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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Finishing September New Titles

Next Saturday, I will start in on October's books but there are still several I want to let you know about before then.

On September 3rd, Oliver Potzsch comes out with The Ludwig Conspiracy. Maybe it's because I have lived in Germany that I am fascinated with this coming thriller. The tale about 'Mad' King Ludwig who built 3 beautiful fairy tale castles in Germany; was declared insane and deposed and then found dead one day later is fairly well known. In this tale, Steven Lukas, a rare book dealer, gets possession of an encoded diary by one of King Ludwig's confidants and discovers that people are willing to kill for it. He and Detective Sara Lengfeld begin a chase to King Ludwig's three castles looking for clues regarding his death. Potzsch is German and this title was originally published in Germany in 2011. It sounds like it might appeal to Dan Brown fans and all those familiar with the Ludwig mystery.

Carla Norton gives us The Edge of Normal also on the 3rd. This is her first novel, she wrote The Perfect Victim back in 1988, a nonfiction work about Colleen Stan who was kidnapped and kept in a box for 23 hours a day for 7 years. This novel is about a similar circumstance. Reeve LeClaire is living a somewhat normal life after escaping from her abductor until her therapists asks her to help a girl who had also been victimized. LeClaire agrees but discovered the girl needs more help than mentoring, she is still being stalked. Reviews say it is VERY suspenseful. John Searles, a very highly respected mystery author, is coming out with a similar book (Others of My King) in October.

Hank Phillipp Ryan gives us the second installment in a series with The Wrong Girl on September 10. She last book and the first in the series, The Other Woman, lifted her to a new level of popularity. This time, newspaper reporter Jane Ryland and Detective Jake Brogan, investigate an adoption agency that appears to be reuniting the birth parents with the wrong children. In addition, the murder of a young mother sends two toddlers to the foster care system but Brogan wonders why there is a cradle in the bedroom and where the baby is that should have been sleeping in it. Extremely well reviewed and from an award winning investigative reporter.

Lastly, Daniel Woodrell, an award winning author, comes out with The Maid's Version on September 3rd. Woodrell is a powerful author and this title is a 'literary historical' which means it is very well written and about something that happened in the past. I was lucky enough to receive an advance reader's copy of this title. The language is very clean and almost stark but in less than 170 pages presents life as it was in 1929 in Missouri and the characters who inhabited this place and time. Woodrell's work contains the story of a dancehall explosion that killed 42 people viewed from the eyes of a sister of one of those killed as she describes it to her grandson, over 30 years later. An affecting story by an authoritative author.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Two Dog Tales and One Extremely Well Reviewed Thriller

As I am sure I have said before, I am a dog person in a major way. Therefore, I can almost guarantee that I will have to talk about new dog books. There are two coming out in September that I am looking forward to reading. In fact, I am reading an advance reader's electronic copy of one of them currently.

Spencer Quinn continues his Chet and Bernie series on September 10th with The Sound and the Furry. I love Chet. The story is told mostly through his eyes and his voice. Quinn's representation of the way a dog thinks is hysterical and in my opinion pretty accurate. Chet is a large dog, big enough to be scary, but with a heart that is bigger than he is. He flunked out of the police dog academy on account of, he vaguely remembers, a cat. So Bernie got a new partner and they formed the Little Detective Agency. Bernie is all knowing and pretty much invincible in Chet's mind. This time they go looking for the brother of a man they help put away in prison on the request of the prisoner. The brother, Ralph, has disappear from his houseboat in the bayou near New Orleans. On their adventure, they realize that this is more than a missing person's case and is one of their most dangerous. Yes, if you are wondering - this IS the one I am reading. Let me give you an idea of how Quinn writes

            "Bernie came closer. "What have you got there, big guy?" I had something? News to me.  Then Duke looked my way and started laughing. There was a lot of laughter in this burg, normally a good thing, but confusing at the moment. Bernie bent down and....what was this? Removed a straw hat ....from my mouth."
As I said, I love Chet.

Susan Wilson is coming out with A Man of His Own on September 24th. Wilson has previously penned two dogs books, One Good Dog and The Dog Who Danced and I have read both of them. I loved the first one and enjoyed the second. I will be reading this one too in hopes it is more like the first. When Rick Stanton goes off to WWII, he and his wife agree to volunteer the dog, Pax, for the Army's K-9 Corps. Rick comes home badly injured. Pax and his human handler in the Army, Keller,  have developed a deep bond. When it is time for Pax to go home to Rick, Keller accompanies him and becomes Rick's paid companion. A story of relationships, both husband and wife and man and dog. I am afraid I will be getting ready to cry with this title. I did with the other two also. The dog takes center stage on this one.

Finally, there has been much talk about John Searles new title. Searles is Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan and has written 2 national best sellers that have been picked up by the movies. On September 17th, he gives us Help for the Haunted. Sylvie Mason's parents help haunted souls find peace. Not a common occupation. She goes with them one night, is left alone in the car and falls asleep. When she wakes up, she hears gunshots and finds her parents dead on the steps of an old church. Sylvie is left in the charge of her older sister who had severed relations with her parents before their death. Sylvie tries to find out what happened to her parents and come to terms with her family's secrets. VERY VERY suspenseful. Hard to put down and hard to forget.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Three August Titles That Interest Me

While looking at the titles that come out in August and September, there are 3 that are coming out in August that are from perhaps less well known authors that sound very interesting. First, I have to admit to being a history major for my undergraduate degree. Therefore, books that take place in the past have an advantage. Sorry, I know that perhaps historical fiction isn't as big as it use to be but....I can't seem to get away from my natural tendencies so here we go (don't worry, not all are historical).

