Posts Tagged ‘series (characters)’

The Next Always

April 4, 2012

Author: Nora Roberts

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: Boonsboro, Maryland

Time Period: Present

Series (If applicable): Book One of The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy

Plot Summary: Clare is a war widow who has returned to her hometown with her three young sons.  Beckett Montgomery and his brothers are remodeling the Inn BoonsBoro, which happens to be across the street from Clare’s bookshop.  Beckett’s unrequited love for his best friend’s widow may finally have a chance now that Clare’s moved back to their quaint hometown. The author’s richly detailed descriptions of the small town and the remodeling project with a touch of the supernatural nicely frame the budding romance between Clare and Beckett .

Subject Headings: Small towns; Historic buildings – conservation and restoration; Second chances; Architects; Infatuation; Hotels; Single mothers; Widows; Booksellers; Homecomings; Small town life; First loves; Men/women relations.

Appeal: easy, engrossing, descriptive, richly detailed, strong sense of place, leisurely-paced, relaxed, unhurried, atmospheric, comfortable, heartwarming, hopeful, lighthearted, magical, optimistic, romantic, engaging, familiar, realistic, recognizable, series (characters), strong secondary characters, sympathetic, contemporary, detailed setting, small-town, accessible, colloquial, conversational, simple, unembellished, details of small town, details of restoration of old building.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: comfortable; heartwarming; richly detailed.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Under the Tuscan Sun  by Frances Mayes.  Under the Tuscan Sun and The Next Always both evoke strong sense of place using lush descriptions of the small towns where the story takes place and rich details of renovating once magnificent buildings (Mayes a countryside villa and Roberts an Inn).  Both also follow a love story that is framed by the restoration process.

The Reluctant Tuscan by Phil Doran.  Doran amusingly recounts his relocation from LA where he was a TV producer to a tiny Tuscan town where he and his wife embark upon remodeling a 300 year old farmhouse. Doran’s optimism and witty commentary lead up to a happy-ever-after that The Next Always readers will appreciate.

My Boyfriend’s Back: True Stories of Rediscovering Love with a Long-Lost Sweetheart by Donna Hanover.  Beckett’s love for Clare has been unrequited since high school, but he gets a second chance with her in The Next Always.  Like the title suggests, My Boyfriend’s Back explores true stories of first loves rekindled later on in life. Both books will leave readers feeling hopeful about loves from the past.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The Wedding Dress by Virginia Ellis. This light, heart-warming historical fiction by Ellis (who typically authors romance novels) centers around a Civil War widow and her sisters as they try to find hope in a bleak post-war life by sewing a wedding dress for the youngest sister.  Like The Next Always, The Wedding Dress offers hope, love, a happy ending, and even a ghostly twist.

The Inn at Eagle Point by Sherryl Woods.  This is the heartwarming first book of in the contemporary romance series, Chesapeake Shores.  Like the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, Chesapeake Shores is about second chances and men/women relations and gives readers a strong sense of place.

Virgin River by Robyn Carr.  Virgin River is a leisurely-paced contemporary romance about a widow looking to start over in a small town.  A strong sense of place and a heartwarming story will appeal to readers who enjoyed The Next Always.

Name: Ally C.

A Is For Alibi

March 21, 2012

Author:  Sue Grafton

Title:  “A” is for Alibi

Genre:  Mystery

Publication Date:  1982

Number of Pages:  274

Geographical Setting:  California, Nevada

Time Period:   Early 1980s

Series:  Kinsey Millhone Mysteries, Alphabet Series

Plot Summary:   Nikki Fife, who served eight years in prison for allegedly poisoning her husband, hires private investigator Kinsey Millhone to find her husband’s real killer.   Because the victim was a callous and unfaithful divorce attorney, the suspect list is long.  Kinsey manages to narrow the list of suspects down to family members, close friends, and a few former spurned lovers.  In the midst of the investigation, she finds herself attracted to one of the suspects which further complicates the situation.  As Kinsey delves deeper into the investigation, she becomes entangled in a world of death and violence and must find the killer before it is too late for everyone involved!  This fast-paced, suspenseful mystery with a sassy heroine and a multitude of twists will hook readers from “A” to “Z”.

