Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (Mailbox Monday)

Review galley from Graydon House

 

Audible deals also on my wish list

 

Kindle book deals

Last week on Bookfan:

Review:  The Lady in the Silver Cloud

Reading plan for this week:

I haven’t settled on a book for this week. Have you ever had a time when nothing calls out to you? 


 

The Lady in the Silver Cloud

The Lady in the Silver Cloud by David Handler

Expected publication date:  February 1, 2022 – Penzler Publishers/Mysterious Press

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Description:

Ghostwriting sleuth Stewart Hoag investigates the murder of his wealthy neighbor—and discovers her dark, mobbed-up past

A 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is a fantastically expensive car, especially in the pristine condition of the one owned by Muriel Cantrell. Living in a luxury apartment building on Central Park West, the delicate, sweet 75-year-old woman is a neighbor of Merilee Nash, the beautiful movie star, and Stewart Hoag, whose first book was a sensation but whose career crashed when he became involved with drugs and alcohol. Divorced ten years earlier, Hoagy has been welcomed back into Merilee’s life and apartment.

Apparently universally beloved in her building, residents are shocked when Muriel is murdered after a Halloween party. No one takes it harder than her long-time chauffeur, Bullets Durmond, whose previous job was as an enforcer for the mob. Who in the world would want to harm the silver-haired lady whose major vices were buying shoes and Chanel suits (always in cash), and watching day-time soap operas?

Lieutenant Romaine Very of the NYPD is called to investigate and again seeks help from his friend Hoagy who, along with his basset hound Lulu, has been an invaluable aide in the past. The investigation leads to the unexpected source of Muriel’s wealth, the history of her early years as a hatcheck girl at the Copacabana, how her chauffeur came to be called Bullets, her desperate meth-head nephew, and her wealthy neighbors, who have secrets of their own. (publisher)

My take:

It’s the 1990s so no cell phones, PCs, etc that make solving modern day crimes much easier in many ways. But the criminal still needs to be found and that is usually the result of capable detecting – in this case, one of NYPD’s best and his friend and author Stewart Hoag. Also on the team is Hoag’s basset hound Lulu.
Stewart has (hopefully) reconciled with his ex-wife and is living in her upscale Central Park West co-op. When a neighbor is found dead in a service stairwell it’s only natural that Hoag, Lieutenant Very, and Lulu are on the case. Colorful characters and suspects abound and the team will have to narrow things down quickly if they hope to catch the killer.
I enjoyed the time spent with the apparently recurring characters in this ongoing series. I think The Lady in the Silver Cloud is #12 or #13 but I’m happy to say it can stand alone. I like David Handler’s style that had me often laughing. I felt a “Only Murders in the Building” vibe and would definitely pick up the next in the series if it continues.


About the author:

David Handler is the Edgar Award-winning, critically acclaimed author of several bestselling mystery series. He began his career as a New York City reporter, and wrote his first two novels-Kiddo (1987) and Boss (1988)-about his Los Angeles childhood. In 1988 he published The Man Who Died Laughing, the first of his long-running series of mysteries starring ghostwriter Stewart Hoag and his faithful basset hound Lulu.


 

The Rising Tide by Sam Lloyd

The Rising Tide by Sam Lloyd

Expected publication:  March 1, 2022 – Penzler Publishers/Scarlet

Review galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

In a small fishing village on the Devon coast, Lucy Locke has built a life that anyone would envy. She and her husband, Daniel, own successful businesses and live with their two children in a picturesque home overlooking the harbor. But everything changes one morning when, following a monumental storm, the family yacht is found empty — and Lucy’s husband is nowhere in sight.

As the search for Daniel mounts, so does Lucy’s sense of dread, raised to a fever pitch when another, more terrifying revelation pushes her storybook life to the brink of total destruction. Lucy is reluctantly forced to face a harsh truth: the sea gives life, and just as quickly takes it away. And when the detective on the case uncovers suspicious details that Lucy had hoped would stay buried, she’ll have to confront the nightmarish possibility that she created her own undoing.

