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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Last of the August Titles

Sorry, life has a way of getting in the way of all plans. I had to have some oral surgery and was not able to post last week. I therefore need to put a bunch of titles in this week post so I won't do too much description. Things will get better - at least that is what I am telling myself.

Ian Rankin has The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories coming on August 11. This is a collection of ALL of the John Rebus short stories - 2 of them having never been published. If you like the Rebus series, this will be a must read.

Sophie Hannah has Woman with a Secret coming out on August 4. Nicki Clements has secrets to hide. None the less, she was waiting patiently in a line of cars being searched by police - that is she was until she saw the policeman in charged of the searching. Then she did a hasty u-turn to escape. Her reckless maneuver was noticed and the police come to question her about a murder. She might not be guilty of murder but she is not innocent either.

Michael Koryta has Last Words coming on August 18th. Mark Novak was still mourning his wife who had died 2 years previously when his company sends him to the caves of southern Indiana to investigate the possible killing of a young girl whose body was found in the caves. When Mark arrives, he finds distrust and hostility. What is going on?

Jennifer McMahon has Night Sister coming out on August 4. An empty frightening motel and 3 young girls spent a summer playing in it's rooms. A secret that they uncover, breaks them apart and they end up in 3 separate places. Now adults, Piper receives a call from Margot about Amy, the third one, being accused of a horrible crime. Almost sounds like horror, doesn't it?

Margaret Maron has the 20th Deborah Knott title coming out on August 11th - Long Upon the Land.
Deborah's father finds the body of a man on a far corner of his farm. Her husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, discovers that her family (father and brothers) had a long standing feud with the dead man. The local paper implies that Dwight is trying to protect Deborah's family. Unfortunately, Deborah can only think about protecting them herself.

Bill Syken has a debut mystery coming out on August 18, Hangman's Game. Syken was a staff reporter and editor for Sports Illustrated. It should come as no surprise that his first novel has Nick Gallow, a star quarterback until a shoulder injury made him into a punter, as his main character. When a top ranked draft pick is murdered, Nick stay out of it but when there is a second attack - he has to investigate. Said to be more than a football story but a well written mystery also.

Fausto Brizzi has the US version of his best selling Italian novel, 100 Days of Happiness, coming on August 11. Lucio Battistini has been a womanizing, selfish character all his life until he gets the news that he has inoperable cancer and 100 days left to live. He decides to become the person he should have been all along and really live for each moment. Told in 100 short chapters about each day, it is wistful and funny and makes you realize the preciousness of life.

Hope there is something here for you.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

More August Titles

I am currently looking at titles coming out in October so I need some reviewing on these August titles. There are some popular authors that write in - kind of different genres, that have titles coming out in August.

Kelley Armstrong who writes the popular Cainsville series has the third one, Deceptions, coming out on August 20th. Olivia Taylor has learned that both of her biological parents were serial killers and retreated to the town of Cainesville. In prior books in the series, she begins to suspect that her parents were innocent and partially clears them. She develops a relationship with a lawyer in town and has realized that she has a sixth sense that allows her to anticipate danger. In this title, she is trying to understand an ancient manuscript that might explain her relationship to different me. She is also being haunted by omens. She must decide who she can really trust and who is really on her side. Kind of a mixture of urban fantasy and mystery.

Paula Brackston who wrote the popular The Silver Witch, now turns her sights on a young Merlin in Lamp Black, Wolf Grey which arrives on August 4th. Artist Laura Matthews and her husband leave London behind for the Welsh countryside. They hope that this new beginning may help them to start the family they have been dreaming of. Laura finds the wilds of her new home enchanting. The veil between the past and present seems to be very thin and Laura begins to see or imagines she sees Merlin as a young man, with his companion, a grey wolf. This is a love story between Merlin and Megan and the Lord that Megan works for who wants to control both of them.

W. Bruce Cameron, the emotional author of extraordinary dogs, has The Dog Master coming out on August 4th.This is the story of the first dog. He travels back to the prehistoric age where a she-wolf learns that humans will share food. If you liked A Dog's Purpose and A Dog's Journey you will need to read this one for sure.

Robin Hobb, my favorite fantasy author (I don't read a lot of fantasy anymore), has Fool's Quest coming of August 11th. This is the 2nd in the Fitz and The Fool series although it is really a continuation of The Assassin series I think. Fitz has narrowly managed to avoid killing his old friend, the Fool, but his daughter has been kidnapped in the first book in this series. Fitz, as the former King's Assassin, goes after her.  Hmmmmm. I can hardly wait.

I am going to finish up with a title that I tried to read in advanced reader's copy form, wanted to very badly read it, but couldn't. So beware. Paul Cleave has Trust No One coming out on August 4th. I have already told you that sometimes I get too emotionally involved with the characters. This is one of those. Jerry Grey has written 12 very popular bloody crime novels. Unfortunately at 49 he develops early onset Alzheimer's. The opening scene finds him at a police station confessing to the person he thinks is a female detective to a bloody crime. Eventually, you learn that the female is his daughter and he is confessing to the plot of his first novel. He was happily married and had a great daughter but somehow, now - he finds himself living in a home, his wife is divorcing him and his daughter calls him by his first name. There are hints that he may actually be going out and committing murders during his escapes from the home when he takes on the persona of one of his creations. He was so confused. I was so depressed for him but I really wanted to know if he was guilty of murder or not. Someone is going to have to tell me because I couldn't finish it. Send me a reply if you do.

Hope there is something here for you to read.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

August's LibraryReads!

The August list is out from LibraryReads today. There are some really good books on it so I for sure want to share them.

