Having retired his popular detective Rebus, Scottish author Ian Rankin returns with a new protagonist, a cop who works in the division of internal affairs — in other words, a cop who chases cops. Like Rebus, Fox works in Edinburgh (where Rankin also lives). But there's a big difference between the homicide unit and internal affairs, says Rankin: "You can't be a loner, you can't break the rules — you've got to work well on a team." Fox's personality, though less brazen than Rebus', is more sympathetic. He watches people in order to build cases against them, though when he falls under suspicion himself, Fox finds he must shed his passive tendencies and become proactive.
In 1893, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle plotted to kill one of the most famous people in the world, Sherlock Holmes. Because Holmes was a fictional character Doyle created, the legal repercussions were nil. But in The Sherlockian, the death of the great detective so outrages his fans that one day, Doyle receives a letter bomb. He and Dracula author Bram Stoker launch an investigation, but more than a century later, a group of fans finds that the mystery has only grown. The new novel is author Graham Moore's first. It flips back and forth between centuries as Doyle and Stoker and then two amateur detectives look for clues.
This thriller is as good as the Dragon Tattoo series, according to NPR book critic Laura Miller. She calls it "Stieg Larsson without the rough edges." It has a great plot but a more literary bent. It's the story of a publicly disgraced hypnotist who has vowed never to hypnotize anyone again. But when he is asked to help solve a terrible crime, he winds up hypnotizing a traumatized young man who is the only survivor of the crime. That decision jeopardizes the hypnotist and his family. Miller says the book is full of surprises and more than enough twists to keep those pages turning well into the night.
In her new book Apollo's Angels, historian Jennifer Homans — a former professional ballet dancer herself — traces ballet's evolution over the past 400 years, and examines how changes in ballet parallel changing ideas about class structure, gender, costume, the ideal body and what the body can physically do. The book chronicles ballet's transition from the aristocratic courtier world in Europe through its place as a professional discipline in the Imperial Court of Russia and, finally, to a technique performed on stages throughout the world.
Actress Patti LuPone is perhaps best known for her roles in the Broadway hits Evita, Les Miserables and Gypsy. In her memoir, she recounts the stories behind the hits and the misses as well as the firings, feuds and other dramas of the Great White Way. But she always manages to get something good from the bad. The show The Baker's Wife never made it to Broadway, but it gave LuPone her signature song, "Meadowlark." At times called a diva, and difficult, she has worked like a dog all of her life. Is LuPone a piece of work? "Um, yeah," she says. "I was trained at Juilliard. I have a very high standard. I expect everybody around me to work equally as hard, because people pay a lot of money for tickets. They demand the best that we have."
Charlotte Abbott edits "New in Paperback." A contributing editor for Publishers Weekly, she also leads a weekly chat on books and reading in the digital age every Friday from 4-5 p.m. ET on Twitter. Follow her at @charabbott or check out the #followreader hashtag.