Monday, August 31, 2009


New from Sarah Crichton Books: Blame by Michelle Huneven.

About the book, from the publisher:

Michelle Huneven, Richard Russo once wrote, is “a writer of extraordinary and thrilling talent.” That talent explodes with her third book, Blame, a spellbinding novel of guilt and love, family and shame, sobriety and the lack of it, and the moral ambiguities that ensnare us all.

The story: Patsy MacLemoore, a history professor in her late twenties with a brand-new Ph.D. from Berkeley and a wild streak, wakes up in jail—yet again—after another epic alcoholic blackout. “Okay, what’d I do?” she asks her lawyer and jailers. “I really don’t remember.” She adds, jokingly: “Did I kill someone?”

In fact, two Jehovah’s Witnesses, a mother and daughter, are dead, run over in Patsy’s driveway. Patsy, who was driving with a revoked license, will spend the rest of her life—in prison, getting sober, finding a new community (and a husband) in AA—trying to atone for this unpardonable act.

Then, decades later, another unimaginable piece of information turns up.

For the reader, it is an electrifying moment, a joyous, fall-off-the-couch-with-surprise moment. For Patsy, it is more complicated. Blame must be reapportioned, her life reassessed. What does it mean that her life has been based on wrong assumptions? What can she cleave to? What must be relinquished?

When Huneven’s first novel, Round Rock, was published, Valerie Miner, in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, celebrated Huneven’s “moral nerve, sharp wit and uncommon generosity.” The same spirit electrifies Blame. The novel crackles with life—and, like life, can leave you breathless.
Visit Michelle Huneven's website.

"Ask the Animals"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Ask the Animals: A Vet's-Eye View of Pets and the People They Love by Bruce R. Coston.

About the book, from the publisher:

Reminiscent of James Herriot’s wonderful books, Coston’s memoir offers zany, sad, and touching stories about a medical practice where the patients cannot speak, yet communicate deeply

Bruce R. Coston’s first book is a warm, funny, and amazingly fulfilling celebration of the wonderful world of animals as seen through the eyes of a small-town veterinarian.

The patients are an eclectic and surprising cast of characters who display incredible bravery and nobility at times, and unbelievable goofiness at others. There’s Sandy, the dog who resurrected herself from death. There’s Daphne, the transvestite cat who taught Bruce to be a cat person. And the owners are no less engaging, ranging from the angelic to the squeamish, teaching Bruce what it really means to be an animal doctor.

Readers will gain insight into the pathos and passion, the mundane and extraordinary, the thigh-slapping humor and the crushing sadness of a vet’s life as he seeks to mend and restore people’s treasured companions. Written with great warmth, this book imparts a deeper understanding of the pets who daily enrich our lives.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"The Prince of Frogs"

New from Tor Books: The Prince of Frogs by Annaliese Evans.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sometimes appearances can be deceiving…

Rosemarie Barrows has successfully defeated an ogre uprising that threatened the lives of humans and supernaturals alike. Now she’s trying to forget her lingering attraction to her handsome Fey advisor, Ambrose Minuit, and settle in to life with her new husband, Gareth, Lord Shenley. Unfortunately, Gareth’s suspicious behavior is driving a wedge between the newlyweds.

Gareth Barrows is hiding an old secret, a problem he thought he’d already resolved--and would never have to reveal. But his past has come back to haunt him, placing his future, his marriage, and his very life at risk.

Bloodlines. Ancestry. Heritage. Nothing is as it seems for Rose or Gareth, and as they struggle to unravel the truth, an unseen enemy lurks in the shadows, ready to silence them…forever.
Visit Annaliese Evans's blog.

"Vampire a Go-Go"

New from Touchstone: Vampire a Go-Go by Victor Gischler.

About the book, from the publisher:


Victor Gischler is a master of the class-act literary spoof, and his work has drawn comparison to that of Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, and Thomas Pynchon. Now, Gischler turns his attention to werewolves, alchemists, ghosts, witches, and gun-toting Jesuit priests in Vampire a Go-Go, a hilarious romp of spooky, Gothic entertainment. Narrated by a ghost whose spirit is chained to a mysterious castle in Prague, Gischler's latest is full of twists and surprises that will have readers screaming -- and laughing -- for more.
Learn more about the book and author at Victor Gischler's Blogpocalypse.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Arctic Chill"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this new extraordinary thriller from Gold Dagger Award winner Arnaldur Indridason, the Reykjavik police are called on an icy January day to a garden where a body has been found: a young, dark-skinned boy is frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation and soon unearth tensions simmering beneath the surface of Ice land’s outwardly liberal, multicultural society. Meanwhile, the boy’s murder forces Erlendur to confront the tragedy in his own past. Soon, facts are emerging from the snow-filled darkness that are more chilling even than the Arctic night.
Read about the previous four Reykjavík thrillers featuring Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson.

"Stuck on Murder"

New from Berkley Prime Crime: Stuck on Murder by Lucy Lawrence.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the small New England town of Morse Point, Brenna Miller glosses over her painful past by watching her decoupage students create eye-catching projects out of cutouts, glue, and varnish. But when the mayor's body is found stuffed in a trunk at Morse Point Lake, it's up to Brenna to clear her enigmatic landlord's name of murder'before his fate is signed, sealed and delivered.
Read an excerpt from Stuck on Murder.

Visit the author's website.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Evidence of Murder"

New from William Morrow: Evidence of Murder by Lisa Black.

About the book, from the publisher:

Forensic investigator Theresa MacLean takes on the worst kind of murder case—one without clues—in this second novel in a hot new series from Lisa Black

Eight months ago, forensic investigator Theresa MacLean lost her fiancé in a bank robbery gone wrong, and she's had trouble concentrating on her work ever since. But now a particularly difficult case may just be what she needs to regain her focus by demanding all her skill, intelligence, and attention.

Jillian Perry has been found dead in the woods, leaving behind a husband of three weeks and a young daughter. The police can't determine how she died—her body shows no visible marks, and the autopsy reveals nothing suspicious—and the leading theory is that she purposely wandered into the forest and succumbed to the freezing weather. But something doesn't feel right to Theresa, and she can't let it go.

