August 2009 Fiction

The Dead of Winter by Rennie Airth

The murder of a young Polish girl in wartime London puts John Madden on the trail of a ruthless hired killer. With rich psychological insights and vivid historical details, this riveting third novel in the Madden series promises to thrill discerning fans of crime fiction.

 Outcast by Aaron Allston

“Fate of the Jedi” launches a new multi-book, multi-author series, in the vein of the “New York Times”-bestselling Legacy of the Force series.

 The Fixer Upper by Mary Andrews

In the crosshairs of a political bribery investigation, Dempsey Jo Killebrew suddenly finds herself unemployed and the victim of a sleazy smear campaign by her former boss. Dempsey decides to take up her father’s offer of flipping a recently inherited family home in Guthrie, Ga., where she quickly slides into the renovation groove, fits in with the locals, and embarks on a romance.

 The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri

“You can always start again,” Kate Robinson’s mother once told her, “all it takes is a new thread.” Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, the struggling twenty-six-year-old fashion designer follows her mother’s advice and flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland, hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself.She arrives on the west coast, in the seaside hamlet of Glenmara. In this charming, fading Gaelic village, Kate quickly develops a bond with members of the local lace-making society: Bernie, alone and yearning for a new purpose since the death of her beloved husband, John; Aileen, plagued by doubt, helplessly watching her teenage daughter grow distant; Moira, caught in a cycle of abuse and denial, stubbornly refusing help from those closest to her; Oona, in remission from breast cancer, secretly harboring misgivings about her marriage; Colleen, the leader of the group, worried about her fisherman husband, missing at sea. And outside this newfound circle is local artist Sullivan Deane, an enigmatic man trying to overcome a tragedy of his own.Under Glenmara’s spell, Kate finds the inspiration that has eluded her, and soon she and the lace makers are creating a line of exquisite lingerie. In their skilled hands, flowers, Celtic dragons, nymphs, fish, saints, kings, and queens come to life, rendered with painterly skill. The circle also offers them something more-the strength to face their long-denied desires and fears. But not everyone welcomes Kate, and a series of unexpected events threatens to unravel everything the women have worked so hard for. . . .

 Rain gods by James Burke

When Hackberry Holland became sheriff of a tiny Texas town near the Mexican border, he’d hoped to leave certain things behind: his checkered reputation, his haunted dreams, and his obsessive memories of the good life with his late wife, Rie. But the discovery of the bodies of nine illegal aliens, machine-gunned to death and buried in a shallow grave behind a church, soon makes it clear that he won’t escape so easily. As Hack and Deputy Sheriff Pam Tibbs attempt to untangle the threads of this complex and grisly case, a damaged young Iraq veteran, Pete Flores, and his girlfriend, Vikki Gaddis, are running for their lives, hoping to outwit the bloodthirsty criminals who want to kill Pete for his involvement in the murders. The only trouble is, Pete doesn’t know who he’s running from: drunk and terrified, he fled the scene of the crime when the shooting began. And there’s a long list of people who want Pete and Vikki dead: crime boss Hugo Cistranos, who hired Pete for the operation; Nick Dolan, a strip club owner and small-time gangster with revenge on his mind; and a mysterious God-fearing serial-killer-for-hire known as Preacher Jack Collins, with enigmatic motives of his own. With the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and a host of cold-blooded killers on Pete and Vikki’s trail, it’s up to Sheriff Holland to find them first and figure out who’s behind the mass murder before anyone else ends up dead. In this thrilling and intricate work, James Lee Burke has once again proven himself a master storyteller and a perceptive chronicler of the darkest corners of the human heart.

 Jericho’s Fall by Stephen Carter

Stephen L. Carter’s brilliant debut, The Emperor of Ocean Park, spent eleven weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Now, in Jericho’s Fall, Carter turns his formidable talents to the shadowy world of spies, official secrecy, and financial fraud in a thriller that rivets the reader’s attention until the very last page. In an imposing house in the Colorado Rockies, Jericho Ainsley, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and a Wall Street titan, lies dying. He summons to his beside Beck DeForde, the younger woman for whom he threw away his career years ago, miring them both in scandal. Beck believes she is visiting to say farewell. Instead, she is drawn into a battle over an explosive secret that foreign governments and powerful corporations alike want to wrest from Jericho before he dies. An intricate and timely thriller that plumbs the emotional depths of a failed love affair and a family torn apart by mistrust, Jericho’s Fall takes us on a fast-moving journey through the secretive world of intelligence operations and the meltdown of the financial markets. And it creates, in Beck DeForde, an unforgettable heroine for our turbulent age.

