March 2011 New Fiction

General Fiction

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy is back with a tale of joy, heartbreak and hope in a close-knit Dublin community. When Noel learns that his former flame is terminally ill and pregnant with a child she claims is his, he agrees to take care of the baby girl once she’s born. But as a recovering alcoholic whose demons are barely under control, he can’t do it alone. Luckily, he has an amazing network of family and friends who are ready to help: love-starved Lisa, who becomes his round-the-clock partner in little Frankie’s care; his American cousin and pep-talker Emily; and the many eager babysitters from the neighborhood, including old friends like Signora and Aidan, Dr. Declan and his parents. The unconventional arrangement works out beautifully-until a nosy social worker becomes convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Now it’s up to everyone in town to persuade her that each of them has something special to offer when it comes to minding Frankie.

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes written by a husband to his wife passes into the keeping of a hospital patient, and from there through the hands of five other suffering people, touching each of them uniquely.

Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress

Georgia Bottoms is known in her small community of Six Points, Alabama, as a beautiful, well-to-do, and devoutly Baptist Southern belle. Nobody realizes that the family fortune has long since disappeared, and a determinedly single woman like Georgia needs an alternative, and discreet, means of income. In Georgia’s case it is six well-heeled lovers-one for each day of the week, with Mondays off-none of whom knows about the others. But when the married preacher who has been coming to call (Saturdays) decides to confess their affair in front of the whole congregation, Georgia must take drastic measures to stop him. In GEORGIA BOTTOMS, Mark Childress proves once again his unmistakable skill for combining the hilarious and the absurd to reveal the inner workings of the rebellious human heart.

You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

An army of women waits for its men to return in Fort Hood, Texas. Through a series of loosely interconnected stories, Fallon takes readers onto the base, inside the homes, into the marriages and families.

The Waiting by Suzanne Fisher

Jorie King has been waiting for Ben Zook much of her life–waiting for him to return to Lancaster County, the church, and her. When he is reported dead, she is devastated but finds unexpected comfort in his brother Caleb, a comfort that turns to love for both of them.

The Search by Suzanne Fisher

Fifteen years ago, Lainey O’Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn’t have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past. Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm–and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. But he only has eyes for a flirty and curvaceous older girl.Lainey’s and Bess’s worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both. Beautifully written, The Search is a skillfully woven story that takes readers through unexpected twists and turns on the long country road toward truth. Fans both old and new will find themselves immersed in this heartwarming–and surprising–tale of young love, forgiveness, and coming to grips with the past.

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale

Bruno Littlemore, the world’s first chimpanzee with the ability to speak, tells the story of primatologist Lydia Littlemore’s efforts to educate him; his untimely outbursts, which ultimately cost Lydia her job; and the unforgettable road trip that follows.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Hurston’s beloved classic–one of the most important American novels of the 20th century–follows the fortunes of Janie Crawford, a woman who was married three times and had been tried for the murder of one of her husbands in the black town of Eaton, Florida.

Wicked Lies by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush

Laura Adderley didn’t plan to get pregnant by her soon-to-be ex-husband, though she’ll do anything to protect her baby. But now reporter Harrison DeWitt is asking questions about the mysterious group of women who live at Siren Song lodge. Harrison hasn’t figured out Laura’s connection to the story yet. But psychopath Justice Turnbull knows. And he is coming.

The Oracle of Stamboul by Michale Lukas

An elegantly crafted, utterly enchanting debut novel set in a mystical, exotic world, in which a gifted young girl charms a sultan and changes the course of an empire’s history. Late in the summer of 1877, a flock of purple-and-white hoopoes suddenly appears over the town of Constanta on the Black Sea, and Eleonora Cohen is ushered into the world by a mysterious pair of Tartar midwives who arrive just minutes before her birth. “They had read the signs, they said: a sea of horses, a conference of birds, the North Star in alignment with the moon. It was a prophecy that their last king had given on his deathwatch.”  But joy is mixed with tragedy, for Eleonora’s mother dies soon after the birth. Raised by her doting father, Yakob, a carpet merchant, and her stern, resentful stepmother, Ruxandra, Eleonora spends her early years daydreaming and doing housework-until the moment she teaches herself to read, and her father recognizes that she is an extraordinarily gifted child, a prodigy. When Yakob sets off by boat for Stamboul on business, eight-year-old Eleonora, unable to bear the separation, stows away in one of his trunks. On the shores of the Bosporus, in the house of her father’s business partner, Moncef Bey, a new life awaits. Books, backgammon, beautiful dresses and shoes, markets swarming with color and life-the imperial capital overflows with elegance, and mystery. For in the narrow streets of Stamboul-a city at the crossroads of the world-intrigue and gossip are currency, and people are not always what they seem. Eleonora’s tutor, an American minister and educator, may be a spy. The kindly though elusive Moncef Bey has a past history of secret societies and political maneuvering. And what is to be made of the eccentric, charming Sultan Abdulhamid II himself, beleaguered by friend and foe alike as his unwieldy, multiethnic empire crumbles? The Oracle of Stamboul is a marvelously evocative, magical historical novel that will transport readers to another time and place-romantic, exotic, yet remarkably similar to our own.

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen. Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life. There’s the melody that reminds her of the summer she spent rubbing baby oil on her stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. A dance beat that makes her think of using a fake ID to slip into a nightclub. A dirge that marked the years she spent trying to get pregnant. For better or for worse, music is the language of memory. It is also the language of love. In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people—even those she loves and trusts most—don’t want that to happen. Sing You Home is about identity, love, marriage, and parenthood. It’s about people wanting to do the right thing for the greater good, even as they work to fulfill their own personal desires and dreams. And it’s about what happens when the outside world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family. INCLUDES A COMPACT DISC OF ORIGINAL SONGS Music by Ellen Wilber. Lyrics by Jodi Picoult. All songs performed by Ellen Wilber.

Heartwood by Belva Plain

Few authors have understood the tender intricacies of relationships better than the incomparable Belva Plain. For three decades her deeply moving epics have captivated the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere. Now, in her final novel, she comes full circle with the themes she took up in her very first work, Evergreen, bringing us this unforgettable story of family and friendship, love and marriage, the challenges of life and the true secret of happiness. Though Iris Stern considers herself a modern woman, with a successful academic career and a happy marriage, she still holds steadfast to her old-fashioned sensibilities. But as the mother of three adult children, each with their own lives and burdens to bear, she often finds those sensibilities called into question when confronted with the choices her children have made. For one of Iris’s daughters, it’s the choice of a fresh start in New York City-and a last chance to save her troubled marriage. While Laura and Robbie cope with an impending separation and its effect on Iris’s young granddaughter, Iris herself must come to grips with the discovery of a long-held family secret. But it’s an emotional parting of another kind that looms most prominently on Iris’s horizon-as neither her beloved husband, nor the solidity of her own marriage, is immune to the ravages of time. Through separations and reunions, the changes we cannot avoid and the love that sustains, Iris will weather whatever lies ahead with a faith that cannot be shaken. Like the inmost rings of a tree that abide through the generations, she will be as strong as heartwood.

The Twelfth Insight by James Redfield

“The fourth book in the Celestine Series, this is an adventure tale, both suspenseful and contemplative, that describes a new wave of religious tolerance and integrity that is arriving, in reaction to years of religious warfare and political corruption”–Provided by publisher.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

A triumphant debut novel and follow-up to Karen Russell’s universally acclaimed short story collection, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline-think Budden brooks set in the Florida Everglades-and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a sophisticated competitor known as the World of Darkness. Ava, a resourceful but terrified twelve-year-old, must manage seventy gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief. Her mother, Swamplandia’s legendary headliner, has just died; her sister is having an affair with a ghost called the Dredgeman; her brother has secretly defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their sinking family afloat; and her father, Chief Bigtree, is AWOL. To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a perilous part of the swamp called the Underworld, a harrowing odyssey from which she emerges a true heroine. Selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists, Karen Russell is an irrepressible new voice in contemporary fiction.

13, Rue, Therese by Elena Shapiro

American academic Trevor Stratton discovers a box full of artifacts from World War I as he settles into his new office in Paris. The pictures, letters, and objects in the box relate to the life of Louise Brunet, a feisty, charming Frenchwoman who lived through both World Wars. As Trevor examines and documents the relics the box offers up, he begins to imagine the story of Louise Brunet’s life: her love for a cousin who died in the war, her marriage to a man who works for her father, and her attraction to a neighbor in her building at 13 rue Therese. The more time he spends with the objects though, the truer his imaginings of Louise’s life become, and the more he notices another alluring Frenchwoman: Josianne, his clerk, who planted the box in his office in the first place, and with whom he finds he is falling in love.

Fantasy/Science Fiction

Vortex by Troy Denning

In Book Six of the bestselling nine-book Fate of the Jedi series, the suspense crescendos as the Skywalkers and their treacherous Sith allies race against time to discover the origins of the mysterious Force-entity known as Abeloth.

