Spot-Lit for January 2013

Whether you want to get the new year going with a new author (the first-time novelists listed here are getting rave reviews) or a returning favorite, there’s a lot to choose from this month.

Among popular authors with new releases are: Erica Bauermeister, Tracy Chevalier, Mary Jane Clark, John Connolly, Bernard Cornwell, Robert Crais, Mary Daheim, James Grippando, Kim Harrison, Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz, Ian Rankin, Marcia Muller &Bill Pronzini, Robert Jordan &Brandon Sanderson.

And if you happen to be a Downton Abbey fan, you’ll want to check out Habits of the House, a new book by Fay Weldon (author of the pilot for Downton-predecessor Upstairs, Downstairs), and the debut novel, Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide. You might also take a look at The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen.

General Fiction / Literary Fiction 

Tenth of December  by George Saunders

Saunders, known for his sharp, oddball satire, adds deep emotion and compassion to the mix in this knockout collection of 10 new stories.

Ways of Going Home  by Alejandro Zambra

A story within a story set in Pinochet’s Chile that reflects on life under dictatorship and explores the nature of writing.

First Novels

Truth in Advertising  by John Kenney

This highly anticipated debut from a New Yorker humorist, features a burnt-out 39-year-old ad-man whose long-estranged father has just gone into the hospital – witty, spot-on accounts of work and coworkers, lovers and friends, and a family in crisis.

The Intercept  by Dick Wolf

Ground Zero’s new Freedom Tower is threatened – and more – in this high-energy, twisty, terrorism and espionage thriller from the man responsible for TV’s popular Law and Order series.

The Death of Bees  by Lisa O’Donnell

Upon their negligent parents’ deaths, Marnie and Nelly bury them in the backyard and try to avoid detection for a year – when Marnie will be old enough to become the guardian of her sister.  A compelling coming-of-age novel that is bleak, moving, and at times funny.

Cover of Snow  by Jenny Milchman

Nora Hamilton’s seemingly happy husband has hung himself. As she struggles through her grief and begins to dig into the circumstances of his death, she discovers shocking secrets about both her spouse and the town in this taut thriller.

Motherlunge  by Kirstin Scott

The theme of motherhood winds through this realistic story of two sisters as they tussle with the decision of whether or not to have children while also dealing with their own mentally fragile mother. Likable characters and solid storytelling.

Six-Gun Tarot  by R.S. Belcher

An ancient evil comes to inhabit a played out silver mine in Golgotha, Nevada where a host of characters, who are not quite what they appear to be, attempt to reckon with it in this wild-west steampunk debut.

Crime Fiction /Suspense

Gun Machine  by Warren Ellis

A lunatic with a shotgun kills detective John Tallow’s partner, and a cache of weapons is discovered with connections to killings that span decades in this noirish twist on forensic detective work.

The Third Bullet  by Stephen Hunter

Sniper Bob Lee Swagger is back, and this time he’s tracking down evidence that may indicate the presence of another gunman in the JFK assassination.

Retribution  by Adrian Magson

Ex-MI5 agent Harry Tate’s past comes back to haunt him when an assassin begins tracking down all the members who were part of the U.N. close-protection unit during the Kosovo war – one of whom is alleged to be involved in the rape and murder of a young girl.

Science Fiction

Great North Road  by Peter F. Hamilton

A clone in the extended North family is murdered in 2143, leaving precious little evidence for Sidney Hurst to go on, though what he turns up could connect the murder with a two-decade-old slaughter. Epic, big idea, thrilling science fiction.

Romance

The Tutor’s Daughter  by Julie Klassen

Emma Smallwood goes with her father to tutor a baron’s four sons, but mysterious events occur that both threaten and tempt in this suspenseful, gothic, Regency romance.

Be sure to visit A Reading Life for more reviews and news of all things happening at the Everett Public Library

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