 Something Missing by Matthew Dicks

A career criminal with OCD tendencies and a savant-like genius for bringing order to his crime scenes, Martin considers himself one of the best in the biz. After all, he’s been able to steal from the same people for years on end—virtually undetected. Of course, this could also be attributed to his unique business model—he takes only items that will go unnoticed by the homeowner. After all, who in their right mind would miss a roll of toilet paper here, a half-used bottle of maple syrup there, or even a rarely used piece of china buried deep within a dusty cabinet?   Even though he’s never met these homeowners, he’s spent hours in their houses, looking through their photo albums and reading their journals. In essence, Martin has developed a friendship of sorts with them and as such, he decides to interfere more in their lives—playing the part of a rather odd guardian angel—even though it means breaking many of his twitchy neurotic rules.   Along the way Martin not only improves the lives of others, but he also discovers love and finds that his own life is much better lived on the edge (at least some of the time) in this hilarious, suspenseful and often profound novel about a man used to planning every second of his life, suddenly forced to confront chaos and spontaneity.

 Persona non grata by Ruth Downie

The third novel in the acclaimed Gaius Petreius Ruso series by the New York Times bestselling Ruth Downie- this time set in ancient Gaul. At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home: to Gaul. Having received a note consisting only of the words “COME HOME!”, Ruso has (reluctantly, of course) pulled up stakes and brought Tilla to meet his family. But the reception there is not what Ruso has hoped for: no one will admit to sending for him, and his brother Lucius is hoping he’ll leave. With Tilla getting icy greetings from his relatives, Lucius’s brother-in-law mysteriously drowned at sea, and the whole Ruso family teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it’s hard to imagine an unhappier reunion. That is, until Severus, the family’s chief creditor, winds up dead, and the real trouble begins. Engrossing, intricate, and as always, wonderfully comic, Ruth Downie’s latest is a brilliant new installment in this irresistible series. This is everything we’ve come to expect from our charming, luckless hero.

 Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God’s protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina’s new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to its core. Ripped by her family from an illicit love affair, sixteen-year-old Serafina is willful, emotional, sharp, and defiant– young enough to have a life to look forward to and old enough to know when that life is being cut short. Her first night inside the walls is spent in an incandescent rage so violent that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is dispatched to the girl’s cell to sedate her. Thus begins a complex relationship of trust and betrayal between the young rebel and the clever, scholarly nun, for whom the girl becomes the daughter she will never have. As Serafina rails against her incarceration, others are drawn into the drama: the ancient, mysterious Suora Magdalena– with her history of visions and ecstasies– locked in her cell; the ferociously devout novice mistress Suora Umiliana, who comes to see in the postulant a way to extend her influence; and, watching it all, the abbess, Madonna Chiara, a woman as fluent in politics as she is in prayer. As disorder and rebellion mount, it is the abbess’s job to keep the convent stable while, outside its walls, the dictates of the Counter-Reformation begin to purge the Catholic Church and impose on the nunneries a regime of terrible oppression. Sarah Dunant, the bestselling author of The Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan, brings this intricate Renaissance world compellingly to life. Amid Sacred Hearts is a rich, engrossing, multifaceted love story, encompassing the passions of the flesh, the exultation of the spirit, and the deep, enduring power of friendship.

 Grave Robber by Maria Farina

Chaos breaks out in quiet Sewickley, PA, when someone starts raising the dead. “Have the demons of the Hollow broken the Treaty or are the humans dabbling in black magic? One thing is for sure. The only person who can bridge the gap between human and demon is the local Gypsy,” Trudi MacKenzie.

 The Arms Maker of Berlin by Dan Fesperman

Nat Turnbull, a history professor who specializes in the German resistance, is only mildly surprised when his estranged mentor, Gordon Wolfe, is arrested for possession of stolen World War II archives. But what’s in the archives is staggering.

 The Moon Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock

The new Americana romance from bestselling author Dorothy Garlock, this time set against the backdrop of WWII. Sophie Heller’s family immigrated from Germany to Victory, a small town in Illinois, before WWII began. Now that the war has affected the town, the townspeople discriminate against Sophie and her family. When a train derails, it is an accident but the Heller family is blamed. Coming to Sophie’s rescue is a teacher from the high school, and despite their cultural differences, a romance starts to bloom.

