November’s New Fiction

November 4, 2013

November’s fiction is sure to contain titles that will be heralded in ‘Best Of 2013’ lists.  Highly anticipated literature is Daniel Alarcón’s, “At Night We Walk In Circles“; Amy Tan returns with her first book in 4 years; Ruth Rendell continues her amazing Inspector Wexford series (this is the 24th book); and, with approval from the Wodehouse estate, Sebastian Faulks brings Jeeves and Bertie Wooster back to life in bally good form. Here is our November fiction title list for your reading enjoyment:

All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future. Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life. Fabulous, fun-filled, spanning decades and generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America’s twentieth-century story.

At Night We Walk In Circles by Daniel Alarcón
The breakout book from a prizewinning young writer: a breathtaking, suspenseful story of one man’s obsessive search to find the truth of another man’s downfall. Nelson’s life is not turning out the way he hoped. His girlfriend is sleeping with another man, his brother has left their South American country, leaving Nelson to care for their widowed mother, and his acting career can’t seem to get off the ground. That is, until he lands a starring role in a touring revival of The Idiot President , a legendary play by Nelson’s hero, Henry Nunez, leader of the storied guerrilla theater troupe Diciembre. And that’s when the real trouble begins. The tour takes Nelson out of the shelter of the city and across a landscape he’s never seen, which still bears the scars of the civil war. With each performance, Nelson grows closer to his fellow actors, becoming hopelessly entangled in their complicated lives, until, during one memorable performance, a long-buried betrayal surfaces to force the troupe into chaos.

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield
Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don t forget . . . Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William s life, his fortunes begin to turn and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.

Bertie Plays The Blues by Alexander McCall-Smith
The residents and neighbors of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring seven-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy–just ask his mother. If you haven’t met the residents of 44 Scotland Street yet, there is no better time, since everyone seems to be in the midst of new beginnings. New parents Matthew and Elspeth must muddle through the difficulties of raising their triplets Rognvald, Tobermory and Fegus–there’s normal sleep deprivation, and then there’s trying to tell the children apart from one another. Angus and Domenica are newly engaged, and now they must negotiate the complex merger of two households. Domenica is also forced to deal with the return of an old flame, while Big Lou has begun the search for a new one, boldly exploring the new world of online dating and coming up with an Elvis impersonator on the first try. And in Bertie’s family, there’s a shift in power as his father Stuart starts to stand up to overbearing mother, Irene–and then there’s Bertie, who has been thinking that he might want to start over with a new family and so puts himself up for adoption on eBay.

Buying In by Laura Hemphill
Bright, ambitious Sophie Landgraf has landed a job as a Wall Street analyst. The small-town girl finally has her ticket to the American elite, but she doesn’t real­ize the toll it will take—on her boyfriend, on her family, and on her. It isn’t long before Sophie is floundering in this male-dominated world, and things are about to get worse.  With the financial crisis looming, Sophie be­comes embroiled in a multibillion-dollar merger that could make or break her career. The problem? Three men at the top of their game, each with very different reasons for advancing the merger. Now Sophie doesn’t know whom to trust—or how far she’ll go to get ahead.

The Cartographer Of No Man’s Land by P.S. Duffy
In the tradition of Robert Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife and Karl Marlantes’s Matterhorn, P. S. Duffy’s astonishing debut showcases a rare and instinctive talent emerging in midlife. Her novel leaps across the Atlantic, between a father at war and a son coming of age at home without him. When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into the visceral shock of battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son Simon Peter must navigate escalating hostility in a fishing village torn by grief. With the intimacy of The Song of Achilles and the epic scope of The Invisible Bridge, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land offers a soulful portrayal of World War I and the lives that were forever changed by it, both on the battlefield and at home.

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations and where her destiny awaits. Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package. Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. The first book in the all-new Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy.

Death Comes To The Village by Catherine Lloyd
Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. . . Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major’s suspicions offers a welcome diversion–but soon presents real danger. Someone is intent on stopping their investigation. And in a place where no one locks their doors, a series of thefts and the disappearance of two young serving girls demands explanation. . . As Robert grapples with his difficult recovery, he and Lucy try to unearth the dark truth lurking within the village shadows, and stop a killer waiting to strike again.

