From The Booking Desk:

Apologies for the delay in posting this week’s list of books to look out for. After the tragedy his family suffered over the weekend, I wanted to devote yesterday to Jeff Abbott’s Blame, in the hopes that many of you would pre-order his wonderful book. Since that one is not out until next week, you might want to pick up a few of the titles below as well. Excellent summer reading with something for every taste.

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Nuala Ellwood – My Sister’s Bones (William Morrow, Paperback, $15.99, 07/11/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

I ran my BOLO Books Review of My Sister’s Bones when the book was released in the UK, but today the novel is more easily accessible to those of you in the US. This is a not-to-be-missed debut. My review is spoiler-free, so give it a read for more about this unique novel.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

In the vein of Fiona Barton’s The Widow and Renée Knight’s Disclaimer, a psychological thriller about a war reporter who returns to her childhood home after her mother’s death but becomes convinced that all is not well in the house next door—but is what she’s seeing real or a symptom of the trauma she suffered in Syria?

The One Person You Should Trust Is Lying to You…

Kate has spent fifteen years bringing global injustice home: as a decorated war reporter, she’s always in a place of conflict, writing about ordinary people in unimaginable situations. When her mother dies, Kate returns home from Syria for the funeral. But an incident with a young Syrian boy haunts her dreams, and when Kate sees a boy in the garden of the house next door—a house inhabited by an Iraqi refugee who claims her husband is away and she has no children—Kate becomes convinced that something is very wrong.

As she struggles to separate her memories of Syria from the quiet town in which she grew up—and also to reconcile her memories of a traumatic childhood with her sister’s insistence that all was not as Kate remembers—she begins to wonder what is actually true…and what is just in her mind.

In this gripping, timely debut, Nuala Ellwood brings us an unforgettable damaged character, a haunting , humanizing look at the Syrian conflict, and a deeply harrowing psychological thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.

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Claire Booth – Another Man’s Ground (Minotaur, Hardcover, $25.99, 07/11/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

I was a huge fan of The Branson Beauty, the first novel is the Hank Worth series. I am happy to report that Another Man’s Ground is even better. With a plot involving immigrant rights, this books is as timely and compelling as ever. But there is also some real humor in this story and I have a feeling that Hank (and Claire) will be around for a long time to come. Just a warning, the further you get in this book, the more difficult it is to put down – plan accordingly.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

It starts out as an interesting little theft case. Branson, Missouri’s new Sheriff Hank Worth is called out to look at stands of trees that have been stripped of their bark, which the property owner had planned to harvest for the booming herbal supplement market. At first, Hank easily balances the demands of the investigation with his fledging political career. He was appointed several months earlier to the vacant sheriff position, but he needs to win the fast-approaching election in order to keep his job. He thinks the campaign will go well, as long as he’s able to keep secret the fact that a group of undocumented immigrants – hired to cut down the stripped trees – have fled into the forest and he’s deliberately not looking for them.

But then the discovery of a murder victim deep in the Ozark backwoods sets him in the middle of a generations-old feud that explodes into danger not only for him, but also for the immigrants, his deputies, and his family. He must rush to find a murderer before election day, and protect the vulnerable in Branson County, where politicking is hell and trespassing can get you killed.

In Another Man’s Ground, her next novel featuring Sheriff Hank Worth, acclaimed author Claire Booth delivers a taut, witty mystery that will grip readers from the opening pages to the breathless conclusion.

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Michael Robotham – The Secrets She Keeps (Scribner, Hardcover, $26.00, 07/11/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. Michael Robotham should be a house-hold name. He consistently writes some of the most gripping and mature crime novels available. If you have never read him, The Secrets She Keeps is a stand-alone novel – separate from his excellent Joe O’Loughlin series (which I would classify as modern classics) – so this is a great place to jump in. Pure domestic suspense, this novel rarely goes where readers will expect.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

With its brilliant rendering of the secrets some women hold close and a shocking act that cannot be undone, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.

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Doug Johnstone – Crash Land (Faber & Faber, Paperback, $14.95, 07/11/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

This was my first Doug Johnstone read, but it certainly won’t be my last. I love nothing more than a remote, isolated location and here Orkney more than satisfies. This is first and foremost a thriller, but Johnson’s grasp of his characters allows for a bit more psychological insight than typically seen in that genre.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Sitting in the departure lounge of Kirkwall Airport, Finn Sullivan just wants to get off the remote Scottish island of Orkney. But then he meets the mysterious and dangerous Maddie Pierce, stepping in to save her from some unwanted attention, and his life is changed forever.

Set against the brutal, unforgiving landscape of Orkney, Crash Land is a psychological thriller steeped in guilt, shame, lust, deception, and murder.

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Alexia Gordon – Death in D Minor (Henery Press, e-book, $2.99, 07/11/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

Gethsemane Brown is back! The heroine of Alexia Gordon’s cozy-ish series was a breath of fresh air when she first appeared in Murder in G Major. The fact that the awards and accolades followed is proof that readers are ready for more diversity in their crime fiction reading. Ireland, Classical Music, Art, Embroidery, and Ghosts – how can the end result not be a ton of fun for the reader?  Guaranteed to put a smile on your face, this second book continues to expand Gethsemane’s circle of friends and family, so I suspect there are many more adventures to be had.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Gethsemane Brown, African-American classical musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders, led a school orchestra to victory in a major competition, and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy over the Christmas holiday. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord’s about to sell her cottage to a hotel developer, and her brother-in-law is coming for a visit—with one day’s notice.

She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from certain destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with a garda investigator to go undercover as a musician at a charity ball and snoop for evidence linking antiques to a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the investigator’s help clearing her brother-in-law. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. With the captain’s help, she races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself and her brother-in-law. Then the killer targets her. Will she save herself and bring a thief and murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?

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Edgar Cantero – Meddling Kids (Doubleday, Hardcover, $26.95, 07/11/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

If you are like me and you grew up watching the Scooby-Doo Mystery series, this is the book for you. Impossible to classify – which doesn’t matter in the least – this book has “summer reading” written all over it. It never takes itself too seriously and yet remains a faithful tenant of the many genres it touches upon. Fun, Fun, Fun!!!

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.