January 2010 Fiction

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The enthralling international bestseller. We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building’s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence. Then there’s Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma’s trust and to see through Renée’s timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

Final Exam by Maggie Barbieri

A budding star in the mystery world, Maggie Barbieri delivers another wildly entertaining adventure in her Murder 101 series. When a Resident Director goes missing, college professor Alison Bergeron tries to track him down–but it’s never quite that easy.

Mariposa by Greg Bear

In an America driven to near bankruptcy, the Talos Corporation stands out as a major success story: it trains soldiers and security forces from around the world. But Talos has a more sinister motive than anyone realizes–the destruction of the federal government.

The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry

When Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile in 1821, he took to the grave a powerful secret. As general and emperor, he had stolen immeasurable riches from palaces, national treasuries, and even the Knights of Malta and the Vatican. In his final days, his British captors hoped to learn where the loot lay hidden. But he told them nothing, and in his will he made no mention of the treasure. Or did he? Former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone isn’t looking for trouble when it comes knocking at his Copenhagen bookshop. Actually, it breaks and enters in the form of an American Secret Service agent with a pair of assassins on his heels. Malone has his doubts about the anxious young man, but narrowly surviving a ferocious firefight convinces him to follow his unexpected new ally. Their first stop is the secluded estate of Malone’s good friend, Henrik Thorvaldsen. The wily Danish tycoon has uncovered the insidious plans of the Paris Club, a cabal of multimillionaires bent on manipulating the global economy. Only by matching wits with a terrorist-for-hire, foiling a catastrophic attack, and plunging into a desperate hunt for Napoleon’s legendary lost treasure can Malone hope to avert international financial anarchy. But Thorvaldsen’s real objective is much more personal: to avenge the murder of his son by the larcenous aristocrat at the heart of the conspiracy. Thorvaldsen’s vendetta places Malone in an impossible quandary-one that forces him to choose between friend and country, past and present. Starting in Denmark, moving to England, and ending up in the storied streets and cathedrals of Paris, Malone plays a breathless game of duplicity and death, all to claim a prize of untold value. But at what cost?

Charlie Chan Carries On by Earl Biggers

Keeper of  the Keys by Earl Biggers

Death Message by Mark Billingham

From one of Britain’s most compelling and talented crime writers comes an unforgettable new entry in the Tom Thorne detective series. This chilling thriller begins with a body and a phone line–both dead.

The Poisoning in the Pub by Simon Brett

Business at the venerable Crown and Anchor pub is flagging-and with good reason-in Brett’s droll 10th mystery set in the West Sussex town of Fethering (after 2008’s Blood at the Bookies). An outbreak of food poisoning, with attendant bad press, temporarily shuts down the establishment. Then the grand reopening is spoiled by a rowdy biker gang and the brutal stabbing death of a beloved, mentally challenged kitchen helper. Before you can say “plowman’s lunch,” plucky Carole Seddon and her friend, Jude, are on the case. As “women of a certain age,” Carole and Jude are often underestimated, a circumstance they use to good advantage, along with dogged persistence, feminine wiles and people skills. Those with counter-corporate leanings will enjoy the bashing meted out on a McPub chain bent on driving traditional public houses out of business. (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Rainwater by Sandra Brown

A romantic historical novel from bestselling thriller-master Sandra Brown, about an independent woman who runs a boarding house in Dust Bowl Texas.

First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

The next book in the thrilling New York Times bestselling series. For years he has endured the endless trials and triumphs of a man whose skill and power could not be restrained. Battling ancient enemies, forging new alliances, and confronting the corruption within his own land, Gaius Octavian became a legendary man of war-and the rightful First Lord of Alera. But now, the savage Vord are on the march, and Gaius must lead his legions to the Calderon Valley to stand against them-using all of his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness.

Heat Wave by  Richard Castle

A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light. Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City’s top homicide squads. She’s hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York¿s Finest. Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren’t her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.

