Thursday, July 01, 2010

August Treasures in My Closet

Thank heavens I only have twelve August titles in my closet at the moment. I just counted, and I have 31 July releases on the shelf, and just as many June titles I haven't had a chance to get to yet. I may never catch up.

But, that doesn't mean you might not be interested in the August releases. There are some terrific authors represented by the August books.

Hemingway returns as a detective in Michael Atkinson's Hemingway Cutthroat. In 1937 Madrid, Hemingway planned to cover the Spanish Civil War. But, he finds a friend murdered, and he and John Dos Passos take on the challenge of finding a killer.

The new Anna Pigeon novel by Nevada Barr is called Burn. Anna decides to take some leave time, spending it in New Orleans with a friend. But, it's not long before she discovers what seems to be an attempt to place a curse on her. And, it can be traced back to a creepy guy who works in the French Quarter, but he's not what he appears to be. Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is taken out of her comfort zone when she lands in New Orleans.

Shadow Play appears to be an unusual story by Rajorshi Chakraborti. A controversial novelist disappears just when the police want to question him about a murder. It isn't long before his editor receives a package of papers, explaining his actions, along with the story of a serial killer turned hired assassin. What's paranoia and what's fiction in this story?

Colin Cotterill's new Dr. Siri Investigation has a great title, Love Songs from a Shallow Grave. Dr. Siri is now seventy-four, and he's still the only coroner of Laos. His complicated case involving three young Laotian women who died of fencing wounds will have to wait when he's lured to Cambodia and accused of spying.

There's been a great deal of talk about Susanna Daniel's debut novel, Stiltsville. When Fraces Ellerby discovers a community called Stiltsville in the middle of Biscayne Bay, and meets Dennis Duval, she falls in love with both. The story follows her life over three decades of love, friendship, hurricanes, and coming to terms with life.

The Hanging Tree is Bryan Gruley's second Starvation Lake mystery. When Gracie McBride, a wild girl who left town eighteen years earlier, is found dead in an apparent suicide shortly after she returns to Starvation Lake, newspaper editor Gus Carpenter sets out to solve the mystery, with the help of sheriff deputy Darlene Esper. But, the search for truth takes Gus back to Detroit, and the scene of his own humiliation. And, then there are the terrible secrets he uncovers.

Timothy Hallinan brings us a new Poke Rafferty novel, The Queen of Patpong. Rafferty's life seems stable until a figure from his wife's past barges into their lives. Rose was a Patpong dancer, and in order to deal with this new challenge, Poke must discover the truth of Rose's past, the journey of a shy, awkward village girl into the queen of Asia's most lurid red-light street, Patpong Road. Can Poke survive when he learns the truth?

I know I'll get a chance to read the small gift book, A Little Book of Thank Yous: Letters, Notes & Quotes by Addie Johnson. It's a book of gratitude, filled with letters, quotes and suggestions for your own notes.

Mary Robinette Koval's debut novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, is touted as "The fantasy novel you've always wished Jane Austen had written." Jane Austen and her sister, Melody, vie for the attention of eligible men. Jane has skill with the manipulation of glamour, considered essential for a lady of quality, but it's Melody who is fair of face. Even so, when one of Melody's suitor's plans to take advantage of her, it's Jane who uses her abilities to stop him.

Karen McQuestion's A Scattered Life is an Amazon Encore book, a book overlooked when it first came out. It's the story of three women leading very different lives who are brought together over the course of one year.

How can I resist Brenda Novak's trilogy since it's set in Arizona? White Heat is due out in August, followed by Body Heat in September, and Killer Heat in October. White Heat takes us to Paradise, Arizona, once a ghost town, but now the home of a religious cult. Nate Ferrentino and Rachel Jessop, employees at a private security company, are given the assignment of infiltrating the group after a woman goes missing. The problem is, their pretense of being married has to be good enough to fool the twisted cult leader.

