Winter 2007/2008 Newsletter

117 Cherry St, Seattle, WA  98104 / 206-587-5737

Bill Farley, Founder - JB Dickey, Owner - Tammy Domike, Manager 

Fran Fuller - Janine Wilson - Gretchen Brevoort

Crime – Mystery – Cops - Whodunnit – Courtroom Thriller – Suspense – Espionage

True Crime – Biography –Reference

New – Used – Collectables – Signed – Softcover – Hardcover

Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm / Sun 12pm – 5pm


New from the Northwest

Maureen Ash, Death of a Squire (Jan., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 2nd from this British Columbia author, set at the end of the 12th C. Templar Bascot de Marins is told to find the truth behind the hanging murder of a squire before an important meeting of Royals at Lincoln Castle.

Lowen Clausen, River (Jan., Silo Press tpo, 14.95). Lowen Clausen has written an exquisitely heart-breaking novel, with a soul as big as the eponymous River. After the death of his son, a father takes the river voyage he has always dreamed of. Starting out from his family farm on the headwaters in the Sandhills of Nebraska, his inner voyage takes him to new acceptance of the son he never said goodbye to in life, while he faces the solitude and challenges of the river itself. The land plays as large a part of the story as do the people on the river. This elegiac story will resonate with everyone who takes its journey for a long time. Signing. Tammy highly recommends.

Mary Daheim, The Alpine Traitor (Feb., Ballantine hc, 23.95). Incredibly, Alpine’s paper, The Advocate, is the target of a hostile takeover. If that isn’t bad enough, the person behind the action is found dead and Emma Lord becomes the prime suspect. Signing. In paper, The Alpine Scandal (Feb., Ballantine, 6.99).

Earl Emerson, Primal Threat (Feb., Ballantine hc, 24.95). A relaxing trip into the mountains on a cycling vacation degenerates into a battle for survival. Zak’s former girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend has followed the cyclers and is out to cause trouble. When one of his buddies dies in a fall, it all turns deadly. Signing. In paper, Firetrap (Dec., Ballantine, 7.99). Tammy recommends.

Robert Ferrigno, Sins of the Assassin (Feb., Scribner hc, 24.95). Rakkim Epps is sent on a mission vital to the health of the Islamic Republic; word is that the Bible Belt is on the trail of a super weapon hidden years before by the extinct US government. Rakkim’s mission is to find it first, if it does exist. Signing. Tammy recommends.

G.M. Ford, Nameless Night (Feb., Morrow hc, 23.95). For the last seven years, the man known as Paul Hardy has been living in a home for disabled adults and has rarely communicated or reacted to anyone. After being injured in an accident, he regains some ability to speak as well as some memories – enough to know his name isn’t Paul Hardy. Off he heads to seek answers, unaware that others follow him, and the answers lie at the center of a famous conspiracy. Signing.

Yasmine Galenorn, Darkling (Jan., Berkley pbo, 7.99). 3rd of the D’Artigo sisters, told from Menolly’s point of view. As the otherworld conflict builds, Menolly is forced to confront the vampires who made here, to revisit the horror of her turning.  Signing.

J.A. Jance, Hand of Evil (Dec., Touchstone hc, 25.95). In her 3rd appearance, Ali Reynolds gets involved when a shady developer is dragged to his death on a remote mountain road. Signing.

Jayne Ann Krentz, Sizzle and Burn (Jan., Putnam hc, 24.95). Raine Tallentyre heads to Washington State to clean out the house of her recently deceased aunt. Unknown to her, the Arcane Society has dispatched an agent to enlist her help – and she falls for Zack Jones immediately. Signing. In paper, White Lies (Feb., Jove, 9.99).

Gary McKinney, Slipknot (Nov., Kearney Street tpo, 14.95). Set in Southwestern Washington State, the recently elected sheriff, a confirmed Deadhead, must meld his philosophies to the job. His first big case is the death of a noted ecologist. A variety of interests want his environmental impact statement about a swath of old-growth forest. Third novel but first mystery by this writer and musician. Signed Copies Available.

Sharan Newman, The Shanghai Tunnel (Feb., Forge hc, 24.95). A young widow and son return to Portland in 1868 wealthier than either could imagine but far from comfortable. Neither have ever been to the dead man’s hometown and, while money will help their adjustment, others will work against her. She is one of the few people to know of her late husband’s schemes and his partners are set on carrying them out. Signing?

Kevin O’Brien, One Last Scream (Jan., Pinnacle pbo, 6.99). A beautiful and brainy woman is not what she seems; she suffers blackouts, which seem to coincide with a series of murders. She begins to believe that she is somehow involved – is she the killer or someone’s pawn? Signing.

Linda L. Richards, Death Was the Other Woman (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). During the depression in LA, there are only two ways to make a living: committing crime or fighting it. Kitty Pangborn becomes the secretary to a PI, deciding to fight the creeps. What she will find is that it is often difficult to know which are which. Signing?

Candace Robb, A Vigil of Spies (Jan., Arrow hc, price to be determined). The Archbishop of York lies dying at his palace of Bishopthorpe. Owen Archer’s efforts to ensure him a peaceful death go astray after the Archbishop agrees to a visit by the Princess of Wales. Her party was beset by trouble en route and Archer fears that one of his own men may have been compromised. Signed Copies Available.

Wendy Roberts, The Remains of the Dead (Dec., Obsidian pbo, 6.99). Debut from a Surrey, BC writer. Sadie Novak is a crime scene cleaner who is also a medium who can see the victim’s ghosts. In this first case, the crime scene – and the ghost – don’t fit the crime’s solution. Signing.

Ann Rule, Smoke, Mirrors, and Murder: Crime File Vol. 12, (Dec., Pocket pbo, 7.99). Signing.

Dana Stabenow, Prepared for Rage (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). Three members of the US government – an astronaut, a FBI agent and a Coast Guard captain work together to thwart the plans of a terrorist who is aiming his hatred of all things American at a shuttle launch. Not only is the craft taking a newsworthy payload into space, also on board will be a wealthy ‘passenger’ and a successful attack would be devastating. Signing? In paper, A Deeper Sleep (Jan., St. Martin’s, 6.99). Kate.

Frank Zafiro, Heroes Often Fail (Nov., Aisling Press, hc 24.95, tp 13.95), his second set in Eastern Washington’s River City. A daylight kidnapping of a young girl from her residential street has the city on edge and the cops working every lead to find her – fast. Signed Copies Available.


Now in Paperback

Cherry Adair, White Heat (Feb., Ballantine, 6.99)

William Dietrich, Napoleon’s Pyramids (Jan., Harper, 7.99).

Robert Dugoni, Damage Control (Feb., Grand Central, 7.99). Fran & Tammy recommends.

Jonathan Raban, Surveillance (Feb., Vintage, 13.95). Tammy recommends.


Coming This Spring

William Dietrich, The Rosetta Key, April

Elizabeth George, Careless in Red, May

Sue Henry & Jessie Arnold, April

Lisa Jackson, Lost Souls, April

Mike Lawson, House Rules (DeMarco and Emma) Spring (month not yet set)

Steve Martini, Shadow of Power, April


Books that have their dates underlined are already in stock.


New from the Rest

Alina Adams, Skate Crime (Dec., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 5th in the Figure Skating series.

Madelyn Alt, Hex Marks the Spot (Dec., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 3rd in the Bewitching series. Maggie looks into the death of a woodworker when she finds out a strange hex symbol was near his body.

Nancy Atherton, Aunt Dimity, Vampire Hunter (Feb., Viking hc, 22.95). 13th in the series. With her twins in school, Lori thinks life will quiet down. Reports from school stop that: a pale figure with blood-red lips has been seen in the woods nearby. In paper, Aunt Dimity Goes West (Feb., Penguin, 7.99).

Sandi Ault, Wild Inferno (Feb., Berkley hc, 23.95). Bureau of Land Management agent Jamaica Wild is sent to the Southern Ute reservation where a wildfire has been raging. A severely burned man whispers a strange request with his last breath, a phrase that points to worse trouble. Signed Copies Available. In paper, Wild Indigo (Feb., Berkley, 6.99).

William Bernhardt, Capitol Conspiracy (Jan., Ballantine hc, 25.95). Sen. Ben Kincaid attends an event where a sniper opens fire and a bomb tears through the crowd. The First Lady is killed and the country moves quickly to tighten security. Ben thinks it is moving too fast. In paper, Capitol Threat (Dec., Ballantine, 7.99), the 15th in the series.

Russell Banks, The Reserve (Feb., Harper, 24.95). In the unstable 1930s, an adopted heiress becomes destabilized herself after the death of her father. Anyone who comes near is drawn into her spiral of troubles.

Jefferson Bass, The Devil’s Bones (Feb., Morrow hc, 24.95). Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton uses his expertise with two sets of charred bones – one found in a neglected crematorium and one in an incinerated car.  In paper, Flesh and Bone (Jan., Harper, 7.99). Fran recommends.

M.C. Beaton, Death of a Gentle Lady (Feb., Grand Central hc, 23.99). 24th with Constable Hamish MacBeth. In paper, Death of a Maid (Jan., Grand Central, 6.99).

Elizabeth Becka, Unknown Means (Feb., Hyperion hc, 22.95). Cleveland forensic specialist Evelyn James is called to a murder scene that has all the earmarks of a locked-room mystery. A wealthy woman is found dead in her penthouse in a building with the latest security systems and no sign that anyone entered the building or her apartment. Signed Copies Available. In paper, Trace Evidence (Jan., Grand Central, 7.99). Fran recommends.

Alex Berenson, The Ghost War (Feb., Putnam hc, 24.95). Sequel to his Edgar-winning debut (The Faithful Spy, Jan., 9.99). CIA agent John Wells barely survived his time inside al-Queda and, at least physically, is nearly healed. But the intelligence community is picking up heightened Taliban activity in Afganistan and Wells is dispatched to investigate. What he finds once there is not what anyone expected. Signed Copies Available.

Steve Berry, The Venetian Betrayal (Nov., Ballantine hc, 25.95). Bookdealer Cotton Malone is dragged into the search for answers about Alexander the Great’s death: what caused the fever that killed him and, more importantly, where is he buried? In paper, The Alexandria Link (Feb., Ballantine, 7.99).

Miranda Bliss, Dead Men Don’t get the Munchies (Dec., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 3rd in the Cooking Class series.

Charles Bock, Beautiful Children (Jan., Random House hc, 24.95). Debut novel. In Las Vegas, a 12 year old boy heads out to meet a friend and never returns. The book follows his parents during the next year, as they search for answers and the raft of odd characters their search turns up, providing a crystalline portrait of the city and the people who call it home.

Jay Bonansinga, Shattered (Dec., Pinnacle pbo, 6.99). FBI profiler Ulysses Grove is hunting a serial killer who is using the Mississippi River as a dumping site, making the trail difficult to trace.

James O. Born, Burn Zone (Feb., Putnam hc, 25.95). In New Orleans for a routine bust that he hopes will aid in his advancement, ATF agent Alex Duarte is stunned by the magnitude of the crime he wades into. In paper, Field of Fire (Feb., Berkley, 7.99).

C.J. Box, Blue Heaven (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). In Northern Idaho, two young children hide from a group of men who they witnesses commit murder. In a world filled with strangers – who all seem to be retired cops from LA – the 12 year-old girl and her younger brother do not know who to trust. And that’s smart because the bad guys look just like the good guys. Something different from Joe Pickett’s creator. Signing?

Geraldine Brooks, People of the Book (Jan., Viking hc, 25.95). Australian rare-book expert Hanna Heath is given the chance of a lifetime: analyze and conserve the earliest known illustrated Jewish text, the Sarahevo Haggadah, saved from destruction during the Bosnian War. As she looks at it, it begins to reveal its history and its secrets. Both are dangerous. The author, a retired reporter, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2006.

