Friday, June 19, 2009

New Signed Books From the Poisoned Pen

Cohen, Gabriel. Neptune Avenue. ($27) Signed

neptune*Starred Review* Contemporary Brooklyn is one of the wellsprings of crime fiction. With many dozens of ethnic enclaves sitting cheek by jowl, it is a roiling place that challenges even the skills of veteran NYPD Homicide Detective Jack Leightner. In this third Leightner novel (following The Graving Dock, 2007, and Red Hook, 2001), Jack finds himself plumbing the mysteries of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn's Russian enclave. He's after the murderer of a friend, a Russian immigrant he shared a hospital room with while recovering from a bullet wound; but what lonely Leightner finds first is love, or at least infatuation, with Zhenya, the victim's wife. Principled and soulful, Leightner chastises himself for his feelings while his investigation takes him from Crown Heights to Coney Island. But plot takes a backseat here to character-Jack's and Brooklyn's-as Cohen treats crime fans to quirky details of Jack's world and a knowing glimpse of an amazing place blessed and afflicted by a surfeit of "tribes" that sometimes go to war and are always suspicious of outsiders. Cohen's novels belong, with those of Norman Green, at the top of every Brooklyn crime-fiction list. --Thomas Gaughan Boolist

Rosett, Sara. Magnolias, Moonlight and Murder ($24) Signed

Settlimagng her family - Air Force pilot Mitch, baby Nathan, and daughter Livvy - into their new home in Georgia, Ellie Avery is busier than ever. With two children under four, a party to plan for Mitch's promotion, and new contacts to develop for her organizing business, Ellie's eager to relax by taking Rex, the family Rottweiler, for a peaceful stroll. But what they find is anything but tranquil. As evening's shadows fall, Ellie stumbles into an abandoned graveyard disturbed by flooding from a recent storm. It's a chilling enough setting without the shocking spectre of two dead bodies...unearthed from the same grave. The skeleton that belongs in the washed-out gravesite is that of a young casualty of World War I. The probable identity of the fresher corpse leads Ellie into a missing-person case centred around Jodi Lockworth, a vibrant young woman who once lived in the house the Averys are now renting.

When Ellie discovers a vital clue in her very own home, she becomes the next target of a sinister schemer who'll stop at nothing to protect a deadly secret. Now, with a double mystery brewing and dozens of guests about to arrive in her back yard, Ellie's agenda is once again packed. The only thing she hasn't pencilled in is one killer of a party crasher who intends to make this celebration Ellie's last.

Urrea, Luis Alberto. Into The Beautiful North ($25) northSigned

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over...

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