From The Booking Desk:

I promise that the books I announce truly are out this week and are worthy of the attention. (Too soon for an Oscar blunder joke?)  In all honestly, mistakes happen and not everything is a conspiracy folks.

But it won’t be a mistake to order any of these wonderful new books out this week.

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Rhys Bowen – In Farleigh Field (Lake Union, Paperback, $14.95, 03/01/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

Rhys Bowen is beloved for her two cozy series – one historical and one contemporary – but now she offers readers her first historical thriller and I can unequivocally say that readers are going to love this book. Fans of PBS shows like Downton Abbey and Bletchley Park will find much of interest in this novel, but anyone keen on World War II history and thrillers in general will be impressed with what Rhys accomplishes here.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.
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Cynthia Kuhn – The Art of Vanishing (Henery Press, Paperback, $15.95, 02/28/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

The BOLO Books Review of The Art of Vanishing ran last week, so if you haven’t already pre-ordered this delightful academic mystery, here’s another reminder that it is time to discover what Lila Maclean and her co-workers are up to this semester.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week. The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.
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Cathy Ace – The Case of the Curious Cook (Severn House, Hardcover, $28.99, 03/01/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

Who doesn’t love the ladies of the WISE enquiries agency? They are back in a new adventure that will delight fans of the physical “dead tree” book. Few settings could be as magical to book-lovers as Hay-on-Wye and when you toss in this mixture of quirky women, Cathy Ace has hit a home run with this series. If you haven’t given them a try, please do!

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

A new case for the ladies of the WISE enquiries agency . . .

Henry Devereaux Twyst, eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth, is terribly worried about some water damage to the priceless books in his lower library, so retains the services of a local book restorer to tackle much-needed repairs. The antiquarian also runs the Crooks and Cooks bookshop with his daughter – local TV celebrity chef, The Curious Cook. When the book restorer mentions some strange shenanigans going on at the book shop, Dowager Duchess Althea brings the case to her colleagues at the WISE Enquiries Agency.

As the WISE women try to unravel one puzzle from their base at stately Chellingworth Hall, they then get embroiled in another when they come across a valuable book of miniatures which seems to be the work of a local famous artist, murdered by her own brother. Are the cases linked and why do both mysteries lead to a nearby old folks’ home? The WISE women are on the case – and nothing will get in their way . . . Or will it?
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Caite Dolan-Leach – Dead Letters (Random House, Hardcover, $27.00, 02/28/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

Buzz on this book has been strong and I’ve seen a number of positive reviews, so I wanted to include this book here for those that might have missed hearing about it. Likely not for everyone, if the description strikes your fancy, it’s always nice to discover a debut author with a successful first novel.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

A missing woman leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt in this clever debut novel of suspense for readers of Luckiest Girl Alive and Reconstructing Amelia.

“Ahoy, Ava! Welcome home, my sweet jet-setting twin! So glad you were able to wrest yourself away from your dazzling life in the City of Light; I hope my ‘death’ hasn’t interrupted anything too crucial.”

Ava Antipova has her reasons for running away: a failing family vineyard, a romantic betrayal, a mercurial sister, an absent father, a mother slipping into dementia. In Paris, Ava renounces her terribly practical undergraduate degree, acquires a French boyfriend and a taste for much better wine, and erases her past. Two years later, she must return to upstate New York. Her twin sister, Zelda, is dead.

Even in a family of alcoholics, Zelda Antipova was the wild one, notorious for her mind games and destructive behavior. Stuck tending the vineyard and the girls’ increasingly unstable mother, Zelda was allegedly burned alive when she passed out in the barn with a lit cigarette. But Ava finds the official explanation a little too neat. A little too Zelda. Then she receives a cryptic message—from her sister.

Just as Ava suspected, Zelda’s playing one of her games. In fact, she’s outdone herself, leaving a series of clues about her disappearance. With the police stuck on a red herring, Ava follows the trail laid just for her, thinking like her sister, keeping her secrets, immersing herself in Zelda’s drama and her outlandish circle of friends and lovers. Along the way, Zelda forces her twin to confront their twisted history and the boy who broke Ava’s heart. But why? Is Zelda trying to punish Ava for leaving, or to teach her a lesson? Or is she simply trying to write her own ending?

Featuring a colorful, raucous cast of characters, Caite Dolan-Leach’s debut thriller takes readers on a literary scavenger hunt for clues concealed throughout the seemingly idyllic wine country, hidden in plain sight on social media, and buried at the heart of one tremendously dysfunctional, utterly unforgettable family.