By Anne Bendheim
We grew up reading James Bond novels. Really grew up. These were the first books we had come across that actually had people having, um, well, you know (sex. Shhh). But more than that, we loved the gadgetry, the urbanity, the Britishness of it all. We even liked the movies. So now, to our first choice.
CARTE BLANCHE: 007: A JAMES BOND NOVEL By Jeffery Deaver (Simon & Schuster, $26.99
Well finally! Someone finally got their brain out of park and hired an actual thriller writer to continue the adventures of Ian Fleming’s hero. Deaver has a fine career of writing non-Bond novels. He’s rather famous for it, in fact. He’s just the guy to take on our favorite spy.
NO REST FOR THE DEAD By 26 Bestselling Authors (Touchstone, $24.99)
This is not the first time that a bunch of mystery writers got together to co-write a mystery novel. Way back in the 1930s, The Detecting Club – with such luminaries as Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie and many others – wrote “The Floating Admiral” together. And a few years ago, humorist Dave Barry gathered famed friends to co-write “Naked Came the Manatee.” Now, the likes of Jeffery Deaver, Lohn Lescroart, R.L. Stine, Kathy Reichs, J.A. Jance and many, many more have penned their own serial mystery. You decide.
THE SILENT GIRL By Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine, $26)
Would that the TV series based on Gerritsen’s novels were as good as the source material. But TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” series is all Rizzoli, almost no Isles, and badly written to boot. So turn off the tube, light the lamp and dig into the original. The book about the cop and the medical examiner starts with a severed hand and moves chillingly forward from there. Good read, bad viewing.
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD: THE MAGIC OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S LATER YEARS By Ricky Riccardi (Pantheon, $28.95)
We think that Satchmo was wonderful no matter what part of his life you look at. But the author (No, not Lucy’s Ricky Riccardo!) delves into the master’s last quarter century, a time when some thought his best was well past.
NOT AFRAID OF LIFE: MY JOURNEY SO FAR By Bristol Palin (Morrow, $25.99)