"Nothing makes me happier than finding that little-known or first-time author who really deserves to make it, and selling a boatload of their books -well, that and putting just the right books into each customer's hands.." jill
This is the final book in the fiendishly clever Dexter series - upon which the popular Showtime series was based.
But just because you watched the show, don't assume you know all about the series. The show writers followed Lindsay's first book quite closely, establishing the characters and presenting the same storyline, but after that the show went its own way and Lindsay has continued writing his books all along until this one, where he ends his run.
Dexter is in jail, ironically (and irony always plays a large part in Lindsay's plots and snarky dialogue), for murders he did not commit. His sister has renounced him, so when an unlikely savior arrives in the form of his brother, Brian, the two embark on an epic journey to prove Dexter's innocence, serve justice upon the cop who railroaded him, and defeat some drug cartel assassins all at the same time.
Dexter is Dead is vintage Lindsay. Tongue in cheek, witty, snarky and violent all at once - kind of a Quentin Tarantino of authors. Lindsay has given us the most unlikely of heroes - a lovable serial killer. And he's done it with panache throughout these eight great novels.
Sara Gruen had me with “Scotland” on this one - but At the Water’s Edge is so much more than a tale of the moors.
Madeline Hyde and her husband Ellis and his friend Hank are thoughtless, careless Philadelphia socialites who are flaunting the young mens’ exemption from service during WWII.
But when they travel together to “prove” the existence of the infamous Loch Ness Monster, they are forced to stay in the Scottish countryside where everyone they encounter has been personally touched by the atrocities of war.
As the happy-go-lucky veneer is stripped from the trio, Maddie discovers that her world is not at all what she imagined, and her future just might be a surprisingly different one than she’d anticipated.
Full of great period detail and richly drawn settings, At the Water’s Edge is my favorite yet from the author who burst upon the scene with Water for Elephants.
The seven well-bred young ladies who board at Saint Etheldreda’s have a terrible secret. Their grumpy headmistress and her odious brother were inconveniently poisoned. Afraid that their school will close and they will be sent home, the girls go to great lengths to hide the murders and pretend to The Village that nothing is amiss.
This is a fun Victorian farce intended for middle grade readers - but I found it a delightful read myself.
Julie Berry said she had great fun researching Victorian England - right down to the proper breakfast for the girls to be eating when they learn their ultimate fate. She says that while she’s never solved a murder nor attended boarding school, she does have 5 sisters and if they’d ever have had the chance to conceal a corpse and run a school, they would have jumped on it.
Girls young and old will enjoy this period piece replete with handsome young men, mistreated servants, needlework and murder.
Elisabeth de Mariaffi has given us a creepy thriller based in part on an old serial killer spree in Toronto.
The book is set in 1993 and Evie Jones is a rookie reporter who is still haunted by the kidnapping and murder of her best friend, Lianne, when the girls were 11. So the crime beat does a number on her barely-contained anxieties, especially as the suspected killer has never been caught.
Using the resources at her command at the newspaper, Evie decides to investigate Lianne’s cold case - and convinces herself that the killer is still around and coming back for her.
I admit that part of the reason this book creeped me out so much that I moved away from an un-curtained window when I was reading in the wee hours is that our daughter lives smack dab in the middle of where de Mariaffi has set her tale.
Kelsey is always assuring me that she feels perfectly safe and that her neighborhood was named the “#2 coolest neighborhood in the world” by Vogue, but I’m pretty sure I’m now going to be passing this book on to her.
If you love your Chelsea Cain and Lisa Unger, The Devil You Know is for you.
Grace has always yearned for love, and would remake herself into any person she thought would be loveable. When her own mother was distant and absorbed, Grace became the perfect daughter for her boyfriend’s mother. She became the ultimate girlfriend. Then she became the ultimate temptress when Alls caught her eye.
But underneath, Grace knows she’s none of those women.
Now Grace lives in Paris, calls herself Julie and resets gems. And back home, two men who once loved different versions of her get out on parole after serving time for a crime she had planned.
Who we are and who we want to be and how we reconcile those selves is at the heart of this novel.
Rebecca Scherm, who graduated from and now teaches at the Helen Zell Writers Program in Ann Arbor has written a novel for fans of The Art Forger or The Silent Wife or perhaps Gone Girl. Check it out.
When Lisette, a young Parisian woman, is exiled to Provence to care for her husband’s grandfather, she desperately misses the street life, and especially the galleries and art, of Paris.
So imagine her delight when old Pascal owns not one, but seven important paintings from the new superstars - from Cézanne to Picasso. And before he dies, Pascal shares his stories about the paintings and their creators with her.
When the war breaks out and Lisette’s husband André goes off to fight, he hides the paintings so that they won’t fall into enemy hands.
But after V-day, the seven masterpieces are gone. Vowing to remain in Provence until they are recovered, Lisette becomes more of a country girl than she ever thought possible.
Susan Vreeland has given us six previous books, all concerning art, and all bestsellers in their own right - from The Girl in Hyacinth Blue to Clara & Mr. Tiffany. Her fans won’t be disappointed by Lisette’s List.
This is the final book in the Ascendance Trilogy, which began with one of my favorite middle-grade books, The False Prince.
In The Shadow Throne, war has finally come to the Kingdom and it’s up to Jaron to save his people and himself.
King Jaron is still the irrepressible Oliver Twist-like character we met in The False Prince - good spirited liar, prankster and pickpocket. But now he’s a bit more mature with a lot more responsibility, and his tricks must be bent to the service of his country.
If you are 12 years old or older - and by that I mean anyone through adulthood - and you haven’t yet discovered The False Prince, come on in for your copy. You’ll be hooked - right along with the many folks who have waited patiently for The Shadow Throne.
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.
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.
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.