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Anthony Awards
2015 (Best Novel)
After Im gone
Click to search this book in our catalog   Laura Lippman
2015 (Best First)
The black hour
Click to search this book in our catalog   Lori Rader-Day
2015 (Best Paperback)
The Day She Died
Click to search this book in our catalog   Catriona McPherson
 
2015 (Best Anthology)
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes
 Leslie S. Klinger
  Click to search this book in our catalog
2014 (Best Novel)
Ordinary grace : a novel
 by William Kent Krueger
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2014 (Best First)
Yesterdays Echo
 Matt Coyle

Library Journal "The first time I saw her, she made me remember and she made me forget." This delectable opening line sets the tone for Coyle's hard-boiled crime series debut, which introduces Rick Cahill, a former cop whose wife was brutally murdered eight years ago. Rick was accused of the crime but never convicted. Unable to fight the media maelstrom, he retreats to La Jolla, CA, to help run a restaurant with his best (and only) friend. It isn't much of an existence but Rick is slowly regaining control of his life. Fate arrives in the figure of Melody, a gorgeous Filipina who embroils Rick in a lethal entanglement. Before too long, the protagonist finds himself back in the crosshairs of the media and the police, who remember all too well the cop that got away with murder. VERDICT Coyle does a superb job of drawing the reader in and keeps a steady pace of action along with solid character development. This celebration of the crime noir novels of old with a modern sensibility in Rick Cahill as hero will strongly appeal to fans of classic hard-boiled PI novels.-Amy Nolan, St. Joseph, MI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Coyle's promising debut introduces ex-cop Rick Cahill, a tarnished knight who battles internal and external demons. Cahill now ekes out a living in La Jolla, Calif., managing Muldoon's Steak House, but has lots of baggage. His police officer father was kicked off the La Jolla force in disgrace 25 years earlier, and eight years ago Cahill was arrested for his wife's murder. One night at Muldoon's, he rescues a damsel in distress, TV reporter Melody Malana, from a guy who was about to assault her. For her safety, Cahill takes the captivating Melody home to his place, where they make love. When Melody later disappears, a pair of thugs beat Cahill up because they think he knows her whereabouts. Coyle breaks no new ground, but Cahill turns out to be both tough and resourceful when forced to confront his past. Readers can hope his future will be brighter. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2014 (Best Paperback)
As she left it
Click to search this book in our catalog   Catriona McPherson
2014 (Best Non-Fiction)
The hour of peril : the secret plot to murder Lincoln before the Civil War
Click to search this book in our catalog   Daniel Stashower

Book list *Starred Review* Some of President Lincoln's associates and some historians have questioned if the supposed conspiracy to assassinate him upon his arrival in Baltimore was serious. Stashower has no doubt that the plot was real, and he has written a convincing and well-researched chronicle of it and the successful effort to thwart it. His story has the necessary elements of a successful historical thriller, including a determined assassin; a wily, intrepid detective; a serpentine plot; and, in Lincoln, an important and sympathetic potential victim. Stashower seems determined to lay out the painstaking details of the plot; although it provides credibility, it sometimes acts as a drag on the narrative. Still, the stakes are high, so the story has a built-in urgency and excitement. The detective, the soon-to-be-famous Allan Pinkerton, is a relentless and clever sleuth, and the chief conspirator, a Baltimore barber named Ferrandini, is a formidable adversary. Despite some slow moments, the book generally succeeds as both a historical inquiry and a detective story.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly John Wilkes Booth succeeded in 1865, but the first major plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln unfolded in 1861 in anticipation of the then president-elect's railway trip to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration. Stashower (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) explains how Allan Pinkerton, a temperamental Scottish cooper turned "fierce and incorruptible lawman" and founder of the Pinkerton Agency, sought to infiltrate and obfuscate a murderous group led by Cypriano Ferrandini, an outspoken Italian barber in Baltimore. Interwoven with the tale of Pinkerton and company's efforts to foil what would become known as the Baltimore Plot, Stashower offers a rich portrait of a resolute but weary Lincoln as he makes his way, both politically and physically, to the White House. As everyone knows, he arrived without incident, but while he saved his skin, he lost some respect for stealing into the capital "like a thief in the night," as one newspaper put it. The book starts out slow, but once Stashower lets the Pinkerton operatives loose, their race against time as Lincoln's train speeds toward Maryland makes for an enthralling page-turner that is sure to please true crime, thriller, and history fans. Photos. (Feb.). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal The first known attempt to murder Abraham Lincoln occurred in February 1861 during his railway journey from Springfield, IL, to Washington, DC, for his inauguration. Stashower (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) details how Allan Pinkerton, head of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, managed to stop a band of rebels bent on killing the president-elect in Baltimore. Stashower describes a campaign-weary, nonchalant, and somewhat incautious Abraham Lincoln, traveling east toward the presidency. The author records him arriving safely in DC after stealing through Maryland's darkened countryside and Baltimore's precincts as "a thief in the night"-at Pinkerton's behest, but in the process forfeiting a measure of political stature to his detractors, who questioned his courage and fitness for office. The tale builds methodically before shifting into dramatic mode as Pinkerton, in fewer than two weeks, uncovers and quashes the would-be assassins' designs, assisted by agent Kate Warne, the leader of Pinkerton's female undercover unit. VERDICT Stashower's character-driven narrative and lively writing style reveal the finely honed skills of an accomplished mystery writer. Recommended.-John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Cleveland (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2014 (Best Childrens)
The Testing
Click to search this book in our catalog   by Joelle Charbonneau
 
2013 (Best Novel)
The Beautiful Mystery
 Louise Penny
  Click to search this book in our catalog
2013 (Best First)
The expats : a novel
 Chris Pavone

Library Journal Former CIA agent Kate is enjoying the expat life in Luxembourg until she gets suspicious of some acquaintances. "Brilliant, insanely clever, and delectably readable"; a big debut. (LJ 1/12) (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Fans of John le Carre and Robert Ludlum will welcome former book editor Pavone's first novel, a meticulously plotted, psychologically complex spy thriller. When Dexter Moore, a financial systems security expert in Washington, D.C., receives a lucrative offer to work for a bank in Luxembourg, his wife, Kate, resigns her position as a CIA operative-a job her husband knows nothing about-and vows to recreate herself as a devoted wife and mother to their two boys. But Kate soon discovers that computer geek Dexter has been living a secret life as well, and that he may be a thief being investigated by the FBI and Interpol who's stolen millions of euros in online banking transactions. The sheer amount of bombshell plot twists are nothing short of extraordinary, but it's Pavone's portrayal of Kate and her quest to find meaning in her charade of an existence that makes this book such a powerful read. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Company. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* The premature death of her parents turned Kate into a driven loner who never expected to find someone to love. After college, clandestine fieldwork for the CIA filled the void; then she met decent, somewhat nerdy Dexter Moore. Marriage and two young sons convinced her to transfer into intelligence analysis, but she never told Dexter about her CIA employment. But when Dexter is offered a job in Luxembourg with a private bank, Kate abruptly finds herself an expat mom. Housework and lunches with other expats don't fulfill her, and she maintains the suspicious nature the CIA fostered. Soon, she focuses on expats Julia and Bill, as well as Dexter's new, uncharacteristic behavior. Her spook instincts bear fruit: Julia and Bill aren't what they seem; Dexter is up to something; and Kate must find out what it all means. The Expats is a stunningly assured first novel. Kate's character, her CIA experiences, and her new life are examined in granular detail, all of which helps drive an intricate, suspenseful plot that is only resolved in the final pages. The juxtaposition of marital deceptions and espionage is brilliantly employed. European locales, information on private banks and cybercrime, and the particulars of expats' quotidian but comfortable lives ooze verisimilitude. A must for espionage fans.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Kate is a young mom cozily wrapped up in her expat life in tiny Luxembourg-her two young sons and husband fill her days. What keeps her up at night glued to the Internet is the suspicion that a couple of casual buddies she met on the cocktail circuit are really assassins. Fueled by her 15 years as a covert CIA agent, Kate's obsession soon leads her to deeply hidden plots that involve 50 million euros, a suddenly flaky husband with curiously muddy shoes, and herrings-red and not-that rip her comfy world to tatters. VERDICT Brilliant, insanely clever, and delectably readable, this debut thriller breaks the espionage genre bounds with its American-as-apple-pie heroine. Standing on the shoulders of such giants as Robert Littell, Gayle Lynds, Eric Ambler, Helen MacInnes, and Daniel Silva, Pavone displays the best characteristics of the form and will earn a faithful and yearning readership. [See Prepub Alert, 10/14/11; see the Q&A with Pavone on p. 98.]-Barbara Conaty, Falls Church, Va (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2013 (Best Paperback)