Justin St. Germain comes out with Son of a Gun: A Memoir on August 13th. I am not a big bio or memoir reader but the reviews on this one reach out and touch my heart. St. Germain's mother had been a paratrooper and a strong woman except she was attracted to men who abused her. She was murdered in 2001 supposedly by her fifth husband. Justin was 20 at the time. He graduated from the University of Arizona and was a Wallace Stegner scholar at Stanford. The type of son who would make any mother proud. But he still slept with a loaded rifle under his bed. He forced himself to go back to his childhood and try to find out what had actually happened to his mother and why in hopes of bringing some closure to his life. Not a mystery but a truly touching story of relationships.

JoJo Moyes has developed a niche here in the states. She is a British author who has been popular over there for some time. Now her titles are being released stateside and she is developing a following. The Last Letter From Your Lover and Me Before You, her previous titles, have been popular. On August 20th, she gives us The Girl You Left Behind. A French artist, Edouard, paints a portrait of his wife, Sophie, before leaving for the war in 1916. He is soon captured and imprisoned. Sophie ends up in enemy controlled territory. The commandant of the camp where Edouard is, is entranced with the portrait. Sophie will give up anything to see her husband again. The story moves to 100 years later where the portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his death. Liv develops a relationship with Paul but a battle develops between the two of them over who owns the painting. An emotional story about what you will give up for love.

Also on August 20th, Joyce Maynard comes out with After Her. It is 1979 and a serial killer has started killing women in Marin County, CA. Two sisters, Patty and Rachel, live nearby with their divorced mother. Their father, Anthony Toricelli, is the Marin County detective in charge of the case.When public opinion starts turning against their father, they decide to help him find the killer. The book is based upon a real life serial killer. It is a thriller but it is also about obsession, loss and the relationship between fathers and daughters in a splintered family.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Back Again

I've taken over a month off and here I am again. Our fiscal year began again July 1 and for the last month, we haven't done much ordering because we need to close down all our open accounts. Therefore, although I have been looking at books coming out, they might not have been in the catalog and besides, I needed  some time for my brain to reset as well. This week though, I am going to catch you up on all the big names coming out with books in September so if you haven't, you can get your name on the list.

First off is one that comes out August 27th which isn't September I know but it is close. Diane Mott Davidson brings us a new Goldy Schulz title, The Whole Enchilada. One of her friends drops dead upon leaving a function that Goldy catered and forensics discovered that what she ate had been poisoned.

On September 3rd, Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry comes out with another Fargo adventure, The Mayan Secrets. Sam and Remi Fargo have made a discovery of a skeleton clutching a pot that has a book inside about the Mayan culture in Mexico and people are killing to kill for it.

Also on the 3rd, Lee Child's new Reacher novel, Never Go Back. Reacher is back in Virgina and finds himself drafted back into the Army and accused of a 16 year old homicide.

On September 10th, Michael Brandman continues Parker's Jesse Stone series with Robert B. Parker's Damned If You Do.  Stone finds the body of a young unidentified woman in a dilapidated hotel on the beach and is caught in the middle of a turf battle between two pimps.

Also on the 10th, Sue Grafton's next alphabet letter, W is for Wasted. A dead body on the beach clutching Kinsey Milhone's name and address lead her on a dangerous path and without her knowledge, Kinsey is seriously compromised.

The last two weeks in September are very big dates. On the 17th, Terry McMillan comes out with her next title, Who Asked You? Betty Jean's daughter vanishes after leaving her two young sons with her mother and they could be the straw that breaks the camels back. Betty Jean is already dealing with an ailing husband, an adult son who just got paroled, two crazy sisters and her job as a hotel maid. Is it too much for her to bear?

Also on the 17th, Catherine Coulter is starting a new series that will be co-authored by J.T. Ellison and features American born, British raised Nicholas Drummond. Drummond's partner is killed while guarding a diamond at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.Drummond is reassigned to New York to help with the investigation and runs into Sherlock and Savich.

Nicholas Sparks also has a title on the 17th, The Longest Ride. Two couples distant from each other by years as well as space converge in this book that only Nicholas Sparks could pen. Ira, a 91 year old is involved in a car crash and survives by talking to his imagined image of his dead wife. Sophia Danko, a Wake Forest senior, falls for Luke, a rodeo cowboy. How will they intersect and how much will you cry?

Finally, the titles that arrive on the September 24th are:
Sandra Brown's Deadline has war-weary journalist Dawson Scott returning to investigate cases that might end up killing him.
Sharyn McCrumb continues with another Ballad Novel, King's Mountain. This is the first Ballad Novel that takes place during the American Revolution and involves the Battle of King's Mountain (a real historical battle) and John Sevier who became the first governor of Tennessee. McCrumb's love of the Blue Ridge always comes through in her writing.
Lastly and perhaps biggest to some, Stephen King returns with his sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. King's fanatics have been waiting for this one for a while as it features a middle aged Danny Torrance, the child protagonist in The Shining.