Rita Mae Brown, The Purrfect Murder (Feb., Bantam hc, 25.00). 16th Mrs. Murphy. In paper, Puss ‘N Boots (Feb., Bantam, 7.50).

Edward Bunker, Stark (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). Ex-con, actor (Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs) and crime writer Ed Bunker died in 2002. This is his first book, not published during his lifetime, an unremitting story of drifter, hop-head and petty criminal Ernie Stark who is on the look-out in Southern California in 1962 for the easy score.

Tom Cain, The Accident Man (Feb., Viking hc, 24.95). Samuel Carver is a assassin specialist – he will guarantee that the victim will appear to have died in an accident. His latest client wants someone driving through a traffic tunnel in Paris to die ‘in an accident’. When this successfully happens, his client wants him to retire… against his will.  Signed Copies Available.

Stephen J. Cannell, Three Shirt Deal (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). 7th with Det. Sean Scully.

Sammi Carter, Peppermint Twisted (Dec., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 3rd in the Candy Shop series.

Jackie Chance, Hold ‘em Hostage (Feb., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 3rd in the poker series.

Susan Choi, A Person of Interest (Feb., Viking hc, 24.95). A bombing at a college campus kills a beloved computer professor and puts suspicion on another, an Asian-American math professor named Lee. The authorities suspect is the ‘Brain Bomber’ who has been targeting academicians for years. Lee suspects this latest attack has been engineered by someone from his past as revenge and, as a result, his behavior only increases the suspicion about him.

Blaize Clement, Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). 3rd with Floridian pet-sitter Dixie Hemingway.

Nancy J. Cohen, Killer Knots (Dec., Kensington hc, 22.00). 9th in the Bad Hair Day series.

Barbara Colley, Wash and Die (Feb., Kensington hc, 22.00).7th with Charlotte LaRue. In paper, Scrub-a-Dub-Dead (Dec., Kensington, 6.99).

Kate Collins, A Rose from the Dead (Dec., Obsidian pbo, 6.99). 6th in the Flower Shop series.

Beverly Connor, Dead Heat (Feb., Obsidian pbo, 7.99). 5th with forensic investigator Diane Fallon.

Philip R. Craig and William G. Tapply, Third Strike (Dec., Scribner hc, 24.00). 3rd joint effort with their series characters Brady Coyne and JW Jackson set on Martha’s Vineyard.

Isis Crawford, A Catered Valentine’s Day (Jan., Kensington pbo, 6.99). 4th with catering and sleuthing sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons.

Bill Crider, Of All Sad Words (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). 15th with Sheriff Dan Rhodes.

Tim Dorsey, Atomic Lobster (Feb., Morrow hc, 24.95, Signed Copies 25.95). Deserving a little R & R to go with his mayhem, Serge Storm takes a cruise. Where else but aboard the SS Serendipity can you find blue-haired drug mules, tourist trinkets filled with coke, a killer named Tex and a crew of feds aiming to take down Serge’s pal Coleman? In paper, Hurricane Punch (Jan., Harper, 7.99).

Carol Nelson Douglas, Dancing with Werewolves (Nov., Juno pbo, 6.99). 13 years since the millennium and the world is still accepting the idea that the supernatural is real. Vegas reporter Delilah Street is in the thick of it in a town controlled by the werewolf mob.

Loren D. Estleman, Gas City (Jan., Forge hc, 24.95, Signed Copies 25.95). Three powerful forces collide in a major blue-collar city that is powered by greed, corruption and ambitious power. A reporter has the scent of a major story while the police chief has had enough of the crime and the local mob boss is not about to give up power. Something is gonna give.

Janet Evanovich, Plum Lucky (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 17.95). 2nd between the numbers Plum. In paper, Plum Lovin(Jan., St. Martin’s, 6.99).

Jimmie Ruth Evans, Bring Your Own Poison (Jan., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 4th in the Trailer Park series with waitress Wanda Nell Culpepper. The author is AKA Dean James.

Monica Ferris, Knitting Bones (Dec., Berkley hc, 23.95). 11th in the knitting series. The embezzlement of money raised for charity by the Embroiderers Guild cannot be accepted.

Brian Freeman, Stalked (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). In his 3rd book, Lt. Jonathan Stride is unnerved. His partner Maggie Bei reports a brutal and bloody crime in the middle of a long, winter night and he is convinced she hasn’t told all she knows about the crime to the investigating officers or to him. Signing. Fran recommends.

David Fulmer, The Blue Door (Jan., Harcourt hc, 25.00). At the time when Philadelphia rocked to its own sound, a boxer helps an older man during a mugging. Invited into the man’s detective business, he finds he is good at it. In the early days, he picks up on the cold case of a missing soul singer and is drawn into a dark and decadent world. In paper, The Dying Crapshooter’s Blues (Jan., Harcourt, 14.00).  Favorite author of Janine and JB.

Lee Goldberg, Mr. Monk in Outer Space (Dec., Obsidian hc, 19.95). The publisher’s catalog gives no plot info. In paper, Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants (Jan., Obsidian, 6.99).

Eli Gottlieb, Now You See Him (Feb., Morrow hc, 23.95). The murder/suicide involving a celebrated young writer causes unsuspected secrets to tear an upstate New York town apart.

Margaret Grace, Murder in Miniature (Feb., Berkley pbo, 6.99). First in a series set in the world of dollhouses and miniatures.

Sue Grafton, T is for Trespass (Dec., Putnam hc, 26.95). Set in the 80s, the story switches from the point of view of Kinsey to a sociopath who goes by the name Solana Rojas. Signed Copies Available.

Sarah Graves, The Book of Old Houses (Jan., Bantam hc, 22.00). 11th in the Home Repair is Homicide series involves the death of an antiquarian book expert. In paper, Trap Door (Dec., Bantam, 6.99).

Martha Grimes, Dakota (Feb., Viking hc, 25.95). In a sequel to Biting the Moon, amnesiac Andi Oliver takes a job on a large North Dakota farm, unaware that men are looking for her and mean to do her harm. In paper, Dust (Dec., Signet, 9.99). Jury.

James Grippando, Last Call (Jan., Harper hc, 24.95). Miami attorney Jack Swyteck tries to help a friend who grew up on the streets and wants to stay away from them. But an ex-con claims to know who killed this friend’s mother years ago. In paper,When Darkness Falls (Dec., Harper, 7.99). Swyteck.

John Grisham, The Appeal (Feb., Doubleday hc, 27.95).

James W. Hall, Hell’s Bay (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). The drowning of an aristocratic and wealthy matriarch ignites a spiral of death and crime, a spiral that engulfs Thorn, and surrounds him with people who claim him as one of their own. Who are these people, why do they believe Thorn is related to them, and why is a killer after them all – including Thorn? Signed Copies Available. In paper, Magic City (Feb., St. Martin’s, 6.99).

Rosemary Harris, Pushing Up Daisies (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). Debut botanical mystery by a certified master gardener and arboretum docent.

Ellen Hart, Mortal Groove (Dec., St. Martin’s hc, 25.95) Jane Lawless’ father is asked to run for governor and old secrets will emerge. In paper, Night Vision (Dec., Griffin, 14.95).

Joe L. Hensley, Snowbird’s Blood (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). An elderly couple is in trouble: Martha was on her way to Florida to find a place for her to retire and Cannert to die when she seems to have simply vanished; Cannert, meanwhile, is out of the hospital and looking for her.

Craig Holden, Matala (Jan., Simon & Schuster hc, 22.00). In Italy, a con that two guys try to run on a American woman turns into something unexpected and complicated as a love triangle developes en route to a smuggling scheme. We’re told that it is ‘The Maltese Falcon” by way of The Story of O.” Favorite author of JB’s.

Tom Holland, KIA (Jan., Simon & Schuster hc, 25.00). Dr. Kel McKelvey is trying to verify that the remains just repatriated by the Viet Namese are those of Master Sergeant Jimmy Lee Tenkiller, a Native American soldier who went missing in the chaos of Saigon during the summer of 1970. Strangely, the case begins to show ties to a contemporary series of killings on military bases in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Nairne Holtz, The Skin Beneath (Feb., Insomniac Press tpo, 16.95). Debut novel from a Canadian writer. A woman receives an anonymous postcard stating that her sister’s suicide five years ago in the Chelsea Hotel in NYC was instead murder and tied to a political story that she was investigating.

Charlie Huston, Half the Blood in Brooklyn (Jan., Del Ray tpo, 13.95). As tensions build between the Vampyre Clans, PI Joe Pitt is sent across the East River to probe the death of a blood dealer. 3rd in this series. Favorite author of Janine’s.

Julie Hyzy, The State of the Onion (Jan., Berkley pbo, 7.99). 1st with assistant White House Chef Olivia Paras. Includes recipes for a complete presidential menu.

Roberta Isleib, Preaching to the Corpse (Dec., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 2nd in the Advice Column series.

R.T. Jordan, Final Curtain (Feb., Kensington hc, 22.00). 2nd comic/cozy with TV veteran Polly Pepper. Signing.

Chip Kidd, The Learners (Feb., Scribner hc, 25.00). A first mystery by novelist and noted graphic designer (trust us, you know his work – he did the recent Ellroy reissues amongst others). In 1961, a young college graduate lands his dream job just out of school. The ad agency that hires him is crammed with odd people and odd jobs. Besides holding onto their potato chip account and the new buckle shoe account, the young man is given the job of designing a newspaper ad for a Yale psychology department project. Before he knows it, he is drawn into a kaleidoscope of giant dogs, dispair, chips and shoes, powdered milk, electro-shock and, of course, murder.

Rita Lakin, Getting Old is To Die For (Jan., Dell pbo, 6.99). 4th with Florida’s oldest private eye Gladdy Gold.

John Lescroart, Betrayal (Jan., Dutton hc, 26.95). Dismas Hardy accepts the caseload of another lawyer who disappeared. What at first seems to be some easy work may end up explaining why the attorney vanished. In paper, The Suspect (Jan., Signet, 9.99).

Rett MacPherson, The Blood Ballad (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). 10th with genealogist Torie O’Shea.

Peg Marberg, Decorated to Death (Feb., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 2nd in this interior decorating series.

Lee Martinez, The Automatic Detective (Feb., Tor tpo, 14.95). Mack Megaton is just your average robot trying to get along with his fellow men. He’s got no plans for World Domination. When one of his neighbors is kidnapped, Mack decides to prove his value by bringing him home.

Susan McBride, Too Pretty to Die (Feb., Avon pbo, 6.99). 5th in the sassy ex-debutante series.

Michael McGarrity, Death Song (Jan., Dutton hc, 24.95). With Chief Kerney set to retire at the end of the month, a double homicide kicks up dust. A Lincoln County deputy sheriff was ambushed and another deputy’s wife was murdered. Kerney unites with his son, Apache Sgt. Clayton Itsee, to work the cases.

Leslie Meier, St. Patrick’s Day Murder (Jan., Kensington hc, 22.00). 13th in the holiday series with Maine housewife and mother Lucy Stone. In paper, Bake Sale Murder (Dec., Kensington, 6.99).

Kaye Morgan, Murder By Numbers (Jan., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 2nd with puzzle master Liza Kelly.

Kate Morgenroth, They Did It With Love (Jan., Plume tpo, 14.00). A family leaves Manhattan for the tranquil life in the Connecticut suburbs only to find the trouble, secrets and crimes are still there, just hidden under the sheen of contentment. The first thing she encounters is the murder of a member of her neighborhood book group – and things go downhill from there. 

Walter Mosley, Diablerie (Jan., Bloomsbury hc, 23.95). A successful man feels hollow in spite of his good fortune. Years before, as an alcoholic, he’d had blackouts and he’s been worried that events from that time would catch up with him. They’re about to. In paper, Killing Johnny Fry (Jan., Bloomsbury, 14.95).

Tamar Myers, As the World Churns (Feb., Obsidian hc, 21.95). 16th Pennsylvania Dutch mystery. Murder at the Hernia Holstein Competition! In paper, Hell Hath No Curry (Jan., Obsidian, 6.99).

Rick Nelson, Bound by Blood (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). Debut. New Orleans homicide cop Jack Brenner’s hopes of repairing his marriage are derailed by two cases from his past: a man who once beat him in a high school track meet is gunned down at a pay phone, and a convicted murderer claims to have information about Jack’s cousin’s unsolved murder back in ’72.

Michael Palmer, The First Patient (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 25.95). Cutting edge medicine with cutting edge politics.

Sara Paretsky, Bleeding Kansas (Jan., Putnam hc, 25.95). The uneasy quiet that has existed in the Kaw River valley since the Civil War years is threatened when a young woman rents an empty farmhouse. She’s a Wiccan and her pagan rites destabilize the area. Sara grew up in this area around Lawrence, a town that has had periods of great violence, both in the days of Quantrill and in the anti-war 1970s, when this story is set. Signed Copies Available. Gretchen recommends.

Robert B. Parker, Stranger in Paradise (Feb., Putnam hc, 25.95). Paradise is in trouble when Apache hit man Crow walks into Jesse Stone’s office and asks for help. Signed Copies Available?

T. Jefferson Parker, L.A. Outlaws (Feb., Dutton hc, 25.95). The LA area is caught up in the growing media circus around a modern-day Robin Hood, the glamorous ‘Allison Murietta’ who stages outrageous heists and then gives away the loot. Rookie Deputy Charlie Hood happens to be on the scene when her latest caper goes wrong and very bloody.  Signed Copies Available. In paper, Storm Runners (Feb., Harper, 7.99). Janine HIGHLY recommends.

James Patterson, 7th Heaven (Feb., Little Brown hc, 27.99). Latest in the Women’s Murder Club.

Cathy Pickens, Hush My Mouth (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95).  4th Southern Fried mystery. In paper, Hog Wild (Jan., St. Martin’s, 6.99).

Robert J. Randisi, Luck Be a Lady, Don’t Die (Dec., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). 2nd Rat Pack mystery, as the gang comes back to Vegas for the premiere of Ocean’s 11.

Cornelia Read, The Crazy School (Jan., Grand Central hc, 23.99). Maddie Dare (first seen in Field of Darkness, Grand Central, 12.99) has escaped Syracuse by taking a position at an academy for disturbed children. Quickly, she begins to see that the head of the school is as disturbed as the students – and the other teachers follow his lead. Isolated from the outside world, she finds her only allies are some of the rebellious students. Signing?

J.D. Robb, Strangers in Death (Feb., Putnam hc, 25.95), a new novel, AND, in paper, Three in Death (Feb., Berkley pbo, 7.99), a collection of three new short Eve Dallas stories: “Interlude in Death”, “Midnight in Death” and “Haunted in Death”.

Marcus Sakey, At the City’s Edge (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). Home from Iraq, Jason Palmer finds Chicago in an uproar from corruption, racial strife, gang warfare and arson. More personal, his brother is murdered and Jason seems to be the only person who can protect his 8 year-old nephew from the killers who are part of the insanity. Janine and Gretchen recommend this author. In paper, The Blade Itself (Dec., St. Martin’s, 6.99). Signing.

Theresa Schwegel, Person of Interest (Dec., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). An undercover Chicago cop’s wife is tired of her life – he is distracted with his ‘other’ life, their daughter is out of control with a troublesome boyfriend and money is missing from their joint account. Suddenly it all crashes, as the boyfriend is implicated in the cop’s case. A cop novel from the point of view of the wife, from the Edgar Winning author. Signed Copies Available. In paper, Probable Cause (Nov., St. Martin’s, 6.99).

Michelle Scott, Tacked to Death (Feb., Berkley pbo, 6.99). 3rd in the Horse Lovers series.

Lisa Scottoline, Lady Killer (Feb., Harper hc, 25.95). Mary DiNunzio is a big money-maker for her law firm and is used to having things go her way. When Trish Gambone walks into her office, everything spins out of sync: Trish was the head ‘bad girl’ in Mary’s high school and her current boyfriend has become abusive. The problem is he’s a top Philadelphia drug dealer and Mary had a major crush on him in high school. It is a tiny world after all and it gets ugly when Trish vanishes. Signed Copies Available. In paper, Daddy’s Girl (Feb., Harper, 7.99).

April Smith, Judas Horse (Feb., Knopf hc, 23.95). LA FBI Special Agent Ana Grey goes undercover to get inside a radical domestic terrorist group. Once in, she’s alarmed to find that the leader is a former FBI agent who went ‘off the reservation’ in the 70s and is far more dangerous than anyone suspected.

Susan Arnout Smith, The Timer Game (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). Debut thriller. Years before, Grace suspended her medical training to work in a Guatemala clinic. What happened to her there is something she still will not discuss. But it forced her to hit bottom. Now, five years later and a single mom, she’s a crime scene technician and she’s antagonized the wrong lunatic: he’s kidnapped her daughter and is sending her on a psychotic scavenger hunt to find the girl and to bring Grace to him.

Alexandra Sokoloff, The Price (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). An ambitious politician’s world is derailed when a tumor is found in his daughter’s stomach. The medical center where she is being treated is odd, at the very least. Some patients are doing miraculously well while others are not, the counselors are strange and then his wife’s appearance begins to change. His daughter improves but the cost is looking steep.

Patricia Sprinkle, What are You Wearing to Die? (Feb., Obsidian pbo, 6.99). 8th in this Southern series with magistrate MacLaren Yarbrough.

James Swain, Midnight Rambler (Dec., Ballantine hc, 24.95). Years ago, Jack Carpenter was a Florida cop who let a case get to him. He beat the crap out of a murder suspect and lost his job and wife. He kept working cases dealing with missing teens as a private cop. The guy who cost him his job is about to get out of jail and Jack is determined to find the evidence to put him back inside forever. The only problem is that the evidence points to a much larger, and more nauseating conspiracy. Something different from Swain’s gambling novels.

Leann Sweeney, Pushing Up Bluebonnets (Jan., Obsidian pbo, 6.99). 5th with Texas adoption PI Abby Rose.  

Pari Noskin Taichert, The Socorro Blast (Jan., Univ. of New Mexico Press hc, 24.95). New Mexico PR pro Sasha Solomon is in town to visit her sister and niece. Her niece is studying explosives at the local tech school. When Sasha’s sister is injured by an exploding mailbox, Sasha sets out to decide if her niece set the device or is being set up.

Steven M. Thomas, Criminal Paradise (Feb., Ballantine hc, 24.95). A relatively honest burglar, Rivers takes down small coastal businesses that are apt to have lots of cash. In one safe, he finds a photo that will take him down a dark path. A darkly comic debut.

Louise Ure, The Fault Tree (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). 8 years ago, Arizona mechanic Cadence Moran was blinded in a car accident. Heading home from work one day, she’s nearly run-down by a car. The driver has just killed Moran’s neighbor and now believes Cadence saw the car and can help the police. Signing. Janine recommends and you can bet Fran will too just as soon as she reads it.

Melinda Wells, Killer Mousse (Feb., Berkley pbo, 7.99). 1st in a new culinary series, set at a cooking school in Santa Monica.

Valerie Wilson Wesley, Of Blood and Sorrow (Jan., One World hc, 23.95). In her 8th book, PI Tamara Hayle’s stable present is disrupted by folks from her past.

Stuart Woods, Beverly Hills Dead (Jan., Putnam hc, 25.95). A thriller set in LA during the paranoia of the 1950s.


Now in Paperback

Megan Abbott, The Song is You (Feb., Simon & Schuster, 14.00). Janine recommends.

Alex Barclay, Darkhouse (Feb., Dell, 6.99).

Chris Bohjalian, The Double Bind (Feb., Vintage, 14.95).

Lillian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers (Jan., Jove, 7.99).

Jim Butcher, White Night (Feb., Roc, 7.99).

Jill Churchill, The Accidental Florist (Dec., Harper, 7.99). Jane Jeffrey.

Carol Higgins Clark, Laced (Feb., Pocket, 7.99).

Michael Connelly, The Overlook (Jan., Vision, 6.99). Staff recommend.

Robert Crais, The Watchman (Jan., Pocket, 10.99). Janine recommends.

Deborah Crombie, Water Like a Stone (Jan., Avon, 7.99).

Richard Flanagan, The Unknown Terrorist (Feb., Grove, 14.00). Janine recommends.

Joanne Fluke, Key Lime Pie Murder (Feb., Kensington, 6.99).

Alan Folsom, The Machiavelli Covenant (Jan., St. Martin’s, 9.99). Gretchen recommends.

Patry Francis, The Liar’s Diary (Feb., Plume, 14.00).

Andrew Gross, The Blue Zone (Feb., Harper, 7.99).

Lyn Hamilton, The Chinese Alchemist (Jan., Berkley, 7.99).

Reginald Hill, Death Comes for the Fat Man (Feb., Harper, 7.99).

Tony Hillerman, The Shape Shifter (Jan., Harper, 9.99).

Chuck Hogan, The Killing Moon (Jan., Scribner, 14.00). JB recommends.

Stuart Kaminsky, Always Say Goodbye (Dec., Forge, 13.95). Janine recommends.

Christine Kling, Wrecker’s Key (Dec., Ballantine, 6.99).

Craig Johnson, Kindness Goes Unpunished (Feb., Penguin, 14.00).

William Landay, The Strangler (Jan., Bantam, 7.50). Bill recommends.

Robert Littell, Vicious Circle (Dec., Penguin, 14.00).

Lisa Lutz, The Spellman Files (Feb., Simon & Schuster, 14.00). Janine and Fran highly recommend.

Adrian McKinty, The Bloomsday Dead (Dec., Pocket, 7.99).

Brian McGrory, Strangled (Feb., Pocket, 7.99).

Chris Mooney, The Missing (Feb., Pocket, 7.99). Janine recommends.

Louise Penny, A Fatal Grace (Feb., St. Martin’s, 6.99).

S.J. Rozan, In This Rain (Jan., Delta, 12.00). Bill recommends.

Jonathan Santlofer, Anatomy of Fear (Feb, Harper, 7.99).

Gerald Seymour, Rat Run (Feb., Overlook, 14.95).

Peter Spiegelman, Red Cat (Feb., Vintage, 12.95). JB recommends this series.

Boris Starling, Visibility (Feb., Onyx, 7.99).

Robert Tanenbaum, Malice (Jan., Pocket, 9.99).


Coming this Spring

Dorothy Cannell & Ellie Haskell, April

Carolyn Hart & Annie Darling, April

Joshilyn Jackson, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Mar. Tammy & Fran recommend.

Laura Lippman & Tess Monaghan, Mar.

Lisa Lutz, Curse of the Spellmans, Mar. Fran & Janine HIGHLY recommend.

Louise Penny, The Cruelist Month, Mar.

Richard Stark, Dirty Money, April

Randy Wayne White & Doc Ford, Mar.

Don Winslow, The Dawn Patrol, May



Boris Akunin, Special Assignments (Feb., Random House tpo, 13.95). Includes two novellas of the ‘further adventures of Erast Fandorin”.

Suzan Arruda, The Serpent’s Daughter (Jan., Obsidian hc, 23.00). More adventure in 1920s Africa. In her 3rd book, Jade del Cameron travels to Tangier to join her mother on holiday. Once there she becomes ensnared in kidnapping and murder. For fans of Maisie Dobbs and Daisy Dalrymple. In paper, Stalking Ivory (Jan., Penguin, 14.00).

Gyles Brandreth, Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance (Jan., Touchstone tpo, 14.00). In the first of what is promised to be a ‘fiendishly clever’ series, Oscar Wilde asks his friend Arthur Conan Doyle for help when an artist’s model is murdered.

