Monday, December 28, 2009

New Titles Just In

Burcell, Robin. The Bone Chamber. (Poisoned Pen $25 Signed on Jan 8)

robinMysteriously summoned to Quantico to help re-create the face of a murdered, mutilated young woman, FBI forensic artist Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick knows immediately this is no ordinary crime. The hit-and-run death of the forensic anthropologist assisting her-a close friend-and Sydney's abrupt dismissal from the case by covert government investigators only strengthen her need for answers. Now her hunt for a killer is carrying her from Washington to Rome to the hidden chamber of a legendary tomb-on the trail of a fabled treasure of the Knights Templar . . . and a curse.

For buried deep in the mysteries of the Freemasons and the Vatican's Holy See is a secret that could rock the world. Suddenly an ancient map is pointing Sydney toward something the Templars wished to hide away forever-something that could unleash an unstoppable tide of blood and devastation.

Garagiola, Joe. Just Play Ball ($22 Signed)

JoeJoe came by and signed some more copies of the wonderful book for us. Sure to make any baseball fan smile, Just Play Ball is chocked full of memories and photos of the beloved sport.

Our fathers remember baseball the way it should be. Colorful characters who played for the love of the game, fresh cut grass, rosin bags, and pine tar remind them what the game is all about. Baseball legend Joe Garagiola's new book, Just Play Ball, is an insightful look at what is right with America' s pastime.

James. P.D. Talking About Detective Fiction (Knopf $22)

pdIn a perfect marriage of author and subject, P. D. James-one of the most widely admired writers of detective fiction at work today-gives us a personal, lively, illuminating exploration of the human appetite for mystery and mayhem, and of those writers who have satisfied it.

P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie ("arch-breaker of rules"), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they've created, from Sherlock Holmes to Sara Paretsky's sexually liberated female investigator, V. I. Warshawski. She compares British and American Golden Age mystery writing. She discusses detective fiction as social history, the stylistic components of the genre, her own process of writing, how critics have reacted over the years, and what she sees as a renewal of detective fiction-and of the detective hero-in recent years.

There is perhaps no one who could write about this enduring genre of storytelling with equal authority and flair: it is essential reading for every lover of detective fiction.

Kingsolver, Barbara. The Lacuna( $40 Signed)

This title is #10 this week on the New York Times best seller list

Starred Review From PW, "Kingsolver's ambitious new novel, her first in nine years (after the The Poisonwood Bible), focuses on Harrison William Shepherd, the product of a divorced American father and a Mexican mother. After getting kicked out of his American military academy, Harrison spends his formative years in Mexico in the 1930s in the household of Diego Rivera; his wife, Frida Kahlo; and their houseguest, Leon Trotsky, who is hiding from Soviet assassins. After Trotsky is assassinated, Harrison returns to the U.S., settling down in Asheville, N.C., where he becomes an author of historical potboilers (e.g., Vassals of Majesty) and is later investigated as a possible subversive. Narrated in the form of letters, diary entries and newspaper clippings, the novel takes a while to get going, but once it does, it achieves a rare dramatic power that reaches its emotional peak when Harrison wittily and eloquently defends himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee (on the panel is a young Dick Nixon). Employed by the American imagination, is how one character describes Harrison, a term that could apply equally to Kingsolver as she masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist. "

And for the chef on your list we have Beautiful copies of Sharing the Table at Garlands Lodge ($35) signed by Amanda Stine; Mary Garland

tableAmanda and Mary have lovingly created a very personal cookbook full of delightful anecdotes, fascinating historical tidbits, mouth-watering, easily doable recipes, and gorgeous photographs. If you can't get a reservation, it's the next best thing to being there! --Barbara Pool Fenzl, Les Gourmettes Cooking School, author of "Southwest the Beautiful"

Between Mary's beautifully told story and stunning photographs, I could smell the sycamores and hear the tumbling waters of Oak Creek. Amanda Stine's recipes are appealing and clear. --Deborah Madison, author of "Local Flavors" and "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone"

Only a lucky few will ever get to stay at Garland's Lodge. But now, with this collection of Amanda's recipes, anyone can now cook up Lodge favorites for their families and friends. --Katharine Kagel, chef/owner, Cafe Pasqual's, Santa Fe

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