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  • Jeff Somers 4:24 pm on 2018/10/03 Permalink
    Tags: , andy carpenter, , , Deck the Hounds, , lou berney, louise penny, , , otto penzler, , , The Big Book of Female Detectives,   

    October’s Best New Mysteries 

    October is a month for scares and thrills—but there are scares and thrills in the world that have nothing to do with ghosts and goblins. This month’s best mysteries are here to get those goose-pimples popping and those neck hairs rising without a single witch, vampire bat, or werewolf necessary.

    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.

    Sleep No More: Six 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 even more brightly in her shorter works.

    Deck the Hounds (Andy Carpenter Series #18), by David Rosenfelt
    Rosenfelt’s 18th Andy Carpenter novel brings Christmas to Paterson, New Jersey. Andy tries to help out a homeless man named Don Carrigan, offering the veteran and his dog the Carpenter garage apartment during the cold weather. But when Don is arrested for murder, Andy finds himself taking on a new legal client. There’s a sniper working in the area, and Andy quickly finds himself dealing with a blood-curdling series of crimes that put both Don and Andy’s lives in danger. Rosenfelt’s characters are as warm and bighearted as ever, and the holiday setting makes this a great gift for the person who has everything, especially the previous 17 Andy Carpenter books.

    The Best American Mystery Stories 2018, edited by Louise Penny
    Anyone looking to skim the cream of mystery fiction need look no further—between them, guest editor Penny and series editor Otto Penzler offer up twenty of the absolute best from the famous and the soon-to-be. Penny’s thoughtful selections feature fantastic short fiction from Michael Connelly, Martin Limón, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child, Andrew Klaven, Paul D. Mark, Joyce Carol Oates, Andrew Bourelle, and twelve others. The choices run the gamut from surprising reinventions of the genre to masterful exercises in the genre’s traditional beats and pleasures.

    The Big Book of Female Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler
    The legendary Otto Penzler continues his popular ‛Big Book’ series with a deep dive into detective fiction with a decidedly female-first focus; considering the current climate, the timing for such a book couldn’t be better. With authors including Agatha Christie (who offers up a delightful Tommy and Tuppence mystery), Marcia Muller (who contributes a Sharon McCone adventure), Phyllis Bentley, Charlotte Armstrong, Mary Roberts Rinehart, and Mignon G. Eberhart, this anthology once again demonstrates why Penzler is the most reliable editor working in the mystery genre today.

    October isn’t just a month of tricks and treats—it’s also a month for gumshoes and gimlet-eyed private detectives. Which mysteries will you be reading this month?

    Shop all mystery and crime >

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

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 5:00 pm on 2017/07/31 Permalink
    Tags: crime scene, glass houses, i know a secret, , , , louise penny, , on her majesty's frightfully secret service, peter robinson, rhys bowen, sleeping int he ground: an inspector banks novel, , , , tess garritsen, the good daughter, the paris spy, the room of white fire, y is for yesterday   

    August’s Best Mysteries 

    Soaring temps make many of us turn to fast-paced, high-stakes mysteries and thrillers where the pages turn so quickly that they create a refreshing light breeze on your face. Summer may be on the wane, but some of our biggest mystery series are just heating up. Don’t miss these brilliant new books by heavy hitters like Sue Grafton, Louise Penny, and powerhouse father and son duo Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman.

    Y is For Yesterday (Kinsey Millhone Series #25), by Sue Grafton
    Grafton’s famous Kinsey Millhone series is reaching the end of the alphabet, to the despair of legions of fans. Y is For Yesterday travels back to 1979, when four private school boys brutally assaulted a classmate—and the attack was filmed. The ensuing investigation resulted in the conviction of two of the perpetrators, although the main instigator behind the attack disappeared. Nearly twenty years later, one of the attackers is released from prison. Fritz McCabe is in pretty terrible shape, and he’s now being held a virtual prisoner by his parents. When he receives a copy of the video of the attack along with a demand for ransom, McCabe’s parents swing into action and consult with Kinsey Millhone, who is soon drawn into their convoluted family drama. In the meantime she’s also got a sociopath with a deep grudge to contend with. Fans know it’s just another day in the life of one of the best investigators in the genre.

