Tagged: bnstorefront-fiction Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Jeff Somers 7:00 pm on 2019/03/04 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , , ,   

    March’s Best New Thrillers 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    The Cornwalls Are Gone, by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois
    Army intelligence officer Amy Cornwall is skilled at dealing with scenarios that would make most people blanch. But nothing in her professional career prepares her for the sense of dread she experiences when she comes home to find her husband and young daughter missing. Contacted by the kidnapper, she is told there is only one way to save her family: she must somehow secure the release of an unnamed captive. She has two days to accomplish her mission, and if she fails, her family will be killed. Amy has no choice but to go rogue, using her training, contacts, and desperation to find out who took her family and why.

    Cemetery Road (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Greg Iles
    Marshall McEwan escaped Bienville when he was young, heading off to Washington D.C. to become a journalist. When his father’s death and his family’s struggling newspaper force him to return home, he finds a transformed town flush with sketchy money and controlled by Max Matheson’s shadowy Bienville Poker Club, and discover’s Max’s old flame Jet has married the man’s son. After Max is implicated in the murder of his wife, he insists Jet serve as his defense lawyer. She secretly teams up with Marshall to investigate the whole web of lies, corruption, and murder, acting as the confidential informant to the journalist. Soon, the whole town seems to turn against Marshall, refusing to deal with the horrifying truth he’s threatening to reveal. The B&N exclusive edition includes a note from Greg Iles to his readers.

    Beautiful Bad, by Annie Ward
    In Meadowlark, Kansas, police officer Diane Varga responds to a 911 call made from the home of Ian and Maddie Wilson. She finds the house empty, the kitchen trashed and covered in blood, and no sign of the couple or their young son. As Varga investigates, flashbacks tell the story of how Ian and Maddie met, their often rocky relationship, Ian’s work as a security consultant in Nigeria, his struggles with PTSD, as well as Maddie’s own battle with anxiety and depression following a terrible accident. The story slowly builds to revelations about what actually went on in the house before and after an emergency call that was cut off, and how it all relates back to the very beginnings of the relationship.

    The Persian Gamble, by Joel C. Rosenberg
    Rosenberg’s sequel to The Kremlin Conspiracy spins a thrilling story that feels like a secret history unfolding in real time. In a bold move against NATO, Russia plans an invasion of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania while simultaneously signing a mutual defense pact with North Korea, which has only pretended to give up its nuclear program. Oleg Kraskin, son-in-law to Russian president Luganov, sees the potential end of the world in his father-in-law’s plot and passes information about his schemes to former secret service agent Marcus Ryker. They link up with the CIA’s Moscow station chief Jenny Morris in a desperate attempt to stop the mad president’s plans.

    The Perfect Alibi: A Novel, by Phillip Margolin
    Star athlete Blaine Hastings is convicted of rape despite his passionate, angry denials, largely due to the incontrovertible DNA evidence. While he’s in prison a second rape is committed, with DNA evidence pointing to the same culprit—which should be impossible. With a new lawyer, Blaine gets a fresh trial and is released on bail. His original lawyer is soon found dead. Fearing for her safety, the original rape victim hires young attorney Robin Lockwood, a skilled MMA fighter who is also handling another client charged with murder, despite clear evidence the act was committed in self-defense. Soon, Lockwood comes to suspect the two cases are connected, but she’ll have to act quickly to prove her theory before someone else winds up dead.

    My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing
    When the body of a young woman named Lindsay is discovered in an abandoned motel, it’s shocking—especially to the narrator of the book, who, along with his wife Millicent, had previously kidnapped her as part of a twisted attempt to inject sick thrills into their stale marriage. Millicent was supposed to kill Lindsay quickly and dispose of her body, but confesses she decided it would be better if the crime scene mimicked those of a notorious local serial killer. While the husband is intrigued by the possibility of hiding a murder spree behind another string of killings, the downside to this trick is the increased attention the crime receives.

