Here are more books from the EIGHT boxes of ARCs I was given. Since I had so many orders last time, and a lot of the books were large and heavy, I am doing myself a favor and only posting more regular-sized books this time. (Larger ones WILL be posted later)
Please order a book from my shelf and pick two ARCs. (If you wish, you can also add a damaged book from my profile.)
Please PM me asap so I can take down books that are no longer available!
Books on WLS:
Gloss – Jennifer Oko
Justice for the Damned (Medieval Mystery) – Priscilla Royal
The Return: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery – Hakan Nesser
Black Monday -- L. Scott Reiss
Exposure – Kurt Wenzel
Pepperfish Keys – Darryl Wimberley
Cures for Heartbreak - Margo Rabb (Young Adult)
BOOKS NOT ON WLS
The Picasso Flop – Vince Van Patten -- Van Patten, a host of TV's World Poker Tour, has teamed with veteran mystery writer Randisi to create what may be the first novel billed as a "Texas Hold'em Mystery." The action takes place during a major poker tournament at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and Jimmy Spain—recently released from prison—is there both to play and to coach 22-year-old Kat Landrigan, the talented daughter of a man Spain did time with (part of a complex backstory). But the tournament is interrupted by two murders, and, for reasons that strain credulity, Spain is asked to look into the matter. The title refers to the three playing cards discovered with each body: a jack, a queen and a king, which, when dealt together, are sometimes described as a "Picasso flop" in hold'em. Spain is an engaging, likable character, and some of the poker scenes are done with flair and knowledge. (I have no idea if this book is on WLs or not, because PBS has the entirely wrong book description and author under this ISBN, although the book cover is correct!)
Molly’s Dream – Dona Andrews – (2 copies) -- Molly Rae Ross is more than that curvaceous, redheaded bombshell the illustrious Crandall Adams covets from the window above his garage and new-car dealership. She is an educated, first-rate mechanic with a dream-a dream to become the first woman ever to build a stock car. Molly will do almost anything to bring the car to life in the infamous Daytona 500 race including disguise herself as a young man in order to earn a respectable position in her field. Anything, that is, except fall to the feet of a wealthy, smitten playboy with a reputation for womanizing. Crandall is handsome, refined, and once he sees through Molly's disguise he falls painfully in love. But when his affections are put to the test by Molly, he finds himself reeling every step of the way.
Shadows in the White City – Robert W. Walker -- The nation and the world gaze in awe at Chicago's magnificent "White City" in this summer of 1893. But Inspector Alastair Ransom sees the rot beneath the splendor of the great Exposition—and he is consumed with an over-powering need for vengeance. "The Phantom of the Fair," a blood-thirsty fiend who nearly added Ransom to his ever-growing list of slaughtered victims, is still lurking somewhere in the shadows of Ferris's gargantuan Wheel. And to end the maniac's reign, Ransom refuses to play by the rules established by the police brass and the corrupt politicians—appointing himself judge, jury . . . and executioner. But white-hot hatred and zealous fury can blind a determined manhunter to a more terrible truth. And dangerous missteps may lead to even greater bloodshed . . .
Dead Giveaway – Brenda Novak -- The Reverend Lee Barker went missing nineteen years ago? And the people of Stillwater, Mississippi, believe they know why. They're convinced he was murdered--by his stepson, Clay Montgomery. But only Clay--and his mother and sisters--can say for sure. They were the only ones there that fateful night, the only ones who know what really happened. And they're not talking. Allie McCormick is a cold-case detective from Chicago. After a particularly difficult divorce, she's returned to Stillwater with her six-year-old daughter to find the peace she once knew in her hometown, and to work for the local police force while she's starting over. But when Clay's powerful enemies join forces to put him behind bars, Allie feels duty bound to uncover the truth. Her instincts tell her he didn't murder the Reverend Lee Barker. Maybe Clay's a dark and brooding man with more than his share of secrets, but he was just sixteen at the time. And he's not a cold-blooded killer. At least, that's what Allie believes--until she finds proof that behind the preacher's pious demeanor lurked the heart of a monster. Then she has to ask herself whether justice has already been done.?
Fear of Landing – Daivd Waltner-Toews -- On the islands of Java and Bali in the early 1980s, Western governments are pouring millions of dollars into development schemes even as Indonesian strongman President Suharto violently stifles dissent. For Canadian veterinarian Abner Dueck, the “spice islands” are an exotic locale for the seemingly mundane work of examining dead cows and working with old friends. Dueck's life changes abruptly when some of the cows die under mysterious circumstances, and he meets a mysterious young Chinese woman; soon after, two of his friends—one Canadian and one Indonesian—are murdered. Mennonite Dueck, marshalls the energy to battle Indonesian politics and the attempts of local businessmen, military rulers, and international “advisors” to manipulate development projects to their own ends. And to unravel the mysterious deaths of both cattle and people, Dueck must first understand the long shadow that the 1966 massacres cast on Indonesian life, as well as the complexities of their music, and the demands and intrigues of love and conspiracy, death and mystery, and of course, cultural heritage and personal identity.
Death Pans Out – Ashna Graves -- In Graves's inspirational debut, 45-year-old Jeneva "Neva" Leopold retreats to her Uncle Matthew Burt's abandoned mining cabin in Billie Creek, Ore., for peace and healing after a double mastectomy and the recent loss of her mother. A columnist for the Willamette Current, the resilient, inquisitive Neva also hunts for clues to her uncle's disappearance from his mining claim 15 years earlier. She makes friends in the small desert community with colorful locals, including crusty artifact hunter Skipper Dooley, ex-beauty queen rancher Darla Steadman and miner Reese Cotter. Neva is horrified to discover the corpse of Reese's fellow miner, young Roy DeRoos, and is later skeptical when Reese is accused of murder. Strange events test Neva's courage, leading to a startling resolution that's both macabre and entertaining.
Amen Corner – Rick Shefchik -- Minneapolis police detective Sam Skarda, on leave after being shot, has been invited to participate as an amateur in the Masters golf tournament in this middling debut from sports writer Shefchik. Also visiting Augusta, Ga., is recently released convict Lee Doggett, out for revenge against the man who fathered but didn't raise him. When two people associated with the tournament are murdered in the first three days, club officials hire Sam to find the killer—quietly please, with minimal publicity. Because Shefchik reveals Doggett's identity and motive from the get-go, the payoff should be the edge of suspense to Sam's investigation—will Doggett harm more people before the police learn what the reader already knows? The unfolding of the investigation, when it finally gets going, however, is buried under a dense layer of Masters minutiae.
The Ragtime Kid – Larry Karp – Ragtime suffuses the very air of 1899 Sedalia, Mo., in Karp's sweet-natured historical featuring Scott Joplin and the fictional 16-year-old white boy Brun Campbell, who ignores the racial divide in his determination to play piano Joplin-style. Brun runs away from home in Oklahoma and stumbles on the body of a young woman just hours after arriving in Sedalia. He carelessly grabs a locket and a money clip off the corpse, but soon learns that the objects will incriminate Joplin. To protect his idol, Brun decides to find out who the real murderer is.
Sleight of Hand (A Barbara Holloway Mystery) - Katie Wilhelm - Gregarious Vegas entertainer Wally Lederer has a lucrative showbiz career, but when a childhood friend accuses him of stealing a valuable artifact, his checkered past comes back to haunt him. Wally claims he's turned his life around since spending time in the slammer for picking pockets, but will the police believe him? More important, does Barbara believe him when he pleads his case to her? Wally swears he's innocent. But when his accuser is found murdered, Barbara knows Wally is in serious trouble— the police have named him as their prime suspect. Barbara begins to dig up the dirt, and before long new evidence points toward an unlikely killer. Now Barbara must decide if protecting her client by revealing the truth will destroy another life she means to save.
False Fortune: A Pinnacle Peak Mystery – Twist Phelan – Business attorney Hannah Dain is in such deep water not even her trusty kayak can keep her afloat. A trip to an abandoned uranium mine with her sister Shelby turns into a daring lake rescue. Then Hannah is appointed lead counsel in Shelby's pollution case on behalf of the local Indian tribe against the Feds—a case that some people will do anything to keep out of the courtroom. When things seem as if they can't get any stranger, a recently discovered family member shows up on Hannah's doorstep.
Checkmate - Karna Small Bodman - (PW) Bodman, a deputy press secretary and later senior director of the National Security Council under Reagan, comes up with a cool premise for her debut thriller. Computer genius Cameron "Cammy" Talbot of Bandaq Technologies has developed a program whereby she's able to hack into the guidance system of an incoming cruise missile and redirect it back against whoever fired it. Lt. Col. Hunt Daniels of the Air Force becomes involved with Cammy after someone tries to kill her, and romantic sparks fly.
