Bestselling mystery novelist Julie Smith won the 1991 Edgar Award for “best mystery” for her sixth book, New Orleans Mourning, which tops today’s Buffet. The book is the first installment in Julie’s acclaimed “Skip Langdon” series, which falls deliciously between the psychological suspense of Laura Lippman and the delicate drama of Tennesse Williams.
Julie was born in Annapolis, Maryland, grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and graduated from the University of Mississippi. She then worked as a journalist for 16 years, beginning as a reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. She then moved on to the San Francisco Chronicle, where she became the first woman hired for the newsroom since World War II. She quit the Chronicle in 1979 to form a freelance writing and editing firm called Invisible Ink with several other aspiring fiction writers, including Marcia Muller, and sold her first novel, Death Turns a Trick, in 1982.
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It’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and civic leader and socialite Chauncy St. Amant has been crowned Rex, King of Carnival. But his day of glory comes to an abrupt and bloody end when a parade-goer dressed as Dolly Parton guns him down. Is the killer his aimless, promiscuous daughter Marcelle? Homosexual, mistreated son Henry? Helpless, alcoholic wife Bitty? Or some unknown player? Turns out the king had enemies…
Enter resourceful heroine Skip Langdon, a rookie police officer and former debutante turned cynic of the Uptown crowd. Scouring the streets for clues, interviewing revelers and street people with names like Jo Jo, Hinky, and Cookie, and using her white glove contacts, the post-deb rebel cop encounters a tangled web of brooding clues and ancient secrets that could mean danger for her—and doom for the St. Amants.
Langdon, with her weight worries, insecurities, and yet overall toughness has long been a favorite of those who like their female sleuths bold, smart, and refreshingly human.
Can a brand-new marriage withstand the weight of generations-old baggage?
Newlyweds Amelia and Marcus Sheffield are recent college grads, trying to stay afloat in LA while searching for their dream jobs. Marcus hopes to become a mega-church pastor. Amelia has an esteemed music degree, and longs to play piano professionally. The Sheffields are clearly city people.
But when a small town church offers Marcus a job, the couple’s dedication to their dreams and each other is tested. After a risky compromise is made, Amelia falls into a dark emotional place, where she finds skeletons she’d fought hard to deny. In desperation, she calls out to God. But why can’t she find Him? While Amelia struggles, Marcus learns news that nearly crushes him. He must lean on his faith to withstand the pressure… or risk losing his wife forever.
Shirin Reyes, a legendary rogue assassin, has come out of the cold with a vengeance in this thrilling action novel of the year. Determined to kill the men responsible for her husband’s death, she finds herself torn between her all consuming vendetta and the consequences her actions have on those she cares about.
Unrelenting. Unstoppable. Uncompromising. Shirin ruthlessly hunts down each man, working her way to the top, never realizing she has penetrated the inner sanctum of a covert operation – entangled within an explosive web of scandal, treason, murder and government corruption.
If life is like a box of chocolates, Cat Butler has tasted them all—and decided on none. It’s no wonder she can’t keep a job, even though her mother’s health depends on it. Just when she finds herself up a creek without a paddle—again—a benevolent friend throws her a lifeline. In the form of a job at, of all places, a phone sex hotline. Not exactly what she had in mind, but if it pays the bills for her mom’s expensive nursing home, what’s the harm?
Successful entrepreneur Flynn McGrady knows a thing or two about responsibility. So when his mother has a stroke, he knows the right thing to do is relocate to Atlanta to be near her while she recovers. He’s got a plan for everything—except for feisty Cat, who finally gets his mama to talk again. Talk dirty, that is, and he’s not pleased. Cat is gorgeous and sassy to boot…too bad she’s not the type to settle down.
An abandoned Arkansas lake resort holds the key to a young woman’s past . . . and her future.
Raised by her grandfather after her mother died, flea market manager Julie Pearl Stiles promised herself she’d postpone the search for her absentee father until the truth could no longer hurt Grandpa. Then one crazy June day ushers in a series of discoveries that threaten to turn Julie’s peaceful, small-town life upside down. Her encounter with Little Rock socialite Renata Channing seems more than coincidental, but equally disconcerting is her grandfather’s immediate dislike for real estate entrepreneur Micah Hobart.
Haunted by a devastating childhood mistake, Micah turned his back on God a long time ago, but success has proven a poor substitute for the inner peace he craves. Everything changes when he’s blindsided by the outspoken flea market manager who quickly captures his heart.
The Last Jump is a story of discovery as a modern day journalist explores the military experience of his father in World War II. Aware of the existence of a long lost family secret, our protagonist enlists the aid of four aging World War II veterans who knew his father. When he finds out they know about the secret and have sworn an oath never to reveal it, he begins the difficult task of carefully cajoling the information from men he considers to be true heroes. His odyssey takes him back in time to a country vexed with racial and gender issues but united as never before or since.
After the last veteran passes away, his hopes are dashed but one reaches from beyond the grave to identify the only other living person who who knows the secret and he races against death to reach her. A shocking conclusion awaits him, if only he can get there in time!
One year after her beloved sister drowned while swimming in cold New England waters, sixteen-year-old Brandi Vine is still struggling to understand what happened. As she mourns on the rocky beach where her sister’s lifeless body washed ashore, she is unaware that a pair of haunting gray eyes is watching her from beneath rolling ocean waves.
