Friday, February 25, 2011

Books to Look Forward To: Peter Lovesey, Cara Black, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Eliot Pattison ... and Jan Merete Weiss!

Thanks to the process of advance review copies, I've been "reading ahead" by several months. Great news: There are some really, really good mysteries and thrillers coming out this spring.

First on the list -- because it's being released next week -- is MURDER IN PASSY by Cara Black. This is book 11 in Black's series set in the various quarters of Paris, and it's packed with action and exotic moments to savor. Aimée Leduc's godfather, Morbier, pleads with her to intercede in his personal life. But that turns political almost immediately, and between murder, police corruption, and Basque terrorists, the intrepid investigator in black coat, high-heeled boots, and wispy hair, with her Gallic shoulder shrug, is on the run once again. This will be a huge treat for Leduc fans; and if you haven't yet dug into the series, it's a good moment to start, as there's little that depends on the other volumes.

Black's tour to meet with readers and promote the book begins on Monday February 28 at M Is for Mystery, one of our favorite shops (San Mateo, CA); although a lot of her tour is on the West Coast, I'm excited to see she'll be in Boston on May 4.

Women writing mysteries are clearly influencing each other to dig deeper, write more powerfully, and tackle the toughest topics. Canadian author Louise Penny has blurbed the phenomenal new book from Julia Spencer-Fleming, ONE WAS A SOLDIER. Yes, it's Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne -- but it's also major issues on PTSD and how we all handle (or don't handle) it. I'll give a full-length review in a few weeks, when we're closer to the April release. (Meanwhile, I keep humming the song each time I type or say the name of the book -- anyone else having that experience??)

Also coming in April, a new series from Edgar Award-winning author Eliot Pattison, opening with ASHES OF THE EARTH. A provocative look at "post-apocalyptic" America through the eyes of a grieving and lonely middle-aged man, it's a classic Pattison work in seeking both spiritual centering and human friendships across generations, while solving an intense sequence of brutal crimes. A must.

[I'm also eager for Clea Simon's DOGS DON'T LIE to his its April release; the author will be at Kingdom Books in June. And there's a new Michael Connelly in early April, THE FIFTH WITNESS, but even before that, Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer comes to the screen on March 18 -- good discussions with Connelly on the film here, and see the movie trailer here.]

I'm elated that Soho Crime is bringing another debut author to print whose work is fresh, edgy, and irresistible -- that's Jan Merete Weiss, who grew up in Puerto Rico and brings the (literal) underworld of Naples, Italy, to the pages of THESE DARK THINGS. Pub date is May; you'll hear more from me before then. Fingers crossed, we'd love to have this author come to Vermont to talk about her work.

And Peter Lovesey's STAGESTRUCK won't be available until June, but for this highly satisfying classic mystery -- British, and rich with stagecraft -- it's worth the wait.

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