One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

The newest tour de force from The New York Times bestselling author of Thursday Next and Shades of Grey. Jasper Fforde’s exuberant return to the fantastical BookWorld opens during a time of great unrest. All-out Genre war is rumbling, and the BookWorld desperately needs a heroine like Thursday Next. But with the real Thursday apparently retired to the Realworld, the Council of Genres turns to the written Thursday. The Council wants her to pretend to be the real Thursday and travel as a peacekeeping emissary to the warring factions. A trip up the mighty Metaphoric River beckons-a trip that will reveal a fiendish plot that threatens the very fabric of the BookWorld itself. Once again New York Times bestselling author Jasper Fforde has a field day gleefully blending satire, romance, and thriller with literary allusions galore in a fantastic adventure through the landscape of a frisky and fertile imagination. Fans will rejoice that their favorite character in the Fforde universe is back.

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

The ninth Rachel Morgan novel finds our tough and feisty witch on a mission to get her shunning rescinded, which requires traveling to the annual witch convention in San Francisco. But the coven doesn’t want her to make her appointment, so they’ve put her on the no fly list, which is why she has to accept Trent’s offer of a cross-country car trip. The rich elf has his own reasons for traveling cross-country, telling Rachel and Ivy that he is on a traditional elf quest. Fans of the series will recognize that simply having Trent, Jenks, Ivy, and Rachel on a road trip is enough to make for a good story, but that is merely the beginning of an action-packed tale that finds Rachel coming fully into her demon magic powers and reevaluating her long-held impressions of Trent. Ending with hints of some major character developments and changes in Rachel’s life, this is an excellent entry that is guaranteed to satisfy Harrison’s legion of followers. (Should there be any overlap between Clint Eastwood and Kim Harrison fan clubs, that subset will certainly enjoy Harrison’s allusions here to Eastwood’s Pale Rider.) The Rachel Morgan series is fast becoming one of the hottest tickets in the urban-fantasy subgenre.

Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore

When rural Ohio college professor Peter Mellor dies in an automobile accident during a zombie outbreak, he is reborn as a highly intelligent (yet somewhat amnesiac) member of the living dead. With society crumbling around him and violence escalating into daily life, Peter quickly learns that being a zombie isn’t all fun and brains. Humans unsympathetic, generally, to his new proclivities try to kill him at nearly every opportunity. His old friends are loath to associate with him. And he finds himself inconveniently addicted to the gooey stuff inside of people’s heads. As if all this weren’t bad enough, Peter soon learns that his automobile accident was no accident at all. Faced with the harrowing mystery of his death, Peter resolves to use his strange zombie afterlife to solve his own murder. Skillfully combining the genres of horror, humor, and film noir, Zombie, Ohio weaves an enthralling and innovative tale that any fan of the current zombie craze is sure to relish. Followers of detective and horror fiction alike will find something to love about Zombie, Ohio a tale of murder, mystery, and the walking dead.

Shadowfever by Karen Moning

Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good. MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years. What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh -a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds. In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves. Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card? From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.

Historical Fiction

Bless the Bride by Rhys Bowen

With Molly Murphy’s wedding to NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan quickly approaching, the Irish sleuth heads to the Westchester County countryside, where his mother can lend her a hand and advise her on a bride’s proper place. And shockingly, Molly seems to be agreeing. She has already promised that she’ll close up her PI business and settle down after marrying, but she isn’t a married woman yet. So, when she gets word of a possible case, she sneaks back into the city to squeeze in a little more sleuthing before the wedding bells can ring. A wealthy Chinese immigrant wants her to find his missing bride, and Molly—sure she isn’t getting the whole story—suspects that his bride ran off. But where could she go? The only Chinese women in early-twentieth-century New York are kept under lock and key, and Molly can’t help but wonder if she’s saving the woman from the streets or helping to lock her away for good. Rhys Bowen’s deft touch and charming wit make Bless the Bride another stellar addition to her Anthony and Agatha Award–winning historical series.

The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini

In 1862 Water’s Ford, Pennsylvania, abolitionism is prevalent, even passionate, so the local men rally to answer Mr. Lincoln’s call to arms. Thus the women of Elm Creek Valley’s quilting bee are propelled into the unknown.

Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

July 1964. Chartwell House, Kent: Winston Churchill wakes at dawn. There’s a dark, mute presence in the room that focuses on him with rapt concentration. It’s Mr. Chartwell. Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress. It’s Mr. Chartwell. Charismatic, dangerously seductive, Mr. Chartwell unites the eminent statesman at the end of his career and the vulnerable young woman. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell’s strange, powerful charms and his stranglehold on their lives? Can they even explain who or what he is and why he has come to visit? In this utterly original, moving, funny, and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr. Chartwell’s motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they at first seem.