    Glass Houses (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #13), by Louise Penny
    A mysterious figure has appeared in the idyllic village of Three Pines, standing alone and stock still in the freezing November sleet. As the villagers, including Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache, grow increasingly perturbed and even frightened, the figure remains. Soon after it finally disappears, a body turns up, which is very probably not a coincidence, and it falls to Gamache to discover whether the killing is in fact a terrible retribution. Later that summer, the accused stands trial, but Gamache is forced to face the consequences of the actions he took during those fateful days in November. The 13th novel in Penny’s incomparable series ratchets up the tension to an almost unbearable degree.

    Crime Scene, by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman
    Clay Edison was a star athlete in his day, but he’s turned to a life of crim…inal investigation. Determining the cause of death of psychology professor Walter Rennert, found at the bottom of the stairs, seems like an open and shut affair at first. But when Rennert’s daughter, Tatiana, convinces him to take a closer look at the case, he begins to have serious doubts. It turns out that Walter Rennert had a checkered past, one involving a dead coed, and his days might have been numbered. Add to the mix a suspiciously similar death suffered by a colleague of Rennert’s, and you have a recipe for Something is Not Quite Right Here. When he and Tatiana begin to grow closer, Clay’s determination to track down he murderer increases. But he’s going to find himself venturing into some very dark places to do so.

    Exposed (Rosato & DiNunzio Series #5), by Lisa Scottoline
    The twists and turns come fast and furious in this gripping legal drama. What seems at first like an open and shut case—a man fired from a company when his daughter’s medical expenses shoot through the roof—soon pits partner against partner in a game of cat and mouse that turns bare-knuckle and threatens to tear the firm apart. And when murder becomes part of the equation, things spiral even further out of control.

    The Good Daugher, by Karin Slaughter
    If you haven’t read Karin Slaughter yet, The Good Daughter is the perfect novel to jump onboard with…and if you’re a fan of fast-paced, gripping, and impossible to forget thrillers (see: the incredible Coptown), you should definitely be reading Karin Slaughter. In her latest standalone novel, Charlotte Quinn fought back against a harrowing childhood trauma by following in her father’s footsteps and becoming an attorney. But when another attack occurs nearly three decades later, Charlie is powerless to stop a flood of terrible memories from that tragic incident, which destroyed her happy family and left her mother dead. You won’t know where this one is going, but one thing is for sure: you’ll follow this author anywhere.

    I Know a Secret (Rizzoli & Isles Series #12), by Tess Garritsen
    What do a collection of gruesomely murdered saints, an unrepentant serial killer (who is also Maura Isles’ mother) with a dark secret, and a pair of victims who suffered similarly grisly fates all have in common? They’re just some of the details that make the twelfth novel in the compulsively readable Rizzoli & Isles series the kind of book you won’t want to put down, even if you desperately need a sweet tea refill. Medical examiner Maura Isles and detective Jane Rizzoli of the Boston PD are the kind of tough investigators who can handle an alarming body count (of bodies that are in hair-raising condition), but with a killer on the loose who might be using a horror film as inspiration, this time they may have met their match.

    The Paris Spy (Maggie Hope Series #7), by Susan Elia MacNeal
    History buffs who also love nail-biting mysteries—especially those fascinated by the WWII era—your perfect late-summer read is here! The seventh novel in the Maggie Hope Series finds the legendary code-breaker and spy navigating the treacherous waters of Nazi-occupied France, where she is tasked with trying to discover a traitor among ranks of the terrifyingly powerful, deep in enemy territory. After a narrow escape from a concentration camp, Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared, and Maggie is desperate to find her—but not certain she even wants to be found. On top of everything, the Allied invasion of France is in the works, but a crucial agent has been captured, and Churchill is relying on Maggie’s abilities to help plan D-Day. This historically rich spy thriller is a real nail-biter.

    The Room of White Fire, by T. Jefferson Parker
    Former cop, former marine, current private investigator and fairly damaged individual Roland Ford has been assigned to track down one Clay Hickman, an escaped mental patient who is also a veteran of the Air Force. His tough military past and the recent loss of his wife give Roland some insight into how best to locate Clay, but things are complicated by the very different accounts he’s receiving of what Clay is really like, and what he’s actually capable of. And when his interests in Clay’s doctor, the inscrutable Paige Hulet, become a little more than professional, the search grows more personal and the stakes become dangerously high.

