It's a quiet week in publishing—well, most of the weeks are going to be quiet through Christmas. The big books are already on the shelves (and flying off them again, in some cases), and publishing is starting to think about the big books for spring. It's not that publishing doesn't love you, dear readers, it's just that they have to plan ahead. So, so far ahead. And so, they give everyone a break here and there, allowing us a chance to catch up. To actually read all those books they've been flinging at us. 

That said, there's always time for a hot button book. This week's political exposé is A Warning, by Anonymous. Like you, we've seen enough insider talk about the current administration that we don't really need to see another, but hear us out for a second. A Warning is written by the same "anonymous" who wrote that scathing op. ed. for The New York Times a long time ago (well, okay, just a year ago). In the book, Anonymous argues that their identity is beside the point. Yes, it's filled with all sorts of salacious, eye-rolling, dumpster-fire sort of details, but are we okay with this being the way the world works now? 

Food for thought. 

Oh, look, new Firefly content. Boom Studios has put out an original graphic novel called The Sting. That wily rogue Saffron is back, but this time, she's not interested in Captain Malcom Reynolds. No, she's after the crew of the Serenity. She needs their help pulling off the biggest heist in the galaxy. We are delighted by the look on Mal's face when he realizes that a) Saffron isn't back for him, and b) he's not included in her plan for the heist. 

This one is written by Delilah S. Dawson and is illustrated by Pius Bak. Delilah is the author of Black Spire, the new Star Wars: Galaxy Edge novel. She also wrote Phasma, one of the tie-in novels to The Last Jedi. And she's also one of the co-writers of the humorous fantasy trilogy about Pell, that poor bastard who has to deal with a fantasy world gone amok. There are many, many gags. Dawson has also—hang on, we need to scroll through a page of Star Wars comics and other projects—well, Dawson has written a bunch of stuff. You should check her work out. 

Pius Bak is a Lithuania comic book artist and illustrator who has done work on some original graphic novel material for Lev Grossman's The Magicians as well as a book called Night Owl Society. Really groovy stuff. 

The person who didn't actually contribute in a meaningful way to Firefly: The Sting is Joss Whedon. Yes, we realize he's the creator of Firefly, but it's disingenuous to give him a contributor bio on the marketing material for the book and not mention the folks who actually did the work. 

Speaking of which, Wesllei Manoel was the colorist on Firefly: The Sting. They've also done work on a number of WWE books. 

The second book in Sara Blaedel's series about a Danish woman who inherits her father's funeral home in Wisconsin is out this week. In Her Father's Secrets, Ilka struggles to come to grips with the other thing her father left behind (which is a whole second family) as well as other skeletons that aren't buried as deeply as they should be. Blaedel's been moving copies in thirty-eight countries, and it's only been in the last few years that we've started to see her work in the US. This is a great series to sink your teeth into over the holidays. 

And speaking of things to stack up and read over the holidays, Michael McGarrity has a new Kevin Kearney novel out. McGarrity is one of those solid crime fiction writers we're all waiting for our readers to discover. Much like C. J. Box, Craig Johnson, James Lee Burke, and Keith McCafferty, McGarrity writes about a place as much as he does a cast of characters. In this case, we're talking about New Mexico. Well, okay, we can add Tony Hillerman and J. A. Jance to that list. Anyway, the point is: we know you've read everything by those other authors; it's time for something new. 

And speaking of something new—well, okay, something time-worn and true, but not entirely new, except that it is, but it isn't new—there's a new Spenser novel out. But, as Robert B. Parker has been dead awhile, the writing duties have fallen to Ace Atkins, who has been doing a fine job of carrying on the tradition. In Angel Eyes, Spenser goes to Hollywood, where there's a missing girl, some shifty characters, and lots of witty banter. 

Kind of like lunch around here. Minus the missing girl. Okay, and the witty banter may not be the wittiest. But we've got shifty characters! 