To complicate matters, a former boyfriend of Jillian's unexpectedly petitions for custody of the daughter. Obsessed with Jillian, he also suspects foul play in Jillian's death, and now he and Theresa believe Jillian's daughter may be in danger of meeting a similar fate. With a child's life at stake, Theresa must search for evidence of murder—evidence that doesn't seem to exist—before it's too late.
Theresa MacLean was introduced in Black's Takeover.

Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.

The Page 69 Test: Takeover.

My Book, The Movie: Takeover.

"Losers Live Longer"

New from Hard Case Crime: Losers Live Longer by Russell Atwood.

About the book, from the publisher:


The death of legendary private eye George Rowell looked like an accident—but searching for the truth behind it will put down-and-out East Village detective Payton Sherwood on the corpse-littered trail of a runaway investment scam artist, a drug-addicted reality TV star—and the bewitching beauty whose appearance set it all in motion...
Read an excerpt from Losers Live Longer.

Visit the Losers Live Longer website.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World"

New from Center Street: How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace by Jordan Christy.

About the book, from the publisher:

This smart and sassy guide shows young women how to find their own glamorous style, professional success, and love with class and grace.

In a society driven by celebutante news and profiles, women of class, style, and charm are hard to come by. But as thongs, rehab, and outrageous behavior burn up the daily headlines, employers still like to see a tailored suit, men still want women they can take home to their moms, and peers still respect professional conduct. Christy helps women channel their inner Kate or Audrey, dusting off old-fashioned virtues and giving them a whole new spin in today’s sexed-up culture. She shows how modern women can be beautiful, intelligent, and have it all — glamorous style, professional success, and true love and keep their values and morals intact along the way.
Visit Jordan Christy's website and blog.

"An Off Year"

New from Dutton Children's: An Off Year by Claire Zulkey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cecily has always done everything as she was supposed to: taken the right classes, gotten the right grades, applied to the right colleges. But after a lifetime of following the rules, she surprises everyone by arriving for her freshman year of college . . . and turning around. There are infinite possibilities for Cecily’s unexpected gap year. She could volunteer, or travel around the world—but, for now, Cecily is content to do absolutely nothing. What follows is a year of snarkily observed self-doubt and selfdiscovery during which Cecily must ask herself, for the first time, what does she really want to do with her life?
Visit Claire Zulkey's website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


New from Putnam: Bloodroot by Bill Loehfelm.

About the book, from the publisher:

The brilliantly ambitious thriller— frightening, twisted, and filled with secrets and heartbreak— from the author of Fresh Kills.

Kevin Curran wants to unite his family, but he’s ready to give up on his younger brother, Danny— three years lost to heroin addiction and hard, desperate living on the streets of New York. When Danny shows up on Kevin’s Staten Island doorstep, looking clean, fit, and prosperous, Kevin can’t help but be overjoyed that his brother has escaped his past life. But at what price? Not even Kevin’s worst nightmares could have prepared him for the horrors he’ll discover about his brother’s dark history.

After a brief reunion, Danny offers Kevin a role in an underworld plot revolving around the Bloodroot Children’s Hospital, an abandoned juvenile asylum with a nefarious past. Hoping to rescue Danny from his criminal life after years ago failing to save him from his addiction, Kevin accepts.

While Danny’s plan unfolds, Kevin is drawn into a world of murder, Mafia hit men and dangerous espionage. The halls of Bloodroot reveal one horrifying secret after another: about the building’s history, about Danny’s life of addiction and crime, and about the true roots of the Curran family. At the end of the maze of monsters, the brothers make a discovery so horrific it may force them to destroy each other.
Learn more about the author and his work at Bill Loehfelm's website.

Bill Loehfelm is the Winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award; his work has also appeared in the anthologies Year Zero and Life in the Wake.

The Page 69 Test: Fresh Kills.

"The Yard Dog"

New from Minotaur Books: The Yard Dog by Sheldon Russell.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Yard Dog takes place near the close of World War II, when a large number of Nazi POWs were incarcerated in camps scattered across the prairies of the United States.

At Waynoka Divisional Point, near POW Camp Alva, the disillusioned Hook Runyon is assigned by the railroad to run off hobos and arrest pickpockets. Left behind in the war because of the loss of his arm in a car accident, Hook lives in a caboose, collects rare books, and drinks busthead liquor. When a coal picker by the name of Spark Dugan is found run over by a reefer car, Hook and his sidekick, Runt, the local moonshiner, suspect foul play and are drawn into a scheme far greater than either could have imagined. This conspiracy reaches the highest echelons of the camp and beyond and will push Hook and Runt to their physical and mental limits.

Hook is a complex character, equal parts rough and vulnerable, an unlikely and unwilling hero. He is more than matched by Dr. Reina Kaplan, a Jewish big-city transplant to Camp Alva who is battling her own demons and has been put in charge of educating the Nazi inmates in the basics of democracy before their eventual return to Germany.

Vivid descriptions of period detail, stark landscapes, and unique characters make this first book in the Hook Runyon series a fascinating mystery full of tension and deep insight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"The Anti-Communist Manifestos"

New from W.W. Norton: The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War by John V. Fleming.

About the book, from the publisher:

The books altered the course of history; the lives behind them have the dark fascination of fiction.

The subject of The Anti-Communist Manifestos is four influential books that informed the great political struggle known as the Cold War: Darkness at Noon (1940), by Arthur Koestler, a Hungarian journalist and polymath intellectual; Out of the Night (1941), by Jan Valtin, a German sailor and labor agitator; I Chose Freedom (1946), by Victor Kravchenko, a Soviet engineer; and Witness (1952), by Whittaker Chambers, an American journalist. The authors were ex–Communist Party members whose bitter disillusionment led them to turn on their former allegiance in literary fury.

Koestler was a rapist, Valtin a thug. Kravchenko, though not a spy, was forced to live like one in America. Chambers was a prophet without honor in his own land. Three of the four had been underground espionage agents of the Comintern. All contemplated suicide, and two of them achieved it. John V. Fleming’s humane and ironic narrative of these grim lives reveals that words were the true driving force behind the Cold War.
Visit John V. Fleming's website and blog.

"For Better, for Murder"

New from Midnight Ink: For Better, for Murder by Lisa Bork.

About the book, from the publisher:

The road to bliss ... or murder and betrayal?

Jolene Asdale is one sale away from becoming a successful Finger Lakes businesswoman. But her dream gets derailed when a dead body rolls out of the shiny Ferrari in her exotic car showroom, instantly taking her from entrepreneur to murder suspect.

