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Spring Preview 2008

Spring is here in name only. It snowed at THD's World Headquarters early today. Spring should mean consistently warmer temperatures of about 55-70 degrees. That does not happen around here until mid-May.

Let me extend my thanks to ClueLass and Fantastic Fiction. Most of the books featured here were drawn from their authoritative lists.

Empty Ever After - Reed Farrell Coleman - April 1
The latest in the Moe Prager series. The previous entry was nominated for an Edgar and I am going on record and calling that book the favorite to win. Don't be left out in the cold on who many feel is the best writer you are not reading.

A Carrion of Death - Michael Stanley- April 1
Botswana is a hot bed. First Alexander McCall Smith. Now Michael Stanley. The axiom of never trusting someone with two first names will be put to the test with this author as Mr. Stanley is actually Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. My attraction is the exotic locale and the promise of a slightly more gritty story style than the Smith books.

Wicked City - Ace Atkins - April 14th
Ace is an author I have been reading since his first book, Crossroad Blues. He has gone non-series the last two, including this one. Both have also been historical. I enjoy Ace even if he has never really written anything that has knocked my socks off. His work is always a dependable, solid read.

Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith - April 29
I can't help thinking that the author has shortened his name from Thomas Robert Smith to Tom Rob Smith. The 'Tom Rob' aspect gives me an uncertain feeling. This in spite of the fact that according to all reports this is the book that reinvigorates the 'Serial Killer' genre. Based in part on Andrei Chikatilo, this book is very high on my want list... even with my lingering concerns over the author's name.

The Demon of Dakar - Kjell Eriksson - April 29
More Nordic be-devilery. I have been working up to reading this author for the last year. And for one reason or another I have been putting it off. I will say the Nordic Crime Fiction I did read last year, while very good, was... heavy. This is probably not the right moment for this author either as your humble editor suffers from terrible seasonal depression. The DJ is evocative but not necessarily inviting right now. I will definitely line this author up for July/August.

Scared to Live - Stephen Booth - May 20
Cooper and Fry in their 7th book. US audiences are still one behind our UK brethren who have seen the eight in the series, Dying to Sin. Stephen is usually the first UK based author I recommend to family and friends. The series straddles the police procedural and the hard boiled quite well.

The Spies of Warsaw - Alan Furst - June 3rd
Each Alan Furst novel is a perfect creation. Hands down, flat out the best WWII spy novelist ever. I hate to ghettoize Furst into that tiny genre so let me further write that he is a fantastic writer regardless of genre. Gorgeous books!

Mind's Eye - Hakan Nessar - June 10
See two books above. I dug his first US release, Borkkmann's Point... even if I saw the ending coming several miles away. Strangely it only served to heighten the haunting quality of the villain's crime.

Blood's a Rover - James Ellroy - Spring/Summer 2008
This is probably more a summer/fall, but hope springs eternal. The reigning King of the American Epic. Seriously no author has written better about post WWII America than this guy. Although secretly I thought his last release, The Cold 6K was a bit of a let down. His writing style, which most take issue with, clearly got the better of him in that one.

So there it is. Another preview down. I am seriously sorry about the lack of female involvement with this list. Most of the female authors I follow have all had books published earlier this year. Maureen Jennings, Denise Mina, Minette Walters (Heck, Ms. Walters even has a newer UK release.) I encourage all to read these ladies truly fine canon.

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