Sam Mayer has been working at Murder By The Book off and on since 2008. He likes to read British whodunits and bleak, American noir.
Sam's 2017 Top 10:
1. The Fact of a Body by Alexandra Marzano-Lesnevich
2. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
3. Shadow Man by Alan Drew
4. Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
5. Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre
6. Safe by Ryan Gattis
7. Proving Ground by Peter Blauner
8. The Dry by Jane Harper
9. Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes
10. Different Class by Joanne Harris
Spotlight on Second in Series:
Righteous by Joe Ide
Down for the Count by Martin Holmen
Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen *
A young law student, an unspeakable crime, and a past that refuses to stay buried. Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working on the retrial defense of death-row convicted murderer and child molester Ricky Langley, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty.
"Magpie Murders is a double puzzle for puzzle fans, who don't often get the classicism they want from contemporary thrillers." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times
A novel of psychological suspense about an idyllic community rocked by a serial killer--and a dark secret.
Winner of the Best Japanese Crime Fiction of the Year Award
"Already a bestseller in Japan and the U.K., this cinematic crime novel suffused with fascinating cultural details follows a police department reinvestigating a chilling kidnapping that stumped them 14 years earlier." --Entertainment Weekly, The Must List
LeCarre's latest novel, and the first to feature George Smiley in 20 years, is also one of his best in recent memory. In A Legacy of Spies the secrets of the Cold War come face to face with the modern intelligence state. LeCarre's narrator, Peter Guillam, is an ex-Circus agent now retired in France. Called back to England and forced to recall the disastrous Operation Windfall, Guillam must reckon with mistakes of the past and their deadly reverberations into the present. An absolute joy to read. - Sam
Two voices dominate this compulsive new book from Ryan Gattis (All Involved). At the center is Ghost, a junkie turned master safe-cracker, and his quest to play ghetto robin hood as the fiscal crisis of 2008 spirals out of control in Southern California. On the other side is Glasses, a gang enforcer with problems of his own. As Ghost robs safe houses and Glasses hunts him down, the line between good and evil blurs and blurs. Gattis writes with great humor and sympathy. This book is a dark, vivid tale of crime and redemption. - Sam
"A must read. I couldn't put the sucker down."--Stephen King
Nathaniel Dresden never really got along with his father, an infamous civil rights lawyer who defended criminals and spearheaded protest movements. As an act of rebellion, Natty joined the U.S. Army and served in Iraq, coming back with a chest full of commendations and a head full of disturbing memories.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"A breathless page-turner, driven by the many revelations Ms. Harper dreams up...You'll love her] sleight of hand...A secret on every page." --The New York Times
"A rollicking murder mystery. . . . a wildly entertaining romp. . . . Laugh? I died."--Vogue
The New York Times bestselling author of Bergdorf Blondes takes us back to the decadent 1980s in this comic murder mystery set in the tony world of Oxford University.
"It's Goodbye, Mr. Chips meets The Bad Seed. Joanne Harris's latest novel, Different Class, has a killer elevator pitch and, what's more, it delivers on its intriguing premise.... A] rich, dramatic tale that builds to a surprising conclusion." --The Washington Post
The follow up to one of my favorite books of last year, Righteous ($26) finds our hero IQ-- the Sherlock Holmes of East Long Beach-- investigating the supposedly accidental death of his brother. At the same time, IQ must travel to Vegas to track down a wayward DJ who has run afoul of the Triads. Hilarious, fast-paced, and incredibly clever Righteous cements IQ as one of the best new series around. If you haven't met IQ yet, I don't know what's wrong with you! - Sam
November, 1935. Harry Kvist walks out the gates of Langholmen jail into another biting Stockholm winter. He has nothing to his name but a fiercely burning hope: that he can begin a new life with the lover he met in his cell. That he can leave behind his old existence of gutter brawls, bruised fists and broken bones. That he can finally go straight.
Picking up where last year's Darktown ended, the follow up finds our heroes investigating the influx of drugs from the hollers of rural Appalachia and into Atlanta's African American neighborhoods. Meanwhile, Boggs' fiance has a dark secret, Rakestraw's cousin joins the Klan, and Smith must contend with the violence and crime that comes with desegregation. Hard-boiled noir, historical fiction, and a great procedural all collide in this riveting sequel. Beautiful and dark, Lightning Men is not to be missed. - Sam