From the Booking Desk:

The BOLO report this week is a little late, but that is because I had to get some reviews up and finish reading a few things. Rest assured, there are books for you to pick up this week at your local store – including Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, Stephen King’s The Institute, and those listed below.

John Vercher – Three-Fifths (Agora, Hardcover, $24.99, 09/10/19)

BOLO Books Comments:

I could talk about this book for days on end, but suffice to say I am pretty sure that the BOLO Books review of Three-Fifths conveys how much I love this novel and how important I think it is (and will be) to the course of diverse crime fiction. Read it, love it, discuss it!

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

A compelling and timely debut novel from an assured new voice: Three-Fifths is about a biracial black man, passing for white, who is forced to confront the lies of his past while facing the truth of his present when his best friend, just released from prison, involves him in a hate crime.

Pittsburgh, 1995. The son of a black father he’s never known, and a white mother he sometimes wishes he didn’t, twenty-two year-old Bobby Saraceno has passed for white his entire life. Raised by his bigoted maternal grandfather, Bobby has hidden the truth about his identity from everyone, even his best friend and fellow comic-book geek, Aaron, who has just returned home from prison a newly radicalized white supremacist. Bobby’s disparate worlds crash when, during the night of their reunion, Bobby witnesses Aaron mercilessly assault a young black man with a brick. Fearing for his safety and his freedom, Bobby must keep the secret of his mixed race from Aaron and conceal his unwitting involvement in the crime from the police. But Bobby’s delicate house of cards crumbles when his father enters his life after more than twenty years, forcing his past to collide with his present.

Three-Fifths is a story of secrets, identity, violence and obsession with a tragic conclusion that leaves all involved questioning the measure of a man, and was inspired by the author’s own experiences with identity as a biracial man during his time as a student in Pittsburgh amidst the simmering racial tension produced by the L.A. Riots and the O.J. Simpson trial in the mid-nineties.


Edith Maxwell – Judge Thee Not (Beyond The Page, Paperback, $14.99, 09/10/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

Speaking of diversity, Edith Maxwell adds some historical context to the the plight of both LGBTQ individuals and those who are seen to possess some type of handicap which makes them “different” from the masses. This award-nominated series continues to gain loyal followers with each new release.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll must fight bias and blind assumptions to clear the name of a friend when a murderer strikes in nineteenth-century Massachusetts.

No stranger to judgmental attitudes in her small town of Amesbury, Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is nonetheless stunned when society matron Mayme Settle publicly snubs her good friend Bertie for her nontraditional lifestyle. When Mrs. Settle is later found murdered—and a supposed witness insists Bertie was spotted near the scene of the crime—the police have no choice but to set their sights on the slighted woman as their main suspect.

Rose is certain her friend is innocent of the heinous deed, and when Rose isn’t busy tending to her duties as midwife, she enlists the help of a blind pregnant client—who’s endured her own share of prejudice—to help her sift through the clues. As the two uncover a slew of suspects tied to financial intrigues, illicit love, and an age-old grudge over perceived wrongs, Rose knows she’ll have to bring all her formidable intelligence to bear on solving the crime. Because circumstantial evidence can loom large in small minds, and she fears her friend will soon become the victim of a grave injustice . . .


Ellen Byron – Fatal Cajun Festival (Crooked Lane, Hardcover, $26.99, 09/10/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

Fresh off of winning the Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award at last year’s Malice Domestic, Ellen Byron returns with the fifth – and possibly the best – book in her Louisiana-set cozy series. The community around Maggie continues to become more and more interesting and the music elements in this one add a fun and authentic Bayou-vibe to the proceedings.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Louisiana B&B owner Maggie Crozat kicks up her heels at a country music festival–but she’ll have one foot in the grave if she can’t bring the killer of a diva’s hanger-on to heel.

Grab your tickets for Cajun Country Live!, the pickers’ and crooners’ answer to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Maggie Crozat, proprietor of the Crozat Plantation B&B, plans to be in the cheering section when her friend Gaynell Bourgeois takes the stage with her band, Gaynell and the Gator Girls.

The festival’s headliner, native daughter Tammy Barker, rocketed to stardom on a TV singing competition. She has the voice of an angel…and the personality of a devilish diva. But Maggie learns that this tiny terror carries a grudge against Gaynell. She’s already sabotaged the Gator Girls’ JazzFest audition. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered at the festival, Tammy makes sure Gaynell is number one on the suspect list.

Gaynell has plenty of company on that list–including every one of Tammy’s musicians. Posing as a groupie, Maggie infiltrates Tammy’s band and will have to hit all the right notes to clear her friend’s name.


T. M. Logan – 29 Seconds (St. Martin’s Press, Hardcover, $27.99, 09/10/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

I was a huge fan of Logan’s Lies, so even though I have not yet read this title, I am confident in recommending it. Just give a read to the unique synopsis to see why…

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne. A renowned scholar and television host, Hawthorne rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works―so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, Sarah is left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections―and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?