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May 7, 2004 Newsletter May 7, 2004
This Week on
Author Interviews, Celebrating Moms and A Poll About The Da Vinci Code Talks to Rick Riordan, Author of SOUTHTOWN Talks to Marian Keyes, Author of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY
Mario Vargas Llosa is Rolex's Latest Literature Mentor in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Edna Buchanan, Author of COLD CASE SQUAD
Author Talks: Ridley Pearson, Author of THE BODY OF DAVID HAYES; Carl Lennertz, AUTHOR OF CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD and Katherine Leiner, Author of DIGGING OUT
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: How Much Will You Spend on a Hardcover Book?
Question of the Week: What book are you planning to buy next?
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: Which books are you looking forward to reading?
Past Question of the Week: Graduation time is approaching. What book would you suggest to give a graduate?
Author Interviews, Celebrating Moms and A Poll About The Da Vinci Code
This week our lineup has five interviews. The first is with Rick Riordan, the author of SOUTHTOWN, who is one of our suspense/thriller authors. Bethanne Patrick interviewed Marian Keyes where she talks about THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY. Ridley Pearson shared an interview with us where he talks about THE BODY OF DAVID HAYES. And we have interviews with two debut authors who I am just wild about, Katherine Leiner, who wrote DIGGING OUT and Carl Lennertz, whose CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD hit stores this week.

We are announcing features with two new debut suspense/thriller authors this week --- Christopher Fowler, author of FULL DARK HOUSE and Linwood Barclay, author of BAD MOVE. We are looking for 10 advance readers for each of these books. Read the blurbs below and if you are interested in reading either, send mail to by Friday, May 14th with your name and your snail mail address. Now pay attention here --- you MUST specify in the subject line the name of the book you are interested in reading and include ONE book per entry. Find more about the books by clicking on the covers above.

FULL DARK HOUSE is a perfect read for those who love classic British crime mysteries. It's the first book in a riveting new series featuring Arthur Bryant and John May, two of Britain's oldest detectives, who have been partnered in the London Police Department's Peculiar Crimes Unit for over sixty years. Here Fowler tells the story of both their first and last case --- and how this crime-fighting odd couple changed the face of detection.

Anyone who thinks that the burbs are boring will think again after reading Linwood Barclay's hilarious debut mystery, BAD MOVE. Zack Walker is a safety obsessed dad who quickly finds that his suburban neighborhood is not a crime-free paradise, crime escalates from petty thievery and drugs to murder and Zack's paranoid tendencies get him implicated in the crime. What does he do? He heads off to track down the killer himself.

As you all know THE DA VINCI CODE has been a blockbuster success for more than a year now. In the upcoming months nearly one dozen books are being published that will refute, discuss or otherwise examine the premises outlined in this book. We are running a special poll on where we would like to hear your opinions about THE DA VINCI CODE, ANGELS AND DEMONS and those books that "crack the code." Please click on the link below to cast your vote, and please forward this link to others to do the same. While you are out voting, we hope you take some time to explore

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. My favorite "to me from me" present --- a copy of ESSENTIALLY LILLY by Lilly Pulitzer. I am known for wearing bright colors and just looking at the cover of this book is making me smile and make me want to start summer entertaining.

Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (
Vote in our poll about THE DA VINCI CODE here. Talks to Rick Riordan, Author of SOUTHTOWN's Carol Fitzgerald and Wiley Saichek talk to Rick Riordan about SOUTHTOWN, his fifth novel featuring private investigator Tres Navarre. Riordan shares details concerning the writing of the book, provides background information on the series' protagonist and reveals how his students (Riordan is also a middle-school English teacher) react to his "other" job.

SOUTHTOWN by Rick Riordan (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Will Stirman stages a bloody escape from prison and heads to Southtown, an area in San Antonio, to exact revenge on those who put him behind bars. Tres Navarre's boss knows why Stirman may be looking for her, but she's not talking. Sam Barerra, the other person with clues to the danger, is fighting a losing battle with dementia. SOUTHTOWN is a story filled with greed, vigilantism --- and deception.
Read an interview with Rick Riordan, Author of SOUTHTOWN here. Talks to Marian Keyes, Author of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY contributing writer Bethanne Kelly Patrick talks to Marian Keyes, whose latest novel THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY introduces readers to three women who each encounter problems with the men in their lives. Keyes discusses why she chose to write a book about the publishing industry, her thoughts on the Chick Lit genre and her involvement in a Russian children's orphanage.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY by Marian Keyes (Chick Lit)
Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
Women's stories intertwine in this latest Chick Lit novel from Marian Keyes, whose books are so popular that they alone could be supporting the Irish economy these days. They're also fun and fresh perspectives on modern femininity and feminism. Read on to learn more about Gemma, JoJo and Lily ---three characters in search of an ending. Or are they?

For more about Marian Keyes, go to
Read an interview with Marian Keyes and our review of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY.
Mario Vargas Llosa is Rolex's Latest Literature Mentor in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative
Leading Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa - the Literature Mentor for the Second Cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative - has selected Antonio García Ángel as his protégé. Aged 31, Garcia Ángel has a best-selling novel to his credit, and he is already considered one of Colombia's best young writers. Launched in 2002, this programme pairs extraordinarily gifted young artists with renowned artists in their fields for a year of one-on-one mentoring.
Read more about the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative here.
Read more about Edna Buchanan and COLD CASE SQUAD here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Edna Buchanan, Author of COLD CASE SQUAD
Edna Buchanan, author of COLD CASE SQUAD, which is on sale on June 1st is our new Suspense/Thriller Author. If you would like to be one of our 20 advance readers, please send your name and MAILING ADDRESS to by Friday, May 14th.

