Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Summery Judgment 2011

We’re still three weeks away from the beginning of summer, on June 21. Yet book critics are already anticipating the many hours to be spent in the sun with new novels or non-fiction works in hand. For instance, National Public Radio consulted independent booksellers (genuine authorities on this subject, in other words) to compile its selection of the coming season’s best reads. The Los Angeles Times offers its own giant list of 203 new books (including 38 page turners) that promise to keep you entertained while you’re surreptitiously watching lithe young sun-worshippers from behind dark glasses. And New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin provides an idiosyncratic rundown of soon-forthcoming titles that she says prove “the beach book has undergone a makeover for 2011.”

While I won’t even attempt to outdo the L.A. Times in my quantity of reading recommendations, I think that my list--below--of almost 100 choices from the crime, mystery, and thriller categories shows remarkable quality in what’s to be made available between now and Labor Day. The picks are divided not only by months of issuance, but also between those scheduled for release in the United States and others set to roll out in Britain. My final criterion for inclusion on this list was that the books be available in English. (Because the last time I tackled a mystery in Urdu ... well, let’s just say that much broken crockery was left as evidence of my frustration.)

If you’re wondering about the Esquire cover that introduces this post, it was chosen because it brings back fond memories of my youth and introduction to quality literature. In its heyday, when Esquire published fiction each and every month, it familiarized me with authors such as Steve Millhauser, Tom Robbins, Louise Erdrich, T. Coraghessan Boyle, and Denis Johnson. Not only did I read the magazine’s summer fiction specials--including the attractive August 1985 edition shown above--from cover to cover, but they became a permanent part of my library.

In honor, then, of Esquire’s longtime commitment to fiction, and in hopes that you’ll discover not just new books, but also some excellent new writers this summer, I present the following suggestions of fresh crime fiction to be enjoyed on the sand, beside a pool, or simply in a bathtub with a margarita close at hand.

JUNE (U.S.):
A Bad Day for Scandal, by Sophie Littlefield (Minotaur)
A Bad Night’s Sleep, by Michael Wiley (Minotaur)
Blood of the Reich, by William Dietrich (Harper)
Blood on the Line, by Edward Marston (Allison &; Busby)
The Bones of Avalon, by Phil Rickman (Minotaur)
Breaking Silence, by Linda Castillo (Minotaur)
Buried Secrets, by Joseph Finder (St. Martin’s Press)
Camouflage, by Bill Pronzini (Forge)
Carte Blanche, by Jeffery Deaver (Simon & Schuster)
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, by Sara Gran
(Houghton Mifflin)
County Line, by Bill Cameron (Tyrus)
Death Toll, by Jim Kelly (Minotaur)
Disturbance, by Jan Burke (Simon & Schuster)
Fallen Angels, by Alice Duncan (Five Star)
Fly Me to the Morgue, by Robert J. Randisi (Severn House)
Follow Me Down, by Kio Stark (Red Lemonade)
Hotel Bosphorus, by Esmahan Aykol (Bitter Lemon Press)
Fun and Games, by Duane Swierczynski (Mulholland)
The Inspector and Silence, by Håkan Nesser (Pantheon)
Iron House, by John Hart (Thomas Dunne/Minotaur)
Killer Move, by Michael Marshall (Morrow)
Lake Charles, by Ed Lynskey (Wildside Press)
Long Gone, by Alafair Burke (Harper)
Misery Bay, by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
Mr. Monk on the Couch, by Lee Goldberg (New American Library)
The Pack, by Jason Starr (Ace)
The Quest for Anna Klein, by Thomas H. Cook (Houghton Mifflin)
The Ranger, by Ace Atkins (Putnam)
The Reservoir, by John Milliken Thompson (Other Press)
Revenger, by Rory Clements (Bantam)
The Shirt on His Back, by Barbara Hambly (Severn House)
A Simple Act of Violence, by R.J. Ellory (Overlook Press)
Stagestruck, by Peter Lovesey (Soho Crime)
Tracers, by Adrian Magson (Severn House)
Trespasser, by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes, by Marcus Sakey (Dutton)
White Shotgun, by April Smith (Knopf)
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, by Ron Hansen (Scribner)

Blue Monday, by Nicci French (Michael Joseph)
Dead Man’s Grip, by Peter James (Macmillan)
Death in August, by Marco Vichi (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Emperor’s Gold, by Robert Wilton (Corvus)
A Fear of Dark Water, by Craig Russell (Hutchinson)
Grievous Angel, by Quintin Jardine (Headline)
The Opposite of Mercy, by Tom Winship (Orion)
Outrage, by Arnaldur Indridason (Harvill Secker)
Proof of Life, by Karen Campbell (Hodder & Stoughton)
Rack, Ruin and Murder, by Ann Granger (Headline)
The Rage, by Gene Kerrigan (Harvill Secker)
The Quarry, by Johan Theorin (Doubleday)
Rising Blood, by James Fleming (Jonathan Cape)
The Wreckage, by Michael Robotham (Sphere)

JULY (U.S.):
A Bedlam of Bones, by Suzette A. Hill (Soho Constable)
Blind Fury, by Lynda La Plante (Touchstone)
A Death in Summer, by Benjamin Black (Henry Holt)
Dick Francis’ Gamble, by Felix Francis (Putnam)
The End of Everything, by Megan Abbott (Reagan Arthur)
English Lessons, by J.M. Hayes (Poisoned Pen Press)
A Game of Lies, by Rebecca Cantrell (Forge)
Good to the Last Kiss, by Ronald Tierney (Severn House)
Misterioso, by Arne Dahl (Pantheon)
The Nightmare Thief, by Meg Gardiner (Dutton)
Requiem for a Gypsy, by Michael Genelin (Soho Crime)
Steal the Show, by Thomas Kaufman (Minotaur)
Take My Breath Away, by Martin Edwards (Five Star)
Thick as Thieves, by Peter Spiegelman (Knopf)
Thunder Moon, by Richard Helms (Five Star)
Very Bad Men, by Harry Dolan (Amy Einhorn/Putnam)
The Warsaw Anagrams, by Richard Zimler (Overlook Press)
Your Friendly Neighborhood Criminal, by Michael Van Rooy (Minotaur)

Agent 6, by Tom Rob Smith
(Simon & Schuster)
The Caller, by Karin Fossum (Harvill Secker)
The Calling, by Alison Bruce (Constable)
Cross My Palm, by Sara Stockbridge
(Chatto & Windus)
Cold Justice, by Katherine Howell (Pan)
The Day Is Dark, by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Deep Dark Sleep, by Craig Russell (Quercus)
Dublin Dead, by Gerard O’Donovan (Sphere)
Fear Not, by Anne Holt (Corvus)
House of the Hanged, by Mark Mills (Harper)
Rip Tide, by Stella Rimington (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Snakepit, by Nick Brownlee (Piatkus)
The Whispering Gallery, by Mark Sanderson (HarperCollins)

The Accident, by Linwood Barclay (Doubleday)
Back of Beyond, by C.J. Box (Minotaur)
Bad Intentions, by Karin Fossum (Houghton Mifflin)
Beast of Burden, by Ray Banks (Houghton Mifflin)
A Bitter Truth, by Charles Todd (Morrow)
The Brink of Fame, by Irene Fleming (Minotaur)
Bye Bye, Baby, by Max Allan Collins (Forge)
Calling Mr. King, by Ronald De Feo (Other Press)
The Charlestown Connection, by Tom MacDonald (Oceanview)
The Cut, by George Pelecanos (Reagan Arthur)
Darkness, My Old Friend, by Lisa Unger (Crown)
Death and the Maiden, by Gerald Elias (Minotaur)
Don’t Cry Tai Lake, by Qiu Xiaolong (Minotaur)
The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice, by Chris Ewan (Minotaur)
The Hand That Trembles, by Kjell Eriksson (Minotaur)
The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton)
Liquid Smoke, by Jeff Shelby (Tyrus)
The Most Dangerous Thing, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)
Plugged, by Eoin Colfer (Overlook Press)
A Rhumba in Waltz Time, by Robert S. Levinson (Five Star)
Thirteen Million Dollar Pop, by David Levien (Doubleday)
A Trick of the Light, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
White Heat, by Melanie McGrath (Viking)
The Woodcutter, by Reginald Hill (Harper)
Wyatt, by Garry Disher (Soho Crime)
Zillionaire, by Gary Alexander (Five Star)

Before the Poison, by Peter Robinson (Hodder & Stoughton)
Dead Men’s Harvest, by Matt Hilton (Hodder & Stoughton)
A Deniable Death, by Gerald Seymour (Hodder & Stoughton)
Good as Dead, by Mark Billingham (Sphere)
The Hidden Child, by Camilla Lackberg (Harper)
The Lost Daughter, by Lucretia Grindle (Mantle)
Mystery in the Minster, by Susanna Gregory (Sphere)
The Night Stalker, by Chris Carter (Simon & Schuster)
No Mark Upon Her, by Deborah Crombie (Macmillan)
Strangled in Paris, by Claude Izner (Gallic Books)
Until Thy Wrath Be Past, by Åsa Larsson (MacLehose Press)
The Vault, by Ruth Rendell (Hutchinson)

A question for readers: Have I failed to mention any crime or thriller novels, scheduled for summer publication, that you think are worth investigating? If so, please let us all know their names by dropping a note into the Comments section of this post.


Mike Ripley said...

Have you forgotten Ryan David Jahn's THE DISPATCHER, which comes out in the UK in July?
And how could you pass up the latest fun-filled spoofery that is HERRING ON THE NILE (Macmillan)by my old and distinguished chum and Last Laugh Award winner, L.C. Tyler?
A dark horse from the UK for you: THE SACRIFICIAL MAN by Ruth Dugdall from small publisher Legend Press. Keep an eye on this one.

Erin said...

FALLEN by Karin Slaughter is out in June in the US and July in the UK

GeoffS said...

Infernal Angels (Amos Walker) by Loren D. Estleman comes out July 5th in the US.

Johnny Shaw said...

Great list. The long-awaited fourth book in Charlie Williams' Royston Blake series, ONE DEAD HEN, comes out on August 9th.