Welcome to another edition of Mailbox Monday, where insatiably curious bookaholics can find out what books were received by others who are similarly afflicted. Whether you want to see all those books, glorious books... or if you'd like to join in and share yours with the rest of us, the headquarters of Mailbox Monday can be found at The Printed Page. Just click on that redhead to the left to be taken straight to HQ. Thanks for hosting this meme, Marcia!
I was a bad girl. I only sent out one book to a new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster home while receiving ten books. Six of them were books on my PBS wish list that came through, and I could lie like a rug and say that the other four were received in the spirit of research... but that's not true. I'm not a research assistant, and no one held a gun to my head and forced me to try out Paperback Swap's new Marketplace feature. I did try it; however, and there will be a post about it sometime this week. Now... on to those books!
- Death Loves a Messy Desk by Mary Jane Maffini (PBS), #3 in the Charlotte Adams cozy mystery series. "Nothing makes Charlotte Adams happier than freeing people from clutter-and she boasts a waiting list of sloppy clients. Her free time has been taken up solving fatally untidy cases. Her latest task: a woman has hired her to organize a coworker's hopelessly cluttered desk. But when the miss behind the mess goes missing, workplace tempers rise. Now, Charlotte must open a brand-new folder-one she hopes won't be filed under M for murder."
- Dead Connection by Alafair Burke (PBS), the first in the Ellie Hatcher mystery series. "New York Detective Ellie Hatcher has been recruited by a Manhattan Homicide Task Force to assist renegade detective Flann McIlroy. The two are on the trail of a serial killer who is using an Internet matchmaking company called FirstDate. Soon they are enmeshed in the world of Internet socializing where the users trust that their identities can be hidden, but the reality is that those with the right skills can track down anyone online. And people are dying."
- The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh (PBS). "When Rilke, a dissolute and promiscuous auctioneer, comes across a collection of highly disturbing photographs during a house clearance he feels compelled to unearth more about the deceased owner who coveted them."
- Still Waters by Nigel McCrery (PBS), the first DCI Mark Lapslie mystery. "DCI Mark Lapslie is called in when the decayed body of an elderly woman is unearthed. The body provides few clues, beyond the fact that the murderer had a deadly knowledge of household plants. The dearth of evidence is not Lapslie’s only problem. He’s just returned to the force after a year trying to overcome the worst symptoms of his synesthesia, a neurological condition that causes him to “taste” sound. The murder appears to be the work of a serial killer who could strike again at any moment, so Lapslie has to find a way to make his synasethsia work for him, not against him. Otherwise the next life taken could be his own."
- The Time Travelers, Book One in The Gideon Trilogy by Linda Buckley-Archer (PBS). "1763: Gideon Seymour, thief and gentleman, hides from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the twenty-first century, thanks to an experiment with an antigravity machine. Before Gideon and the children have a chance to gather their wits, the Tar Man takes off with the machine -- and Peter and Kate's only chance of getting home. Soon Gideon, Peter, and Kate are swept into a journey through eighteenth-century London and form a bond that, they hope, will stand strong in the face of unfathomable treachery."
- Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors (PBS). "Shors's spirited debut novel tells the story of the eldest daughter of the 17th-century emperor who built the Taj Mahal. From her self-imposed exile, Jahanara recalls growing up in the Red Fort; the devotion her parents, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, had for each other; and the events that took place during the construction of the fabulous monument to their love. Although Jahan is the emperor and has many wives, Mumtaz (he calls her Taj) is his soul mate, a constant companion and wise political consultant. She even travels with him into battle, where she eventually dies giving birth to their 14th child. Fortunately, she has the foresight to begin preparing her favorite daughter, Jahanara, by instructing the girl in the arts of influence and political strategy. Thus the young woman is able to pick up where her savvy mother left off. From then on it is Jahanara who advises the emperor, often instead of her dreamy brother, Dara, who is the rightful heir to the throne. It is she who helps with construction of the magnificent mausoleum for Mumtaz's remains and who falls in love with its architect, Isa, a man whom she can never marry. And it is she who leads a failed effort to defend the throne against a coup by her evil brother, Aurangzeb."
- The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney by Suzanne Harper (PBS Market). "As the seventh daughter of a psychic, great things are expected of Sparrow, but she wants none of it, going so far as to begin her freshman year at a new high school, a bus ride away from Lily Dale, a real-life New York town centered on spiritualism. Nor has she mentioned to her family that she has been talking to spirit guides and seeing ghosts since she was five. But her life plan to eschew the psychic limelight begins to unravel when Luke, a teenage ghost, appears to insist she help him resolve issues that are keeping him from reaching the other side."
- The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry (PBS Market). "Charles Unwin, a clerk who's toiled for years for the Pinkerton-like Agency, has meticulously catalogued the legendary cases of sleuth Travis Sivart. When Sivart disappears, Unwin, who's inexplicably promoted to the rank of detective, goes in search of him. While exploring the upper reaches of the Agency's labyrinthine headquarters, the paper pusher stumbles on a corpse. Aided by a narcoleptic assistant, he enters a surreal landscape where all the alarm clocks have been stolen. In the course of his inquiries, Unwin is shattered to realize that some of Sivart's greatest triumphs were empty ones, that his hero didn't always come up with the correct solution."
- Tethered by Amy MacKinnon (PBS Market). "In Brockton, Mass., lonely Clara Marsh tends to the dead at Bartholomew Funeral Home, whose kindly owner reminds Clara of the undertaker she met as a child at her mother's funeral. When Trecie, a neglected little girl, begins hanging around the funeral parlor, Clara thinks nothing of it until a routine body pickup uncovers a stash of child pornography and Clara recognizes Trecie in a video. The ensuing investigation also points to Precious Doe, an unidentified child murdered three years earlier and whose grave Clara often visits in secret. Aided by a sensitive Irish cop, Det. Mike Sullivan, to whom she's attracted, Clara tries to unravel the mystery, even if that means confronting her own unpleasant past."
- 13½ by Nevada Barr (PBS Market). "Reaching beyond her successful Anna Pigeon series, bestseller Barr comes up with the brass ring: a stand-alone psychological thriller with grit, teeth and heart. At 15, Polly Farmer escapes an alcoholic mother and a trailer-park no-future, hitchhikes to New Orleans and makes a life for herself as an English professor. Polly, divorced with two daughters, romantically intersects with handsome restoration architect Marshall Marchand—who's really Dylan Raines, who was incarcerated as the 11-year-old Butcher Boy who axe-murdered his parents 25 years earlier in Minnesota. As Barr artfully unfolds this mystery of wickedness and pain in eerie post-Katrina New Orleans, she tackles a multitude of societal evils, from psychiatric drug abuse to the juvenile justice system, but her central conflict, Polly's fierce determination to keep her daughters safe while trying to believe in the man she loves, makes this a terrifying, utterly convincing glimpse into the abyss."
Pardon me while I take time off to check out everyone else's mailboxes!