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Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008

Interviews
M. J. Rose
In this interview with Bookreporter.com's Joe Hartlaub, international bestselling author M. J. Rose recalls the specific event during a family vacation in Vienna that inspired the plot of her latest work of fiction, THE MEMORIST, and explains the role that music --- including the work of Beethoven, who is a central figure in the novel --- has played in her writing process. She also shares some of the favorite books she has read recently, discusses details about where the Phoenix Foundation series is headed and reveals which of her 10 novels is her favorite.

Katherine Neville
Katherine Neville's latest work of fiction, THE FIRE, resumes the story she began 20 years ago in her critically acclaimed, bestselling debut novel, THE EIGHT, involving a magical chess set wielding dangerous powers that once belonged to the legendary emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charlemagne. In this interview with Bookreporter.com's Donna Volkenannt, Neville explains why this sequel took two decades to write and describes her purpose --- despite her lack of knowledge on the subject --- in utilizing the game of chess as a multifaceted conceit in these two books. She also discusses the best way to go about researching the locations where her novels are set, reveals which real-life historical figure she'd most like to converse with over a meal, and shares details about her next project involving painters in the 1600s.

Carla Neggers
New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers has written over 50 novels, including TEMPTING FATE, THE WIDOW, THE ANGEL and the newly released COLD PURSUIT. In this interview with Bookreporter.com's Amie Taylor, Neggers describes how the idea for this latest work arose from the main characters instead of the plot and explains how her atmospheric home in Vermont inspired the story's New England setting. She also discusses how her parents instilled in her both a sense of wanderlust and the need to tell stories, shares her personal writing philosophy and reveals details about her next book, THE MIST, set for publication in June 2009.



Author Talk
Christopher Fowler
Mystery and thriller writer Christopher Fowler's latest release, THE VICTORIA VANISHES, is the sixth installment in a series featuring two elderly detectives in London's Peculiar Crimes Unit, Arthur Bryant and John May. In this Author Talk, Fowler provides a bit of background information about the series, including how his protagonists got their names and the real-life inspiration behind the unusual police division where they work. He also discusses his fascination with London's underbelly, shares details about his writing process and names some of the writers who have influenced his work.

Feature Story
Spotlight on Art Spiegelman, Author of BREAKDOWNS

Always known for pushing limits and testing boundaries with his work, legendary comics artist Art Spiegelman accomplished something risky, innovative and, for the most part, unwanted in 1978: he collected and published six years' worth of experimental, autobiographical comics in a large-format album called BREAKDOWNS. In the wake of its re-release by Pantheon, Bookreporter.com's John Hogan penned this feature story about a conversation he had with Spiegelman, who discusses why --- at the age of 30 --- he felt the need to take on such a project and recalls the initial challenges he faced in getting the work published. He also shares his thoughts on the growing popularity and success of comics, and muses on the impact this retrospective has had on both his own work and the medium. » Read More


Women's Fiction Feature
Marie Bostwick
A SINGLE THREAD by Marie Bostwick (Fiction)
On Sale Now
A SINGLE THREAD is a sometimes humorous and always touching story that features the strong, first person voice and lyrical style, small town values and the quilting imagery readers of Marie Bostwick's historical novels have come to love.


Suspense/Thriller Feature
John Lutz
NIGHT KILLS by John Lutz (Psychological Thriller)
On Sale Now
New York Times bestselling author John Lutz returns with a gruesome, page turning psychological thriller. A former NYPD detective is hunting for a madman: someone is shooting young women in the heart, defiling their bodies, and only leaving their torsos to be found. No one knows the true motives behind a rampage of cold-blooded murders... or how much more terrifying it's going to get.


Mystery Mayhem Feature
M. C. Beaton
A SPOONFUL OF POISON by M. C. Beaton (Mystery)
On Sale Now
When Agatha Raisin goes to the remote hamlet of Comfrey Magna to politely turn down a public relations job, she encounters the stunning green eyes of handsome widower George Selby, and promptly agrees to do whatever PR work the village needs. But as events in Agatha's new adventure A SPOONFUL OF POISON unfold, the rural festival Agatha is promoting soon takes a deadly turn, and Agatha must investigate the toxic spiking of some local preserves.


Graphic Novels
CAIRO by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker
Five strangers become entangled in a huge supernatural plot in CAIRO, a quick-witted romp through modern Egypt and ancient mythology, both at the same time. It’s an enchanting combination of magic realism and sociopolitical fairy tale. Reviewed by John Hogan.

LOVE AND ROCKETS: New Stories, No. 1 by the Hernandez Brothers
In a continuation of the landmark '80s independent comic series Love and Rockets, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez deliver a new collection of stories that shows they haven’t lost their touch. Reviewed by John Hogan.

New In Paperback
October’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes DUMA KEY, Stephen King’s mesmerizing tale of a man whose recent injuries lead him to Florida’s Duma Key, where he begins to paint --- even as dark mysterious forces guide his creative abilities; WORLD WITHOUT END, the highly anticipated sequel to Ken Follett’s THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, in which the residents of a 14th-century English town find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas; Dean Koontz’s THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR, a supernatural thriller that tests the loyalty between a woman and the golden retriever she saved in the most dangerous encounter of her life; HOLLYWOOD CROWS, a crime novel from Joseph Wambaugh in which LAPD cops Hollywood Nate and Bix Rumstead become caught up with bombshell Margot Aziz; and THE EVER-RUNNING MAN by Marcia Muller, a Sharon McCone mystery that finds the San Francisco detective attempting to track down a shadowy figure who has been leaving explosive devices at the various offices of her husband’s security firm.

