Debuts

Thriller Thursday (5/18/17 Edition)

Terrific true crime, a debut about frenemies, and the next entry in a Southern cozy series are today’s #ThrillerThursday picks:

THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
A June 2017 Indie Next pick and one of Buzzfeed’s “31 Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Spring” with three starred reviews! “In this haunting hybrid of memoir and true crime account, Marzano-Lesnevich describes how a law school internship set her on a collision course with Ricky Langley, a pedophile and murderer, forcing her to contend with past trauma and preexisting prejudice. Her writing is remarkably evocative and taut with suspense, with a level of nuance that sets this effort apart from other true crime accounts.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND by Michele Campbell
A suspenseful debut novel about the troubled friendship among three women and the aftermath when one of them is found dead. “Demonstrating diabolical plotting chops and an ability to convincingly conjure settings, Campbell crafts a twisty page-turner…” — Publishers Weekly readmoreremove

2017 Locus Award Finalists

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced the top ten finalists in each category of the 2017 Locus Awards and Macmillan has a strong showing!

Best Science Fiction Novel
COMPANY TOWN by Madeline Ashby
DEATH’S END by Cixin Liu
LAST YEAR by Robert Charles Wilson

Best Fantasy Novel
ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders
NECESSITY by Jo Walton

Best Horror
THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL by R.S. Belcher
CERTAIN DARK THINGS by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
THE FAMILY PLOT by Cherie Priest

Best First Novel
WAYPOINT KANGAROO by Curtis Chen
THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi
ARABELLA OF MARS by David D. Levine
INFOMOCRACY by Malka Older
EVERFAIR by Nisi Shawl

Best Novella
THE LOST CHILD OF LYCHFORD by Paul Cornell
THE DREAM-QUEST OF VELLITT BOE by Kij Johnson
HAMMERS ON BONE by Cassandra Khaw
THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor LaValle
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
A TASTE OF HONEY by Kai Ashante Wilson

Best Anthology
THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois
INVISIBLE PLANETS, edited by Ken Liu

Best Non-Fiction
THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION by Kameron Hurley readmoreremove

In the Hot Seat: Matt Goldman on GONE TO DUST

Today we turn the spotlight on Matt Goldman, whose debut novel, GONE TO DUST, features an unusual crime—a murdered woman is found covered in dust from hundreds of vacuum cleaner bags, rendering DNA evidence useless.

Library Journal‘s Books for Dudes column called it, “hard-boiled awesomeness” and Booklist said, “Offer this one to aficionados of chilly Scandinavian noir and the new generation of Philip Marlowe fans.”

Macmillan Library: Hi Matt, and thanks for joining us for a Q&A on the blog today! Before we talk about your debut mystery, GONE TO DUST, let’s start with your credentials. You began your career as a stand-up comedian and are now a playwright and Emmy Award-winning television writer for Seinfeld, Ellen, and other shows. You must do so much writing for your day job, why write a novel?

Matt Goldman: I love writing and I’m a first-degree introvert. So much of television writing is done in a roomful of writers. Not the actual script writing (usually), but conceiving characters and stories. Much of the rewriting is also done in a group. Especially in comedy. TV writing and writers have taught me so much about character, story, pace, dialogue, and series construction, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. But for my personality, it’s exhausting trying to track all those words in the air. I love the process of book writing—I find it energizing. And it’s a chance to write my voice without concern for other writers, actors, studios, and networks.

ML: Was it harder or easier for you to write GONE TO DUST vs writing for TV? What are some of the major differences?

MG: Some of the differences I explained above. I guess I don’t look at it as hard vs. easy. They have their tradeoffs by that measurement. It’s a more whole and rewarding experience for me to write books. I’m a serial daydreamer. That serves me better as a novelist than it does in a room where I’m supposed to be paying attention.

ML: Did you have specific inspirations as you wrote GONE TO DUST? It’s lighthearted, but has a very noir feel.

MG: I started reading the mystery/crime genre relatively recently. When I read Raymond Chandler, I saw how my voice could work in telling those kinds of stories. Chandler’s voice and style are different from mine, and his skill far outweighs mine, but he did inspire me to sit down and give it a shot. readmoreremove

May Mystery Stars

It’s a #ThrillerThursday bonus! Check out these forthcoming mysteries with multiple starred reviews:

HE SAID/SHE SAID by Erin Kelly
“This first-rate psychological thriller and deft exploration of the delicate dance of marriage and the secrets people keep works on multiple levels, and the passages about the early days of Laura and Kit’s relationship—filled with the gossamer promise of new love—make what’s in store for them even more harrowing. A stunning conclusion will take more than a few days to fade from memory. Spellbinding.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“This is a sure bet for readers who like their psychological suspense heavy on character and full of twists.” — Booklist, starred review

THE DEVIL’S MUSE by Bill Loehfelm
“A rookie New Orleans cop discovers that regular rules don’t apply during Mardi Gras, when a shooting sets off a cascading series of violent events. Loehfelm doesn’t need showy murders or gory scenes to writes crime stories with grit that stay lodged in your brain and get under your skin in the best possible way.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Coughlin remains the star here—she’s still one of the most compelling figures in crime fiction—but this time, the focus is on cops working together; it’s a procedural in the best sense of the word, and it evokes Ed McBain at the top of his game. ” — Booklist, starred review
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New Sci-Fi/Fantasy!

If your patrons love science fiction & fantasy, hand them these three new books:

DEADMEN WALKING by Sherrilyn Kenyon
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon debuts a sweeping new epic historical fantasy series! “Kenyon’s trilogy launch showcases new and familiar faces from her ‘Dark-Hunters’ universe. A crew of dead spirits get a last chance at redemption, and humanity is none the wiser as good and evil clash. Kenyon fans will enjoy this new foray into historical fantasy.” — Library Journal

THE LAST IOTA by Robert Kroese
When movie mogul Selah Fiore decides she needs to get her hands on a rare coin lost somewhere in the gray zone between L.A. and the Disincorporated Zone, she knows there’s no one better suited for the job than eccentric private investigator Erasmus Keane. “Kroese gifts readers with his gripping second mystery set in 2039 Los Angeles (after 2016’s THE BIG SHEEP), another sophisticated blend of science fiction and crime. The compelling story, memorable leads, and imaginative worldbuilding suggest the series has a long and promising future.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review readmoreremove

Happy #BookBday (5/9/17 Edition)

bookbday-5.9.17Happy #BookBday to these bestselling authors and debut novelists:

HOW TO BE HUMAN by Paula Cocozza
Two starred reviews! “A debut novel from Guardian feature writer Cocozza, this disquieting story details the obsessive romance between a woman and a fox. A singular love story of dominance and betrayal, this novel sets the tone for what will hopefully be a long and strange literary career.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

SOME RISE BY SIN by Philip Caputo
New York Times bestselling author Caputo tells the story of a Franciscan priest struggling to walk a moral path through the shifting and fatal realities of an isolated Mexican village. “An old-fashioned novel in the best way, a work of genuine heft, SOME RISE BY SIN explores the search for meaning in a place where the stakes are highest and does so with unwavering focus. At 75, Caputo remains a master of his craft.” — Booklist, starred review

THE BOOK OF SUMMER by Michelle Gable
New York Times bestselling author Gable’s latest novel unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House—a Nantucket compound that will collapse into the sea due to erosion— as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home’s definitive guestbook, and Ruby’s grown daughter, Bess Codman. “A sure bet for women’s-fiction fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Nantucket novels.” — Booklist

A DOG’S WAY HOME by W. Bruce Cameron
The New York Times best-selling author of A DOG’S PURPOSE (now a movie) returns with adorable pit bull puppy Bella, who treks 400 miles back to Lucas Ray after having to be fostered out. “Ever popular with dog lovers, Cameron presents another winning tale of an extraordinary human-canine companionship full of tug-at-the-heartstrings adventure.” — Booklist readmoreremove

Sneak Peek: June 2017 Indie Next List

indie nextThe June 2017 Indie Next list includes four Macmillan titles!

COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts
When Mustang-tough Bodine Longbow’s long-missing aunt returns to the family ranch in Montana 25 years later with a story of abduction and abuse, Bodine realizes that something really bad is lurking in the mountains. “Roberts always tells a good story that balances romance and suspense, but in this title, the narrative is deeper, the mystery is more layered, and with Alice, Roberts moves into another level of exploring physical and emotional trauma and the powerful balm of family and love.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

SO MUCH BLUE by Percival Everett
“An artist ponders a painting he wants to keep private along with the back stories that inspired it, the secrets that continue to haunt him. Everett continues to wrestle with issues such as artistic identity and inspiration, the relation between artists and their art, the notions of what a narrator reveals and conceals, but rarely have the results been as engrossing as this.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES by Daniel Wallace
From the New York Times bestselling author of BIG FISH comes a novel about an ordinary man who wins a free weekend at a beachfront condo in Destin, Florida, and has seventy-nine days to find someone to take with him (ideally, his true love). “Witty, winsome, and wise, Wallace’s tale of pluck and luck is a sweet, satisfying diversion.” — Booklist readmoreremove

Booklist Mystery Month 2017!

May is Mystery Month at Booklist! Check out our recent mystery award winners (plus Talia’s “Spring the Trap: Mysteries That Won’t Let Go” webinar titles) and see which Macmillan titles made Booklist‘s “Best of” reading lists for 2017.
The Year’s Best Crime Novels: 2017 (full list) — Top 10 Crime Novels & Best Crime Fiction Debuts

LET THE DEVIL OUT by Bill Loehfelm
New Orleans rookie cop and loose cannon Maureen Coughlin is tasked with helping the FBI track a white supremacist group. Will Maureen go rogue again, or will she channel what she calls her “killing feeling” into doing good police work? Not only has Loehfelm created the most compelling, complex patrol cop in the genre; he has also reenergized New Orleans as a setting for the best in crime fiction, edgy, dangerous, but pulsing with life.

THE DRY by Jane Harper
Harper’s small-town, big-secrets page-turner tells the story of Aaron Falk, who returns to his Australian hometown to attend the funeral of a friend believed to have shot his wife and son and then killed himself. Falk begins to question the details of the crime and, together with the town’s police sergeant, undertakes an investigation that unearths secrets new and old, some involving Falk’s father. A stunning debut reminiscent of Peter Corliss’ Cliff Hardy series.

Find out what inspired Jane Harper to write THE DRY in Booklist Reader’s “Clues to My Crime” column!

THREE YEARS WITH THE RAT by Jay Hosking
Neuroscientist Hosking turns in a startlingly fine performance with his first novel, about a man so determined to find his missing sister that he risks his own reality to solve the mystery of her disappearance. It’s quickly apparent that this is one of those mind-bending thrillers in which time and space are fluid concepts, but Hosking draws us in completely to his labyrinthine narrative.

For titles reviewed from May 1, 2016 through April 15, 2017.

Top 10 Crime Fiction Audiobooks: 2017 (full list)

BEHIND HER EYES by Sarah Pinborough, read by Bea Holland and others
A fine cast of narrators voices this complex, riveting story of a love triangle based on obsession and deceit.

A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny, read by Robert Bathurst
Using realistic voices and impeccable nuances, Bathurst portrays a cast of quirky characters in this atmospheric, multilayered mystery.

For titles reviewed from April 1, 2016 through April 15, 2017.

Plus, Benjamin Black’s EVEN THE DEAD, read by John Keating, is listed as a great listen-alike for Celtic Noir!

Trend Alert: Suburban Suspense (full list)

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B. A. Paris
The marriage of Grace Harrington and Jack Angel seemed perfect, except for what went on behind closed doors. On their honeymoon, Grace’s new husband, Jack, reveals his psychopathic nature, using Grace’s deep love for her special-needs sister, Millie, as leverage in concocting a depraved scheme that will ruin both women.

COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts
Alice Bodine turns up at her family’s Montana ranch and luxury resort battered, bruised, and with no memory of her old life, 25 years after running away. Her niece puts Alice’s return together with the recent murders of two women and suspects that someone very twisted may be living nearby.

TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Liane Moriarty
Moriarty handles neighborhood secrets, indiscretions, and twists like no one else. A spontaneous barbecue upends the lives of three couples in suburban Sydney. From the start, readers know that something terrible has happened—Erika can’t quite remember the details, Clementine doesn’t want to remember them, and their husbands are struggling with the aftermath. But it’s not until midway through the story that Moriarty shows her hand.

A Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to the Pacific Rim (full list)
AUSTRALIA

THE BROKEN SHORE by Peter Temple
This first in a series stars Melbourne homicide detective Joe Cashin, who has been temporarily reassigned to his hometown in rural Australia while he recovers from injuries only slowly explained. But despite its remote landscape, the little town of Port Munro generates some big-city crime. Evoking a view of the continent that is more Ian Rankin than Crocodile Dundee, Temple tells a troubling tale of race and class conflict—with an even darker crime at the heart of it. This deeply intelligent thriller starts slowly, builds inexorably, and ends unforgettably.

