October 2009 Bestselling Fiction

 The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. The Year of the Flood is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power. The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners – a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life – has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God’s Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible. Have others survived? Ren’s bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers . . . Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo’hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can’t stay locked away . . . By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.

 There Goes the Bride by M.C. Beaton

James Lacey wandered over to the window of his hotel room. His fiancée, Felicity, was asleep. He was feeling some twinges of unease. What he loved about Felicity was the way she looked at him with her large eyes, appearing to drink in every word.But on the plane journey, he wondered if she were listening to him. “The order to charge was given,” said James, “and a spaceship landed in the valley and some little green men got out.” “Fascinating,” breathed Felicity. “You weren’t listening!” “Just tired, darling. What were you saying?”James heard a commotion down below the hotel. He opened the window and leaned out. A woman had tripped and fallen getting into a cab. He only got a glimpse but he was suddenly sure the woman was Agatha. A familiar voice rose on the Crimean air, “Snakes and bastards!”Bossy, impulsive, yet hopelessly romantic, Agatha is dreading the upcoming marriage of her ex-husband, James Lacey. Although she has set her sights on a handsome and beguiling new Frenchman, she can’t quite stop obsessing about James.Her best intentions to move on with her life are put on hold when James’s young bride is shot to death just minutes before saying “I do,” and Agatha is named the prime suspect. Agatha’s sleuthing sidekick Toni stands ready to help find the real killer, but the case proves trickier than ever.Will her name be cleared, or has the outrageous Agatha finally had her last romp?

 Capitol Offense by William Bernhardt

Accused of murdering a police officer he held responsible for the tragic death of his wife, Professor Dennis Thomas implores high-profile lawyer Ben Kincaid to defend him.

 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling-a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C.,The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale. As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object -artfully encoded with five symbols-is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom. When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon-a prominent Mason and philanthropist -is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations-all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth. As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown’s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown’s fans have been waiting for . . . his most thrilling novel yet.

 The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson

Betty Kowalski isn’t looking forward to the holidays. She just can’t seem to find Christmas in her heart. There’s church, of course. But who can she bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she pulled out the Christmas decorations? Her new neighbor just adds to the problem. He’s doing home improvements that don’t appear to be improving much of anything. These days when Betty looks out the window, she sees a beat-up truck, a pile of junk, lots of blue tarps, and–horror of horrors–an old pink toilet.But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn a very important lesson about what Christmas is all about. This contemporary Christmas story is a timely yet gentle reminder that God can work miracles through something as seemingly insignificant as a little brown dog.

 Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler

THE EXTRAORDINARY NEW ADVENTURE SERIES FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES- BESTSELLING AUTHOR A fortune lost for ages . . . a millionaire pursuing his destiny . . . Sam and Remi Fargo are about to encounter both. When it comes to explosive, adrenaline-charged adventure, Clive Cussler is hailed as “the master of building suspense and tension” (Richmond Times- Dispatch). Now Cussler unveils his newest heroes, a husband-and-wife team who hunt treasure for a living-even at the risk of dying. . . . Thousands of years ago, two superpowers of the ancient world went to war, and a treasure of immeasurable value was lost to the shadows of history. In 1800, while crossing the Pennine Alps with his Grand Reserve Army, Napoleon Bonaparte stumbled across a startling discovery. Unable to transport it, he created an enigmatic map on the labels of twelve bottles of rare wine. When Napoleon died, the bottles disappeared-and the treasure was lost again. Until now. Treasure-hunting husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo are exploring the Great Pocomoke Swamp in Maryland when they are shocked to discover a World War II German U-boat. Inside, they find a bottle taken from Napoleon’s famous “Lost Cellar,” and fascinated, they set out to find the rest of the collection. But another connoisseur of sorts is hunting his own prize, and the Lost Cellar is his key to finding it. That man is Hadeon Bondaruk, a half-Russian, half-Persian millionaire, and the treasure will be his, no matter what. Filled with the high-stakes suspense and boundless invention that are unique to Cussler, Spartan Goldis a dazzling thriller from the grand master of adventure fiction.