Death Of A Nightingale by Lene Kaaberbol
Nina. Natasha. Olga. Three women united by one terrifying secret. But only one of them has killed to keep it. Natasha Doroshenko, a Ukrainian woman who has been convicted of the attempted murder of her Danish fiancé, escapes police custody on her way to an interrogation in Copenhagen’s police headquarters. That night, the frozen, tortured body of Michael, the ex-fiancé, is found in a car, and the manhunt for Natasha escalates. It isn’t the first time the young Ukrainian woman has lost a partner to violent ends: her first husband was also murdered, three years earlier in Kiev, and in the same manner: tortured to death in a car. nbsp; Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg has been following Natasha’s case for several years now, since Natasha first took refuge at a crisis center where Nina works. Nina, who had tried to help Natasha leave her abusive fiancé more than once, just can’t see the young Ukrainian mother as a vicious killer. But in her effort to protect Natasha’s daughter and discover the truth, Nina realizes there is much she didn’t know about this woman and her past. The mystery has long and bloody roots, going back to a terrible famine that devastated Stalinist Ukraine in 1934, when a ten-year-old girl with the voice of a nightingale sang her family into shallow graves.

The Dinosaur Feather by S J Gazan
Winner of the Danish Crime Novel for the Decade, S.J. Gazan’s debut novel “The Dinosaur Feather” is a classic of Scandinavian noir, from its richly imagined and deeply flawed characters to its scintillating exploration of one of the most fascinating aspects of contemporary dinosaur and avian research. Biology postgraduate and hopeful PhD Anna Bella Nor is just two weeks away from defending her thesis on the origin of birds when her supervisor, the arrogant and widely despised Dr. Lars Helland, is found dead in his office chair at the University of Copenhagen. In the dead man’s bloody lap is a copy of Anna’s thesis. When the autopsy suggests that Helland may have been murdered in a fiendishly ingenious way, the brilliant but tormented young Police Superindendent Soren Marhauge begins the daunting task of unraveling the knotted skeins of interpersonal and intellectual intrigue among the scientists at the university. Unfortunately for him, everyone involved–from embittered single mom Anna Bella Nor to Marhauge’s own ex-wife, who is pregnant with her current husband’s child–has something to hide, presenting the detective with the greatest professional and personal challenge of his entire career.

Dust by Patricia Cornwell
Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has just returned from working one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history when she’s awakened at an early hour by Detective Pete Marino. A body, oddly draped in an unusual cloth, has just been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT and it’s suspected the identity is that of missing computer engineer Gail Shipton, last seen the night before at a trendy Cambridge bar. It appears she’s been murdered, mere weeks before the trial of her $100 million lawsuit against her former financial managers, and Scarpetta doubts it’s a coincidence. She also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece, Lucy. At a glance there is no sign of what killed Gail Shipton, but she’s covered with a fine dust that under ultraviolet light fluoresces brilliantly in three vivid colors, what Scarpetta calls a mineral fingerprint. Clearly the body has been posed with chilling premeditation that is symbolic and meant to shock, and Scarpetta has reason to worry that the person responsible is the Capital Murderer, whose most recent sexual homicides have terrorized Washington, D.C.

The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom
The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief–and a page-turner that will touch your soul–Albom’s masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected. Readers of The Five People You Meet in Heaven will recognize the warmth and emotion so redolent of Albom’s writing, and those who haven’t yet enjoyed the power of his storytelling, will thrill at the discovery of one of the best-loved writers of our time.

Jeeves And The Wedding Bells by Sebastain Faulks
Jeeves and Wooster were the finest creations of a novelist widely proclaimed to be the finest comic English writer by critics and fans alike. Now, forty years later, Bertie and Jeeves return in a hilarious affair of mix-ups and mishaps. With the approval of the Wodehouse estate, acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks brings these two back to life for their legion of fans. Bertie, nursing a bit of heartbreak over the recent engagement of one Georgina Meadowes to someone not named Wooster, agrees to “help” his old friend Peregrine “Woody” Beeching, whose own romance is foundering. That this means an outing to Dorset, away from an impending visit from Aunt Agatha, is merely an extra benefit. Almost immediately, things go awry and the simple plan quickly becomes complicated. Jeeves ends up impersonating one Lord Etringham, while Bertie pretends to be Jeeves’ manservant “Wilberforce,”–and this all happens under the same roof as the now affianced Ms. Meadowes. From there the plot becomes even more hilarious and convoluted, in a brilliantly conceived, seamlessly written comic work worthy of the master himself.

