Best Sellers

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Big Names in June

There are several A list authors publishing titles this month. I guess they hope to have us read their work on the beach this summer. Let's see what you think

Barbara Taylor Bradford who writes strong women's fiction sagas has the third in the Cavendon Hall series, The Cavendon Luck, coming on June 7. This work takes place during the prelude to World War II and the effects it will have on Cavendon Hall. It follows the upper class Inghams family and their servants, the Swann family.

Dorothea Benton Frank has All Summer Long coming out on May 31 (which might as well be June). Frank gives us another Lowcountry tale of a man coming home to the south looking for a quieter life. He brings with him his New York wife who is unsure she is ready to make the change.

Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison have the 11th in the Oregon Files series coming also on May 31, The Emperor's Revenge. Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon join forces with a former CIA colleague to find the criminals who are behind a bank heist that occurred during the Monaco Grand Prix. They realize the plot is deeper than a bank heist and involves a document stolen during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. What could that be?

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg are back with another Fox and O'Hare title, The Pursuit. This one is coming on June 21. Someone has kidnapped FBI agent Kate O'Hare's con man, Nick Fox. Following the trail leads to crook who is planning a deadly crime that will net him millions.

Jame Patterson has Private Rio coming out on June 27. Jack Morgan is headed to Rio for the Olympic Games where someone is threatening to sabotage the games. If you read Patterson, you don't need more than the mention of his name to get your name on the list.

Terry McMillan has I Almost Forgot About You coming on June 7. Dr. Georgia Young leaves her position as an optometrist and moves when, at 55, she starts feeling stuck and restless. This starts a wild journey that may or may not lead to love. Reviewers have said this one really reaches the heart.

Next, we have Stephen King who has the last of the Bill Hodges Trilogy (Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers) coming out on June 7, End of Watch. I wish I could get more people to read King. Many are frightened off by some of his earlier works of horror but I really consider most of his work to be about battles between good and evil. Yes - there is some supernatural element and you have to be able to make that leap of faith but.....the work is worth the effort. This one has the evil Brady Hartsfield vegetating in a traumatic brain injury clinic after having been captured and hit on the head by Holly Gibney. However, Brady is not brain dead and he has discovered a way to do serious injury without even leaving his bed - he can drive people to suicide. Can Holly and retired police detective Bill Hodges deal with this evil force?

Lastly, another of my favorite authors, Anne Tyler. Tyler has Vinegar Girl coming on June 21. This is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project and is a retelling - in modern era - of The Taming of the Shrew. Kate Battista runs the house for her scientist father and air headed younger sister. When her father realizes he is about to lose his lab assistant whose visa is about to expire, he asks Kate to do the unthinkable.

OK - the big names for June. Hope you like one of them.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

May Titles

Sorry guys, I have been out of commission for a few weeks. I am back but not yet at full speed. I am going to try to go over as many May titles as possible today before moving on to June. The info will be short but hopefully I'll be able to describe them well enough for you to make up your minds.

Nancy Atherton has Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure coming out on May 24. This is the 21st in the Dimity series. Aunt Dimity is a ghost and Lori Shepherd is the naive heroine in these titles. Here Lori finds a gold and garnet bracelet that Dimity asks her to return to a failed suitor. Unfortunately, it brings great attention as it is said to be part of a royal treasure.

Nevada Barr has Boar Island coming out on May 17. This is the 19th in the Anna Pigeon series. Here Park Ranger Pigeon has a new challenge. A friend has an adopted daughter who is experiencing cyberbullying. When the daughter attempts suicide, Pigeon is called in to help.

Steve Cavanagh, an Irish lawyer turned novelist, has The Defense on May 3. This is Cavanagh debut and this work has been compared to Grisham and Turow. Here, Eddie Flynn has decided to give up the courtroom after an unpleasant proceeding but a Russian mobster kidnaps his 10 year old daughter and he has to take the mobster's case.

Alex Grecian has Lost and Gone Forever coming out on May 17. This is the 5th in the Scotland Yard's Murder Squad series. Sgt. Nevil Hammersmith has lost his job and is operating as a private investigator whose main job is to find Inspector Walter Day who has been missing for a year. Day is in the hands of Jack the Ripper. In Victorian London, things are not always as they appear.

Sophie Hannah has A Game for All the Family coming out on May 24. Justine with her husband and teenage daughter leave London behind and hope for a fresh start on the coast. When her daughter complains about her best friend 'George' being expelled from school, Justine discovers that there is and hasn't been a George at the school. Then, threatening phone calls start. What is happening to their 'fresh start'?

David Housewright has the 13th Rushmore McKenzie title arriving, Stealing the Countess on May 31. Rushmore retired from the St. Paul Police Department upon unexpectedly becoming a millionaire. Now he helps people for folk who could not afford help. Here, The Countess, refers to a Stradivarius violin worth $4 million. The foundation that owns it and the insurance company refuse to pay the thieves but the violinist who has been playing it, is desperate for it's return. McKenzie agrees to help him.

