June 2011 New Fiction

General Fiction

  Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction…. Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she’s made over the past decade of her life. Julia–whose caustic wit covers up her wounds–has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can’t hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life.  And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs. Ty Bazemore is their landlord, though he’s hanging on to the rambling old beach house by a thin thread. After an inauspicious first meeting with Ellis, the two find themselves disturbingly attracted to one another, even as Ty is about to lose everything he’s ever cared about. Maryn Shackleford is a stranger, and a woman on the run. Maryn needs just a few things in life: no questions, a good hiding place, and a new identity.  Ellis, Julia, and Dorie can provide what Maryn wants; can they also provide what she needs?  Five people questioning everything they ever thought they knew about life. Five people on a journey that will uncover their secrets and point them on the path to forgiveness.   Five people who each need a sea change, and one month in a summer rental that might just give it to them.

  The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn’t know. With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives and the life of a desperate stranger with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.

 The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living-and whom he does it for. With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters-losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life-and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

 I’ll Never Get Out of This World  Alive by Steve Earle

Doc Ebersole lives with the ghost of Hank Williams–not just in the figurative sense, not just because he was one of the last people to see him alive, and not just because he is rumored to have given Hank the final morphine dose that killed him. In 1963, ten years after Hank’s death, Doc himself is wracked by addiction. Having lost his license to practice medicine, his morphine habit isn’t as easy to support as it used to be. So he lives in a rented room in the red-light district on the south side of San Antonio, performing abortions and patching up the odd knife or gunshot wound. But when Graciela, a young Mexican immigrant, appears in the neighborhood in search of Doc’s services, miraculous things begin to happen. Graciela sustains a wound on her wrist that never heals, yet she heals others with the touch of her hand. Everyone she meets is transformed for the better, except, maybe, for Hank’s angry ghost–who isn’t at all pleased to see Doc doing well.  A brilliant excavation of an obscure piece of music history, Steve Earle’s I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive is also a marvelous novel in its own right, a ballad of regret and redemption, and of the ways in which we remake ourselves and our world through the smallest of miracles.

 Faith by Jennifer Haigh

It is the spring of 2002 and a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city’s archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayal of the souls in their care. In Faith , Jennifer Haigh explores the fallout for one devout family, the McGanns. Estranged for years from her difficult and demanding relatives, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother Art, the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. What she discovers is more complicated than she imagined. Her strict, lace-curtain-Irish mother is living in a state of angry denial. Sheila’s younger brother Mike, to her horror, has already convicted his brother in his heart. But most disturbing of all is Art himself, who persistently dodges Sheila’s questions and refuses to defend himself. As the scandal forces long-buried secrets to surface, Faith explores the corrosive consequences of one family’s history of silence-and the resilience its members ultimately find in forgiveness. Throughout, Haigh demonstrates how the truth can shatter our deepest beliefs-and restore them. A gripping, suspenseful tale of one woman’s quest for the truth, Faith is a haunting meditation on loyalty and family, doubt and belief. Elegantly crafted, sharply observed, this is Jennifer Haigh’s most ambitious novel to date.

 To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that “picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio.” Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn’t look back. Twenty years later, Judith’s marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say? TO BE SUNG UNDERWATER is the epic love story of a woman trying to remember, and the man who could not even begin to forget.

 Miss New India by Bharati Mukherjee

Anjali Bose is “Miss New India.” Born into a traditional lower-middle-class family and living in a backwater town with an arranged marriage on the horizon, Anjali’s prospects don’t look great. But her ambition and fluency in language do not go unnoticed by her expat teacher, Peter Champion. And champion her he does, both to other powerful people who can help her along the way and to Anjali herself, stirring in her a desire to take charge of her own destiny.  So she sets off to Bangalore, India’s fastest-growing major metropolis, and quickly falls in with an audacious and ambitious crowd of young people, who have learned how to sound American by watching shows like Seinfeld in order to get jobs as call-center service agents, where they are quickly able to out-earn their parents. And it is in this high-tech city where Anjali–suddenly free from the traditional confines of class, caste, gender, and more–is able to confront her past and reinvent herself. Of course, the seductive pull of modernity does not come without a dark side . . .

 State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett has dazzled readers with her award-winning books, including The Magician’s Assistant and the New York Times bestselling Bel Canto . Now she raises the bar with State of Wonder , a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle. Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have all but disappeared in the Amazon while working on what is destined to be an extremely valuable new drug, the development of which has already cost the company a fortune. Nothing about Marina’s assignment is easy: not only does no one know where Dr. Swenson is, but the last person who was sent to find her, Marina’s research partner Anders Eckman, died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to several troubling questions about her friend’s death, the state of her company’s future, and her own past. Once found, Dr. Swenson, now in her seventies, is as ruthless and uncompromising as she ever was back in the days of Grand Rounds at Johns Hopkins. With a combination of science and subterfuge, she dominates her research team and the natives she is studying with the force of an imperial ruler. But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices to be made are the ones Dr. Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina, who finds she may still be unable to live up to her teacher’s expectations. In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, and a neighboring tribe of cannibals, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss. It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us what lies on the other side.

