Magpie Murders: A Novel
"Who better than the talented Anthony Horowitz to create this marvelous mystery within a mystery. Yes, we're treated to two mysteries for the price of one: One set in a peaceful village in England during the 1950s with the one and only Detective Atticus Pund taking the case, and the other set in contemporary times with a book editor who becomes an amateur sleuth. Horowitz pays tribute to the golden age of British crime with references to mysteries created by the likes of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. How many hidden gems can you come up with? A perfect book to read in a cushy chair with a cup of tea (hot or iced)."
— Ken Favell (M), Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI
June 2017 Indie Next List
Inspired Recommendations from Indie Booksellers
All parents have had those moments when something happens and you think, 'This is it. The moment my life changes.' This is the story of two families that face the unimaginable: they lose their children in a foreign country. The tale alternates between characters, with each fully realized and fully drawn. Maile Meloy explores what happens to each family: the relationship between the wives, who are cousins and have been close since childhood, and between the children who are missing. The writing is incredible, and the story is such that you can't put it down. A satisfying read that makes you wonder about how you would react in the same situation.
— Kym Havens (E), An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
This memoir of a life spent driving trucks full of strangers' personal belongings across the country is the book I didn't know I needed. Finn Murphy writes engaging slice-of-life stories about his time as a long-haul truck driver while also showing the changes in the trucking industry and American life in the decades he's spent pulling thousands of pounds up mountains, through storms, and across plains. Trucking is a solitary life, but Murphy grabbed me like a friend and took me with him on his journey.
— Jamie Thomas (E), Women & Children First, Chicago, IL
This is the story of the Bodine family, which runs a successful ranch resort. As you learn about Bodine Longbow, who helps to run the family business, and her new relationship, you also learn about Bodine's Aunt Alice, who took off when she was 18 and never came home. The family never learned what happened to Alice, so when she is found alive they have to find out to keep her from disappearing again. Come Sundown is suspenseful, slightly creepy, and also touching. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a mystery with some romance.
— Linda Keifer (W), Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE
Steeped in the glory of Hollywood when marriages were made for reasons other than love and could be slipped on and off like a fine dinner jacket, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of lives full of hunger, self-pity, jealousy, and rage, as well as lost love. This is a story that could have been pulled from the pages of fan magazines of the '50s. It's so entertainingly real that you will be wondering why you can't remember the great star Evelyn Hugo and the movies she made famous. Read for pure pleasure, and you'll be tempted to play the game of, 'Who is this about, really?' What fun!
— Linda Bond (E), Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, WA
Eighteen years after high school junior Jess Winters vanished without a trace from Sycamore, Arizona, human bones are found near where Jess was last seen alive. Everyone in the small community, from family to friends to teachers, was profoundly affected by the unsolved mystery. Told from multiple points of view, this deeply moving story explores the fateful events that led to Jess' disappearance and slowly reveals the mistakes, secrets, and regrets, but also the humanity and the good, that reside in each of the characters. Heart-wrenching and compassionate in the manner of Kent Haruf's stories, this is a flawless first novel.
— Pierre Camy (W), Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI
If you love mystery, Victorian England, and exploring the tension between science and religion, you will love The Essex Serpent. Many contemporary authors manage to evoke for readers that experience of reading Jane Austen or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the first time. The real miracle of Sarah Perry is that she manages to do so with a completely fresh voice. With beautiful sentences and characters and landscapes so well-crafted you feel you've been there, The Essex Serpent captures the imagination and manages to deliver the sense of wisdom only good literature can.
— Tina Ontiveros (W), Klindt's Booksellers, The Dalles, OR
I worshipped Michael Crichton. I cried for two days when he died, in part because there would be no more novels. However, after all these years, Dragon Teeth is a true surprise, and a joyful one indeed! Although he's more associated with futuristic science, Mr. Crichton was a dab hand at the historic thriller, and this novel is deeply grounded in fact. At its heart are two feuding paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Marsh, participants in the late-1800s Bone Wars, a period of frenzied fossil discovery. Add to the mix a fictional Yale student, friendly and unfriendly Native Americans, a heap of varmints and scoundrels, and a lady or two, and you've got a rollicking good story!
— Susan Tunis (E), Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA
The newest release from Percival Everett provides ample proof that he is one of the most underrated writers in American literature. So Much Blue jumps among three different points in protagonist Kevin Pace's life that have shaped his artistry as a painter and his misgivings as a man. These vignettes are sardonic, shocking, and sexy. Like life, Everett's latest doesn't give you an easy tie-it-up-in-a-nice-bow revelation - instead, it leaves you thinking about these characters days after you've closed the book, mulling over their futures as well as yours.
— Dante Bostic, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
Spanning a college wrestler's senior season, Stephen Florida is eerie, unsettling, and unlike anything else. It can be hard to live in Stephen's head, but it is impossible to stop reading or to forget what you find there. Stephen is unpredictable, sympathetic, focused, frenzied, cold, and tender. He is hard to love, yet I love him. We are lucky to have a new novel like this: something you haven't seen before, that makes you remember what good fiction is capable of.
— Tyler Goodson (E), Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA
We are all Edsel Bronfman. Or at least those of us who have spent a substantial portion of our lives as terribly awkward introverts with no social skills and a complete lack of romantic experience or opportunity are. Daniel Wallace's new novel had me cringing with recognition and laughing out loud as his 34-year-old protagonist is launched on an absurd and hilarious journey of self-discovery and transformation initiated by a mysterious phone call from a timeshare saleswoman. Extraordinary Adventures is a quirky, sweet, heartfelt, and offbeat romance that displays the imaginative playfulness Wallace is known for.
— Josh Niesse (E), Underground Books, Carrollton, GA
Sloane is a strong, independent businesswoman working as a trend forecaster. While at an innovative company, Sloane finds that the very technology that is supposed to connect people to one another is actually tearing them apart. The entire story is both hilarious and slightly terrifying as it tells of a future where we outsource intimacy to strangers and lead very isolated lives. Touch is a warning about what can happen if we become too attached to the technology in our lives and a great reminder to put the phone down and connect with others in person.
— Kristen Beverly (E), Half Price Books, Dallas, TX
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich didn't set out to investigate murder of six-year-old Jeremy Guillory in Louisiana; it was the case she happened upon as a young law school intern in 1992. In a fascinating twist, this becomes not only the true story of a heinous crime for which the perpetrator is in prison, but also of the investigation that unlocks the author's memories of her own youth, a childhood in which she and her sisters were repeatedly sexually abused by their maternal grandfather. As Marzano-Lesnevich moves backward and forward in time between the young man who killed Jeremy and her own life, the reader is swept along on a current of dismay and awe: dismay that human beings can do these things to each other, and awe that the author could face such demons and move on. I've never read another book like this.
— Anne Holman (E), The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
Already a huge bestseller internationally, Marc Elsberg's Blackout is poised to be a sensation in the U.S. this June. In Blackout, hackers are able to take down all the electrical grids across Europe, resulting in a total blackout more far-reaching than anything previously thought possible. Once it becomes clear that this event is not a glitch and the depths of the crisis - no lights, no heat, no Internet, no cell service - become evident, chaos ensues. Piero Manzano is an activist and a former hacker whose investigation into the cause of the disaster soon makes him a prime suspect and forces him to run from the authorities. This is a taut, fast-paced thriller about a frighteningly plausible scenario.
— Cody Morrison (M), Square Books, Oxford, MS
Still reeling from witnessing a tragic event many years ago, Lydia is thrown headfirst into yet another tragedy after one of her favorite bookshop patrons commits suicide in the store and mysteriously leaves all his possessions to her. As Lydia follows the thread that he leaves her, she finds out more about him, her town, and even her own past. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a great book that keeps you guessing. Highly recommended for fans of a good mystery.
— Will Bason (E), Book People, Austin, TX
The unnamed narrator of Wang's winning and insightful novel is working on her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, but the chemistry she really needs to learn is the one that makes relationships click. The prodigy daughter of high-achieving Chinese American parents, she's always strived to meet their demanding expectations. Then, suddenly, she just can't. Her lab work falters. She's unable to accept or decline her boyfriend's marriage proposal. But when she has a breakdown and loses in both academia and in love, she finally realizes how angry she is. Coming to terms with her past becomes her next project, and soon she can see her parents in a new light - and they aren't the fierce tiger couple they'd always seemed to be.
— Laurie Greer (E), Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC
Shadow Man is supposed to be the story of a serial killer who was horribly abused as a child and the efforts of the police to track him down and keep him from killing others. However, this book is really about Ben Wade, one of the detectives on the case. While the victims of the serial killer greatly affect Wade, who gives his all to catch him, it is the apparent suicide of a young teenager that really shakes up his world. Much more than just a search for a killer, Shadow Man is about living in the shadows of what happened in the past. Shadow Man could be called a thriller, but it is really much more than that, with characters that are so real you can feel their pain.
— Nancy McFarlane (E), Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
I was a fan of Single, Carefree, Mellow so it was a treat to read Katherine Heiny's latest release. Standard Deviation wryly delves into the complications and contradictions inherent in good, long-term love and parenting a slightly more challenging child. This is a laugh-out-loud, funny read with brains and heart, and a gentler world to spend time in for anyone who just needs a break.
— Sarah Bumstead, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA
This uplifting and affirming book will alter readers' views about books on death. Nina Riggs' memoir shares the story of both her ongoing battle against cancer and her mother's valiant fight against the same disease. Both women face the realities of their situation with wonderful humor and candor. Readers will find themselves laughing out loud and sharing passages with other book lovers. As a cancer survivor myself, I felt that I was reading the 'bright book' of the season. The hope, spirit, and determination exhibited in these pages will provide inspiration to all, whether dealing with this disease or not.
— Nancy Simpson-Brice (M), The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA
The novels of Phaedra Patrick are good for what ails you! Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone is a charming novel about a dull British jeweler who finds new light in his life when his American niece springs a surprise visit on him. Gemma may only be 16 years old, but she is a catalyst for some much-needed change in Benedict's life and for the entire village. Readers would need a heart of stone to miss the joys of this delightful, feel-good novel. Book clubs are going to be taking a 'shine' to Benedict Stone.
— Pamela Klinger-Horn (e), Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN
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