationships with men-resulting in a tender, funny and heartbreaking exploration of universal issues of gender and race. It asks: Why, for so long, did Britt-like millions of seemingly self-aware women-rarely put herself first? With attuned storytelling and hard-wrought introspection, Britt finds that even the sharpest woman may need reminding that giving to others requires giving to oneself.
Visit Donna Britt's website and blog.

"Don't Let Me Go"

New from Kensington: Don't Let Me Go by J. H. Trumble.

About the book, from the publisher:

Some people spend their whole lives looking for the right partner. Nate Schaper found his in high school. In the eight months since their cautious flirting became a real, heart-pounding, tell-the-parents relationship, Nate and Adam have been inseparable. Even when local kids take their homophobia to brutal levels, Nate is undaunted. He and Adam are rock solid. Two parts of a whole. Yin and yang.

But when Adam graduates and takes an off-Broadway job in New York—at Nate’s insistence—that certainty begins to flicker. Nate’s friends can’t keep his insecurities at bay, especially when he catches Skyped glimpses of Adam’s shirtless roommate. Nate starts a blog to vent his frustrations and becomes the center of a school controversy, drawing ire and support in equal amounts. But it’s the attention of a new boy who is looking for more than guidance that forces him to confront who and what he really wants.

Tender, thoughtful, and unflinchingly real, Don’t Let Me Go is a witty and beautifully written account of young love, long-distance relationships, and learning to follow your heart.
Visit J. H. Trumble's website.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Covert Warriors"

New from Putnam: Covert Warriors (Presidential Agent Series #7) by W. E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV.

About the book, from the publisher:

The thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series.

There's an uneasy and unholy alliance building across the Caribbean. Few in the U.S. government want to believe that a Third World country and its chest-thumping leader could pose a credible threat-but then why are the Chinese helping to train its special forces? Why are the Russians helping to build a nuclear power plant?

Charley Castillo and his men go in to investigate, but they have no idea what they have just gotten themselves into. By the time they finish connecting the dots, they will be on the hit lists of the Kremlin, the Cubans, the Venezuelans, and the drug cartels-and totally out on their own. Whatever happens next, they'll have to do it by themselves.

"Heinrich Himmler: A Life"

New from Oxford University Press: Heinrich Himmler: A Life by Peter Longerich.

About the book, from the publisher:

Heinrich Himmler, an unremarkable looking man, was Hitler's top enforcer, in charge of the Gestapo, the SS, and the so-called Final Solution. We can only wonder, as biographer Peter Longerich asks, how could such a banal personality attain such an historically unique position of power? How could the son of a prosperous Bavarian Catholic public servant become the organizer of a system of mass murder spanning the whole of Europe?

In the first comprehensive biography of this murderous enigma, Longerich answers those questions with a superb account of Himmler's inner self and outward acts. Masterfully interweaving the story of Himmler's personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, Longerich shows how skillfully he exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives. Himmler's actual strength, he writes, consisted in redrawing every two or three years the master plans for his sphere of power. Himmler expanded that sphere with ruthless efficiency. In 1929, he took the SS--a small bodyguard unit--and swelled it into a paramilitary organization with elite pretensions. By the end of 1934 he had become Reich Chief of the Political Police, and began to consolidate all police power in his own hands. As Germany grabbed neighboring territory, he expanded the Waffen SS and organized the "Germanization" of conquered lands, which culminated in systematic mass murder. When the regime went on the defensive in 1942, Himmler changed his emphasis again, repressing any opposition or unrest. The author emphasizes the centrality of Himmler's personality to the Nazi murder machine--his surveillance of the private lives of his men, his deep resentments, his fierce prejudices--showing that man and position were inseparable.

Carefully researched and lucidly written, Heinrich Himmler is the essential account of the man who embodied Hitler's apparatus of evil.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"You Need a Schoolhouse"

New from Northwestern University Press: You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South by Stephanie Deutsch.

