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Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, September 18th. Blog
The titles, authors and noteworthy items below were featured in Carol Fitzgerald’s latest Facebook Roundup blog:
WHERE MEN WIN GLORY by John Krakauer
TRUE COMPASS by Edward Kennedy
The NAIBA Awards
Miami Book Fair
Bouchercon Mystery Fan Convention

The titles below are also mentioned in the Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

DEEP END OF THE OCEAN by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Reviews and Excerpts
HOMER & LANGLEY by E.L. Doctorow (Fiction)
E.L. Doctorow has moved the tale of the eccentric Collyer brothers and their obsessive hoarding from the sideshow of American history to center stage. Strange as that story may be, he makes us feel privileged --- in an odd way perhaps --- to share it. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from HOMER & LANGLEY.

NO TIME TO WAVE GOODBYE by Jacquelyn Mitchard (Fiction)
Jacquelyn Mitchard, the bestselling author of THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, gives us a worthy sequel --- a nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat page-turner. Here, we find the Cappadora family riding an emotional roller coaster rivaling the horrendous disappearance of their son Ben 22 years ago. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from NO TIME TO WAVE GOODBYE.

CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran (Historical Fiction)
The fateful tale of twins Selene and Alexander --- two of Marc Antony and Cleopatra’s children --- is brought brilliantly to life in CLEOPATRA’S DAUGHTER, a fascinating portrait of imperial Rome and of the people and events of this glorious and most tumultuous period in human history. Reviewed by Melanie Smith and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from CLEOPATRA’S DAUGHTER.

GOURMET RHAPSODY by Muriel Barbery (Fiction)
In the heart of Paris, in the posh building made famous in THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG, the greatest food critic in the world is dying. During his final hours, Monsieur Pierre Arthens is desperately searching for that singular flavor, that sublime something once sampled, never forgotten, the Flavor par excellence. Indeed, this flamboyant and self-absorbed man desires only one thing before he dies: one last taste. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

STITCHES: A Memoir, by David Small (Graphic Memoir)
The youngest of two children, David Small had problems with each of his family members, all of whom isolated themselves in some way and caused him some kind of turmoil. But it was his father who did the most lasting damage. The ongoing radiology treatments performed on Small --- done to “cure” him of sicknesses he faced --- perhaps caused the cancerous growth that had to be removed, along with one of his vocal cords, at the age of 14. Small recreates a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. Reviewed by John Hogan.

THE DEVIL’S PUNCHBOWL by Greg Iles (Thriller)
THE DEVIL’S PUNCHBOWL is a high-caliber thriller taking place in the Deep South about one month after Hurricane Katrina. Penn Cage, the mayor of Natchez, Mississippi, is faced with the murder of an old classmate at the hands of an evil syndicate that runs the gambling riverboats along his stretch of the Mississippi River. These men hold the town in a death grip as they are also involved in several illegal enterprises and appear to be unstoppable. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

HEART OF THE ASSASSIN by Robert Ferrigno (Futuristic Thriller)
Time is running out for the Islamic Republic and the Bible Belt, the two warring nations that arose when the former United States split apart after an economic collapse left tens of millions unemployed and desperate for leadership. Weakened by their endless conflict, both countries are now threatened by the expansionist dreams of the Aztlán Empire (formerly known as Mexico) to the south. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

NEW WORLD MONKEYS by Nancy Mauro (Fiction)
Duncan and Lily flee Manhattan for the peaceful allure of a recently inherited crumbling Victorian home. But the two are left with little time to ponder the traditional "he said, she said" failings of a relationship. On an upstate road miles shy of their house, a wild boar leaps to his death in front of their Saab --- an accident whose consequences will haunt them throughout the summer. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

THE SARI SHOP WIDOW by Shobhan Bantwal (Fiction)
Anjalie Kapadia's sari shop in Little India, Silk & Sapphires, is her life. But when financial difficulties threaten her livelihood, she has to decide whether or not she can trust the sexy and dashing Rishi Shah with her business as well as her heart. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

HELL by Robert Olen Butler (Fiction)
Robert Olen Butler’s portrait of Hell is wise and humane, more than a little sarcastic, and entirely new. Beneath all the carnivalesque satire of this novel lie core questions of redemption and individual responsibility. Admittedly an uneven and sometimes clumsy narrative, HELL points the way to what makes us human. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.

