From The Booking Desk:

The weather continues to be inconsistent, but what always remains constant is the knowledge that the publishing industry will release some excellent books each week for our enjoyment.

Sophie Hannah – The Next To Die (William Morrow, Hardcover, $26.99, 02/19/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

The BOLO Books Review of The Narrow Bed ran when this book came out in the UK, but despite the title change for the US release, this is the same book. On any list of under-appreciated crime fiction series, Sophie Hannah’s Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse mysteries would no doubt appear. They never fail to be complex and psychologically accurate, so if you haven’t given them a try, you are doing yourself a disservice. These books read like stand-alones with recurring characters unlike most series.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

What if having a best friend could put you in the crosshairs of a killer?

A psychopath the police have dubbed “Billy Dead Mates” is targeting pairs of best friends, and killing them one by one. Before they die, each victim is given a small white book.

For months, detectives have failed to catch Billy, or figure out what the white books symbolize and why the killer leaves them behind. The police are on edge; the public in a panic. Then a woman, scared by what she’s seen on the news, comes forward. What she reveals shocks the investigators and adds another troubling layer to an already complex case.

Stand-up comedian Kim Tribbeck has one of Billy’s peculiar little books. A stranger gave it to her at a gig she did last year. Was the stranger Billy, and is he targeting her—or is it something more nefarious? Kim has no friends and trusts no one, so how—and why—could Billy Dead Mates want to target her? If it’s not her, then who will be the next to die?

Sophie Hannah raises the stakes with each successive page in this haunting and twisting thriller that reaffirms her place as one of today’s most talented suspense writers.


Catherine Maiorisi – The Blood Runs Cold (Bella Books, Paperback, $17.95, 02/19/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

While I did not read the first book in Catherine Maiorisi’s Chiara Corelli series, this did not prevent me from thoroughly enjoying The Blood Runs Cold. Maiorisi populates her story with some much-needed diversity, but never strays into exhortative territory: these characters feel like individuals rather than stereotypes intended to fill a role (or purpose). The mystery is suitably complex, sure to keep readers guessing until late in the game.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Still battling each other and the blue wall, NYPD Detectives Chiara Corelli and P.J. Parker catch a new murder case. The victim, a gay man, is posed with a rosary in his hands, the smell of incense in the air and Gregorian chants playing in the background.

While Corelli and Parker search for leads, Kate Burke, the lesbian Speaker of the City Council asks for an update on the investigation. Thinking Burke is playing politics, Corelli ignores the request. In the meantime, two more bodies are found, both laid out in the same way.

Pressured by the chief, Corelli goes to Kate’s office where a photograph of the speaker with a group of friends catches her eye. Corelli recognizes the three victims and, to her horror, three others. Suddenly the case becomes personal.

Fearing a serial killer is picking off the people in the photograph, fearing the next victim will be someone she loves, Corelli races to find the murderer before he kills again.


James Boice – Who Killed The Fonz (Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, $26.00, 02/19/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

I can’t say that this one was completely successful, but the concept was so clever and it was a quick read, so I don’t regret taking the time. Fans of Happy Days will catch all the inside jokes about episodes from the series – and there are many – so this is clearly meant for those familiar with the show. The idea of skewing the tone towards noir in the idyllic setting of the Cunningham’s community reminded me a bit of Riverdale, but I just wish the mystery elements had been stronger. Still, if you are a fan of the series, it’s enjoyably forgettable.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Late October, 1984. Prince and Bruce are dominating FM radio. Ron and Nancy are headed back to the White House. Crockett and Tubbs are leading men everywhere to embrace pastels. And Richard Cunningham? Well, Richard Cunningham is having a really bad Sunday.

First, there’s the meeting with his agent. A decade ago, the forty-something Cunningham was one of Hollywood’s hottest screenwriters. But Tinseltown is no longer interested in his artsy, introspective scripts. They want Terminator cyborgs and exploding Stay Puft Marshmallow men. If he isn’t interested in that sort of thing, his agent tells him, he’s gonna have to find new representation.

Then later that same day he gets a phone call with even worse news. His best friend from childhood back in Milwaukee, back when everyone called him Richie, is dead. Arthur Fonzarelli. The Fonz. Lost control of his motorcycle while crossing a bridge and plummeted into the water below. Two days of searching and still no body, no trace of his trademark leather jacket.

Richard flies back for the memorial service, only to discover that Fonzie’s death was no accident—it was murder. With the help of his old pals Ralph Malph and Potsie Weber, he sets out to catch the killer. Who it turns out to be is shocking. So is the story’s final twist.

Who Killed The Fonz? imagines what happened to the characters of the legendary TV series Happy Days twenty years after the show left off. And while much has changed in the interim—goodbye drive-in movie theaters, hello VCRs—the story centers around the same timeless themes as the show: the meaning of family. The significance of friendship. The importance of community.

Fast-paced and full of nostalgia, Who Killed the Fonz? is an ingenious twist on a beloved classic that proves sometimes you can go home again.