Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hugs from Obama edited by M. Sweeney

This post isn't what I planned for today, but I received this book in the mail yesterday. It's a quick read. So many of us could use the book M. Sweeney edited, Hugs from Obama: A Photographic Look Back at the Warmth and Wisdom of President Barack Obama.

Hugs from Obama is a "photographic tribute to his compassion and warmth". There are pictures of the President with children, hugging John Lewis, meeting with the Dalai Lama, with his family. There are pictures you'll recognize, along with quotes from speeches he made throughout his presidency. The book includes lines from his speeches at conventions, from inaugural addresses, from his farewell address. The chapter titles emphasize the tone of the book; "Embracing a Legacy", "Leadership", "Unity", "Hope and Change", and "Progress".

In so many speeches, President Obama touched on the past while emphasizing the present, and, sometimes predicting the future. In fact, he seems to speak to the tone of the country right now. "Disagreement cannot mean dysfunction. It can't degenerate into hatred."

There's quite a contrast between the current man in the White House and "President Obama's enduring optimism and heartfelt concern for others". His gift for mourning with others and celebrating the future is evident in all the pictures. There's a warmth and generosity in his smile and words that is lacking right now.

Hugs from Obama is a charming gift book. It's a book for all of us who are mourning, or someone who needs a slight push of encouragement to keep going right now. President Obama had thoughtful words for so many situations. But, here are three words to remember in the next several weeks, and to  always keep in mind. "Don't boo, VOTE."

Hugs from Obama: A Photographic Look Back at the Warmth and Wisdom of President Barack Obama edited by M. Sweeney. Castle Point Books, 2018. ISBN 8781250201096 (hardcover), 122p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received a copy of the book from the publisher, with no promises made that I would review it.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Midnight Ink

Many of you may have already heard from Midnight Ink authors or Terri Bischoff, acquisitions editor at Midnight Ink. The publisher is closing after the spring/summer 2019 season. Staff at Midnight Ink will lose their jobs, and so many authors will have to try to find a new home for their books.

So, today, I'm posting a reminder. This doesn't represent all of the authors or books from Midnight Ink. Check the website. This just represents the books I've reviewed in the last year that were published by them. You might want to watch for these books or the authors. There are some excellent selections here.

Last Call by Paula Matter - http://bit.ly/2QWPppr














The Negotiator by Brendan DuBois - http://bit.ly/2DoDhL2














Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett - http://bit.ly/2NOpNrM














Big Woods by May Cobb - http://bit.ly/2J58255














Beyond the Pale by Clare O'Donohue - http://bit.ly/2jHipC5














Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark - http://bit.ly/2yKX9Cz














Scot Free by Catriona McPherson - http://bit.ly/2qgXqsL














Deja Moo by Kirsten Weiss - http://bit.ly/2FB8kQe














Other Midnight Ink authors, including award nominees, are Lisa Alber, Elizabeth Perona, Julia Thomas, Leslie Budewitz, Edith Maxwell, Nadine Neitman. There are many others. I'm sorry for Terri Bischoff, who acquired books by these authors. I'm sorry for the authors. And, I'm sorry for those of us who are readers.



Note to Midnight Ink authors: If you would like to write a guest post, in a positive vein, about your books or characters, or ask me to interview you for the blog anytime before next summer, please contact me. I'll be glad to discuss a date and topic with you. My email address is Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com. Your subject line should read Midnight Ink author. I might not get back to you immediately, but it will be soon after you write.  Good luck to all of you.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Winners and a Multiple Giveaway

Congratulations to the winners of the last contest. Burning Ridge is going to Dianne C. from Elk Grove Village, IL, G.B. from East Lansing, MI, and Jane T. from West Linn, OR. Karen R. of Katy, TX and Sandie H. of Sarasota, FL won The Cats Came Back. The books went out on Wednesday.

This week, I'm giving away multiple copies of two mysteries. If you are a fan of debuts, you might want to enter to win Paula Matter's Last Call. It launches a terrific new character and series. Bartender Maggie Lewis is suspended from her job at a Florida VFW after someone kills an obnoxious customer, and sets Maggie up as a suspect. Since the local police never found her husband's killer, Maggie sets out to solve the case herself.






Die Me a River is the latest book in Denise Swanson's Welcome Back to Stumble River series. School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd is on maternity leave with her newborn twins, but while she and her husband, Wally, are meeting with a priest about the christening, an explosion at the nearby bowling alley rocks the rectory. And, there's a body inside. As police chief, Wally is drawn into the investigation, but Skye does a little sleuthing of her own. There are all kinds of clues in this latest puzzle.

Which book would you like to win? You can enter to win both, but I need separate entries. Email me at Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com. Your subject line should read either "Win Last Call" or "Win Die Me a River." Please include your name and mailing address. Entries from the U.S. only, please. The giveaway will end Thursday, Oct. 25 at 5 PM CT.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

What Are You Reading?

"On the road again." I'm actually traveling today and tomorrow, so I won't be around to discuss books. Instead, I'll be in the car for about 5 1/2 hours each way. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't take up the challenge. Let others know what you're reading or listening to. Maybe you'll have a discussion here. I hope you do. I'd love to catch up with it on Friday evening.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with an article. Jeff sent me the link from The New York Times for "12 Authors Write About the Libraries They Love". Of course, I found it moving. I hope you enjoy it. https://nyti.ms/2QPSC9b

I wish you a week of good reading!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

One of my book loving friends, Kay, blogs at Kay's Reading Life. She also comments on this blog on Thursdays when we do "What Are You Reading?" Kay recently suggested a book of essays called I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel. She mentioned it here, but she also reviewed it on her blog. I had to stop reading her review. I'll go back after I write this piece. But, she's right. This is such a perfect book for those of us who are avid readers that I bought four copies for friends.

Bogel opens by talking about this librarian's favorite question, "Can you recommend a good book?" The answer will be different for every reader, but it's a challenge to find your way to success. In chapter after chapter, she lists and addresses feelings readers share. Take the chapter "Bookworm Problems". Do you recognize any of these? "Your library holds all come in at the same time.""Your To Be Read list holds 8,972 titles, and you want to read every one. Your TBR list is unquestionably too long to finish before you die." "You have countless unread books at home, but you can't resist buying one more." Ah, the problems of a book addict.

