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Beyond the Best Seller List…

Eager to discover an over-looked author?  Want to break away from the boundaries of the Best Seller list?

Bel Canto by Anne Patchett
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening — until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots.
P. G. Countryby Connie Briscoe
Shades of Peyton Place abound in this novel following the lives of five women who reside in an exclusive enclave in Prince George County, MD.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday—a beguiling stranger who seems to know everything about him. A trickster and rogue, Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With nowhere left to go, Shadow accepts, and soon learns that his role in Mr. Wednesday’s schemes will be far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought—and the prize is the very soul of America.  
Body on the Beachby Simon Brett 
Finding dead bodies definitely does not happen in Feathering, and solving mysteries is decidedly not among Carole Siddon’s sensible activities. Events, alas, take over, and the story reveals the darker sides of an English seaside town.
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross
Miss Julia Springer, a proper Southern woman of a certain age, has had enough. And she’s going to tell you about it whether you like it or not. Quietly coping with her husband’s recent death and the burden of allocating the funds from his sizable estate, she receives an unexpected visit from one Hazel Marie Puckett, with a youngster in tow.
Birds of Prey by Wilbur Smith
The year is 1667; Sir Francis Courteney and his son Hal are on patrol in their fighting caravel off the Agulhas Cape of South Africa.  They are lying in wait for one of the treasure-laden galleons of the Dutch East India company returning from the Orient.  So begins a quest for adventure and the spoils of war that sweeps from the settlement of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa to the Great Horn of Ethiopia far to the north – at a time when international maritime law permitted acts of piracy, rape, and murder otherwise punishable by death.
Come the Spring by Jill Marie Landis 
Love’s tender kiss turns a harsh frontier winter into spring when Bostonian Annika Storm heads West to seek adventure–only to be mistaken for a mail-order bride and abducted by rugged Buck Scott. And by the time Scott realizes he has the wrong woman, the two are stranded in his remote cabin by a violent snowstorm.
Guilty Pleasure by Laurell K Hamilton
Introducing Anita Blake, vampire hunter extraordinaire. Most people don’t even bat an eye at vampires since they’ve been given equal rights by the Supreme Court. But Anita knows better–she’s seen their victims.   A serial killer is murdering vampires, however, and now the most powerful vampire in town wants Anita to find the killer. 
Bubbles Unboundby Sarah Strohmeyer
Dying old ladies’ hair blue at Sandy’s House of Beauty has never been enough for hometown girl Bubbles Yablonsky. So she’s taking her big hair and her big dreams back to school to study journalism, and taking advantage of some on-the-job training at the local newspaper. But when Bubbles trips over a crime scene on the way home from an assignment, she finds herself up to her roots in a nasty murder investigation. It could be the big break she’s been waiting for-if she doesn’t get sidetracked by her lowlife ex-husband, her teenage daughter, or her gun-toting mother, who has just escaped from the Polish Old Folks Apartments.
Lazarus Child by Robert Mawson
It takes just an instant for a family’s life to be changed forever.  Now seven-year-old Frankie Heywood lies in a coma.  The experts are telling her parents there is no hope.  Their son is slipping away emotionally.  And the Heywoods, their marriage already strained to the breaking point, are desperate.  They have one last chance: Dr. Elizabeth Chase is a brilliant neurologist who has dedicated her life to coaxing children back from the darkness.  Her work is unconventional, controversial and some say illegal.  But the Heywoods have put their trust in her.  They are convinced their daughter is waiting just beyond their reach and they believe Dr. Chase is the miracle worker who can throw Frankie the lifeline that will bring her back.
A Love Divine by Alexandra Ripley
The sea called to Joseph of Arimathea the way a woman calls to her lover.  From the time he was twelve years old, he could not resist his desire to sail for distant horizons.  He had one other passion: Sarah, a dark-haired sprite of a woman whom he had loved from his childhood days.  As a Jew during the Toman occupation of Palestine, Jospeh would have to fight for both his loves.
Crazy Bone by Bill Pronzini
A new novel narrated by the nameless California detective who has starred in several others boasts richer characterizations than the genre normally offers.  In this one, Nameless investigates why a newly widowed beauty turns down an large insurance settlement and, not surprisingly, discovers murder and other decadent chicanery amonth the wealthy denizens of a gated community.
On Bear Mountainby Deborah Smith
Only the most peculiar, heartfelt fate could link the star-crossed Ricconni family of New York with the dirt-poor Powells of the Georgia Mountains. Little do Ursula Powell and Quentin Ricconni know that a strange and abstract iron sculpture of a bear will draw them together.
Daughter of Fireby Quinn Taylor Evans
Set in England in the time of William the Conquerer, the first novel in this marvelous series that explores what might have been if Merlin had had three beautiful daughters, each possessing just a touch of magic, resolved to use her special skills to battle evil, and determined to find love.
The Deadhouseby Linda Fairstein
It’s almost Christmas in New York City, but the season is far from jolly for Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper after Lola Dakota, an illustrious political science professor from King’s College, is found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft.  All Alexandra has to go on are a few strands of hair and a piece of paper bearing the words “The Deadhouse.”  The only link to foul play is a photo Alexandra finds in Lola’s office of a student who disappeared more than eight months ago.  And what do they both have to do with the Deadhouse, the notorious Roosevelt Island site where small pox patients went to die in the 19th century?
Other good choices…
Ray Hogan
Phillip Margolin
Lee Child
Laurie R. King
Harlan Coben
Gwen Bristoe
Stephen Lawhead
Caroline Crane
Karen Robards
Kay Hooper
Nevada Barr
Tess Gerritsen
Elizabeth McCracken
Bebe Moore Campbell
Nicki French
Marcia Muller
Ridley Pearson
Perri O’Shaughnessy
Connie Willis
Jennifer Cruise
Stephen  White
Marion Chesney
Elizabeth Adler