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April 3, 2015 Newsletter April 3, 2015
Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy Reading!

The office is closing early today for the holiday weekend, giving the staff a few extra hours to celebrate Easter and/or Passover. We have consumed chocolate/caramel matzos that Nicole made this week. She also has whole wheat bran matzos on her desk. We are an office that loves to snack; last week, we were having a taste-off of Pipcorn (mini popcorn) in these flavors: rosemary, truffle and kettle.

I plan to spend part of the day today getting organized since the day is gray, though finally warm, and it's a good time to hunker down and do that. I think this is the "spring cleaning" I have been postponing. But if I see a good book....well, this may become summer cleaning! I think I will stay away from bookshelf organizing. I start there, which MAY be the problem.

Last weekend, I read THE IDEA OF LOVE by Patti Callahan Henry, which will be in stores on June 23rd. It is a complete delight and will be perfect for summer beach reading. In it, Ella’s life has been turned upside down. She’s constructed a story that her husband has been killed in a boating accident trying to save her. At the same time, Hunter, a once-hot screenwriter who has lost his way, shows up in her small South Carolina town looking for his next story. Their lies collide, and their lives intertwine. You are drawn in watching them shroud themselves in mystery and then unravel on the way to finding the truth.

We have plenty of reviews to share with you this week...17 to be exact.

Steve Berry has released his 10th Cotton Malone thriller, THE PATRIOT THREAT. The 16th Amendment legalized the federal income tax, but what if there were problems with the ratification, making income tax illegal? Berry entertains this notion in his latest book, sending retired intelligence officer Cotton Malone on the hunt for a North Korean who may have top secret Treasury Department files in his possession. These files have the power to cripple the United States, and it is up to Malone to make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands.

Reviewer Ray Palen calls THE PATRIOT THREAT "a thrilling and thought-provoking read, and the proposed illegality of the 16th Amendment may be the greatest weapon of mass destruction ever thought up."

Sara Gruen takes readers to Scotland at the height of World War II in AT THE WATER'S EDGE. Following a disastrous New Year's Eve party in Philadelphia, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, have been cut off financially by Ellis' former army colonel father. As a way of showing up his father, Ellis has decided to continue the colonel's failed hunt for the famous Loch Ness monster. Maddie reluctantly follows as Ellis and his best friend set off for the Scottish Highlands, leaving everything they know behind. When the trio lands in a remote village, Maddie is shocked to find herself making friends and falling in love with the countryside.

Kate Ayers has our review and raves, "This might be called a piece of historical fiction, and, yes, it is that, but it goes beyond into mystery territory, romance, and much, much more. For innumerable reasons, AT THE WATER’S EDGE lands on my short list of best books of the year." In our recent poll asking what book you were most looking forward to, AT THE WATER'S EDGE was the #1 pick, so we are very pleased to share this review with you!

You can enter to win THE PATRIOT THREAT and AT THE WATER'S EDGE, along with Harlan Coben's THE STRANGER, in our Word of Mouth contest. Just let us know what books you've read by Friday, April 10th at noon ET, and you'll be in the running to receive all three novels.

T.C. Boyle examines the roots of anti-authoritarianism in the American character in THE HARDER THEY COME. Set in present-day California, it explores the relationships between an elderly ex-Marine, Sten; his mentally unstable son, Adam; and the son's lover. At the novel's start, Sten has become a local hero after killing a gun-wielding robber on a vacation cruise. When he returns home, he discovers that his delusional son has spiraled out of control. Adam, meanwhile, has become involved with a much older right-wing anarchist named Sara. With his mental state weakened by his schizophrenia, this new relationship prompts Adam to shoot two people, leading to the biggest manhunt in California history.

According to reviewer Brandon Stickney, "What grabs the reader, who cannot look away until the end, is Boyle’s use of action rather than story. The book is 400-plus pages of gunshots, knives, ridiculousness, ego, romance, madness, rebellion, loss, fear and, most of all, heart."

Our Southern Writers Author Spotlight of Linda Goodnight and her novel, THE MEMORY HOUSE, continues with our review and interview. This opening installment of the Honey Ridge series introduces readers to Julia Presley, a woman broken by tragedy. Finding comfort in routine, Julia runs the Peach Orchard Inn, letting the beautiful, mysterious place fill the voids of love and family. But when a stranger with a young son shows up in town, and Julia hires him to help renovate the inn, she opens herself to a world of new possibilities --- including love.