How can you tear up reading about books? I managed, especially when I read the chapter "Take Me Back" when Bogel mourned that she didn't have the records for every library book she ever checked out. She says that list would capture where she was at various stages of her life, based on what she was reading. She knows even the titles and check-out dates would bring back memories.

Bogel's book is a small one, only 156 pages. But, for a reader, it's an affirmation of a passion. It's confirmation that we're not alone in that passion. There are kindred souls out there.

The dedication of I'd Rather Be Reading says, "For everyone who's ever finished a book under the covers with a flashlight when they were supposed to be sleeping." I think it's for all of us who would rather be reading than doing anything else in life. (And, if you want to read an excellent review of the book, check out Kay's blog.)


Anne Bogel's website is www.ModernMrsDarcy.com

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life. Baker Books, 2018. ISBN 9780801072925 (hardcover), 156p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I bought a copy of the book.





















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Tuesday, October 16, 2018

November Road by Lou Berney

Lou Berney acknowledges his mother's love of a good story in his introduction to November Road. He discusses the many ways she influenced this novel, from her claim he was conceived the night John F. Kennedy was assassinated to her stories of a road trip and an epileptic dog. That introduction is enough to suck readers into this surprising story. It's just too bad the introduction was only in the ARC, not the actual book. I read the ARC, but agreed to participate in the blog tour for November Road because I think this is the book you need to read this fall.

Frank Guidry loves his life in New Orleans. He has gorgeous women, great food, power and influence, thanks to his role as a lieutenant to the powerful mob boss Carlos Marcello. But, Frank isn't stupid. It doesn't take him long to realize Marcello had something to do with President Kennedy's assassination. And, Guidry himself delivered a car to a spot close to Dealey Plaza just two weeks earlier. As some of Guidry's connections disappear, he realizes he's a link between Dallas and New Orleans. And, Frank's as disposable as the other people employed by Marcello. He runs.

Charlotte Roy is stuck in the small town of Woodrow, Oklahoma, where she knows everyone, and everyone knows her husband is a drunk. Her enjoyment in life comes from toying with a camera given to her by her employer, and spending time with her two young daughters, Joan and Rosemary. But, Thanksgiving is it for Charlotte. She can't take it anymore when she has to plead for extensions at the bank, and her husband just drinks away their money. She takes the girls and the dog. And, she runs.

Fate brings Frank and Charlotte together when he passes her on the road after her car breaks down. He's heading to Las Vegas where he hopes an old acquaintance who hates Marcello will help him. Charlotte is on her way to California where she hopes to start over. Frank realizes the assassin looking for him won't be searching for a family man with a wife and two kids. Frank's scheme to pair up with Charlotte, to help both of them, doesn't take a couple things into account. Charlotte is intelligent and funny. And, Frank never thought he'd grow to care about his new "family". Now, Frank may have to make an entire family disappear.

Berney's latest novel is a compelling story that pulls readers right along the road with Guidry. There's humor and tragedy, and loss. The country's loss of innocence is reflected in the lives of Berney's characters. Then, Berney doesn't give readers the expected ending.

Lou Berney's book is about the loss of innocence, but it's also about the impact of a crime. It's a story of the impact of history. There's a point where one of the characters realizes it's too late to stop the changes of the time period, Civil Rights, women's rights. The country was swept along by those changes. JFK's assassination had the same impact. It swept up people all over the country, bringing changes. Frank Guidry and Charlotte Roy are just two of the people swept up in the impact of that crime. They were swept right along in the moving story of November Road.

Lou Berney's website is www.louberney.com

November Road by Lou Berney. William Morrow, 2018. ISBN 9780062663849 (hardcover), 320p.

*****
FTC: After I begged for a copy, the publisher sent one.

About November Road
• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (October 9, 2018)
Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.
Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.
A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.
Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.
For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.
It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.
Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.
Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.
Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.
And it might get them both killed.
Social Media
Please use the hashtag #novemberroad and tag @williammorrowbooks and @tlcbooktours.
Purchase Links
© Brandon Michael Smith
About Lou Berney
Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Find out more about Lou at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Monday, October 15, 2018

The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas

I've read the second, and now the third Lady Sherlock mystery by Sherry Thomas. I'm afraid I'm just not the right audience for these books, although I'm a big fan of the original Sherlock Holmes stories and some of the pastiches. I found The Hollow of Fear difficult to follow at times, and I'm not as in love with Charlotte Holmes as many readers are. As I said, though, I think I'm not the right audience.

When Charlotte Holmes helps her half-brother escape from men who are after him, she senses there is a plot in motion. Her sister, Livia, is an unwitting pawn. Livia annually visits Mrs. Newell, a distant relative. When the cisterns fail at Mrs. Newell's house, all her guests move to Lord Ingram's estate, Stern Hollow. Livia is aware that all society speculates about Charlotte's friendship with Lord Ingram, guessing that it's more than friendship. Then Livia, along with two of the worst gossips in London, find Lady Ingram's body in the estate's icehouse.

The Chief Inspector sent from Scotland Yard does everything in his power to prove Lord Ingram killed his wife. At the same time, Charlotte goes undercover as Sherlock Holmes' brother to discover the truth about the murder.

This third in the series picks up exactly where A Conspiracy in Belgravia ended. That may be confusing to readers who have not read the books. It's leisurely paced, with careful development of the elaborate storyline. While it's an atmospheric story, it's also a thought-provoking view of the expectations and roles of women in Victorian England.

Fans of the series, and readers of Doyle's canon, especially The Valley of Fear, will appreciate the intricately plotted mystery. Others may find it difficult to follow. I'm not a fan of slow-moving novels that take a while to unfold. As I said before, that's my problem, not an issue with The Hollow of Fear.

Sherry Thomas' website is www.sherrythomas.com

The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas. Berkley, 2018. ISBN 9780425281420 (paperback), 336p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received my book to review for a journal.



Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

If you read my blog on Thursday, you might have read Ron Charles' Washington Post review of this book. https://wapo.st/2IOE7zI. It was funny. But, I read Mitch Albom's The Next Person You Meet in Heaven. It's really directed at the same audience that made The Five People You Meet in Heaven a #1 bestseller.

