Best Sellers

Friday, September 15, 2017

October Goodies

Tomorrow is the Children's Book Festival. If you have young children, it will be the place to be. The library will still be open for other activities though so if you want to come and pick up a book, or dvd, or whatever - we will be here for you. Now on with more title.

Donna Andrews has How the Finch Stole Christmas! coming out on October 24. This is the 22nd in the Meg Langslow series. This time, her husband is putting on a big production of The Christmas Carol. The person who is going to play Scrooge, brings lots of people with him - including perhaps a murderer. For cozy readers who love a touch of humor, this is for them.

Carolyn Hart offers her eighth Bailey Ruth title, Ghosts on the Case, on October 31. Bailey by the way is a ghost Another humorous cozy. Here Bailey is sent to help Susan Gilbert whose sister has been kidnapped. The kidnappers are insisting that she get the ransom from her bosses safe. More murders ensue. Can a ghost really solve murders?

Wiley Cash has The Last Ballad coming out on October 3. This is based on the life of Ella May Wiggins who was murdered in 1929 around Gastonia, NC for urging people to join a union. Here her story is told by one of her daughters. Reviewers have all commented on the beautifully written story and highly recommend it.

Roddy Doyle's Smile will be published on October 17 in the USA. Doyle is a Booker Prize winner who routinely writes about everyday life in Dublin with an edge of bitter humor. Here, a man Victor Forde, on his own for the first time in years, is drinking his daily draft at the local tavern when a man comes up and starts a conversation. He say they went to school together and starts to remind Victor of all the things he would rather forget.

Diane Chamberlain has The Stolen Marriage coming out on October 3. This is historical fiction, taking place in the early 1940's in Hickory, NC. Tess DeMello was from 'Little Italy' in Baltimore, MD. She had been engaged to the boy next door when she abruptly calls off the engagement and marries Henry Kraft, an important man in Hickory. When they arrive in Hickory, Tess can feel the distrust of the community. When children catch polio, the community get together and build a polio hospital. Tess, trained as a nurse, works at the hospital. But what is up with her new husband who is distant and often missing at night. Reviewers have uniformly praised the work.

On October 10, for Fantasy lovers, Gardner Dozois has edited The Book of Swords. These are short stories from some of the greatest fantasy authors of today. George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Elizabeth Bear, Garth Nix, C.J Cherryh and others have all submitted one. All fantasy lovers will want to see what this offers.

OK, there you go. Six pretty diverse offerings for you to think about. Next week will be time for a more thoughtful entry I hope. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

More September Thrillers and Mysteries

Liv Constantine has The Last Mrs. Parrish coming out on Oct 17.  This is a debut psychological suspense novel that was actually written by two sisters using skype to communicate! It is the tale of a 'golden' couple - handsome, wealthy, etc - and the woman who is obsessed and envious of the wife. She insinuates herself into their life and the result is....well - you have to read it to find out. Very well reviewed. Here are some of the things said "From the very first page, I was totally engrossed in this story....and it didn't let up one bit until the very end." and "This book gripped in a way that revitalized my love for reading." Pretty good, huh?

Felix Francis has Pulse coming out also on October 17. Felix wrote several with his father before his death and now is taking his own slant while still dealing with racing.mysteries. Dick Francis was, of course, an ex-jockey so his mysteries tended to deal with horse racing. Felix however spent 17 years as a physics teacher. Quite a difference. Pulse deals with a well dressed man found unconscious at a race track. He is rushed to the hospital where the examining physician can find a reason for his state. He dies and she becomes obsessed with finding out who he was. Unfortunately, this leads to trouble and danger.

John Lawton has Friends and Traitors coming out on October 3. This is the eighth in the Inspector Troy series. This one takes place in 1958 and Troy is touring the Continent when he meets an old friend, (an a real life figure) Guy Burgess, who was one of the people accused of spying on Britain for Russia along with Kim Philby. Burgess expresses his wish to return to Britain. Not everyone is happy with that idea and chaos is the result. If you like historical suspense, this one is for you.

Anna Snoekstra has Little Secrets coming out on October 17. This is Snoekstra second book after Only Daughter. It focuses on a small dying country town in Australia. Someone is leaving porcelain dolls at houses where little girls who look exactly like the dolls live. Rumors start flying and a young woman trying desperately to become a journalist and leave town decides to take advantage of the situation. She interviews town people who supply her with stories and accusations. Reviewers say this has a great sense of place and is more than a little 'noir'.