All the Flowers are Daying - Lawrence Block - (PW) Starred Review. Matt Scudder, bestseller Block's extraordinary private detective, has been around for almost 30 years, and if his aging has been neither gentle nor graceful, it's certainly been eventful. In his stellar 16th outing, the 60-something Scudder proves to be as tough and resilient as ever when faced with the slickest, sickest killer to ever test his mettle.
Death and Judgment - Deanna Leon - (PW) The heady atmosphere of Venice and a galaxy of fully realized characters enrich this intriguing and finally horrifying tale, the fourth featuring Guido Brunetti, the stalwart and worldly Commissioner of Police in Venice.
Blonde Lightning - Terrill Lee Lankford - (Booklist) Following his peripheral involvement in the murder of a studio executive (Earthquake Weather, 2004), Hollywood producer wanna-be Mark Hayes is still struggling on the edges of the film world. Lankford treats readers to a gritty, detail-rich portrait of how a movie gets made, from development to distribution. That the filmmaking process parallels the playing out of the crime drama in a steadily more ironic way adds an extra level of sly entertainment, much in the manner of Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty.
The Naming of the Dead – Jan Rankin -- Rankin fans can get back to the really good stuff: a new John Rebus novel. Coming off what is arguably the best Rebus of all, Fleshmarket Alley (2005), Rankin faces a stern challenge, and while the new offering isn't quite among the series' elite, it's still a damn good book. It's July 2005, and Bush, Blair, and other international leaders are coming to Scotland for the G8 conference to be held outside Edinburgh. Anything but a company man, Detective Inspector Rebus finds himself relegated to the sidelines until he takes a call that lands him smack where he's not supposed to be: butting heads with conference organizers in an attempt to make sense of the apparent suicide of an attendee at a preconference dinner. The focus on international events (including the London subway bombing) adds thematic heft to the novel. Required reading for crime-fiction followers.
The Patience of the Spider – Andrea Canilleri --On the mend from the gunshot wound he sustained at the conclusion of Rounding the Mark (2006), police inspector Salvo Montalbano is called back to work when the kidnapping of a young woman rocks the insular Sicilian community of Vigata. As Montalbano becomes intrigued with the case, he gradually feels himself start to reengage with the rest of humanity, though the almost metaphysical lethargy that has been weighing on his soul will not dislodge easily. The focus of this consistently entertaining series has always been more on character than mystery, and it delivers what fans have come to expect: a perfectly blended mix of comedy and melancholy, and a hero whose joie de vivre is perpetually under siege from an absurd world.
Cactus Heart – Jon Talton -- Deputy sheriff David Mapstone's background as a history professor serves him well when he stumbles—quite literally—onto a very cold case in Talton's engaging fifth mystery, a prequel set in 1999. One night, after leaving a pro hockey game in Phoenix, Mapstone; his girlfriend, Lindsey Adams; and his boss, Mike Peralta, interrupt a carjacking. They pursue the perp into an abandoned warehouse, where Mapstone falls down an elevator shaft. At the bottom are the bodies of two small children, who turn out to be the Yarnell twins, kidnapped in the 1930s from the most powerful man in the region, cattle baron Hayden Yarnell. Talton does his usual competent job of depicting the history of Phoenix and the American West, in particular the greed that has driven the city's growth and the desert's demise. Mapstone is the kind of modern hero many readers dream of: intellectual but physical, tough but sensitive.
The Jericho Pact – Rachel Lee - After the assassination of the German chancellor, the security of Office 119 is torn by the multitude of threats facing Europe and its people. Now time is running out. Agent Renate Bachle must do everything and anything to stop a conspirator willing to push nations to war and scapegoat an entire race in a bid for deadly power. In the shadows, a renegade priest and his bodyguard attempt to protect a sacred codex as ancient as it is coveted. But not even those willing to manipulate the Vatican to save the world can grasp the true nature of the power that has fallen into the wrong hands. All they can do is try to harness it long enough to stem the tide of blood and evil before it washes across Europe…and the globe.