In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Eddie, a maintenance man at Ruby Pier amusement park, died saving a little girl from a cable that snapped on a ride. Now, twenty-five years later, Annie, that little girl, is a nurse. She's also a newlywed, for one day. That's not a spoiler. The author makes it obvious with an hour-by-hour countdown that it's the last day of Annie's life. But, throughout the book, readers meet the five people (used loosely) who changed or affected Annie's life. Readers see Annie's view of every situation. Most times, Annie thinks she made a mistake that caused a tragic result, but she's blocked out the accident that permanently damaged her hand. Annie views her life, even in death, as one big mistake.

Yes, I'll admit the book is overly sentimental. I found myself tearing up over a story about a dog. Albom's words are excessively flowery at times. Even before I read Charles' review, I thought this book was unnecessary. The first book seemed to have set the pattern, and, in some ways, this seemed repetitive. It was a totally different story, with a twist in the end. But, it still felt as if I had been on this journey before.

As I said, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven has a built-in audience. I'll be curious to see if or where it lands on the bestseller lists, and how long it stays there. It just wasn't as original as the first book.

Mitch Albom's website is https://www.mitchalbom.com/

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Harper, 2018. ISBN 9780062294449 (hardcover), 213p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dig Your Grave by Steven Cooper

Darn. Once again, I discovered a series with the second book. You can start with Steven Cooper's Dig Your Grave, but if you like the Arizona setting and the characters, Gus Mills and Alex Parker, as much as I did, you'll wish you had started with Desert Remains.

Detective Alex Mills of the Phoenix Police Department needs help on his latest case. His team is called to a cemetery where the body of a well-dressed man has been found in an open grave. Mills, following a hunch, calls his friend Gus Parker. Gus is a psychic and Mills wants him to take a look at the scene. Gus often has a vision that will point them in the right direction, even if it's unclear at first.

Then, a second body is found, and the man appears to have dug his own grave. Both dead men were prominent in their field, and in Phoenix. While Mills' team digs to find a connection between the two victims, Gus goes missing. Parker's girlfriend is a famous rock star, and she can't locate him. It isn't like Gus to miss work at his day-to-day job. It isn't like him to not answer his phone. Detective Mills has to juggle family issues and look for Gus while trying to catch the killer who forces the victims to leave notes and dig their own graves.

Readers will appreciate the strong sense of place. While I recognized Phoenix locations, the descriptions are vividly drawn even for those who never lived in the area. Both lead characters are intriguing men with personal issues.

Dig Your Grave is a compelling, intense mystery. The intricately plotted story will appeal to fans of P.J. Tracy's Monkeewrench novels. (I still think you should start with Desert Remains, though.)

Steven Cooper's website is https://stevencooperbooks.com

Dig Your Grave by Steven Cooper. Seventh Street Books, 2018. ISBN 9781633884809 (paperback), 368p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.




Friday, October 12, 2018

Winners & A Dog & Cats Giveaway

Congratulations to the winners of the last contest. Linda M. from Franklin, PA won Shelved Under Murder. Sara G. of Granite City, IL will receive Hitting the Books. The books went out in the mail yesterday.

I have one more week with an unusual schedule, so the time frame will be short again for the giveaway. And, I have multiple copies of both books. This contest will end Tuesday, October 16 at 5 PM CT. So, if you want to enter, do it soon.

First, a mystery featuring a dog. Burning Ridge is Margaret Mizushima's latest Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. And, I hadn't read the previous ones, so you can enter for this book even if you haven't read earlier ones in the series. Officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation when a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave on Colorado's Redstone Ridge. But, Mattie seems to have a personal connection to the dead man. When she goes missing, the local veterinarian teams up with Robo to find her as a fire races across the ridge.




Would you rather win a book about cats? The Cats Came Back is Sofie Kelly's latest Magical Cats Mystery. Librarian Kathleen Paulson and her quirky cats turn detective again when a music festival comes to town. Kathleen stumbles upon a dead body, a woman who was a close friend, and spitting image of a famous singer who is participating in the festival. Which woman was the real target of the killer?






Which book would you like to win? You can enter to win both, but I need separate entries. Let's make it easy since this is a fast contest. Email me at Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com. Your subject line should read either "Win Dog" or "Win Cats." Please include your name and mailing address. Entries from the U.S. only, please.

As I said, this giveaway ends Tuesday, October 16 at 5 PM CT. Enter soon!













 humall town librarian Kathleen teams up with


Thursday, October 11, 2018

What Are You Reading?

At the time I'm writing this, I'm halfway through Mitch Albom's latest novel, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven. It's the sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven, who are the five people who have lessons to teach you when you arrive. I'll have finished it by the end of the evening. Overly sentimental, but I still had a few tears. But, I roared with laughter over Ron Charles' review of it in The Washington Post. Even if you have no interest in the book, you should check out the review if you want a good laugh. https://wapo.st/2IOE7zI

So, what are you reading this week? I have to admit, I have a couple meetings today, so I won't be checking as often as I'd like, but I'll catch up. Let us know what you've been listening to or reading.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

When most of us see the subtitle to Bradley Harper's debut mystery, A Knife in the Fog, we'll have a
question. Who is Margaret Harkness? The subtitle is "A Mystery Featuring Margaret Harkness & Arthur Conan Doyle". Margaret Harkness was a journalist and author in the late 1800s who published under the name John Law. And, she, like the other main characters in this compelling story, was a real person.

Dr. Arthur Doyle is a young practicing physician in 1888. He's published one story featuring a detective called Sherlock Holmes, "A Study in Scarlet", but he is so disillusioned by the small payment he received that he vows never to write another crime story. Instead, he's working on a historical novel. He's stunned to receive a summons from former Prime Minister William Gladstone. Will Doyle come to London and meet with Gladstone's secretary to learn of an unusual proposal? Intrigued, the young doctor takes the train to discover why Gladstone would want him. Dr. Doyle thinks Gladstone is a patient. Instead, Gladstone is a concerned citizen worried about the Whitechapel killings of prostitutes by an unknown person called "Leather Apron".  According to Gladstone's secretary, Jonathan Wilkins, he wants Doyle to act as a consultant to the Metropolitan police to assist with the investigation.

