Sunday, April 01, 2012

May Treasures in My Closet

Ah, May books. There are some interesting books in my closet this month, including a title by one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to share them!

It's a tug of war between anthropologists, the Vatican, and a deadly zealot in Jefferson Bass' The Inquisitor's Key. While working a dig in France, Miranda discovers a chest inscribed with the claim that he bones of Jesus of Nazareth are inside. Now, she and her boss, Dr. Bill Brockton, are working to prove or refute the claim.

Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, is the author of the memoir Father's Day: A Journey Into the Mind & Heart of My Extraordinary Son. Bissinger has twin sons. While the oldest is a graduate student, the younger, by three minutes, Zach, spent his life attending special schools. When Bissinger and his son, Zach, hit the road to revisit all they places they have lived together during Zach's twenty-four years, it's a revealing journey for Zach's father.

Michelle Mason just went to the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a short vacation in Lisa Brackmann's Getaway. What she discovers is a shady American ex-pat community and a barely-hidden drug syndicate. She's caught in a dangerous trap, and has to fight to survive her vacation.

Lehrter Station is the fifth book in David Downing's John Russell series. Six months ago, British journalist John Russell bought his family safe passage out of war-torn Berlin by offering a Soviet NKVD agent German atomic secrets and vague promises to be of help in the future. Now, in Nov. 1945, Russell's contact asks him to move back to Berlin to pose as a journalist and undertake some espionage. It's a lose-lose situation for Russell in a novel that combines the historical with mystery and thrills.

David Freed's debut mystery-thriller is Flat Spin. Cordell Logan is a flight instructor with a shadowy past. He still loves his ex-wife, Savannah, so when she shows up saying her husband was murdered in Los Angeles, Logan is actually pleased. But, he agrees to look for her husband's killer, because it just might have links to their past as a top-secret military assassination team. As Logan tracks a killer, he himself is stalked by someone trying to kill him.

Every couple years one of my favorite authors, Chris Grabenstein, releases another John Ceepak mystery. The latest novel, Fun House, brings a reality TV show like Jersey Shore to the seaside resort Sea Haven. It's up to by-the-book officer John Ceepak and his wisecracking partner, Danny Boyle, to babysit the boozy kids partying in a rental house for the summertime hit, Fun House. It's also up to them to look for a killer when one of the cast members ends up dead. (I can't wait to hit the Jersey Shore with Ceepak and Danny.)

Deadly Negatives is the latest by three-time Edgar Award nominee Russell Hill. When a photographer buys an old camera, he discovers some black-and-white negatives hidden in the box. When he tracks down the people in the photos, he finds long-hidden horrific acts by some prominent people. And, those negatives are suddenly dangerous to own.

I love the cover of Eleanor Kuhns' debut mystery, A Simple Murder. This winner of the Mystery Writers of America/Minotaur Books First Crime Novel Competition is a historical mystery about the murder of a young Shaker woman. In 1796, travelling weaver and former soldier Will Rees tracks his runaway son to a Shaker settlement near Durham, Maine. When he finds himself heading a murder investigation, he discovers that some clues may reveal dark secrets that threaten the whole community.

I Am Forbidden is the English-language debut for Anouk Markovits. The novel spans generations and continents to tell the story of two sisters, one who believes, and one who rebels against the insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar.

It's a treat whenever there is a new collection from Anna Quindlen. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, her latest collection of essays, uses the events of Quindlen's own life to illuminate our own as she talks about marriage, girlfriends, kids, our mothers, loss, and longing.

The Kissing List is the first collection of stories by Stephanie Reents. It's a loosely linked collection about women who bravely defy expectations and take outrageous chances in the face of life.

Sarah R. Shaber brings back Louise Pearlie in Louise's Gamble. In 1942, Louise Pearlie is a widow working at the legendary OSS in Washington, D.C. But, a casual friendship threatens everything when a war refugee sucks Louise into a dangerous game of mafia bosses, Nazi spies, banished royalty and Sicilian aristocracy.

In Jill Smolinski's Objects of My Affection, Lucy Bloom, a personal organizer whose life is a mess, accepts a high-paying job helping a reclusive artist turned hoarder clear the clutter of her life. Each woman learns, though, that there are those things in life we keep, those we need to let go, but it's not always easy to know the difference.

Elizabeth Zelvin's Death Will Extend Your Vacation rounds out the list.  Recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler and his friends, computer genius Jimmy and world-class codependent Barbara, take shares in a clean and sober group house in the Hamptons for the summer. When the tide washes up the body of an investigative journalist, though, the suspects are all in 12-step programs. It's another interesting investigation for the team of Bruce, Barbara, and Jimmy, and sun block isn't going to stop a killer.

May looks like another interesting month for those of us who love books!


bermudaonion said...

So many good titles! Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake has been calling my name.

Anonymous said...!!!

Lesa said...

I"m with both of you, Kathy & Kay. You picked out two of the books I'm really looking forward to reading.

Chris Grabenstein said...

And every couple of years I look forward to reading Lesa's review of my Ceepak books because they're among the most thoughtful out there!

Thanks for the mention, Loots like a great May.

Chris Grabenstein

Karen C said...

Oh, my. I found at least 5 that I'm going to have to find a way to read!!

Ricky Bush said...

Buzz Bissinger is a great author name.

Lesa said...

Well, Chris, it was your book that my sister talked about when she called today. She said she placed a hold at the library. So, thank you, again!

Lesa said...

Wait until you see tomorrow's list, too, Karen.

Lesa said...

Isn't it a great name, Ricky?

Les said...

I love Quindlen! I'm thrilled to see she has a new collection of essays coming out. I absolutely loved Every Last One and know that this will be one I buy the minute I unpack it from its shipping case at the store!! Whoohoo! :) Thanks for the heads-up, Lesa.

Lesa said...

Quindlen always has an essay or two that really touches me. I love everything she says about reading and books. You're welcome, Les!