The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark

From the author of the media sensation Because She Can, a modern retelling of classics My Fair Lady and Pygmalion, The Overnight Socialite tells a timeless story of transformation and unlikely love set against the glittering backdrop of contemporary Manhattan.

The Disciple by Stephen Coonts

In this new novel by theNew York Timesbestselling author, Stephen Coonts, Iran is weeks away from acquiring nuclear weapons and has every intention of using them to strike first— only Tommy Carmellini and Jake Grafton can stop a nuclear nightmareIran is much closer to having operational nuclear weapons than the CIA believes, and Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has a plan. Iran will become a martyr nation, and Ahmadinejad will lead the united Muslims of the world in a holy war against the non-believers.But the Americans have a secret weapon in a group of Iranian dissidents, including a brother and sister determined to avenge the death of their beloved grandfather at the hands of the religious police. They are funneling information to Carmellini. They want to stop the attack before their leader launches a new world war. But will the U.S. government believe the information they are providing, and can the Americans prevent the Israelis from taking matters into their own hands, which could prove disastrous?Returning to the kind of military and espionage story that madeCubaone of his most successful novels, Coonts weaves an unforgettable tale of men and women at war, with the sort of dramatic military action and undercover technology for which Coonts is known.

A Catered Birthday Party by Isis Crawford

In Crawford’s sixth novel in her much-loved culinary mystery series, sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons cater a prize pooch’s birthday bash–and unearth a killer in the process.

Memoirs of a Midget by Walter de la Mare

“One of the strangest and most enchanting works of fiction ever written.”-Alison LurieMiss M., a pretty young woman with a passion for shells, fossils, flints, butterflies, and stuffed animals, remains isolated from the rest of society due to her diminutive size. Forced to make her own way in the world after the death of her father, she finds herself treated as little more than an entertaining curiosity.Walter de la Mare (18731956) was one of the leading poets and novelists of the twentieth century. First published in 1921, Memoirs of a Midget won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction.

Days of Gold by Jude Deveraux

From the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Return to Summerhouse, Someone to Love,” and “Temptation” comes the second book in the multi-generational Edilean series–a sweeping romance set in 1766.

Too Much Money by Dominick Dunne

My name is Gus Baileyhellip;It should be pointed out that it is a regular feature of my life that people whisper things in my ear, very private things, about themselves or others. I have always understood the art of listening.   The last two years have been monstrously unpleasant for high-society journalist Gus Bailey. His propensity for gossip has finally gotten him into trouble-$11 million worth. His problems begin when he falls hook, line, and sinker for a fake story from an unreliable source and repeats it on a radio program. As a result of his flip comments, Gus becomes embroiled in a nasty slander suit brought by Kyle Cramden, the powerful congressman he accuses of being involved in the mysterious disappearance of a young woman, and he fears it could mean the end of him.   The stress of the lawsuit makes it difficult for Gus to focus on the novel he has been contracted to write, which is based on the suspicious death of billionaire Konstantin Zacharias. It is a story that has dominated the party conversations of Manhattan’s chattering classes for more than two years. The convicted murderer is behind bars, but Gus is not convinced that justice was served. There are too many unanswered questions, such as why a paranoid man who was usually accompanied by bodyguards was without protection the very night he perished in a tragic fire.   Konstantin’s hot-tempered widow, Perla, is obsessed with climbing the social ladder and, as a result, she will do anything to suppress this potentially damaging story. Gus is convinced she is the only thing standing between him and the truth.   Dominick Dunne revives the world he first introduced in his mega-bestselling novelPeople Like Us, and he brings readers up to date on favorite characters such as Ruby and Elias Renthal, Lil Altemus, and, of course, the beloved Gus Bailey. Once again, he invites us to pull up a seat at the most important tables at Swifty’s, get past the doormen at esteemed social clubs like The Butterfield, and venture into the innermost chambers of the Upper East Side’s most sumptuous mansions.    Too Much Moneyis a satisfying, mischievous, and compulsively readable tale by the most brilliant society chronicler of our time-the man who knew all the secrets and wasn’t afraid to share them.