About the book, from the publisher:

Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee Institute, and Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, Roebuck, and Company, first met in 1911 at a Chicago luncheon. By charting the lives of these two men both before and after the meeting, Stephanie Deutsch offers a fascinating glimpse into the partnership that would bring thousands of modern schoolhouses to African American communities in the rural South in the era leading up to the civil rights movement. Trim and vital at just shy of fifty, Rosenwald was the extraordinarily rich chairman of one of the nation’s largest businesses, interested in using his fortune to do good not just in his own Jewish community but also to promote the well-being of African Americans. Washington, though widely admired, had weathered severe crises both public and private in his fifty-six years. He had dined with President Theodore Roosevelt and drunk tea with Queen Victoria, but he had also been assaulted on a street in New York City. He had suffered personal heartbreak, years of overwork, and the discouraging knowledge that, despite his optimism and considerable success, conditions for African Americans were not improving as he had assumed they would. From within his own community, Washington faced the bitter charge of accommodationism that haunts his legacy to this day. Despite their differences, the two men would work together well and their collaboration would lead to the building of five thousand schoolhouses. By the time segregation ended, the “Rosenwald Schools” that sprang from this unlikely partnership were educating one third of the South’s African American children. These schoolhouses represent a significant step in the ongoing endeavor to bring high quality education to every child in the United States—an ideal that remains to be realized even today.
Visit the You Need a Schoolhouse website and blog.

"Tuesday Night Miracles"

New from Bantam: Tuesday Night Miracles by Kris Radish.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this poignant and transformative novel, bestselling author Kris Radish weaves a tale of five women yearning for change—and the potential for happiness that lies within every heart.

Free-spirited psychologist Dr. Olivia Bayer suspects she’ll need a miracle to help the four wildly different women in her anger management class. Grace, a single working mother, can barely find a moment’s rest. Jane, a high-profile real estate agent, is struggling in the recession. Kit, in her fifties, has had it with her taunting older brothers. And Leah, a young mother of two, is starting over after ending a troubled relationship. All have reached a crossroads, and Dr. Bayer has an unconventional plan to steer them on the right track. As the class gets taken everywhere from a bowling alley to a shooting range, the women’s Tuesday meetings transform from tense, reluctant gatherings into richly rewarding experiments in female bonding. As Grace, Jane, Kit, and Leah open up—revealing secrets, swapping stories, and recovering long-lost dreams—old wounds begin to heal, new friendships are forged, and miracles manifest in the most surprising ways.
Visit Kris Radish's website and blog.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Midnight Guardians"

New from Severn House: Midnight Guardians by Jonathon King.

About the book, from the publisher:

When private eye Max Freeman is hired to investigate a conspiracy involving fake claims to Medicare, he quickly realizes the scheme is much more dangerous than anyone assumed. And when the Brown Man, a former drug kingpin who once helped Max catch a serial killer, reappears in a slick new guise, Max must reclaim his street instincts, to protect not just the citizens of South Florida, but also his girlfriend, Detective Sherry Richards...
Visit Jonathon King's website.


New from St. Martin's Press: Vigilante: Shane Scully Novels (Volume 11) by Stephen J. Cannell.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the last novel by acclaimed producer and New York Times bestselling author Stephen J. Cannell, LAPD detective Shane Scully and his partner Sumner Hitchens investigate a crime with ties to the sometimes violent world of reality TV

Lita Mendez was a thorn in the LAPD's side. An aggressive police critic and gang activist, she’d filed countless complaints against the department. So when she's found dead in her home, Detective Scully and his partner Hitchens fear the worst: that there's a killer in their ranks.

Outside the crime scene, Nixon Nash and his television crew have set up shop. Nash is the charismatic host of a hit reality show called "Vigilante TV," dedicated to beating the cops at their own game: solving murders before they can. Now he has the murder of Lita Mendez in his sights. He presents the detectives with a choice: either join his team, or prepare for a public takedown.

But Scully knows that Nash isn't the folk-hero he seems. He will do anything in the name of self-promotion. If a detective got in his way, would he be prepared to kill? In this new novel, Scully will have to risk everything save himself and the job he loves.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


New from Severn House: Blindside by Ed Gorman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The new Dev Conrad mystery from the author of the Sam McCain and Jack Dwyer series

Political consultant Dev Conrad knows that helping Congressman Michael Robards to get re-elected is going to be tough. Robards' liberal voting record stands against him, and his staff seem resentful of Dev himself - which could doom the campaign. But there's a bigger problem. A campaign worker has been shot behind Robards' headquarters. Both Dev and the police presume it was a mugging, but as the election draws near, Robards is implicated in the murder by his enemies...
Visit Ed Gorman's blog.