Tasha Alexander has Death in St. Petersburg coming out on October 10. This is the 12th in the Lady Emily series. Lady Emily is in St. Petersburg with her husband when the bloody body of a ballerina is found in the snow. When the ballerina's lover comes begging Lady Emily for help, how can she refuse. What lies behind this death? What could the motive have been? Leave it to Lady Emily to find out.

Lastly, M.C. Beaton has The Witches' Tree coming out on October 5. It is the 29th in the Agatha Raisin series. Agatha takes on the mystery when an elderly spinster from a neighboring town is found hanging from a tree. Agatha is up against something larger than she first thinks when additional murders take place and even her life is in danger.

OK - there you go. Some titles to think about. Hope there is something that interests you.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

October Big Names

OOOOOHHHHH. There are lots of goodies this month. There must be something for everyone I bet. Take a look at the big names with an entry in October.

Dan Brown has Origins coming out on Oct 3. It is the fifth in the Robert Langdon series. Some complain that his work has become repetitive. Maybe it has but it can still be exciting. Here Langdon again runs around Europe with a beautiful companion trying to discover a secret. Sound familiar?

Michael Connelly has Two Kinds of Truth coming out on Oct 31. Harry Bosch lovers get ready - this is the 22nd in the series. Here Bosch is still a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department. He is pulled into a murder case where a druggist has been found dead. While this is happening, an old case from him LAPD years has reared it's ugly head. He did not leave the LAPD on the best terms so administration up there is not anxious to defend him when a killer in prison says Harry framed him and he has proof. How do these two things combine? Read and find out.

John Grisham has The Rooster Bar coming out on October 24. Three friends in their last year of law school realize they have been duped. They took out gigantic student loans to get a law degree from a mediocre school. Then they find out their school is one of a chain owned by a hedge-fund operator who also owns the bank specializing in their student loans. Do they have any way to recover some of their money? We will find out.

Iris Johansen has Mind Game  coming out on October 24. This is the 22nd in the Eve Duncan series although it is mostly about her adopted daughter Jane MacGuire. Jane returns to Scotland to continue hunting for treasure and starts having reoccurring dreams of a girl in trouble. In addition, Seth Caleb is back in her life and he is in trouble. This could be a new focus for this series. Johansen never seems to write a bad one.

John Sandford has Deep Freeze coming out on October 17. This is the tenth in the Virgil Flowers series. Flowers returns to Trippton, Minnesota at the request of a teacher. Within the last year, three women from the same high school class have been killed. That class is having a mid-winter reunion and the teacher is afraid there will be more murders. Flowers comes to investigate things that happened of the past 20 years. There is a lot.

Stuart Woods has Quick and Dirty coming out on October 24. Gosh, Stone Barrington has been around forever. This is the 43rd in his series. Sloan takes on as a client a beautiful woman. This pulls him into the exclusive world of art. It seems high class in NYC and the Hamptons but just underneath are the people who are always looking to make a buck. People are willing to kills for some things.

OK - these are the really big names for this month. Next week, we look at some of the others.

Friday, August 25, 2017

September Big Names - Or At Least In My Opinion

Since I missed 2 weeks, I am going to try to do all the big names this week. Next week will start October. Some of these have been big names in the past and perhaps are not quite as popular today but....they are worth mentioning in my opinion. I have very fond memories of reading them. See if you can identify which ones I am talking about.

I am starting with my favorite author, Harlan Coben. Don't Let Go is coming out on September 26. Napoleon 'Nap' Dumas is a New Jersey police detective. 15 years ago, his twin brother and the brother's girlfriend were found dead on the railroad tracks and Nap's girlfriend had disappeared. 15 years later, her fingerprints were found at a murder scene.Can Nap find her and finally get some answers about his brother's death? What do you think.

Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell have The Romanov Ransom coming out on September 12. This is the ninth in the Fargo series. Here, Sam and Remi Fargo search for a Romanov fortune that was supposed to secure the safety of the Czar and his family. The search brings them into contact with a dangerous Neo-Nazi organization that is trying to bring the Fourth Reich into power.

Kyle Mills continues Vince Flynn's work with the sixteenth in the Mitch Rapp series. Enemy of the State comes out on September 5. Rapp is taking some rest time trying to heal after his last mission when the President calls on him to go very deep undercover. It has been discovered that a Saudi Prince is funneling money into ISIS while maneuvering himself to take over when the current king dies. In order to undertake this mission, Rapp quits the CIA and when it goes awry and his picture is taken, he becomes a high value target for both the Saudi's and the USA.

