The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry
Opening in the settlement of Long Grass, Texas—not quite in Kansas, and nearly New Mexico—we encounter the taciturn Wyatt, whiling away his time in between bottles, and the dentist-turned-gunslinger Doc, more adept at poker than extracting teeth. Now hailed as heroes for their days of subduing drunks in Abilene and Dodge—more often with a mean look than a pistol—Wyatt and Doc are living out the last days of a way of life that is passing into history, two men never more aware of the growing distance between their lives and their legends. Along with Wyatt’s wife, Jessie, who runs the titular saloon, we meet Lord Ernle, an English baron; the exotic courtesan San Saba, “the most beautiful “Fancy Lady” on the plains”; Charlie Goodnight, the Texas Ranger turned cattle driver last seen in McMurtry’s Comanche Moon, and Nellie Courtright, the witty and irrepressible heroine of Telegraph Days. McMurtry traces the rich and varied friendship of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday from the town of Long Grass to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Denver, then to Mobetie, Texas, and finally to Tombstone, Arizona, culminating with the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral, rendered here in McMurtry’s stark and peerless prose. With the buffalo herds gone, the Comanche defeated, and vast swaths of the Great Plains being enclosed by cattle ranches, Wyatt and Doc live on, even as the storied West that forged their myths disappears. As harsh and beautiful, and as brutal and captivating as the open range it depicts, The Last Kind Words Saloon celebrates the genius of one of our most original American writers.
The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry
September 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold, Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: save thousands of American lives, or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever? The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers whose nineteenth-century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of an international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot—a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet’s words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase. All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It’s just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict—a constitutional war secretly set in motion more than two hundred years ago by America’s Founding Fathers. From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln—while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance.
Booty Bones by Carolyn Haines
Sarah Booth Delaney’s fiancé, Graf Milieu, has become depressed while recovering from a severe leg injury, but Sarah Booth knows just how to help him heal. She’s arranged a romantic getaway for the two of them at a lovely beach cottage on Dauphin Island off the Gulf Coast. On the first day of their island adventure, they take a historical tour led by Angela Trotter, a young woman well-versed in local lore, including rumors of pirate treasure hidden somewhere on the island. In fact, Angela confides to Sarah Booth and Graf that her father, a sailor and treasure hunter, was murdered just when he thought he was closing in on the treasure. Angela’s convinced that the wrong man was imprisoned for her father’s murder, and she manages to persuade Sarah Booth to take the case. And Sarah Booth soon realizes that there’s much more going on than meets the eye. With untold amounts of treasure offering plenty of motive for murder and a fiancé falling deeper into depression, Sarah Booth’s peaceful island vacation is quickly spinning out of control.
Cheap Shot by Robert Parker
Kinjo Heywood is one of the New England Patriots’ marquee players—a hard-nosed linebacker who’s earned his reputation as one of the toughest guys in the league. When off-field violence repeatedly lands Heywood in the news, his slick agent hires Spenser to find the men who he says have been harassing his client. Heywood’s troubles seem to be tied to a nightclub shooting from two years earlier. But when Heywood’s nine-year-old son, Akira, is kidnapped, ransom demands are given, and a winding trail through Boston’s underworld begins, Spenser puts together his own all-star team of toughs. It will take both Hawk and Spenser’s protégé, Zebulon Sixkill, to watch Spenser’s back and return the child to the football star’s sprawling Chestnut Hill mansion. A controversial decision from Heywood only ups the ante as the clock winds down on Akira’s future.
Death At The Door by Carolyn Hart
Annie Darling—owner of the mystery bookstore, Death on Demand—prefers fictional crimes as opposed to the real things. But in one tragic week, two acts of violence shake the island community of Broward’s Rock. First, a beloved doctor is found shot dead, seemingly by his own hand. Only days later, a local artist is arrested after his wife is found murdered, bludgeoned by her husband’s sculpting mallet. Convinced her brother did not commit suicide, the doctor’s sister turns to Annie and her husband, Max, for help. She has found a cryptic sketch her brother drew, linking him with the murdered woman. Did someone want them both out of the picture? With the police considering both cases as good as closed, it’s up to Annie and Max to sort through a rogues’ gallery of suspects to see if someone is trying to frame the artist. But if Annie isn’t careful, she may find herself having her own brush with death…
Doing It At The Dixie Dew by Ruth Moose
When Beth McKenzie returns to her hometown and attempts to turn an old Southern mansion into a bed and breakfast called The Dixie Dew, her first guest is murdered. Three days later a young priest who looks better in tennis whites than cleric black is found strangled in his chapel. The whole town of Littleboro is turned upside down, inside out, and Ossie Delbardo, the town cop whose job heretofore mainly involved controlling football traffic on Friday nights, is not cut out to solve the murders. Beth fears her newly opened B&B is in danger of failing. She’s even more worried that she is Ossie’s number one suspect. Aided by her friend from high school and trusty handyman, she sets out to discover the truth of the murders. Littleboro has its share of characters, some of which are helpful and others misleading. There’s Crazy Reba who lives in a tree, bathes in any bathtub she finds empty, and Dumpster dives; Verna, the town know-it-all and affectionate owner of Robert Redford, a huge white rabbit; and Miss Tempie Merritt, music teacher and organist who always wears hat, gloves, and lace-trimmed white socks. When Beth herself is attacked, there’s no more time for baking muffins and stenciling pineapples on the porch. She’s in a race to uncover her neighbors’ secrets before her hometown becomes her burial ground.
