Fabulous Fiction First #44

Followers of Ian Rankin’s Inspector John Rebus series might want to consider this one…

Bleeding Hearts is a first U.S. edition of a stand-alone, originally published in the U.K.(1994) under his pseudonym - Jack Harvey.

Michael Weston is a highly-paid and seasoned assassin, famed for his long-distant shot through the heart. Things did not go well with the last job – it was a set-up. Now he must find his double-crossing employer and at the same time, stay a step ahead of his archnemesis - an American PI named Hoffer.

Reviewers expect the nonstop action, copious violence and arcane details about weaponry and forensics will please thriller junkies, but it’s also "smart and inventive” enough to engage fans of the Rebus series.

Master of Souls

I enjoy traveling by book both in time and place. I quite enjoyed "Master of Souls" a Mystery of Ancient Ireland book 15 of 16 by Peter Tremayne pseudonym for Peter Berresford Ellis a well-respected authority on the ancient celts. It features Sister Fidelma & is set in 7th century Ireland with a well thought out plot. I could see where some of the red herrings were leading me but was pleasantly surprised with the twist at the end.

More information on the series apears at the website The International Sister Fidelma Society.

Another excellent mystery series I recommend is the "Brother Cadfael" series of 20 books set in the 12th century in Shrewsbury, England & written by the late Ellis Peters pseudonyn for Edith Pargeter.

Nate the Great

Nate the GreatNate the Great

Remember Nate the Great? His pancake breakfasts? Rosamond? Anne and her dog Fang?

If so (or if not and your curious,) check out the Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.

I think it's time to reintroduce the pint-size detective.
Forget Columbo, hire Nate to get to the bottom of things...

And I bet you didn't know that there's a Nate the Great website, did ya?

It was cool in Los Angeles.

Sunday, November 9. We were working the night watch out of Robbery Detail.

That's classic radio. It turns out that we've got a recording of some of the original Dragnet programs in the catalog. Sadly, though, we don't have the DVD set with Jack Webb.

What we do have -- and I'm going to mix media here -- is a great collection of Raymond Chandler novels. It's like getting a Dragnet fix in conveneint paper doses. Starting with a set like The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, and The High Window should give you a good introduction to Philip Marlow and the hard detective style.

Anyone else have have any crime noir recomendations?

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #42

Michael Gregorio's fiction debut Critique of Criminal Reason is a compelling, highbrow historical whodunit set in 1804. Hanno Stiffeniis, a rural magistrate, was summoned by the Prussian king to Konigsberg, to aid his mentor and the great thinker Immanuel Kant in a serial murder investigation. Fear gripped the city, and added to the tension was the threat of invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte and a dark secret in Stiffeniis’ past.

With a twisty, fast-moving plot, pitch-perfect period detail and a psychologically complex protagonist, readers "can expect stunning and thought-provoking reversals before the last clue is deciphered". I will be anxiously waiting for the sequel.

Starred reviews in Publishers’ Weekly and Booklist.

November New and Noteworthy

Margherita Dolce Vita* by Stefano Benni.
“An elegant little piece of dark comedy” by a prolific Italian author (FFF in translation). Wise and charismatic 15 yr.-old Margherita and her odd-ball family are transformed by their new neighbors from hell.

Harlem Girl Lost* by Treasure E. Blue.
A bright young woman fights her way out of the mean streets of New York, only to be drawn back in to save her man. A lurid, gripping debut and a self-publishing sensation.

Last Seen Leaving* by Kelly Braffet.
New Age spiritualist searches for her estranged daughter who has not been seen after being picked up by a stranger on a deserted highway, while a serial killer is on the loose. Gripping.

Love in a Fallen City* by Eileen Chang (Ailing Zhang).
Six vibrant stories depict life in post WWII China and bristle with equal parts passion and resentment.

Eifelheim* by Michael Flynn.
Young modern historian obsesses with the mysterious disappearance of a German village from all maps during the Black Death. The story intersects with the heartbreaking saga of stranded aliens from a distant star.

Vince and Joy* by Lisa Jewell.
Tired of all the heavy stuff around? Try this deliciously addictive read filled with London oddballs. First loves reunite after 17 years of miscommunication, disappointments and all the things life throw at you. Romantic.

