Monday, March 02, 2009

April Treasures in My Closet

My closet is filled with April treasures, books scheduled for release that month. I know I'm not going to get to all of them, but, at least I can share the titles and a short synopsis. There are treasures here for every reader.

The two books on the top of the pile are special, though. One is by an author friend I cherish. The other is by an author I've never met, and I may never get a chance to meet.

In these days when mystery series are so popular, Louise Ure is unusual. Her award-winning books have been standalones. Liars Anonymous is her third book. A Roadside Assistance Operator (similar to OnStar) receives a call from a real estate tycoon, and thinks she hears him killed. Now, she's the only witness to murder, and, she only heard something. With an Arizona setting, and her unusual premises, I always pick up Louise's books when they are first released.

I may never meet Sandra Dallas, but I've admired her previous books. My favorites, The Persian Pickle Club and Tallgrass, are novels I would recommend to book discussion groups. Prayers for Sale is the story of two women, eighty-six-year-old Hennie comfort, and seventeen-year-old Nit Spindle, brought together in 1936 Colorado by the Depression and the harsh life in the mountains. It sounds like another winner from Dallas.

I have an enormous pile of mysteries, and one of fiction and nonfiction to discuss. Mysteries first.

Dorothy Cannell brings back Ellie Haskell in She Shoots to Conquer. Ellie, her husband, and her sidekick, Mrs. Malloy travel to a Yorkshire estate where Mrs. Malloy joins the cast of a reality show, "Here Comes the Bride." Reality is a bride shot during an archery contest.

Killer Keepsakes is Jane K. Cleland's latest Josie Prescott Antiques mystery. When Gretchen, one of Josie's employees, fails to return from vacation, and a dead man is found in her apartment, Josie realizes how little she knows about her employee, but she knows Gretchen isn't a murderer.

Australia is the setting for Garry Disher's Blood Moon. Detective Inspector Hal Challis and his team of detectives have their hands full with a brutal beating of a chaplain, and the murder of a woman in charge of punishing land use violations. Will Challis' new romance with Sergeant Ellen Destry interfere?

The hunt for an ancient Chinese rose turns deadly in Anthony Eglin's English Garden Mystery, The Trail of the Wild Rose.

Two of the Deadliest, edited by Elizabeth George, is a collection of twenty-three stories from today's top crime writers, and some talented newcomers. Included are new stories by Laura Lippman, Nancy Pickard, Marcia Muller, Dana Stabenow, and George. This new collection concentrates on two of the seven deadly sins, lust and greed.

Carolyn Hart, who has a story in Two of the Deadliest, has a new Annie and Max Darling book, Dare to Die. How can one newcomer tear Broward's Rock apart? Max and Annie find themselves in the middle of a fight, and murder.

In Jane Haddam's latest Gregor Demarkian mystery, Living Witness, the former FBI agent is called in to investigate when a ninety-one-year-old woman is found clubbed to death. She just happened to be the most hated woman in town, part of a coalition suing the school board after "Intelligent Design" was inserted into the curriculum.

Edward Ifkovic debuts his new Edna Ferber Mystery series with Lone Star. The author is excited about the last days of the filming of her Texas oil epic, Giant. But, when James Dean becomes a murder suspect, Edna becomes an investigator.

Flipping Out brings back Larry Karp's LAPD detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs as they track a murder who is "making a killing" in the LA real estate market.

Grace Hollister was excited to see her book made into a movie, until the film production company moved the location to the Lake District of England, and murder followed, in Diana Killian's Docketful of Poesy.

Air Force wife, Ellie Avery, is settling her family in their new home in Georgia is Sara Rosett's Magnolias, Moonlight, and Murder. But, murder seems to follow Ellie. How can a peaceful stroll with the family dog uncover two bodies, unearthed at an abandoned graveyard?

Clea Simon's Probable Claws marks the return of Theda Krakow, feline-loving freelance writer. When cats start getting sick, Theda's investigation leads to shelter politics, and murder.

In Cincinnati Memorial Hospital, a nurse and a former homicide detective team up to unlock the secrets of a serial killer, and the brooding, old hospital. It's Jon Talton's The Pain Nurse.

