Friday, March 16, 2018

A Trifecta of Mystery Bloggers and Their Most Anticipated Titles of 2018!

JENN McKINLAY: There are a lot of book bloggers out there but today I wanted to invite three of my favorites to tell us their three most anticipated mystery titles of 2018. If anyone out there is curious about being a book blogger, our reviewers will be popping in to chat, so feel free to ask them anything. Take it away, ladies.

First up: Cathy Cole from Kittling Books


Paring down this list was painful. I almost sent four and told you to deal with it...but then I decided to behave myself. The three I wound up with are authors that may not be as familiar to a lot of folks as some of the ones I trimmed (Craig Johnson, Stephen King, Ann Cleeves, Elly Griffiths... *sob*). The three authors I chose have also appeared on my Best Reads of the Year lists.

Here goes:

A Howl of Wolves by Judith Flanders' fourth mystery featuring Samantha Clair, editor for a London publishing house and amateur sleuth. Lots of tasty morsels about the world of publishing, laugh-out-loud funny bits, as well as the occasional downright scary scene. Flanders also writes superb non-fiction.


 See Also Proof by Larry D. Sweazy. Sweazy's third mystery featuring Marjorie Trumaine, a freelance indexer and amateur sleuth who lives in rural North Dakota in the 1960s. Yes, indexing can help you be a better sleuth, but the marvels of this series have been its wonderful sense of place and from seeing just how much neighbors and friends help each other in a rather remote area.


Whispers of the Dead by Spencer Kope.
The first book in Kope's FBI Special Tracking Unit series (Collecting the Dead) blew me away two years ago with its imaginative story, the character of Magnus "Steps" Craig, and its oftentimes poetic language. 


From the blog: What is the purpose of this blog, Kittling: Books? First of all, you may wonder just what "kittling" means. It is a Gaelic word that means "anything that strikes [my] fancy", and that pretty much sums up my reading tastes. Although I do have a strong perference for crime fiction (mysteries), I also love historical fiction, history, biographies, time travel...anything that satisfies my craving for strong characters, story and setting. 

Readers can get in touch with Cathy through her blog (kittlingbooks.com), Facebook (facebook.com/KittlingBooks ), and email KittlingBooks@gmail.com. 

On deck: Dru Ann Love from Dru's Book Musings

The first book I’m eagerly anticipating is Charmed Bones by Carolyn Haines – I have read all of the books in this long-running series and fell in love with Sarah Booth and her friends. I especially liked Coleman and Sarah Booth, but the pairing never worked out for the two since they found themselves in relationships with other people. Over the last few books, the author has been closing the gap and I can’t wait for this book to show up in my kindle.

The next book I’m anticipating, as if people who know me knows, is Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb. I do not know what it is about this series, okay, it could be the vulnerability at first of Eve Dallas and her growth in the series, but I just love this series. I know that when the book opens, we are witness to a crime, but what I like best is the call that Eve gets and the arrival of my third favorite character in the series, Peabody. Can you guess who is my second favorite character?

The third book I can’t wait to read is Trust Me by Hank Phillipi Ryan. When I first read Hank’s “Charlotte McNally” series, I was impressed by her characterizations and writing style. I’ve since read all of the books she has written and every time I pick up a new book, I experience something wonderful and she never fails to bring me to a new level of reading.

These three are not the only books I’m anticipating, but they are at the top of my list. Would I like an advance reader copy of these books? No, because I want to read them all in their finished glory.


The reclusive figure of Dru Ann Love reportedly spends her working hours at the mysterious daytime situation doing “research.” She is probably not a spy. Maybe. Her non-working hours are spent less reclusively on her blog, dru’s book musings. She is an avid reader who writes poetry, creates quilts and is happy to be in “her element” within the mystery community. Dru Ann is a 2017 MWA Raven Award recipient and dru’s book musings is an Anthony Award-nominated blog.




