Tuesday, May 20, 2008

From Patricia

Bartlett, L.L. Dead in Red ($26) June. Ex-insurance investigator Jeff Resnick has a sixth sense that helps solve crimes. But it puts him in harm's way often enough to make him want to muffle his talent. His elderly mentor Sophie challenges him to use his gift for good. Jeff's vision of a red high-heeled shoe after his favorite bartender is murdered starts him on a trail through Buffalo's underworld of foot fetishists and drag queens who have answers. The second Resnick after Murder on the Mind.

Holm, Tom. The Osage Rose ($16) June, pbo. Ex-cop J.D. Daugherty sets up as a p.i. to cash in on cases for Tulsa, Oklahoma's high society in 1921. Hired to find Rose, a young white woman who eloped with native American Tommy, an heir to Osage oil, J.D. and his Cherokee sideman Hoolie flounder through a swamp of lies, racial hatred and gunfights to reach the truth. Holm recreates the boomtown era made to order for a fixer like J.D. Insight into Osage culture and the Cherokee spirit world is a bonus. A professor of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, Holm writes with authority. First novel.

Lewis, C.S. Prince Caspian ($22 and $8 for mass) May. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy vanish at the railway station to reappear in Narnia 1300 years after their first visit although only one year has passed in England. Interviewing a fugitive dwarf in the ruins of their castle launches them on an adventure to restore the old Narnia now in thrall to invaders. Read the book and see the film now.

Martin, Kat. Season of Strangers ( $8) June, pbo. After two sisters disappear on a Malibu beach, one of them, Julie, suffers blinding headaches, and the other, Laura, becomes paranoid about alien abductions. When Julie's boss recovers from a heart attack like a different man, she starts assembling puzzle pieces to save Laura. Third paranormal romance after Scent of Roses and The Summit ($8).

Novak, Brenda. Trust Me ($7) June, pbo. Skye Kellerman's testimony put Oliver Burke, the man who knifed her, in prison. She started a victims support group with other survivors. Skye and Detective Willis of the Sacramento PD know Burke will target her when he is paroled in a week. They intend to prove Burke guilty of other murders to stop him. Det. Willis is obliged to play by the rules. Skye is not. First in victims support romantic suspense trilogy.

Spencer-Fleming, Julia. I Shall Not Want ($25) June. Hadley Knox and her two children take refuge with her grandfather, sexton at the Episcopal church where Rev. Clare Fergusson is shepherd-in-residence for the people of Millers Kill, upstate New York. Hadley endures the rigors of basic training and the eager Deputy Flynn's unwanted attentions when she joins the police force. Still staggering under the weight of the events that ended All Mortal Flesh, police chief Russ Van Alstyne needs Hadley's Spanish language skills when a nun driving a van of migrant workers (some legal) draws gunfire that might be related to the Mexican drug trade invading the area. Clare soldiers on, conducting liturgies, hiring one of the migrants and training with the National Guard despite the guilt she carries from the same events. Church calendar headings measure time passing until the bodies of men killed execution style are found during the town picnic. The action spikes like the peaks on a heart monitor while this many characters worthy of concern spend their talents to stop the violence. Russ and Clare's frustration matches the reader's when a crisis interrupts their private encounters time and again. Knockout blows land one after another until a reader must remember to breathe. As long as Spencer-Fleming writes this series, fans shall not want, except the next book. In the Bleak Midiwnter, A Fountain Filled with Blood, Out of the Deep I Cry, To Darkness and to Death, and All Mortal Flesh.

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