Skip to main content

July 8, 2016 Newsletter July 8, 2016
My Three-Book Weekend --- and Then My Thrilling Week!

Last weekend was a three-book weekend, with time off in the middle to prep for Cory’s pool party. I, who was told “I did not need to do anything for the party,” found myself making three kinds of dip, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and a roasted corn poblano chili pasta salad. Before you ask for the recipe for the latter, you can find it here. His party theme was Christmas in July, thus the pool was decorated with holiday lights, and our Santa Countdown was set to 175 days until Christmas. Now we will see if said decorations make it back to the attic before November; right now they are neatly stacked on the kitchen floor! Oh, and because the party store did not have Santa hats (something “we” were not surprised about in July, but he was), leis were part of the party attire.

There were moments during the planning when I was trying to intervene --- for my own sanity --- with things like “Why not call the store to see if they have Santa hats?” when Tom piped up with one of his best lines ever: “This is like arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

I finished reading Liane Moriarty’s TRULY MADLY GUILTY, in which there was a barbeque party that had a lot going on (glad I was not on the invite list), and then I dove into the third book in Linwood Barclay’s Promise Falls trilogy, THE TWENTY-THREE. It’s not out until November 1st, but he was headed to town this week for ThrillerFest, and I wanted to have the opportunity to talk about it with him. It's truly a great wrap-up, and for those of you who want to binge read the series, we will remind you about this in November! And yes, for those who already read books one and two, you can be annoyed that I got my hands on it early. We will have some opportunities to win this book and the rest of the trilogy in the months ahead, and it will be a Bets On selection --- a great way to wrap up the series.

On Monday, my read was THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware, which will be in stores on July 19th. Last year, I had the chance to meet Ruth and interview her about her debut novel, IN A DARK, DARK WOOD, which was a Bets On selection. Sophomore novels from authors I love always make me nervous, but Ruth nailed this one as well, and it too will be a Bets On pick. Here the story is set on a small luxury liner. Our protagonist borrows mascara from the woman in Cabin 10 on the first night, only to be told later that there is no passenger in that cabin. She is sure she saw someone wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt. It’s twisty, and once again she employs "a locked-in space with limited internet access" as a plot device --- and again it works.

I'm glad I rested this weekend since the week has been a wild one. We had a tech issue with the sites that led to 24 hours where I thought it would be easier to call each of you and read reviews over the phone rather than try to get things working smoothly.

Wednesday night was a pre-ThrillerFest event with an awards ceremony/party thrown by the folks at the Strand Magazine. THE WHITES by Richard Price won Best Novel, and PAST CRIMES by Glen Erik Hamilton won Best First Novel. In accepting his award for lifetime achievement, Jeffery Deaver spoke about wanting to be a “journeyman” in the world of thriller writing. He had no desire to write a big blockbuster like the Harry Potter series, THE DA VINCI CODE, or jokingly, FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY, but instead wanted to write books and improve his craft over the years. He has done just that.

Thursday was a blur of soirees celebrating thriller writers, starting off with drinks at the Royalton Hotel with Emelie Schepp, and her editor, Kathy Sagan. Emelie is a complete delight, and I loved talking to her about MARKED FOR LIFE, which I have read and enjoyed. Her protagonist, public prosecutor Jana Berzelius, is one interesting character. Emelie is a bestselling author in Sweden, and the next two books in the trilogy will release in 2017 and 2018 on an accelerated U.S. publication schedule. Emelie was originally self-published, but when she quickly sold 40,000 books, Swedish publishers came knocking. We chatted breezily like old friends. She writes at a standing desk and feels it helps her focus. Her books are tight and move briskly, so clearly this IS working for her! You can see a photo of me with Emelie and Kathy above.

Then it was over to the Algonquin for the HarperCollins party, where beaucoup authors were in attendance. I got to say hi to Kate White, Wendy Corsi Staub, Otto Penzler, Alafair Burke and a host of others. I spotted others like Karin Slaughter across the room and failed to meet Matt Richtel, which I had hoped to do.

From there, I moseyed over to the St. Martin’s Press/Writers House official kickoff party to ThrillerFest, where I met up with Tom Donadio, our Editorial Director. Tom was chatting with the aforementioned Linwood Barclay, whose lovely wife, Neetha, arrived shortly after I did. Tom and I happily ran into Wendy Walker and her agent, Wendy Sherman. Walker's book, ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN, will be in stores on Tuesday and will be a Bets On selection. We had a great time chatting about it, including her challenge to deliver enough clues without unfolding the story too quickly. She is deep into her second book, and I cannot wait to see what she writes next. You can see a photo of me with the Wendys inside this newsletter above.

Also, I got to meet Shari Lapena, whose upcoming book, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, will be on sale August 23rd. It, too, will be a Bets On selection. It's a compelling thriller, and with each chapter I read, I thought I had the crime solved. I did not! I loved the opportunity to meet her. She, too, is hard at work on her next book.

We had a fun chat with Daniel Palmer, who wrote two books simultaneously this year. He had us laughing, along with Patrick Lee, about trying to keep the plots and characters straight. He has vowed not to do this again. So many more fun encounters; this is like a long weekend of camp for thriller writers.

We were saddened last weekend to hear of the passing of Elie Wiesel, who died at the age of 87 following a long illness. Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner who wrote over 60 books, many of which depict the experiences he had at the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Our very own Sarah Rachel Egelman, who reviewed his novel, A MAD DESIRE TO DANCE, back in 2009, has written a lovely tribute to this legendary author, which you can see here.

Meg Rosoff, whose prize-winning young adult fiction includes HOW I LIVE NOW, JUST IN CASE and WHAT I WAS, has now written her first novel specifically for adults. In JONATHAN UNLEASHED, Jonathan Trefoil is experiencing the worst side of living as an adult --- the confusing relationship problems, a baffling boss and finding a legal place to live. But when his brother asks him to look after his two dogs, a border collie and a cocker spaniel, Jonathan gains a new perspective on life.

Katherine B. Weissman has our review and says, “I learned from Rosoff’s bio that she herself has two ‘very hairy’ dogs, and it shows in her affectionate and witty portrayal of Jonathan’s four-legged roommates. The dogs stir Jonathan’s nutty imagination and steal his heart --- and they stole mine, too.”

In MURDER ON THE QUAI, a prequel to Cara Black's Aimée Leduc mystery series, it's 1989 and Aimée is living with her father, who runs the family detective agency. When he suddenly takes off to Berlin on a mysterious errand, Aimée is left to take care of the detective business in his absence. Like the Berlin Wall, Aimée’s life is already crumbling as she knows it. But the case she’s investigating in her father’s stead is getting under her skin, and she’s starting to wonder if she should consider getting into the family business for good.

Reviewer Ray Palen calls MURDER ON THE QUAI “a thrilling read that I hope makes newcomers to this outstanding mystery series want to check out the previous 15 installments… Dive into this novel with the knowledge that you will have no better tour guide to the wonderful and exciting City of Light than Cara Black and the infectious Aimée Leduc.”

Other books we’re reviewing this week include Larry Tye’s biography of one of the most complex and controversial members of the Kennedy family, BOBBY KENNEDY: The Making of a Liberal Icon; HERE COMES THE SUN by Nicole Dennis-Benn, a highly anticipated debut novel about four women and their battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village; and SOMEONE ALWAYS KNOWS, the 32nd mystery in Marcia Muller’s series starring private investigator Sharon McCone.

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away AN ELEGANT FAÇADE: Hawthorne House, Book 2 by Kristi Ann Hunter and THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende. Next week’s prize books will be the aforementioned ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN by Wendy Walker, CLEAR TO LIFT by Anne A. Wilson, SOBER STICK FIGURE: A Memoir by Amber Tozer, and STRANGER, FATHER, BELOVED by Taylor Larsen. The first contest of the week will go live on Monday, July 11th at noon ET. Please note that because of the tech issues I mentioned earlier, we were unable to post our contest for ENCHANTED AUGUST by Brenda Bowen. We will reschedule it for the week of August 1st (and considering the title, we think it’s appropriate to be giving it away in August!).

