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7 books not to miss: Stephen King novellas, Sara Paretsky’s new V.I. Warshawski story, more

Also: a collection by the late Madeleine L’Engle and new books from Julia Spencer-leming, Frances Cha, Paulette Jiles and Tom Clavin (on Wyatt Earp and his brothers).

Stephen King is out with a new collection of short stories.
Stephen King is out with a new collection of short stories.
AP

You could do a lot worse than to fill some of the extra hours we’re all now spending cooped up at home by checking out one of these hot new books:

‘If It Bleeds’ by Stephen King

Scribner, fiction, $30

What it’s about: Stephen King is out with a new collection of short stories, including the title novella — inspired by the old tabloid TV news adage “If it bleeds, it leads” — featuring heroic private eye Holly Gibney, a “quirky walk-on” in “Mr. Mercedes” who’s now one of King’s most indelible personalities.

The buzz: “The iconic author will keep you up late at night engrossed in four tales about our dreams and our frailties,” USA Today writes, calling the story titled “The Life of Chuck” — told backwards, in three acts — “the true highlight of the collection.”

Stephen King’s “If It Bleeds.”
Stephen King’s “If It Bleeds.”
Scribner

‘Dead Land’ by Sara Paretsky

William Morrow, fiction, $28.99

What it’s about: In the latest V.I. Warshawski mystery, the Chicago private investigator gets pulled into the city’s underbelly when her goddaughter gets her entangled in a mystery that involves a mass shooting, murder and a fight over lakefront land use.

The buzz: “So fierce, ambitious and far-reaching that it makes most other mysteries seem like so many petit fours,” Kirkus Reviews says.

Click here for an excerpt from Sara Paretsky’s “Dead Land.”
Click here for an excerpt from Sara Paretsky’s “Dead Land.”
William Morrow

‘The Moment of Tenderness’ by Madeleine L’Engle

Grand Central Publishing, fiction, $9.99

What it’s about: This wide-ranging collection of 18 short stories by the late Madeleine L’Engle — written before her most famous work, “A Wrinkle in Time” — were discovered and compiled by L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis. Some are being seen for the first time.

The buzz: “While they lack a certain whimsy one may expect from L’Engle, these stories are lovely in their own right,” The Associated Press writes. “There is even wonder in the feeling of incompleteness that lingers at the end of many of the stories. Perhaps some were indeed incomplete, but perhaps L’Engle merely desired to produce slices of life, ones that do not offer exact answers or unrealistically neat endings.” Kirkus Reviews calls it “a luminous collection.”

“The Moment of Tenderness” by Madeleine L’Engle.
Click here for an excerpt from “The Moment of Tenderness” by Madeleine L’Engle.
Grand Central Publishing

‘Hid From Our Eyes’ by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Minotaur, fiction, $27.99

What it’s about: After a long hiatus to deal with personal issues, Julia Spencer-Fleming makes a triumphant return to her series about Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and her police chief husband, Russ Van Alstyne with “Hid From Our Eyes,” her ninth novel.

The buzz: “Spencer-Fleming continues her series, smoothly illustrating her characters’ nuances with a fresh look at them in an engrossing plot that reaches from contemporary times to past generations,” The Associated Press writes, “uncompromisingly melding her characters’ personal and professional concerns into tight plots. . . . Real people inhabit Spencer-Fleming’s novels with believable problems.”

Click for an excerpt from “Hid from Our Eyes” by Julia Spencer-Fleming.
Click for an excerpt from “Hid from Our Eyes” by Julia Spencer-Fleming.
Minotaur

‘If I Had Your Face’ by Frances Cha

Ballantine, fiction, $27

What it’s about: This debut novel, set in contemporary Seoul, South Korea, follows four young women with different ambitions trying to make their way in a world of impossible beauty standards and unforgiving social hierarchies.

The buzz: “This is an insightful, powerful story from a promising new voice,” Publishers Weekly says.

Click for an excerpt from Frances Cha’s “If I Had Your Face.”
Click for an excerpt from Frances Cha’s “If I Had Your Face.”
Ballantine

‘Simon the Fiddler’ by Paulette Jiles

William Morrow, fiction, $27.99

What it’s about: The origin story of Simon Boudlin, a traveling musician who appears in Paulette Jiles’ 2016 novel “News of the World,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

The buzz: “A beautifully written book and a worthy follow-up to ‘News of the World,” the AP writes.

“Simon the Fiddler” by Paulette Jiles.
Click here for an excerpt from “Simon the Fiddler” by Paulette Jiles.
William Morrow

‘Tombstone’ by Tom Clavin

St. Martin’s Press, nonfiction, $29.99

What it’s about: Subtitled “The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell,” the new book by Western historian and former newspaperman goes deep to reveal more about the famed Earps ands most indelible personalities.

The buzz: Western historian and former newspaperman Tom Clavin “has sifted the facts, myths and lies to produce what might be as accurate an account as we will ever get of the old West’s most famous feud,” The Associated Press says.

“Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride From Hell” by Tom Clavin.
Click here for an excerpt from “Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride From Hell” by Tom Clavin.
St. Martin’s Press