Monday, August 01, 2016

September Treasures in My Closet - Part 2

Are you ready for day 2 of the curated collection of treasures? This one is a little more of a mixed bag, but it's certainly an interesting list.

I'm discussing two of the titles slightly out of order because they have a similar subject. They're both young adult books. They both deal with Jack the Ripper.

The first book is Matthew Kirby's A Taste for Monsters. In 1888, in London, Jack the Ripper was
terrorizing everyone. Evelyn is a young woman disfigured form working with dangerous chemicals at a matchstick factory, with nowhere to go and living each day in fear. She looks for work at the hospital where her life and most of her jaw was saved. She ends up as a maid for Joseph Merrick, the famous Elephant Man. Evelyn finds a deep kindness in Merrick, who many see as a monster. But, the real monsters are men, and Jack the Ripper's victims haunt Joseph and Evelyn. Evelyn faces her own fears in order to uncover the truth. (Release date is Sept. 27.)

When I was on the panel at Book Expo America, I discussed the book Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, for several reasons. It's the first book published under James Patterson's new children's imprint, JIMMY Patterson Books. The other reason was the subject matter, Jack the Ripper. Audrey Rose Wadsworth was groomed to be the perfect Victorian young lady. But, after the loss of her mother, she is determined to understand the nature of death. She secretly apprentices in forensics, which draws her into the investigation of serial killer Jack the Ripper. To her horror, her search for clues takes her far closer to her sheltered world than she could have imagined. (Release date is Sept. 20.)

Ross King examines a legendary artist in Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies. It's the story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came closer to Paris and Giverny, as a new generation of artists challenged the achievements of Impressionism. At seventy-three, Monet had retired. He had cataracts. Then, he began painting again. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

Joe Gunther, leader of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI), returns in Archer Mayor's Presumption of Guilt. A skeleton is found encased in concrete at the site of a newly decommissioned nuclear power plant. It solves a forty-year-old missing persons case and opens a murder investigation. But, the new case leads to murder and kidnapping. (Release date is Sept. 27.)

I also highlighted Tilar J. Mazzeo's Irena's Children at BEA. It's the true story of Irena Sendler, "the female Oskar Schindler", who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. (Release date is Sept. 27.)

Stalking Ground is Margaret Mizushima's second Timber Creek K-9 mystery  featuring Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner, Robo. Mattie and Robo are called in to look for a woman who went missing in the mountains outside Timber Creek. But, it's mid-October, and a snowstorm is brewing. By the time they find her body, the snow is coming down hard. As their investigation develops, Mattie, Robo, Deputy Ken Brody and veterinarian Cole Walker find themselves in the middle of a killer's stalking ground. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

I'll start by being honest and saying a 1312 page literary work is not for me. That doesn't mean some of you right not want to read Alan Moore's epic novel, Jerusalem. In the half a square mile that was England's Saxon capitol, eternity is lurking. This city embodies the tale of Everything, as told from the gutter, a slum. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Thomas Mullen's Darktown sounds as if it's ripped from today's headlines. It's about murder, race relations, law enforcement and corrupt police, the uneven scales of justice. It's set in 1948 in Atlanta when the police department is forced to hire its first black officers including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. They're met with deep hostility by their white peers. Then, when a black woman last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it. The two men will risk their new jobs and their lives in investigating while navigating a dangerous path. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Detective Inspector Tony McLean takes on a case in the Scottish countryside in James Oswald's Dead Men's Bones. He's there to investigate the murder/suicide of a prominent politician, and there's a great deal of pressure to wrap up the case. But, McLean sees a connection between another case he's working on. And, investigating that link could be disastrous to his career, and possibly his life. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Cuyler Overholt's debut mystery, A Deadly Affection, is set in turn-of-the century New York. Meet Dr. Genevieve Summerford, a psychiatrist who prides herself on her ability the understand the human mind. But when one of her patients is arrested for murder, Genevieve fears she may have provoked the murder, and she begins to doubt her training and herself. She just can't believe her patient could have committed the gruesome crime, but her investigation uncovers a dark secret. Should she reveal it, and bring catastrophe to others, or let it alone. If she ignores the truth, her patient will go to the electric chair. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

It's been a while since we've had A Silver Rush Mystery from Ann Parker. In the latest, What Gold Buys, Inez Stannert returns to Leadville, Colorado, where she's one of three partners in the Silver Queen Saloon. Her roving husband, Mark, also returns. They're just in time to discover the body of a soothsayer, Drina Gizzi. And, no one seems to care, other than the three who found the body, Inez, her lover Reverend Justice Sands, and Drina's young daughter. Together, they look for the killer, while Mark connives to drive Inez and Sands apart. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

Patrick Phillips' Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America was one of the most talked about books at BEA. Phillips examines the history of his home county, Forsyth County, Georgia. In 1912, a young girl's murder led thousands of townspeople to celebrate the hanging of two black teenagers, and to set fire to homes and churches. Bands of night riders declared Forsyth "whites only", and 1,100 black citizens fled. The story that begins in the 1830s continues into our own era. In 1987, residents attacked civil rights activists, fighting to "Keep Forsyth White." It takes a native son to uncover a history of racial terrorism. (Release date is Sept. 20.)