Mystery

Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree by Nancy Atherton

Cozy lovers’ favorite otherworldly detective cracks a classic country-house case.In Atherton’s sixteenth mystery, Lori Shepherd returns from Down Under to her normal life in the village of Finch. But Lori’s normal quickly becomes anything but. Her debonair father-in-law has moved to town and is renovating Fairworth House, a grand estate nearby. William Sr. expects a quiet, small-town life, but among the spinsters vying for his attention, shifty servants, and the discovery of a mysterious painting of a family tree in Fairworth’s attic, he discovers that life in Finch is anything but quiet. On top of it all, Lori and William are embroiled in a case of deception and false identity by one of Finch’s own. It’s nothing the plucky Lori can’t handle, but once things get truly peculiar at Fairworth-moving furniture, strange sounds, and mysterious visitors-she calls on Aunt Dimity for her otherworldly guidance and uncovers the shadowy past beneath the estate’s magnificent surface. Nancy Atherton’s titles continue to delight fans who eagerly anticipate each new book. Her latest will draw cheers and bring new readers to this charming series.

Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton

In the isolated villages of northern Scotland, the residents rely on chimney sweep Pete Ray. After Police Constable Hamish Macbeth finds a dead body stuffed inside a chimney, the entire town of Lochdubh suspects Pete. Then Pete’s body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens.

A Red Herring with Mustard by Alan Bradley

Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey-mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia’s own backyard. Flavia had asked the old Gypsy woman to tell her fortune, but never expected to stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned in the wee hours in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer had abducted a local child years ago? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how could this crime be connected to the missing baby? Had it something to do with the weird sect who met at the river to practice their secret rites? While still pondering the possibilities, Flavia stumbles upon another corpse-that of a notorious layabout who had been caught prowling about the de Luce’s drawing room. Pedaling Gladys, her faithful bicycle, across the countryside in search of clues to both crimes, Flavia uncovers some odd new twists. Most intriguing is her introduction to an elegant artist with a very special object in her possession-a portrait that sheds light on the biggest mystery of all: Who is Flavia? As the red herrings pile up, Flavia must sort through clues fishy and foul to untangle dark deeds and dangerous secrets.

Scones & Bones by Laura Childs

Savor the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of  The Teaberry Strangler. Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is lured into attending the Heritage Society’s “Pirates and Plunder” soiree. But it’s an antique diamond skull ring that gets plundered by someone who murders a history intern in the process. Theodosia knows she’ll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a raft of suspects.

The Matchmaker of Kenmare by Frank Delaney

And there’s a legend-she had only vague details-that all couples who are meant to marry are connected by an invisible silver cord which is wrapped around their ankles at birth, and in time the matchmaking gods pull those cords tighter and tighter and draw the couple slowly toward one another until they meet. So says Miss Kate Begley, Matchmaker of Kenmare, the enigmatic woman Ben MacCarthy meets in the summer of 1943.  As World War II rages on, Ben remains haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his wife, the actress Venetia Kelly. Searching for purpose by collecting stories for the Irish Folklore Commission, he travels to a remote seaside cottage to profile the aforementioned Matchmaker of Kenmare. Ben is immediately captivated by the forthright Miss Begley, who is remarkably self-assured in her instincts but provincial in her experience. Miss Begley is determined to see that Ben moves through his grief-and a powerful friendship is forged along the way. But when Charles Miller, a striking American military intelligence officer, arrives on the scene, Miss Begley develops an intense infatuation and looks to make a match for herself. Miller needs a favor, but it will be dangerous. Under the cover of their neutrality as Irish citizens, Miss Begley and Ben travel to London and effectively operate as spies. As they are drawn more deeply and painfully into the conflict, both discover the perils of neutrality-in both love and war. Steeped in colorful history, The Matchmaker of Kenmare is a stirring story of friendship and sacrifice. New York Times bestselling author Frank Delaney has written a lush and surprising novel, rich as myth, tense as a thriller, and like all grand tales-harrowing, sometimes hilarious, and heartbreaking

Silent Mercy by Linda Fairstein

In the latest thriller in Linda Fairstein’s bestselling series, Alex Cooper dives deep into the byzantine, sinister world of New York City’s powerful religious institutions. It’s the middle of the night. Prosecutor Alexandra Cooper is called to Harlem’s Mount Neboh Baptist Church, a beautiful house of worship originally built as a synagogue. But the crowd gathered there isn’t interested in architecture, or even prayer. They’ve come for the same reason Alex has: to find out why the body of a young woman has been decapitated, set on fire, and left burning on the church steps. The only identifiable artifact on the charred remains is the imprint of a Star of David necklace seared into the victim’s flesh. Alex wonders if the fire was meant to destroy this woman’s body, or to draw attention to it. Her fears are confirmed days later, when a second corpse is found at a cathedral in Little Italy. The killings look like serial hate crimes, but the apparent differences in the victims’ beliefs seem to eliminate a religious motive. Convinced that another young woman is bound to die, Alex mines the depths of Manhattan’s many houses of worship to find a connection between the victims-and in the process uncovers a terrible and perilous truth that takes her far beyond the scope of her investigation, and directly into the path of terrible danger.

Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

These days, everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, is buzzing with activity, and Hannah Swensen is no exception. But no matter how busy she may be, Hannah can always find time to help a friend in need–especially when he’s been murdered. . .Hannah Swensen has to admit that her life is pretty sweet. Things are going well in the romance department, and her bakery’s delectable confections are selling almost as fast as she can bake them. Even her good friend Claire is on Cloud Nine, head over heels with her new husband, Reverend Bob Knudson. If only they could find time to take their honeymoon! When Bob’s childhood friend, Matthew Walters, comes to town, it seems like divine intervention. Matthew, like Bob, is a Lutheran minister with a stubborn sweet tooth. Since he’s on sabbatical, Matthew is happy to fill in for Bob while he and Claire take that long-awaited honeymoon. It sounds like the perfect plan–until Hannah finds Matthew in the rectory, face-down in a plate full of Devil’s Food Cake, a single bullet in his head. Determined to find out who killed Matthew, Hannah starts asking questions–and discovers that the good Reverend wasn’t quite the saintly fellow he appeared to be. But could the gold Sacagawea coins in Sunday’s collection plate hold the key to solving the crime? Or is the murder connected to that big jewel heist out in Minneapolis? Is it possible that Matthew’s love of chocolate somehow led to his downfall? It will take some more digging to find out, but Hannah is sure of one thing: even the most half-baked murder plot can be oh so deadly.

Learning to Swim by Sara Henry

If I’d blinked, I would have missed it. But I didn’t, and I saw something fall from the rear deck of the opposite ferry: a small, wide-eyed human face, in one tiny frozen moment, as it plummeted toward the water. When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. Harrowing moments later, she bobs to the surface, pulling a terrified little boy with her. As the ferry disappears into the distance, she begins a bone-chilling swim nearly a mile to shore with a tiny passenger on her back. Surprisingly, he speaks only French. He’ll acknowledge that his name is Paul; otherwise, he’s resolutely mute. Troy assumes that Paul’s frantic parents will be in touch with the police or the press. But what follows is a shocking and deafening silence. And Troy, a freelance writer, finds herself as fiercely determined to protect Paul as she is to find out what happened to him. What she uncovers will take her into a world of wealth and privilege and heedless self-indulgence-a world in which the murder of a child is not unthinkable. She’ll need skill and courage to survive and protect her charge and herself. Sara J. Henry’s powerful and compelling Learning to Swim will move and disturb readers right up to its shattering conclusion.

When the Thrill is Gone by Walkter Mosley

Leonid McGill is back, in the third-and most enthralling and ambitious-installment in Walter Mosley’s latest New York Times bestselling series. The economy has hit the private-investigator business hard, even for the detective designated as “a more than worthy successor to Philip Marlowe” (The Boston Globe) and “the perfect heir to Easy Rawlins” (Toronto Globe and Mail). Lately, Leonid McGill is getting job offers only from the criminals he’s worked so hard to leave behind. Meanwhile, his life grows ever more complicated: his favorite stepson, Twill, drops out of school for mysteriously lucrative pursuits; his best friend, Gordo, is diagnosed with cancer and is living on Leonid’s couch; his wife takes a new lover, infuriating the old one and endangering the McGill family; and Leonid’s girlfriend, Aura, is back but intent on some serious conversations… So how can he say no to the beautiful young woman who walks into his office with a stack of cash? She’s an artist, she tells him, who’s escaped from poverty via marriage to a rich collector who keeps her on a stipend. But she says she fears for her life, and needs Leonid’s help. Though Leonid knows better than to believe every word, this isn’t a job he can afford to turn away, even as he senses that-if his family’s misadventures don’t kill him first-sorting out the woman’s crooked tale will bring him straight to death’s door.

Delirious by Daniel Palmer

In Daniel Palmer’s blistering, fast-paced debut, one man is taken to the edge of sanity in a mind-bending novel of paranoia, deception, and revenge . . . Charlie Giles is at the top of his game. An electronics superstar, he’s sold his startup company to a giant Boston firm, where he’s now a senior director. With his dog, Monte, at his side, Charlie is treated like a VIP everywhere he goes. Then one day, everything in Charlie’s neatly ordered world starts to go terrifyingly wrong. His prestigious job and his inventions are wrenched away from him. His family is targeted, and his former employers are dying gruesomely, picked off one by one. Every sign, every shred of evidence, points to Charlie as a cold-blooded killer. And soon Charlie is unable to tell whether he’s succumbed to the pressures of work and become the architect of his own destruction., or whether he’s the victim of a relentless, diabolical attack. In a desperate struggle to save his life, Charlie races to uncover the truth, all the while realizing that nothing can be trusted least of all his own fractured mind . . .

Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb

In the latest from the #1 New York Timesbestselling phenomenon, Eve Dallas tracks down those who break the law-including the ones sworn to uphold it. Detective Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime-an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody’s first case as primary detective-good thing she learned from the master. But Peabody soon stumbles upon a trickier situation. After a hard workout, she’s all alone in the locker room when the gym door clatters open; and-while hiding inside a shower stall trying not to make a sound-she overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. It doesn’t take long to realize they’re both crooked-guilty not just of corruption but of murder. Now Peabody, Eve, and Eve’s husband, Roarke, are trying to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down-knowing all the while that the two are willing to kill to keep their secret.

Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow

he residents of Alaska’s largest national park are stunned by the death of one of their oldest members, eighty-seven-year-old Old Sam Dementieff…Even private investigator Kate Shugak. Sam, a lifelong resident, dubbed the “father” of all of the Park rats—even though he had no children of his own—was especially close to Kate, his niece, but even she is surprised to discover that in his will he’s left her everything, including a letter instructing her simply to, “find my father.” Easier said than done, since Sam’s father is something of a mystery. An outsider, he disappeared shortly after learning about Sam’s existence, taking with him a priceless tribal artifact, a Russian icon. And in the three days after Kate begins her search through Sam’s background, she gets threatened—and worse. The flashbacks from Sam’s fascinating life, including scenes from major events in Alaska’s colorful history, punctuate a gripping story in which Kate does her best to fulfill Sam’s last wish without losing her own life to the people who are following her every move, though what they are searching for Kate doesn’t even know. In Dana Stabenow’s breathtaking new novel, Though Not Dead, the eighteenth to feature Kate Shugak, Kate’s search for the long-lost family secrets that have been interwoven with the epic history of an unforgiving land leads to an extraordinary treasure hunt with fatal consequences

Night Vision by Randy White

When a local teen from a trailer park being targeted by powerful developers witnesses their hired gun committing a murder, her only hope for survival falls in the hands of Doc Ford and Tomlinson, who undertake a search through the underground in the hopes of finding her first.

The Highly Effective Detective Crosses the Line by Richard Yancey

In this fourth installment of Rick Yancey’s touching and funny Highly Effective Detective Series, lovable but bumbling PI Teddy Ruzak is out of his league again, and this time, things are getting serious. Farrell, one of Teddy’s old friends, is in desperate need of Teddy’s help. His daughter Isabella’s ex-boyfriend, locked up for assault, is days away from being released from jail, and Farrell knows his first stop out of the slammer will be at his daughter’s door. Farrell enlists Teddy to keep any eye on Isabella. But when the bad seed ex-boyfriend turns out to have associates even more alarming than he is,Teddy finds himself dealing with truly dangerous criminals. To make matters worse, Felicia, his secretary, is being threatened by mysterious men whom she can’t seem to shake. Can Teddy keep Felicia getting hurt while still protecting Isabella? And do his strong feelings towards Felicia run deeper than just a friend looking out for a friend? This funny and engaging mystery starring Teddy Ruzak will delight and entertain his many devoted fans.

Romance

Cleaning Nabokov’s House by Leslie Daniels

“I knew I could stay in this town when I found the blue enamel pot floating in the lake. The pot led me to the house, the house led me to the book, the book to the lawyer, the lawyer to the whorehouse, the whorehouse to science, and from science I joined the world.” So begins Leslie Daniels’s funny and moving novel about a woman’s desperate attempt to rebuild her life. When Barb Barrett walks out on her loveless marriage she doesn’t realize she will lose everything: her home, her financial security, even her beloved children. Approaching forty with her life in shambles and no family or friends to turn to, Barb must now discover what it means to rely on herself in a stark new emotional landscape. Guided only by her intense inner voice and a unique entrepreneurial vision, Barb begins to collect the scattered pieces of her life. She moves into a house once occupied by Vladimir Nabokov, author of the controversial masterpiece Lolita, and discovers a manuscript that may be his lost work. As her journey gathers momentum, Barb deepens a connection with her new world, discovering resources in her community and in herself that no one had anticipated. Written in elegant prose with touches of sharp humor and wit, Cleaning Nabokov’s House offers a new vision of modern love and a fervent reminder that it is never too late to find faith in our truest selves.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to go into the light. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

Emily and Einstein by Linda Lee

He was a man who didn’t deserve a second chance…but he needed one Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn’t even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies. Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was…all the while feeling that somehow he isn’t really gone. And what if he isn’t? Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein’s seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future even after she meets a new man?

