Please tell me Spring will finally decide to stay (soon!), instead of
Mother Nature teasing us with warm days and then snow. How‚Äôs a body to adjust
to such extremes? It‚Äôs no wonder that so many of us are ill. Daylight Savings
Time starts at 2 a.m. on March 8, 2009, and I am ready. Now, hurry up Spring!
I enjoyed some great personal reading in February; here are my recommendations:
DISH (HarperCollins hardcover, 3/08) by Mary Kay Andrews is a
totally delicious treat filled to the brim with feisty Southern charm and
verve. When Gina Foxton, a local Georgia PBS cooking star, finds herself in the
running for a show on a national TV food channel, she‚Äôs confident she‚Äôll land
the gig. After all, her only competition is ‚ÄúMr. Kill it and Grill it‚ÄĚ Tate
Moody, the down-home star of an outdoor cooking show. Ah, but she should have
known nothing was that easy. First, Gina‚Äôs boyfriend (and show producer) is
found in bed with their sponsor‚Äôs wife. Then Gina‚Äôs sister drops out of school
and thinks she can take up residence with Gina, while they both try to dodge
their mom‚Äôs constant phone calls. Now, the national ‚Äúsuits‚ÄĚ have decided to
feature Tate and Gina in a wacky cook-off on live TV, fighting for their
careers. Surely the sparks flying between their kitchens have everything to do
with competition and nothing to do with sexual attraction. Ha! Who said oil and
vinegar don‚Äôt mix? These two come up with some ingenious recipes for dishes ‚Äď
and for life. I loved this book!
AND DANGEROUS (Ballantine 5/08) by Linda Howard is a
tense, taut romantic suspense that will keep you mesmerized. Bailey Wingate‚Äôs
adult stepchildren are shocked when their late father leaves her in control of
their entire fortune ‚Äď and they hate her for it. Then the engine of the small
plane Bailey is taking from Seattle to Denver fails and the pilot, Cam Justice,
has to crash land in the remote mountain. Stranded in the wilderness with Cam,
who‚Äôs seriously injured, Bailey fights to keep them both alive. Struggling to
survive in the harsh elements and trying to find a way off the mountain and
back to civilization, a trust is formed. But will they live to continue the
relationship? They both wonder whether the crash was an accident, and if the
killer will try to finish the job. Not if these two tough people have anything
to say about it.
(Kensington hardcover, 3/07) and KNOCK ‚ÄôEM DEAD (Kensington hardcover, 3/08) by Rhonda Pollero are
the first two books in the totally delightful and witty mystery series
featuring the caffeine-addicted, discount-sale-shopping fashionista and
underachieving paralegal Finley Anderson Tanner. After reading the review copy
for the third book, FAT
CHANCE (Pocket trade paper), that‚Äôs coming in mid-March 2009 (look for my
review), I had to read the other two. The characters‚Äô antics are amusing as
they try to handle tricky situations with sometimes disastrous results. As
Finley secretly lusts for Liam, a sexy ex-cop/P.I. she knows is all wrong for
her, Liam does whatever he can to turn up the heat between them. I love this
series ‚Äď the characters, the plots ‚Äď and I can‚Äôt wait for more!
HIGH HEELS (Making It, 12/08) by Gemma Halliday is
the fifth and final installment in her High Heels mystery series featuring
trouble magnet/shoe designer Maddie Springer. As this series comes to a close,
Maddie is all set to walk down the aisle (finally!) with the man of her dreams,
the delectably sexy detective Jack Ramirez. But things never go easy for
Maddie, so you know she‚Äôs in for a shaky route to the happily-ever-after she
longs to achieve. Frivolity, murder and mayhem abound in this hilarious ending
to a totally delightful series.