Bronwyn Miller has this to say in her review: "Told in alternating chapters, there’s the touching modern-day story of grief and redemption, which is complemented by the story of forbidden love between Charlotte and Will during the brutal War Between the States. These characters struggle to help themselves and others, and their journeys culminate in a most satisfying resolution." Bronwyn also had the chance to interview Linda about the real-life tragedy that inspired her to write THE MEMORY HOUSE and how writing it helped her deal with her own recent loss.

Our latest Paperback Spotlight features Jane Shemilt's THE DAUGHTER, an international bestseller now available in the US that we reviewed last month. Jenny is a successful doctor, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon, and the mother of three teenagers. But Jenny's ideal life begins to crumble when Naomi, her youngest daughter, doesn't come home after her school play. Although the authorities launch a nationwide search, they cannot find Naomi. More than a year later, Jenny is still searching for answers --- and she finds that everyone has been keeping secrets, including Naomi. Sounds like a great story!

This week's New Release Spotlight highlights NEVER TOO LATE, a celebration of womanhood by Robyn Carr. Facing 40 and dissatisfied with her cheating husband, Clare Wilson is starting over. With the support of her sisters, Maggie and Sarah, she is ready to move on. But when a near-fatal car crash leaves Clare in the hospital, her new start has taken a pit stop. While recovering, though, she realizes this is her chance to choose her future. With the young police officer who witnessed her crash falling for her, a man from her past stirring up old feelings, and her ex pining for her, Clare will rely on her sisters to help her blossom and bloom.

Our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight of Holly Brown and her novel, DON'T TRY TO FIND ME, continues. When 14-year-old Marley runs away, her mother, Rachel, knows there has to be more to the story than the message scrawled on the kitchen white board. But even after Rachel and her husband, Paul, launch a social media campaign, there are simply no leads. When Rachel bombs a television interview, the public turns on her, questioning her version of the truth. With everyone a suspect, the search for young Marley is on. There is still time to enter to win one of 50 copies of DON'T TRY TO FIND ME, which releases in paperback on April 7th, and share your comments. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 9th at noon ET.

The season five premiere of "Game of Thrones" on April 12th and the continuation of the first season of "Outlander" this Saturday has inspired our latest bookshelf, "20 Fantasy Books for the Literary-Minded Reader," curated by our own John Maher. Whether you're in search of knights and dragons or witches and magicians, you'll be sure to find the fantasy you seek in our bookshelf. Featuring genre titans like J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett, our selection covers all sorts of fantastic fiction, from works that combine fantasy and history to others that create their own realities. And speaking of Sir Pratchett, we have a review of A BLINK OF THE SCREEN, a collection of short fiction from the late author that spans the entirety of his writing career.

This week in our Spring Preview contests, we gave away the aforementioned AT THE WATER'S EDGE, along with THE 13th DISCIPLE by Deepak Chopra and PART TIME COWBOY by Maisey Yates. Next week's prize books will be ALENA by Rachel Pastan, BLOSSOM STREET BRIDES by Debbie Macomber, ORHAN'S INHERITANCE by Aline Ohanesian and THIS HEART OF MINE by Brenda Novak. We'll be posting the first 24-hour contest of the week on Monday, April 6th at noon ET.

Debut novelist Jan Moran has released SCENT OF TRIUMPH: A Novel of Perfume and Passion with an added gift for her readers. (You may have noticed an ad for the book in our recent "On Sale This Week" newsletter.) Beginning in September of 1939, the novel follows French perfumer Danielle Bretancourt as she and her family are thrust into World War II. With a perfumer for a protagonist, it's no surprise that Moran did a great deal of research on many classic vintage perfumes. As a special gift for her readers, she is giving away free copies of her eBook on vintage perfumes to everyone who buys a copy of SCENT OF TRIUMPH. Click here for more information on how to receive a free eBook with your purchase!

We’ve updated our monthly Reading Roundup feature, which highlights selected titles from Indie Booksellers (Indie Next Picks), Librarians (LibraryReads), Target and Costco. This month’s top books include THE BONE TREE by Greg Iles, THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE by Ann Packer, THE DREAM LOVER by Elizabeth Berg, WHISKEY AND CHARLIE (our recent Sneak Peek title) and THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt (which releases in paperback on Tuesday). Click here for the full lists.