 Abyss by Troy Denning

Following a trail of clues across the galaxy, Luke Skywalker continues his quest to find the reasons behind Jacen Solo’s dark downfall and to win redemption for the Jedi Order. Meanwhile on Coruscant, Han and Leia Solo, along with their daughter Jaina, join the fight to protect more stricken Knights from arrest while Jedi healers race to find a cure for the rapidly spreading affliction. And deep in the Maw Cluster the Sith is poised to strike against the Skywalkers and the forces of good.

 Resurrecting Midnight by Eric Jerome Dickey

Set amid the exotic and vibrant streets of Miami and Buenos Aires, “Resurrecting Midnight” is an action-filled, pulse-pounding thriller from the bestselling author of “Dying for Revenge.”

 Blood’s a Rover by James Ellroy

Summer, 1968. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are dead. The assassination conspiracies have begun to unravel. A dirty-tricks squad is getting ready to deploy at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Black militants are warring in southside L.A. The Feds are concocting draconian countermeasures. And fate has placed three men at the vortex of History. Dwight Holly is J. Edgar Hoover’s pet strong-arm goon, implementing Hoover’s racist designs and obsessed with a leftist shadow figure named Joan Rosen Klein. Wayne Tedrow—ex-cop and heroin runner—is building a mob gambling mecca in the Dominican Republic and quickly becoming radicalized. Don Crutchfield is a window-peeping kid private-eye within tantalizing reach of right-wing assassins, left-wing revolutionaries and the powermongers of an incendiary era. Their lives collide in pursuit of the Red Goddess Joan—and each of them will pay “a dear and savage price to live History.” Political noir as only James Ellroy can write it—our recent past razed and fully reconstructed—Blood’s A Roveris a novel of astonishing depth and scope, a massive tale of corruption and retribution, of ideals at war and the extremity of love. It is the largest and greatest work of fiction from an American master.

 Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

Rumour has it that “Lunatic Larry” Jaeger is in the red–an idea that takes a sinister turn when Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office. It seems quite a few people would have liked to fill Larry’s stocking with coal and then bash him with it. With so many suspects to investigate and the twelve days of Christmas ticking away, Hannah’s running out of time to nab a murderous Scrooge who doesn’t want her to see the New Year.

 Even Money by Dick Francis

The New York Times-bestselling authors return with a heart-stopping new novel. On the first day of Royal Ascot, the world’s most famous horse race, the crowd rejoices in a string of winning favorites. Ned Talbot has worked all his life as a bookmaker- taking over the family business from his grandfather- so he knows not to expect any sympathy from the punters as they count their winnings, and he his losses. He’s seen the ups and downs before-but, as the big gambling conglomerates muscle in on small concerns like his, Ned wonders if it’s worth it any more. When a gray-haired man steps forward from the crowd claiming to be his father, Ned’s life is thrown into far deeper turmoil. He’d been told since he was a baby that his parents had died in a car crash. Barely an hour later, his newly found father is stabbed by an unknown assailant in the Ascot parking lot. Blood oozing from his abdomen, his father warns Ned to “be very careful.” But of whom? Of what? Ned finds himself in a race to solve his father’s riddle-a race where coming in second could cost him more than even money-it could cost him his life. . . .

 An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

As battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and his twentieth-century time-travelling wife Claire Randall flee from North Carolina to the high seas during the American Revolution, they encounter privateers and ocean battles. Meanwhile in the relative safety of the 20th century Brianna (Claire and Jamie’s daughter) and Roger MacKenzie, Brianna’s husband, search for clues not only to Claire’s fate–but to their own fate in the Highlands.

 Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinarylife, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

 The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind

A publishing event- #1 New York Times-bestselling author Terry Goodkind turns in a new direction and delivers a stunningly original thriller. Turning twenty-seven may be terrifying for some, but for Alex, a struggling artist living in the midwestern United States, it is cataclysmic. Inheriting a huge expanse of land should have made him a rich and happy man; but something about this birthday, his name, and the beautiful woman whose life he just saved, has suddenly made him-and everyone he loves-into a target. A target for extreme and uncompromising violence . . . In Alex, Terry Goodkind brings to life a modern hero in a whole new kind of high-octane thriller.

 The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace

Inspired by lawyer and television personality Grace’s own beginnings as a prosecutor and the tragic death of her fiance, “The Eleventh Victim” is a compelling debut mystery full of intrigue that thrills from start to finish.