 Emily’s Ghost by Denise Giardina

A lustrous, beautifully written reimagining of the Bronte family-and of Emily Bronte’s passionate engagement with life.

 Omen by Christie Golden

The Jedi Order is in crisis. The late Jacen Solo’s shocking transformation into murderous Sith Lord Darth Caedus has cast a damning pall over those who wield the Force for good: Two Jedi Knights have succumbed to an inexplicable and dangerous psychosis, criminal charges have driven Luke Skywalker into self-imposed exile, and power-hungry Chief of State Natasi Daala is exploiting anti-Jedi sentiment to undermine the Order’s influence within the Galactic Alliance. Forbidden to intervene in Jedi affairs, Luke is on a desperate mission to uncover the truth behind Jacen’s fall to the dark side– and to learn what’s turning peaceful Jedi into raving lunatics. But finding answers will mean venturing into the mind-bending space of the Kathol Rift and bargaining with an alien species as likely to destroy outsiders as deal with them. Still, there is no other choice and no time to lose, as the catastrophic events on Coruscant continue to escalate. Stricken by the same violent dementia that infected her brother, Valin, Jedi Knight Jysella Horn faces an equally grim fate after her capture by Natasi Daala’s police. And when Han and Leia Solo narrowly foil another deranged Jedi bent on deadly destruction, even acting Jedi Grand Master Kenth Hamner appears willing to bow to Daala’s iron will– at the expense of the Jedi Order. But an even greater threat is looming. Millennia in the past, a Sith starship crashed on an unknown low-tech planet, leaving the survivors stranded. Over the generations, their numbers have grown, the ways of the dark side have been nurtured, and the time is fast approaching when this lost tribe of Sith will once more take to the stars to reclaim their legendary destiny as rulers of the galaxy. Only one thing stands in their way, a name whispered to them through the Force:Skywalker.

  The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

This magical story explores what could happen when one woman’s not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything.

 The Winds of Dune by Brian Herbert

With their usual skill, Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson have taken ideas left behind by Frank Herbert and filled them with living characters and a true sense of wonder. WherePaul of Dunepicked up the saga directly after the events ofDune,nbsp;The Windsnbsp;of Dunebegins after the events ofDune Messiah. Paul has walked off into the sand, blind, and is presumed dead. Jessica and Gurney are on Caladan; Alia is trying to hold the Imperial government together with Duncan; Mohiam dead at the hands of Stilgar; Irulan imprisoned. Paul’s former friend, Bronso of Ix, now seems to be leading opposition to the House of Atreides. Herbert and Anderson’s newest book in this landmark series will concentrate on these characters as well the growing battle between Jessica, and her daughter, Alia.

 Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

Three women arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a Nantucket native home from college for the summer. Burdened with small children, unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues, the women–two sisters and one friend–make their way to the sisters’ tiny cottage, inherited from an aunt. They’re all trying to escape from something: Melanie, after seven failed in-vitro attempts, learned her husband was having an affair, and then discovered she’s pregnant; Brenda embarked on a passionate affair with an older student that got her fired from her prestigious job as a professor in New York; and her sister Vicki, mother to two small boys, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Soon Josh is part of the chaotic household, acting as babysitter, confidant, and, eventually, lover.

 The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine How

Howe’s debut novel explores the Salem witch trials from the perspective of Connie Goodwin, a Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard. While cleaning out her grandmother’s house near Salem in the summer of 1991, Connie discovers an old key along with a fragment of paper bearing only the words Deliverance Dane. At the urging of her adviser, Connie embarks upon a frenzy of research in local archives. Evidence mounts that Deliverance was a local herbalist and wise woman who became a victim of the witch trials. Finding Deliverance’s “physick book” of recipes becomes a priority for Connie, particularly when she realizes that it may hold the key to curing her new boyfriend of his mysterious ailment. Howe inserts short interludes featuring Deliverance and her descendants, adding depth to the story. Howe’s own connection to Salem (two of her ancestors were accused of witchcraft) adds a welcome personal touch. This enjoyable novel is too slow-paced to be considered a thriller, but it’s a solid selection that may appeal to readers who enjoyed recent novels about Salem’s witches (i.e., Brunonia Barry’s The Lace Reader and Kathleen Kent’s The Heretic’s Daughter).Laura Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

