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  • Jeff Somers 4:50 pm on 2018/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , janet evanovich, , , , , , , mystery gift guide, ,   

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


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    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.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:12 pm on 2018/11/07 Permalink
    Tags: , allen eskens, , , , janet evanovich, , , , mike lupica, , ,   

    November’s Best Mysteries 


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    November officially kicks off the holiday season, which means you’re putting together shopping lists and trying to pick out the perfect gifts for everybody. You have to practice self-care, though, which means that aside from choosing the best mysteries to give to your loved ones as gifts, you have to pick out a few for yourself. This week’s best mysteries include new adventures from the best in the business, including the very real Janet Evanovich and Louise Penny and the very fictional Jessica Fletcher.

    Look Alive Twenty-Five, by Janet Evanovich
    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.

    Robert B. Parker’s Blood Feud, by Mike Lupica
    In response to a request from Robert B. Parker’s fans, veteran sportswriter-turned-novelist Lupica brings the late Parker’s only female private eye, Sunny Randall, back in this exciting, fast-paced seventh novel. Sunny—hypercompetent as a private detective—is struggling with her emotional state as she deals with being divorced but still drawn to her ex-husband, Richie Burke. Richie, the son of local mobster Desmond Burke, gets shot in the back one night—but the shooter makes it clear that he was left alive on purpose, and that it’s part of a grudge against the Burkes in general. A few nights later, his bookie uncle Peter is shot dead. The Burkes want to handle this on their own, but Sunny can’t stay out of it, even when her investigation beings her repeatedly up against old foe Albert Antonioni, supposedly retired after trying to bump Sunny off. Lupica does Parker proud with this energized, smart story, and Sunny’s fans old and new will be very happy with the way everything turns out.

    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.

    A Christmas Revelation, by Anne Perry
    Perry’s tradition of offering a Christmas-themed Victorian mystery continues, this time telling the story of nine-year old Worm, an orphan living in mid-19th century London. Worm has found an ersatz family at Hester Monk’s clinic, located at the site of a former brothel, and especially in the sweet Claudine Burroughs and the sour Squeaky Robinson, who once worked at the brothel and now serves as the clinic’s bookkeeper. One day Worm sees a woman on the street who immediately infatuates him with her gentle visage—only to be apparently attacked and kidnapped. Distressed, Worm enlists the reluctant but experienced Squeaky to help him track down the lady and ride to her rescue—but of course, twists and turns abound as they walk the cobble stone streets in search of clues.

    Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder, by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land
    Fans of the classic TV show and fans of great mysteries alike will be thrilled with Land’s second outing with writer and detective Jessica Fletcher. In New York for a meeting with her publisher, Fletcher is approached by a fellow writer named Thomas Rudd who tells her he thinks their publisher, Lane Barfield, is skimming money form their royalties—and later turns up dead in a suspicious gas explosion. When she meets with Barfield, however, he can only talk about a new novel he’s acquired from an unknown writer named Benjamin Tally, and he gives Fletcher a copy of it for her opinion. Then the bodies begin to pile up: Barfield turns up dead, an apparent if unlikely suicide, and two other authors who saw the manuscript are dead as well. When Fletcher herself is attacked and left for dead before she can finish the book, she seeks out allies and digs in like only Jessica Fletcher can.

    The Shadows We Hide, by Allen Eskens
    Report Joe Talbert, Jr. reads about a man named Joe ‛Toke’ Talbert, recently murdered in a small Minnesota town. Joe never knew his father, and he wonders if this man might turn out to be his namesake. He begins looking into the man’s life and murder, and finds no shortage of suspects who might have wanted Toke dead, as he was by all reports a terrible human being and worse father. Toke’s wife died shortly before under suspicious circumstances, leaving Toke with a large inheritance, making the solution to his murder an even more complex puzzle—especially since, if Toke is in fact Joe’s father, the money would legally be his. Part personal journey, part grim mystery, Joe learns as much about himself as he does about the man who might be his father as the mystery takes a few delirious twists before the surprising, satisfying ending.

