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Week of December 2, 2019

New in Paperback

Week of December 2, 2019

Paperback releases for the week of December 2nd include KITCHEN YARNS, a warm collection of personal essays and recipes from Ann Hood, who spins tales of loss and starting from scratch, family love and feasts with friends, and how the perfect meal is one that tastes like home; Bonnie Kistler's HOUSE ON FIRE, a tightly wound and suspenseful novel about a blended family in crisis after a drunk driving accident leaves the daughter of one parent dead --- and the son of the other parent charged with manslaughter; THE PARAGON HOTEL by Lyndsay Faye, a richly imagined work of historical suspense in which a gun moll with a knack for disappearing flees from Prohibition-era Harlem to Portland's Paragon Hotel; and John Strausbaugh's VICTORY CITY, the definitive history of New York City during the World War II era.

The Alarming Palsy of James Orr by Tom Lee - Fiction

December 3, 2019

James Orr --- husband, father, reliable employee and all-around model citizen --- awakes one morning to find half his face paralyzed. Waiting for the affliction to pass, he stops going to work and wanders his idyllic estate, with its woodland, uniform streets and perfectly manicured lawns. But there are cracks in the veneer. And as his orderly existence begins to unravel, it appears that James himself may not be the man he thought he was.

All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson by Mark Griffin - Biography

December 3, 2019

Devastatingly handsome, broad-shouldered and clean-cut, Rock Hudson reigned supreme as the king of Hollywood throughout the ’50s and ’60s. In a more conservative era, his wholesome, straight arrow screen image was at odds with his closeted homosexuality. Mark Griffin provides new details concerning Hudson’s troubled relationships with wife Phyllis Gates and boyfriend Marc Christian. And here, for the first time, is an in-depth exploration of Hudson’s classic films, including Written on the Wind, A Farewell to Arms and the cult favorite Seconds. With unprecedented access to private journals, personal correspondence and production files, Griffin pays homage to the idol whose life and death had a lasting impact on American culture.

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna written by Mario Giordano, translated by John Brownjohn - Cozy Mystery

December 3, 2019

When Prosecco-loving Auntie Poldi retired to Sicily from Germany, she never dreamed her tranquil days would be interrupted by murder. But Sicily had other plans, and Poldi found herself honor-bound to solve the disappearance of her beloved (and cute) handyman. Now she’s finally ready for some peace and quiet --- interrupted by romantic encounters with Chief Inspector Montana, of course --- when the water supply to her neighborhood is cut off and a dear friend’s dog is poisoned, telltale signs that a certain familial organization is flexing its muscles. Poldi soon finds a body in a vineyard, tangles with the Mafia, and yet again makes herself unpopular in the pursuit of justice.

Broken Ground: A Karen Pirie Novel by Val McDermid - Mystery/Thriller

December 3, 2019

Six feet under in a Highland peat bog lies Alice Somerville’s inheritance, buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally uncovers it, she finds an unwanted surprise --- a body with a bullet hole between the eyes. Meanwhile, cold case detective Karen Pirie is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems. And as she gets closer to the truth, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

Brooklyn Legacies: An Erica Donato Mystery by Triss Stein - Mystery

December 3, 2019

The search for a lost portrait of Walt Whitman sends urban historian Dr. Erica Donato into Brooklyn Heights. New York's first suburb has long weathered political battles about neighborhood preservation and destruction. Is a new one shaping up? Erica meets an idol, fiery community activist Louisa Gibbs, now locked in a dispute with the Watch Tower Society. One of Brooklyn's biggest landowners, the Jehovah's Witnesses are selling off their holdings. Then at a glittering party, Erica meets the threatening Prinzig clan who are trying to buy the Witnesses' property adjoining Louisa's historic home. The discovery of the Society's Daniel Towns' body in the Witnesses' underground tunnels reignites old conflicts.

The Clergyman's Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel by Molly Greeley - Historical Fiction

December 3, 2019

Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford’s vicar and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine. In Mr. Travis’ company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard and seen. For the first time in her life, Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart --- and how breakable that heart can be.

