Archive for the ‘Mystery & Detective’ Category

Tana French, TRUE DETECTIVE?

Sunday, March 8th, 2015


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Likening Tana French’s novels to the successful HBO series True Detective, a production company has acquired the adaptation rights to In The WoodsThe Likeness and Faithful Place (all Penguin/Viking) with plans to turn it ino a series of its own (one of the comments notes what many librarians will second, “They’re being modest. This series is SO much better than True Detective“).

The announcement in Deadline notes that the book feature interconnecting characters. Coincidentally, The Millions explores that subject in depth, but their comparisons are more literary, from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway to Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives, novels which, “generate vertiginous thrills as they dramatize the difficulties of understanding ourselves, other people, and the world at large.”

Richard Price Attempts a New Brand

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

9780805093995_a6d5dIf you’re going to use a pseudonym, why reveal it on the book’s cover? In an interview in today’s NYT, Richard Price explains why the cover of his new book The Whites (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Audio), coming on Tuesday, carries the awkward attribution, “Richard Price Writing as Harry Brandt.”

He set out to write in a different style, a “stripped-down, heavily plotted best seller.” The only problem was that he couldn’t pull it off and ended up writing a Richard Price novel. Bowing to his publisher and editor who convinced him that if he didn’t make the pseudonym transparent, he would commit “commercial suicide,” he wound up with the two names on the cover. He says it “seemed like a good idea in the beginning, and now I wish I hadn’t done it,”

In an advance review, also in today’s NYT,  Michiko Kakutani says it has all the hallmarks of a Richard Price novel, “an ear for street language … kinetic energy … hard-boiled verve … [characters] who become as vivid to us as real-life relatives or friends.”

The title refers to the white whale that haunts Ahab in Moby Dick. Similarly, the cops and former cops in Price’s novel are all haunted by previous cases. Kakutani praises it  as ” a gripping police procedural and an affecting study in character and fate.

Prepub trade reviews are also strong. In a starred review, Booklist calls it ” a strong contender for best crime novel of 2015.”

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY Nominated for An Edgar

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

9780062088253_d693eAmong the six nominees for an Edgar in the Best Novel category, one stands out as a pleasant surprise. Although it contains elements of suspense, Wiley Cash’s This Dark Road to Mercy (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperLuxe).  is not primarily a mystery.

It was a LibraryReads pick last year, with the following recommendation,

“Cash’s second novel is as good as his first [A Land More Kind than Home]. In this story, we meet Easter and her sister Ruby, who have been shuffled around the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina. Then their ne’er-do-well father whisks them away in the middle of the night. I was on the edge of my seat as I followed the girls’ tale and hoping for a safe outcome.” — Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

The full list of nominees in the Best Novel category:

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins/ Morrow; HarperLuxe)

Wolf  by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic; Thorndike)

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike)

The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette/Little, Brown; Thorndike)

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (RH/ Delacorte)

Several LibraryReads picks were nominated in other categories:

Dry Bones in the Valley, Tom Bouman, Norton; Thorndike) — Best First Novel

“A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page.” — Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

The Life We Bury, Allen Eskens, (Prometheus/Seventh Street Books) — Best First Novel

“In this well-crafted debut novel, Joe Talbert has finally left home, but not without guilt over leaving his autistic brother in the care of his unreliable mother. A college assignment gets the young man entangled in a cold case, racing to clear the name of a Vietnam veteran. Characters with layers of suppressed memories and emotions only add to the suspenseful plot. Looking forward to more from this Minnesotan author!” — Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III, Ben H. Winters, (Quirk Books)  — Best Paperback

“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.” — Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day, (Prometheus/Seventh Street Books) — Mary Higgins Clark Award

“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.” –Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI

Amazon Turns to Books

Monday, January 19th, 2015

A few years ago, Netflix introduced the world to the idea of bingeing on an entire season of a new series, by streaming al the episodes of House of Cards at one time, following up by doing the same with Orange is the New Black.