Doyle is astonished, and finds a clever way to turn down the job. He'll act as a consultant only if his former surgical professor, Dr. Joseph Bell, agrees to consult as well. He's astonished when Bell says yes. Wilkins provides Doyle with a note to the police, and suggests a guide to the East End. He recommends a journalist named Margaret Harkness who has moved there to write about the working poor.

While the somewhat stodgy Doyle has to learn how capable Harkness is, Dr. Bell accepts her immediately as a knowledgeable guide. The trio are soon caught up in the investigation of the killer to become known as Jack the Ripper. The killer has every person in London looking over their shoulder, including the group that jokingly refers to themselves as "The Three Musketeers". The threat is closer than any of them can imagine.

Harper's debut mystery is beautifully written, a complicated story that reads as if it came from the Holmes canon. It's skillfully developed so the reader can see foreshadowing of future stories by Doyle. The author brings the streets of Whitechapel to life, along with the working women of London. And, his knowledge as a pathologist is evident as Dr. Bell consults in the morgue with the autopsies of the Ripper's victims. Harper manages to handle the role of women in Victorian society, the lives of working women, and the new field of "consulting detectives" in this fascinating story.

I already did the research. Readers will recognize the names of Doyle, Bell, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Clemens, Gladstone. Margaret Harkness was a crusading journalist. Inspector Frederick Abberline really did investigate the Jack the Ripper case. And, of course, the names of the Ripper's victims are known.

A Knife in the Fog is an outstanding debut. Readers of Sherlock Holmes stories or Jack the Ripper fiction or nonfiction, as well as those who appreciate mysteries featuring actual people, might want to check out this book.

Bradley Harper's website is https://bharperauthor.com

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper. Seventh Street Books, 2018. ISBN 9781633884861 (paperback), 288p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Bird, Bath, and Beyond by E.J. Copperman

I've read some of the other books E.J. Copperman has written as Jeff Cohen and Copperman. I was a big fan of his Comedy Tonight series. I read many of the Haunted Guesthouse books, and both Mysterious Detective stories. But, I love Kay Powell, the "agent to the paws" in Dog Dish of Doom, and now, an even more entertaining mystery, Bird, Bath, and Beyond.

Kay Powell quit the family show business gig to go to college. She went to law school, and, in some ways, returned to the family business by becoming a talent agent who handled animal clients. She usually doesn't accompany her clients to their jobs, but Barney, the parrot, needed a handler one day. His owner, Patty Basilico, is laid up, and sounded so sick, Kay agreed to take him to the set of Dead City, a television show. Barney's replacing a parrot who died, and Patty already taught him his lines. When he's needed again after the break, the director lets Kay leave Barney in Dray Mattone's trailer. Kay's only gone for an hour, but, in that time, someone shoots Mattone. When she finally has the chance to claim Barney, the investigating detectives are already convinced Barney, the only witness, can tell them who killed the star. Despite Kay's insistence that Barney can't tell them anything because he can only repeat what he's been taught, everyone from the police officers to the media believes Barney will point them to the killer.

For Kay, every day is a juggling act. While the murder investigation is going on, she lets her capable office manager, Consuelo, handle some of the business. But, she still has to deal with her parents, performers who return to Kay's home after a rough gig on a cruise ship. Her loving parents, always a team, suddenly have opposing views as to what they want to do with their future. And, of course, Kay's caught up in assisting the police, and then a criminal attorney after an arrest is made. At times, Kay appears to be a mature adult caught in a world of star-struck entertainers.

I love these books and Kay Powell. Yes, I know she's a fictional character, but she loves her parents, animals, show business, and her friends. She's a character who speaks directly to the reader, and her her comments are either funny, or she keeps her witty comments between herself and the reader so as to not offend people. And, as much as possible for an amateur sleuth, she works with the police. She doesn't work against them.

Looking for humor, a likable amateur sleuth and a delightful mystery? Check out Bird, Bath, and Beyond.

E. J. Copperman's website is http://www.ejcopperman.com

Bird, Bath, and Beyond by E.J. Copperman. Minotaur Books, 2018. ISBN 9781250084293 (hardcover), 304p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Monday, October 08, 2018

E.J. Copperman - Author Interview

Tomorrow, I'm reviewing the second in E.J. Copperman's "Agent to the Paws" mystery series, Bird, Bath, and Beyond. It's the perfect time to ask the author a few questions. I think you'll enjoy the answers.


E.J., would you introduce yourself to readers?

Hello, readers! I’m E.J. Copperman. (You want more than that?)  I’ve written a bunch of mystery series, but the one you probably know about is the Haunted Guesthouse mysteries. Except today I’m talking about the Asperger’s Mystery series (which I write with Jeff Cohen) and the Agent to the Paws series because books in both of those will be out October 9. (Yes, the same day. Don’t ask.)

Before we go any further, is there some sort of rivalry between you and Jeff Cohen?

We don’t like to talk about it. But I would like to clear up the misconception that we’re never seen in the same room. Whenever I look into a mirror I see both of us. Which is weird. I’ll have to ask Cohen if that happens to him too.

Would you introduce us to Kay Powell?


Readers, this is Kay. Kay… nah, I did that joke already. Kay is the Agent to the Paws, in that she’s a theatrical talent agent whose clients are all not humans. In BIRD BATH AND BEYOND, the second book in the series, she’s representing Barney, who through no fault of his own is a parrot. Kay grew up in a theatrical family (her parents are performers who now work on cruise ships) and decided to give up the spotlight and go to law school. After which she started trying to get work for dogs, cats, birds and the occasional boa constrictor.

Tell us about Bird, Bath, and Beyond without spoilers.  


See above, but what happens is that Barney is in the trailer when Dray Mattone, star of the TV drama DEAD CITY, is shot and killed. So the police naturally want to question the bird, despite Kay’s insistence that Barney doesn’t converse; he just repeats phrases he’s been taught at length. So when Barney starts spontaneously saying things like, “Put down the gun!” things get a little complicated.

What kind of animal will Kay represent next? Can you tell us anything about the next book in this series?

All I can tell you about the next book in the series is that if you want there to be one, you REALLY need to get everyone you know to buy BIRD BATH AND BEYOND. Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. Tell strangers in the street. Seriously. Tell people.

I know you were influenced by movies as well as books. What movies and books had the greatest influence on your writing?

