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Monday, March 28, 2016

Last of April Titles

Back from vacation and now I have to speed type the last of the April titles I want to mention.

Kemper Donovan has a debut novel coming out on April 5, The Decent Proposal.  Richard Baumbach, a struggling, penniless, Hollywood producer and Elizabeth Santiago, a successful, work oriented lawyer, both receive a proposal from an anonymous person. Split one million dollars if they agree to spend at least 2 hours together - just talking 0 every week for a year.  Both agree. The story is really about how this proposal affects not only themselves, but everyone they know.There is a lot of love/hate out there about this book but you have to agree it is an interesting proposal.

Paul Vidich has published short fiction before but on April 12, he has his first full length novel coming out - An Honorable Man. If you miss John Le Carre, you should give this spy thriller a read. In Washington, during the early 1950s - the Cold War was at its height. George Mueller works for the CIA and the director discovers a traitor in their midst. Someone is informing the enemy. The Director trusts Mueller and puts him in charge of finding the leak. However, Mueller has secrets too and soon the suspicion starts to fall on him. Vidich might not be Le Carre but this is definitely a good start.

If you have followed the adventures of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell - the wife of Sherlock Holmes, then you must read her book that comes out on April 5 - The Murder of Mary Russell. Well - I can't tell you much of the plot of this title other than a man, identifying himself as Holmes' housekeeper's son, gains entrance into the home and other arrive back to find that Mary has disappeared and there is blood. Reviewers have praised this work. Some, who have purposefully stayed away from the series, have become devoted fans.

Anna Quindlen has Miller's Valley coming out on April 12. I happen to love Quindlen. If you like leisurely paced, character driven plots - Quindlen will be for you. Her stories are always so.....well, comfortable is the word I come up with. They just feel like you are there and it is home. This story is told through the eyes of Mimi Miller and we meet her in her teenage years on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania. We follow her through love, marriage, work and family. The state would like to demolish a failing dam and flood the valley that belongs to the Miller clan. Will things change or will they remain the same.

One last book and this one is nonfiction. James McBride has Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for the Real James Brown coming out on April 5. Following a remark made by Brown's grandson, McBride headed down South - talking to musicians in Brown's band, friends, former managers and ex-wives. This is more commentary than a linear biography than a look at the forces that shaped him. An interesting and highly reviewed work.

I hope you can find something in one of these which interests you. I promise - next month - I am not on vacation and I will get all the May titles in.

Monday, March 14, 2016

More April Titles

Here is your next list. There are some pretty good titles by mid level authors. See if one of these sounds appealing.

Allison Brennan writes thrillers and romantic suspense kind of like Tami Hoag or Lisa Jackson - maybe even a little like Catherine Coulter. She has Poisonous coming out on April 12th. This is the third in her Max Revere series. Max is an investigative journalist and here she responds to a request by the mentally challenged stepbrother of a recently deceased town cyberbully. Brennan's fans have loved this one but reviewers have been less kind. Suspense galore and no one saw the end coming.

Susan Crawford has her second novel, The Other Widow, coming out on April 26. Her first novel, The Pocket Wife was very popular. Her novels are psychological suspense - kind of Gone Girl like - in the fact that the main characters are not heartwarming people or unreliable narrators as the saying goes. Here, Dorrie, walks away from a fatal accident after the driver, her boss and lover, ends their affair. She is desperate to keep her husband and child from finding out. Afterwards, she feels like she is being followed. Strangely, her lover - also married - bought a big life insurance policy on himself right before his death. Hmmmmm.

Leila Meacham is an author whose style is reminiscent of  Belva Plain or Barbara Taylor Bradford in that she writes sweeping family sagas. One of her prior title, Roses, received strong reviews. Titans will be published on April 12. Meacham changes to early 1900's Texas before the dramatic growth of the oil industry and gives us two characters to following during this time of change - Samantha Gordon, the heiress to a cattle ranch and Nathan Holloway - a farm boy from north Texas.

Katherine Hall Page writes cozy mysteries like Diane Mott Davidson or Joanne Fluke. Her main character is Faith Fairchild, a caterer and minister's wife. Here, she is helping a newlywed friend, Sophie, who has moved to Savannah. When Sophie's husband disappears, Faith comes to the rescue. Along with, of course, lots of recipes.

Michael Robotham is the Australian Jonathan Kellerman or James Patterson. On April 12, the eighth in his Joseph O'Loughlin series, Close Your Eyes arrives. O'Loughlin is a clinical psychologist with Parkinson's. Here, he is brought into a double murder case when a prior student blows it by releasing details. O'Loughlin finds that this case is most likely related to a series of escalating attacks. There are multiple suspects and unending suspense. Reviews have been very strong. Also, although this is the eighth in the series, there appears to be no problem reading it as a stand alone.

Lastly, Andrew Vachss has Drawing Dead - A Cross Novel coming on April 12. Vachss writes hard boiled, gritty mysteries kind of like Dennis Lehane or Robert Crais. Cross runs a team of urban mercenaries and even the worst gangs are afraid of his group. However, someone is threatening the group and even their loved ones. There will be hell to pay for whoever it is. For those who don't mind the violence, this series is dramatic.

OK - there you go. I am off on vacation. I will be reading - I've got my books already for the trip. Hope you find something to look forward to with one of these.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

April's Big Names

Sorry I missed last week. I was sick. We are coming up on my vacation also so I am going to do a blog today and try to do another before I leave next week. I know what I want to talk about, it is only a matter of finding the time to do it. OK - here we go with the big names in April.

We will start with David Baldacci who has The Last Mile coming on April 19. This is the second in the Amos Decker series starting with Memory Man. Melvin Mars is preparing for execution. He was accused of killing his parents 20 years ago. Right before he is to die, someone else confesses to the crime. Amos Decker is on a special FBI task force that investigates. His own back story is very similar to Mars. Who actually killed Mars' parents and why were they killed? Someone wants that to remain hidden. A real page turner according to reviewers.

Next comes Steve Berry who has become increasingly popular with each title. April 5 will bring us his eleventh Cotton Malone title, The 14th Colony. According to reviewers, he is back on the mark. Anyone who was disappointed in his last one, should definitely try this one. Malone is sent after a former KGB agent and a former KGB archivist. The two are involved in a plot to disrupt the inauguration. This plot involved Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul and the Society of Cincinnati. Berry at his best.

Iris Johansen brings us the twentieth Eve Duncan title with Hide Away on April 26. Johansen again does her thing with this tale. Eve and Joe are trying to protect an eleven year old girl - 2 women have already died trying to do it. Eve takes her to Scotland but I think we all know - that won't be far enough. As usual, reviewers love it.

Lucas Davenport is back as John Sandford continues with the twenty sixth in the series. Extreme Prey is also being published on April 26. Davenport is no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA but his friend the governor asks him to join his campaign staff as he runs for president. Unfortunately, the governor has some enemies. One is intent on killing him and anyone who get in his way. Sandford;s last title was the genre bending Saturn Run. Here he is back on track and his readers are loving it.

Lisa Scottoline has Most Wanted coming out on April 12. This title has a very interesting premise. A couple who are having fertility issues (Christine and Marcus Nilsson) go to a sperm bank for an IVF procedure. Several months later, they see on the news that someone who looks like the person from their chosen donor picture has been arrested as a serial murderer. This becomes a marital issue between the pair and Christine goes into investigative mode. Is the person the donor and if he is, is he really guilty of all those murders? Christine has to know.

OK - five big names for you. I'll be back in a few more days with more. Happy reading.