Best Sellers

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Last Post about September Titles

Can't believe I will start on October titles next week we are at the end of August so I guess I have to believe it. I'm going to try to cover some quite quickly today. Let's see what we have left.

Todd Moss has Ghosts of Havana coming out on September 6. This is the third in the Judd Ryker series. What makes this series interesting is the Moss was a high ranking Department of State diplomat in West Africa so he understands the workings of the government. Moss' first two Ryker books took place in Africa but here, the place is Cuba. When 4 sport fishermen stray into Cuban waters and are imprisoned, Ryker, as the State Department Crisis Manager, is sent to deal with the incident. But the more he looks, the more he wonders what is actually going on.

Red Right Hand by Chris Holm comes out on September 13. This is the second in the Michael Henricks series after The Killing Kind. Hendricks is an paid assassin who kills assassins. When their is a terrorist attack on the Golden Gate Bridge, some mobile video showed the world that an FBI informant who they believed to be dead, was actually alive and well. He was supposed to testify against a crime syndicate called The Council. The FBI is only interested in catching the terrorists so Special Agent Charlie Thomson asks Michael Henricks to protest the witness. Compelling, fast paced and action-packed according to reviewers. Should you read the first one first? Most of the reviewers have.

I am just going to mention the next one because it is an interesting work on nonfiction but....well, you would have to want a real close view of the US education system. Nicholson Baker, an award winning author, spent a year as a substitute teacher with a school system in Maine. In Substitute, coming out on September 6, he describes his experience and his impression of todays public school system.

Sophie Hannah has Closed Casket coming out on September 6. This is the second in the New Hercule Poirot Novel series after The Monogram Murders. Here Poirot with help from Scotland Yard inspector Edward Catchpool solve a murder that takes place at an old rich, aristocrat lady's lavish party in the Irish countryside. Reviewers have said this one is even better than the first one and at times, you forget that you are not reading Christie.

Ron Rash has The Risen also coming out on September 6. When I think of Rash, I think of moody Appalachian mountain fiction and this meets that criteria. This story takes place in the Asheville, NC area and concerns two brothers. One, Eugene, a failed alcoholic author whose wife and daughter have left him and the other, Bill, a successful neurosurgeon. Back in the summer of 1969, a wild child Liegeia who had been sent to the town from Daytona Beach, in punishment - introduced both to drugs, alcohol and sex. Then, suddenly, she disappeared. What actually happened that summer? Rash's writing is lyrical with a real sense of place.

Lastly, again on September 6, Carl Hiaasen has Razor Girl arriving. As usual, it is filled with wild characters. Here Andrew Yancy lost his detective badge when he had a Dust Busting incident with his ex-lover's husband. Now, he inspects restaurants in Key West but wants to get back to his old job. He decides to try to solve a murder. Most of the enjoyment of reading Hiaasen comes from meeting the really outlandish characters he invents. This title certainly has that. So if you like humor or sarcasm with your suspense, try this one.

OK - those are the September titles from me. Hope there is something that interests you.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

More September Titles

So this week, I am going to do mysteries, suspense and thrillers that will be out next month. There are enough to dedicate this entry to them even without the ones I've already told you about.

Because I'm Watching by Christina Dodd comes out on September 6. Dodd writes romantic suspense among other genres and this fall in that genre. Mad Maddie, Madeline Hewitson, has survived a college dorm massacre; been accused of the murder of her lover; and now has driven her car into the house of Jacob Denisov. Jacob has quite a back story too.He blames himself for the troubles in his past and is trying to come up with the nerve to commit suicide. Then Maddie happens. Jacob begins suspecting that she isn't crazy but that someone is trying to convince her she is.