Edna Buchanan's latest novel launches a new series with members of Miami Police Department's "cold case squad" as her protagonists. Two separate cases occupy the team's minds. Sergeant Craig Burch and Detective Pete Nazario are investigating the supposed accidental death of a father who may very well be alive --- while Detective Sam Stone is hot on the trail of a serial killer.
Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Author Talks: Ridley Pearson, Author of THE BODY OF DAVID HAYES; Carl Lennertz, AUTHOR OF CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD and Katherine Leiner, Author of DIGGING OUT
Ridley Pearson, author of THE BODY OF DAVID HAYES, talks about the characters and setting in his long-running mystery series featuring Seattle police lieutenant Lou Boldt. He also discusses the process of writing his novels and future projects that are in the works.

Carl Lennertz, author of CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD, explains the significance of the title, why he wrote the book and his thoughts on being a first-time writer.

Katherine Leiner talks about her inspiration for writing DIGGING OUT (her debut novel), the themes of the book to which her audience can relate and what she hopes readers will take away from this emotional and uplifting story.
Click here to read this week's Author Talks here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
'TIL DEATH DO US PART by Kate White (Mystery)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Usually it's brides and grooms who vow "'til death do us part." However, this time it's the bridesmaids who are dying and if Bailey Weggins can't get to the bottom of this mystery pronto, she may be the next to die.

THE BODY OF DAVID HAYES by Ridley Pearson (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Years ago, Lou Boldt's wife Liz had an affair with David Hayes, a young computer specialist at the bank where she's an executive. When Liz ended the relationship after reconciling with Lou, Hayes engaged in a daring embezzlement scheme. Now, years later, Hayes is trying to retrieve the money he hid for the Russian mob --- and contacts Liz to try to gain access to the bank's mainframe.

CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD: Tales of Growing Up, Then and Now by Carl Lennertz (Family/Fatherhood)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Debut author Carl Lennertz has written a memoir of his life growing up in the suburbs of New York in the 1960s and '70s. He also includes notes on what he wants his daughter to know about him --- and the lessons he has learned.

DIGGING OUT by Katherine Leiner (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
When she was eight years old, Alys Davies survived a tragedy in the small Welsh town where she was born. It shattered the village and destroyed her family. Each sought their own private --- and devastating --- escape. Alys responded by fleeing to the United States where, far away from the memories, she could rebuild her life. But now a new tragedy unfolds in Alys's life that forces her to face her demons.

REMEMBERING SARAH by Chris Mooney (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Battling a failed marriage and desperate for the truth, Mike Sullivan is determined to unlock the secrets surrounding the mysterious disappearance of his daughter Sarah in a snowstorm five years earlier.

THE RETURN OF THE DANCING MASTER by Henning Mankell, translated by Laurie Thompson (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
This police procedural is a fascinating puzzle, intricately plotted; it is also a haunting story with lonely, driven characters (both hunter and hunted) and a distinctively Swedish spareness. Hugely popular in Europe, Henning Mankell's suspense novels deserve to be better known here in the United States.

HOW TOUGH COULD IT BE? The Trials and Errors of a Sportswriter Turned Stay-at-Home Dad by Austin Murphy (Nonfiction)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
After nineteen years as a writer for Sports Illustrated, Austin Murphy abandoned his dream job to become a stay-home-dad, which allowed his wife to concentrate more on her writing career. HOW TOUGH COULD IT BE? is Murphy's account of his newly acquired role as Mr. Mom and his adventures (and misadventures) along the way.

THE LAWS OF INVISIBLE THINGS by Frank Huyler (Fiction)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
In this suspenseful first novel from emergency physician Frank Huyler, a young doctor's encounter with a mysterious disease leads him to a crossroads between faith and reason.

THE RED HAT SOCIETY: Fun and Friendship After Fifty by Sue Ellen Cooper (Inspiration)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
Inspired by a Jenny Joseph poem, Sue Ellen Cooper bought herself a red hat. It soon became her signature gift for friends turning 50. In 2000, Cooper and her friends formed the Red Hat Society, whose only rule is no rules --- it's simply a play group encouraging women over 50 to have fun, support each other and find kindred spirits.

THE POLITICS OF TRUTH: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity by Ambassador Joseph Wilson (Memoir)
Reviewed by Jane Van Ingen
THE POLITICS OF TRUTH tells the revealing story of American diplomat Joseph Wilson and his pivotal career in foreign policy, from telling Saddam Hussein to leave Kuwait to confronting the White House leaks that have breached national security.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: How Much Will You Spend on a Hardcover Book?
How much does the price of a book influence your decision to buy it?
A lot
Does not matter to me

What is the highest price point you will pay for a HARDCOVER book for a favorite author?

What is the highest price you will pay for a HARDCOVER book for an author who you are NOT familiar with?
Answer the Poll here.
Read about books that have won awards here. Read our Books Into Movies feature here.
Question of the Week: What book are you planning to buy next?
What book are you planning to buy next?

Our next question update will be on May 14th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about PAST DUE here. Read more about CROSSING THE LINE here.
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 PAST DUE by William Lashner and CROSSING THE LINE by Clinton McKinzie. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on May 14th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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