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Mystery Thriller & Suspense

Books for TV Addicts: Fans of The Blacklist need a summer fix

in Fiction by

It never fails. Every time I start to like a show, it gets canceled. Dear The Blacklist, please don’t break my heart. In the past year, I had to watch the disappearance of three great shows I really enjoyed: Forever, Manhattan Love Story, and State of Affairs. Sadly, Downton Abbey will end after Season 6 and we’re still waiting on the next season of Sherlock. I still have Castle, which is great, but dating back to the days of Keen Eddie (another show I liked, which got canned in favor of Temptation Island, I believe), my shows tend to disappear. Thankfully, though, one of my new favorites is coming back. NBC’s The Blacklist will return for a third season and I can’t wait to see where Raymond “Red” Reddington, one…

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The truth really is out there

in Fiction by

For legions of fans, all it took to keep the faith alive was a poster, growing dusty and tattered over the years, with a now-iconic image of a UFO and the familiar phrase: “I Want to Believe.” Now, 13 years after going off the air in 2002, renegade FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully—the believer and the skeptic—are coming back in six new episodes of The X-Files. Sure, there were two forays on to the big screen, 1998’s The X-Files: Fight the Future and 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe (most true X-Philes actually want to forget about that second one), but fans have waited for over a decade to see Mulder and Scully back where they belong—chasing…

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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl–a metaphor for a media-savvy world

in Fiction by

As both a reviewer and an author, sometimes I wonder: are books ever just books anymore? There’s a huge trend lately to create multimedia works, turning novels interactive, or creating books out of blogs. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. As a lover of all things pop culture, I’ll take my stories served to me any way I can get them. Which is why I was so intrigued when I discovered Paige McKenzie’s The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (Weinstein Books, 2015). Even just as a book it sounds intriguing: the tight bond between sixteen-year-old Sunshine and her mother, Kat, is tested when they move across the country and into a house that Sunshine is sure is haunted. Kat doesn’t…

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I’m Glad I Did: Songwriter Cynthia Weil recreates her early years in the business

in Non-Fiction by

Rules are meant to be broken. Or at least that’s what Grammy-winning songwriter Cynthia Weil proposes in her latest young adult novel, I’m Glad I Did, a book that rides on the back of the Peace Train, giving voice to issues of racism, sexism and war. It was 1961 when Weil first walked down the street toward the Brill Building in the heart of New York City. She could not have known at the time that this was the beginning of one wild career at Aldon Music. Flanked with black marble pillars and a blazing brass edifice, Weil crossed the music building’s threshold and took those first steps into songwriting that would one day lead her to become only the…

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T. Dasu explores espionage from a spouse’s viewpoint in Spy, Interrupted: The Waiting Wife

in Fiction by

If you’re looking for a thriller, a romance and a politically charged novel, then T. Dasu’s debut, Spy, Interrupted: The Waiting Wife, is for you. It tells the story of Nina Sharma, who falls in love with the mysterious and reserved Stephen Edward James while visiting a friend of a friend in New England. Soon, they’re newlyweds, blissfully in love, and settling into a life together. But then Nina learns Stephen’s secret: he’s a CIA agent and both their lives are in danger. Follow Nina as she struggles to accept her new life, and tries to answer the question: can love really conquer all? The novel has been described as Jane Austen meets John le Carre, which means there’s literally…

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Steve Berry sends Cotton Malone on his greatest adventure — and it can make you a winner

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In Steve Berry’s new thriller, The Patriot Threat, elite Justice Department agent Cotton Malone faces what might be the most dangerous menace to America he has ever seen. And we’re not going to give away the ending, but the big winner could be YOU! “We all know that two things are certain: death and taxes. Malone is about to discover both of those,” Berry said. “In The Patriot Threat, he gets caught up in an adventure that takes 24 hours, and it involves a constitutional question that can have grave consequences for the United States. “Over 90 percent of our revenues come from income tax,” Berry said. “So if the bills were threatened in any way, the United States would…

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Jack MacLean’s Global Predator takes on drones and violence against girls in Pakistan

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Do you dedicate your Sundays to watching the next episode of Homeland with Claire Danes? Is Eagle Eye with Shia LaBouf one of your top favorite action flicks? Instead of waiting for these stories to return on-air, Jack MacLean’s new political thriller combines the best of both worlds. Take the suspense from Homeland and the technological prowess from Eagle Eye and you get Global Predator (Legend Publishing). Jack MacLean tackles the risks military drones present to civilians as he delves into the social issues young women face under Taliban-controlled areas in Pakistan. Sam Wilkins, an unlikely hero, flees to Pakistan after he embezzles money in the UK. Wilkins can only watch as the Taliban burns schools built for Pakistani women—then…

