• Ryanne Harper

New Releases. Or, what's JP up to this week? Also, murder.

Okay. I'm jumping ahead from now on. Today, we're talking about books releasing on April 9th.

The People vs. Alex Cross (paperback edition) by James Patterson

I'm just getting this one out of the way. While it seems he doesn't have a new release coming out next week, he is releasing a paperback copy of a previous release. So, good for him. And congrats to all the booksellers who don't have to rearrange their entire store to accommodate all the new hardbacks. If you're confused, read this blog.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I follow Little Brown on Instagram and they've been plugging this one pretty hard. The cover is beautiful. It's a follow-up to Miller's book, The Song of Achilles. If you like Mythology, you'll probably dig this book. Circe is a witch. Zeus banishes her to an island where she just becomes better at being a witch. Medea, Icarus, and Odysseus all make an appearance. Barnes and Noble calls it an epic of family rivalry, love and loss, and a celebration of female strength in a man's world. Sounds pretty good to me.

Twenty-One Days by Anne Perry

I've not read an Anne Perry book. I'm really not interested in reading an Anne Perry book. To me, the most interesting thing about Anne Perry is, she was convicted of murder at the age of fifteen, went to prison for five years, changed her name, and sold a gazillion books.

Here's how it went down.

Pauline Parker, her friend, and Juliet Hulme (now known as Anne Perry) were super close friends. Both sets of parents thought, perhaps, a little too close. This was in the 1950s so the idea that their daughters might be lesbians was enough for the Hulmes to decide they should ship Juliet off to South Africa. Pauline wanted to leave New Zealand and go to South Africa with her friend. Her mother, of course, said no.

The girls hatch a plan. Not a good plan, but a plan. They and Pauline's mother go out for tea one day. After their tea, they take a walk. The girls led her toward a wooded area and bludgeoned Pauline's mother to death with a brick. They then ran back to the tea shop claiming the woman had fallen and hit her head. Literally no one believed them. Probably because they were covered in blood and the woman's head had clearly been struck more than once. The girls are arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to five years in prison. Upon release, Juliet changed her name to Anne Perry and began selling the crap out of historical detective novels. No one knew Anne Perry was Juliet Hulme until 1994. In a statement she made in 2006, Perry says that, "while her relationship with Parker was obsessive, they were not lesbians." As if that's the problem with this story. I don't care if she's a lesbian or not. I do care that, at age fifteen, she put a brick in a stocking and hit a woman with it until she died. I love detective stories. I love murder mysteries. I just can't bring myself to read one written by an actual convicted murderer.

So, that's what you have to look forward to next week. And a ton of other things. For the full list, click here.

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