Among our nonfiction highlights are BOOM!, in which Tom Brokaw explores how famous people, ordinary citizens and the national mindset were all affected by the tumultuous decade of the 1960s; SCHULZ AND PEANUTS, the first full-length biography of “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz, written by acclaimed biographer David Michaelis; GONZO, Jann S. Wenner and Corey Seymour’s startling portrait of journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson; and MY GRANDFATHER’S SON, a candid memoir by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who pays tribute to the one real hero in his life --- his maternal grandfather, whom he calls “Daddy.” » Read More



Reviews and Excerpts
THE MEMORIST by M.J. Rose (Suspense)
As a child, Meers Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place, always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music. Now the hand of the past has reached out again. Determined to unlock the mystery of who she once was, Meers travels to Vienna. With each step, she comes closer to remembering the connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society; the lost Memory Flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven and rumored to open the door to the past; and to David Weiss, a journalist who knows all too well how the past affects the future. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

A COLD PURSUIT by Carla Neggers (Romantic Suspense)
A number of prominent figures have been killed under mysterious circumstances in the past year, all unconnected. But when an esteemed U.S. ambassador is slain in a questionable hit-and-run in Washington, D.C. and his stepdaughter vanishes mere hours later in the mountains of northern New England, suspicions are raised by a Secret Service agent and a recovering Special Forces soldier. Reviewed by Amie Taylor and excerpted.

THE VICTORIA VANISHES by Christopher Fowler (Mystery)
A lonely hearts killer is targeting middle-aged women at some of England’s most well-known pubs --- including one torn down 80 years ago. What’s more, Detective Arthur Bryant happened to see one of the victims only moments before her death at the pub that doesn’t exist. Now, with the public on the verge of panic and their superiors determined to shut the Peculiar Crimes Unit down for good, Detectives Bryant and May must rise to the occasion. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

THE GATE HOUSE by Nelson DeMille (Suspense)
After much urging, Nelson DeMille has bowed to readers’ pleas and taken up the story of John and Susan Sutter 10 years after Susan killed her Mafia lover on the famed Gold Coast of Long Island. Back then, they went their separate ways. Now they’re back at Stanhope Hall, her family estate, and her dead lover’s son lives next door. These are ingredients that make for an explosive and highly entertaining story. Reviewed by Kate Ayers and excerpted.

- Visit Nelson DeMille’s official website, www.NelsonDeMille.net.

ROUGH WEATHER: A Spenser Novel, by Robert B. Parker (Mystery)
Spenser returns in this 36th installment of Robert B. Parker’s long-running series. The Boston private eye is hired to be a personal bodyguard for a rich woman at her daughter’s wedding on a private New England island. But the bride is abducted during the ceremony, and Spenser comes face to face with his most deadly opponent. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

SONGS FOR THE MISSING by Stewart O'Nan (Fiction)
It was the summer of her Chevette, of J.P. and letting her hair grow. It was also the summer when, without warning, popular high school student Kim Larsen disappeared from her small midwestern town. Her loving parents, her introverted sister, her friends and boyfriend must now do everything they can to find her. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

I SEE YOU EVERYWHERE by Julia Glass (Fiction)
"We are as different as white chocolate and seaweed," considers one of the sisters at the center of Julia Glass's third work of fiction. Novels about sisters who are polar opposites, who often live life in tension with one another, are nothing new. Glass's talent, however, is to find perceptive moments of clarity within well-worn territory. Here she uses an episodic storytelling technique similar to the one she employed with great success in her National Book Award-winning novel THREE JUNES. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE RIGHT MISTAKE: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow, by Walter Mosley (Fiction)
Walter Mosley’s modern-day Socrates, a street-wise ex-con, demonstrates more moral knowledge than most contemporary moral philosophers in this gravelly but tender novel of right action in a world determined to be wrong. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.

THE ROAD HOME by Rose Tremain (Fiction)
Already the winner of Britain’s prestigious Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, Rose Tremain’s marvelous novel follows Lev, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, as he makes his way in London. Even as he discovers a new vocation, Lev is haunted by the fate of his village and family in the old country. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

NOW THE DRUM OF WAR: Walt Whitman and His Brothers in the Civil War, by Robert Roper (History)
Walt Whitman's volunteer work in the military hospitals around Washington during the Civil War is the stuff of American legend. But what led him to that rather curious calling? Historian Robert Roper examines his notebooks and letters and explores his place in the Whitman family to attempt an answer to that puzzle. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

ALL ABOUT LULU by Jonathan Evison (Fiction)
Weakness has always been a concern for William Miller: growing up vegetarian in a family of bodybuilders will do that to a person. But William is further weakened by the death of his mother, the arrival of a new stepmother, and his irrepressible crush on his new stepsister, Lulu. As Lulu faces down her own challenges, William watches his life shift into tumult and despair. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

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