March books

The Arts

March 2, 2020



Notable new releases

compiled by Sally Brewster

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, by Jason Rosenthal

The late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a bestselling children’s author and filmmaker, wrote an article in The New York Times “Modern Love” column outlining what she hoped her husband would do after she died from ovarian cancer. This honest, beautifully written letter was read by more than five million people. In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy’s wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal — and how he and their three children, despite their profound loss, went on to be present in their life without Amy. Jason offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soul mate and illuminates the lessons he learned in the next chapter of his life.

Eight Perfect Murders, by Peter Swanson

Years ago, bookseller and mystery lover Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders from beloved mysteries, which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders.” He published the list in a store newsletter. Malcolm is surprised when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on this list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading: A killer is out there, watching his every move — a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Malcolm’s personal life, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone. Malcolm begins to examine possible suspects and sees a killer in everyone around him. Swanson keeps readers guessing until the very end. Classic whodunit fans, prepare to be in mystery heaven.

The Mirror & The Light, by Hilary Mantel

The third in Mantel’s trilogy on the life of Thomas Cromwell details the final years of the blacksmith’s son who climbed the ladder to be King Henry VIII’s chief minister. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to the breaking point, Cromwell envisions a new country of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?

The Holdout, by Graham Moore

This captivating third novel by Moore takes a searing look at the U.S. justice system, media scrutiny and racism. A decade earlier during a high-profile L.A. murder, Maya Seale persuaded her fellow jurors to acquit African American high-school teacher Bobby Nock of killing Jessica Silver, a wealthy, white 15-year-old student. The controversial trial had a powerful impact on all the jurors, most of whom regretted the verdict. Maya was vilified in the press, but the most stinging rebuke came from juror Rick Leonard, who published a book blaming Maya for the verdict. Then a true-crime documentary series wants to do a 10-year anniversary special with Maya as the key participant. Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of her fellow juror’s is found dead in Maya’s room.

A Conspiracy of Bones, by Kathy Reichs

Bestselling Charlotte author Kathy Reichs returns with the 19th novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. While recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, Brennan is battling nightmares, migraines and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her. An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions. To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Brennan’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. She bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?   SP

Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com

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