 The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville

A stunning follow-up to her Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning book,The Secret River, Grenville’sThe Lieutenantis a gripping story about friendship, self-discovery, and the power of language set along the unspoiled shores of 1788 New South Wales. As a boy, Daniel Rooke was an outsider. Ridiculed in school and misunderstood by his parents, Daniel could only hope that he would one day find his place in life. When he joins the marines and travels to Australia as a lieutenant on the First Fleet, Daniel finally sees his chance for a new beginning. As his countrymen struggle to control their cargo of convicts and communicate with nearby Aboriginal tribes, Daniel constructs an observatory to chart the stars and begin the work he prays will make him famous. But the place where they have landed will prove far more revelatory than the night sky. Out on his isolated point, Daniel comes to intimately know the local Aborigines and forges a remarkable connection with one girl that will change the course of his life.The Lieutenantis a remarkable story about the poignancy of a friendship that defies linguistic and cultural barriers, and shows one man that he is capable of exceptional courage.

 Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby

From the beloved New York Times- bestselling author, a quintessential Nick Hornby tale of music, superfandom, and the truths and lies we tell ourselves about life and love. Annie loves Duncan-or thinks she does. Duncan loves Annie, but then, all of a sudden, he doesn’t. Duncan really loves Tucker Crowe, a reclusive Dylanish singer-songwriter who stopped making music ten years ago. Annie stops loving Duncan, and starts getting her own life. In doing so, she initiates an e-mail correspondence with Tucker, and a connection is forged between two lonely people who are looking for more out of what they’ve got. Tucker’s been languishing (and he’s unnervingly aware of it), living in rural Pennsylvania with what he sees as his one hope for redemption amid a life of emotional and artistic ruin-his young son, Jackson. But then there’s also the new material he’s about to release to the world: an acoustic, stripped-down version of his greatest album, Juliet-entitled, Juliet, Naked. What happens when a washed-up musician looks for another chance? And miles away, a restless, childless woman looks for a change? Juliet, Naked is a powerfully engrossing, humblingly humorous novel about music, love, loneliness, and the struggle to live up to one’s promise.

 Stardust by Joseph Kanon

Joseph Kanonis the author of four other novels,Los Alamos, The Good German, The Prodigal SpyandAlibi.nbsp; Before becoming a full-time writer, he was a book publishing executive. He lives in New York City.

 Pilgrims by Garrison Keillor

Wobegon goes abroad in this rousing and moving story of a group trip to Rome. Margie Krebsbach dreams up the idea of a trip to Rome, hoping to get her husband Carl to make love to her-he’s been sleeping across the hall and she has no idea why. She finds a patriotic purpose for the journey. A Lake Wobegon boy, Gussy Norlander, died in the liberation of Rome, 1944, and his grave, according to his elderly brother, Norbert, is in a neglected weed patch near the Colosseum. So it’s decided they will go to clean Gussy’s final resting place. Margie is unprepared for the enthusiastic response- fifty people want to go with her, including her nemesis, the mayor of Lake Wobegon, Carl’s bossy sister, Eloise, Mr. Berge the town drunk, and her treacherous mother-in-law. Margie fends off some of the would-be travelers with a graphic handout on the dangers of typhus and food poisoning and the seriousness of diarrhea, but ten applicants remain, though Carl is not sure he wants to go after all. At this, a heartbroken Margie gets the motley crew to the airport and aboard the plane, and then discovers one of the secret pleasures of travel-safely away from Lake Wobegon, the pilgrims’ memories are quickened and they recall long-forgotten incidents. In the warm circle of kinship, as they enter alien territory, they tell stories of astonishing frankness and self-revelation all delivered with Keillor’s trademark humor.

 Blindman’s Bluff by Faye Kellerman

Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus must solve a crime that will have repercussions for their own lives, in this powerful new crime drama from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “The Mercedes Coffin.”

 Hell is Other Parents by Deborah Kogan

Thrust among perhaps the most over-involved, overprotective, competitive, and interfering parents in history, journalist Kogan has written a series of essays that evokes and reflects on the particular yet universal challenges she has faced while parenting in the new millennium.