I first realized someone wrote movies when I saw NORTH BY NORTHWEST for the first time when I was maybe eight or nine. And I immediately wanted to be the person who wrote that. So I spent 20 years not selling the screenplays I wrote and then came up with an idea that refused to be anything but a novel. And here we are.

New Jersey. There are so many stereotypes about New Jersey. Where do you like to take people when they come to visit?

Most people I know are from here, but I try to get visitors away from Newark International Airport as quickly as possible because that’s about the worst possible impression anyone can be given of the Garden State. Driving out of the airport near the oil refineries I completely understand why people think of us as a toxic waste dump run by the mob. But it’s not. For those who want to go, as we say, down the shore, there are lovely beaches that aren’t at all like the TV show JERSEY SHORE, mountains, wineries, lovely small towns and interesting larger cities. And we have the greatest bagels and diners on the planet. Drop on by. Mention my name. Nobody will know who that is, but it’ll start a conversation for you.

Name an author or book that you wish had received more attention.

Cohen would want me to mention his name, but I think people like Dave White and Cheryl Solimini should get a second look. And Cornelia Read, who needs, shall we say, encouragement.

Have the books of any new author, an up-and-comer, caught your attention?

Kellye Garrett is good. Read her Detective By Day books.

I always end with this question because I’m a librarian. Tell me a story about a library or librarian in your life.

My son is currently studying for his master’s degree in Information and Library Science. So he’s my most memorable librarian by far. He’ll be out of school in about a year and a half. Give him a job.



Thank you, E.J. Copperman's website is http://www.ejcopperman.com/

As I said, come back tomorrow for my review of Bird, Bath, and Beyond.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

The Last Breath by Danny Lopez

Oceanview Publishing, publisher of Danny Lopez' The Last Breath, has a statement in the front of the
book. "Oceanview focuses on works that exhibit a strong sense of place and setting; compelling protagonists and supporting characters; tension that builds throughout a book's narrative; seamless, gripping, and suspenseful story lines; and authenticity." While I believe all mysteries should strive for those goals, Lopez' book, with its descriptions of Siesta Key, certainly succeeds with that strong sense of place and setting. The atmospheric mystery captures Florida's Gulf Coast and the political tensions between developers and those who love the islands as they are.

Dexter Vega is an unemployed reporter who picks up freelance writing jobs when he can. He actually spends a lot of time in Siesta Key and Sarasota bars, bemoaning his lack of money and work. When he gets desperate, a friendly editor throws him an idea. Bob Fleming, a wealthy retiree, is looking for someone to look into the death of his son, Liam. Once Dexter meets with Fleming, he promises him he'll check it out since the police have closed the case, calling it an accidental drowning. Fleming doesn't believe his son, a competitive swimmer, drowned in the shallow Intracoastal. When Vega is attacked by a thug at Liam's house, he suspects Bob Fleming may be onto something.

Dexter's questions take him to the beaches of Siesta Key, where the beach bums and hippies who were Liam's friends swear they know nothing. But, the police report itself is suspicious. There's no written account of a witness, and Liam's missing kayak doesn't show up. How did Liam support himself? It seems he was buying up property all over the island, but no one knows who his partner was. And, Liam's friends are disappointed when they believe he was going against everything they believe in, by buying land for future development. 

Vega doesn't have much proof of anything, until another man is murdered. Then, drugs and thugs, lawyers and land developers and money all lead to Liam's secrets.

Danny Lopez' second Dexter Vega mystery is an issue-oriented, suspenseful story. It's filled with a cast of awkward misfits. In other words, it's just perfect for Florida.


Danny Lopez' website is http://www.dannylopezwrites.com/

The Last Breath by Danny Lopez. Oceanview Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9781608092970 (hardcover), 288p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

The Antiquities Hunter by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

Bohnhoff's first Gina Miyoka mystery, The Antiquities Hunter, is a debut mystery, but not the author's first novel. She's the co-author of a number of Star Wars novels, including the bestseller,  The Last Jedi. And, she excels at writing suspense and action. I can't wait for Gina's return.

Gina Miyoka is a fascinating character. Her father is a retired cop, and Japanese. Her mother is a Russian immigrant. Gina carries good luck charms from both cultures, and adds a few personal touches. She's 5'2, about 94 pounds, and she worked as a cop for 3 years for the San Francisco Police Dept. before she became a private investigator.

When Gina's best friend, Rose Delgado, admits she thinks she has a stalker, Gina agrees to check it out. It doesn't take her long to find the man in the Honda. But, he's an investigative journalist, Cruz Sacramento Veras. He knows more than Gina's comfortable with, including the fact that Rose, an undercover agent for the National Park Service, is due to testify in an upcoming case. When Gina learns he's also has a PhD in archaeology, and a prominent position in Mexico, she understands why he's interested in Rose's investigations into stolen artifacts. But, Gina, with her past history, has a hard time trusting any man.

Unfortunately, Rose is still being followed, and is quickly put out of commission. The National Park Service needs an unrecognizable woman to go undercover and take Rose's place, so a guilt-ridden Gina offers to do that. She heads to Mexico, portraying the hot girlfriend of a billionaire collector, while Veras plays her bodyguard. And, the two of them may be forced to trust each other as they head into the jungle in the search for stolen antiquities.

There are a number of comparisons that can be made to this fast-paced mystery. Think Indiana Jones or "Romancing the Stone". Try Gigi Pandian's Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries or Elizabeth Peters' mysteries. Gina and Cruz are a sexy pair of adventurers with a number of needed skills in the search for artifacts. Let's hope they both return in an exciting sequel to The Antiquities Hunter.

Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff's website is http://www.mayabohnhoff.com/

The Antiquities Hunter by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. Pegasus Crime, 2018. ISBN 9781681778570 (hardcover), 304p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Friday, October 05, 2018

Winners & Library Mystery Giveaway

Congratulations to the winners of the last contest. Shawna H. from Lewisburg, TN won Trust Me by Hank Phillippi Ryan. A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo is going to Jacquie F. of Chicago, IL. The books are going out in the mail today.

Important to note - This week and next the giveaways will kick off on Friday as usual, but, due to my schedule, they will end early so I can get them in the mail to the winners. Watch for the deadlines! You won't want to miss the giveaways.

