Fiction

Chiaverini, Jennifer. An Elm Creek Quilts Novel. Dutton. Nov. 2011. 352p. ISBN 9780525952428. $24.95. POP FICTION
This continuation of the Elm Creek series has a retrospective feel. With her daughter getting married, Elm Creek Quilts maven Sarah McClure recalls weddings and wedding quilts past, not to mention all her deep friendships at Elm Creek Manor. A sweet and appealing series; buy wherever there are fans.

Connelly, Michael. The Drop. Little, Brown. Nov. 2011. 400p. ISBN 9780316069410. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD/Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
LAPD detective Harry Bosch is on his 17th outing but doesn’t seem to be tiring; his last one, The Reversal, debuted in the top spot on the New York Times list and boasts something like 450,000 copies in print. Here Bosch is juggling two cases: the suspicious death of a councilman’s son and a DNA match for a 1989 rape/murder. Problem is, the match is to a habitual offender who would have been only eight years old at the time. Did the lab mess up? Another relentless Connelly thriller; buy multiples.

Del Toro, Guillermo & Chuck Hogan. The Night Eternal. Morrow. Nov. 2011. 350p. ISBN 9780061558269. $26.99. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. HORROR
Del Toro takes time off from his many filmmaking responsibilities to join with Princedel toro Fiction of Thieves author Hogan to finish off the trilogy they began with The Strain. Nuclear winter has descended, with the sun shining only an hour each day‚ perfect for vampires, who now dominate the world. Humans are rounded up like cattle and used accordingly. Of course, a few renegades have escaped and are set on bringing down the bloodsuckers. There’s a one-day laydown on 10/25/11, a 250,000-copy first printing, and rights sales to 27 countries. Need I say more?

Dorsey, Tim. When Elves Attack: A Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State. Morrow. Nov. 2011. 256p. ISBN 9780062092847. $16.99. THRILLER
Antihero of Dorsey’s many novels, Serge Storms is a likable nutcase who tends to kill when his sense of justice is bruised. How’s he celebrating Christmas? By going completely crazy at the mall. For all Serge fans.

Gray, Shelley Shepard. Christmas in Sugarcreek: A Christmas Seasons of Sugarcreek Novel. Avon Inspire. Nov. 2011. 256p. ISBN 9780062089762. $16.99. CHRISTIAN FICTION
Gray’s popular Seasons of Sugarcreek series moves into hardcover with a story centered on dutiful daughter Judith Graber. Overworked at her father’s store during the holidays, she’s thrown together with new employee Ben Knox, the black sheep who’s returned to their Amish community with hopes of a fresh beginning. And maybe romance? The 100,000-copy first printing suggests a big (and pretty hopeful) promotion.

Maguire, Gregory. Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years. Morrow. Nov. 2011. 608p. ISBN 9780060548940. $26.99. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION
Back in 1995, Maguire kicked off a whole series (and a Tony Award‚ winning musical) with Wicked, the story of Oz told from an entirely new perspective. Now he’smaguire Fiction bringing the series to a close. With Glinda under house arrest, the Cowardly Lion in trouble with the law, and the Emerald City preparing to conquer Munchkinland, Oz isn’t exactly showing its rainbow colors. Maybe Dorothy can save it. Or Elphaba’s witchy granddaughter, Rain. Don’t miss this one; with a one-day laydown on 11/1/11, a 400,000-copy first printing, and a six-city tour to Boston, Chicago, Denver, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Markham, Q.R. Assassin of Secrets. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Nov. 2011. 224p. ISBN 9780316176460. pap. $14.99. THRILLER
You gotta love a first novelist who’s been a rock ‘n’ roll bassist and door-to-door knife salesman and now runs an indie bookstore in Brooklyn called Spoonbill & Sugartown. Markham’s hero is Christopher Case, a CIA agent with a purpose: he wants to use his war skills to guarantee peace. Now he’s after the Zero Directorate, a bunch of rogue assassins intent on interrogating and then killing agents worldwide and selling their secrets to the highest bidder. And of course they’re after him. Watch for your thriller fans, especially the less earnest sorts who like a touch of satire.

Patterson, James. Kill Alex Cross. Little, Brown. Nov. 2011. 400p. ISBN 9780316037921. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD/Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
First, the President’s children are kidnapped. Then, a lethal contagion is discovered in the capital’s waters. Alex Cross is called in to solve both problems, but someone has ordered the FBI, CIA, and Secret Service not to cooperate with him. Go figure. With 70 million copies of Alex Cross titles in print and a film based on the series and starring Tyler Perry ready to roll, this is required for thriller fans.

Rankin, Ian. The Impossible Dead. Regan Arthur Bks: Little, Brown. Nov. 2011. 384p. ISBN 9780316039772. $25.99. THRILLER
Having waved good-bye to long-running Inspector John Rebus in 2008’s Exit Music, Rankin has turned to a new hero: Edinburgh cop Malcolm Fox, who works for the Complaints‚ that is, Internal Affairs. (His job is to investigate other cops possibly gone bad.) Here, on his second case (after The Complaints), Fox is on an out-of-town assignment looking into an entire department that seems rotten. Edgar and Diamond Dagger winner Rankin has made Fox less prickly than Rebus but still vivid; buy wherever Rankin is popular and especially where the new series is taking off.

Sands, Lynsay & Jeaniene Frost. The Bite Before Christmas. Morrow. Nov. 2011. 320p. ISBN 9780062014078. $19.99. lrg. prnt. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Two paranormal romance authors, both best sellers in mass market, join forces andbite Fiction migrate to hardcover for the holidays. Each contributes a story to this confection. Sands continues her Argeneau vampire series in The Gift, which finds Katricia Argeneau pleased to be snowbound in an isolated cabin with her heartthrob, while Night Huntress Frost’s Home for the Holidays has Cat and Bones battling a bad vampire instead of hanging mistletoe. Great expectations here, with a whopping 100,000-copy first printing.

Woodrell, Daniel. The Outlaw Album. Little, Brown. Oct. 2011. 160p. ISBN 9780316057561. $24.99. STORIES
Like Woodrell’s remarkable Winter’s Bone (catch the award-winning film), all the stories in this collection are set in the Ozarks, and all involve folks living on the edge. There’s an Iraq vet killed when he becomes instable, for instance, and a girl caring for an injured rapist. But there’s tenderness, too. With a five-city tour to Austin, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Kansas City; I really recommend.

Zuiker, Anthony E. with Duane Swierczynski. Dark Revelations: A Level 26 Thriller Featuring Steve Dark. Dutton. Nov. 2011. 400p. ISBN 9780525951971. $26.95. Digital Download: Penguin THRILLER
It’s not just print, it’s an online community: more than 100,000 users are registered at Level26.com so that they can fully enjoy Zuiker’s cross-platform thrillers. This wrap-up to the Level 26 trilogy again features Steven Dark, an FBI operative who hunts down especially vicious serial killers. His quarry this time is a villain called Labyrinth, who uses puzzles, riddles, and wordplay to herald the death of his well-placed victims. For all thriller fans, especially the techie sorts; note that coauthor Swierczynski has a trilogy of his own out this year from Mulholland.

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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