“The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown” by Lawrence Block (Lawrence Block, 300 pages, $17.99) Oct. 18
Bernie Rhodenbarr is one of Lawrence Block’s most beloved characters. By day Bernie sells rare books. By night he’s a cat burglar. Or, at least he used to be. Modern surveillance gear like cameras everywhere had finally convinced Bernie his burgling days were behind him. In this latest, utterly unexpected novel, the 13th in the series, Bernie is back! In recent years Block has insisted he is probably finished writing novels. I’m so pleased he changed his mind. In this one Bernie was reading a science fiction novel by Fredric Brown about an alternative universe. Then one day Bernie wakes up to discover that his New York City is changed and his dearest friend Carolyn is here with him to enjoy it. Defunct businesses they had been missing were suddenly here again. There’s no longer an eBay or Amazon.com to compete with Bernie’s book sales. And best of all, there are no security cameras to film Bernie if he decides to steal some rare jewels. Oh, what fun!
“Racing the Light” by Robert Crais (Putnam, 355 pages, $28). Nov. 1
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are back in the 19th book in this enduring series. Elvis is a private eye. Joe is his lethal assistant. In this one they are hired by a woman who is trying to locate her missing son. He vanished as he was working on a series of podcasts about some top secret government research programs. Crais is a meticulous plotter. This story is dazzling.
“Judas 62″ by Charles Cumming (Mysterious Press, 498 pages, $27.95) Nov. 22
In his book “Box 88″ the British novelist Charles Cumming burnished his credentials as one of our great espionage novelists. In this followup his spy Lachlan Kite is back. The Russians just executed one of their former scientists who had escaped to the West. Now Kite has to figure out how to lure a high ranking Russian spy into a trap. Kite has a history with this Russian; he is willing to risk his life to exact revenge.
“My Darkest Prayer” by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron Books, 316 pages, $16.99) Dec. 6
With his recent novels “Blacktop Wasteland” and Razorblade Tears” S.A. Cosby has established himself as a rising star in the thriller genre. It seems like every time I turn around he’s walking off with yet another prestigious writing award. “My Darkest Prayer” was his first novel. It was published by a small publisher and is now being reissued. This book reveals the promise of a writer about to burst onto the literary landscape. There are also some autobiographical elements.
“Blown by the Same Wind” by John Straley (Soho Crime, 207 pages, $27.95) Dec. 6
This fourth book in John Straley’s series set in the fictional town of Cold Storage, Alaska is simply brilliant. It is a flashback to 1968. The Vietnam war is raging. A man known as “Brother Louis” shows up and the FBI is tracking him. They consider him to be a communist and maybe even a spy. I am a great admirer of this author and he gets better with each successive book.
Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.