James Patterson and James O. Born have Haunted: A Detective Michael Bennett Thriller coming out on September 18. This is the tenth in the Bennett series. Detective Bennett takes his family and goes on vacation to a small town in the Maine woods. Unfortunately, crimes happen everywhere and he gets pulled into a case where town children are disappearing and then bodies are found. Things that look idyllic aren't always what they appear.

J.D. Robb has Secrets In Death, the 45th in the series, coming out on September 5.  When Larinda Mars, a professional gossip and blackmailer is killed right under Eve Dallas' nose, she must investigate. There are many suspects and Dallas has to dive into their secrets. She finds out more than she wanted to know.

Ken Follett has the third in the Kingsbridge series, A Column of Fire, coming out on September 12. I love Follett and The Pillars of the Earth (the first in the series) may be my favorite book in the genre ever. You do not have to read this as a series as each title takes place hundreds of years after the preceding one. Here, the main character, Ned Willard, becomes a spy for Princess Elizabeth as she becomes queen and has to fight Mary Queen of Scots. Reviewers have loved it. Two quotes from different reviewers are: "What Ken Follett does effortlessly is weave a wonderful story in and around with fact and fiction." and "Capturing the thrill and drama of religious and politically changing times in England and it's neighbors, Ken Follett writes a masterful telling of how it all could of been."

Jan Karon has To Be Where You Are, the twelfth in the Mitford series, coming out on September 12. We get reacquainted with Father Tim and Cynthia and also Dooley and Lace. The community may be idealized but they face real life problems. Come hang out in Mitford.

Lastly, Sharyn McCrumb has The Unquiet Grave coming out on September 12. I've always like McCrumb's books. Maybe it is because I went to school in the mountains in Virginia and it has that kind of flavor. Here, she has thoroughly researched the story of the Greenbrier Ghost. The story is told from two points of view. One is more than 30 years after the event by the first black attorney in West Virginia while an inpatient at an asylum after trying to committee suicide. The second is the mother of the daughter who was murdered. The daughter had been married to a man the mother did not approve of and several months later she was informed that her daughter had died in a fall. The mother said that her daughter's ghost has appeared to her and told her that she had been murdered. When the officials did an autopsy, they discovered the mother was right! In many ways, a true crime story of the late 1800's.

OK - that covers most of the ones that I consider 'big' names. Hope there is something there for you.

Friday, August 18, 2017

September LibraryReads

First let me apologize for missing 2 weeks. I had the horrible stomach bug that is going around and it took me a while to recover. However, the LibraryReads came out and although there are some - well - quirky ones on the list, I need to let you know about the titles chosen for September.

First place was Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. The Richardson's are respected members of the Shaker Heights, Ohio community. Elena, the wife, is an avid planner and rule follower. Her younger daughter, Izzy, is the brunt of teasing and never seems to make her mother happy. Into the community come Mia and her daughter Pearl. Mia is an artist and moves every few months to find inspiration. Pearl envies the Richardson's life style but all is not perfect in the Richardson family. Ng is able to have us really look at the individuals inside the family. A rewarding mother/daughter read that is compared to Jodi Piccoult.

And the rest:

Sourdough by Robin Sloan. One of the quirky ones. Sloan's first title was Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. The tone in this one is the same but the topic and plot is different. Here, Lois Clary is a software engineer in the near future San Francisco. She spends all day coding and collapses by herself at night. That is, until a neighborhood restaurant quickly closes and the brothers that ran it leave her with their sourdough started. The door to underground San Fran is opened. One reviewer called it 'delightful'.

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence. OK - first of all, this list is chosen by librarians or people that work in libraries so....the subtitle will tell you why this one made the list - it is A Librarian's Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to the Books in Her Life. A must read for all book lovers.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. Cashore is known for writing fantasy for young adults. This one is different. Quirky and different. Cashore, herself, says she started writing this title as a choose your own adventure type of story. Jane, is mourning the loss of her Aunt Magnolia - the person that raised her - when Kiran Thrash comes and asks her to go with her to her family's estate, Tu Reviens. Here, the story takes five different courses and Jane decides what choice to take. Those who like different and quirky might just find this is the book for them.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford. This title tells the story of the struggles of an abandoned part Chines young boy and is told in 2 time periods. One is the 1909 World's Fair where a 12 year old charity student at a boarding school is raffled off as the prize and ends up as the house boy at a high-class brothel. The other is the 1962 Worlds Fair where the man who had been that boy is trying to help his wife retain some of her memories.  Not just a sweet love story but one reviewer has said "One of the first really good historical fiction reads of 2017, the characters that Mr. Ford creates are so well developed, they are unique and yet believable.