    On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service (Royal Spyness Series #11), by Rhys Bowen
    The delightful adventures of Lady Georgiana Rannoch continue as she finds herself in the thick of several worrisome situations. For one thing, Darcy is off on a secret mission, so she is left to travel alone to Italy to assist her friend Belinda, who is getting ready to give birth. And her cousin the queen has called upon her to spy at a house party in Italy at which the Prince of Wales is expected, along with the horrible Mrs. Simpson. Of course, Lady Georgiana’s Italian holiday is all but ruined when one of the guests is murdered—and above it all, a Nazi threat looms and the country teeters on the brink of war. A frothy, ebullient comedy of manners that never fails to entertain, the Royal Spyness Series is filled with twists and turns, unforgettable characters, and highly amusing (and often hazardous) situations.

    Sleeping in the Ground: An Inspector Banks Novel, by Peter Robinson
    A horrific attack shatters a peaceful wedding, but when the culprit is apprehended, everyone assumes that the terrible tragedy has been put to rest. Everyone except for Alan Banks, that is. He’s convinced that something about the whole thing is not quite right, and the case is not completely closed. And although he’s not thrilled to be assigned to work with Jenny Fuller, a forensic psychologist with whom he has a complicated relationship, he’s glad for the opportunity to dig deeper into this case. But the deeper he digs, the more horrors he unearths. Peter Robinson writes the kinds of thrillers that will keep you turning pages late into the night.

    What mysteries are keeping you up late this month?

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

  • Tara Sonin 8:00 pm on 2016/08/25 Permalink
    Tags: a great reckoning, , inspector gamache, louise penny, ,   

    Chief Inspector Gamache Faces A Great Reckoning 

    Louise Penny is back with A Great Reckoning, the twelfth novel in her Chief Inspector Gamache series. A whodunit full of suspense, it stars a map that leads to nowhere, two corrupt policemen, four cadets-in-training with skeletons in their closets, and one Commander seemingly beyond reproach—but possibly capable of murder.

    Commander Armand Gamache is an honorable, stalwart vehicle of justice. He has long been portrayed as a silent, keen observer of corruption, tasked with rooting it out without much fanfare, but he has seen his fair share of bloodshed—from the early loss of his parents in a gruesome accident, to his time as an officer of the Sûreté, the elite Canadian police force. But throughout his adventures, Gamache has managed to keep his own hands clean.

    Until now. The application of a mysterious cadet to the Sûreté Academy propels Gamache out of his cozy retirement in Three Pines and into the trenches of educating cadets at the academy—cadets he fears have already been corrupted by the illicit dealings of the former man in charge, Serge Leduc. During his time at the Academy, the lines between justice and vengeance blur to the point that Gamache is soon implicated in a terrible crime: the murder of Professor Leduc, by a bullet wound straight to the head.

    The mystery of Leduc’s murder is further complicated by multiple narrators and points of view, many of which we learn straight away are unreliable. There are those loyal to Leduc among his inner circle of elite students, who do not trust Gamache, and then there’s Amelia Choquet, the goth cadet with a past—and the girl whose application compelled Gamache out of retirement.

    While Armand investigates Leduc’s murder, four cadets are implicated because of a map found in the man’s possession at the time of death—a map that belonged to Gamache, but found its way into the hands of the students by way of a unique training exercise. The mystery of the map coincides with the mystery of the murder inasmuch as they are parallel trains racing toward the same point—but the murder is the most fascinating track to follow, as everyone Gamache interacts with—from the students, to his second-in-command and son-in-law Jean-Guy, to Inspector Lacoste—believe him one moment to be completely above reproach, and in the next find him possibly capable of murdering a man who was his rival for power.

    A Great Reckoning is structured like an intricate game of Jenga: it stacks up questions into a tower and over the course of the story, removes them one by one in search of an elusive truth. Who is Amelia Choquet? What is her connection to Armand Gamache? Did Armand murder Leduc? After so many years spent rooting out corruption, was he corrupt himself? What is the importance of the map? Penny reveals the answers to these questions with impeccable pacing, but even more impressive is her rich development of her characters over the course of the story. The moral seems to be that the ghosts of the past come to roost too late for souls to be saved, but justice is still worth fighting for—because every once in a while, something good does come of it.