    Dark Tribute: An Eve Duncan Novel, by Iris Johansen
    Johansen’s 24th Even Duncan novel kicks off with deceptive calm. Eve’s ward, violin prodigy Cara Delaney, leaves a celebrated performance and travels to Atlanta to meet her friend Jock in hopes of convincing him their intense bond should evolve into something romantic. At the hotel they’re both staying at, however, Cara’s whole world is turned upside-down when she’s abducted by a man bent on against Eve and her husband Joe Quinn. While Eve and Joe scramble to chase down clues, Cara must use all of her wits to survive.

    The Woman in the Dark, by Vanessa Savage
    After accidentally overdosing in the wake of her mother’s death, Sarah and her husband Tom decide to move their family into Tom’s childhood home. Sarah insists her brush with suicide was an accident, and that the change of scenery will be a wonderful way to leave grief behind. When they arrive, however, they find the house has been abandoned for 15 years after its last occupants were brutally murdered. They move into what the locals call the “Murder House” anyway. As Tom becomes obsessed with the crime, odd objects from the house’s past begin to turn up on their doorstep. When Sarah learns the murderer has just been released from prison—and that the sole survivor is in town too—she begins to doubt her husband’s stories of his own childhood in the house. As her struggle with depression worsens, Sarah grows desperate to protect her children from what increasingly seems like a supernatural evil within the residence. Or is it all in her head?

    The post March’s Best New Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 7:00 pm on 2019/01/31 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , ,   

    February’s Best New Thrillers 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    The Chef, by James Patterson and Max DiLallo
    James Patterson continues to innovate and push envelopes in terms of marketing and distribution. Case in point: his newest collaboration with DiLallo was first published on Facebook Messenger. Police detective and food truck chef Caleb Rooney serves New Orleans in both capacities, but as Mardi Gras approaches, he finds himself accused of murder. (It probably doesn’t help that his food truck is called the Killer Chef.) Shortly thereafter, Rooney discovers a plot to attack New Orleans being brewed up by home-grown terrorists. Racing against time, Rooney must clear his own name while preventing a slaughter in his beloved city as it gears up for Mardi Gras—the perfect tasty backdrop for a tense thriller.

    The Border, by Don Winslow
    Don Winslow concludes his bloody, operatic trilogy delving into the chaotic war on drugs with a suitably intense final act. After losing everything but his career in the war against drug kingpin Adán Barrera, Art Keller finds himself at the top of the DEA with Barrera defeated. But the war on drugs has come home in a flood of cheap heroin that’s killing Americans at a record pace. As Keller moves to block this deadly invasion, he finds himself fighting not Mexican drug cartels, but his own bosses in Washington. Politically motivated enemies are one thing, but Keller begins to suspect the unbelievable truth—the incoming administration is actually partnered with the very cartels he’s spent his life fighting.

    Never Tell, by Lisa Gardner
    Gardner’s 10th D.D. Warren thriller opens with Warren and other police breaking down the door to Evelyn Carter’s house, where they find the pregnant teacher standing over her dead husband, gun in hand. Warren remembers Evelyn from a case 16 years before, in which she accidentally shot and killed her own father, and decides it can’t be a coincidence. But when the killing gets some publicity, trusted informant Flora Dane contacts Warren to tell her that Evelyn’s husband was an associate of her kidnapper. As the investigation pivots into the possible connections between the two men, the complications pile up, as Gardner explores how well we can truly know anyone—even our closest loved ones.

    Mission Critical, by Mark Greaney
    The Gray Man is back for an eighth adventure from Greaney, with Court Gentry receiving a sudden summons to Langley. He boards a jet in Zurich, which lands in Luxembourg to pick up a hooded prisoner and head on to England, where the CIA intends to deliver the prisoner over to MI6. Upon arrival, however, the teams are attacked by gunman, who leave behind a bloody slaughter as they race off with the prisoner. As the Gray Man pursues in a powered glider, his sometimes-lover Zoya Zakharova of Russian Intelligence barely survive an attack that leaves her handlers dead. As Gentry and Zakharova work both sides of the mystery, it becomes clear that these violent attacks are connected—but the culprits’ careful planning didn’t take the Gray Man’s skills into account.