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld. Before I even tell you anything about the plot, I want to cite some of the reviewers for this extraordinary work. One said"A wonderful, extraordinary book. The author speaks from her heart on every page." Another said it is "written with such ethereal grace it's like reading a holy relic but with subject matter so perverse and dark I find myself ricocheting from joy to sheer terror at the story being told." Lastly, one said although it addresses "themes of home, child abuse, memory, survival, fear of intimacy, and the necessity of stories, The Child Finder is absolutely glorious." High praise all around. Naomi Cottle is an investigator that specializes in finding missing children. Part of the reason she is so good at it is that she was a missing child herself and can remember nothing of the time before she was found. She takes the case of Madison Culver who disappeared three years before while her family was in the forest in the Pacific Northwest looking for a Christmas tree to cut down. What a story!!!!

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones. This one is dystopian fiction and it is one I am not going to read. Why you ask???? Because the US has become infested with disease bearing ticks!!!! I hate ticks! OK - it may be because I have dogs and I get the willies when I find a tick on them but....they really are blood suckers. OK - so most of society lives behind a scorched line where ticks can not venture. Those who find that limiting, go beyond the line and leave themselves open to those ticks. There is more than the ticks out there. Which is the right side of the line?

Hanna Who Fell From The Sky by Christopher Meades. Truthfully, I am not sure what to say about this one. Hanna is approaching her 18th birthday in a polygamist community and on her birthday she is to marry a man her father's age who already has 4 wives. She meets Daniel, a young man in church and he opens her eyes to other possibilities. Then her mother tells her a secret. Should Hanna leave the life she has always known and live her own life on her own?

Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller. This novel has been authorized by the Little House estate. It retells the story from the point of view of Laura Ingalls' mother, Caroline from when she and her husband Charles left their home and family with their two young girls and ventured forth to make a life for themselves in Kansas.

Lastly, George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl. This is the story of two very different people who meet and get married. Lizzie is depressed and unsatisfied even before the marriage. George is happy and loves Lizzie completely. 10 years into the marriage, a long held secret of Lizzie's is revealed and she must make a decision. Can she move toward happiness?

OK - there you go. Some quirkiness for sure. Hope that is something that sounds interesting to you.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Last For August

July is almost over so it is the last entry for August titles. And yes - there still are more that are interesting so I will get started.

Carla Neggers has her seventh Sharpe and Donovan title coming out on August 29, Thief's Mark. This series reminds me a little of the Catherine Coulter FBI series. Here Sharpe and Donovan are on their honeymoon in Ireland when they find out that the home of Emma's grandfather has had a break-in and an old acquaintance, Oliver York - an expert in Celtic mythology and a well known art thief. When Oliver is discovered missing with a dead body in his apartment - the case begins.

Next Hollie Overton has The Walls coming out on August 8. This is Overton's second book after Baby Doll. In this title, Kristy Tucker is a single mom who works for Public Relations with the Texas Department of Corrections. She becomes involved and eventually marries her son's martial arts instructor and discovers she made a big mistake. Now she has to decide whether to stay in an abusive marriage or murder him. Seems like there ought to be another choice.

T. Parker Jefferson has The Room of White Fire coming out on August 22. Parker is an award winning thriller author who has yet to make it to the 'A list' but perhaps he will make it this time. Roland Ford is a private investigator who is very good at his job but has hidden problems. He is asked to track down a young traumatized veteran, Clay Hickman, who as escaped from a mental institution. But why is he getting different stories from people and why are so many anxious to have him found?

Erica Spindler has The Other Girl coming out on August 22 also. Spindler writes fast paced, dramatic, psychological suspense with strong female characters and usually a dark atmosphere. Here, Miranda Rader has become an Officer in the Hammond, LA police department. She has covered up an incident in her past until the policeman who took her statement that night is found dead AND her fingerprints are at the scene. Her co-workers begin to doubt her trustworthiness and she can only rely on herself to find out who is setting her up.

