June 6, 2012 A dark and stormy night, an isolated manor house and a knock at the door all play a part in Sadie Jones' delicious romp of a novel. Set in Edwardian England, it tracks a noble but cash-strapped family whose lavish dinner plans go awry when they're asked to shelter a crowd of refugees.
May 31, 2012 Critic Maureen Corrigan's list includes the latest installments in long-running series by mystery genre veterans. She says coming back to familiar plots and characters is as rewarding as returning to a favorite vacation spot each summer.
May 9, 2012 A Chinese poet-turned-detective investigates a slaying seemingly linked to industrial dumping. Don't Cry, Tai Lake is the politically charged seventh novel in Chinese expatriate Qiu Xiaolong's Inspector Chen series.
May 1, 2012 As accusations of sexism ricochet through the book industry, Nell Freudenberger continues to craft wonderful literary fiction, writes Maureen Corrigan. Freudenberger's latest novel, The Newlyweds, tells the story of an Internet-arranged, cross-continental marriage.
April 26, 2012 A fierce playwright, a fiery socialist and a pioneering feminist, Lillian Hellman lived unapologetically. But today she's remembered as a fabulist and a rabble-rouser — if she's remembered at all. A new Hellman biography, A Difficult Woman, hopes to set the record straight.
April 11, 2012 Nadine Gordimer has always incorporated political themes into her novels, but her latest work turns its sights toward the domestic sphere. In No Time Like the Present, a South African activist couple struggles to find happiness in a world of their own making.
April 11, 2012 Lisa Scottoline's latest novel, Come Home, brings the murder mystery to suburbia, while raising questions about the definition of family in a world of exes and stepchildren.
March 19, 2012 If you want to know anything about America's greatest city, you've got to be willing to get grimy, says critic Maureen Corrigan. Two new books about New York — a novel and a narrative history — do more than put up with filth, they positively wallow in it.
March 14, 2012 Peter Cameron's new novel about a young nurse is a consummate English country home novel. Put the kettle on and settle in — but don't get too comfortable: Cameron's writing is full of sharp angles and unanticipated swerves into the droll and the downright weird.
March 2, 2012 A woman who spends her time renovating the grounds of a ruined English estate falls for a young criminal who resembles her long-dead lover in this grim, densely plotted thriller.
February 27, 2012 A new book follows an American basketball veteran as he coaches a struggling Chinese pro basketball team. Pulitzer Prize winner Jim Yardley has a courtside seat from which to observe China's frantic capitalist expansion and its ambivalent fascination with all things American.
February 24, 2012 In No Mark Upon Her, Deborah Crombie's recently betrothed recurring characters Kincaid and James investigate the watery death of an Olympic hopeful rower. The British couple's domestic affairs turn out to be just as intriguing as the central mystery, says Maureen Corrigan.
February 15, 2012 Helen Simpson once said that when it comes to short stories, "Something's got to happen, but not too much." Her latest short story collection, In-Flight Entertainment, may seem bleak and mundane — with subjects like mortality, infidelity and climate change — but it's also bursting with British wit.