Teen Dream Gets Dose of Real Suspense

REALITY CHECK. By Peter Abrahams. HarperTeen, April, 2009. 336 pages Hardcover $16.99

If you can get past the not so germane title, Peter Abrahams’ Reality Check can be a spine-tingling teen thriller you won’t put down. Witty and clever, the novel secures Abrahams’ mastery over effortless storytelling, while taking the reader on wild goose chase that is both intuitive and startling.

Narcoleptic Detective is Smokin’ in Debut Novel of the Neo-Noir

THE LITTLE SLEEP. By Paul Tremblay. Holt Paperbacks, March, 2009. 288 pages. $14.

His first novel, Paul Tremblay’s The Little Sleep debuts as a one-of-a-kind of neo-noir. Eager to mix a little bit of magic into a standard recipe, Tremblay hits the spot with a thrilling detective story underscored by his expertise with horror fiction and fantasy.

Finding in Science What Slave Trade Had Erased, Stories Grow from Roots

IN SEARCH OF OUR ROOTS: How 19 Extraordinary Americans Reclaimed Their Past. By Henry Louis Gates Jr. Crown. January, 2009. 424 pages. $27.50.

Robots Charm in New Children’s Book

Paul Carrick wrote and illustrated Watch Out for Wolfgang. And it’s a keeper.

To have illustrated and written his first children’s book is obviously very exciting for Mr. Carrick. “There’s something magical about seeing it neatly bound together in a complete package,” he said. “It was a special experience to be involved in all aspects of its design: I got to pick the book’s dimensions, the typefaces — everything.”

Civil War Drama Glories in Details Of Battles Too Close to Island Home

SEEN THE GLORY: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg. By John Hough, Jr. Simon & Schuster, June, 2009. 420 pages. $25.

A Corny Story: New Book Harvests History From Morning Glory Farm

Sometime in the summer of 1970, a young Jim Athearn stood on Main street in Edgartown and faced one of the most important decisions of his life. The 22-year-old aspiring farmer had just received a few stern words from a market owner who had told him that his corn — the first crop he had ever grown and sold to market — was no good. His ears were full of worms, the owner told him. The words stung like a swarm of angry hornets.

Clue: Was it the Heiress in the Library?

LETHAL LEGACY. By Linda Fairstein. Doubleday. February, 2009. 367 pages. $26.

T he magnificent New York Public Library (NYPL) is the number one character in Linda Fairstein’s new Alexandra Cooper novel, Lethal Legacy.

Books: The Dark Minds of Money Men

For anyone who has ever wondered how Wall Street hedge fund managers sleep at night and look themselves in the mirror in the morning, having spent the preceding day bilking clients, Men of Gain by Hunter McClelland (Strategic Book Publishing, $12.95) will give you a good idea of how this feels from the inside out.

Mystery Tale Wags the Dog Detective, But Pooch Is a Hoot, Ahead of the Mob

DOG GONE IT. By Spencer Quinn. Atria, February 2009. 305 pages. $25.

If dogs could translate their thoughts into English, they would undoubtedly sound pretty much like Chet, canine co-owner (or so he fancies himself) of the Little Detective Agency in some unspecified western state: “Bernie rose. Me too. Enough of this chit chat. It was time to crack this case the way we usually do, with me sniffing out the perp.”

Is Racism Undercover in Boston Cops?

THE FENCE: A Police Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide. By Dick Lehr. Harper, June, 2009. 400 pages. $25.99.

Pages