  • BN Editors 2:52 pm on 2015/06/24 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , brad thor, , , , louise penny, , , , , , , ,   

    The Biggest Books of the Summer 

    This summer brings a fresh crop of brand-new books, including a creepy thriller by the king of creepy thrillers, the return of an author we’ve loved since childhood, and what might be the most anticipated novel of the century. Throw them in your beach bag, bring them on your road trip, or just use them to make your lunch hour awesome.

    Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
    The release of a follow-up to American classic To Kill a Mockingbird promises to be the book event not just of the year, but of the 21st century so far. In this sequel of sorts—set 20 years after but actually written before Harper Lee’s debut—we meet an adult Scout Finch, whose visit to her hometown and to father Atticus Finch, literature’s most beloved lawyer, takes place against the shifting backdrop of 1950s America.

    Finders, Keepers, by Stephen King
    In this follow-up to last year’s Mr. Mercedes, King revisits the themes of obsession, inspiration, and the dangerous bond between an author and his fans that drove previous masterpiece Misery. Retired detective and Mr. Mercedes hero Bill Hodges is back, now attempting to save a young reader in possession of some very valuable notebooks: they’re filled with the unpublished writing of an iconic author, killed by a deranged fan who’s fresh out of prison and coming to claim them.

    Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari
    Ansari goes deep with his comic look at contemporary dating and relationships, with the help of a crack team of social scientists and findings culled from interviews held around the world. The result is a sharp, insightful marriage of humor writing and Ansari’s illuminating findings on dating, wedlock, and love. This is the most fun you’ll ever have reading a science book.

    In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume
    Blume’s first novel in 17 years is set in the 1950s Elizabeth, New Jersey, of her youth, inspired by a trio of three real-life plane crashes that happened there within a terrifying three-month span. She paints a portrait of a town under siege, drawing in the stories of the doomed, the grieving, and the helpless bystanders. Despite the dark subject matter, Blume writes with a light, engaging touch, making you care for her characters even as you hold your breath waiting to see how they’ll be caught up in the next crash.

    The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz
    Eleven years after the death of series creator Stieg Larsson, Lagercrantz is continuing the twisted story of damaged hacker extraordinaire (and avenging angel) Lisbeth Salander. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is back as well, in a pitch-black page-turner that takes readers by the throat from page one. Despite constant peril and vastly different agendas, the two rekindle their incendiary partnership when Blomkvist receives a news tip too hot to resist.

    The First Confessor, by Terry Goodkind
    In this prequel to Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, a heroine rises from the ashes of her former life. Magda Searus is the wife of a powerful leader, protected by her husband’s status and his gifts. But when he unexpectedly commits suicide, she refuses to give up on finding out why—and learns, on her journey, the true nature of the darkness overtaking her people.

    The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman
    Hoffman takes as her subject the headstrong young woman who will become the mother of impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Rachel belongs to a rigidly tradition-bound immigrant Jewish community on the lush island of St. Martin. At her mother’s command, teenaged Rachel marries a widower, becoming stepmother to three children. But when he dies, and his handsome nephew arrives to settle his affairs, she jumps headfirst into a scandalous affair with wide-reaching consequences, for both herself and the famous son who will be born of her remarriage.

    Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain
    In her follow-up to bestseller The Paris Wife, McLain breathes life into another fascinating 1920s woman: Beryl Markham, an adventurous aviatrix and horse trainer. Emerging from a bleak childhood, Markham grows into a powerful, unconventional figure in a vibrant British community in Kenya. McLain explores the adventures and love triangles of a woman who was way ahead of her time.

    The Nature of the Beast, by Louise Penny
    When a little boy with a penchant for telling tall tales goes missing, it’s up to Inspector Armand Gamache to figure out which of his wild stories was true, and how it ties into his disappearance. Guilt, sorrow, and an evil with deep roots thread together to enrich an increasingly twisted mystery. This is Penny’s 11th book following Inspector Gamache, whose retirement to the tiny town of Three Pines hasn’t made him any less of a magnet for intrigue.

    The President’s Shadow, by Brad Meltzer
    In Meltzer’s third Culper Ring book, inspired by a laymen spy organization founded at the behest of George Washington, the present-day first lady finds a severed arm in the most unlikely of places: the White House rose garden. The president turns to the Ring for help, despite his complicated relationship with one of its members, Beecher White. White takes the case when he learns the mysterious limb may have a link to his own father’s death, many years prior. If you can’t make it to D.C. this summer to see the sights, visit its shady underbelly with this well-researched page turner.