Many mystery readers are familiar with Betty Webb's dark series featuring detective Lena Jones. But, she has a lighter mystery series set at the Gunn Zoo. The Koala of Death is the second book with zookeeper Teddy Bentley. When Teddy fishes the body of a fellow zookeeper out of Gunn Landing Harbor, she discovers Koala Kate's death wasn't by drowning. Clues to the killer lead back to the Gunn Zoo. If murderers were Teddy's only worry, she might be OK. Throw in her embezzling father, a need for money for repairs on her houseboat, and a weekly TV show featuring animals, and Teddy's life is a mess. And, then there's the killer out there.

Just twelve books right now. But, if you didn't see something here you like, check back tomorrow for the hot titles list.


kathy d. said...

Many of these look interesting. Am so glad that Nevada Barr has a new book out, set in New Orleans, no less. Should be good.

And the Arizona trilogy is enticing.

But others look good, too.

I'm sure you'll write about any you read and want to recommend.

Lesa said...

You're right, Kathy. You'll get my recommendatins in August. (Although I have one reader who said she's spent too much money based on my blog, and she may have to quit reading it for a while.)

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's not caught up! Stiltsville looks so good!

Jen Forbus said...

Oh yes, several of these are waiting for me as well. I'm really looking forward to Tim Hallinan's new Poke Rafferty. Mike Atkinson's just arrived on Monday and I also have Nevada Barr's and Brian Gruley's. I'm not sure how many more in print I'll make it through. But if these all follow suit with their predecessors, I may end up with a lot of read books in August! Which is a good thing, because I, too, am SOOOOOOO behind! LOL

Happy reading, Lesa!

Lesa said...

Oh, Kathy. Tough time of year to keep up. Yes, I'm really behind.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Jen. Happy Reading to you as well. It's rough trying to keep up, but it's my favorite type of "rough."

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Oooh...lots of good stuff for August! That Hemingway book and Betty Webb's newest sound especially interesting.

Brenda Novak said...

Looks like you have your work cut out for you, Lesa. :-) Thanks for putting my books on your list. I hope you enjoy them. And I hope to see you at my Arizona signing August 3rd. I'm still waiting on details on that but will let you know!

kathy d. said...

Yes, to hoard good books for August and hope to have time to read, drink iced tea and eat frozen yogurt, turn off the phone and sit in a/c.

Now that is a vacation!

I told a friend recently (after she asked me about my vacations) that I'd be in New Orleans, Arizona, Maine, Sweden, Italy, France, the eastern coast of England, Scotland, Ireland this summer; that is, my reading vacation where I'll be transported to all of those countries.

Read Scottish writer Denise Mina's latest, "Still Midnight."
It's so-so, although I have been a big fan of her Garnethill and Paddy Meehan books.

Lesa said...

And, wait until you see tomorrow's listing, Elizabeth! Who has time for a life other than reading?

Lesa said...

I liked your idea of a vacation, kathy d. Add in my cats, and it would suit me perfectly.

Lesa said...

I'm looking forward to reading your books, Brenda! And, I get the mailing from Changing Hands, so I'll see the details.

Anonymous said...

Lesa, too many books!!! Not your fault, of course, but I am also feeling a little inundated. STILTSVILLE looks good. I'm behind on reading the Nevada Barr books, but I might just have to skip over some for a New Orleans setting. I haven't gotten to STARVATION LAKE and now there is a second one. Thanks for the headsup on these!

Lesa said...

I agree. I'm drowning here, Kay, and actually telling a couple authors I can't take review copies right now. I love it, but once in a while, I have to say no. I haven't read Starvation Lake yet either, and I want to.

Too many books!

Ingrid King said...

I'm looking forward to Nevada Barr's new one, and The Koala of Death sounds intriguing because of the setting.

Lesa said...


I really enjoyed the first book in Betty Webb's series, set at the Gunn Zoo. I hope you get the chance to read Barr and Webb.