"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

How to Kidnap the Rich: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063028784
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Harper Perennial - June 1st, 2021

Ramesh Kumar was plucked from his abusive father's tea stand and given an education by a kindly nun, and his life is changed forever. But, rather than taking the all-important All India's exam and going to a prestigious university as planned, Ramesh ends up taking the exams for rich families' children - and doing so well that he finds himself with a thriving business. And then Ramesh takes Rudi's exams, and places first in the nation. Immediately Rudi is a star, and Ramesh sees a way to cash in on Rudi's new found celebrity as his manager.

This book is satiric and irreverent, and manages to poke fun at Indian culture and Western culture at the same time.

Author Rahul Raina has been called a mesmerizing new talent even as he splits his time between working at his start-up in England and working for charities benefitting street children and teaching English in India.

The Plot: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250790767
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Celadon Books - May 11th, 2021

The Plot refers to the plot of a mega-bestselling book. The novel was written by Jacob Finch Bonner, whose first novel was critically acclaimed, and for whose second novel there was trouble finding a publisher. Bonner hadn't had a great new idea in some time.

So when, as a teacher at a low-res creative writing MFA, he is assigned an arrogant, obnoxious young man who boasts of a plot that will hit the top of the bestselling charts and surely someday be produced by an A-Lister in Hollywood, Bonner is less than impressed. Until Evan Parker tells him the storyline. It was so original and so outrageous, that Bonner couldn't help but be jealous that this brute had come up what in years of writing had eluded Bonner. But, years later, no such blockbuster book has been published. Jake decides to Google Evan Parker to see what the aspiring novelist is up to, and discovers that he has died.

And that plot...Evan's sure-fire winner of a plot...was never written. So Jake decides to write it himself. And sure enough, he's a world-wide success, praised and admired wherever he goes.

But not by one person. The person who emails "You are a thief." And then the plot thickens...

There are lots of great twists and turns in this thriller that every fan of the genre is going to appreciate. 

Get ready - you're going to love The Plot.

Madam: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250272041
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: St. Martin's Press - May 18th, 2021

'Madam' is what all of the female teachers are called at Caldonbrae Hall - the prestigious, 150-year-old boarding school in Scotland that educated England's finest young women. Rose Christle, at 26, is by far the youngest Madam at the school chosen to head their Classics department. At first, Rose is just intimidated, by the enormous school on the cliff, by the decades of tradition she didn't share, and of the other staff, who felt less than welcoming. 

But as the year unfolds, Rose discovers that the purpose of the school is not what the public is told. And, horrified as she is, Rose sees no way out of the hold the school now has over her, and no way to save the young girls she's come to care about. 

This unexpected novel is a dark feminist treaty wrapped up in a fresh look at mythology and ancient history. It will leave you questioning whether or not things have really changed for women in eons.

Good Company: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062876003
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Ecco - April 6th, 2021

The Good Company is a quiet book that sneaks up on the reader who is assuming they are reading a book about actors and the theater and NYC and LA, only to discover the novel is about trust and family and relationships and growing into one's own consciousness.

When Flora makes a discovery that makes her question everything she'd always assumed about her husband Julian and her best friend Margo, she needs to discover if all of their talent for becoming someone else can translate into reinvention of their actual lives.

D'Aprix Sweeney also wrote The Nest, another favorite among readers who love to plumb the depths of families in distress.

The Maidens Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250304452
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Celadon Books - June 15th, 2021

I love thrillers that keep me guessing. First I'm sure this is happening, then something else. I think I know who the bad guy is - but then maybe that's just who the author wants me to suspect.

The Maidens, by Alex Michaelides, is just a such a book.

Mariana is certain that Greek professor Edward Fosca is a murderer. He's assembled a secret group of young, female Cambridge students and now they keep showing up dead. When Mariana gets a panicked call from her niece, Zoe, she heads to the university to comfort her and ends up embroiled in a plot resembling an ancient Greek tragedy.

But the real tragedy will be if the murderer isn't caught before he strikes again.