The Missing by Beverly Lewis

Twenty-one-year-old Grace Byler longs to find her missing mother and to uncover the secret that drove her to leave them three weeks before. Grace suspects the reason has to do with her father and his reserved, uncommunicative ways. This conviction led Grace to break off her betrothal to her quiet, staid beau, and she is now resigned to remain single. But when the young Amishman she thought was courting her best friend takes a sudden interest in her, Grace is befuddled and wonders if he can be trusted. “Englisher” Heather Lang has come to Amish country to relive fond memories of her mother and to contemplate a grave medical prognosis of her own. While in Bird-in-Hand, Heather meets Grace Byler and the two young women strike up a fast friendship, amazed by how well they click. Following the only clue they have, Grace and Heather travel together in hopes of finding Grace’s mother and bringing her home. Will they find what they’re looking for…or something much more?
 Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay

The macabre, witty New York Times bestselling series (and inspiration for the #1 Showtime series, Dexter) continues as our darkly lovable killer matches wits with a sadistic artiste who is creating bizarre murder tableaux of his own all over Miami. After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he’s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard– and Dexter’s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice– and his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight. The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter’s curiosity and Miami’s finest realize they’ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course, is back in business.

 The Burnt District by Gary Link

April 10, 1845: A monstrous fire rips through the city of Pittsburgh, destroying one-third of the city and leaving four thousand people homeless. Amazingly, the disaster claims only three lives. Or does it? City Constable John Parker and a group of night watchmen discover the body of a young girl among the rubble of a destroyed building. Others assume that the girl died as a result of the fire, but Parker’s mind is flooded by memories of a similar discovery from his boyhood, and he discards the idea that the girl’s death was an accident. Compelled by his haunting memories, Parker embarks on his own investigation and discovers that this is the latest in a series of murders reaching back seventeen years. His search for the killer takes him throughout the young city of Pittsburgh and into the hinterland of Western Pennsylvania, but all answers lead him back to The Burnt District.

 The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor

Wayne Castine was found brutally murdered and the murderer remains at large. Castine, a suspected child predator, was killed in Brattleboro where he was involved with a tangled network of an extended family living in a local trailer park. Any member of the clan would have had the opportunity to kill him, and, as he was involved with both the mother and her 12 year old daughter, reason to commit the murder. At the same time, Joe Gunther has learned that his girlfriend Lyn Silva’s fisherman father and brother, believed lost at sea off the coast of Maine, might have actually been murdered.Without enough solid information to warrant law enforce ment involvement, Lyn returns to Maine to try and investigate Gunther’s findings. Gunther periodically puts his on-going murder investigation on hold—irritating his colleagues and angering his bosses —to go and help Lyn in Maine. It appears increasingly possible that her father and brother weren’t the good guys that Lyn always believed them to be and that they might have been involved with vicious smugglers who murdered them—and might do the same to Lyn if she keeps pushing.Torn between his conscience and his heart, a murder invest – igation and a personal search for the truth, Gunther finds that betrayal and loyalty are often a matter of viewpoint.

 The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith

The sensational sixth installment in the best-selling chronicles of the irrepressibly curious Isabel Dalhousie. Isabel’s son, Charlie, is now of an age—eighteen months—to have a social life, and so off they go to a birthday party, where, much to Isabel’s surprise, she encounters an old adversary, Minty Auchterlonie, now a high-flying financier. Minty had seemed to Isabel a woman of ruthless ambition, but the question of her integrity had never been answered. Now, when Minty takes Isabel into her confidence about a personal matter, Isabel finds herself going another round: Is Minty to be trusted? Or is she the perpetrator of an enormous financial fraud? And what should Isabel make of the rumors of shady financial transactions at Minty’s investment bank? Not that this is the only dilemma facing Isabel: she also crosses swords again with her nemesis, Professor Dove, in an argument over plagiarism. Of course her niece, Cat, has a new, problematic man (a tightrope walker!) in her life. And there remains the open question of marriage to Jamie—doting father of Charlie. As always, there is no end to the delight in accompanying Isabel as she makes her way toward the heart of every problem: philosophizing, sleuthing, and downright snooping in her inimitable—and inimitably charming—fashion.

 Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid

Published in the U. S. for the first timeThe residents of Bradfield are devastated when their star midfielder dies, the victim of a bizarre, seemingly motiveless murder. In a hospital, recovering from injuries, criminal profiler and psychologist Dr. Tony Hill struggles to make sense of the fragments of information he can gather in order to help his ally, Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan, bring a killer to justice. Then an explosion rips through a soccer stadium, leaving dozens dead and many more injured, and Jordan finds herself pushed to the margins of the investigation by the intelligence services. Despite the dark places in their relationship, Tony and Carol remain the best hope for uncovering the truth about an ever-increasing series of unspeakable crimes. Are they terrorist attacks, a personal vendetta . . . or something even more sinister?