Enough for today! Have I tempted you enough to bring you back tomorrow? I'll talk about the novels and nonfiction treasures in my closet.


Melanie said...

I don't read a lot of mysteries, but I love Sandra Dallas. Her books are so wonderful and she just slips that mystery in and it always catches me off guard.

Yvonne said...

I love mysteries. I really need to get Probable Claws. I loved the first books in this series.

Lesa said...

I'm a BIG fan of Sandra Dallas, Melanie. You're right. She always slips a little mystery in. But, she does a wonderful job in talking about relationships between women. This one sounds good.

Lesa said...

Like you, Yvonne, I'm a big mystery fan. I'm looking forward to Probable Claws as well.

Clea Simon said...

I went to the comment section to thank you for the mention, Lesa, but now I also want to thank you, Yvonne, for your interest! I like to think I'm learning more about plotting (at any rate, I'm working on it) so I'd love to hear more of what either of you think about this latest outing -- when you get around to it.

It is very gratifying to be read, particularly by folks like you. Thank you.
- Clea

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Clea. It was nice to see Yvonne's comment, and know you have fans out there!

Jen said...

Note to self...might be a good idea to NOT read about Lesa's closet treasures. Everytime I do, my TBR list grows ridiculously longer! Just kidding, Lesa. A lot of these sound great. I have KILLER KEEPSAKES waiting for me to get to, and I happen to be working on ANTIQUES TO DIE FOR right now. I do think I'm going to recommend PRAYERS FOR SALE to my book club next meeting. I've had TALLGRASS on my recommendation list, too. But this time around we read my recommendation(CAMEL BOOKMOBILE), so they might want to take someone else's recommendation next meeting. I'll probably read it's going on my Goodreads list anyway.

As always, thanks for the great recommendations!

Lesa said...

Jen, Now you sound like my sister, who told my mother she isn't going to read anymore email from her, because it's always news about someone who died.

At least your note to yourself is positive, although you'll miss some good books. (grin)

Prayers for Sale does sound like a good book group book, doesn't it? I haven't read it yet, so can't say for sure.

Killer Keepsakes is Cleland's best yet, though, so you have a treat in store.

Sorry about yoru TBR pile. (NOT!)

Jen said...

Haha:) Lesa, reading your blog is like an addiction. I just can't stop myself. Is there a 12-step program for such things??? :)

Lesa said...

I'm sorry, Jen. I'm afraid not. But, repeat after me, I'm Jen, and I'm a book addict. And, then I say, "Hi, Jen." Welcome back to one of the sites of your worst addiction. I told Caryn I love to enable people's reading habits.

Meljprincess said...

YAY! I want to read PROBABLE CLAWS by Clea Simon. Thanks for bringing it to my attn. Lesa.

Mel K.

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Jen said...

Hi! My name is Jen and I'm a book addict..LOL Lesa, you are just too much fun! I'm so glad I have the chance to know you through this crazy thing we call the Internet!

Lesa said...

The feeling is mutual, Jen! And, it's the whole reason I started the blog - to share books with other people who care as much as I do. I'm glad you're "there".

Lesa said...

Jen - My husband, who was an addictions professional, said, "We admitted we were powerless over reading; that our lives have become unmanageable; that only a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (However, Jim said, this is a really relapsable disease, and he and I have relapsed.)

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Mel! I hope you enjoy Probable Claws.

Lesa said...

Thank you, MonkAreYOu. I will continue to write here.

Jen said...

Oh Lesa, Jim is very, very wise! LOL

Lesa said...

Oh, darn, Jen. Now, Jim already has a big ego, and that comment is going to go to his head. But, I'll tell him you said that. (He did have a friend who used to refer to him as Obi-Wan Kenobi.)

Clea Simon said...

He is very wise, but really, is a book addiction really that bad? They're healthier than chocolate and many other things I could name!

Lesa said...

Oh, neither Jim nor I think it's bad. Jen was just feeling a little overwhelmed. (grin) And, that book addiction can overwhelm you sometimes, Clea.