Skip to main content

January 30, 2004 Newsletter January 30, 2004
This Week on
Celebrating....Mysteries....and Tell Us What You Think
Read Our Advance Readers' Comments of Jodi Compton's THE 37TH HOUR
Read Advanced Readers' Comments of Reed Arvin's THE LAST GOODBYE
New in Paperback
Laurie R. King, author of THE GAME is our First Mystery Mayhem Author
HER MOTHER'S SHADOW by Diane Chamberlain
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Books You've Read or Are Looking Forward To Reading
Question of the Week: What is The Most Romantic Book You Ever Read?
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: What do you want to see in book ads?
Past Question of the Week: Memorable Book Ads
Read more about THE LAST JUROR here. Read more about Light Wedge here. Read more about THE CAKE MIX DOCTOR here.
Celebrating....Mysteries....and Tell Us What You Think
Finally sunny here. Okay, it's still cold, but sunny is nicer than grey. Both my sons had birthdays in the past week so it's been a blur. I baked cakes, cookies, cupcakes and mini-cupcakes. I frosted in so many different colors that I am dizzy. My favorite baking book --- THE CAKE MIX DOCTOR. Makes cake mixes taste like "baked from scratch." Click on the cover above to learn more about this truly fun cookbook.

I had a meeting this week with a publisher who gave me an education about audiobooks. We will be discussing how to cover this category in the weeks to come. Your ideas are welcome. Send me a note at if you have thoughts on this. Please put Audiobooks in the subject line since I get a wee bit of mail.

This week we bring you a new feature --- Mystery Mayhem. Mystery lovers know --- there's nothing more fun than solving a mystery. Please see more about this feature below.

Our first Mystery Mayhem author is Laurie R. King, who is known for her character, Mary Russell, the wife of Sherlock Holmes. She is his partner in investigations. Laurie's next book is THE GAME, and it will be in stores March 2nd. If you would like to be one of our 20 advance readers of THE GAME, please send us email with your mailing address at by Friday, February 13th. We look forward to sharing more about Laurie in the weeks to come.

We have comments from two groups of advance readers this week --- those who read THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin and those who read THE 37TH HOUR by Jodi Compton. Hope you enjoy reading what they had to say.

And don't forget our Poll Question about the books you are reading and our Question about "the most romantic book you ever read."

For all of you Grisham fans, here's a quick reminder that THE LAST JUROR will be in stores on Tuesday. Read more about it by clicking on the cover above. son is tapping his toe. We're headed out of town on a lighthousing trip as part of his birthday celebration. He also has my Light Wedge packed for reading in the car (see more about my favorite book light above). many more years till he drives?

Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Read Our Advance Readers' Comments of Jodi Compton's THE 37TH HOUR
Read what 7 advance readers had to say about THE 37TH HOUR by Jodi Compton. Here's our quick blurb about the plot: Jodi Compton's lead character, Sarah Pribek, is a "missing persons" investigator in the Twin Cities who ends up living the nightmare she walks others through each day when her husband, a fellow officer, goes missing. In her travels to find him, she learns about his troubled past and secrets that help her define who he is.
Read about Jodi Compton and THE 37TH HOUR here.
Read more about THE LAST GOODBYE  here. Read more about Reed Arvin here.
Read Advanced Readers' Comments of Reed Arvin's THE LAST GOODBYE
THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin will be in stores on February 17, 2004.

New This Week:
Read Our Advanced Readers' Comments on THE LAST GOODBYE.

In Case You Missed Previous Weeks:
-Read the terrific press that this book has been getting.
-Read three excerpts from THE LAST GOODBYE
-Read about Reed Arvin

Attorney Jack Hammond has nothing but suspicions when his friend --- a recovering addict --- is found dead in his apartment with a syringe stuck in his arm. Jack believes this "overdose" was in fact murder and that his friend's obsession with a woman might have led to his untimely demise.
Read our Suspense/Thriller Spotlight here.
New in Paperback
Among the novels featured in this month's roundup of New in Paperback titles are REVENGE OF THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN, THE SEDUCTION OF WATER and THE BLESSING STONE, a sweeping historical epic from internationally bestselling author Barbara Wood. Our nonfiction highlights include READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN --- an inspiring memoir of a professor who taught Western literature to seven female students in the Islamic Republic of Iran --- and SONS OF MISSISSIPPI, in which Paul Hendrickson recounts the story of seven white Mississippi lawmen depicted in a horrifically telling 1962 Life magazine photograph.
Read the New in Paperback feature here.
Read more about THE GAME. Read more about Laurie R. King Read more about KEEPING WATCH.
Laurie R. King, author of THE GAME is our First Mystery Mayhem Author
Mystery lovers know --- there's nothing more fun than solving a mystery. Legends in this genre include Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Well-known authors include Ruth Rendell, P.D. James and Marcia Muller. To help you unravel the endless question of "what mystery authors should I read next?" we bring you our Mystery Mayhem feature. It's a chance to get to know a group of authors who sleuth, track clues, and captivate readers by bringing fictitious characters to justice. We call them "Authors Who Keep You Guessing." We hope you enjoy exploring their work as much as we did tracking them down.

We are pleased to introduce Laurie R. King as the first showcased author in our Mystery Mayhem feature. Her latest Mary Russell novel, THE GAME, will be in bookstores on March 2, 2004. Enter to be one of 20 advance readers of THE GAME by sending your name and mailing address (street address, not email address) to by Friday, February 13th.

Read more about the book and author by checking out the graphics above and the link below.
Read our Mystery Mayhem feature here.
HER MOTHER'S SHADOW by Diane Chamberlain
When Lacey O'Neill was a teenager, an emotionally overwrought husband stepped into the battered women's shelter on North Carolina's Outer Banks where Lacey and her mother were volunteering and shot Lacey's mother. He killed one woman but destroyed two families - Lacey's and his own.

