A 15-Year Bestseller Streak Lt. Eve Dallas Investigates

Concealed in Death, J.D. Robb’s 38th suspense novel set in mid-21st-century New York City, debuts at #1 on our Hardcover Fiction list. Robb is the pseudonym of Nora Roberts, and the In Death novels hold the distinction of being the author’s only ongoing series.
In this installment, Lt. Eve Dallas, of the New York Police and Security Department, gets a case from her real estate developer husband, Roarke. In the course of demolishing a long-abandoned building that Roarke has purchased, workers discover 12 teenage skeletons behind the walls. Years before, the building was a makeshift shelter for troubled teens called the Sanctuary. Eve interviews the people who ran it, and along with their recollections and the NYPSD’s new forensic anthropologist, she begins to identify the victims—all girls—and each with her own story. Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows—and grows even more determined to solve the case, revealing the secrets behind the shelter and the evil concealed in one human heart.

J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts is the author of more than 200 novels with more than 450 million copies of her books in print worldwide. A 2009 profile in the New Yorker labeled the author “America’s favorite writer.” Since 1999, every Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb title has made the New York Times bestseller list.—Peter Cannon

Hoffman’s Novel of Extraordinary Things

Alice Hoffman infuses history and fiction with a dose of Gilded Age magic in The Museum of Extraordinary Things, which debuts its first week with more than 4,000 copies sold at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan, landing at #13 on our Hardcover Fiction bestseller list.

Hoffman evokes all the glory and grit of 1911 New York City in her tale of two young lovers: Coralie Sardie, the daughter of a sinister impresario running a Coney Island boardwalk freak show, and Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his family’s Lower East Side tenement. After the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 immigrant girls, Eddie is hired to find one who has gone missing. His search leads him to the Museum of Extraordinary Things and to Coralie. As the two court against a backdrop of worker unrest, yet another big fire breaks out, this time destroying the Dreamland amusement park in Brooklyn.

Hoffman says that she drew upon the lives of both of her grandfathers in writing The Museum of Extraordinary Things. One was a union man who published articles about the labor movement in the Forward; the other was a factory worker who later became one of the first electricians to light up Brooklyn. A pivotal opening scene, she says, was inspired by an incident that marked one grandfather’s childhood: when he was eight and working at his factory job, he had a political awakening when he overheard his boss’s children playing and enjoying themselves outside. Hoffman, whose grandfather died many years ago, only knew of this incident because she discovered and had someone translate a book of his essays and other writings after the Yiddish Book Center, near Hampshire College, had embarked upon a project to put every Yiddish book the organization could find online. The novel is dedicated to Hoffman’s two grandfathers. —Claire Kirch

A Seussian Celebration

Dr. Seuss would have been 110 as of this past Sunday, and though he died 23 years ago, his many books for young readers live on. This week they claim 17 of the 25 slots on our Picture Book bestseller list (with four additional slots given to titles in the Beginner Books line that the author/editor cofounded at Random House). Thanks to the National Education Association’s Read Across America project, “Every year millions of kids and adults celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2,” said John Adamo, senior v-p of marketing at Random House Children’s Books. “And many of the enduringly popular titles like Green Eggs and Ham, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and The Cat in the Hat see a major lift in sales. Our retail partners, schools, and libraries nationwide participate enthusiastically, and we continue to see new promotions and creative ways of celebrating this annual Dr. Seuss moment year after year.” This year’s celebration has a new twist: in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House has launched Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Club, an online club for children and their families. Members of the club receive Dr. Seuss–themed birthday activities, the chance to win a Dr. Seuss Birthday Party prize pack, and access to Dr. Seuss e-cards.—Diane Roback

Allman Brothers Ramblin’ onto the List

In 2012 Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, had a big bestseller with his memoir, My Cross to Bear. And this week, debuting on our Hardcover Nonfiction chart at #18 comes One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band by Alan Paul, senior writer for Guitar World, with original band members providing the foreword (Butch Trucks) and afterword (Jamoie). We interviewed him on PW Radio on February 21.

According to St. Martin’s senior publicist Christy D’Agostini, “In our marketing and publicity plans for One Way Out, we supplemented national outreach with a more grassroots marketing campaign through social media channels.”

Among other notices, the book was reviewed in Rolling Stone and Parade, and USA Today included the book in its “New and Noteworthy” section. Paul did interviews with WABC Radio’s Geraldo Rivera show, Sirius XM’s Freewheelin’, as well as radio tours with Premiere and Clear Channel.

“Interest in the Allman Brothers is at a recent all-time high since Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks announced this past January that they will be leaving the band at the end of the year,” says D’Agostini. “The March 2014 run in New York’s Beacon Theatre will be their last [performances].”

Paul signed books at Words in Maplewood, N.J., where he lives. On March 20 he will sign at Barnes & Noble on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with Jaimoe, the band’s drummer.

According to executive editor Marc Resnick, “This is unquestionably the definitive book on the Allman Brothers Band and the sales we’re seeing are proof that fans agree.”

But stay tuned, for there’s more Allmans on the way: in March, Spiegel & Grau will publish Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman by Galadrielle Allman, the daughter of Duane Allman, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1971.—Mark Rotella

Top Ten Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint This Week Units
1 Divergent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 41,771
2 Concealed in Death J.D. Robb Putnam 34,673
3 The Fault in Our Stars John Green Dutton 32,987
4 Insurgent Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 29,233
5 Six Years Harlan Coben Signet 27,718
6 Private L.A. Patterson/Sullivan Little, Brown 26,878
7 The Hit David Baldacci Grand Central 24,917
8 Green Eggs and Ham Dr. Seuss Random House 24,712
9 Allegiant Veronica Roth HarperCollins/Tegen 24,304
10 The Witness Nora Roberts Jove 21,984