Steve Martini has Blood Flag coming out on May 17. This is the 14th in the Paul Madriani series. Martini's work has often been compared to Grisham and Scottoline. Here Madriani is defending a client accused of mercy-killing her father when he is drawn into a conspiracy involving WWII and a Nazi relic.

Lastly, Elaine Viets has The Art of Murder coming out on May 3. This is the 15th in the Dead-End Job series. Viets writes cozy mysteries like Mary Daheim or Laura Childs. Here the repeating heroine Helen Hawthorne and her friend, observe a painting class while touring a mansion turned museum. Later, one of the up and coming artist is killed before their eyes. Helen is hired to go undercover to catch the killer.

OK - that is all I have fore today. Here is hoping that next month is a better month.

Friday, April 8, 2016

May LibraryReads List

The May LibraryReads list came out today. There are some good ones on here but one of the ones I voted for did not make it.Rats. The top of the list is Britt_Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. Backman is a Swedish author who writes novels about quirky characters kind of like Alexander McCall Smith or even Mitch Albom. In this one, Britt Marie is an unhappy sixty three year old woman who walks out on her cheating husband after 40 years. She is obsessed with order and organization and is forced to take a job in a downtrodden town taking care of the recreation center. It is a tale of second beginnings and friendship.

Next, in no particular order is:

Joe Hill and The Fireman - in case you haven't heard, Hill is the son of Stephen King. He also writes in the horror genre although he does some graphic novels also. His work is generally character driven and his characters are flawed but likeable. This one features Harper Grayson, a nurse, who helps to treat victims of a spore which infects people cause first black and gold marks on their bodies until their bodies burst into flames- Draco Incendia Trychophyton - Dragonscale . When Grayson develops Dragonscale, she also finds out she is pregnant. The Fireman comes to her rescue and takes her to a place where the infected have to learn to live with the disease. Unfortunately, people are hunting them.

 Chris Cleave has Everyone Brave is Forgiven on the list. Cleave writes moving, character based fiction. If I was going to compare him with anyone, it would be kind of like Barbara Kingsolver - but not exactly. Everyone says his writing is beautiful and touching. This is a story of a love triangle that takes place during WWII but it is more than that in many ways - it is a story about the effect of war on people and community. Mary comes from a 'good' family and she decides to contribute to the war effort by becoming a teacher. She works with Tom, an education administrator and they develop a relationship. Tom's friend Alastair enlists and when Mary meets him, she develops a relationship with him too. They say this is a sweeping epic with unforgettable characters.

Next is Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. Danler is a debut author whose title has received much love from reviewers. It follows Tess - a twenty two year old who comes to New York City looking for life. She lucks into a waitress position at a renowned restaurant and we spend a year with her as she learns the ways of the city. Said to be a stunning coming of age story and a fictionalized account of her own life.

Clare Mackintosh is another debut author who has I Let You Go on the list. This is British psychological suspense and involves a hit and run killing of a 5 year old boy. It is told from the point of view of the mother, Jenna,; the lead detective and another man. Jenna lets go of the boys hand and he runs into the street. She can not forgive herself and leaves town for a remote Welsh town.Just when she starts to recover, the past comes to find her. Said to be gripping and moving.

Next comes Dan Vyleta's Smoke. I don't know how to define his work or to whom I can compare him. This tale is a combination alternate history, historical fiction and suspense. A very real genre mixing. In this era in London, people give off smoke if the lie or cheat or have impure thoughts. However, some people (like the well to do) can control the smoke. Three young people who come from a prep school, try to find out the reasons behind the smoke. This work is kind of Dickensian in a way. The powerful want to keep things as they are  - they have the power because they don't give off smoke. Young against old; good against evil - an addictive tale and there may be a sequel rumor has it.

John Hart is on the list with Redemption Road. Hart writes in the updated Southern Gothic tradition and as a former defense attorney, they often deal with the law. His work is kind of like Peter T. Deutermann or Michael Koryta. This title tells several story but then, the whole small town is involved in all of them. A police detective Elizabeth Black is facing a possible suspension following a shooting. A former good cop, Adrian Wall is being released from prison after 13 years for the murder of Julia Stange. Stange's son is waiting to kill Wall for the murder. Meanwhile, bodies show up at a church. Said to be compelling and enthralling. Hart is known for his exquisite character development. Quite a read.

Kelley Armstrong has written quite a few titles in the urban fantasy genre and even has a popular teen series. She is quite a suspense author also and has The City of the List on the list this month. This is the first in a possible series featuring Casey Duncan. Casey has a secret - back when she was in college she killed the grandson of a mobster, but she was never caught. Now she is a homicide detective. Her friend, Diana, was married to a violent abusive man. When Diana's husband finds her and Casey is attacked, they apply to go to this town in the wilds of Canada, Rockton. It is only for those who want to get lost. When they are accepted and arrive, Casey discovers that they might have been safer in the city.

