Thursday, January 3, 2008

Book Beat: Ladies on the Case

By Jenniah Caldwell

Long gone are the days when world-hardened male gumshoes ruled supreme in the world of contemporary mystery novels. Two NJ authors are breaking those molds with their smart, strong-willed female protagonists.

Plum Lucky, the latest novella in Janet Evanovich’s best-selling Stephanie Plum series, finds Trenton’s favorite bounty hunter on the trail of a bag of stolen mobster money. Only it isn’t so much missing as it's with her Grandma Mazur in an Atlantic City casino. Throw in a couple of trusty sidekicks, a racehorse, and a heart-breaker named Diesel, and you are off on the latest madcap Plum adventure.

This 176-page novella is the perfect length to hold over Evanovich fans until the next full length Stephanie Plum novel Fearless Fourteen is released in June 2008.

Valerie Wilson Wesley has created a compelling main character in her African-American, ex-cop turned Newark detective, Tamara Hale. In Blood and Sorrow, the 8th novel in the Tamara Hale series, finds Hale fighting to protect her son Jamal from a murder charge, all the while becoming entangled in a complex search for a missing child. Hale faces all challenges with the trademark, down-to-earth wit and clear thinking that have insured Wesley's character success not only in several niche genres but on the mass market as well. In Blood and Sorrow will be released in hardback on January 29th, 2008.

Valerie Wilson Wesley will be appearing at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair on Feb. 3rd from 2 to 4 p.m. and at the John F. Kennedy Library in Piscataway on Feb. 23rd from 2 to 4 p.m.

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