Clark, Carol Higgins. Mobbed: A Regan Reilly Mystery. Scribner. Apr. 2011. 272p. ISBN 9781439170281. $25. eISBN 9781439170304. CD: S. & S. Audio.
As she traipses from idyllic Cape May to good-time Atlantic City to scruffy Asbury Park on a case with her husband, PI Regan Riley runs into old friends‚ she grew up in New Jersey, after all. But one of them just doesn’t look like herself. Hmm, might this have something to do with the Mob? We are talking Garden State. Look for a big pitch around Mother’s Day, as the author does a national tour and competes with her mom (see Mary Higgins Clark, I’ll Walk Alone, previewed below).

Clark, Marcia. Guilt by Association. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Apr. 2011. 368p. ISBN 9780316129510. $25.99.
She may be one tough D.A., but even Rachel Knight is shaken when colleague Jake is killed in an awful fashion and she must then take over a particularly thorny case involving the assault of a young woman from a high-profile family. Things get even tougher when she decides to look into Jake’s death. Clark of all people should know exactly how such situations feel. Pony up for this debut thriller from the debut thriller imprint Mulholland. [For a story on the imprint, see Publisher’s Perspective.]

Clark, Mary Higgins. I’ll Walk Alone. S. & S. Apr. 2011. 304p. ISBN 9781439180969. $25.95. eISBN 9781439186794. CD: S. & S. Audio.
It’s bad enough that Alexandra Moreland’s toddler disappeared in Central Park a few years back. Now Alexandra is being accused of identity theft and possibly murder. Looks as if someone is trying to drive her insane. Clark is a powerhouse, though a few fans thought her last book sounded same old same old. Watch this one.

Clowes, Daniel. Mister Wonderful: A Love Story. Pantheon. Apr. 2011. 80p. ISBN 9780307378132. $19.94. eISBN 9780307379719.
Divorced, middle-aged, suddenly jobless Marshall has been waiting nearly an hour for blind date Natalie, who arrives in a flurry of apologies and turns out to be both attractive and utterly engaged in what Marshall has to say. Clowes’s Eisner Award‚ winning story, with 40 pages of new material, explains why. With a six-city tour to Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, and San Francisco; for GN fans everywhere.

Connelly, Michael. The Fifth Witness. Little, Brown. Apr. 2011. 416p. ISBN 9780316069359. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD: Random Audio.
No, not Harry Bosch but Mickey Haller, who’s done so well (starting with The Lincoln Lawyer in 2005) that Connelly keeps bringing him back for more. In this up-to-the-minute thriller, criminal defense attorney Haller has taken on foreclosure work, which creates complications; one of his clients is accused of killing the banker threatening to take her home. Buy multiples.

Davidson, Diane Mott. Crunch Time: A Novel of Suspense. Morrow. Apr. 2011. 320p. ISBN 9780061348150. $25.99. lrg. prnt.
First, the apartment building where Yolanda Garcia lives with her aunt is torched; then, when they move in with PI Ernest McLeod, he’s shot dead and his house is set ablaze. So Goldy Schulz invites them to stay with her‚ and swings into action. Morrow’s lead fiction title for April and, with a one-day laydown, a 250,000-copy first printing, and a six-city tour (Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Naples, Sarasota, and Tampa), another nice showing for Davidson.

Evans, Richard Paul. Miles to Go. (The Walk, Bk. 2). S. & S. Apr. 2011. 352p. ISBN 9781439191378. $22. eISBN 9781439191477. CD: S. & S.
Having lost everything, Alan Christoffersen has elected to walk across America, from Seattle to Key West. The first book in this five-parter left him in Spokane, so in his search for hope he has a long way to go. I sense that for some readers this walk got off to a slow start, so you might want to gauge interest before deciding how many to order.

Feist, Raymond E. A Kingdom Besieged: Book One of the Chaoswar Saga. Morrow. Apr. 2011. 352p. ISBN 9780061468391. $27.99.
Now a mature magician, Pug is back in what will reportedly be the final trilogy in the long-running Riftwar cycle. Alas, he’s starting to question everything, including his beloved son. Fans will want, of course; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Fforde, Jasper. One of Our Thursdays Is Missing: A Thursday Next Novel. Viking. Mar. 2010. 384p. ISBN 9780670022526. $25.95.
Where’s Thursday Next when you need her? A Genre war is raging in the BookWorld, but Thursday has retired to the Realword. In desperation, the Council of Genres turns to the written Thursday for help. Got that? Fforde returns to his Thursday series after the dystopian (but still funny) Shades of Grey and should sustain the success of this series. With a ten-city tour.