The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch

Celebrating the 1866 holiday season at the side of his fiancée, amateur sleuth Charles Lenox is drawn into the double-homicide case of two reporters, an investigation that is complicated by a police ruling that the killings are unrelated.

Sizzle by Julie Garwood

“New York Times”-bestselling author Garwood weaves magnificent stories of passion, adventure, and intrigue. Now she raises the heat and spices up the action with a sexy, smart, daring new heroine and a smoldering thriller.

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

Calling T is for Trespass”taut, terrifying, transfixing and terrific,” USA Today went on to ask, “What does it take to write twenty novels about the same character and manage to create a fresh, genre-bending novel every time?” It’s a question worth pondering. Through twenty excursions into the dark side of the human soul, Sue Grafton has never written the same book twice. And so it is with this, her twenty-first. Once again, she breaks genre formulas, giving us a twisting, complex, surprise-filled, and totally satisfying thriller. It’s April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone’s thirty-eighth birthday, and she’s alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he’d be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey’s help in locating the child’s remains and finding the men who killed her. It’s a long shot but he’s willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he’s the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications? Grafton moves the narrative between the eighties and the sixties, changing points of view, building multiple subplots, and creating memorable characters. Gradually, we see how they all connect. But at the beating center of the novel is Kinsey Millhone, sharp-tongued, observant, a loner-“a heroine,” said The New York Times Book Review, “with foibles you can laugh at and faults you can forgive.”

Crawlspace by Sarah Graves

Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree abandoned Wall Street to its bankruptcies and bailouts for a far more rewarding life fixing up an 1823 Federal-style house in Eastport, Maine. But in Sarah Graves’s chilling new mystery thriller, Jake discovers that no matter what your address, the most terrifying crimes always hit closest to home. The infamous Dodd murders are hardly among Eastport’s proudest legacies. So when bestselling true-crime author Carolyn Rathbone arrives to research the case for a new book, the locals in the seaside town let her know that she’s about as welcome as a spoiled clam. But surely no one would harm a crime writer out of a sense of civic pride–or would they? Jake has her own problems, from the mysteries of old-house insulation to an anonymous caller plaguing her with death threats. But with Carolyn’s arrival, the slayings of the wealthy Dodd women suddenly go from cold case to hot topic–much to someone’s dismay. For Carolyn Rathbone’s untimely investigation hasn’t only reopened old wounds and stirred up new suspicions; it’s unearthed a string of deadly secrets–ones that a cunning killer is grimly determined to rebury right along with Carolyn herself. Suddenly Jake finds herself inescapably targeted by one of the most deranged criminal minds she’s ever encountered. For as much as she fights to insulate herself from his grisly compulsions, someone with a taste for terror has already crept closer than she dares to imagine. She’d rather die than lose the home and family she’s built–and that suits her nemesis fine, because her death is just exactly what he has planned.

The Honor of Spies by W.E.B. Griffin

Griffin’s Honor Bound novels have been hailed as “immensely entertaining” (“Kirkus Reviews”). Filled with the special flair that Griffin’s fans have come to expect, “The Honor of Spies” is another rousing adventure from one of the country’s finest storytellers.

The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton

In the Massachusetts Colony, political upheaval turns murderous, in this new series featuring First Lady–and sleuth–Abigail Adams.

Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell Hamiliton

You may know me best as Meredith Nic Essus, princess of faerie. Or perhaps as Merry Gentry, Los Angeles private eye. In the fey and mortal realms alike, my life is the stuff of royal intrigue and celebrity drama. Among my own, I have confronted horrendous enemies, endured my noble kinr’s treachery and malevolence, and honored my duty to conceive a royal heir-all for the right to claim the throne. But I turned my back on court and crown, choosing exile in the human world-and in the arms of my beloved Frost and Darkness. While I may have rejected the monarchy, I cannot abandon my people. Someone is killing the fey, which has left the LAPD baffled and my guardsmen and me deeply disturbed. My kind are not easily captured or killed. At least not by mortals. I must get to the bottom of these horrendous murders, even if that means going up against Gilda, the Fairy Godmother, my rival for fey loyalties in Los Angeles. But even stranger things are happening. Mortals I once healed with magic are suddenly performing miracles, a shocking phenomenon wreaking havoc on human/faerie relations. Though I am innocent, dark suspicions of banned magical activities swirl around me. I thought I’d left the blood and politics behind in my own turbulent realm. I had dreamed of an idyllic life in sunny L.A. with my beloved ones beside me. But it becomes time to wake up and realize that evil knows no borders, and that nobody lives forever-even if they’re magical.

The Vows of Silence by Susan Hill

In Hill’s fourth crime novel featuring Chief Inspector Serrailler, a gunman is terrorizing young women in the cathedral town of Laffterton. Serrailler must determine what–if anything–links the apparently random murders.

Deeper Than The Dead by Tami  Hoag

One of the most intense suspense writers around (“Chicago Tribune”) returns with this thriller. California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried body–and that’s just the start of this heart-pounding ride.

Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard

A romance in the jungle – Grant Sullivan, tough, masculine and handsome, is a retired military expert entrusted with a mission in the Costa Rican jungle – to find hostage and socialite Jane Hamilton Greer. When Grant rescues her in a rather cavalier and physical fashion, no love is lost between them. But gradually their mutual attraction and passion becomes apparent and the jungle smoulders in more ways than one.

I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter

Four famed ’60s radicals are gunned down at long range by a sniper. Under enormous media scrutiny, the FBI quickly concludes that Marine war hero Carl Hitchcock, whose ninety-three kills were considered the leading body count tally among American marksman in Vietnam, was the shooter. But as the Bureau, led by Special Agent Nick Memphis, bears down, Hitchcock commits suicide. In closing out the investigation, Nick discovers a case made in heaven: everything fits, from timeline, ballistics, and forensics to motive, means, and opportunity. Maybe it’s a little too perfect.Nick asks his friend, the retired Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger, to examine the data. Using a skill set no other man on earth possesses, Swagger soon discovers unseen anomalies and gradually begins to unravel a sophisticated conspiracy — one that would require the highest level of warcraft by the most superb special operations professionals. As Swagger penetrates the deepest secrets of the sniper world and its new technology, Nick stands firm in the face of hardball PR initiatives and an inflamed media calling for his ouster.Swagger soon closes in, and those responsible will stop at nothing to take him out. But these heavily armed men make the mistake of thinking they are hunting Bob, when he is, in fact, hunting them.I, Sniperwill satisfy Stephen Hunter’s legions of fans and win him droves of new ones with its signature blend of brilliant plotting, vivid characters, razor-sharp dialogue, and extraordinary gunfights. And when Swagger and the last of his antagonists finally face each other, reenacting a classic ritual of arms, it is clear that at times there’s nothing more necessary than a good man with a gun and the guts to use it.

The Memory Quilt by Linda Howard

A perfect Christmas for Lela Edwards this year would include the presence of her husband, her three daughters, and her favorite granddaughter, Darcie. They would each be happy, healthy, and properly married. But life doesn’t always unfold in a perfect way, even for God-loving, churchgoing people like these. Lela’s husband of fifty years, Walter, has recently passed, and the daughters now live in towns and states far from the Chicago neighborhood where they were raised. Darcie is traveling to Missouri City, Texas, to be with her mother, not to Chicago to be with her grandmother, whom she expects to come down hard on her for deciding to divorce her husband and the father of her unborn child. Lela is upset and annoyed with Darcie and herself for breaking her own time-honored tradition of making a quilt to celebrate each family wedding. The quilt is still in separate pieces, and apparently so is the marriage of Doug and Darcie. The Christmas season is about celebrating the birth and meaning of Christ; about the hope and inspiration that the story we revisit each year offers. So, as the days of the season progress, Lela participates in a Bible study group that focuses on the Virgin Mary. This is the cold season in Chicago and rough weather, literally and figuratively, is ahead for Lela, her family, neighbors, and fellow church members, but in the Scriptures are messages and guidance. If they heed the lessons of the Virgin Mary, they will learn from their mistakes and misjudgments of each other and find favor with God.