    The Whispered Word, by Ellery Adams
    Nora Pennington and the Secret, Book, and Scone Society return to run Miracle Books and feed the soul with the perfect choice of novel. A new business opens in town, Virtual Genie, offering cash for unwanted goods that it then sells on the Internet. Everyone thinks owner Griffin Kingsley is a perfect gentleman, but Nora isn’t sold. And when an obviously terrified young girl named Abilene wearing a hospital bracelet and some bruises turns up hiding in the store, followed by a pair of suspicious deaths, Nora begins to suspect that Abilene is the next target—and that Griffin Kingsley’s arrival at the same time may not be as much of a coincidence as it first appears.

    Whether it’s holiday stress, plane ride downtime, or the simple pleasures in life, nothing beats a good supply of mysteries to feed the soul while the cold weather moves in. Grab a bunch from this list and thank us later!

    Shop all mystery & crime >

    The post November’s Best Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 3:00 pm on 2017/10/31 Permalink
    Tags: , alexander mccann smith, anne canadeo, , city of lies, death in the stacks, , , hardcore twenty four, harry dolan, , janet evanovich, , knit to kill, , , , , sleep no more: 6 murderous tales, the house of unexpected sisters, the man in the crooked hat, , the trouble with twelfth grave darynda jones, ,   

    The Best New Mysteries of November 2017 


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    Happy November, gumshoes! This month, take advantage of a long, relaxing holiday weekend (or, hours of traveling to see family and friends) to get in some uninterrupted reading time! Stock your nightstand or suitcase with a few of these page-turners and keep fall mysterious.

    Hardcore Twenty Four, by Janet Evanovich
    As her many fans are aware, to know Stephanie Plum is to love her. Evanovich’s long-running series following the madcap exploits of Jersey’s most illustrious bounty hunter takes a spooky turn when headless bodies begin turning up left and right. Although initially they’re corpses from the morgue, when a homeless man is found murdered and decapitated, someone has clearly upped their creepy game, Stephanie is compelled to take the case. In the meantime, she’s bunking with professional grave robber Simon Diggery and his pet python, and concerned about Grandma Mazur’s online dating escapades. Tall blonde and handsome Diesel is also back in town, which is stirring things up for Stephanie and her perennial paramours, sexy cop Joe Morelli and the enigmatic Ranger. Treat yourself to the latest mystery in the Plum series!

    City of Lies, by Victoria Thompson
    This exciting new series by the author of the Gaslight Mystery Series introduces readers to Elizabeth Miles, a savvy con artist in the Robin Hood vein who makes a brazen living divesting wealthy men of their fortunes…until the day she and her brother cross the wrong wealthy man and end up fleeing for their lives. Elizabeth stays safe by hiding among a group of privileged women whose activism she comes to admire…and in time her admiration extends to Gideon, the son of the group’s matriarch. But Elizabeth has been playing a deadly game, and her past is on the verge of catching up with her.

    The Man in the Crooked Hat, by Harry Dolan
    For two years, former Cop Jack Pellum has been searching for his wife’s murderer—whom he is convinced is a suspicious, fedora-wearing stranger he observed in her vicinity a few days before her death. But his obsessive quest, which has so far been fruitless, is jumpstarted when a message relating to the suicide of a local writer cracks the case wide open. And when Pellum crosses paths with Michael Underhill, a man with a dark hidden past who has everything to lose now that he’s found the perfect girlfriend, he finds himself closer than ever to finding out the truth, which is might be more than he can handle. A relentless plotter who sketches out unforgettable characters, if you’re a mystery fan and you haven’t read Dolan yet, put him on your list.

    How the Finch Stole Christmas, by Donna Andrews
    Eschewing his typical one man show, Meg’s husband has decided to launch a full-cast production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol—starring their sons Josh and Jamie as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge of course, with Meg as stage manager. But the faded-star celebrity he brought into town to play Scrooge has brought a whole lot of trouble with him, in the form of a veritable zoo of animals, including a collection of finches. Fans of Andrews’ lively and charming Meg Langslow series will be crowing about the twisty 22nd installment.