"A Team for America"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game That Rallied a Nation by Randy Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:

There never has been a sports event, perhaps never an event of any kind, that received the attention of so many Americans in so many places around the world.” So wrote a reporter on December 2, 1944, about the greatest Army- Navy football game in the long history of that storied rivalry. World War II raged in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific; President Roosevelt was seriously ill, and just a few short months from his death; Americans on the home front suffered through shortages, including a Thanksgiving without turkey or pie just days earlier. But for one day, all that was forgotten.

Army’s team was ranked number 1; Navy, number 2. Army’s years of football misery had been lifted by a wartime team and a brilliant coach that made them a contender, and if they beat Navy on that day, they would be national champions. Around the world, the war stopped as soldiers listened to a broadcast of the game. Everyone everywhere forgot everything for a few short hours.

Randy Roberts has interviewed surviving players and coaches for nearly a decade to bring to life one of the most memorable stories in all of American sports. For three years, Army football upperclassmen graduated and joined the fight, from Normandy beaches to Pacific atolls. For three hours, their alma mater gave them back one unforgettable performance.
Visit the A Team for America Facebook page.

The Page 99 Test: Randy Roberts's Joe Louis: Hard Times Man.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Albert: A Life"

New from I.B. Tauris: Albert: A Life by Jules Stewart.

About the book, from the publisher:

Albert, prince consort to Queen Victoria and social and cultural visionary in his own right, defined the culture and direction of nineteenth century Britain—a superpower at the zenith of its influence—more than any other British royal or politician. The role he played in shaping Victorian culture stands today as indisputable proof of the enduring legacy of a man who spent just two decades of his short life in England.

Though overshadowed in history by his adoring wife and at times even mocked by her subjects, it was arguably Albert who gave form and substance to the Victorian Age. From the outset, he strove to win “the respect, the love and the confidence of the Queen and of the nation,” pursuing an extraordinary social and cultural crusade that has become his greatest legacy. From the Great Exhibition and the construction of many of London’s great museums to his social campaigns against slavery and the Corn Laws, Albert’s achievements were truly remarkable—in fact, very few have made such a permanent mark on British society.
Visit Jules Stewart's website.

"Mondo Agnelli"

New John Wiley & Sons: Mondo Agnelli: Fiat, Chrysler, and the Power of a Dynasty by Jennifer Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:

The fascinating story of a century-old automobile dynasty

Fiat is one of the world's largest automakers, but when it made headlines by grabbing control of a bankrupt Chrysler in 2009 it was unknown in the U.S. Fiat’s against-all-odds swoop on Chrysler---masterminded by Sergio Marchionne, the Houdini-like manager who saved Fiat from its own near-collapse in 2005 – has made the automaker one of the most unlikely winners of the financial crisis. Mondo Agnelli is a new book that looks at the chain of unpredictable events triggered by the death of Gianni Agnelli in 2003. Gianni, the charismatic, silver-haired power broker and style icon, was the patriarch who had lead the company founded by his grandfather in 1899. But Gianni's own son had committed suicide. Without a mature heir, the dynasty and Fiat were rudderless. Backed by Gianni's closest advisors, his serious, shy, and determined grandson John plucked Marchionne from obscurity. Together, they saved the family company and, inadvertently, positioned Fiat as a global trailblazer when the global storm hit.
  • A classic story of ingenuity and hard work, the book portrays a business dynasty that triumphed over adversity and family tragedy because of its own smarts, sweat, and ability to bend the rules
  • An engaging tale for those interested in the stories behind the economic crash, the book contains never-before reported material about how Fiat succeeded in making Chrysler profitable where both Daimler AG and Cerberus, its previous owners, had failed.
A story for a wide audience, from car buffs, business readers, lovers of Italy, and anyone fascinated by the lifestyle of Europe's most glamorous industrial dynasty, this book tells the tale of how Fiat achieved the seemingly impossible -- turning around an American automotive icon everyone else had given up for dead.

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Before the End, After the Beginning"

New from GroveAtlantic: Before the End, After the Beginning by Dagoberto Gilb.

About the book, from the publisher:

Before the End, After the Beginning is an exquisite collection of ten stories by Dagoberto Gilb. The pieces come in the wake of a stroke Gilb suffered at his home in Austin, Texas, in 2009, and a majority of the stories were written over his many months of recovery. The result is a powerful and triumphant book that tackles common themes of existence and identity and describes the American experience in a raw, authentic vernacular unique to Gilb.

These ten stories take readers through the American Southwest, from Los Angeles and Albuquerque to El Paso and Austin. Gilb covers territory touched on in some of his earlier work—a mother and son’s relationship in Southern California in the story “Uncle Rock,” and a character looking to shed his mixed-up past in “The Last Time I Saw Junior”—while dealing with the themes of mortality and limitation that have arose during his own illness. The collection’s most personal story, “please, thank you,” focuses on a man who has been hospitalized with a stroke, and paints in detail the protagonist’s relationship with his children and the nurses who care for him. The final story, “Hacia Teotitlán,” looks at a man, now old, returning to Mexico and considering his life and imminent death.

Short stories are the perfect medium for Gilb, an accomplished storyteller whose debut collection, The Magic of Blood, won the prestigious PEN/ Hemingway Foundation Award for fiction in 1994. Before the End, After the Beginning proves that Gilb has lost none of his gifts, and that this may be his most extraordinary achievement to date.
See Dagoberto Gilb's six favorite books.

"Getting Lucky"

New from Tyrus: Getting Lucky by D.C. Brod.

About the book, from the publisher:
When a young reporter is killed in a hit and run accident, freelance writer Robyn Guthrie agrees to finish one of the stories the reporter had been writing for the local newspaper. But nothing is as simple as it seems when she finds out about shady land deals, an old high school nemesis, and Robyn’s aging mother.
Visit D.C. Brod's website.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights"

New from Oxford University Press: Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zoopolis offers a new agenda for the theory and practice of animal rights. Most animal rights theory focuses on the intrinsic capacities or interests of animals, and the moral status and moral rights that these intrinsic characteristics give rise to. This book shifts the debate from the realm of moral theory and applied ethics to the realm of political theory, focusing on the relational obligations that arise from the varied ways that animals relate to human societies and institutions. Building on recent developments in the political theory of group-differentiated citizenship, Zoopolis introduces us to the genuine "political animal". It argues that different types of animals stand in different relationships to human political communities. Domesticated animals should be seen as full members of human-animal mixed communities, participating in the cooperative project of shared citizenship. Wilderness animals, by contrast, form their own sovereign communities entitled to protection against colonization, invasion, domination and other threats to self-determination. `Liminal' animals who are wild but live in the midst of human settlement (such as crows or raccoons) should be seen as "denizens", resident of our societies, but not fully included in rights and responsibilities of citizenship. To all of these animals we owe respect for their basic inviolable rights. But we inevitably and appropriately have very different relations with them, with different types of obligations. Humans and animals are inextricably bound in a complex web of relationships, and Zoopolis offers an original and profoundly affirmative vision of how to ground this complex web of relations on principles of justice and compassion.

"The Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob"

New from John Wiley & Sons: The Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob by Adrian Humphreys.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the world of organized crime the bosses grab the headlines, as the names Capone, Gotti, Bonnano, Cotroni and Rizzuto attest. But a crime family has many working parts and the young mobster known as The Weasel was the epitome of a crucial, invisible cog-the soldier, the muscle, the driver, the gopher.

By a quirk of fate, Marvin Elkind-later The Weasel-was placed in the foster home of a tough gangster family, immersing him from the age of nine in a daring world of con men, cheats, bootleggers, loan sharks, bank robbers, leg breakers and Mafia bosses. During a Golden Age of underworld life in New York, Detroit and across Canada, The Weasel found himself working with a surprising cast of colourful characters. He befriended powerful gangsters by smuggling bottles of Scotch to their tables as a waiter at New York's famed Copacabana; he was pushed to be Jimmy Hoffa's chauffeur.

But his disenchantment with the broken promises of mob life brought him into another fraternity, one offering the same adrenaline rush, danger and dark comedy he craved. After a startling confrontation, he was embraced by law enforcement, and a cop with a reputation for results. Now a career informant, The Weasel learned he was a far better fink than he ever was a crook.

With his impeccable gangland pedigree, enormous girth, cold stare and sausage-like fingers adorned with chunky rings, no one questioned The Weasel's loyalty. The backroom doors were flung open and The Weasel slipped in, bringing undercover cops with him. For case after case over two decades, he worked for the FBI, U.S. Customs, Scotland Yard, RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and other law enforcement agencies on three continents, trapping and betraying mobsters, mercenaries, spies, drug traffickers, pornographers, union fat cats and corrupt politicians.

