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Janet Gillespie

One of the worst mistakes you can make as a gardener is to think you're in charge.

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Janet Gillespie

July 10, 2020

Thanks to all of you who answered our question about the best timing for our first live virtual reader event. I am excited to announce that "Bookaccino Live: A Lively Talk About Books" will be held on Wednesday, July 15th at 2pm ET. We plan to introduce some of the staff, and then I will give a presentation on a number of great books for summer reading --- and a quick sneak peek into fall. Sign up here for the link to attend via Zoom. Prior to the event, you will be sent a login and password to give you access. I am looking forward to “seeing” many of you there! I am going to have fun selecting books to share with you!

Editorial Content for Muzzled: An Andy Carpenter Mystery

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Jack Kramer

MUZZLED is the 21st entry in David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter mystery series, and it seems clear that his many fans hope it’s the first of at least 20 more. Read More

Teaser

Andy Carpenter is a lawyer who would rather not practice law. He'd prefer to spend his time working with the Tara Foundation, his dog rescue organization, and be with his family and his two dogs, Tara and Sebastian. But when a friend asks him for a favor that involves both dogs and his lawyerly expertise, he can't say no. Andy's friend, Beth, has found a stray that seems to have belonged to a murder victim --- in fact, the man and two of his colleagues died in an explosion a few weeks ago. But when the murdered man contacts Beth, asking for his dog back, Andy knows there must be more to the story. The man claims his life is in danger, and that's why he disappeared.

Promo

Andy Carpenter is a lawyer who would rather not practice law. He'd prefer to spend his time working with the Tara Foundation, his dog rescue organization, and be with his family and his two dogs, Tara and Sebastian. But when a friend asks him for a favor that involves both dogs and his lawyerly expertise, he can't say no. Andy's friend, Beth, has found a stray that seems to have belonged to a murder victim --- in fact, the man and two of his colleagues died in an explosion a few weeks ago. But when the murdered man contacts Beth, asking for his dog back, Andy knows there must be more to the story. The man claims his life is in danger, and that's why he disappeared.

About the Book

In David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter mystery, MUZZLED, Andy and his beloved golden retriever, Tara, are back on the case as a favor to a friend.

Andy Carpenter is a lawyer who would rather not practice law. He'd rather spend his time working with the Tara Foundation, his dog rescue organization, and being with his family and his two dogs, Tara and Sebastian. But when a friend asks him for a favor that involves both dogs and his lawyerly expertise, he can't say no.

Andy's friend, Beth, has found a stray that seems to have belonged to a murder victim --- in fact, the man and two of his colleagues died in an explosion a few weeks ago. But when the murdered man contacts Beth, asking for his dog back, Andy knows there must be more to the story. The man claims his life is in danger, and that's why he disappeared. As much as Andy doesn't want to get involved --- anything to avoid a new case --- he can't help but come to the rescue of a man who'd risk everything, even his life, to reunite with his dog.

Once again, David Rosenfelt delivers suspense and laughter in equal measure in another engaging mystery from "one of the most unforgettable voices in the genre." (Associated Press)

Audiobook available, read by Grover Gardner

Editorial Content for The Heir Affair

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Norah Piehl

In the acknowledgments at the end of THE HEIR AFFAIR, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan recognize the surprising real-world parallels that played out in the British royal family after their new novel was already fully drafted: “So what we’re saying is, thanks to the universe for giving us a royal psychic hotline, and also, can someone please teach us to channel our predictive energies toward other things?” As in their first book about Nick and Bex, life seems to have a way of imitating their fiction --- at least where the royal family is concerned. Read More

Teaser

After a scandalous secret turns their fairy-tale wedding into a nightmare, Rebecca "Bex" Porter and her husband, Prince Nicholas, are in self-imposed exile. Cutting themselves off from friends and family, and escaping the world's judgmental eyes, feels like the best way to protect their fragile, all-consuming romance. But when a crisis forces the new Duke and Duchess back to London, the Band-Aid they'd placed over their problems starts to peel at the edges. Now, as old family secrets and new ones threaten to derail her new royal life, Bex has to face the emotional wreckage she and Nick left behind: with the Queen, with the world, and with Nick's brother Freddie, whose sins may not be so easily forgotten --- or forgiven.

Promo

After a scandalous secret turns their fairy-tale wedding into a nightmare, Rebecca "Bex" Porter and her husband, Prince Nicholas, are in self-imposed exile. Cutting themselves off from friends and family, and escaping the world's judgmental eyes, feels like the best way to protect their fragile, all-consuming romance. But when a crisis forces the new Duke and Duchess back to London, the Band-Aid they'd placed over their problems starts to peel at the edges. Now, as old family secrets and new ones threaten to derail her new royal life, Bex has to face the emotional wreckage she and Nick left behind: with the Queen, with the world, and with Nick's brother Freddie, whose sins may not be so easily forgotten --- or forgiven.

