Prepub Alert | June 1, 2013


Bruen, Ken. Purgatory. Mysterious Pr: Grove/Atlantic. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780802126078. $24. CD: HighBridge Audio. MYSTERY

Nine previous titles, a Shamus Award, 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 Galway and leaving little missives to Jack signed C 33. Bruen’s doctorate in metaphysics adds depth.

Cornwell, Patricia. Dust. Putnam. Nov. 2013. 480p. ISBN 9780399157578. $28.95. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER

Home in Cambridge, MA, medical examiner Kay Scarpetta must deal with the murder of a female grad student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose body is found wrapped in linen and carefully posed on the rugby field. Strange how this case resembles one that Scarpetta’s FBI husband is handling in Washington, DC.

Cussler, Clive with Jack Du Brul. Mirage. Putnam. Nov. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780399158087. $27.95. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. ACTION/ADVENTURE

Rumor says that a weapon out there somewhere can obliterate American aircraft carriers—just as U.S. Navy experiments with electromagnetic radiation reputedly obliterated a U.S. destroyer in 1943. Could the new weapon be linked to the work of Nikola Tesla, and what is Juan Cabrillo doing about it? Cussler launched his career 40 years ago with The Mediterranean Caper , which appears in hardcover this summer for the first time.

Evanovich, Janet. Untitled Plum #20. Bantam. Nov. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780345542885. $28. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER

No word yet on plot, but aside from almost criminally popular bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, all the Plum stalwarts are back. Look for a huge marketing campaign with some new tricks; Bantam has rights for the next three books starring Plum and will work to make her even bigger, if that’s possible.

Goldman, William (text) & Michael Manomivibul (illus.). The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2013. 464p. ISBN 9780544173767. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544177222. POP FICTION

First a 1973 novel by Goldman, then a 1987 film directed and coproduced by Rob Reiner with a screenplay by Goldman, The Princess Bride is a true cult phenomenon; the Facebook fan site boasts 2.3 million fans. Now, to celebrate the book’s 40th anniversary, fantasy artist Manomivibul enhances the text with his own mood-inducing visuals. With a 35,000-copy first printing and really buzzing on the blogs.

Littell, Robert. A Nasty Piece of Work. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9781250021458. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250022806. MYSTERY

Working as a private investigator in New Mexico, former CIA agent Lemuel Gunn agrees to look for Emilio Gava, who jumped bail after being arrested for buying cocaine. But he has no picture of Gava and begins wondering whether the man even exists. Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner Littell here sidesteps from espionage to mystery.

Locke, Kate. Long Live the Queen. Orbit: Hachette. Nov. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780316196147. $17; ebk. ISBN 9780316196147; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316402200. STEAMPUNK/FANTASY

Locke really started something with God Save the Queen , a steampunk saga with Queen Victoria still alive today and ruling as part of a vampire aristocracy. In this wrap-up to the trilogy, heroine Xandra Vardan finds that being crowned goblin queen has not made her life any easier. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

McCall Smith, Alexander. The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Pantheon. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780307378415. $24.95. MYSTERY

Mma Ramotswe is back, investigating a series of curious incidents that seem designed to put the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon out of business. No. 14 for the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; with a reading group guide and a ten-city tour.

McCullough, Colleen. Sins of the Flesh. S. & S. Nov. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781476735337. $26. MYSTERY

Summertime is not so easy in 1969 Holloman, CT, as Capt. Carmine Delmonico returns from vacation to find he must hunt for a killer whose victims turn up emaciated and emasculated. Then murder of a different sort occurs, and Delmonico has two chaotic cases to handle. McCullough’s pleasing series continues.

Martin, George R.R. (text) with Daniel Abraham (adaptation) & Tommy Patterson (illus.). A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel. Vol. 3. Bantam. Nov. 2013. 160p. ISBN 9780440423232. $25. FANTASY/GRAPHIC NOVEL

No need to explain the allure of Martin’s A Game of Thrones and no need to tell you that it has been adapted as a graphic novel; this is the third volume. Here, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell faces enemies known and unknown.

Meacham, Leila. Somerset. Grand Central. Nov. 2013. 624p. ISBN 9781455547388. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455547371. CD: Hachette Audio. HISTORICAL/POP FICTION

This prequel to Meacham’s best-selling debut, Roses , offers 150 years’ worth of Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts. Bereft of his inheritance, Simon Toliver leaves South Carolina’s Plantation Alley and strikes out with friend Jeremy Warwick for a new territory: Texas. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Palliser, Charles. Rustication. Norton. Nov. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780393088724. $25.95.HISTORICAL/LITERARY

Fans hooked on Palliser’s writing since his engrossing puzzle-box debut, The Quincunx , will be delighted to learn that he has returned to mid-1800s England, where Richard Shenstone has been sent down from Cambridge in uncertain disgrace. Living with his newly impoverished mother, he learns that creepy letters making the village rounds speak of wicked crimes, even murder.

