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Sisters of Treason Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476703107
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Published: Simon & Schuster - June 30th, 2015

Elizabeth Freemantle’s Sisters of Treason is a story of Katherine and Mary Grey - sisters of Lady Jane Grey - England’s famous 9 day queen.

After Jane is executed, Katherine and Mary’s Tudor blood is more a liability than a blessing.

Forever under the watchful eyes of the wily Queen Elizabeth, Katherine decides to steal love where she can find it - ultimately paying a very steep price for her ardor. Mary, misshapen and more circumspect, sees the politics behind the throne for what they are and eventually rebels in her own way as well.

Sisters of Treason is a good read and fans of Philippa Gregory will be sure to enjoy the historical fiction of Elizabeth Freemantle.

The Taming of the Queen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476758817
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Published: Touchstone Books - March 29th, 2016

Kateryn Parr was Henry the 8th’s sixth wife and oddly, perhaps the least known.

Gregory begins the tale with King Henry proposing to the newly-widowed Parr, and follows their tumultuous four year marriage as the unpredictable and volatile Henry pitted advisor against advisor, religion against religion, and himself against his wife.

Parr was the first queen to draw all of Henry’s children to live under one roof. She was a known advocate of the Reformation and, surprisingly, a scholar. She was the first woman in England to write and publish books - religious tomes - under her own name.

Gregory’s fans love her for the thrills and romance she ascribes to the sixteenth century British court, and they won’t be disappointed by The Taming of the Queen.

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Why Not Me? Cover Image
By Mindy Kaling, Mindy Kaling (Read by), Greg Daniels (Read by)
ISBN: 9780553551747
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Published: Random House Audio Publishing Group - September 15th, 2015

I listened to Mindy Kaling narrate her book on audio, which always tends to make for a better listening experience, I find, as who knows better than an author the way they intended a book to be read, and who knows better than an author/actress/comedienne the exact inflection needed to pull off their own witticisms?

Kaling’s book is mostly tongue-in-cheek advice on beauty and dating, mixed with real-life anecdotes, brushes with other celebrities and a bit of smug, self-deprecating bragging.

If you like Kaling’s humor (which I do) and appreciate her intellect (which I also do) and enjoy celebrity memoirs (which I rarely do), I think you’ll be charmed by this latest foray into anecdotal non-fiction.


Cold Cold Heart Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451470065
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Published: Dutton Books - September 29th, 2015

Dana Nolan had a promising career as a TV reporter when she was abducted and tortured by a notorious serial killer. Dana made a miraculous escape and now, over a year later, she’s still recovering at her parents’ home in southern Indiana.

Dana struggles with nightmares, flashbacks and other PTSD symptoms, as well as deals with the aftereffects of Traumatic Brain Injury.

Unfortunately, her return has sparked interest in a 7-year-old case - Dana’s childhood best friend went missing just before college. Unable to separate the two incidents in her mind, Dana begins trying to “solve” her friend’s disappearance.

This, it seems, opens up a whole can of worms in this sleepy Indiana town.

Cold Cold Heart is a fine read for Tami Hoag’s legion of suspense fans. And while two of her favorite characters have small cameo appearances here, Cold Cold Heart can easily be read as a standalone for anyone not familiar with Hoag’s work.

While creepy, this one will also give you pause about all of the servicemen and women in particular, but many other cases, too, now coming to light of TBI and PTSD in our society.

Memory Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455559817
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - September 15th, 2015

Amos Decker was a rookie NFL lineman when he was sacked so hard that his heart stopped - twice. Paramedics were able to revive him, but when he awoke his football career was lost, and he had gained a perfect memory - anything he saw or read or absorbed could be recalled. He was also a synesthete - able to see people and events in colors that alerted him to their true motivations.

These things served him well as a cop, until one day Amos returned home to find his family murdered, and the killer wasn’t stopping there. Each subsequent crime had something to do with Amos himself, but he had no idea why.

This is a new set of characters for Baldacci but one suspect we’ll hear from again. This was a good, fast-paced thriller with a strange and ambiguous villain.

