6 books not to miss, including C.J. Box’s latest Joe Pickett mystery and ‘Stateway’s Garden’

Also worth a read: ‘Race Against Time’ by Jerry Mitchell, ‘Separation Anxiety’ by Laura Zigman, ‘Rust’ by Eliese Colette Goldbach and Clive Cussler’s ‘Journey of the Pharaohs.’

SHARE 6 books not to miss, including C.J. Box’s latest Joe Pickett mystery and ‘Stateway’s Garden’
C.J. Box, author of the best-selling Joe Pickett mysteries.

C.J. Box, author of the best-selling Joe Pickett mysteries.

G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Here’s the lowdown on C.J. Box’s new Joe Pickett mystery and other new and recent book releases that definitely are worth a read:

‘Long Range’ by C.J. Box

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, fiction, $28

What it’s about: It’s been 19 years since C.J. Box introduced us to Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett in “Open Season.” Now, with the 20th book of this hard-boiled crime series, Joe and his librarian wife Marybeth are empty-nesters. His pal Nate Romanowski, no longer an outlaw living off the grid, is running a legitimate business and has settled down. Fortunately, neither Joe nor Nate is inclined to stay clear of trouble for long.

The buzz: “A fast-paced, tightly written tale that includes, among other things, an arrogant but incompetent local sheriff, a fatal grizzly bear attack, a famous movie director, an illegal prescription drugs racket, planted evidence, a love triangle, a renegade falconer, a kidnapping, several more shootings and a jail break. The main plot, along with several subplots, is filled with so many twists and red herrings that Box keeps readers guessing almost to the end.”

‘Stateway’s Garden’ by Jasmon Drain

Random House, fiction, $26

What it’s about: The first-time author offers loosely connected short stories of tenants and their struggles in the Stateway Gardens housing project in Bronzeville from the 1980s until it was demolished in 2007. Once part of the South Side’s Black Belt, Stateway was replaced with a mixed-income community.

The buzz: “The stories fit almost like pieces of a puzzle,” The New York Times says, calling the collection “a fitting monument” to the housing project and those who lived there.

‘Race Against Time’ by Jerry Mitchell

Simon and Schuster, nonfiction, $28

What it’s about: Investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell tells his own story of chasing down Ku Klux Klansmen, leading decades later to the reopening of the assassination of Medgar Evers and three more of the most infamous killings from the days of the civil rights movement.

The buzz: “Only at the very end . . . does Mitchell confess that the successful prosecutions his memoir highlights represent only a minority of the civil rights era killings he investigated, and that far more ‘cold cases ended with no convictions’ or indictments,” the Washington Post writes. “ ‘I failed more often than I succeeded in the cases I worked on,’ he writes, naming nine such victims, including Emmett Till and the Rev. James Reeb, whose deaths remained unpunished. But Mitchell is too harsh a judge of his own record, for no other journalist has made a greater contribution to cold-case investigations than has he.”

‘Separation Anxiety’ by Laura Zigman

Ecco, fiction, $26.99

What it’s about: Judy is in mid-life limbo: Her career as a children’s book author crashed and burned, her son has hit his obnoxious teens and she can’t afford to divorce her pot-addled husband. Oh, and she’s taken to carrying the dog around with her in a baby sling, just to feel connected to something.

The buzz: “The author gamely combines characters and caricatures, real pain and farce,” Kirkus Reviews writes.

‘Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit’ by Eliese Colette Goldbach

Flatiron Books, nonfiction, $27.99

What it’s about: Known only as “#6691: Utility Worker” when she worked at an Ohio steel mill, the author writes a gritty memoir of life in the Rust Belt she’d so desperately wanted to escape and of the hardworking people she came to love.

The buzz: “ ‘Like a lot of kids who grow up in Cleveland, Ohio, I mostly wanted to leave,’ Goldbach writes near the beginning,” a New York Times review says. “She not only stayed but found her way to the heart of this gritty city.”

‘Journey of the Pharaohs’ by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, fiction, $29

What it’s about: In 1074 B.C., an Egyptian fleet heads to sea and vanishes. In 1927, a pilot attempting a transcontinental flight disappears. In the present, a boat sinks with a secret cargo. All three events turn out to be related in this conspiracy thriller.

The buzz: “Fans of Cussler will find all of the elements that one expects in abundance, and Brown’s co-writing skills demonstrates that he knows how to deliver the goods,” the Associated Press writes.

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