The Fifth Assassin
By Brad Meltzer
Grand Central Publishing, $27.99
National archivist and member of a secret society to protect the presidency, Beecher White (The Inner Circle, 2011), returns in another heart-pounding thriller set in Washington, D.C. From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, there have been more than two dozen assassination attempts on the President of the United States. Four have been successful. Beecher discovers a killer in Washington, D.C., who’s meticulously recreating the crimes of these four men.
Beecher is about to discover the truth: that during the course of 100 years, all four assassins were secretly working together. What was their purpose? For whom do they really work? And why are they planning to kill the current President? Beecher’s about to find out. And most terrifyingly, he’s about to come face-to-face with the fifth assassin.
Standing in Another Man’s Grave
By Ian Rankin
Reagan Arthur, $25.99
It’s every parent’s nightmare: A 15-year-old girl has disappeared. She was last seen hitchhiking along a scenic highway in rural Scotland, and the only other clue is a photograph sent from her phone. Five years into retirement, John Rebus is working as a civilian on cold cases for the Serious Crimes Review Unit and when the young woman goes missing, Rita Hazlitt shows up at the SCRU office with a serial kidnapping theory. Hazlitt’s daughter disappeared along the same highway on New Year’s Eve 1999 and at least two other young women have vanished since then. But no one has been willing to take her seriously—until Rebus. He agrees to take a look at the cases, oblivious of the mayhem he’s about to step into. Despite forces working against him from every direction, Rebus uncovers startling facts, making him more determined than ever to solve the case.
The Kashmir Shawl
By Rosie Thomas
Overlook Press, $26.95
As Mair Ellis sorts through her parents’ possessions following their deaths, she discovers a Kashmir shawl that once belonged to her Welsh grandmother, Nerys Watkins. Within the folds of this exquisite handwoven piece is an envelope containing a single lock of hair. Curiosity drives Mair to trace the history of the shawl, a quest that takes her from Wales to India. As she pieces together her grandmother’s past—a story about a young woman following her husband to India for a missionary post—the two women’s stories intertwine, transporting the reader between the Kashmir of WWII and the present day.
Habits of the House
By Fay Weldon
St. Martin’s Press, $25.99
Fay Weldon who wrote the first episode of Upstairs Downstairs returns to an aristocratic setting for this story sure to please lovers of Downton Abbey. As 1899 comes to an end, the world is poised on the brink of profound, irreversible change. The Earl of Dilberne is facing serious financial concerns. The ripple effects spread to everyone in the household: Lord Robert, who has gambled unwisely on the stock market and seeks a place in the Cabinet; his unmarried children: Arthur, who keeps a courtesan, and Rosina, who keeps a parrot in her bedroom; Lord Robert’s wife Isobel, who orders the affairs of the household in Belgrave Square; and Grace, the lady’s maid who orders the life of her mistress. Lord Robert can see no financial relief to an already mortgaged estate, and his thoughts turn to securing a suitable wife (and dowry) for his son. The arrival on the London social scene of Minnie, a beautiful Chicago heiress with a reputation to mend, seems the answer to all of their prayers.
-Susan Boucher, Lake Forest Book Store