Friday, February 01, 2013

March Treasures in My Closet

New closet! New books. It's time to talk about the March book releases I have in my closet.

I mentioned Cat Adams' The Eldritch Conspiracy the week it arrived. It's the fifth book in her popular Siren Song series. It's a fairy tale match, but many suspect Princess Adriana of bewitching the king. After the second attempt on her life, she turns to her cousin, Celia, for help. Celia provides personal security, and she's perfect to protect Adriana, if she's not distracted by her own problems.

I loved Deborah Coates' debut novel, Wide Open. Now, she brings Seargeant Hallie Michaels back in Deep Down. Hallie is a young woman with the ability to communicate with the dead. An elderly neighbor is being stalked by black dogs, creatures from the underworld that are harbingers of death. When a dog appears, a reaper is sure to follow, and one seems to be following her. She must face her fears to shave those she loves.

Anthony Award winner Hilary Davidson brings back travel writer Lily Moore in Evil in All Its Disguises. Lily's all-expense paid trip for journalists to Acapulco doesn't turn out to be the glamorous trip she expects. The city's glamour has faded, and crime is on the rise. When a fellow journalist disappears, Lily knows something is wrong, and when she herself tries to escape, she finds herself trapped, serving as bait in a deadly game.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Jonathan Dee focuses on a family and a marriage in crisis in A Thousand Pardons. When Helen Armstead's marriage unravels, she's thrust back into the working world and a job in public relations. It's that job that forces her to face the limits of accountability and her own capacity for forgiveness.

Interested in an atmospheric novel about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life? Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni brings us Oleander Girl. The death of Korobi Roy's grandfather revealed serious financial problems and a devastating secret about her past. Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparents' betrayal, she sets off to find her true identity.

Tricia Fields won the Hillerman Prize for The Territory, a mystery featuring tough smalltown Texas police chief Josie Gray. Josie returns in Scratchgravel Road. When she spotted Cassidy Harper's car abandoned on the side of the road, Josie saved Cassidy's life. The woman was almost dead from heatstroke, and she was lying beside the body of a Mexican immigrant. But Cassidy has no answers for the police chief, who finds wounds on the man's body, and knows her own life is in danger.b

The cover blurb says Matthew Goodman's Eighty Days is narrative nonfiction in the tradition of Erik Larson and Laura Hillenbrand. It's the little-known story of Nelly Bly and Elizabeth Bisland, two American journalists who, in 1889, set off to outdo Jules Verne's fictional hero Phileas Fogg and circle the globe in less than eighty days.

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is Kristopher Jansma's debut, the story of a young man inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing. In a story that travels from the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, the book is an exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling.

David Kirk's debut is historical fiction, Child of Vengeance. It's an historical epic of feudal Japan, based on the real-life exploits of the legendary samurai Musashi Miyamoto. A high-born young man discovers the truth about his family's history, and sets off on the samurai's path, one of blood, bravery, and vengeance.

In Allie Larkin's Why Can't I Be You, Jenny Shaw impulsively answers to someone else's name, and steps into Jessie Morgan's life. But, when she digs into Jessie's past, she discovers a secret that forces her to make another leap into the unknown.

Ashton Lee's The Cherry Cola Book Club has a theme close to my heart. Maura Beth Mayhew, the library director in a small Mississippi town, finds a way to bring the community together to save the library. Without even reading this book, I'm a fan of Maura Beth and the citizens of Cherico. I like Maura Beth and Ashton Lee so much that I invited them to do a joint interview on the blog later this month.

Despite my move to Indiana, I'm still interested in Becky Masterman's debut thriller set in Tucson, Arizona. Rage Against the Dying features 59-year-old Brigid Quinn, a retired FBI agent trying to settle in to a quieter married life. However, when a man confesses to the biggest unsolved case of Quinn's career, she's pulled back in to solve the case that has tormented her for years. Publishers' Weekly just named this book as one of the top ten mysteries of the spring publication season. You'll want to watch for it. And, you'll want to watch for Masterman's guest blog here.