The Cruel Stars of the Night – Kjall Eriksson -- In Swedish author Eriksson's fine second ensemble procedural (after 2006's The Princess of Burundi), members of the Uppsala Violent Crime Division try to connect the dots linking the separate murders of two old men and the disappearance of a third. Eriksson eschews crackling dialogue and facile descriptions in favor of longer, slower developing profiles of the principal men and women of the police unit: Ann Lindell, Ola Haver, Sammy Nilsson, Allan Fredricksson and others. Their investigation proceeds in parallel with the story of Laura Hindersten, daughter of the missing man. Eriksson balances these stories nicely as the detectives reach for clues. Lindell, the single mother of a young boy, emerges as the most compelling investigator, but the others are also distinct individuals. The author's squad of detectives displays the kind of interdependency and fractious loyalty that endeared Ed McBain's 87th Precinct squad to fans for so many decades
The Lost – Michelle Hancock -- What if you had irrefutable proof that Jesus Christ was actually an instrument of the Devil? This disturbing knowledge turns Guy Coffee Daniels a brilliant student of ancient languages at Columbia University into a tormented panhandler with a death wish. It all starts when Pia Cecelio, the beautiful daughter of a famous philanthropist, asks him to translate one of the Dead Sea scrolls not yet released to the public. What Coffee discovers is a new testament written by Jesus . . . and secrets sure to crush the faith of Christians worldwide! When Coffee and the document disappear, Pia is forced to track him down. But can she a devout Catholic scarred by a controlling father handle the truths revealed in the sacred text? Christian doctrine is cracked wide open in this provocative suspense thriller that asks the age-old question: What is evil?
The Interloper - Antoine Wilson -- In Wilson's pleasantly creepy debut novel, Owen Patterson, a Southern California software manual writer, believes that the "soil" of his marriage has been "poisoned" by the aftereffects of his brother-in-law's murder. The killer, Henry Joseph Raven, murdered CJ while Owen and Patty were on their honeymoon. Raven received a "twenty-odd-year" sentence, but Patty and her parents, a year later, are still in mourning. Owen, meanwhile, comes up with a convoluted plan for revenge: he creates alter ego Lily Hazelton, a lovelorn teacher's aide whose identity is a morass of tortured bits from Owen's past—chiefly his infatuation with now-dead cousin (and first love and sexual partner) Eileen—and writes to Raven in prison. Though the plan is never quite concrete, Owen aims to use Lily to seduce Raven through an exchange of letters, and then deny him the object of his desire, thus destroying Raven as CJ was destroyed. But as Owen gets more involved, it becomes apparent the scheme has more to do with Eileen than CJ. Though the plot takes some predictable turns as Owen's obsession darkens and the James Cain–style ending is telegraphed from the opening pages, the pathos, delusion and hope festering within Owen will carry readers through.
The Exile – Allan Folsom (some damage to last quarter of book due to spilled Pepsi -- will as a 3rd freebie include if you want the other Allan Folm book below) Folsom, the author of the thrilling Day after Tomorrow (1994), which has no connection to the recent movie, and the decidedly less thrilling Day of Confession (1998), returns mostly to form in this fast-paced, exciting adventure. John Barron, a young LAPD detective, assists in the capture of a vicious killer, who dies during surgery following a gunfight. But some of his fellow cops are also killed in the process, and Barron is forced to leave the department, and the country, to avoid retribution from his former colleagues and friends. He assumes a new identity, moves to Europe, meets a nice lady--and then is confronted with the terrifying prospect that the villain who supposedly died in L.A. is not dead after all and is moving forward with his original plan. Written in short chapters, with a sturdy hero and a despicably clever villain, the novel grabs readers from the opening scenes and rarely lets them loose. Although it seems as though the author has written the book with an eye toward a future movie adaptation--short chapters, plenty of physical action, a constant reminder of the date and time, some scenes even written from an audience's point of view ("The viewer realized that somewhere out there was Raymond")--it isn't an outline posing as a novel. Sure, it's slick and a bit superficial, but it does what it sets out to do: deliver breathless excitement.
The Machiavelli Covenant - Allan Folsom - (PW) Nicholas Marten, an ex-LAPD detective, pursues an international conspiracy in this frenetic page-turner. When an old love of Marten's, Caroline Parsons, dies of a mysterious infection shortly after her congressman husband and son perish in a plane accident, her dying words set Marten on the trail of a South African bioterrorist. The former cop soon finds himself allied with another man trying to foil a cabal bent on creating a new world order—the U.S. president himself, John Henry Harris.
Last Edited on: 9/20/07 1:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1