Mr. Peanut

By Adam Ross
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307270702, 352pp.)

Publication Date: June 22, 2010

List Price: $25.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2010 Indie Next List
“At first it intrigued me, at times it repulsed me (as I'm sure it was meant to), and in the end it floored me. In his first novel, Ross has conducted this symphony of a story with the skill of a veteran writer. Ross reveals the deepest, darkest, guiltiest thoughts that men will never admit to and holds them up to the light. Women may think it misogynist, but sometimes we learn the most from cautionary tales. Read it to the end; all will be revealed, and redeemed, and you, too, will be in awe.”
-- Paul Hanson, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA


David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After thirteen years of marriage, he still can’t imagine a remotely happy life without her—yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.

The detectives investigating Alice’s suspicious death have plenty of personal experience with conjugal enigmas: Ward Hastroll is happily married until his wife inexplicably becomes voluntarily and militantly bedridden; and Sam Sheppard is especially sensitive to the intricacies of marital guilt and innocence, having decades before been convicted and then exonerated of the brutal murder of his wife.

Still, these men are in the business of figuring things out, even as Pepin’s role in Alice’s death grows ever more confounding when they link him to a highly unusual hit man called Mobius. Like the Escher drawings that inspire the computer games David designs for a living, these complex, interlocking dramas are structurally and emotionally intense, subtle, and intriguing; they brilliantly explore the warring impulses of affection and hatred, and pose a host of arresting questions. Is it possible to know anyone fully, completely? Are murder and marriage two sides of the same coin, each endlessly recycling into the other? And what, in the end, is the truth about love?

Mesmerizing, exhilarating, and profoundly moving, Mr. Peanut is a police procedural of the soul, a poignant investigation of the relentlessly mysterious human heart—and a first novel of the highest order.

About the Author

Adam Ross lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and their two daughters.

Friday, Jun 18, 2010

Years ago, writer Adam Ross' father told him a disturbing story involving a morbidly obese second cousin and a deadly peanut. Now, Ross has transformed that tale into a dark, debut novel, Mr. Peanut, which dramatizes the case of a man who may or may not have killed his wife via legume. More at

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