And our closer: Lesa Holstine from Lesa's Book Critiques  (she is also the book blogger for the Poisoned Pen Bookstore).

Storytellers. I love storytellers. So, the first two books I'm anticipating are by two men who can tell stories, in writing and orally, better than anyone else I've ever heard/read.

Rick Bragg's new book is due out April 3. It's called The BestCook in the World - Tales from My Momma's Table. Here's part of the blurb in the ARC. "In The Best Cook in the World, Rick Bragg finally preserves his heritage by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking and education, from childhood into old age. Good food always has a good story. And a recipe, writes Bragg, is a story like anything else."

Craig Johnson left us hanging at the end of The Western Star, his last Longmire mystery. In September, we'll find find out what happened. I've attached a photo from Craig's Facebook page. Here's what Amazon has to say about Depth of Winter

" Welcome to Walt Longmire's worst nightmare. In Craig Johnson's latest mystery, Depth of Winter, an international hit man and the head of one of the most vicious drug cartels in Mexico has kidnapped Walt's beloved daughter, Cady, to auction her off to his worst enemies, of which there are many. The American government is of limited help and the Mexican one even less. Walt heads into the one-hundred-and-ten degree heat of the Northern Mexican desert alone, one man against an army."

Then, there's Louise Penny. Her Armand Gamache books have topped my favorites list for the last couple years. There are a few in the series that I haven't enjoyed as much as others, but her last couple have been wonderful. And, the world she created in Three Pines! Plus Armand Gamache's wife, Reine-Marie, is a retired librarian. There's no title for her November 27 release, but I'll be waiting!

More about Lesa: She has been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. She is a mystery columnist for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, and ReadertoReader.com. Author of the "Mystery Fiction" chapter in Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (7th ed.) Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer.


She's also the blogger for Poisoned Pen bookstore, www.poisonedpen.com.

Wow, so many great titles to add to my TBR! What about you, Reds and Readers, what books are you looking forward to in 2018?

















101 comments:

  1. I enjoy reading your book blogs, ladies . . . thank you for sharing your thoughts with us readers.

    Like Dru, I am anxiously awaiting J.D. Robb’s “Leverage in Death” and Hank’s “Trust Me” . . . I’m also looking forward to Lisa Scottoline’s “After Anna,” David Baldacci’s “The Fallen,” and Dean Koontz’s “The Crooked Staircase.” Another book on my eagerly-awaited list: Robert Kurson’s “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon” . . . .

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    1. thank you Joan. I love to read good stories and these authors deliver.

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    2. I've had my eye on Kurson's book, too.

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  3. I'm really looking forward to True Fiction from Lee Goldberg, which comes out at the beginning of April. And the idea of a food blogger caught up in mysteries appeals to me, so I'm looking forward to The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder, the first in a new series. Coincidentally, I'm about to start this one.

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    1. I have that book on my list as well, Mark.

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    2. Sennefelder's book intrigues me, too!

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    3. I've read Debra Sennefelder's The Uninvited Corpse. I liked it so much that I've done an interview with her, which will appear on my blog the day before the review. You're all going to enjoy that one.

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  4. Lots of good choices here. The one I'm most looking forward to of these is Hank's Trust Me. Every month on my blog, I do a list of new publications coming out that month that I'm most looking forward to, mostly crime/mystery books, with an occasional other title. I also keep an ongoing list for myself of new books for the year by month and date. So, narrowing it down to three might be impossible for me. For the rest of the year, starting with March 20th, I'll list one or two for each month that I'm most looking forward to. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (March 20th), Tangerine by Christine Mangan (March 27th), The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton (April 5th, UK), Scot Free by Catriona McPherson (April 8th), The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (May 15th, I've already read and review is on my blog), The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (June 5th), Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King (June 12th), The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault (July 24th), Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen (Aug. 7th), Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day (Aug. 7th), The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal (Aug. 7th), Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette (Aug. 7th), Trust Me by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Aug. 28th), The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton (Oct. 16th,U.S. Publication), Go to My Grave by Catriona McPherson (Oct. 23rd), and The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths (Nov. 1st, UK). Well, I deviated from what I said I'd do. I'm still filling in the list, and a few months are lacking right now, with no books yet listed for September and December. I'll work on that later today. And, of course, August is the month of plenty, so I couldn't leave out any of the ones in that month I'm looking forward to.