Arriving on the scene to investigate is Deputy Ray Parker, Jolene's almost-ex-husband, whose suspicions are raised when he learns of Jolene's public (and allegedly violent) argument with the victim. When Ray discovers wads of cash in her home—along with signs that Jolene is colluding with her unpredictable, fugitive sister—he is all but convinced of Jolene's guilt. But could a spite-driven local be trying to frame her? Or is an out-of-towner trying to taint the popular tourist town?

Facing bankruptcy, a murder conviction, and divorce from the man she still loves, Jolene will do whatever it takes to solve the crime and save herself from a loveless life behind bars ... even if it means careening into the path of a killer.

From the thrill of exotic sports cars to the ups and downs of family life, For Better, For Murder kicks off a unique new mystery series.
Visit Lisa Bork's website.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Am I Boring My Dog?"

New from Alpha/Penguin: Am I Boring My Dog?: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew by Edie Jarolim.

About the book, from the publisher:

A delightfully witty guide to keeping much-loved dogs not just fed and groomed, but entertained and pampered…

Geared to the millions who feed their canine companions home-baked holistic treats, take them to dog spas, agility courses, trainers, and yoga classes, and, above all, worry about their relationships with them, this poignant, irreverent guide is doggone funny. Readers are those looking to be socially responsible, but also indulgent with their pets. This guide informs about the latest ideas in care and training, articulating the questions that many people have about all things canine-related but are afraid to ask, all with a reassuring, amusing tone.
Win a copy of Am I Boring My Dog?. Visit the book's official website, recommend a book that would bore a dog--like War and Pee; Das Catipal; To the Dog House; and the Great Catsby--and take your chances. One winner every day this week.

Visit Edie Jarolim's website.


New from Little, Brown: Ash by Malinda Lo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
Visit Malinda Lo's website.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Andromeda Klein"

New from Delacorte Books for Young Readers: Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Andromeda Klein has a few problems.

Her hair is kind of horrible.

Her partner-in-occultism, Daisy, is dead.

Her secret, estranged, much older and forbidden boyfriend-in-theory, has gone AWOL.

And her mother has learned how to text.

In short, things couldn't get much worse. Until they do. Daisy seems to be attempting to make contact from beyond, books are starting to disappear from the library, and then, strangely and suddenly, Andromeda's tarot readings are beginning to predict events with bizarrely literal accuracy.

Omens are everywhere. Dreams; swords; fires; hidden cards; lost, broken, and dead cell phones ... and what is Daisy trying to tell her?

In the ensuing struggle of neutral versus evil, it's Andromeda Klein against the world, modern society, demonic forces, and the "friends" of the library.

From Frank Portman, author of King Dork, comes another unique literary experience. Andromeda Klein is dark, funny, smart, and entirely unforgettable.
Visit Frank Portman's website.

"Red Bones"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Red Bones by Ann Cleeves.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a young archaeologist discovers a set of human remains, the locals are intrigued. Is it an ancient find—or a more contemporary mystery? Then an elderly woman is fatally shot and Ann Cleeves’s popular series detective Jimmy Perez is called in. As claustrophobic mists swirl around the island, Inspector Perez finds himself totally in the dark.
Red Bones is the third volume in the Shetland Island Quartet.

Visit Cleeves's website and read her online diary.

Ann Cleeves' Raven Black, the first volume in the Shetland Island Quartet, received crime fiction’s highest monetary honor, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award. Booklist called White Nights “[g]ripping from start to finish.”

The Page 99 Test: Raven Black.

The Page 99 Test: White Nights.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Evil at Heart"

New from Minotaur Books: Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain.

About the book, from the publisher:

Chelsea Cain’s novels featuring Portland detective Archie Sheridan and serial killer Gretchen Lowell have captivated fans through two nail-biting entries, Heartsick and Sweetheart, both of them multiweek bestsellers in The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly.

Gretchen Lowell is still on the loose. These days, she’s more of a cause célèbre than a feared killer, thanks to sensationalist news coverage that has made her a star. Her face graces magazine covers weekly and there have been sightings of her around the world. Most shocking of all, Portland Herald reporter Susan Ward has uncovered a bizarre kind of fan club, which celebrates the number of days she’s been free.

Archie Sheridan hunted her for a decade, and after his last ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong, remains hospitalized months later. When they last spoke, they entered a détente of sorts---Archie agreed not to kill himself if she agreed not to kill anyone else. But when a new body is found accompanied by Gretchen’s trademark heart, all bets are off and Archie is forced back into action. Has the Beauty Killer returned to her gruesome ways, or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil?

Chelsea Cain continues to deliver heart-stopping thrills and chills in the latest entry in this dynamic bestselling series.
Learn more about the author and her work at Chelsea Cain's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Sweetheart.

"Perfect Life"

New from W.W. Norton: Perfect Life by Jessica Shattuck.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Perfect Life, Jessica Shattuck once again displays her “skewering gift for social commentary” (New York Times) in a uniquely modern chronicle of conception in the age of infinite possibility.

Two years ago, Neil Banks walked into a bathroom in the Pacific Fertility Center to provide his former college girlfriend, Jenny Callahan, with the biological material needed to conceive a child. Becoming a father was not part of the deal: adrift in his postmodern Los Angeles lifestyle, he signed away all paternity rights. But on the day of the baby’s christening, Neil turns up at the church. His unexpected—and unauthorized—return to Jenny’s privileged East Coast world sends a shockwave through the families of Jenny and her two college roommates—and sets off this keenly observed novel about fertility, biology, love, and American excess.

Elegantly written, Perfect Life asks the perennially daunting question: What is the perfect life? In her smart and timely new novel, Jessica Shattuck tells a story that is humorous and moving, enlightening and life-affirming.
Visit Jessica Shattuck's website.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia"

New from Tin House Books: Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia edited by Mikhail Iossel and Jeff Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Few countries have undergone more radical transformations than Russia has since the fall of the Soviet Union. The stories in Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia present twenty-three depictions of the new Russia from its most talented young writers. Selected from the pages of the top Russian literary magazines and written by winners of the most prestigious literary awards, most of these stories appear here in English for the first time.

