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The Cat, the Lady and the Liar: A Cats in Trouble Mystery by Leann Sweeney (ARC) ~ Cat quilter Jillian Hart finds a gorgeous stray cat belonging to the fabulously wealthy Ritaestelle Longworth, who believes she's being drugged. Before Jillian can get to those charges, a body turns up in the lake-and her cat Chablis finds Ritaestelle nearby. Can Jillian's cats aid her in solving a mystery with decades old roots? Release date ~ April 5th.
The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok (Review) ~ This moving, compassionately candid memoir by artist and children™s book author Bartok describes a life dominated by her gifted but schizophrenic mother. Bartók and her sister, Rachel, both of whom grew up in Cleveland, are abandoned by their novelist father and go to live with their mother at their maternal grandparents™ home. By 1990, a confrontation in which her mother cuts her with broken glass leads Bartók (née Myra Herr) to change her identity and flee the woman she calls œthe cry of madness in the dark. Eventually, the estrangement leaves her mother homeless, wandering with her belongings in a knapsack, writing letters to her daughter™s post office box. Reunited 17 years later, Bartók is suffering memory loss from an accident; her mother is 80 years old and dying from stomach cancer. Only through memories do they each find solace for their collective journey. Using a mnemonic technique from the Renaissance—a memory palace—Bartók imagines, chapter by chapter, a mansion whose rooms secure the treasured moments of her reconstructed past. With a key found stashed in her mother™s knapsack, she unlocks a rental storage room filled with paintings, diaries, and photos. Bartók turns these strangely parallel narratives and overlapping wonders into a haunting, almost patchwork, narrative that lyrically chronicles a complex mother-daughter relationship.
The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted: A Novel by Bridget Asher (ARC, TLC tour) ~ Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since before World War II. There, Charlotte confesses a shocking secret, and Heidi learns the truth about her mother’s “lost summer” when Heidi was a child. As three generations collide with one another, with the neighbor who seems to know all of their family skeletons, and with an enigmatic Frenchman, Heidi, Charlotte, and Abbot journey through love, loss, and healing amid the vineyards, warm winds and delicious food of Provence. Can the magic of the house heal Heidi’s heart, too? Release date ~ March 29th.
Though Not Dead: A Kate Shugak Novel by Dana Stabenow (Review) ~ The demise of 89-year-old Samuel "Old Sam" Dementieff, Kate Shugak's friend, relative, and mentor, triggers a deadly treasure hunt in Edgar-winner Stabenow's brilliant 18th novel to feature the feisty Alaska detective (after 2010's A Night Too Dark). Through flashbacks, Stabenow covers key events in Sam's life and Alaska's history, from the devastating flu epidemic of 1918 to the state's newest and biggest gold mine, the Suulutaq. Sam's service during WWII in the real-life army unit known as Castner's Cutthroats, his meeting Dashiell Hammett in the Aleutians, and his surprising romances--all are foundation and prelude to the search for a missing Russian icon, a manuscript possibly penned by Hammett, and a monstrous gold nugget. Kate is at her butt-kicking best as she and Mutt, her inseparable half-wolf, half-husky companion, deal with murder, theft, and deception from Anchorage to the wilderness of Canyon Hot Springs, where Old Sam staked his homestead.
False Dawn by Paul Levine (Kindle/gift) ~ Paul Levine, master craftsman of the courtroom mystery and bestselling author of To Speak for the Dead and Night Vision, pits his tough Miami trial lawyer Jake Lassiter against a seamy case of high-priced art thefts and low-rent murder. Jake could pick 'em all right. This time his client and sometime acquaintance Francisco Crespo not only confessed to the charge of murdering a fellow worker with a forklift, he supplied a preposterously detailed story as to how he did it. Crespo is lying, of course, and against his better judgment Jake Lassiter sets out to prove his sleazy client innocent. Crespo's boss is paying Lassiter's tab - but that's exactly where the trail leads, right into the lap of the incredibly rich Japanese art collector Matsuo Yagamata. With the help of velvet-eyed, high-tech P.I. Lourdes Soto, her fiercely anticommunist father, and retired coroner Charlie Riggs, Jake zeroes in on a theft ring of international proportions involving the CIA, a Japanese crimelord, Fidel Castro, and the new Russian Commonwealth. Through twisted revelations and bizarre deaths, ex-football jock turned trial lawyer Jake Lassiter follows a bloody trail from Miami to Havana - and back home again for an explosive finish. Once again, author of To Speak for the Dead and Night Vision Paul Levine redefines the thriller genre with False Dawn, a jolt of adrenaline sure to keep you turning pages until first light.