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman is inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment. In the novel, Paris is about to be occupied by the Germans. A young woman, Solange Beaugiron, closes the door to her late grandmother's treasure-filled apartment, not knowing if she'll ever return. Her grandmother, had been a courtesan who cultivated a life of art and beauty to escape her impoverished childhood. Solange's grandmother reveals her story to her granddaughter, using her prized possessions to reveal her secrets. That story helps Solange make her own decisions when necessary. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

I've already heard good reports about the first in Kate Saunders' new mystery series, The Secrets of Wishtide. At fifty-two, Mrs. Laetitia Rodd is the widow of an archdeacon. She lives in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Bentley. Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator, taking on cases found by her brother Frederick. Frederick Tyson is a criminal barrister who has ten children. Laetitia uses her intelligence, discretion, and cover as an unsuspecting widow in her investigations. This time, she takes a position as a governess to look into a young man's "inappropriate" love interest, only to find the family has more secrets to hide than expected. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis is back in Jeffrey Siger's Santorini Caesars. When a young demonstrator is singled out and assassinated by highly trained killers in the heart of Athens, Kaldis is convince the killing was meant as a message. His search for answers take him and his team to the island of Santorini to eavesdrop on a secret meeting of Greece's top military leaders. As international intrigues evolve, there's the treat of another, far more dramatic assassination. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

Keith Stuart's novel, A Boy Made of Blocks, is inspired by his own relationship with his autistic son. In the story, a father and son have struggled to connect. Alex' marriage isn't handling the strain, so he moves in with his best friend. It's not easy to navigate single life and part-time fatherhood. When Alex' son, Sam, starts to play Minecraft, the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

Shadows on a Maine Morning is the latest Antique Print Mystery by Lea Wait. Maggie Summer is making big changes in her life. The antique print dealer has taken a sabbatical and moved to Maine to run an antiques mall with Will Brewer, her significant other. And, she's finally going to adopt the daughter she's wanted. But, the troubled girl is only interested in the harbor seals, not adoption. Then someone starts shooting the seals, a fisherman is murdered, and Will confesses a secret from his past. Maggie wonders if she's making the biggest mistake of her life. (Release date is Sept. 9.)

The final book is another hot title from BEA, Colson Whitehead's novel, The Underground Railroad. It's the story of a young slave's desperate bid for freedom as she flees after killing a young white boy who tries to capture her. The Underground Railroad is not a metaphor in this story. It's an actual network of tracks and tunnels. When a slave catcher sets out to find Cora, she's forced on a dangerous journey, state by state, in a desperate attempt to gain her freedom. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Is there something in the list of books from the last couple days that caught your attention? What are you going to order from your local library or bookstore? Happy Reading!


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

There are two that jumped out at me: the Archer Mayor and Jeffrey Siger titles. I started reading about Joe Gunther with the first book, OPEN SEASON, back in 1990, and I've read the 25 books that have followed. I was introduced to Siger's books by a friend two years ago and have raced through the seven to date in short order. (I got to meet and talk to Siger at last year's Bouchercon in Raleigh.)

SandyG265 said...

I've been waiting for Stalking Ground to come out.

Margie Bunting said...

I already had The Secrets of Wishtide on my list, but I didn't know about Margaret Mizushima's new mystery (liked her first in the series). Cuyler Overholt's debut novel sounds great, too, so I'll put it on my list. About Monet, we just saw two rooms full of his large waterlilies panels at L'Orangerie Museum in Paris--mostly impressionist, some bordering on abstract--fascinating!

Deb said...

I lived in Georgia in the 1970s. Our school district intergrated in 1970 when I was in the 8th grade. I still recall how shocked I was when a teacher I had always liked whispered to me that her daughter and son-in-law were living in Forsythe County because "they run all the ni**ers outta there years ago." I'm still gobsmacked remembering that almost 50 years later. BLOOD AT THE ROOT will undoubtedly confirm my notions that bigotry went underground for a while, but it's still being felt everywhere.

Grace Koshida said...

A couple of books stand out for me. I met several authors being published by Crooked Lane Books last February at Left Coast Crime, including Margaret Mizushima and Ellen Byron, so I would like to read Stalking Ground. And I like Lea Wait's books, so I will add Shadows on a Morning in Maine to my TBR list.

Glen Davis said...

Can't say anything here caught my eye.

I'm sure my mother will buy the next Joanne fluke book, and I'll probably give it a read, just because I'm a completist.

Clive Cussler's book The Pirate comes out and I'll probably read that, too.

Other than that, a bit of a slow month for me.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Thrilled to see the new Archer Mayor. Read and reviewed them all. Better yet, the local library system actually has it listed. I am first on the holds list!

better go out and buy a lottery ticket too.

Lesa said...

I actually tried to respond earlier, but I was in the wrong Google account, and it wouldn't let me. (sigh) Thank you for your input everyone. And, Kevin? I would go buy that lottery ticket.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

lol...had my Son do so this morning.

Lea Wait said...

I'm looking forward to the new Mayor -- and to Underground Railroad. (Loved the excerpt in last week's New York Times!) Thanks for including my Shadows on a Morning in Maine, Lesa!~