Elsa Hart has The White Mirror also arriving on September 6. This is a follow up to a title I loved, Jade Dragon Mountain. If this one has the wonderful sense of place and lushness of the first, it will be a winner for me. Li Du was an exiled imperial librarian but after the first book, he has become a free traveler. He accompanies a trade caravan which happens upon a dead monk with a strange image painted on his skin. Because of a snowstorm, the caravan and others are forced to take shelter in the local manor. Li Du finds clues which lead him to believe the monk was murdered and did not commit suicide. His investigation brings him to realize some hard truths about himself. Reviewers have praised this one highly -the said things like "the book is a fascinating look at 18th century China, its culture, religion, and the people's way of life." and "This is an excellent series with wonderful atmosphere, intelligent content, and beautiful writing." I highly encourage anyone who like historical mysteries to give this one a try. It can be read as a standalone.

An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson comes out on September 13. This is the 12th in the Walt Longmire series. Walt is the Sheriff of Absaroka, Wyoming and he and his friend Henry Standing Bear travel to Hulett, Wyoming to join a motorcycle rally. While there, Walt is asked to assist on an accident investigation. Things get very complicated when dealing with biker gangs, undercover ATF agents, neo-Nazis and other gun-obsessed people. Henry likes to quote Sherlock Holmes and the title comes from one Henry loves to quote, "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." If you read Johnson, you won't want to miss this one.

Gilly Macmillan has The Perfect Girl arriving on September 6. If you read her debut novel, What She Knew, you will for sure want to give this one a try. Here,  Zoe Maisey is a 17 year old musical prodigy. When she was 14, she made a horrible mistake that ended with 3 teenagers being dead. She has served time, her parents got divorced, and she and her mother now live with a new step father who also has a son who is a musical prodigy. Unfortunately, the new father and brother have not heard about Zoe's past. During a big recital, one of the parents of the dead teens arrives and announces the secret. Somehow, at the end of the evening, Zoe's mother ends up dead. Who????? Why?????

Presumption of Guilt by Archer Mayor arrives on September 27. This is the 27th Joe Gunther novel. Here, a 40 year old skeleton is found encased in concrete at a decommissioned nuclear energy site. Gunther, the head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, gets the case which quickly goes from missing person to murder. The victim was Hank Mitchell and Gunther starts talking to people who knew him. Then, right after talking to one of them, the man is shot and killed AND a young police officer whose father is a VBI investigator is kidnapped. Apparently, even after 40 years, there are people who are willing to kill to keep the murderer safe.

Lastly, Stuart Neville has So Say the Fallen coming out on September 20. This is the second in the series taking place in Ireland and featuring Detective Chief Inspector Serena Flanagan. During her last case, her home had been invaded and her husband attacked. Her family has been unable to put this behind them and Serena is afraid they are going to leave. Then, she is asked to sign off on the supposed suicide of a severely disabled local businessman. On arriving, she finds the widow being comforted by the local reverend who is a close friend. Alarm bells start going off for Serena and she suspects foul play however, there is no evidence. Without support, she has to go forth on her own. Said to be a real page turner with a strong plot and believable characters.

Hope there is something here which tempts you. Only one more week before we move on to October. That is hard to believe. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

LibraryReads for September

It is that time of the month - the time when we put out the top ten most appreciated titles that come out in September. Leading the way this month is an adult debut novel from Gayle Forman, Leave Me.
Foreman has been a journalist and a young adult novelist but this is her first novel for adults and it is a good one. Maribeth Klein is a harried working mother who doesn't even realize when she has had a heart attack. Her family is far from supportive and her recovery seems to be more of an inconvenience than a process. Maribeth then packs her suitcase and leaves her 4 year old twins; husband and job behind. Wonderful character studies with a narrator that you support even if you don't like her.

The rest in no particular order:

Jenny Colgan's The Bookshop on the Corner made the list. Colgan writes about women and her character studies are amusing and come across as real. This story has to do with a librarian - so of course librarians are going to love it. Nina Redmond's job as a librarian disappeared so she bought a van and converted it into a type of bookmobile and travels from place to place to put the perfect book into people's hands. The romance of the road, the romance of good books and just plain romance.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett made the list. Patchett writes character driven, bittersweet fiction and this is certainly one of those. It follows 5 decades in 2 families - the Cousins and the Keatings. Bert Cousins leaves his wife with 4 children for Beverly Keating and Beverly with two children of her own, leaves her husband. It is the story of the families and most particularly the children. Said to be equal measure of humor and heartbreak.