Now a favorite author, Laura Lippman, who has Wilde Lake on the list. This work is more about truth and the path to discover the truth and whether or not we really want the real truth than it is about a mystery. However, there is mystery and suspense here. Lu Brant is the newly elected state's attorney and she decides to bring to trial a mentally disturbed drifter who is accused of beating a woman to death in her apartment. Something about this case brings up memories of a old case in her past when she was a child. Her brother killed someone who was attacking his friend. He was found not guilty but now, she wonders about what really happens. Perhaps, she would be better off if she didn't know.

Lastly, Lydia Millet has Sweet Lamb of Heaven on the list. This is another one which kind of blends genre. Part thriller, part psychological suspense with a little religious philosophy thrown in. Millet was a Pulitzer finalist for her novel Magnificence back in 2013.  Her writing is praised by reviewers in this one too. Here she focuses on Lydia and her 6 year old daughter who flee an unfaithful husband who is running for political office. They take refuge in an old motel on the coast of Maine. Lydia has been hearing voices in her head since the birth of her daughter and wonders if she is crazy. However, others living in this motel seem to hear voices also. Her husband decides he needs his family back to present the 'perfect family' for his election campaign. In trying to get Lydia back, he goes from threatening to criminal. Quite a read.

OK - there are some titles to tempt you. Hope you find something you want to read.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Big Names for May

On with May titles by authors that are well known.  May is a big publishing month prior to summer which is considered a big reading season but not that many of the A List authors. So....let's get started.

I am going to start with Ace Atkins who might not be a big name all by himself but his book coming out on May 3 is Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn. This is the Spenser series which is always popular. Atkins is a former crime writer so he has the background for these. He has had some popular works outside this series also and could be compared to Lee Child or Harlan Coben. Here Spenser is approached by a firefighter who believes a recent fire was arson. When Spenser investigates, he discovers a string of arson. How dangerous is this?

James Patterson and Maxine Paetro have 15th Affair coming out on May 2. This is the 15th (of course) in the Women's Murder Club series. Reviewers have said that this is actually more of a Lindsay Boxer story that a story about the Club. When four bodies are found murdered at The Four Season Hotel, Boxer is called in to investigate. Unfortunately, her husband also goes missing at the same time. How is this connected with a beautiful blonde? Is it connected to a plane that is shot down from the sky? You have to read it to find out. Typical Patterson fare. If you like it, you love it.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child return with Beyond the Ice Limit on May 17. This is the fourth in the Gideon Crew series. This title also is a follow up of sorts of a novel they wrote in 2000, The Ice Limit. In the first story, Eli Glinn led a mission to recover the largest meteorite. During a violent storm, the ship sank with most of the crew and the meteorite. Eli Glinn survived but was paralyzed. Now, it has been discovered that the meteorite was not a rock but an organism and it is growing. If it is not destroyed, the earth will be doomed. Glinn and Gideon plot to get rid of it but it isn't as easy as they had thought.

The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux is coming out on May 3. This title is the first in a series. Deveraux writes romances: historical, contemporary, romantic suspense - basically love stories. This, however, is interesting because it is a take off or perhaps nod to Pride and Prejudice. The main characters are Casey Reddick - a chef who is playing Elizabeth in the local production of Pride and Prejudice and Tate Landers - a stuck-up Hollywood actor - her Darcy. Devlin - who is also in the cast tell Casey horrible stories about Tate - and she believes him. But is Tate as arrogant as he seems? Reviewers have loved this work by Deveraux.

Charlaine Harris, of True Blood fame, is back with the 3rd in the Midnight, Texas series on May 3. Night Shift has the vampire Lemuel discovering why witches, werewolves and other creatures make Midnight their home. When suddenly, the normal citizens of town start coming to the main crossroads in town to commit suicide, Lemuel realizes they are the ones that can stop it.  Characters from The Sookie Stackhouse series as well as Aurora Teagarden series appear. If you read the Stackhouse titles or watched True Blood on TV - give this a try.

I am going to include one more here although he has not been an A list name. Steve Hamilton was suppose to have The Second Life of Nick Mason arrive last October. Eight weeks before publication, he pulled the book from his long time publisher because they had not made any publicity or marketing plans for it. He now has a new publisher and Lionsgate has bought the film rights. Hamilton is one of the most acclaimed thriller authors being only the second to win the awards for both Best First Novel and Best Novel for The Lock Artist. In the title, Nick Mason gets out of prison after only 5 years of a 25 year to life term. This was arranged by a major criminal still behind bars. Mason has committed to do his bidding but all he wants to do is go straight and rebuild his relationship with his daughter and his ex-wife. Can he do both?

OK - that gives you some things to consider this week. Hope one appeals to you.