Number one on the list is Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb. This title has caused a lot of buzz by publishers and reviewers. I am unsure about whether I can read it because I tend to get emotionally involved in stories like this. Gottlieb is telling the story from the point of view of a 50 year old autistic man who has lived in an institution most of his life. When a new attendant arrives that he instinctively doesn't like and a new resident that he does - he starts to want to go home. The story is said to be moving and funny and remarkable.

Next comes a title by perennial favorite Louise Penny, The Nature of the Beast. All our old friends from Three Pines are there and there is one young boy who likes to tell tall tales, But then he disappears and everyone wonders which of his tall tales might have been true. Said to be one of Penny's best ..... but then they always say that.

Elisabeth Egan is on the list with her debut novel, A Window Opens.  A married mother who works part-time has to take on more of the bread winning responsibilities when her husband, a lawyer, threw his laptop across the room after being informed he didn't make partner - therefore, he lost his job too. Juggling children, full time work, unemployed spouse and sick parent becomes too much and forces her to decide what she really wants.

Alice Hoffman is always a highly reviewed author and her new one The Marriage of Opposites is next on the list. Hoffman tells about the mother of Camille Pissarro, the father of Impressionism. It takes place on the island of St. Thomas. Rachel, Pissarro's mother, was made to marry a much older man. When he died, she began an affair with his much younger nephew. Said to be Hoffman's finest work to date.

Next on the list is Stephanie Clifford's debut novel Everybody Rises. This work pictures NYC and area before the 2008 recession. Evelyn's mother pushes her to mix with the old money crowd. Evelyn tries. By floating on the edges, she meets socialite Camilla Rutherford and then things get crazy. The more she tried to fit in, the deeper the hole she was digging. A fun read.

The Fall of Princes by Robert Goolrick also looks at NYC in it's glory days but these glory days are in the 80's. This is the story of people working in the financial industry and making money - I mean MONEY. If you can get whatever you want - what does it end up costing you. Watching the fall of these 'princes' is gut wrenching. Goolrick can really suck you in to the story though and his writing is exceptional.

Ruth War has In A Dark, Dark Wood making the list. This debut work has been compared to S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep and the recent bestseller, The Girl on the Train. How can you not want to read it? Nora Shaw is a crime writer who lives in London. She receives an invitation to a 'hen party' from an old schoolmate. Nora had walked away from the school, friends and boy friend many years before and can not understand the invitation. But she goes and find it in a remote location a dark, dark wood. You can take things from there.

Next comes Julia Heaberlin's Black-Eyed Susans. Tessie disappeared in 1995 while out running. She was found later in an abandoned field  barely surviving as a victim of the Black-Eyed Susan serial killer. Now, a single mother, Julia is disturbed by the sudden appearance of black-eyed susan popping up around her home. The person who was convicted of the killing is approaching his execution and the people who are working to free him, want her to undergo hypnosis to try to recall the face of the killer. A really taut psychological thriller.

Now, we want fun. Donna Andrews Lord of the Wings will give that to us. This is the umpteenth Meg Langslow romp. It is Halloween in Caerphilly and neg is convinced to save Halloween when bodies start appearing at the haunted house.

Lastly, a nonfiction work by Michael Dirda, Browsings: A year of reading, collecting, and living with Books. I mean really, how could librarians and people that work in libraries not love this book? This contains 50 of his musings on the topics of reading, authors, and collecting books.

OK - this should give you some ideas for the month of August. Hope you find something good in them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

August Big Names

I am preparing this slightly early this week to prepare for the July 4th holiday. There aren't too many gigantic names this month and obviously, what I think is big in the publishing world might not be what you think is big. However, 3 of them at least are pretty well known authors.

I am leading off with Sue Grafton's X which comes out on August 25. She is probably the biggest name this month. Said to be the darkest of the entries in this series, a serial killer raises his ugly head. Kinsey has figured out who it is but has no proof. Can she find the proof before he kills her? Why doesn't X stand for something (i.e. x is for xray)? It makes me wonder.

Sara Paretsky brings back V.I. Warshawski for the 17th time with Brush Back. This actually comes out on July 28th but no one is going to read it until August anyway. Warshawski tries to do a favor for an old boyfriend. His mother spent 25 years in prison for supposedly beating and killing the friend's little sister. She has always claimed innocence although Warshawski knows she is a violent person. Unfortunately, her few questions about the crime ends up involving her in the graft of Illinois politics. She discovers that several people wanted the girl dead and now they want her dead too.

OK - 2 pretty gritty mysteries so I am going with the romantic paranormal suspense of Karen Robards. The Last Time I Saw Her comes out on August 25. A lot is going on in this title. It is the 4th in the Dr. Charlotte Stone series. Stone probes the minds of incarcerated serial killers. Meanwhile, she is in love with a ghost who is or was a convicted killer. She believes that his double was the guilty killer and strangely enough - he, that is the double, shows up in town. In addition,  there is a prison break and psychopaths are running around the area. Stone has to track them down before they track her down and kill her while trying to make a case against her lover's double. Not sure if I can keep all the plot lines straight without reading the book.

Now for a legal thriller, Linda Fairstein has Devil's Bridge coming out on Aug 11. This is Assistant District Attorney of NYC, Alex Cooper's 17th outing. This time the book is narrated from Homicide Detective Mike Chapman's point of view. Cooper and Chapman have worked together as partners in past entries but this time, a romantic relationship between the two is introduced. Cooper disappears and Chapman tries to find her. If you like NYC, this series will appeal to you.

OK - now I am going to talk about 2 titles together. One a biography and one an undiscovered novel.  Iceberg Slim was the father of street lit and rap. His Memoir, Pimp, sold millions of copies. On August 4, a biography about him, Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim, and a previously undiscovered novel, Shetani's Sister, will be published. Both are pretty gritty but a good way to discover the why and then read the results.