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When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder Series #6) by Lawrence BlockWhen the Sacred Ginmill Closes by Lawrence Block. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

In the dark days, in a sad and lonely place, ex-cop Matt Scudder is drinking his life away — and doing “favors” for pay for his ginmill cronies. But when three such assignments flow together in dangerous and disturbing ways, he’ll need to change his priorities from boozing to surviving.

The Chicago Tribune says it is one of the best mystery/thrillers ever written.

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Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners Series #2) by Lisa KleypasLady Sophia’s Lover by Lisa Kleypas. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Why is Lady Sophia looking for a lover?
And could she seduce the most marriageable man in London?

Lady Sophia Sydney would do anything to ensnare the unattainable Sir Ross Cannon. Her goal—to ruin his reputation and cause a scandal that would be the talk of all London. So she insinuates herself into his life by gaining his trust and living in his house.

Every morning, her lush presence tempts him beyond all reason…the way she bends over the table to serve him the meals she has prepared…the way her hands oh, so gently—yet sensuously—brush against him. Every night, she promises with her eyes—and her body— that the hours before dawn could be spent in unbridled passion instead of restless sleep—if only he’d let her share his bed.

We haven’t reviewed this one at DA and as far as I remember, it wasn’t one of my favorite Kleypas books. (It might rank down much lower on the list, honestly.

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Lexi James and the Council of Girlfriends by Melissa JacobsThe Council of Girlfriends by Melissa Jacobs. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Meet the Council of Girlfriends: Grace, the relentless romantic; La Diva Lola, a celebrity chef with a secret sex life; Mamma Mia, who took the Husband & Children exit to the suburbs; the fabulous Ellie Archer, a journalist who follows her heart to Paris; and Mistress of the Universe/PR exec Lexi James, a heroine more Jo March than Bridget Jones.Lexi has a lot of women in her life, but no man. She was engaged to Mr. Almost Perfect, but called off the wedding after she had a meltdown in a suburban supermarket. Still dealing with the debris of that failed relationship, Lexi is terrified of making another committment, and another mistake. Fortunately everyone–from the members of the COG to the bubbies at the Jewish Retirement home where she volunteers–has some advice for Lexi on what she should do next.

The main character, Lexi James, is termed unlikeable in reviews and there are suggestions that her references to single mothers are full of derision.

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Outerborough Blues: A Brooklyn Mystery Andrew CottoOuterborough Blues by Andrew Cotto. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

A beautiful young French girl walks into a bar, nervously lights a cigarette, and begs the bartender for help in finding her missing artist brother. In a moment of weakness, the bartender—a lone wolf named Caesar Stiles with a chip on his shoulder and a Sicilian family curse hanging over him—agrees. What follows is a stylish literary mystery set in Brooklyn on the dawn of gentrification.

While Caesar is initially trying to earn an honest living at the neighborhood watering hole, his world quickly unravels. In addition to being haunted by his past, including a brother who is intent on settling an old family score, Caesar is being hunted down by a mysterious nemesis known as The Orange Man. Adding to this combustible mix, Caesar is a white man living in a deep-rooted African American community with decidedly mixed feelings about his presence. In the course of his search for the French girl’s missing brother, Caesar tumbles headlong into the shadowy depths of his newly adopted neighborhood, where he ultimately uncovers some of its most sinister secrets.

Taking place over the course of a single week, Outerborough Blues is a tightly paced and gritty urban noir saturated with the rough and tumble atmosphere of early 1990s Brooklyn.

“an ambitious noir thriller…that reads like Raymond Chandler taking dictation from Walt Whitman.” – Publishers Weekly

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Amanda
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 14:52:31

    Lady Sophia’s Lover isn’t one of my favorite Kleypas books either. Its not bad but I always felt I should like it more than I actually did. I did really like the book that came after it though.

  2. Darlynne
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 15:21:28

    Anyone interested in Lawrence Block’s work would be well served by When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes. Everyone includes this title in Block’s–and the genre’s–best.

    ETA: Outerborough Blues sounds great. Thanks!

  3. Elisa
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 15:40:01

    In high school/ college I glommed on all of Lawrence Block’s (very extensive) backlist, even the crappy ones written under pseudonyms in the 70s. (This was more difficult back then since no e-readers, I got them all from the library/ used bookstores/ even the occasional special order). If I remember correctly this was one of the better ones. Although I probably like Bernie Rhodenbarr as a character more than Matthew Scudder, the Scudder ones were more thoughtful and meditative. Off to buy this one for my Kindle!

  4. Julia
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 16:29:04

    @Amanda: I’m the exact opposite. I enjoyed Lady Sophia’s Lover (although also not a favorite) but I hated Worth Any Price, the next and last in the series. I felt that LSL set up a bunch of character development that should have happened in the last book, but instead happened sort of between the books where I didn’t get to see it at all.

  5. Krista
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 19:12:12

    It isn’t her strongest book, but Sir Ross is one of my favorite Kleypas heroes!!!

  6. Keishon
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 22:59:37

    Yep, I would agree with The Sacred Ginmill Closes as one of the best. I loved reading it and bought a digital copy as soon as it was available. Some of Block’s novella’s are very good as well. I enjoy his Keller series, too.

  7. Janine
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 00:41:49

    @Keishon: I see WTSGC isn’t the first in the series. Is it an okay place to start?

  8. Darlynne
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 10:09:35

    @Janine: Yes. As a matter of fact, Block recommends this book for anyone who wants to break into his writing. It’s been so long since I’ve read it, so perhaps Keishon can say whether you’d miss anything by starting here.

  9. LeeF
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 11:03:39

    Good grief- I can’t believe Lawrence Block has written so many books and short stories for 50+ years! I listened to one of the Bernie Rhodenbarr books from the library awhile back. I think I’ll check out the hard cover Ginmill book.

  10. Willaful
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 11:42:43

    Sir Ross! Chair sex! Love it.

  11. Keishon
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 17:25:47

    @Janine: Must agree with Darlynne (thanks!) in that WTSGMC can standalone. It’s a flashback novel of sorts and kind of stands out from the rest of the series. In fact, that’s the first book I read of Lawrence Block’s that made me a fan.

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