Rendell, Ruth. No Man’s Nightingale: An Inspector Wexford Novel. Scribner. Nov. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781476744483. $26. MYSTERY

Retired Chief Inspector Wexford decides to help out when a female vicar, Sarah Hussein, is found strangled in the nastiest way. At the scene of the crime, Wexford unthinkingly picks up a letter showing that she may have had a secret in her past.

Wilson, Robert Charles. Burning Paradise. Tor. Nov. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780765332615. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466800762. SF

It’s 2015, and Cassie Klyne is living in a world that has not seen war since 1918. But Cassie knows that this benign state of affairs has been engineered by extraterrestrials using humans for their own purposes and that her parents were killed for knowing this secret. Hugo Award winner Wilson scares us again.


Davis, Wes. The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War To Rescue Crete from the Nazis. Crown. Nov. 2013.304p. ISBN 9780307460134. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307460158. HISTORY

History both crucial and swashbuckling: an odd bunch of British intelligence officers joined with Cretan resistance fighters and an American avenging his father’s murder to keep German forces from occupying Crete—truly important, for otherwise Germany would have been able to dominate the Middle East. Journalist/former assistant English professor Davis worked for two years at excavations on Crete.

Drury, Bob & Tom Clavin. The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend. S. & S. Nov. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781451654660. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451654707. BIOGRAPHY

The New York Times best-selling coauthors have an intriguing subject in Oglala Sioux chief Red Cloud—the only Plains Indian to defeat the U.S. Army in war. Among the resources they use to help polish our memory of Red Cloud, now somewhat faded, is an autobiography lost for more than 100 years.

Hill, Clint & Lisa McCubbin. Five Days in November. Gallery: S. & S. Nov. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9781476731490. $27. BIOGRAPHY

As Jacqueline Kennedy’s secret service guard, Hill leapt onto the car in Dallas after shots resounded and hung on for the race to the hospital. Here he offers a minute-by-minute insider’s account of unfolding events. Interest is building; note that Hill has also authored the best-selling Mrs. Kennedy and Me .

Lethbridge, Lucy. Servants: A Downstairs of Britain from the Nineteenth-Century to Modern Times. Norton.Nov. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780393241099. $27.95. HISTORY

Not just for Downton fans: here is an account of the servant’s life in Britain from Edwardian times until now, from the grandest estates to the middle-class household happy to show that they can afford help—if only just one maid.

Matthews, Chris. Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked. S. & S. Nov. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781451695991. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451696011. BIOGRAPHY

The subtitle is certainly telling. Matthews, Tip O’Neill’s former chief of staff for six years and now seen on the NBC-syndicated The Chris Matthews Show , portrays a civilized friendship between O’Neill and President Reagan even though their politics could not have been more different.

Orfalea, Gregory. Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California. Scribner. Nov. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781451642728. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781451642759. HISTORY

Though little known, Junipero Serra had a huge impact on this country’s development, having led efforts to establish Catholic mission churches throughout California. PEN finalist Orfalea did research in multiple languages on two continents to tell Serra’s story.

Richie, Alexandra. Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising. Farrar. Nov. 2013. 464p. ISBN 9780374286552. $28. HISTORY

With the Allies starting to win the war and the Red Army in particular driving German troops back west, the underground Polish Home Army decided it was time to expel the enemy from Warsaw. Thus was launched the extraordinary Warsaw Uprising, which for reasons detailed here failed tragically after 63 days.

Riffenburgh, Beau. Pinkerton’s Great Detective: The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland. Viking. Nov. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780670025466. $32.95. BIOGRAPHY

Riffenburgh, who has a Ph.D. in history from Cambridge, hotfoots it over to America to write about the Pinkerton National Detective Agency’s most celebrated agent, James McParland, who took on the Molly Maguires, Butch Cassidy, and more.

Tobin, James. The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio To Win the Presidency. S. & S. Nov. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780743265157. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451698671. BIOGRAPHY

Franklin Delano Roosevelt demonstrated true grit in his battle with polio, which National Book Critics Circle award winner Tobin argues was the transformative experience that made him the statesman he was.

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.