The International Thriller Writers (ITW) organization has announced the finalists for the 2015 ITW Thriller Awards. You can see them here. The winners will be revealed at ThrillerFest X on July 11th in New York City.

Reading Jesse Kornbluth’s review of LILLIAN ON LIFE by Alison Jean Lester had me move that book to the top of my reading list. Then I got this note from Melanie, who edits our Word of Mouth feature: “I just had to tell you that when I read the review of LILLIAN ON LIFE in the newsletter yesterday, I realized I had received a copy on NetGalley a while back. I started it last night and just finished it; I literally could not put it down! It was so fabulous! Did you read it? I loved the writing and there were so many great quotable passages, particularly the last paragraph. It was a Wow book for me. I just want to share that I'm still 'high' from just finishing. Do you get that high when you finish a really great book??? I am having afterglow!!”

How many of us know that glow?

I still am enjoying the audiobook of A FINE ROMANCE by Candice Bergen during my daily commute. I had forgotten about "Murphy Brown" being a lightning rod during the 1992 presidential campaign. It was fun hearing about that. She talks about the perks of celebrity and her second marriage to “a man of an appropriate age.” The book is a true joy. Also, I am going to adapt the word "exquisite" into my vocabulary more; Candy uses it a lot, and it sounds, well, exquisite.

News and Pop Culture:

Louise Penny News: She posted on Facebook last night that she’s “starting a series called The Real Places of Three Pines.” Beginning on April 6th (Monday) over at, she’ll be telling you about those places. “Every two weeks we’ll unveil a new location that inspired a setting in the books, leading up to the publication of THE NATURE OF THE BEAST on August 25th."

"The Emperor of All Maladies": I watched this series on PBS based on the book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, an Indian-born American physician and oncologist. It was narrated by Edward Herrmann, one of my favorite audiobook narrators and the subject of a recent audiobooks bookshelf. In a sad twist of irony, Herrmann passed away from brain cancer in December. The series focuses on the strides that have been made in combating this disease --- very interesting to see how they came about!

Fourth(!) Stieg Larsson Book: THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB, the fourth book in his series, is due to release on September 1st. Yes, you remember correctly, Stieg passed away in 2004, and the third book was all he had written. David Lagercrantz, known as a crime journalist, has taken over the writing.

"Mad Men": It’s back Sunday night for the final season. Two New York Times articles worth reading: Jon Hamm reflecting on Don Draper, and Matthew Weiner and Kiernan Shipka (she plays Sally) talk about her growing up while the show was filming. And for bookish fun, here are 12 works of literature that were featured on "Mad Men."

Sinatra on HBO: "All or Nothing at All," a documentary, airs on Sunday and Monday nights. It's kinda fun to have Sinatra and Don Draper duking it out on Sunday night.

"Going Clear": I watched the documentary on HBO, which was fascinating, based on Lawrence Wright’s book. Here is a good piece about it from Vulture. I may never look at Tom Cruise the same way again. I thought his jumping on Oprah's couch was over the top until I saw him receiving a Scientology medal and saluting L. Ron Hubbard.

DVD News: For those who missed it in theaters, Unbroken is now available on DVD. Also, we watched The Theory of Everything and clearly see why Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar. I confess that I am skipping Birdman, but this too is available.

My parents and my niece will be joining us for Easter dinner. I am making Jesse Kornbluth’s famous Holiday Ham. A few years ago, I splurged on a beautiful tablecloth and napkins with bunnies and eggs on them that make celebrating the holiday even more fun; pair that with some candles with gorgeous sketches of bunnies on the glass, and I am loving this holiday. I had a fabulous appetizer at The Frenchtown Inn last weekend that I am going to recreate for an appetizer. It has mozzarella, shaved cantaloupe, and shaved prosciutto drizzled with blackberry vinegar, the latter of which we picked up at Olives With A Twist. Also, I tried their tip of including drops of this vinegar in club soda for a terrific drink, and indeed it was.

I love the look of dyed eggs, but am not sure I'm going to indulge. The last time I did this, a LOT of dye ended up on the kitchen table. If I do, egg salad for a week! A friend posted a photo of colored eggs at her supermarket. Would that be cheating?

My winter scarf is finished, thus spring can come on in (is it listening?); consider me ready for NEXT winter. Now I have a black and purple scarf that pairs nicely with my black and turquoise one. Onward to summer-weight yarns.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend if you are celebrating...actually, make it an exquisite one. Read on, and here’s to a great week of reading.

