Novel Ideas

 In Culture, Guide

Check out these hot releases from nationally recognized STL authors.


Telepathic Twins

Curtis Sittenfeld exploded onto the literary scene in 2005 with her first novel, the New York Times bestselling “Prep.” Since then, Sittenfeld has moved to St. Louis and published two more novels, including the award-winning “American Wife.” This June, she released her fourth book, “Sisterland,” which tells the story of two St. Louis twins with psychic abilities whose lives get turned upside down when one of them predicts a devastating earthquake. Next up for Sittenfeld is a contemporary version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” part of a commissioned series featuring Austen’s six novels retold by six authors of global literary significance.

Toothy Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton, who has been writing erotic urban fantasy since before it was a recognized genre, released “Affliction” this July, making it the 22nd entry in her hugely successful series, “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter.” Featuring Hamilton’s signature mix of mystery, fantasy, horror, romance and a dash of humor, the series follows the adventures of Blake, a US Marshal for the “preternatural branch,” as she investigates supernatural mysteries, raises the dead and maneuvers a skein of political, romantic and sexual relationships. Did we mention there are zombies? The first three novels in the series have been adapted into graphic novels by Marvel Comics.

Habeas Corpse

Michael A. Kahn—a lawyer, adjunct professor at Washington University and author of the Rachel Gold novels—published his ninth mystery novel in June, featuring the savvy attorney Rachel Gold. “The Flinch Factor” delves into the underbelly of real estate development and is liberally injected with sharp humor, witty dialogue and plot twists galore. The legal thriller’s title comes from a nickname given to the worst (fictional) judge in St. Louis, whose wacky, sexist and vulgar nature rears up like a three-headed hydra when a young female attorney must try a hopeless case before him. Packed with plenty of St.Louis landmarks and legends, the novel will have local readers feeling right at home.

Writer Revolution

Local writers are thinking outside the dust jacket.

St. Louis writers are taking highly creative approaches to the self-publishing game, from the hyper-local method of engaging support from future local readers to a technological revival of the serial mystery novel.

Clara Moore, chef/co-owner of Local Harvest, and ALIVE contributor Matt Sorrell turned to Kickstarter to help raise funds to publish their upcoming “Shop Like a Chef: A Food Lover’s Tour of St. Louis Neighborhoods.” A guidebook for shopping in independent and ethnic groceries, it lists shops first by neighborhood and then by type of store, with reviews and observations along the way. More info at

Robert Strasser is releasing his St. Louis mystery one chapter at a time through Smashwords. “Damien Loose” is the humorous tale of one man’s slog through familiar St. Louis locales—destroying the interior of Mangia, brawling at Lumiére Place—as he searches for his uncle’s killer. Chapters 1-8 are available now at, with chapters 1-4 available in a single volume on iTunes.

Laura Edwards Ray is self-publishing her “Brain Dead” trilogy with the help of Bluebird Publishing, a company that offers à la carte services for writers, such as cover design and editing. “Still Brain Dead and Cooking,” the second book in the series, delivers humorous stories from the author’s kitchen alongside tempting recipes. More info at



Flinch Factor by Michael Kahn


Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld


Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton


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