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New Releases!

Coming Soon in Biblio-Mysteries

Jenn McKinlay - Death In The Stacks

Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library's annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover's dream--it's the library's biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable. Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library's newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library.

The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive--but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive's dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she's not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula's future . . .

Ellery Adams - The Secret Book & Scone Society

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked "comfort" scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That's Nora's special talent--prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person's deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he's found dead on the train tracks. Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret--the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman's demise, the women meet in Nora's cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support.

Upcoming Urban Fantasy You Should Check Out!


What We've Been Reading

Nora Roberts - Year One

Fran Recommends:

Okay, I've got two words for you: Trust Me.

This is for all you urban fantasy/dystopian folks. The rest of you can move along and we'll catch up later, perhaps. But for those of you who love a good, dark post-apocalyptic novel with wonderful people in difficult times, on this one I'm asking you to trust me.

Two more words: Year One (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, Dec. 5th on-sale date).

Our story begins on New Year's Eve in Scotland, where a family is having their annual holiday. Everything is going beautifully, and all of Ross MacLeod's family is enjoying the time together. That afternoon, the men go hunting while the women prepare for the party ahead, and Ross bags a pheasant. What happens from that point on sets loose a plague that will devastate the planet. Within a week, things are falling apart, and we'll follow several people through their survival of this new plague, called The Doom, and the restructuring of their lives.

Two more words. Really, trust me here. Nora Roberts.

Put aside any preconceived notion you have of romancey things, even though Year Zero does begin in Scotland with a man named MacLeod. I promise the romance you will stumble across in this book is not at all the driving force.  For those who have read Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb, you know she can be brutal and violent when it's called for, and in Year One, it's definitely called for.

There is an urban fantasy element to the book. Year One centers around magic, and it's a vital element throughout the book. There will be the inevitable comparisons with Stephen King's The Stand (although The Doom and Captain Tripps are not at all alike), and with Justin Cronin's The Passage (although there are no DoD experiments), and yes, some of the transformations that happen could be called vampires or werewolves, I suppose, but that's incidental. The strongest fantasy element is the magic, and that's secondary to the people, although when things fall apart, anyone with magical ability - called the Uncanny - are often hunted regardless of their gift.

I really have only two issues with Year One. First of all, toward the end I'd like more time with the group after Fallon is born. That's all I'm gonna say about that. The other thing is that this is the first in a trilogy, and I don't want to wait two more years to finish the story! I already love these people, Lana and Max, Jonah and Rachel, Arlys and Fred, Eddie and Joe. Did I make that sound like those are romantic couples? Heh, just wait for it. And there are a bunch of people I've left out because you need to meet them the same way I did, page by page.

Lee Child - Midnight Line

JB Recommends:

Sometime in 1996, one of our sales reps wandered in and handed me an advanced ready copy. Didn’t know the author but Joe said that this was a “trust me” book. He said I’d love it. And he was right. I insisted Bill read it and he loved it, too. Kindova strange story - a drifter, sort of a vigilante, who had a talent for getting into trouble but he had the ability, brains, and confidence to get out of whatever trouble that was. Wasn’t really anyone else like him.

When the book came out in ‘97, we made sure to shove it into everyone’s hands who we thought would like it and some we were not sure would like it. Nearly everyone did. That’s how a phenomenon starts and that’s how writers like Lee Child become bestsellers. Booksellers persuade their customers to try something brand new.

It’s now two decades later and Child and Reacher are going strong. Later this year, The Midnight Line comes out and it’ll be the first Jack Reacher books we won’t be here to sell. That’s a strange thing. Reacher endures. I thought we would, too.

In this new book, Reacher steps off a bus in a small Wisconsin town and sees a West Point class ring in a pawn shop window. He knows you don’t get one easily and his curiosity is snagged. As he chases down the trail of who S.R.S, class of 2005, was, the story moves westward, into North Dakota and eventually into southwest Wyoming. You know the pattern: there will be thugs who get taught a painful lesson, Reacher will think his way through tight spots, buy a change of clothes, solve the puzzles that brought him along, and bring and end to some criminal enterprise. In this book, it’s a timely story, well constructed and filled with good, strong characters. And then Reacher puts out his thumb and goes on his journey.

I wolfed this one day nearly in one day. Luckily it was a long, holiday weekend and I had the time to sit in the shade and follow the route west and enjoy the book. It was over too damn fast, that’s for certain.

