Books for March

Though I was bemoaning the lack of new releases in February, March more than makes up for it.  Seriously.  Here are the books I’m getting this month:

 

51srWbCExCL._SL160_ Deanna Raybourn’s “The Dead Travel Fast” (historical mystery): I’m a big fan of her Silent books, and while I’m ever-so-slightly disappointed that this new book isn’t the latest installment in that series, it sounds just as wonderfully gothic and fascinating:

A husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all.

With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh — and a disappointed suitor — far behind. She is bound for Roumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independence.

She arrives at a magnificent, decaying castle in the Carpathians replete with eccentric inhabitants: the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend, Cosmina. But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle’s master, Count Andrei Dragulescu.

Bewildering and bewitching in equal measure, the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora’s imagination and awakens passions in her that she can neither deny nor conceal. His allure is superlative, his dominion over the superstitious town, absolute — Theodora may simply be one more person under his sway.

Before her sojourn is ended — or her novel completed — Theodora will have encountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive. For obsession can prove fatal…and she is in danger of falling prey to more than desire.

Out now (excerpt here)

 

51hl6F3qqL._SL160_ Lisa Lutz’s “The Spellmans Strike Again” (mystery): I became addicted to this off-the-wall series last year – I liked the first book well enough, but it was the second book that hooked me.  They’re hilarious with heart, and as a reader, I’m very invested in Izzy and her family.  “The Spellmans Strike Again” is the fourth in the series and here’s the blurb:

At the ripe old age of 32, former wild child Isabel "Izzy" Spellman has finally agreed to take over the family business. Let’s just say the transition won’t be a smooth one.

Her first priorities as head of Spellman Investigations are to dig up some dirt on the competition—slippery ex-cop Rick Harkey—and to track down a stolen screenplay called The Snowball Effect. Next, faced with a baffling missing-persons case at the home of an aging millionaire, Izzy hires an actor friend to infiltrate the mansion as an undercover butler. Only he enjoys the role a little too much.

Meanwhile, Izzy is being blackmailed by her mother, who threatens to distribute photographic evidence of Prom Night 1994 unless Izzy commits to regular blind dates with promising professionals—an arrangement that doesn’t thrill Connor, an Irish bartender on the brink of becoming ex-boyfriend #12.

At Spellman headquarters, it’s business as unusual. Doorknobs and light fixtures are disappearing every day, Mom’s been spotted crying in the pantry, and a series of increasingly demanding Spellman Rules (Rule #27: No Speaking Today) can’t quite hold the family together. Izzy also has to decipher weekly "phone calls from the edge" from her octogenarian lawyer Morty, as well as Henry Stone’s mysterious interest in rekindling their relationsh … well, whatever it was.

Just when it looks like things can’t go more haywire, little sister Rae’s internship, researching pro bono legal cases leads the youngest Spellman to launch a grass-roots campaign that could get an innocent man out of jail—or land her in it.

Out March 16 (excerpt here)

 

41xrXP7zSL._SL160_ Patricia Briggs“Silver Borne” (urban fantasy): I’ve already pre-ordered it (and yes, I’ve gone for the UK paperback, even though I’m madly envious about those who get the US hardcover version – I’ll just lust over the cover online).  It’s a close call between the Mercy series and the Anna & Charles one for me at the moment, but Mercy just edges it, so to say I’m madly excited about this fifth book is probably an understatement.

Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the last couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe, and now the leader of the werewolf pack – who’s maybe-more-than-just-a-friend – has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they’re all about to find out how implacable – and dangerous – the fae can be. OK, so maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure could use a holiday…

Out March 30 (excerpt here)

 

51VgbfEvzTL._SL160_ Megan Whalen Turner’s “A Conspiracy of Kings” (YA fantasy): Speaking of wildly excited, I cannot wait to get my hands on the latest book in MWT’s Thief series (or whatever the “official” series name is).  I completely appreciate that I’ve only had to wait a year or so (probably less, actually) whereas die-hard fans have been waiting years for this, but still!  Just reading the blurb gives rise to this massive sense of anticipation:

Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father’s villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace.

In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again.

Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the magus—and Eddis—sets out on an adventure that will change all of their lives forever.

Out March 23 (excerpt here)

 

51NsvV6rNNL._SL160_ Anne Bishop’s “Shalador’s Lady” (fantasy): I’m getting this one because I’m a long-time Black Jewels fan, but I will admit her more recent books have not quite done it for me.  Still, I do want to see where this storyline goes (this book is the sequel to last year’s “The Shadow Queen”) and I’ve been hearing good things about this one.  The blurb:

For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. And even though the refugees found sanctuary in Dena Nehele, they have never been able to call it home.

Now that Dena Nehele has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore the land and prove her ability to rule. She knows that undertaking this task will require all her heart and courage as she summons the untested power within her, a power capable of consuming her if she cannot control it.

And even if Lady Cassidy survives her trial by fire, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land—and Lady Cassidy—forever…

Out now (excerpt here)

 

51MD6vXXEIL._SL160_ Richelle Mead’s “Succubus Shadows” (urban fantasy): Ms Mead’s Vampire Academy YA series seem to be getting more attention nowadays, but I read her Succubus books first.  A lot has happened since the first book – heck, a lot happens in each book, and I really want to know what happens next. 

Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals—all child’s play to a succubus like her.

Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend’s wedding is a different story. Georgina isn’t sure which is worse—that Seth is marrying another woman, or that Georgina has to run all over Seattle trying on bridesmaid dresses. Still, there are distractions. Georgina’s roommate, Roman, is cluttering her apartment with sexual tension. Then there’s Simone, the new succubus in town, who’s intent on corrupting Seth.

But the real danger lies in the mysterious force that’s visiting her thoughts, trying to draw her into a dark, otherworldly realm. Sooner or later, Georgina knows she’ll be too weak to resist. And when that happens, she’ll discover who she can trust, who she can’t—and that Hell is far from the worst place to spend eternity…

Out March 18 UK,  March 30 US (excerpt here)

 

And the maybes? 

Jenna Black’s fifth book in her Morgan Kingsley series, “The Devil’s Playground” (urban fantasy, out March 23) – this series has been a bit hit or miss for me, with more misses than hits recently.  I have heard this is the final book in the series (though I can’t remember where now, and could be completely wrong), so I may get it to see how it all pans out.

Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher book (suspense), “61 hours”, is out in the UK on March 18.  I usually end up buying these books sooner or later, though the recent ones haven’t grabbed me the way the earlier ones did.

“Warriors”, a fantasy anthology edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois, with some excellent contributors, including Diana Gabaldon and Naomi Novik.  The reason I’m hesitating on this one is the price, it’s showing up as £21 on The Book Depository.  And as much as I love those two authors, that’s a bit too pricey for me – fingers crossed for a UK edition.

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10 thoughts on “Books for March

  1. A tip about the bookdepository, always check the prices in their twin sites .com and .co.uk , specially for american hardcovers the price difference can be really high. If you check the .com site

    http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780765320483/Warriors?selectCurrency=GBP

    they are listing Warriors for around £14. If you never ordered from the .com site, it´s totally twinlike, your username and password for the .co.uk site work as well, you will have access to your order history. The only thing that is separate is wishlist. The books are shipped from the UK same as well, so no customs problem. I do not understand the price difference, or better I understand but do not respect it. Same thing about their promos and coupons which are often mentioned nowhere on site or even in newsletters – right now it´s 5% off for Paypal payments on the Uk site.

    I love them in the sense that I buy lots from them everysingle month, but all of this pisses me off.

  2. Carrie Vaughn’s YA ‘Voices of Dragons’ also out, might be good. Really looking forward to ‘Conspiracy of Kings’…

  3. Teresa – That is an excellent tip! Thanks for that. What’s weird though is that when I clicked through on your link, I was redirected to .co.uk with the price still @ £21, same went for when I typed in .com directly. However – when I went through a proxy site for .com, the £14 price showed up. Hmm…

    I am definitely remembering this for future reference.

    Stuart – Looking back at my list, I’ve only focused on series continuations, haven’t I? I’m doing a wait-and-see on the Vaughn. I really liked her first Kitty books, but I haven’t read the last two – or maybe three.

    Marg – She was a new-to-me author last year, but the first book was released back in 2007. That one ended on a bit of a downer, IMO, but the second and third were v good. Definite rec from me!

  4. Oh, if you are in UK it makes sense that they redirect any users to the .uk site. I am not in the UK or the US so I get to see both sites, and I always check in both just to see. American books, specially pre-ordered are usually shockingly cheaper on the .com site. And usually prices are lower up to actual release, and then they go up, so that is another tip!

    Sometimes books are actually cheaper by a little on the UK site, but it is always worth checking. Pity you got to get a proxy for it though! These games sellers play make me a bit mad. If they are willing to sell and send internationally for a certain price to some users, it does make other users ( i.e. me) feel unappreciated!

  5. It is a bit of a curious discrepancy, Teresa, especially as you say both sites ship from the UK. I’ll definitely remember that the next time I’m looking for a US release. Rather annoying for me to go through a proxy site though!

  6. Do you know how long is the novella of Naomi Novik in that anthology? The other Dragon book – it was shockingly short ^_^;

    Can’t wait for Conspiracy of Kings!! Aren’t we lucky we discovered this series in 2009, Li? 😀

    I hope you enjoy Shadalor’s Lady. I really think it was very, very, very good 😀

  7. Great book list, Li!
    I was lucky to borrow an ARC of The Spellmans book and I really loved it. I think you will too. 😀

    I’m waiting on Silver Borne, too!!! Who doesn’t love Mercy, right?

    I still have to catch up in the Megan Whalen Tuner series.. have only read The Thief so far. But I will remedy that.

    The same goes for the Deanna Raybourn series that everyone loves so much! 🙂

  8. Nath – No idea re the length of Naomi Novik’s contribution to Warriors, I’m afraid. Haven’t seen the book on the shelves either. It was short, but good in the Dragons anthology though!

    And totally agree about discovering MWT in 2009 – great timing 😉

    Christine – Yes, I remember you posting about reading the fourth Spellmans book! I can’t wait.

    Deanna Raybourn’s Silent books are great if you’re in the mood for a historical mystery, with some angst-y romance in the mix.

  9. Pingback: Ack – I Forgot « Me and My Books

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