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Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Rest of March

I better hurry and get the rest of March's interesting titles in here before it IS March. There are quite a few I would like to cover.

First, is Keija Parssinen's The Unraveling of Mercy Louis out on March 10. Of the 8 people who have read and reviewed it, 7 gave it 5 out of 5 stars and one gave it 4.5. This is the story about the pressures of growing up in a small town in Texas and the difficulties in finding your own way. It is also a psychological suspense story. Mercy Louis is the star of the girl's basketball team and everyone feels sure she will make her way to bigger and better things. On the opening night of the new season, Mercy collapses and one by one other girls are hit with the same condition. What is happening here?

Lili Anolik has a debut novel, a suspense story, entitled Dark Rooms arriving on March 3rd. Outgoing, beautiful and wild, 16 year old Nica Baker is murdered and her older sister, Grace, is lost without her. She leaves college, comes home and is distressed when the murderer is announced to be a lonely classmate who committed suicide. She feels she must track down the actual killer.

M.J. Carter has The Strangler Vine coming out on March 31st. This is a historical mystery taking place in India in the early nineteenth century. William Avery is a soldier who had hoped for more action and Jeremiah Blake is an agent who has become disillusioned with the East India Company. They are sent to find a missing writer and end up in the darker side of Calcutta where secrets appear and lives are in danger.

Claire Kells has another debut in Girl Underwater coming out on March 31st. Avery Delacorte is a competitive swimmer with a scholarship to a university in California. A flight she is taking home at Thanksgiving crashes on a Colorado lake. The only survivors are Avery, three small children and a swim team member, Colin Shea. This is a story of surviving and the psychological results of it. Very well written so say the reviewers.

Cara Black has her 15th Aimee Leduc title, Murder on the Champs de Mars coming out on March 3rd. Leduc is a Parisian computer security detective. She recently became a new single mother and is trying to work while being sleep deprived. A French Gypsy boy comes to her and says his dying mother has a message for her that has to do with Leduc's fathers murder. When they get to the hospital, the dying woman has disappeared. What can Aimee do but try to find her?

Elizabeth Haynes has Behind Closed Doors coming on March 31st. This is the second in the Briarstone series. Detective Inspector Louisa Smith revisits a cold case dealing with the disappearance of 15 year old Scarlett Rainsford. The case has bothered Smith all these years and now Scarlett is found during a raid of a brothel in Briarstone. What had happened to her and why is her family not happy to see her?

Mary Doria Russell has Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral coming out on March 3rd. I am surprised this didn't make the LibraryReads list - I nominated it. Reviewers have loved it. This book follows Russell's Doc, which follow Doc Holliday from his birth in Georgia to Southern aristocracy to the Southwest. This title examines the west of 1881 with it's deeply divided nation, vicious politics, smuggling and gang warfare. It culminates in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This is not the story of the movie. One reviewer called it a bravura feat of storytelling and another called it 'one of the greatest books in years and the best Western since Lonesome Dove."

Enjoy. I hope you find something that tempts you.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

LibraryReads for March

Quite a few of these are ones that I had not thought of putting on my list. Now I have seen what other librarians said about them though, I have changed my mind. See if you find something in this list to read.

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce is a must read for all who have read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. In the Fry story, he walks 600 miles to deliver a letter to Queenie who has told him she is dying. In this story, the point of view changes to Queenie's. Queenie is in a hospice dying from cancer. A nun suggests she write him a letter for him to read when he arrives since she might not be there. Queenie writes...and writes...and writes. A truly tender story that some think is better than the first one.

The rest, in no particular order:

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. Larson is known for making history readable and this is no exception. He follows the story from different points of view - the British Admiralty; President Wilson and the U-boat commander. But he makes it human by the affecting stories of the crew and the passengers.

Prudence by Gail Carriger. For those who enjoyed the Parasol Protectorate, Carriger give Prudence her own series, The Custard Protocol. Carriger's series are kind of an alternative history steampunk type of genre. Prudence gets an unexpected dirigible, names it Spotted Custard and floats to India. She finds more than a cup of tea with adventures.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose. If you have read any if Rose's previous works and liked them, you will, of course, want to read this one. Rose is a little too dramatic for my taste but this one is a mix of a Gothic love story with a ghost story mixed in. Set in the late 1800's in Paris, Sandrine has left America escaping from her evil husband who caused her father to commit suicide. Her grandmother tries to convince her not to go to their family home but Sandrine goes anyway. She meets an architect there who she is drawn to passionately and starts to become possessed.

Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss. I would describe this book as quirky and funny but perhaps dark also. It is kind of like a false horror book. Alec is staying in a cottage by the sea to recover from the death of his wife. He goes through a packet of papers and documents given to him by a colleague and finds a story of Wiggy, someone who claims to have met an evil, talking cat. The story is told from different points of view but is laugh out loud funny in some parts.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. The story of sisters who use to be close, that became estranged by a horrible accident. One of them, Dara, vanishes on her birthday. The other, Nick, thinks she is just playing around until another girl disappears.

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham. They call this Southern Gothic but I call it DEFINITELY DIFFERENT. The story is told from 3 points of view, a widowed mother who has turned to drugs (Darlene), her 11 year old son (Eddie), and scotty (crack cocaine - said to have a seductively charming voice). Darlene is tempted off the street by the promise of a job, good pay and a place to stay. Unfortunately, she ends up in a form of slavery on a farm. Her son tries to find her. Dark but funny at the same time.

