Pretending to Dance, by Diane Chamberlain. Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She and her husband live in San Diego, where they hope to soon adopt a baby. But the process terrifies her. As the questions and background checks come one after another, Molly worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. She ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved. Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a future filled with promise, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders. I have a feeling that this novel will win Chamberlain a lot of new fans.
Banquet of Consequences, by Elizabeth George. George's Inspector Lynley series is hugely popular, and I expect this latest entry will be no different. The suicide of William Goldacre is devastating to those left behind. But what was the cause of his tragedy and how far might the consequences reach? Is there a link between the young man's leap from a Dorset cliff and a horrific poisoning in Cambridge? After various career-threatening issues with her department at Scotland Yard, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is desperate to redeem herself. So when a past encounter with a bestselling feminist writer and her pushy personal assistant gives her a connection to the Cambridge murder, Barbara begs Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley to let her pursue the crime.
Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith. J.K. Rowling reinvented herself as an adult mystery author several years ago, after decades of success with the Harry Potter series. Here writing her third Cormoran Strike mystery (after The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm) under her Galbraith pen name, Rowling begins with a mysterious package delivered to Robin Ellacott, who is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible--and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...
The Theory of Death, by Faye Kellerman. Former LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker is relishing the quiet and slow pace of his new job with the Greenbury police department. The work is low stress and engaging, and it’s been almost a year since the last murder in this sleepy upstate New York town. Then the body of a nude man is found deep within the woods, shattering Decker’s peace. The death appears to be a suicide—a single shot to the head, the gun by his side. But until the coroner’s ruling, the scene must be treated as a suspicious crime. Without any personal effects near the body, Decker must dig to uncover his identity, a task made difficult by the department’s tight budget and limited personnel. Luckily, Decker gets some unexpected help when his friend and former Greenbury colleague Tyler McAdams calls, looking for a quiet place to study for his law finals. The investigation takes Decker and McAdams to Kneed Loft College, where they must penetrate the indecipherable upper echelons of mathematics and mathematical prodigies. Beneath the school’s rarified atmosphere they discover a sphere of scheming academics, hidden cyphers—and most dangerous of all—a realm of underworld crime that transforms harmless nerds into cold, calculating evil geniuses.