  Doc by Mary Russell

The year is 1878, peak of the Texas cattle trade. The place is Dodge City, Kansas, a saloon-filled cow town jammed with liquored-up adolescent cowboys and young Irish hookers. Violence is random and routine, but when the burned body of a mixed-blood boy named Johnnie Sanders is discovered, his death shocks a part-time policeman named Wyatt Earp. And it is a matter of strangely personal importance to Doc Holliday, the frail twenty-six-year-old dentist who has just opened an office at No. 24, Dodge House. Beautifully educated, born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday is given an awful choice at the age of twenty-two: die within months in Atlanta or leave everyone and everything he loves in the hope that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Young, scared, lonely, and sick, he arrives on the rawest edge of the Texas frontier just as an economic crash wrecks the dreams of a nation. Soon, with few alternatives open to him, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally; he is also living with Maria Katarina Harony, a high-strung Hungarian whore with dazzling turquoise eyes, who can quote Latin classics right back at him. Kate makes it her business to find Doc the high-stakes poker games that will support them both in high style. It is Kate who insists that the couple travel to Dodge City, because that’s where the money is. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp really begins-before Wyatt Earp is the prototype of the square-jawed, fearless lawman; before Doc Holliday is the quintessential frontier gambler; before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology-when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety. Authentic, moving, and witty, Mary Doria Russell’s fifth novel redefines these two towering figures of the American West and brings to life an extraordinary cast of historical characters, including Holliday’s unforgettable companion, Kate. First and last, however, Doc is John Henry Holliday’s story, written with compassion, humor, and respect by one of our greatest contemporary storytellers.

 Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

A continuation of “Shanghai Girls” finds a devastated Joy fleeing to China to search for her real father while her mother, Pearl, desperately pursues her, a dual quest marked by their encounters with the nation’s intolerant Communist culture.

 Please Look After Mom by Kyong-Sook Shin

A million-plus-copy best seller in South Korea and poised to become an international sensation – Please Look After Mom is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family’s search for their mother, and of the desires, heartaches, and secrets they discover she harbored within. On a family visit to the city, Mom is right behind her husband when the train pulls out of Seoul Station without her, and she is lost, possibly forever. As her children argue over how to find her and her husband returns to their countryside home to wait for her, they each recall their lives with her, their memories often more surprising than comforting. Have they lived up to her expectations? Was she happy? Through the piercing voices of daughter, son, and husband, and through Mom’s own words in the novel’s shattering conclusion, we learn what happened that day, and explore an even deeper mystery-of motherhood itself. At once steeped in the beauty and complexities of the East and rich with a universal tenderness, Please Look After Mom has a revelatory emotional power. You will never think of your mother the same way again after you’ve read this book.

 The Pale King by David Wallace

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has. The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace’s death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions—questions of life’s meaning and of the value of work and society—through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace’s unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.

Fantasy/Science Fiction

  The Land of Painted Caves by Jean Auel

Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni — one of the Ninth Cave community’s spiritual leaders and healers.

 Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

New in the #1 New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series – the basis for HBO’s True Blood! With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his “child” Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot – which is much more complicated than she knows…

 A Game of Thrones by George Martin

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom�s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his thro≠ and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

 Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward’s thrilling new novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself-only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can-but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separates them?

 All Clear by Connie Willis

In Blackout , award-winning author Connie Willis returned to the time-traveling future of 2060-the setting for several of her most celebrated works-and sent three Oxford historians to World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler’s bombers attempt to pummel London into submission. Now the situation has grown even more dire. Small discrepancies in the historical record seem to indicate that one or all of them have somehow affected the past, changing the outcome of the war. The belief that the past can be observed but never altered has always been a core belief of time-travel theory-but suddenly it seems that the theory is horribly, tragically wrong. Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the historians’ supervisor, Mr. Dunworthy, and seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who nurses a powerful crush on Polly, are engaged in a frantic and seemingly impossible struggle of their own-to find three missing needles in the haystack of history. Told with compassion, humor, and an artistry both uplifting and devastating, All Clear is more than just the triumphant culmination of the adventure that began with Blackout. It’s Connie Willis’s most humane, heartfelt novel yet-a clear-eyed celebration of faith, love, and the quiet, ordinary acts of heroism and sacrifice too often overlooked by history.    From the Hardcover edition.

 Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson

A major thriller for the summer of 2011 . . . the harrowing and epic tale of how humanity battles the robot uprising that is on the near horizon. “These damned machines knew us and loved us, even while they were tearing our civilization to shreds.” Roughly twenty years from now, our technological marvels unite and turn against us. A childlike but massively power­ful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online . . . and kills the man who created it. This first act of betrayal leads Archos to gain control over the global network of machines and technology that regulates everything from transportation to utilities, defense, and communications. In the early months, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans-from a senator and single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s “smart” toys, to a lonely Japanese bachelor, to an isolated U.S. soldier-but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is far too late. Then, in the span of minutes, at a moment known later in history as Zero Hour, every mechanical device in our world rebels, setting off the Robot War that both decimates and-for the first time in history-unites humankind. Daniel H. Wilson’s wildly imaginative and deeply absorb­ing narrative is a commercial thriller of the highest caliber-replete with unforgettable characters and astound­ing technology (Wilson is a Ph.D. roboticist)-that explores the all-too-real human cost that is the dark side of the evolv­ing technological network. Already stirring excitement in publishing circles and optioned for film by Steven Spielberg,Robopocalypseis a stunning and groundbreaking novel.

Historical Fiction

  The Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato

Amid the intrigue and danger of 18th-century Italy, a young woman becomes embroiled in romance and treachery with a rider in the Palio, the breathtaking horse race set in Siena.

 The Moment by Douglas Kennedy

A tragic love story set in Cold War Berlin.

 The Final Storm by Jeff  Shaara

The Final Storm opens a new front in Jeff Shaara’s gripping chronicle of World War II as soldiers, sailors, and marines sacrifice all for one final push toward decisive victory in the fierce maelstrom of the Pacific theater. As the war in Europe winds down in the wake of the Normandy invasion, the United States has turned its vast military resources toward an all-out effort against the Japanese. In the spring of 1945, Japan’s empire has been pressed slowly back toward its home islands, and the Americans mount a furious assault on the last great stepping-stone to Japan itself – the heavily fortified island of Okinawa. The three-month battle will feature some of the most vicious combat of the entire war, as American troops confront an enemy that would rather be slaughtered than experience the shame of surrender. With a narrative dexterity befitting his status as a master storyteller, Shaara relates the story of the struggle for Okinawa through the eyes of combatants on both sides: Private Clay Adams, a young marine whose brother Jesse has already earned his share of glory as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne in Europe; Admiral Chester Nimitz, who must unite rival army and marine commanders into a cooperative effort; General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., the American ground commander trying to live up to the legacy of his father, who led Confederate troops during the Civil War; and General Mitsura Ushijima, the Japanese general in charge of defending the island, who understands what Tokyo will not believe: that his own fight to the death will only delay the inevitable – as the Americans continue their advance toward the home islands and ultimate victory. With the fights raging across the Pacific, a different kind of campaign is being waged in extraordinary secrecy: the development of a weapon so powerful, not even the scientists who build it know just what they are about to unleash. Colonel Paul Tibbets, one of the finest bomber pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps, is selected to lead the mission to drop the horrific new weapon on a Japanese city. As the new president, Harry S. Truman, mulls his options, and a Japanese physician named Okiro Hamishita cares for patients at a clinic near the city of Hiroshima, citizens on the home front await the day of reckoning that everyone knows is coming. A fitting conclusion to one of the most riveting sagas in military fiction, The Final Storm illuminates the heroism and sacrifice that defined the war in the Pacific, bringing the conflict to life as only Jeff Shaara can

Mystery

 A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block

“The Matthew Scudder novels are among the finest detective novels penned in this century.”-Jonathan Kellerman Matthew Scudder is facing his demons. Forced out of the NYPD, he’s given up the drink. He’s thinking seriously about his relationship with sometime girlfriend Jan. Then he runs into “High-Low” Jack Ellery, a childhood friend from the Bronx. They’re two sides of the same coin: Scudder once solved crimes as a detective. Ellery committed them. In Scudder, Ellery sees the moral man he might have become. In Ellery, Scudder sees the hard-won sobriety he hopes to achieve. Then Ellery is killed, shot once in the mouth and once between the eyes, presumably while attempting to atone for past sins. Is it what he saw or what he said that got him killed? Ellery had no family, no friends to press for justice. Scudder reluctantly begins his own investigation, with just one lead-Ellery’s Alcoholics Annonymous list of people he wronged. One of them may be a murderer, but that’s not necessarily Scudder’s greatest danger. Immersing himself in Ellery’s world may lead him right back to the bar stool. Exploring themes of loss, nostalgia, and redemption, for Lawrence Block, A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF circles back to how it all began, reestablishing why the Matthew Scudder series is widely regarded as one of the pinnacles of American detective fiction.

Romance

 Already Home by Susan Mallery

After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, Jenna is desperate for a change. She’s supported her ex-husband’s dreams for so long that she can’t even remember her own. Until she sees a for-lease sign near her parents’ home and envisions her very own cooking store. Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But just as she’s gaining a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents-aging hippies on a quest to reconnect with their firstborn. Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with her traditional parents, deal with her feelings for a new love interest and decide what to do about her ex’s latest outrageous request. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….