Speaking of Gemma
Halliday, she is writing a hot new Hollywood Headlines series that will
feature Felix Dunn, a character made famous in the High Heels series. Official
word from Gemma‚Äôs web site explains the series thus: ‚ÄúThe L.A. Informer
is Los Angeles' premier tabloid magazine, reporting on all the latest celebrity
gossip, scandals and dirt. They're not above a little sensational exaggeration
and have even been known, on occasion, to bend the law in pursuit of a hot
story. Their ace reporter, Felix Dunn, has just been promoted to managing
editor. Now he's got his work cut out for him keeping the magazine running
smoothly while keeping his staff in line‚Ä¶ Tina Bender is the Informer's
gossip columnist extraordinaire. She knows everything about everyone who's
anyone. And she's not afraid to print it. That is, until she receives a
threatening note, promising, ‚ÄėIf you don't stop writing about me, you're dead.‚Äô
Teaming with a built bodyguard, a bubbly blonde and an alcoholic obituary
writer, Tina sets out to uncover just which juicy piece of Hollywood gossip is
worth killing over.‚ÄĚ The title of the first book of the new Hollywood Headlines
series is SCANDAL SHEET and its pub date is set for November 2009. I
know that seems like a long way off. Hopefully, I‚Äôll get an ARC for a review of
March 3, 2009, is a big day for new releases. Here‚Äôs just a small
DON‚ÄôT LOOK TWICE (Wm.
Morrow hardcover) by Andrew Gross brings back Detective Ty Hauck (first
introduced in THE DARK
TIDE), which starts with a drive-by shooting in the suburb of Greenwich,
Connecticut, and leaves an innocent bystander dead. What seems like a vicious
case of retribution quickly turns into something much more widespread and
sinister. It‚Äôs touted as ‚Äúa gripping story of profiteering on an international
scale.‚ÄĚ This thriller promises to be another hit for this talented author.
A DROP OF RED (Ace
trade paper) is book four in Chris Marie Green‚Äôs Vampire Babylon series, which includes NIGHT RISING (Ace, 2/07),
MIDNIGHT REIGN (Ace,
2/08) and BREAK OF DAWN
(Ace, 9/08). A DROP OF
RED continues the adventures of Hollywood stuntwoman-turned-vampire hunter
Dawn Madison, who along with her comrades, has already wiped out the Los
Angeles Vampire Underground. This new book starts another trilogy arc in the
series as the action moves to a second Underground found in England.
DANGER IN A RED DRESS
(NAL) by Christina
Dodd completes the Fortune Hunter series with a riveting family drama
that delivers secrets, lies and passion. Hannah Grey finds herself caring for
an elderly woman in a mansion on the wild Maine coast. When the woman dies, she
entrusts Hannah with a dangerous secret and makes her promise to right a
terrible wrong from the past. Carrick Manly will do anything to possess his
family‚Äôs fortunes ‚Äď even murder ‚Äď and he knows his mother gave Hannah the
access codes to her offshore accounts. Fearing for her life, Hannah flees.
Gabriel Prescott has hunted for his long-last family his entire life. When his
search leads him to Hannah, everyone involved is in danger.
GHOULS JUST HAUNT TO HAVE
FUN (Obsidian) by Victoria Laurie (a real-life psychic) is the third book in a
fun series featuring sassy, no-nonsense medium and ghost buster M.J. Holliday.
This time, she‚Äôs been invited to San Francisco, along with three other mediums,
to film a TV show called ‚ÄúHaunted Possessions.‚ÄĚ While staying at the Drake
Hotel, one of the most haunted hotels in America, a woman staying there commits
suicide. But when M.J. picks up the woman‚Äôs ghost, she realizes it was murder ‚Äď
not suicide. Now the fun begins as she deals with the detective on the case.
THE ADVERSARY (Berkley
Prime Crime trade paper) by Michael Walters is the second book in an exciting new series of crime thrillers
set in modern-day Mongolia. The head of Mongolia‚Äôs largest and most powerful
crime empire is finally about to get his comeuppance. But it seems that the
wealthy Muunokhoi has friends in high places.When Muunokhoi‚Äôs trial begins to
fall apart, Nergui, the former head of the Serious Crime team, and Doripalam,
his replacement and onetime prot√©g√©, are forced to look internally to find out
who in the justice system has submitted to the lure of the crime lord‚Äôs power ‚Äď
only to realize that Muunokhoi‚Äôs deadly influence is much stronger than either
of them could have envisioned.