This week, I'm giving away two mysteries featuring library directors and small town libraries. Hitting the Books is Jenn McKinlay's latest Library Lover's mystery. When library director Lindsey Norris witnesses a hit-and-run, she's concerned about the victim, a popular local tennis coach. Then, the woman becomes the target of a second murder attempt. Are these "accidents" linked to the stash of library materials found in a stolen car? Lindsey's on the case.






In Victoria Gilbert's Shelved Under Murder, library director Amy Webber is recruited to help the investigation after she and her assistant stumble across the dead body of a renowned local artist. Amy's background in art will be helpful when the studio is found to contain a cache of forged paintings. Then, the state's art expert finds a possible connection between Amy's deceased uncle and the murder case. Gilbert's mysteries bring a very personal connection to Amy Webber's investigations.





Which library mystery would you like to win? You can enter to win both, but I need separate entries. Email me at Lesa.Holstine@gmail.com. Your subject heading should read either "Win Hitting the Books" or "Win Shelved Under Murder." Please include your name and mailing address. Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Note: This contest will end Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 5 PM CT.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

What Are You Reading?

I couldn't wait to share my new book with all of you! And, I'll probably be reading it for the rest of my life, but I won't post it every week - promise! I bought the new book by James Mustich, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List. And, I've actually read some of the books in it! I'm a genre reader who reads for pleasure, not a literary reader. But, this book has not just classics, but children's books and popular titles. I just started it, but I've read two of the first seven titles. And, it has a checklist at the back so you can check what you've read. The author also includes referrals. Add this to the couple thousand books in my house, and I'm set for a couple lifetimes! It's also beautifully illustrated.

Here's one paragraph from the Introduction. "And true readers talk and listen to one another, recommend and contend, make lists in the service of their search for another volume; it's all part of the dance of serendipity and conversation that sweeps up all genuine book lovers time and again." Even with all of these titles and the lists, he ends the Intro with a quote from Randall Jarrell. "Read at whim! Read at whim!"

"Dance of serendipity." I love that. So, what are you reading or listening to this week?


Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Death of a Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein

Laurie Loewenstein's first Dust Bowl Mystery, Death of a Rainmaker, was the most evocative book I've read since Larry D. Sweazy's last Marjorie Trumaine mystery, See Also Proof. The author says she was inspired by Timothy Egan's nonfiction book, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl, and you can truly see that in all of the detailed description.

In the 1930s in Jackson County, Oklahoma, they've gone over 240 days with no rain. In desperation, a local businessman's group hires an itinerant rainmaker, Roland Coombs, who boasts in less than five days they should have rain. But, the day after his show with TNT and blasting powder, Coombs is found dead in an alley after a terrible dust storm. It's up to Sheriff Temple Jennings to discover who would want to kill a stranger in town.

Temple has all kinds of trouble on  his hands, not just a murder case. Despite his hatred of that aspect of his job, it's his sworn duty to attend all farm foreclosures. For the first time in his career, he has to campaign for his job because a local businessman is running against him. Then there are the minor crimes, peeping Toms, drunks. And, Temple's wife, Etha, doesn't make his current job any easier. She misses their dead son, and finds a young man, Carmine DiNapoli, who is working for the Civilian Conservation Corps. Carmine reminds her of their son, and when Temple arrests him for the murder of Coombs, Etha objects. She takes the young prisoner under her wing, and determines to find the real killer.

It sounds so trite to say Death of a Rainmaker brings the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma to life. Loewenstein uses details of dust storms, foreclosures, illnesses to create an atmospheric story involving the day-to-day lives of the people. There are details about the daily life of a sheriff and his wife, the cook for the prisoners, who even have a small cell in their kitchen. And, the relationship between Temple and Etha reflects a long marriage that has dealt with the death of a child, a move, politics, and a failing community.

If you appreciate all the details of Oklahoma ranch life in Donis Casey's Alafair Tucker mysteries, or the gritty details of farm life in the 1960s in North Dakota in Sweazy's series, you'll want to pick up the first in Loewenstein's new series, Death of a Rainmaker.

Laurie Loewenstein's website is https://laurieloewenstein.com

Death of a Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein. Kaylie Jones Books/Akashic Books, 2018. ISBN 9781617756795 (hardcover), 320p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Laurie Loewenstein, Author Interview

I was so impressed with Laurie Loewenstein's first Dust Bowl mystery, that I asked if I could interview her. Tomorrow, I review Death of a Rainmaker. Thank you, Laurie, for taking time for the questions.


Laurie, Would you introduce yourself to readers? 


I am a fifth generation Midwesterner from central and western Ohio. My ancestors were farmers, butchers, salesmen and village merchants. My first job after college and grad school (where I majored in history) was with a small-town daily newspaper in Upstate New York as a feature and obituary writer. Edith Wharton, Barbara Pym, Richard Price, Ruth Rendell, William Maxell, Bruce Catton and Herman Melville fill places of honor on my bookshelves. After living in eastern Pennsylvania for 25 years, I make my home in Maryland.

Please introduce us to Sheriff Temple Jennings and his wife, Etha.


Temple is an honest man trying to balance justice with practicality in the hard times of the Great Depression. He detests standing guard at farm foreclosures because he knows that most times it is not the farmer’s fault that the land is not producing. But it is his duty as a lawman and so he does it. He has a restless streak that took root when, as a young boy, his family moved west after the Johnstown Flood in Pennsylvania’s Alleghany Mountains. Since then his answer to grief and loss is to pack up and move on.

Etha is a tender-hearted piano teacher who has, for 15 years, mourned the death of her 8-year-old son.  When she sets her mind on something, such as advocating for an underdog, Etha digs in her heels. She is not afraid to argue that sometimes the ends justify the means. Moving from Vermillion, Oklahoma, where they live on the fourth floor of the courthouse, back to Illinois, where their son is buried, is her strongest desire.

Tell us about Death of a Rainmaker, without spoilers.

When an itinerant rainmaker blows into Vermillion, Oklahoma, he stirs up hope, skepticism and opens old wounds. That evening he puts on a showy demonstration of his explosive techniques and promises to bring rain to the drought-ridden county. He and three boys from the Civilian Conservation Corp, a New Deal program for unemployed youth, retire to a local bar late that night. A fight breaks out. Then the mightiest dust storm of the 1930s sweeps into town the next day. After the storm passes, Chester, a blind man with a proud and prickly nature, is clearing out the side exit of his movie theater when he unearths the rainmaker’s body. Sheriff Jennings, who is running for re-election in a tight primary race, struggles to solve the case. Farm foreclosures, wandering tramps and other miseries of a years-long drought and the Depression, make his job that much harder. When he arrests a young man from the Civilian Conservation Corps, Etha, is convinced of the boy's innocence and sets out to prove it.