Edward Kelsey Moore pays tribute to the women in his family and his life in his debut novel, The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat. Earl's Diner was the first black-owned business in Plainview, Indiana. It's where Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean hung out during their high school days in the racially charged 1960s, and then every Sunday after church for the next forty years. It's where they shared life's problems, and celebrated with gossip, tears and hilarious laughter, all at the same time.

Brad Parks brings back Newark Eagle-Examiner reporter Carter Ross in The Good Cop. Carter is sent to a widow's house after he receives a call saying her husband, a local policeman was killed. However, he's called off the case when his boss reports that the cop committed suicide. But, Carter doesn't believe the man would kill himself, and neither does the cop's widow. It's enough to set the reporter on the track of a story.

Another Publishers' Weekly pick, Andrew Pyper's novel, The Demonologist is already in development with Universal Studios. It's the story of an academic, an expert in the literature of the demonic, notably Milton's Paradise Lost. But, he's a scholar, not a believer, until his beloved daughter is taken, and he goes on a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from Paradise Lost as he tries to rescue his daughter from a demon.

In her memoir, With or Without You, Domenica Ruta examines her relationship with her mother. Ruta grew up in a working-class unforgiving Italian town north of Boston where her mother, Kathi was a notorious figure, a drug addict and sometimes dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches.  This is the story of Ruta's unconventional upbringing, and the necessity to break away from that life, overcoming her own addictions.

A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz introduces Elle Chance, a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste of adventure. She's the heroine of a new series, The Chronicles of Light and Shadow, that blends elements of urban fantasy, steampunk and paranormal romance. In 1903, the world is divided between light and shadow. Each advance of science comes at the expense of shadow. Now two ancient powers are preparing to strike back, and all they require is the sacrifice of a certain young woman. But, when they come after Elle, they get more than they bargained for.

Alexander Soderberg introduces the first in a thriller trilogy, The Andalucian Friend. Sophie Brinkmann is a nurse and single mother in a sleepy Stockholm suburb. But her relationship with Hector Guzman puts her at the center of a global turf war involving Spanish drug traffickers, German gangsters, Russian hit men, and Swedish cops. It isn't going to be easy to get out alive.

Elizabeth Strout, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge, brings us The Burgess Boys. Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown as soon as they could. But, when their sister calls them home to help her teenage son, all of the long-buried tensions of the past resurface to change their lives forever.

The Ordinary Acrobat is Duncan Wall's account of his journey into the world of the circus, past and present. It's the story of what happens when one average American joining a host of gifted international students in a rigorous regiment of tumbling, trapeze, juggling, and clowning.

That's a wonderful collection from my closet. March looks like a wonderful month for reading. Which books appeal to you?


Carol N Wong said...

Can't wait to hear about the cherry cola club. When I was a little tyke, our neighbor would take me and her daughter to get a cherry cola at the fountain at th drugsstore. Great memories.

SandyG265 said...

Deep Down sounds interesting. I put a hold on it at the library. I'm also looking foward to Death of Yesterday by M.C. Beaton and Peach Pies and Alibis by Ellery Adams.

Karen C said...

The only one I've heard about is The Burgess Boys, but the one that really interests me is Rage Against the Dying.

Jane R said...

Gosh, most of these books don't sound at all familiar to me and I've added several to my book list. I have Deborah Coates' first book, Wide Open, on reserve at the library and looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the list!

Lesa said...

My pleasure, everyone! And, I'm looking forward to Peach Pies and Alibis, too. I just don't have that in my closet. But, Ellery Adams is a favorite.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Oh, man, just look at that list of delicious books. They all sound better than chocolate!!

Lesa said...

They do sound great, don't they, Patricia?

Anonymous said...

... best of all, none of them will make you fat. :) Thanks for the spot in the closet, Lesa!

Lesa said...

And, it's a "Treasure", Brad!