The Explosive World of… Book Publishing! Former Insider’s Novel Features a Mysterious Manuscript

Chris Pavone’s second novel, The Accident, set in the book publishing world, debuts at #19 on our Hardcover Fiction list. Pavone’s first novel, The Expats (Crown, 2012), received high praise from John Grisham, Olen Steinhauer, and Patricia Cornwell, was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, won both the Edgar and Anthony Awards for best first novel, and Malcolm Gladwell gushed about it in his closing remarks at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting last year. At the start of The Accident, New York literary agent Isabel Reed is reading frantically, turning the pages breathlessly. The manuscript—printed out, hand-delivered, and completely anonymous—is full of shocking revelations that could bring down one of the most powerful men in the world and initiate a tremendous scandal implicating multiple American presidents and CIA directors. This is what Isabel has been waiting for: a book that will help her move on from a painful past, a book that could reinvigorate her career, a book that will change the world. Crown’s blog tour featured over 15 bloggers all writing about The Accident and doing giveaways on their sites throughout the month of March. The New York Times ran a story on the author March 10, right at on-sale date. So far, Pavone has done author appearances at bookstores in Manhattan, Madison, Conn., Washington, D.C., Corte Madera, Calif., San Diego, Calif., La Jolla, Calif., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Austin, Tex. Next month he’ll be in Orlando, Fla., Greenwich, Conn., where he’ll do a joint talk and signing with Olen Steinhauer at the Greenwich Library, and Indianapolis, Ind. He’ll also return to Manhattan for a panel at the New York Public Library on April 9. Pavone spent more than two decades in the book publishing world as an acquisitions editor, copy editor, managing editor, and even as a ghostwriter before turning his attention to fiction. He grew up in Brooklyn, and has spent time as an ex-pat in Luxembourg. He now lives in New York City with his wife and children.—Peter Cannon

War Stories Resonate: Debut Collection Starts Fast

Phil Klay’s first collection of stories, Redeployment, appeared on our Hardcover Fiction list last week, at #24,and jumps this week to #18, with sales of more than 5,000 copies thus far at outlets tracked by Nielsen. The gritty, raw, honest group of stories about men fighting in Iraq and coming home from Iraq is set to take its place in the cannon of literary books about war written and shaped by men in uniform. Elisabeth Calamari of Penguin Press reports that every review of Redeployment has been a rave, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, and adds that Klay has started his nine-city tour. “Phil has received a number of invitations from high schools and universities to come and speak, so we suspect he’ll continue to have a robust speaking schedule in the fall,” she says. Klay, one of four boys, three of whom joined the military in wartime, graduated Dartmouth College and signed up as a Marine. He talks about his decision in our profile of March 17, and he was a guest on PW Radio on March 21. For the full story of what Klay saw and experienced, go to the source and read the book.—Louisa Ermelino

There’s Gold for C.J. Box in Wyoming’s Black Hills: Joe Pickett’s World

C.J. Box’s latest Joe Pickett novel, Stone Cold, debuts this week at #6 on our Hardcover Fiction bestseller list. This time around, Pickett, officially a game warden but really a troubleshooter for the governor of Wyoming, travels to the Black Hills, in the remote northeast corner of the state. He’s been sent there to investigate a mysterious, retired millionaire, who may have launched a second career running a high-end murder-for-hire business. “Unlike your standard-issue action hero,” PW explained in its review, “Joe uses his wits, taking time to assess the literal and figurative lay of the land.” The Rocky Mountain region, with its spectacular but desolate landscapes, figures prominently in Box’s 18 books, which include four stand-alones besides the 14 Joe Pickett novels; a collection of short stories from “Joe Pickett Country” will be published this summer. It’s because, Box explains, the earth itself dominates day-to-day existence in the American West— whether it’s the ongoing controversy over fracking, determining water and mineral rights, or simply surviving harsh winters. Before writing Stone Cold, Box traveled from his home outside Cheyenne to a part of Wyoming that he describes as “rugged, beautiful, and filled with secrets,” scouting locations and getting to know the terrain and the culture. Unlike his other novels, with their story lines driven by ecological issues, Box says that Stone Cold was inspired by a story friends told him several years ago about a wealthy rancher and philanthropist in a remote part of the state who would fly away periodically in his private plane, returning weeks later with huge amounts of cash. “The rumor was that the local philanthropist was a high-class hit man,” Box says. “But because he was so generous, no one asked many questions.”—Claire Kirch

He Gives Jesus A Good Name: Fr. Martin, Colbert Chaplain Now Bestselling Author

For those Christians who, hearing about the latest publicity stunt by some of their more far-out brethren, mutter with embarrassment, “Jesus needs new PR,” here’s a candidate for the job of PR agent: James Martin. Martin’s Jesus: A Pilgrimage (HarperOne) debuts at #20 on our nonfiction list; Martin is a Jesuit, a frequent media commentator, a fixture on Catholic bestselling lists, and the occasional chaplain of The Colbert Report. His newest book mixes his thoughtful reflections with stories of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In a starred review, PW called the book an imaginative exploration that “communicates a joyful faith in God’s healing and the ultimate hope offered by the Resurrection.” Martin was a big hit at the recently concluded Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, where he spoke to 5,000 religious educators and kept signing books; media hits include PBS’s Charlie Rose Show and CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper; to come are MSNBC’s Morning Joe and PRI’s The Tavis Smiley Show. Religious media includes excerpts in America magazine, Christian Century, and Religion News Service; Martin was a guest on Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s radio show on the Catholic Channel on Sirius Radio. He’s easy to find on Twitter, with almost 40,000 followers, and there’s a dedicated website,, and video syndication via YouTube and elsewhere. “What a great publishing story Jim Martin has become,” says Mark Tauber, HarperOne senior v-p and publisher. “Over the last six to seven years, Jim has grown into perhaps the leading mainstream voice for Catholics today in the U.S. Four books later, and he is hitting higher on bestseller lists than ever. And all this from a guy who has taken a lifelong vow of poverty!”—Marcia Z. Nelson

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint This Week Units
1 Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 71,115
2 Rush Revere and the First Patriots Rush Limbaugh S&S/Threshold 69,652
3 Insurgent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 52,157
4 Allegiant Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 42,208
5 The Fault in Our Stars John Green Dutton 37,579
6 Power Play Danielle Steel Delacorte 27,360
7 Divergent (movie tie-in) Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 23,044
8 Alex Cross, Run James Patterson Vision 22,657
9 Green Eggs and Ham Dr. Seuss Random House 21,955
10 One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Dr. Seuss Random House 20,061