Big Maria
 Johnny Shaw

Book list *Starred Review* Shaw is back with another crazy buddy picture of a caper novel (following Dove Season, 2011), this one featuring three engaging losers who band together for a Treasure of the Sierre Madre-like search for an abandoned gold mine. Fortunately, our gang of bumblers is a bit less greedy than Fred C. Dobbs and associates, but the job they've set for themselves is a lot more demanding: first, they must find the treasure map buried under a house that is itself residing at the bottom of a lake; then it's a simple matter of trespassing on federal land being used as a test-bombing site and climbing a mountain while dodging artillery and skipping through a minefield. It doesn't help that our heroes are, respectively, a drunk named Schmidttberger (guess what his nickname is) with a broken leg; another drunk, this one a foolish optimist with an atrophied arm; and a senior citizen suffering from cancer and a heart condition. The comedy is low but hilarious and often tinged with violence ( Everything got a lot more confusing after the burro exploded ), but the emotion is real and often heartrending. Shaw somehow manages to drag you into his mix of absurdity, mayhem, and pathos against all your better instincts. You really shouldn't be liking this book so much, you tell yourself before peeling off another 50 pages to see what explodes next and whether our guys get home safely. Comic thrillerdom has a new star.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2013 (Best Non-Fiction)
Books to die for : the world's greatest mystery writers on the world's greatest mystery novels
Click to search this book in our catalog   edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke
2012 (Best Novel)
A trick of the light : a Chief Inspector Gamache novel
Click to search this book in our catalog   Louise Penny

Publishers Weekly In Penny's outstanding seventh Chief Inspector Gamache novel, Gamache and his loyal deputy in Quebec's Surete, Insp. Jean Guy Beauvoir, are still coming to terms with the multiple physical and emotional traumas they suffered in the previous book, Bury Your Dead. These tribulations have already cost Beauvoir his marriage. Meanwhile, the day after the triumphant opening of a show of their friend Clara Morrow's paintings at Montreal's Musee d'Art Contemporain, a dead woman with a broken neck turns up in Clara's garden in the small town of Three Pines. Gamache and his team return to this outwardly idyllic community once again to ascertain whether one of its residents is a murderer. With her usual subtle touch and timely injections of humor, Penny effectively employs the recurring motif of the chiaroscuro, the interplay of light and dark, which distinguishes Morrow's artwork and which resonates symbolically in the souls of the author's characters. 100,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Whereas Penny's superb Bury Your Dead (2010) was an elaborately constructed crime novel incorporating three freestanding stories, her latest in the Inspector Armand Gamache series is much more focused. The action, of course, is centered in Three Pines, the Brigadoon-like village outside of Montreal, a seemingly idyllic oasis from civilization except for the remarkable number of murders that occur there. This time the body is discovered during a party in celebration of Clara Morrow's breakthrough art show in Montreal. The victim, art critic Lillian Dyson, was a childhood friend of Clara's, but her savage review of Clara's work early in her career put an end to that. Gamache and his team, including the troubled Jean Guy Beauvoir, gather at Three Pines yet again to make sense of the crime. While the investigation burrows deep into the cutthroat art world, the narrative line is fairly straightforward, building to an Agatha Christie-like finale in which all the suspects gather for dinner at Clara's home. Readers who have watched Penny's novels develop from character-driven cozies into deeply textured, multifaceted crime fiction may find this one just a bit disappointing but only in context. Like P. D. James, Penny shows how the tight structure of the classical mystery story can accommodate a wealth of deeply felt emotions and interpersonal drama. . HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Penny's remarkable string of successes and awards has moved her to the top of the genre. A 100,000 first printing and the attendant publicity will ensure that her latest effort finds the author's adoring audience quickly.--Ott, Bil. Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal This follow-up to the Agatha Award--winning Bury Your Dead finds Armand Gamache, chief inspector of the Montreal police force, and Beauvoir, his lieutenant, still healing physically and psychologically from a fatal police operation gone awry. But this doesn't prevent them from taking on yet another murder case in the secluded village of Three Pines. When resident artist Clara Morrow's solo show at Montreal's premier art museum causes a sensation in the art world, it sets into motion a series of events that expose the vicious jealousies of artists and dealers. Clara's joy rapidly gives way to perplexity when the body of her sociopathic, long-estranged roommate is found in her garden. Gamache's investigation reveals the sad panoply of crippling human aspirations and failures. VERDICT Readers who love literary mystery writers such as Donna Leon will enjoy Penny's latest excellent series entry. [100,000-copy first printing.]-Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law, PA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2012 (Best First)