“What’s new is the rhythm and snap of the hip, modern, contemporary voices that we would expect to hear rattling into a cell phone in the booth next to ours, and the rendering of that voice into an English that’s as idiomatic and confident as we imagine these speakers to be.... How fortunate we are ... that we now have Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia.”
—from the introduction by Francine Prose

Mikhail Iossel was born in Leningrad, USSR, where he belonged to a circle of underground (“samizdat”) writers. He emigrated to the United States in 1986 and is currently the coordinator of the creative writing program of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. The author of Every Hunter Wants to Know (W.W. Norton), a collection of stories, and coeditor of Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States (Dalkey Archive), his fiction has been translated into several languages and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Stanford University. In 1998 he founded Summer Literary Seminars, Inc.—one of the world’s largest international literary conferences:

Jeff Parker is the author of the novel Ovenman and the collection The Back of the Line and the coeditor of Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States. He served as the program director of Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is currently the acting director of the Master’s Program in the Field of Creative Writing at the University of Toronto.

"The Prodigal Mage"

New from Orbit: The Prodigal Mage by Karen Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:

Many years have passed since the last great Mage War. It has been a time of great change. But not all changes are for the best, and Asher's world is in peril once more.

The weather magic that holds Lur safe is failing, and the earth feels broken to those with the power to see. Among Lur's sorcerers, only Asher has the skill to mend the antique weather map that governs the seasons, keeping the land from being crushed by natural forces. Yet, when Asher risks his life to meddle with these dangerous magics, the crisis is merely delayed, not averted.

Asher's son Rafel has inherited the father's talents, but has been forbidden to use them. Many died in the last Mage War and these abilities aren't to be loosed lightly into the world. But when Asher's last desperate attempt to repair the damage leaves him on his deathbed, Rafel's powers may not be denied. For his countrymen are facing famine, devastation, and a rift in the very fabric of their land.
Visit Karen Miller's website and journal.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"After the Fire, a Still Small Voice"

New from Pantheon: After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld.

About the novel, from the publisher:

Set in the haunting landscape of eastern Australia, this is a stunningly accomplished debut novel about the inescapable past: the ineffable ties of family, the wars fought by fathers and sons, and what goes unsaid.

After the departure of the woman he loves, Frank drives out to a shack by the ocean that he had last visited as a teenager. There, among the sugarcane and sand dunes, he struggles to rebuild his life.

Forty years earlier, Leon is growing up in Sydney, turning out treacle tarts at his parents’ bakery and flirting with one of the local girls. But when he’s drafted to serve in Vietnam, he finds himself suddenly confronting the same experiences that haunt his war-veteran father.

As these two stories weave around each other–each narrated in a voice as tender as it is fierce–we learn what binds Frank and Leon together, and what may end up keeping them apart.
Visit Evie Wyld's website.

"The Silent Spirit"

New from Berkley: The Silent Spirit by Margaret Coel.

About the book, from the publisher:

Margaret Coel returns to Wind River with a brand new mystery featuring Vicky Holden and Father John O’Malley.

In 1923, Arapahos from the Wind River Reservation were recruited to appear as extras in the silent film The Covered Wagon. But Charlie Wallowingbull never returned home, leaving people to believe he abandoned his wife and unborn son.

Kiki Wallowingbull, Charlie’s great-grandson, went to Hollywood determined to uncover the truth behind his great-grandfather’s disappearance. But Kiki has been murdered—his frozen body discovered by Father John, and his supposed killer confessing to Vicky that it was self-defense. Together, they must find the connection between two deaths separated by nearly a century.
Learn more about the book and author at Margaret Coel's website.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Murder at Longbourn"

New from Minotaur Books: Murder at Longbourn by Tracy Kiely.

About the book, from the publisher:

A die-hard fan of Jane Austen novels and the traditional English mystery, Tracy Kiely has combined elements of both for this truly delightful and witty debut.

Planning New Year’s resolutions to rid her life of all things unhealthy, Elizabeth Parker has dumped fatty foods, processed sugar, and her two-timing boyfriend. Indeed, the invitation to join her Aunt Winnie for a How to Host a Murder Party on New Year’s Eve at Winnie’s new Cape Cod B and B comes just in time. But when the local wealthy miser ends up the unscripted victim, Elizabeth must unearth old secrets and new motives in order to clear her beloved aunt of suspicion. The suspects include the town gossip, a haughty rich woman, and an antiques business owner much enamored of his benefactress, a Mrs. Kristell Dubois. If that isn’t bad enough, Elizabeth must also contend with her childhood nemesis, Peter McGowan---a man she suspects has only matured in chronological years---and her suspicions about his family’s interest in Winnie’s inn.

Yesterday, her only worry was of ever finding her Mr. Darcy. Now she has a murder to solve. Is it any wonder her resolution to achieve inner poise is in tatters?

By reimagining characters and themes lifted from the treasured classic Pride and Prejudice, and crafting an expert, intricate mystery, Tracy Kiely has brought to life something very special: a new cozy series that is clever, vibrant, and utterly disarming.
Visit Tracy Kiely's website.


New from Bantam: Homeland by Barbara Hambly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Those who loved Cold Mountain or Geraldine Brooks’s March will embrace and long remember this spellbinding novel of two remarkable women torn apart by conflict, sustained by literature and art, united by friendship and hope.

As brother turns against brother in the bloodbath of the Civil War, two young women sacrifice everything but their friendship. Susanna Ashford is the Southerner, living on a plantation surrounded by scarred and blood-soaked battlefields. Cora Poole is the Northerner, on an isolated Maine island, her beloved husband fighting for the Confederacy. Through the letters the two women exchange, they speak of the ordeal of a familiar world torn apart by tragedy. And yet their unique friendship will help mend the fabric of a ravaged nation.

The two women write about books and art, about loss and longing, about their future and the future of their country. About love. About being a woman in nineteenth-century America. About the triumphant resilience of the human spirit.

Their voices and their stories are delineated in indomitable prose by an award-winning writer who captures in intimate detail a singular moment in time. In Homeland, Barbara Hambly takes readers on a unique odyssey across a landscape treacherous with hardship and hatred. She paints a passionate masterpiece of a friendship that not only transforms our understanding of the most heart-wrenching era of American history but celebrates the power of women to change their world.
Visit Barbara Hambly's website and blog.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Write These Laws on Your Children"

New from Beacon Press: Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling by Robert Kunzman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A compelling look at conservative Christian homeschooling families—and the worldview that could radically alter American political and intellectual life

Homeschooling is a large and growing phenomenon in American society-between 1999 and 2007 it grew at twelve times the rate of public school enrollments, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Current estimates suggest that about two million kids are homeschooled, but information about this booming population is terribly incomplete. Nearly a fourth of states don't even require parents to notify authorities if they homeschool their children, much less offer any sort of verification that they are doing so.

