Click Here For Librarians Submitting a Book Become a Reviewer FAQ Contact Us About Us
Home Reviews Features Authors Quote Books Into Movies Book Clubs Awards Coming Soon
Search Contests WOM Bestsellers New in Paperback Newsletter Bibliographies Blog Updates

Friday, June 10, 2011

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the website on Friday, June 10th.

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

THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by Joseph Monninger
THE TIGER'S WIFE by Tea Obreht
GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell

Reviews and Excerpts
SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
Ellis, Julia and Dorie, who have been best friends since grade school, now find themselves in their mid-30s and at the crossroads of life and love. A month renting an old beach house in North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what each of them needs. But will this month in a summer rental steer them on the path to happiness and forgiveness? Reviewed by Jamie Layton.

MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni (Legal Thriller)
After the devastating murder of his wife, attorney David Sloane has returned to Seattle. He reconnects with Barclay Reid, opposing counsel in his most prominent case. Barclay is struggling to cope with the death of her teenage daughter from a drug overdose. When she’s accused of murdering a drug trafficker she blamed for the overdose, Sloane is not only her potential romantic interest, but her chosen defender, in his first criminal case. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

STATE OF WONDER by Ann Patchett (Fiction)
Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on what is destined to be a valuable new drug. Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her mentor, as well as answers to questions about another friend's death, the state of her company's future, and her own past. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
-Reading Group Guide

SISTER by Rosamund Lupton (Psychological Thriller)
When Bee learns that her sister, Tess, is missing, she expects to have to give her the usual bossy big sister lecture. But then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand. Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. As she gives her statement to the lead investigator, her story reveals a predator who got away with murder --- and an obsession that may cost Bee her life. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE RIDGE by Michael Koryta (Thriller)
In an isolated stretch of eastern Kentucky stands a lighthouse that illuminates nothing but woods. For years the lighthouse has been considered no more than a local landmark --- until its builder is found dead at the top of the light. For deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble, the death is disturbing and personal. Somehow it suggests a connection between the lighthouse and the most terrifying moment of his life. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE RANGER: A Quinn Colson Novel by Ace Atkins (Thriller)
Northeast Mississippi: hill country, rugged, and notorious for outlaws since the Civil War, where killings are as commonplace as in the Old West. To Quinn Colson, it's home, but not the home he left when he went to Afghanistan. Now an Army Ranger, he returns to a place overrun by corruption and finds his uncle, the county sheriff, dead --- a suicide, he's told, but others whisper murder. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BEST STAGED PLANS by Claire Cook (Fiction)
As a professional home stager, Sandy Sullivan is an expert at transforming cluttered rooms into attractive houses ready for sale. If only reinventing her life were as easy as choosing the perfect paint! She's eager to put her family's Boston home on the market, to downsize, and to simplify. But she must first deal with her foot-dragging husband and her grown son, who has moved back home after college to inhabit the basement "bat cave." Reviewed by Marge Fletcher.

OUTRAGE by Robert K. Tanenbaum (Legal Thriller)
Months after a brutal double homicide in uptown Manhattan shocks the city, sensational newspaper headlines herald the arrest and indictment of Felix Acevedo. But downtown, in the district attorney’s office, Butch Karp is seething. Damned by a coerced confession and a frenzied media bent on lynching him, Acevedo sits in jail while a vicious killer stalks the city. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

THE TWO DEATHS OF DANIEL HAYES by Marcus Sakey (Thriller)
A man wakes up naked and cold, half-drowned on an abandoned beach. The only sign of life for miles is an empty BMW. Inside the car he finds clothes that fit perfectly, shoes for his tattered feet, a Rolex, and a bank envelope stuffed with cash and an auto registration in the name of Daniel Hayes. None of it is familiar. Is he Daniel Hayes, and if so, why doesn't he remember? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

AN ACCIDENTAL SPORTSWRITER: A Memoir by Robert Lipsyte (Memoir)
Growing up, Robert Lipsyte was the smart-aleck fat kid, the bully magnet who went to the library instead of the ballpark. As the perpetual outsider, even into adulthood, Lipsyte's alienation from Jock Culture made him a rarity in the press box: the sportswriter who wasn't a sports fan. Going beyond the usual memoir, Lipsyte has written "a memory loop, a circular search for lost or forgotten pieces in the puzzle of a life." Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

A SIMPLE ACT OF VIOLENCE by R.J. Ellory (Thriller)
Washington, embroiled in the mid-term elections, did not want to hear about serial killings. But when the newspapers reported a fourth murder, when they gave the killer a name and details of his horrendous crimes, there were few people who could ignore it. Detective Robert Miller is assigned to the case and rapidly uncovers a complication --- the victims do not officially exist. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

