I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and have started your holiday shopping. I, in fact, have only done the shopping for the grandchild but....that is why gift cards come in handy for the others. OK - when you start out looking at who is coming out with books this month - and you have trouble finding A list author's - you realize that maybe some of the others might be ready to move up. Let's see.
The only real blockbuster name for January is Stuart Woods. He has Scandalous Behavior coming out on January 12. This is the 36th in the Stone Barrington series. Stone, weary from all of his adventures, goes to a quiet English country town. However, if there is one thing we all know, it is that it won't be quiet for long.
Jeff Abbott might be ready to move up with his Sam Capra series. He has The First Order coming out on January 5. I read Abbott back in 1994 when he wrote almost cozy mysteries about Jordan Poteet. His last one in this series was published in 1996 with a suggestion from his publisher that he turn toward harder mysteries. Since then he has gone through mysteries to suspense to almost adventure suspense with the Sam Capra series. This series reads like Robert Ludlum's Bourne series or Vince Flynn's. work. Sam is an ex-CIA agent who owns a bar in Miami. He watched his brother be executed by extremists in an online video but was he really? Apparently not, and when Sam discovers his brother is plotting a murder - Sam needs to stop him.
Alafair Burke has The Ex coming out on January 26. Burke is an interesting person. She graduated from Stanford Law School, was the assistant district attorney for Portland, Oregon and is now a Professor of Law at Hofstra University in NY. Quite a background for the author of legal thrillers. Her work has been compared to Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Fairstein and Phillip Margolin. This story has a top criminal defense lawyer, Olivia Randall, defending an ex-fiancee, Jack Harris, who is being charged with a triple murder. This could be Burke's breakout - some reviewers say it is better than Grisham.
Tim Dorsey has Coconut Cowboy also coming out on January 26. I love the Serge A. Storms series and this is the 19th one. Storms is a lovable serial killer that only kills the people who really need to be kills. Kind of like a happy Dexter. His cohort, Coleman, is a drug addled, happy go lucky, laid back to the extreme, type of guy. They decide on a motorcycle tour where one towns speed trap leads them to uncover unbridled corruption. Oh oh - Storms knows how to handle that. No one writes like Dorsey - well perhaps Dave Barry a little but Barry is more preachy about things than Dorsey. Dorsey is straight out humor.
The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag comes out on January 12. If I was going to compare Hoag to any other authors, it would probably be Lisa Gardner or maybe Tess Gerritsen. This one brings back Nikki Liska and Sam Kovac, the fifth in the series, although Nikki is now working on cold cases so she can spend more time with her sons. They both miss each other - Nikki because of the boredom of her new case and Sam because of the stress of training a new partner on a double murder investigation. Strangely and gradually, their two cases are drawn together. Hoag's work is really plot driven and fast paced. If you try this one, you will be in for a ride.
OK - I'll be back with more of these 'second tier' authors next week. Hope you find something here that tempts you.