CRUCIFIXION CREEK by Barry Maitland
Sydney homicide detective Harry Belltree is as hard-boiled as they come, a kind of Australian Dirty Harry with a little of Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder, who once said to a killer he was about to dispatch, “I just don’t want you to be alive anymore.” This installment in Maitland’s unsparingly dark series provides backstory, explaining how Harry got to be Harry and how he developed his investigative style: shake the tree, see who falls out, and kill them. So old school you can smell the cordite. readmoreremove

2016 Agatha & Lefty Award Winners

Happy #ThrillerThursday, friends! First, congrats to our MWA Grand Masters Ellen Hart (FEVER IN THE DARK/The Jane Lawless Mysteries, Minotaur Books) and Max Allan Collins (BETTER DEAD, Forge Books), who were officially announced as part of the 2017 Edgar Award winners!

Congratulations to our 2016 Agatha Award winners

Best Contemporary Novel: A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Best Historical Novel: THE REEK OF RED HERRINGS by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)

Congratulations to our 2017 Lefty Awards winners

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel: A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial): THE REEK OF RED HERRINGS by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)

Now on to our new mysteries & thrillers hitting shelves this week:

PROVING GROUND by Peter Blauner
Two starred reviews! Edgar Award-winner Peter Blauner introduces New York police detective Lourdes Robles tracking the case of a murdered criminal defense attorney and his Iraq war veteran son in this “top-notch crime novel” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—his first in more than a decade. “Blauner has crafted two strong and complex leads in Natty and Lourdes and given readers an intricate plot that never feels forced.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

YOUR KILLIN’ HEART by Peggy O’Neal Peden
Winner of the Malice Domestic Competition for Best First Traditional Mystery Novel, a delightful Nashville cozy featuring a plucky sleuth and the beyond-the-grave machinations of a country star. “Peden’s debut vividly captures the Nashville music scene and the city’s Southern atmosphere. Campbell is an charming amateur sleuth, loyal to a fault. Fans of Tonya Kappes’s books and readers who enjoy humorous whodunits with a strong sense of place will find this one delightful.” — Library Journal, starred review

THE FALLEN by Eric Van Lustbader
The sequel to the internationally bestselling THE TESTAMENT! “A decade later, Lustbader reopens his study of good and evil, secret cults, and God and Lucifer’s elemental struggle for world dominion. Intelligent, well-researched, and unsettling,….” — Kirkus Reviews

THE GRAVES by Pamela Wechsler
In Pamela Wechsler’s latest novel featuring upper crust Boston DA Abby Endicott, Abby becomes personally embroiled in a serial killer case whose victims are all young women. “Catnip for readers attached to Boston, believably strong women, legal intrigue, or any combination of the above.” — Kirkus Reviews readmoreremove

New Nonfiction – May 2017

Essays, books about books, and a librarian’s memoir are just some of the new nonfiction books available this week:

THE END OF EDDY by Édouard Louis
Two starred reviews! The most talked-about European novel since MY STRUGGLE—a sexually frank, brutally honest coming-of-age story that captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town. “Translated into 20 languages and a huge hit in France, author Louis’ unsparingly autobiographical novel is the story of a gay boy’s attempts to come to terms with himself. …a seamless, universal portrait of the experience of growing up gay and gradually coming to accept oneself.” — Booklist, starred review

MY LIFE WITH BOB: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul
Two starred reviews! The editor of The New York Times Book Review reveals her personal reading journal named BOB (a.k.a. her “Book of Books”) and the books that have shaped her life. “Titles about reading and books abound, but this memoir stands in a class by itself. Bibliophiles will treasure, but the addictive storytelling and high-quality writing will vastly increase its audience. Highly recommended.” — Library Journal, starred review

ONE DAY WE’LL ALL BE DEAD AND NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER by Scaachi Koul
One of Buzzfeed’s “Most Exciting Books Coming In 2017!” For readers of Mindy Kaling, Luvvie Ajayi, and Rupi Kaur comes a debut collection of fierce and funny essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants, addressing sexism, cultural stereotypes and the universal miseries of life by rising star Scaachi Koul. “Simultaneously uproarious and affecting….” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE by Darren Manley
A librarian’s heartfelt memoir about growing up with much older parents and coming to appreciate the bonds that cross generations. readmoreremove

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