When Brandi attends a party that goes horribly awry, the mysterious owner of the gray eyes emerges from the ocean depths and comes to her rescue. She only sees him for a few brief moments, but that’s all it takes to turn Brandi’s world upside down. What were the strange markings on his neck that seemed to flutter with every breath? How did he possess such inhuman strength and grace? And why did he look at Brandi with such longing?
Brandi’s fascination with the Swimmer grows. She makes it her mission to find him again and learn who – and what – he is. Meanwhile, the Swimmer’s fascination with Brandi compels him to leave the safety of the ocean behind, to be with her at all costs. They are from two different worlds, but neither of the star-crossed romantics can resist the pull of the other.
Alexia “Lexi” Hanson moved across the country to rebuild her life after the attack that almost destroyed her. She enjoys the simple things in her beach cottage. Life is finally complete.
Noah Matthews is Rock & Roll’s hottest star and on top of the world. After years without a break he finds the solitude he craves at his beach house. Enjoying his early morning coffee, Noah is surprised to see his neighbor sneak into his garden and crawl around.
They never saw that fateful morning coming. Someone was watching them. Someone who thought Lexi belonged to him and would stop at nothing to have her.
TODAY’S BARGAINS……………What’s this?
Huxley’s bleak future prophesized in Brave New World was a capitalist civilization which had been reconstituted through scientific and psychological engineering, a world in which people are genetically designed to be passive and useful to the ruling class. Satirical and disturbing, Brave New World is set some 600 years ahead, in “this year of stability, A.F. 632”–the A.F. standing for After Ford, meaning the godlike Henry Ford. “Community, Identity, Stability,” is the motto. Reproduction is controlled through genetic engineering, and people are bred into a rigid class system. As they mature, they are conditioned to be happy with the roles that society has created for them. The rest of their lives are devoted to the pursuit of pleasure through sex, recreational sports, the getting and having of material possessions, and taking a drug called Soma. Concepts such as family, freedom, love, and culture are considered grotesque.
Against this backdrop, a young man known as John the Savage is brought to London from the remote desert of New Mexico. What he sees in the new civilization a “brave new world” (quoting Shakespeare’s The Tempest). However, ultimately, John challenges the basic premise of this society in an act that threatens and fascinates its citizens.
Huxley uses his entire prowess to throw the idea of utopia into reverse, presenting us what is known as the “dystopian” novel. When Brave New World was written (1931), neither Hitler nor Stalin had risen to power. Huxley saw the enduring threat to society from the dark side of scientific and social progress, and mankind’s increasing appetite for simple amusement. Brave New World is a work that indicts the idea of progress for progress sake and is backed up with force and reason.
Growing up, Kaylie Flynn was shuffled from foster home to foster home before being welcomed into Winton and May Wise’s family. It was May who taught Kaylie the comfort of home, and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie. Years later, May leaves Kaylie the money she needs to open her own café in the charming Victorian house they once shared. Now back in Hope Springs, Kaylie’s determined to finally make all her dreams a reality—and unearth answers to lingering questions about her past.
Soon, however, Kaylie’s carefully laid plans take an unexpected turn. The house needs far more work than she realized, and Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires, is proving to be a very handsome and very unneeded distraction from her quest to uncover the truth about her parents. When a crisis threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard to build, Kaylie must decide where her heart lies: with the ghosts of her past or the love and promise of her future.
On the young world of Dezrel, brother gods Karak and Ashhur, fleeing their own failed world, recreate mankind in an attempt to make amends. The fledgling race of humanity is guided by the First Families, men and women who will not age so long as their hearts remain devoted to their deities.
But quickly the realms are thrown into chaos by the construction of the Temple of the Flesh, built by exiled children of Karak in the unclaimed land of Haven that lies between the two kingdoms. Those of the Temple refuse to bend knee to either god, no matter the risk. Thus comes Karak’s ultimatum to the people of Haven: destroy the Temple, or he will destroy it himself. But his fellow brother god, Ashhur, will not sit idly by while thousands of innocents die…
Can Jacob Eveningstar, the First Man to be given life and Ashhur’s most trusted servant, prevent the coming bloodshed which threatens the survival of the fledgling human race?
World War I stands as one of history’s most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war’s critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain’s leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britain’s most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other.
Today, hundreds of military cemeteries spread across the fields of northern France and Belgium contain the bodies of millions of men who died in the “war to end all wars.” Can we ever avoid repeating history?
Nearly a thousand years after the birth of Christ, when all Europe fears that the world will soon end, an Irish monk, Brother Ciarán, discovers an ominous warning hidden in the illuminations of a religious tome. The cryptic prophecy speaks of Enoch’s device, an angelic weapon with the power to prevent the coming apocalypse.
Pursued by Frankish soldiers and supernatural forces, Ciarán and his freethinking mentor, Brother Dónall, journey to the heart of France in search of the device. There, they rescue the Lady Alais from a heretic-hunting bishop who insists mankind must suffer for its sins. Together, the trio races across Europe to locate the device, which has left clues of its passage through history. But time is running out, and if they don’t find it soon, all that they love could perish at the End of Days.
Enoch’s Device is a fast-paced medieval adventure steeped in history, mythology, and mysteries from a dark and magical past.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2