    The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides
    Michaelides delivers an assured, confident debut thriller. Six years ago, artist Alicia Berenson painted a psychologically dense work based on a Greek myth, then allegedly tied her husband Gabriel to a chair and shot him in the face. Alicia hasn’t spoken a word since, spending her time in a drugged daze at the Grove, a secure forensic facility in North London. Theo Faber is the wounded, gifted psychotherapist who convinces Alicia’s doctors to let him try to get her to speak. Theo’s work with the silent patient is interspersed with excerpts Alicia’s diary leading up to the day of Gabriel’s murder. As the clues about what truly happened begin to fall into place, Theo’s personal and professional worlds blur dangerously, leading to an explosive conclusion.

    The Hiding Place, by C. J. Tudor
    Joseph Thorne returns to his home town of Arnhill with alleged plans to teach at his old school and give back to his community, but the truth is, he’s really back in response to a mysterious email that claims to know what happened to Joe’s sister in her youth, and promises it is happening again. Joe moves into a cottage where a woman recently murdered her young son and committed suicide, and begins to plot revenge on behalf of his sister Annie, who disappeared decades before. Joe deals with ghosts, loan sharks, and unfriendly locals with cynical humor and grim determination, as Annie’s ultimate fate is slowly, painfully exhumed. Tudor’s followup to buzzy thriller The Chalk Man is every bit as tense and satisfying.

    The post February’s Best New Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2019/01/31 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, elizabeth letts, , finding dorothy, frances liardet, i owe you one, jill santopolo, more than words, , , tara conklin, the girls at 17 swann street, the last romantics, we must be brave, yara zgheib   

    February’s Best New Fiction of 2019 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    This month’s best books are all about love: love of siblings, love of spouses, love of work, love of children (both biological and adopted) and even love of oneself. Whether you’re a rom-com fanatic or prefer family sagas that span decades, these books will take you on emotional journeys you won’t soon forget.

    We Must Be Brave, by Frances Liardet
    Ellen Parr never wanted children. At least, that’s the story she tells herself, and to an extent, it’s true; her beloved, older husband is incapable of it, and she’s made peace with that fact. That is, until 5-year-old Pamela enters her life. It’s 1940 and Pamela’s been abandoned on a bus of evacuees that shows up in Southhampton. The bond between the surrogate mother and daughter is swiftly established but no less strong for it. Three years later, Pamela is returned to a biological family member, and Ellen is left behind, devastated. In the decades that pass, she leans on her husband, neighbors, and, eventually, a boarding school student who reminds her of the child she lost. This looks to be an extraordinarily moving and realistic historical.

    More Than Words, by Jill Santopolo
    In her second novel for adults (she also writes for children and young adults), Santopolo builds on the international success of The Light We Lost with a story about a woman whose sense of self is thrown into chaos. When Nina Gregory, a political speechwriter and hotel heiress, learns some hard truths about her late father, whom she idolized and adored, she is forced to view those closest to her in a new light. Her staid, childhood best friend-turned-fiancé, Tim, represents her father’s wishes for her, but her boss, New York mayoral candidate Rafael, is the one who ignites her passions. With her perceptions of the past shattered, how will she decide where her future, and her ambitions, truly lie?

    Finding Dorothy, by Elizabeth Letts
    Based on the real life of Maude Gage Baum, L. Frank Baum’s wife, Dorothy takes place in dual timelines: in 1938 during the filming of the Wizard of Oz; and in the later half of the 1800s as Maude comes of age as a suffragette’s daughter and grows up to become a married mother of four. Long widowed by the time MGM begins filming her husband’s book, Maude is determined to get on set and make sure L. Frank’s vision is properly reflected. She doesn’t expect to feel so protective of the movie’s teenage star, Judy Garland, who clearly needs an advocate and champion in her life. Letts’ previous books have been non-fiction, and her experience in that milieu help make this a heartfelt and detailed historical that’s perfect for film buffs and book clubs.