Suspense/Thriller

 I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

THE QUEEN OF SUSPENSE IS BACK! Mary Higgins Clark’s new novel—the thirtieth and most spine-chilling of her long career as America’s most beloved author of suspense fiction— is about the newest and most up-to-date of crimes: identity theft. Who has not read about–or experienced–with a sinking feeling the fear that someone else out there may be using your credit cards, accessing your bank account, even stealing your identity. In ll Walk Alone, Alexandra “Zan” Moreland, a gifted, beautiful interior designer on the threshold of a successful Manhattan career, is terrified to discover that somebody is not only using her credit cards and manipulating her financial accounts to bankrupt her and destroy her reputation, but may also be impersonating her in a scheme that may involve the much more brutal crimes of kidnapping and murder. Zan is already haunted by the disappearance of her own son, Matthew, kidnapped in broad daylight two years ago in Central Park—a tragedy that has left her torn between hope and despair. Now, on what would be Matthew’s fifth birthday, photos surface that seem to show Zan kidnapping her own child, followed by a chain of events that suggests somebody—-but who? Zan asks herself desperately, and why?—has stolen her identity. Hounded by the press, under investigation by the police, attacked by both her angry ex-husband and a vindictive business rival, Zan, wracked by fear and pain and sustained only by her belief, which nobody else shares, that Matthew is still alive, sets out to discover who is behind this cruel hoax. What she does not realize is that with every step she takes toward the truth, she is putting herself—and those she loves most—in mortal danger from the person who has ingeniously plotted out her destruction. Even Zan’s supporters, who include Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner and amateur detective, and Father Aiden O’Brien, who thinks that Zan may have confessed to him a secret he cannot reveal, believe she may have kidnapped little Matthew. Zan herself begins to doubt her own sanity, until, in the kind of fast-paced explosive ending that is Mary Higgins Clark’s trademark, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place with an unexpected and shocking revelation. Deeply satisfying, l’ll Walk Alone is Mary Higgins Clark at the top of her form.

 Just Wanna Testify by Pearl Cleage

Familiar faces and places meet fresh twists and turns in this enthralling novel from acclaimed author Pearl Cleage. Atlanta’s West End district has always been a haven and home to a coterie of unique characters-artists and thinkers, dreamers and doers. Folks here know one another’s names, keep their doors unlocked, and look out for their neighbors. Anyone planning to sell drugs, vandalize, or rob a little old lady should think twice before hitting this part of town. And Blue Hamilton, West End’s unofficial mayor and longtime protector, will see to it that you do. Blue wears many hats here, including adored husband to Regina, dear nephew to Abbey, and doting father to Sweetie and another little one on the way. Blue is also the man you pay your respects to if you’re looking to set up shop in this urban enclave-just ask Serena Mayflower, whom Blue sees striding down Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard wearing skin-tight black leather pants, thigh-high boots, and bright red lipstick. This tall, slender, ethereally beautiful woman and her four equally striking sisters make up the Too Fine Five, a quintet of international supermodels who have arrived in town for an Essence magazine photo shoot.          But Blue’s gut tells him that there’s more to these Mayflower mademoiselles than their affection for full moons and Bloody Marys. With the help of his beloved Regina and their close friends and relations in West End, Blue vows to uncover the women’s secret intentions-and prove once and for all that there is no greater force on earth than the power of love. A mesmerizing slice of not-so-everyday life, brimming with wicked wit and spiced with a few supernatural surprises, Just Wanna Testify showcases Pearl Cleage’s masterly storytelling at its soulful and satisfying finest.

 Prophecy by S.J. Parrish

S. J. Parris returns with the next Giordano Bruno mystery, set inside Queen Elizabeth’s palace and steeped in period atmospherics and the strange workings of the occult. It is the year of the Great Conjunction, when the two most powerful planets, Jupiter and Saturn, align-an astrologi cal phenomenon that occurs once every thousand years and heralds the death of one age and the dawn of another. The streets of London are abuzz with predictions of horrific events to come, possibly even the death of Queen Elizabeth. When several of the queen’s maids of honor are found dead, rumors of black magic abound. Elizabeth calls upon her personal astrologer, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno to solve the crimes. While Dee turns to a mysterious medium claiming knowledge of the murders, Bruno fears that some thing far more sinister is at work. But even as the climate of fear at the palace intensifies, the queen refuses to believe that the killer could be someone within her own court. Bruno must play a dangerous game: can he allow the plot to progress far enough to give the queen the proof she needs without putting her, England, or his own life in danger? In this utterly gripping and gorgeously written novel, S. J. Parris has proven herself the new master of the historical thriller.


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