HOUNDING THE PAVEMENT
(Obsidian) by Judi
McCoy is the first book in a new lighthearted paranormal mystery series
featuring Ellie Engleman, who has a psychic connection to dogs. Ellie is
attempting to start life over after her divorce, so she embarks on a new career
as a dog walker on Manhattan‚Äôs Upper East Side. Now, it seems that Rudy, the
deceased first dog she ever owned, has returned to her in the Yorkiepoo she‚Äôs
adopted at the local ASPCA. Ellie finds she can communicate mentally and
verbally with her new dog, also named Rudy, as well as all the dogs she walks.
When Ellie finds the dead body of her first client and realizes his dog is
missing, she and Rudy start to investigate. Of course, there‚Äôs a sexy homicide
detective to deal with adding to the fun.
On sale March 10, 2009, is Jo Barrett‚Äôs new
novel DON‚ÄôT LET IT BE TRUE
(Avon A trade paper). A few Texas society gals are hiding sordid pasts as
strippers, pole dancers, call girls, Democrats‚Ä¶ But oil heiress and socialite
Kathleen King's secret is far worse. The flamboyant philanthropist and
shopaholic is flat broke! Then her longtime beau, Dylan Grant, finds himself
similarly busted and in a monetary mess of his own. So Kat and Dylan devise a
plan to untangle their financial ruin ‚Äď while also coming to terms with yet
another secret that threatens her biggest dream of all. The Texas oil elite are
appropriately portrayed with pathos and humor, along with some unexpected
March 17, 2009, is the on-sale date for A DATE YOU CAN‚ÄôT REFUSE
(Vanguard hardcover), the fourth book in Harley Jane Kozak‚Äôs
highly entertaining Wollie Shelley mystery series. Greeting card designer
Wollie finds herself having to accept a job she‚Äôd really like to refuse ‚Äď but
can‚Äôt. The FBI insists that she take the job of ‚Äúsocial coach‚ÄĚ with MediaRex.
They want her to infiltrate the company and come up with evidence of video
piracy by the owners. When a dead body shows up on the company‚Äôs property,
Wollie gets caught up in a conspiracy that has far-reaching implications. Oh,
March 24, 2009, is another big release date with these books to choose
hardcover) by Karen
Robards, tells a complex tale of political conspiracy and a steamy love
affair. When a senior partner at the law firm where she works asks rookie
lawyer Jessica Monaghan to meet First Lady Annette Cooper at a Washington,
D.C., hotel, Jess is thrilled. This plum assignment must mean she‚Äôs on her way
to bigger things. But bigger isn‚Äôt always better. Jess doesn‚Äôt remember much;
only that she ends up in the backseat of a speeding car that crashes, killing
the First Lady. Badly injured, Jess is the only survivor of what is called a
tragic accident. But was it? Terrified and certain the First Lady‚Äôs death was
no accident, Jess has only the FBI agent on the case, Mark Ryan, to turn to‚Ä¶
before she also ends up dead.
(Ballantine) is the title of the first romantic suspense novel in Allison Brennan‚Äôs
new Sacramento FBI trilogy. When a homeless veteran is found dead in a squalid
Sacramento alley, FBI Special Agent Megan Elliott vows to find the murdered
hero‚Äôs killer. Her investigation gets complicated fast; the victim, a former
Delta Force soldier, is just one link in a nationwide spree of torture and
murder. Soldier-for-hire Jack Kincaid returns from a job only to learn that one
of his closest colleagues has been brutally murdered. Jack decides to take
matters into his own hands, which puts him in direct conflict with Megan. Will
they be able to work together to bring about justice?
TOO RICH & TOO DEAD
(Bantam) by Cynthia
Baxter is the second installment in her Murder Packs a Suitcase cozy
mystery series featuring travel writer (and amateur sleuth) Mallory Marlowe.
This time Mallory is in Aspen where she discovers an old classmate dead in a
mud bath at the woman‚Äôs spa. And if trying to learn the identity of the
murderer isn‚Äôt enough, Mallory has to deal with two handsome men‚Äôs amorous
LORDS OF CORRUPTION
(Vanguard hardcover) by Kyle Mills is a tale of greed and corruption at the expense of
the innocent set in a country torn with tribal warfare and disparate loyalties.