THE WEDDING WRITER by Susan Schneider (Fiction)
Bridal magazines may be all white roses and soft focus, but the story behind the veil is by no means picture-perfect. From a wedding-biz insider, here is a sharp, scrumptious novel about four editors trying to find their own happily-ever-afters. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

HOT LIGHTS, COLD STEEL by D.P. Lyle (Psychological Thriller)
LinkForensic criminalist Dub Walker is once again called upon when an old friend enlists his help in finding her daughter. When the bodies of two young women show up in a shallow grave, one of whom is the daughter, Dub is back to work. Soon other bodies start turning up --- each victim has undergone multiple, highly technical surgical procedures requiring extremely sophisticated equipment. To catch a killer, Dub has to put himself in their place. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

Author Interviews
Mary Kay Andrews
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as HISSY FIT and SAVANNAH BLUES, and has penned 10 critically acclaimed mysteries, including theCallahan Garrityseries. Her latest book,SUMMER RENTAL, sees three best friends from grade school now in their mid-30s and at the crossroads of life. Together they rent an old beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, hoping to solve all their problems. In this interview,’s Jamie Layton (herself from North Carolina) asks Mary Kay about her fact-based setting, characters and plans for future projects. Mary Kay also sheds light on weaving fact and fiction, how she ends her books, and a trip she once took with her own best girlfriends.

Robert Dugoni
Roberty Dugoni is a writer turned lawyer turned writer, whose series featuring attorney David Sloane has earned him awards and critical praise.’s Joe Hartlaub spoke with Dugoni about his much-loved protagonist, who returns in the just-released fourth installment, MURDER ONE, and how he has been guiding his story and development through many plot twists. In this interview Dugoni also discusses how his experience in the courtroom serves as a basis for his legal thrillers, why his hometown of Seattle works best as the setting, and how he began the series that would result in so many accolades.

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and inspired us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? From May 27th through June 13th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Father’s Day Backpacks. Each hunter green backpack is filled with a copy of our seven featured titles, keeping dad busy through the rest of the year. Also included are a red-striped beach towel and a pack of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Our featured Father’s Day titles are:
-FORCED TO KILL (Audible Audio Edition) written by Andrew Peterson, narrated by Dick Hill
-MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni

We’ll be celebrating Father’s Day for the next week with some of our author friends in our Father’s Day blog series. We’re sharing a variety of pieces --- both entertaining and emotional --- from a diverse list of authors through Father’s Day. Similar to our Mother’s Day Month blog series, our Father’s Day series serves to celebrate dad, and our contributors have done that with equal parts of wit and wisdom.

Among our featured authors are: Steve Berry, Wilbur Smith, Karin Slaughter, Gregg Hurwitz, and Mary Doria Russell.

Summer is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contest and Feature. We will be spotlighting a different title or two on select days from Tuesday, May 31st through Wednesday, July 27th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book(s) and enter. Some days may even feature special bonus prizes, including beach items, a beach tote stocked with goodies, and additional books. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title(s), which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, June 13th at noon ET.
-Click here to see this year's featured titles.
-Click here
to receive our special newsletter announcing each day’s prize book.

These are not the best of times in the world of golf. Beset by revelations that have destroyed his image as an “all-American family man” and repeatedly disabled by serious physical injury, Tiger Woods is simply no longer the driving force of professional golf. There is more to the game of golf than the PGA, but the overall health of the industry is no better than the professional tour.

Golf’s hard times are reflected in the publishing industry. For the past several years, the spring and early summer would find a large quantity of golf books appearing in bookstores. Golf history, biography, instruction and travel would be fertile fields for authors seeking to take advantage of interest in the game. Since 2001,’s Stuart Shiffman has written an essay to coincide with Father’s Day and the U.S. Open where some of these titles have been spotlighted. Many potential candidates were available for review. As he prepared this year’s roundup, though, one thing became clear: Not as many golf books are being published. But there still are some quality books being written, and Stuart has several outstanding volumes to recommend.

Author Spotlight: One to Watch
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE by Margaret Leroy (Historical Fiction)
As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship --- and her family --- safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.

We have 20 copies of THE SOLDIER'S WIFE, which will be in stores June 28th, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, June 17th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Margaret Leroy's bio.
-Click here to see Margaret Leroy's backlist.
-Visit Margaret Leroy's official website,

Former socialite Tracy Deloche has nothing to her name but five ramshackle beach cottages and the unlikely friendships she's formed with her tenants. Wanda, wise waitress turned popular pie-shop owner. Janya, the young Indian wife whose arranged marriage surprises her every day. Alice, a widow raising her complex tween-age granddaughter. And Maggie, Wanda's daughter, a former Miami cop with a love life as complicated as Tracy's own.The new man in Tracy's life hasn't mentioned love or commitment --- and Tracy has just discovered she's pregnant. Janya longs to be a mother --- and suddenly has two young siblings in her care. Maggie helps out at Wanda's Wonderful Pies…but is the kitchen big enough forbothGray women? And Alice may lose her beloved granddaughter to someone no one expected. As a tropical storm brews, the wind carries surprises and secrets over the bridge to Happiness Key. Now, more than ever, five friends will discover just how much they need one another.