Dinah Jefferies has The Tea Planter's Wife on the list. Jefferies is a British historical fiction author and has not been widely published in the US.  Her work is atmospheric or as I like to say has a great sense of place. Here the place is Ceylon. 19 year old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich widower and she is anxious to start her life on  a tea plantation in Ceylon. When she arrives, she finds the plantation workers resentful, the neighbors unfriendly and then she discovers a dusty trunk and realizes her husband has secrets.

Sharon Bolton's Daisy in Chains which I just talked about in my last blog made the list. In case you forgot....Hamish Wolfe is handsome and charismatic and a convicted serial killer. Maggie Rose is a true crime writer and a lawyer who has been able to get convicted killer out of prison. Hamish is trying to use his charms to win Maggie's help. How bad is he?????

Thomas Mullen has Darktown on the list. Mullen tends to write historical thrillers. He has covered the Great Depression and the 1918 flu epidemic. Now, he covers the integration of the Atlanta Police Force in 1948. When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up fatally beaten, only 2 black cops seem to car, Boggs and Smith. They fight all sides in order to find her killer.

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman is on the list. Cogman writes fantasy or steampunk fiction. This is the second in a series which started with The Invisible Library. People who work in libraries generally like titles that feature librarians as this series does. The series takes place in an alternate version of Victorian London where the 'hero' is Irene, a Librarian/spy who collects fiction for the Library. Here here partner, Kai - a dragon, is kidnapped and Irene must rescue him or face the collapse of civilization.

Now comes my favorite title of the month - not necessarily favorite book but the title - well - you'll see. Thrice The Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley, the 8th in the Flavia de Luce series, is on the list. In this work, Flavia is expelled and upon sailing home finds her father in the hospital and her sisters looming over her. When she is sent on an errand and finds a dead body, she is overjoyed with the thought of a case to investigate.

Blood At The Root by Patrick Phillips is the only nonfiction work on the list this month. Phillips digs into the history of the racial cleansing in 1912 of Forsyth County, Georgia. 3 young African American laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. The violence that erupted had all three hanged and over 1,000 black citizens chased out of the county. Phillips grew up in Forsyth County and he is a poet and a professor. He manages to cover violence in a vivid and unforgettable way.

Lastly, Kate Saunders has The Secrets of Wishtide on the list. Saunders writes historical mysteries with strong female characters and this is certainly bound to be one. In probably the start of a series, we are introduced to Laetitia Rodd, a widow who works as an investigator in 1850's London. She is asked to find out the history of a prospective bride but the more she looks, the more secrets she finds.

OK - there are the LibraryReads for the month of September. Hope one of them tempts you.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

September Titles

OK - here we continue with the authors who didn't make the major list last week. There are some interesting ones and some variety. Let's see what's coming!

Jennifer Chiaverini finished her Elm Creek Quilts series and has produced Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth. It comes out on September 13. Here she examines Booth through the eyes of his mother, his sister, the senator's daughter who loved him and a Confederate widow , Mary Surratt. If you read historical fiction, reviewers say this is a must read.

J.A. Jance has Downfall, the 17th in the Joanna Brady series, coming out on September 6. Brady is pregnant, up for reelection and her mother and stepfather have been murdered. Still, she feels compelled to investigate the strange suicide? murder? of two woman who fell from a nearby peak.

M.C. Beaton returns with the 27th in the Agatha Raisin cozy series, Pushing Up Daisies, on September 1. Lord Bellington is murdered after advertising that he was turning the community garden into a housing project. His son is suspect number one but the son hires Agatha to find the real killer. Agatha as always has lots of help from her friends in the community. Then, the police stumble across another body.  Those who love this series will definitely love this one.

Sharon Bolton, who published originally under her initials, S. J., has Daisy in Chains coming out on September 20. Hamish Wolfe is handsome and charismatic but he is also a convicted serial killer. Maggie Rose is a true crime writer but also a barrister of acclaim having gotten several convicted killers off on appeal. Hamish wants Maggie to do the same for him. Maggie is trying to steel herself from his charm. Could he possibly be innocent? Reviewers in Britain (where it came out earlier this summer) have praised it saying if you read one thriller this year, it should be this one.