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell.  Caldwell is one of the co-authors of the well reviewed and popular The Rule of Four published 10 years ago. Since then he has been researching and preparing this work. Reviewers by an large love it but those who don't, don't like it at all. It surrounds a coming exhibition of The Shroud of Turin. The curator, Ugo, is set to prove that the scientific evidence on the Shroud was false. Right before the exhibit, Ugo is killed. Two brothers, Alex - a Greek Catholic priest and Simon - a Roman Catholic priest - try to uncover Ugo's secrets.

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford. Dana is married to a lawyer that hardly gives her the time of day. She also suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder and is off her meds. One day she spends the afternoon drinking with her friend Celia. When she wakes up, she is home but Celia is dead. All of the evidence seems to be pointing to her and she doesn't even remember what happened. A dark and twisty, psychological thriller.

Where All Light Tends To Go by David Joy. An Appalachian novel. I love them but this seems quite a bit darker than I generally like. I don't see a way for it to not have a heartbreaking ending. Jacob McNeely is 18. He left school to help his father, the king of meth in this area of North Carolina. He also left his girlfriend, Maggie, because he could see that she was going places and he wasn't. Doesn't it sound sad? Said to be beautifully written.

OK folks, some more titles from which to choose. Enjoy.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Other March Titles

There are quite a few more titles coming out in March which interest me. Some by names I am sure you know and others that may be new to you. Let me get started.

Joy Fielding has Someone is Watching coming out on March 24. If you have seen the movie Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart, this has the same feel. Bailey Carpenter is a PI who was brutally attacked and now refuses to leave her home. She starts investigating her neighbor across the way with binoculars and begins to wonder if he was her attacker.

J.A. Jance has Cold Betrayal: An Ali Reynolds Novel coming out on March 10. Reynolds is called to help her new daughter-in-law because her grandmother is being threatened and her friend, Sister Anselm, wants her to investigate a young pregnant women who was injured in a hit and run after escaping from a cult.

Owen Laukkanen has The Stolen Ones coming out on Feb 25. Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere are on their 4th title. A women having no identification and speaking no English is found sitting next to a dead Minnesota sheriff's deputy holding the gun. The investigation leads them too an international kidnapping and prostitution ring.

David Morrell has Inspector of the Dead coming on March 24. If you read his last title, Murder as a Fine Art, you will want to read this one. I find it humorous that Morrell, the author of First Blood from which they made the movie Rambo, is now considered a literary thriller author but he is and for good reason. This title finds Thomas De Quincey battling his opium addiction while investigating killings in British high society and aided by his daughter and 2 Scotland Yard companions.

Olen Steinhauer has All the Old Knives coming out on March 10. Steinhauer is an interesting person. He grew up in Virginia and has lived all over the states; got a Fullbright scholarship and went to Romania. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and children. Well traveled and described as the successor to Le Carre, he has moved from the Cold War spy novels to after 9/11. In this title 2 CIA agents who had also been lovers, one now retired and one still an active agent, meet for dinner to reconsider questions about a nine year old terrorist attack.

Lastly, Jacqueline Winspear continues her Masie Dobbs series with A Dangerous Place which comes out on March 17. Dobbs must return from India when she gets a letter telling her that her father is fading. She pauses in Gibraltar and finds herself investigating the murder of a Sepharidic Jew.

I will be back soon with the LibraryReads list for March with all new titles for your reading pleasure.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

March's Major Names

There are a lot of books being published in March. Many are by the A list authors. I will try to give you a short synopsis but there really are an extraordinary number of them for this month.

Steve Berry has The Patriot Threat coming out on March 31. Berry should be a local favorite. He was born and raised in Georgia, graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and practiced law in Georgia for many years. Currently, he lives in St. Augustine, FL.
His main character is Cotton Malone, a former Justice Department operative who travels the world investigating some of history's most legendary mysteries. When his former boss asks him for help, he is on the trail again.

C.J. Box has Endangered coming out on March 24. Box has won most of the major mystery awards and his main character is Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden. This title is the 15th in the series. In this title, Joe is hunting the person who bludgeoned his 18 year old ward. 

Harlan Coben, my personal favorite, has The Stranger coming out on March 24. This is another standalone. I do love his Myron Bolitar series but his standalone titles are pretty good too. Adam and Hannah's marriage is not going well when a secret emerges that makes Adam fearful he never knew his wife at all and all their lives are in danger.

Robin Cook has Host coming on March 17. Cook invented the medical thriller genre. In this one, a 4th year medical student's boyfriend dies after routine surgery. Something doesn't feel right to her so she and her lab partner star investigating. Soon, they uncover facts that put both their lives in danger.

Clive Cussler and Justin Scott have The Assassin coming out on March 31. Rather than Cussler's normal adventure series, this one is the 8th in the Detective Isaac Bell series. This series is plot-driven and historical, set in the early 20th century. This title takes place when Bell is investigating the Standard Oil monopoly. A sniper starts shooting possible witnesses and the chase is on.

James Patterson has NYPD Red 3 coming out on March 10. Audie will be free after serving 10 years for a Texas robbery in which four people died. One day before his release, he escapes. Everyone thinks he is going after the money from the robbery but he has something else in mind.

Barbara Taylor Bradford has The Cavendon Women coming out on March 24. The aristocratic Inghams are planning a family weekend with their servants the Swanns  in attendance after the end of WWI,  But times have changed and the families must change with time.

Hopefully, one of these interests you. There are more titles coming out from perhaps less well known authors but I will continue with those next week. Enjoy!