Beautifully rendered with evocative, atmospheric prose, The Rising Tide is at once a pulse-pounding, inescapably suspenseful thriller and a poignant tale of the power of the natural world. Its characters and settings are sure to stay with readers long after the final page—and after their heart rates finally return to normal. (publisher)

My take:

After a slow burn beginning this thriller gathered steam and led to a gripping, edge-of-my-seat read.

The seaside/fishing village setting drew me in and then little by little seeing a bit of the underside of the characters kept me turning the pages. By the end I was reading through my finger-covered eyes and wondering how the heck the author would work things out.

I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll be looking for the author’s previous book.


About the author:

Sam Lloyd grew up in Hampshire, where he learned his love of storytelling. These days he lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and a dog that likes to howl. His debut thriller, The Memory Wood, was published to huge critical acclaim in 2020. The Rising Tide is his second novel.


 

Release Day Spotlight: Observations by Gaslight

Published:  Dec. 7, 2021 – Mysterious Press

Description:

A new collection of Sherlockian tales that shows the Great Detective and his partner, Watson, as their acquaintances saw them

Lyndsay Faye—international bestseller, translated into fifteen languages, and a two-time Edgar Award nominee—first appeared on the literary scene with Dust and Shadow, her now-classic novel pitting Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper, and later produced The Whole Art of Detection, her widely acclaimed collection of traditional Watsonian tales. Now Faye is back with Observations by Gaslight, a thrilling volume of both new and previously published short stories and novellas narrated by those who knew the Great Detective.

Beloved adventuress Irene Adler teams up with her former adversary in a near-deadly inquiry into a room full of eerily stopped grandfather clocks. Learn of the case that cemented the lasting friendship between Holmes and Inspector Lestrade, and of the tragic crime which haunted the Yarder into joining the police force. And witness Stanley Hopkins’ first meeting with the remote logician he idolizes, who will one day become his devoted mentor.

From familiar faces like landlady Mrs. Hudson to minor characters like Lomax the sub-librarian, Observations by Gaslight—entirely epistolary, told through diaries, telegrams, and even grocery lists—paints a masterful portrait of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as you have never seen them before. (publisher)

About the Author: 

Lyndsay Faye is the author of six critically acclaimed books: The Paragon Hotel; Jane Steele, which was nominated for an Edgar for Best Novel; Dust and Shadow, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche; The Gods of Gotham, also Edgar-nominated; Seven for a Secret; and The Fatal Flame. She has also published numerous short stories featuring the Holmes character, several of which were collected in 2017’s The Whole Art of Detection.

Advance Praise

“One of the best examples of [Sherlock Holmes pastiche] that this die-hard Sherlockian has encountered . . . Faye perfectly captures the tone and spirit of the Conan Doyle originals.” – Seattle Times (on The Whole Art of Detection)


 

A Fire in the Night

A Fire in the Night by Christopher Swann

Published:  September 2021 – Crooked Lane Books

Finished copy courtesy of the publisher

Description:

Nick Anthony has retreated to the North Carolina mountains to mourn the untimely death of his wife. Once a popular professor, Nick just wants to be left alone with his grief. But when his estranged brother and sister-in-law die in a house fire, a stunned Nick learns he has a niece, Annalise, who is missing. 

At the scene of the crime, the men who set the fire have realized Annalise, and the information they are looking for, got away. Feverish and exhausted, she stumbles onto her uncle’s porch, throwing Nick into the middle of the mystery of her parents’ death and the dangerous criminals hunting her down. 