The Emerald Lie by Ken Bruen comes out on August 30, 2016. The 12th in the Jack Taylor series has the addicted, ex-cop investigating a murderous Cambridge graduate who exacts revenge on people using bad grammar and he is approached by a father who wants Jack to exact revenge on those responsible for his daughter's rape and murder. Jack is busy and the work is full of the black humor for which Ken Bruen is known.

Lastly, Reed Farrel Coleman continues Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series with Robert B. Parker's Debt To Pay on September 13. Here, Stone is preoccupied with his own personal problems to include is ex-wife, Jenn, remarrying when he is surprised by the murder of a major Boston crime boss. Stone thinks it is Mr. Peeper who has vowed revenge on the mob, Stone and also his ex-wife. Can revenge be interrupted. A strong entry in the series.

OK - this gives you some choices to review. Have a great rest of the week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

September Major Names

I seem to keep apologizing I go again. I always do my blogs on Saturday early in the AM when the library is quiet. I am usually the only one here other than perhaps the cleaning staff. Last  Saturday I came in to do my blog and horror! - I was locked out of the network. No one to help me - no way to get to my phone list - so......I left. Now I will start with the September books instead of the last of August. I won't do a blog on Saturday but will do one towards the middle of the week next week. Then - I might do another on the Saturday after that. I really do like coming in early that day. It is quite peaceful. Anyway - one with the September names.

My most favorite of favored authors has a title coming out on September 20, Harlan Coben's title is Home. It is a Myron Bolitar title also, the eleventh in the series. I love this series there is humor and good characters AND a good plot. Here, 10 years ago two boys from wealthy families disappear. Myron and his sidekick Win think they have found one of them. Where had he been? What happened to the other boy? Questions that only Myron and Win can answer. I can't wait!!!!

Next, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro give us Woman of God on September 26. This is a departure for Patterson - I am not sure that all Patterson fans will like it. Reviewer see to love it though so they might. This is the story of a female priest who started as a doctor, Brigid Fitzgerald was a doctor who had a tough childhood and sacrificed to become a doctor and then volunteered to go to the war ravaged South Sudan to practice. Tragedy after tragedy after tragedy occurs - a few reviewers have hinted that perhaps too many tragedies. Brigid and her faith overcome them all. She becomes a female priest and...20 years later - there is talk of her becoming the Pope. She has enemies though both out and inside the church. Will she be alive to find out?

Clive Cussler with Robin Burcell have Pirate, the 8th in Fargo series, coming on September 13. Sam and Remi Fargo are on the search for an 800 year old treasure. Unfortunately, there is someone else who thinks it is rightfully his and he will stop at nothing. A typical Cussler high action adventure.

Next is perhaps not a 'major' author but she is local and she is really good. Karin Slaughter (from Atlanta) has The Kept Woman, the 8th in the Will Trent series. It comes out on September 20th. Will Trent has his own personal fan club within Karin Slaughter's readers. We like him. Here, he finds a body on the floor of an abandoned Atlanta warehouse and bloody footprints lead him to believe another wounded woman had wandered away. The unfortunate part is that the warehouse belongs to a famous athlete who Will is already investigating for rape. Slaughter's books don't need to be read in order so dive in anywhere. See if you want to join the Will Trent fan club.

Lastly - perhaps not as well known but certainly with her followings, J.A. Jance has Downfall, the 17th in the Joanna Brady series. It arrives on September 6. Brady is an Arizona sheriff and Jance's work has a great sense of place. The desert can be beautiful - or deadly. Here Brady is pregnant, her mother and father were recently slain; a re-election campaign is looming and her daughter is headed off to college. You might say she has her hands full but....things happen. Here, two woman 'fall' to their deaths off a local cliff. Were they connected? Was it an accident/suicide/murder? Many questions for Brady to answer.

OK, see if one of these tempt you. There are several that I am planning on reading. Talk to you next week!