Special Report: ThrillerFest IX, Pt. I | What We’re Reading

This year’s ThrillerFest, held in New York City at the Grand Hyatt July 8–12, was a great opportunity to talk books with authors, fans, and attendees. I walked the halls of the Hyatt, stalked shoppers in the bookstore, and buttonholed panelists and partygoers to find out what they’re reading. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

I began at crime fiction publisher Minotaur’s annual ThrillerFest cocktail party atop a Midtown skyscraper, where various authors and St. Martin’s/Minotaur staffers talked about books they like.

CoriellAllison Brennan is busy! She writes four books a year for Minotaur/St. Martin’s. Hard to believe she has any time to read others’ works, but she just began Shelley Coriell’s The Broken (Forever) a January 2014 romantic suspense series starter.

Crime novelist Hilary Davidson, author of Blood Always Tells (Apr. 2014, Tor/Forge) called Shane Kuhn’s thriller debut The Intern’s Handbook (S. & S.) “fantastic.”

Minotaur’s Associate Director of Publicity Hector DeJean extolled the virtues of Ashley Weaver’s 1930s-set “delightful debut,” Murder at the Brightwell, saying it makes “even a bad marriage look fun.” Weaver’s series starter comes out in October from, yep, Minotaur.

Gannon.JaguarAuthor Joe Gannon used his experience as a reporter in Nicaragua to inform his debut, Night of the Jaguar, out in September from Minotaur. He started reading Ivy Pochoda’s 2013 Brooklyn-set novel, Visitation Street (Dennis Lehane: Ecco) on the plane ride to ThrillerFest.

Brian Heller, Vice President, Director of Sales, Macmillan, is taking a sneak peek at a February 2015 St. Martin’s title, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, a novel about two French sisters during World War II.

Minotaur’s Vice President and Publisher Andrew Martin talked about a new nonfiction book in the pipeline: after the strong success of Daniel Stashower’s best seller, The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War in 2013, Minotaur will release Capturing Kelly: Machine Gun Kelly and America’s Most Violent Yearnext spring (the book’s subtitle may change). Martin also read Steve Berry’s “fast-paced” thriller, The Patriot Threat, which comes out in March 2015.

malliet.demonSarah Melnyk, Minotaur Publicity Manager, likes Jane K. Cleland’s cozy “Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries” titles; she just read Blood Rubies, book eight in the series, which releases in December. She also enjoys G.M. Malliet’s Max Tudor mysteries, which Melnyk said fans have compared to Louise Penny’s books. Malliet’s latest is the October 2014 release A Demon Summer.

Author T. Jefferson Parker’s stand-alone Full Measure for new publisher St. Martin’s releases in October. He is reading Tracks of Passion: Eastern Sierra Skiing, Dave McCoy & Mammoth Mountain (Mammoth Ski Museum) by Robin Morning, a history of skiing in California. Sounds like there’s ski-slope action to come from Parker in his next book!

Krueger.GraceBrad Parks, whose latest Carter Ross mystery, The Player, came out in March 2014 from Minotaur, said he’s reading the Edgar-winning Ordinary Grace (Atria) by William Kent Krueger. Parks added that there’s “never a bad note” in the coming-of-age tale that “transports you from page 1 to the end.”

Charlie Spicer, Minotaur Executive Editor, just finished Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (Morrow), and joked that while the author is not a Minotaur author, he “wishes he were.”

Kelli Stanley, author of the August 2014 release City of Ghosts (Minotaur), a Miranda Corbie mystery, prefers reading nonfiction while she writes (she’s already working on another novel). Stanley’s getting some good answers from Ask a Science Teacher: 250 Answers to Questions You’ve Always Had About How Everyday Stuff Really Works (The Experiment) by Larry Scheckel.

That’s all for this week; see you next week for Part II of the report, when I venture onto the show floor and beyond!

Liz French About Liz French

Library Journal Senior Editor Liz French edits nonfiction and women's fiction reviews at LJ and also compiles the "What We're Reading" and "Classic Returns" columns for LJ online. She's inordinately interested in what you're reading as well. Email: efrench@mediasourceinc.com, Twitter: @lizefrench