The Sky People* by S.M. Stirling.
First of a new alternate history series with "broad-brush pulp sensibility". Space colonization and a classic love triangle.

The Orphan's Tales : In the night garden* by Catherynne Valente.
“A beautiful relayed, interlinked fairy tales” of magic, adventure, quests and murder, told by a mysterious young woman with tattoos around her eyelids. Think Sheherezade and the Arabian Nights.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall* by Bill Willingham.
Re-imagined new lives and backstories for fairyland citizens , the likes of Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf, now living as secret refugees in New York - probably the “smartest mainstream comics going”.

*= Starred Review(s)

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #40

A Corpse in the Koryo* introduces, to global mystery fans a new and exciting series starring Inspector O of the Pyongyang Police Department (North Korea).

This hard-boiled, police procedural begins with a seemingly routine surveillance assignment that turns nasty, pitching a pragmatic and honorable detective against the competing military and intelligence hierarchies.

First-time author James Church (pseudonym) is a former intelligence office with decades of experience in Asia. This outstanding crime novel boasts believable characters and situations, and is "richly layered and visually evocative". A must-read.

All-starred reviews in Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

For his Chinese (Shanghai) counterpart, try the latest in the Inspector Chen series (A Case of Two Cities,* 2006) by Qiu Xiaolong - another honest detective struggling to be true under a repressive regime.

*= Starred review.

Here comes Harry (Hieronymous) Bosch again

I can't wait to read Echo Park the 12th installment begun in 1992 of the Harry Bosch series. Connelly really does a good job developing his characters even the background ones.
Connellys fictional detective Harry Bosch has become so real he's got his own Wiki page and can be found on the web.

Harry Bosch has shown up in cameo roles in books by other authors, including Robert Crais's The Last Detective and in Strange Bedfellows by Paula L. Woods's and in Cons, Scams, and Grifts by Joe Gores

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #38

Edward Glyver - booklover, scholar, and murderer is the narrator in this exemplary blend of intrigue, history and romance, marking a standout literary debut with The Meaning of Night: A confession by Michael Cox. It took the author 30 years to complete, and snagged him the highest advance in publication history. Read more.

Glyver always believes he is destined for greatness, but standing between him and his rightful inheritance is his archnemesis, the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt. Resourceful Eddy will stop at nothing to claim what is his.

Fans of Wilkie Collins, Iain Pears, and David Liss would appreciate the expectedly wicked twists, and the well drawn cast of characters. Anyone interested in scrupulously researched background and details of everyday Victorian life, as in Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White and Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith would find an enthralling and suspenseful read here.

All-starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Highly recommended.

What We Missed… (Fabulous Fiction Firsts)

The October 1st Library Journal lists the best and the brightest FFF of the past year. We hit most of them but admittedly; there were a few we just didn't get around to. Here are the ones that caught our eyes. We won’t want YOU to miss them. Look for them on our New Books shelves.

The fugitive wife by Peter C. Brown. “Enormously satisfying” (NYTimes) tale of a woman who remakes herself during the Alaskan gold rush.

Riley’s Fire by Lee Merrill Byrd. An accidental fire transforms Riley, an adventurous, inquisitive seven-year old boy. A 4-star “Critics’ Choice” in People Weekly.

The Dream Life of Sukhanov* by Olga Grushin. Soviet art critic’s disillusionment. A finalist for the LA Book Prize and short-listed for the Orange Prize.

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène. Growing up in Paradise Estate - a Paris housing project for Muslim immigrants. Published when the author was a 19- yr.old university student. A bestseller in Europe.

Holmes on the Range* by Steve Hockensmith. Two Montana cowboys playing Holmes and Watson when all they expect is hard work, bad pay, and a comfortable campfire to read up on their hero, Sherlock. What fun!

The Blight Way: A Sheriff Bo Tully Mystery by Patrick McManus. Blight County, Idaho’s Sheriff Bo - smart, sneaky and relentless, is forced to put on his sleuthing hat in this very funny debut mystery.

The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe by Betsey Osborne. "An unforgettable hero as he struggles to right himself and adapt to changing expectations, even as he approaches the end of his life".

Rose of No Man’s Land* by Michelle Tea. “A whirlwind exploration of dropouts, tattoos, and drugs, and the love story of two atypical girls” – gritty and disturbing.

* = Starred Review(s)

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