Amazon also got into that game. Its series Transparent just made history as the first online series to win two Golden Globe awards, one for best comedy and another show’s star, Jeffrey Tambor as best actor,

Now they have announced their fist drama series. This time, it is based on books. Boschfeaturing the character from Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series, debuts February 13 on Prime Instant Video.

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Connelly, who is also a producer for the show, co-wrote the script. According to a story in the production in the Wall Street Journal, it is based on two Bosch titles,,  The Concrete Blonde, (1991, Hachette/Little Brown; #3 in the series) and (City of Bones, 2002; #8).

Amazon has also just  released their 4th “pilot season,” which gives viewers the opportunity to watch and rate seven new pilots aimed at adults and six more for kids (Woody Allen who recently struck a deal with Amazon to create his own series next year, will not have to go through this process. His series will go direct to release).

One of those pilots is based on a book, The Man in the High Castle, adapted by Ridley Scott from the iconic alternate reality novel by Philip K. Dick. The press is giving it high marks (see Entertainment Weekly, the Telegraph and the Seattle Times).

Readers Advisory: Nancy Pearl, From Thriller to Cozy

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

9780385536998_1e4af-2Noting a growing tend of  fast-moving but very complex thrillers that challenge the readers and are well worth the attention they require, Nancy Pearl, during her regular Tuesday appearance on Seattle’s NPR station, KUOW, recommends one of  her recent favorites, The Distance by Helen Giltrow, (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio). It  features a wealthy, elegant socialite named Charlotte who lives another life as Karla, a woman who helps people in trouble disappear. Katla, Nancy emphasizes, is not a nice person, and in fact, the book is “filled with people who are not particularly good people, but whom you somehow care about. It takes skill for a writer to pull that off.” Listen here

It was a LibraryRead pick for September and a favorite on GalleyChat.

OverDrive Sample

Audio Clip:

Murder at the BrightwellThat book included scenes Nancy “had to read with my eyes closed,” but on last week’s show, she recommended a book in a quite different genre, one she doesn’t generally enjoy, a cozy mystery. Murder at the Brightwell, by Ashley Weaver, (Minotaur/Macmillan) won her over with its subtle humor and “witty repartee” between a “Nick and Nora” type of wealthy young couple in the 1930’s, making it “like armchair traveling into a rarefied world.” Listen here.

It was a LibraryReads pick, for October, as well as a GalleyChat favorite (New York librarian Janet Schneider described is as “a Dorothy L. Sayers/Downton Abbey combo”). A debut, the author is a public librarian in Louisiana.

Another Reason to Read Galleys

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

9780062377180_f631cCurious about how authors respond to copy edits?

The advance readers copy of Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty (Harper, 12/9/14) accidentally includes some testy exchanges. The New York Times details a few of them in yesterday’s Arts Beat blog, adding, that, although amusing, “It is no big deal: Mr. Horowitz did not use unsavory language, abuse the copy editors, or expose some fantastic dispute between himself and his publishers. At most, there is firm authorial pushback. ”

The book, the followup to the author’s popular The House of Silk,(Hachette/Mulholland, 2011) has not yet been reviewed in library review sources (it is noted in LJ‘s “Prepub Alert“).

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, got her hands on a galley. She also found the copy editing comments hilarious, but, as she says in a readers advisory to the branch staff, there are many more reasons to read it:

Anthony Horowitz has held young thriller fans in thrall with his popular Alex Rider series for a long time. He’s also turned his considerable talents to adult books and to one of my favorites — the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes canon. If you missed it, 2011’s The House of Silk was his first effort at a Holmesian mystery, and it was first rate. It would still be a superb recommend for your traditional mystery fans.

This year, he’s back with Moriarity. I was very much hoping he’d assume Watson’s voice again, but he’s done things very differently in this book. First of all, it opens at Reichenbach Falls, and we all know what happened there. I have to admit, I felt a bit cheated by the denouement, which he seems to spring on the reader, with few clues leading up to it.  It is, nonetheless, a terrific read.