Learning to swim : a novel
Click to search this book in our catalog   Sara J Henry

Publishers Weekly Freelance writer Troy Chance, the protagonist of Henry's impressive first novel, impulsively, and literally, dives into trouble when she sees a youngster fall from a ferry boat on Lake Champlain. Troy manages to rescue the boy, discovers that his fall was no accident, and after brief, anonymous reports to the police, embarks on an ill-conceived attempt to become the boy's protector. Bonding with the boy, she eventually learns his name, Paul Dumond; his age, six; and that he and his mother had been kidnapped and his mother later shot and killed. Troy locates Paul's Canadian father, Philippe, and reunites father and son, but she is unwilling to end her involvement. When the police can't find the kidnappers, Troy starts to probe more deeply into the lives of Philippe, his abducted wife, and Paul's captivity. Henry adroitly handles Troy's exposure to new emotions as she re-examines her life and relationships. An inconclusive ending may signal that Chance's journey is not yet over. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list When Troy Chance spots what she thinks is a small boy being tossed off the back of a passing ferry, she instinctively jumps into the icy waters of Lake Champlain. She rescues the youngster and discovers that his arms were bound with an adult sweatshirt. He's incredibly frightened, speaks only French, and won't tell her what happened. Troy determines that she will keep him safe rather than turn him over to the police. When he finally begins to confide in her, he tells a bizarre tale of being kidnapped, hearing his mother murdered by gunshot, and then being held for months. As Troy tracks down the boy's father, she begins to question whether she will be able to let him go, since he has unleashed within her a maternal instinct she had no idea she possessed. In her debut, the first in a projected series, Henry proves herself to be a smooth and compelling storyteller. And her lead is highly appealing: an athletic, fiercely independent young woman who, like crime-fiction author Gillian Flynn's feisty females, is capable of making delightfully acerbic observations.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Freelance writer Troy Chance sees a child thrown from a ferry and jumps into the water to save him. Haunted by a past experience with an abandoned child, she decides to be sure that his parents weren't responsible before she notifies the police. She travels to Canada to meet with Paul's divorced father and realizes that she has become more attached to the child than she wanted to be. Accepting an invitation to stay with the family for a few days while Paul recovers from the trauma of his kidnapping, Troy finds herself falling for his father. At the same time, she is unable to leave the investigation in the hands of the police, still fearing that one of the parents could have been involved. Verdict Fans of both mystery and romantic suspense will welcome this promising new author; the unsettled ending hints at a follow-up mystery.-Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2012 (Best Paperback)
Buffalo West Wing
 Julie Hyzy
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2012 (Best Non-Fiction)
The Sookie Stackhouse companion
 edited by Charlaine Harris
  Click to search this book in our catalog
2011 (Best Novel)
Bury your dead
 Louise Penny
  Click to search this book in our catalog
 
2011 (Best First)
The damage done
Click to search this book in our catalog   Hilary Davidson

Book list Travel writer Lily Moore is called back to New York by news of the death of her younger sister, Claudia, but on arrival, she discovers that the body found in the bathtub of her apartment isn't Claudia's. (Lily had taken her heroin-addict sister in to save her from life on the streets, but she fled to Spain when living with Claudia became unbearable.) So who died in the apartment that Lily still pays for? Where is Claudia? And how are Claudia's close friend and onetime lover, wealthy Tariq Lawrence, and Lily's ex-fiancé, real-estate magnate Martin Sklar, involved? With the help of her best friend, Jesse, and a couple of sympathetic cops, Lily traces strands of a tangled web back to a shady rehab facility. Travel-journalist Davidson does a fine job with characterizations, gradually fleshing out the Moore sisters' backstory, and she keeps plot tangents under control to spin a tale of nonstop action with a nice final twist. An entertaining and promising crime-fiction debut, with the potential for a sequel.