Of all the diverse groups of homeschooling families in the United States, conservative Christians are the largest subset, and it is this group that most influences public perception of and rhetoric about this movement. In Write These Laws on Your Children, Robert Kunzman uses his unprecedented access to six conservative Christian homeschooling families to explore this elusive world, from the day-to-day lives of its adherents to its broader aspirations to transform American culture and politics. Drawing from hundreds of hours of interviews and observations of parents and children, their churches, movement leaders, and related activities, Kunzman offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of the fastest-growing education movements of the last twenty years.

With Kunzman we visit homeschoolers in urban Los Angeles, central Vermont, rural Tennessee, northwest Indiana, and central Oregon. The families we meet range in size from one child to ten, and include parents who are professional teachers with advanced degrees as well as those who never finished high school. Their reasons for homeschooling are as varied as their families, and Kunzman takes on the invaluable task of showing us what their homeschooling experiences look like firsthand, what their political and religious beliefs are, and what their kids learn. This extraordinary access allows us to see conservative Christian homeschooling families not only as part of a larger political phenomenon-which is how they're usually discussed-but also as unique entities with fascinating stories to tell.

The growing popularity of homeschooling raises important questions about the value of ethical diversity, what it means to think for oneself, how we prepare our young people to be democratic citizens, and what role (if any) the state should have in the education of children. Beyond competing visions about the proper aims of education, Kunzman shows, lies a complicated relationship between faith, freedom, and citizenship.

"Criminal Karma"

New from Ballantine Books: Criminal Karma by Steven M. Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:

With Criminal Paradise, his gritty, satirical take on the criminal underworld and the society it preys on, Steven M. Thomas earned comparison to such masters as Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. Now Thomas has devised a new adventure for his charismatic hero, the small-time crook Robert Rivers, who has dreams of making the big score and the brains to pull it off–if only his partner, Reggie, wouldn’t keep getting in the way.

Indeed, Rivers is back and the stakes are high: He’s on the trail of a diamond necklace worth a small fortune. The necklace belongs to beautiful Southern California socialite Evelyn Evermore, but Rivers has a foolproof plan to remedy that. Unfortunately, the plan is not Reggie-proof, and when the dust clears, the necklace is gone and the cops are in hot pursuit.

But when Rivers learns that Evelyn is mixed up with a Venice Beach spiritual guru known as Baba Raba, the necklace seems to be within reach once more. Only the deeper Rivers digs, the more it appears that Baba Raba is a dangerous fraud intent on the same prize Rivers is pursuing. Worse, Rivers finds himself developing a soft spot for Evelyn, who isn’t the shallow socialite she seems to be.

Soon Rivers and Reggie are barreling headlong into the not-so-harmonious heart of a Southern California crime cabal–an adventure full of safecracking, gunslinging, seduction, treachery, family drama, and even a touch of romance.

With Criminal Karma, Steven M. Thomas has written a smart and sexy crime thriller that more than meets the promise of his acclaimed debut.
Visit Steven M. Thomas' website.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"L.A. Noir"

New from Harmony Books: L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City by John Buntin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Other cities have histories. Los Angeles has legends.

Midcentury Los Angeles. A city sold to the world as "the white spot of America," a land of sunshine and orange groves, wholesome Midwestern values and Hollywood stars, protected by the world’s most famous police force, the Dragnet-era LAPD. Behind this public image lies a hidden world of "pleasure girls" and crooked cops, ruthless newspaper tycoons, corrupt politicians, and East Coast gangsters on the make. Into this underworld came two men–one L.A.’s most notorious gangster, the other its most famous police chief–each prepared to battle the other for the soul of the city.

Former street thug turned featherweight boxer Mickey Cohen left the ring for the rackets, first as mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel’s enforcer, then as his protégé. A fastidious dresser and unrepentant killer, the diminutive Cohen was Hollywood’s favorite gangster–and L.A.’s preeminent underworld boss. Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, and Sammy Davis Jr. palled around with him; TV journalist Mike Wallace wanted his stories; evangelist Billy Graham sought his soul.

William H. Parker was the proud son of a pioneering law-enforcement family from the fabled frontier town of Deadwood. As a rookie patrolman in the Roaring Twenties, he discovered that L.A. was ruled by a shadowy "Combination"–a triumvirate of tycoons, politicians, and underworld figures where alliances were shifting, loyalties uncertain, and politics were practiced with shotguns and dynamite. Parker’s life mission became to topple it–and to create a police force that would never answer to elected officials again.

These two men, one morally unflinching, the other unflinchingly immoral, would soon come head-to-head in a struggle to control the city–a struggle that echoes unforgettably through the fiction of Raymond Chandler and movies such as The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and L.A. Confidential.

For more than three decades, from Prohibition through the Watts Riots, the battle between the underworld and the police played out amid the nightclubs of the Sunset Strip and the mansions of Beverly Hills, from the gritty streets of Boyle Heights to the manicured lawns of Brentwood, intersecting in the process with the agendas and ambitions of J. Edgar Hoover, Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X. The outcome of this decades-long entanglement shaped modern American policing–for better and for worse–and helped create the Los Angeles we know today.

A fascinating examination of Los Angeles’s underbelly, the Mob, and America’s most admired–and reviled–police department, L.A. Noir is an enlightening, entertaining, and richly detailed narrative about the city originally known as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles, "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels."
Visit John Buntin's website.

"The Healing of America"

New from Penguin: The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bestselling author T. R. Reid guides a whirlwind tour of successful health care systems worldwide, revealing possible paths toward U.S. reform.

In The Healing of America, New York Times bestselling author T. R. Reid shows how all the other industrialized democracies have achieved something the United States can’t seem to do: provide health care for everybody at a reasonable cost.

In his global quest to find a possible prescription, Reid visits wealthy, free market, industrialized democracies like our own—including France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and Canada—where he finds inspiration in example. Reid shares evidence from doctors, government officials, health care experts, and patients the world over, finding that foreign health care systems give everybody quality care at an affordable cost. And that dreaded monster “socialized medicine” turns out to be a myth. Many developed countries provide universal coverage with private doctors, private hospitals, and private insurance.

