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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Last of January Before I Am Off

I am going to finish up January titles before I take off until the new year. Perhaps I can do some reading and come back with some more possibilities for you.

I am going to start out with a strange but delightful book by Emma Hooper. Hooper was written other things (nonfiction, short stories, poetry, etc) but Etta and Otto and Russell and James is her debut novel. It arrives on January 20th. Etta is an 82 year old woman who has begun to forget things. She lives with her husband Otto on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Otto has an old friend who is their next door neighbor, Russell. And James is a talking coyote. See, I told you it was strange. Emma has never seen the ocean and decides to walk the 2000 miles to see it. Oscar stays home and writes her letters he never mails. I found it delightful because it is really about their lives. One review said "This is a beautiful story with threads that weave together past and present as one, not unlike the way Etta experiences time."

This next book I had to buy because ..... well, because of the title and subject matter. Mobile Library by David Whitehouse is also out on January 20th. The story is about 12 year old Bobby Musku. Bobby is bullied at school and abused at home. His mother has left. His best friend is tragically injured. Bobby befriends a bullied neighborhood girl who had special needs. Her mother cleaned and took care of the mobile library. When the mother loses her job and Bobby is badly beaten by his father - they take off across England in the mobile library. A book that makes you redefine the meaning of family and one that stays with you after you close the cover.

OK - one more quirky book and then I will go back to bigger name authors, I promise. Brooke Davis has Lost and Found coming on January 22nd. Davis is an Australian author who wrote a PhD dissertation on grief and this eventually became the result. Basically it is about a 7 year old girl, Millie, whose father died and whose mother abandons her in a department store.  She is assisted in her search for her mother by Karl, a nursing home escapee and Agatha, a reclusive bitter woman in her seventies. The three of them form a search party of sorts but it is more about death, love, companionship and dealing with grief. Highly reviewed in Australia.

Breaking Creed by Alex Kava comes out on January 27th. This title is advertised as a new series with Ryder Creed. Creed, however, was introduced in Kava's 11th Maggie O'Dell title and O'Dell is in this one too. Regardless, Creed is a former Marine who trains dogs to be search and rescue or drug dogs. Creed is searching a vessel when they discover not drugs but humans. Creed helps a 14 year old girl escape who reminds him of his sister. She happened to be a mule for a drug cartel. Maggie O'Dell is investigating a series of murders when she uncovers a hit list with Creed's name on it. Is it too late?

Jayne Ann Krentz has Trust No One coming out on January 6th. Grace Elland is an assistant to a motivational speaker who she discovers dead in his bed. Something about the murder brings back bad memories of her past and she retreats to home. After an awkward blind date with Julius Arkwright, she discovers she is being stalked and she has to rely on Arkwright, who is an ex-marine. Can they find the person after Grace before that person manages to entrap her?

Lastly, No Fortunate Son by Brad Taylor comes out on Dec 30th. This is the 7th in the Pike Logan series. Logan and his partner, Jennifer Cahill, have been fired from the top secret counter terrorist unit, Taskforce, much to their shock and dismay. Then their former commander calls them with a request to find his missing niece. While investigating, they discover that there has been a series of kidnappings of high US officials children. The terrorists are threatening to kill the hostages one by one unless they counter terrorist actions. Who better than Logan to find the bad guys?

Enjoy the holiday season. I will be back in January.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Continuing with January

Wow - this will be a short month for this blog. Probably one more after this one and then - off till the new year. Let's see how far I get today.

I don't know how many people read George Pelecanos. He has won awards for his hard boiled, gritty, kind of dark suspense and has written for the television series The Wire. If you like Michael Connelly, you could give him a try. On January 6th, he comes out with The Martini Shot, his first group of short stories and a novella. The title is a film reference to last shot of the day and is the lead story. Most of these stories deal with adults reminiscing about troubled youth - some very affecting.

Scott Blackwood has See How Small coming out on January 20th. This is not a crime/suspense story although it does revolve around the murder of three teenage girls who were tied up and then set on fire in a Texas ice cream shop. It is really about how this crime effects the parents, friends and witnesses of the event. Told in snippets of narratives jumping back and forth in time, it is an emotional read.

