5 books not to miss, including Laura Lippman’s latest, Richard Preston’s ebola follow-up

Here’s what you need to know at a glance about those and also new releases from J. Ryan Stradal, Daniel Nieh and Katherine Collette.

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Laura Lippman’s new book, “Lady in the Lake,” is a historical thriller set in 1960s Baltimore.

Laura Lippman’s new book, “Lady in the Lake,” is a historical thriller set in 1960s Baltimore.

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Laura Lippman, Richard Preston, J. Ryan Stradal, Daniel Nieh and Katherine Collette all are out with much-anticipated new books. Here’s what you need to know.

‘Lady in the Lake’by Laura Lippman

(William Morrow, fiction, $26.99)

What it’s about:In this historical thriller set in 1960s Baltimore, 30-something housewife Maddie Schwartz leaves her husband to pursue her passion for journalism. She becomes obsessed with the case of Cleo Sherwood, a black cocktail waitress who turns up drowned in a city park’s lake.

The buzz:“The racism, classism and sexism of 50 years ago wrapped up in a stylish, sexy, suspenseful period drama about a newsroom and the city it covers,” Kirkus Reviews says.

‘Crisis in the Red Zone’by Richard Preston

(Random House, nonfiction, $28)

What it’s about:Many of us are still scarred from 1994’s “The Hot Zone,” Richard Preston’s unflinching account of the deadly Ebola virus. But the horror didn’t end there. Preston is back with a sequel of sorts, a gripping account of the doctors and scientists trying to protect us — a wakeup call for the terrifying future of the virus.

The buzz:“By the end of this exhilarating book, you’ll agree with his ominous conclusion: There is no such thing as one case of Ebola,” doctor-critic Matt McCarthy wrote in USA Today.

‘The Lager Queen of Minnesota’by J. Ryan Stradal

(Pamela Dorman Books, fiction, $26)

What it’s about:Best-selling author J. Ryan Stradal follows up his debut “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” with the story of two hardscrabble Minnesota sisters, one who hoards the family’s inheritance to build a brewery. It’s a warm, generational family story about perseverance and forgiveness suffused with Midwestern character.

The buzz:“In beer-geek slang, Stradal’s novel is ‘crushable’ — easygoing, well-balanced, super-drinkable with tons of flavor … and will make you go back for more,” a USA Today review says.

‘Beijing Payback’by Daniel Nieh

(Ecco, nonfiction, $26.99)

What it’s about:Devastated by his father’s recent murder, college basketball player Victor Li, discovers that his father was part of an international crime syndicate.

The buzz:“This impressive blend of crime and coming-of-age marks Nieh as a talent to watch,” Publishers Weekly says.

‘The Helpline’by Katherine Collette

(Atria Books, fiction, $26)

What it’s about:Germaine Johnson is great with numbers, not so great with people. Then, the eccentric mathematician loses her job at an insurance company and is forced to go to work answering calls for a senior citizens helpline.

The buzz:Kirkus Reviews calls it “clever writing about an awkward character.”

Read more at USA Today.

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