We’re awarding the audio versions of ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN (read by Dylan Baker) and Cathleen Schine’s THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO (read by Cynthia Darlow) in this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. Let us know by Monday, August 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll have a chance to win both audio prizes.

Our New in Paperback feature has been updated for July. Highlights include THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, Paula Hawkins’ debut psychological thriller that will be coming to theaters in October as a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt; AFTER YOU, the sequel to Jojo Moyes' ME BEFORE YOU (the latter of which, of course, is now in theaters); AFTER ALICE, Gregory Maguire’s magical twist on ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND; and paperback reprints from such favorites as John Grisham (ROGUE LAWYER), Debbie Macomber (SILVER LININGS) and Louise Penny (THE NATURE OF THE BEAST).

We’ve also updated our Books on Screen feature for this month. In theaters now are The BFG (based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book) and Cell (based on Stephen King’s 2006 thriller of the same name); on the small screen, don’t miss the season finale of “Outlander” tomorrow (Saturday at 9pm ET on Starz); and this month’s DVDs include Allegiant and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

In our latest poll, we’re curious about the format of the book you’re currently reading. Is it a hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, audiobook or eBook? Click here to let us know! We realize you may be reading more than one book right now, so we made sure to make it a “Check as many as apply” type of question.

Our previous poll asked how you feel about book recommendation lists that appear either online or in print. Click here for all the results.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest to share with you. Let us know by Friday, July 22nd at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win THE BLACK WIDOW by Daniel Silva and the aforementioned THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware.

News and Pop Culture:

Judy said, “I look forward to your email and know I need to have a pen and paper to write down your suggestions. I use your site a lot. Thank you.”

Sue wrote to share, “Imagine my surprise to read your article about this iconic novel [VALLEY OF THE DOLLS] from my teen years. Recently, while organizing and cleaning my late mother-in-law's home, I found an original copy on her shelves. Needless to say, I immediately brought it home. Jacqueline Susann was a frequent guest on the talk show circuit, most notably Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," and she defended her book as not being dirty at all but a picture of the Hollywood she knew. In a time when books of this genre were written largely by men like Harold Robbins (THE CARPETBAGGERS) or Sidney Sheldon (THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT), she broke the mold and led the way for others (Judith Krantz comes to mind). I still remember her vividly. I can imagine how thrilled she would be to know it is being rereleased on its 50th anniversary. Thanks for all you do!”

Sally Moore: Last week, I wrote about Sally Moore, who patiently answered all of my teenage fan girl notes about Paul Simon while working at his publishing company. Greg suggested I try to find her. I did. She is now Sally Huss and is a children’s author, which, given my world, is really fun. We’ve exchanged some emails (I thanked her for being so kind to my teenage self), and I hope to catch up with her by phone soon! Moments like this are really lovely.

Lisa and Francesca: Fun interview from "Good Morning America" with Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, talking about their shared love of writing.

Instead of Practicing Law: Nice interview with the aforementioned Wendy Walker.

Morristown, NJ Book Festival: FABULOUS lineup for the Morristown Festival of Books on October 1st; check it out here. Sebastian Junger is the keynote on Friday, September 30th. I am going to be moderating two panels!

Spindrift Seltzer: My latest addiction is this seltzer in grapefruit, lemon, cucumber and raspberry with fresh-squeezed lime flavors. I need to track down ginger and blackberry. Very low in sugar, and some have none! Someone else recommended Hint fizzy drinks to me. This is better than my gelato and ice cream obsessions!

Broken Up: Elizabeth Gilbert, who found love in EAT, PRAY, LOVE, notes that she has separated from her husband, Jose Nunes. You can read about it here.

45 Years: Finally got around to watching it. So well done!

"Ray Donovan": I have seen three episodes to date and confess that it’s really not doing it for me this season.

"Royal Pains": The show ended this week; I have yet to watch it but cheated and read the showrunners’ notes. It was a fun romp of a show, which was described as “blue sky.” It’s now safe to go back to the Hamptons as I think all strange diseases have come to an end! I will miss the glitz and fun of it.

Independence Day: Since 1776, we have celebrated just the day of the 4th or the weekend. I think it's time to extend the event to a week! Anyone want to join me in this sentiment?

I've been jamming on this newsletter on Thursday night as I am heading back into the city today for some more thrilling events (more on these next week) before spending a weekend with relatives at home! Greg is headed to Vermont to do some off-roading. Cory probably will be off celebrating New Year’s somewhere. I have not had enough pool time this summer; it's been way, way too cool. So I am looking forward to lots of floating and reading. The next book juggle is about to begin!

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

P.S. For those of you who are doing online shopping, if you use the store links below, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Remembering Elie Wiesel --- Prolific Author, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Human Rights Activist and Holocaust Survivor
We at mourn the loss of Elie Wiesel, who has died at the age of 87 following a long illness. A Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, Wiesel is the author of more than 60 books of fiction and nonfiction. He is a recipient of the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor’s Grand-Croix, an honorary knighthood of the British Empire and, in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. In a statement released by Wiesel's foundation, his widow, Marion, said, "My husband was a fighter. He fought for the memory of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, and he fought for Israel. He waged countless battles for innocent victims regardless of ethnicity or creed."'s Sarah Rachel Egelman reflects on Wiesel's remarkable career and legacy in a very fitting tribute.
Click here to read our tribute to Elie Wiesel.
Featured Review: BOBBY KENNEDY by Larry Tye
BOBBY KENNEDY: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye (Biography)
Audiobook available, read by Marc Cashman
History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure. To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files and 58 boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past 40 years. Reviewed by John Bentlyewski.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: HERE COMES THE SUN by Nicole Dennis-Benn
HERE COMES THE SUN by Nicole Dennis-Benn (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Bahni Turpin
At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman --- fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves --- must confront long-hidden scars. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: JONATHAN UNLEASHED, Meg Rosoff’s Debut Novel for Adults
JONATHAN UNLEASHED by Meg Rosoff (Romantic Comedy)
Audiobook available, read by Alexander Cendese
Jonathan Trefoil’s boss is unhinged, his relationship baffling, and his apartment just the wrong side of legal. His girlfriend wants to marry someone just like him --- only richer and with a different sense of humor. He doesn’t remember life being this confusing, back before everyone expected him to act like a grown-up. When his brother asks him to look after his dogs, Jonathan's world view begins to shift. Could a border collie and a cocker spaniel hold the key to life, the universe and everything? Their sly maneuvering on daily walks and visits to the alluring vet suggest that human emotional intelligence may not be top dog after all. Reviewed by Katherine B. Weissman.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: MURDER ON THE QUAI, a Prequel to Cara Black's Aimée Leduc Investigation Series
MURDER ON THE QUAI: An Aimée Leduc Investigation by Cara Black (Mystery)
Audiobook available, performed by Carine Montbertrand
November 1989: Aimée Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris’s preeminent medical school. She lives in a 17th-century apartment that overlooks the Seine with her father, who runs the family detective agency. But the week the Berlin Wall crumbles, so does Aimée’s life as she knows it. First, someone has sabotaged her lab work, putting her at risk of failing out of the program. Her father takes off to Berlin on a mysterious errand and asks Aimée to help out at the detective agency while he’s gone. But the case Aimée finds herself investigating --- a murder linked to a transport truck of Nazi gold that disappeared in the French countryside during the height of World War II --- has gotten under her skin. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read the review.
July's New in Paperback Roundups
July's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins, the debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives (and is soon to be a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt); AFTER YOU, the sequel to Jojo Moyes' ME BEFORE YOU, which poses the questions: How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?; ROGUE LAWYER, John Grisham's latest legal thriller that introduces readers to Sebastian Rudd, an attorney who believes that everyone is entitled to a fair trial --- even if he has to bend the law to secure one; AFTER ALICE by Gregory Maguire, a magical new twist on ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, which was published in hardcover last year to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s beloved classic; and A WINDOW OPENS, Elisabeth Egan's debut novel in which a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny --- only to learn that every opportunity comes at a price.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of July 4th, July 11th, July 18th and July 25th.
July's Books on Screen Feature
Roald Dahl fans, rejoice! This month, we’ll see one of the beloved children’s author’s darker stories brought to life in the Steven Spielberg-helmed adaptation of THE BFG. The source material may have caused a calculable spike in nightlight sales, but the E.T. director supposedly used the book’s more gruesome elements sparingly.

If you’re looking for more escapist fare, why don't you turn your attention to Swedish sensation Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend of Tarzan? Here, the King of the Jungle is leaving his cozy civilized life and heading back home to save Jane. And at the end of the month, be sure to check out Nerve, based on the YA title by Jeanne Ryan, about an inhibited high schooler who decides to participate in a thrilling --- and possibly deadly --- game of social media dare.

Television this month remains slow and steady. We’ll kiss James Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser goodbye on July 9th when the season finale of "Outlander" airs. And you can grab The Divergent Series: Allegiant and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice on DVD.
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in July's Books on Screen.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer is here! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We are hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through August 25th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, July 11th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and learn more about our featured titles.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: THE NEW NEIGHBOR by Leah Stewart --- Now Available in Paperback
THE NEW NEIGHBOR by Leah Stewart (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Dianna Dorman
Ninety-year-old Margaret Riley is content hiding from the world. Stoic and independent, she rarely leaves her Tennessee home, finding comfort in the mystery novels that keep her company --- until she spots a woman moving into the long-empty house across the pond.

Her new neighbor, Jennifer Young, is also looking to hide. On the run from her old life, she and her four-year-old son, Milo, have moved to a quiet town where no one from her past can find her.

In Jennifer, Margaret sees a potential companion for her loneliness and a mystery to be solved. But Jennifer refuses to talk about herself, her son, his missing father or her past. Frustrated, Margaret crosses more and more boundaries in pursuit of the truth, threatening to unravel the life Jennifer has so painstakingly created --- and reveal some secrets of her own.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here to read Leah Stewart’s bio.
-Click here to visit Leah Stewart’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Leah Stewart on Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.
More Reviews This Week
THE EMPEROR'S REVENGE: A Novel of the Oregon Files by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison (Thriller/Adventure)
Audiobook available, read by Scott Brick
Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon face their toughest challenge yet when a violent bank heist during the Monaco Grand Prix decimates the Corporation’s accounts. To get the money back, Juan joins forces with an old friend from his days in the CIA so they can track down a rogue hacker and a ruthless former Ukrainian naval officer. It is only after the hunt begins that the enormity of the plan comes into focus: the bank theft is just the first step in a plot that will result in the deaths of millions and bring the world’s economies to a standstill. The catalyst for the scheme? A stunning document stolen during Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE RETURN: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar (Memoir)
When Hisham Matar was a 19-year-old university student in England, his father was kidnapped. One of the Qaddafi regime’s most prominent opponents in exile, he was held in a secret prison in Libya. Hisham would never see him again. But he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Qaddafi, the prison cells are empty and there is no sign of Jaballa Matar. Hisham returns with his mother and wife to the homeland he never thought he’d go back to again. THE RETURN is the story of what he found there. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

SOMEONE ALWAYS KNOWS: A Sharon McCone Mystery by Marcia Muller (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Laura Hicks
Finally settled into their new home and fully established in their new shared offices, private investigator Sharon McCone and her business partner husband Hy are starting to feel comfortable. That calm is shattered thanks to the reappearance of Hy's former colleague, Gage Renshaw, a shady troublemaker who they had presumed dead. Meanwhile, Sharon has a new client with a desire to rid a derelict house he has just bought from intruders, drug users and thugs. However, the abandoned house holds its share of secrets, and soon Sharon is searching for the individual who is obsessed with destroying her life. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