The setting is almost a character in your book. What drew you to the Dust Bowl as the setting and time period?

My father was a shy city boy from Cincinnati, descended from a long line of Jewish merchants and grocers. Yet the jolting rhythm of a tractor, the fleshy udder of a cow ready for milking, and the grassy smell of hay inexplicably called him. In 1949, after earning a degree in agriculture, he pulled open the barn doors on his family’s old summer place and dug in. For a while he made a go of it, helped along by neighboring farm families who took pity on a young bachelor farmer.
But farming is unforgiving. A stretch of bad weather, a sudden outbreak of the avian flu, a busted disc on a cultivator can wipe out a farm’s profit in an instant. Even after he married my mother, an efficient organizer who adhered to a budget as tightly as twine to a hay bale, they went broke after five years due to nothing more than bad luck.
In 2006 I read The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It tells the stories of farmers and town folk who were overtaken by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. These were the people who stayed on the High Plains, even as the land shifted under their feet, smothered their babies and killed their livestock, while others, like Steinbeck’s fictional Joads, migrated westward. I was awed by the stories of those who hunkered down and survived. I read the book three times. As the daughter of a young farm couple who couldn’t make it, the book stirred me deeply.
My response was to write a novel set in that time and place. A mystery novel--for the High Plains in the 1930s were, after all, a place of social unrest, violent and destructive dust storms that turned day into night…and fear. Death of a Rainmaker also taps into my abiding fascination with history. It is a tale about the endless ripples of an individual’s past, pushing onward until the last breath.

Death of a Rainmaker is your first mystery, but not your first book. Would you tell us about your publishing journey? Every author’s experience is different.

After spending most of my professional life as a small-town reporter and, later, a public relations writer, I wanted to try my hand at writing fiction. At age 53 I completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., during which time I wrote the first draft of a novel. It was set in 1911 and was based on my grandmother’s childhood in Texas. Despite signing with an agent, I was unable to sell it. It sits on a high shelf in my basement. My second attempt resulted in the publication of Unmentionables, a historical novel set in 1917 about a women’s dress reform advocate on the Traveling Chautauqua circuit. The publisher, Akashic Books, a small but mighty press, took a chance on me. Mine was the first book published under Akashic’s imprint, Kaylie Jones Books, whose motto is “Dedicated Writers Taking a Stand.” Kaylie Jones was one of my professors at Wilkes University and championed me and my writing. 

What drew you to the mystery/crime fiction genre?

As an avid reader of mystery, crime and true crime books, I wanted to try my hand at a classic who-done-it. I tried to write the type of book I like to read – one with a mystery to solve, clues for the reader, a compelling cast of characters, and a small-town setting in the first decades of the 20th century. 

Would you tell us about your next book?

I am hopeful that Death of a Rainmaker is the first in a series. I have plotted out the next story, which picks up four months after Death of a Rainmaker, when Vermillion is beset with both a train wreck and a murder within days of one another.

What authors influence you?

Glancing at my bookcase for thoughts on this, I feel as if my influences are all over the map. I certainly am devoted to novels set in the Midwest and West in the early decades of the 20th century, so that authors such as William Maxwell, Sinclair Lewis, James Jones, Toni Morrison and Ray Bradbury come to mind. Literary masters such as Flaubert, Nabokov, and Tolstoy push me to set the bar as high as I can. 

Name an author or book that you wish had received more attention.

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. 

I end my interviews with the same question. I’m a librarian. Would you tell us a story about a library or librarian in your life?

This is a difficult question since there have been so many libraries in my life – places of sanctuary, enlightenment and comfort as I moved from place to place. The small shelf of Little Golden Books at nursery school; the book-filled niche at the First Presbyterian Church where the church librarian was a friend of Tasha Tudor; my elementary school library where I discovered Twenty-One Balloons and Tom’s Midnight Garden.

When I was in fifth grade, my hometown’s Carnegie Library sponsored an essay contest: Describe Your Favorite Character. I was a shy, bookish child. My teacher encouraged me to enter the contest. I wrote an essay about Eloise, the title character in the book by Kay Thompson with delicious illustrations by Hilary Knight. My teacher, Mrs. Felton, marked my paper up with red ink and gently asked for a re-write. Looking back, I believe I must have re-written that piece at least six times. My essay was awarded second place. I am forever grateful to the library and to Mrs. Felton for providing me with that first, heady dose of self-confidence and for whispering in my ear “You can write.”


Thank you, again, Laurie. I hope the rest of you come back tomorrow for my review of Death of a Rainmaker.


Laurie Loewenstein's website is https://laurieloewenstein.com/


Monday, October 01, 2018

November Treasures in My Closet

I can't believe we're already talking about November book releases. But, hopefully, you'll have a treasure or two in this list.

Because I refuse to read anything about Louise Penny's fourteenth Chief Inspector Gamache novel, Kingdom of the Blind, before I read the book, you're stuck with this one line from the back of the ARC. "Sometimes the real threat lies in what you cannot see." Want more? You'll have to look it up. Kingdom of the Blind is the top book on my November release list, a must-read for me. (Release date is Nov. 27.)






The creators of the podcast "Limetown", Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, with Cote Smith, now bring us Limetown, a prequel. A teenager, Lia Haddock, investigates when she hears that three hundred men, women, and children living at a research facility in Limetown, Tennessee, have disappeared without a trace. Among the missing is her uncle Emile. But, Lia isn't the only one looking for answers. (Release date is Nov. 13.)






In Laura Bradford's latest Amish Mystery, Just Plain Murder, Claire Weatherly tries to help her boyfriend, police detective Jakob Fisher, who is determined to find the person who killed his mentor. Jakob is beating himself up that he didn't answer a phone call from retired police chief Russ Granger. But, Claire's friends convince her she needs to be there for Jakob. (Release date is Nov. 27.)







