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May 14, 2004 Newsletter May 14, 2004
This Week on
Suburban Life --- And Books That Take You Other Places
Author Talk: Michael Connelly, Author of THE NARROWS -- And A Special Video Bonus
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Edna Buchanan, Author of COLD CASE SQUAD
Debut Suspense/Thriller Authors to Watch: Linwood Barclay, Author of BAD MOVE and Christopher Fowler, Author of FULL DARK HOUSE - 24 New Guides and The Book Club Cookbook Contest
VITAL LINES: A Newsletter About Books for the Body, Mind and Soul
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Are you in a book club?
Question of the Week: What book would you most like to discuss with a group?
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: How much does the price of a book influence your decision to buy it?
Past Question of the Week: What book are you planning to buy next?
Suburban Life --- And Books That Take You Other Places
I work home in New Jersey on Fridays (no Jersey jokes please). It's easier for me to write here and I have an aversion to New York traffic on a Friday when everyone in the city seems to head out to their country house. Usually this is the day that every lawn service picks to mow. The entire day is punctuated with vrooooooom of the mower, which they drive like we are at Indy, and the edging tools. (We mow our own lawn these days.) Today my neighbor decided to thin the trees on his property. After 6 hours of chainsaws and chipping, I have decided I like the lawn guys better. At least they leave faster!

For those of you looking for a terrific read that is a blend of art, society --- and scandal --- Christopher Mason's The Art of the Steal is the explosive inside story of the art world's infamous price-fixing scandal involving Sotheby's and Christie's. Want to read some juicy excerpts to whet your appetite for this one? Then click on the cover above to go to

We are running a special poll on where we would like to hear your opinions about THE DA VINCI CODE, ANGELS AND DEMONS and the books coming out in the next few months that "crack the code." Please click on the link above 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 Next week we will bring you a roundtable discussion with a group of authors who are writing books that discuss THE DA VINCI CODE.

The May/June issue of Pages magazine is now on newsstands --- and in subscribers' mailboxes. The cover story is on David Sedaris talking about his new book, DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDUROY AND DENIM, a feature about Jodi Picoult and an interview with Marian Keyes. Click on the link above to subscribe.

Many of you remember that Toni Morrison was last year's Literature Mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. This year we are happy to share that leading Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa is the Literature Mentor for the Second Cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. He 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.

I am off to get my younger son a haircut. Right now he resembles a sheep dog. I had a small suburban mom victory today. I tracked down Claudia who always gave the boys great haircuts at the new salon where she now works. It has only been two years since she left the other salon! For any of you who have had a stylist you love and had them disappear into the "Hairdresser Witness Protection Program," you know how sweet this is. I love when the hairdresser leaves and it's a state secret where she went!

Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Author Talk: Michael Connelly, Author of THE NARROWS -- And A Special Video Bonus
In this essay Michael Connelly talks about his decision to write a sequel to THE POET --- his first stand-alone novel --- and why he chose private investigator Harry Bosch to hunt down a serial killer who returns to unleash his reign of terror.

If you'd like to learn more about THE NARROWS and its author, we encourage you to take a look at an 11-minute streaming video where Connelly shares with readers locations in Los Angeles, reads excerpts from THE NARROWS and gives personal insight into the writing of this latest Harry Bosch novel. (You can access this from the link below. Note that we suggest a broadband connection and optimizing the video to full screen for the best viewing!)

THE NARROWS by Michael Connelly (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In Michael Connelly's newest Harry Bosch novel, a sequel to THE POET, the former LAPD detective confronts the most terrifying killer he has ever known --- Robert Backus, the monster known to millions as the Poet.
Click here to read an essay by Michael Connelly, Author of THE NARROWS, our review and to view the video.
Read more about Edna Buchanan and COLD CASE SQUAD here.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Edna Buchanan, Author of COLD CASE SQUAD
Edna Buchanan, author of COLD CASE SQUAD, which is on sale on June 1st is our latest Suspense/Thriller Author.

New this week:
-Read the prologue and first two chapters of COLD CASE SQUAD
-Read Fast Facts
-See our ARC Winners
-Browse through Buchanan's backlist
-Read critical praise for Buchanan's work

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.
Debut Suspense/Thriller Authors to Watch: Linwood Barclay, Author of BAD MOVE and Christopher Fowler, Author of FULL DARK HOUSE
This month we are spotlighting two very different debut suspense/thriller authors --- Christopher Fowler, author of FULL DARK HOUSE and Linwood Barclay, author of BAD MOVE.