Holds Alert: THE PAYING GUESTS

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

watersOn NPR’s All Things Considered today, Maureen Corrigan calls Sarah Waters’ new novel, The Paying Guests, (Penguin/Riverhead; BOT, read by Juliet Stevenson), “a knockout.”

A September LibraryReads pick, it also received a strong review in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review and the daily NYT has profiled the author.

The book #3 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” of “The Top 10 Thing We Love This Week.” which calls it, “One of the year’s most engrossing and suspenseful novels.”

Holds are growing in the libraries we checked.

Oldboy director Park Chan-wook plans to adapt Waters’ earlier novel, Fingersmith, (Penguin/: Riverhead, 2002) as a feature film (Variety calls that one a “sexy crime story“).

OverDrive Sample

Big Books of the Fall

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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The fall season gets into gear next week with the release of David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks, (Random House; Recorded Books) A profile of the author in today’s NYT notes, “Mr. Mitchell has evolved from being a cult author with a small but rabid fan base to a major literary figure whose work has been compared to that of Nabokov, Pynchon and Dostoyevsky.”

The #1 IndieNext title for September, it rose to #153 (from  #296) as a result.

Over 600 pages long, it’s a big book in more ways than one and competes for serious review attention, as well as readers’ time, with another 600-plus-page, very different novel, We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas, (S&S; S&S Audio). Released two weeks ago, this debut has heavier holds than Mitchell’s book and is now at #74 on Amazon. It’s received a string of laudatory reviews, beginning with Entertainment Weekly and continuing with the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, the L.A. Times‘s David Ulin, and USA Today. The New Yorker uses it a springboard to “reassess the burgeoning genre” of books about Alzheimer’s, beginning with Still Alice by Lisa Genova. and giving the highest marks to “Thomas’s realist epic [because it] … exceeds the usual boundaries of fiction on the subject [and] offer the truest and most harrowing account of a descent into dementia …

OverDrive sample — We Are Not Ourselves

NPR “Esclusive First Read” — The Bone Clocks

Holds Alert: DEAR DAUGHTER

Friday, August 8th, 2014

dear-daughter-bcHolds are growing for the mystery that was listed at #3 on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” last week, Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little, (Penguin; Recorded Books).

Earlier, we suggested it as one to recommend for readers who can’t get their hands on Liane Moriarity’s Big Little Lies, but now both are difficult to come by.

People magazine makes it as one of three book picks of this week. They compare it to yet another title, “Quick-witted and fast-paced, this debut mystery should be a hit with Gone Girl fans,” as does the Associated Press reviewer, “The unlikable protagonist with a biting personality and outrageous actions, but who is fascinating at the same time, has never been more popular. Just think of Gone Girl. In her confident fiction debut, Elizabeth Little puts a fresh spin on this character.”

On NPR — Ann Cleeves

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE — Be sure to check out the great offer in the comments section.

9781250036605_45d26As a respite from the heat, NPR’s Morning Edition interviewed Ann Cleeves, the author of a series of mysteries set in Scotland’s sub-polar “wild and bleak” Shetland Islands.

The most recent title is in the series, the fifth, is Dead Water, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s/Minotaur; Feb, 2014). The sixth, Thin Air, is due next year.

The books are the basis for Shetland, a popular BBC One series in the U.K. (it hasn’t been broadcast in the U.S.)

Below are the titles in the series (first four are currently available in trade paperback from Macmillan Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books):

LIFE OF CRIME Trailer

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

9780062206138The trailer for Life of Crime, based on the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, (HarperCollins/Morrow), starring Jennifer Aniston, was released last week. The movie, which also stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins, opens on August 29.

Director Daniel Schechter described his efforts to buy the rights to the novel to The Rolling Stone last year, and expressed the hope that Leonard would have appreciated the outcome. With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work.