    I Owe You One, by Sophie Kinsella
    The Shopaholic books will always have a place in my heart, but Kinsella’s rom-com standalones have been knocking it out of the park lately. In the last two years alone we’ve been gifted with My Not-So Perfect Life and Surprise Me, and now there’s I Owe You One, which depicts the slow-burn relationship of selfless, responsible Fixie and investment manager Sebastian. After a meet-cute involving the near-death experience of a laptop, Sebastian writes Fixie an IOU, which she uses to secure her slacker boyfriend, Ryan, a job. Now she owes Sebastian a favor, and soon, the IOUs stack up in both directions in ways neither could have anticipated, making Fixie wonder if her penchant for helping others may be holding her back from pursuing the life she wants.

    The Girls at 17 Swann Street, by Yara Zgheib
    According to Anna Roux, former dancer and current supermarket cashier, her “real occupation” is anorexia. At twenty-six years old, having moved from Paris to St. Louis in support of her husband Matthias, to whom she’s been married for three years, Anna is a ghost of her former self. Dangerously underweight, depressed, and exhausted (she sleeps about three hours per night, and exercises relentlessly), Anna honestly doesn’t think she has a problem. Her admittance to 17 Swann Street, a residential treatment center, is the beginning of her journey back to health. As she gets to know her fellow patients and reflects on her life, she slowly gains insight into her condition. A poetic, deeply felt, and authentic debut.

    The Last Romantics, by Tara Conklin
    In the year 2079, elderly Fiona Skinner, an accomplished poet, thinks back to the 1980s, and the breakdown of her family life following her father’s death. The youngest of four siblings, Fiona and her two sisters and one brother (ranging in age from 4 to 11) were forced to raise one another for two years until their widowed mother crawled out from her debilitating depression. As an adult, Fiona filled her life with scandalous blog posts and a career at a nonprofit climate change organization, but her lasting legacy turns out to be the poem that made her famous, chronicling the story of her sisters and their concern for their brother Joe, who seems to have become the most damaged among them. A family saga that’s perfect for fans of Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists.

    The post February’s Best New Fiction of 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 3:00 pm on 2019/01/02 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, ,   

    January’s Best New Fiction 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Kicking off 2019 is a Gilded Age story about the American heiress who scandalized two nations prior to giving birth to Winston Churchill, and three World War II-era novels centered on women: Hedy Lamarr, movie star and secret STEM pioneer; a pair of sisters working at an Armory factory; and the ten women who served as Hitler’s food tasters. Contemporary fans will devour author Kristen “Cat Person” Roupenian’s first collection of short stories and Jane Corry’s twisty mystery about a missing ex-husband.

    The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict
    She was born Hedwig “Hedy” Kiesler and survived a domineering husband and the Third Reich, but you know her as Hedy Lamarr, glamorous movie star. That one woman could be both those things, as well as a world-changing scientist, proves the adage that truth is stranger than fiction. Benedict has made a name for herself shining a spotlight on the oft-hidden contributions of women in STEM. Her previous historical novels revealed the influence of Einstein’s wife and Andrew Carnegie’s maid on the course of human events. The tale of Hedy Lamarr is no less fascinating, as the eventual MGM actress outmaneuvers Nazis and eventually creates an invention that assists the Allied forces in World War II.

    Turning Point, by Danielle Steel
    The most highly regarded trauma doctors in San Francisco get the chance of a lifetime to participate in a mass-casualty training exchange in Paris. When a terrible shooting in their adopted city forces them to use their new skills under shocking circumstances, their lives are forever changed. As usual, Steel’s characters are both relatable and extraordinary, and you’ll be rooting for the troubled ER physicians as they attempt to balance relationships and professional obligations while saving as many victims as possible after the tragic attack.

    The Dreamers, by Karen Thompson Walker
    The entire town of Santa Lora, California, is forced into quarantine when several college students succumb to a mysterious, deadly disease that keeps people asleep but dreaming—and the dreams have lives of their own. When Mei, a freshman, discovers that her roommate cannot be woken, she joins forces with another student to do all she can to help. Within the houses surrounding the university are friends, neighbors, families, and children desperate to protect one another. This looks to be a richly haunting and immersive read.