We have 20 copies of SUNSENT BRIDGE, which will be in stores June 28th, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, June 17th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Emilie Richards’s bio.
-Visit Emilie Richards’s official website,

BURIED SECRETS by Joseph Finder (Thriller)
Nick Heller, "private spy," has returned to his old home town of Boston to set up his own shop. There he’s urgently summoned by an old family friend. Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick’s help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Her abduction was clearly a sophisticated professional job, done with extraordinary precision. Alexa, whom Nick has known since she was young, is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt, a camera trained on her, her suffering streaming live over the internet. She’s been left with a limited supply of food and water and, if her father doesn’t meet the demands of her shadowy kidnappers, she’ll die. And as Nick begins to probe, he discovers that all is not quite right with Marshall Marcus’s business. He’s being investigated by the FBI, he has a lot of shady investors, his fund is in danger and now he has a lot of powerful enemies who may have the motivation to go after Marcus’s daughter. But to find out who’s holding Alexa Marcus hostage, Nick has to find out why.

-Click here to read a second excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Joseph Finder's bio.
-Click here to see Joseph Finder's backlist.
-Visit Joseph Finder's official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on BURIED SECRETS.

MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni (Legal Thriller)
Attorney David Sloane has returned to Seattle after three months in Mexico mourning the loss of his wife. At a black-tie dinner where he’s been persuaded to give the keynote address, Sloane reconnects with Barclay Reid, opposing counsel in his most prominent case. Barclay is suffering from her own personal tragedy --- the death of her teenage daughter from a drug overdose. In the aftermath, Barclay has begun an intense crusade against the Russian drug traffickers she holds responsible for her daughter’s death, pursuing them with a righteousness that matches Sloane’s own zeal for justice. Despite their adversarial past, Sloane is drawn to Barclay and for the first time since his wife died, he finds himself beginning to have romantic feelings again.

But when Barclay’s crusade stalls and a Russian drug dealer turns up dead, she stands accused of murder, and Sloane is her chosen defender. Amid the swirling media frenzy, in his first criminal case, Sloane finds himself once again in harm’s way, while mounting evidence suggests that Barclay is a wom hilarating plot twists, Robert Dugoni once again proves why he’s so often been named the heir to Grisham’s literary throne.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Robert Dugoni’s bio.
-Click here to see Robert Dugoni’s backlist.
-Visit Robert Dugoni’s official website,

THE DARK ENQUIRY by Deanna Raybourn (Romantic Suspense)
Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business.Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved --- if eccentric --- family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation. It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.

-Click here to read a second excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Deanna Raybourn's bio.
-Click here to see Deanna Raybourn's backlist.
-Visit Deanna Raybourn's official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on THE DARK ENQUIRY.

Born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps, Moses Froben and his deaf and mute mother ring the beautiful church bells each day. The townspeople assume Moses is also deaf, but shaped by the glorious music of the bells, he actually possesses a singular sense of hearing that makes him privy to any number of sins --- and puts him in grave danger. Moses finds refuge in a monastery’s choir and becomes its star singer, but he falls under the power of a man who will do anything to preserve Moses’ angelic voice forever. In this letter to his son, Moses recounts his life as a novice monk, the power and beauty of the music he loves, and a story of forbidden love.

We have 20 copies of THE BELLS, which will be in stores June 28th, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, June 17th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read Richard Harvell’s bio.
-Visit Richard Harvell’s official website,

June's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes FAITHFUL PLACE, Tana French’s highly praised third novel about the Dublin Murder Squad; THE LION by Nelson DeMille, the eagerly awaited follow-up to THE LION’S GAME that sees the return of former NYPD homicide detective and special agent John Corey; SIZZLING SIXTEEN, the continuation of Janet Evanovich’s beloved Stephanie Plum series; Sandra Brown’s TOUGH CUSTOMER, a heart-pounding tale about obsession and murder, the fragile nature of relationships, and, possibly, second chances; RESCUE, Anita Shreve’s masterful portrayal of a family trying to understand its fractured past and begin again; VERMILION DRIFT, William Kent Krueger’s 10th mystery featuring former sheriff Cork O'Connor; and SEAWORTHY, a true tale of blue-water fishing after a 10-year hiatus by Linda Greenlaw, whose exploits were recounted in Sebastian Junger’s THE PERFECT STORM.

Back to top