    Knit to Kill, by Anne Canadeo
    Lucy Bing, a member of the storied Black Sheep knitting group, is getting married! To relax before the nuptials, the group accepts an invitation from Suzanne Cavanaugh’s friend Amy to spend the weekend on Osprey Island. But their relaxing getaway is ruined when an unpleasant local resident falls from a cliff to his death—and investigators believe he was murdered. When suspicion falls on Amy’s husband, it’s up to the Black Sheep knitters to untangle this unsettling mystery—which features a diabolical killer who always seems to be one step ahead.

    The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, by Darynda Jones
    Jones’ 12th Charley Davidson novel continues to blend mystery, romance, and the paranormal into a delightfully offbeat series. Son of Satan (and Charley’s husband) Reyes Farrow has been a bit peeved ever since she accidentally trapped him in Hell, which is understandable. But he’s not the only one making her life difficult these days—her startup PI venture is also keeping things very lively, and someone’s begun going after humans with an awareness of the supernatural. Can Charley protect them, despite her suspicion that she’s protecting them from someone she cares deeply about? If you haven’t yet met Charley Davidson, start at the beginning with the uproarious, award-winning First Grave on the Right.

    The House of Unexpected Sisters, by Alexander McCall Smith
    In this nuanced, slow burn mystery, the 18th in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe is approached by a woman fighting against what she calls an unfair dismissal from her job—for being rude to a customer. Although Mma Ramotswe initially takes her side, as more information comes to light, she begins to come to a troubling conclusion. Not only that, she discovers the existence of a local woman, a nurse, with the same last name of Ramotswe—which comes as something of a shock. When Mma Potokwani informs her that an unsavory man from her past has returned to Botswana, very likely in an effort to deliberately seek her out, Mma Ramotswe realizes she has her work cut out for her when it comes to unraveling the mysteries of her past and present, which have become entangled together.

    Sleep No More: 6 Murderous Tales, by P. D. James
    This cunning assortment of previously uncollected stories from the indomitable author of Death Comes to Pemberley is filled with tales of crimes committed long ago, complete with the chilling rationalizations that so often accompany them. Take a deep dive into the heart of a killer, and explore the push-pull in the minds of murderers, witnesses, orchestrators of the perfect crime, and unwitting victims. James’s formidable talent shines just even more brightly in her shorter works.

    A Christmas Return: A Novel, by Anne Perry
    When her investigation into a long-ago murder that sundered a friendship prompts the arrival of a mysterious and disturbing Christmas package on her doorstep, grandmother Mariah Ellison, the winning star of Perry’s newest Christmas-themed mystery, finds herself traveling to Surrey to pay a visit to her estranged friend, the murdered man’s widow, in an effort to make amends. There, she teams up with the victim’s grandson, who is hot on the killer’s (cold) trail. But now that they’re stirring up old crimes, every new lead puts this unlikely pair deeper into danger.

    Death in the Stacks, by Jenn McKinlay
    Brier Creek Library’s annual Dinner in the Stacks is a delightful fundraising event that should be lifting the spirits of the library’s staff—who instead find themselves under the thumb of miserable new library board president Olive Boyle, who is ruining everything. When Olive threatens bright new hire Paula, Lindsey Norris berates her—and she fears repercussions on the night of the big event. However, Olive is found dead in the middle of Dinner in the Stacks, with nonother than Paula crouching over her. Can Lindsey clear her name, or will Paula get the book thrown at her? Don’t miss the eighth book in this charming series for mystery-minded bibliophiles.

    Parting Shot, by Linwood Barclay
    A young man swears he has no memory of stealing a Porsche and murdering a girl while inebriated—an act which devastated the small community of Promise Falls and unleashed a barrage of threats against his family. Against his better judgment, Cal Weaver reluctantly agrees to investigate the threats, but before long he finds himself sucked into a brutal quest for revenge.