Trial by Fire by J.A. Jance

In the heat of the Arizona desert, a raging fire pushes temperatures to a deadly degree, and one woman is left to burn. Pulled naked and barely breathing from the fire, the victim has no idea who she is, let alone who would do this to her — or why. In her hospital bed she drifts in and out of consciousness, her only means of communicating a blink of the eye. And then an angel appears. Misguidedly known around town as the “Angel of Death,” Sister Anselm has devoted her life to working as an advocate for unidentified patients. To her burn patient, she is a savior. But to this Jane Doe’s would-be killer, Sister Anselm’s efforts pose a serious threat. Ali Reynolds is on the scene as the new media relations consultant for the Yavapai County Police Department, keeping reporters at bay and circumventing questions about arson and a link to a domestic terrorist group called Earth Liberation Front. But her job quickly becomes much more. As Ali struggles to help Sister Anselm uncover the helpless woman’s identity, they realize that by locating the missing relatives they may be exposing the victim once more to a remorseless killer determined to finish the job. Faced with the possibility of putting all three of their lives in jeopardy, Ali fearlessly pursues justice — and what she discovers is a secret even darker and more twisted than she ever could have imagined. With unerring skill, Jance delivers relentless suspense in what is surely her finest novel yet in this riveting and addictive series.

Village of the Ghost Bears by Stan Jones

Northwest Alaska is the shining star of Jones’s fourth Nathan Active mystery (after 2008’s Frozen Sun), often viewed from a Super Cub plane flying perilously over wilderness foothills, craggy ridges and autumn tundra. While on a camping trip to a remote lake, Nathan, an Inupiaq (native) Alaska state trooper, and Grace, the woman he loves, come upon a body in a creek, its face eaten by pike. Arson soon follows murder. Back home in the village of Chukchi, the recreation center goes up in a blaze, claiming eight victims, including the town’s police chief. Rumors of polar bear poaching complicate both cases. Jones, who’s been a bush pilot and an investigative reporter, brings stomach-wrenching verisimilitude to crimes despoiling the land and the people, while he sensitively renders the tender, painful romance between Nathan and Grace. His sympathetic portrayal of Alaska’s mixed-ethnic traditions is a tribute to both the state and the states of mind it inspires. (Dec.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan

Tarmon Gaiâdon, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready. The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan’s editor-his wife, Harriet McDougal-to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so Tor proudly presents The Gathering Storm as the first of three novels that will make up A Memory of Light. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era. In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand alâ Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward&mdash-wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders&mdash-his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself. Egwene Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower&mdash-and possibly the world itself. The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Darth Bane: a dynasty of evil by Drew Karpyshyn

The epic tale of Darth Bane, the most famous Sith Lord ever, finds the forces of evil clashing in a spectacular battle, with the future of the Sith hanging in the balance.

Fired Up by Jane Krentz

The New York Times-bestselling author presents her latest Arcane Society novel and introduces the first book in the Dreamlight Trilogy–the story of a curse that spans generations, and the love that can heal it. . . . More than three centuries ago, Nicholas Winters irrevocably altered his genetic makeup in an obsession-fueled competition with alchemist and Arcane Society founder Sylvester Jones. Driven to control their psychic abilities, each man’s decision has reverberated throughout the family line, rewarding some with powers beyond their wildest dreams, and cursing others to a life filled with madness and hallucinations. Jack Winters, descendant of Nicholas, has been experiencing nightmares and blackouts–just the beginning, he believes, of the manifestation of the Winters family curse. The legend says that he must find the Burning Lamp or risk turning into a monster. But he can’t do it alone; he needs the help of a woman with the gift to read the lamp’s dreamlight. Jack is convinced that private investigator Chloe Harper is that woman. Her talents for finding objects and accessing dream energy are what will save him, but their sudden and powerful sexual pull threatens to overwhelm them both. Danger surrounds them, and it doesn’t take long for Chloe to pick up the trail of the missing lamp. And as they draw closer to the lamp, the raw power that dwells within it threatens to sweep them into a hurricane of psychic force.