King & Maxwell by David Baldacci
David Baldacci brings back Sean King and Michelle Maxwell-former Secret Service agents turned private investigators, featured in the hit TNT TV series King and Maxwell — in their most surprising, personal, and dangerous case ever.  It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father . . . after his supposed death. Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler’s father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target? Sean and Michelle soon realize that they’ve stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined. And as their hunt for the truth leads them relentlessly to the highest levels of power and to uncovering the most clandestine of secrets, Sean and Michelle are determined to help and protect Tyler — though they may pay for it with their lives.

Lies You Wanted To Hear by James Thomson
Alone in an empty house, Lucy tries to imagine the lives of her two young children. They have been gone for seven years, and she is tormented by the role she played in that heartbreaking loss. You can hardly see a glimpse of the sexy, edgy woman she used to be. Back then, she was a magnet for men like Matt, who loved her beyond reason, and Griffin, who wouldn’t let go but always left her wanting more. Now the lies they told and the choices they made have come tohaunt all three of them. With shattering turns, Lies You Wanted to Hear explores the way good people talk themselves into doing terrible, unthinkable things. What happens when we come to believe our own lies? And what price must we pay for our mistakes?

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith
Modern ideas get tangledup with traditional ones in the latest intriguing installment in the beloved, best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. First she is approached by the lawyer Mma Sheba, who is the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate. Mma Sheba has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward may be falsely impersonating the farmer’s nephew in order to claim his inheritance. Mma Ramotswe agrees to visit the farm and find out what she can about the self-professed nephew. Then the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon comes to Mma Ramotswe for advice. The opening of her new salon has been shadowed by misfortune. Not only has she received a bad omen in the mail, but rumors are swirling that the salon is using dangerous products that burn people’s skin. Could someone be trying to put the salon out of business? Meanwhile, at the office, Mma Ramotswe has noticed something different about Grace Makutsi lately. Though Mma Makutsi has mentioned nothing, it has become clear that she is pregnant . . . But in Botswana–a land where family has always been held above all else–this may be cause for controversy as well as celebration.

Montana by Gwen Florio
Foreign correspondent Lola Wicks is livid. She’s been downsized from her Kabul posting. Her editor reassigns her to a stateside suburban beat formerly the province of interns. When she arrives in Montana for some R&R at a friend’s cabin, her friend is nowhere in sight. Anger turns to terror when Lola discovers her friend shot dead. She can’t get out of Montana fast enough, until she finds that she can’t get out at all. She’s held as a potential witness, thwarting her plan to return on her own to Afghanistan to write the stories she’s sure will persuade her editors to change their minds. Her best hope lies in solving the case herself. But the surefooted journalist who deftly negotiated Afghanistan’s deadly terrain finds herself frighteningly off-balance in this forgotten corner of her own country, plagued by tensions between the locals and citizens of the nearby Blackfeet Nation.

No Man’s Nightingale by Ruth Rendell
A female vicar named Sarah Hussain is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who finds the body, happens to also be in the employ of former Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, Wexford, who has taken to reading “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” as a retirement project, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators. Wexford is intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, but he’s also desperate to escape the chatty Maxine. A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussain was a woman working in a male-dominated profession. Of mixed race and an outspoken church reformer, she had turned some in her congregation against her, including the conservative vicar’s warden. Could one of her enemies in the church have gone so far as to kill her? Or could it have been the elderly next-door gardener with a muddled alibi? As Wexford searches the vicar’s house alongside the police, he sees a book, Newman’s “Apologia Pro Vita Sua,” lying on Hussain s bedside table. Inside it is a letter serving as a bookmark. Without thinking much, Wexford puts it into his pocket. Wexford soon realizes he has made a grave error he’s removed a piece of evidence from the crime scene. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Sarah Hussain. Is there more to her than meets the eye?