Uncle Janice comes out on January 6th and is by Matt Burgess. It follows Janice Itwaru who is an "uncle" (an undercover narcotics officer) for NYPD. Janice is working toward making detective when the work comes down that a quota has been instituted. Janice works toward trying to decide who the biggest criminals are - the drug dealers or her bosses. Dark and desperate while presenting a fresh take on a cop novel. If you liked Elmore Leonard, give it a try.

Jan Ellison's debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, arrives on January 20th. It focuses on Annie Black and wife and mother whose son has been in a horrible accident and lies in a coma. The story moves back and forth in time between Annie's youth in London and Paris and her current life in San Francisco. It focuses on how 'small indiscretions' of her past come back to effect her present. If you like Liane Moriarty, you might want to try this one.

Rebecca Scherm has a debut coming on January 22nd that has critics buzzing - Unbecoming. Grace from a small town in Tennessee, plans an art theft and gets two men to do the job. When the two men get arrested and sent to jail, Grace, changes her name and escaped to the outskirts of Paris as an antique restorer. The two men are released and Grace is sure they are after her. Are they? The psychological twists and the deeply flawed characters might remind you of Gillian Flynn so although it is not another Gone Girl if you like that type of story, give it a try.

The last one is another debut novel, One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis, arrives on January 27th. The work was published in the UK and hit the top of their bestsellers list. It is also in the Gone Girl genre. Emily Coleman is a lawyer with a husband and a son, suddenly she runs away and becomes Cat Brown. She lives in the seedy part of London in a group home and parties till all hours. The mystery is - why - what did she run from? The answer comes, but not till the end.

OK - there you have some brand new names to try. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

January Titles

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Now, in this short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I am going to try to get in all of the January books that I think might be of interest. This week I will start with the bigger name authors. There are more than in December - but not what I would call alot. Therefore, there may be some names with which you are not as familiar. Maybe that means you will find some more authors that you like.

I happen to like Tim Dorsey. Maybe it's because I have lived in Florida and he is definitely a Florida author or maybe it is because he has won me over with humor. His series features Serge Storms, a pleasant serial killer - I know, I know but trust me, Storms is just that. A serial killer that you root for. Dorsey has Shark Skin Suite coming out on January 27th. Serge comes to the aid of an ex-girlfriend (Brook), current new attorney in foreclosure law. When it appears that Brook is getting ready to win and major class action lawsuit, the defendants become ready to take her down. Therefore, Serge is ready to get involved. Always a fun ride.

On January 20th, James Grippando gives us Cane and Abe. Grippando's work is always kind of twisty and dark. This one is no exception. Abe Beckham is Miami's Senior Trial prosecutor with his first wife dead and his second one gone missing, the FBI shows interest in him as the perpetrator of a series of murders by a man called The Slasher. Can Abe prove his innocence? Is he innocent? His friends and family begin to wonder.

Ever popular James Patterson teams with Maxine Paetro for the next in the 'Private' series. Private Vegas comes out on January 26th. Jack Morgan, based in the Private firm in Los Angeles, tracks 2 criminals to Vegas where he runs into Lester Olsen. Olsen is wining and dining attract young women and teaches them how to kill. How much trouble is Jack Morgan in?

If you are into contemporary romance, Maya Banks has In His Keeping coming our on January 27th. This is the second of the 'Slow Burn' series. Ariel was abandoned as a baby and raised by a wealthy couple in the lap of luxury. She was also kept isolated and protected because she had telekinetic powers. Now she is of age, she also has a stalker. Her parents hire a security specialist to keep her protects. Beau Devereaux almost immediately falls for Ariel. Will he have to pay with his life?

Charles Todd, the mother and son writing duo, has A Fine Summer's Day: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery coming out on January 6th. Anyone who enjoys literate, historical mysteries will love this (?these?) author/s. They write 2 series. One featuring Bess Crawford, a World War I nurse and this one featuring Detective Ian Rutledge. His past titles have been after World War I but this one gives his back story. Just a month or two before WWI was declared, Rutledge proposes to Jean and his marriage is part of his focus. Jean would like him to go to war to become a hero for her. He is chasing around trying to solve a string of murders that may lead him to a serial murderer. What decisions will he make?

Finally, Stuart Woods comes out with the next Stone Barrington book on January 6th. Insatiable Appetites is the 32nd in the series. An old nemesis comes into view while Stone is attempting to distribute the estate of an old friend. In the process, secrets are unearthed - some surprising and some scary. Can Stone keep his cool?

Hopefully one of these will catch your fancy for January.