They couldn’t find Mick

This is a moving first novel, "The Given World," by Marian Palaia. It takes place during the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's in the life of a woman whose brother goes missing in the Vietnam War. Palaia perfectly captures how the war changed the lives of the loved ones back home.

A woman who never compromised

Florence Gordon is this novel's unforgettable female protagonist, a 75-year-old New Yorker whose family arrives in the city and brings with it some messy issues. Her name is the book's title, and she's an inspiration -- not only for the novel's characters, but also for readers.

My picks from The Edgars® “Bests”

"Ordinary Grace" is one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. Of note, it just won the the Edgar Award for best novel, announced last week. Two other winners appear here, as well as a link to the full list of nominees and winners in all the categories for the Mystery Writers of America 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards.