Monday, October 11, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. (the past two weeks)
The Night Season (Archie and Gretchen)The Night Season (Archie and Gretchen)  (ARC) ~ Chelsea Cain launches the next stage of her bestselling series as Archie Sheridan works to regain his life and Susan Ward steps in to share the spotlight in this electric thriller from one of today’s most talented suspense writers. With Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Portland detective Archie Sheridan can finally rest. Meanwhile, the city of Portland is in crisis. Several people have drowned in heavy rains that have flooded the Willamette River. But the medical examiner discovers that in fact the latest victim was poisoned before she went into the water—she didn’t drown. A little detective work shows that so far three of those previously thought to be accidental drownings have actually been murdered. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Meanwhile reporter Susan Ward is following up on an entirely separate mystery: the dramatic flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died during catastrophic flooding more than sixty years ago that washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least 15 people. As Archie follows the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch his killer, he has to battle the rising waters of the Willamette first.  Release date: March 1, 2011

The Bone House by Brian Freeman ~ Hilary and Mark Bradley are trapped in a web of suspicion. Last year, accusations of a torrid affair with a student cost Mark his teaching job and made the young couple into outcasts in their remote island town off the Lake Michigan coast. Now another teenage girl is found dead on a deserted beach. . . and once again, Mark faces a hostile town convinced of his guilt. Hilary Bradley is determined to prove that Mark is innocent, but she’s on a lonely, dangerous quest. Even when she discovers that the murdered girl was witness to a horrific crime years earlier, the police are certain she’s throwing up a smoke screen to protect her husband. Only a quirky detective named Cab Bolton seems willing to believe Hilary’s story. Hilary and Cab soon find that people in this community are willing to kill to keep their secrets hidden—and to make sure Mark doesn’t get away with murder. And with each shocking revelation, even Hilary begins to wonder whether her husband is truly innocent. Freeman’s first stand-alone thriller since his Stride novels is a knockout. Release date: March 29, 2011
The Double Cross: A Someday Quilts Mystery The Double Cross: A Someday Quilts Mystery by Clare O'Donohue (for review, guestpost & giveaway) ~ A knotty new Nell Fitzgerald mystery in the series that's beguiling cozy fans and quilters alike. Nell Fitzgerald and the Someday Quilts ladies are asked to lead a quilting workshop at a new bed and breakfast in upstate New York. However, the retreat quickly takes an unexpected dark turn. When a body is found in the woods, and one of their own is the chief suspect, the ladies must rely on their craftiest thinking as they embark on their most personal case yet. With smart, sassy Nell leading the charge to clear her friend's name and find the real murderer, The Double Cross is sure to confirm Clare O'Donohue as a master of the mystery genre. 
Bending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter MemoirBending Toward the Sun: A Mother and Daughter Memoir  by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie (review, giveaway, guest post) ~ A miraculous lesson in courage and recovery, Bending Toward the Sun tells the story of a unique family bond forged in the wake of brutal terror. Weaving together the voices of three generations of women, Leslie Gilbert-Lurie and her mother, Rita Lurie, provide powerful—and inspiring—evidence of the resilience of the human spirit, relevant to every culture in every corner of the world. By turns unimaginably devastating and incredibly uplifting, this firsthand account of survival and psychological healing offers a strong, poignant message of hope in our own uncertain times.
BeatBeat by Stephen Schwartz (for review) ~ Writers of detective fiction, perhaps to counterbalance their protagonists’ superhuman talents, frequently afflict them with an addiction, usually alcohol, or in the case of Sherlock Holmes, cocaine. Schwartz’s Heyden Glass, LAPD homicide detective, likewise shows an all-too-human weakness, but he is a sex addict. In Beat, the department puts him on administrative leave in order to get straight, but he falls for a cyber sex worker named Cora. She is based in far-off San Francisco, and soon Glass is making weekly trips north; then Cora goes missing. Glass sets out to find her and learns she is a pawn in a deadly game of corruption. Her Russian crime lords want to keep her in tow because she gives them a hold on a crooked police administrator. The cops try to wave Glass off by showing him emails in which she ridicules him roundly. Sick at heart and ready to give up, Glass learns Cora is only 15, and he is back in the fray. Beat is an old-fashioned nail-biter that the not-too-squeamish aficionado of the hard-boiled genre will enjoy