OF BEES AND MIST by Erick Setiawan (Fiction)
Raised in a sepulchral house where ghosts dwell in mirrors, Meridia grows up lonely and miserable. But at age 16, she has a chance at happiness when she falls in love with Daniel, a caring and naive young man. Soon they marry, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her husband's family, unaware that they harbor dark secrets of their own. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

RED TO BLACK by Alex Dryden (Thriller)
At the dawn of the new millennium, Finn, an MI6 spy, and Anna, a colonel in the KGB, have been ordered to gather intelligence on each other. Instead they find a love that becomes the only truth they can trust. A source deep within the Kremlin tells Finn of a plan, hatched in the depths of the Cold War, to dismantle the Soviet communist state and replace it with a new imperium within Russia: a plan to control the whole of Europe. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RESURRECTION: The Miracle Season That Saved Notre Dame Football, by Jim Dent (Sports)
As the 2009 college football season gets underway, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame are once again seeking admission back into the top echelon of college football programs. In 1964, after nearly a decade of football failure, the Irish were in similar dire straits. Ara Parseghian became their savior that season and led them back to college football prominence. RESURRECTION is the stirring saga of that season, which even Notre Dame haters will find an engrossing piece of football history. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THE WILD MARSH: Four Seasons at Home in Montana, by Rick Bass (Memoir)
THE WILD MARSH begins with Rick Bass’s family settling in for the long Montana winter, and captures all the subtle harbingers of change that mark each passing month --- the initial cruel teasing of spring, the splendor and fecundity of summer, and the bittersweet memories evoked by fall. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

Author Interviews
David Small
Having made a name for himself writing and illustrating children's books for nearly three decades, award-winning author David Small recently turned his attention to more serious and personal matters, penning STITCHES, a memoir in graphic novel form that chronicles his childhood in an abusive and emotionally absent household. In this interview with John Hogan, the Editorial Director for, Small talks about what prompted this departure from his usual fare, and recalls both the traumatic and thrilling experiences of reliving such a painful period in his life. He also explains what he has since learned about his family that perhaps provides some insight into their behavior, and shares how his upbringing helped shape him into the artist he is today.

Michelle Moran
Michelle Moran is the bestselling author of three works of historical fiction --- NEFERTITI, THE HERETIC'S QUEEN and the newly released CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER --- each of which is centered on legendary princesses of ancient Egypt. In this interview with's Melanie Smith, Moran recalls the college experience that sparked her interest in this particular time and setting, and recounts the moments of inspiration that prompted her to write each of her books. She also provides some background information on her characters, shares what she hopes readers will take away from her work, and reveals which historical era she will focus on in her next novel.

THE LOST SYMBOL by Dan Brown (Thriller)
In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon THE DA VINCI CODE, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. THE LOST SYMBOL is a masterstroke of storytelling --- a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets and unseen truths…all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels and temples of Washington, D.C., THE LOST SYMBOL accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

Check back Friday, September 25th for our review of THE LOST SYMBOL.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE LOST SYMBOL.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
13 1⁄2 by Nevada Barr
With 13 1/2, Nevada Barr,
New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning Anna Pigeon novels, has written a taut and terrifying psychological thriller. It carries the reader from the horrifying 1970s murder spree of a child --- dubbed “Butcher Boy” by a shocked public --- in Rochester, Minnesota, to Polly, the abused daughter of Mississippi “trailer trash,” to post-Katrina New Orleans. Bestselling Jeffery Deaver raves that 13 1⁄2 "is a hands-down winner!”
- Click here to read a second excerpt from 13 ½

Growing up in rural Georgia during the 1940s, Joseph Vaughan finds himself at the center of series of mutilations and killings of young girls. Just a teenager, Joseph becomes determined to protect his community from the killer, but is powerless to prevent more murders --- and no one is ever caught. Ten years later one of his neighbors is found hanging from a rope, surrounded by articles from the dead girls; the killings cease, and the nightmare appears to be over. Desperate and plagued everything he has witnessed, Joseph sets out forge a new life in New York. But even there the past won't leave him alone --- for it seems that the murderer still lives and is killing again, and that the secret to his identity lies in Joseph's own history.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS.

HOSTILE INTENT by Michael Walsh
It starts with the unthinkable --- the most horrific act of violence ever committed on American soil --- and only one man can stop them.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from HOSTILE INTENT.

CRUSH by Alan Jacobson
Fresh off the most challenging case of her career, THE 7th VICTIM heroine and renowned FBI profiler Karen Vail returns in an explosive thriller set against the backdrop of California’s wine country. Meticulously researched during years of work with the FBI profiling unit and extensive interviews with wine industry professionals, bestselling author Alan Jacobson delivers a high-velocity thriller featuring the kind of edge of-your-seat ending that inspired Nelson DeMille to call him “a hell of a writer.”
- Click here to read a third excerpt from CRUSH.

VANISHED by Joseph Finder
Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. And in his line of work, it's essential. Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator --- exposing secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden.

When Nick’s brother disappears without a trace --- and Nick’s favorite nephew pleads for his help --- Nick’s search sets him on a collision course with one of the most powerful corporations in the world --- and they will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.
- Click here to read additional Advanced Reader Comments on VANISHED.

Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight
SILENT KILLER by Beverly Barton
To most people, men like Mark Cantrell are fine, upstanding pillars of the community, completely beyond reproach…but their killer knows better. They are sinners of the worst kind, and they must burn on earth before they burn in hell.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from SILENT KILLER.

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