Twenty years of fun, twenty years of Reacher, eagerly awaiting the next new one and always plowing through them altogether too quickly because, really, there’s no other way to handle a Reacher book but quckly and eagerly, is there?


Upcoming Releases From Local Authors


Coming Soon in Sherlock Holmes

Mark A. Latham - The Red Tower

Dr Watson has been invited to Crain Manor, where his old friend James Crain is to hold a spiritualist gathering. During a seance a ghostly figure is seen, supposedly the spirit of Sybille, the first Lady Crain, who murdered her husband in the tower room, and whose appearance is said to be a sign of disaster. In an attempt to debunk the seance, James's sister Esther declares that she will sleep in the tower room - but at midnight there is a bloodcurdling scream and Esther is found dead, a look of horror on her face, and the room locked from the inside.

James Lovegrove - Sherlock Holmes and the Miskatonic Monstrosities

It is the spring of 1895, and more than a decade of combating eldritch entities has cost Dr John Watson his beloved wife Mary, and nearly broken the health of Sherlock Holmes. Yet the companions do not hesitate when they are called to the infamous Bedlam lunatic asylum, where they find an inmate speaking in R'lyehian, the language of the Old Ones. Moreover, the man is horribly scarred and has no memory of who he is.

The detectives discover that the inmate was once a scientist, a student of Miskatonic University, and one of two survivors of a doomed voyage down the Miskatonic River to capture the semi-mythical shoggoth. Yet how has he ended up in London, without his wits? And when the man is taken from Bedlam by forces beyond normal mortal comprehension, it becomes clear that there is far more to the case than one disturbed Bostonian. It is only by learning what truly happened on that fateful New England voyage that Holmes and Watson will uncover the truth, and learn who is behind the Miskatonic monstrosity...


Upcoming Must Reads

Holly Black - The Cruel Prince

Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

Maryrose Wood - The Long-Lost Home

Unhappy Penelope Lumley is trapped in unhappy Plinkst Even the beets for which Plinkst is inexplicably famous fail to grow in this utterly miserable Russian village. Penelope anxiously counts the days and wonders how she will ever get back to England in time to save all the Ashtons--who, she now knows, include herself and the Incorrigible children, although their precise location on the family tree is still a mystery--from their accursed fate.

Her daring scheme to escape sends her on a wildly unexpected journey. But time is running out, and the not-really-dead Edward Ashton is still on the loose. His mad obsession with the wolfish curse on the Ashtons puts Penelope and the Incorrigibles in dire peril. As Penelope fights her way back to her beloved pupils, the three brave Incorrigibles endure their gloomy new tutor and worriedly prepare for the arrival of Lady Constance's baby. Little do they know the danger they're in

More Upcoming Must Reads


Future Historical Mysteries!

Deanna Raybourn - A Treacherous Curse

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can't resist the allure of an exotic mystery--particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker's past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats--and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe--Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .

Alan Bradley - The Grave's A Fine And Private Place

In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia's grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia's mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder--although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave.


More Future Historicals


Coming Soon Culinaries

Cleo Coyle - Shot In The Dark

A smartphone dating game turns the Village Blend into a hookup hotspot—until a gunshot turns the landmark coffeehouse into a crime scene.

As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi fixes a date for her wedding, her ex-husband is making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these match-ups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find.

The corpse is an entrepreneur who used dating apps with reckless abandon—breaking hearts along the way. The NYPD quickly arrests one of the heartbreaker’s recent conquests. But the suspect’s sister tearfully swears her sibling was framed. Clare not only finds reason to believe it, she fears the real killer will strike again.

Now Clare is “swiping” through suspects in her own shop—with the help of her globetrotting ex-husband, a man who’s spent his life hunting for coffee and women. Together they’re determined to find justice before another shot rings out.

Alex Erickson - Death By Eggnog

Unfortunately, Krissy's been roped into filling in for a sick elf in the local holiday musical extravaganza. With a demanding director, backstage gossip, and two men in fierce competition for the starring role, it isn't all sweetness and Christmas lights. Then a murder puts a stop to the production, and Krissy is faced with a pageant of suspects.

Could her ex-boyfriend, a fellow elf, really be the culprit as the police are claiming? Or will the actor playing Santa be trading his red suit for an orange jumpsuit? When her behind-the-scenes investigation starts getting dangerous, the only thing Krissy really wants is to make it to Christmas dinner alive. But first she'll have to finish wrapping up this case . . .