Wednesday, January 01, 2014

February Treasures in My Closet

Nothing like starting the new year with a list of forthcoming books! However, I'm going to apologize to authors of February book releases right now. For such a short month, there are an extraordinary number of books that are published then. I have an enormous pile of books, and that doesn't even include the cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and Obsidian yet. I'm not going to be able to read everything I'd like in a timely manner. So, apologies to authors whose books will have to wait.

I am planning to read Natalie Bazile's debut novel, Queen Sugar. It's "A mother-daughter story of reinvention about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana." It's a chance for Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, to leave Los Angeles and start over. She discovers a Louisiana stuck in the past. As a sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the challenges of the farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter, troubled brother, and the desires of her own heart. Release date is Feb. 6.

Jorgen Brekke's debut novel about present-day killings stemming from ancient secrets has already been published in fourteen countries, landing on several bestseller lists. Where Monsters Dwell has been recommended for fans of Steve Berry and Raymond Khoury. Two similar murders on both sides of the Atlantic, one at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, and the other in a medieval manuscript archive in Tondheim, Norway convince the investigators they must join forces. Release date is Feb. 11 for fans of historical-tinged thrillers.

The blurb for Carla Buckley's novel, The Deepest Secret, says, "For fans of Jodi
Picoult, Kim Edwards, and William Landay, The Deepest Secret is part intimate family drama, part gripping page-turner, exploring the profound power of the truths we’re scared to face . . . about our marriages, our children, and ourselves."  Eve Lattimore's family is just like any other family on their quiet street, except for the rare disease her son has. He can't be exposed to sunlight. When tragedy strikes, Eve learns she's not the only one on the street with secrets to protect. Release date is Feb. 4.

Key West and food come together again in Lucy Burdette's latest mystery, Murder with Ganache. Hayley Snow already has a heaping plate of work - restaurant reviews, food tastings, and an article to write. But, she's also in charge of baking two hundred cupcakes for her best friend's wedding. She doesn't need the additional problems caused by her parents arrival, and the disappearance of her stepbrother. And, of course, her stepbrother is caught up in a murder, and it's up to Hayley to assemble the clues. Release date is Feb. 4.

Ann Cleeves, one of my favorite mystery authors, brings back her Shetland Island series with Dead Water. When the body of a journalist is found, Inspector Jimmy Perez brings his local knowledge to help Detective Inspector Willow Reeves. As they dig deeper, they discover the journalist was chasing a story that many Shetlanders didn't want to come to the surface. Release date is Feb. 18.

After winning the prize for best Italian crime thriller, Roberto Costantini's The Deliverance of Evil is now translated into English. The debut thriller is the story of Commissario Michele Balistreri who failed to find a murderer in 1982, on the evening of Italy's triumph in the World Cup. Twenty-four years later, with Italy on the brink of another World Cup victory, the man who was losing his battle against his personal demons emerges once again to pick up the case. Release date is Feb. 11.

Kelly Corrigan's memoir, Glitter and Glue, examines the relationship between mothers and daughters. Kelly always had a connection to her father, but her mother summarized the family dynamic as "Your father's the glitter but I'm the glue." It wasn't until she was in Australia and took a job as a live-in nanny that her mother's words began to resonate with her. Release date is Feb. 4.

Katharina Hagena's The Taste of Apple Seeds is already an international bestseller. It's a bittersweet story of heartbreak and hope passed down through the generations. When Iris inherits her grandmother's house, she also inherits the painful memories that live there. She decides to give herself one week to stay there before deciding to keep the house or sell it. But, the choice isn't simple because the "cottage is an enchanting place where currant jam tastes of tears, sparks fly from fingertips, love's embrace makes apple trees blosoom, and the darkest family secrets never stay buried." Release date is Feb. 4.

Castle Rock is one of the "Carolyn Hart Classics" brought back years after the original publication with a fresh introduction by the author. Serena Mallory was only a twelve-year-old orphan when she arrived at Castle Rock, Dan McIntire's New Mexico ranch. She grew up as his ward. Now, in her twenties, she overheard Dan arguing with someone the night before he had a tragic riding accident. Since his death, there have been a series of strange accidents on the ranch. Convinced his death wasn't an accident, Serena sets out to find the guilty party in Hart's romantic suspense novel. Release date is Feb. 11.

With its colorful crowds of heiresses, thugs and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character in Alice Hoffman's The Museum of Extraordinary Things. "Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling" in a story introducing Coralie Sardie, the daughter of the sinister impresario behind Coney Island's The Museum of Extraordinary Things and a dashing Russian immigrant, photographer Eddie Cohen. Release date is Feb. 18.

I loaned my copy of Marci Jefferson's debut novel, Girl on the Golden Coin, to a friend, and received a thumbs up. We were both interested in Jefferson's book since she's an Indiana author. Jefferson, in writing a story of Frances Stuart, wants to do for the Stuarts what Philippa Gregory did for the Tudors. It's the story of the beautiful Royalist exile Frances Stuart, who must walk a fine line between pleasing two kings, King Louis XIV and King Charles II, and protecting her family's secret. Release date is Feb. 11.

