From The Booking Desk:

After a snow storm that proved to have longer legs than expected, I finally have up a list for your weekly reading enjoyment. Three very different selections, but each one worth your attention.

Amy Gentry – Last Woman Standing (HMH, Hardcover, $25.00, 01/15/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

Amy Gentry’s second novel is one that is likely to be talked about for the entire year. This ultimate tale of frenemies hits the zeitgeist at just the right moment for maximum impact. While the central topic is not what one might think of as “entertainment,” Gentry inclusion of the revenge-style plot keeps readers engaged. It would have been easy for this book to get too heavy-handed and idealistic, but I think Amy Gentry treads that line perfectly without losing sight of the fact that fiction readers are most often looking for some escapism. And extra kudos for making the lead character a person of color.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Dana Diaz is an aspiring stand‑up comedian—a woman in a man’s world. When she meets a tough computer programmer named Amanda Dorn, the two bond over their struggles in boys’ club professions. Dana confides that she’s recently been harassed and assaulted while in L.A., and Amanda comes up with a plan: they should go after each other’s assailants, Strangers on a Train–style. But Dana finds that revenge, however sweet, draws her into a more complicated series of betrayals. Soon her distrust turns to paranoia, encompassing strangers, friends—and even herself. At what cost will she get her vengeance? Who will end up getting hurt? And when it’s all over, will there be anyone left to trust?


Rob Hart – Take-Out (Polis, Paperback, $16.00, 01/15/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

Rob Hart is poised to have quite a successful year and it starts with this excellent collection of short stories. Culinary crime is most often associated with the more cozy end of the crime genre, but here Hart proves that food can also skew very noir. There are some award-worthy shorts in this collection, so pick up a copy now and dive in to the smorgasbord whenever hunger strikes. I promise, you will leave the table both satisfied and aching for more.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Rob Hart has firmly established himself as one of the best crime writers of his generation with his acclaimed Ash McKenna series, and in TAKE-OUT Hart has collected 16 stories of culinary crime and noir that will have you savoring every deadly bite.

In the title story, a gambler falls into debt with the enigmatic owner of a Chinatown gambling parlor, and must run odd—and sometimes dangerous—deliveries to clear his ledger.

In “How to Make the Perfect New York Bagel,” the owner of one of New York City’s last old-school bagel shops has to defend his storefront—in the past, from the mob, and in the present, from a bank.

In “Creampuff,” a bakery with the hottest pastry in town has to hire a bouncer to control the unruly line, with tragic results.

In these stories and more, some never before published, Rob Hart explores the enticing and dangerous intersection where food and hospitality cross paths with crime and noir. Some stories are funny. Some of are dark. But each one will leaving you wanting another bite.


Matthew Quirk – The Night Agent (William Morrow, Hardcover, $26.99, 01/15/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

I don’t often include political or spy novels on my weekly list of books, but in this case, I am making an exception. The plot of this novel ties in so well with the current state of the Nation – it’s almost eerie how on-point this book is – that I think readers who enjoy political intrigue will find this immensely satisfying.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

To save America from a catastrophic betrayal, an idealistic young FBI agent must stop a Russian mole in the White House in this exhilarating political thriller reminiscent of the early novels of John Grisham and David Baldacci.

No one was more surprised than FBI Agent Peter Sutherland when he’s tapped to work in the White House Situation Room. From his earliest days as a surveillance specialist, Peter has scrupulously done everything by the book, hoping his record will help him escape the taint of his past. When Peter was a boy, his father, a section chief in FBI counterintelligence, was suspected of selling secrets to the Russians—a catastrophic breach that had cost him his career, his reputation, and eventually his life.

Peter knows intimately how one broken rule can cost lives. Nowhere is he more vigilant than in this room, the sanctum of America’s secrets. Staffing the night action desk, his job is monitoring an emergency line for a call that has not—and might never—come.

Until tonight.

At 1:05 a.m. the phone rings. A terrified young woman named Rose tells Peter that her aunt and uncle have just been murdered and that the killer is still in the house with her. Before their deaths, they gave her this phone number with urgent instructions: “Tell them OSPREY was right. It’s happening. . . “

The call thrusts Peter into the heart of a conspiracy years in the making, involving a Russian mole at the highest levels of the government. Anyone in the White House could be the traitor. Anyone could be corrupted. To save the nation, Peter must take the rules into his own hands and do the right thing, no matter the cost. He plunges into a desperate hunt for the traitor—a treacherous odyssey that pits him and Rose against some of Russia’s most skilled and ruthless operatives and the full force of the FBI itself.

Peter knows that the wider a secret is broadcast, the more dangerous it gets for the people at the center. With the fate of the country on the line, he and Rose must evade seasoned assassins and maneuver past jolting betrayals to find the shocking truth—and stop the threat from inside before it’s too late.