 No Time to Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard

New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard captured the heart of a nation with The Deep End of the Ocean, her celebrated debut novel about mother Beth Cappadora, a child kidnapped, a family in crisis. Now, in No Time to Wave Goodbye, the unforgettable Cappadoras are in peril once again, forced to confront an “unimaginable” evil. It has been twenty-two years since Beth Cappadora’s three-year-old son Ben was abducted. By some miracle, he returned nine years later, and the family began to pick up the pieces of their lives. But their peace has always been fragile: Ben returned from the deep end as another child and has never – felt entirely at ease with the family he was born into. Now the Cappadora children are grown: Ben is married with a baby girl, Kerry is studying to be an opera singer, and Vincent has emerged from his troubled adolescence as a fledgling filmmaker. The subject of Vincent’s new documentary, “No Time to Wave Goodbye,” shakes Vincent’s unsuspecting family to the core; it focuses on five families caught in the tortuous web of never knowing the fate of their abducted children. Though Beth tries to stave off the torrent of buried emotions, she is left wondering if she and her family are fated to relive the past forever. The film earns tremendous acclaim, but just as the Cappadoras are about to celebrate the culmination of Vincent’s artistic success, – what Beth fears the most occurs, and the Cappadoras are cast back into the past, revisiting the worst moment of their lives – with only hours to find the truth that can save a life. High in a rugged California mountain range, their rescue becomes a desperate struggle for survival. No Time to Wave Goodbye is Jacquelyn Mitchard at her best, a spellbinding novel about family loyalty, and love pushed to the limits of endurance.

 Dreamfever by Karen Moning

MacKayla Lane lies naked on the cold stone floor of a church, at the mercy of the erotic Fae master she once swore to kill. Far from home, unable to control her sexual hungers, MacKayla is now fully under the Lord Master’s spell. In New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning’s stunning new novel, the walls between human and Fae worlds have come crashing down. And as Mac fights for survival on Dublin’s battle-scarred streets, she will embark on the darkest–and most erotically charged–adventure of her life. He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought–and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust. As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge. It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth–about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons and about the world she thought she knew.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers — with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building’s other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin’s devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt’s neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including — perhaps — their aunt, who can’t seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

 Hardball by Sara Paretsky

When V. I. Warshawski is asked to find a man who’s been missing for four decades, a search that she figured would be futile becomes lethal. Afraid to learn that her adored father might have been a bent cop working for the Chicago P.D., V. I. takes the investigation all the way to its frightening end.

 The Professional by Robert Parker

Elizabeth Shaw specializes in wills and trusts at the Boston law firm of Shaw & Cartwright, and over the years she’s developed a friendship with wives of very wealthy men. However, these rich wives have a mutual secret: they’ve all had an affair with a man named Gary Eisenhower–and now he’s blackmailing them for money. Shaw hires Spenser to make Eisenhower “cease and desist,” so to speak, but when women start turning up dead, Spenser’s assignment goes from blackmail to murder.

 Generosity by Richard Powers

FROM THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD–WINNING AUTHOR OFTHE ECHO MAKER, A PLAYFUL AND PROVOCATIVE NOVEL ABOUT THE DISCOVERY OF THE HAPPINESS GENE When Chicagoan Russell Stone finds himself teaching a Creative Nonfiction class, he encounters a young Algerian woman with a disturbingly luminous presence. Thassadit Amzwar’s blissful exuberance both entrances and puzzles the melancholic Russell. How can this refugee from perpetual terror be so happy? Won’t someone so open and alive come to serious harm? Wondering how to protect her, Russell researches her war-torn country and skims through popular happiness manuals. Might her condition be hyperthymia? Hypomania? Russell’s amateur inquiries lead him to college counselor Candace Weld, who also falls under Thassa’s spell. Dubbed Miss Generosity by her classmates, Thassa’s joyful personality comes to the attention of the notorious geneticist and advocate for genomic enhancement, Thomas Kurton, whose research leads him to announce the genotype for happiness. Russell and Candace, now lovers, fail to protect Thassa from the growing media circus. Thassa’s congenital optimism is soon severely tested. Devoured by the public as a living prophecy, her genetic secret will transform both Russell and Kurton, as well as the country at large. What will happen to life when science identifies the genetic basis of happiness? Who will own the patent? Do we dare revise our own temperaments? Funny, fast, and finally magical,Generositycelebrates both science and the freed imagination. In his most exuberant book yet, Richard Powers asks us to consider the big questions facing humankind as we begin to rewrite our own existence.

