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Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, March 26th.

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

WINTER GARDEN by Kristin Hannah
THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
ROSES by Leila Meacham
SUPREME JUSTICE by Phillip Margolin
EVERY LAST ONE by Anna Quindlen
INNOCENT by Scott Turow

Reviews and Excerpts
YOU CAN’T STOP ME by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens (Thriller)
Small-town sheriff J.C. Harrow made headlines when he apprehended a would-be presidential assassin --- only to come home that night and find his wife and son brutally murdered. This tragic twist of fate launched his career as the host of reality TV’s smash-hit, "Crime Seen!" But while media star Harrow tracks down dangerous criminals coast to coast, a killer with a twisted agenda is making his own bloody path to fame. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from YOU CAN'T STOP ME.

CAUGHT by Harlan Coben (Thriller)
Harlan Coben’s latest novel, CAUGHT, tells the story of a missing girl, the community stunned by her loss, the predator who may have taken her, and the reporter who suddenly realizes she can’t trust her own instincts about this story --- or the motives of the people around her. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from CAUGHT.

SHATTERED by Karen Robards (Romantic Suspense)
When Lisa Grant comes across the cold case file of a missing family while working at the County DA's office, she never dreams that a long-lost connection to them will threaten her life and bring her the greatest love she's ever known, all at the same time. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.
- Click here to read an excerpt from SHATTERED.

MATTERHORN: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes (Historical Fiction)
Written over the course of 30 years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, MATTERHORN is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood.
- Click here to read an excerpt from MATTERHORN.

THE THINGS THEY CARRIED: Twentieth Anniversary Edition by Tim O'Brien (Historical Fiction)
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, which burst onto the literary scene 20 years ago, is a groundbreaking meditation on war, memory, imagination and the redemptive power of storytelling. The novel depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O'Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of 43.
- Click here to read a review of THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.

THE MAPPING OF LOVE AND DEATH: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Historical Mystery)
In the latest installment of Jacqueline Winspear’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death --- an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse. Reviewed by Jennifer McCord.

KNOWN TO EVIL: A Leonard McGill Mystery by Walter Mosley (Mystery)
Walter Mosley brings back Leonid McGill in this second novel about the crooked New York private eye struggling to go straight. McGill is hired by a powerful, shadowy political fixer to check up on a mysterious young woman and walks in on a double murder for which he just might end up taking the fall. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.
-Click here to read an excerpt from KNOWN TO EVIL.

So MUCH FOR THAT by Lionel Shriver (Fiction)
The subject is death, health-care costs, and entrapments and escapes of all kinds. What a fun read! Well, actually, it is, in the hands of this clever, edgy, ever-surprising novelist, best known for THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD and Orange Prize winner WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

THE SHEEN ON THE SILK by Anne Perry (Historical Mystery)
Bestselling author Anne Perry, made famous for her terrific Victorian mysteries, takes a bold departure into the realm of historical fiction with this stand-alone novel of murder amidst the backdrop of 13th-century Constantinople, where a woman must live a lie in her quest to uncover the truth. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

212 by Alafair Burke (Thriller)
A college girl fears for her life, but the NYPD says they can do nothing about it. When she’s found murdered, detectives discover a link to a months-old homicide and a missing roommate. Now it’s a race against time to find the killer before they have another body on their consciences. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THIS BOOK IS OVERDUE!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson (Social Science)
Marilyn Johnson celebrates libraries and librarians, arguing that the work they do is more important than ever. She follows a new breed of visionary professionals --- cybrarians --- who use the web to link people and information, and bridge the gulf between those who have the tools and resources they need and those left behind by economics, education, or the latest computer upgrade. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

APPETITE FOR AMERICA: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West by Stephen Fried (History)
The legendary life and entrepreneurial vision of Fred Harvey helped shape American culture and history for three generations and still influence our lives today in surprising and fascinating ways. Now award-winning journalist Stephen Fried recreates the life of this unlikely American hero, the founding father of the nation’s service industry, whose remarkable family business civilized the West and introduced America to Americans. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

DOWN TO THE WIRE by David Rosenfelt (Thriller)
Mystery fans may be familiar with David Rosenfelt and his series of novels featuring attorney Andy Carpenter, which is a light-hearted journey through courtrooms and police stations across the land. Rosenfelt’s new book represents a far different atmosphere, where tension is the main ingredient and is present in large quantities. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THE CREATION OF EVE by Lynn Cullen (Historical Fiction)
Sofonisba Anguissola is a female Renaissance painter, a rare feat for a woman of the 16th century. While studying in Rome, she finds not only her talent for painting but also a love she cannot have. In the following years, she sees just how devastating love --- and her art --- can be. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for THE CREATION OF EVE.

STILL MIDNIGHT by Denise Mina (Thriller)
On a still night in a quiet suburb of Glasgow, Scotland, three armed men have slipped from a van into a house, demanding a man who is not, and has never been, inside the front door. In the confusion that ensues, one family member is shot and another kidnapped, the assailants demanding an impossible ransom. Is this the amateur crime gone horribly wrong that it seems, or something much more unexpected? Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum

THE JOURNAL KEEPER: A Memoir by Phyllis Theroux (Memoir)
THE JOURNAL KEEPER is a memoir of six years in writer Phyllis Theroux’s life. A natural storyteller, she swings easily between subjects that occupy us all: love, loneliness, growing old, financial worries, spiritual growth, and watching her remarkable mother prepare for death. As Theroux invites us to walk along with her, the path brings new friends, worries and revelations. Reviewed by Marge Fletcher.

LIGHTNING OUT FOR THE TERRITORY: How Samuel Clemens Headed West and Became Mark Twain by Roy Morris, Jr. (History)
Historian Roy Morris, Jr. has taken a gently humorous look at Mississippi riverboat pilot Sam Clemens’s five-plus years out west during the Civil War and shows in sprightly prose how Clemens reinvented himself as Mark Twain, perhaps the greatest and folksiest humorist America has ever produced. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

Author Interview
Max Allan Collins
YOU CAN’T STOP ME, the latest thriller from Max Allan Collins, follows a small-town sheriff turned private eye/reality show host in search of a serial killer who wants to be caught on national television. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Collins explains which real-life figure his protagonist, J.C. Harrow, is partly modeled after, and names some of the famous criminals of the past century who have sparked his interest while researching this novel. He also discusses his collaborative work with co-writer Matthew Clemens, as well as his wife, Barbara Collins, and mentions a few of his favorite projects from his prolific writing career.

Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight
WHITER THAN SNOW by Sandra Dallas
WHITER THAN SNOW opens in 1920, on a spring afternoon in Swandyke, a small town near Colorado’s Tenmile Range. Just moments after four o’clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, enveloping everything in its path including nine young children who are walking home from school. But only four children survive.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from WHITER THAN SNOW.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
THE BOOK OF SPIES by Gayle Lynds
For centuries, emperors, historians and even the Vatican have tried to locate Ivan the Terrible's magnificent Library of Gold. Now one of its volumes, The Book of Spies, has surfaced, and along with it the secret book club that owns the fabled library. They form a cabal of the globe's most powerful men --- men who will do anything to achieve their aims and protect their interests. An intelligence officer and a rare book curator now must do what other global agencies can't --- find the library and stop them.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from THE BOOK OF SPIES.

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