P.C. Doherty, The Prisoner of Ptah (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). 6th set in Ancient Egypt.

Thomas Eidson, Souls of Angels (Dec., Random House hc, 25.95). In 1882’s Los Angeles, Ria Lugo has returned from ten years as a nun in India to her difficult family. Her mother’s dying wish was for Ria to help care for her father and keep him from trouble. That will be difficult as he’s been accused of killing a prostitute. Ria must grapple with whether he has been framed or if he has, as she fears, lost him mind.

Ariana Franklin, The Serpent’s Tale (Jan., Putnam hc, 25.95). In her 2nd story, mistress of death Adelia Aguilar is once again summoned by King Henry II to investigate the murder of one of his mistresses. He fears it may be a move against his throne. In paper, Mistress of the Art of Death (Feb., Berkley, 14.00). Janine recommends this author.

Margaret Frazer, The Apostate’s Tale (Jan., Berkley hc, 24.95). 17th in the Dame Frevisse medieval mysery series.  In paper, The Traitor’s Tale (Jan., Berkley, 7.99).

Lawrence Goldstone, The Anatomy of Deception (Feb., Delacorte hc, 24.95). At the beginnings of forensic medicine, a young Philadelphia doctor becomes involved in the search for the killer of a beautiful young woman. He thinks he knows who she is and who killed her, but can it be proved? Rich and atmospheric fiction that include historical figures William Osler, William Stewart Halsted, and Thomas Eakins.

Steve Hockensmith, The Black Dover (Feb., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). Those detectifyin’ brothers, Big Red and Old Red, head to San Francisco to become real detectives. Once there, they find a whole passle of trouble. In paper, On the Wrong Track (Jan., St. Martin’s, 12.95). Tammy recommends this series.

Laurie R. King, Touchstone (Jan., Bantam hc, 24.00). Bennett Grey is called on to help as Britain heads toward national strikes. A decade before, he came home from The Great War with the a heightened ability to sense truth from lies, deceit from decency, by touch. It is a blessing and a curse and a talent that will be put to use.  Signing. Fran recommends.

Andrew Martin, The Lost Luggage Porter (Jan., Harcourt tpo, 14.00). In the winter of 1906, Jim Stringer has been promoted to be the official railway detective in York. He’s tipped to the existence of a gang of thieves operating against the train system. 3rd in the series.

Eliot Pattison, Bone Rattler (Jan., Counterpoint hc, 26.00). A series of ghastly murders aboard a British convict ship bound for North America leads Duncan McCallum into the role of detective. The only man on the ship with any medical knowledge, he’s given the task of collecting evidence. First in a new series by the author of the Edgar Winning Nepalese series. See Also From Overseas.

Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Sanctuary (Jan., Mira tpo, 13.95). Home from 6 months in Italy, Lady Julia finds her family’s estate full of family, friends and villainy. One of the guests is found in the family chapel, horribly murdered, and one of her relatives confesses. In paper, Silent is the Grave (Dec., Mira, 6.99), her debut.

John Maddox Roberts, SPQR XI: Under Vesuvius (Dec., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). Decius investigates when a priest’s daughter is murdered and the mob cries for the blood of the young suspect.

P.B. Ryan, A Bucket of Ashes (Dec., Berkley pbo, 7.99). 6th in this Gilded Age series. Nell is told that her only remaining brother is dead and that he had been wanted for murder.

C.J. Sansom, Winter in Madrid (Jan., Viking hc, 25.95). After the Civil War ends, in 1940 Spain, a young Brit, traumatized by Dunkirk, is sent by the Secret Service to send back intelligence as Generalissimo Franco starts his reign. Allegiances and moralities will be tested.

Diane A.S. Stuckart, The Queen’s Gambit (Jan., Berkley hc, 23.95). As court engineer to the Duke of Milan. Leonardo is in charge of a human-sized chess game. When one of the pieces is murdered – the Duke’s ambassador to France – Leonardo is asked to investigate. He’s the only outsider at court and the only man the Duke can trust. Debut mystery.

Frank Tallis, Vienna Blood (Jan., Mortalis tpo, 13.95). During the punishing Viennese winter of 1902, a string of murders unsettles Det. Oscar Rheinhardt. They remind him too much of the Ripper cases decades before. He once again consults psychologist Dr. Max Liebermann. 2nd with this pair.

Charles Todd, A Pale Horse (Jan., Morrow hc, 23.95, Signed Copies 24.95). Scotland Yard’s Insp. Rutledge is sent to Yorkshire after an odd murder is uncovered. Five young boys reported seeing the Devil in the ruins of an Abbey. The next morning, a body of a man is found there, dressed in a hooded cloak and wearing a gas mask. The Home Office is into the case too, adding a political edge to a case that no one but Rutledge seems interested in solving. In paper, A False Mirror (Jan., Harper, 6.99).

Dan Vyleta, Pavel & I (Feb., Bloomsbury hc, 24.95). During  Berlin’s frigid winter of ’46-47, the competing political forces clash when a Russian spy is found dead, frozen in a vacant apartment. The city’s recovery from the war is dormant during the cold but the new Cold War is beginning to ignite.

Jenny White, The Abyssinian Proof (Feb., Norton hc, 23.95). During the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul magistrate Kamil Pasha has been given the job of stopping the theft and smuggling of antiques. A fabled reliquary has surfaced after a 400-year absence and a cult has grown around it. Religious tensions are high anyway, but the theft of this piece could ignite these problems. Pasha has been alerted that a master thief is at work. Signed Copies Available?

Jacqueline Winspear, An Incomplete Revenge (Feb., Holt hc, 24.00). While England is dealing with a flat economy, Maisie Dobbs is pleased to have a job; she’s asked to probe some Kent properties for investment. As she investigates the small town she begins to see that it has its secrets and its citizens are, quite simply, bloody odd. Signing.


In paper

Tasha Alexander, A Poisoned Season (Jan., Harper, 13.95).

Karen Harper, The Hooded Hawke (Dec., St. Martin’s, 6.99).

Clare Langley-Hawthorne, Consequences of Sin (Feb., Penguin, 14.00).

Giulio Leoni, The Mosaic Crimes (Feb., Harcourt, 14.00).


Coming This Spring

Stephanie Barron, A Flaw in the Blood, Mar.

Edward Marston, Soldier of Fortune, Mar.

Anne Perry, Buckingham Palace Gardens, Mar.

Laura Jo Rowland, The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë, Mar.


From Overseas

A.C. Baantjer, Dekok and the Somber Nude (Jan., Speck tpo, 14.00) The 2nd of this long-running series (32 and counting!) from 1992. Dekok is faced with a grisly murder, a petit woman, disarticulated.

Leighton Gage, Blood of the Wicked (Jan., Soho hc, 24.00). Brazilian State Chief Insp. Mario Silva is dispatched to the interior of the country after a bishop is assassinated while in a remote town to consecrate a church. Politics, religion and crime mix as the top levels of government – in the capital and in the Vatican – are watching, the peasants are clashing with the massive and wealthy landowners, and Silva must navigate the corruption of the local authorities to stop the bloodshed.

Anne Holt, What Never Happens (Feb., Grand Central hc, 24.99). Oslo’s celebrities are being murdered in macabre ways. Police commissioner Adam Stubo and his wife Johanna Vik – a former profiler for the FBI – have just had their first child. Peace and rest isn’t possible as pressure builds on Stubo to stop the killing and Vik begins to see ominous patterns. In paper, What Is Mine (Jan., Grand Central, 12.99).

Adrian Hyland, Moonlight Downs (Feb., Soho hc, 24.00). Australian Emily Tempest, half aboriginal and half white, has left the land in which she was reared, traveled abroad and came home educated. But within hours of her return, there is a brutal murder within the community. Everyone is sure who did it, but Emily resolves to look deeper as she’s not bound by the racial blinders common to both sides of the community. Debut novel that won the 2007 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime novel, under the original title, Diamond Done.

Kenzo Kitakata, City of Refuge (Feb., Verticle tpo, 14.95). Makiko is on the run from the cops and the mob after killing two gangsters to protect the woman he loves.

Sergi Kostin, Paris Weekend (Jan., Enigma tpo, 15.00). A KGB mole, undercover in Manhattan, travels to Paris for a job and, while there, sees a man he’s wanted – needed – to kill for years. No ordinary man, the agent knows him to be an international terrorist for hire.

Diane Wei Liang, The Eye of Jade (Feb., Simon & Schuster hc, 24.00). A true rarity, a female private eye in Beijing. As she looks for a missing and valuable artifact, our heroine (the catalog provides no name for the character) begins to discover recent secrets from her nation’s past as well as some within her own family. Signing?

Claire McNab, The Platypus Plot (Dec., Alyson tpo, 13.95) 5th with Aussie Kylie Kendall.

Christopher G. Moore, The Risk of Infidelity Index (Jan., Grove hc, 22.00).Over the course of two decades in Bangkok, Moore has written 9 books about disbarred US lawyer Vincent Calvino who works the Thai capitol as a private eye. This, the 9th, is the first to be published in the US. Calvino is hired by three ex-pat wives to trail their husbands for evidence of infidelity. He dislikes this kind of work but his last client died without paying him, so…

Jo Nesbo, The Redbreast (Dec., Harper hc, 24.95). First release in the US of a mystery by a winner of the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic crime novel. An alcoholic cop, his career off the road, gets involved in a case that has ties to the death of a WWII war hero.

Eliot Pattison, Prayer of the Dragon (Dec., Soho hc, 24.00). 5th in this Edgar Award winning series. Former Insp. Shan is called to a remote village to help a man accused of two brutal murders. Upon arrival, he is stunned to find that the accused is a Navajo who, with his niece, has traveled to Tibet to seek ties between the two peoples. Before Shan can defuse the situation, more murders occur.

Arturo Perez-Reverte, The Painter of Battles (Jan., Random House hc, 24.95). A famed war photographer has found seclusion on the Spanish coast, but not peace. His experiences haunt him and he spends his days trying to excise them by painting. One day a man appears and announces his intention to kill him.

Matt Beynon Rees, A Grave in Gaza (Feb., Soho hc, 24.00). In his 2nd novel, Omar Yussef must deal not only with warring political factions to try to save the lives of two men, but also the corrupt street gangs that align themselves with each.

Kitty Sewell, Ice Trap (Feb., Touchstone hc, 24.95). A British surgeon has a well-ordered and peaceful life but that is about to change. 15 years before he spent time in the Canadian Arctic and now learns that he has teenagers fathered during that period. The news knocks his world askew and he travels back to that region to find answers. Swedish author, married to a Canadian who lives part of the year in Spain.

Qiu Xiaolong, Red Mandarin Dress (Dec., St. Martin’s hc, 24.95). Chief Inspector Chen Cao is called back from vacation. A second woman is found dead, dressed in a red mandarin dress and officials fear they have a sexual serial killer on their hands.

     In paper

Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games (Jan., Harper, 16.95).

Natsuo Kirino, Grotesque (Feb., Vintage, 14.00).

Asa Larsson, The Blood Split (Jan., Delta, 12.00).

Magladen Nabb, Death of a Dutchman (Dec., Soho, 12.00). Reissue of the 2nd with Florentine Marshal Guarnaccia, first published in 1982.


From Great Britain

Ray Banks, Saturday’s Child (Jan., Harcourt hc, 25.00). Just out of prison, Innes tries to distance himself from past associates, including the local crime boss. Not easy and the boss wants a favor – find a casino dealer who vanished with the dough. Innes is squeezed between the boss, the boss’s nutso son and a Manchester cop who aims to put him back inside.

Michael Bond, Monsieur Pamplemousse and the French Solution (Jan., Allison & Busby hc, 25.95). 15th with the demanding and ingenious food critic and his dependable companion, Pommes Frites. In paper, Monsieur Pamplemousse and the Militant Midwives (Jan., Allison & Busby, 9.95).