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    1. Kathy, You have a full list of so many of the books I hope to get to. I've read Catriona's Scot Free - so much fun.

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    2. This is SO great. Thank you! I am excited, so nervous, and you are very reassuring! xox

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    3. Lesa, I'm really excited about Scot Free. Hank, I'm over the moon excited that I have a book from you to read this year. And, as often happens when you make a list, you sometimes leave out one of your favorites. I have James Ziskin's new Ellie Stone sitting in my short pile of next reads. A Stone's Throw is out June 5th, and with my ARC sitting right here, I can't believe I've failed to put it on my master list for the year. I'm sure that there are others I will be adding as the year progresses, too.

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    4. Thanks for the great list, Kathy!

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    5. Thanks, Ingrid. Although it's not a new book this year, Ingrid. I just bought Loyalty to get started on the Fina Ludlow series. I'm trying to catch up on you and Jenn as members of the Reds now.

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  5. Oops, I just noticed that Lesa had Louise Penny's book listed that comes out in November. I would definitely add that to my November and yearly most anticipated books, too.

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    1. It certainly is, Kathy. We definitely share some reading DNA.

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    2. Thanks. I am busy today looking up some of your all's choices and adding them to my TBR list.

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  6. Such riches! All the books sound like very good reads, plus Cathy says there's a new Elly Griffiths in the works as well! And dru, I don't know about you, but one of the many, many things I love about Eve Dallas is her lack of filter when she feels the need to tell someone what she thinks. When I come home from a long day of soothing ruffled feathers and being all diplomatic and adult, Eve is just the tonic I need.

    April will bring me a new book by Christina Dodd, "Dead Girl Running," and May will bring me "Gale Force" by Owen Laukkanen. Ingrid keeps teasing a new, non-Fina stand alone, and Deb . . . I totally believe she will make her deadline on that new Kincade/James novel, but that's not due out until 2019!!!! Maybe she'll give me a sneak peek.

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    1. Oh yes, love that about Eve as well.

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    2. Gigi, Elly Griffiths/Domenica de Rosa will have a stand alone coming out in November, on my list above. It's entitled The Stranger Diaries and will be out November 1st in the UK. I love everything Dom writes, so I know that this one will be special, too.

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    3. I'm about to finish up Griffiths' The Dark Angel. I'm loving it.

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    4. The Dark Angel was amazing, Cathy.

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  7. I'm looking forward to new books from both Hank and Ingrid of course.

    Other books I am wanting to read are: "The Disappeared" by C.J. Box, "What You Want To See" by Kristen Lepionka, "The Spook In The Stacks" by Eva Gates" and a Firefly TV series tie in novel called "Big Damn Hero". It is the first of an announced three book official canon tie ins sanctioned by series creator Joss Whedon. It is written by Nancy Holder.

    There are more books of course, but these are the (so far at least) biggest books on my radar.

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    1. I have C.J. Box's The Disappeared on my list as well.

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    2. Oh, a Firefly tie in novel! I love Firefly. Thanks, Jay!

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    3. dru, supposed my local B&N has the book in house already but they can't sell it because it has a SOS date. Otherwise, I would've bought it the other day.

      Lesa, nice that there is yet another fan of the show on here. They have plans for 3 Firefly novels thus far. The one I mentioned is first and the other two are:

      The Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove (March 2019)
      Generations by Tim Lebbon (October 2019)

      Happy Reading Everyone!

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    4. Good to hear that about Firefly. I'm another fan.

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    5. Cathy, that's great to hear. I'm a huge fan of the show and the follow up movie as well as the comics and anything else from the show. I've even met three of the cast members at conventions.