The Cornwalls Vanish by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois - Thriller

December 3, 2019

In her career as an Army intelligence officer, Amy Cornwall has seen haunting sights half a world away. None compare to the chilling scene at her Virginia home. It is empty. A phone rings with a terrifying ultimatum: locate and liberate an unnamed captive in 48 hours, or her kidnapped husband and 10-year-old daughter are dead. Now, and in open defiance of Army Command, Amy must employ every lethal tactic she has to save them. To succeed, she must discover not only who dispatched her on this mission, but why. Without her family, she's dead anyway.

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts - Historical Fiction

December 3, 2019

As soon as she learns that MGM is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece, THE WIZARD OF OZ, for the screen, Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of “Over the Rainbow,” Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her --- the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler - Fiction

December 3, 2019

Divorce lawyer Leigh Huyett knows all too well that most second marriages are doomed to fail. Yet five years in, she and Pete Conley couldn’t be happier with their blended family. But one rainy Friday night, Peter and Leigh receive horrific news. Peter’s son Kip, a high school senior, has crashed his truck and been arrested for drunk driving. And Leigh’s 14-year-old daughter, Chrissy, was with him. Twelve hours later, Chrissy is dead and Kip is charged with manslaughter. Leigh does her best to rally behind Peter and Kip. That is, until Kip changes his story and claims that he wasn’t driving after all --- Chrissy was, and he swears there is a witness. As they hurtle toward Kip’s trial date, husband and wife are torn between loyalty to their children and to each other, while the mystery of what really happened that night looms large.

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food by Ann Hood - Essays

December 3, 2019

From her Italian-American childhood, through raising and feeding a growing family and cooking with her new husband, food writer Michael Ruhlman, Ann Hood has long appreciated the power of good food. In KITCHEN YARNS, pairing her signature humor and tenderness with simple, comforting recipes, Hood spins tales of loss and starting from scratch, family love and feasts with friends, and how the perfect meal is one that tastes like home.

The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife, 1965-2005 by Zachary Leader - Biography

December 3, 2019

Bellow, at 49, is at the pinnacle of American letters --- rich, famous, critically acclaimed. The expected trajectory is one of decline: volume one, rise; volume two, fall. Bellow never fell, producing in the latter half of his life some of his greatest fiction (MR. SAMMLER'S PLANET, HUMBOLDT'S GIFT), winning two more National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize. At 80, he wrote his last story; at 85, he wrote RAVELSTEIN. In this volume, his life away from the desk, including his love life, is if anything more dramatic than in the first. In the public sphere, he is embroiled in controversy over foreign affairs, race, religion, education, social policy, the state of culture, the fate of the novel.

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra - Fiction

December 3, 2019

The March sisters --- reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy and shy Beth --- have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger. Meg appears to have the life she always planned --- the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

North of Dawn by Nuruddin Farah - Fiction

December 3, 2019

For decades, Gacalo and Mugdi have lived in Oslo, where they've led a peaceful, largely assimilated life and raised two children. However, their beloved son, Dhaqaneh, is driven by feelings of alienation to jihadism in Somalia, where he kills himself in a suicide attack. The couple reluctantly offers a haven to his family. But on arrival in Oslo, their daughter-in-law cloaks herself even more deeply in religion, while her children hunger for the freedoms of their new homeland, a rift that will have life-altering consequences for the entire family.

Once Night Falls by Roland Merullo - Historical Fiction

December 1, 2019

Italy, 1943. Luca Benedetto has joined the partisans in their fight against the German troops ravaging the shores of his town on Lake Como. While risking his life to free his country, Luca is also struggling to protect Sarah, his Jewish lover who’s hiding in a mountain cabin. As the violent Nazi occupation intensifies, Luca and Sarah fear for more than their own lives. In the heart of their village, their mothers have also found themselves vulnerable to the encroaching Nazis. But Luca’s mother is devising her own revenge on the occupiers. With Mussolini deposed and Allied armies fighting their way up the peninsula, the fate of Italy hangs in the balance, and the people of Lake Como must decide how much they’re prepared to sacrifice for family, friends and the country they love.

