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Saturday, January 30, 2016

On With February and Out With February

Because of the holidays at the beginning of the  month, this has been a short month. I have quite a few titles to share with you and only this post to do it in so......beware - here I go.

Alexander Chee has The Queen of the Night will be published on February 2. This is Chee's second novel but both are historical fiction. This one takes place in Second Empire Paris and follows the life story of Lilliet Berne, an opera singer. Berne was born in the American frontier but when her whole family dies of fever, she works her way to Europe. After working hard to conceal who she is and where she came from, she is offered the starring role in a drama which is basically the story of her life. Through flashbacks we find what she is trying to conceal while she desperately tries to find out who betrayed her.

Paul Goldberg, a Moscow born reporter and nonfiction author, has his first novel, The Yid, coming out on February 2. It is a darkly funny historical novel. Just in advance of Stalin's "Doctors' War", three friends work on a plot to assassinate Stalin. When three of Stalin's police show up to arrest an old comedian, the game is on.

Into Oblivion by Arnaldur Indridason is the second prequel to his Icelandic series featuring Inspector Erlendur. Here he is an Inspector working with his partner on two cases. One is an unofficial working of the unsolved disappearance of a young girl twenty years earlier and the other is an investigation of a body found in a geothermal spa which leads back to the Army base. This series has won many awards so all police procedural lovers should at least give it a try.

From Iceland, we move to Holland. Marion Pauw has her American debut being published on February 16th, Girl in the Dark. It sounds really good. Iris is a successful lawyer and a single mother with a difficult son. She discovers that she has a brother that her mother has kept hidden. He is autistic and in prison for the murder of a neighbor and her daughter. Could this gentle soul that Iris found and who reminds her so much of her own son really have committed that crime? She, of course, has to find out.

Michael Sears has the fourth Jason Stafford series title arriving, Saving Jason, on February 2nd. After serving prison time, financial investigator Jason Stafford is asked to check out rumors that a hostile takeover of his firm is in the works. He finds himself involved in a grand jury investigation of Mob activities on Wall Street and is placed in witness protection with his autistic son. And then.....his son disappears. Action packed suspense kind of Elmore Leonard like.

Joe R. Lansdale writes horror but he also has a darkly funny mystery series starring Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. This is soon to become a SundanceTV series in the spring. On February 2, Honky Tonk Samurai, the eleventh in the series, is coming out. Hap is a former 60s activist and Leonard is a tough black gay Vietnam vet and a Republican. While working a surveillance job, Leonard beats up a dog abuser who wants to press charges. A woman arrives at their PI office with a proposition...find her missing granddaughter or she will turn in a video of the beating. Soon they trace her granddaughter to a used car dealership which is actually a front for a prostitution ring. Things go downhill quickly from there. These are quirky but also quite bloody. There may be a rush on Lansdale's title when the series comes out.

Two more before the end and they will be quick.

Robert Knott continues Robert B. Parker's Virgil Cole-Everett Hitch western series with Black Jack which comes out on February 2. Cole and Hitch contend with a new troublemaker in the town of Appaloosa - Boston Bill Black, the owner of the new casino, who's wanted for murder. Do they ever lose?

And lastly, Rosamund Lupton. I have loved her first two works. Lupton writes fast paced, atmospheric suspense like S.J. Bolton or Tana French. The Quality of Silence comes out on February 16. Here a mother and daughter are traveling to Alaska to meet up with the husband when they learn he has been killed in an accident. They want to find out what really happened and continue driving through a terrible storm. This is told from the mother's and the daughter's (who,by the way,is deaf) point of view and Alaska really comes alive.

OK - there you go. There are more of course, but these are the ones that I am looking forward to reading. Hope there is something there for you too.

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