In addition to long-established systems, Reid also studies countries that have carried out major health care reform. The first question facing these countries—and the United States, for that matter—is an ethical issue: Is health care a human right? Most countries have already answered with a resolute yes, leaving the United States in the murky moral backwater with nations we typically think of as far less just than our own.

The Healing of America lays bare the moral question at the heart of our troubled system, dissecting the misleading rhetoric surrounding the health care debate. Reid sees problems elsewhere, too: He finds poorly paid doctors in Japan, endless lines in Canada, mistreated patients in Britain, spartan facilities in France. Still, all the other rich countries operate at a lower cost, produce better health statistics, and cover everybody. In the end, The Healing of America is a good news book: It finds models around the world that Americans can borrow to guarantee health care for everybody who needs it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


New from Putnam: Remedies by Kate Ledger.

About the book, from the publisher:

A captivating new voice in women’s fiction delves into the haunted past of a physician’s seemingly perfect marriage.

Simon and Emily Bear look like a couple that has it all. Simon is a respected doctor. His wife, Emily, shines as a partner in a premier public relations firm. But their marriage is scarred by hidden wounds. Even as Simon tends his patients’ ills, and Emily spins away her clients’ mistakes, they can’t seem to do the same for themselves or their relationship.

Simon becomes convinced he’s discovered a cure for chronic pain, a finding that could become a medical breakthrough, yet he is oblivious to the pain that he causes at home. Emily, struggling to move beyond the devastating loss she and Simon suffered fifteen years earlier, realizes she hasn’t felt anything for a long time—that is, until a lover from her past resurfaces and forces her to examine her marriage anew.

In a debut novel on par with today’s top women writers, Remedies explores the complicated facets of pain, in the nerves of the body and the longings of the heart. Depicting modern-day marriage with a razor-sharp eye, Remedies is about what it takes, as an individual and as a couple, to recover from profound loss.
Visit Kate Ledger's website.


New from Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers: Meridian by Amber Kizer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.
Visit Amber Kizer's website.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


New from Tor Books: Elfland by Freda Warrington.

About the book, from the publisher:

Elfland is an intimate, sensual novel of people—both human and Aetherial—caught between duty and desire. It’s a story of families, and of Rose Fox, a woman born to magic but tormented by her place in her adopted world.

Led by Auberon Fox, a group of Aetherials—call them the Fair Folk, if you will—live among us, indistinguishable from humans. Every seven years, on the Night of the Summer Stars, Lawrence Wilder, the Gatekeeper, throws open all gates to the Other World. But this time, something has gone wrong. Wilder has sealed the gates, warning of a great danger lurking in the realm beyond them. The Aetherial community is outraged. What will become of them, deprived of the home realm from which their essential life force flows?

Rose Fox and Sam Wilder are drawn to the lands beyond the gates, even as their families feud over Lawrence’s refusal to do his duty. Struggling with their own too-human urges, they discover hidden truths that draw them together in a forbidden alliance. Only by breaching the dreaded gates and daring the danger beyond can they confront that which they fear most— their otherness—and claim their birthright.
Visit Freda Warrington's website.

"In Their Blood"

New from Oceanview Publishing: In Their Blood by Sharon Potts.

About the book, from the publisher:

Born into a life of privilege, Jeremy Stroeb loves freedom, loathes responsibility, and drops out of college to start backpacking across Europe. But this free-spirited drifter crashes back to brutal reality when his parents, Rachel and Daniel Stroeb, are murdered in their palatial home on Miami Beach.

When he returns to Miami, Jeremy assumes guardianship of his teenage sister Elise, who is traumatized and convinced the killer will be back for her.

With steely, urgent resolve, Jeremy vows to find out what really happened to Rachel Stroeb, the respected CPA, and Daniel Stroeb, the controversial professor. Determined to get on the inside of his parents’ lives, Jeremy takes a job at the accounting firm where his mother worked, and enrolls at the University where his father taught.

But too many details don’t add up. With mounting certainty that his parents were anything but the people he thought they were, Jeremy must face the toughest questions of all. Who were Rachel and Daniel Stroeb? And when will the killer be back for the next of kin?
Read the prologue to In Their Blood, and learn more about the book and author at Sharon Potts' website.

My Book, The Movie: In Their Blood.

Friday, August 14, 2009


New from Signet/Eclipse: Skykeepers by Jessica Andersen.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this sexy series based around the Mayan doomsday prophecy, a group of magic-wielding warrior heroes called the Nightkeepers are ready to fight the demon creatures of the underworld to prevent annihilation...

When prominent Mayanist Ambrose Ledbetter goes missing, his daughter Sasha tracks his remains down to an ancient temple. Before she can recover from the shock, she is kidnapped. Slick and charming recruit Michael Stone rescues Sasha from her imprisonment and feels an instant attraction. But he doesn't dare get involved, with the threat of his dark side growing stronger and the powers of sorcery on the rise. Both Michael and Sasha will discover a new passion together and one they have to admit to in order to change their worlds...
Visit Jessica Andersen's website.

"Breathing Water"

New from William Morrow: Breathing Water by Timothy Hallinan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Behind every great fortune is a great crime...

For American ex-pat writer Poke Rafferty, a late-night poker game delivers an unexpected prize: an "opportunity" to write the biography of Khun Pan, a flamboyant, vulgar, self-made billionaire with a criminal past and far-reaching political ambitions. The win seems like a stroke of luck, but as with so many things in vibrant, seductive, contradictory Bangkok—a city of innocence and evil, power and poverty—the allure of appearances masks something much darker. Within a few hours of folding his cards, Rafferty, his wife, Rose, beloved ­adopted daughter, Miaow, and best friend, Arthit, an honest Bangkok cop, have become pawns in a political struggle among some of Thailand's richest, most powerful, and most ruthless people.

A hero to the poor and dispossessed, Pan is like a bone in the throats of the beautiful, sophisticated "good" people who own and control every facet of Thailand and want more. There are many who would prefer that a book, especially a sympathetic book, stay unwritten. And there are others who want to expose Pan's darker secrets, information useful in a preemptive strike against this profligate billionaire who can threaten their hold on power—a situation they will go to murderous lengths to prevent.

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't, Rafferty is breathing water and sinking deeper in a sea of intrigue with each passing hour. The trouble multiplies when a missing young street friend of Miaow's reappears, needing Rafferty's help to protect an innocent village girl trapped in a baby-selling ring. Pushed ever closer to the abyss, Rafferty has one chance to get them all out alive. But to succeed, this foreigner must do the impossible—keep a cool Thai heart.

Set in the Thailand of today's headlines—a nation of unrest, political uncertainty, corruption, and tradition, where the future looks dangerously precarious—Breathing Water is the story of a deadly game in which the stakes are enormous and life is literally cheap. The most compelling Poke Rafferty thriller yet, it is a journey that goes beyond the illusion of order and stability into a world where a wrong turn can lead to chaos, and where love and courage may not be enough to hold back the darkness.
Visit Timothy Hallinan's website and blog.

Hallinan has lived off and on in Southeast Asia for more than twenty years. He is the author of eight published novels and one nonfiction work on Charles Dickens. The Fourth Watcher is the second book in the Poke Rafferty novels of Bangkok that began in 2007 with A Nail Through the Heart.

The Page 69 Test: A Nail Through the Heart.

The Page 69 Test: The Fourth Watcher.

My Book, The Movie: The Fourth Watcher.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Undiscovered Gyrl"

New from Vintage: Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett.

About the book, from the publisher:

Only on the internet can you have so many friends and be so lonely.

Beautiful, wild, funny, and lost, Katie Kampenfelt is taking a year off before college to find her passion. Ambitious in her own way, Katie intends to do more than just smoke weed with her boyfriend, Rory, and work at the bookstore. She plans to seduce Dan, a thirty-two-year-old film professor.

Katie chronicles her adventures in an anonymous blog, telling strangers her innermost desires, shames, and thrills. But when Dan stops taking her calls, when her alcoholic father suffers a terrible fall, and when she finds herself drawn into a dangerous new relationship, Katie's fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge.

Sexually frank, often heartbreaking, and bursting with devilish humor, Undiscovered Gyrl is an extraordinarily accomplished novel of identity, voyeurism, and deceit.
Read an excerpt from the novel and visit the Undiscovered Gyrl website.

"John the Revelator"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: John the Revelator by Peter Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:

This is the story of John Devine — stuck in a small town in the eerie landscape of Southeast Ireland, worried over by his single, chain-smoking, bible-quoting mother, Lily, and spied on by the "neighborly" Mrs. Nagle. When Jamey Corboy, a self-styled Rimbaudian boy wonder, arrives in town, John’s life suddenly seems full of possibility. His loneliness dissipates. He is taken up by mischief and discovery, hiding in the world beyond as Lily’s mysterious illness worsens. But Jamey and John’s nose for trouble may be their undoing and soon John will be faced with a terrible moral dilemma. Joining the ranks of the great novels of friendship and betrayal — A Separate Peace, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha HaJohn the Revelator grapples with the pull of the world and the hold of those we love. Suffused with family secrets, eerie imagery, black humor, and hypnotic prose, John the Revelator is a novel to fall in love with and an astounding debut.
Visit the John the Revelator MySpace page.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Spackled and Spooked"

New from Berkley Prime Crime: Spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley.

About the book, from the publisher:

A mystery surfaces behind the walls in the new Do-It-Yourself series.

Home renovation is never easy, especially when the home's inhabitants are dead. Avery's hunky boyfriend and business partner, Derek Ellis, wants to flip a seriously stigmatized ranch house where murder occurred two decades ago. It's a good thing Avery has more faith in her boyfriend than in ghosts.

Their renovations are quickly interrupted when a presence is felt—and it's not happy with the new alterations. Could it really be that the property is possessed? If they're going to flip this house, all the outdated fixtures—including the supernatural squatters—must be disposed of, or else this project will haunt them forever...
Visit Jennie Bentley's website.

"Inspector Ghote's First Case"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Inspector Ghote's First Case by H. R. F. Keating.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Gold and Cartier Diamond Dagger–Winner H. R. F. Keating, the long awaited prequel to the acclaimed series

Newly promoted Inspector Ghote of the Bombay Police is thrilled to be granted casual leave until he takes up his post, as it allows him to spend time with his heavily pregnant wife, who is desperate to watch a showing of Hamlet at the cinema. Their plans are ruined, however, when Sir Rustom Engineer asks Ghote to investigate the suicide of his friend’s wife.

Worried about his wife’s imminent delivery, Ghote nevertheless travels to the home of Mr. Dawkins, where he is unconvinced by the story of Iris Dawkins’s death. Especially when he recognizes the officer in charge, Darrani, who is well known for his closed mindedness. Ghote investigates further, with a Hamlet-esque awareness of how deceiving appearances can really be.

The New York Times called Inspector Ghote “one of the great characters of the contemporary mystery novel” and H. R. F. Keating returns to his well-liked Indian detective with much energy and vision.
Visit H. R. F. Keating's website.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"The Hanging Hill"

New from Random House Books for Young Readers: The Hanging Hill by Chris Grabenstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

How serious is stage fright? At the Hanging Hill Playhouse, it can kill you.

After narrowly escaping a malevolent spirit in The Crossroads, Zack and Judy are hoping to relax during the rehearsals for a show based on Judy’s bestselling children’s books. Little do they know that the director is planning to raise a horde of evil specters from the dead, and to accomplish this, he needs a human sacrifice ... and Zack fits the bill perfectly.

This second book featuring the intrepid Zack and his stepmother, Judy, is full of the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made Chris Grabenstein a fast favorite with young and old alike.
Read about Fred, Grabenstein's dog, who is the inspiration for Zipper, the dog in The Hanging Hill.

Visit Chris Grabenstein's website.

"The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico"

New from Shaye Areheart Books: The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico by Sarah McCoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

It is 1961 and Puerto Rico is trapped in a tug-of-war between those who want to stay connected to the United States and those who are fighting for independence. For eleven-year-old Verdita Ortiz-Santiago, the struggle for independence is a battle fought much closer to home.

