Multi award-winning novelist Michael Lister tops today’s Buffet with Flesh and Blood, a collection of mysteries featuring investigator John Jordan.
Publisher’s Weekly summarized the book this way:
This book of seven “cases” ranges from standard fair play tales to explorations of faith. Some stories, such as “Bad Blood,” which involves a murder on the prison grounds, are reminiscent of Ed Hoch’s impossible crime tales and demonstrate talent at traditional mystery writing. Others, however, are pure parable: in “A Fountain Filled with Blood” Jordan attempts to ascertain if a 10-year-old African-American girl who survived Hurricane Katrina is really the second coming of Jesus Christ. Lister’s collection will appeal more to a Christian audience than general mystery readers.
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John Jordan is back—investigating eternal mysteries woven into the fabric of everyday life. Within the confines of seemingly ordinary cases, John explores the ineffable and inexplicable, the profoundly mysterious within the mundane.
In this diverse collection of cases, John investigates the Shroud of Turin, a pregnant virgin, a daring prison break, a Hurricane Katrina orphan who might just be the Second Coming, a desperate woman who sleeps with one too many men, a bloody body on the rec yard, a mystery that turns on a single observation, and a murder in which John himself is the prime suspect—all this as he deals with depression and battles alcoholism.
These stories are puzzles, whodunits, and enigmas, but they are much more. John Jordan doesn’t just solve crime, he investigates the hidden heart of humanity and the mysterious world in which we live. Here are temporal answers and eternal questions, and at the center of it all, a conflicted man of faith and doubt, flawed, but faithful, who ministers mercy even as he thirsts for justice.
Imagine standing in line at Harvey Nichols waiting to buy the most gorgeous silk Gucci dress. The only minor problem? You can’t afford it, it’s a size smaller than you are, and you have absolutely no place to wear it.
Meet Natalie Flemming: a twenty-something woman working in London for a fabulous shoe-designing firm, but the only thing they let her touch is the company’s tax forms. She has decided to give fate a vacation and takes the task of finding the man of her dreams (or Johnny Depp if he would just return her calls…) into her own hands.
She craves adventure, spontaneity, passion- or will just settle for a decent date.
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The Killer left nothing behind but a rosary, a kitchen knife, and a dead man. but the dead man is a friend of Sabre Orin Brown. When his unsuspecting wife is accused of the murder, Sabre will stop at nothing to uncover the truth, even if it means unearthing chilling secrets.
From a San Diego jail to the shady Chicago nightlife, Sabre’s search for the true killer forces her to face the question: What do you do when the ones you trust the most are the ones with the most to hide?
Dive into a humorous fantasy world unlike anything you have imagined. A world of gods and goddesses who build universes for a living. Are they all-powerful and all-knowing? Well, not exactly…
As Bernie graduates from God School, he is thrilled to land his dream job as a builder of universes. His first assignment is to build his own universe. Determined but unsure, bright but without confidence, Bernie forges ahead, only to find problems everywhere. Mysterious asteroids, unexplained volcanoes, shifting continents and more lead him to suspect sabotage. But who could sabotage his universe? Only another god could do that.
It’s god vs. god, guile vs. goodness, where only one of them plays by the rules. Bernie must find a way to outwit his vicious foe. If he fails, it will cost him everything.
When Danielle Rouge was sixteen years old, fate sent her the love of her life … and the poor dear hadn’t a clue. Now, twelve years later, she finds herself on the outside of the hotel room that her husband, Jon, and his mistress are currently occupying. More insulted than devastated (after all, who wouldn’t want Danielle Rouge?), she runs away, if a grown woman can run away, and happens upon Malcolm Blair. Hmm … isn’t he that attorney The Boston Globe keeps raving about? Gorgeous, wealthy and available. Goodbye, Jon.
Malcolm Blair’s the smirking type, the politically connected type, the tap-your-phone-to-find-out-what-you’re-up-to type. He’s assisted fate in its quest to woo Danielle back to him and he believes he’s done a brilliant job. That is, until someone begins stalking Danielle, threatening to drive away the one woman he’s ever truly longed for. But no worries; he’ll fix this. After all, that’s what he does. He fixes things, no matter who has to suffer. He. Will. Fix. This.
The first of three novellas, bring readers back to the world of Claire Maloney and Roan Sullivan, whose star-crossed small town Georgia childhood and adult reunion in the go-go 1990’s ended with them at peace together on their beloved Dunshinnog mountain, though Roan, the boy from the opposite of the tracks who made good, would always be wary of Claire’s volatile and powerful southern family.
Now Roan and Claire are married and stand at the cusp of the new millennium in their exurban Atlanta mountain town, Dunderry, where the appearance of morality and the politics of social justice are no less complicated than when Roan and Claire were children. When Roan foils a tattooed stranger’s robbery attempt during Dunderry’s upscale St. Patrick’s Day festival—totally disrupting the festival—the town’s shock is compounded by the handsome thug’s claim that he’s Roan’s young half-brother.
When testing proves his claim true, the showdown between past and present is set. Claire never turned her back on Roan; can he do the same for his far more notorious sibling, even if it means bringing a criminal into Claire’s family—his family , now that they’re married—and risking the tentative truce he’s built for her sake?
The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams.
Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.
What’s real? What’s not? Where does reality end and madness begin?
As Daniel struggles to find the truth, his world begins to crumble around him as he slips further and further into his own private blurred reality.
1896 Oklahoma Indian Territory
Mary Goode has spent nearly a decade hiding her sweetly off-kilter brother, Robin, and two fellow misfits after she rescued them from a brutal institution. But unknown to Mary, the trio’s fascination with Robin Hood and their hero’s crusade to “steal from the rich and give to the poor” may have led to a few actual robberies.
U.S. Marshal Shane Latimer is on the trail of the inept Robin Hood and his shabby band of not-so-tough Merry Men when his rattlesnake-spooked-horse lands him in the care of Robin’s fiercely protective sister, Mary, aka Maid Marian.
He’s instantly charmed by Mary’s devotion to her whimsical brood but worries that she may be hiding the truth. Still, for a cynical loner like Shane, the appeal of their family affection, love, and loyalty, combined with Mary’s growing hold on his heart, is hard to resist.
Mary is equally torn. This wounded stranger could be the man of her dreams, and for the first time in her life she has someone to share the challenges of keeping her brigands out of trouble.
But will her quest for happiness forever shatter the idyllic life she’s forged for her special family?
From out of the blue, here’s a new collection of Vonnegut fiction–his first magazine stories from the 1950s in book form at last, with some charming reminiscences (and three new endings for old stories) by the author. Vonnegut says these tales were meant to be as evanescent as lightening bugs, and that image captures their frail magic. They’re like time travelers from an epoch when stories swarmed in mass-market magazines, before TV dawned and doomed them.Later greatness glimmers here: the offbeat sci-fi of “Thanasphere” (in which an astronaut encounters dead souls in space) and the hero’s bogus adventures in alien lands in “Bagombo Snuff Box” look forward to Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, as do the war stories “Souvenir,” “Der Arme Dolmetscher,” and “The Cruise of The Jolly Roger,” which incorporate and amplify Vonnegut’s actual war experiences.
There’s authentic midcentury news here, even in the gentle Saturday Evening Post social satire of “The No-Talent Kid,” “Ambitious Sophomore,” and “The Boy Who Hated Girls,” which pretty much nail the high-school marching band experience. The pieces are peppered with odd, true observations and neat little turns of phrase: one incompetent kid in Lincoln High’s band marches “flappingly, like a mother flamingo pretending to be injured, luring alligators from her nest.”
Zhu Xiao-Mei was born to middle-class parents in post-war China, and her musical proficiency became clear at an early age. Taught to play the piano by her mother, she developed quickly into a prodigy, immersing herself in the work of classical masters like Bach and Brahms. She was just ten years old when she began a rigorous course of study at the Beijing Conservatory, laying the groundwork for what was sure to be an extraordinary career. But in 1966, when Xiao-Mei was seventeen, the Cultural Revolution began, and life as she knew it changed forever.
One by one, her family members were scattered, sentenced to prison or labor camps. By 1969, the art schools had closed, and Xiao-Mei was on her way to a work camp in Mongolia, where she would spend the next five years. Life in the camp was nearly unbearable, thanks to horrific living conditions and intensive brainwashing campaigns. Yet through it all Xiao-Mei clung to her passion for music and her sense of humor.
It’s only been a month since Charlotte Summers reunited with her sexy French boyfriend, Luc Olivier, and he has already made her the proposal of a lifetime: a mad dash to the altar in the fairytale town of Annecy. Without hesitation, Charlotte says au revoir to single life and oui to a lifetime of chocolate in bed with Luc. She’s madly in love, and Luc is clearly the one, so what could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out, quite a lot…
On the heels of their drama-filled nuptials in the French Alps, Luc whisks Charlotte away to Paris for a luxurious honeymoon. But just as they are settling into a sheet-ripping, chocolate-induced haze, a surprise appearance by Luc’s drop-dead gorgeous ex-wife brings the festivities to a halt. Luc never told Charlotte that his ex was a famous French actress, or that she was still in love with him. Add to that Charlotte’s new role as step-mom to Luc’s tantrum-throwing daughter, a humiliating debacle in the French tabloids, and the threat of losing her coveted position at the language school—and Charlotte fears she may have tied the French knot a little too quickly.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2