New This Week for Linwood Barclay:
-Read an excerpt from BAD MOVE
-See Our ARC Winners

BAD MOVE (in stores June 1st)
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. Zack's paranoid tendencies get him implicated in a crime. What does he do? He heads off to track down the killer himself.

New This Week for Christopher Fowler:
-Read an excerpt from FULL DARK HOUSE
-See Our ARC Winners

FULL DARK HOUSE (in stores June 1st)

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.
Read more about our Debut Suspense/Thriller authors here.
Read the guide for HUNTING MIDNIGHT here. Read the guide for A ROAD THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS here. Read a guide for PLANT LIFE here. - 24 New Guides and The Book Club Cookbook Contest
This month we add discussion guides for 24 books to including A ROAD THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS by Elizabeth McGregor, PLANT LIFE by Pamela Duncan and HUNTING MIDNIGHT by Richard Zimler.

Are you in a club where food play as big a part in your book club meetings as the book discussion? Or have you ever thought about creating a menu inspired by a favorite book? If so, you'll love The Book Club Cookbook, which shares recipes and menu ideas for 100 books. For more about this book, including details on our special book club contest, see our link below. More information about this book is available at
Click here to go to
VITAL LINES: A Newsletter About Books for the Body, Mind and Soul
Bantam Dell has a new e-newsletter, VITAL LINES: Books for the Body, Mind, and Soul. Featuring both front --- and backlist --- titles, it will be sent bimonthly. This newsletter has been conceived as a helpful, fact-filled showcase. Note that the publisher has no illusions of it becoming a "go to" source for health information; WebMD and like sites
already exist for that purpose. But if you like books about mind, body and soul, this is worth checking out.
View the Vital Lines newsletter and sign up here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
DEATH MATCH by Lincoln Child (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
Lincoln Child's latest novel is about "love" and how a huge company plays matchmaker to the hundreds of thousands of people who seek its help in finding their life companion. Only death can interfere with the process . and it does.

JUST ONE LOOK by Harlan Coben (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Harlan Coben, author of the coast-to-coast bestseller NO SECOND CHANCE, delivers an emotionally powerful thrill-ride of a novel that asks the question: How far would you go to protect your family?

DOWN HERE: A Burke Novel by Andrew Vachss (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
An attorney is accused of the attempted murder of a serial rapist and Burke must gather together his resources to get the bogus charges dropped, while trying to prevent past victims from further harm.

THIEVES' DOZEN by Donald E. Westlake (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Donald E. Westlake's John Dortmunder is in a league of his own. This quirky career thief has stolen everything from money buried under a reservoir to a bank --- the whole bank. Now the ultimate repeat offender returns in a first-time collection of unforgettable short stories.

MAID MARIAN by Elsa Watson (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Marian Fitzwater, the woman behind the most famous outlaw in history, tells her own story in this romantic tale by first-time novelist Elsa Watson.

OUT OF THE DEEP I CRY by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Mystery)
Reviewed by Andi Shechter
In this third mystery featuring Rev. Clare Fergusson and Sheriff Russ Van Alstyne, the gossip among those who live in the small town of Millers Kill, NY increasingly speculates about the Rev.'s ambiguous relationship with the married Sheriff --- but a more urgent problem is the disappearance of the doctor of the town's free clinic.

BEN HOGAN: An American Life by James Dodson (Biography)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
In this first-ever family-authorized biography, renowned author James Dodson expertly and emotionally reconstructs the complicated life of golfing legend Ben Hogan.

OUR KIND: A Novel in Stories by Kate Walbert (Fiction)
Reviewed by Brandon M. Stickney
Kate Walbert masterfully conveys the dreams and reality of a group of women who came into the quick rush of adulthood, marriage and childbearing during the 1950s. Once country-club housewives, today they are divorced, independent --- and breaking the rules.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: Are you in a book club?
Are you in a book club?

Yes, I am.
No, but I would like to be.
No, I am not interested in this.
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 would you most like to discuss with a group?
What book would you most like to discuss with a group?

Our next question update will be on May 27th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about THE RULE OF FOUR here. Read more about DOUBLE PLAY 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 THE RULE OF FOUR by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason; DOUBLE PLAY by Robert B. Parker.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on May 27th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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