    The Secret, Book & Scone Society, by Ellery Adams
    The first book in a new series that combines a few of everyone’s favorite things—books, baked goods, and deep, dark secrets. Nora Pennington resides in beautiful Miracle Springs, North Carolina, a place renowned for the healing properties of its hot springs. Nora owns Miracle books, and she has a talent for drawing out people’s stories about their lives—in exchange for her uncannily perfect book recommendations. When a businessman is found dead before he can keep his appointment with Nora, she forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, which gives members a place to turn for support and a feeling of camaraderie—as long as they first reveal their darkest secrets first. As the members of Nora’s club begin to investigate the businessman’s mysterious death, they discover a sense of community—along with some hidden dangers.

    What mysteries are you excited about this month?

    The post The Best New Mysteries of November 2017 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 5:37 pm on 2015/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: dance of bones, , , janet evanovich, ,   

    Fall into These Four Thrilling New Mysteries 


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    Mysteries are exciting because of the lure of the unknown. From page one, you know anyone might be guilty, and anything might happen. When you combine a deep mystery with characters who are perfectly comfortable with a firearm or a roundhouse kick (or hacking a computer terminal), you have a near-perfect recipe for reading pleasure. These four new and upcoming releases are from masters of the craft, writers whose stories are equal parts exciting, absorbing, and charming, making them the perfect thrillers to fall in love with this Autumn.

    The Scam, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
    Evanovich and Goldberg return to the popular crime-fighting team of Nick Fox, charming thief, and Kate O’Hare, FBI agent. They’re the unlikely pair that secretly tracks criminals the law can’t touch. The Scam features one of the great underused thriller glamor scenarios: the offshore casino, where our heroes get to dress to the nines and fight crime in elegant, expensive surroundings. Fox and O’Hare are after Evan Trace, the powerful owner of a casino in Macau who launders money for the worst people in the world: criminals, dictators, and terrorists. Undercover as high-rollers, with a hilariously shaky backup team as their only support, they risk everything to bring Trace down in a book that promises to continue a winning streak of charming thrillers filled with banter and action.

    Devoted in Death, by J.D. Robb
    Robb—a.k.a. Nora Roberts—offers up a 41st entry in her In Death series that reads as fresh and thrilling as the first. NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called to a gruesome crime scene in an alleyway of her beloved New York City of the future, a crime scene so gory she almost misses the sweet, romantic clue carved into the body, which sets her on the trail of a pair of twisted lovers in the Natural Born Killers-mode: a recently released ex-con and his girlfriend, who celebrate their love by killing and torturing. A kidnapping ratchets up the tension as Dallas races against time to save an innocent life and bring these monsters to justice.

    The End Game, by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison
    The third entry in the A Brit in the FBI series kicks off with a rush of nonstop action that pulls you and sets the table for an action-filled plot: responding to a tip about terrorist group Celebrants of Earth (COE), an anti-Muslim group intent on punishing the U.S. for its energy policies, FBI Special Agent Michaela “Mike” Caine and the titular “Brit in the FBI,” Nicholas Drummond, barely survive a dual bombing at a New Jersey refinery. They return to the tipster’s home to find him (and the team left to guard him) murdered, a brutal crime quickly eclipsed by massive cyber-attack against major energy companies. The CIA reveals they have a deep-cover operative inside COE: enter bomb expert Vanessa Grace, who teams up with Caine and Drummond to track down a rogue assassin believed to be delivering COE’s masterstroke—but no one knows who hired him, or who his target is.

    Dance of the Bones, by J.A. Jance
    The big name crossover is a time-honored event, and Jance achieves something incredible in Dance of the Bones, spinning a tale that involves two of his most popular creations: Sheriff Brandon Walker (now retired) and J.P. Beaumont, formerly of the recently-disbanded Special Homicide Investigation Team. When a man Walker arrested for murder in 1970 refuses a plea bargain that would release him from prison, instead demanding that Walker identify the real killer in the case, the sheriff comes out of retirement and engages Last Chance to help him investigate a very cold case. When the trail leads him to an unsolved crime in Seattle, he teams up with Beaumont, and their partnership that crackles with energy—energy that only intensifies when two boys from the reservation are kidnapped, and evidence suggests all three crimes are connected.

