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What's new in September 2020

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

by Roz Weedman

Published in the Frankenmuth News Sept. 16, 2020

We have an impressive array of publications available this month, literally something for everyone. Let’s focus on fiction this week and non-fiction next.

Louise Penny normally has a publication every fall and this year is no exception with the 16th book of the Inspector Gamache series, All the Devils Are Here, set in Paris. Although she has written books in the series not set in Three Pines, they’ve all been Canadian settings until now. She makes excellent use of Paris as Sue P. and Susan T. both noted at the last Books for Lunch. Three of us had read the book and no one was disappointed.

Susan B. had read The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne and liked it in that “creepy book” way. This psychological thriller is set, in part, in Michigan’s upper peninsula and deals with unresolved guilt and a past difficult to recall. And yes, there is a sister.

Speaking of creepy, Ruth Ware has a new book, One by One. You might recall that her last book, Turn of the Key, was a take-off on the 19thcentury Henry James novella, Turn of the Screw, and Ware did a fine job with it. She must have liked that concept because this time her book One by One is a bit of a take-off on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. In Ware’s book, eight co-workers are trapped in a blizzard that turns into an avalanche at a classy ski resort. As you might guess, one by one they are disappearing. Sounds good to me. [Look in this blog under Books and Authors to find the posting about book podcasts. The Librarian is in podcast features And Then There Were None.]

Carl Hiaasen has a new book out, Squeeze Me, that reviewers find makes the best use of Hiaasen humor and his southern Florida typical setting. The title apparently comes from some hungry pythons featured in the story. Hiaasen really is funny, and he partly turns his lens on the existence of the presidential winter home famously set in his area. This book has been called “irreverent, ingenious, and highly entertaining.” (Those who might be irritated by some potshots in the direction of Mara Lago may not enjoy this one. Hiaasen isn’t a fan of tearing up the Florida environment for golf courses, a consistent theme of his.)

This won’t shock anyone, but James Patterson has a new book, The Midwife Murders, with – as is his typical style these days – co-author Richard DiLallo. As I usually do every month, I wondered how much writing Patterson himself does. The Washington Post had a pretty good article on this. It explained that Patterson comes up with a concept and as many as 80 pages of notes that he passes to his co-author who then writes the book. I couldn’t find what the financial split might be, but it does seem fair to call 80 pages of notes a real co-author project. Patterson may not exactly be beloved of critics, but he is to his loyal readers, and he has an empire.

Jodi Picoult has a new one. The Book of Two Ways asks what our lives would be like if we could have it both ways and live our lives plus the life we would have had if we had chosen the road not taken. The protagonist has a close brush with death during an airline flight and, when offered a free flight to anywhere, she doesn’t elect to go home to her husband and daughter, but instead heads to Egypt and the professional pursuit she could have had with the man she might have been with. I am a sucker for a Picoult book because she is so good at different points of view.

Two more big names in fiction have new books for us. Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)has come out with her fifth Cormorant Strike book, Troubled Blood. Out of everything, this is the one I most want to get my hands on. It’s just a fabulous, dark, well-done detective series with Strike the ideal noir private eye. Read in order.

And Ann Cleeveshas a new Vera book in that substantial series, entitled The Darkest Evening. (Let me add that the Acorn cable series “Vera” is excellent.)

Next month, you won’t believe the good luck – Tana French is back.

See you at the Library.

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