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  • Mysteries, family sagas top new book list

  • Ready, set, read: Your summer book binge starts now. There are only 13 weeks until Labor Day, and there are lots of great novels to be devoured — mysteries, spy thrillers, family sagas and historical fiction. Here are some picks to get you started.
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  • Ready, set, read: Your summer book binge starts now. There are only 13 weeks until Labor Day, and there are lots of great novels to be devoured — mysteries, spy thrillers, family sagas and historical fiction. Here are some picks to get you started.
    THE LAST SUMMER OF THE CAMPERDOWNS, by Elizabeth Kelly. Summer brings a hundred new novels set at the seashore, with requisite beach-towel-and-beach-umbrella covers. But Elizabeth Kelly's latest (follow-up to "Apologize, Apologize") offers a quirkier variation: Set on Cape Cod in 1972, its 12-year-old narrator sports the improbable name of Riddle James Camperdown and witnesses a crime. (Liveright, June 3)
    THE SHINING GIRLS, by Lauren Beukes. Between Kate Atkinson's "Life After Life" and Bee Ridgway's "The River of No Return," time-travel novels are hot this year. Now comes this tale about a time-traveling serial killer — creeped out yet? — and the woman who survives one of his attacks and begins to hunt him down. (Mulholland Books / Little, Brown; June 4)
    RED SPARROW, by Jason Matthews. This debut espionage thriller, set in Putin's Russia, comes with advance praise from Vince Flynn and Nelson DeMille and boasts some impressive credentials: the author is a 33-year veteran of the C.I.A. "Red Sparrow" tracks two spies — a young American with a big new mission and a Russian "espionage courtesan" who is recruited by him. Expect a hall of mirrors where nothing is as it seems. (Scribner, June 4)
    CRAZY RICH ASIANS, by Kevin Kwan. The Asian economic miracle deserves its own "Great Gatsby," and that's what Kevin Kwan's debut novel promises to deliver. A satire of the superwealthy Chinese of Singapore (where the author grew up), "Crazy Rich Asians" lets the fur fly when the scion of one such dynasty brings home his American-born Chinese girlfriend. Should satisfy your bling quotient for the summer. (Doubleday, June 11)
    THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, by Neil Gaiman. The versatile and wildly imaginative Gaiman has a devoted cult following for the comic series "Sandman," novels such as "American Gods" and young adult tales such as "The Graveyard Book." In his new novel for adults, a man returns to the site of his childhood home in England — where in his youth a lodger committed suicide in the family car, unleashing dark forces into their world. But the past may not be exactly as he remembers it. (William Morrow, June 18)
    SISTERLAND, by Curtis Sittenfeld. A new novel from the author of "Prep" and "American Wife" is cause for fireworks. "Sisterland" introduces twin sisters Kate and Vi who, as they grow up, come to realize they are psychic. While one accepts and pursues her supernatural ability, the other tries to build a conventional life in the suburbs. (Random House, June 25)
    THE FIRE WITNESS, by Lars Kepler. You'll need a dark Swedish fix before the summer's out, and the best-selling husband-and-wife team who write as Lars Kepler ("The Hypnotist," "The Nightmare") can set you up with their latest. In "The Fire Witness," detective Joona Linna investigates a murder at a home for wayward girls — and a psychic medium may have the answers. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, July 2)
    VISITATION STREET, by Ivy Pochoda. One of the first books from the new imprint launched by writer Dennis Lehane, "Visitation Street" is set in the waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn. One July night, a 15-year-old Catholic schoolgirl disappears after a raft trip in the harbor, and her best friend is found semiconscious in the weeds onshore. The mystery of what happened to them will roil the working-class neighborhood that is rapidly evolving. (Dennis Lehane Books / Ecco, July 9)
    & SONS, by David Gilbert. The second novel from the author of "The Normals" sounds like a highbrow literary Manhattan soap opera in the vein of Claire Messud's "The Emperor's Children," and that's high praise. "& Sons" opens with a funeral, where a J.D. Salinger-like recluse delivers the eulogy, and then unfolds the man's complicated family and literary legacy. (Random House, July 23)
    LOOKAWAY, LOOKAWAY, by Wilton Barnhardt. A Southern matriarch named Jerene Jarvis Johnston fights to preserve her family name — and the family fortune — in this comic novel set in Charlotte, N.C., from the author of "Emma Who Saved My Life" and "Gospel." There's a cast of eccentric characters including Jerene's husband, a failed politician turned Civil War re-enactor. (St. Martin's, Aug. 20)
    THE GOOD LORD BIRD, by James McBride. The author of "The Color of Water" and "The Miracle at St. Anna" returns with an offbeat historical novel, set before the Civil War, that follows the fortunes of an escaped slave who passes as a woman and joins abolitionist John Brown's armed anti-slavery insurrection and is present at the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. (Riverhead, Aug. 20)
    Summer isn't just about light reading. Daniel James Brown's "The Boys in the Boat" (Viking) is about the U.S. rowing team at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin; in "Walking With Jack" (Doubleday), Don J. Snyder trains a professional caddie for his golfer son; Joseph J. Ellis revisits the dramatic events of 1776 in "Revolutionary Summer" (Knopf); Robert Kolker ponders the unsolved mystery of the bodies found on Gilgo Beach in "Lost Girls" (Harper)
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