Carol Fitzgerald (

P.S. For those of you who shop online, if you use the store links below, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Now in Stores: THE PATRIOT THREAT by Steve Berry
THE PATRIOT THREAT by Steve Berry (Thriller/Adventure)
Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former boss asks him to track down a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files --- the kind that could bring the United States to its knees --- Malone is vaulted into a harrowing 24-hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen
AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen (Historical Fiction)
After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed --- by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster --- Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE HARDER THEY COME by T.C. Boyle
THE HARDER THEY COME by T.C. Boyle (Psychological Suspense)
On a vacation cruise to Central America with his wife, 70-year-old Sten Stensen unflinchingly kills a gun-wielding robber menacing a busload of senior tourists. The reluctant hero is relieved to return home to Fort Bragg, California, after the ordeal --- only to find that his delusional son, Adam, has spiraled out of control. As Adam's mental state fractures, he becomes increasingly schizophrenic, which leads him to shoot two people. On the run, he takes to the woods, spurring the biggest manhunt in California history. Reviewed by Brandon Stickney.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review. Talks to Linda Goodnight, Author of THE MEMORY HOUSE --- A Southern Writers Author Spotlight Title
If Linda Goodnight had a theme song, it would start, "Well I was born in a small town..." Growing up in Prague, Oklahoma, she dabbled in poetry, made up stories in her head, and read every book she could get her hands on --- including GONE WITH THE WIND, which she credits with jumpstarting her own writing (or rewriting) career. THE MEMORY HOUSE is the first installment in her Honey Ridge series; set in the small town of Honey Ridge, Tennessee, it’s a tale of tender love and a house that’s rich with secrets and brimming with sweet possibilities. In this interview with’s Bronwyn Miller, Goodnight opens up about the real-life tragedy that inspired her to write THE MEMORY HOUSE and how writing it helped her deal with her own recent loss. She also shares great advice for young authors, as well as generous insight into what she’s working on next.

THE MEMORY HOUSE: A Honey Ridge Novel by Linda Goodnight (Fiction)
Memories of motherhood and marriage are fresh for Julia Presley, though tragedy took away both years ago. Finding comfort in the routine of running the Peach Orchard Inn, she lets the historic, mysterious place fill the voids of love and family. No more pleasure of a man's gentle kiss. No more joy in hearing a child call her Mommy. Life is calm and unchanging…until a stranger with a young boy and soul-deep secrets shows up in her Tennessee town and disrupts the loneliness of her world. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Linda Goodnight’s bio.
-Click here to visit Linda Goodnight’s official website.
-Connect with Linda Goodnight on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to read more in our Southern Writers Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
New Paperback Spotlight: THE DAUGHTER by Jane Shemilt
THE DAUGHTER by Jane Shemilt (Psychological Thriller)
Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, 15-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios --- kidnapping, murder --- seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers --- and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.

-Click here to read Jane Shemilt’s bio.
-Click here to visit Jane Shemilt’s blog.
-Click here to connect with Jane Shemilt on Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
New Release Spotlight: NEVER TOO LATE by Robyn Carr
NEVER TOO LATE by Robyn Carr (Romance)
Clare Wilson is starting over. She's had it with her marriage to a charming serial cheater. Even her own son thinks she's given his father too many chances. With the support of her sisters, Maggie and Sarah, she's ready to move on. Facing her 40th birthday, Clare is finally feeling the rush of unadulterated freedom.

But when a near-fatal car accident lands Clare in the hospital, her life takes another detour. While recovering, Clare realizes she has the power to choose her life's path. The wonderful younger police officer who witnessed her crash is over the moon for her. A man from her past stirs up long-buried feelings. Even her ex is pining for her. With enthusiasm and a little envy, her sisters watch her bloom.

Together, the sisters encourage each other to seek what they need to be happy. Along the way, they all learn that it's never too late to begin again.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Robyn Carr’s bio.
-Click here to visit Robyn Carr’s official website.
-Connect with Robyn Carr on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
Women's Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown
We have 50 copies of DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases in paperback on April 7th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 9th at noon ET.

DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown (Psychological Thriller)
Don’t try to find me. Though the message on the kitchen white board is written in Marley’s hand, her mother Rachel knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.

