Saturday, October 03, 2009

November Treasures in My Closet

I only have twelve books in my closet with November release dates. November certainly isn't as big a month for book releases as September or October. But, some of my favorite authors have books in those treasures.

Lorna Barrett takes readers back to Stoneham, New Hampshire in her latest Booktown mystery, Bookplate Special. Depending on your viewpoint, Pammy Fredericks could be considered a free spirit or a freeloading thief. Tricia Miles, owner of haven't Got a Clue mystery bookstore, put up with Pammy for weeks, but just when she was ready to throw her out, Pammy's found murdered. Now, Tricia has to look for the killer.

The Charm Stone is a Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron mystery by Lillian Stewart Carl. It isn't smooth sailing for the relationship between Jean Fairbarn, and her significant other, ex-Scottish cop Alasdair Cameron. Jean had abandoned the academic world to write for a magazine, and Alasdair retired, but they're both caught up in theft and murder. And, it's just in time for All Hallows Eve in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, where witches were once hanged, rather than burned.
It's murder entangled with history and myth.

The Big Wake-Up is the fifth book in Mark Coggins' August Riordan series. Coggins, who will appear at the Velma Teague Library on December 3, takes the San Francisco private eye into a terrifying case, as he witnesses the shooting of a beautiful student, and is drawn into the hunt for for Eva Perón's body. He needs all the help he can get as he's drawn into the intrigue between powerful groups.

Since I've already read and reviewed Vicki Delany's Winter of Secrets for Mystery News, I can tell you this is a terrific police procedural. If you're a fan of those books, or of the Molly Smith/John Winters books, you'll want to return to Trafalgar, British Columbia, for a busy Christmas week for the police.

Terri Dulong's Spinning Forward is a departure from all of the mysteries mentioned so far. After her husband's death, and the revelations about his gambling addiction, Sydney Webster finds herself starting over on Cedar Key, as island off the coast of Florida. It's her passion for spinning and knitting that brings her friends, and a community.

There's one memoir in the pile, Harold Evans' My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times. Evans recounts the world of newspapers and publishing. In England, he was editor of the Sunday Times and The Times of London, involved in revealing some of the biggest stories of the time. Then, in New York, he became a book publisher at Random House, where he acquired the memoirs of Colin Powell, Richard Nixon, and the unknown Barack Obama. It should be a fascinating book for news and publishing junkies.

Sand Castles is Nancy Gotter Gates' novel set in Sarasota, Florida. Ginny McAllister can't find her niche in a Florida life, after her husband bought the place when she was laid up. Now, settled there, away from family and friends, she finds herself having a difficult time coping with discoveries about her husband. A hurricane provides the opportunity to reconsider her life, and her decisions for the rest of it.

Steven Havill's Red, Green, or Murder is another book I reviewed for Mystery News. It's another riveting, well-developed Posadas County mystery, when former Sheriff Bill Gastner gets caught up in two cases, one involving the disappearance of a truck and livestock trailer, along with the cowpuncher who was driving it, and one involving the death of one of Bill's friends. It's not easy to be involved in law enforcement in a small community when friends are often victims.

In G.I. Bones, the sixth Sergeants Sueño and Bascom mystery by Martin Limón, the two MP's in Korea "must find the bones of a long-dead G.I. to exorcise a fortune teller whom he is haunting, and to solve a current series of gangsters' murders."

The Body in the Sleigh is the latest Faith Fairchild mystery by Katherine Hall Page. It's the holiday season, and as they Fairchilds spend the season in Maine, they see Santa arrive by lobster boat, snowshoe in the quiet forest, watch iceboaters, and have plenty of time to read by the fire. But, Faith is involved in two mysteries, the murder of a young woman, and the search for the identity of a newborn baby left in the manger in a barn.

Then there's the nonfiction title, Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution by Joel Richard Paul. Its the true story of how "three remarkable people used espionage, betrayal, and deciption to help win the American Revolution." It's a story that stretches from Versailles to London to Philadelphia.

Bail bondsman Herman Jackson returns in Richard A. Thompson's Frag Box. Charlie Victor was a Vietnam vet, and a steady client for Jackson, until he's murdered, and named Jackson as his heir. Jackson needs money, so he's eager to inherit the frag box in which Victor kept money, but Charlie's killers want it, too.

A couple Florida novels, a memoir, a history, and a small stack of mysteries, make up the November treasures in my closet. Hopefully, you'll find a treasure in this selection as well.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Once again, Lesa, you've got me opening up my library's website to make some requests. When will I ever find the time to read all these treasures!? Thanks for sharing them.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Kaye said...

OOoooh, I want them all! Thanks for the feature. It's great to see what is coming out.

Lesa said...

Unfortunately, Elizabeth, I'm in the same boat as you. I'll never catch up.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kaye. Enjoy! Happy Reading!

Molly said...

I have thoroughly enjoy the first two Booktown mysteries, and I am anxious to read Bookplate Special! I wish Stoneham, NH wasn't a fictional place --- I would retire there in a heart beat.

Diane said...

I read the first Book Town cozy and really liked it, but I'm trying to get away from cozies now, so I probably will not read any more. Great review.

Tina said...

Lesa...I love the category challenges on LT, and am thinking that I just may as well make a category that is called "Books featured on Lesa's Book Critiques"--then I can read them all!

Thanks for another terrific list.

Lorna Barrett said...

Thanks for mentioning Bookplate Special. It includes several themes that are close to my heart, and I hope readers will enjoy discovering them.

Lesa said...


Despite the weather, I'd retire either to Stoneham, or Three Pines in Quebec. My kind of towns!

Lesa said...

Ah, Diane. Sorry you're leaving cozies behind. I read a little of everything, but my mystery reading is probably a little cozier than dark.

Lesa said...

Love it, Tina! Books mentioned on Lesa's Book Critiques. I'm glad you like the books I mention.

Lesa said...

Hi Lorna,

As you can tell, Molly and I are both looking forward to the next book in the series. We love Stoneham!

Terri said...

Hello, Lesa,
Just got a Google Alert that SPINNING FORWARD had been mentioned in cyberspace.
How nice to come here and find that you mentioned it. This looks like a great blog and I'll have to have a look around.
Spinning Forward has an October 27 release to book stores, so the countdown has begun and the excitement is mounting.
I do hope you'll enjoy my story.
Best to you,
Terri DuLong

Lesa said...

Thanks, Terri. And best of luck to you and Spinning Forward. Thanks for taking the time to look around. Good luck!

♥Jen♥ said...

David Thompson just recommended Martin Limon to me, so I'm going to give his series a try. I posted his first book as the Monday Mystery Backlist title today, too. Sounds like something I'll enjoy!

Lesa said...

I'll be watching for your review, Jen. I've never read any of Limon's books either.