THE PLAGUE OF DOVES By Louise Erdrich, read by Kathleen McInerney and Peter Francis James, Harper, 12 hours on 10 CDs, unabridged, $25.99
A fascinating cast of characters, white, Indian and mixed-blood, populates this novel set in Pluto, North Dakota: Evelina Harp is part Ojibwa and prone to falling in love; her grandfather, Mooshum, is a storyteller who knows all the town's stories; Judge Antone Bazil Coutts also knows the town's stories, and its people. Everything in the area is informed by the unsolved murder of a farm family and the vengeance exacted for this crime.
ROAD DOGS By Elmore Leonard, read by Peter Francis James, Harper, 61/2 hours on 6 CDs, unabridged, $44.99
Leonard brings back three characters from earlier novels: con man and thief Jack Foley, from Out of Sight; wealthy Cuban criminal Cundo Rey, from LaBrava; and professional psychic Dawn Navarro, from Riding the Rap. Rey and Foley meet in a Florida prison, where Foley is serving a 30-year sentence. Rey arranges for Foley to be released on the condition that Foley wait for him in California, where Navarro is also waiting. Can the three of them work together? Or can none of them be trusted?
A MAD DESIRE TO DANCE By Elie Wiesel, read by Mark Bramhall and Kirsten Potter, Random House, 10 hours on 8 CDs, unabridged, $39.95
Doriel is a European Jew living in New York. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived the Second World War only to die in an accident, along with his father. A survivor of the Holocaust, Doriel nevertheless knows very little about it, and so begins an intense study of Judaism. He doesn't find any peace, however, but comes rather to think he is possessed by a dybbuk. He turns to psychoanalyst Dr. Therese Goldschmidt, and the two begin a relationship based on the exchange of dreams, histories and secrets.
THE BODIES LEFT BEHIND By Jeffery Deaver, read by Holter Graham, Simon & Schuster, 6 hours on 5 CDs, abridged, $34.99
The action starts with a cut-off 911 call from a secluded vacation house in Wisconsin. Deputy Brynn McKenzie leaves her husband and son at the dinner table and goes to investigate, finding a gruesomely bloody scene when she arrives. She and a survivor of the massacre, a young, pampered city woman named Michelle, flee into the woods pursued by two criminals. As her new husband and her fellow deputies swing into action to find her, another killer joins the hunt.
HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU By Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, read by the authors, Simon & Schuster, 31/2 hours on 3 CDs, unabridged, $17.50
Based on an episode of Sex and the City, this little book sets out to show that otherwise intelligent women who get together over coffee or cocktails, who make late-night phone calls trying to analyze the men in their lives, are wasting their time: Men are not complicated, and the simple fact may be that the guys just don't like them enough. They shouldn't bother trying to explain their dead-end relationships.
THE WINNER STANDS ALONE By Paulo Coelho, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, read by Paul Boehmer, Harper, 12/12 hours on 11 CDs, unabridged, $51.99
Set in the worlds of fashion and film, over 24 hours of the Cannes Film Festival, Coelho's novel follows a successful Russian entrepreneur, Igor, who is determined to reclaim his lost love, his ex-wife Ewa, and who will go to any lengths to do it.
THE BOOK OF UNHOLY MISCHIEF By Elle Newmark, read by Raul Esparza, Simon & Schuster, 12 hours on 10 CDs, unabridged, $47
Venice, 1492. Street urchin and petty thief Luciano is taken up by a famous chef and apprenticed in the kitchen of the most powerful man in the city. But he witnesses a murder in the palace and realizes that no one can be trusted, and sets out to uncover the truth.
VANISHED SMILE: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa By R.A. Scotti, read by Kathe Mazur, Random House, 7 hours on 6 CDs, unabridged, $39.95
In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa disappeared from the Louvre and was missing for nearly two years. The French police used every modern technique, including fingerprints, in their attempts to track down the thief or thieves. The prime suspects? Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire. Thousand of people flocked to the museum to see the empty space where the painting had hung, setting attendance records, and people left flowers and notes mourning the painting's absence. Nearly 100 years later, many questions are still unanswered. Scotti, a New York writer and novelist, reopens the boldest and most perplexing art theft ever committed.
WISHFUL DRINKING By Carrie Fisher, read by the author, Simon & Schuster, 3 hours on 3 CDs, unabridged, $19.95
The daughter of superstars Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, actor and novelist Carrie Fisher came of age on the set of Star Wars, and was a Hollywood icon when she was still in her teens. This book, based on her one-woman stage show, is a very funny and moving look at her life, including her marriage to a gay man (who fathered her daughter), and her relationship to Paul Simon, whom she married, divorced and then dated. She is unsparing in her portrait of her own addictions and other problems, up to and including the time she woke up and found a friend dead beside her in bed.
HOME SAFE By Elizabeth Berg, read by the author, Random House, 8 hours on 7 CDs, $39.95
Recent widow Helen Ames is trying to cope with the fact that her late husband withdrew their life's savings in the months before he died. She is also coping with loss and grief by interfering in the life of her 27-year-old daughter, Tessa. Helen takes an unusual job to help her keep her independence, but finds it helping her more than she had planned. Then a phone call from a stranger compels both mother and daughter to reassess themselves and what makes a family.