Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Books

New Book Round-up

The beauty of a kick-ass blog like Naked Authors is that there are no rules. I can write about just about anything. Sex, violence, politics, religion, false teeth – nothing is off-limits.

So today I’m going to talk about books. Not just any books but books that have either been recently released or soon to be released by authors whom I happen to know. Now that’s cool; Knowing people who write books that I like and being in a position to mention them on a blog. I’m obviously in a good mood today and I have to admit I have no idea why and no special reason to be happy other than having an abundance of good books to read.

This weekend I was at the Southern Festival of Books and saw the lovely J.T. Ellison who’s debut novel, All the Pretty Girls, has just come out. I am particularly fond of this thriller about a Nashville homicide detective named Taylor Jackson and her pursuit of a serial killer. If you were to check the inside cover you’d see a blurb by an author named James O. Born. That should be all you need to know about this fine novel. Oh yeah some guy named Lee Child liked it too. I’m not even sure he’s an American.

Next on my list of new novels is Shallow Grave by Lori Armstrong. This is the third novel in a series about a South Dakota P.I. named Julie Collins. Aside from the best titles in the business with the first two novels named Blood Ties and Hallowed Ground, Lori has an interesting character who must deal with issues alien to most Americans: Tribal issues and politics.

Lori has been nominated for the Shamus Award and Shallow Grave is her best novel yet.

Now those of you who follow details and look at photos closely might think I’m only blogging about tall, blond, beautiful authors today but I assure you that is not entirely true. The third book in my round up is by California author Tim Maleeny. Although tall and arguably beautiful, wait a minute, I guess he is sort've blond too. My mistake, that must be the criteria this week. Sue me, I'm not a professional critic.

His newest novel, Beating the Babushka, is the second in his series featuring P.I. Cape Weathers. In this outing he investigates an apparent suicide in the film industry and must navigate a wild array of quirky characters from all walks of life.

I met Tim at this year’s Thrillerfest in New York and he impressed me as a funny guy. Sometimes that’s all I need to start reading someone’s books and in this case I was glad I did.

Now this is just a short list of the recent new books but what better criteria to use than personally liking the authors? Unlike many TV commentators I try to be completely upfront about my prejudice but in this case I’m pretty confident you’ll like these authors if you give them a shot.
What about you? Read any good books lately? I’m always interested in finding new authors.


  1. Just finished Lori's SHALLOW GRAVE and it blew me away. I think she's got another Shamus nom coming her way with this one.

  2. I wholeheartedly support the three up-and-comers you highlighted today.

    Hmmm ... maybe I'll have to go a little blonder.-

  3. Whoa. Surprised to see my mug on the Naked blog today. Thanks so much, Jim, for including me in your list. I'm humbled.

  4. Jim, you're the greatest! Thanks for the kind mention, and thanks for a great weekend! You took the sting out of my embarrassment with Kinky Friedman (note: never argue with Kinky. He'll yell at you and call your husband names).

    I am forever learning from your graciousness and humor. Look for a picture tomorrow at Murderati of you with a great book in your pants...

    And for Cornelia, a bumper sticker I saw this morning --
    Wag more, bark less.

  5. Nice bumper sticker, JT! And I love your cover for the book, you lucky ducky!! It's creepy and pretty all at once. More creepy.

  6. Hey, I really like this place! I popped in mostly cos I've turned into a completely unabashed fan of Cornelia, but you're all pretty cool.

    There's a very good Scottish movie called Shallow Grave - Ewan McGregor before he was a major actor. By the makers of Trainspotting, 'nuff said.

    And with cover art - do you authors have any control over that, or are you totally at the mercy of publishers?

  7. Ah, we just buy Tim's books because of the covers...

    I'm reading "Some Like It Hot-Buttered" by Jeff Cohen. Fun.

    I'm reading (yeah, 2 books at once), "Dark of the Moon" by John Sandford. Really excellent and somewhat different than his Prey novels.

    Most striking book I've read recently was "The Chemistry of Death" by Simon Beckett

  8. I'm glad everyone is happy with my remarks.

    I'm very impressed with the writers out there.


  9. Great suggestions, Jim. We should all do this regularly...suggest books by friends and foes and folks we've never met.

    I just finished Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," which will put you on anti-depressants.

    Enjoyed the witty, informative and politically incorrect, "Ask a Mexican!" by Gustavo Arellano.

    Reading Don DeLillo's 1970's novella, "End Zone" and just started John Hart's second novel, "Down River." If it's as good as his first one, "The King of Lies," I'm going to ask him for writing lessons.

  10. from Jacqueline

    Most recent book read was Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones, the book was hotly tipped to win the Booker, but didn't (pipped to the post by an outsider). I liked this book a lot, but thought the tagged on bring-you-into-the-present ending didn't quite work.

    Currently reading: The Bhavagad Vita (well, it's part of my coursework ...), but have Away by Amy Bloom waiting in the wings, along with The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. I'm also planning to go back to some of the classic mystery and espionage books of the sixties (good old cold war stuff).

  11. Jim, thanks much for the mention. Glad the new novel didn't disappoint, but I'm not sure I'd qualify as a was dark in that bar when we first met, and that photo was retouched.

  12. JT, I think it's safe to say, Kinky Friedman will never call my husband names. But I agree with everything else you said. And thanks for the shout-out, Mark.