Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.
Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles (NetGalley/Penguin) ~ A sophisticated and entertaining debut novel about an irresistible young woman with an uncommon sense of purpose. Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year- old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future. The story opens on New Year's Eve in a Greenwich Village jazz bar, where Katey and her boardinghouse roommate Eve happen to meet Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a ready smile. This chance encounter and its startling consequences cast Katey off her current course, but end up providing her unexpected access to the rarified offices of Conde Nast and a glittering new social circle. Befriended in turn by a shy, principled multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow who is ahead of her times, Katey has the chance to experience first hand the poise secured by wealth and station, but also the aspirations, envy, disloyalty, and desires that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her orbit, she will learn how individual choices become the means by which life crystallizes loss. Elegant and captivating, Rules of Civility turns a Jamesian eye on how spur of the moment decisions define life for decades to come. A love letter to a great American city at the end of the Depression, readers will quickly fall under its spell of crisp writing, sparkling atmosphere and breathtaking revelations, as Towles evokes the ghosts of Fitzgerald, Capote, and McCarthy. Release date ~ July 21st.
Faith: A Novel by Jennifer Haigh (ARC) ~ It is the spring of 2002 and a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city's archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayal of the souls in their care. In Faith, Jennifer Haigh explores the fallout for one devout family, the McGanns.Estranged for years from her difficult and demanding relatives, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother Art, the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. What she discovers is more complicated than she imagined. Her strict, lace-curtain-Irish mother is living in a state of angry denial. Sheila's younger brother Mike, to her horror, has already convicted his brother in his heart. But most disturbing of all is Art himself, who persistently dodges Sheila's questions and refuses to defend himself. As the scandal forces long-buried secrets to surface, Faith explores the corrosive consequences of one family's history of silence—and the resilience its members ultimately find in forgiveness. Throughout, Haigh demonstrates how the truth can shatter our deepest beliefs—and restore them. A gripping, suspenseful tale of one woman's quest for the truth, Faith is a haunting meditation on loyalty and family, doubt and belief. Elegantly crafted, sharply observed, this is Jennifer Haigh's most ambitious novel to date. Release date ~ May 10th.
Claimed by the Highlander by Julianne MacLean (Review) ~ With his tawny mane, battle-hewn brawn, and ferocious roar, Angus “The Lion” MacDonald is the most fearsome warrior Lady Gwendolen has ever seen—and she is his most glorious conquest. Captured in a surprise attack on her father’s castle, Gwendolen is now forced to share her bed with the man who defeated her clan. But, in spite of Angus’s overpowering charms, she refuses to surrender her innocence without a fight…With her stunning beauty, bold defiance, and brazen smile , Gwendolen is the most infuriating woman Angus has ever known—and the most intoxicating. Forcing her to become his bride will unite their two clans. But conquering Gwendolen’s heart will take all his skills as a lover. Night after night, his touch sets her on fire. Kiss after kiss, his hunger fuels her passion. But, as Gwendolen’s body betrays her growing love for Angus, a secret enemy plots to betray them both…
Get Lucky (The Bounty Hunters) by Lorie O'Clare (Review) ~ O'Clare's second Bounty Hunter novel (after Play Dirty) has a butt-kicking heroine and enough action to satisfy adrenaline junkies while leaving room for romance. After an unstable childhood, gorgeous London Brooke is content with her orderly life working at the Elk Ski Lodge in Aspen, Colo. Then bounty hunter Marc King shows up at her front desk and forces her to question whether her sheltered existence really counts as living. London isn't sure where her relationship with Marc is heading other than the bedroom, but when they both receive cryptic packages, they have to work together to save their families. If readers can accept occasional plot holes (why exactly do the bad guys want an army of bounty hunters?) and crude language (must Marc refer to London as his "woman"?), they'll find plenty of excitement and passion.
Into the Night by Janelle Denison (Review) ~ A former Marine and Las Vegas Vice cop, Nathan Fox has seen it all and then some. Heading up security for The Onyx Casino is tame compared to his past, but it’s not his only job. Working for The Reliance Group is his real passion project. His current case: A missing woman. His mission: To find her. But soon Nathan must deal with a stubborn—and stunning—journalist who’s nosed her way into the investigation…and into Nathan’s fantasies.To reporter Nicole Hutton, exposing a ruthless, twisted criminal who abuses vulnerable teens isn't just a job. In fact, this story has become very personal, especially now that she's gotten tangled up with sexy Nathan Fox. But before she can break the story, and help rescue a missing girl, she and Nathan must brave the labyrinth of Vegas's dark underbelly…where the heat simmering between them is about to burst into flames…
Silent Mercy by Linda Fairstein (Nook) ~ In Fairstein's exciting 13th novel to feature New York ADA Alexandra Cooper (after Hell Gate), a middle of the night call brings Alex and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace to Harlem, where the decapitated body of a young woman has been burning on the steps of the Mount Neboh Baptist Church, originally a synagogue until the neighborhood changed. Initially, the authorities suspect a hate crime until another dead woman turns up at a cathedral in Little Italy a few days later. A religious motive emerges, especially since both victims were considered "outcasts" because of their uncompromising demands about the role of women in organized religion. Meanwhile, Alex is prosecuting a defrocked Catholic priest accused of molesting boys, a high-profile trial that a politically connected bishop wants stopped. Fairstein excels at describing New York's complicated religious history as well as the vagaries of the city's legal and religious politics.