The Legacy: A NovelThe Legacy: A Novel  by Kristen Tranter ~ This hypnotic debut from Australian author Tranter pays homage to Henry James's A Portrait of a Lady while offering a suspenseful story line worthy of Patricia Highsmith. Gorgeous, wealthy Australian Ingrid Holburne takes a break from her college studies to attend the Venice Biennale, where she meets much older art dealer Gil Grey, who manages the career of his artist daughter, Fleur, 13 and a child prodigy. After a whirlwind courtship, Ingrid marries Gil, to the dismay of Ingrid's close half-cousin, Ralph, and their mutual friend, Julia Alpers. When Ingrid apparently perishes in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, Ralph, still grieving almost a year after September 11, asks Julia to go to New York to learn more about what happened. What Julia uncovers is a rat's nest of clues that slowly and seductively drive the action to a shocking conclusion. While Tranter's sedate pacing avoids typical thriller antics and conventional crime plot twists, she raises some wickedly keen questions about art world wheeling and dealing. 
The Tenth SongThe Tenth Song  by Naomi Ragen (for review) ~ Abigail Samuels has arrived. Her husband has a successful accounting firm, and her daughter, Kayla, a Harvard law student, is engaged to a fellow student. They are pillars of the Orthodox Jewish community in a Boston suburb until their world suddenly falls apart. When a story saying that her husband is funding terrorists appears on the Internet, Abigail’s friends vanish. Her daughter runs off to a desert commune in Israel to study with a charismatic Kabbalist, and Abigail rushes to rescue her. While in Israel, both women start to question their previous life paths and begin journeys of self-discovery. Ragen’s novel mixes current events, Jewish values, a little romance, and a touch of feminism. It will appeal to those interested in contemporary Jewish issues and to fans of women’s fiction.
Mini Shopaholic: A NovelMini Shopaholic: A Novel  by Sophie Kinsella (Costco) ~ In the latest installment to the wildly popular Shopaholic series (Shopaholic and Baby; etc.), Rebecca Brandon returns with willful two-year-old Minnie, who has taken after her mother in her fierce determination and her addiction to luxury brands. When the financial crisis finally hits the Brandon family, Rebecca vows to stop shopping until she's worn everything in her closet at least three times; Luke scrambles for new business directions; and Minnie remains exceptionally difficult. Still, Rebecca wants to throw Luke a surprise birthday bash, but planning it behind his back and on a budget proves almost impossible. As in all previous Shopaholic books, Rebecca is loud and proud about her luxury-brand obsession and equally at ease being a flighty, sometimes annoying lead, though her well-meaning secret birthday mission scores her much-needed points in the sympathy department. Series fans know what to expect and will get it by the Birkin-load. 
And Then There Was OneAnd Then There Was One  by Patricia Gussin (for review) ~ One is the loneliest number.Nine years ago, Katie and Scott Monroe were blessed beyond their wildest dreams with identical triplets, Sammie, Alex, and Jackie. Three beautiful daughters and two adoring parents formed the picture-perfect party of five. But this tight-knit family unravels when the three little girls go to see a movie, but only one emerges from the darkness of the theatre. How could Sammie and Alex vanish without a trace?
Plunged into the abyss of a parent's worst fear, Katie and Scott hang by a thread-waiting, worrying, not knowing, and confronting the terrifying realization that the kidnapping may not have been a random act. Who took Sammie and Alex? Why? Where are they? When will they be found? And what if they're never found, or not found alive? When Jackie, the remaining triplet, crumbles under the weight of grief and survivor's guilt, Katie and Scott struggle to hold out hope and hold on to what remains of their family.
Until-or unless-Sammie and Alex are found safe, this picture-perfect family can't be put back together again.

The False FriendThe False Friend  by Myla Goldberg (for review) ~ Celia Durst decides, after 20 years, to come clean. At the age of 10, she was responsible for the disappearance of her unpredictable best friend, Djuna. Traipsing with their girlhood clique through an unfamiliar forest, only Celia saw Djuna fall into a hole in the ground, but hot-headed from the fight the two were having, she decided to tell everyone that Djuna was picked up by a stranger. Now thirtysomething and successful, Celia leaves Chicago to replant herself in her childhood home and confess to her family and the other girls involved. It turns into an agonizing process, however, when no one believes Celia’s “new” story—especially not the other three girls, who all claim to have seen the car Djuna got into. Newly obsessed with knowing what she was like as a child, Celia spends the bulk of the novel imploring her 10-year-old self to manifest at her side, but she first must realize what the younger Celia lost that day in the forest. Readers are kept guessing until the final pages and, as in Bee Season (2000), Goldberg uses beautiful, emotionally descriptive language to keep us with one ear to the ground, listening for the slow, quiet footsteps of creeping tragedy.