     
  • Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick 5:48 pm on 2014/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , janet evanovich, merry christmas!, ,   

    Have a Merry Christmas with these Books and Stories Set on Christmas Day 


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    GrinchAs soon as the holidays roll around, everyone starts talking about their favorite Christmas movies and songs. For the most part, I’m all about it. I mean, I love me some Jingle All the Way and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as much as the next girl. But, as a book lover, I never understand why people don’t get equally excited about their favorite Christmas books. They might not get the attention of their TV and radio competitors, but there are a lot of fantastic Christmas stories for readers of all ages and interests. Like feeling all warm and fuzzy inside? I have a Christmas story for you. Like talking animals? I can recommend one of those, too. Like zombies, theft, and murder? I can give you everything you want in a book all wrapped up in a nice big bow. Just have a little faith in me, turn off the electronics for a couple hours this holiday season, and give some of these books a read. Only a real Scrooge wouldn’t get caught up in these stories’ Christmas magic.

    How the Grinch Stole Christmasby Dr. Seuss
    Anyone who doesn’t love How the Grinch Stole Christmas is, well, a Grinch. My heart grows three sizes every time the Whos gather around the Christmas tree to celebrate the real reason for the holiday. Plus, how cute is Max with his little reindeer horns?

    A Christmas Carolby Charles Dickens
    Probably THE Christmas classic, this book is equal parts sad, scary, and triumph-of-the-human-spirity. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge as he takes a supernatural journey through his own past, present, and future to discover the real spirit of Christmas and save himself from a dark end. I personally liked the Muppets’ version best, but Dickens is pretty good, too.

    The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobeby C.S. Lewis
    Imagine being trapped in a world where it’s always winter but never Christmas! Luckily, the Pevensie children are here to save the day, with the help of some talking animals and a pretty awesome lion. Maybe not technically a Christmas story, but Santa Claus is in it, so that’s good enough for me.

    Hercule Poirot’s Christmasby Agatha Christie
    Nothing says Christmas like a good old-fashioned parlor room murder. Detective Hercule Poirot must figure out who killed Simeon Lee, a multimillionaire who invites his family over for Christmas and then winds up dead. I guess someone must have been on the naughty list that year…

    The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terrorby Christopher Moore
    Christmas is great, but Christmas with zombies is better. When an angel tries to bring a dead man dressed as Santa back to life, all hell breaks loose as flesh eaters begin attacking the town. I just love the smell of brains roasting on an open fire, don’t you?

    The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry
    I’m pretty sure anyone who has ever attended school read this in their English class around the holidays. A young couple attempts to buy the perfect gift for each other, but they have to make a sacrifice to get it. The ending is sure to make you go “Awww!” and feel all gooey inside.

    The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    When a jewel is found inside the throat of a Christmas goose, Sherlock Holmes must figure out how exactly this bird laid such a valuable egg. Expect a jewel heist, fowl hijinks, and some brilliant deductions by our favorite detective.

    Letter from Father Christmasby J.R.R. Tolkien
    Did your parents ever leave you notes from Santa when you were a kid? Well, Tolkien used to entertain his children every year with letters from Mr. Claus, telling them all about the shenanigans going on in the North Pole. These letters were compiled into one heartwarming and magical Christmas collection. No hobbits, though, sorry.

    Visions of Sugarplumsby Janet Evanovich
    Stephanie Plum can’t even get a day off for Christmas. Between a toymaker who skipped bail, her crazy family, and the strange but sexy guy who showed up in her kitchen, Stephanie’s going to need a Christmas miracle to get through the holidays.

    Matchless: A Christmas Story,” by Gregory Maguire
    Gregory Maguire takes the sad tale of “The Little Match Girl” and gives us a slightly more upbeat version. While her fate doesn’t change, we’re introduced to a young boy named Frederik who unknowingly crosses her paths. The same strange magic that the Little Match Girl discovers helps save him, too, albeit in a very different way.

    What’s your favorite tale set on Christmas?

     
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