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Books that made me lose sleep. WIN: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

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I may have outgrown candy corn and those weird caramel apple chews that seem to only exist in October, but I hope I’ll never lose my taste for books that keep me up till midnight, tossing, turning, and worrying about what, exactly, lurks under my bed. In fourth grade, my whole class was terrified—haunted, even—by Mary Downing Hahn’s Wait Till Helen Comes. Sure, there was an aspect of performance involved (culminating with a fake swoon from Anna W that I still envy) as we read and re-read the story of a step-family’s fragile happiness threatened by a centuries-old drowned ghost. But there was genuine, satisfying unease along with our posturing: the ghost in question is fueled by loneliness, making Helen…

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Culture shock, cliches and a (possible) wedding: up close with mystery maven Leslie Meier

in Fiction by

Autumn is upon us and there’s a chill in the air—what better time to cozy up in your favorite easy chair with a warm drink and a cozy mystery? For those unfamiliar with the genre, cozy mysteries (sometimes known simply as “cozies”) are murder mysteries in which sex and violence are downplayed in favor of a lighter, more humorous tone. Think more Miss Marple than Sam Spade. A great new cozy mystery is French Pastry Murder, the latest in the Lucy Stone series from author Leslie Meier. In the book, Meier’s heroine visits the City of Lights to be recognized for her charitable works. But Lucy has to rely upon her sleuthing skills when her vacation turns deadly.  Recently, BookTrib…

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What happens when a psychotic stalker plays cupid?

in Romance by

Being protected from the imminent threat of a drugged-out psycho may not be the best way to start a romance (although it may beat online dating) but that’s what happens in Lisa Marie Rice’s Midnight Vengeance (Carina Press, August 2014). Lauren Dare is finally putting her troubled life back together with a new life and a new identity, when one mistake leaves her exposed. Morton “Jacko” Jackman believes she is out of his league, so he has loved her in secret until now, going so far as to step out of his tough-guy comfort zone to take her painting classes. When Lauren’s stalker resurfaces, Jacko draws on his training as a Navy SEAL to protect her from harm. BookTrib recently…

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Solving the mystery of Tana French; one of fall’s most eagerly awaited novels

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When I was a kid, my parents had a thing for Murder, She Wrote. We’d watch every week, competing to guess whodunit, how, and why. And somehow, one Sunday, it clicked for me: the culprit was always the extra person, the one whose absence (minus that PG offing in Act I) would have minimal repercussions for the rest of the story. I started winning, wowing my family with an unprecedented run of spot-on guesses. I like to win, and the “extra person” hack helps me do it. I’ve beat Miss Marple to the solution on several occasions. I don’t win when it comes to the works of Tana French. (As a solver of mysteries, I mean; as a book-lover, French…

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Andrew Gross on why it’s sexy to write women as heroes

in Thrillers by

What would you do, if, on the day your whole life was crashing down around you, fate threw you a chance to turn it all around—would you take it? Would you take that chance, even if it were illegal, immoral, and dangerous? Hilary Cantor, the desperate single mom in Andrew Gross’s new book, Everything to Lose (William Morrow, April 22), has only seconds to decide when she finds half a million dollars in a wrecked car, next to its dead driver. She’s just lost her job, her deadbeat ex-husband has stopped sending her money, her house is under water, and her special needs son needs to stay in a school she can no longer afford. Her choices will keep you…

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Video: Missed It? Live Interview with Ariel Lawhon, Author of THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS

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    “More meticulously choreographed than a chorus line. It all pays off.” –THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW     THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS A wickedly entertaining novel that reconstructs one of America’s most famous unsolved mysteries–the disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater in 1930–as seen through the eyes of the three women who knew him best: his wife, his maid, and his mistress. Representing three very different walks of life, Stella, Ritzi and Maria reveal a New York City brimming with seediness and contradictions, a place where women are second-class citizens and greed and desire permeate the lives of those who live on both sides of the law. “Inspired by a real-life unsolved mystery, this mesmerizing novel features characters…

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What’s a Parisian maman-to-be to do? Cara Black on Paris and motherhood

in Potpourri by

by Cara Black It’s never easy for Parisienne Aimée Leduc, especially with a baby bump in the humid summer when World Cup Fever overtakes Paris in 1998. Not only is Aimée attracted to bad boys, her ankles swell and she’s scaling down to kitten heels instead of her Louboutins. Then there are her cravings for cornichons and kiwis and finding the perfect crème to prevent stretch marks. What’s a Parisian maman-to-be to do? Like many in her condition, it’s time to think ahead to balancing a bébe, work, and how to childproof a 17th-century apartment with archaic plumbing, and electricity last updated at the turn of the 1900s. Time for her find another place to store her Glock—she’s a licensed…

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