Subject Headings:  Murder investigation, Poisoning, Female private investigators, Adultery, Southern California

Appeal:  fast-paced, suspenseful, investigative, plot-centered, candid, conversational, series characters, plot twists, violent, gritty, introspective, strong sense of place

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: investigative, suspenseful, plot-centered

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Elements of a Murder: A History of Poison by John Emsley- Elements of a Murder:  A History of Poison examines 5 toxic chemicals and their use in some of the most infamous murders in history.  Elements of a Murder: A History of Poison and “A” is for Alibi both have murder by poison as a subject. 

Mortal Danger by Ann Rule- Mortal Danger examines several murders committed by spouses or family members.  “A” is for Alibi and Mortal Danger both have murder by loved ones as a main topic.

Special Agent:  My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI by Candice DeLong- Retired agent Candice DeLong discusses her undercover work on major cases during her twenty year career with the FBI.  Special Agent:  My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI will appeal to readers interested in the life of a female investigator. 

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors (why they are similar):

Edwin of the Iron Shoes (Sharon McCone Mysteries, 1) by Marcia Muller- San Francisco private investigator Sharon McCone investigates the murder of an antiques dealer.   Like “A” is for Alibi, Edwin of the Iron Shoes is a suspenseful, fast-paced mystery with a female private investigator and a strong sense of place.

Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon Mysteries, 1) by Nevada Barr- Anna Pigeon, a park ranger in western Texas, must investigate the death of a fellow ranger.  Like “A” is for Alibi, Track of the Cat is a suspenseful, plot-driven novel with a female detective and a strong sense of place.

A Trouble of Fools (Carlotta Carlyle Mysteries, 1) by Linda Barnes- Former cop and now private investigator Carlotta Carlyle searches for a missing cab driver.  Both A Trouble of Fools and “A” is for Alibi are plot-driven, fast-paced mysteries with former female cops who are now private investigators.


Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye

March 21, 2012

Author: Victoria Laurie

Title: Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 304

Geographical Setting: Detroit, Michigan

Time Period: Present Day

Plot Summary: Abby Cooper, a woman with amazing psychic and intuitive abilities, finds herself in the middle of a police investigation after one of her clients is murdered. Abby has a deep dislike of law enforcement after a fellow psychic was arrested years ago, and finding herself forced to work with the handsome officer Dutch proves to be nearly as hard of a challenge as catching the killer. Abby realizes she must use her talent and wit to find the killer before he finds her, no matter her personal feelings for the officer at her side.

Subject Headings:

Paranormal phenomena
Murder investigation
Women psychics

Appeal: Witty, richly detailed, conversational, fast-paced, upbeat, familiar, realistic, series characters, sympathetic, gentle, contemporary, urban, simple, unembellished,

3 Appeal Terms that Best Describe the Book: conversational, richly-detailed, realistic

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Psychic: My Life in Two Worlds by Sylvia Browne

One of the leading psychics in the world, Sylvia Browne discusses her journey to realizing her potential as a psychic and balancing her life in our world with that of the dead.

Discover Your Psychic Type: Developing and Using Your Natural Intuition by Sherrie Dillard

This is the go-to handbook for anyone who wishes to learn more not only about the types of intuition but also to find out what type of psychic you are and how to hone your talents.

History in Blue: 160 Years of Women Police, Sheriffs, Detectives and State Troopers by Allan T. Duffin.

This book discusses the history of women in the police force and how they broke down the  gender barrier in order to do the work they loved. Includes dozens of interviews with women of all ages and types of police work describing how they made their way up through the force.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Trouble with Magic (Bewitching Series #1) by Madelyn Alt

Cozy mystery/romance series concerning a 30 year old woman who must partner with her friends’ Wicca group in order to solve a mystery and clear their friend of murder charges. Fast-paced, conversational, witty and the first book of series.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is literally a woman without a soul and finds herself stuck in a whirlwind of paranormal occurrences after she accidentally kills a vampire. Fast-paced, witty, intelligent,  literary and romantic.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

The series that brought paranormal mystery/romance to the forefront. Sookie is a small-town mind reader whose life turns upside down when she meets Bill Compton, the new vampire in town. Fast-paced, imaginative, upbeat, contemporary and conversational.