Purgatory by Ken Bruen
Recovering from the severe mental and physical wounds inflicted from his recent past, former cop Jack Taylor has finally found a modicum of peace. He has managed to kick the myriad substances that have had a stranglehold over his painful life, however tenuously. Yet this fragile existence is threatened when a vigilante killer begins targeting the scum of Galway, signing mysterious notes with the moniker ‘C 33’. The killer addresses these cryptic letters to Jack, trying to goad him into joining the murderous spree. While Jack tries to unravel the mystery and motives of this demented killer, he is also brought into the fold of an enigmatic tech billionaire who has been buying up massive amounts of property in Galway, seemingly in the hopes of offering this downtrodden city a better future. Yet if Jack has learned one thing living in Ireland, it’s that people who outwardly claim to be on the side of righteousness are likely harboring far more nefarious motives beneath the surface. With the help of his friends, former drug dealer-turned-zen master Stewart and dogged police sergeant Ridge, Jack is determined to track down C 33, even if it jeopardizes his livelihood, his friends, and the remaining shreds of his sanity.

The Raven’s Eye by Barry Maitland
DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla, of Scotland Yard, find themselves pulled into a case of murder, a mysterious death among the houseboats that line the canals around greater London, in Barry Maitland’s The Raven’s Eye. DI Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard is called in as a matter of course by the local Paddington police when a woman turns up dead in what appears to be an accident. On her houseboat, Vicky Hawks is found by one of her neighbors having apparently succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper ventilation of the narrowboat’s heating system. But while the cause of death seems apparent and there’s no reason for Kolla to think otherwise, something about this death still bothers her. Meanwhile, her boss, DCI Brock, is wrestling with harsh budget cuts and a new Commander who is determined to make fundamental changes to the system–including limiting resources devoted to investigations. Struggling against the limitations imposed by the new order at Scotland Yard, Brock and Kolla find themselves pulling at the loose strings in the death of Vicky Hawks, trying to find out who she really was, what she was up to, and how her death might be related to another earlier tragic accidental death.

Red Sky In Morning by Paul Lynch  
It’s 1832 and Coll Coyle has killed the wrong man. The dead man’s father is an expert tracker and ruthless killer with a single-minded focus on vengeance. The hunt leads from the windswept bogs of County Donegal, across the Atlantic to the choleric work camps of the Pennsylvania railroad, where both men will find their fates in the hardship and rough country of the fledgling United States. Language and landscape combine powerfully in this tense exploration of life and death, parts of which are based on historical events.

Rustication by Charles Palliser
Christmas, 1863. Richard Shenstone, aged seventeen, has been sent down from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by disturbing sexual desires, he finds temporary refuge in the creaking old mansion inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie, whose behavior grows increasingly bizarre. Soon, graphic and threatening letters begin to circulate among the local populace, where no one is quite who he seems and almost anyone can be considered a suspect in a series of crimes and misdemeanors ranging from vivisection to . . . murder. Fans of Charles Palliser’s beloved The Quincunx and The Unburied-as well as readers of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber-will delight in this, the author’s first new novel in more than ten years.

S by J.J. Abrams
One book. Two readers. A world of mystery, menace, and desire. A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the stranger, and so begins an unlikely conversation that plunges them both into the unknown. The book: “Ship of Theseus,” the final novel by a prolific but enigmatic writer named V.M. Straka, in which a man with no past is shanghaied onto a strange ship with a monstrous crew and launched onto a disorienting and perilous journey. The writer: Straka, the incendiary and secretive subject of one of the world’s greatest mysteries, a revolutionary about whom the world knows nothing apart from the words he wrote and the rumors that swirl around him. The readers: Jennifer and Eric, a college senior and a disgraced grad student, both facing crucial decisions about who they are, who they might become, and how much they’re willing to trust another person with their passions, hurts, and fears.