About the Book

Making it up the aisle was the easy part: Rebecca "Bex" Porter must survive her own scandals and adjust to royal British life in this "timely and positively delicious" follow-up to THE ROYAL WE that's "just as fun, charming, and delightful as the first" (Taylor Jenkins Reid).

After a scandalous secret turns their fairy-tale wedding into a nightmare, Rebecca "Bex" Porter and her husband Prince Nicholas are in self-imposed exile. The public is angry. The Queen is even angrier. And the press is salivating. Cutting themselves off from friends and family, and escaping the world's judgmental eyes, feels like the best way to protect their fragile, all-consuming romance.

But when a crisis forces the new Duke and Duchess back to London, the Band-Aid they'd placed over their problems starts to peel at the edges. Now, as old family secrets and new ones threaten to derail her new royal life, Bex has to face the emotional wreckage she and Nick left behind: with the Queen, with the world and with Nick's brother Freddie, whose sins may not be so easily forgotten --- nor forgiven.

Audiobook available, read by Christine Lakin

Editorial Content for One to Watch

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Alison Lee

Kate Stayman-London has written for some very influential people, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai, and has scripted videos that are motivating and mobilizing. In her debut novel, ONE TO WATCH, she uses her powerful voice to produce a fun and sassy narrative that keeps readers excited, while delivering an important message about diversity. Read More

Teaser

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show "Main Squeeze." But she is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: "Main Squeeze" wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition --- under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful beauty standards and inspire women across America. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated.

Promo

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show "Main Squeeze." But she is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: "Main Squeeze" wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition --- under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful beauty standards and inspire women across America. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated.

About the Book

Real love...as seen on TV. A plus-size bachelorette brings a fresh look to a reality show in this delightful, razor-sharp debut.

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers --- and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show "Main Squeeze." The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: "Main Squeeze" wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition --- under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, wickedly observant debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men --- and herself --- for a chance to live happily ever after.

Audiobook available, read by Kristen Sieh

Editorial Content for Survivor Song

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Sarah Rachel Egelman

Paul Tremblay’s latest novel is so timely, it’s spooky. For a horror writer, what could be better? Read More

Teaser

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed --- viciously attacked by an infected neighbor --- and Natalie, too, has been bitten. Her only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child. Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares.

Promo

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed --- viciously attacked by an infected neighbor --- and Natalie, too, has been bitten. Her only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child. Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares.

About the Book

A riveting novel of suspense and terror from the Bram Stoker award-winning author of THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD and A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS.

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government's emergency protocols are faltering.

Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-30s, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed --- viciously attacked by an infected neighbor --- and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie's only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.

Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares --- terrifying, strange and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink.

Paul Tremblay once again demonstrates his mastery in this chilling and all-too-plausible novel that will leave readers racing through the pages...and shake them to their core.

Audiobook available, read by Erin Bennett

Editorial Content for Never Look Back

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Susan Miura

When Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation narrowly escapes becoming a serial killer’s victim, she reluctantly accepts the assistance of FBI Agent Jerrod Ramsey. The two agents, both at the top of their field, race against the clock to find the killer, whose sick passion brings prostitutes to grizzly, tortuous deaths. As they scour scenes for clues and search for potential witnesses, they subtly use their profiling skills to size each other up with more than a professional interest. Read More

Teaser

After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup. Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina. Why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

Promo

After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup. Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina. Why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

About the Book

Expect the unexpected in this gritty, tense and page-turning thriller from New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton.

After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup.

Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina. Why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

Before time runs out, Melina must catch not one but two serial killers, both ready to claim another victim --- and both with their sights set on her.

Audiobook available, read by Mary Robinette Kowal

Editorial Content for The Patient

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Joe Hartlaub

I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating. One of the joys of reading is finding an author, whether he or she is new to you or to the public at large, who is worth recommending. Place Jasper DeWitt in that category. His debut novel is a fairly quick read that simmers at first and boils later, leaving readers looking over their shoulder long after the last page has been turned. Read More

Teaser

In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient --- a 40-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis, and his symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide. Parker takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. Facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.

Promo

In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient --- a 40-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis, and his symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide. Parker takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. Facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.

About the Book

THE SILENT PATIENT by way of Stephen King: Parker, a young, overconfident psychiatrist new to his job at a mental asylum, miscalculates catastrophically when he undertakes curing a mysterious and profoundly dangerous patient.