 Rough Country by John Sandford

It’s a joy to announce that John Sandford is still doing everything right,” wrote the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the second adventure of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers. “Virgil acts like the best series protagonists-becoming someone we just enjoy spending time with.” Virgil’s always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he’s probably not going to be getting too many opportunities for that during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort, where a woman has been shot while kayaking. The resort is for women only, a place to relax, get fit, recover from plastic surgery, commune with nature, and while it didn’t start out to be a place mostly for those with Sapphic inclinations, that’s pretty much what it is today. Which makes things all the more complicated for Virgil, because as he begins investigating, he finds a web of connections between the people at the resort, the victim, and some local women, notably a talented country singer. The more he digs, the more he discovers the arrows of suspicion that point in many directions, encompassing a multitude of motivations: jealousy, blackmail, greed, anger, fear. Then he finds that this is not the first murder, that there was a second, seemingly unrelated one, the year before. And that there’s about to be a third, definitely related one, any time now. And as for the fourth . . . well, Virgil better hope he can catch the killer before that happens. Because it could be his own. Rich with the brilliant plotting and compulsively readable prose that are his hallmarks, Rough Countryis another immensely satisfying tale by one of our very best suspense writers.

 A Change in the Altitude by Anita Shreve

Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn’t know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband. A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and they eagerly agree. But during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever. A Change in Altitude illuminates the inner landscape of a couple, the irrevocable impact of tragedy, and the elusive nature of forgiveness. With stunning language and striking emotional intensity, Anita Shreve transports us to the exotic panoramas of Africa and into the core of our most intimate relationships.

 The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

#1 bestselling author Nicholas Sparks’s new novel is at once a compelling family drama and a heartrending tale of young love. Seventeen-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels–first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts…and heal them.

 The Sword of the Lady by S.M. Stirling

The New York Timesbestselling author continues his “epic of survival and rebirth” (Library Journal), chronicling a modern world without technology. Rudi Mackenzie has journeyed far across the land that was once the United States of America, hoping to find the source of the world-altering event that has come to be known as The Change. His final destination is Nantucket, an island overrun with forest, inhabited by a mere two hundred people who claim to have been transported there from out of time. Only one odd stone house remains standing. Within it, Rudi finds a beautifully made sword waiting for him-and once he takes it up, nothing will ever be the same…

 The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh

Patrick Collins is seven years old, and on his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather’s house. And, for reasons even he doesn’t understand, he wants the soldier that’s tucked away in his grandfather’s attic.Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift tells in an engaging, simple style the story of a family, and reminds us of the surprising things that affect powerful change in our hearts–like a young boy’s prayers, a shoebox full of love letters, and even an old wooden soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of forgiveness will engage readers everywhere.

 Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weineris the author of six novels:Good in Bed,In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture,Little Earthquakes,Goodnight Nobody,Certain Girls, andBest Friends Forever, as well as the short story collection,The Guy Not Taken. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Philadelphia with her family.

 Hothouse Orchid by Stuart Woods

A brand-new page-turning Holly Barker novel from the perennially entertaining New York Times-bestselling author Stuart Woods. After Special Agent Holly Barker lets international terrorist Teddy Fay slip through her fingers for a second time, the CIA thinks she might want a long vacation, at least until Teddy is captured and the bad publicity has blown over. So Holly returns to her hometown of Orchid Beach, Florida, where she had been police chief for many years. But a very unpleasant surprise awaits her. Many years earlier, Holly and another female army officer had brought charges against their commanding officer for sexual harassment, attempted rape, and rape. Holly had managed to fight him off, but the other woman, a young lieutenant, had not. The officer in question was acquitted of all charges, and has also left the army-for a job as Orchid Beach’s new police chief. Will Holly return to the CIA? Or will she challenge her old nemesis for control of the Orchid Beach Police Department?

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