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness-until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group-the fabled Lost Generation-that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage-a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for. A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

Suspense/Thriller

Agent X by Noah Boyd

Ex-FBI agent Steve Vail navigates a maze of hidden codes and brain-teasing puzzles to stay hot on the trail of a band of Russian spies in this breathtaking follow-up to his  New York Times bestselling debut,  The Bricklayer FBI-agent-turned-bricklayer Steve Vail once helped the FBI solve a brilliant extortion plot. It was supposed to be a one-and-done deal. But when he’s in Washington, D.C., to see Kate Bannon-an FBI assistant director-on what he thinks will be a romantic New Year’s Eve date, suddenly things get complicated. The FBI has another unsolvable problem, and it has Vail’s name written all over it. A man known as Calculus, an officer at the Russian embassy, has approached the FBI claiming that he has a list of Americans who are selling confidential information to the Russian SVR. In exchange for the list, he is asking for a quarter of a million dollars for each traitor the FBI apprehends. But then Calculus informs the FBI that he has been swiftly recalled to Moscow, and the Bureau suspects the worst: the Russians have discovered what Calculus is up to, probably have access to his list, and will be hunting the traitors to kill them unless the FBI can find them first. The FBI realizes that it has to keep the operation quiet. Once again, Vail is the perfect man, along with Kate Bannon, who would be anyone’s first pick for help on an impossibly dangerous case. But finding the traitors isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be downright deadly. And if the Bricklayer survives, he will have to come up with a few tricks of his own. Agent X  is a heart-pounding thrill ride with an authenticity only a writer who’s an FBI veteran can provide, and Steve Vail-a man Patricia Cornwell calls a “new American hero”-is one of the smartest, toughest, and most compelling new characters to come along in many years.

When the Killing’s Done by T. Coraghessan Boyle

From the bestselling author of The Women comes an action- packed adventure about endangered animals and those who protect them. Principally set on the wild and sparsely inhabited Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara, T.C. Boyle’s powerful new novel combines pulse-pounding adventure with a socially conscious, richly humane tale regarding the dominion we attempt to exert, for better or worse, over the natural world. Alma Boyd Takesue is a National Park Service biologist who is spearheading the efforts to save the island’s endangered native creatures from invasive species like rats and feral pigs, which, in her view, must be eliminated. Her antagonist, Dave LaJoy, is a dreadlocked local businessman who, along with his lover, the folksinger Anise Reed, is fiercely opposed to the killing of any species whatsoever and will go to any lengths to subvert the plans of Alma and her colleagues. Their confrontation plays out in a series of escalating scenes in which these characters violently confront one another, and tempt the awesome destructive power of nature itself. Boyle deepens his story by going back in time to relate the harrowing tale of Alma’s grandmother Beverly, who was the sole survivor of a 1946 shipwreck in the channel, as well as the tragic story of Anise’s mother, Rita, who in the late 1970s lived and worked on a sheep ranch on Santa Cruz Island. In dramatizing this collision between protectors of the environment and animal rights’ activists, Boyle is, in his characteristic fashion, examining one of the essential questions of our time: Who has the right of possession of the land, the waters, the very lives of all the creatures who share this planet with us? When the Killing’s Done will offer no transparent answers, but like The Tortilla Curtain, Boyle’s classic take on illegal immigration, it will touch you deeply and put you in a position to decide.

The Night Season by Chelsea Cain

With the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan, Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that’s what they thought until the medical examiner discovers that the latest victim didn’t drown: She was poisoned before she went into the water. Soon after, three of those drownings are also proven to be murders. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Reporter Susan Ward is chasing this story of a new serial killer with gusto, but she’s also got another lead to follow for an entirely separate mystery: The flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died more than sixty years ago, the last time Portland flooded this badly, when the water washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least fifteen people. With Archie following the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch a killer and possibly regain his life, and Susan Ward close behind, Chelsea Cain, one of today’s most talented suspense writers, launches the next installment of her bestselling series with an electric thriller.

The Jungle by Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul

The extraordinary new adventure from the #1 New York Times- bestselling author. Jungles come in many forms. There are the steamy rain forests of the Burmese highlands. There are the lies and betrayals of the world of covert operations. And there are the dark and twisted thoughts of a man bent on near-global domination. To pull off their latest mission, Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon must survive them all. A devastating new weapon unleashed in thirteenth-century China…a daring rescue in the snowbound mountains along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border…a woman gone missing in the jungles of northern Thailand and Myanmar…for Cabrillo and his crew, all of these events will come together-leading to the greatest threat against U.S. security that the world has ever known.

