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March 10, 2006 Edition

Cinnamon Kiss, by Walter Mosley


Easy Rawlins is back and still working on staying on the straight and narrow, but it’s hard. Investigative jobs are scarce for black men in 60’s LA, and now Easy’s daughter, Feather, has been diagnosed with a $35,000 disease. Desperate for the money, he nearly agrees to an armed robbery with his pal Mouse, but starts having visions of himself in prison stripes. Fortunately, a legitimate case lands in his lap and he’s off to San Francisco in search of clues to the disappearance of a lawyer and his lover. As always, Mosley’s writing captures the mood of the times, in this case, racism, free love, Vietnam protests, and sexism.

Perfect Nightmare, by John Saul


When teenager Lindsey disappears, the police call her a runaway. But when a devoted mother disappears in the same community, an investigation begins in earnest. The voice of the torturer alternates with a more distant third-person description of the goings-on in this grim psychological suspense story as three women struggle to survive in a long-abandoned playhouse.

A Dollar Short, by Karin Gillespie


When Chiffon Butrell wins a chance to be an extra in the newest Janie-Lynn Lauren movie, she’s ecstatic – she’s never been out of South Carolina before, and she and her husband plan a second honeymoon in the Hollywood Hills. But the baby gets sick, Lonnie goes West without her, and next thing she knows, he’s on TV as the shadowy “new companion” for the leading lady. When Chiffon loses her job and discovers Lonnie’s paycheck is being forwarded to Hollywood, the Bottom Dollar Girls step in with their plainspoken charm and set things right.

Ghost Walk, by Heather Graham


Nikki DuMonde lives in New Orleans and manages a haunted-tour company, but she doesn’t really believe in ghosts until she dreams a strange encounter with an employee who later turns up dead. Then she meets Brent Blackhawk, a half-Irish, half-Lakota paranormal investigator, who is trying to find out what happened to an undercover FBI agent. Brent quickly realizes that her affinity for the dead makes her a target, and appoints himself her protector in this suspenseful romance.

Worth More Dead and Other True Cases, by Ann Rule


Fans of Rule’s disquieting true crime books won’t want to miss this collection of five cases that range from a twenty-year-old cold case murder finally solved to a serial rapist and murderer. As in her other books, Rule’s attention to detail and meticulous research give readers a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the cases.

The Big Over Easy, by Jasper Fforde


Morale is low in the Nursery Crime Division: not only have three wily pigs walked free in the murder of a wolf, but Easter is coming – a bad time for eggs. And one egg in particular, Humpty Dumpty, has had his last fall. Now it is up to Detective Inspector Jack Spratt to put the pieces together and figure out whodunit in this clever amalgam of nursery rhymes and mystery standards.

The Savage Country, by Lewis B. Patten


After taking back money stolen from him and leaving three bodies behind, Sloan Hewitt finds himself offered the position of Marshal by the townspeople, who are tired of watching troublemakers and innocents alike die on the street. Hewitt knows that there isn’t enough money to pay a man what the job’s worth, since doing things properly will probably get him killed, but he’s found an old flame in town, and maybe even met a new one, and can’t bear to leave them at the mercy of lawless men in this classic Western.

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