Murder on the Eiffel Tower

On a sweltering summer day during the 1889 World Exposition, a woman collapses and dies while visiting the newly opened Eiffel Tower. The police believe it?s the deadly result of a bee sting, but bookseller Victor Legris -- also on the Tower that day -- has his doubts, especially when other victims of the ?killer bees? start dropping dead in the City of Light. This first in a series of mysteries by Claude Izner (a pseudonym for two sisters who are Parisian booksellers) follows the often clueless Victor through the bustling Exposition as his list of suspects grows with each new body. While the mystery has its share of problems -- among them: thinly drawn characters and wooden dialogue -- it?s also full of period details that provide a vibrant backdrop for readers who like murder encased in history.

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.