In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient.

We learn, as Parker did on his first day at the hospital, of the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case --- a 40-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis. His symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.

Desperate and fearful, the hospital’s directors keep him strictly confined and allow minimal contact with staff for their own safety, convinced that releasing him would unleash catastrophe on the outside world. Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But from his first encounter with the mystery patient, things spiral out of control, and, facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.

Fans of Sarah Pinborough’s BEHIND HER EYES and Paul Tremblay’s THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD will be riveted by Jasper DeWitt’s astonishing debut.

Audiobook available, read by Edoardo Ballerini

Editorial Content for Riviera Gold: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Ray Palen

RIVIERA GOLD is Laurie R. King’s 16th book starring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes. This is one of the best series out there featuring the most famous inspector of all time --- and there are plenty of them. Read More

Teaser

It’s summertime on the Riviera, and the Jazz Age has come to France’s once-sleepy beaches --- along with Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Russell falls into easy friendship with an enthralling American couple, Sara and Gerald Murphy, whose golden life on the Riviera has begun to attract famous writers and artists --- and some of the scoundrels linked with Monte Carlo’s underworld. The Murphy set’s importance for Russell lies in one of their circle’s recent additions: the Holmeses’ former housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, who hasn’t been seen since she fled England under a cloud of false murder accusations. When a beautiful young man is found dead in Mrs. Hudson’s front room, she becomes the prime suspect in yet another murder.

Promo

It’s summertime on the Riviera, and the Jazz Age has come to France’s once-sleepy beaches --- along with Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Russell falls into easy friendship with an enthralling American couple, Sara and Gerald Murphy, whose golden life on the Riviera has begun to attract famous writers and artists --- and some of the scoundrels linked with Monte Carlo’s underworld. The Murphy set’s importance for Russell lies in one of their circle’s recent additions: the Holmeses’ former housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, who hasn’t been seen since she fled England under a cloud of false murder accusations. When a beautiful young man is found dead in Mrs. Hudson’s front room, she becomes the prime suspect in yet another murder.

About the Book

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes turn the Riviera upside down to crack their most captivating case yet in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

It’s summertime on the Riviera, and the Jazz Age has come to France’s once-sleepy beaches. From their music-filled terraces, American expatriates gaze along the coastline at the lights of Monte Carlo, where fortunes are won, lost, stolen and sometimes hidden away. When Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive, they find their partnership pulled between youthful pleasures and old sins, hot sun and cool jazz, new affections and enduring loyalties.

Russell falls into easy friendship with an enthralling American couple, Sara and Gerald Murphy, whose golden life on the Riviera has begun to attract famous writers and artists --- and some of the scoundrels linked with Monte Carlo’s underworld. The Murphy set will go on to inspire everyone from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Pablo Picasso, but in this summer of 1925, their importance for Russell lies in one of their circle’s recent additions: the Holmeses’ former housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, who hasn’t been seen since she fled England under a cloud of false murder accusations.

When a beautiful young man is found dead in Mrs. Hudson’s front room, she becomes the prime suspect in yet another murder. Russell is certain of Mrs. Hudson’s innocence; Holmes is not. But the old woman’s colorful past has been a source of tension between them before, and now the dangerous players who control Monte Carlo’s gilded casinos may stop at nothing to keep the pair away from what Mrs. Hudson’s youthful history could bring to light.

The Riviera is a place where treasure can be false, where love can destroy, and where life, as Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes will discover, can be cheap --- even when it is made of solid gold.

Editorial Content for You Exist Too Much

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Pauline Finch

I remember as a university English lit major getting a paper back in which I’d written 15 pages about Daniel Defoe’s 1722 novel, MOLL FLANDERS, without ever mentioning the main character’s name, not even on the title page.

That dubious distinction came to mind as I traveled through Zaina Arafat’s compelling first novel, YOU EXIST TOO MUCH, which is about the yearnings of a young woman who is intentionally never named. The impact of that namelessness never really hits home until the book, rather than concluding, simply ends. Read More

Teaser

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgment will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much,” she tells her daughter. Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East --- from New York to Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine --- Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer.

Promo

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgment will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much,” she tells her daughter. Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East --- from New York to Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine --- Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer.

About the Book

A “provocative and seductive debut” of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural, religious and sexual identities as she endeavors to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine).

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgment will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much,” she tells her daughter.

Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East --- from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine --- Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as “love addiction.” In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her.

Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious and sexual identities, YOU EXIST TOO MUCH is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings --- for love, and a place to call home.

Audiobook available, read by Zehra Jane Naqvi