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    6. Was Nathan Fillion one of them? (Be still my heart.)

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    7. Cathy, unfortunately not. He doesn't seem to do East Coast conventions as far as I've seen.

      I've met Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite and Summer Glau. I might be meeting Alan Tudyk in November.

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  8. Whatever new books by the Jungle Reds top my list, of course, and I've already read and loved Rhys's The Tuscan Child. Any new books by my fellow Wicked Cozy Authors, too, and the next ones from Louise Penny, Lori Rader-Day, and Catriona MacPherson. I'm eager to read Nancy Herriman's debut in a new historical series, too (she's our guest on the Wicked Cozy Authors today!). Waving hi to Dru and Lesa, and now I can also check out Kittling Books for recommendations.

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    1. I have Catriona's new series and I can't wait to dive into that one too. Oh so many books to read and enjoy.

      Waving back at 'cha Edith.

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    2. Good morning, Edith! Yes, Louise's book, Lori's. I've read Cat's & I have Nancy's to get to. So many books...

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    3. Edith,

      I'm halfway through Grilled For Murder and I have to say I really want to eat breakfast and lunch at Pans 'N Pancakes! I had to go buy Book 4 the other day so that I had it at the ready once I catch up.

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    4. I'm about to start reading MacPherson's Scot Free. Really looking forward to it.

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  9. Thanks for being here rock star bloggers, Cathy, Dru, and Lesa! How are we going to read all these books and keep writing too? The Rick Bragg book looks like a must-read to me! And Cathy, if you had to cut Ann Cleeves, those books on your list must be incredible...

    I would love to hear more about how you choose the books you plan to highlight on your blogs?

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    1. Hi Roberta.

      Because my blog is not run mostly on reviews, I like to reach out to new-to me authors, new series and fan favorites. If I could focus on everyone I would.

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    2. Kay of the comment below saw me turn into a fan girl at meeting Ann Cleeves, so yes, leaving her off my list HURT.

      One of my most popular blog post series is a monthly feature of my picks in new crime fiction. Usually thirteen titles because that's a baker's dozen (and my lucky number). Each month's list will contain favorites of mine, like Cleeves, Craig Johnson, Louise Penny, Bowen & Crombie (almost sounds like a legal team), and others, but I'm always on the lookout for new and/or new-to-me authors and series. Having a TBR list that's impossible to finish doesn't stress me out; it's my security blanket.

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  10. OK, if I had to predict who the 3 bloggers would be here, I would have gotten 100%. I read these ladies blogs daily. And I've met two of them in Arizona while on vacation and haunting The Poisoned Pen. I still hope to have that pleasure with Dru. In any case, well done Cathy, Lesa, and Dru. You guys are definitely ambassadors for the mystery community!

    As to my anticipated reads - well, many of them have been listed. I love the Eve Dallas books and was the nutty person who read the entire series in 2017 - all 40+ of them. Some were rereads. And I think Louise's new book now has a name - Kingdom of the Blind. Can't wait!! I'm looking forward to Linda Castillo's new Kate Burkholder book, A Gathering of Secrets. Also Charlie Donlea's 3rd, Don't Believe It. Clare O'Donohue has a new series with 1st book, Beyond the Pale. And Christine Trent's No Cure for the Dead, a Florence Nightengale mystery. I also just finished reading Simone St. James' new book, The Broken Girls. I liked it a lot - ghosts, secrets, and an abandoned boarding school. OK, I'll stop now.

    Jenn, thanks for featuring these wonderful bloggers. May their stars ever shine!

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    1. You can see how hard it was to narrow the list down to three. I'm looking forward to Linda's next book - I hope we see more of John.

      Hope to meet you too Kay.

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    2. The entire "In Death" series in one year, Kay? Oh, my! I bow to you. I'll bet you had a blast!

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    3. Yes, I know. Crazy indeed, though I loved it. I commented yesterday about my quest to 'move' more and get healthier. Anyway, one of my treats to myself to keep going was listening to the entire J.D. Robb series. I did it between August and November. And it worked! Plus, now I'm finally caught up with it. LOL

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    4. Kay's right. When I sent this, Louise hadn't yet announced Kingdom of the Blind. Can't wait.

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    5. Kay, I felt as if Beyond the Pale was written just for me. I liked No Cure for the Dead. and, Linda Castillo! Well, that's just taken for granted. I love her Kate Burkholder books.

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    6. Good list there, Kay, and kudos to you for finding such a good way to catch up with Eve! I've gotten too far behind with Camilleri's series, so I'm pondering having an All Montalbano Week this summer on the blog.

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  11. What great selections. I, too, am really looking forward to TRUST ME.

    Mary/Liz

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  12. Of course TRUST ME heads my list, and Deb's new book, whatever year it is coming out! I anticipate Catriona's Scot Free in another three weeks, everything by the Reds, Elly Griffith, of course Louise Penny and Ann Cleeves.

    I just finished THE DODGERS, by Bill Beverly, and what a read, so I'm happily anticipating his next book, however long from now that may be. This is the third book I've read about LA gangs, not a topic I'd ordinarily seek out, but wow. I think I've discovered a new sub-genre.


    Rhys I finished THE TUSCAN CHILD, and what a good story that was. It makes me want to go back to Italy soon.

    So any books, so little time. Sigh

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  13. Great recs, awesome blogger-reviewers. Cathy, Dru Ann, Lesa--you all do a wonderful service for readers and writers. So many thanks!

    I submit that the "daytime situation" is a cover, and she really is a spy, because "Dru Ann: The Spy Who Came in to Read Cozies" would be a great biography.

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  15. I'm thinking I need two more lives, so I have the time to read all these intriguing new titles!

    Waving at Dru Ann!

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    1. waving back Karen. I feel the same way.

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  16. WOwwow wow..this is fabulous! (And maybe we should make it a regular feature! I vote yes.)

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  17. And thank you, darling Dru. My fingers are permanently crossed for this. And ooh, the final final cover is still in the works. It'll be such fun to see it! (So seriously, you don't want an advance copy? They'll arrive soon...)

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    1. Hank, I probably don't have to tell you that I'm hoping to get and ARC. It's one of the ones I want most this year.

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  18. And one more thing. Bloggers, tell us how you work! How you choose, how you are notified of new releases, how much time it takes.

    And you DO know how much we adore and rely on you, right?

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    1. Ah, Hank. That has all changed for me in the last year. I review about 10 mysteries a month for Library Journal's Mystery & Suspense column, so they send me mysteries they want reviewed with notes on them, "Please review this" or "Debut. Please review." It makes for a lot of discovery, which is fun. It also means I don't always get to the other books I was hoping to read. So, after I read those 10, I can pick favorite authors or enticing books. But, the deadline always comes first. In most cases, I'll then review the book on my blog close to release date. As a librarian, I often know the new releases months in advance, but so do Dru Ann & Cathy (and Kathy Reel) as you can tell by calendars & scheduled reading.

      We love you right back, Hank.

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    2. I scour Amazon, Facebook feeds, and several sites for upcoming titles that excites and interests me. I'm lucky in that I don't have any hard deadlines to review books, as long as I post my musing before the published date. I love discovering new-to-me and debut authors, so it is always a joy to promote their work with my "day in the life" feature and for those who've been on my blog before the "get to know me" feature.

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    3. oops, we love you guys too for entertaining us with your work.

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    4. Lesa and Dru, xo. You both are two of my sources.

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    5. Net Galley is one of my favorite sources, and I'm always scanning through places like Kirkus Reviews, FictFact's monthly book release calendar, Amazon, and others. I'm also responsible for The Poisoned Pen Bookstore's Pinterest page, and when I'm pinning Barbara's picks as well as those of the store's fantastic staff, I pick up titles there as well. I don't always know where my selections will come from, especially since more publishers are sending me books on the off chance that I'll read and review them.