  Burn by Linda Howard

It’s true what they say: Money changes everything. And in Linda Howard’s red-hot novelBurn, the changes come fast, furious, and filled with the kind of sexy suspense, heart-stopping romance, beautiful people, and risky business guaranteed to give you the most bang for your buck. Money certainly changes Jenner Redwine’s life when she wins a lottery jackpot. But it also costs her plenty: Her father rips her off and disappears, her fortune-hunting boyfriend soon becomes her ex, and friends-turned-freeloaders give her the cold shoulder when she stops paying for everything. Flush with new money, Jenner can’t imagine ever finding a place in the world of the wealthy. Seven years later, though, she’s rubbing elbows with the rich, despite the fact she still feels like a party crasher. Luckily she finds an ally–and a guide to the rarefied realm of privilege–in shy, kind-hearted heiress Sydney Hazlett, who quickly becomes Jenner’s confidante and surrogate sister. When Sydney invites Jenner on a charity cruise aboard a luxury liner, Jenner reluctantly agrees. But while she’s expecting–and dreading–two weeks of masquerade balls, art auctions, and preening glitterati, what she gets is more like a Hitchcock movie than a Love Boat episode. Taken hostage by a menacing stranger, Jenner must cooperate in a mysterious cloak-and-dagger scheme–or else. With nowhere to run, and with Sydney’s life as well as her own at risk, Jenner is drawn into a game of dizzying intrigue and harrowing danger. But as her panic gives way to exhilaration, and fear of her captor turns to fascination, Jenner rediscovers feelings she hasn’t had in years–and realizes she’s found a life worth living.If she survives.

 Purses and Poison by Dorothy Howell

At the outset of Howell’s sprightly sequel to 2008’s Handbags and Homicide, handbag-obsessed 24-year-old Haley Randolph is working part-time at L.A.’s Holt’s Department Store, owned by her quasi-boyfriend, Ty Cameron, to pay back the debt she’s accumulated-buying designer handbags and clothes, of course. When fashion model Claudia Gray, Ty’s former girlfriend, turns up dead in a women’s restroom at Holt’s, the police soon determine that Claudia ate poisoned fruit from a fruit bouquet from Edible Elegance, Haley’s mom’s company, sent to the victim. To eliminate her mom as a murder suspect as well as herself, Haley launches her own investigation while dealing with her relationship with Ty and another new boyfriend. While some readers may decide the author ends too many chapters with the exclamation “Oh, crap,” Howell has concocted a solid mystery sure to appeal to younger, fashion-conscious mystery fans. (July) Publisher’s Weekly.

 Fire and Ice by Judith Jance

Beau and Brady join forces once again in “New York Times”-bestselling author Jance’s most stunning and suspenseful work to date. Jance delivers a devilish page-turner.–“People”.

  Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen

Rachel Kirby is a computer genius whose personal life is hell. While she continues to climb the corporate ranks, her beloved twin sister is plagued by a chronic illness that will eventually kill her, leaving Rachel all alone. Serendipity in the form of a mysterious email lands in Rachel’s lap one day, but not without a price. Thousands of miles away, archeologist John Tanek sits trapped inside a collapsed Egyptian tomb with a functioning laptop. He knows that Rachel is the only person who can help him, but time is quickly running out. It turns out the collapse was no accident. John has discovered something very valuable in that tomb, something that humankind has been searching for throughout history, something that Rachel could use as it may hold the key to her sister’s cure. While Rachel orchestrates his rescue, she soon finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of deceit and murder. Can she put her trust in John Tanek? She’d do anything to save her sister. Will they both live long enough to unravel the ancient mystery they’ve found inside the tomb? With Johansen and Johansen’s fast-paced action, charismatic characters, and impeccable research, Storm Cycle will carry you away.

 Best of Friends by Cathy Kelly

Four very different women are drawn together in the warm and engaging new novel by the bestselling author of JUST BETWEEN US. Good times or bad, friends are always therea?| In the beautiful town of Dunmore, four women understand what friendship really means. Abby’s TV career is taking off, but her marriage to Tom is rocky. Meanwhile, her teenage daughter Jess despairs of ever finding a boyfriend. Lizzie has time for everyone: her grown-up children, her friends, even her ex-husband Myles, but never for herself. And then there’s Erin, married and back in Ireland after eight years in Chicago. But can she face up to her past? When tragedy strikes, it rocks the small town. Drawn together in their sadness, the four women realise that life is for living, and they need to grab it with both hands?

