In real life, British author Peter James rides regularly with the Sussex police on their rounds. This fascination with police procedures and the milieu of law enforcement is amply displayed in his best-selling Roy Grace crime novels, now in its 11th installment with You Are Dead.
Few debut novels get the kind of attention—and the multi-million dollar advance—that Garth Risk Hallberg’s City on Fire has. But to say that this book deserves the buzz understates what is hardly an understated accomplishment.
A warning to the reader before picking up Adriana Trigiani’s All the Stars in the Heavens: do not Google Loretta Young if you don’t want major spoilers!
There’s trouble among the upper crust of 1930s London society, and in Ashley Weaver’s absorbing second mystery, Death Wears a Mask, the lovely and aristocratic Amory Ames is once again at the ready. She unmasked a murderer in Weaver’s 2014 debut, Murder at the Brightwell, and now a wealthy acquaintance has sought her help in ferreting out a thief.
The dead man’s ID says his name is James Putnam. The unfortunate victim of a motor vehicle accident, Putnam was killed instantly on the highway when an oncoming car jumped the divider and plowed head-on into his Porsche.
The problem is that James Putnam has been dead for 15 years.
In Art in the Blood, author Bonnie MacBird revives the favored and famous detective Sherlock Holmes and the indispensable, recently married Dr. Watson.
As you’d imagine from the title, bats are a key element in Zachary Thomas Dodson’s intricately constructed and elaborately illustrated debut. But the book’s real spirit animal is the ouroboros: a snake eating its own tail. Built as a novel within a novel, with supporting material in the form of letters and journal pages and drawings (all reproduced here as if photocopied from an archive), Bats of the Republic follows a pair of adventurous young men, several generations apart, on similar missions.
In novels like Year of Wonders, People of the Book and the Pulitzer Prize-winning March, Geraldine Brooks has demonstrated an ability to transform history into compelling, distinctive fiction. That talent is undiminished in The Secret Chord, a vivid re-creation of the life of King David.
Sloane Crosley is a familiar name to many readers of nonfiction, both for her self-deprecating essay collections and her contributions to the New York Times. Now she lends her insight and sense of humor to the world of fiction in a debut novel, The Clasp.
If James Joyce can devote an entire novel to one day in the life of the people of Dublin, why can’t Homer Hickam devote a novel to the delivery of Albert the alligator to Florida? Especially when that journey treats readers to labor strikes, car chases, hijinks on the high seas, Hollywood movies and a fateful hurricane—not to mention cameo appearances by literary competitors John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. Add to this a rooster perched imperturbably on Albert’s head, and you have the makings of an intentionally improbable, bizarre trip through Southern Americana that is a tall tale blend of fact and fiction.