    The Wartime Sisters, by Lynda Cohen Loigman
    Estranged sisters Millie and Ruth are forced into each other’s orbits while working at an Armory factory in Springfield during World War II. Widowed Millie was known as “the pretty one” during her youth, doted on and indulged by everyone in her Brooklyn neighborhood in the 1930s. Ruth’s experience in the same household felt like a different world; her intelligence was diminished and dismissed, her attempts at dating thwarted (suitors always ended up pursuing Millie). As adults, Ruth appears to have come out on top with her role as the wife of a high-ranking Armory scientist, while Millie toils in production. But the sisters will never truly reconcile until they confront the painful secrets of the past. As with Loigman’s debut, The Two-Family House, this appears to be a deeply compelling historical.

    At the Wolf’s Table, by Rosella Postorino (translated by Leah Janeczko)
    The winner of Italy’s Premio Campiello Literary Prize, Table tells the story of Adolf Hitler’s food tasters, a group of ten women forced to eat the Fuhrer’s meals before he does, in case they are poisoned. Twenty-something Berliner Rosa Sauer narrates the fraught tale, set in Hitler’s secret headquarters near the countryside of Gross-Partsch, where Rosa has relocated to live with her in-laws in light of her husband’s service on the frontlines. Rather than comforting and relying on one another, the group of tasters form segregated factions based on their views of Hitler and the war, and Rosa finds herself, in her loneliness, turning to her SS supervisor for a terrible, guilt-ridden type of comfort.

    You Know You Want This, by Kristen Roupenian
    Roupenian’s short story, “Cat Person,” went viral after the New Yorker published it in 2017, but even if you memorized it (someone probably has, right?), there are lots of surprises awaiting you in Roupenian’s debut short story collection. Highlighting characters who are dark, hilarious, awful, and amazing, these tales will make you shriek with discomfort and enjoyment, daring you to revel in the anti-hero and -heroines’ downright frightening behavior and relationships.

    That Churchill Woman, by Stephanie Barron
    Megan Markle and Prince Harry have got nothin’ on Jennie Jerome: the impetuous, 20-year-old American heiress raised in Gilded Age splendor who married Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill—after knowing him for three days. Although the lavish excesses of Jennie’s life may seem glorious, they also served to prevent her from having a voice, and Jennie, raised to be independent, is not having it. That Jennie gives birth to future Prime Minister Winston Churchill is almost beside the point in this exhilarating historical about a woman who scandalized and intrigued two nations while living life on her own terms.

    The Dead Ex, by Jane Corry
    The author of My Husband’s Wife and Blood Sisters is back with a mystery thriller about an aromatherapist, Vicki, whose former husband, an abusive, manipulative man, goes missing. Vicki claims she hasn’t seen David in years, but the police are skeptical, particularly because Vicki’s epilepsy may have affected her memory. David’s current wife, Tanya, is hiding something as well. Vicki’s tribulations as suspect number one are juxtaposed with an earlier timeline depicting the saga of young Scarlet, whose beloved albeit drug dealing mother, Zelda, is arrested, forcing Scarlet into dubious foster care. How Scarlet and Zelda’s path intertwines with that of Vicki, David, and Tanya’s is just one of the questions that will grip readers.

    The post January’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:50 pm on 2018/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , bnstorefront-fiction, , , , , , , , , , , , mystery gift guide, ,   

    12 Must-Have Titles for the Mystery Fan on Your Shopping List 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/do/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Giving books as gifts can be tricky; you want to ensure you get the bibliophiles on your list books they’ll appreciate and love, while avoiding books they’ve already read. The good news is there are so many strong mysteries out right now you have a lot of choice. We’ve taken the liberty of pointing you at some of the best mysteries out there right now; any one (or two! or three!) of these titles would make a perfect gift for the mystery fan in your life—and books make great gifts for Secret Santas and office gift exchanges, too, because who doesn’t love a good mystery?

    Look Alive at Twenty-Five, by Janet Evanovich
    Gift-giving can be stressful, so do yourself a favor and concentrate on the crowd-pleasing sure things like this. Twenty-five books in and Stephanie Plum is going strong as ever, still tackling gritty mysteries with humor, smarts, and competence to spare. This time around Plum’s attention is drawn to the Red River Deli in Trenton, famous for its pastrami and its cole slaw. More recently, it’s become famous because of its disappearing managers—three in the last month, each leaving behind a single shoe. Lula tries to convince Stephanie it’s aliens abducting humans for experiments, but Stephanie figures on something a little less exotic—and takes over running the business herself in order to get to the bottom of things. It’s certainly not the first time Plum has put herself in danger for the sake of a case—and she can only hope it won’t be her last.

    Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny
    Penny’s 14th book featuring Chief Inspector Gamache begins with the retired chief of the Sûreté du Québec receiving the surprising news that he’s one of three executors of the estate of an elderly woman he’s never met. With his suspension and the events that led to it still under excruciatingly slow investigation, Gamache agrees to participate, even thought the terms of the will are outlandish, leading him and his fellow executors to wonder if the old woman was mentally sound. When a dead body turns up, however, it prompts Gamache to reconsider—because the terms of the will suddenly seem much less strange, and much more ominous. Meanwhile the drugs he allowed to remain on the streets as part of his plan to destroy the drug cartels are still out there—and if he doesn’t find them, and soon, there will be devastation throughout the city. For once, Chief Inspector Gamache is something wholly unexpected: desperate.

    Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith
    By now everyone knows that Robert Galbraith is actually J.K. Rowling, and the fourth Cormorant Strike novel finds her at the top of her adult fiction game. Strike, now a famous private investigator, has to deal with people showing up at his offices as well as the difficulty in investigating things when you’re instantly recognizable to everyone. When a young man comes to his office asking for help looking into a murder he thinks he witnessed—and thus has been haunted by—as a kid, Strike senses just enough sincere detail to take on the case. As his investigation leads him into the secret corridors of British power, his personal life in the form of his relationship with former assistant-turned-full partner Robin reaches new levels of complexity.

    Leverage in Death, by J.D. Robb
    Robb delivers the 47th entry in this bestselling series with appropriate fireworks, as Paul Rogan, a successful executive, arrives at a routine meeting concerning a merger and promptly detonates the suicide vest he’s wearing. Eve Dallas is called in as the investigating detective and first has to figure out whether this was purposeful terrorism or simple desperate suicide with collateral damage. Every detail Dallas and her team discover serves only to muddy the waters and spin up the tension, especially after they discover that Rogan had been told by mysterious men that his family would be killed if he didn’t do as they asked. As Dallas puzzles over the convoluted manner of what seems like a murder attempt, more explosions deliver more bodies—and more clues.

    The Witch Elm, by Tana French
    French turns in her first novel not part of the Dublin Murder Squad, telling the story of affably low-key Dubliner Toby. Toby’s low-stakes life involves working as a social media guru for an art gallery and contemplating someday maybe marrying his girlfriend Melissa. When two robbers break into his apartment and beat him brutally, however, his lingering mental and physical injuries prevent him from living a normal life, and he and Melissa move in with his dying Uncle Hugo. When a skeleton found in a tree on Hugo’s property turns out to be an old classmate of Toby’s, the damaged young man is haunted by the possibility that his lost memories hold the key.

    Depth of Winter, by Craig Johnson
    After thirteen books, it’s understandable that Walt Longmire has made a lot of enemies. Professional assassin and enforcer for drug cartels Tomás Bidarte knows this, and so he kidnaps Walt’s daughter, Cady, and holds her captive in a remote cabin in the Chihuahua desert in northern Mexico, intending to auction her off to whichever of Walt’s enemies hates him the most. Walt heads off to rescue his girl, but Bidarte has an army of bad guys protecting his investment, and Longmire isn’t the sort of man who can blend in. Longmire’s faced bad odds before, but never quite this bad—and never with so much on the line. In a foreign country, with no help from his own government and disinterest from the locals, it’s tempting to count Longmire out—but fans know better.

    The Colors of All the Cattle, by Alexander McCall Smith
    The nineteenth novel featuring Mwa Ramotswe and her fellow investigators and residents of the town of Gaborone is as delightful and insightful as ever. Ramotswe is persuaded to run for a seat on the city council when it’s revealed that the arch-enemy of her agency partner Grace, Vera Sephotho, is in the race. Vera supports a terrible initiative to build a luxury hotel next to the town’s cemetery, which gives Mwa Ramotswe the moral edge in the race, but her compulsively honest answers to questions might complicate her campaign. Meanwhile, the agency deals with the investigation of a hit-and-run case even as their assistant Charlie, finally growing up, engages in his first true romance.