The Dolphin People by Torsten Krol

From the author of “Callisto” comes a darkly comic tale in the tradition of aclassic adventure story.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, gnaws at her octogenarian uncle, Henrik Vanger. He is determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. He hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, recently at the wrong end of a libel case, to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance. Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age–and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness–assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism–and a surprising connection between themselves–From publisher description.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph? In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

La’s Orchestra Save the World by Alexander McCall Smith

From the best-selling author of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series comes a delightful and moving story that celebrates the healing powers of friendship and music. It is 1939. Lavender – La to her friends – decides to flee London, not only to avoid German bombs but also to escape the memories of her shattered marriage. The peace and solitude of the small town she settles in are therapeutic… at least at first. As the war drags on, La is in need of some diversion and wants to boost the town’s morale, so she organizes an amateur orchestra, drawing musicians from the village and the local RAF base. Among the strays she corrals is Feliks, a shy, proper Polish refugee who becomes her prized recruit – and the object of feelings she thought she’d put away forever. Does La’s orchestra save the world? The people who come to hear it think so. But what will become of it after the war is over? And what will become of La herself? And of La’s heart? With his all-embracing empathy and his gentle sense of humor, Alexander McCall Smith makes of La’s life – and love – a tale to enjoy and cherish.

Too Many Murders by Colleen McCullough

On a beautiful spring day in the little city of Holloman, Connecticut, home to prestigious Chubb University and armaments giant Cornucopia, chief of detectives Captain Carmine Delmonico has more pressing concerns than finding a name for his infant son: twelve murders have taken place in one day, and Delmonico is drawn into a gruesome web of secrets and lies.

Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin

More than four million readers fell in love with Nan, the smart, spirited, and sympathetic heroine of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Nanny Diaries. Now she’s back. After living abroad for twelve years, she and her husband, Ryan, aka H.H., have returned to New York to make a life for themselves. In the midst of getting her new business off the ground and fixing up their fixer-upper, Ryan announces his sudden desire to start a family. His timing simply couldn’t be worse.To compound the mounting construction and marital chaos, her former charge, Grayer X, now sixteen years old, makes a drunken, late-night visit, wanting to know why she abandoned him all those years ago. But how can she explain to Grayer what she still hasn’t come to terms with herself? In an attempt to assuage her guilt, yet against every instinct, Nan tries to help Grayer and his younger brother, Stilton, through their parents’ brutal divorce, drawing her back into the ever-bizarre life of Mrs. X and her Upper East Side enclave of power and privilege. After putting miles and years between herself and this world, Nan finds she’s once again on the front line of the battle with the couture-clad elite for their children’s wellbeing. With its whip-smart dialogue and keen observations of modern life, Nanny Returns gives a firsthand tour of what happens when a community that chose money over love finds itself with neither. The Nanny Diaries was made into a major motion picture.