And speaking of shifty characters, Nick Mamatas has a new novel out this week. Called Sabbath, it's—well, we're just going to pull the marketing copy: "The infamous 11th-century warrior Hexen Sabbath is plucked from death and certain damnation by a being claiming to be an angel of the Lord, and finds himself dropped into contemporary Manhattan with no clothes, no weapons, no resources, and one mission—to track down and kill the living personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins before they bring about Armageddon."

The Library of Congress subject citations are as follows: "Manhattan (New York, NY)," "Thrillers (Fiction)," and "Women Art Historians.

We're not sure what to make of all that, but knowing Nick, it'll be weird and funny and filled with lots of B-movie grade buckets of blood. 

And finally, this week's smartly crafted noir debut is from JP Gritton. Their book is called Wyoming, and it's the story of two somewhat likeable losers named Shelley and Clay Cooper, a mountain fire that may not be the accident it looks like, and a trunk full of marijuana. Naturally, things go sideways from there. Definitely a read for fans of Daniel Woodrell, Attica Locke, and James Crumley. 

Oh, wait. Before we go. Speaking of fabulous crime fiction, Soho Crime is re-issuing James Sallis's Lew Griffin novels. Oh, dear readers, if you haven't read these, you should. Sallis is a master of the subtle art of saying much with very little. He makes James Lee Burke look like Dickens. Sallis is the sort of writer who has been shortlisted for every award there is in crime fiction, but rarely wins. He has, however, received France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, Germany's Deutsche Krimipreis, and Spain's Brigada 21 Awards, as well as the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime fiction. So, plan accordingly. 

Overheard At The Store »»

COLBY: What's going on back here? 

ROLLO: We found Podge!

COLBY: What?  Where is he?

PODGE: Up here!

COLBY: Up there? What are you doing up there? 

PODGE: There were snacks, and—

COLBY: Say no more. 

ROLLO: He can't get down. 

SERRA: He's not a cat. 

COLBY: Of course he isn't a cat. We don't let cats—wait, what? 

SERRA: What? 

COLBY: I thought all you said was "llama!" 

SERRA: Llama?

COLBY: Yes, like that. 

SERRA: I only do that when I'm nervous, and when I meet new people. 

ROLLO: She's not nervous any more. 

PODGE: I'm nervous. The air is very thin up here.

COLBY: It's not that high. 

PODGE: Says the marmot on the ground. 

COLBY: I've climbed mountains higher than you. 

SERRA: Oooh, you climb? Can you take me? 

COLBY: Well, it's not like that. It's more—

PODGE: There are no more snacks up here, by the way. 

HODGE: Oh, what's everyone doing back here? Is there cake? 

ROLLO: We found Podge!

HODGE: What?

PODGE: Hodge! I'm found!

HODGE: Podge! How did you get up there? 

PODGE: Well, there was a stack of Stephen King books over there and—

HODGE: Oh, I like Stephen King. 

PODGE: Yes, so do I. Until someone moves him. 

HODGE: Oh, yes. Quite the gap. You can't—you can't . . . jump? 

PODGE: I'm not a cat! 

SERRA: He's not a cat. 

HODGE: Who said anything about cats? 

COLBY: . . . 

ROLLO: I'm worried. 

COLBY: Get in line . . .  

ROLLO: There aren't any snacks. He might get hungry before we figure out how to save him. 

HODGE: There aren't any snacks?

PODGE: There aren't any snacks!

HODGE: Then why are you up there? 

PODGE: There aren't any snacks up here now

HODGE: There were snacks?

PODGE: There were snacks. 

HODGE: Did you eat them? 

PODGE: Yes, I ate them. That's why I climbed up here. For the snacks. 

HODGE: Well, there you go. Serves you right. 

PODGE: For what? 

HODGE: For not sharing! For making me worry! For abandoning me!

PODGE: I was right here! 

HODGE: But no one told me! 

ROLLO: We're never going to get him down, are we?

COLBY: Well . . . I suppose that depends on how long an otter can go without snacks . . .


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