Now a stained glass artist in her late twenties, Lacey lives in the old Kiss River light keeper's house and is struggling to overcome her own destructive behavior when she receives shocking news. Her childhood friend has died, leaving Lacey to parent her troubled daughter, and Lacey's mother's killer is up for parole. While Lacey and her family cope with these challenges, the shattering truth about her well-respected, good-hearted mother unfolds. Nothing is what it seemed. Through it all, Lacey learns that with the truth comes forgiveness, healing and the courage to finally open her heart.
Go here to read more about Diane Chamberlain and HER MOTHER'S SHADOW, including an excerpt.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
ABSOLUTE FRIENDS by John le Carré (Fiction)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
John le Carré's new novel is a cautionary tale that revolves around two "absolute friends" who become spies and whose lives intersect at different times over forty years. September 11th is a shadow character that adds a chilling reality to the nefarious events that unfold in the book.

THE KILLS by Linda Fairstein (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
Linda Fairstein's newest novel centers on the mythology that surrounds the American Double Eagle coin that was minted and destroyed in 1933. This tale of murder, rape, child abuse, greed and international secrets is fashioned in the capable hands of Fairstein, who ties all of the threads into a neat package.

DIVIDED IN DEATH by Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb (Futuristic Romantic Suspense)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
When a cheating husband and his lover are found slain with the enraged --- and bloody --- wife standing over them, the scene looks a little too staged to Lt. Eve Dallas. Now Eve has her hands full, as she works hard to solve this crime (and others) while at the same time tries to deal with the horrific abuse she suffered as a child.

BY SORROW'S RIVER: The Berrybender Narratives, Book 3 by Larry McMurtry (Western)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
This third volume of Larry McMurtry's Western saga continues the Berrybender party's ill-fated trek across the endless Great Plains of the West toward Santa Fe, where they intend to spend the winter.

END OF STATE by Neesa Hart (Futuristic Fiction)
Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
The United States government is in an uproar; nearly one-third of the population has vanished without a trace, and only a few Washington insiders seem to understand what's happening. In this first installment of a new series, those "left behind" struggle to carry on.

GOING TO BEND by Diane Hammond (Fiction)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
In Diane Hammond's debut novel, two mothers struggling to make ends meet in a small coastal town find strength in their friendship as they surprise themselves, helping people they hardly know.

ONE HUNDRED MILLION HEARTS by Kerri Sakamoto (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen M. Deusner
Kerri Sakamoto, the award-winning author of THE ELECTRICAL FIELD, has crafted a riveting story of love, guilt and complicity in the context of war, as she once again explores the secrets and burdens of second-generation Japanese-Canadians.

GHOSTFIRES by Keith Dixon (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
This strong debut novel from New York Times editor Keith Dixon focuses on the lives of Warren Bascomb and his son Ben, following the death of Ben's mother. Warren is an aging surgeon who has lost his medical license because of his morphine addiction, and Ben is a husband and father who struggles every day to remain sober and avoid bankruptcy.

IN FULL BLOOM by Caroline Hwang (Fiction)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Join 27-year-old Ginger Lee and her tiny Korean powerhouse of a mother for a riveting good time as they battle on about such things as housekeeping, drinking, smoking and how to find the right --- Korean, of course --- husband in New York City.

BUT COME YE BACK: A Novel in Stories by Beth Lordan (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
Tracing the tail end of a long marriage, Beth Lordan covers some of Anne Tyler's territory --- but while the theme may sound similar, this song is played in a different key.

GIRL MEETS GOD: A Memoir by Lauren Winner (Nonfiction/Memoir)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
By turns funny, humorous and poignant, Lauren Winner's memoir is an absorbing account of her spiritual journey, as she attempts to reconcile both sides of her religious identity.

A YEAR WITH C. S. LEWIS: Daily Readings from His Classic Works by C. S. Lewis, edited by Patricia Klein (Devotional)
Reviewed by Evelyn Bence
Beloved author C. S. Lewis is our trusted guide in this intimate day-by-day companion offering his distinctive and celebrated wisdom, as he reflects on such themes as the nature of love, the existence of miracles, overcoming a devastating loss and discovering a profound faith.

OUT by Natsuo Kirino, translated by Stephen Snyder (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Natsuo Kirino's award-winning mystery tells the story of a young mother in the Tokyo Suburbs who brutally strangles her deadbeat husband and then seeks the help of her co-workers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime.

HITTS & MRS. by Lori Bryant-Woolridge (Romance)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
Melanie Hitts --- an attractive, professional and fiercely independent African American woman --- finds herself torn between her love for an older Caucasian man and her sexy African American fiancé.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about upcoming books here.
Poll: Books You've Read or Are Looking Forward To Reading
Which of the following books have you read or are you looking forward to reading?

EMMA'S SECRET by Barbara Taylor Bradford
THE KILLS by Linda Fairstein
MR. PARADISE by Elmore Leonard
PARANOIA by Joseph Finder
RETRIBUTION by Jilliane Hoffman
THE 37TH HOUR by Jodi Compton
VERTICAL COFFIN by Stephen J. Cannell
THE ZERO GAME by Brad Meltzer
I am not interested in reading any of these titles.
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Week: What is The Most Romantic Book You Ever Read?
What is the most romantic book you ever read?
Answer the Question of the Week.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
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 PARANOIA by Joseph Finder and VERTICAL COFFIN by Stephen J. Cannell. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on February 13th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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 (see the link on the upper right) or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. We were forced to move to this format after we were inundated with SPAM at the other address. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Quick observation --- we have noticed that many of you have been changing your Internet providers in the past month. If you do, please be sure to "take us along" by signing up for the newsletter in your new name!

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (