After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman. Here is just one of the rave reviews:
“Lippman stretches a richly textured canvas that depicts, with wit and sensitivity, the wounded but tough women Felix left behind. As she traces the matrix of longing, jealousy, and betrayal that led to Julie’s murder, Lippman incisively explores marriage, Jewish family life, class distinctions, and the power and liability of physical beauty, thus creating an involving and elegant novel of the psychological ravages of crime.” —Booklist
From Harlan Coben I have two books on my wish list. First is Missing You, which came out last year and I missed, and his new book due out in March, The Stranger. That book is available for pre-order,so if any of my kids are reading this... hint, hint.
"Coben... has written another twisty ripped-from-the-headlines page-turning stand-alone that could be his best yet." Library Journal (starred review)
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline was a terrific story. I did a short impromptu review last month when I was reading the book because I was so captivated by the story and the writing.
Another novel that I loved was Edward Adrift by Craig Lancaster. That is a sequel to 600 Hours of Edward, and while both books would make a terrific gift, one does not have to read 600 Hours first. I reviewed the book a few weeks ago:
Craig's first book was one of my favorite all time reads, and I was delighted when I finally made time to read the sequel. Edward is a 42-year-old man with Asperger's Syndrome, who is trying his best to find "normal" in a world that does not conform to this way of thinking and operating. If you've ever wondered what goes on in the mind of someone with Aspergers, Edward can clue you in, and as he reminds everyone, "I'm not stupid, I'm just developmentally challenged."I would be remiss if I didn't mention the books by Slim Randles, who is a frequent guest here. One of my favorites is Home Country which is a collection of his column of the same name. It has wonderful bits of humor and wisdom.
There are so many other books and authors I could recommend, but I don't want to write an epistle here. But you can check out books by Kathryn Craft, Terry Odell, LJ Sellers, Dennis Lehane, D.D. Ayers, John Sandford, Kent Krueger, and you won't be disappointed.
And of course I should mention a couple of my books. If you were to order the paperbacks or hardbacks for a gift, I would be happy to send a signed bookplate to the recipient. The newest book is Doubletake. Boxes For Beds was released last year, and the two books in my Seasons Mystery Series, Open Season and Stalking Season came out just before that. There is a new version of my YA novel out in paperback from White Bird Publishing, and Friends Forever would be a nice gift for any girl between the ages of 9 and 13.
"Friends Forever is a wonderful example of how a story can teach lessons, even change lives. The characters speak realistically and the other parts of teenage life that aren't part of the main story are told with accuracy. I was moved to tears several times, feeling the emotions of the characters, knowing how they felt. This is a must-read for every tween and teen. It is my hope that every young person...and us slightly older people too...can learn something from this wonderful real-life tale." One satisfied reader.