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye - Historical Thriller

December 3, 2019

The year is 1921, and "Nobody" Alice James has just arrived in Oregon with a bullet wound, a lifetime's experience battling the New York Mafia, and $50,000 in illicit cash. She befriends Max, a black Pullman porter who reminds her achingly of home and who saves Alice by leading her to the Paragon Hotel. But her unlikely sanctuary turns out to be an all-black hotel in a Jim Crow city, and its lodgers seem unduly terrified of a white woman on the premises. The Ku Klux Klan has arrived in Portland in fearful numbers --- burning crosses, electing officials, infiltrating newspapers and brutalizing blacks. And only Alice and her new Paragon "family" are searching for a missing mulatto child who has mysteriously vanished into the woods. To untangle the web of lies and misdeeds around her, Alice will have to answer for her own past, too.

The Peppermint Tea Chronicles: A 44 Scotland Street Novel by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

December 3, 2019

Summer has come to Scotland Street. The long days have prompted its denizens to engage in flights of fancy. Some, like the Duke of Johannesburg’s plan to create a microlite seaplane, are literal flights, and some, like the vain Bruce Anderson’s idea of settling down with one of his many admirers, are more metaphorical. With the domineering Irene off pursuing academic challenges, Stuart and Bertie are free to indulge in summer fun. Stuart reconnects with an old acquaintance over refreshing peppermint tea, while Bertie takes his friend, Ranald Braveheart Macpherson, to the circus. But their trip to the big top becomes rather more than the pleasant diversion they were hoping for.

The Plotters by Un-su Kim - Thriller

December 3, 2019

Reseng is an assassin. Raised by a cantankerous killer named Old Raccoon in the crime headquarters "The Library," Reseng never questioned anything: where to go, who to kill, or why his home was filled with books that no one ever read. But one day, Reseng steps out of line on a job, toppling a set of carefully calibrated plans. And when he uncovers an extraordinary scheme set into motion by an eccentric trio of young women --- a convenience store clerk, her wheelchair-bound sister and a cross-eyed librarian --- Reseng will have to decide if he will remain a pawn or finally take control of the plot.

Reputation by Sara Shepard - Mystery/Thriller

December 3, 2019

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people's emails --- the entire faculty, staff, students and alums --- onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning's handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit's sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled 15 years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn't right about the night Greg was killed, and she's determined to find the truth. What she doesn't expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Silent Night by Danielle Steel - Fiction

December 3, 2019

Paige Watts is the ultimate stage mother. The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Paige channels her acting dreams into making her own daughter, Emma, a star. By the age of nine, Emma is playing a central role in a hit TV show. Then everything is shattered by unforeseeable tragedy. Now Emma is living with her aunt Whitney, who had chosen a very different path from her sister’s. Whitney was always the studious older sister, hating the cult of celebrity that enveloped their childhood. Instead, she is a psychiatrist who lives for her work and enjoys a no-strings-attached love affair with a wealthy venture capitalist. But at a moment’s notice, Whitney drops everything to help her niece.

Victory City: A History of New York and New Yorkers During World War II by John Strausbaugh - History

December 3, 2019

While World War II launched and leveled nations, spurred economic growth, and saw the rise and fall of global Fascism, New York City would eventually emerge as the new capital of the world. From the Gilded Age to VJ-Day, an array of fascinating New Yorkers rose to fame, from Mayor Fiorello La Guardia to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Langston Hughes to Joe Louis, Robert Moses to Joe DiMaggio. In VICTORY CITY, John Strausbaugh provides readers with a groundbreaking new look into the greatest city on earth during the most transformative --- and costliest --- war in human history.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh - Dystopian Fantasy

December 3, 2019

King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia and Sky. Here on his island, women are protected from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland. The cult-like rituals and therapies they endure fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world. But when King disappears and two men and a boy wash ashore, the sisters’ safe world begins to unravel. Over the span of one blistering hot week, a psychological cat-and-mouse game plays out. Sexual tensions and sibling rivalries flare as the sisters are forced to confront the amorphous threat the strangers represent.