Books

There’s nothing like crime fiction involving a butler to take you back to the Golden Age, the inspiration for so many cosy crime novels. So we’ll start this week’s new books report with the latest from Cathy Ace, then migrate into psychological thrillers, detective crime fiction and perhaps even hopscotch over to some true crime
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Mark Coggins’s new Tokyo-based crime novel, Geisha Confidential, features middle-aged San Francisco-based private investigator August Riordan, who has appeared in a number of previous books in this award-winning series. Read this fast-paced story, and you’ll barely have time to feel the jet lag. Almost as soon as Riordan’s plane lands, trouble starts. He’s made the
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There’s truth to the adage write what you know. New Zealand author Tom Baragwanath follows this advice by setting his debut novel in Masterton, where he’s from, resulting in a strong and authentic sense of place. On the other end of the spectrum, he defies it by using a female protagonist and creating an utterly
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Billie Walker does not want to accept that she is a war widow, even though it has been a couple of years since she last saw her husband. Nor does she have any intention of working as a reporter for the society pages. She enjoyed being a war correspondent in Europe and working side by
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There seems to have been a spike in the number of ex-intelligence officers writing espionage novels recently – and they know what they’re talking about. Among them are David McCloskey and IS Berry in America, and James Wolff and Charles Beaumont in Britain. Dark Arena is slightly different, with former airforce pilot and DGSE officer
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This originally appeared in our Today in Books daily newsletter, where each day we round up the most interesting stories, news, essays, and other goings on in the world of books and reading. Sign up here if you want to get it. __________________________________ Saturday Night Live Skewers Truman Capote I haven’t been watching the confusingly
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Although some people liken it to Nordic noir due to the latitude, Alaskan crime fiction has its own vibes and tropes. In some ways, it’s like that 90s TV show Northern Exposure, with murder thrown in. Quirky and dark. The cold is a killer, the wilderness is a killer, some of the people are pretty
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It’s common practice among many publishers to leave translators’ bylines off book covers—an act of erasure that reinforces the widely held belief that original texts are sacred and thus superior to any translation. Jennifer Croft, who is best known for her translations of Nobel Prize-winning Polish author Olga Tokarczuk’s books, is challenging readers and critics
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Murder and Mamon is the fourth book in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series by Mia P Manansala. It is a delightful culinary cosy mystery about Lila Macapagal, a baker and amateur detective. Lila is passionate about food, family and friends. Should anything happen to her family or friends, Lila will happily step into her
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A bookshop becomes an inspiration for transformation in this thought-provoking tale by author and essayist Hwang Bo-reum. After she burns out from her intense career and divorces her controlling husband, Yeongju decides to find emotional fulfillment by pursuing her childhood dream of owning a bookshop. Although she finds the business aspect of running a bookshop
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Welcome to Today in Books, where we report on literary headlines at the intersection of politics, culture, media, and more. It Feels Like a Lot Because It Is a Lot If your latest scroll through the Netflix menu left you feeling like every other option was based on a book, you’re not super wrong. Nearly one-third
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Don’t know about you, but I, for one, am intrigued to see Oscar Wilde’s the ageless Dorian Gray appear in a crime novel alongside Sherlock Holmes. Wow! The Classified Dossier has finally been revealed by crime author Christian Klaver and it looks like the perfect distraction from the cost of living crisis, climate change and
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Despite her love for logic and science, 12-year-old Sahara Rashad longs for a trip from her home in Queens, New York, to Merlin’s Crossing, a wizard-themed amusement park. Alas, as Nedda Lewers’ magical coming-of-age adventure Daughters of the Lamp opens, Sahara realizes her dad didn’t find her “Ten Reasons the Rashad Family Should Go to
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Graham Halstead serves up an atmospheric performance in the audiobook of The Glutton (11 hours), A.K. Blakemore’s mesmerizing novel about a peasant boy with a voracious appetite for just about anything. Tarare is a sickly man close to death, strapped to his hospital bed and watched over by a nun who is terrified by rumors
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Thomas Mullen made his name with the Darktown novels, set in racism-riddled 1940s Atlanta. Last year, he changed tack with a near-future sci-fi thriller called Blind Spots. With The Rumor Game he returns to mid-century America with a historical thriller set in Cambridge, Massachusetts early in World War II. Journalist Anne Lemire writes a column
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Valerie Martin’s captivating new novel, Mrs. Gulliver, lies just beyond the horizon. The year is 1954. Verona Island floats a longish ferry ride away from the mainland. Lila Gulliver’s clients enter through a side door behind a hedge, unseen from the street, though prostitution is legal on the island. Lila, who tells this tale, is
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An orphan and immigrant in the vast industrial city of White Roaring, Arthie Casimir has made a name for herself as the proprietor of Spindrift, an innovative teahouse situated at the intersection of the posh and working class sides of town. Alongside her adopted brother, Jin, Arthie is offering something unique at Spindrift—especially to the
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“What’s past is prologue,” Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest. Tommy Orange demonstrates the veracity of that line in Wandering Stars, his follow-up to There There, the 2018 debut novel for which he was a Pulitzer finalist. Few literary debuts are as chillingly of-the-moment as There There, which spanned a huge cast of Native American characters
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The shocking disappearance of four people infuses suburban Palmetto, Illinois, with confusion and fear in Melissa Albert’s gripping supernatural horror thriller, The Bad Ones. Among the missing is high school junior Nora Powell’s best friend, Becca Cross. As children, the duo established a creative partnership and spent hours in the woods together, with Nora writing
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Is solving a crime similar to bird watching? You’ve got to do your research, use your intuition, know what you’re looking for, recognise it when you see it, exercise patience and arrive at just the right time to avoid disappointment. So maybe spotting a rare species of bird is closer to catching a criminal than
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This originally appeared in our Today in Books daily newsletter, where each day we round up the most interesting stories, news, essays, and other goings on in the world of books and reading. Sign up here if you want to get it. ____________________________ LeVar Burton Signs Deal with Pantheon for Two Books One is going
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The Killing star Sofie Gräbøl returns to our screens, swapping the knitwear for a prison-issue blue shirt in Prisoner, which begins airing on BBC Four at 9pm on Saturday 24 February 2024. It’s a crime show where the perpetrators are already in prison – but that doesn’t make things any easier. [embedded content] Originally broadcast
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This originally appeared in our Today in Books daily newsletter, where each day we round up the most interesting stories, news, essays, and other goings on in the world of books and reading. Sign up here if you want to get it. _____________________________________________________ Can You Name Sequels to These Best-Selling Novels? I count myself a
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