Tag Archives: Wm. Morrow
Here’s a sampling of new and upcoming books that might well wind up on the to-be-read stack.
The Bungalow: A Novel by Sarah Jio (Plume; December 27, 2011)
We loved The Violets of March by Sarah Jio and thought it was one of the best debut novels of 2011. Now Jio returns with a quite different type of story set in Bora Bora during World War II. Wrote reader Laura Bolin on Amazon: “The Bungalow was an old black and white movie straight out of my grandparent’s generation. I was swept away by Jio’s vivid descriptions and I loved every minute of it.”
Tuesday Night Miracles: A Novel by Kris Radish (Bantam Dell; January 3, 2012)
An entertaining story about an almost-retired counselor who tries to help a group of four women – all of whom have serious pending matters with the legal system – manage their anger issues in court-ordered group counseling sessions. The women will have to graduate from the group in order to return to their normal lives. Oh, and they don’t like each other at all – which means that the counselor is going to have to take some drastic (and perhaps even professionally unethical) actions in order to get them to a kinder and gentler place.
Gun Games: A Novel by Faye Kellerman (William Morrow; January 3, 2012)
Faye Kellerman once again showcases Peter Decker of the Los Angeles Police Department and Rina Lazarus, likely the most popular husband and wife team in modern crime fiction. A series of shocking adolescent suicides at an elite L. A. private school is at the heart of this thriller. As if this isn’t enough, there’s also the fact that Decker and Lazarus have brought a very troubled teenager into their home: Gabriel Whitman, the son of a psychopath.
The Confession: A Novel by Charles Todd (Wm. Morrow; January 12, 2012)
An historical crime novel, continuing Charles Todd’s World War I veteran, and yet still highly effective Scotland Yard Inspector, Ian Rutledge. Rutledge struggles with a startling and dangerous case that reaches far back into the past when a false confession by a man who was not who he claimed to be resulted in a brutal murder.
Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir by Doron Weber (Simon & Schuster; February 7, 2012)
Not to be confused with Anne Lamott’s novel Imperfect Birds, this is a moving memoir about a boy born with a defective heart – located on the right side of his chest – who weathers major heart surgeries before being hit with a highly unique, perhaps untreatable disease. Those who years ago read Death Be Not Proud may be drawn to this account.
Spin: A Novel by Catherine McKenzie (Wm. Morrow; February 7, 2012)
Kate’s an ambitious – if self-damaging – reporter who goes undercover. She enters a drug and alcohol rehab clinic to find out what’s happening with the popular and troubled young actress Amber Shepard. “Imagine if Bridget Jones fell into a million little pieces, flew over the cuckoo’s nest, and befriended Lindsay Lohan along the way…”
The Lola Quartet: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel (Unbridled Books; May 15, 2012)
We gave a highly recommended rating to Mandel’s 2010 novel The Singer’s Gun, which was as gutsy as it was unique and engaging. Her third novel examines “questions of identity, the deep pull of family, the difficulties of being the person one wants to be, the un-reliability of memory, and the unforeseen ways a small and innocent action can have disastrous consequences.” It’s bound to be worth the price of admission.
Cat Telling Tales: A Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (William Morrow, $19.99, 384 pages)
Just in time for the holidays, this Joe Grey mystery dishes up a warm serving of human kindness. Of course there’s plenty of evil and mayhem for the team of kitties and their humans to get their teeth into. There are human victims in the mix, old and young, dead and alive. (Please see the prior review of Cat Coming Home on this site for background on the story line. The review, “Dead Man’s Curve”, was posted on November 17, 2010.)
As with prior books in this series, Cat Telling Tales provides an opportunity to champion the victims of crime. Rather than a specific victim, in this tale the focus is on the pets that have been dumped by folks made homeless by the economic meltdown in recent years. Author Murphy provides ample evidence of how pets are abandoned and what can be done to put their lives back together. She champions the townsfolk who take the time and make the effort to gather the resources to give the abandoned pets a fresh start. Readers who love cats, and dogs for that matter, can use the ideas presented for fundraisers in their own communities or join their local organizations that are the counterparts to ones referenced in the book. (Please see the links and contact information below for the organizations supported by this site.)
Not all the victims in this tale were guiltless; however, in the hierarchy of crime murder takes the top spot. The body count adds up to three this time around. Joe Grey, Dulcie and Kit are joined by Misto who was introduced in the aforementioned book as the older yellow tom cat. As is her style, Ms. Murphy enriches her cast with yet another newcomer. Yes, he’s fascinating and he does catch Kit’s attention. Some things don’t change.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Cat Telling Tales was released on November 22, 2011.
Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary – Sacramento, CA
Sacramento SPCA – Sacramento County
http://www.sspca.org/ Telephone: (916) 383-7387
Defensive Wounds: A Novel of Suspense by Lisa Black (William Morrow; $24.99; 352 pages)
“Trying to find a smear of the dark red on the burgundy-patterned carpet made needles and haystacks seem like a bar bet.”
In this fourth time around in Cleveland, Ohio, author Lisa Black presents a convoluted present day mystery that is solved with one part forensics and one part feelings. Author Black does an excellent job of setting up the story line and expanding her cast of characters. While forensic scientist Theresa Mac Clean and her cop cousin Frank are easily recognizable from the prior novel in this series, Trail of Blood, their emotions and personal opinions are considerably more pronounced. Ms. Black uses a plotline that consists of a series of seemingly unconnected murders to thoroughly explore the meaning of family loyalty. Throughout the tale, each of the main characters – Theresa, Frank, and Theresa’s daughter Rachel – must choose which side they are on. For Rachel the choice revolves around her feelings for a young man with whom she works at Cleveland’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. Theresa has to balance her relationship with Rachel and her daughter’s safety with the demands of her job in the medical examiner’s office.
Aggressive defense attorneys are not usually mourned at their passing by local law enforcement officers and forensics specialists. These public servants often face seemingly excessive interrogation on the stand as expert witnesses during trial proceedings in criminal matters. When glamorous defense attorney Marie Corrigan is found trussed up and dead in the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, not a single tear is shed or kind word uttered by the team summoned to the crime scene. Ms. Corrigan’s reputation for winning acquittal verdicts for her questionable clients nearly matched her beauty and enviable figure. “Ding dong the witch is dead,” was the vocal intoned by Leo DeCiccio in the trace evidence lab as the autopsy of Corrigan’s body began.
What better way to create a readily available pool of murder victims than to have them attend a seminar at said hotel that features the development of skills for achieving litigation success? There is none better as far as this reviewer is concerned. As each subsequent victim is discovered, the possibilities for a single murderer seem difficult to grasp, yet the methodology of killing is strikingly similar. The past and present relationships of the murder victims and the investigators are not obvious. Theresa and Frank must devote hours of sleuthing to fit the pieces together for the solution of the crimes.
Ms. Black’s wicked sense of humor provides several amusing sidebars for the reader. Among the seminar lessons are the following: “How to Make Not-Guilty Happen” and “Criminal Defense in a Down Economy.” She gives her characters clever phrases and sets up the opportunities for them, such as,
“Two bodies piled up, and this woman knew both of them. She may be able to connect the dots for us. How much should we worry about people’s feelings? Especially since they’re the same people who are going to say we didn’t solve these murders because we don’t like them?”
The take-away from this mystery novel is that we must all move on in life and it takes a bigger person to do so.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Defensive Wounds was released on September 27, 2010; it is also available as a Kindle Edition and Nook Book download.