Stephen Baxter has his SciFi title The Massacre of Mankind coming out once again on August 22. This is actually a sequel to H. G. Well's The War of the Worlds. Baxter's title takes place 14 years after Well's work. Earth may have prepared technologically but when the Martian's invade again, they are successful. Walker Jenkins's sister-in-law is organizing one last attempt for survival.

Laurie Gelman gives us something quirky with Class Mom on August 1. This is a debut from Gelman who follows the antics of Jen Dixon, recently settled down after a rather wild youth (and beyond). The PTA president asks her to become the class mother for the Kindergarten class. When she requests 'special' brownies for curriculum night - you know that the protests will begin.

Hopefully, that will give you some more to think about before we start on September titles. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Continuing With August Titles

So - lots of good mysteries and thrillers in August. So many, in fact, that I don't know if I can cover them all this week. I better get started.

Allison Brennan has Shattered coming out on August 22. This is the fourth in the Max Revere series. A friend asks her to help exonerate his wife, who has been charged with their son's murder. There have been 4 boys kidnapped and murders in the same manner over the last 20 years. No one will talk to Max about this case but she thinks if she can solve one of the older ones, she can find the killer in this one. Justin Stanton was the first one killed. His father will help if she works with Justin's aunt, an FBI agent, Lucy Kincaid. They don't trust each other but between Max's research and Lucy's training, they could be successful......if the killer doesn't stop them first.

Paul Cleave has A Killer Harvest coming out on August 1. Cleave comes from New Zealand and writes fast paced; intricately plotted and often gruesome thrillers. This one focuses on Joshua, a teen who was blind but received a corneal transplant. One of the cornea came from his father who was killed in a shootout; the other came from his father's killer who was shot by his father's partner. With the eyes, came memories of things both had seen and done. Then, the killer's partner decides he want revenge. Will Joshua be safe?

Tess Gerritsen has I Know a Secret coming out on August 15. This is the twelfth in the Rizzoli and Isles series. First, a horror film producer is found dead in her bedroom, laying on her bed, holding her eyes. A case that has Rizzoli and Isles baffled. Then a second body is found with three arrows straight to his heart. Someone knows the answer to the questions and that person, is most likely next on the list of the killer. Can Rizzoli and Isles find her before the killer strikes again?

Hart Hanson has The Driver coming out on August 8. Hanson was the creator of the TV series Bones so much was expected for this title. Reviewers seem to think he came through. Michael Skellig is an ex- special forces sergeant and now has his own limo driving firm which employees other veterans. He also hears voices of people he has killed. The voices are not angry but warn him of trouble. When he saves the life of an ex-skateboarding rapper, he also becomes the prime suspect. When other's start to die, the rapper hires him for protection. Who is trying to kill whom?

Jorn Lier Horst was a senior police office on the Norwegian police force. He started writing crime fiction in 2004. Ordeal also comes out on August 8 and is the tenth in the William Wisting series. If you like Norwegian noir and haven't tried Horst, give him a try. He is good at what he does. Here a single mother inherits her hated grandfather's house and opens a basement safe. Here, she finds clues to a long unsolved case. Wisting, in following the clues, finds contradicting evidence for a case where the wrong man is on trial. Neighboring police are not happy with him. It is a question of police procedures or justice? Which will win?

Shari Lapena has A Stranger in the House coming out on August 15. First, we meet Karen who is preparing a meal at home waiting for her husband. Then, when her husband, Tom, comes home, he finds the door unlocked, dinner half prepared and Karen with her car is missing. When the police show up at his door, he is sure he is about to hear the worst but finds his wife is in the hospital after a car wreck and can't remember the accident or the hours before. Is she faking it? There had also been a murder in the vicinity. Is Karen a murderer?

Sean McFate and Bret Witter have Deep Black coming out on August 8. As a former U.S. Army paratrooper and private military contractor working in Burundi, you would have to suspect McFate would write military action thrillers. Your suspicions would be correct. This is the second in the Tom Locke series. If you haven't read the first one, it gave a relatively believable description of the role of military contractors in today's wars. Here, Locke and his team, part of a military contractor's efforts, is in Isis controlled Iraq when a Saudi middleman asks them to find a missing Prince. More is going on than meets the eye. Will Locke's team survive?

OK - that hopefully has one that interests you. Next week there will be more August titles. Enjoy!