Saturday, February 28, 2015

April Treasures in My Closet - Part 1

Is it just me, or did February seem to go on forever? Snow, cold, ice. Bah, humbug. One more reason to anticipate all of the books coming out in April. Spring! Will it ever be warm enough to open a window and smell spring while we read? I have a ton of books to suggest for April reading, including a few nonfiction. (We all know it's usually fiction on my TBR piles.) So many books, that, once again, the treasures are split in two posts.

Cynthia Barnett is an environmental and science journalist. Her book, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, is the first book to tell the story of rain. The account begins four billion years ago, and builds to the storms of climate change. Along the way, Barnett shows rain as a unifying force, telling the history of rain, and using the book as a travelogue. (Release date is April 21.)

OK, speak up if you love the cover of Rebecca Barry's book as much as I do. Recipes for a Beautiful Life is "A Memoir in Stories". Barry and her husband moved to upstate New York to start their family, but, as always with those who move to an old house, their dream didn't turn out as expected. The book "blends heartwarming, funny, authentically told stories about the messiness of family life, a fearless examination of the anxieties of creative work, and sharp-eyed observations of the pressures that all women face." (Release date is April 7.)

In Lori Benson's The Wood's Edge, cultures collide on the New York frontier of 1757. It's home to the Oneida tribe and British colonists. When Major Reginald Aubrey swaps his stillborn son for the white son of an Oneida mother, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of everyone involved. (Release date is April 21.)

Kate Bolick's Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own examines the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. The book combines memoir with cultural exploration to examine why the author, along with over 100 million American women, remains unmarried. (Release date is April 21.)

I don't have time to review every book I receive, but I will be reading and reviewing James O. Born's Scent of Murder. I'm looking forward to the novel that W.E.B. Griffin calls "A gritty, realistic look at the men, women, and dogs in police K-9 units." Deputy Tim Hallett was tossed from the detective bureau after using questionable tactics while catching a child molester. Now, assigned to a special K-9 unit with the best partner in the world, a Belgian Malinois named Rocky, he uncovers the scent of a predator, one who seems connected to the case that destroyed his career. (Release date is April 7.)

Susan M. Boyer's first Liz Talbot mystery, Lowcountry Boil won both the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and the Daphne du Maurier Award. Lowcountry Boneyard is the third in the series. The twenty-three-year-old heiress to a Charleston fortune disappeared a month before her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot to find her. Liz and the Charleston Police Department believe she left because her father was too overbearing. But, family secrets and a ghost may reveal the truth. (Release date is April 21.)

A June of Ordinary Murders is a mystery debut that brings 1880s Dublin to life. Conor Brady, the former editor of The Irish Times, introduces Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow, investigating an "ordinary" crime. The Dublin Metropolitan Police classified crime in two classes; political crimes were seen as "special", and theft, robbery, and murder were "ordinary". But, it isn't long before Swallow's murder investigation suggests high-level involvement, leading to the navigation of political waters. (Release date is April 21.)

In Susanna Calkins' historical mystery, The Masque of a Murderer, a printer's apprentice learns a dangerous secret. In 17th century England, Lucy Campion is now a printer's apprentice. When she accompanies the local magistrate's daughter to the home of a severely injured Quaker to record his dying words, the man reveals he was pushed into the path of a horse because of a secret he recently uncovered. When Lucy and her friends search for the truth, they may find their investigation more dangerous than any of them had imagined. (Release date is April 14.)

Cold Trail is Janet Dawson's eleventh mystery featuring PI Jeri Howard. Her current missing persons' case is a personal one; her brother, Brian is missing. She thought his life was in great shape. But, she discovers there were problems in his marriage and with his job. And, two police detectives think Brian may have been involved in a homicide. It's time to find her brother. (Release date is April 7.)

Brendan Duffy's House of Echoes is an atmospheric debut thriller. When Ben and Caroline Tierney moved to the village of Swannhaven in upstate New York, they thought they were starting a new life with their eight-year-old son, Charlie. But, it isn't long before strange things begin to happen, and the family's dream is about to become a nightmare. (Release date is April 14.)

Eli Sharpe is an ex-pro baseball player turned private investigator who investigates cases related to his former profession. In Max Everhart's latest mystery, Split to Splinters, he looks into a case of family dynamics when Jim Honeycutt's baseball commemorating his three-hundredth career win goes missing. And, an anonymous note points to six females, Honeycutt's four daughters, their mother, or their mother's best friend. Even Eli, familiar with human treachery, isn't prepared for what he finds in this case. (Release date is April 1.)

Viper Wine, based on actual events, is Hermione Eyre's first novel. Venetia Stanley was the great beauty of seventeenth century England, inspiring Ben Jonson and Van Dyck. But, now that she's married, she's no longer adored, and she seeks a remedy. When an apothecary sells her "viper wine", a strange potion that is addicting and powerful, the ladies of the court of Charles I soon look unnaturally youthful. But, there's a terrible price to be paid, as science clashes with magic, and puritans clash with the monarchy. (Release date is April 14.)

Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice, now examines Huntington's disease in her latest novel, Inside the O'Briens. Joe O'Brien, a respected Boston police officer of only forty-four is also a devoted husband and father. But, his strange episodes of disorganized thinking and uncharacteristic temper outbursts lead to a diagnosis of Huntington's disease, a lethal disease with no treatment or cure. And, each of Joe's four adult children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease. While Joe's symptoms worsen, and he struggles to maintain hope, his children have to decide to take the simple test that will reveal their future, or live their lives "at risk". (Release date is April 7.)

Margaret Grace sends her characters to my favorite city in Manhattan in Miniature. Gerry Porter and her granddaughter Maddie go to New York City for a huge crafts fair. They get to work on making miniatures, solving crimes, and seeing Rockefeller Center and Radio City. But someone doesn't want to see them make it safely home to California. (Release date is April 7.)

What You Left Behind is Samantha Hayes' latest thriller, a story that explores the devastating aftermath of suicide. The rural village of Radcote has just begun to heal two years after a terrifying rash of teenage suicides. Now, it appears that that nightmare once again threatens the community. When Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher takes a vacation to Radcote to visit her sister, she becomes determined to discover the truth behind the deaths, and find answers that might help her own nephew. (Release date is April 14.)

Reykjavik Nights is a prequel to Arnaldur Indridason's series featuring Inspector Erlendur. The tenth volume in the series finds Erlendur a young, inexperienced detective walking beat on the streets in Reykjavik, encountering routine traffic accidents, theft, domestic violence, and an unexplained death. When Erlendur is the only one who cares about the death of a tramp, he's dragged into a strange, dark underworld. (Release date is April 21.)

Enough for today? Come back tomorrow for the second half of April Treasures in My Closet. In the meantime, let me know which of these books appear to you to be true treasures.


Kay said...

I've already got HOUSE OF ECHOES and the Samantha Hayes books on my TBR. In fact, I think I actually have the Hayes book under a different title - the British one. Need to read it.

I've already read INSIDE THE O'BRIENS. I enjoyed it very much. Love Lisa Genova's books. Recommended.

And so, the weather. I know, I know, I live in Texas and we can't complain much. But, we've had snow flurries for the past several days, nothing like the DFW area, but still. I want my bluebonnets! I live here for a reason. :-)

Lesa said...

I know, Kay. I hated this cold weather when I was in Florida, and we had it once in a while. Never that bad in Arizona. I miss that. And, I'm looking forward to that Lisa Genova. I read the first chapter, and it's going to be terrific.