The Pajama Girls of Lambert SquarePajama Girls Of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi (Costco) ~ Southern hospitality and sweetly loose-lipped neighbors ooze from the pages of the sparkling latest from Lippi (Homestead). John Dodge is a traveling man, rescuing small businesses around the country to flip for a profit. When he finds himself in Lamb's Corner, S.C., to take over a stationery store, he is greeted by some kooky Swedes building an automotive plant and an observant young girl who is determined to uncover his past, among others. Dodge, as he calls himself, befriends Julia Darrow, the owner of a fine linens store who is always in her pajamas. Julia is secretive and mysterious, but Dodge cannot ignore his attraction to her. He doesn't plan to stay in Lamb's Corner very long, and it becomes apparent that Julia can't leave. Lippi's characters are heartfelt and pricelessly named (one 10-year-old boy is called Bean Hurt). While the novel moves slowly, it's never shy of drama: Lippi makes a great story out of how a hardcore wanderer and an agoraphobic come together.

Good Enough to EatGood Enough to Eat  by Stacey Ballis ~ The last thing Melanie expected to lose when she went on a diet was her husband. Former lawyer Melanie Hoffman lost half her body weight and opened a gourmet take-out cafĂ© specializing in healthy and delicious food. Then her husband left her-for a woman twice her size. Immediately afterwards, she's blindsided by a financial crisis. Melanie reaches out to a quirky roommate with a ton of baggage and becomes involved in a budding romance with a local documentary filmmaker. In this warm and often laugh-out-loud novel, Melanie discovers that she still has a lot to learn about her friends, her relationships with men, and herself-and that her weight loss was just the beginning of an amazing journey that will transform her life from the inside out.

What I Thought I Knew: A MemoirWhat I Thought I Knew: A Memoir  by Alice Eve Cohen (for review) ~ At age forty-four, Alice Eve Cohen was happy for the first time in years. After a difficult divorce, she was engaged to an inspiring man, joyfully raising her adopted daughter, and her career was blossoming. Alice tells her fiancĂ© that she's never been happier. And then the stomach pains begin. In her unflinchingly honest and ruefully witty voice, Alice nimbly carries us through her metamorphosis from a woman who has come to terms with infertility to one who struggles to love a heartbeat found in her womb - six months into a high-risk pregnancy. What I Thought I Knew is a page-turner filled with vivid characters, humor, and many surprises and twists of fate. With the suspense of a thriller and the intimacy of a diary, Cohen describes her unexpected journey through doubt, a broken medical system, and the hotly contested terrain of motherhood and family in today's society. Timely and compelling, What I Thought I Knew will capture readers of memoirs such as Eat, Pray, Love; The Glass Castle; and A Three Dog Life.

The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole NoirThe Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir  by Ken Harmon (for review) ~ Harmon’s debut is a combination of heartwarming holiday story and tough guy noir, an interesting mix that creates an enjoyable story. For over 1300 years Gumdrop Coal has served as an elite and highly dedicated elf for The Fat Man (aka Santa Claus) and is the well known creator of the Naught List; the list of children who will be getting coal in their stockings. After Gumdrop loses his job in what he comes to realizes is a frame-up he goes on a noir style revenge mission that encompasses all the neighborhoods of the North Pole, from the Misfits Island to the depths of dark Potterville. Littered with references to popular culture from both the noir and holiday traditions, with characters like Rosebud the journalist, Citizen Candy Cane and the not very bright misfit Sherlock Stetson. Harmon’s novel is a clever tale, but the ending swings too far into heartwarming land, making it much more of a holiday than a noir story and limiting its appeal to a larger audience.

 Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford (for review) ~ Nine months after Rachel Goldman's divorce, she gives birth to a cooking project as well as a blog that helps her find her voice that was missing during her married years. Life from Scratch is about not only learning how to grab your own happiness, but also, how to fry your own egg.

The Reversal The Reversal by Michael Connelly (Kindle) ~ Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them is Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years.With the odds and the evidence against them, Bosch and Haller must nail a sadistic killer once and for all. If Bosch is sure of anything, it is that Jason Jessup plans to kill again.