With unflinching honesty, The Weasel and many of the undercover officers he worked with revealed their successes and failures to award-winning crime reporter and best-selling author Adrian Humphreys.

The Weasel is the riveting chronicle of a unique and engaging figure who lived a most dangerous and rare experience.

It is a story that was never supposed to be told.
Visit Adrian Humphreys's website.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"The Gardens of Democracy"

New from Sasquatch Books: The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government by Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer.

About the book, from the publisher:

American democracy is informed by the 18th century's most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We've learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics — the cutting-edge ideas of today — generate these simple but revolutionary ideas:

True self interest is mutual interest. (Society, it turns out, is an ecosystem that is healthiest when we take care of the whole.)

Society becomes how we behave. (The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.)

We're all better off when we're all better off. (The economy is not an efficient machine. It's an effective garden that need tending. Adjust the definition of wealth to society creating solutions for all.)

Government should be about the big what and the little how. (Government should establish the ideas and the goals, and then let the people find the solutions of how to make it happen.)

Freedom is responsibility. (True freedom is not about living some variant of libertarianism but rather an active cooperation a part of a big whole society; freedom costs a little freedom.)

The Gardens of Democracy is an optimistic, provocative, and timely summons to improve our role as citizens in a democratic society.

"The Devil's Elixir"

New from Dutton: The Devil's Elixir by Raymond Khoury.

About the book, from the publisher:

FBI agent Sean Reilly and his girlfriend, archaeologist Tess Chaykin, heroes of Raymond Khoury's bestselling Templar novels, return in another edge-of-your-seat thriller that reaches from present day back to 1700s Mexico-and possibly beyond.

What if there was a drug, previously lost to history in the jungles of Central America, capable of inducing an experience so momentous-and so unsettling-that it might shake the very foundations of Western civilization?

What if powerful forces on both sides of the law got wind of that drug and launched a vicious, uncompromising pursuit to possess it?

In Raymond Khoury's million-copy-selling Templar novels, Reilly and Tess traveled the globe to unravel ancient mysteries with present-day ramifications. In The Devil's Elixir, they find themselves dragged into a race-against the clock, against a brutal drug kingpin known as "El Brujo"-the sorcerer-and even against government authorities-to merge two divergent trails, one several hundred years old, the other as current as a heartbeat, that could drag humanity to the brink of self- destruction.

Packed with the nonstop suspense and unexpected twists Raymond Khoury fans delight in, The Devil's Elixir is destined for bestseller lists everywhere.
Visit Raymond Khoury's website.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Alone in the Universe"

New from John Wiley & Sons: Alone in the Universe: Why Our Planet Is Unique by John Gribbin.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acclaimed author of In Search of Schrödinger's Cat searches for life on other planets

Are we alone in the universe? Surely amidst the immensity of the cosmos there must be other intelligent life out there. Don't be so sure, says John Gribbin, one of today's best popular science writers. In this fascinating and intriguing new book, Gribbin argues that the very existence of intelligent life anywhere in the cosmos is, from an astrophysicist's point of view, a miracle. So why is there life on Earth and (seemingly) nowhere else? What happened to make this planet special? Taking us back some 600 million years, Gribbin lets you experience the series of unique cosmic events that were responsible for our unique form of life within the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Written by one of our foremost popular science writers, author of the bestselling In Search of Schrödinger's Cat
  • Offers a bold answer to the eternal question, "Are we alone in the universe?"
  • Explores how the impact of a "supercomet" with Venus 600 million years ago created our moon, and along with it, the perfect conditions for life on Earth
From one of our most talented science writers, this book is a daring, fascinating exploration into the dawning of the universe, cosmic collisions and their consequences, and the uniqueness of life on Earth.
The Page 69 Test: John Gribbin's "The Fellowship"

"Danger in the Wind"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Danger in the Wind by Jane Finnis.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fine summer in 100 AD and good government under Trajan Caesar promise well for the Roman settlers in the frontier province of Britannia.

Aurelia Marcella runs a mansio on a busy road to York. June is always busy, but one day two unusual events occur: a soldier is murdered in his bed at the inn, and a letter arrives from Isurium, a small fort north of the city. It is from a cousin, Jovina, inviting Aurelia to a midsummer birthday party. But the missive also reads as a plea for help, referring to “danger in the wind.”

The murdered soldier also bore a message, locked in Aurelia’s strongbox, indicating violence would erupt at the very same fort on the day of the party.