As the days pass and it sinks in that the impossible has occurred, Rachel and her husband Paul are informed that the police have “limited resources.” If they want their 14-year-old daughter back, they will have to find her themselves. Desperation becomes determination when Paul turns to Facebook and Twitter, and launches

But Marley isn’t the only one with secrets.

With public exposure comes scrutiny, and when Rachel blows a television interview, the dirty speculation begins. Now, the blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It’s not what they think; Rachel would never hurt Marley. Not intentionally, anyway. But when it’s discovered that she’s lied, even to the police, the devoted mother becomes a suspect in Marley’s disappearance.

Is Marley out there somewhere, watching it all happen, or is the truth something far worse?

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Holly Brown’s bio.
-Click here to visit Holly Brown’s blog.
-Click here to connect with Holly Brown on Facebook.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Now in Stores: A BLINK OF THE SCREEN by Terry Pratchett
A BLINK OF THE SCREEN: Collected Shorter Fiction by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy/Short Stories)
In the four decades since his first book appeared in print, the late Terry Pratchett has become one of the world's bestselling and best-loved authors. Here for the first time are his short stories and other short-form fiction collected into one volume. A BLINK OF THE SCREEN charts the course of Pratchett's long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job, and the origins of his debut novel, THE CARPET PEOPLE; and on again to the dizzy mastery of the Discworld series. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read our tribute to Terry Pratchett.
Click here to read a review.’s Latest Bookshelf: 20 Fantasy Books for the Literary-Minded Reader
Our new fantasy bookshelf highlights 20 titles respected in literary and genre circles alike. Some of these authors, like Susanna Clarke and Octavia Butler, blur the line between fantasy and historical or literary fiction. Others, like Neil Gaiman and Richard Adams, erase the line completely. And genre titans from J.R.R. Tolkien to Terry Pratchett to Mary Stewart define the popular conception of the genre itself --- a pinch of Arthurian knights, a dash of Orc armies, and a whole lot of mystical happenings.
Click here to see our “20 Fantasy Books for the Literary-Minded Reader” bookshelf. Talks to Marie Bostwick, Author of THE SECOND SISTER
Any Marie Bostwick book is like reading a 300-page Hallmark card. You’ll be inspired, laugh and, perhaps, shed a tear --- and tuck it away to read again or share with a friend. In THE SECOND SISTER, Bostwick’s protagonist, Lucy Toomey, manages the 2016 presidential campaign to success. She can do anything…except mend the relationship with her estranged, disabled sister. But can Lucy go home again and start over? In this interview, Bostwick talks with’s Dean Murphy about the craft of writing, quilting, her life as an author, and the power of the written word. Write on!

THE SECOND SISTER by Marie Bostwick (Fiction)
Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey's boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson's Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown. An accident in her teens left Alice mentally impaired, and she was content to stay in Nilson's Bay. To meet the terms of Alice's eccentric will, Lucy has taken up temporary residence in her sister's cottage --- and begins to see the town, and Alice's life, anew. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
Click here to read our interview.'s Spring Preview Contests and Feature
Spring finally is in the air! We’ve caught the fever --- and it’s being fueled by a list of great upcoming books. Here are some picks that we know people will be talking about over the next few months. We are hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through April 21st. You need to check the site to see the featured book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce each title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, April 6th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to see our Spring Preview feature and sign up for our special newsletter.
More Reviews This Week
SOMEONE IS WATCHING by Joy Fielding (Thriller)
While spying on a deadbeat dad in the middle of the night, Bailey Carpenter, a special investigator for a hotshot Miami law firm, is blindsided --- attacked and nearly killed. With the police making no headway in solving her case, she’s determined to overcome her terror and reclaim the power she lost by unmasking her attacker and taking him down herself. But it’s a harrowing battle that threatens to wreck Bailey’s credibility, compromise an investigation, and maybe even claim her sanity. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

CROW FAIR: Stories by Thomas McGuane (Fiction/Short Stories)
The ties of family make for uncomfortable binds in Thomas McGuane’s first short story collection in nine years. A devoted son is horrified to discover his mother’s antics before she slipped into dementia. A father’s outdoor skills are no match for an ominous change in the weather. But complications arise equally in the absence of blood, as when lifelong friends on a fishing trip finally confront their deep dislike for each other. Or when a gifted traveling cattle breeder succumbs to the lure of a stranger’s offer of easy money. Reviewed by Stephen Febick.

