by Geraldine Brooks (Viking) For time's sake, we're going to commit heresy and compare a Pulitzer winner's latest novel to a TV show. You know how the best dramas have great episodes and that season-long arc? Here, the arc follows Hannah Heath, a 30-year-old Aussie rare-book expert hired to analyze a 600-year-old Jewish prayer text. With each clue (a hair in the binding, a wine stain on the parchment), we go back in time to see how it got there in "episodes" that totally deserve an Emmy.
They Did It With Love
by Kate Morgenroth (Plume) Agatha Christie meets The Stepford Wives in this rolling read about a couple who relocates to a posh Connecticut suburb, where one day the wife discovers a member of her book club hanging from a tree. She decides to investigate and uncoversdum, da-dum, dum!well, we won't spoil it for you. But if you like a sexy mystery, Morgenroth keeps the finger of suspicion rotating faster than a game of Spin the Bottle.
The Delivery Man
by Joe McGinniss Jr. (Grove/Black Cat) It's sex, drugs, and a slew of lost souls in this engrossing story of a 25-year-old known only as Chase. An out-of-luck wannabe artist, he retreats to his hometownthat being Vegas, a downward spiral ensues, thanks to madams and more. Since no less a connoisseur of depraved excess than Bret Easton Ellis helped McGinniss Jr. score a publisher, could The Delivery Man be this decade's Less Than Zero?