THE HATCHING by Ezekiel Boone (Apocalyptic Thriller/Horror)
Audiobook available, read by George Newbern
Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

HOW TO SET A FIRE AND WHY by Jesse Ball (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Emma Galvin
Lucia’s father is dead, her mother is in a mental hospital, and she’s living in a garage-turned-bedroom with her aunt. And now she’s been kicked out of school --- again. Lucia spends her days riding the bus to visit her mother and following the only rule that makes any sense to her: Don’t do things you aren’t proud of. But when she discovers that her new school has a secret Arson Club, she’s willing to do anything to be a part of it, and her life is suddenly lit up. As Lucia’s fascination with the Arson Club grows, her story becomes one of misguided friendship and, ultimately, destruction. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK by Paul Tremblay (Supernatural Thriller/Horror)
Audiobook available, performed by Erin Bennett
Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that her 13-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace. Josh and Luis, the friends who were the last to see Tommy before he disappeared, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out at a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock. Living in an all-too-real nightmare, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened become more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

A KILLING IN AMISH COUNTRY: Sex, Betrayal, and a Cold-blooded Murder by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris (True Crime)
At just 30 years old, Barbara Weaver had everything she'd ever wanted. But while she was happy to live as the Amish have for centuries, her husband, Eli, was tempted by technology. Online he called himself "Amish Stud" and found no shortage of "English" women looking for love and sex. Barb Raber was raised Amish, but is now a Conservative Mennonite. When Eli starts asking people to kill his wife for him, Barb offers to help. One night, just after Eli had hitched a ride with a group of men to go fishing in the hours before dawn, Barb Raber entered the Weaver house and shot Barbara Weaver in the chest at close range. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

AND AFTER THE FIRE by Lauren Belfer (Literary Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Xe Sands and Simon Vance
At the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him. In America in 2010, Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history. Reviewed by Alex Bowditch.

MY MRS. BROWN by William Morwich (Fiction)
Emilia Brown has spent a frugal, useful and wholly restrained life in Ashville, a small town in Rhode Island. She makes a modest living cleaning and running errands at the local beauty parlor. When the grand dame of Ashville passes away, Mrs. Brown is called upon to inventory her estate and comes across a dress that changes everything. It’s a simple yet exquisitely tailored Oscar de la Renta sheath and jacket --- a suit that Mrs. Brown realizes, with startling clarity, will say everything she has ever wished to convey. She must have it. And so she begins her odyssey to purchase it. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth for

COLLECTING THE DEAD by Spencer Kope (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by P. J. Ochlan
Magnus "Steps" Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him "The Human Bloodhound," since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there's a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability --- a kind of synesthesia --- where he can see the “essence” of a person, something he calls “shine,” on everything they've touched. When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE BOY IN THE SHADOWS by Carl-Johan Vallgren (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Matt Bates
Joel, whose older brother was kidnapped years earlier, goes missing under suspicious circumstances. His frantic wife turns to Danny Katz --- an old friend with a troubled past --- for help. A brilliant computer programmer and recovering heroin addict, Katz is also the divorced father of two young girls. Before long, he discovers he isn't the only one trying to find Joel. The deeper Katz digs, the more upsetting the secrets he uncovers about the wealthy and powerful family at the heart of the investigation. Chillingly, the case takes a violent turn that reveals a disorienting connection to Katz's own troubled childhood. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

NO GOOD TO CRY: A Rick Van Lam Mystery by Andrew Lanh (Mystery)
PI Rick Van Lam’s Vietnam-vet mentor and partner, Jimmy, and Jimmy’s old army pal, Ralph, are attacked as they walk down a city sidewalk. Ralph is killed, and Jimmy is struck by a car. While the battered Jimmy is under the care of Rick’s landlord and friend, Gracie, Rick finds himself in a quandary: He’s asked to clear the name of the two attackers named by the police. One is a boy named Simon Tran, known as Saigon; the other is Simon’s buddy, Frankie Croix. Working with Hank Nguyen, a young colleague who is now a state-cop-in-training, Rick tracks Simon to a Vietnamese gang in Little Saigon. How can he not strive to save Simon and Frankie, who refuse to be saved? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on July 12th
Below are some notable titles releasing on July 12th that we would like to make you aware of. We will have more on many of these books in the weeks to come. For a list of additional hardcovers and paperbacks releasing the week of July 11th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN by Wendy Walker (Psychological Thriller)
One night, Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. She is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault, but in the weeks and months that follow, she continues to struggle with the raging emotional memory of the event.

AMONG THE WICKED: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo (Mystery/Thriller)
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon to go undercover in an Amish community when a young girl dies. In the coming days, she will unearth a world built on shocking secrets and crimes, and find herself alone, trapped in a fight for her life.

THE BLACK WIDOW by Daniel Silva (Thriller/Adventure)
On the eve of art restorer, spy and assassin Gabriel Allon’s promotion to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service, events conspire to lure him into the field one last time. ISIS detonates a massive bomb in Paris, and the French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.

CHANCE DEVELOPMENTS: Stories by Alexander McCall Smith (Fiction/Short Stories)
In Alexander McCall Smith's latest book, five lyrical, charming and poignant stories capture the surprising intersections of love and friendship that alter life’s journeys.

DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery (Romance)
Courtney Watson surprises everyone when her affair with a sexy music producer comes out while planning her mom’s wedding. Sienna’s boyfriend proposes to her, but she’s not sure what her answer should be. Meanwhile, Rachel is struggling through a divorce, and Mom’s ex is begging for a second chance, forcing her to face uncomfortable truths about why her marriage failed.

HOUSEBROKEN: Admissions of an Untidy Life by Laurie Notaro (Humor/Essays)
This collection of humorous essays follows Laurie Notaro’s escapades in the domestic life --- hoarding things, sneaking peeks at her husband’s journal, making a list of people she wants on her Apocalypse Survival team, putting on Spanx while sweaty, and much more.

I’VE GOT SAND IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella (Humor/Essays)
This collection of warm and witty stories from the popular mother-daughter duo hits humorous and poignant notes, and is sure to strike a chord with every woman.

THE INNOCENTS: A Quinn Colson Novel by Ace Atkins (Thriller)
When a former high school cheerleader is found walking a back road completely engulfed in flames, suspects include the girl’s alcoholic father, a pair of teenage thugs, and a red-headed truck stop madam. Quinn Colson and acting Sheriff Lillie Virgil are on the case, but what they find may turn the entire town against them.

THE SINGLES GAME by Lauren Weisberger (Fiction)
When America’s sweetheart, Charlotte “Charlie” Silver, makes a pact with the infamously brutal tennis coach Todd Feltner, she finds herself catapulted into a world of fame. Charlie the good girl is out, and Charlie the “Warrior Princess” is in. But fame, of course, comes at a cost.

Click here to see the latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll: Book Formats
What is the format of the book you are currently reading? Please check as many as apply, as we know many of you may be reading more than one book.

  • Hardcover
  • Trade paperback
  • Mass market paperback
  • Digital audiobook
  • Audiobook on disc
  • eBook
  • I am not reading any books right now.
Click here to vote in the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Two Books!
Tell us about the books you’ve finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from July 8th to July 22nd at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE BLACK WIDOW by Daniel Silva and THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the books you write about, please include the full title and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For rules and guidelines, click here.

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.
Click here to enter the contest.
Sounding Off on Audio Contest: Tell Us What You're Listening to --- and You Can Win Two Audiobooks!
Tell us about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content. During the contest period from July 1st to August 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Wendy Walker’s ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN, read by Dylan Baker, and Cathleen Schine's THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO, read by Cynthia Darlow.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the audiobook, please include the full title and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For complete rules and guidelines, click here.

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.
Click here to enter the contest.

As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,, and

The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107