Books, Bikinis And Beaches
● By ALS Editor
Books, Bikinis And Beaches
And, Here’s Some To Take Along
By Ray Saadi—Book Editor
11th Hour By James Patterson & Maxine Paetro Little, Brown $27.99
The “Women’s Murder Club” is back and immediately faced with two major cases; one, the bizarre discovery of two bodiless human heads displayed on the back patio of a famous movie star’s mansion; the other, the point blank shooting of a major drug dealer, the fifth such killing with the same gun stolen from Lindsay Boxer’s own evidence locker. While even more heads are uncovered, Lindsay is particularly concerned with the drug killer, but is strangely discouraged from pursuing it by her superior. It’s another super fast-paced thriller by Patterson and team.
Stay Close By Harlan Coben Dutton $27.95
Three long separated friends are brought together again by a series of murders which could aptly be called, “The Mardi Gras Murders,” since, every year on or about that holiday, some guy gets murdered. Ray, a once successful photographer, now reduced to staging paparazzi photo shoots for wealthy would-be celebrities, is reunited with Megan, a soccer mom with a secret past and Broome, a detective who’s obsessed with the cold case disappearance of a man 17 years prior. It’s the fantastic kind of mystery at which Coben excels.
No Mark Upon Her By Deborah Crombie William Morrow $25.99
When a K9 search and rescue team finds the body of Metropolitan Police officer and former Olympic rowing hopeful, Rebecca Meredith, it is quickly determined that she was murdered. Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his wife, Detective Inspector Gemma James, soon find that there were several people who might have wanted Rebecca dead, and after one of the rescue team is also killed, the duo uncovers a puzzling string of mysteries. Even if you haven’t read any of her previous 13 novels in this series, you’ll enjoy getting to know Ms. Crombie’s finely drawn characters and exciting plots.
The Skeleton Box By Bryan Gruley Touchtone $25
In Starvation Lake, Michigan, a burglar is breaking into the houses of elderly women while they’re playing Bingo at the local church, rummages among their files and papers, but steals nothing. What he’s looking for is what’s troubling local Newspaper Editor Gus Carpenter, whose mother’s house was broken into and her best friend spending the night, was killed. Eventually, he finds a possible connection with a former priest at the church and the contents of a lockbox kept hidden for years. Ice hockey fans get a bonus in this series that features the popular hometown team, the “River Rats.” The Accidental City Improvising New Orleans By Lawrence N. Powell Harvard University Press $29.95 Why in the world was New Orleans located at its present site, infested with snakes and mosquitoes, threatened with hurricanes and floods, and despite the French government’s opposition? But Bienville saw it as “the perfect site for a world-class port and storied metropolis,” not to mention he also happened to have large land concessions there. With the contributions of former slaves, Creoles, merchants and settlers, the process of improvising New Orleans began. Powell who is Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane has written a lucid and exciting history of the birth of the city he loves, perfectly timed for Louisiana’s Bi-Centennial.
Butterfly In The Typewriter By Cory MacLauchlin Da Capo $26
Fans of “A Confederacy of Dunces” will certainly appreciate this fully documented portrait of John Kennedy Toole, the creator of Ignatius J. Reilly. Toole, a happy, funny, and precocious kid, skipped his first two years of school, graduated at 16, received a degree from SLI (now ULL) in Lafayette, then was drafted and stationed in Puerto Rico where he wrote “Confederacy.” But after years failing to have it published, he became despondent, gave up writing, and several years later, tragically committed suicide. His mother found the manuscript and gave it to famed writer, Walker Percy, who was influential in having it published and it, ironically, won the Pulitzer Prize.
Reunion By James Kennedy George, Jr. Author House $19.95
As author George returns to his high school reunion and renews old friendships, he begins to reminisce on his life to date: Top 40 Rock, ham radio and, Callie, the girl he met, loved and later, married. Then there’s the rock band in which he didn’t play but acted as sort of a manager. You may find, as I did, a particularly nostalgic memory, his learning how to turn on the radio station where he worked as an announcer. What power! At university he studied electrical engineering, and spent nearly 40 years in the semiconductor industry. This personal memoir is written in a warm, conversational tone as though you were sitting in the room with him.
The Table Comes First By Adam Gopnik Knopf $25.95
When you hear there’s a new restaurant in town, do you rush to be among the first to try it? Why are restaurants so popular and, who invented them anyway? According to myth, the cooks who lost their jobs when the French Revolution booted out their aristocratic employers turned to cooking for the public. This is just one of the fascinating facts (or myths if you will) that you’ll find in “Table” along with the origin of recipe books, vintage or just a bottle of good wine, and, of course, the joy of dining with family, friends and a new romance. And, don’t forget dessert.
New Orleans Classic Brunches By Kit Wohl Pelican Publishing $16.95
Kit Wohl does it again; compiles a colorful and taste tempting collection of recipes from New Orleans’ favorite Sunday ritual, brunch, “A special meal, often leisurely, occasionally decadent … celebrated by its own cocktails … the Bloody Mary or the Mimosa.” And, since brunch is not commonly served in every Crescent City restaurant, this is the invaluable guide you need for finding the ones that do.
More Badder Grammar! By Sharon Eliza Nichols St. Martin’s Press $9.99
No doubt you’ve seen these abominations of the English language on signs, want ads and even in newspapers. The most egregious error is in the use of the apostrophe as in a “Crawl In’s welcome” sign at a chiropractor’s office, and misspelled words as in “Leather Couch with Automen, Brand new 5 years ago,”— a Craigslist ad. Photos of actual signs add to the levity. Very funny, but sad.