Clare Curzon, The Edge (Dec., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). 20th with Superintendent Mike Yeadings who is called to a ghastly scene; a woman’s body is found badly beaten in a stable. Quickly, more bodies are found, in a similar state, in the property’s house. The only missing family member is the son. Is he responsible or did he escape?

Judith Cutler, The Chinese Takeout (Jan., Allison & Busby, 9.95). 2nd with Josie Welford, a street-wise and wealthy widow of a big-time crook. A young Chinese man stumbles into her church, requesting sanctuary.

Carol Anne Davis, Sob Story (Jan., Snowbooks tpo, 14.95). Her friends are worried about Amy’s prison pen-pal. She believes he’s a nice guy, completely reformed and due to stay inside for years yet. She’s wrong on all those fronts.

John Harvey, Gone to Ground (Feb., Harcourt hc, 25.00). Detectives Grayson and Walker investigate the murder of a gay academic. At first, the brutal crime is thought to be centered in the man’s private life. The case veers, though, as they find he was writing a book on the murder of a 50s film star.

Jack Higgins, The Killing Ground (Jan., Putnam hc, 25.95). A British intelligence operative agrees to help a man rescue his daughter from an arranged marriage to a dangerous terrorist. Besides getting the woman back, he hopes to even the score against the killer.

Joyce Holm, Missing Link (Jan., Allison & Busby, 9.95). 9th with solicitors Fizz and Buchanan. And, back in print, Foreign Body (Jan., Bywater Books, 13.95). 2nd in the Scottish series with Fizz and Buchanan, originally published in 1997.

Denise Mina, Slip of the Knife (Feb., Little Brown hc, 24.99). Glasgow reporter Paddy Meehan is shocked when a former boyfriend is murdered. He was also a journalist and she’s further astonished when his will reveals that she’s to get his house and a number of cases full of notes. In paper, The Dead Hour (Feb., Little Brown, 13.99), the second Meehan.

Peter Robinson, Friend of the Devil (Jan., Morrow hc, 24.95). DI Annie Cabbot deals with a strange case while on loan to a nearby precinct while Insp. Banks has a case of his own. In his, there are any number of suspects, while in hers there are none. A third murder will help them both. Signed Copies Available.

Rebecca Tope, A Cotswold Mystery (Dec., Allison & Busby hc, 25.95). 4th with housesitter Thea Osborne and her faithful spaniel Hepzibah.

Minette Walters, The Chameleon’s Shadow (Jan., Knopf hc, 24.95). Lt. Charles Acland suffered head injuries while serving in Iraq. The interior damage may be the worst. He’s isolated, angry and abusive, unable to get along with anyone. Moving to London, all of this becomes much worse and one angry outburst makes the cops aware of him and makes him their prime suspect in a string of brutal murders. In paper, The Shape of Snakes (Feb., Vintage, 13.95).

Camilla Way, The Dead of Summer (Feb., Harcourt hc, 23.00). Seven years before, when she was 13, Anita was the only witness to a notorious London murder case in 1986. Now 20, she’s re-telling the story to the police psychologist who interviewed her then. The story becomes not only a recitation of a crime, but a musing on the cruelty of children and teens. A chilling and evocative debut.


In paper

Ken Bruen, Priest (Feb., St. Martin’s, 13.95).


Coming This Spring

Robert Barnard, Last Post, May

Benjamin Black, The Silver Swan, Mar.

Cara Black, Murder in the Rue de Paradis, Mar.

Ken Bruen, Cross, Mar.

Andrea Camilleri, The Paper Moon, April

Dan Fesperman, The Amateur Spy, Mar.

Morag Joss, The Night Following, Mar.

Peter Lovesey, The Headhunters, April

John Malcolm, The Chippendale Factor, April

Peter May, The Killing Room, Mar.


Mystery Specialty Presses

     Bitter Lemon

Friedrich Glaser, The Chinaman (Jan., 14.95). 4th in this Swiss series in a case for Sgt. Studer that involves three locations and two bodies. The author is called the Swiss Simenon.

Petra Hammesfahr, The Sinner (Feb., 14.95). First of this German bestselling author’s books to be translated and released in the US. To the police, it is an open-and-shut case, as they had to pull the housewife off the body of the man she just stabbed to death.  Police Commissioner Grovian digs deeper. The author is referred to as Germany’s Highsmith.

     Crippen & Landru

Max Brand, Masquerade (Nov., hc 29.00, tp 19.00). Edited by William F. Nolan, 10 crime and mystery stories, originally published between 1935-38. Most well known for his western stories, Frederick Faust (Brand was his pen name) wrote a wide range of stories. He became correspondent in WWII and was killed in action in ’44.

Walter Satterthwait, The Mankiller of Poojeegai and other Mysteries (Dec., hc $43.00, tp $..). Mystery stories of different times and places, from 19th C. to current Africa. The hardcover will be signed and numbered.

     Europa Editions

Carmine Abate, Between Two Seas (Jan., 14.95). First of the Italian author’s books to be translated and released in the US as well as the winner of the FiniceEuropa Prize for Fiction. A German photographer travels to Southern Italy to utilize the fabled light for his work. Once there he meets an Italian man who is trying to rebuild a famous inn. As they become friends, the Italian’s secrets threaten to destroy them both.

     Felony & Mayhem

Karin Alvtegen, Missing (Jan., hc, 24.00). First US appearance of another of Sweden’s bestselling crime writers, translated by former Seattleite Steve Murray. This is her 2nd book, from 2000 and winner of the Glass Key award for Best Crime Novel of the Year.

Michael David Anthony, The Becket Factor (Jan., 14.95). Politics, murder and the church – and the missing grave of Thomas a Becket?

Robert Cullen, Dispatch from a Cold Country (Jan., 14.95). From 1996, 3rd espionage with Colin Burke.

Elizabeth Daly, Nothing Can Resue Me (Jan., 14.95). 6th Henry Gamage, from 1943.

Timothy Holme, Neopolitan Streak (Jan., 14.95), 1st book from 1980, commies and cuisine in Italy.

     Hard Case Crime

Lawrence Block, A Diet of Treacle (Jan., 6.99). Published in 1960 by Beacon Press, under the name Sheldon Lord and titled Pads are for Passion. A bored ‘good girl’ from uptown takes the subway to Greenwich Village, where the beats and the stoners live, to catch some fun.

Max Allan Collins, Deadly Beloved (Dec., 6.99). New book based on a long-running comic book series with private eye Ms. Michael Tree. She’s looking into the case of a woman who shot her husband and the blonde hooker she found him with.

Christa Faust, Money Shot (Feb., 6.99). First woman author published by HCC! A retired porn star accepts one more film but it leads to her being shot and left for dead. But Angel has survived in a brutal world for a reason and she will take the fight back to those who used her and thought she’d be an easy mark. Debut that puts the author in the deep noir leagues of Vicki Hendricks. Signing. JB recommends.

     Midnight Ink

Charles Atkins, The Prodigy (Jan., 14.95). A psychotic young cellist who once entranced the musical world has been released from the mental institution due to the efforts of his twin sister and their wealth. Back home in his NYC mansion, though supposedly confined, he’s free to indulge his psychosis. Debut novel by a psychiatrist who teaches at Yale.

Sue Ann Jaffarian, Thugs & Kisses (Feb., 13.95). In her 3rd book, Odelia Grey deals with the murder of a class bully at a 30th high school reunion, contract killers and a case of deadly buyer’s remorse. Signing. Janine recommends this series.

J. B. Stanley, Chili Con Corpse (Jan., 13.95). 3rd in the Supper Club series. The group takes a Mexican cooking class. Members of the class begin to die and suspicion falls on one of the club members.

Terri Thayer, Wild Goose Chase (Feb., 13.95). 6 months ago, Dewey inherited her mother’s quilting shop. She’s had it with the scheming employees and the hassles of a place she doesn’t want. She makes arrangements to sell it to a quilting celebrity but, before the sale is finalized, the woman is found murdering in the shop. Debut by a long-time quilter and member of one of the oldest quilt museums in the US. 

     Poisoned Pen Press

Kerry Greenwood, Death Before Wicket (Jan., hc, 24.95). 10th with Australian flapper Phryne Fisher series, from 1999.

Ken Kuhlken, The Vagabond Virgin (Feb., hc, 24.95). 5th in the Hickey family series. Set against the backdrop of the 1979 Mexican elections, San Diego PI Alvaro Hickey gets involved with missing women, visits from the Holy Virgin and politics. Oh, an trouble.   Signed Copies Available. In paper, The Do-Re-Mi (Feb., 14.95).

Bill Moody, Shades of Blue (Feb., hc, 24.95). 6th with jazz pianist Evan Horne. A friend has died and left everything to Evan. Amongst the papers are scores to songs recorded on Kind of Blue and The Birth of the Cool, both landmark and famed sessions. Did this friend in some way score these songs and his contribution unknown? Signed Copies Available.

Clea Simon, Cries and Whiskers (Dec., hc, 24.95). Reporter Theda Krakow is working on two stories: a new designer drug is making it’s way through the music scene and an animal activist – who had problems with her own colleagues - has been killed by a hit-and-run driver. Signed Copies Available.In paper, Cattery Row (Dec., 14.95).

Roger M. Sobin, The Essential Mystery Lists (Dec., tpo, 39.95). Billed as ‘the quintessential guide for mystery readers and collectors’, it promises to be a comprehensive compilation of all major, worldwide mystery award lists, including the winners and nominees, from the beginning of each award, with checklists. 400 pages.

Richard Thompson, Fiddle Game (Jan., hc, 24.95). Herman left his life as a Detroit bookie when things got hot and set up as a bail bondsman in St. Paul to have a quieter life. When a woman gives him a priceless violin as security on a bond, it is just the beginning of new heat, and a big con. Debut novel. Signed Copies Available.

Betty Webb, Desert Cut (Feb., hc, 24.95). 5th with PI Lena Jones. While helping to scout locations for a documentary on the Arizona Apache wars, the mutilated body of a young girl is discovered. The author bases her novels on stories she covered as a reporter. Signed Copies Available. In paper, Desert Run (Feb., 14.95).

     In paper

Ruth Dudley Edwards, Murdering Americans (Jan., 14.95).


     Rue Morgue

Stuart Palmer, The Penguin Pool Murder (Dec., 14.95). In this 1931 comic novel, for the first time Miss Withers meets Insp. Oscar Piper, and their case takes place at the NYC aquarium.

     Stark House 2-1s

Gil Brewer, A Devil for O’Shaugnessy/The Three-Way Split (Jan., 14.95). First time in print for Devil, as a granddaughter schemes to use a barely competent con man to gain an inheritance and Split, from 1980, about a treasure ship and the killers it attracts.



The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits, Mike Ashley, ed. (Dec., Carroll & Graf tp, 13.99). Over 30 stories of crime and mystery from the life and times of Charles Dickens.

Queens Noir, Robert Knightly, ed. (Jan., Akashic tpo, 15.95). New stories from authors such as Estep, Hamill, Abbott, Wishnia and Lovell.

The Vicious Circle: Mystery and Crime Stories by Members of the Algonquin Round Table, Otto Penzler, ed. (Jan., Pegasus tpo, 23.95). Stories by Wolcott, Perelman, Kaufman, Connelly, Ferber, Benchey and Parker.

Killer Year: A Criminal Anthology, Lee Child, ed. (Jan., St. Martin’s hc, 23.95). New stories by new authors, many of whom you’ve heard us promote – Sakey, Chercover, Nikitas, Cameron and Swierczynski. In this selection, their stories will be introduced by a more established author who has mentored them – names like Deaver, Lippman, Gerritsen and the editor.  Signing with contributors Gregg Olsen and Bill Cameron.


Reissues of Note

Lawrence Block, Eight Million Ways to Die (Jan., Morrow hc, 19.95). The Shamus winning 4th Scudder, from 1982, re-released with a new introduction by the author.