Every Hidden Fear by Linda Rodriquez
Skeet’s Cherokee grandmother has come to live with her and her teenage ward Brian, and Skeet is still trying to adjust to the change while also keeping the peace on the local college campus. Then Ash Mowbray, a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, comes back to Brewster as a wealthy developer, pushing plans to build a shopping mall on the outskirts of town that will destroy the town square businesses. The town council is split on his proposal, and emotions are running high. Mowbray makes things worse by announcing that he is the real father of the high school athlete Noah Steen, having left Noah’s mother, Chelsea, pregnant as a teenager when he fled town after high school. Chelsea and her husband Norman are horrified that Mowbray has publicized that Norman is not Noah’s father and afraid that he will steal their beloved son from them. Noah is shocked to learn the truth of his parentage and furious with Mowbray. It’s not long before Mowbray turns up murdered with Noah as the prime suspect. Brian and Noah’s girlfriend Angie turn to Skeet to find the murderer and save their friend.
Unlucky 13 by James Patterson
San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer is loving her life as a new mother. With an attentive husband, a job she loves, plus best friends who can talk about anything from sex to murder, things couldn’t be better. Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women’s Murder Club has ever encountered. In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women’s Murder Club must find a killer—before she finds them first.
Fields Of Prey by John Sandford
The night after the fourth of July, Layton Carlson Jr., of Red Wing, Minnesota, finally got lucky. And unlucky. He’d picked the perfect spot to lose his virginity to his girlfriend, an abandoned farmyard in the middle of cornfields: nice, private, and quiet. The only problem was . . . something smelled bad—like, really bad. He mentioned it to a county deputy he knew, and when the cop took a look, he found a body stuffed down a cistern. And then another, and another. By the time Lucas Davenport was called in, the police were up to fifteen bodies and counting. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, when Lucas began to investigate, he made some disturbing discoveries of his own. The victims had been killed over a great many years, one every summer, regular as clockwork. How could this have happened without anybody noticing? Because one thing was for sure: the killer had to live close by. He was probably even someone they saw every day. . . .
The Keeper by John Lescroat
On the evening before Thanksgiving, Hal Chase, a guard in the San Francisco County Jail, drives to the airport to pick up his step-brother for the weekend. When they return, Hal’s wife, Katie, has disappeared without a clue. By the time Dismas Hardy hears about this, Katie has been missing for five days. The case strikes close to home because Katie had been seeing Hardy’s wife, a marriage counselor. By this time, the original Missing Persons case has become a suspected homicide, and Hal is the prime suspect. And the lawyer he wants for his defense is none other than Hardy himself. Hardy calls on his friend, former homicide detective Abe Glitsky, to look into the case. At first it seems like the police might have it right; the Chases’ marriage was fraught with problems; Hal’s alibi is suspect; the life insurance policy on Katie was huge. But Glitsky’s mission is to identify other possible suspects, and there proves to be no shortage of them: Patti Orosco—rich, beautiful, dangerous, and Hal’s former lover; the still unknown person who had a recent affair with Katie; even Hal’s own step-mother Ruth, resentful of Katie’s gatekeeping against her grandchildren. And as Glitsky probes further, he learns of an incident at the San Francisco jail, where Hal works—only one of many questionable inmate deaths that have taken place there. Then, when Katie’s body is found not three blocks from the Chase home, Homicide arrests Hal and he finds himself an inmate in the very jail where he used to work, a place full of secrets he knows all too well. Against this backdrop of conspiracy and corruption, ambiguous motives and suspicious alibis, an obsessed Glitsky closes in on the elusive truth. As other deaths begin to pile up he realizes, perhaps too late, that the next victim might be himself.
Midnight Crossroad by Charlayne Harris
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town. There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own). Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…
Sixth Grave On The Edge by Daryinda Jones
Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow—but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it…and then the real fun begins. First, Charley finds a naked corpse riding shotgun in her car. Then, a man loses his soul in a card game. Throw in a Deaf boy who sees dead people, a woman running from mobsters, and a very suspicious Reyes, and things can’t get any worse for Charley. Unless, of course, the Twelve Beasts of Hell are unleashed…
The Tiger’s Tale by Laura Morrigan
When a normally mellow tiger at a rescue facility trees a terrified vet, animal behaviorist Grace Wilde needs to use her psychic ability to get to the root of the problem… A tiger can’t change his stripes—but if his behavior changes suddenly, there’s a reason. So when even-tempered Boris the Siberian tiger goes into attack mode, Grace knows there’s more to the story. Something is agitating the big cat. As she uses her telepathic ability to calm the tiger, she realizes he has witnessed a theft—not of something but of someone. A teenaged volunteer at the animal rescue facility has been taken…kidnapped. The problem is Brooke Ligner’s parents believe their troubled daughter ran away and Grace can’t exactly reveal her source. Even though sexy cop Kai Duncan is aware of Grace’s secret ability, he can’t initiate an investigation based on the word of a tiger. Now, as Grace searches for solid clues to rescue the missing teen, it’s the human predators she’ll need to watch out for…