Hired to retrieve the stolen information at any price, private military contractor Cole and his team track Annalise to Nick’s cabin. But Nick has a hidden past of his own—and more than a few deadly tricks up his sleeve. (publisher)

My take:

Nick Anthony is still reeling from the loss of his wife to cancer. When a young teen knocks on his door he finds out he has a niece – a niece who is on the run from the people who murdered her parents (Nick’s estranged brother and wife). She needs Nick’s help and he’ll find out if he’s up to the challenge. A Fire in the Night is a compelling page-turner that left me breathless. There are mercenaries, spies, characters to cheer for, and a lovely setting that I want to visit one day. When I turned the last page I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Nick and Annalise which is always my sign of a good read. A Fire in the Night is the first of Christopher Swann’s books I’ve read and I look forward to reading more. 


About the author:

Christopher Swann is a novelist and high school English teacher. A graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, he earned his Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University. He has been a Townsend Prize finalist, longlisted for the Southern Book Prize, and twice been a finalist for a Georgia Author of the Year award. He lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, where he is the English department chair at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.


 

Spotlight: Forever Home

Forever Home by Elysia Whisler

Expected publication:  November 30, 2021 – MIRA

Content courtesy of the publisher

Description:

If home is where the heart is, Dogwood County may have just what Delaney Monroe needs

Newly retired from the Marine Corps, Delaney is looking for somewhere to start over. It’s not going to be easy, but when she finds the perfect place to open her dream motorcycle shop, she goes for it. What she doesn’t expect is an abandoned pit bull to come with the building. The shy pup is slow to trust, but Delaney is determined to win it over.

Detective Sean Callahan is smitten from the moment he sees Delaney, but her cool demeanor throws him off his game. When her late father’s vintage motorcycle is stolen from Delaney’s shop, Sean gets to turn up in his element: chasing the bad guy and showing his best self to a woman who’s gotten under his skin in a bad way.

Delaney isn’t used to lasting relationships, but letting love in—both human and canine—helps her see that she may have found a place she belongs, forever.

“Complex, quietly compelling characters… A poignant reminder that ‘home’ is often more than a place.” —Maggie Wells, author of Love Game

Buy Links: 

About the author:

Elysia Whisler was raised in Texas, Italy, Alaska, Mississippi, Nebraska, Hawai’i and Virginia, in true military fashion. If she’s not writing she’s probably working out, coaching, or massaging at her CrossFit gym. She lives in Virginia with her family, including her large brood of cat and dog rescues, who vastly outnumber the humans.

Social Links:

 


 

The Way We Weren’t

Description:

“You trying to kill yourself, or are you just stupid?”
 
Marcie Malone didn’t think she was either, but when she drives from Georgia to the southwestern shore of Florida without a plan and wakes up in a stranger’s home, she doesn’t seem to know anymore. Despondent and heartbroken over an unexpected loss and the man she thought she could count on, Marcie leaves him behind, along with her job and her whole life, and finds she has nowhere to go.
 
Herman Flint has seen just about everything in his seventy years living in a fading, blue-collar Florida town, but the body collapsed on the beach outside his window is something new. The woman is clearly in some kind of trouble and Flint wants no part of it—he’s learned to live on his own just fine, without the hassle of worrying about others. But against his better judgment he takes Marcie in and lets her stay until she’s on her feet on the condition she keeps out of his way.
 
As the unlikely pair slowly copes with the damage life has wrought, Marcie and Flint have to decide whether to face up to the past they’ve each been running from, and find a way to move forward with the people they care about most. (publisher)

My take:

This is only the second of Phoebe Fox’s novels I’ve read but I can say she is on my short list of “auto-read authors” already. I love how she shapes a story around relatable characters and settings. Who can’t relate to the theme that we are defined by our decisions and the possibility to make changes if we can find the courage? My heart went out to Marcie as she dealt with emotional upheaval and went a little crazy. Lucky for her, Herman Flint found her the day everything played out. Lucky for him too. Without giving more away I’ll just recommend the novel to fans of women’s fiction and the author. Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for the digital galley.

Note: I also used an Audible credit and recommend the audiobook – wonderful narrators.