Author Mikita Brottman has a reason for her obsession with a mysterious death at Baltimore's old Belvedere hotel. She lives there. Now, in An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere, she relates the story of her ten year investigation into a mysterious death, the details of a missing man's life and disappearance and his apparent suicide by jumping from the roof of the Belvedere. (Release date is Nov. 6.)






Rita Mae Brown's latest Sister Jane novel is set during the Christmas season. In Homeward Hound, the CEO of a power company is brought to the Christmas hunt in order to get to know some of the Virginia landowners. The man disappears before they get a chance to lodge their complaints about his plans to put a pipeline through their property, but a murder leads to further investigation. (Release date is Nov. 20.)






The Best Bad Things is Katrina Carrasco's crime fiction debut. It introduces readers to the fiery Alma Rosales - detective, smuggler, spy. She was trained in espionage by Pinkerton Detective Agency, but dismissed for bad behavior and a penchant for going undercover as a man. Now, in 1887, she works for Delphine Beaumond, the seductive mastermind of a West Coast smuggling ring. When product goes missing, Alma is tasked with tracking the thief and recovering the drugs, disguised as a scrappy dockworker named Jack Camp. It's a dangerous game of shifting identities and double crosses that could unmask Alma as a traitor, a woman, and a spy. (Release date is Nov. 6.)




Harvest of Secrets is Ellen Crosby's latest Wine Country mystery. Winemaker Lucie Montgomery's workers disappear when a skull and bones are found outside the family cemetery. They're superstitious, and are convinced there will be a death. When, a neighboring winemaker is found murdered, there are all kinds of suspects, including Miguel Otero, who works for Lucie. Lucie's employees tell her to prove Miguel is innocent, or none of them will work for her during the harvest. (Release date is Nov. 6.)





In Vicki Delany's latest Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery, A Scandal in Scarlet, Gemma and Jayne plan to hold an auction to benefit the local museum after a fire, but the auction never happens. Instead, Gemma Doyle investigates the murder of the museum board chair, found killed in the back room of Mrs. Hudson's Tearoom. (Release date is Nov. 13.)







Storm Rising is the third in Sara Driscoll's series featuring FBI special agent Meg Jennings and her search-and-rescue dog, Hawk. Although they're sent to Virginia in the wake of a hurricane, they recover girls who have been part of a human trafficking ring. Then, Meg takes a special assignment, working to uncover and break that ring, despite its connections to several powerful figures. (Release date is Nov. 27.)






An American historian and a Moroccan teenager discover the dark past of Paris and current problems are more complicated than either expect in Sebastian Faulks' Paris Echo. As Hannah digs deeper into her research on women's lives in Nazi-occupied Paris, a shocking piece of history threatens to shake her core beliefs. And, Tariq questions what sacrifices are worth his happiness. (Release date is Nov. 6.)






Death and Daisies is the second in Amanda Flowers' charming Magic Garden mystery series. After inheriting her godfather's cottage in Duncreigan, Scotland, Fiona Knox is now about to open her Climbinb Rose Flower Shop in Aberdeenshire. But, the parish minister Quaid MacCullen is opposed to Fiona's godfather's family, the magical walled garden, and anything to do with them, including Fiona. When the local police officer announces he's found the minister's body, right in the middle of Fiona's grand opening, she's afraid she'll be a murder suspect, and her shop will fail. (Release date is Nov. 13.)




Andrew Gaddes' debut historical mystery, Those Who Go By Night, takes readers to England in 1324, to a superstitious village and the terror of the Church's inquisition. When a beggar is murdered in Bottesford, and his body displayed on the altar, Thomas Lester, son of a disgraced Templar Knight, is sent to investigate. However, a monk sent by the Pope's Inquisitor General beats Thomas to the village, and the two become rivals for witnesses and "the truth". (Release date is Nov. 13.)






Libby Fischer Hellmann's High Crimes has this first line on the back jacket. "How do you solve a murder when there are 42,000 suspects?" Chicago PI Georgia Davis has been hired to hunt down those ultimately responsible for the assassination of Resistance leader Dena Baldwin at a demonstration fourteen months after the 2016 election. And, the gunman dies within minutes of the shooting. Georgia has to deal with an emotional family crisis at the same time she pursues killers whose only goal is to protect themselves. (Release date is Nov. 1.)





How can two divorced parents provide a "normal" family Christmas for their daughter? It all goes wrong in Caroline Hulse's The Adults. There's his new love. She brings her new boyfriend. Their daughter brings her imaginary giant rabbit. Too much drink. Too many secrets. The holiday is about to explode. (Release date is Nov. 27.)







The latest book in Emily Littlejohn's Detective Gemma Monroe series is Lost Lake. When Gemma answers a call about a missing person, she finds something eerie about Lost Lake. There are stories about young women who committed suicide there. Now, there's a missing woman who was camping with three friends. But, Gemma's convinced one of those "friends" is lying. (Release date is Nov. 6.)






Liana Moriarty, author of Big Little Lies, now brings us Nine Perfect Strangers.  Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? Nine people gather at a remote health resort, all of them there for a different reason. Frances Welty, the former bestselling romantic novelist is one of them. She has a bad back and a broken heart. She's immediately intrigued by her fellow guests, but even more intrigued by the mysterious owner/director of Tranquillum House. Should she put aside her doubts and immerse herself in the experience, or run while she still can? Soon, every guest at Tranquillum House is asking the same question. (Release date is Nov. 6.)




Lynne Truss, author of the nonfiction bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves, now introduces a cast of eccentric policemen and scheming criminals in the mystery A Shot in the Dark. In 1957, a famous theater critic, A.S. Crystal comes to Brighton to tell Constable Twitter the secret he knows about the unsolved Aldersgate Stick-up case of 1945. But, before he can reveal the name of the criminal mastermind involved, Crystal is hot dead. Now, Constable Twitter and his colleague Sergeant Brunswick set out to solve the decade-old mystery. (Release date is Nov. 6.)




Here are the rest of the November releases that I have at home. I hope you found a treasure or two that you might enjoy!


Berlin, Lucia - Evening in Paradise (Nov. 6)
Chemerinsky, Erwin - We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century (Nov. 13)
Schwab, Klaus - Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Nov. 6)
Sheridan, Sara - The Ice Maiden (Nov. 1)
Yokoyama, Hideo - Seventeen (Nov. 13)