The novel is one of a series of trade paperback rereleases of Leonard’s classic backlist published by HarperCollins/Morrow. It is also in the Library of America collection, Elmore Leonard: Four Novels of the 1970s, coming in September (Penguin/Library of America).

Trailer, below

Krueger Wins Edgar

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Ordinary Grace  Tamarack County  Windigo Island

Many librarians know this year’s Edgar Award Winner for Best Novel, William Kent Krueger personally. In 2013, he visited over 35 libraries (and writes on his blog how much he loves doing so). He also managed to publish two books. In addition to the Edgar winner, Ordinary Grace, (S&S/Atria Books; released in trade paperback in March; Thorndike). a standalone, he also published Tamarack County, the latest in his Cork O’Connor series. A new title in that series, Windigo Island (S&S/Atria; 8/19/14) arrives this summer.

Krueger’s love for books was sparked by a librarian, as he recounts in a blog post, “God Bless Librarians.” He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and his books are set in northern Minnesota.

Below are the other winners in the fiction categories (full list of nominees and winners here).

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Best First Novel

Red Sparrow, Jason Matthews (S&S/ Scribner; S&S Audio; mass market pbk just released; Thorndike) — there was talk of a film adaptation last year and it is still considered in development.

Young Adult

Ketchup Clouds, Annabel Pitcher, (Hachette. Little, Brown YR)

Best Juvenile

One Came Home, Amy Timberlake, (RH/ Knopf YR;  Listening Library; released in paperback in Jan.) — also a 2014 Newbery Honor Book.

2014 Edgar Finalists

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

How the Light Gets InTo nobody’s surprise (except the author’s), Louise Penny is a finalist for the Edgar Best Novel Award. for her ninth Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novel, How the Light Gets In (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; Thorndike Large Print).

The Washington Post gives a rundown of all the other Best Novel finalists here.

The full list of all categories is here.

The winners will be announced tomorrow evening.

Gillian Flynn: How Different?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Gone GirlSounds like Gillan Flynn wants to have things both ways. First, she said that the ending of the film version of Gone Girl will be different from the book. David Fincher made it sound very different, telling Entertainment Weekly that star Ben Affleck was so “shocked” by the changes that he said, This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.’

But in an answer to a question during a Reddit discussion yesterday, she stepped back from that quite a bit. Below is her response:

Tell your girlfriend not to worry—those reports have been greatly exaggerated! Of course, the script has to be different from the book in some ways—you have to find a way to externalize all those internal thoughts and you have to do more with less room and you just don’t have room for everything. But the mood, tone and spirit of the book are very much intact. I’ve been very involved in the film and loved it. Working with David Fincher is pretty much the best place to start for a screenwriter. Screenwriting definitely works different parts of your brain than writing a novel. I do love that with novels, you can really sprawl out–it feels quite decadent. With screenwriting, you have to justify every choice. It’s a nice discipline, but definitely not decadent.

So, take your pick. If you want a different ending, quote the Flynn of EW. If you don’t, quote the Flynn of Reddit.

LIFE OF CRIME To Be Released Aug 29

Monday, April 7th, 2014

9780062206138The movie Life of Crime, based on the late Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, (HarperCollins/Morrow)has been set for release on August 29.

In The Rolling Stone last year, director Daniel Schechter described his efforts to buy the rights to the novel and expressed hopes that Leonard would have appreciated the outcome.  With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work.

The film, featured at the Toronto Film Festival was called by Variety‘s critic, a “fitting memorial” to the author.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, it was renamed Life of Crime, presumably to separate it from a very different movie starring Aniston, The Switch, based on a Jeffrey Eugenides’ short story The Baster.

Life of Crime also stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins.

The novel is one of a series of trade paperback rereleases of Leonard’s classic backlist published by HarperCollins/Morrow. It is  also in the Library of America collection, Elmore Leonard: Four Novels of the 1970s, coming in September (Penguin/Library of America).