Fool Me Twice: A Jake Lassiter Mystery by Paul Levine (Kindle/Gift) ~ Trouble begins for Jake when he is awarded custody of his juvenile delinquent nephew Kip. On the first night the teen is in Jak's house, an ex-client's partner is found murdered iun jake's bedroom, and Jake finds himself the prime suspect. Faced with disbarment and prison, Jake heads to Colorado where the evidence leads him to an abandoned silver mine.
Mortal Sin by Paul Levine (Kindle/Gift) ~ A dazzling new mystery series set in sizzling Miami featuring a former football player turned lawyer/investigator. When Jake Lassiter uncovers a ruthless scheme to destroy the Everglades, he soon finds himself face to face with trouble, mayhem and alligators. The Jake Lassiter character has been optioned for development as an NBC-TV Mystery Movie.
Night Vision by Paul Levine (Kindle/Gift) ~ Ex-pro football player and maverick lawyer Jake Lassiter stalks a psychopathic killer who's terrorizing Miami in the latest offering from the bestselling, critically-acclaimed author of To Speak for the Dead.
Injustice For All (Joe Dillard) by Scott Pratt (Kindle/Gift) ~ Prosecutor Joe Dillard watched in shock as friend and fellow lawyer Ray Miller was pushed to the brink of suicide in the court of Judge Leonard Green. So when Joe arrives at a crime scene to see Green swinging from a tree, it is duty rather than remorse that drives him to catch the killer. But soon the investigation takes Joe away from the halls of justice into his own home. And he's not sure he can face the answer he'll find...
In Good Faith (Joe Dillard) by Scott Pratt (Kindle/Gift) ~ A family is slaughtered in rural Tennessee. Two goth teens stand accused of the murders, and now it's up to prosecutor Joe Dillard to convict them. A former defense attorney who spent way too much time defending people he knew were guilty, Joe is determined to win this case to atone for his past. But a young woman named Natasha, who apparently inspired the slayings, is walking around free because the boys are afraid to implicate her. Now, Joe must risk everything- including the safety of his family and his own good faith-to bring a guilty woman to justice.
Mourn The Living by Henry Perez (Kindle/Gift) ~ Wherever You Live-From city to city, one man walks the streets, carefully choosing his victims. Mercilessly, he cuts their throats. And with each kill, he leaves his chilling trademark, honed to razor-sharp perfection over decades of practice- He'll Find You-But now, reporter Alex Chapa is tracking the story, following the lead of a murdered colleague-and getting dangerously close to the most elusive serial killer in decades...And Kill You-When the next victim surfaces bearing the unmistakable calling card, Alex realizes no one is safe from this psychopath's murderous rage. For the killer has set his sights on Alex and those he loves-and only their blood will satisfy him...
Love is Murder: A Novella of Suspense by Allison Brennan (Nook) ~ I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU . . . DEAD. After a tough breakup with her boyfriend, Lucy Kincaid needs a different kind of break. So she heads west to join her brother, an ex-cop, for a long weekend of skiing in the mountains. At a picturesque lodge tucked high in the Sierra Nevada, Lucy finds just what she’s looking for: a peaceful retreat undisturbed by Internet, television, and cell phone distractions. She also finds an unexpected group of newlyweds seeking their own idyllic getaway. But finding one of her fellow guests dead wasn’t in the brochure. And neither was the overnight snowstorm that leaves the lodge cut off from the outside world. When Lucy’s brother suspects the honeymooner’s death was foul play, he’s mysteriously stricken ill. Now, to keep him and herself alive, it’s up to aspiring FBI agent Lucy Kincaid to figure out which of the lovebirds trapped in the lodge is really a bird of prey.
Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman (ARC) ~
The closing of their favorite romantic rendezvous, the Fauborg Hotel in Beverly Hills, is a sad occasion for longtime patrons Alex Delaware and Robin Castagna. And gathering one last time with their fellow faithful habitués for cocktails in the gracious old venue makes for a bittersweet evening. But even more poignant is a striking young woman - alone and enigmatic among the revelers - waiting in vain in elegant attire and dark glasses that do nothing to conceal her melancholy. Alex can't help wondering what her story is, and whether she's connected to the silent, black-suited bodyguard lingering outside the hotel. Two days later, Alex has even more to contemplate when police detective Milo Sturgis comes seeking his psychologist comrade's insights about a grisly homicide. To Alex's shock, the brutalized victim is the same beautiful woman whose lonely hours sipping champagne at the Fauborg may have been her last. But with a mutilated body and no DNA match, she remains as mysterious in death as she seemed in life. And even when a tipster's sordid revelation finally cracks the case open, the dark secrets that spill out could make Alex and Milo's best efforts to close this horrific crime not just impossible but fatal. Release date ~ March 29th.
Dance Lessons: A Novel by Aine Greaney (Netgalley) ~ A year after her husband's death in a sailing accident off Martha's Vineyard, Ellen Boisvert bumps into an old friend. In this chance encounter, she discovers that her immigrant husband of almost fifteen years was not an orphan after all. Instead, his aged mother Jo is alive and residing on the family's isolated farm in the west of Ireland. Faced with news of her mother-in-law incarnate, the thirty-nine-year-old American prep school teacher decides to travel to Ireland to investigate the truth about her husband Fintan and why he kept his family's existence a secret for so many years. Between Jo's hilltop farm and the lakeside village of Gowna, Ellen begins to uncover the mysteries of her Irish husband's past and the cruelties and isolation of his rural childhood. Ellen also stumbles upon Fintan's long-ago romance with a local village woman, with whom he had a daughter, Cat. Cat is now fourteen and living with her mother in London. As Ellen reconciles her troubled relationship with Fintan, she discovers a way to heal the wounds of the past. Deeply rooted in the Irish landscape and sensibility, Dance Lessons is a powerful story of loss, regret, and transformation. Release date ~ March 30th.
Sweetheart in High Heels (High Heels Mysteries) (Short story) by Gemma Halliday (Nook) ~ Being the wife of a cop isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Especially when dead bodies keep ruining your romantic dinner plans. But fashion designer turned amateur sleuth Maddie Springer is determined that her husband’s latest case, dubbed the “Sex Shop Murder”, will not keep him from celebrating their first anniversary together, which just happens to fall on the most romantic of all holidays, Valentine’s Day. She’s ready to do whatever it takes to make this night special and distraction-free - even if it means solving his case herself!
Say Her Name: A Novel by Franciso Goldman (Netgalley) ~ In 2005, celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura’s death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die, too. Instead, he wrote Say Her Name, a novel chronicling his great love and unspeakable loss, tracking the stages of grief when pure love gives way to bottomless pain.Suddenly a widower, Goldman collects everything he can about his wife, hungry to keep Aura alive with every memory. From her childhood and university days in Mexico City with her fiercely devoted mother to her studies at Columbia University, through their newlywed years in New York City and travels to Mexico and Europe—and always through the prism of her gifted writings—Goldman seeks her essence and grieves her loss. Humor leavens the pain as he lives through the madness of grief and creates a living portrait of a love as joyous as it is deep and profound. Say Her Name is a love story, a bold inquiry into destiny and accountability, and a tribute to Aura, who she was and who she would've been.
Devil's Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries) by Joanne Fluke (ARC) ~ These days, everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, is buzzing with activity, and Hannah Swensen is no exception. But no matter how busy she may be, Hannah can always find time to help a friend in need - especially when there's a murder to investigate. A new minister is in town to cover for Reverend Bob Knudson, who's honeymooning with Hannah's good friend Claire. But when the replacement is found face down in a plate of devil's food cake with a bullet in his head, Hannah starts asking questions. She soon discovers that the good Reverend wasn't quite the saintly fellow he appeared to be. It will take some more digging to find the culprit, but Hannah is sure of one thing: even the most half-baked murder plot can be oh so deadly...Release date ~ March 1st