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  19. Like everyone else, I'm hugely looking forward to Louise Penny's new book, as well as Hank's. I typically state that I don't care much for historical fiction, but I guess I'm a big liar because I am looking forward to both The Tuscan Child and Jacqueline Winspear's new one. Also looking forward to Necessary Ends, the newest installment in Tina Whittle's Tai & Trey series, and The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon. Plus whatever wonderful titles I stumble upon on this blog or in my random wanderings!

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    1. Oh, Susan. Necessary Ends is fun. You're going to enjoy this one. A few surprises in store.

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    2. Susan, I read Necessary Ends and loved it. You will too.

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    3. Always wonderful to know you're waiting for a book, Susan! And thanks to Dru and Lesa and the kind words (and for sharing your lists with us -- we all appreciate the work you do for mystery readers and writers everywhere!)

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  20. Honestly, I'm looking forward to finishing my own damn book in 2018. Then I'll be able to read other mystery writers without feeling guilty.

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    1. Julia, yours is one of the most highly anticipated books whenever it comes out!

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  21. This is great! Filling my TBR list. You guys are all my rock stars.

    Lesa: 10 books a MONTH?

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    1. Oh, that's just what I review for LJ, Hallie. So, I try to squeeze in a few more for me.

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    2. Oops, somehow the comment published before I was through. I was going to say. Right, Hallie? I'm so impressed with the number of books you read each month, Lesa, and you work full-time, too. Amazing!

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    3. Lesa, that "squeezing in a few more for me" can be tough sometimes, can't it? LOL

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    4. Definitely, and it hurts sometime when I see books I really want to read sitting on a TBR pile.

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  22. Like everyone else, I look forward to Louise Penny's new book in November. I read Tuscan Child and loved it! I've been following many authors on Instagram. And discovering new books like My Year in Oxford, which I look forward to reading. I think it came out this week? There are many many new books that I look forward to reading. Looking forward to the new Maisie Dobbs book on the 27th of March.

    Diana

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    1. I really try to limit time spent on social media, but something has kept telling me to check into Instagram lately. Whether or not I pay attention is another story! LOL

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  23. You've all listed most of my favorites coming up! I'll add a few here. Tina Whittle's Necessary Ends: LOVE Tai and Trey! Iona Whishaw's It Begins in Betrayal. Stella Cameron's Whisper the Dead. Susanna Kearsley's Bellewether.

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    1. I'm looking forward to having you read it too, Pat!

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  24. More than anything, I'm looking forward to Julia's next. And Trust Me. My NC bud Katy Munger was hoping to finish one this year, and I'm looking forward to that. I don't keep up with what's coming nearly as much as many of you; I'm still catching up! I did just read The Tuscan Child and liked it a lot, including the ominous references to Joanna's tragedy before we find out the details.

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  25. Cathy, Dru Ann, and Lisa,
    Thanks so much for your recommendations! I'm sure you're all inundated with books; how do you decide which ones to read?

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    1. For me, the first to be read are always the ARCs because I've made a commitment to read and review them by the release date. I review three books per week on average so that means dates that aren't filled by ARCs are filled with books from my extensive TBR shelves.

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    2. If I request a book from an author, NetGalley or Edelweiss, I read those first in order of publication date. I also alternate with books for reviews and books that I want to read.

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  26. Deadlines, Ingrid, deadlines. As an author, I know you understand.

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  27. Lesa, Louise Penny's next book is called " Kingdom of the Blind "
    Looking forward to it and for every Red"s next book

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  28. Thank you all for visiting today! Hub and I took the Hooligans skiing (us) and snowboarding (them). It was a last minute idea to end their spring break with some fun. I haven’t skied in forever and I am thrilled to report I didn’t fall - not once! In any case, thanks again for the book recommendations! You three are fabulous!

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