Charlaine Harris, Real Murders (Dec., Berkley, 7.99). Her first Aurora Teagarden mystery, from 1989, and A Bone to Pick (Feb., Berkley, 7.99). 2nd in the Aurora Teagarden series, from ’92.

Chester Himes, All Shot Up (Dec., Pegasus, 13.95). The 5th classic with Harlem cops Collin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones first published in 1960.

Robert Littell, The October Circle (Feb., Penguin, 14.00). His 4th novel, originally published in 1975, set against the Soviet invasion of Prague.

Ross Macdonald, The Barbarous Coast and The Doomsters (Dec., Vintage, 12.95 ea.). The 6th and 7th Lew Archers, from ’56 and ’58. Doomsters is credited with being his seminal work, a book that marked his emergence as a master in his own right – out of the shadow of Hammett and Chandler – and a work that would set the tone for mysteries in the decades to come. JB recommends them ALL.

Charles McCarry, The Last Supper (Feb., Overlook, 13.95). His 4th Paul Christopher book, from 1983.

Magdalen Nabb, Death of a Dutchman (Dec., Soho, 12.00). 2nd in the Marshal Guarnaccia series, from 1982.

Ian Rankin, The Watchman (Dec., Little Brown hc, 24.99). First published in 1988. A British spy begins to suspect that the mistakes he’s taken the blame for of late have been caused by someone else.

Georges Simenon, Three individual novels (Jan., Penguin, 13.00 ea): My Friend Maigret (1957, also published as Methods of Maigret), Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard (1975, also published as Man on the Bench), Inspector Cadaver (2003, published posthumously).


Special Interest

The Philosophy of TV Noir, Steven M. Sanders and Aeon J. Skoble, eds. (Jan., Univ. of Kentucky Press hc, 35.00). From the ‘50s to the new Century, an intellectual view of crime and mystery on TV, and the influence of classic film noir on the smaller screen.

Elizabeth Peters, Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs (Dec., Morrow hc, 26.95). Her classic history of Ancient Egypt, revised and updated after being out of print for years. 400 pages and 70 illustrations. First book by the noted Egyptologist and beloved mystery author, from 1964.

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing (Nov., Morrow hc, 14.95). Rules from a master for the pro or the novice. Illustrated by Joe Ciardiello.


Best of the Years Lists

Time, once again, for our individual lists of the books we enjoyed the most this year. As usual, there will be some that we got to read ahead of the general public or books that we got to later than usual – or books that we re-read. The only defining qualification for inclusion in a given list is that they were read during 2008.


JB’s List

David Rosenfelt’s Play Dead – who else but Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter would put a dog on the witness stand AND be able to site case law to support it. Funny stuff.

Peter Spiegelman’s three novels with John March - clearly and solidly in the Hammett/Block lineage of outstanding private eye fiction.

Greg Rucka’s Patriot Acts – a fabulous extension of a terrific series.

Carol O’Connell’s Find Me – a trip into the present, future and past on Route 66.

Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble – what could be better than a group of Reachers?

Reggie Nadelson’s Disturbed Earth – a serious and thoughtful series taking on the emotional aftermath of 9/11.

Loren Estleman’s American Detective – continually the best Chandlerian PI series going.

James Lee Burke’s The Tin Roof Blowdown – a heartbreaking crime novel set in the aftermath of Katrina, the marriage of the finest American writer with it’s greatest catastrophe. A stunning book.

Nicola Griffith’s Always – romantic, erotic and completely noirish.

And Mike Lawson’s Home Rule – a masterfully cynical story of how power is used in this country to the detriment of the country.


Fran’s Best of 2007

In some cases, all I can do is pick the author.  There are some folks whose books I just discovered so I read them all, and some have had a quick turn-around time in the publishing world. 



Nicola Griffith, Always (Riverside, $26.95, signed). Nicola’s powerful writing never fails to capture me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is a book that anyone interested in self-defense, especially women, need to read.  But make no mistake, you should read all of Nicola's work, not just this one!


Susan Hill, The Various Haunts of Men (Penguin, $24.95, trade paper $13.95 in April, 2008) and The Pure in Heart  (Penguin, $24.95), with the third in the series, The Risk of Darkness not yet announced but I'm sure it'll be out next year.  The Simon Serrailler series is one of the best I've read in a long time.  I am completely stunned by the depth and richness of the world she's created, and I can't wait to read more in this series.  I want to live in this village!


Laurie R. King, Touchstone (Random House, $24.00, signing January 10th, noon) is a stand-alone.  She takes us to post-World War I London, with an American investigator looking for a terrorist.  I always like Ms. King's work, but this one is captivating and while it's action packed, it also takes a good long look at how people perceive each other, and what people will do for a cause.


Lisa Lutz, The Spellman Files (Simon & Schuster, $25.00, limited signed copies available) AND The Curse of the Spellmans  (Simon & Schuster, $25.00, signing?)  Laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes poignant, absolutely captivating, Lisa’s debut just charmed the socks off me, and the sequel is equally hysterical!  You must read these, including the footnotes!


Cornelia Read, The Crazy School (Grand Central, $23.99. signing being arranged?) is the follow-up to her explosively well-received debut, Field of Darkness (Warner, $12.99).  Maddie Dare is teaching at a school for disturbed teenagers, but when things spiral out of control, she's not sure who she can trust.  Cornelia's talent is phenomenal and I cannot recommend her strongly enough.


John Connolly, The Unquiet, (Simon & Schuster, $25.95, limited signed copies available). John’s juxtaposition of the dark side of the psyche against some of the wickedly humorous moments life affords made this latest Charlie Parker unforgettable.  But then, I can't get past his Book of Lost Things (Simon & Schuster, $14.00), which is one of the best books ever!


Mark Gimenez, The Abduction (Vanguard, $22.95, signed bookplates) finds his literary stride with his second novel, and it was breathtaking.  The daughter of a dot-com billionaire is kidnapped, and her grandfather has to accept his actions in Vietnam to save her.  Gimenez has crafted a brilliant, dark, thought-provoking novel that deals with how the tendrils of war stay with us. 


Michael Gruber, The Book of Air and Shadows (Harper, $24.95, limited signed copies available). Michael’s written a twisty, wildly intelligent novel involving a hidden Shakespearean manuscript hidden in the bindings of an old book that will keep you riveted.  I loved his Jimmy Paz books, but this one is exceptional.


David Hosp, Innocence  (Warner, $24.99. limited signed copies available) takes us back to his first novel, Dark Harbor (Warner, $6.99) with Scott Finn defending a man who has already been convicted of viciously assaulting a police officer.  With Dark Harbor, I maintained that Hosp had the makings of a really great series.  I'm glad to see that he's following up it.


James Rollins, The Judas Strain, (Morrow, $25.95, signing copies available). I was knocked over by the quality of James’ writing, his deft interweaving of science and action, and his very human group of scientists. I will be reading all his work from now on!




Looking back, I'm surprised at how many of my paperback favorites have been urban fantasy.  And yet, once all is said and done, knowing me, that's not really as big a shocker as you might think.  Again, I'm sometimes listing just authors rather than individual books because I read them all at once, and I can't rank them, so we're going alphabetically, girls first.


Kelley Armstrong, Exit Strategy (Bantam, $6.99) What's surprising about this is that it isn't urban fantasy, which is what she normally writes.  But here, she introduces us to an ex-cop turned lodge-keeper, who's a hit-woman on the side, to make ends meet.  It's action-packed, fast-paced and tremendous fun!


Keri Arthur, (Bantam, $6.99) has a series of books involving a half-werewolf/half-vampire set of twins in Australia.  This whole run came out this year in a bit of a blitz, and I really enjoyed them.  They are, in order, Full Moon Rising, Tempting Evil, Kissing Sin, Dangerous Games and Embraced Darkness.


JT Ellison, All the Pretty Girls (Mira, $6.99) made her debut with a darkly disturbing novel about a serial killer who leaves the hands of his previous victim with the body of his latest one.  I really enjoyed Ms. Ellison's fast-paced style and her ability to bring the people to life.


Yasmine Galenorn is an ongoing favorite, and her new Sisters of the Moon installment, Darkling (Berkley, $6.99, signing January 12, noon) is the best yet, in my opinion.  This is the one told from Menolly's point of view, and it is the most complex and layered of them all.  So far.


Jana G. Oliver, Sojourn (Dragon Moon Press, $19.95) gave being a shapeshifter a whole new spin that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Her protagonist, Jacynda Lassiter, finds herself in all manner of trouble when she goes to 1888 London searching for a missing Time Rover.  I can't wait to read the sequel!


Kat Richardson's Harper Blaine series, set here in Pioneer Square and surrounding environs, has consistently remained a delight to me.  The sequel to her debut, Greywalker (Penguin, $14.00, signed copies available) was Poltergeist (Penguin, $14.00, signed copies available) and I got a sneak peek at the third in the series, and it's just as exceptional as the first two. 


Natalie Roberts, also known as Natalie Collins, has crafted a wickedly entertaining ballet cozy series set in Ogden, Utah.  The first one, Tutu Deadly (Penguin, $6.99, signed copies available) introduced us to Jenny T. Partridge, and this year's sequel, Tapped Out (Penguin, $6.99, signed copies available) continues to delight and amuse, and I always look forward to anything she writes under any name.


Carrie Vaughn would have slid under my radar because I judged her books by their covers and titles.  Once I discovered - and freely admit - my mistake, I blew through all three in her series so far: Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kitty Goes to Washington, and Kitty Takes a Vacation (Grand Central, $6.99).  Look past the flashy covers and the silly titles; Ms. Vaughn has created a world where things do go bad, and frequently there is no easy answer or convenient solution.  Dark and awful things happen, and somehow people have to find their ways through them.


Simon Wood, Paying the Piper (Leisure Books, $7.99, signed copies available) blew right past my dislike of journalist/photographers as protagonists and swept me up in Scott Fleetwood's panic to get his son back from a kidnapper who has an alternative agenda.  I'll be picking up all his work from now on.


Tammy’s List

Here is my "top ten" list, with the copy from the book reports.


#1 Read of the Year: River, by Lowen Clausen (Silo Books, $15.95). Lowen Clausen has written an exquisitely heart-breaking novel, with a soul as big as the eponymous River.

    After the death of his son, a father takes the river voyage he has always dreamed of. Starting out from his family farm on the headwaters in the Sandhills of Nebraska, his inner voyage takes him to new acceptance of the son he never said goodbye to in life, while he faces the solitude and challenges of the river itself. The land plays as large a part of the story as do the people on the river.

    This elegiac story will resonate with everyone who takes its journey for a long time.


Soul Catcher, by Michael C. White (Harper Collins, $24.95). Augustus Cain is a restless man. Deeply scarred by his military service during the Mexican War, he is now a drinker and a gambler. After one hard night of doing both, he finds that he has lost his most prized possession, his horse in a game of chance. The beast’s new owner, a Mr. Eberly, a landed Southern aristocrat has a proposition for Cain, though. Eberly has had two of his slaves escape to the North. Cain can have his horse back, as well as some remuneration, if he, Cain, will capture the escapees and return them. Cain, who thought himself done with his previous occupation, a tracker of fugitive slaves, a “Soul Catcher”, takes to the trail one more time. Accompanied by three other employees of Eberly, Cain makes his way North, passing through John Brown’s farm in New York, and ultimately to Boston, where he finds the fugitive, Rosetta, abducts her, and begins the journey back to the South. But Rosetta is not just any slave. She has a history with her ‘owner’, and resists her return to the plantation. And in learning her history, her manner of thinking and being, Augustus finds that it is his own soul that is caught.
Michael White’s new novel is extraordinary, nuanced in its details, and compelling. White supplies a panoramic view of America on the verge of Civil War. His characterizations are finely etched, including Augustus’ traveling companions, Eberly, as well as the legendary John Brown. Augustus, himself, is a complex man, a long-time reader of Milton’s Paradise Lost, who is trapped by History, his own, and that of our Nation’s. The climatic scene is well-imagined, as that History is finally confronted, in violence and freedom.