 Take Two by Karen Kingsbury

 Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they? When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie– a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance– mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man. Sadie, however, could care less. Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

 Cherry Bomb by Joe Konrath

Jacqueline Jack Daniels thought she could rest easy once she locked up the nefarious Alex Kork for life, but she hadn’t counted on Kork’s incredible ability to get out of any situation. Now the insane serial killer is again on the loose–and once more, Jack has to make Chicago safe from this deviant woman’s evil ways.

 The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander. Now, as Blomkvist, alone in his belief in her innocence, plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

 The Devil’s Company by David Liss

From the acclaimed author of The Whiskey Rebels and A Conspiracy of Paper comes a superb new historical thriller set in the splendor and squalor of eighteenth-century London. In Benjamin Weaver, David Liss has created one of fiction’s most enthralling characters. The year is 1722. Ruffian for hire, ex-boxer, and master of disguise, Weaver finds himself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, pitted against Jerome Cobb, a wealthy and mysterious schemer who needs Weaver’s strength and guile for his own treacherous plans. Weaver is blackmailed into stealing documents from England’s most heavily guarded estate, the headquarters of the ruthless British East India Company, but the theft of corporate secrets is only the first move in a daring conspiracy within the eighteenth century’s most powerful corporation. To save his friends and family from Cobb’s reach, Weaver must infiltrate the Company, navigate its warring factions, and uncover a secret plot of corporate rivals, foreign spies, and government operatives. With millions of pounds and the security of the nation at stake, Weaver will find himself in a labyrinth of hidden agendas, daring enemies, and unexpected allies. With the explosive action and scrupulous period research that are David Liss’s trademarks,The Devil’s Company, depicting the birth of the modern corporation, is the most impressive achievement yet from an author who continues to set ever higher standards for historical suspense.

 Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

A prank gone wrong drives this outstanding novel from bestseller McMahon (Island of Lost Girls). The summer after graduation, four friends, who formed an art group called the Compassionate Dismantlers at Vermont’s Sexton College, live together in a remote cabin and commit increasingly brash acts of sabotage. When they go too far and their leader, Suz Pierce, dies, the group disbands, vowing never to speak about what happened. Ten years later, two of the group, Henry DeForge and Tess Kahle, are unhappily married with a nine-year-old daughter, Emma. When the suicide of a Sexton friend sends a PI digging into the past, Henry and Tess fear that the dead may not be truly buried. By alternating the present-day lives of Henry, Tess and Emma with the origins of the Dismantlers, McMahon allows the inexorable sense of dread to build incrementally. Perhaps most memorable are not the young artists but Emma, a child whose intense imagination only adds fuel to the slow-burning fire. (June) Publisher’s Weekly.

 The Scoop by Fern Michaels

In the first book in a wonderful new series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels introduces The Godmothers, four unforgettable women who are about to get a whole new lease on life… Teresa “Toots” Amelia Loudenberry has crammed a great deal of living – not to mention eight much-loved husbands – into her varied and rewarding life. Newly single, Toots is ready to taste life again, and fate has just handed her the perfect opportunity. The owner of the gossip rag where Toots’s daughter works is about to lose the paper to his gambling debts. Eager to find a way to keep her daughter employed among the movers and shakers of Hollywood, Toots calls on her three trusted friends – Sophie, Mavis, and Ida – to help her pull some strings. Together, they’ll hatch a plan that promises thrills, laughter, and more than a hint of danger. Putting aside her widow’s weeds (black was never her color), Toots will prove that you should never underestimate a Southern lady of a certain age, and that each day can be a gift, if you’re willing to claim it…

 Swimsuit by James Patterson

Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot inH awaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them. LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper’s identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil. A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, Swimsuit transports readers to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors.