George, Margaret. Elizabeth I. Viking. Apr. 2011. 688p. ISBN 9780670022533. $30. CD: Penguin Audio.
George has fictionalized Henry VIII and Mary, Queen of Scots, with breathtakingly detailed success, so why not Elizabeth? This re-creation of the queen and her era is told from the perspective of her lookalike cousin Lettice Knollys, who’s also in love with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Fans of historicals will love; with an eight-city tour.

My Pick
Gordon, Mary. The Love of My Youth. Pantheon. Apr. 2011. 288p. ISBN 9780307377425. $24.95.
Back in the Sixties, when they were in high school, singer Miranda and Adam, a piano prodigy, were each other’s first, passionate love. Then came betrayal and decades of silence. Now they both happen to be in Rome and have contacted a mutual acquaintance, who brings them together for what is first an explosion and later many thoughtful, penetrating conversations on who they were, what they meant to each other, and what their lives are like now. Since this is Gordon, you can rightly expect many thoughtful, penetrating insights on how we manage ourselves as we grow older, all couched in shining and gently acidic prose. Fabulous for reading groups of all ages.

Grippando, James. Afraid of the Dark. Harper: HarperCollins. Apr. 2011. 416p. ISBN 9780061840289. $25.99. lrg. prnt.
Sgt. Vince Paulo is blinded in a blast, but not before the young woman bleeding to death in his arms imparts the name of her murderer, ex-boyfriend Jamal. Now Jamal is threatened with the death penalty for terrorist activity, and criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck is hustling to prove that at the time he had been kidnapped and held in a mysterious detention center‚ the real issue here. Grippando makes the extended New York Times best sellers list and is a good addition to thriller collections; with a 60,000-copy first printing.

Hagedorn, Jessica. Toxicology. Viking. Apr. 2011. 224p. ISBN 9780670022571. $25.95.
Departing from familiar territory (that is, the Philippines), Hagedorn takes up to Manhattan’s West Village to visit Mimi Smith, a maker of low-budget slasher films who’s struggling with a wild daughter and newly sober brother, and neighbor Eleanor Delacroix, an elderly, gin- and cocaine-addicted writer of erotic fiction whose lover, painter Yvonne Wilder, has just died. Hagedorn proved she could write with her National Book Award finalist, Dogeaters, and literary types should be intrigued.

Hannah, Kristin. Night Road. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2011. 400p. ISBN 9780312364427. $27.99. CD/MP3: Macmillan Audio.
Former foster child Lexi has become Mia’s best friend, and Mia’s twin brother, Zach, has fallen in love with her. The twins’ mom, Jude, couldn’t be happier that her children are happy‚ until one dark night when Lexi is implicated in a terrible accident, and the family is torn apart. Years later, Jude must consider reconciling with Lexi. Get multiples; great for book clubs.

Kerr, Philip. Field Gray. Putnam. Apr. 2011. 448p. ISBN 9780399157417. $26.95. lrg. prnt. CD/MP3: Penguin Audio.
In this latest Bernie Gunther thriller, which opens in 1931 Berlin and ranges up to postwar Germany, Bernie’s a disheartened cynic who nevertheless tries to stick to his moral code. London- and Cornwall-based Kerr will be touring here for the first time in years, a sign of support for this series.

Johansen, Iris. Eve. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2011. 416p. ISBN 9780312651206. $27.99.
Fans of Johansen know that forensic sculptor Eve Duncan’s fierce commitment to her work results partly from the pain of her daughter’s disappearance many years ago. Now CIA agent Catherine Ling, whose son Eve helped find (see Chasing the Night), reveals that a shadowy man from Eve’s past was in town around the time little Bonnie was last seen. Expect huge demand and questions about Quinn, the second in this new trilogy; it’s coming October 2011.