    Feared, by Lisa Scottoline
    Scottoline is as close to a safe bet when it comes to buying books for mystery fans, and her series about lawyers Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato is probably on your mystery superfan’s shopping list already, so giving it as a stocking stuffer will be genius. When Rosato & DiNunzio is hit with a sex discrimination lawsuit from three men who claim they weren’t hired because of their gender, Mary and Bennie smell a rat. When their only male employee, John Foxman, resigns because he agrees, they’re floored—and then they find out who’s behind the lawsuit—Mary’s nemesis, Nick Machiavelli. Nick is determined to have his revenge, and when Foxman turns up murdered suspicion settles on the firm’s partners and things look bleak. Mary—seven months pregnant—and Bennie must somehow fight off a lawsuit that could ruin them and solve a murder that could incarcerate the partners. That’s a recipe for the perfect mystery to give as a gift.

    November Road, by Lou Berney
    Berney spins a karmic tale about a mob fixer named Frank Guidry working in New Orleans in 1963. Guidry snips loose ends for his boss Carlos Marcello, violently if necessary. He gets the job of leaving a car in a Dallas parking lot, and after President Kennedy is assassinated he realizes he provided a getaway vehicle for the real shooter—and worse, now he’s a loose end. Trailed by Marcello’s top hitman, Guidry flees and meets up with Charlotte Roy, an unhappy but steel-tipped housewife escaping an abusive husband. As the tension rises, the two find themselves making a surprisingly effective team as they seek to survive in different ways.

    Field of Bones, by J.A. Jance
    For long-time fans of Jance’s Joanna Brady series, book number eighteen will be a welcome addition to their gift haul—and it’s not a bad idea for any fan of great mysteries with a realistic protagonist and a lot of heart. Brady, pregnant and on maternity leave, responds to acting sheriff Tom Hadlock’s call for all hands on deck when a teenager finds a skull in the desert, revealing what appears to be a body disposal area for a very active—and very terrifying serial killer. Alternating points of view between the killer and the police’s efforts to identify him is a master class in ratcheting up the tension and keeping the reader guessing, as the birth of Brady’s daughter underscores the desperation to save the killer’s remaining prisoners.

    Bright Young Dead, by Jessica Fellowes
    Fans of Downton Abbey and other Edwardian-era historical fiction are closer to the mystery genre than they realize, and Fellowes’ Mitford Murders series is the perfect way to convince them. Set in 1925, when London is roiled by the criminal activities of an all-female gang known as the Forty Thieves, London police Guy Sullivan and Mary Moon find themselves in the company of aristocrats upstairs and their servants downstairs as they try to tackle the gang—and find themselves embroiled in a distasteful murder before it’s all over. Think of Fellowes’ work as Abbey with murder and they’ll be sold—and you’ll be getting some very enthusiastic Thank You cards.

    One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
    The holiday season is the ideal time to give someone more than just a single book, but rather the gift of one of the best characters to ever grace the mystery shelves, Stephanie Plum. For twenty-five books, Evanovich has been delighting mystery fans with Plum’s adventures as a bounty hunter and detective, and the first book remains the ideal introduction. Plum, down on her luck in Trenton, New Jersey, convinces her cousin to give her a shot at apprehending criminal Joe Morelli—coincidentally the man who seduced Plum out of her virginity at age sixteen—and gets a crash course in the rough and tumble world of being an apprehension agent as she explores some long-dormant feelings for Joe. The lucky person getting this book from you will thank you twenty-four more times, trust us.

    There’s no mystery why people love getting books as gifts (see what we did there?)—it’s an opportunity to lose yourself and get away from holiday stress (the travel! the cooking! the travel!) by escaping into a thrilling story that also challenges your little gray cells. Which books are on your gift list this year?

    Shop all mystery & crime >

    The post 12 Must-Have Titles for the Mystery Fan on Your Shopping List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel