The Woman Affairs Desk of The Hungry Detective Office has been picketing the building for the last few days. It is a very troubling situation. I'll be the first to admit that the Summer '09 Preview is a sausage fest. I've held on to the list for a few days in the hopes that some more female written crime fiction would come to light. Alas, I have been too busy smoking cigars and drinking Brandy at my Men's Only Club downtown.
MIND SCRAMBLER - Chris Grabenstein - June 23
I have been a long time advocate of these books. After Book Three I called it the best series I was reading. I think these books work so well because of wish fulfillment and identification. We want to be John Ceepak, but we are Danny Boyle.
BURY ME DEEP - Megan Abbott - July 7
Release of this author's fourth novel reminds me that I have yet to read her third. One could write that she is the reigning Queen of Noir, which she is, but I feel like that labels her work in way to make it palatable for audiences. Regardless of genre or subgenre she is a writer that demands to be read. This is my most anticipated book of the Summer.
A CRACK IN THE LENS - Steve Hockensmith - July 21
Here is another series that I get a lot of enjoyment out of. The last book, THE BLACK DOVE, was his best so far primarily because of the increased female influence among our boys Big Red and Gustav
THE DEAD OF WINTER - Rennie Airth - July 23
The third in this infrequently written series takes place between the World Wars in the English Country side. The first book, RIVER OF DARKNESS was everything that Historical Crime Fiction should be. The second THE BLOOD-DIMMED TIDE was less successful. Still, I'm looking forward to this one.
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE - Stieg Larsson - July 28
Maybe by the time this book is released, in the US I'll have read the first one. Over the last few years I have reacted pretty ambivalently toward many of the books that have garnered overwhelming positive reviews. Still as releases go, this might be the big one of the summer.
THE SILENT HOUR - Micheal Koryta - August 4
Back to series with this book after last year's highly successful stand alone ENVY THE NIGHT. I wish I had enjoyed that book more. Perhaps I, as a reader, felt it was a little early to break from the series. I'm guessing Mr. Koryta feels differently.
THE AMATEURS - Marcus Sakey - August 6
Everything thing this author has written has been really good. However, it is time Mr. Sakey went to the next level with a truly great novel. If I had to guess what is holding this author back? I wish he wrote a series character.
HEART OF THE ASSASSIN - Robert Ferrigno - August 11
I think this is the final book in a planned trilogy. I have enjoyed all the books to this point, but have felt they have never really delivered on their intriguing premise. Book Two was nominated for the Edgar.
BLOOD'S A ROVER - James Ellroy - September 22
Mr. Ellroy never feels the need to censor himself, so this is one of the few times I don't feel the need to be diplomatic. The second in this trilogy, THE COLD SIX THOUSAND was a stylistic disaster. The language was stripped so bare that even the subtext was scrubbed clean. Still, the first in this trilogy is a towering achievement.
The rest I can recommend with little to no reservations. While I have not read all of these authors, I know many that do and just rave about them.
C.J. Box - BELOW ZERO, Meg Gardiner - THE MEMORY COLLECTOR, David Liss - THE DEVIL'S COMPANY, Brett Battles - SHADOW OF BETRAYAL, Blake Crouch - ABANDON, J.A Konrath - CHERY BOMB, James Lee Burke - RAIN GODS, Jason Starr - PANIC ATTACK, Dan Fesperman - THE ARMS MAKER OF BERLIN