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly In Davidson's razor sharp mystery debut, travel journalist Lily Moore, who's been living in Spain, rushes home to Manhattan's Lower East Side on learning that her younger sister, Claudia, a recovering heroin addict, has apparently drowned in her bathtub on the anniversary of their mother's suicide. The corpse in the morgue, however, is that of a stranger who'd been posing as Claudia for months. So where's Claudia? An increasingly frantic Lily launches her private investigation while NYPD detectives Norah Renfrew and hunky "Brux" Bruxton oversee the official one. As Lily dodges the amorous attentions of Martin Sklar, her wealthy ex-boyfriend, who she suspects might've had a secret affair with Claudia, she discovers Claudia's connection to a recently deceased "pseudopsychologist" who had a habit of getting too involved with his female patients. Davidson, herself a travel journalist (Frommer's Toronto 2010), offers a great portrait of sisterly love, despite a dysfunctional past, as well as a highly satisfying mystery. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Successful writer Lily Moore returns to New York from Spain when her heroin-addicted sister is found dead in her bathtub on the anniversary of their mother's suicide. Lily is shocked to find that the dead woman is not her sister but has been living as Claudia Moore for six months. Where is the real Claudia? At this very vulnerable time, Lily's ex-fiance reappears, causing further emotional turmoil, and then her life begins to disintegrate as everything that Lily believes is turned upside down. VERDICT Making a notable fiction debut, travel journalist Davidson has written an intriguing psychological mystery with a fully drawn protagonist who is surrounded by real characters who either care for her or who want her to fit their idea of who she should be. Readers will eagerly await Davidson's next book. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2011 (Best Paperback)
Expiration date
Click to search this book in our catalog   Duane Swierczynski

Publishers Weekly In this workmanlike time travel thriller from Swierczynski (Severance Package), 37-year-old Mickey Wade, a struggling journalist who's lost his job with an alt-weekly newspaper, the Philadelphia City News, accepts his mother's suggestion to move into his grandfather's apartment in the city's seedy Frankford neighborhood. After popping some long-expired Tylenols for a hangover, Wade is transported back to February 22, 1972, the day he was born. Wade's time-traveling self proves vulnerable to light, as shown by his losing two fingers. On returning to the present, Wade finds those fingers restored but without feeling. Subsequent deliberate trips into the past give Wade some background on the great trauma of his life, the apparently motiveless stabbing murder of his father, a musician known as the Human Jukebox. Predictable complications follow from Wade's efforts to prevent the killing. This one will appeal mainly to Swierczynski fans. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Swierczynski (Severance Package, 2007) originally planned to write this beguiling, pulp-style mix of fantasy and mystery as a magazine serial, but when the New York Times Magazine bowed out of the fiction business, he turned it into a stand-alone novel. Mickey Wade, an unemployed journalist, moves into his grandfather's apartment in the family's old Philadelphia neighborhood and, after gobbling a few aspirin to fight a hangover, finds himself beamed back to the day of his birth in 1972. Turns out those weren't your garden-variety aspirin but, rather, the pills a crackpot scientist had created as part of a government-funded plan to investigate out-of-body travel. Only, in Mickey's case, he can only go back to the early 1970s. But there's plenty to do there: if he can somehow divert the young boy who will eventually murder Mickey's father, he can change his family's history. Swierczynski cleverly melds the thriller and fantasy elements (especially the notion of nonlinear time), producing a thoroughly readable, suspenseful romp that evokes John D. MacDonald's pulp classic The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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2011 (Best Graphic Novel)
The chill
Click to search this book in our catalog   writer, Jason Starr ; art, Mick Bertilorenzi ; letters, Clem Robins

Book list In 1967 on the County Clare coast, Arlana discovers she is erotically gifted, which is bad news for her boyfriend, though her pop is overjoyed. Fast-forward to present-day New York, where three undergrads' night out leads to the decapitation of the one who scores. Hunky homicide dick Pavano encounters a major hitch when everyone who saw the victim's apparent pickup describes her radically differently, and a surveillance camera disagrees with all of them. A laid-off Boston cop an Irish immigrant, as it happens horns in on Pavano after a second sensational murder, with similar details, occurs. He acts as loony as the story of ritual murder he tells, but, of course, he's right on the money. Pavano almost becomes another victim before the killings stop. Well, at least these killings stop. For his thirteenth crime novel, Starr goes graphic and adds lethally dark fantasy to the mix. Bertilorenzi's black-and-white art is too superheroic for the story's would-be noirish aura, though about right for its supernatural trappings.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly There seems to be a serial killer at work in New York, hacking up young men in elaborately grotesque ways, and a drunken ex-cop claims that it is the work of some sort of druidic witch, eating souls for immortality. But there's never any mystery or suspense, just one chase from something to something else, with a lot of yelling and killing going on. Starr is known for his novels, including Panic Attack, but his first graphic novel misses the mark. The ugly and nasty script claims it is neo-noir, but it's actually splatterpunk, with a lot of plot holes. Why are the FBI such interfering jerks? No reason, except to frustrate the heroes' attempts. Meanwhile, the borderline racist caricatures of the Irish and Irish druids are practically embarrassing. Bertilorenzi's art is a cut-rate mishmash of Hellboy and Dylan Dog. Often the book feels as if it was a script for the old Night Stalker TV show rewritten as a Cinemax soft-porn movie. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Best-selling author Starr tries his hand at graphic novels with this supernatural murder mystery steeped in sex and violence. Heroine Arlana has the power to freeze young men whilst in the throes of passion. Her magical ability has its roots in ritualistic sacrifice, which her abusive father continues to exploit, forcing her to lure young men to their deaths so that he may feast on their remains and retain eternal vigor. The true suspense in this book isn't whether the stock characters-a grizzled NYPD detective, a shady FBI agent, a mentally unsound old timer-will catch the killers, but how and when. The bold, atmospheric artwork of Mick Bertiorenzi steals the show, bringing gritty city streets, dirty back alleys, and foreboding industrial spaces to life with detail and personality. Verdict For readers accustomed to hard-edged crime dramas, this is a quick, uncomplicated read. It's not a cozy mystery, however. Copious nudity, graphic sex, and unsettling murder scenes comprise the bulk, so YA librarians take note.-M. Brandon Robbins, Wayne Cty. P.L., Goldsboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-The scene is rural Ireland in 1967. Two young lovers are becoming intimate when Arlana inadvertently does something to her boyfriend, Martin Cleary. She nearly kills him. When she runs to her father for help, he savagely beats her and ominously says, "Your time has come!" Fast forward to present-day New York City. Young men keep meeting the woman of their dreams, only to be savagely murdered when they start to get lucky. An older Martin Cleary figures out that Arlana and her father have traveled to the New World to spread their Druidic nightmare overseas. How can an old man stop such powerful magic? This graphic novel, set in a noir-type world, lacks a coherent story and solid plot. Arlana, the one female character, is depicted as both victim and seductress in equal measure. Readers will feel little sympathy for her situation because it's never really clear why she's following her father's evil wishes. The overall story is scrapped for gratuitous sex, violence, and seemingly every character swearing for no reason other than shock value. The spooky twist at the end will leave most readers underwhelmed.-Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list In 1967 on the County Clare coast, Arlana discovers she is erotically gifted, which is bad news for her boyfriend, though her pop is overjoyed. Fast-forward to present-day New York, where three undergrads' night out leads to the decapitation of the one who scores. Hunky homicide dick Pavano encounters a major hitch when everyone who saw the victim's apparent pickup describes her radically differently, and a surveillance camera disagrees with all of them. A laid-off Boston cop an Irish immigrant, as it happens horns in on Pavano after a second sensational murder, with similar details, occurs. He acts as loony as the story of ritual murder he tells, but, of course, he's right on the money. Pavano almost becomes another victim before the killings stop. Well, at least these killings stop. For his thirteenth crime novel, Starr goes graphic and adds lethally dark fantasy to the mix. Bertilorenzi's black-and-white art is too superheroic for the story's would-be noirish aura, though about right for its supernatural trappings.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly There seems to be a serial killer at work in New York, hacking up young men in elaborately grotesque ways, and a drunken ex-cop claims that it is the work of some sort of druidic witch, eating souls for immortality. But there's never any mystery or suspense, just one chase from something to something else, with a lot of yelling and killing going on. Starr is known for his novels, including Panic Attack, but his first graphic novel misses the mark. The ugly and nasty script claims it is neo-noir, but it's actually splatterpunk, with a lot of plot holes. Why are the FBI such interfering jerks? No reason, except to frustrate the heroes' attempts. Meanwhile, the borderline racist caricatures of the Irish and Irish druids are practically embarrassing. Bertilorenzi's art is a cut-rate mishmash of Hellboy and Dylan Dog. Often the book feels as if it was a script for the old Night Stalker TV show rewritten as a Cinemax soft-porn movie. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Best-selling author Starr tries his hand at graphic novels with this supernatural murder mystery steeped in sex and violence. Heroine Arlana has the power to freeze young men whilst in the throes of passion. Her magical ability has its roots in ritualistic sacrifice, which her abusive father continues to exploit, forcing her to lure young men to their deaths so that he may feast on their remains and retain eternal vigor. The true suspense in this book isn't whether the stock characters-a grizzled NYPD detective, a shady FBI agent, a mentally unsound old timer-will catch the killers, but how and when. The bold, atmospheric artwork of Mick Bertiorenzi steals the show, bringing gritty city streets, dirty back alleys, and foreboding industrial spaces to life with detail and personality. Verdict For readers accustomed to hard-edged crime dramas, this is a quick, uncomplicated read. It's not a cozy mystery, however. Copious nudity, graphic sex, and unsettling murder scenes comprise the bulk, so YA librarians take note.-M. Brandon Robbins, Wayne Cty. P.L., Goldsboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-The scene is rural Ireland in 1967. Two young lovers are becoming intimate when Arlana inadvertently does something to her boyfriend, Martin Cleary. She nearly kills him. When she runs to her father for help, he savagely beats her and ominously says, "Your time has come!" Fast forward to present-day New York City. Young men keep meeting the woman of their dreams, only to be savagely murdered when they start to get lucky. An older Martin Cleary figures out that Arlana and her father have traveled to the New World to spread their Druidic nightmare overseas. How can an old man stop such powerful magic? This graphic novel, set in a noir-type world, lacks a coherent story and solid plot. Arlana, the one female character, is depicted as both victim and seductress in equal measure. Readers will feel little sympathy for her situation because it's never really clear why she's following her father's evil wishes. The overall story is scrapped for gratuitous sex, violence, and seemingly every character swearing for no reason other than shock value. The spooky twist at the end will leave most readers underwhelmed.-Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2011 (Best Non-fiction)
Agatha Christie's secret notebooks : fifty years of mysteries in the making
 John Curran
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2010 (Best Novel)
The brutal telling
 Louise Penny
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2010 (Best First)
A bad day for sorry
 Sophie Littlefield
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2010 (Best Paperback)
Starvation Lake : a mystery
Click to search this book in our catalog   Bryan Gruley

Publishers Weekly Gruley's outstanding debut effortlessly incorporates his inside knowledge of both the newspaper business and his hockey avocation into a tale of violence and betrayal that will remind many of Dennis Lehane. After crossing an ethical line while writing an investigative series for the Detroit Times, reporter Gus Carpenter has returned to his hometown of Starvation Lake, Mich., to work for the local paper, whose stories mostly reflect the pedestrian and placid nature of smalltown life. That changes when evidence surfaces that the town's legendary hockey coach, Jack Blackburn, who disappeared after an apparent snowmobile accident a decade earlier, was actually murdered. Carpenter's reopening of the case, which has personal resonance for him (he'd been the goalie for the amateur boys' team Blackburn coached), shakes all sorts of skeletons loose. Gruley, the Wall Street Journal's Chicago bureau chief, has a gift for making all his characters, from the leads to the bit players, realistic. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* Gus Carpenter's big-city journalistic career has gone down in flames, and he returns to Starvation Lake, a faded resort town at the northern end of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. There, he faces another ignominy: everyone in town remembers that he is the goalie who gave up the winning goal in the state ice-hockey championship more than a decade before, and many relate the town's economic slide to that loss. Soon after his return, evidence that might explain the mysterious snowmobiling death of Gus' coach is found, and as de facto editor of the local paper, Gus must pursue the truth but the cost of redemption is high, for everyone. Starvation Lake is a wonderfully polished and assured first novel. Gruley's portrayal of a struggling small town in a harsh environment rings with authenticity. His characters are believable small-town archetypes; some are self-aware, some are in denial, others are oblivious. The plot is convoluted, but Gruley maintains the suspense very effectively. Ice-hockey scenes not only advance the plot but also offer insights into the sport's culture and its importance to small, very cold towns. Many good crime novels appear every month, but few have the depth and poignancy of Starvation Lake, which deserves comparison with Dennis Lehane's Mystic River.