Estleman, Loren D. Alone ($27 Signed)
The second wacky comedic murder romp for Hollywood film detective ValentinoValentino wants to keep The Oracle, his beloved run-down movie palace, from being condemned before it even reopens, but murder keeps intruding into his otherwise quiet life. At a gala party held in memory of screen legend Greta Garbo, he’s having fun until the host, a hotshot developer named Rankin, tells Valentino about a certain letter from Garbo to his late wife. She and Garbo had been…close.Such a letter is of great interest to a film archivist like Valentino, but the the plot thickens when Rankin tells Val that his assistant, Akers, is using this letter to blackmail him. Val is appalled by the thought of blackmail…but that letter sounds juicier all the time. Returning to Rankin’s mansion after the party, Val finds Rankin sitting at his desk with a pistol in his hand, looking at Akers’s dead body on the floor.Valentino’s in a quandary. He’d love to see that letter, but he can’t. He’s gotten his girlfriend—who works for the police—in trouble, so his love life is, pardon the expression, shot to hell. Worse yet, the building inspector has kicked him out of his unfinished living space in the Oracle, so he takes his life in his hands and moves in with his eccentric mentor, the elderly, insomniac Professor Broadhead. No love, no sleep, no letter—life isn’t fair!
Nikitas, Derek. The Long Division ($27 Signed)
This title earned a Starred Review from PW, "At the start of Nikitas's stellar second novel (after his Edgar-finalist debut, Pyres), Jodie Larkin, a house cleaner in Atlanta, succumbs to temptation—she steals $5,000 and a car from a client—and sets off to visit the son she gave up for adoption and whom she hasn't seen in five years. Cal Nowak, Jodie's now 15-year-old son, lives in Cape Fear, N.C., and is struggling with his sexual identity. Together, Jodie and Cal set off north on a desperate, doomed journey. Meanwhile, SUNY student Wynn Johnston is trying to help a friend rescue the friend's missing sister, and Weymouth, N.Y., deputy Sam Hartwick must deal with his dying wife and a double murder. Sentences, paragraphs, even chapters don't so much end as act like synapses jumping to the next sequence. Nikitas effectively picks up and drops each thread. Beautifully realized characterizations power complex story lines that meet and connect this disparate group with the inevitability of Greek tragedy. "