    Code of Conduct, by Brad Thor
    Thor’s latest military thriller finds counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath on a high-stakes, globe-trotting mission involving an untouchable organization that operates outside the law; four seconds of game-changing tape that can imperil everything; and an assignment that turns into a deadly personal war.

    Independence Day, by Brad Coes
    The fifth book in thriller writer Ben Coes’ Dewey Andreas series, Independence Day finds the disgraced Andreas, still grieving the loss of his fiancée, emerging from his hometown retreat to neutralize a perilous new threat: Russian hacker Cloud, who has both a nuclear weapon and a vendetta against the U.S. Against orders, Andreas goes rogue to join the investigation, and soon discovers a vast political plot set to endanger the western world—and he’s got three days to stop it.

    Second Life, by S.J. Watson
    Recovering alcoholic Julia has fought her way to a happy life: nice house, wealthy husband, adopted son. But the killing of her sister sets off a dangerous obsession with finding her murderer, one that draws her deep into her sister’s life, full of irresistible dark corners that have the power to destroy her.

    X Is For…, by Sue Grafton
    In the 24th installment of Grafton’s perennially bestselling Kinsey Millhone series, named for the trickiest letter in the alphabet, private investigator Millhone goes head to head with a serial killer. This isn’t a whodunit, but rather a nail-biting race against time, as Millhone tries to build a case that will get him locked away…and keep her out of his clutches.

    Shop the Bookstore >
  • Joel Cunningham 3:30 pm on 2014/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: , cover her face p.d. james, diana wynne jones, , , , , louise penny, mean streak, michael ende, percy jackson's greek gods, , , , , , , the never-ending story, ,   

    What to Read Next if You Liked The Long Way Home, Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, Mean Streak, The Secret Place, or The Magician’s Land 

    What to Read 94The Long Way Home, by Louise Penny, is the 10th volume in the best-selling mystery series featuring Armand Gamache, the (now former) head homicide inspector with the Sûreté du Québec. Penny’s mysteries offer up an addictive blend of literary prose and classic mystery tropes. The style will appeal to fans of P.D. James, the Grand Dame of British mystery writers, whose most popular books feature London Chief-Inspector Adam Dalgliesh. The 14-book series begins with the author’s evergreen 1962 debut, Cover Her Face.

    Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, by Rick Riordan, isn’t the next novel in the popular YA adventure series, but more of a reference book that covers all of the major players in the ethereal realm, as narrated by wiseacre Percy. For this kind of thing done to perfection, Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is nigh-indispensable. Written in the form of a tourist guidebook, it smartly (and smart-aleck-ly) unpacks the cliches of the fantasy genre with razor wit. Sample entry: “APOSTROPHES: Few names in the fantasy realm are considered complete unless they are interrupted by an apostrophe somewhere in the middle.”

    Mean Streak, by Sandra Brown, is a breathless romantic thriller about a woman who is kidnapped, only to discover that her captor may have rescued her from the real danger she faces from the ones she trusts most. For another suspense yarn that manages to meld sex and Stockholm Syndrome, pick up Wild Orchids, by Karen Robards, in which a woman is held hostage but later makes the curious decision to leave her family behind and hunt down the man that imprisoned her.

    The forthcoming The Secret Place, by Tana French, continues the Dublin Murder Squad series, the landmark literary mysteries that began with In the Woods. French’s novels are known for their rich characters, ambiguous plotting, and well-crafted prose, all qualities you’ll find in spades in The Little Friend, by Donna Tartt. Sandwiched between a supernova debut like The Secret History and the Pulitzer-winning The Goldfinch, Tartt’s sophomore outing has been unjustly overshadowed as of late, but you should really give it a chance. Its palpable Southern atmosphere and young female protagonist provide a good approximation of what might happen if a murder mystery broke out in the middle of To Kill a Mockingbird.

    The Magician’s Land, by Lev Grossman, concludes a brilliant trilogy about a disenchanted young man who finds out that magic is real, and so is the fantasy world described in his favorite childhood stories—but each is both less and more fantastical (and far darker) than he ever imagined. Though ostensibly written for children, The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, tackles similarly juicy material, probing what value there is to be found in living vicariously through stories. I love the ’80s movie as much as anyone (FIGHT AGAINST THE SADNESS, ARTAX!), but the book is leagues better.

    Have you read The Long Way Home, Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, or Mean Streak?

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