When the Killing's Done | T. C. BOYLE: Boyle takes a break from reimagining real-life figures, as in past efforts with Alfred Kinsey in The Inner Circle (EXCELLENT Nov/Dec 2004) and Frank Lloyd Wright in The Women (EXCELLENT May/June 2009). Here, a National Park Service biologist on the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara seeks to save indigenous creatures by killing rats and feral pigs. Two concerned locals, firmly believing that no species should be ever killed, fight to stop her. FEB
Clara and Mr. Tiffany | SUSAN VREELAND: Vreeland fans know what to expect: a look behind the scenes of the creation of a famous work of art. Girl in Hyacinth Blue (1999) was a standout, and her collection of short stories, Life Studies (EXCELLENT Mar/Apr 2005), should also be on your list. Here, in Gilded Age New York, Louis Comfort Tiffany's glass studio manager, Clara Driscoll, creates the Tiffany lamp. JAN
The Red Garden | ALICE HOFFMAN: Like The Probable Future (EXCELLENT Sept/Oct 2003) and Blackbird House (GOOD Nov/Dec 2004) before it, The Red Garden is a series of linked stories. This time, Hoffman looks at 200 years of history, starting in 1750, in a small town in western Massachusetts. JAN
The Empty Family Stories | COLM TOIBIN: This collection of stories from the author of Brooklyn (EXCELLENT July/Aug 2009) and The Master (EXCELLENT Sept/Oct 2004) was well-received when it was released in the United Kingdom this past fall. In these stories of longing and regret, "not much outwardly happens ... partly because the important action has already happened in the past, but also because Toibin knows how to make the most out of very little" (Guardian). JAN
While Mortals Sleep Unpublished Short Fiction | KURT VONNEGUT: These 16 stories are taken from the beginning of Vonnegut's career. JAN
The Cypress House | MICHAEL KORYTA: After four Lincoln Perry, PI, novels, Koryta has turned to supernatural thrillers, and reviews of his initial effort, So Cold the River (GOOD Sept/Oct 2010), ran the gamut. Here, two men take refuge in a Florida boarding house in the 1930s, directly in the path of an oncoming hurricane. There are deadlier forces at work as well. JAN
The Sentry (Joe Pike) | ROBERT CRAIS: PI Joe Pike last appeared in The First Rule (EXCELLENT Mar/Apr 2010). Here, Pike offers help to an uncle and niece beaten by a protection gang. Pike again works with partner Elvis Cole, but...