The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum (Review) ~ Blum (Those Who Save Us) visits Tornado Alley in this vivid novel about a set of twins with a dark history. At home in Minnesota, Karena Jorge gets an unexpected call informing her that her twin brother, Charles Hallingdahl, whom she hasn't seen in the 20 years since something went very wrong during a storm chase, has been admitted to a Kansas mental hospital. Charles suffers from rapid cycling bipolar disorder, and all Karena knows is that he refuses medication, he can be a danger to himself and others, and he is still obsessed with storm chasing. When she rushes to the clinic and finds he has already left, Karena joins a professional storm-chasing tour company, hoping to find her brother in the caravan of watchers who follow major storms. In the course of the tour, Karena confronts the past and the way it has shaped her life. The unpredictable and dangerous storms provide a framework for an exploration of the bond between siblings (and its limitations), and Blum renders the stormy backdrop as richly as she does her nuanced characters.
Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax (Review/Tour) ~ Another perfect beach read from the author of The Accidental Bestseller. Madeline, Avery, and Nikki are strangers to each other, but they have one thing in common. They each wake up one morning to discover their life savings have vanished, along with their trusted financial manager- leaving them with nothing but co-ownership of a ramshackle beachfront house. Throwing their lots in together, they take on the challenge of restoring the historic property. But just as they begin to reinvent themselves and discover the power of friendship, secrets threaten to tear down their trust-and destroy their lives a second time. Release date ~ May 3rd
Getting Old Can Kill You: A Mystery by Rita Lakin (ARC) ~ Life isn’t all sunny in Fort Lauderdale’s Lanai Gardens. Returning from a blissful double honeymoon with her sister Evvie, Gladdy Gold announces that she wants her new hubby, Jack, to join her detective agency. But Gladdy’s gals say no dice, and soon Ida, Sophie, and Bella are striking out on their own, enrolling in a class to learn how to be real PIs. But there’s more than enough trouble for two detective agencies when sultry Joyce Steiner moves in, reopening an old rivalry with Arlene Simon, whose husband ran off with Joyce fifty-five years earlier. When Joyce is found murdered, Arlene becomes the prime suspect, and Gladdy and her girls will have to band together if they’re going to prove that the truth is not just elusive but a real killer. Release date ~ June 28th.
Lost and Fondue (CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY) by Avery Aames (Review) ~ The fair town of Providence has settled down to normal after last year's murder. Jonquils are in bloom. The Cheese Shop is thriving. and Charlotte's romance with Jordan is flourishing. But when her friend, Meredith, decides to throw a fund-raiser to create a liberal arts college out of a long-abandoned winery--a winery that is rumored to hold not only buried bodies but buried treasure--Charlotte's joie de vivre deflates like a bad souffle. Charlotte's fears are realized when an art student is found dead in the wine cellar, and Meredith's niece is the main suspect. Release date ~ May 3rd.
Classified as Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) by Miranda James (Review) ~ Aging eccentric James Delacorte asks Charlie the librarian to do an inventory of his rare book collection-but the job goes from tedious to terrifying when James turns up dead. Relying on his cat Diesel to paw around for clues, Charlie has to catch the killer before another victim checks out. Release date ~ May 3rd
Mind Your Own Beeswax (A Queen Bee Mystery) by Hannah Reed (Review) ~ Story Fischer has her hands full with her successful local market, her Queen Bee Honey business, and her new maybe boyfriend, Hunter Wallace,but being abandoned by a hive looking for better digs puts the busy beekeeper in a bad mood. While Story looks for the hive, the rest of Moraine, Wisconsin is searching for a woman with a checkered past whose return has the whole town buzzing. When she finds the dead body in the woods, she's in a sticky situation indeed. Story just can't seem to mind her own beeswax. But this time, she might just get stung... Release date ~ May 3rd.
Flowerbed of State (A White House Gardener Mystery) by Dorothy St. James (Review) ~ Cassandra "Casey" Calhoun's passion for gardening has carried her to President's Park on which sits the White House. But when she finds a dead body in a trash can, Casey has to root out a killer before she ends up planted herself. Release date ~ May 3rd.
Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead (A Victorian Mystery) by Emily Brightwell (Review) ~ Arlette Montrose Banfield angered many marriageable women when she snagged the handsome Lewis Banfield-but were they angry enough to poison her? Mrs. Jeffries doesn't mind getting her hands dirty to uncover the greed behind her murder. Release date ~ May 3rd.
The Measby Murder Enquiry (Ivy Beasley) by Ann Purser (Review) ~ Cantankerous spinster Ivy Beasley has quickly learned that spending her golden years in the quaint village of Barrington won't be as quiet as she thought. Ivy hasn't been in assisted living at Springfields for long, but she's already found new friends, formed a detective agency, and solved a murder. And as autumn falls, Ivy and her team are asked to investigate a mysterious death in the village of Measby-in between card games, of course. Release date ~ May 3rd.