Name: Courtney Rose

When Calls the Heart

November 16, 2011

Author: Janette Oke

Title: When Calls the Heart

Genre: Inspirational, Gentle Reads, Romance

Publication Date: 1983

Number of Pages: 220

Geographical Setting: Toronto, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; Lacombe, Alberta; Pine Springs, Alberta

Time Period: Early 20th century

Series (If applicable): Canadian West series

Plot Summary:  Elizabeth Thatcher has a wonderful life in Toronto with as a school teacher living with her God-fearing, close knit family.  However, when a letter from her older half-brother living across the country in Calgary comes suggesting that Elizabeth might like to teach out West and visit with her family there, she decides to go.  Through a series of mishaps, Elizabeth ends up in a small town with a new school over a hundred miles away from her brother and his family.  Here, she must adjust to life in the small town, start a school, and live on her own for the first time.  Although she did not move across country to find a husband, and in fact had decided that she was not necessarily looking for marriage at all, her plans get turned on their head when she meets Wynn Delaney, a friend of her half-brother’s and a member of the North West Mounted Police.  Through her attraction towards Wynn, her newfound independence, and her new situation, Elizabeth grows in faith, love and confidence in this sweet novel.

Subject Headings: Canada; Toronto; Calgary; Pioneers; North West Mounted Police; Teachers; Rural Life

 Appeal: Sentimental, leisurely-paced, rural, domestic, sweet, inspirational, gentle, heartwarming, homespun, hopeful, romantic, faithful characters, series characters, folksy, details of Canadian pioneers, accessible, straightforward, unpretentious

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Sentimental, leisurely-paced, rural

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

One-Room Schools of the Middle West: An Illustrated History by Wayne E. Fuller

This title gives the history of one-room schools in the Midwest, including photographs.  Although Elizabeth Thatcher’s school is in Alberta, Canada, this book will give background on how such a school works and shows what her school could have looked like.

Forging the Prairie West  by John Herd Thompson

This title, as part of the Illustrated History of Canada series, discusses the West of Canada where Elizabeth Thatcher goes to live with her brother and his family.  This book should give background on the history of the area and what happened in the time after which Elizabeth’s story is set.

Looking North: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Illustrations: The Potlatch Collection by Karal Ann Marling

This illustrated title provides artwork featuring the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or Mounties.  In When Calls the Heart, Wynn Delaney works as a Mountie.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Christy by Catherine Marshall

This classic title tells the story of a young girl who goes into the Appalachian mountains as a missionary school teacher.  This romantic, inspirational tale does not gloss over some of the more gritty aspects of living in the area in the early 20th century.  Christy’s work with her school children, romantic interests, and Christian beliefs should interest those who enjoy When Calls the Heart.

A Place Called Bliss by Ruth Glover

This novel, which takes place in the Canadian frontier, tells the story of two women of different social classes who move to the area to start a new life with their husbands.  This book along with the rest in the series should interest those who enjoy the setting and inspirational Christian nature of Janette Oke’s Canadian West series.

Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery

This classic series should interest fans of When Calls the Heart for a variety of reasons.  A more rural Canadian setting is featured in most of these books along with a strong family life, going to class and teaching in one-room schoolhouses, and the funny, heartwarming and romantic situations that Anne Shirley finds herself in throughout the entire series.

Name: Christi H.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

October 12, 2011

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 288

Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Dexter series

Plot Summary:  Dexter Morgan moonlights as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami police department, as a dear brother, and as a devoted boyfriend.  In real life, Dexter devotes himself to researching, stalking and dismembering his prey.  As a psychopathic serial killer, Dexter may seem inevitably a not-so-nice guy, except for one small thing: he limits his prey to other psychopathic serial killers.  This devotion is not based so much on some twisted vigilante morality, but rather on a respect for his deceased, police officer, foster father, Harry, who taught him to be careful and to never kill the innocent.  His resolve is tested, however, when a new serial killer comes on the scene with a mode of operation not unlike Dexter’s, tantalizing him and tempting him into playing the game with much more innocent victims.  Dexter details his dashing deceit, dark dreams, and deadly demons with a sarcastic wit and a humorous tone despite his obvious character flaws.

Subject Headings: Serial killers, psychopaths, forensic analysis, Miami, blood spatter analysis, prostitution, dismemberment

Appeal: Disturbing, darkly humorous, compelling, sarcastic tone, complex characters, chilling, psychological, suspenseful, series characters, flawed characters, explicitly violent, urban, straightforward language, witty

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Disturbing, darkly humorous, compelling

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Blood Secrets: a Forensic Expert Reveals How Blood Spatter Tells the Crime Scene’s Story by Ron Englert

This book details the true science of blood spatter analysis, Dexter’s day job.   Englert looks at real cases and shows how scientific analysis of the way blood behaves can provide information about how a person died.

I: The Creation of a Serial Killer by Jack Olsen

Jack Olsen allows serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, or the “Happy Face Killer,” to tell his own story in this book which details his early childhood and his murders, similarly to how Dexter tells his own story.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

This account discusses real life psychopathy, the condition Dexter claims to compel him to kill.  It discusses the implications of psychopaths being more prevalent than realized, and the damage they can wreak, not only in the sense that some are serial killers, but also as those in positions of political, corporate, or religious power.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey

The first in a series of novels about serial killer Serge Storms, operating in Florida with a group of murderous friends.  The series has a darkly humorous tone, similar to the Dexter series.

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

This psychological suspense novel begins a series about Tom Ripley, a con man and a murderer, who uses his resourcefulness to evade the law, similarly to Dexter.  Also a novel with a darkly humorous tone.

Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff

This novel tells the story of a woman suspected of murder, held in a psychiatric hospital, as she tells the story of how she became part of a covert organization dedicated to killing “irredeemables” with weapons designed to look like death of natural causes.  Employs a darkly humorous tone, similar to the Dexter series, and also features a protagonist who believes in killing those deemed not deserving of life.

Name: Christi H.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

October 12, 2011

The Hound of BaskervillesAuthor: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Title:  The hound of the Baskervilles

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: 1902

Number of Pages: 272

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: Early 1900’s

Plot Summary:  Generations ago a hound of hell tore out the throat of Hugo Baskerville on the English moors.  Once again the legend lives as the latest head of the line Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in the same area with a massive hound’s print found nearby.  It is up to Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend Dr. Watson to piece together the puzzle before the next Baskerville in line winds up dead.

Subject Headings: Curses; Detectives; Dogs; Moors and heaths; Holmes, Sherlock; Watson, John H.; Murder investigation; Eccentrics and eccentricities; Nineteenth century

Appeal: Plot-driven, Fast-paced, Suspenseful, Compelling, atmospheric, dark, sophisticated, intriguing, series (characters), investigative, plot twists, classic

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, atmospheric, investigative

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest Cases by E. J. Wagner

Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle’s accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact. The author avoids the technical details that mar so many other efforts in this genre, injecting life into her narrative by weaving in true crime cases that either influenced Holmes’s creator or may have been influenced by a published story from the Baker Street sleuth.

The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases
by Michael Capuzzo

Once a month, several forensic experts gather in a posh Victorian brownstone in downtown Philadelphia, have a sumptuous lunch, and then consider cold cases brought to them by baffled detectives. The club is called the Vidocq Society, named after the nineteenth-century French criminologist who was one of the inspirations for Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind  by Josef Steiff

Sherlock Holmes sees things others don’t. He sees the world in a different way, and by so doing, allows us to see that same world – and human behavior – in different ways as well.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The 39 Steps  by John Buchan

He has been feeling bored with London life – until he discovers a dead man in his flat, skewered to the floor with a knife through his heart. Only a few days before, the victim had warned him of an assassination
plot that could bring the country to the brink of war. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the murderer, ordinary man Richard Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland. There, on the wild moors, he must use all his wits to stay one step ahead of the game – and warn the government of the impending danger before it is too late.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Village rumor hints that Mrs. Ferrars poisoned her husband, but no one is sure. Then there’s another victim in a chain of death. Unfortunately for the killer, master sleuth Hercule Poirot takes over the investigation.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

One of the first English detective novels, this mystery involves the disappearance of a valuable diamond, originally stolen from a Hindu idol, given to a young woman on her eighteenth birthday, and then stolen again.

Name: Jason Rock

The Keepsake

October 5, 2011

Author: Gerritsen, Tess

Title: The Keepsake

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Discs: 9 discs, 10 hours, 52 minutes

Narrator: Deirdre Lovejoy

Geographical Setting: Boston, Massachusetts

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Rizzoli & Isles

Plot Summary: At an aging archaeology museum in Boston, a forgotten mummy called ‘Madam X’ by museum staff, is found in the basement. During a CT scan, medical examiner Maura Isles discovers that Madam X is not ancient, but a modern-day murder victim. As detective Jane Rizzoli begins investigating the murder, more preserved victims appear and a young archaeologist at the museum, Josephine Pulcillo, is targeted as the killer’s next victim. As Detective Rizzoli searches for clues to the killer’s identity, dark secrets from Josephine Pulcillo’s past threaten her life as the killer stops at nothing to add her to his collection.

Subject Headings: Archaeology, Forensics, Crime, Boston, Museums

Appeal: Fast-paced, Atmospheric, Chilling, Suspenseful, Multiple Points of View, Series Characters, Sympathetic, Violent, Plot-driven, Contemporary, Descriptive, Well-crafted

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, Violent, Plot-driven

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1) Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination by Karin Sanders. Readers may want to find out more about how bodies are preserved in bogs since the killer used this method on one of his victims.

2) Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archaeologist by Donald P. Ryan. This book will help readers understand the thrill of discovering ancient objects, an important aspect of The Keepsake.

3) Forensics For Dummies by Douglas P. Lyle. This book is a must-have for fans of the Maura Isles character. The book features “plain-English” explanations of how forensics works.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1) Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell. This is the first book in a series featuring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta and features plenty of forensic details and a serial killer who is after Dr. Scarpetta.

2) Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. This book features forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan, familiar to fans of the television show Bones. Reichs is a real-life forensic anthropologist and readers will appreciate her inside knowledge of the field.

3) Coma by Robin Cook. Though Cook’s novels lean more toward the medical world, fans of Gerritsen will appreciate the fast-paced storyline and suspenseful atmosphere.

Name: Elizabeth Allen

Full Speed

October 5, 2011  Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes
Title:  Full Speed
Genre:  Romantic Suspense (Audiobook)
Publication Date:  2003
Number of Pages:  7.5 hours
Geographical Setting:  A small town outside Knoxville, TN.
Time Period:  21st Century
Series (If applicable):  Full Series
Plot Summary:  Newspaper reporter Jaime Swift finds herself hot on the trail of what she hopes will be a break out story.  She has reason to believe that a popular preacher has connections to the mob.  In order to solve the case and get her story she is forced to team up with millionaire business man Max Holt.  There is a powerful connection between Swift and Holt and as suspense builds so does the romantic tension between them.  This book is filled with quirky characters, an ai (artificial intelligence) computer who sounds like Marilyn Monroe and is going through menopause and a hound dog named Fleas who hates country music.  These characters work to create a romantic suspense that is funny yet still fast paced and suspenseful.  Note: the audio version doesn’t add anything to the story.  The narrator is a woman who does different voices for each character, this can become confusing and at times it can make a scene seem more comical than it’s supposed to be.
Subject Headings:  Romance; Suspense; Fiction; South; Newspaper writing.
Appeal:  Quirky characters, fast-paced, suspenseful, romantic, relatable characters, conversational, builds in intensity, atmospheric, series characters, linear, resolved ending, small town setting, jargon, funny, light-hearted.
3 appeal terms that best describe this book: light-hearted, quirky characters, and romantic.
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
Brilliant Bylines:  A Biographical Anthology of Notable Newspaper-Women in America by Barbara Belford.  The main character in Full Speed is a newswoman, so fans of the main character might want to find out about real women reporters in history.

Tennessee Curiosities:  Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff by Kristin Luna.  Provides an in-depth look into some of the more interesting places to see in Tennessee.  Readers who are curious about the Knoxville area, and other cities and counties throughout Tennessee, will find a wealth of information in this text.
The State Line Mob: A True Story of Murder and Intrigue by W.R. Morris.  The villain in Full Speed is a member of a notorious mob family and readers might be interested to read this book about a real mob group who lived and worked in Tennessee in the 1950s.
3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
Bubbles Ablaze by Sarah Strohmeyer.  This book is part of a series chronicling the life of a ditzy hairdresser turned journalist who tries to solve the various cases that she seems to find herself involved in.  It has quirky characters, comedy, suspense, and romance.

Under the Boardwalk by Carly Phillips.  This book includes all the quirky characters, humor, steamy romance and mild suspense that readers of Full Speed will be drawn to, as the main character Ariana works with the sexy detective Quinn Donovan to find her missing twin sister.

Slay it with Flowers by Kate Collins.  Also part of a series, this book will appeal to fans who enjoy a comedic twist to their romantic suspense, as a flower shop owner works with a sexy ex-cop to solve a murder at her cousin’s wedding.
Name:  Jessica Lake

1st to Die

October 3, 2011

Author: James Patterson

Title: 1st to Die

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2001

Number of Pages: 462

Geographical Setting: San Francisco and Napa Valley, California; Cleveland, Ohio

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Women’s Murder Club

Plot Summary:  In San Francisco, a serial killer brutally murders and sexually assaults newly married couples oftentimes just hours after their weddings.  Enter Lindsay Boxer, a police inspector who battles not only a maniac killer in the world, but her own potential murderer in her own blood.  Fortunately, Lindsay has the support of her greatest friends: Claire, a medical examiner, Jill, an assistant district attorney, and Cindy, an up and coming reporter for the Chronicle.  Together, they make up the Women’s Murder Club and work together to catch a killer.  Along with her new partner, Chris Raleigh, Lindsay must race against the work of a homicidal maniac as well as against the ticking time bomb in her own body in order to solve the case before time runs out.

Subject Headings: Serial killers, Suspense, Romance, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Cleveland, Domestic Abuse, Sexual sadism, Negli’s aplastic anemia

 Appeal: Engrossing, breakneck, dangerous, suspenseful, sexy, romantic, multiple points of view, series characters, engaging characters, action-oriented, explicitly violent, plot twists, sexually explicit, simple language

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Breakneck, dangerous, sexy

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

This title delves into the practice of profiling serial killers and how that works in the real world.  It gives insight into the mind of the real serial murderer.  In 1st to Die, Lindsay mentions the profile of the killer they are hunting and the book also gives insight into the murderer’s mind.

Murder by the Bay: Historic Homicide In and About the City of San Francisco by Charles F. Adams

This book tells the stories of real life murders that occurred in San Francisco and involved many of the well-known celebrities of the day just as 1st to Die’s fictional murders involved high profile citizens in Patterson’s version of San Francisco.

Many Overboard: Inside the Honeymoon Cruise Murder by Joan Lownds

Details the story of a real-life murder that took place on a couple’s honeymoon just eight days after their wedding. This mirrors the honeymoon killings that take place in 1st to Die.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Burning Time by Leslie Glass

The first of the April Woo mysteries, this book mirrors 1st to Die in that it features a female investigator and a psychopathic killer who stalks his victims.

Fall From Grace: a Noir Thriller by Clyde Phillips

This book is the first of the Jane Candotti mysteries and similarly to 1st to Die, features a female investigator working in San Francisco.

The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

This book, part of the Rizzoli and Isles series, is a gritty, fast-paced novel about two women, a police inspector and a medical examiner, who work together to solve a crime, similarly to the work of the Women’s Murder Club.

Name: Christi H.

That Yellow Bastard (Sin City Vol. 4)

August 10, 2011

Author: Frank Miller
Title: That Yellow Bastard (Sin City volume 4)

Genre: Graphic Novel, Thriller

Publication Date: 1996

Number of Pages: 223 (primarily black and white images)

Geographical Setting: Basin City, a fictional urban city in the western United States

Time Period: Unspecified (contemporary)

Series: Sin City

Plot Summary: The fourth volume of the graphic novel series, Sin City, centers around Detective Hartigan as he struggles to instill a sense of justice in a society characterized by corruption, organized crime, despair. Hartigan, plagued by heart problems and getting old, is one day from retirement when he faces one last mission: to save an 11 year old girl before she falls victim to a murderous mad man. Always adhering to his strict sense of justice and morals, Hartigan proves determined to rescue the girl at any cost. He succeeds and severley injures the mad man, Junior. In the process, Junior shoots Hartigan; the detective slips into a coma. While unconscious, corrupt police  frame Hartigan for the rape of the girl he saved. The real culprit, Junior, is the son of a corrupt politician and cannot be exposed. Hartigan serves an eight year sentence, never forgetting Nancy, the girl he rescued.. Finally out of prison, Hartigan once again proves good as he attempts to protect Nancy from a mysterious yellow figure who bares a striking resemblance to Junior.
Frank Miller’s stark black and white artwork helps convey the bleak mood of this gritty graphic novel that resembles film noir. The images and content both appear violent and sexually explicit. The action-based plot unfolds at a breakneck pace that is sure to keep the pages turning. Although this novel is not for the faint of heart, it is likely to pique the interest of many readers demanding a quick, adrenaline-raising read.

Subject Headings: Organized Crime–Fiction, Police–Fiction, Corruption, Noir–Fiction, Kidnapping–Fiction, Murder–Fiction, Rape–Fiction, Political Conspiracy–Fiction

Appeal: Breakneck, Bleak, Compelling, Dangerous, Gritty, Series (characters), Intriguing, Action-oriented, Atmospheric, Cinematic, Explicitly Violent, Sexually Explicit, Strong Language, Stark, Urban, Unsettling

Three Terms that Best Describe this Book: Gritty, Explicitly Violent, Action-Oriented

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
Street Solider: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob by Edward MacKenzie (This memoir describes life in the rough neighborhoods of Boston. MacKenzie is involved in organized crime; the betrayal of his corrupt boss lands the author in prison. Eventually, MacKenzie proves good in a harsh environment. The book is gritty, urban, compelling, violent, and filled with action.)

Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence by Jamar Nicholas
(This graphic novel represents an adaptation of Geoffrey Canada’s description of a violent and dangerous Bronx neighborhood. Canada’s book describes political action that exacerbates crime and violence in the urban setting. The graphic adaptation relies on unsettling images sure to captivate the reader. The tone of the book is gritty; the mood is bleak and dangerous.)

L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City by John Buntin
(This compelling book details the history of Los Angeles through the lens of two historical figures-a mob boss and the police chief continuously hunting for him. The author describes the role of Los Angeles in influencing the thoughts, actions, and lives of these two men. This gritty book is a page turner that relies on its dangerous urban setting to create an intriguing story.)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
Luna Park by Kevin Baker
(Baker’s graphic novel often resembles noir fiction. It relies on black and white images that frequently appear explicitly violent. The result is a fast paced, atmospheric, and gritty graphic novel, detailing organized crime and street life in a dangerous New York City setting.)

100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello
(This graphic novel-the first in a series-describes a violent setting consisting of gangbangers and mob bosses. It centers around a mysterious agent who offers ordinary citizens the chance to exact violent revenge upon those who have wronged them. The graphic novel ponders the theme of morality amid corruption and injustice. The graphic novel is bleak and violent in tone. It is also fast paced and gritty.)

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
(This novel revolves around a violent massacre and the decision of a bystander to profit from a stash of heroine and two million dollars found on the scene. The decision lands the protagonist in the midst of a dangerous environment characterized by drug lords, corrupt police, and violence. The novel is bleak and disturbing in tone. It also features a gritty writing style and atmospheric mood.)

Dan Thorson