What better way to kick off the new year than to talk about books? I have two days worth of forthcoming books to talk about, books that are scheduled for release in February.
Leigh Adams kicks off the list with her first Kate Ford mystery. In Hostile Witness, single mom and computer security specialist, Kate Ford, is drawn into the drama of a lurid kidnapping case with ties to her company. (Release date is Feb. 9.)
This Was Not the Plan is Cristina Alger's novel of fatherhood, the heartbreaking but funny story of a widower left with a quirky five-year-old son. Now, Charlie Goldwyn is forced to be the father, and the son, he never thought he could be. (Release date is Feb. 2.)
Emily Barnes introduces retired police chief Katherine Sullivan in The Fine Art of Murder. After decades of crime fighting, the grandmother discovers that retirement can be just as deadly as the job. Katherine returns to her Minnesota hometown to comfort her recently divorced daughter. And, then a young woman is found murdered on the estate of the town's richest family. In order to track down a killer, Katherine must uncover generations of secrets. (Release date is Feb. 9.)
Black Rabbit Hall is Eve Chase's leisurely paced British Gothic novel. Two women are entangled by secrets, although they're decades apart. The story of family secrets, forbidden love, and heartbreaking loss, all connected to the grand gothic manor of Black Rabbit Hall, has been compared to books by Kate Morton. (Release date is Feb. 9.)
Why would anyone return to his hometown after twenty-five years in prison for a crime he claims he didn't commit? Vicki Delany asks that question in her latest Constable Molly Smith mystery, Unreasonable Doubt. Walter Desmond is back in Trafalgar, British Columbia, exonerated of murder. Walter wants to know what really happened. Sergeant John Winters and Constable Molly Smith know that if Walter didn't kill Sophia D'Angelo, someone else did. With the case reopened, emotions are stirred up. And, then two women are attacked by a rapist. (Release date is Feb. 2.)
I love debut novels, and it's always a pleasure to introduce quirky ones. The Flood Girls is Richard Fifield's story of a small town in Montana, with bar fights and AA meetings, a parade, a wedding, and a black bear. Alcoholic Rachel Flood returns to her hometown to try to make amends for her past behavior. She hasn't spoken to her mother, Laverna Flood, the tough owner of the local bar, since she left home. It's another story of a town that doesn't easily forget or forgive. (Release date is Feb. 2.)
Tim Flannery's "The Mystery of the Venus Island Fetish is a delightfully risqué caper, full of eccentric characters, intrigue and adventure." It's 1932, and the Venus Island fetish, a ceremonial mask, is part of a museum collection in Sydney. But, Archie Meek, a young anthropologist notices a strange discoloration on the fetish. Is there a link with the disappearance of a curator and the death of a retired mollusk expert? Will Archie win back Beatrice Goodenough? (Release date is Feb. 2.)
Paul Goldberg's The Yid is another debut, historical fiction. Set in Moscow in 1953, Stalin's pogrom is in full swing. Three government goons arrive in the middle of the night to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. But, Levinson, now an old man, is a veteran of past wars. And, he proceeds to assemble a ragtag group to help him enact a mad-brilliant plot: the assassination of a tyrant. (Release date is Feb. 2.)
February must be the month in which publishers introduce new authors. Hide is Matthew Griffin's debut novel. Set in a declining textile town in North Carolina, it's the love story of Wendell Wilson, a taxidermist, and Frank Clifton, a veteran of World War II. They meet after the war, in a time when such love holds real danger, and together they build a hidden life. It's hidden until Frank's health deteriorates when he's eighty-three, and their life begins to crumble. (Release date is Feb. 16.)
Physicist Manabu Yukawa, known as "Detective Galileo" returns in Keigo Higashino's A Midsummer's Equation. He travels to Hari Cove, a once-popular summer resort town to speak at a conference on a planned underwater mining operation. That project has sharply divided the town. The night before the panel discussion, a guest is found dead. The local police suspect murder. While they investigate, Yukawa finds himself enmeshed in another confounding case, and he has to uncover the relationships and truth behind the tragic events. (Release date is Feb. 23.)
The last debut novel for today is Jowhor Ile's And After Many Days. During the rainy season of 1995, in a bustling Nigerian town, one family's life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seven-teen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. The youngest son, Ajie, feels guilty that he saw Paul last. But, his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens long-forgotten ghosts. It's the story of a family torn apart, and a nation on the brink. (Release date is Feb. 16.)
Into Oblivion by Arnaldur Indridason, is the follow-up to the gritty prequel Reykjavik Nights, another glimpse of Erlendur in his early days as a young detective. It's 1979, a few years after Reykjavik Nights closed, and Erlendur is now a detective. First, the body of a man is found in the blue lagoon, a victim who fell from a great height. Was he thrown out of an airplane? At the same time, Erlendur is asked to investigate the cold case of a young girl who vanished into thin air on her way to school forty years earlier. (Release date is Feb. 9.)
What better way to celebrate the joy of a new year than with a collection of new releases, including a number of debuts? Is there one or two you're can't wait to read?