Surveilence, by Jonathan Raban (Pantheon Books, $26). This is not a who-dunnit. When Mr. Raban stopped by to sign he was very concerned that we not sell the volume as a 'mystery', "it's quite Literary Fiction" he said in that charming British accent. I know what he means now. Literary fiction has it's own convictions, most of which bore the tits off me. Except. When a story is so well crafted, the place perfectly painted, it slams me into my own neighborhood. Surveillance is just that book.  Jonathan Raban is a transplant to Seattle and we honor and cherish him as "our local author" and yes the other transplants will call him a "native" at the 15 year point, but I'll speak for the remaining natives now and say Jonathan Raban really gets it. He has effectively captured a snapshot of Seattle in the age of spying, bullying, fear of our landlords gone amok and desperate fear for your long-time Gay friends.

Lucy, a single mother, has been assigned a magazine feature piece of a famous, extremely reclusive author. His book Boy 381, concerning his childhood in concentration camps has swept America. But his publisher has decided his vocal libertarian views would not play well on the Author Tour circuit. Meanwhile a new landlord threatens the comfortable home she's had for the past 15 years. Alida, Lucy's daughter has fallen under the spell of the reclusive author just as doubts about his actual identity begin to surface.
The end of this book left me crying, terrified, sobbing like a motherless child on her butt on these mean streets. My streets.

You don't need to live in Seattle to appreciate the fury of this book. Some of the UK reviewers say "set in the future", it had come out in the UK a year ago. By the time it was available here, in the city in which it's set, we are already there. We're always the last to know.
Good morning, Seattle. Welcome to New Orleans.


Patriot Acts, by Greg Rucka (Bantam, $25). When I first picked up Keeper, I was blown away: a book that addressed the "Abortion Issue" head-on and totally got it. And it was written by a MALE. Who, from the author picture, looked really young. Yeah, he was and he lived in Portland OR and was happy to travel up to sign for us. Thus began a beautiful friendship.

The excellent thing about opening up books and shoving them in front of authors, is I get to eavesdrop, and hear it all. Greg spoke passionately about gender issues and women's voices. I've always been impressed by the powerful women in his novels.

Patriot Acts is the latest installment in the Atticus Kodiak series and the most powerful and personal to date. The story arc is brought around full circle and then turned onto it's side. Atticus is a bodyguard and Patriot Acts picks up right where Critical Space left off. Atticus and crew have been protecting Drama, once one of the world's top assassins, one of the Ten. A surprise attack leaves his best friend dead and he and Drama (now known as Alena) must track down this threat and prove they are not behind this international killing spree.

You really need to go back and start at the beginning, the series builds and you can see the growth of the author and also our turbulent times. But if you really can't wait, grab this one and hold on!

It was sometime after the first couple novels Danton pointed out that Greg was a GAWD in the comic book world. He was recently at the San Diego Comicon.

I love and recommend all things Greg:
Atticus Kodiac Series
Tara Chase, MI5 spy and reluctant assassin


And the masterpiece which I was honored to blurb-ho:
Fistful of Rain At the time I called Greg's book an obsessive read. That goes for all his novels.

Also: Greg has a movie deal! Whiteout is in production now. Let's all channel our thoughts towards distribution. Omm.

If you have a teen-aged reluctant reader, give them one of Greg's graphic novels, or start them on the books. They'll have no better guide in our world. I have several moms who will back me up on that.


Accidental American, by Alex Carr (Random House, $9.95). For whatever reason, the spy thriller lends itself to fine writing. From Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent, to John LeCarre’s masterful body of work, and more recently, Alan Furst, the spy thriller deals with the affairs of nations, and the people who act secretly in those affairs. An Accidental American (Random House $9.95) by Alex Carr (a nom de plume for Jenny Siler) is no exception and is an excellent literary addition to the genre. The protagonist, Nicole Blake is the daughter of a Lebanese mother and an American father, a con artist, making her an “accidental American”. She has served time in prison for forgery and now lives quietly in the south of France, with her dog, Lucifer. Her idyll is interrupted with the arrival of an American agent who recruits her to help track down her old lover, Rahim, who is suspected of ties to terrorists. 

     Against the backdrop of the 2003 ‘incursion’ into Iraq, and from other past events in the Mid-East, including the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut in 1983, Nicole travels to Lisbon. Once there, she becomes the pursued, and, accompanied only by a young Portuguese woman, another lover of Rahim, Nicole must match wits with her enemies, known and unknown. 

     Carr brings to life the sights and sounds of Lisbon. Fado plays in the background, as does the music from the old colony of Brazil. In her memories, Nicole evokes the same ambience for the place of her youth, Beirut, when it was considered the Paris of the Mediterranean, and, later, its dissolution into civil war, and invasion from all quarters. 

     Like most thrillers, the issues, the motivations, the duplicity and betrayal are underscored by the politics of our times. Carr does so deftly and with great clarity, keeping the story moving, alternating between Nicole’s first person narrative and a third person narrative that follows the other characters. 

In addition, useful maps of Lisbon and Beirut are included and there is an afterword essay by the author that discusses the embassy bombing and the machinations of the United States in Mid-East affairs.

            An Accidental American is a paperback original, priced nicely.



Nail Through the Heart, by Timothy Hallinan (HarperCollins, $24.95). This is certainly a book that lives up to it's title. While giving us a glimpse into Thailand's inner society and soul, it manages to convey the grandeur and cruelty of Bangkok's extreme poverty and sex trade. It is also a completely perfect mystery, right down to the 'the Blonde walked into my office' conceit. I've been a big fan of Hallinan's work since his Simeon Grist/L.A. detective series. After too long a hiatus, the Poke Rafferty series will definitely satisfy.

"One reason people come here, as I believe you said in your book," Hofstedler continues comfortably, "is that here it is possible to behave openly in ways that one would hide at home."
"I wrote that?" Rafferty says.
"It makes you wonder, does it not," Hofstedler says, "What kind of behavior one would hide in Bangkok."

Poke Rafferty is the successful author of the "Looking for Trouble" Travel Series, and now the publisher's attention-getting advance has brought him to Bangkok to write Looking for Trouble in Thailand. Unfortunately, that is not enough money to let him marry former Patpong go-go dancer Rose, or adopt Miaow, the eight year old gum seller he has rescued from the street.

Persuaded by his ally on the local police force, Arthit, that taking the Blonde's case and finding her missing Australian Uncle will get him both "owed favors" and needed monies, Poke must take to the streets and bars that no longer lure him. Peeling this onion of Bangkok two months after the tsunami reveals dance girls, abandoned children, sadistic sex tourists and Cambodian killers that mingle with the "hungry ghosts" from that great wave.

I must say, one of the things that make this such a haunting read are the echoing chapter titles. I love chapter titles when they are so finely tuned as these.


The Religion, by Timothy Willocks (FSG, $26).

The Religion is a big novel, bold and bloody. It may not suit all tastes, especially if you like your history lessons sanitized and sedately paced. Willocks peoples this book with larger than life characters. Matthias Tannhauser is introduced to us in the blood-bath seige of his boyhood village, his mother viciously raped and killed before his eyes. Taken up by the Sultan's victory party as a devshirme, a Christian boy gathered to become a janissary.

The story moves to later in Tannhauser's life, 1565 and the Suleiman Shah has vowed to take Malta. Tannhauser has achieved a comfortable life running a tavern in Sicily. When the Knights of Saint John, "the Religion" of the title, realize that the Ottoman forces are set to take back the Isle of Malta, and back-up re-inforcements will not be coming to their aid, they scheme to use the lovely Lady Carla to draw Tannhauser into the battle. Tannhauser has his own agenda in this battle and his sponsors will be used to those ends. Willocks resists drawing any parallels to today's wars, but as one character says "If we don't fight the Moslems in Malta we'll one day have to fight them in Paris,".

Lady Carla is searching for her bastard son, taken from her at his birth after she was seduced by the evil Inquisitor Ludovici, who is the father of that child. Her fey, and simple handmaiden Amparo becomes Tannhauser's bedmate, although he'd like to marry Lady Carla, not least of which for the title she holds. How to get this motley crew off the Island in the midst of battle becomes Tannhauser's mission, and to keep his beloved horse, Buraq from being taken away by either side.

Willocks is a writer who gives the smells and gore and muck of battle life on every page. This is a huge book at 627 pages, but it races along at a thriller's pace. And this is just the beginning, there will be two more volumes in this trilogy.

I thought Green River Rising was the best "prison novel" I have ever read, and Willocks has proved that was no fluke with this engrossing epic. 


Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon (Harper Collins, $26.95).

As a rule, I think it’s a waste of time to talk about books that are bad, so I talk about books I like and like a lot. I try not to give in to using superlatives, though. But I will ignore that rule for now. I must say that The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Michael Chabon’s homage to forties noir and speculative alternate history, and it may be one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The plot is based on the premise that the fledgling Israeli state failed in 1948, and a great many of the Jews took up the United States offer for a temporary homeland centered on Sitka, Alaska. Set in the present time, Sitka has become a metropolis of 3 million people, and has hosted a World’s Fair in the 1970’s. But soon the lease will expire and many of the Sitkans are up uncertain as to what will happen when the town reverts to Alaskan control. The story hinges on a murder investigation, led by the down-on-his-luck detective, Meyer Landsman, of a chess-playing heroin addict who has a surprising past. The case becomes Meyer’s obsession, even when ordered off by his boss, and ex-wife, Bina, ultimately losing his badge, but continuing on, using his Policeman’s union card for identification.

The narrative is told in the present tense, giving the story an immediacy and vividness. The characterizations are strong, well-imagined and without the hint of being stereotypical. One is Meyer’s detective partner and cousin, Berko Shemets, who is half-Jewish and half-Tlingit. And there is a host of striking minor characters. Here is Professor Zimbalist, talking about the murder victim:
“…Mendele wasn’t like that at all. He made toys for his sisters, dolls out of clothespins and felt, a house from a box of oatmeal. Always glue on his fingers, a clothespin in his pocket with a face on it. I would give him twine for the hair. Eight little sisters hanging off him all the time. A pet duck that used to follow him around like a dog.” You can hear his voice; you think this a real man.

The prose is by turns, lovely, elegant, and tough, with many of the sentences having the lilting beauty of spoken Yiddish, reminding me of the beautiful melodies of Klezmer music. There are the updated Chandleresque metaphors: “He narrows his eyes as if he’s trying to spot typographical error on the face of a counterfeit Rolex”. And Chabon uses olfactory imagery I haven’t read since Patrick Suskind’s Perfume: “Two dead humans in the snow. The smell of popcorn, a buttery stink of feet, overwhelms him”.
The tag line is “Strange times to be a Jew”, and indeed they are. 

Do yourself a favor and, if you are going to read only one novel this year, read this one.


Shadow Killer, by Matthew Scott Hansen (Simon & Schuster $25).

Matthew Scott Hansen has written a compelling thriller with a completely new serial killer: Bigfoot. He's the last of his tribe, all the others having been killed when the small two legs let loose the fire which consumed the canyon where they encamped. Now further encroachments on his territory have enraged him enough that he begins to enjoy the two legs' feelings of terror and fear as he pursues and captures them. As his killing spree continues, he is able to discern these feelings even more clearly.

Ty Greenwood is a retired, disgraced software exec, who after an encounter with Bigfoot two years ago in Idaho has become a laughing stock. He's taken a job with the Forestry Dept. as a cover to continue his search for the elusive hominid. Although his loving wife has stood by him throughout his crackpot quest even her patience is finally wearing thin, though their money isn't.