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal The discovery of pieces of a snowmobile owned by the late Jack Blackburn, the much revered hockey coach in Starvation Lake, MI, prompts a new look into what happened ten years earlier, when Blackburn perished in the frozen water. Gus Carpenter, recently returned from Detroit after a failed attempt at working for a bigger publication, edits the local newspaper. With a young journalist, he works on the Blackburn story and uncovers some secrets no one wants exposed. In confronting the ghosts from his past and the evils of the present, Carpenter finds his moral and ethical footing. Gruley, a Michigan native, an amateur hockey player, and the Chicago bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, has written a terrific first novel about what it means to be a journalist. Full of insider knowledge about hockey and great local color, this is not to be missed. Highly recommended for all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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2010 (Best Non-fiction)
Talking about detective fiction
Click to search this book in our catalog   PD James

Publishers Weekly One of the most widely read and respected writers of detective fiction, James (The Private Patient) explores the genre's origins (focusing primarily on Britain) and its lasting appeal. James cites Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone, published in 1868, as the first detective novel and its hero, Sergeant Cuff, as one of the first literary examples of the professional detective (modeled after a real-life Scotland Yard inspector). As for Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, James argues that their staying power has as much to do with the gloomy London atmosphere, "the enveloping miasma of mystery and terror," as with the iconic sleuth. Devoting much of her time to writers in the Golden Age of British detective fiction (essentially between the two world wars), James dissects the work of four heavyweights: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh. Though she's more appreciative of Marsh and Allingham (declaring them "novelists, not merely fabricators of ingenious puzzles"), James acknowledges not only the undeniable boost these women gave to the genre but their continuing appeal. For crime fiction fans, this master class from one of the leading practitioners of the art will be a real treat. 9 illus. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list In 2006, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University asked celebrated novelist P. D. James to write about British detective fiction. Had they requested this of James 20 or even 30 years ago, the result would have been much the same. James pontificates on detective fiction, primarily British but with an occasional nod to American writers, as if she has just emerged from the 1950s or1960s. Except for a reference to Sara Paretsky, which sticks out like a body in the library, this overview is decidedly old school. What makes her fairly conventional history worthwhile, however, is the personality of James herself. She talks about her own methods for coming up with ideas and for plotting. She talks about how Agatha Christie broke some of the most cherished rules of crime fiction. And the book is filled with quirky asides for example, James holds that the formation of a British police force in 1842 made detective fiction possible. It's like sitting across from James over tea, and that, naturally, is a delight.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal James, who lives and breathes detective fiction, tackles her genre in this examination of British detective fiction. It is important to note this is not literary criticism in the academic sense. James will introduce readers to lesser-known detectives from the past, such as two from the 1920s: H.C. Bailey's doctor Reggie Fortune and Gladys Mitchell's psychiatrist Dame Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley. Because of these types of discoveries, the volume has the potential to stimulate investigations beyond the text. James includes chapters on Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown; a brief nod to Americans Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler; and a discussion of four women writers: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, and Ngaio Marsh. She is not afraid to share her opinion of writers' strengths and weaknesses, especially when the focus is on Christie. VERDICT Considering James's devoted following and her highly recognizable name, there is sure to be interest amongst fans and readers of detective fiction. The writing is entertaining, approachable, and interesting, and this makes it an appealing read for a wide audience.-Stacy Russo, Chapman Univ. Libs., Orange, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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