Gideon’s War by Howard Gordon

Gideon Davis has just 48 hours to bring his rogue agent brother in—before a twisted global conspiracy turns deadly. GIDEON DAVIS, whose behind-the-scenes negotiating skills have earned him the role of peacemaker in conflicts around the globe, knows more about hush-hush discussions in Capitol corridors than he does about hand-to-hand combat. But his more practical, tactical skills come into play when he’s called on by family friend and government bigwig Earl Parker to chaperone a rogue agent from Southeast Asia to D.C. The agent, Tillman Davis, has promised to turn himself in— but only to his brother, Gideon. Although the two brothers have been estranged for years, Gideon cannot fathom how his brother could have turned into so ruthless a man. But when the plan for Tillman’s surrender goes awry and Earl Parker is taken hostage, Gideon is forced to embrace his dark side in order to evade hostile locals in war-torn Mohan to make his way to the Obelisk—the multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art oil rig that has been seized by terrorists led by Tillman himself. It is with the help of oil rig manager Kate Murphy that Gideon launches an unlikely one-man rescue.

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

In the small Iowa town of Linden Falls, popular teenager Allsion Glenn is arrested for murdering her newborn daughter. Within days an infant boy is found on the doorstep of the local hospital safe havens program. And even though the child, Joshua, finds a home with a loving and deserving couple, the harrowing truth about his origins remains a mystery. Five years later, Allison is living in a halfway house and trying to reconnect with her sister. But the past cannot be forgotten, and the consequences of that night finally bring the two sisters together, once-hidden secrets come to light, and each must confront their long-buried demons that hold the key to unlocking Joshua’s past.

Red Wolf by Liza Marklund

Beneath a dark winter sky . . . death waits patiently. A journalist is murdered in the frozen white landscape of a northern Swedish town. Annika Bengtzon, a reporter at a Stockholm-based tabloid, was planning to interview him about a long-ago attack against an isolated air base nearby, and now she suspects that his death is linked to that attack. Against the explicit orders of her boss, she begins to investigate the event, which is soon followed by a series of shocking murders. Annika knows the murders are connected. At the same time, she begins to suspect that her husband is hiding something, and nothing can counteract the loneliness that has crept into her life. Behind everything lurks the figure of the Red Wolf, a cold-blooded killer with the soul of a lover. In the end, she must discover the truth not only about the murders but also about the lies that are destroying her own family.

A Heartbeat Away by Michael Palmer

On the night of the State of the Union address, President James Allaire expects to give the speech of his career. But no one anticipates the terrifying turn of events that forces him to quarantine everyone in the Capitol building.

Gideon’s Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

“At age 12, Gideon Crew witnessed the brutal murder of his father. More than 20 years later, Gideon gets his revenge. But then a mysterious witness steps forward to confront Gideon on his crime—and offer him the chance of a lifetime”–Provided by publisher.

Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

Dark, suspenseful, and more riveting than any thriller at the local cineplex, THREE SECONDS is the latest novel from best-selling Swedish duo Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström-heirs apparent to Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell as the masters of Scandinavian crime. Piet Hoffman, a top secret operative for the Swedish police, is about to embark on his most dangerous assignment yet: after years spent infiltrating the Polish mafia, he’s become a key player in their attempt to take over amphetamine distribution inside Sweden’s prisons. To stop them from succeeding, he will have to go deep cover, posing as a prisoner inside the country’s most notorious jail. But when a botched drug deal involving Hoffman results in a murder, the investigation is assigned to the brilliant but haunted Detective Inspector Ewert Grens–a man who never gives up until he’s cracked the case. Grens’s determination to find the killer not only threatens to expose Hoffman’s true identity-it may reveal even bigger crimes involving the highest levels of power. And there are people who will do anything to stop him from discovering the truth. Winner of the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ 2009 award for Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year, and a #1 bestseller there, THREE SECONDS captures a nefarious world of betrayal and violence, where a wise man trusts no one and even the most valuable agent can be “burned.”

One Rough Man by Brad Taylor

Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, move over: introducing a pulse-pounding new international thriller series by a former Delta Force commander. They call it the Taskforce. Their existence is as essential as it is illegal. Commissioned at the highest level of the U.S. government. Protected from the prying eyes of Congress and the media. Built around the top operators from across the clandestine, intelligence, and special forces landscape. Designed to operate outside the bounds of U.S. law. Trained to exist on the ragged edge of human capability.  Pike Logan was the most successful operator on the Taskforce, his instincts and talents unrivaled-until personal tragedy permanently altered his outlook on the world. Pike knows what the rest of the country might not want to admit: The real threat isn’t from any nation, any government, any terrorist group. The real threat is one or two men, controlled by ideology, operating independently, in possession of a powerful weapon. Buried in a stack of intercepted chatter is evidence of two such men. The transcripts are scheduled for analysis in three months. The attack is mere days away. It is their bad luck that they’re about to cross paths with Pike Logan. And Pike Logan has nothing left to lose.

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