Friday, March 25, 2011

Love Letters, Beauty, and Roosters

Love Letters by Katie Fforde
When her bookshop closes its doors, Laura, in a moment of uncharacteristic recklessness, agrees to help organize a literary festival deep in the heart of the English countryside. But her initial excitement is soon followed by a mounting sense of panic when she realizes just how much work is involved, and that an innocent mistake has led the festival committee to believe that she is a personal friend of the brilliant yet infamously reclusive writer Dermont Flynn. Even though Laura has been infatuated with Flynn since her college days, traveling to Ireland to persuade him to come out of hiding is not what she had in mind when she took the job.

The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb
The elderly, enlightened proprietor of a beloved pho-shop, Hung, has lived through decades of poverty and political upheaval. Through all of his struggles, he has found a way to feed hope to his customers and the community of pondside dwellers among whom he lives. A passionate culinary artist, the resilient Hung once allowed his shop to be a gathering point for a group of artists who started the Beauty of Humanity Movement in response to the increasingly despotic turn of Ho Chi Minh's community regime during the 1950s. Tu is a young tour guide working in Hanoi for a company called New Dawn. Maggie, an art curator who is Vietnamese by birth but has lived most of her life in the United States, has returned to her country of origin in search of clues to her dissident father's disappearance during the war. In Hung's memory, he may hold the key to Maggie's past and to her future. In sensual, interwoven narratives, Maggie, Hung, and Tu come together in a highly charged season that will mark all of them forever.

Moondogs by Alexander Yates
Benicio has not spoken with Howard--his jet-setting father--in five years, but after his mother's unexpected death he decides it's finally time to mend their relationship. They arrange to meet in the Philippines, but when Benicio arrives Howard is nowhere to be found--leaving an irritated son to conclude he's been let down once again. He could hardly guess that Howard has just been kidnapped by a meth-addled cabdriver and his villainous accomplice, a rooster.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Fiction!

Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian
Charlie Pepper and Lena Rusch live in San Francisco in a modest pink bungalow they cannot afford. On the hill above them sit the great houses of the rich, with their servants and gardens and glorious views of the bay. Charlie and Lena grew up believing they could have it all -- sex, love, marriage, children, career, brilliance. Now, in early middle age, life has delivered surprises and tests -- a stillborn twin, an economic crash, a relentless rival in Charlie's business and a seductive lover from Lena's past. Touched by tragedy, imbued with hope, Lena and Charlie must face, for the first time, real limitations.

When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley
The economy has hit the private investigator business hard, even for Leonid McGill. Lately, he is getting job offers only from the criminals he's worked so hard to leave behind. Meanwhile, his personal life grows ever more complicated: his favorite stepson, Twill, has dropped out of school for mysteriously lucrative pursuits; his best friend, Gordo, has been diagnosed with cancer and is living on his couch; his wife has taken a new lover, and seems to be endangering the McGill family; and his girlfriend, Aura, is back in his life but intent on some serious conversations. So how can McGill say no to the beautiful young woman who walks into his office with a stack of cash?

One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde
It is a time of unrest in the bookworld. Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace talks, Thursday vanishes. Has she simply returned home to the RealWorld or is this something more sinister?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mysteries and more mysteries!

Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Letter by Barry Grant
Having emerged from a Swiss glacier and solved his first murder case in more than ninety years (described in The Strange Return of Sherlock Holmes), the world's famous detective now sleuths through modern London in search of a stolen letter purportedly written by Shakespeare. Holmes displays his usual mental brilliance as he investigates the missing letter and discovers an international plot to arm terrorists. He and his roommate, James Wilson, track the Shakespeare letter and the terrorist arms dealers to a Scottish castle where surprises await.

Negative Image by Vicki Delaney
As the mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia, shakes off a long hard winter, famous photographer Rudolph Steiner arrives to do a feature on mountain tourism. Steiner is accompanied by his assistant and his sexy young wife, but he has another reason for the visit: to reconnect with the woman who left him twenty-five years ago to marry another man. That woman was a young, beautiful, naive, internationally know supermodel. Today Eliza Winters is no longer young, and definitely not naive, but she is still beautiful and married to Trafalgar City Police Sergeant John Winters. When Steiner is found shot in his luxury hotel room, suspicion falls upon Eliza who had, inexplicably, visited Steiner there. John Winters is forced into the most difficult of dilemmas: loyalty to his job or to his wife.

Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks
Carter Ross, the sometimes-dashing investigative reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner, is back, and reporting on the latest tragedy to befall Newark, New Jersey, a fast-moving house fire that kills two boys. With the help of the paper's newest intern, a bubbly blonde known as "Sweet Thang," Carter finds the victims' mother, Akilah Harris, who spins a tale of woe about a mortgage rate reset that forced her to work two jobs and leave her young boys without child care. Carter turns in the front-page feature, but soon discovers Akilah isn't what she seems. And neither is the fire.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mystery, Crimes, and Witch Trials

Devil-Devil by Graeme Kent
It's not easy being Ben Kella. As a sergeant in the Soloman Islands Police Force, as well as an aofia, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people, he is viewed with distrust by both the indigenous islanders and the British colonial authorities. In the past few days he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising, and failed to find an American anthropologist who had been scouring the mountains for a priceless pornographic icon. Then a mission station, Kella discovers an independent and rebellious American nun, Sister Conchita, secretly trying to bury a skeleton.

Three Seconds by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom
In this dark and gripping novel, Piet Hoffman is the Swedish police's most valuable secret operative. His cover is that of a lieutenant inside the ruthless Polish mafia trying to take over amphetamine distribution within Sweden's prison system. With this, his most dangerous assignment, success will mean a new identity and the freedom to start a new life with his wife and young sons. When a botched drug deal involving Hoffman results in the cold-blooded killing of a police informant, the investigation, assigned to the brilliant but haunted Detective Inspector Ewert Grens, leads to a string of unsolved cases in which key evidence has been withheld under mysterious circumstances.
READALIKE to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Deliverance from Evil by Frances Hill
Salem, Massachusetts, Winter 1692: In a settlement constantly under threat of outside attack, even close neighbors harbor secret grudges. When George Burroughs escapes to Salem after a Native American raid in Maine, he finds himself confronted by uneasy memories and a new love. The community is prepared to battle the hardships of making a life in a new land, but no one suspects that the most dangerous enemy lies within. Close by, in the parsonage of Reverand Samuel Parris, two girls are seated by the fire and play at fortune-telling as snow falls softly outside. What starts as a game sends one of the girls into a hysterical trance, and Salem begins its descent into madness.