Remember the twists and sense of unease in The Silent Patient?  That was Michaelides' debut, and it was the biggest-selling debut in the world in 2019. I told you then that this was an author to watch.

Keep watching - The Maidens will be the talk of thriller lovers everywhere. Get yours now.

The Husbands: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250319517
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Flatiron Books - August 3rd, 2021

Hey, ladies. What if your husbands had the kids picked up, dinner fixed, the house cleaned and was waiting for you at the end of your workday because 'you work so hard'? If all the doctor appointments, school picture days, and vacation planning was always done - but not by you?

Welcome to Dynasty Ranch, a neighborhood where the incredibly accomplished residents all seem unbelievably happy and fulfilled, the neighborhood Nora and Hayden consider while searching for their forever home.

In Chandler Baker's delicious second novel (you loved The Whisper Network - come on, I know you did!) you'll find yourself maybe just a tad...wistful as you realize there has to be a catch.

And, oh, there is!

Fallen: A Novel of Suspense (Kate Burkholder #13) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250142924
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Minotaur Books - July 6th, 2021

Police Chief Kate Burkholder remembers Rachael Schwartz, a wild child Kate babysit as a teen. In Rachael, Kate recognized a kindred spirit - a girl with a big appetite for life and very little patience for the strict and simple Amish ways.

So it hadn't come as a surprise when Kate heard that Rachael, like herself, was no longer a member of the church.

But it did come as a surprise when Rachael, who'd left Painters Mill many years ago, turned up dead in a rundown Painters Mill motel.

As in all of Castillo's mysteries, there is more running under the surface of the story than meets the eye. And, as always, it involves the Amish community. Fans will love this latest entry into the series.


Savage Road: A Thriller (A Hayley Chill Thriller #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982126612
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - January 5th, 2021

Author Chris Hauty, whose novel, Deep State, became an instant bestseller, is a screenwriter by trade, and that is readily apparent in Savage Road.

White House staffer and deeper state operative Hayley Chill is tasked with 'running' the biggest double agent in U.S. history. When cyber-attacks rock the country, Hayley is tasked with using her unique position to unmask the culprits before it's too late. 

That screenwriting background I mentioned earlier makes this thriller read just like an action movie. While I found much of the writing here to be amateurish and written with no attempt to find precise descriptive wording, I was able to get into the groove of the plotline by just imagining it to be screen direction rather than a novel. So what Savage Road lacks in narrative finesse, it makes up for in a good twisty plot with clear-cut bad and good guys. A very commercial thriller with NYT potential. 

Girl A: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593295847
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Viking - February 2nd, 2021

This book begins, " You don't know me, but you'll have seen my face."

Lex is Girl A - the eldest girl in a family in which the children were held captive, tortured and starved. It was Lex who finally escaped - and ended her parents' reign of terror.

Now all grown up and a lawyer, Lex narrates her story as she still struggles with the past - especially now that one of her brothers is getting married and some of her siblings might show up and she needs to see them, because their mother has just died in prison and Lex is the executor and has to dispose of the awful house where it happened.

This story could have gone many ways, but in the end, it just kind of fizzled. The interesting characters were only drawn so far, and their motivations remain somewhat obscure. Eh. 

The Survivors: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250232427
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Flatiron Books - February 2nd, 2021

This mystery is all the more mysterious because it is set in Tasmania, off of Australia's southern coast. It was fun for me to picture the beaches and caves and violent storms as one of our daughters was in a friend's wedding there pre-Covid.

In the novel, Kieran, his partner Mia and their daughter Audrey have returned home from Sydney to help Keiran's mom pack up their beach-side home in order to move his father, who has dementia, into a care facility. Kieran gets to see his old mates, but it's also bittersweet as it dredges us the awful days when Kieran's and Sean's older brothers were lost at sea - Olivia's younger sister vanished - all in in the middle of a sudden terrible storm.

And no sooner had the trio arrived than a body of a young artist is found on the beach, plunging the normally quiet seaside village into fear and nostalgia.

I liked this mystery a lot. It had believable characters, an interesting setting, an unsolved mystery, and several plotlines going that kept the whole book interesting enough that I raced home to finish it.