Lippman, McCall Smith, Minot, Teicholz, Werth | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Lippman, Laura. After I’m Gone. Morrow. Feb. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062083395. $26.99. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. THRILLER Investigating cold cases for some extra cash, retired Baltimore detective Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez looks into the murder 26 years earlier of Julie, once mistress to rich but shady businessman Felix Brewer, who disappeared ten years before Julie’s death. […]

Kellerman, Mina, & 23 More Thriller/Mystery Writers | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Beaton, M.C. Death of a Policeman. Grand Central. Feb. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781455504732. $24. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MYSTERY When Detective Chief Inspector Blair sends eager rookie Cyril Sessions to monitor series stalwart Sgt. Hamish Macbeth, whom Blair would so love to can, Sessions ends up murdered and Macbeth ends up a suspect. With a 50,000-copy […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Chiavareni, Cornwell, Johnson, Jungersen, & Sansom, plus Poetry of Witness

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Chiaverini, Jennifer. Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival. Dutton. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780525954286. $26.95. HISTORICAL Having demonstrated her talent for revivifying real-life women from the Civil War era with Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and The Spymistress, Chiaverini introduces us to Kate Chase Sprague, who helped her much-widowed father get established as secretary of the Treasury in Abraham Lincoln’s […]

Fiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: 12 Crucial Titles, from Hot International Fiction (Drndic, Yu Hua) to Works by American Prize Winners (Greenway, Martin) to Upscale Thrillers (Billingham, Dolan)

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  Billingham, Mark. From the Dead. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780802122131. $25. THRILLER A top-selling UK crime writer (and, surprisingly, a former stand-up comic who proved how funny he can still be at Grove Atlantic’s ALA dinner), Billingham is making a name for himself here—with the help of his publisher, which has signed […]

Fiction Previews, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Robards, Wagner, First Novelist Baxter, & More

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Andersen, Laura. The Boleyn Deceit. Ballantine. Dec. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345534118. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345534125. HISTORICAL Andersen recently launched a Tudor trilogy with The Boleyn King, which imagines that Anne Boleyn gave birth to a lusty baby boy who would become king of England. Here, Henry IX, called William by intimates, has passed through […]

Fiction Previews, December 2013, Pt. 1: Big Commercial Fiction from Connelly to Weldon

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Connelly, Michael. The Gods of Guilt. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780316069519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back with a new case—the murder of a prostitute whom he thought he had saved from a life on the streets. Now he learns that he may have instead endangered her and […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Fiction from Albom, Baldacci, Banks, Child/Preston, Griffith, Hammett, Lynch, Miles, & Smith

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Albom, Mitch. The First Phone Call from Heaven. Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780062294371. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062294395. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Phones are ringing off the hook in little Coldwater, MI, but the callers are all deceased, stirring emotions from joyous relief to uncertain fear as they report being happy in […]

Fiction Previews, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Top Commercial Fiction, Including Cornwell, Cussler, & McCall Smith

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Bruen, Ken. Purgatory. Mysterious Pr: Grove/Atlantic. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780802126078. $24. CD: Highbridge Audio. MYSTERY Nine previous titles, a Shamus Award, multiple award nominations, two feature films, and now this: even as he struggles to maintain his hard-won stability, former cop Jack Taylor must face a vigilante killer wiping out the bad guys of […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 5: Wrapping Up a Huge Month with Malcolm Gladwell, Malala Yousafzai, & More

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Chen Guangcheng. Untitled Memoir. Times: Holt. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780805098051. $28. MEMOIR Chen has been named a 2012 Brave Thinker, 2012 Rebel of the Year, and 2012 Global Thinker by the Atlantic, GQ, and Foreign Policy, respectively. And no wonder. Blinded by illness in infancy and illiterate until his teens, Chen taught himself law […]

Fiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 5: Lots of Action from Lisa Scottoline, Anne Hillerman, & More

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Abrams, JJ & Doug Dorst. The Secret JJ Abrams Project. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780316201643. $35. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Abrams has created, produced, written, and directed multiple Emmy– and Golden Globe Award–winning television series and films (yes, he’s helming the next Star Wars film), so it’s no surprise that he can […]

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