Thursday, June 29, 2006

Everyone's Jumpin' on the Chuck Wagon

C.J. Box's IN PLAIN SIGHT is appearing on bestseller lists all over the place. Here's the book's top ranking on each list:

#2 Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA)
#5 Denver Post
#4 Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers (Booksense)
#5 Rocky Mountain News
#42 American Booksellers Assocation
#5 Seattle Mystery Bookshop #2 Boulder Daily Camera
#6 Mysterious Galaxy (San Diego)
#6 Poisoned Pen (Phoenix)

Publishers Weekly on CORONADO

Adding to the buzz about Dennis Lehane's CORONADO, Publishers Weekly says the collection contains "Powerfully envisioned lives, recounted unflinchingly."

The entire review is here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kirkus Calls Lehane's Latest a Knockout

Kirkus Reviews sang the praises of Dennis Lehane's forthcoming CORONADO, giving it a starred review:

Tough-as-nails crime fiction transcends genre in this first collection of five stories and a play (developed from one of them) from the Boston-area novelist (Sacred, 1997, etc.).

One hopes Clint Eastwood (who directed the Oscar-winning film based on Lehane's superb Mystic River, 2001) will take a close look at "Running Out of Dog," a pungent slice of Southern Gothic noir populated by runaway canines, restless Vietnam vets and the alluring women who seduce them into one another's paths, fateful confrontations, and a savage fulfillment of its narrator's observation that "when hope comes late to a man, it's a dangerous thing." This one is a classic: Robert Stone at his most unrelenting, with nerve-grating additional material contributed by Jim Thompson and dialogue by George V. Higgins. Lehane shows his talent for narrative economy in a brisk tale of revenge for drug-induced manslaughter ("Mushrooms") and a surprisingly rich account ("Gone Down to Corpus") of Texas high-school football jocks trashing the elegant homes of their "betters," their destructive energies propelled by what the story's narrator calls "something . . . I'm mad at, something I can't put a name to." The taut, disturbing "Until Gwen" employs grating, accusatory second-person narration to explore the murderous bonds linking a soulless con man, his hapless son (and sometime accomplice) and Gwen, whose fate drives the story toward its excruciating conclusion. And if all this weren't sufficient evidence of Lehane's virtuosity, there's "Coronado" which expands "Until Gwen" into a two-act play (premiered in New York in 2005) that reshuffles its aforementioned characters into three doomed couples who enact a murderous and suicidal progression through dynamic action, detailed flashbacks and harrowing fantasy sequences. It's a knockout performance.

An impressive step forward for a writer of commanding gifts, who seems poised on the threshold of even greater accomplishment.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Stacy's Stylin'

Our own Stacy Pershall was featured in The New York Times Thursday Styles slideshow "Grandma's Tea Cozy Goes Downtown."

Isn't she adorable?
I hope she's knitting me a sweater!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

We Think Chuck is Like Shakespeare, Too

IN PLAIN SIGHT hit #4 on the Book Sense Mountains and Plains Independent Bestseller List last week.

In other C.J. Box news, the Richmond Times-Dispatch calls the book "a modern-day Western mixed with the classical influence of Shakespeare's King Lear," adding, "Box's treatment of family grudges makes for a refreshing read."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Does Three of a Kind Beat a Busted Flush?

Three book websites recently gave Brad Smith's BUSTED FLUSH some glowing reviews.

BookLoons antes up with: "What a delight of a book...Don't miss Busted Flush. It's a fun book that proves there are still some people who are willing to take the time to smell the roses, and wise enough to outwit the bad guys at their own game."

Bookbitch weighs in:
Brad Smith created a hero for his novel, Busted Flush, that I wish I knew. Dock Bass is a decent, down-to-earth, honest man with a sarcastic, dry humor. Unfortunately, when we first meet Dock he's stuck in a real estate job he hates, working for a dishonest boss, and living with a money-grubbing wife.

Brad Smith's enjoyable novel is a study in character and opportunity. Given the opportunity for fame and fortune, would a man give up his decency and character? Many of the characters in residence in Gettysburg in Busted Flush would eagerly sell anything for fame and fortune. Does Dock Bass have a price?

DorothyL sees that and raises:
The characters and the plot seem to be predictable, but just when the reader is groaning at the sure turn of events, something totally unpredictable happens! Busted Flush lives up to its title leaving the reader to guess who is wearing the poker face in the end...This book could be a fast read as the writing is snappy and fast paced, but if the reader zips through it too quickly, some really interesting historical details might be missed.
See more reviews here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

More Praise for IN PLAIN SIGHT

Back from his book tour, Chuck is still racking up the good reviews.

The Billings Gazette says:
...any mystery fan who enjoys a contemporary Western setting can get drawn in just by reading the opening page of "In Plain Sight" and still find a rich read.

Just be warned, you'll want to keep the lights burning to see if your theories on resolution of the many mysteries in the book hold true -- and you'll be inspired to seek out those earlier Pickett books to learn more of his past and to savor Box's writing. also has some fine praise:

The Pickett novels, at heart, are not so properly classified as mysteries or works of suspense as they are modern westerns, in the finest sense of that term. Arguably, Box is steadily staking his claim as the heir apparent to such masters of the genre as Zane Gray and Louis L' Amour. IN PLAIN SIGHT is the strongest argument to date in favor of that proposition.

Texas Round-Up

The Texas Library Association has invited Laura Whitcomb to participate in a YA author panel at its annual conference in San Antonio next spring.

Be sure to try some brisket while you're down there, Laura!