The Good Son by Russel D. McLean

“THE GOOD SON is the most exciting, and gripping, Scottish crime fiction debut of recent years. Stylish and atmospheric, it marks the arrival of a exceptional talent.” — John Connolly “McLean has all the merits of this brilliant writer [Jean-Patrick Manchette] with the added bonus of a Scottish sense of wit that is like no other.” — Ken Bruen “Scottish crime fiction is entering a new era and Russel McLean is at the vanguard. A thrilling new writer, a brilliant debut…The Good Son is very good indeed.” — Tony Black Recipient of widespread praise for his award-winning crime short stories, Russel McLean’s full-length debut has been characterized by key crime authors and critics alike as the emergence of a major talent. There is something rotten behind the apparent sucide of Daniel Robertson and it’s about to come bursting into the life of J. McNee, a Scottish private investigator with a near-crushing level of personal baggage. James Robertson, a local farmer, finds his estranged brother’s corpse hanging from a tree. The police claim suicide. But McNee is about to uncover the disturbing truth behind the death. With a pair of vicious London thugs on the move in the Scottish countryside, it’s only a matter of time before people start dying. As the body count rises, McNee finds himself on a collision course with his own demons and an increasing array of brutal killers in a violent, bloody showdown that threatens to leave none involved alive. Plumbing the depths of love, loss, betrayal, and one broken man’s attempt to come to terms with his past, The Good Son successfully blends the classic style of the gumshoe era with the outer edges of modern noir.

Deadly Deals by Fern Michaels

Sashenka by Simon Montefiore

In the bestselling tradition ofDoctor ZhivagoandSophie’s Choice,a sweeping epic of Russia from the last days of the Tsars to today’s age of oligarchs — by the prizewinning author ofYoung Stalin.Winter 1916: St. Petersburg, Russia, is on the brink of revolution. Outside the Smolny Institute for Noble Girls, an English governess is waiting for her young charge to be released from school. But so are the Tsar’s secret police…Beautiful and headstrong, Sashenka Zeitlin is just sixteen. As her mother parties with Rasputin and their dissolute friends, Sashenka slips into the frozen night to play her part in a dangerous game of conspiracy and seduction.Twenty years on, Sashenka is married to a powerful, rising Red leader with whom she has two children. Around her people are disappearing, while in the secret world of the elite her own family is safe. But she’s about to embark on a forbidden love affair that will have devastating consequences.Sashenka’s story lies hidden for half a century, until a young historian goes deep into Stalin’s private archives and uncovers a heartbreaking tale of betrayal and redemption, savage cruelty and unexpected heroism — and one woman forced to make an unbearable choice.

Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge.

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Love blooms in the second novel in Roberts’s celebrated Bride Quartet series. Florist Emma Grant is enjoying career success at Vows, a wedding planning company. She hasn’t found Mr. Right yet, but Jack Cooke is about to change that.

Altar of Eden by James Rollins

From “New York Times”-bestselling author Rollins comes his first stand-alone novel in more than five years. “Altar of Eden” combines the author’s trademark elements of science, history, and breakneck suspense in a streamlined narrative.

Push by Sapphire

An electrifying first novel that shocks by its language, its circumstances, and its brutal honesty, Push recounts a young black street-girl’s horrendous and redemptive journey through a Harlem inferno. For Precious Jones, 16 and pregnant with her father’s child, miraculous hope appears and the world begins to open up for her when a courageous, determined teacher bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down in a diary.

Why My Third Husband will be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline

A hilarious collection of stories from the life of the New York Times bestselling author of Look Again. At last, together in one collection, are Lisa Scottoline’s wildly popular Philadelphia Inquirer columns. In her column, Lisa lets her hair down, roots and all, to show the humorous side of life from a woman’s perspective. The Sunday column debuted in 2007 and on the day it started, Lisa wrote, “I write novels, so I usually have 100,000 words to tell a story. In a column there’s only 700 words. I can barely say hello in 700 words. I’m Italian.” The column gained momentum and popularity. Word of mouth spread, and readers demanded a collection. Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog is that collection. Seventy vignettes. Vintage Scottoline. In this collection, you’ll laugh about: Being caught braless in the emergency room; Betty and Veronica’s Life Lessons for Girls; A man’s most important body part; Interrupting as an art form; A religion men and women can worship; Real estate ads as porn; Spanx are public enemy number one; And so much more about life, love, family, pets, and the pursuit of jeans that actually fit!

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