Chief Ben Eagleclaw has been playing noble, savage Indians in Hollywood since being scouted at a local diner soon after returning from WWII. His youthful encounter with a Bigfoot has spurred his quest to find this one, fueled mostly through "that crazy Indian stuff" he feels creeping back into his consciousness.
Kris Walker is a scheming junior TV reported for the local CBS station, recently transferred up from the hick station in Yakima. She is having visions of cracking the biggest murder case since the Green River Killer, but the only problem is, there are no bodies yet. Just a growing list of missing mountain bikers, Weyerhaeuser surveyors, hikers and rural residents. She'll do anything to get the story, even if it means fucking the local sheriff.

Hansen rachets up the terror as Bigfoot breathes warmly down the backs of his next meals. The forest falls utterly silent. Actual reported sightings record feeling utter dread and the urge to get away, quickly.

Growing up in the wild woods of Washington, I imagined many things, and Bigfoot was one of them. I grew up on a 220 acre farm and I could go hide, run though the woods, not show up until "supper". It actually was concievable to me that I could walk to Mt Rainier. I knew that in my heart. I could dip and dodge and go all the way and never come within sight of a household. When you grow up in a setting like the 1970's Western Washington, it was easy to allow that there might be something out there we humans hadn't found yet. I had read the history of the coelacanth in fifth grade, considered extinct for 65 million years, until one was netted off the coast of Madagascar in 1938. And the gorilla was unknown until after the turn of the twentieth century. Within the past ten years, a previously unknown species of deer has been found in Viet Nam. We already have fossil proof of the existence of Gigantopithecus.

After my many years defending Mystery as a "genre", now I must defend the "Thriller". There are bad ones. There are good ones. Here is a very good one. Matt is a native of these woods and he really puts that onto the page.

ShadowKiller is a fast paced, perfectly placed novel of our times. We ignore the old legends at our peril. All the Indian legends have some form of a large, not human being. The Oh-mah, Sasquatch, See-ah-Tik, Tsunoqua are some of the names in these folklores

I started reading this book as an utter skeptic.... a sarcastic skeptic. I am more willing to entertain the idea of Bigfoot, now. This is a wonderful scary story, the ultimate boogey man. Gigantus Erectus.... 

These write ups are originally from my bi-weekly Saturday Book Report at

Also on my top ten list, but not yet reviewed are:

Book of Air and Shadows, by Michael Gruber (Harper Collins, $24.95)

Sins of the Assassin, by Robert Ferrigno (Scribner, $24.95 Feb '08)

Primal Threat, by Earl Emerson (Ballantine, $25 Jan '08)

Unquiet, by John Connolly (Atria, $25.95)


Best New discoveries of the year: Tim Malleeny, Ashna Graves, James Rollins




GRETCHEN'S LIST – In no particular order:


Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know (HarperCollins, $24.95). The impact of family history and personal choices intrigue me. This story has great  family twist and trauma, which sister is the one who is alive?  How did that happen?  Written with details so you can really feel the characters struggle with their choices. 


John Hart, King of Lies (St. Martins, $6.99) AND Down River (St. Martins, $24.95). The genteel writing, lush settings, fallible characters and complex story twists have made me fall in love with this author. Both books are fantastic: The King of Lies is his debut which won an Edgar.  Although they are stand-alone stories, both books have characters who have left their hometowns in order to escape their past.  However, as we know, the past catches up.  In both stories, they return home to those lush, Southern settings and become embroiled in murder, mystery, love and deceit.  Beautifully paced and superbly written.


Alice Sebold, The Almost Moon (Little Brown, $24.95). Nowhere near as gentle as The Lovely Bones, however… I think this is a really brave book to write.  Not many people are willing to tackle the intense relationship between mothers and daughters.  Alice Sebold does it with brutal honesty and tactile details. 


Adrian McKinty, Dead I Well May Be (Pocket, 6.99). I just finished reading Death and Life of Bobby Z (Don Winslow)– and it is fantastic.  I was reminded of  McKinty while I was reading it.  The same smart-ass characters, dealing with crime bosses, inept criminals, romance and crazy situations.  A main character who is willing to show you how falliable he is, and take down the bad guys at the same time.  I look forward to reading more of his.


Don Winslow, California Fire and Life (Vintage, 13.95).  I just raved about this in the most recent newzine.  I have to say, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read.  The sharpest, snappiest writing EVER!!!   Laugh out loud situations, great details about arson investigations and the behavior of fire.  Amazing twists and perfect endings. 


Heidi Boehringer, Crossing the Dark (Serpents Tail, 14.95).  Although this is NOT a happy story, I really enjoyed the flow of the story.  An amazingly quick read, almost feels like the book is one chapter.  Compelling story of a police officer who rescues her daughter from a criminal who has been using her as a sex slave.  The process of her daughters “healing” brings together Mona’s past abuse and current ass of an ex-husband.  Tragic but extremely well written and fierce.


Zoë Sharp, First Drop (St. Martins, 6.99).  Not only did I love the hard driven, quick paced story of Charlie Fox and her job as a protection agent – but the adolescent charge that she is hired to watch is spot-on written.  Having a teenager, the dialogue and situations run so true.  Great quick pace, romance  suspense and many twists.


Kelley Armstrong, Exit Strategy (Bantam, 6.99).  Another fantastic book with a female protagonist who is smart, funny, somewhat unlucky at love, but damn good at what she does.  Owns a resort and is a hit-woman on the side to make money.  Love it.  Fantastic writing, great read.


Okay, last but not least – this book has just stuck with me and I keep hoping they will put it out in paperback:

Matthew Scott Hansen, Shadow Killer (Simon and Schuster, 25.00).  This is the Bigfoot mystery.  I know, I know, but it is REALLY good.  Set in the foothills of the Cascades (and he totally gets the Northwest weather, terrain, and culture), Bigfoot is killing people because they are intruding on his land.  We get to hear what he thinks and how he strategizes.  Plus, there are the requisite dumb-ass characters who just deserve to die, the intrepid trackers and the newswoman you LOVE to hate.  It’s just got it all.  I loved this book. 



Because my list of favorite reads always includes the latest offering from Lee Child (in this case, Bad Luck and Trouble, $26.00, Dell Publishing) I’m going to give you my favorites in addition to Jack Reacher’s latest adventure. Fair enough?

Volk’s Game, by Brent Ghelfi (Henry Holt & Co., $19.95) ~ my nomination for best debut thriller of 2007. A contemporary thriller set in Moscow ~ dark and violent ~ featuring Volk, a battle scarred veteran of the war in Chechnya who is a major player in the black market as well as a covert agent for the Russian military. Volk is commissioned by both the mafia boss he works for and the General he is indebted to, to steal a lost Da Vinci painting. His survival depends on who he chooses to betray. Intense, brutal, non-stop action lyrically written.

The Unknown Terrorist, by Richard Flanagan (Grove/Atlantic, Inc., $24.00) – a political thriller that asks the question: what would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in the country? Doll spends the night with an attractive stranger and the next morning finds herself a prime suspect in the investigation of an attempted terrorist attack. In five days her life unravels as both the media and various governmental agencies whip the community into a frenzy of fear leaving her no way to tell her side of the story. Timely and frighteningly real.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster, $25.00) – the first in a new series featuring Izzy Spellman, private investigator with her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Working for family has its advantages and disadvantages, a fact Izzy knows all too well. They tend to bring their work home. They snoop on each other. They tail each other. They blackmail each other. They wiretap each other. And they start at an early age, as is evidenced by her fourteen year old sister, Rae, who is addicted to “recreational surveillance”. After Izzy’s parents hire Rae to follow her (to determine the identity of her new boyfriend) she snaps and decides to get out of the family business. Easier said than done….

The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey (St. Martins, $22.95) – answers the question “how far would you go to protect everything you love?” brilliantly! Danny and his best friend Evan spent their youth knocking over pawnshops and liquor stores until a job went horribly wrong and Evan gets caught and sent to prison. Danny turns his life around and settles into a “normal” life – a legitimate job and a long-term girlfriend. By all accounts he’s a success. At which point, Evan re-enters his life, newly released from prison, having served his time without dropping Danny’s name and believing Danny owes him big time. A debut novel that explores the depths of friendship, the ugliness of revenge and proves that the more you have, the more you have to lose.

Stealing the Dragon by Tim Maleeny (Midnight Ink, $14.95) – the debut of a new series featuring private investigator Cape Weathers and his partner, Sally, who also happens to be a professional assassin trained in the Orient. Cape is investigating the murders of the crew of a container ship smuggling Chinese refugees, a job that looks suspiciously like one that might have been done by his partner who has, oddly enough, gone missing. Moving between the back alleys of San Francisco and the secret societies of Hong Kong’s criminal underworld Maleeny tells a story that is both fast paced, action packed and character driven with humor & style.

The Exception by Christian Jungersen (Doubleday, $26.00) – a psychological thriller, translated from the Danish, about four women, co-workers in an office that disseminates information on genocide, who all receive death threats from someone they believe they’ve recently profiled in their articles.  Tensions mount among the women and they turn on each other ~ a fascinating story dealing with the nature of evil and of the paranoia that motivates people to engage in unspeakable acts of cruelty.

 The History Book by Humphrey Hawksley (Warner Books, $24.99) – Kat Polinski is an undercover agent for the US Government and when carrying out a routine break-in at the Kazakh embassy in Washington D.C.  she discovers the staff massacred.  Several hours later she learns that her sister was murdered in an area of London she wouldn’t ordinarily be visiting.  Kat begins to suspect that both incidents are connected to Project Peace, an impending international security agreement that threatens freedom in the name of stability.  The answer to all Kat’s questions are in a hidden file in her sister’s computer titled The History Book.  A frightening look at our future?

And if the following ARCs I’ve recently read ~ of books due out in 2008 ~  are any indication, 2008 will be a fine, fine year for mystery readers!!  Watch for Lee Child’s Nothing to Lose, Cornelia Read’s The Crazy School, Louise Ure’s The Fault Tree, Ariana Franklin’s The Serpent’s Tale, Mike Lawson’s House Rules, Lisa Lutz’s Curse of the Spellmans and Marcus Sakey’s At the City’s Edge, to name a few…


Bill’s Favorites 2007 


The first one’s first. The rest are all tied for second place.

Lee Child, Bad Luck and Trouble. I call it a BLT, and it’s delicious.

P. J. Tracy, Monkeewrench (published in 2003). I’d have read it sooner if I’d known the British title is Want to Play? Has appeal for readers of all ages, from cozy to hard stuff.

Duane Swierczynski (whom I’d never heard of a year ago), The Wheelman and The Blonde. The first is about a guy who’s bad but sympathetic. The second is about a woman who’s bad but fascinating. The paperback of The Blonde, just out, has the most outstandingly inappropriate cover art I’ve ever seen. Try to read the book without looking at it.

Donald E. Westlake, What’s So Funny? John Dortmunder is a con man who con do nothing right (sorry). Always amusing.

David Rosenfelt, Play Dead. Best one yet in the Andy Carpenter series. Andy’s golden retriever, Tara, witnesses a murder, and Andy calls him into court as a witness. (This was done once before, on the Hooperman TV series, but it’s worth repeating.)

Martin Limon, The Wandering Ghost. Latest in this excellent series set in Korea, it focuses largely on American GI’s which makes the author’s crisp narrative voice stand out more than usual.

Don Winslow, The Winter of Frankie Machine. It’s about a hit man reaching late middle age. How come I relate so well to that???

James Grippando, When Darkness Falls. A blind but perceptive hostage negotiator steals the show from series protagonist, lawyer Jack Swyteck. I want to meet this character again.

Mike Lawson, House Rules. This just in: The advance reading copy of the third DeMarco and Emma adventure, due out in hardcover “sometime” in 2008, is too good for me to resist playing unfair and including it here. A timely parable about domestic terrorism. It’ll add excitement to your New Year.




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