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act. She’s finishing college; raising her delightful three-year-old genius son, Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo; and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Christian mother and Jewish father. She’s got enough to deal with before she gets caught in the middle of a stickup in a gas station mini-mart and falls in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who steps between the armed robber and her son to shield the child from danger. Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god has his own baggage. When he looked down the barrel of the gun in the gas station he believed it was destiny: it’s been exactly one year since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn’t define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, William and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head-on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
When a young American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in the exclusive garden of London’s Bryanston Square, residents August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge, a cranial surgeon, quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse’s aide in France, but she can’t remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield. In a narrative that takes us from London to New England, and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing and wrenching tale about love and the meaning of memory, set against the haunting backdrop of a war that destroyed an entire generation.

Stop Here by Beverly Gologorsky
Ava, Mila, and Rosalyn all work at Murray’s Diner in Long Island. They are friends and coworkers struggling to hold together their disordered lives. While Ava privately grieves the loss of her husband in the first Iraq War, Mila struggles to dissuade her seventeen-year-old daughter from enlisting in the second. Rosalyn works as an escort by night until love and illness conspire to disrupt the tenuous balance she’d found and the past she’d kept at a safe distance. The promise of a new relationship with a coworker soon begins to restore Ava’s faith in her own ability to feel, and Mila learns through wrenching loss that children must learn from their own mistakes. But ultimately it is love-for one another and for their wayward families-that sustains them through the pain and uncertainty of a world with no easy answers.

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani
In The Shoemaker’s Wife Adriana Trigiani swept her readers across generations of an Italian family, from the Italian Alps at the turn of the twentieth century to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy. In The Supreme Macaroni Company, she weaves a heartbreaking story that begins on the eve of a wedding in New York’s Greenwich Village, travels to New Orleans, and culminates in Tuscany. Family, work, romance, and the unexpected twists of life and fate all come together in an unforgettable narrative that Adriana Trigiani’s many fans will adore.

Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith
Arkady Renko, one of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, has survived the cultural journey from the Soviet Union to the New Russia, only to find the nation as obsessed with secrecy and brutality as was the old Communist dictatorship. In “Tatiana,” the melancholy hero cynical, analytical, and quietly subversive unravels a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia itself. The fearless reporter Tatiana Petrovna falls to her death from a sixth-floor window in Moscow the same week that a mob billionaire, Grisha Grigorenko, is shot and buried with the trappings due a lord. No one else makes the connection, but Arkady is transfixed by the tapes he discovers of Tatiana s voice describing horrific crimes in words that are at odds with the Kremlin s official versions. The trail leads to Kaliningrad, a Cold War secret city that is separated by hundreds of miles from the rest of Russia. The more Arkady delves into Tatiana’s past, the more she leads him into a surreal world of wandering sand dunes, abandoned children, and a notebook written in the personal code of a dead translator. Finally, in a lethal race to uncover what the translator knew, Arkady makes a startling discovery that draws him still deeper into Tatiana’s past and, paradoxically, into Russia’s future, where bulletproof cars, poets, corruption of the Baltic Fleet, and a butcher for hire combine to give Kaliningrad the distinction of having the highest crime rate in Russia.

The Valley Of Amazement by Amy Tan
Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village. Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II. A deeply evocative narrative about the profound connections between mothers and daughters, The Valley of Amazement returns readers to the compelling territory of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

Where The Moon Isn’t by Nathan Filer
While on vacation with their parents, Matthew Homes and his older brother snuck out in the middle of the night. Only Matthew came home safely. Ten years later, Matthew tells us, he has found a way to bring his brother back… What begins as the story of a lost boy turns into a story of a brave man yearning to understand what happened that night, in the years since, and to his very person. Unafraid to look at the shadows of our hearts, Nathan Filer’s rare and brilliant debut Where the Moon Isn’t shows us the strength that is rooted in resilience and love.

White Fire by Douglas Preston
Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protegee, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who–with brutal precision–begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear. Her finding is so astonishing that it, even more than the arsonist, threatens the resort’s very existence. Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between the dead miners and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story–one that might just offer the key to the modern day killings as well. Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack–and Corrie’s life suddenly in grave danger–Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.

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