At Isurium, Aurelia finds Jovina and her drunken husband and unruly children caught in a tangled web of greed, love, intrigue, and death. When violence engulfs the district, Aurelia suddenly finds herself in peril from enemies engaged in an anti- Roman plot and from family members bent on misguided or evil agendas of their own. This is the 4th in a series.
Jane Finnis' Aurelia Marcella novels tell of life and death in first-century Roman Britain, the turbulent province of Britannia, on the very edge of the Roman Empire. The three previous books in the series are Get Out or Die, A Bitter Chill, and Buried Too Deep.

The Page 69 Test: Buried Too Deep.

Visit the official Jane Finnis website and The Lady Killers blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Jane Finnis & Copper and Rosie.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Deep Sky"

New from Harper: Deep Sky by Patrick Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:

The anomaly called the Breach is the government’s most carefully guarded secret.

But there is another secret even less known ... and far more terrifying.

As the U.S. President addresses the nation from the Oval Office, a missile screams toward the White House. In a lightning flash, the Chief Executive is dead, his mansion in ruins, and two cryptic words are the only clue to the assassins’ motives: “See Scalar.”

Now Travis Chase of the covert agency Tangent—caretakers of the Breach and all its grim wonders—along with partner and lover Paige Campbell and technology expert Bethany Stewart, have only twenty-four hours to unearth a decades-old mystery once spoken of in terrified whispers by the long since silenced. But their breakneck race cross-country—and back through time and malleable memory—is calling the total destructive might of a shadow government down upon them. For Travis Chase has a dark destiny he cannot be allowed to fulfill...
Visit Patrick Lee's blog.

"Sex, Bombs, and Burgers"

New from Lyons Press: Sex, Bombs, and Burgers: How War, Pornography, and Fast Food Have Shaped Modern Technology by Peter Nowak.

About the book, from the publisher:

Guns, Germs, and Steel meets the age of technology in this rollicking history of how our pursuit of lust, gluttony, and rage has led to our greatest technological advancements. It is also a chronicle of popular culture, packed with surprising revelations. From the unexpected origins of aerosols, cold medicine, and Google to Saran Wrap, Tupperware, and video games, here is a fascinating look at modern life.
Visit the Sex, Bombs, and Burgers website and blog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


New from Harper Voyager: Archon: The Books of Raziel by Sabrina Benulis.

About the book, from the publisher:

There are some things worse than death...

For years, Angela Mathers has been plagued by visions of a supernatural being—an angel with beguiling eyes and magnificent wings who haunts her thoughts and seduces her dreams. Newly freed from a mental institution where she had been locked away for two years, Angela hopes that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican’s exclusive university, will bring her peace and a semblance of normality.

But Angela isn’t normal. With her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin, she is a blood head—a freak, a monster, and the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy. Blessed with strange, mystical powers, blood heads hold a special place in the Academy. Among them, one special blood head is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. And when the Archon arises as foretold, it will rule the supernatural universe.

Barely in control of her own life, Angela has no ambition to conquer an entire universe, not when she’s suddenly contending with a dangerous enemy who is determined to destroy her and a magnetic novitiate who wants to save her. But the choice might not be her own...

Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, the young blood head must soon face the truth about herself and her world. It is she who holds the key to Heaven and Hell—and both will stop at nothing to possess her.

In Archon, Sabrina Benulis has created a dazzlingly imaginative tale set in a lush, vivid supernatural world filled with gargoyles and candlelight, magic and murder, in which humans, angels, demons, and those in between battle for supremacy—and survival.
Visit Sabrina Benulis's Facebook page.

"The Burning Edge"

New from Mira: The Burning Edge by Rick Mofina.

About the book, from the publisher:

Single mother Lisa Palmer has barely recovered from the sudden death of her husband when she is drawn into a new nightmare. On her way home from upstate New York, Lisa stops at a service center minutes before an armored car heist. Four men are executed before her eyes -- one of them an off-duty FBI agent Lisa tried to help. Now Lisa is the FBI's secret witness and the key to finding the fugitive killers.
Learn more about the book and author at Rick Mofina's website.

The Page 69 Test: Every Fear.

My Book, The Movie: A Perfect Grave.

The Page 69 Test: Six Seconds.

The Page 69 Test: Vengeance Road.

Writers Read: Rick Mofina.

My Book, The Movie: The Panic Zone.