Doomed, Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement, and Paul Harding's Enon. Amy Tan's paperback jacket does a font adjustment, Palahniuk's just strengthened the contrast (whoever did the hardcover of this will like our new yellow bag) while Harding's switches up everything (from cloth-like preference for setting to paperback preference for person), flips the author and title, but interestingly enough, keeps a consistent color palate.
In terms of original releases, the slate is rather quiet, so in honor of finally nailing down the details of our co-sponsored event with J.A. Jance at the Milwaukee Public Library on Tuesday, August 12 (she's coming for her new Joanna Brady novel, Remains of Innocence) and I should note that the event begins at 6:30, I thought I'd check in with the new mystery case to see what's out of late. Register at (414) 286-3011.
The book that Anne is most excited about is Dry Bones in the Valley, by Tom Bouman. Though it takes place in Pennsylvania, folks are saying it has the feel of a Western. Here's Annes' take: "This is the first in a projected series of four mysteries; the sense of place is strong and wonderful. Bouman's characters are like people we might know--at once simple and complicated--as they struggle to cope without side influences that are changing a rural way of life which has existed for generations in northeastern Pennsylvania. Officer Harry Farrell is someone I look forward to meeting again."
--Anne K. McMahon
Long-time readers of the blog will remember our runaway success of Murder in the Eiffel Tower. Now we're six books into the series and Claud Izner (a pseudonym for sisters Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefevre, now give bookseller and amateur sleuth Victor Legris a particularly gruesome case, that of a well-dressed (but it turns out poor woman) left strangled in the abbatoir district, with an odd unicorn pendant left at the scene. Ah, but when two more victims appear, and both are members of The Black Unicorn Society, clues begin to emerge. The starred Publishers Weekly review called Strangled in Paris (now in paperback) the sixth and best yet.
For what is said to be her first crime mystery, Anita Nair hooks up with the independent Bitter Lemon Press for A Cut-Like Wound, in which Borei Gowda investigates a series of murders in the bazaars of Bangalore, capturing the world of the hijiras (the marginalized communities of trans or third-gender folk). Nair's novel has received strong praise including this from India Today: "This is not just a story of another smart cop on the trail of another serial killer. It is more an exploration of the mind of a killer, that tempts the reader to sympathize."
For a short moment, we thought we might get on the tour for the legendary Peter Lovesey, but we weren't able to make it work. His newest, out in paperback today, is The Tooth Tattoo. This 13th installment in the Peter Diamond series finds him investigating the murder of a woman found in a canal, with an odd distinguishing characteristic of a music note on one of her teeth. As I write this description, I recalled probably writing this book in hardcover. From Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times Book Review: "These erudite and wondrously witty books are unlike any police procedural you've ever read. The Tooth Tattoo is a case in point.... The murder investigation provides the structural framework for a group portrait of the eccentric members of this captivating ensemble and the music they play with such rapturous devotion."
The Good Thief's Guide to Berlin. I love the Booklist review opening: "Charlie Howard is enjoying Berlin, mainly because there's so much to steal, which keeps his mind off the problems he's having with his latest book." So this time Charlie is blackmailed by a crooked embassy staffer into trying to recover a valuable item, and is charged with breaking into the four suspects' homes. He's told he'll know it when he sees it. When in doubt how to end a mystery review without revealing the ending, my fallback is "complications ensue" and they do. Adam Woog in the Seattle Times calls this book and the entire series "delightful."
As Jason noted in a letter to booksellers this morning, there is nothing bigger coming out today than Deborah Harkness's The Book of Life. We're hosting an event with her on Monday, August 4, 7 pm. It's free and open to the public, but we will close doors to the talk if we hit capacity, so come early.
Austin Events for the Literati – November
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