 Wife of the gods by Kwei Quartey

A medical resident working with Ghana’s Ministry of Health’s AIDS program is murdered, and Detective Inspector Darko Dawson has been asked to investigate. Not only is he an excellent detective but he has family ties to the village. Alas, nothing about this case is simple, and the growing rift between Dawson’s modern police work and a local inspector’s refusal to move past traditionally accepted beliefs jeopardizes a successful arrest. The uncommon grace and style of the writing will engender comparisons with Alexander McCall Smith’s Botswana stories, but this novel has more grit. Darko is a sleuth full of contradictions, a tough defender of justice and truth who is also a habitual pot smoker. Yet it’s the crossover between Dark’s professional life and personal issues that helps drive the plot and makes his story more relatable. This well-crafted first novel is a smart purchase for all libraries and a great choice for a book club discussion.

 Black Hills by Nora Roberts

“New York Times”-bestselling author Roberts takes readers deep into the rugged Black Hills of South Dakota, where the shadows keep secrets, hunters stalk the land, and a childhood friendship matures into an adult passion.

 The Defector by Daniel Silva

In this extraordinary follow-up to the bestselling “Moscow Rules,” Gabriel Allon returns to find himself once more on the front lines of the secret war between East and West. Allon uncovers a deadly conspiracy and, in order to stop it, he must risk everything–even his life.

 The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step in Kathryn Stockett’s New York Times bestselling debut, The Help . . .Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can look like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. and why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. and sometimes lines are made to be crossed.In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women – mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends – view one another.A deeply moving book filled with poignancy, humour, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

   The Penny Pinchers Club by Sarah Strohmeyer

When Kat discovers that her husband, Griff, has been hiding a secret bank account, her joyful consumerism suddenly loses its appeal. Are their fights about money more serious than she understood? Is he, as her friends suggest, preparing for a divorce? Just in case, Kat decides it’s time to start saving and she joins an eclectic but lovable group of savers called the Penny Pinchers Club who teach her that saving time with family is as important as saving money. An irresistible and wonderfully warm-hearted novel about the unexpected ways hardship can lead to happiness.

 The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Horgan

An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in this heart-stopping thriller–the first in a trilogy–from one of Hollywood’s most popular storytellers and a Hammett Award-winning writer Guillermo Del Toro. An electrifying and highly imaginative retelling of vampire lore that reaches from Eastern Europe during World War II to contemporary New York and features fascinating and unique biological and historical details.

 Best Friends Forever by Jenniver Weiner

“The many fans of Jennifer Weiner…will be delighted by her latest book. In Best Friends Forever, Weiner again employs her trademark characters…but gives them new pizazz, more complexity and fresh insight. It’s a winning combination…Best Friends Forever combines comedy and poignancy…It makes a very satisfying read.” —The Hartford Courant

 The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is the sweet, sexy, funny tale of Calla Lily’s life set in Wells’ ever-growing fictional Louisiana. In the small river town of La Luna, Calla Lily enjoys a blissful childhood under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine force that will guide her throughout her life. From her mother, M’Dear, Calla learns the old, womanly art of healing through “fixing hair.” On the same river banks, Calla tastes the sweetness of first love. But when a broken heart knocks the breath out of her, Calla transforms hurt into inspiration and heads for the wild and colorful city of New Orleans to study at L’Academie de Beaute de Crescent. In that extravagant big river city, she comes to understand fully the power of her “healing hands” to change lives and soothe pain, including her own. A tale of family and friendship, tragedy and triumph, loss and love, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder features the warmth, humor, soul, and wonder that have made Wells one of today’s most cherished writers, and gives us an unforgettable new heroine to treasure.

 Get Real by Donald Westlake

In Donald E. Westlake’s classic caper novels, the bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his attention. However, being caught red-handed is inevitable in Dortmunder’s next production, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to do a reality show that captures their next score. The producer guarantees to find a way to keep the show from being used in evidence against them. They’re dubious, but the pay is good, so they take him up on his offer. A mock-up of the OJ bar is built in a warehouse down on Varick Street. The ground floor of that building is a big open space jumbled with vehicles used in TV world, everything from a news truck and a fire engine to a hansom cab (without the horse). As the gang plans their next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and Kelp sneak onto the roof of their new studio to organize a private enterprise. It will take an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets, but Dortmunder is nothing if not persistent, and he’s determined to end this shoot with money in his pockets.

 The Siege by Stephen White

A “New York Times”-bestselling author returns with a relentlessly propelled thriller. In this latest addition to the Alan Gregory series, Gregory’s longtime friend Sam Purdy takes centerstage in a story that feels ripped from tomorrow’s headlines.

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