Here’s what’s new in bookstores this week:
•Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart
by Carol Wall (Amy Einhorn Books, $25.95) — Although it begins with a neglected garden, this memoir is more about cultivating an unlikely friendship than nurturing plants (especially azaleas). While the author does enlist the help of Mister Owita, a Kenyan gardener who tends a neighbor’s spectacular yard, the book covers a wide range of topics (race, religion, health, marriage) and valuable life lessons. But don’t expect gardening tips.
•A Circle of Wives
by Alice LaPlante (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25) — The author follows her 2011 bestsellerTurn of Mind
with another mystery/thriller, although LaPlante says in press materials that she’s more interested in “whydunit” than “whodunit.” She presents four strong female characters, a young Palo Alto detective and the unsuspecting wives (count ’em — three!) of a murdered doctor. He was a prominent plastic surgeon, beloved in the community, who was leading a secret life as a closeted polygamist. Nothing like a little scandal with a murder investigation.
by Randy Wayne White (Putnam, $26.95) — The bestselling author returns with the 21st novel in his Doc Ford series, which has spawned a chain of Florida restaurants and a television series in production for CBS. As usual, the wilds of the Sunshine State serve as the backdrop. This time it’s an archaeological-inspired adventure set in the state’s Bone Valley, where prehistoric critters once roamed and unethical fossil collectors gather. The audiobook is available from Penguin Audio ($39.95) and is read by actor George Guidall (Baron Leo von Halkein onThe Guiding Light
— Celeste Williams