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The Drifter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399174568
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 12th, 2016

This debut thriller reminded me of the best Lee Child novels I’ve read. Peter Ash, the drifter, has stumbled into a situation a la Jack Reacher, but Ash is a marine home from Iraq and Afghanistan who is just trying to find his way, and along the way do some good. So, in short, he’s a character I’m more prepared to like and respect.

When Ash travels to his old Sargeant’s home to pay his respects, he finds a proud widow in pretty dire straights. So Ash decides to pretend that he’s been sent by the Marines to help repair her home, and in the process stumbles upon a suitcase of money and explosives and a plot he’s determined to foil.

I’m excited to say that Lee Child fans don’t have to wait for the next Reacher novel to get their next fix - welcome, Nicholas Petrie. Keep ‘em coming!

The Widow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101990261
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Published: New American Library - February 16th, 2016

Glen Taylor has been hit by a bus and killed. But Jean, his wife and sometimes narrator of this psychological thriller, is only somewhat distressed.

We find out that’s because Glen was accused of the kidnap and presumed murder of little Bella - the case that’s grabbed headlines for several years now.

The novel rotates the voices of the detective, a news reporter and others as we learn that although Glen was exonerated for the crime, he wasn’t a very innocent sort, and the things he kept hidden from Jean, his staunch defender, were legion.

I loved this novel because with every turn of the page I was thinking a different character was guilty, and it wasn’t until the very end that all was revealed. If you like your mysteries confounding, check out The Widow. You won’t be sorry you did.

The Rumor Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316334518
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Published: Back Bay Books - February 9th, 2016

Elin Hilderbrand does “women’s fiction” like nobody’s business, and Rumor is certainly one of her best.

Narrated by Nantucket itself, the title alludes to the summer that gossip flew around the ritzy island like a game of telephone and changed lives forever.

Madeline and Grace have always been best friends. Their kids even date. But this summer, Grace begins a steamy clandestine affair and Madeline, an author with writer’s block, decides to write her next novel about it. But someone sees Grace’s husband visiting Madeline’s writing studio, and soon the whole island “knows” that Madeline and Eddie are having an affair. Eddie, meanwhile, oblivious to his wife’s affair with the gardener, is focused solely on the fact that he’s losing their fortune in a real estate gamble. He’s turned to some nefarious activities in a desperate bid to keep afloat. So of course no one is watching their kids, so when beautiful, vain Allegra is arrested in a compromising position with a boy who isn’t Madeline’s son, her boyfriend, the gas is poured on the flame.

This may all sound like the exact kind of book I never read, but Hilderbrand’s books are smartly plotted, assume a certain intelligence on the part of the reader, and are entertaining to boot.

She is well worth a read!

Keep Calm: A Thriller Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627793476
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Published: Henry Holt & Company - February 2nd, 2016

Detroit native Binder has written a thriller that’s true to his roots as an award-winning director, screenwriter, producer and actor.

Adam Tatum, a disgraced Michigan police detective, lands a job that’s too good to be true, thanks to a connection of his British father-in-law. Then Adam is asked to be part of a delegation meeting with the British Prime Minister. But, of course, ALL of this is too good to be true, and when a bomb explodes at #10 Downing Street, Tatum becomes suspect number one.

The resultant chases, violence, false passports, dog attacks and urban shoot-outs are straight from the big screen.

So if you are prepared to suspend disbelief in the service of a fast-paced, action-packed thriller, then Keep Calm will be right up your alley.

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Five Days Left Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425277935
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Published: Berkley Books - August 4th, 2015

Blockbuster bestselling author Jodi Picoult says “this impressive debut novel heralds the arrival of an extremely talented writer.” I have to agree.

Five Days Left is told in alternating voices of Mara, whose Huntington’s Disease is progressing rapidly and robbing her of her quality of life, and Scott, who with his wife, has temporary guardianship of Curtis, the younger step-brother of Scott’s star basketball player while their mother is in jail.

In five days, Curtis will return to his mother. In five days, Mara plans to take her own life.

I don’t think you are human if you can read this book without crying. Without examining the relationships that make your life worthwhile. Without contemplating what life would be like without them.

Five Days Left will grab you, twist your heart inside out and leave you wishing there was more.