A Little Death In Dixie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Blues were born out of need, anger and pride. Murder comes from those same dark places. Memphis has both. One of Memphis' most seductive and notorious socialites has vanished. Either she's off on another drunken escapade or the disappearance is something much more frightening. What begins as an ordinary day's work for Detective Billy Able quickly grows into a complex spider's web of tragedy, mystery, suspicion, and sordid secrets including a few of Billy's own. With the help of Mercy Snow, the estranged sister of the missing socialite, Billy follows a twisted trail of human frailty and corruption to disturbing truths that undermine everything he thought he knew about himself and the people he loves. "Memphis, the Mississippi River, and the underbelly of human nature they're all exposed in the dark brew of this fast-paced Southern Gothic suspense. Page-turning and atmospheric, this tightly-plotted novel turns the screws and sends readers racing to its surprise conclusion." ~Michael Finger, Senior Editor, Memphis Magazine.

Falling Out Of Fashion

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Magazine junkies who remember the original Jane will devour this cheeky roman à clef by Jane Pratt's former assistant of nine years. Unlike Anna Wintour's alter ego in The Devil Wears Prada, Yampolsky's alter ex-boss is an off-the-rack heroine. Raised on a commune by inattentive hippie parents, Georgia girl Jill White was an outcast at her New England prep school before a predictably eye-opening stint at Bennington. After Jill descends on New York, a succession of magazine gigs leads her to editing Cheeky (i.e., '90s grrrl glossy Sassy) and, eventually, Jill. At that eponymous publication, idealistic Jill goes up against bottom-line obsessed Nestrom Media (a thinly veiled Condé Nast). Fictionalizations of Pratt's personal and professional moments as editor-in-chief add frisson: Sassy's skewering profile of actress Tiffani-Amber Thiessen becomes Cheeky's roasting of "Kelli Hyer-Burke"; there are plenty of other cameos. In the end, Jill comes off as a sometimes selfish but mostly likable woman who gets beat by corporate magazine land. Survivors of the era, however, may question Jill's claim that she "coined the term grunge." (May)

Sullivan's Justice (Carolyn Sullivan)

First introduced in Sullivan's Law, Ventura County probation officer Carolyn Sullivan is put to the test again as the body count—and list of suspects—quickly rises in Rosenberg's latest confidently plotted thriller. This 3o-something single mom with a narrow waist and wide-ranging intelligence has a special gift for getting perps to talk, and two days before Christmas, she faces an especially frightening inmate, Raphael Moreno, who decapitated his own mother, killed his sister and decimated a family of five. Though he's not talking, she thinks he had an accomplice. Before she has a chance to fully crack Moreno, however, the plot thickens: late that night, her younger brother, Neil, a meth addict but also a successful artist, calls for help, having just discovered his girlfriend Laurel's body floating in his swimming pool. Though Neil will be considered a suspect, his alibi, a rich, conniving, sexually avid ex-girlfriend who lured him into bed that night, refuses to clear his name. Soon, another woman is murdered just a few blocks from Neil's house, raising the prospect of serial killing, and a full-scale investigation begins to link the homicides to Moreno's case. Thriller enthusiasts will relish the intricate plot, accelerating action and novel climax of this gripping ride. 

The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Determined to sever his ties with the Office, Gabriel Allon has retreated to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall with his beautiful Venetian-born wife Chiara. But once again his seclusion is interrupted by a visitor from his tangled past: the endearingly eccentric London art dealer, Julian Isherwood. As usual, Isherwood has a problem. And it is one only Gabriel can solve.

In the ancient English city of Glastonbury, an art restorer has been brutally murdered and a long-lost portrait by Rembrandt mysteriously stolen. Despite his reluctance, Gabriel is persuaded to use his unique skills to search for the painting and those responsible for the crime. But as he painstakingly follows a trail of clues leading from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires and, finally, to a villa on the graceful shores of Lake Geneva, Gabriel discovers there are deadly secrets connected to the painting. And evil men behind them.

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