Verdita has always been safe and secure in her sleepy mountain town, far from the excitement of the capital city of San Juan or the glittering shores of the United States, where her older cousin lives. She will be a señorita soon, which, as her mother reminds her, means that she will be expected to cook and clean, go to Mass every day, choose arroz con pollo over hamburguesas, and give up her love for Elvis. And yet, as much as Verdita longs to escape this seemingly inevitable future and become a blond American bombshell, she is still a young girl who is scared by late-night stories of the chupacabra, who wishes her mother would still rub her back and sing her a lullaby, and who is both ashamed and exhilarated by her changing body.

Told in luminous prose spanning two years in Verdita’s life, The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico is much more than a story about getting older. In the tradition of The House on Mango Street and Annie John, it is about the struggle to break free from the people who have raised us, and about the difficulties of leaving behind one's homeland for places unknown. At times joyous and at times heartbreaking, Verdita’s story is of a young girl discovering her power and finding the strength to decide what sort of woman she’ll become.
Visit Sarah McCoy's website and blog.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Mighty by Sacrifice"

New from the University of Alabama Press: Mighty by Sacrifice: The Destruction of an American Bomber Squadron, August 29, 1944 by James L. Noles, Sr and James L. Noles Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

The high cost of the Allied air offensive during World War II.

On August 29, 1944, the 15th U.S. Army Air Force unleashed 500 bombers against oil and rail targets throughout central Europe. It dispatched the 20th Squadron of the 2nd Bombardment Group on what they regarded as an easy assignment: attack the Privoser Oil Refinery and associated railroad yards at Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. This "milk run" deteriorated into the bloodiest day in the 2nd Bombardment Group's history: not a single one of the 20th Squadron's B-17 Flying Fortress bombers returned from the mission. Forty airmen were killed, another 46 spent the rest of the war as POWs, and only four, with the aid of the OSS and anti-German partisans, and sympathetic Czech civilians managed to evade capture.

The ninety airmen on the mission to Moravska Ostrava provide a remarkable personal window into the Allies' Combined Bomber Offensive at its height during WWII. In a microcosm, their stories encapsulate how the U.S. Army Air Forces built, trained, and employed one of the mightiest war machines ever seen. Their stories also illustrate, however, the terrible cost in lives demanded by that same machine.
Visit Jim Noles' website.

"Devil's Trill"

New from Minotaur Book: Devil's Trill by Gerald Elias.

About the book, from the publisher:

From concert violinist Gerald Elias comes this debut set in the classical music world about the theft of a priceless violin.

Daniel Jacobus is a blind, reclusive, crotchety violin teacher living in self-imposed exile in rural New England. He spends his time chain-smoking, listening to old LPs, and occasionally taking on new students, whom he berates in the hope that they will flee.

Jacobus is drawn back into the world he left behind when he decides to attend The Grimsley Competition at Carnegie Hall. The young winner of this competition is granted the honor of playing the Piccolino Stradivarius, a uniquely dazzling three-quarter-size violin that has brought misfortune to all who possessed it over the centuries. But the violin is stolen before the winner of the competition has a chance to play it, and Jacobus is the primary suspect.

With the help of his friend and former musical partner, Nathaniel Williams, his new student, Yumi Shinagawa, and several quirky sidekicks, Jacobus sets out to prove his innocence and find the stolen Piccolino Strad. Will he be successful? The quest takes him through the halls of wealth and culture, across continents to Japan, and leads him to a…murder.

Devil’s Trill gives the reader a peek into the world of classical music, with its backstabbing teachers and performers, venal patrons, and shady violin dealers. It is the remarkable beginning of a wonderful new series.
Visit Gerald Elias' website.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Big Machine"

New from Spiegel & Grau: Big Machine by Victor LaValle.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fiendishly imaginative comic novel about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.

Ricky Rice was as good as invisible: a middling hustler, recovering dope fiend, and traumatized suicide cult survivor running out the string of his life as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York. Until one day a letter appears, summoning him to the frozen woods of Vermont. There, Ricky is inducted into a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom had at some point in their wasted lives heard The Voice: a mysterious murmur on the wind, a disembodied shout, or a whisper in an empty room that may or may not be from God.

Evoking the disorienting wonder of writers like Haruki Murakami and Kevin Brockmeier, but driven by Victor LaValle’s perfectly pitched comic sensibility Big Machine is a mind-rattling literary adventure about sex, race, and the eternal struggle between faith and doubt.
Read an excerpt from Big Machine.

"I'm So Happy for You"

New from Back Bay Books: I'm So Happy for You by Lucinda Rosenfeld.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if your best friend, whom you've always counted on to flounder in life and love (making your own modest accomplishments look not so bad), suddenly starts to surpass you in every way?

Wendy's best friend, Daphne, has always been dependably prone to catastrophe. And Wendy has always been there to help. If Daphne veers from suicidal to madly in love, Wendy offers encouragement. But when Daphne is suddenly engaged, pregnant, and decorating a fabulous town house in no time at all, Wendy is...not so happy for her. Caught between wanting to be the best friend she prides herself on being and crippling jealousy of flighty Daphne, Wendy takes things to the extreme, waging a full-scale attack on her best friend-all the while wearing her best, I'm-so-happy-for-you smile-and ends up in way over her head.

Rosenfeld has a knack for exposing the not-always-pretty side of being best friends--in writing that is glittering and diamond-sharp. I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU is a smart, darkly humorous, and uncannily dead-on novel about female friendship.
Visit Lucinda Rosenfeld's website.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Blood Atonement"

New from Minotaur Books: Blood Atonement by Dan Waddell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Genealogist Nigel Barnes’s second case leads him into the dark heart of the Mormon church and a gruesome, century-old secret.

Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster is called to a homicide at the home of a single mother in Queens Park, London. Her throat has been cut from ear to ear and her body dumped in the garden. Her daughter and only child, Naomi, who has just turned fourteen that day, is missing. As the hours tick by, the feeling grows among Foster’s colleagues that this is most likely becoming a double-murder inquiry. With nothing in the present to indicate a motive, Foster decides to delve into the dead woman’s past only to find out she does not have one. He calls on genealogist Nigel Barnes. The trail takes Barnes back to late Victorian England where it abruptly ends with a young couple who came from the United States to England. Nigel’s quest takes him on trip through the violent history of the Mormon church as he and Foster race to solve a shameful, long-kept secret that is about to have bloody repercussions in the present, and for which someone is seeking vengeance.

Dan Waddell delivers another gritty, suspenseful mystery that will keep readers guessing until the last page.
Visit Dan Waddell's website.