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October 24, 2003 Newsletter October 24, 2003
This Week on
Author Recognition
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Read an Excerpt from THE CONSPIRACY CLUB
Our Chick Lit Feature: Kim Green, author of IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? --- Read an Excerpt!
A PLACE OF HIDING by Elizabeth George
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: All About Audiobooks
Question of the Week
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes This Week!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: Have you been reading more nonfiction books in the past year?
Past Question: Name up to three books you might have missed that you discovered by reading our newsletter or website.
Author Recognition
Last weekend's Bouchercon Mystery Convention in Las Vegas gave me the opportunity to meet a number of mystery/suspense/thriller authors and listen to them share stories about their inspiration, their characters and their passion for the written word. It was like being at a four-day book signing event!

To give you an idea of the scope of the program here are some of events from the weekend --- on Friday afternoon Ian Rankin and Val McDermid had a conversation about writing, Saturday afternoon Michael Connelly interviewed James Lee Burke and a stellar panel grouped Kate White, Ridley Pearson, Walter Mosley and Peter Clement. I moderated a Friday panel where Stephen White, G.H. Ephron (Hallie), Chris Mooney, Chris Simms and Bill Feitzer were my guests.

What I realized over the weekend --- while I know most authors by their characters (Lee Child-Jack Reacher, Michael Connelly-Harry Bosch, etc.), I have NO clue what most authors look like. Think about it. While we know most music, television, sports and movie stars on sight, can you say honestly say the same for authors? Let's just say, I did a LOT of nametag reading.

One thought on Vegas. I decided to suspend all concept of reality when I was there. It is one way not to be completely overwhelmed by hotels with themes that seem to have been pumped up on steroids. I wished that I had read AMERICAN ROULETTE by Richard Marcus before I got on the plane for this trip. I would have loved to know some of his tips on beating the house. I confess I have no aptitude for playing games of cards or craps so I stayed away from the tables. But I would love to have some idea of what you need to do to take away more than you brought!

Full lineup this week with reviews/features. Right now I am reading two books on your lineup --- our Chick Lit selection, IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? and THE CONSPIRACY CLUB. Both are keeping me up reading after the Yankees/Marlins head back to the locker room.

Our Poll and Question are about audiobooks. I am curious about how readers delve into these. I confess that I have never listened to an audiobook. As I have said before I spend my car time on the phone (yes, I use a headset) and singing (albeit badly) with the radio.

Like what you see today? Forward this newsletter to a friend.

Have a great week.
-Carol Fitzgerald (
Read more about AMERICAN ROULETTE by Richard Marcus here.
Read more about our October Author of the Month here. Read about books that have won awards here. Read about this fall's movies that are based on books here.
LAST CAR TO ELYSIAN FIELDS by James Lee Burke (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Homicide detective Dave Robicheaux returns in this latest installment of James Lee Burke's popular series. Robicheaux is now a police officer based in the quiet Louisiana town of New Iberia. When he learns that an old friend, Father Jimmie Dolan, has been the victim of a particularly brutal assault, he knows he has to return to New Orleans to investigate --- where he must confront not only the troubles of his friend but also the darkness of his own unruly past.
Read our review of LAST CAR TO ELYSIAN FIELDS here.
Read more about THE CONSPIRACY CLUB here. Read more about Jonathan Kellerman here. Read a review of A COLD HEART here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Read an Excerpt from THE CONSPIRACY CLUB
Jonathan Kellerman, author of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB (due in stores on November 25th)
New This Week:
-Read Chapter Two from THE CONSPIRACY CLUB
-Read Fast Facts about Kellerman

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-Read Chapter One of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB
-See who our advance readers are
-Read about Jonathan Kellerman
-Read Jonathan Kellerman's bibliography
Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Read more about IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? here. Read more about Kim Green here.
Our Chick Lit Feature: Kim Green, author of IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? --- Read an Excerpt!
New This WeeK

In Case You Missed Last Week:
Read Chapter One of IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? and see our 20 advance readers.

Here's the plot:
After being passed over for a promotion, and currently between boyfriends, thirtyish Jen Brenner figures its time for a major life change. So it's good-bye to San Francisco and her sexy ex-boyfriend --- and howdy to roughing it in the wilds of Montana.

As a reporter for Montana's Meredith Gazette, Jen is suddenly getting cruised by park rangers and interviewing ranchers who think crème brûlée is men's hair gel. Then she meets a rugged western vision in jeans and snakeskin boots: EPA agent Bruce Mortensen. So what if he has baggage --- a manipulative soon-to-be-ex-wife and a jealous ten-year-old daughter? He's a real man who's making her feel like a real woman for the first time in her life.

But is it really love or just the hottest sex ever? Jen's on a mission to find out...especially when her ex comes back into the picture. Now she's caught between two men who couldn't be more different. And what happens next will surprise everyone --- even her...
Read our Chick Lit feature here.
THE DISTANT ECHO by Val McDermid (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
Award-winning author Val McDermid spins a complex and creepy tale of murder in a small town, where secrets haunt those who need to keep them and truth seekers often have tunnel vision.
Read our review of THE DISTANT ECHO here.
A PLACE OF HIDING by Elizabeth George
A PLACE OF HIDING by Elizabeth George (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
Bestselling author Elizabeth George tells a suspenseful and haunting story in this captivating novel. Her characters are forced to confront their pasts and futures, and come to terms with the history that shaped their lives --- while a murderer skulks in the background.
Read our review of A PLACE OF HIDING here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
HAVANA by Stephen Hunter (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In 1953, a Russian agent is in Havana to protect a young revolutionary named Fidel Castro. Meanwhile, ex-Marine and Arkansas state policeman Earl Lee Swagger has been brought to Cuba. His assignment: to assassinate Castro.

ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty by Scott Turow (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
In addition to being the author of six bestselling novels about the law, Scott Turow is also a respected criminal lawyer. In this vivid account of how his views on the death penalty have evolved, Turow describes his own experiences with capital punishment from his days as an impassioned young prosecutor to his recent service on the Illinois commission that investigated the administration of the death penalty.

NO GRAVES AS YET by Anne Perry (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by David Exum
Cambridge professor Joseph Reavley learns that his beloved parents have died in an automobile crash. Joseph's brother Matthew, an officer in the Intelligence Service, reveals that their father had been en route to London to turn over to him a secret document about the fate of England. That document has now mysteriously vanished.

HERETIC by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell has written a gripping saga, in which a young warrior's religious heritage sets him on a quest for a mysterious treasure rumored to be the Holy Grail itself.

BUSHWHACKED: Life in George W. Bush's America by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose (Politics)
Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
Journalists Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose pull no punches in their assessment of President George W. Bush and his first term in office. Their goal is to report on the impact that the Bush administration has had on the lives of the American people --- and according to them, it's not a pretty picture.

SIXTY-SIX by Barry Levinson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
This first novel by Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson is a nostalgic and bittersweet look back at a time and place where American innocence collided with complex and tragic experience.

LOVE ME by Garrison Keillor (Fiction)
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol
Garrison Keillor has written a hilarious yet heartfelt and affectionate novel about ambition, success and failure, as well as the virtues of real love and a steady writing job.

MY COLD WAR by Tom Piazza (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
John Delano has had great success in creating an academic and media persona, but his inner life is in turmoil. Alternately ironic and affecting, Tom Piazza's debut novel chronicles a modern life filled with age-old conflict.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, decided in 1893 to kill the great detective. Fans were outraged over his demise, and so Holmes was brought back eight years later. In this brilliant work, Ted Riccardi recounts the astonishing adventures Holmes faced in the years immediately following his presumed death.

GREAT FORTUNE: The Epic of Rockefeller Center by Daniel Okrent (History)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Daniel Okrent has written a richly detailed account of the conception, building, development and historical influence of the three most famous city blocks in the Western Hemisphere and perhaps the world.

TRANSATLANTIC: Samuel Cunard, Isambard Brunel, and the Great Atlantic Steamships by Stephen Fox (History)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
Stephen Fox has penned an immensely valuable narrative that focuses on the rapid development of the great transatlantic steamships, from paddle-wheelers to the sleek luxury greyhounds of the modern era --- and the men who designed and ran them.

THE LIVES OF THE MUSES: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose (Biography/Women's Studies)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
In this brilliant and provocative book, National Book Award finalist Francine Prose explores the complex relationship between muses and the artists who relied on them.

SINGLE WIFE by Nina Solomon (Fiction)
Reviewed by Heather Grimshaw
Grace Brookman's husband is missing. He has left before, but this time, when several weeks pass and he doesn't return, Grace copes with the situation by lying to her family and friends, convincing them that he's still around --- but will she ever be able to face the truth?

THE NANNY by Melissa Nathan (Fiction/Short Stories)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Twenty-three-year-old Jo Green knows that if she has to spend one more night in ultra-provincial Niblet-Upon-Avon, she'll go insane. So she answers an ad in the paper and heads off to London. With an exciting new job, a cool car and her own suite, how can she possibly go wrong?
Read this week's reviews and features here.
Go to Search here Read about upcoming books here.
Poll: All About Audiobooks
Do you listen to audiobooks?

Yes, I listen to them all the time.
Yes, I listen to them, but only when I am doing select activities
No, I have tried them and I do not like them.
I have never listened to an audiobook.

Where do you listen to audiobooks?

On car trips
While exercising
While working
While walking
While doing hobbies like gardening and painting
While doing mundane tasks like laundry, ironing and mowing the lawn
I listen while doing other activities than those you have listed
I do not listen to audiobooks.

What kind of books do you listen to?

The same kinds of books that I typically read
Different genres than I usually read
I am not sure what I do
I do not listen to audiobooks

How do you listen?

Using CDs or tapes
Using Mp3 player
Using iPod

Have you ever downloaded a book?

Yes, I have.
No, but that would be interesting to me.
I am not sure.
I have no interest in audiobooks.
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Week
Here's our question of the week:

Tell us about one of your best audiobook experiences --- either a book you listened to, or a trip or moment that was made more special by listening to an audiobook while you were experiencing it.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read about BALANCE OF POWER here. Read about HELLO, DARKNESS here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes This Week!
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have some great prizes:

FIVE readers each will win a copy of BALANCE OF POWER by Richard North Patterson and HELLO, DARKNESS by Sandra Brown.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on November 14th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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Happy reading....and don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend.

--- Carol Fitzgerald (