LINCOLN AND THE JEWS: A History by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell (History)
One hundred and fifty years after Abraham Lincoln’s death, the full story of his extraordinary relationship with Jews is told here for the first time. LINCOLN AND THE JEWS provides readers both with a captivating narrative of his interactions with Jews, and with the opportunity to immerse themselves in rare manuscripts and images --- many from the Shapell Lincoln Collection --- that show Lincoln in a way he has never been seen before. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THERE IS SIMPLY TOO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT: Collected Nonfiction written by Saul Bellow, edited by Benjamin Taylor (Literary Collection)
The year 2015 marks several literary milestones: the centennial of Saul Bellow’s birth, the 10th anniversary of his death, and the publication of Zachary Leader’s much anticipated biography. Bellow, a Nobel Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner and the only novelist to receive three National Book Awards, has long been regarded as one of America’s most cherished authors. Here, Benjamin Taylor, editor of the acclaimed SAUL BELLOW: LETTERS, presents lesser-known aspects of the iconic writer. Reviewed by Frederick Lloyd.

THE UNRAVELING OF MERCY LOUIS by Keija Parssinen (Psychological Suspense)
Mercy Louis, the star of the championship girls’ basketball team, seems destined for greatness, but the road out of town is riddled with obstacles. At the periphery of her world floats team manager Illa Stark, who is spellbound by Mercy’s beauty and talent. But a note discovered in Mercy’s gym locker reveals that her life may not be as perfect as it appears. The last day of school brings the disturbing discovery, and as summer unfolds and the police investigate, every girl becomes a suspect. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here for the reading group guide.

THE STRANGER SHE LOVED: A Mormon Doctor, His Beautiful Wife, and an Almost Perfect Murder by Shanna Hogan (True Crime)
In 2007, Dr. Martin MacNeill --- a doctor, lawyer and Mormon bishop --- discovered his wife of 30 years dead in the bathtub of their Pleasant Grove, Utah home. At first the death of 50-year-old Michele MacNeill appeared natural. But days after the funeral when Dr. MacNeill moved his much younger mistress into the family home, his children grew suspicious. New York Times bestselling author Shanna Hogan delves into the high-profile case, unmasking the monster beneath the doctor’s carefully concocted façade. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by Elizabeth Haynes (Mystery/Thriller)
Ten years ago, 15-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished while on a family holiday in Greece. Lou Smith worked the case as a police constable, and failing to find Scarlett has been one of the biggest regrets of her career. No one is more shocked than Lou to learn that Scarlett has unexpectedly been found during a Special Branch raid of a brothel in Briarstone. What happened to her? How did she end up back here? And why is her family (with the exception of her emotionally fragile younger sister) less than enthusiastic about her return? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SIGNATURE KILL by David Levien (Thriller)
A young woman's body is found on a side street in Indianapolis, horrifyingly arranged. Meanwhile, Frank Behr takes on a no-win case to locate a single mother's wayward daughter who's been missing for months. Suddenly Behr feels the two cases may be connected, but he is years removed from his life as a legitimate police officer and has few friends left on the force. His pursuit of a potential serial killer ultimately will lead him to a devastating decision from which he will not be able to turn back. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

OLD VENUS edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Science Fiction/Short Stories)
This new anthology of 16 original stories by some of science fiction’s best writers --- edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois --- turns back the clock to a more innocent time, before the hard-won knowledge of science vanquished the infinite possibilities of the imagination. Travel back in time to a planet that never was but should have been: a young, rain-drenched world of fabulous monsters and seductive mysteries. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER: The True Story of the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Thom Hatch (History)
George Armstrong Custer’s death and the defeat of the 7th Calvary by the Sioux was a shock to a nation that had come to believe that its westward expansion was a matter of destiny. While the first reports defended Custer, many have come to judge him by this single event. By reexamining the facts and putting Custer within the context of his time and his career as a soldier, Thom Hatch’s latest work reveals the untold and controversial truth of what really happened in the valley of the Little Bighorn. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

DON’T FORGET ME, BRO by John Michael Cummings (Fiction)
Stunned by the death of his mentally ill brother, Mark Barr returns to his hometown in West Virginia for Steve's funeral, only to find out that his estranged family has no such plans. He discovers that his family’s memory (as well as his own) of his brother as a broken, hopeless schizophrenic is belied by mounting evidence that Steve had lived a much fuller and more complicated life. Armed with this new knowledge, Mark tears off on a mission to honor his brother’s memory with justice and compassion. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.
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