When Josh Hagarty is courted by a charity, NewAfrica, he succumbs to the
lucrative offer. However, within days of his arrival at the site of NewAfrica‚Äôs
philanthropic center, Josh figures out the non-profit is not what it seems.
DEADLY DESIRE (Bantam
Spectra) is the seventh Riley Jensen Guardian novel by Keri Arthur. Riley is
finally comfortable with her role as a Guardian in the Directorate, even though
her skills keep changing. Her relationship with Quinn is solid, but their
situation is kept interesting, since she still hasn‚Äôt found the soul-mate for
the wolf part of being. Then she meets wolf Kye Murphy on a dangerous mission
and finds it is too comfortable working with him. Will this change Riley‚Äôs life
A KNIFE EDGE (Bantam
hardcover) by David
brings back wise-cracking, no-nonsense action hero Vin Cooper in another
hair-raising military thriller. Cooper is sent to investigate the suspicious
death of Dr. Hideo Tanaka, who made a dangerous discovery while exploring a
deep sea trench near Japan. Back at the Pentagon, Cooper is wrapping up this
inquiry when terrorists attack San Francisco. One of the victims turns out to
be Tanaka's partner from his previous case. What is the connection? Cooper has
to find out. Then he‚Äôs drawn into a case involving the death of a former
military friend. While all of this is going on, he‚Äôs also trying to deal with
his shaky relationship with Major Anna Masters. Seems like just too much for
one man to handle ‚Äď even Cooper.
MESS (Dell) is the fifth hilarious mystery by Lois Greiman starring
former cocktail waitress/current psychologist Christina McMullen who seems to
attract murdered bodies like a magnet. After the last fiasco appears to sink
her relationship with LAPD Lieutenant Jack Rivera, Chrissy renounces getting
involved with murder and vows to concentrate only on her practice. We‚Äôll see
how long that resolution lasts.
(Delacorte hardcover) by David Hewson is the seventh installment in his Italy-set
thriller featuring Detective Nic Costa and his associates. The chaos and crimes
surrounding a movie based on Dante‚Äôs nine circles of Hell finds the Italian
detectives traveling to San Francisco for the movie‚Äôs US premiere as they work
to recover Dante‚Äôs death mask and see that no one else gets hurt in the
process. It‚Äôs a monumental task, since no one wants to cooperated ‚Äď Italian or
March 31, 2009, is the date for these titles to go on sale:
FLIPPING OUT (Minotaur
hardcover) by Marshall
Karp brings back the wisecracking LAPD detectives Lomax and Biggs for
their third uproarious crime mystery. As they investigate what they think is a
serial killer targeting LAPD wives, their humorous and quick-witted banter
eases the tension. But the twists and turns they encounter are causing problems
with finding the elusive thread connecting the cases.
DARKNESS (Pocket) is the third book in Jennifer St. Giles‚Äô
paranormal Shadowmen series. A battle is brewing in Twilight, Tennessee,
and Emerald Linton and Sam Sheridan become caught in the center of a m√™l√©e of
epic evil. Emerald, Sam and their small band of rebels are determined to save
their town from the converging evil, but will they be able to do so in time?
Then watch for the fourth book in this unique series, BRIDE OF THE WOLF
(Pocket), which will go on sale the end of April 2009.
CONFESSIONS OF A LITTLE
BLACK GOWN (Avon) by Elizabeth Boyle tells the story of Miss Thalia ‚ÄúTally‚ÄĚ
Langley, who receives the wrong trunk at her sister‚Äôs house party. Little does
she know that wearing the black gown she finds inside will lead her into a cat-
and-mouse game with British Intelligence.
(Zebra) by Nancy
Bush is a thrilling suspense novel with a touch of romance. Gemma has
always had a spotty memory. She‚Äôs gotten used to losing blocks of time and not
remembering anything about it. When she awakes injured in a hospital with no
memory of what happened to her or how she got there, she isn‚Äôt surprised, but
she is disturbed. Could she really be the vigilante who‚Äôs targeting abusive
men, like her friends fear? As she tries to learn the truth, will the handsome
detective working the cases be a help or hindrance?
As always, there‚Äôs more to come next month, so stay tuned...Tanzey
comment for a chance to win Tanzey's March Contest!
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