New stories of an aging Olive in 'Olive, Again'

"Olive, Again," Random House, by Elizabeth Strout It should come as no surprise that Olive Kitteridge does not mellow with age. The large, gruff woman who was the p...

Review: Novel reimagines US-Soviet space race

"First Cosmic Velocity" (G.P. Putnam's Sons), by Zach Powers "First Cosmic Velocity" is a cleverly conceived and beautifully delivered novel that looks at the struggle for space supr...

'Cape May' novel is full of drink and lust to a fault

"Cape May" (Celadon Books), by Chip Cheek It is early fall of 1957 when the young newlyweds arrive at Cape May for their honeymoon. This is the offseason, and the New Jersey beach wi...

Review: Novel revisits culture wars, AIDS crisis

"The Spectators" (Random House), by Jennifer duBois A deadly school shooting serves as a pivotal event in "The Spectators," a novel that revisits American cultural wars and crises in...

New novel featuring Claire DeWitt not a routine crime solver

"The Infinite Blacktop" (Atria), by Sara Gran Claire DeWitt is a private detective not always easy to like. She steals cars. She steals purses. She pops stolen pill...

Review: Orphan's tale spans globe but is syrupy

"Bindi" (Little, Brown), by Paul Matthew Maisano Any parent would be proud of Birendra, the 8-year-old boy who is the central character of "Bindi," the debut novel of Paul Matthew Ma...

Stories in 'Sweet & Low' reach far past Southern region

"Sweet & Low" (Blue Rider Press), by Nick White. "Sweet & Low," a collection of short stories by Nick White, is set primarily in modern-day Mississippi, but the themes of the...

Vivid 'Florida' stories are edgy, potent

"Florida" (Riverhead Books), by Lauren Groff. "Florida," a collection of short fiction by Lauren Groff, brings together 11 stories that for the most part have been published in recen...

Review: 'The Balcony' is riveting debut fiction

"The Balcony" (Little, Brown and Co.), by Jane Delury A limestone manor, surrounded by fields and forests not far from Paris, is the main setting for "The Balcony," a subtly crafted ...

Crime drama 'False Witness': Killed on 21st b'day

"False Witness: a Novel" (Ballantine Books), by Andrew Grant On her 21st birthday, Deborah Holt got an eye-popping gift — a new Mercedes — from her well-off, older boyfriend. She did...

Memoir: Black waiter was civil rights hero

"The Song and the Silence" (Simon and Schuster/Atria Books), by Yvette Johnson Booker Wright was a black waiter during the 1950s and 1960s in a Mississippi restaurant with a mostly w...

Greg Iles brings his 'Natchez Burning' trilogy to an end

"Mississippi Blood" (William Morrow), by Greg Iles "Mississippi Blood," the concluding novel by Greg Iles in a trilogy featuring lawyer Penn Cage, is part fast-paced crime thriller a...