Lutz, Lisa & David Hayward. Heads You Lose. Putnam. Apr. 2011. 320p. ISBN 9780399157400. $24.95.
Lutz, who gave us the insanely funny and popular Spellman series, launches a new series starring an offbeat brother-and-sister team who seem to work harder at battling each other than they do at solving a murder. No, Lutz still can’t stay away from the whole family thing. Coauthor Hayward isn’t family, though he and Lutz used to date, which evidently colors those fight scenes. With an eight-city tour; there should be lots of interest in this one.

O’Nan, Stewart. Emily, Alone. Viking. Mar. 2010. 272p. ISBN 9780670022359. $25.95.
Her husband dead and her neighborhood changing, Emily is indeed alone in this follow-up to his best-selling Wish You Were Here. But she’s learning to manage her independence. O’Nan, as his publicist points out, does beautifully with women characters, and the older protagonist is a plus.

Quick, Amanda. Quicksilver: An Arcane Society Novel (Looking Glass Trilogy, Bk. 2). Putnam. Apr. 2011. NAp. ISBN 9780399157370. $25.95.
This is such a new trilogy that Book 1, In Too Deep (by Quick’s alter ego Jayne Ann Krentz, go figure), isn’t even out until January 2011. In that book, paranormal investigator Fallon Jones settles in Scargill Cove, blessed with powerful energy fields likely to attract the nuttier among us. He then, perhaps unwisely, hires on-the-run Isabella as his assistant. In the second book, the two are being hounded by a paranormal killer. Sounds like classic Quick. Fans can get special collectors’ packets of the trilogy assembled by the author by visiting the author’s website.

Ross, Ann B. Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle. Viking. Apr. 2011. 320p. ISBN 9780670022557. $25.95.
Miss Julia is too busy helping Hazel Marie get ready for her due date to worry much about the dead body discovered in a neighbor’s tool shed‚ and, anyway, she promised not to get involved. Then again, why is someone obviously innocent being blamed for the crime? Ross has a solid fan base, and her efforts don’t seem to be flagging; with a five-city tour.

Scottoline, Lisa. Save Me. St. Martin‘s. Apr. 2011. 384p. ISBN 9780312380786. $27.99. CD: Macmillan Audio.
Susan Pressman is volunteering at her daughter’s school to make sure she doesn’t get bullied by mean girl Amanda when an explosion occurs. She hustles both girls to safety, but Amanda runs off and is injured, leaving Susan with the blame. To avoid hostility (and a lawsuit), Susan tries to figure out what really happened that day. With this title, best seller Scottoline will hit a nerve for many readers.

Spindler, Erica. Watch Me Die. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2011. 352p. ISBN 9780312363949. $24.99.
Mira Gallier, who restores stained glass, is getting on with her life after losing her husband to Hurricane Katrina. Then a man called the Preacher assails her, her house is broken into and one of her restored windows vandalized, her husband seems to appear in a crowd, and she’s blamed for the grotesque murder of an assistant. If you like them really chilly, this is for you.

Wallace, David Foster. The Pale King. Little, Brown. Apr. 2011. 496p. ISBN 9780316074230. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD: Hachette Audio.
When a character named David Foster Wallace arrives at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, IL, he takes on a job so joyless and machinelike that (along with other new recruits) he’s given boredom-survival training. This last, unfinished work by the author of Infinite Jest will be getting a big push and likely considerable attention, given Wallace’s reputation and tragic death. Readings and discussions are being scheduled nationwide at the time of publication. Wow, I want to see; pitch to all your literary readers.

Woodrell, Daniel. The Bayou Trilogy. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Apr. 2011. 496p. ISBN 9780316133654. pap. $16.99. ÔøΩ
Combining three earlier works (Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do), all set in the lowdown parish of St. Bruno, this paperback should prove to readers of crime fiction everywhere that the author of Winter’s Bone is a sharp and wondrous writer. Another title from Mulholland, a new thriller imprint. [See Publisher’s Perspective.]

Woods, Stuart. Bel Air Dead: A Stone Barrington Novel. Putnam. Apr. 2011. NAp. ISBN 9780399157363. $25.95.
Stone Barrington is all set to manage the sale of Centurion Studio, owned by the recently deceased husband of Arrington Calder, Barrington’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his son. Alas, Hollywood high-ups have other ideas about the studio. From the ever popular Woods; look for a tour to support this one.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @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, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.