Michael Korda said, "Those who love True Grit will love this." He's referring to Robert Lautner's Road to Reckoning, the story of a twelve-year-old boy, Thomas Walker, who joined his traveling salesman father on the road as he tried to make his fortune by selling Samuel Colt's recent invention, the "Improved Revolving Gun." But the adventure turns into a nightmare, and Thomas teams up with a surly ex-ranger in pursuit of vengeance. Release date is Feb. 4.

I think my late husband, Jim, would have loved Patrick Lee's Runner. The novel introduces former Delta Ranger Sam Dryden. He was out on a midnight jog when he encountered a twelve-year-old girl fleeing heavily armed men. Rachel doesn't know why she's running from the men who are trying to kill her, but Dryden, who is still mourning the death of his wife and child, is willing to take on unknown forces to protect the girl with an incredible mind. Release date is Feb. 18.

Bich Minh Nguyen's Pioneer Girl is a novel about a Vietnamese American family's ties to The Little House on the Prairie. Jobless, with a PhD, Lee Lien returns home to Chicago, only to face issues she's ignored since leaving for college. When her brother disappears, he leaves behind a family heirloom that may have once belonged to Laura Ingalls Wilder. As Lee explores the tenuous links, she embarks on a journey that takes her from library archives to prairie reenactments, and eventually to San Francisco. Release date is Feb. 6.

Gigi Pandian returns with another Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery, Pirate Vishnu. From San Francisco to the southern tip of India, historian Jaya Jones pieces together secrets from an ancestor who drew a treasure map in 1905. Now, she has her work cut out for her as she deal with "A century-old treasure map of San Francisco's Barbary Coast. Sacred riches from India. Two murders, one hundred years apart. And a love triangle." Pandian's Jaya Jones mysteries are for all of us who loved Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss. Release date is Feb. 11.

Don Passman's The Amazing Harvey introduces struggling magician Harvey Kendall. On the brink of stardom, he's suspected of a murder when his DNA is found on the victim. But, Harvey couldn't have committed it, and now he must use his talents to pull off the greatest escape of his career. Release date is Feb. 25.

The Traitor's Wife is Allison Pataki's debut historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America's most infamous act of treason. Told from the perspective of Peggy's maid, the story tells of Peggy's plot to deliver West Point to the British, and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and her husband. Release date is Feb. 11.

Following Crossbones Yard, Kate Rhodes brings back psychologist Alice Quentin in A Killing of Angels. Although Alice swore she would never get involved with police work again, she owes Detective Don Burns a favor. So, when he asks for her help when a killer is staling the financial district in London, she can't refuse. Together they must dig into the heart of one of the financial centers in the world, "a place where money means more than lie, and no one can be counted innocent." It's a place where an avenging angel is intent on punishment. Release date is Feb. 25.

Raiders of the Nile is the fourteenth book in Steven Saylor's series set in the late Roman Empire. This mystery chronicles the early years of Saylor's detective, Gordianus, before he assumed the title of The Finder. In 88 B.C., it seems as if all the world is at war. The young Gordianus is living in Alexandria where he plies his trade of solving puzzles and finding things for pay. But, when his slave Bethesda is kidnapped by men who mistake her for a rich man's mistress, Gordianus must find and save her before the kidnappers realize their mistake and cut their losses. It isn't long before Gordianus finds himself in the middle of a city in chaos and a dangerous plot, the raiding and pillaging of the golden sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. Release date is Feb. 25.

And, the last book is M.D. Waters' debut, Archetype, a futuristic suspense novel. It's the story of a woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe. Emma wakes in the hospital with no memories except the ones her husband Declan, a powerful, seductive man provides. While she suppresses her dreams during the daytime, and becomes a dutiful wife, even falling in love with Declan, her dreams tell a different story. That's a story of war, a camp where girls are trained to become wives, and the love of another man. Release date is Feb. 6.

Ah, February. You're breaking my heart with so many good books, and, as the slogan says, "So little time". It's quite an interesting collection of books. Which ones on this list appeal to you?


Beth Hoffman said...

That's a terrific collection of books you have in you closet. I'm eager to get my hands on "The Museum of Extraordinary Things" and the new offering from Ann Cleeves grabbed my attention, too.

Happy New Year, my friend!

Lesa said...

Happy New Year, Beth! It's quite a list of books, so I should probably turn off the Rose Bowl parade, and get to reading.

Kaye Barley said...

An amazing selection. The two I'm most anxious to read are "The Taste of Apple Seeds" and "The Museum of Extraordinary Things."

But for now I'm thoroughly enjoying "A Reader's Book of Days."

Happy New Year Hugs, Lesa!

Lesa said...

And, I'm enjoying My Bookstore, Kaye. Think we have something in common? I did loan The Museum of Extraordinary Things to a friend, and he liked it.

Happy New Year Hugs back, Kaye!